Airbus trials fully automated take-off technology

[Ref Flight International Magazine 14-20 Jan 2020]

A fully automated A350-1000 take-off has been carried out by Airbus using a vision-based system that tracks the runway centreline and rotates the aircraft without side-stick input from the pilot.

Airbus says that, while it is looking into autonomous technology, pilots “will remain at the heart of operations” and its intention is to examine the degree to which autonomy can be used to resolve “key industrial challenges”.

The test flight was performed on 18 December by the crew of five in the course of around 4h 30min. Image-recognition technology was installed on the aircraft as part of the airframer’s ATTOL project to explore autonomous taxiing, take-off and landing.

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