Airbus innovation: formation flying

12/23/2019 7:42:54 AM

In 2025, aircraft may cross the Atlantic Ocean while flying in formation. The concept of flying in formation – very much like geese – is being studied by aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Formation flying is believed to reduce emissions by 5 to 10 per cent.

In 2020 Airbus will test the idea in a project called Fello’fly. Formation flying allows trailing aircraft taking advantage of the wake updraft created by the leading plane. This is similar to the way geese do when they fly in their familiar triangle formation, TravelWeekly Asia reports.

Airbus will conduct a series of test flights in which two aircraft are separated by just three kilometres. In this setup, the trailing aircraft will be lined up to ‘ride’ the upwash created by the leading aircraft. In the test, two aircraft travel in that fashion from Western Europe to the U.S. West Coast.

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