This Man Flies The USAF's 16-Ton Drone With The Click Of A Mouse

Illustration for article titled This Man Flies The USAFs 16-Ton Drone With The Click Of A Mouse

Foxtrot Alpha ventured to Edwards AFB late last spring to catch up with the RQ-4 Global Hawk test team to see how the program was progressing. While there, we also got a unique first-hand account of what it is like to 'fly' an aircraft that essentially flies itself.


Meet Major Keith Schilawski, his job is to fly, or direct if you will, the USAF's largest and most autonomous operational unmanned system on missions that can last well over a day's time, apparently a job where one of the biggest challenges is just staying awake:

Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address

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I love military jargon and how everyone feels they have to use it.

"If I could direct your attention to the particular airframe in which I'm currently standing in front, this airframe is one of our more dollar intensive Ordinance delivery vectors."