Boeing studies pilotless plane concepts

Future Boeing plane
Artist’s concept shows a futuristic Boeing airplane in flight. (Boeing illustration)

EVERETT, Wash. – The Boeing Co. says it’s on a path that could ultimately lead to self-flying commercial passenger airplanes, starting with simulations and ground-based experiments this year and progressing to flight tests by 2019.

“In commercial air transportation, we are not yet in this business,” Mike Sinnett, vice president of product development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

However, he said aviation industry trends are pushing the company to look into autonomous options.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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