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 Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 12.05.16

Airborne 12.06.16

Airborne 12.07.16

Airborne 12.08.16

Airborne 12.02.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 12.05.16

Airborne 12.06.16

Airborne 12.07.16

Airborne 12.08.16

Airborne 12.02.16

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 12.07.16: SpaceShipTwo Free Flt, Newest Tecnam, Hurricane Hunters Move

Also: Chelan Seaplanes Debacle, Electrifying E-Fest, Delta's New Airbus, Orion Update, ACSS NXT-700, Flyht, Duncan Aviation The newest SpaceShipTwo flew free of its mother ship for>[...]

Airborne 12.06.16: SpaceX Launching Soon!, 787 AD, DJI Inspire 2

Also: P-51C 'Tuskegee Airmen', Aero-Calendar, EASA Mandate, Master Instructor, 737 MAX Thrust Reverser, LaMia Airline, Flying Colours SpaceX could return to flight by the middle of>[...]

Airborne 12.07.16: SpaceShipTwo Free Flt, Newest Tecnam, Hurricane Hunters Move

Also: Chelan Seaplanes Debacle, Electrifying E-Fest, Delta's New Airbus, Orion Update, ACSS NXT-700, Flyht, Duncan Aviation The newest SpaceShipTwo flew free of its mother ship for>[...]

AD: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2016-20-09 PRODUCT: Certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2A12 (CL-601 Variant), and CL-600-2B16 (CL-601-3A, CL-601-3R, and CL-604 Variants) airplanes.>[...]

AD: Dassault Aviation Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2016-24-07 PRODUCT: Certain Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC