The airline EasyJet is developing drone technology to improve the way it inspects and maintains its fleet of Airbus aircraft.
The idea behind the flying robots is that they might soon be used to scan and assess EasyJet planes, with reports of damage being sent back to engineers on the ground.
Experts from the University of Bristol are on the team of developers EasyJet has put together to come up with innovative ways of using technology to improve efficiency.
Other ideas being looked at by the airline and its experts include virtual reality video technology and "paperless plane" solutions that would involve laptops replacing printed navigational charts.
"Aircraft inspection is a great application for drones," said Dr Arthur Richards, head of aerial robotics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
"Coupled with smart navigation and computer vision, they can get accurate data from really awkward places."