The use of pilotless aircraft may increase soon. The military now uses unmanned planes, but some observers think the aircraft also have commercial applications. "The development and use of unmanned aircraft is the next great step forward in the evolution of aviation," Nick Sabatini, the Federal Aviation Administration's associate administrator for aviation safety, told the House aviation subcommittee.
High-tech bolts and latches could eventually be used in airplanes, allowing crews to quickly change interiors. The fasteners, which operate without being touched, could also make maintenance more efficient, experts say.