Could more-autonomous aircraft help reduce future pilot demand by enabling single- pilot operations? The instinctive answer is yes. But the goal can be achieved only after hefty investment in aircraft systems and a long transition period, according to studies by French aerospace think tank Academie de l’Air et de l’Espace (AAE). One objective at least seems within reach—reliability. With a pilot alone in the cockpit, the aircraft should be able to fly autonomously in case ...

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