Airbus automated jet succeeds in taking off without pilot assistance

by Daniel Payne · Jan 17th, 2020 3:05 pm

The airliner company Airbus declared a major success with the recent test of a self-flying jet that took off from a French runway without help from human pilots.

The company said that last month its Airbus A350-1000 XWB succeeded in getting airborne from a runway at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. Pilots that were present in the cockpit simply had to line up the airplane on the airstrip before engaging the autopilot function.

The plane was reportedly subject to eight separate test takeoffs. The aircraft used on-board cameras with landscape recognition software to ensure that it was in the center line of the runway as it accelerated for takeoff.

Airline pilots "will remain at the heart of the operations," the company said after the announcement.