Paris, unmanned

There was a time when the first day of a Paris show would be marked by the unveiling of new airliners, business jets and fighters. Not so much these days. Except in the unmanned sector. According to the latest issue of Peter La Franchi’s Flight Unmanned newsletter, Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica has taken the wraps off its Sky-Y and Israel’s Elbit Systems has unveiled its Hermes 900 – both medium-altitude long-endurance UAVs – at Le Bourget. And a trek through the halls and displays will probably uncover others. This begs the question, what does the future hold? UAVs have already flown at one or two shows and there are now special air shows just for UAVs. I suspect more than few people leaving the show tonight through Paris traffic would welcome the prospect of a totally unmanned air show – unmanned exhibits, unmanned chalets, unmanned police checkpoints…

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