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Radio Controlled Spy Plane

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the it's-a-bird,-it's-a-plane dept.

Toys 92

AltGrendel writes: "The US Air Force is sending a radio controlled spy plane on a test flight from Califonina to Australia. Details from Yahoo are here. I like the bit about the early flight termination due to a bad command, maybe someone will hack the control signals and fly it to their home?"

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lot's of potential (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#274493)

the ultimate "high ground."

this craft has a lot of potential beyond a spy plane. any craft that can orbit that long could function as radio repeating station over a cluttered batterfield, i.e. an urban area like grozny, as long as you have air superiority.-

for that matter, why build a network of low-earth-orbit sattelites (e.g. iridium) when 70% of the earth is water? several of these birds could orbit you major market cities, probably for a greatly reduced cost. again, you'd be less likely to suffer from ground clutter and microterrain.

Re:Point by point... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#274494)

Stolen election? You must be joking. If anyone was trying to steal the election, it was Gore. Here are some points for those of you who are too stupid to understand what has happened in the last election.

1. The black voter turnout was abnormally high - implying either voter fraud or busing in folks who may not have otherwise voted. Okay, this is a weak argument, so we'll continue on:

2. Gore only wanted a certain kind of recount. He wanted to DISCOUNT the military absentee ballots, and only recount UNDERVOTES, NOT OVERVOTES...hmmm, now why is that?

3. Those controversial ballots were approved by the Democrats themselves. There's no conspiracy theory here about "the man" keeping black people down - that's BS. If you bus in people that are not intelligent enough to get out and vote themselves, you can't expect much.

4. And lastly, GORE LOST EVERY SINGLE THIRD PARTY RECOUNT OF FLORIDA. 'Nuff said.

So get over it, Bush won. Stop lying about the last election. Stop calling it a "selection", the majority of the (thinking) public doesn't buy it. It might get a laugh on a late night show, but it has no business in a rational discussion. And, most surprising to almost every American, Bush is turning out to be a fantastic leader. And what's all this whining from the Democrats about a mandate? The President won. He doesn't need to "reach out" to Democrats...when a Democrat wins, who is talking about a mandate? Who is talking about "reaching out" to Republicans?

Bush needs to do his job as he sees fit, not how the Democrats want him to do it. He was left a bunch of land mines by the criminal that was in office before him, and he dealt with those accordingly. You can tell if Bush is doing the right thing by who whines the most about his actions. If nutball environmental wackos are whining about arsenic, oil exploration, and the Kyoto Treaty, for exaample, I know Bush is on the right path. The same goes for the globalist U.N. types. The same goes for Chinese apologists. The same goes for NOW members.

All this talk of a mandate is nonsense and liberal media spin. Try reading something else other than New York Times or Washington Post, and you'll see that middle America is quite happy with Bush. Or tune into Fox News, instead of the ridiculous claptrap that passes for news on the three major networks. There is a reason that Fox News is a rising star; it's because the three major networks and CNN do not speak for the majority of this nation.

Re:To refute this, and about 60 other points... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#274495)

Whoever is running this site is way off. Are you telling me that a liberally-controlled media and the three counties that are largely Democrat-controlled would not blow the whistle on this "conspiracy"? What a joke. You (if you run this site or even believe its theories) must be one of those people that think the media is actually biased in favor of conservatives.

You must remember that the Democrats have quite a history of voter fraud and other practices, that, while not necessarily fraudulent, border on the unscrupulous.

Re:no more crews hostage (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 13 years ago | (#274496)

I fully agree, THE united states will be going to have a RECESSION and fall from power soon and CANADA will rise to pre-eminence. Then you'll all PAY, eh?

Sure this is new? (2)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 13 years ago | (#274497)

During the Serbian war two years ago, the Serb-run media was reporting that they were being buzzed by "unmanned drones" on almost a daily basis. IIRC, they even claimed to have shot down four or five.

Re:Point by point... (2)

stevew (4845) | more than 13 years ago | (#274498)

Hehe - that's what I thought about Clinton towards the end of his first term. Boy was I wrong... and look at all the good things his 2nd term brought us.

Now for a post that is actually about the original article! The damn plane is "barely" remote controled. It's nominally completely autonomous. The reason this is interesting is that it'll be flying to Australia by itself under NO remote control.

Re:pilotsis best defense? (2)

Brian Stretch (5304) | more than 13 years ago | (#274499)

But if we fly an unmanned spy plane, why not just take random potshots at it?

Because first they have to find the thing. You can make the planes smaller, reducing their radar signature (could use stealth materials, but then you have to worry about the enemy getting ahold of them if the plane is shot down). You could fly higher and longer because of the reduced size and weight too. And if the plane is discovered... well, you can self-destruct it.

Remote controlled SR-71 (1)

ragnarok (6947) | more than 13 years ago | (#274500)

I was watching a show on the SR-71 on speedvision yesterday and they mentioned that there is an unpiloted drone version of the plane. Apparently it was produced around the same time as the blackbird, but it's still secret. Seems like it was probably able to do this a long time ago, they just chjose not to tell us...

...or another, from the Cold War (2)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 12 years ago | (#274501)

We've eliminated management at Ansett

``Aeroflot achieves ultimate in efficiency, eliminates passengers and cargo from flights''
``It['s] easy to estimate sheep numbers, simple multiple human population by five.''

Since most of the humanoid population of New Zealand seems to be living in Australia now, perhaps that sheep-count multiplication factor needs a bit of tweaking?

Re:Don't send a human to do a machine's job (2)

RayChuang (10181) | more than 13 years ago | (#274502)

One thing people forget about the Global Hawk is the fact the cruising altitude is almost the same at the U-2: around 70,000 feet.

At that altitude, it is very difficult to shoot down unless you have a pretty big SAM missile; because the Global Hawk very likely has stealth characteristics thanks to its shape, the use of radar absorbent materials and use of engine exhaust cooling to reduce IR signature, it will also be hard to find on modern sensors, too.

What's interesting is that Global Hawk essentially fulfills the promise of the old Compass Cope project from the 1970's, when Boeing and Teledyne Ryan both built prototypes of a large reconnaissance drone capable of flying above 65,000 feet; Compass Cope was cancelled due to budgetary reasons.

your link, sir. (1)

jonbrewer (11894) | more than 13 years ago | (#274503)

"The US Air Force is already flying remote spy planes over the Balkans. The "Predator" is flown via remote, and can go over the horizon by use of satelites to send and recieve transmissions. May issue of Air & Space has an article on them. The pilots who get the duty are none too happy, as they don't accumulate flight time while doing this, but typically will be rewarded when their tour is up with the duty of their choice."

http://www.airspacemag.com/ASM/Mag/Index/2001/AM/p redator.html [airspacemag.com]

ROTFL! (2)

BeBoxer (14448) | more than 13 years ago | (#274504)

No, really, you should run to the library and look up LBJ on a list of presidents. Next, get a calculator and subtract 60 from 2001. Then come back and report what you find...

Re:What if the computer is *too* smart? (2)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 13 years ago | (#274505)

Or simply a high-level of encryption for the software and thus requiring a password to make the stuff useable. In the event of capture the system would be logged off so nobody could access it without the password. Then if it was really a matter of die or give the password, you could always have a second password to erase and burn out the chips - the captors wouldn't know the difference.

Re:It's Robotic (2)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 13 years ago | (#274506)

Not radio-controlled, so someone's not likely to hack the contol signals

Sure, but the plane probably depends on GPS and if someone is aware of it presence, there is nothing stopping the observed from emitting a high power signal, at the same frequencies a used by GPS.

Re:Another major reason (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 12 years ago | (#274507)

Considering how expensive it is to train pilots, and the PR fiasco when they get shot down and/or captured, damn skippy humans are more expensive than technology.

Unless you live in China...then you're worth about -$2.50 to the gov't.

Re:Point by point... (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 12 years ago | (#274508)

*looks*

*can't find any*

The only person who provably ENJOYED the second half of the Clinton administration was Mr. Clinton. Just look at that pretty blue dress his little friend was wearing.

As for your second point, yes, Global Hawk is cool, but Darkstar gets the real cool toy points.

Re:It's Robotic (1)

pbkg (24307) | more than 12 years ago | (#274509)

Sure, but the plane probably depends on GPS and if someone is aware of it presence, there is nothing stopping the observed from emitting a high power signal, at the same frequencies a used by GPS.

Except for the fact that GPS has antispoofing....

Re:It's Robotic (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 13 years ago | (#274510)

Not radio-controlled, so someone's not likely to hack the contol signals

Well, it's not directly radio controlled, but I'm pretty sure the Air Force can issue new commands to divert the plane's course if they need to, or extract any kind of status information on how the plane is doing. On the other hand, we can safely assume they're using strong encryption, so you wouldn't have much of a chance breaking the code. This would be a perfect application for a one time pad (at least for the commands, the images might be a little too big for that)

Re:Don't send a human to do a machine's job (1)

dist (30121) | more than 12 years ago | (#274511)

Also according to the article it seems there is some kind of basic image recognition software so that it can identify difference type of targets (eg sedan vs tuck).

I think that's just giving readers the idea of the detail level of the camera, not saying that the plane's systems can actually recognize either one.

Re:What if the computer is *too* smart? (1)

dierdorf (37660) | more than 13 years ago | (#274512)

what I don't understand about that us plane landing in China is that the equipment on board didn't seem to have any self-destruct mechanisms. I think that with top secret equipment flying around the world they would take precautions...

They mostly use "off-the-shelf" receivers and computers, and the Chinese are welcome to them. The only highly classified goodies are the computer programs that analyze the data, and they can be (and were) zapped fairly quickly. In practice, the really good analysis programs aren't necessarily on the plane at all - they can bring back the telemetry tapes and plug 'em into some REAL hardware back at base. The ECM guys must have real-time capability, but that's not necessary for routine surveillance operations.

To quote a close acquaintance who spent some time in this racket, "It is no secret what we're doing. It's HIGHLY secret how good we are."

Re:Smaller version of SR-71, no-pilot, still secre (1)

risacher (41716) | more than 12 years ago | (#274513)

Yes. It was the D-21. The "mothership" was called the M-12, which was a modified version of the A-12, which was an attack aircraft similar to the SR-71. There's actually a D-21 sitting out on the ramp at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in a disused area full of other mothballed junk. (Or at least there was in 1994.) The program was very secretive, the aircraft was very fast. Rumor has it that there were incidents of the drone striking the mothership on seperation, resulting in loss of both aircraft and ultimately program cancellation.
(But that last bit is just a rumor.)

It had some fancy composite skin over a titanium honeycomb structure, interesting largely in that nobody seems to know how to make titanium honeycomb anymore.

Pictures of D-21 (1)

risacher (41716) | more than 13 years ago | (#274514)

On the ground [yi.org]

In flight [yi.org]

Katana? (2)

Langdon (44221) | more than 13 years ago | (#274515)

To quote Sammo Hung:

"Sushi is Japanese. Moron."

Katanas are Japanese. Bushido is Japanese. We're talking about the Chinese - the Middle Kingdom. Try thinking kung-fu and Shaolin, and you'll be closer.

Another major reason (2)

devphil (51341) | more than 13 years ago | (#274516)

One reason it is robotic is presumably that with no puny human inside, it can fly faster and at higher attitude without being loaded down with life support system, crew spaces, etc.

Also, we don't give a rat's ass if it crashes or gets shot down.

With no humans inside, "destruction of sensitive material" becomes a lot simpler. A couple sticks of TNT and a power source, and kaboom, no incriminating evidence ('cept for the noise and smoke), and no powerful tech falling into the hands of a totalitarian society ('cept for the one that built it and flew it over). Most importantly, no hostages turning into gamepieces.

They could even safely install a "heartbeat" monitor -- if you haven't heard this semi-automated radio signal from HQ in the last twenty seconds, self-destruct.

Embedded Linux in a Marine's backback is cool and all, but unmanned is truly where the military is headed. There were some unmanned recon vehicles used in the Kosovo conflict. The US lost like a dozen of them, and it got briefly mentioned in a newspaper (they were shot down, I think the paper said). We lose a manned helicopter, and the campaign screeches to a halt for three days. We lose a dozen semi-robotic flying camera thingies, and no one cares. This is as it should be.

Also interesting to note that hard science fiction has been prediciting the use of remote-controlled vehicles in warfare for some time now.

Don't land it in your backyard (2)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 12 years ago | (#274517)

Land it in your neighbor's yard and watch the hilarity ensue. Make sure to plant some radio gear tuned to the spycraft in his garbage can first.

Almost as good as the 'real' thing... (1)

NiTRiX (81995) | more than 13 years ago | (#274518)

It's nice to know that all this RTS experience will pay off in the next couple of decades. By then we can control entire armies simply by dragging a mouse over the desired units, and then clicking an area of the map, while we get real-time feedback of our oppositions placement. I am however, keeping in mind that when most of us play those games we loose a hell of a lot more men than our government would ever again allow... on the alternative, a nationwide broadcast would make for a most excellent form of entertainment... I am curious however... which would be more appropriate when the time came, 'zug-zug' or 'Come get some!'??

Re:What if the computer is *too* smart? (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 13 years ago | (#274519)

People who do it for a living don't have time to try new ideas. What they for a living is take old ideas and fit them to government orders.

Re:What if the computer is *too* smart? (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 13 years ago | (#274520)

By the way, where do you get the idea that when some doesn't work in a particular field they're incapable of doing anything in that field?

Christ, morons.

It's Robotic (2)

nihilogos (87025) | more than 13 years ago | (#274521)

Not radio-controlled, so someone's not likely to hack the contol signals. I more interesting question is whether or not Phillip Ruddock, the Australian immigration minister, will deem the robot an illegal immigrant and throw it into the Woomera Detention Centre. And you think you had to wait ages to get people out if China huh?

What if the computer is *too* smart? (4)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 13 years ago | (#274522)

will it develop a sense of self preservation and crash-land in China?

Re:lot's of potential (1)

Life Blood (100124) | more than 13 years ago | (#274523)

The US bought Iridium because 70% of the earth is water. Therefore for 70% you need a satelite communications network in low earth orbit in order to make a call using a reasonable amount of power. As it is Iridium is soon going to be used by a host of civil robotic aircraft in order to give telemetry and real time weather data for use in forecasting.

Re:Despite the war on drugs... (1)

epcraig (102626) | more than 13 years ago | (#274524)

Speed, the CIA was full of tweaks until methedrine was (finally) outlawed.

BOOM (2)

cperciva (102828) | more than 13 years ago | (#274525)

maybe someone will hack the control signals and fly it to their home?

Do you really want a plane loaded with 15,000 pounds of fuel crashing into your home?

Re:pilots is best defense? (1)

SimCash (107073) | more than 13 years ago | (#274526)

Actually, you mean the pilot is the best deterrent. True.

It's the old "tripwire" idea. That's where you put thousands of marines in front of millions of North Koreans and Chinese and promise to "come a runnin" if anything develops. Theory is that live people represent a threshhold that will deter the invasion.

Course, if you put 200-300 marines in a stupid hotel, tie their hands (defensively, rules of engagement, etc.) and have a policy that just screams "we don't really want to be there", you should not be surprised when they get blown up.

So, poster was correct, there is little to keep someone from shooting down these goobers. Now, ask someone about US policy on national technical means, especially satellites.

Re:Frightening (1)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 13 years ago | (#274527)

Maybe thats why I kept hearing the national anthem while sleeping through first period in high school?

I hate patriotism (2)

stixman (119688) | more than 13 years ago | (#274528)

Hey, let's all bash the Americans while they're sleeping, and see if they can make a good comeback when they wake up. That way we'll all feel better about the shitholes we live in.

Yes, I hate my president. Yes, Corporations are trying to destroy democracy (and so far are doing a good job of it). Yes, the US is pretty fucked up right now.

But look at your country. I don't care where you are, your government is FUCKED UP. Everything is FUCKED UP. The whole world is FUCKED UP. Now ask yourselves this: what will happen if the US crashes? ....you thinking?...yeah, it doesn't take an econ degree to figure it out. You, whoever, wherever you are, will feel it. And let's not forget that we're all toast if nuclear war starts. This is a global community now. We are all citizens of the human race.

If you don't like what we're doing in the US (I sure as hell don't and I live there), don't just sit there on your high horse criticizing us, because it's your ass too.

In case you're wondering, I'm awake because I'm studying in Germany this year. Tschüß,
Mike.

Re:Point by point... (3)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 13 years ago | (#274529)

Yes, but remember that the Democratic official in Palm Beach County approved the design of the "butterfly ballot" that supposedly caused so much confusion.

Whether or not the confusion was obvious beforehand or if it could have been prevented is academic. However, it is evident by now that the ballot did confuse a large number of voters, affecting the outcome of the election. The point here is that we allowed several accidents, errors, and just plain dirty tricks to decide our election and the fact of the matter is that no one is quite sure just who won. Both sides need to face statistical facts: when an election is that close, it's a tie. Florida's votes should have been split or thrown out entirely.

--

Re:I hate patriotism (1)

friscolr (124774) | more than 13 years ago | (#274530)

Hey, let's all bash the Americans while they're sleeping

come on people, if you really wanna bash the USA, take it where it belongs:
alt.nuke.the.usa [google.com]

doesn't anyone do newsgroups anymore?

-f

Control option via the Internet (1)

sysop (126289) | more than 13 years ago | (#274531)

I work for the Australian ISP that's providing ISDN dialups for these guys while they test out here.

Apparently they can actually control the plane via this internet connection, which is scary stuff. It's also been said that they chose an ordinary ISP so that their data would not be travelling across the Australian defence force network (they're staying at the RAAF base near Adelaide), read into that what you will.

It made a "perfect" landing in Adelaide... but... (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 13 years ago | (#274532)

Originally scheduled for a 9 PM landing, the last estimate we got (informally, from a friend who works at DSTO), before we turned-in, this morning, put it at around 2 am (Adelaide time).

A report about Global Hawk is on the ABC's Radio National as I write...

It flew about 14,000 km's in about 24 hours...

It's being trialed (with an eye to buying one) for maritime surveillance of Australia's coast line...

e.g. to watch for illegal fishing, drug &/or people smuggling, and -possibly- search & rescue...

It can surveill the coast and/or hover over such targets for over 30 hours.

It may -someday- be equipped for combat.

Oh, by the way... why land in South Australia? After all, the RAAF base at which it landed is surrounded by well-populated suburbs, et al.

We've got one of the worst economies in Australia and have been targeted for use as a nuclear dumping ground, as well as what (for all we knew) might have been a risky experimental airflight...

Having just last week been told - by a staff-member of the State's land-mapping department - that South Australia has already shut down its 1:10,000 mapping project, due to lack of $'s...

...the thought of Australia paying all this money for one or more machines that -won't- be using its capability in this area to do the work now left -undone- by the State's mapping service (not to mention the apparently -low- level of commitment on the part of this plane's buyers to search & rescue work)... is no happy thought.

Why are countries -so- prepared to spend -millions- to keep a few loads of boat-people and/or drugs out of Australia, while the normal functions of (at least -this-) State gov't - such as map-making - go under funded... I'll never understand...

The Australian dollar remains at an all-time low, making any purchase of pilotless planes even -more- expensive.

Better, I would have thought, to wait for these puppies go into mass-production (such as it might be, for such a large & expensive product)... and buy them at bargain-basement prices...

No... we'd rather "go to the poorhouse" to get this kind of technology into our hot little hands right NOW...

...even as public hospitals' waiting lists go up higher than this plane has flown... ;-)

We just heard (yesterday) that the % of South Australian households UNDER the poverty line is way over 20 % today... (it had been closer to 10% about 10 years ago).

The introduction of poker machines (some years back now) has lead to the draining of household money... meaning that even fewer South Australian kids will get the kind of education they need to get into technology in a big way.

Thank God for Open Source technologies... the poor-man's way to learn & (hopefully) get into technology, even for "first world" countries...

Of course, in South Australia, there is risk that one who knows Linux, et al. even VERY well, may be overlooked...

...in favor of somebody else, who was able to pay the $'s for an MSCE, since the South Australia is -still- locked into its "whole-of-enterprise" contract to use -ONLY- Microsoft operating systems.

Progress... go figure!

Where the hell is... (2)

small_dick (127697) | more than 13 years ago | (#274533)

...Califonia?

Re:Point by point... (1)

jon_adair (142541) | more than 13 years ago | (#274534)

No. Really, go look up LBJ. He wasn't President in 1941.

But that's kind of moot in this thread. LBJ didn't run for reelection. "I shall not seek, nor will I accept, my party's nomination..."

pilotsis best defense? (2)

e_lehman (143896) | more than 13 years ago | (#274535)

The article points out that if spy planes have no pilot, we need not worry so much about them being shot down.

From the enemy perspective, this sounds like an invitation to shoot them down. For example, if we fly a plane with 24 people off China's coast, they may harass it, but would have to be pretty crazy to intentionally kill two dozen Americans during peacetime. But if we fly an unmanned spy plane, why not just take random potshots at it? If survival of the plane really is less vital in our eyes, so must it be in theirs.

In times of tense peace, pilots may have an ante-raising function that reduces the probability of an incident occurring at all. And "tense peace" is not an uncommon condition for the US in recent decades around the world...

Re:Point by point... (1)

spanky555 (148893) | more than 13 years ago | (#274536)

I voted for Browne, too. What you say is correct, but the Democrats and their supporters will repeat this mantra of "selected, not elected" crap until the next election. I hope their tactics blow up in their face, and show them for the little manipulators that they are.

Re:Despite the war on drugs... (1)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 13 years ago | (#274537)

Too true, too true!
The history of the 2nd half of the 20th century would be much different if MK-Ultra had confined themselves to marijuana

Most of the Fidel Castro assasination attempts seem to have come from a very whacked out mind, although it was probably something stronger then weed...it could be argued that the entire history of spying is based on the weird ideas that paranoid adrenalin junkies come up with to amuse themselves. But this is getting OT.

Despite the war on drugs... (4)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 13 years ago | (#274538)

Despite the "war on drugs", it seems that our nations secret security forces still enjoy a bong hit of their own.

dudes...you know what would be awesome??? Remember when we used to, like, fly rc airplanes? Can you imagine making a spy plane out of one of those?

(Gurgles)

Dude, is that shit laced? Your ideas are always so crazy!

(Gurgles)

Yeah, that's what you said about fixing the Florida election...now back to my spyplane...we can run it all off a nine volt battery!

Re:Despite the war on drugs... (1)

nycdewd (160297) | more than 12 years ago | (#274539)

clueless, you are... and the statewide recount in Florida is ongoing, has not been completed... and is being done by a number of media corporations, they are each conducting their own recount, and Florida's so-called "sunshine laws" allow for full disclosure, statewide, of all returns

Just don't get it wet... (1)

Robogeek (164450) | more than 13 years ago | (#274540)

Am I the only one who remembers the movie "Deal of the Century" with Chevy Chase?

Armed planes? (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 13 years ago | (#274541)

How long before we start arming these planes and using them for attack? The most recent U.S. forays into combat have shown that we've become extremely reluctant to risk American lives. Using remotely-piloted warplanes would certainly make sense in such circumstances.

Re:Another major reason (1)

snol (175626) | more than 12 years ago | (#274542)

You're assuming humans are more expensive than technology....

Robotic != Remote Controlled (1)

NullAndVoid (181397) | more than 13 years ago | (#274543)

Look Ma, no hands! It is not a "remote" spy plane, it flies itself. That is what makes this unique. Anyone can build a remote spy plane by mounting a camera on a plane or something.

Thanks for posting this, there are already several ignorant "remote controlled spy planes, what a cool idea" posts. RC spy plans are already in use, they're in Kosovo, Iran is using them [bbc.co.uk] on rebels based in Iraq, etc. Old hat. What's cool about this one is that it's robotic, and the long range. What are the advantages of making it robotic? I suppose resistence to jamming, and perhaps it avoids detection by being radio-silent? Other ideas?

Re:no more crews hostage (1)

shokk (187512) | more than 13 years ago | (#274544)

Folks, you're assuming that we would be dumb enough to match rock-throws for rock-throws with one billion people. When you have a bigger stick, you use it. No matter how many people they have, they will always crumple and burn under daisy-cutters and area-fuel bombs. THEN, you go in with the men. The Gulf War and the Yugoslavia conflict are showing that many countries across the world still think in terms of WWII technology when fighting wars and thus losing them badly. The Chinese will also learn if that is their way. Frankly I think they know this and, unless they've misplaced their Sun Tsu, wouldn't be stupid enough to take us on. They have a long memory, though, and we'll have to keep an eye on them for the next hundred years.

Re:Smaller version of SR-71, no-pilot, still secre (1)

lucius (189447) | more than 12 years ago | (#274545)

I think it's the D-21 or something. Anyway, the drone I'm thinking of piggybacks on the SR-71.

IIRC it's basically one of the SR-71 engines with tiny stub wings and a bunch of probes

Heck with that... (2)

TheOutlawTorn (192318) | more than 13 years ago | (#274546)

maybe someone will hack the control signals and fly it to their home?"

I'd be flying it to the home of that lamer script kiddie who keeps trying to portscan me. I'd love to see his face when the US Air Force shows up on his doorstep, complete with "evidence" supplied by an anonymous "concerned citizen"

Ahhh, sweet vengeance.

Smaller version of SR-71, no-pilot, still secret (2)

ckedge (192996) | more than 13 years ago | (#274547)


Last night on Speedvision during a one hour show on the SR-71, I was supprised to hear a claim that there was a smaller un-piloted version of the SR-71 made, supposedly still under wraps.

Has anyone else heard anything about it?

Re:What if the computer is *too* smart? (1)

nekid_singularity (196486) | more than 13 years ago | (#274548)

I was wondering the same thing. I wonder why they don't just have a pipe from the fuel tank to the cabin, and if the plane is captured all you have to do is pump several hundred gallons into the cabin and light it, perhaps with a thermite grenade, and poof, there wouldn't be much of a plane left!

News headlines, pick one... (1)

dr_gecko (203114) | more than 13 years ago | (#274549)

Mick Dundee brings down US spy plane while demonstrating prowess to visiting Chinees tourists. Tourist relates "Its a keeper." Ansett to buy fleet of spy planes to replace poorly maintained aircraft. Ansett spokes person reveals "We've eliminated management at Ansett after the accusation by Air New Zealand now we are moving on to the second cost cutting faze, eliminating crew and passengers" New Zealand captures Australian spy plane during a routine fly over sheep count. New Zealand government denies need, due to its own accounting methods. "It easy to estimate sheep numbers, simple multiple human population by five."

Re:Point by point... (2)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 13 years ago | (#274550)

But it doesn't get reported because, bzzzt, the global media (including those based outside of the US) are mostly owned by the very people who benefit from our stolen election. Why don't you see what these folks have to say about it?

This is a load of bullshit. For those of you who still think the election was "stolen," please consult this AP (that's ASSOCIATED PRESS, not MEDIA CONGLOMERATES) article available from the Orlando Sentinel website:

http://orlandosentinel.com/news/sns-heraldrecount. story [orlandosentinel.com]

The Sentinel largely printed stories indicating that Bush would have lost until this final story came out.

The truth is we will never know FOR SURE who would have won, but it wasn't because the election was "stolen," it was because many parts of Florida used incredibly outdated voting equipment.

P.S. And just so you don't think I'm biased, I voted for Harry Browne, not Bush.

Gotta Love an AC (in)Fest(ation) (1)

Lord Vipor Scorpion (218440) | more than 13 years ago | (#274551)

It would be really great if all these posts were the same person (a la Fight Club), and the two personalities were just going at it.

But shouldn't we wonder why _this thread_ took off inside _this story_? This is one of the most intense imbroglios on Slashdot since the election.

I skipped this story when it was posted because it looked like a not-so-interesting nod to the military-industrial complex. But I think that's why these very reactionary posters have come out so strongly. Nobody seems to mention the incident in Peru today where a US reconnaissance plane gave a Peruvian fighter plane the go ahead to shoot down a suspected drug plane, which was in reality a Baptist missionary plane. I think this is an indication that recon planes are a bit too ubiquitous.

I think the Slashdot crowd identifies with the people in these planes, and many posters probably live a spartan existence centered around their work--as I imagine these military people do. But I know many Slashdotters who are cosmopolitan (a view International, as that SNL guy says), and who would rather focus their time & energy on almost anything but the US defense industry & our role as schoolyard bully in the global playground. I know many well-adjusted people who work for the defense industry, too.

Thankfully there is a range of views on Slashdot (and in the US), but there is an increasing dichotomy/polarity. I can't see how we can escape this stupid two party system, especially when the people here who say they voted for alternative candidates immediately jump into the talking points of one party or the other. It seems like they use their "alternative" vote to mask their very commonplace ideological views as unique or esoteric.

Very funny (& pertinent) response! (1)

Lord Vipor Scorpion (218440) | more than 13 years ago | (#274552)

Total irony in a post mentioning Jon Katz being marked off-topic. Jon Katz gives non-technical discussion a bad name. Does /. keep Katz around to show how social discussions of technical issues are irrelevant & stupid?

Problem-solving vs. Reflection: I don't reflect enough on code I've written. And I only read other people's code only enough to figure out what it's doing. If it works, I'm moving on. This is the same mentality a lot of these posters have--"The election's over. Move along, nothing to see here." But I should examine code I've written AND the election--in order to find mistakes, learn, & improve on them.

Jon Katz is supposed to be the reflective voice on /., but the only thing he seems to reflect on is his own ass. Look at his review of The Dish. He goes out of his way to make it seem LESS geeky--"It's really a romantic comedy." There's one sentence in his review about the techy aspect of the plot.

Before somebody marks me as off-topic, I'm saying either Katz should focus on /.-type issues directly, or leave. He does nothing but marginalize social commentary here.

P.S. Lord Vipor Scorpion wears a mask, so you can't see what he looks like.

Re:What if the computer is *too* smart? (1)

Weh (219305) | more than 13 years ago | (#274553)

what I don't understand about that us plane landing in China is that the equipment on board didn't seem to have any self-destruct mechanisms. I think that with top secret equipment flying around the world they would take precautions...

Re:What if the computer is *too* smart? (1)

Weh (219305) | more than 13 years ago | (#274554)

I mean more like a "self-destruct" button somewhere, it lets the smashing up part be automated but the decision of when to smash is still in human control...

Re:What if the computer is *too* smart? (1)

Weh (219305) | more than 13 years ago | (#274555)

I agree that it is a good idea to keep a hammer lying around in case the self-destruct mechanisms fail. However I think that a carefully engineered self-destruct mechanism might do a better job at destroying equipment. With a hammer (or an axe) you can smash at the outside of all your consoles/computers/racks/whatever but self destruct mechanisms might be imstalled in the deepest internals of the apparatus so that maximum damage might be done. I wonder if the crew of planes like that have any training in destroying stuff. I think it would be fun to be trained in stuff like that. -"now watch me destroy your pc in 3 seconds with 2 kicks in the right places"

Re:Heck with that... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 12 years ago | (#274556)

Could you park it near at least one of the idiots who keep doing 111 scans on my machine, thanks!

Nuke their CDs and TVs from orbit! (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 12 years ago | (#274557)

If you want fun, take an infrared laser (or high-power IR laser diode), modulate it with the control codes for most TV/CD/VCR/stereo remotes for on, play and max volume, then spray the side of a handy apartment building.

Judge the results by the number of lights that turn on at 3am.

Don't try this at home -- try it on someone else's home.

And if you want to be really scarey, light up a whole country from orbit. All your remote controls are belong to us!

Don't send a human to do a machine's job (3)

Codeala (235477) | more than 13 years ago | (#274558)

Ground crews will monitor the flight - but not control it - as the plane picks its way along a preprogrammed route.

Look Ma, no hands! It is not a "remote" spy plane, it flies itself. That is what makes this unique. Anyone can build a remote spy plane by mounting a camera on a plane or something.

One reason it is robotic is presumably that with no puny human inside, it can fly faster and at higher attitude without being loaded down with life support system, crew spaces, etc. More room for spy gears and fuels.

Also according to the article it seems there is some kind of basic image recognition software so that it can identify difference type of targets (eg sedan vs tuck). Possible use? Follow some targets over high-risk area? Circle around certain area to look for activates, like 24hr border patrol?

====

Future hostage crises? (3)

corvi42 (235814) | more than 13 years ago | (#274559)

Designed primarily for reconnaissance, the Global Hawk also could be equipped with eavesdropping devices such as those aboard the EP-3E Aries II spy plane being held by China, Ettinger said.

Northrop has built five Global Hawks so far. One crashed in 1999 when it accidentally received a test signal ordering it to terminate its flight by spiraling into the ground. Two more are being built, with further production to begin this fall.

[ ... ]

maybe someone will hack the control signals and fly it to their home?"

So in the future the chinese won't need to crash their fighter jets to get ahold of american spy plane - they'll just hire a few radio geeks. Now that's progress.

Re:no more crews hostage (1)

Rasta Prefect (250915) | more than 13 years ago | (#274560)

I'm sick of this "stolen election" and "Bush lost the election" crap. George W. Bush won the election under the current rules. The rules may have been stupid and outdated, but he still won under those rules. Accept it. 300,000 votes accross the country is not a significant margin, particularly given that half the country didn't even vote(Ok, I'll give you that one as a point on "Americans are so studpid"). If it had happened a week earlier or a week later it could have gone either way. And at any rate, both candidates got more support than Clinton ever did in either election.

So he dropped bombs on Iraq. So did Clinton. Yes, our Iraq policy is really screwed up. No, this is not Bush's fault, it's a mess he inherited. Realistically, we should have gone all the way back during the Gulf war and kicked Saddam out, but the UN wouldn't approve such a thing so we didn't do it.

Our economy. This is another thing I'm getting pretty sick of hearing. You know what? Recessions happen. It's part of the economic cycle. However, if this is a recession, it's a pretty damn mild one, particularly given the insanely long period of growth we just went through. Just because we've gotten used to 3% a year growth doesn't mean that anything less is a recession.

Also - The stock market is not the economy. The stock market bears only a passing relationship to how the economy is actually doing. Yeah, it's not been doing so hot lately but this is largely because a whole bunch of people with more money than brains dumped tons of venture capital into companies without viable business plans just because they had an e in their names. Its down, but thats because people finally wised up to what Greenspan and a lot of other people were saying 2 years ago and realized that it was insanely overvalued in the first place. As for us enjoying our "financial crisis"...Where might you happen to live that you think you're getting off so easy? When we go down, we tend to drag others along with us.

Bush actually handled the China thing as it should have been handled. So we spied on them. If you don't think they spy on us, you've really lost touch with reality. They were in international airspace, and that fighter had no business being where it was, other than to harass the crew of the American plane. If anyone deserves an apology out of this, it's us. "Criminally corrupt"? I have yet to see any evidence of corruption on the part of this man or his aides. In fact, he's been a fairly honest politician. As far as I'm concerned he has done pretty much exactly as he said he would when campaigning. And as much as you might like to rip on Bush, don't rip on his Aides - Cheney, Powell - they're all extremely good people. Deal.

Now, Mr. Anonymous Coward - Would you care to tell us where you happen to live?

Re:Point by point... (1)

Rasta Prefect (250915) | more than 13 years ago | (#274561)

Oh well, I've already posted once on this stupid topic might as well do it again....Probably just get modded down.

Butterfly Ballots: It was designed by a committee consisting OF DEMOCRATS. The Republicans has nothing whatsoever to do with the design of this ballot. Deal with it.

As for playing nice, I'm sure that the democrats going around picking up bums off the street and giving them packs of cigarettes to vote is entirely ok in your opinion? As for the Republicans preparing to call for recounts, it would seem that the Democrats were too, wouldn't it? Not to mention the media @#$% up declaring the state for the democrats before the(mostly republican) panhandle had finished voting. Yeah, the republicans play dirty. So do the Democrats. Neither party really gives a damn about anything except getting elected for another(2,4,6) years. They're both willing to play very dirty to do so.

Get off the conspiracy "will of the people " trip. It was essentially a tie. Somebody had to be chosen, and Bush was the one who won under the rules that existed at the time. He's the president. Learn to deal with it, and try and win in 2004.

Re:It's Robotic (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 13 years ago | (#274562)


Oh, if it's robotic, then Otto Pilot must be aboard. Where's Julie Haggarty in case of trouble?

To refute this, and about 60 other points... (1)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#274563)

Stolen election? You must be joking...

bushneverwonflorida.com [bushneverwonflorida.com]

Re:Heck with that... (2)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#274564)

Why two?

So if one fails the other can still fly the plane home instead of crash-landing it in China.

Re:Point by point... (2)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#274565)

You're assuming he'll win his party's nomination again. Bush will not be the President in 4 years but there will be a Republican in the office.

That would be pretty unprecedented. Offhand I can't think of an instance where a sitting first-term president didn't get his party's nomination to run again. While he is working hard to piss off enough people to accomplish this, I still think dubya would have to fuck up spectacularly to lose the 2004 nomination. The election is another matter -- I don't think he'd win if he had to run again right now, much less after four more years.

OTOH in all likelihood whoever the Dems put up is gonna be just as bad -- pro free-trade, anti free-speech, pro-censorship, pro-anything-big-industry-wants (DMCA anybody?), and generally indistinguishable from either dubya or billC in the areas that matter to us. So you could say we'll have a republican wolf in democratic sheep's clothing, like we did for the last 8 years.

Re:Point by point... (2)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#274566)

The truth is we will never know FOR SURE who would have won, but it wasn't because the election was "stolen," it was because many parts of Florida used incredibly outdated voting equipment.

Yeah, outdated voting equipment is what set up those police checkpoints near polling places frequented by blacks. And I guess it's those outdated polling machines that illegally removed tens of thousands of "felons" from the voting rolls -- again, predominately black "felons" -- who had never even been convicted of crimes. (And it's a total coincidence that that database was set up by a company which is also a big republican contributor.) And of course those outdated voting machines just forced the design of the butterfly ballot which gave us Pat Buchanan's startling performance in a county where you'd normally expect him to get about 7 votes.

It isn't just about the recount. The Dems thought the recount would put it over the top, which it didn't (quite), but there are more than enough other irregularities for which there is no legal recourse to make it obvious that the will of the people was thwarted.

And the Repubs weren't planning to play nice if the count went against them. I know some folks in the local political machine (they ran the smear campaign against Mary Landrieu when she beat Woody Jenkins out for the Senate by a few hundred votes). Calls were going out all night in preparation for a mass call for recounts, protests, and general dirty tricks. Then the count went in their favor and it all wound quietly down. (Well, mostly quietly. There was that little riot at the recount office, no doubt caused by the outdated voting equipment.)

Yep, we're gonna call the Vile Pretender "Resident" until we get the chance to kick him out in 2004. Get used to hearing it.

Re:Point by point... (2)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#274567)

Then look up "LBJ" in the list of presidents...

OK, so you have to go back 60 years. You know, I don't think things are likely to work quite the same way today as they did in the years just after Big Two.

Point by point... (3)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#274568)

The Americans are so stupid.

Mostly true, but don't make the mistake of thinking it's entirely true.

Firstly, through their own criminal corruption and stupidity, they except the travesty of democracy that was the election, and end up with the candidate that lost.

Yep, we got the candidate that lost and he is also proving very obtuse about his lack of a mandate. But a lot of us are very pissed off and I'm pretty sure Dubya is gonna be a one-term prez, just like his dad.

Then, their new president, a man who is renowned for being insanely stupid decides to throw bombs at Iraq to deflect growing concerns about his mental capabilities and lack of foreign policy.

Noticed that, did you? I was wondering if anyone else did.

And the American people do nothing.

Ummmmm... it's obvious you don't live here because a lot of people are up in arms. But it doesn't get reported because, bzzzt, the global media (including those based outside of the US) are mostly owned by the very people who benefit from our stolen election. Why don't you see what these folks [thenation.com] have to say about it?

The economy takes a huge nosedive because faith and trust in the country is plummeting.

It didn't help that Greenspan cringed when dubya patted him on the back.

Star Wars is reinstated to "protect" this foolish president and his foolish people.

bzzzt, wrong. Star wars is reinstated to "protect" the pocketbooks of some of the folks who benefitted from our stolen election, in this case the aerospace industry. Nobody seriously thinks Star Wars can protect us from anything military because quite a few of us have enough brains to realize you could just ship the bombs over here via parcel post.

Then a spy plane (a plane used to SPY on possible targets and threats in foreign countries) crashes into a Chinese plane while SPYING on Cina, a country that is know to be hostile toward Americans and who's huge growing strength and might is not something you want to fuck with.

bzzzzt, wrong. You must have missed that part about how our plane was flying straight and level on autopilot when the hot-dogging Chinese pilot crashed into it.

The Americans then proceed to handle the situation as badly as possible, insisting on NOT apologising, and rattling sabres at the Chinese because they feel that their national honour is at stake.

Actually, one of Dubya's rare moments of actual backbone. They should have apologized to us. And they should give us the goddamn plane back right now.

(News: You have no national honour left. We laugh at you while feeling pity.)

Fine, we will take back all the things we have given to the world and build a wall around the country so we won't bother you. We can start with this computer network you're using to bash us -- you do have two tin cans and some string so you'll have a fallback when it's gone?

And you still pay this man, and his criminally corrupt aids and coworkers, and you defend him and his xenophobic policies.

Not sure where you're going with this chumly. He's in office, so he gets paid, and a lot of us are very vocal about not liking it.

Have fun with your recession Americans - this is one financial crisis that you have engineered yourselves, and this time you truly deserve it.

It's been in the works for at least a decade. Hell, I'm looking forward to it. I got my house in the last recession and I'm sure I'll be able to get a good deal on a beemer once a few more twentysomething snotnoses get their reality check.

Re:Where the hell is... (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 13 years ago | (#274569)

Wherever it is, it takes nine days of air travel to get to it from Australia. Note the link: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/p/ap/20010420/us/glob al_hawk_la101.html 220 hours!

scarier (1)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#274570)


Is our sed s/President/Resident/g and hist secret plots to change our vocabulary to gbonics [antioffline.com]

the power of remote control (2)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#274571)

Marines making flying foot soldiers

QUANTICO, Va., April 19 (UPI) -- The Marines are developing small robotic flying machines that can fit into a soldier's backpack and, when called on, fly across battlefields, sending back to him or her video images of enemy positions.

"UAVs have typically provided the upper echelon of military commanders with sensitive reconnaissance but Dragon Eye is intended to empower the foot soldier," said Jim McMains of the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA.

(full article [vny.com] )

All thats left is a remote cd changer, so I won't have to get up, remote chef so I won't have to cook, throw in a clone (just trolling here... I know what a clone is and isn't) to send to work for me, and I'm straight.

MTV's True Life exposed [antioffline.com]

Re:the power of remote control (1)

Arpad Korossy (304449) | more than 13 years ago | (#274572)

These things are ridiculously cool; I had the opportunity to see them in action when DARPA came out to give us a brief at the Naval Academy about some of their niftier declassified projects. Basically, they fit in little metal launching containers, which tesselate so you can fit a couple of them into a box, and then you just hit a button and they automatically launch and circle to a crusing altitude. You can then access live video feed, and issue commands using its onboard GPS and maps. One scenario they gave us was a number of Marines in an urban battlespace want to get recon on a parallel street a few blocks up. They laucnh one of these, and they can program it to perch on an overlooking building and give them constant video of any enemy forces over there. They can also be programmed to crash and destroy themselves away from their original launching site if they come into contact with chemical or biological weapons, as to not infect our troops, and they can also be mass launched from an also autonomous UAV (much like the Global Hawk in the article) to quickly get total, live battlefield surveillance without ever putting pilots at risk. Unfortunately, the one they brought out to demonstrate had a fatal crash into a light post while making its inital ascent to cruising altitude, but nevertheless; these things are super cool.

Re:Armed planes? (1)

Arpad Korossy (304449) | more than 13 years ago | (#274573)

Well, the Tomahawk cruise missile is basically the same deal, only it's not reusable. We can give them new targets in mid flight, the new ones are equipped with video cameras for surveillance purposes and for armed recon missions where they circle and attack targets of opportunity, and they're also equipped with an identification system which lets them compare landmarks to stored images to attain a level of accuracy where they occasionally flew between buildings during the Gulf War, makinf turns at intersections, and finally hitting their intended target within feet of the programmed point. A neat fact is that the Iraquis actually managed to block a few of our Tomahawks by setting up steel plates between buildings, which the occasional Tomahawk would crash into, as it was not a preprogrammed obstruction.

Of course, you were probably talking about reusable, unmanned fighter planes, which are not yet in existence, but I have no doubt they'll have working prototypes soon (if they don't already).

This is not really 'new' so much.. (1)

Liquid-Gecka (319494) | more than 13 years ago | (#274574)

Anything more than the distance.. the military has been using remote controlled planes for quite a while.. During Desert Storm they used remote control planes as spotters for the 16" guns. (Ironically there is video of Iraqi solders surrendering to the remote controlled plane) this recent [slashdot.org] article have video of them using remote controlled planes to see over the horizon..

That being said.. Its really nice to see the military remove people from dangerous missions.. if the plane crashes then nobody is lost and hopefully a self destruct system kicks in (whoa.. remembering the days of the V1 rockets)

Re:no more crews hostage (1)

nuclearcamel (412533) | more than 12 years ago | (#274575)

Get this: Some of us didn't vote for him.

Some of us are damn proud we voted for him.

I can just picture Mr. Al Gore facing down the Chinese after being on an administration which took campaign money from them....

Re:This is not really 'new' so much.. (1)

Tuonenkielo (444651) | more than 13 years ago | (#274576)

V1 wasn't a rocket, it was powered by jet engine. V2 ws rocket-powered, and V3 was one big gun. Well, I think there was couple of them, a real London Express.

no more crews hostage (1)

vortmax(OU) (445229) | more than 13 years ago | (#274577)

Well, this keeps any more foreign countries from holding our crews I suppose....

(can't resist -- first post)



---

Bored? [129.15.132.117] I promise nothing...

Re:Point by point... (1)

vortmax(OU) (445229) | more than 13 years ago | (#274578)

And of course those outdated voting machines just forced the design of the butterfly ballot which gave us Pat Buchanan's startling performance in a county where you'd normally expect him to get about 7 votes.

Yes, but remember that the Democratic official in Palm Beach County approved the design of the "butterfly ballot" that supposedly caused so much confusion. It was only after Gore was down in the vote count that we started hearing complaints about the design. I've seen a copy of the ballot, and truthfully I don't think it was confusing! Come on, all you had to do was follow where the arrows were pointing! Any 5 year old can do that...

Yep, we're gonna call the Vile Pretender "Resident" until we get the chance to kick him out in 2004.

And should he do a good job, and actually get re-elected in 2004? (I know, it's unlikely, but then there won't be any more of this complaining about a "stolen election" I hope...)

And before you claim bias, let me tell you I didn't like either major candidate for president, and would have voted for Harry Browne were he on the ballot in Oklahoma... As it was, I voted Gore, but you won't hear me complaining about a "stolen election".



---

Bored? [129.15.132.117] I promise nothing...

Re:no more crews hostage (1)

mamba-mamba (445365) | more than 12 years ago | (#274579)

"You get the picture better if you see a real katana or realize what tested katana actually is. Kinda remindes you of the reality."

Hmm. Could you elaborate on the relevance of the katana to Chinese history? And, well, what *is* a tested Katana?

I have to admit, it is awesome to contemplate just how many Chinese people there are in the world.

Re:Frightening (1)

fyren (445497) | more than 13 years ago | (#274580)

i'm not american either but i've been living here (more or less legally) for almost a year now.. and you're absolutely right! my theory: they're manipulatin our minds with supersonic waves or something that make every person in the us a patriot.

Re:the power of remote control (1)

fyren (445497) | more than 13 years ago | (#274581)

the whole idea behind this is not really new. the navy has been using radio or wire controlled drones for quite a while (since the 1940's i think). drones like these were used in the nato operations in kosovo and other regions to spy out targets such as radars.

Re:your link, sir. (1)

m0ng0l-h0rde (445580) | more than 13 years ago | (#274582)

Thank you.
To lazy to look it up myself today ;)

Jason A.

Remote Piloted Spy Planes... (2)

m0ng0l-h0rde (445580) | more than 13 years ago | (#274583)

The US Air Force is already flying remote spy planes over the Balkans. The "Predator" is flown via remote, and can go over the horizon by use of satelites to send and recieve transmissions. May issue of Air & Space has an article on them. The pilots who get the duty are none too happy, as they don't accumulate flight time while doing this, but typically will be rewarded when their tour is up with the duty of their choice.

Jason A.

Re:Point by point... (1)

Jim42688 (445645) | more than 13 years ago | (#274584)

What does this have to do with the radio controlled airplanes?
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