Ross Nicholson June 15, 2012 04:30 AM These babies won't need landing gear. Landing gear is for manned aircraft. Without pilots, landing gear is just a stupid idea whose time is absolutely gone. Denis Klanac June 15, 2012 06:34 AM Ross C. Nicholson, so how are you supposed to land without landing gear? Oleg Melnic June 15, 2012 08:30 AM Ross C. Nicholson, Denis Klanac - and even more, how is it supposed to take off without gears? MD June 15, 2012 09:31 AM Taking off without gear is fine, use a detachable cart.... Landing without gear however is likely to end in a very broken plane.... Its fine for Light UAV's to be caught in nets and belly land, but for a heavy(er) generation, not such a good idea. THat weight you just lost with the gear gone, now needs o be replaced with the thicker/tronger belly skin, and more robust airframe allowing net catching... have a few looks at the videos of UAV's being caught in nets and say that it isn't a bit violent.. Not good for a lightweight air frame, and delicate control surfaces.. Sure Langing gear is so yesteryear, but untill next year it can't be completely replaced... Oh yeh, those high sink rate landings, how are we supposed to absorb that energy, Crumple zones?? David Tobin June 15, 2012 10:12 AM Humans do not respond well to very rapid acceleration and de-acceleration hence the complicated system of floating runways (aircraft carriers) came about. Without human fragility a consideration, even heavy aircraft can be catapulted and utilise arresting gear. Landing gear actually adds complication to the design parameters of such deck systems. There is a tendency for old paradigms to influence the design mandate and deployment of new technologies. Think manual typewriters and computers, think horse drawn carriages and modern cars. How would these modern technologies manifest if they were conceived off absolutely afresh? Autonomous drones will soon out perform manned aircraft in every aspect with the exception of one: they cannot give, with total reliability, a human pilot the instant most informed decision at the critical moment of whether to kill or stand-down. Squiddy June 15, 2012 10:20 AM I don't know whether I am ready to have an unmanned aircraft carry live ordnance. I just like the fact that currently there is some highly trained direct human interaction before the trigger is pulled. I just wonder also, as time passes and these unmanned vehicles become more prevalent, when the cost of war no longer is human life and just hardware will we be going to war more often? But you still have to admire the technology! chidrbmt June 15, 2012 03:18 PM Who is to say at this early stage of development that any short comings that drones have won't be eliminated in a few years? To look and see the advances from the Wright brothers in 1903 in the following 10 to 30 years,has never been equaled. Todd Dunning June 15, 2012 03:48 PM David Tobin makes an excellent point about the UAV's ability to accelerate and decelerate instantly. It DOES make the carrier obsolete if you can just shoot these little UAVs out of a tube or something. It worked for TIE fighters...lol. And Squiddy, the reasons you state are actually the argument for - not against - UAV's. There are many more people involved in a UAV mission. You'd agree the chance of a mistake is much less when there are 8 people in an air-conditioned office at the controls instead of a terrified single pilot. And I'm a civilian pilot, by the way. Cecil Hutchins June 15, 2012 05:20 PM Humans should not be removed from the decision making, only removed from harm's way. Even a UCAV flying autonomously should have a living person viewing the mission with a big red ABORT button handy. Sonya Jones June 15, 2012 05:27 PM The X45B weighs in at just over 22 tons. I would prefer for it to have landing gear. Thank you.