Behind the noisy aerobatic flight displays and lines of visitors ogling fighter jets and missiles on the tarmac, the future of aviation is on display in a cavernous exhibition hall at the Singapore Airshow, Asia’s largest aeronautical event. And that future is drones.
Among the crowds of media, military and marketing execs, there’s a drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle, at almost every turn. From Northrop Grumman’s monster spy plane Global Hawk, which flew in from the U.S. Air Force base on Guam, to a small, battery-powered quadcopter from Singapore startup AeroLion Technologies that can fly through underground tunnels without GPS, there’s a drone for everything.
Well, almost everything. Executives at the big airliner makers are still coy when it comes to pilotless passenger jets. Autonomous travel has a long way to go before most members of the public will