High performance UCAV in Aerobatics demonstrations:

shin_getter

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Many air forces have aerobatics teams to show off and impress citizens. With the development of high performance combat drones it seems to me that it would make sense to design routines for them to show off as well. With drone aircraft, many constraints can be removed and some insane demos are possible, for example dozens of aircraft doing high speed, high G maneuvers in a small patch of space.

So, when will it happen and who will do it first?

What kinds of routines have you all thought up?
 

UpForce

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In the "Re-equipping the Red Arrows" thread I jokingly suggested a manned version of the upcoming Spirit Mosquito UCAV but perhaps they need not be manned at all for display purposes.

As you're inquiring about combat capable aircraft specifically perhaps the first aerobatics teams (in democracies at least somewhat concerned with rules of engagement and autonomous use of deadly force) will be mixed; the intent, besides entertainment, is to demonstrate capabilities after all. Different displays may indeed reflect systems of governance and intent, thus my "hot take" is that China or Russia will field the first UCAV only teams. These will lack some of the excitement though as UCAVs are by definition less relatable to human beings as the empathetic potential in maneuvering "daringness" will be missing (unless aircraft can somehow be ascribed with personalities in similar vein to animated movie characters of sorts and become "famous" in their own right).

Routines will depend or airframes of course. In this regard the displays could be somewhat underwhelming as well as combat UCAVs are largely designed to be disposable and thus not perhaps immensely maneuverable or otherwise capable. They could carry large numbers of impressive pyrotechnics though and fly among the fireworks in closer proximity than manned aircraft.
 

Orionblamblam

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Many air forces have aerobatics teams to show off and impress citizens. With the development of high performance combat drones it seems to me that it would make sense to design routines for them to show off as well. With drone aircraft, many constraints can be removed and some insane demos are possible, for example dozens of aircraft doing high speed, high G maneuvers in a small patch of space.

Meh.

Imagine that someone produced robotic lions, tigers, bears and all the rest so realistic that they were indistinguishable in appearance and behavior from the real thing (say, Westworld caliber). A zoo then replaces all the animals with robots. Would you go to see the robo-critters? Sure, probably. Would you keep going back? Meh.

Robotic aerobatics seems like hollow entertainment compared to watching real people put their real lives in real risk.
 

shin_getter

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I think there is reasonable odds that turkey would do it (first), as UCAV is a big part of nationalist pride while Turkish's manned fighter projects are still in decades years away limbo. There is also a big marketing angle as UCAV exports are big money. The main difference is that I expect them to go through with it even if the outcome is not especially impressive. I'd say a few years after MIUS prototype first flight.

The main point of impressiveness in drone based displays, if not on hyper agile airframes, is massed coordination. Multicopter drone shows not uncommonly coordinated thousands of vehicles with tight coordination already, imagine that with fast aircraft....

And airshows is all about showing off technology. If people wanted to look at daredevils one can camp out winding roads without a speed bump at night or something~
 

UpForce

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I've seen the Turkish Stars in action, F-5s are not a bad choice for team aerobatics demonstrations and the flight characteristics and size of the jet may in fact be somewhat similar to a modern UCAV. It would be surprising though if any country fielded a dedicated demonstration team just a few years after first flight or even after declaring IOC.
 

Grey Havoc

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Apparently sabotage by a rival firm, who were rather annoyed at losing the contract.
 

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