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Airbus: We don't need pilots for take-off

Christian Fernsby |
Airbus has performed the first fully automatic vision-based take-off using an Airbus Family test aircraft at Toulouse-Blagnac airport.

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Topics: AIRBUS    PILOTS   

The test crew comprising of two pilots, two flight test engineers and a test flight engineer took off initially at around 10:15 am on 18 December and conducted a total of 8 take-offs over a period of four and a half hours.

“The aircraft performed as expected during these milestone tests.

“While completing alignment on the runway, waiting for clearance from air traffic control, we engaged the auto-pilot,” said Airbus Test Pilot Captain Yann Beaufils.

“We moved the throttle levers to the take-off setting and we monitored the aircraft.

“It started to move and accelerate automatically maintaining the runway centre line, at the exact rotation speed as entered in the system.

“The nose of the aircraft began to lift up automatically to take the expected take-off pitch value and a few seconds later we were airborne.”

Rather than relying on an Instrument Landing System (ILS), the existing ground equipment technology currently used around the world where the technology is present, this automatic take-off was enabled by image recognition technology installed directly on the aircraft.


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