When an AI agent successfully piloted a USAF Lockheed Martin VISTA X-62A training aircraft for more than 17 hours, it set a new record for the aviation sector. This ground-breaking accomplishment constitutes a significant development in the field of autonomous aviation.
US Air Force Test Pilot School director of research Dr. M. Christopher Cotting said, “VISTA will allow us to parallelize the development and test of cutting-edge artificial intelligence techniques with new uncrewed vehicle designs. This approach, combined with focused testing on new vehicle systems as they are produced, will rapidly mature autonomy for uncrewed platforms and allow us to deliver tactically relevant capability to our warfighter.”
The VISTA X-62A is based on the C-130 Hercules platform and comes equipped with a sophisticated, integrated simulation system that allows pilots to experience a variety of mission scenarios in a virtual setting. With the aid of this cutting-edge technology, pilots can hone their abilities and gain experience in a range of circumstances, from simple tactical manoeuvres tto normal flying operations.
The VISTA X-62A’s capacity to imitate a range of different aircraft is one of its primary characteristics, making it an incredibly flexible training tool. This translates to the ability for pilots to get experience in a variety of aircraft types and configurations without ever leaving the VISTA X-62A’s cockpit. For military pilots who might have to fly a variety of different aircraft throughout their careers, this is very helpful.