Planes may one day fly in "V" formations

September 30, 2005

Engineers at the University of California at Los Angeles, Boeing and NASA say that someday planes might fly in "V" formation like geese.

Migrating birds, such as geese, pelicans and gulls save energy by flying in V formations and coasting on the wake of the bird just ahead.

Scientists have long been researching how planes could do the same thing, but the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, changed the focus of research toward security, reported ABC News Friday. However, with the cost of jet fuel soaring, the concept is making a comeback.

However, navigating a plane in the wake turbulence of a jet is difficult. An airline jet crashed shortly after take off in New York in November 2001 and it got caught in the wake of a jet ahead of it.

The innovation would most likely be used by the shipping industry and not commercial air travel.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Solar Impulse 2 pilot becomes aviation legend

Related Stories

Solar Impulse 2 pilot becomes aviation legend

July 4, 2015

At 62 years of age, Swiss Solar Impulse 2 pilot Andre Borschberg has made aviation history with a record breaking solo flight across the Pacific that he has called "an interior journey".

An airflow model to reduce time on the tarmac

May 6, 2015

Plans for summer holidays are already taking shape. But before jetting off for some fun in the sun, many travellers will have to cope with long delays on the airport runway.

CEO: Virgin Galactic looks to resume tests in 2015 (Update)

November 5, 2014

The space tourism company that suffered a tragic setback when its experimental rocket-powered spaceship broke apart over the California desert could resume test flights as early as next summer if it can finish building a ...

Aircraft tracking changes mulled after MH370 mystery

May 13, 2014

Tracking aircraft by satellite, cloud storage of black box data and other technological innovations are being considered by aviation officials in the wake of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370's disappearance.

Recommended for you

Seeing quantum motion

August 28, 2015

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.