Royal Air Force Prefers Gamers To Pilots

Illustration for article titled Royal Air Force Prefers Gamers To Pilots

There's an economic crisis going on, and times are tough all over. Even at Britain's Royal Air Force, which is looking to save a penny or two by replacing some combat pilots with...gamers.


Thankfully, we're not talking about real fighters here, so rest easy, people of Britain. You won't have some snotty-nosed kid crashing a Eurofighter into your back yard.

You may find one crashing a Reaper - an unmanned reconaissance drone - into an Afghani's backyard, though, with the RAF choosing to skip on the £4million it currently spends training drone pilots like proper pilots. Instead, they'll begin employing pilots with as little as 30 hours of basic flight training, with special attention given to young gamers.

See, the RAF reckons research has shown them that the best drone pilot candidates are those who are experienced video game players, rather than experienced pilots. Sounds crazy at first, but when you think about it, pilots are experienced at actually flying. But flying something remotely via a 2D monitor? That's a gamer's area of expertise.

Illustration for article titled Royal Air Force Prefers Gamers To Pilots

Oh, and in case you were worried about these "inexperienced" pilots being given command of anything truly dangerous, you'll be happy to know that, yes, Reapers are often armed. And armed to the teeth, as it's able to carry laser-guided bombs, air-to-ground missiles and, soon, air-to-air missiles as well.

RAF jettisons its Top Guns: Drones to fly sensitive missions over Afghanistan [Daily Mail]


Most important is that gamers are far more skilled at pulling off the barrel roll.