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Could airplanes be driven by mind power?

A strange scientific method for controlling and flying planes may be significant for the future of air travel. Called "Project Brainflight," it pertains to the power of cranial sensors worn by pilots to maneuver aircraft.

It might seem like a bit of a daunting proposition to those skeptical of this technology, but the release from the project details how simulations were run with different test pilots to determine how accurate the so-called "brain control" might be.

The results have the scientists involved tinkering with the technology that processes signals sent from the brain and uses them to manipulate the controls inside the craft. The release quotes the head of the project, Tim Fricke, who says that these experiments could eventually make flying a plane more "accessible."

"With brain control, flying, in itself, could become easier," he said. "This would reduce the work load of pilots and thereby increase safety. In addition, pilots would have more freedom of movement to manage other manual tasks in the cockpit."

Video of one of the tests shows how the hooked-up subject is able to steer the plane and perform relatively delicate turns. In addition to movement, the video shows how the impulses actually physically move the joystick and guide the craft into a simulated landing. Though the craft shifts a little as it touches down, for the most part it remains steady.

This technology may have amazing implications, but travelers might be understandably leery about putting the fate of their travel plans in the hands of someone who doesn't use theirs. A small plane, like that provided when you hire a private jet, will be staffed with professionals who can function perfectly well and help passengers arrive at destinations major and minor.