Glass To Replace Cockpit Windows?

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NASA is working with Gulfstream to test a "fly-by-cam" system in which the pilot of a supersonic business jet would land the aircraft using a video feed from an HD camera. According to The Register the system is aimed at solving one of the vexing issues facing development of the speedy bizjets in that their design almost inevitably dicates a high angle of attack for landing and the long pointy nose of such aircraft obscures the forward view. Concorde designers solved the problem with the intensely complicated drooping nose but that's not likely practical for business jet-sized aircraft. So, the researchers are trying to convince the FAA that a camera in the nose is a replacement for the view out the windshield and they're inviting FAA pilots to test the theory themselves.

NASA and Gulfstream have been flying an F-18 with a camera set up for the pilot in the back seat to use for landing. A safety pilot with an unimpeded view sits in the front but so far he or she has been a passenger in the successful landing experiments. The FAA will reportedly get its chance to fly the system before the end of the year.