Thursday, December 29, 2005

New airline navigation system is displayed

Until now, an autopilot could only fly a plane in a straight line or around a gentle curve. But the one shown off Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration was following a path as sinuous as the river beneath.

But now at National, and a handful of other airports around the country, autopilots can fly planes safely over terrain that no one on board can see, including around mountains. Use of the new system is expected to cut the number of times that airplanes have to divert because of weather.


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