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Technology & Innovation

Copilot Swan Song?

“Too expensive, too heavy and unnecessary: Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer hold copilots in low regard. So, now the company plans to replace them with a computer.”

“When it comes to the systems found on passenger jets, there’s hardly ever just one of them. For example, there are three airspeed indicators and up to five flight computers. It’s all about redundancy: If one device fails, another one kicks in. The same holds true for pilots. And lest bad food put both the pilot and the copilot out of commission at the same time, there’s an ironclad rule in the cockpit: Never pick the same meal option. But if the maverick ideas of a handful of engineers become reality, cockpit redundancy could soon become a thing of the past — and copilots could be gone in as few as 10 to 15 years.”


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