No pilot... Amazing story under picture!
This is a photo of the Global Hawk UAV that returned
from the war zone recently under its own power.
( Iraq to Edwards AFB in CA) -
Not transported via C5 or C17.....
It's actually over 250 missions...
(and I would suppose 25 air medals).
That's a long way for a remotely-piloted aircraft.
of the data link to fly it remotely). Not only that
but the pilot controlled it from a nice warm control
panel at Edwards AFB. Really long legs- can stay
up for almost 2 days at altitudes above 60k.
The Global Hawk was controlled via satellite; it flew
missions during OT&E that went from Edwards AFB
to upper Alaska and back non-stop. Basically, they
come into the fight at a high mach # in mil thrust,
fire their AMRAAMS, and no one ever sees them or
paints with radar.
guys in the flight are tied together electronically,
and can see who is targeting who, and they have
AWACS direct input and 360 situational awareness
from that and other sensors The aggressors had a
morale problem before it was all over. It is to air
superiority what the jet engine was to aviation.
It can taxi, take off, fly a mission, return, land and
taxi on it's own. No blackouts, no fatigue, no relief
tubes, no ejection seats, and best of all, no dead pilots, no POWs?
Pretty cool !!!