Robots fly planes all the time these days. Drones aren’t new. But there are few projects looking at how to use what we’ve learned from drones to augment manned flight.
The project is called Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System, or ALIAS, and it’s funded by DARPA. The test flight was administered by Aurora Flight Sciences which is working with researchers at MIT and Duke.
When ALIAS is complete, it should be possible to install the robot in many airplane cockpits, even the back seat of a jet fighter.