From The Archives: Pilot Optional

Aurora Flight Sciences' Centaur, an optionally piloted aircraft, graced the Aug. 6, 2012 cover of  Aviation Week & Space Technology. The image shows the aircraft flying over Northern Virginia with Tom Washington, chief pilot and Centaur chief engineer as safety pilot in the left seat.

The unmanned aircraft ground station and operator are in the back seat, while a flight control servo package occupies the normal space for the right front seat. Aviation Week was on board the Centaur as it flew an autonomous mission from takeoff to landing.

If you're a subscriber you can read more about the autonomous mission in the article on page 44.


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