Questions tagged [flying-in-formation]

For questions specific to formation flying (i.e. where pilots of several aircraft co-operate to perform manoeuvres in close proximity)

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4
votes
1answer
262 views

What were those multiple flights leaving London night of 29th Aug 2019?

First time post here, please let me know if more detail needed (and which tag would suit it best). I live in Essex UK, in the evening normally see lights of planes on approach to the London airports. ...
3
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1answer
288 views

Did B-17 gunners beat on the wings of other planes in their formation?

I am certain my father, a B-17 pilot, told stories about his gunner having to beat on the wing of another plane in the formation with the tip of his gun to get the pilot to pull away and avoid a mid-...
4
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1answer
154 views

How much can a plane benefit from another planes wake?

Could a smaller plane fly in a V formation behind a much larger plane to reduce fuel consumption significantly more than a plane its own size? At what point does flying in a larger planes wake become ...
3
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4answers
192 views

What is the formula for the bank angle required for a turn in line-abreast formation?

Imagine we have a line-abreast formation of aircraft, with differing airspeeds, turning around a central pivot point, like points on the radius of a phonograph record, with an equal amount time per ...
3
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1answer
100 views

Would formation of the three planes benefit from increased distance of the ground effect?

I know that the ground effect quickly diminishes as altitude above the ground increases, and it is roughly half of the wing span. Hence it can be used to fly more economically over water, but over ...
3
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4answers
783 views

Is this photo showing dozens of airliners in close proximity real, or even plausible?

CNN has an article about Heathrow that's accompanied by the following photo: Is this photo depicting an actual event? If not, would it even be possible/plausible to fly this many airliners this ...
6
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2answers
235 views

Can quadcopters save energy by flying in formation?

If two or more quadcopters are aligned, would the effect of drag due to the lead quadcopter's slipstream lead to measurable energy savings? And if so, how would one determine the optimal distance ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Do stunt jets use laser distance meters to align with one another to maintain formations?

My question is about Jets/planes performing acrobatic formations to stay well-aligned with the other jets/planes in formation. I could see a laser-distance meter coming in handy.
21
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2answers
4k views

Why are only some aircraft in this formation creating contrails?

The Republic Day celebrations at New Delhi, India had a series of flypasts by the Indian Air Force. What struck me the most was that in a formation with a C-17 in middle and two Su-30MKI flanking it, ...
8
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3answers
437 views

Are there areas to avoid while flying formation with a larger aircraft?

Consider a fighter jet flying formation with an airliner-size aircraft, such as during an interception or mid-air refueling. Are there areas which should be avoided by the fighter jet? I.e. are there ...
5
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2answers
932 views

What were the typical dimensions of a WW2 US bomber formation?

The idea behind daylight raids was that bombers were more accurate when they could actually see targets so the damage inflicted would be concentrated more so that a night time carpet bombing.* All of ...
1
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0answers
145 views

Where can I download AUP/UUP in AIXM format from FAA?

I am studying about Airspace Use Plan/Updated Use Plan (AUP/UUP). A defined by wikipedia: The Airspace Use Plan (or AUP) is defined as "an Airspace Management (ASM) message of NOTAM status ...
11
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1answer
488 views

How is close formation flying possible with things like thermals and turbulence?

This weekend the Blue Angels came to town. The weather was less than perfect. A quick look at SkyVector during their show indicated there was an active AIRMET for moderate turbulence. This made me ...
11
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2answers
8k views

Why do aircraft (namely military) need/use formation lights?

Why are formation lights used,and why are they largely/always used only on military aircraft and not civilian?
5
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1answer
411 views

Under EASA rules, what do I need to do to be able to perform aerobatics?

In addition to the aerobatics mentioned in the title, I would also be interested into formation flying. Is there a specific licence to be acquired? Does a licence covers both? What are the ...
11
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1answer
478 views

What happens to #2 if a formation flight violates a FAR?

In a formation, it's generally accepted that the lead pilot is responsible for safety of flight and navigation. #2 is, colloquially, responsible for not hitting lead. That is to say, in close ...
8
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1answer
928 views

How do civil aircraft flying in formation handle ATC?

I assume that while en route, one aircraft could simply pick up flight following and the others do not need to talk to ATC, but what about upon reaching an airport? Do they simply announce "flight of ...
24
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2answers
3k views

How does aircraft maintain precise speed, e.g. in formation flying or refueling?

I understand ailerons, elevators and rudders can be controlled to a very fine degree, and in precise flight, like formation flying, they can be used for very fine course adjustments to maintain the ...
19
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2answers
3k views

How much impact can be taken when flying in formation?

This recently published 360-degree video shows four F/A-18 Hornets performing impressive maneuvers what appears to be only a few inches apart. Considering the risk of impact I find it hard to ...
15
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2answers
3k views

Is Jetman flying above other aircraft allowed? How it is possible?

According to the Times of India: Yves Rossy and Vincent Reffet - have achieved the rare feat of flying with the innovative Jetman wings, on either side of an Emirates A380 aircraft, the world's ...
8
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2answers
793 views

What is the official term of a plane flying under another plane to avoid radar?

I was watching the news and, just now, learned that the Russians used a "trick" by flying a fighter plane under a cargo plane to Syria and successfully avoided radar detection for the fighter plane. ...
16
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2answers
3k views

How do planes benefit from flying in formation?

Large flock of birds when migrating usually fly in an arrow formation, which helps the birds to save energy while flying the same distance as compared to a situation when the birds are not in a group. ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Why isn't the V flight formation being used for commercial purposes?

The V Flight Formationhas been found to be helpful in achieving greater fuel efficiency and range. Though it is currently used mostly for military purposes, what restricts it from being used for ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Do planes use autopilot when flying in formation?

I've attempted to fly formation over a multiplayer flight simulator, and it was incredibly hard. It felt really hard to have the two planes go exactly the same heading, so it was always necessary to ...
58
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5answers
7k views

How do friendly stealth planes locate each other?

Stealth planes can't be seen (very well) on radar. So one stealth plane should be unable to locate another stealth plane on its radar and vice versa. So how would one stealth plane locate another, ...
6
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4answers
14k views

What radio frequencies are used for intercom in formation flying?

What radio frequencies are used for air-to-air intercom in formation flying? I assume there is a difference between military and civil aviation (e.g a group of GA aircrafts flying as a formation). I ...
12
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3answers
4k views

How are these Airbus A350s flying in formation without being affected by wake turbulence?

The first photo in this article appears to depict three Airbus A350s flying closely in tandem at approximately the same altitude. I thought that a large jetliner would leave a trail of wake ...
40
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5answers
78k views

How much is the minimum safe distance between two planes in-flight?

According to FAA regulations, how far should a commercial jet be away from another plane in-flight? How about military planes? They get really close when in formations... Is there a minimum distance?