The Airbus concern began to implement the Fello ’Fly project, the purpose of which is to verify the idea that two commercial aircraft can increase the efficiency of the flight by flying in tandem.
How has it happened many times, nature has prompted the idea. In this case, scientists borrowed the concept of migratory birds that are built in the air with a wedge. It has long been known that with such a flight, birds located ahead generate lifting vortices, facilitating flights to those who fly from behind (older, more experienced and strong birds led by the leader fly ahead).
The Fello ’Fly project is an attempt to repeat the“ technology ”of birds worked out by nature for millions of years. When the aircraft moves in the air, most of the energy he spends disappears in vain. If then the flying plane is able to “saddle” the lifting vortices remaining behind it, then it will have to spend much less energy, which will reduce the traction of the engine and reduce gas emissions into the atmosphere. According to estimates, this flight technology will save on long distances from 5 to 10 % of the fuel.
So far it is all in theory. Project participants report that they still have to solve a number of technical problems. The next task is to develop a system of assistance to pilots to maintain the position of the “led” aircraft, which is located in the ascending stream at a safe distance and height from the “presenter”. For this, it is supposed to use two a350 aircraft. The beginning of flight tests is scheduled for 2020.
Source — Airbus