Lightning II... Pilotless, Too? | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 04.18.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.18.14 **
** Airborne 04.16.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.16.14 **
** Airborne 04.14.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 04.14.14 **

Thu, Aug 17, 2006

Lightning II... Pilotless, Too?

Lockheed Explores Unmanned F-35 Concept

Pilots have heard for awhile that it's only a matter of time before computers completely replace humans at the controls of the most advanced aircraft... and Lockheed Martin appears to be taking that concept to a new level, with word the Bethesda, MD-based manufacturer is looking into an unmanned version of its upcoming F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

In a briefing Tuesday, Lockheed VP Frank Murno acknowledged the idea has been in the works for two years... and while he provided few specifics on the program, Murno did say such a plane could be built as a hybrid -- manned by a pilot for some missions, and operated remotely for others.

The Washington Post reports by announcing the program, Lockheed is signaling a move toward producing drone aircraft, after years of maintaining unmanned planes diminish the need for more expensive manned fighters... thus allowing its rivals to get a head start in the UAV market.

"When you think about unmanned combat systems, I think about Boeing," said GlobalSecurity.org executive director John E. Pike.

While acknowledging an unmanned F-35 variant would give Lockheed a truly unique entry into the UAV market, many analysts still believe the manufacturer has a tough road ahead in that market.

"Lockheed is playing catch-up and acknowledging that unmanned vehicles is a trend that is not going to go away," said analyst Loren B. Thompson Jr., who also consults for Lockheed. "It's going to be hard to penetrate a market where competitors are already established."

As Aero-News reported, Lockheed also recently unveiled its P-175 "Polecat" high altitude, unmanned aerial demonstrator -- an aircraft that could one day rival the successful General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator series -- in another step towards asserting its presence in the unmanned aircraft market.

Like the Polecat, the unmanned F-35 is being developed at Lockheed's famed "Skunk Works" facility in California.

FMI: www.lockheedmartin.com

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 04.18.14: SpaceX's Historic Pad, Sikorsky Going Presidential?, EAA B17

Also: Airmen Support Pilot's Son, Beyond The Blue!, More Wrong-Way SWA Fallout, Missing WWII Airman Comes Home NASA signed an agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporat>[...]

Aero-TV: Dual GPS Solutions -- Maps, Weather, And Traffic To Your EFB Devices

Dual Boasts GPS Support for iOS or Android Platforms While at the AOPA 2013 convention, ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell met with Greg Lukins, Vice President of Business D>[...]

Airborne 04.18.14: SpaceX's Historic Pad, Sikorsky Going Presidential?, EAA B17

Also: Airmen Support Pilot's Son, Beyond The Blue!, More Wrong-Way SWA Fallout, Missing WWII Airman Comes Home NASA signed an agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporat>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (04.19.14)

The Art Of Airsickness Bags Have you succumbed to the unbridled joy of Air Sickness Bag Collecting? Do you have vomit fever (or, fever-induced vomiting)? Are you ever considering b>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (04.19.14): Navigable Airspace

Airspace at and above the minimum flight altitudes prescribed in the CFRs including airspace needed for safe takeoff and landing.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC