No, no, no! It’s Raptor, not Rattor!

Thanks to my job, I know most of the Air Force pilots who fly the F-22.

I can guaran-dang-tee you this story will be hitting all of their mailboxes on Monday morning (most of the senders will probably be their F-15 and F-16 buddies)…


24 Responses to “No, no, no! It’s Raptor, not Rattor!”

  1. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Stephen Green
    RE: This Is Old News

    Back in the 90s someone developed a means to control a fighter aircraft in flight by remote control.

    The point here is not that we can control an F-22 by remote control, or by automation. Rather, it’s whether or not we need someon actually sitting in the cockpit.

    No one, to my knowledge, has evaluated that premise….yet.



  2. dorkafork Says:

    It’s like a cross between “Firefox” and “Willard”. *

  3. On The Third Hand Says:

    Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.

    Is That a Pilot in Your Pocket? Somewhere in Florida, 25,000 disembodied rat neurons are thinking about flying an F-22. Amazing stuff. Via Will Collier at VodkaPundit.

  4. Klug Says:

    With all the focus on UCAVs, I gotta say: isn’t there something to be said about having human eyes look at something? My guess is that human pilots will have jobs for a long, long time.

  5. rosignol Says:

    …yeah, flying busses.

    The more interesting question is where the commercial airlines will find competent pilots when the USAF isn’t pumping out quite so many trained-at-taxpayer-expense ones.

  6. Colin K. Says:

    Klug- IIRC UCAV losses are huge in percentage terms compared to piloted aircraft. As a result it is still cheaper to put an F-16 in the air for many missions than a UCAV. But no question long-term trends are towards UCAVs.

    Rosignol- Well over 50% of new airline pilots now come out of the civilian training system. The military simply doesn’t train enough pilots to satisfy demand anymore, and civilian-trained pilots are often better-acclimated to the air traffic environment.


  7. Julie Says:

    This isn’t about computer control of an air craft. This is about a cyborg, mechanics with a biological component. Robots with carbon brains rather than silicon ones.

    Really truely science fictional stuff.

  8. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Julie
    RE: Hey!

    “This isn’t about computer control of an air craft. This is about a cyborg, mechanics with a biological component.” — Julie

    …I resemble that remark.



  9. Fred Boness Says:

    Do you think the mouse neuron piloted aircraft will stand a chance against the cat neuron guided anti aircraft missile?

  10. zoink Says:

    Nothing new about this. The Texas ANG had rat brains in jars flying F-102s 30 years ago. Unfortunately, they lost track of a few of the “pilot” dummies they were using to keep the Soviets from figuring out what was going on….

  11. corrie Says:

    Hello and welcome to the 21st century. Paging Dr. Asimov…

    rosignol – Fly-by-wire airliners such as the Airbus and the Boeing 777 are already flown by computer. The pilot is merely a voting member of the crew.

    Old pilot joke: The next-generation Airbus will include a German Shepherd, who will be trained to bite the pilot if he touches the controls.

    Fred – between the Catnip II neural jammers and the Bulldog Mk I anti-missle missle, even the Alleycat Mod B doesn’t stand a chance. ;-^

  12. corrie Says:

    zoink, that’d be funny if it weren’t so pitifully desperate. 😛

    Actually, it IS mildly amusing despite the desperation. But you need to work in an Aggie joke.

  13. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: zoink
    RE: History

    “Nothing new about this. The Texas ANG had rat brains in jars flying F-102s 30 years ago.” — zoink

    Troz! Narf! Poit!



  14. Chuck Pelto Says:

    P.S. Not NOW, Pinkie….I’m TRRYYING to Take Over the World.

  15. Ernst Blofeld Says:

    As long as they don’t name the program “Skynet” I think we’re OK.

    I’m reminded of the exchange in Young Frankenstein:

    Dr. Frederick Frankenstein : Igor, would you mind telling me whose brain I did put in?
    Igor : And you won’t be angry?
    Dr. Frederick Frankenstein : I will NOT be angry.
    Igor : Abby someone.
    Dr. Frederick Frankenstein : Abby someone. Abby who?
    Igor : Abby Normal.

  16. Colin K. Says:


    Modern fly-by-wire airliners are a *very* long way from being flown by the proverbial pilot and a dog. What they do is look at the control input the pilot is applying, and decide whether it’s a good idea at that moment- it’s more like anti-lock brakes than some kind of cyborg brain.

    The most challenging part of flying something like an airliner isn’t primarily the control handling–it’s the planning and execution of the flight and the judgment of how to handle the curveballs that traffic, weather, etc. throw at you. Computers are nowhere near ready for this.


  17. dorkafork Says:

    There’s actually a simple, low-tech countermeasure to the Alleycat Mod B. Any laser beam or laser pen, pointed at the carpet.

  18. James Says:

    RE: dorkafork’s comment

    I just think it’s incredible that we’re calling lasers “low tech.”

  19. Alan K. Henderson Says:

    Is it really a good idea to have Ratbert running our Air Force?

  20. blogoSFERICS Says:

    Read the Comments

    Even the one dissing Bush is funny.

  21. Mr. Lion Says:

    No, no, no. They’re doing it all backwards. I think it’s high time the Air Force went back to the F-104 school of thought: The plane flies you.

  22. dipnut Says:

    This research is extremely dangerous. With several thousand neurons, what’s to prevent this artifical brain from becoming a Democrat?

  23. Rightwingsparkle Says:

    dipnut, there were careful to choose the right jar….;-)

  24. Becky in Ohio Says:

    To: Chuck Pelto
    RE: Pinky and the Brain

    The offspring recently demanded to watch a PATB video. Scenario: Brain running for President ala Perot. Has Pinky dress-up as potential First Lady. Conclusion: Pinky in drag has a startling resemblance to Teresa…..


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