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

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