High Altitude Formation flying. Fast Jet performance.

Learning to fly fast jets. High altitude.

The purpose of this course it to get the jet pilot used to close formation flying at high altitude to prepare you for air to air refueling.

What you’ll learn

  • Flying fast jets in VR..

Course Content

  • Introduction –> 6 lectures • 1hr 54min.

High Altitude Formation flying. Fast Jet performance.

Requirements

  • Best to have access to a gaming PC controllers and a VR headset..

The purpose of this course it to get the jet pilot used to close formation flying at high altitude to prepare you for air to air refueling.

Formation flying is the flight of multiple objects in coordination. In civil aviation, Formation flying is proposed to reduce fuel use by minimizing drag. Formation flying is performed at air shows or for recreation.

In the early 2000s, NASA’s Autonomous Formation Flight program used a pair of F/A-18s. In 2013, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Surfing Aircraft Vortices for Energy project showed 10-15% in fuel savings, installed on two Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs. In 2017, NASA measured 8%-10% lower fuel flow with two Gulfstream III aircraft on wake surfing test flights. In 2018, the ecoDemonstrator, a Boeing 777F freighter from FedEx Express, had its fuel consumption reduced by 5-10% with the autopilot maintaining the 4,000 ft (1.2 km) separation based on ADS-B and TCAS information.

By taking advantage of wake updraft like migrating birds (biomimicry), Airbus believes an aircraft can save 5-10% of fuel by flying 1.5–2 nmi (2.8–3.7 km) behind the preceding one. After A380s tests showing 12% savings, it launched its ‘fello’fly’ project in November 2019 for test flights in 2020 with two A350s, before transatlantic flight trials with airlines in 2021. Certification for shorter separation is enabled by ADS-B in oceanic airspace, and the only modification required would be flight control systems software. Comfort would not be affected and trials are limited to two aircraft to reduce complexity but the concept could be expanded to include more. Commercial operations could begin in 2025 with airline schedule adjustments, and other manufacturers’ aircraft could be included.

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