Witness, the beginning of a new era: the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System on the flight deck of the USS Harry S. Truman. Soon, there will be no more Maverick or Ice Man. In a couple of decades, everything will be stealthy, autonomous or remote controlled war creatures, much more cost-effective than their expensive human-carrying counterparts. Not as romantic and epic, but cheaper to manufacture, cheaper to operate and no lost pilots' lives.

The eighth Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy is acting as the test bed for this unmanned airplane, with the crew training to operate it. [US Navy]