This is the Capstone Essay Contest winner in the Aviation Category
Technological advancements in many different fields have given rise to the growing if somewhat fantasized concern, fed by movies such as Terminator and Stealth, that machines will replace humans in the near future. But it is not an entirely fictitious issue, and for some bright-eyed U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen, an illogical fear exists that naval aviation will become completely autonomous almost overnight. Though most of the technical information on the Navy’s unmanned programs remains classified, the concepts behind the employment of unmanned systems are not. Unmanned systems have begun to benefit both the Navy’s overall effectiveness and the naval aviator at the cockpit controls. The future of naval aviation will feature a combined team of manned and unmanned platforms.