Brains on planes

22.07.38: THE US AIR FORCE stunned military strategists yesterday when it revealed its first mind-control system, which allows pilots to control unmanned planes using their brain waves.

Nicknamed the "Bops" (brains on planes squad), the new breed of pilots were taken from USAF's elite Top Gun school and were found to have incredible control of their brain waves. Pilots view their craft's motion on a specially designed holographic table and, by simply thinking about its movement, they can pilot it and operate its full range of weaponry. USAF chiefs claim Bops can respond far more quickly to threats, as there is no lag between thinking about something and the plane altering its course. This provides maximum time for manoeuvre, choice of weapon, risk assessment and the other high-speed decisions pilots must make.

"However fast a normal pilot moves, there will always be a lag. Removing the pilot from the plane has also given us an advantage, as our new breed of unmanned fighter planes is far smaller and more agile.

"We don't have to worry about pilots blacking out during high-g moves now."

The pilot's brain waves are tracked by a headband and a complex system of sensors in the control room. They are then encrypted and sent through a high-bandwidth transmission system to the small fighter jets.The RAF is currently testing a similar system, developed at the government's top-secret Defence Research and Evaluation Agency military research facility in Farnborough.