Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Airlines, Airports & Routes
Reload this Page >

Airbus learns from geese

Airlines, Airports & Routes Topics about airports, routes and airline business.

Airbus learns from geese

Old 9th Nov 2021, 16:59
  #1 (permalink)  

Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Bourton-on-the-Water
Posts: 970
Airbus learns from geese

Airbus says it has performed the first long-haul demonstration of formation flight in GAT-regulated transatlantic airspace with two A350s flying three kilometers apart from Toulouse to Montreal. More than 6 tons of CO2 emissions were saved on the trip, confirming the potential for more than a 5% fuel saving on long-haul flights.

They used flight control systems developed by Airbus which position the following aircraft safely in the wake updraft of the lead aircraft. That allows it to reduce thrust and reduce fuel consumption. Geese and other big migrating birds use the same principle when they fly together in their distinct V-shaped formations.

https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/p...skies-can-save
airsound is offline  
Old 9th Nov 2021, 18:16
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New jersey
Posts: 69
This will go,well. While the science is plausible, Anyone who has been in a wake turbulence upset will soon understand why this scheme will go nowhere.

Last edited by Chiefttp; 9th Nov 2021 at 18:27.
Chiefttp is offline  
Old 9th Nov 2021, 22:13
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 13,502
Yes, after all the skies are full of geese tumbling to earth uncontrollably.
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 9th Nov 2021, 23:18
  #4 (permalink)  
Gender Faculty Specialist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Stop being so stupid, it's my turn
Posts: 1,735
I'm sure Geese have upset recovery techniques and also don't carry passengers.
Chesty Morgan is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2021, 06:42
  #5 (permalink)  
Fit like min?
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ...
Posts: 2,068
It's already ruffling a few feathers.
Richard Taylor is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2021, 08:20
  #6 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 13,519
IMC formation is hard work. Got the T shirt.
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2021, 10:07
  #7 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hertfordshire, UK.
Age: 65
Posts: 9,562
They are going to hang the whole enterprise on our dear friend Software...
I think that what will defeat this is practicalities:
  • the problem of getting competitor airlines to agree simultaneous departures to linked destinations. Possibly diverging NYC and Washington at the end of cruise, for example.
  • Getting competitor airlines to agree a formation point and time before the main cruise.
  • If one a/c is not able to push at the right time - for whatever reasons?
  • If one a/c has to drop out of the fomration due to tech/medical emergency - how do you square up the sudden increased cost of fuel?
  • Do all a/c carry fuel to allow for such a drop out, be it their own or another?
However, as a proof of concept and confirming what was already known - it is very good.
PAXboy is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2021, 10:31
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,854
You would need to alternate the lead (as birds do) in order to have equal fuel savings across all participants.
So you’ll have to add changing formations to the equation.
B2N2 is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2021, 11:01
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Denmark
Posts: 216
Essentially, the following aircraft would have to be remote controlled from the leading aircraft. Wouldn't TCAS go crazy ? Also, being a formation, it'd have a single callsign, no ?
Gargleblaster is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2021, 21:36
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 368
B2N2

Or, just fix it up financially. The airline whose aircraft lead the flock gets paid (cash, carbon credits, etc) by the others that flew behind.

I'm wondering what effect payload weight has. Intuitively (and therefore probably not reliable, being my intuition), a lighter aircraft leading the flock of heavier ones sounds more effective than a heavy one leading a light one.

Interesting idea though
msbbarratt is offline  
Old 11th Nov 2021, 09:39
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: SW Scotland
Age: 38
Posts: 344
Heavier aircraft at the front would displace more air, perhaps therefore leading to bigger savings for lighter aircraft behind? I'm no scientist though - i'll leave them to work that one out.

Essentially, the following aircraft would have to be remote controlled from the leading aircraft. Wouldn't TCAS go crazy ? Also, being a formation, it'd have a single callsign, no ?

I would have thought it would be controlled by following aircraft - the software will just follow whatever the front one does. Presumably the same system would be tied in to TCAs, thereby disabling any warnings when formation mode is enabled.

the problem of getting competitor airlines to agree simultaneous departures to linked destinations. Possibly diverging NYC and Washington at the end of cruise, for example.
I'm sure small formations of 2-3 aircraft could easily be achieved by some of the major airlines on their own - e.g how many near simultaneous departures do United have to/from the UK and New York? I'm sure the extra fuel burn associated with hanging about until the formation is established will be more than offset by the fuel savings.

Failing that, Airline Alliances finally have a purpose
nighthawk117 is offline  
Old 11th Nov 2021, 10:05
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 163
How smooth is the ride for number two constantly harvesting number one's vortex energy at cruise speed?
Less Hair is offline  
Old 11th Nov 2021, 12:15
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 1,809
Well, I think it is a very interesting idea, and as DaveReid says in #3, geese don't seem to have a problem. (Great comment, Dave ).

However, the logistics will not work for airline travel. It will not be possible to coordinate two or three aircraft to fly at the same time, same route; any fuel saved would be used up by getting into formation in the first place. If it were feasible, the A380 would have done much better.

Might work for freighters.
Uplinker is offline  
Old 11th Nov 2021, 17:29
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,854
1. We can get Third World airlines to fly the lead as we’re used to selling them our ‘recycle’ garbage already and it leaves “our” airlines to continue virtue signaling their cleanliness.

2. We’ll never know about geese as the administrator has not required them to report inflight issues.

3. Only use I see are unmanned military cargo ships or long range weapons.
Alas another one of nature’s beautiful mysteries to be weaponized.

B2N2 is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2021, 09:05
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Taipei
Posts: 54
A350 formation flying

https://onemileatatime.com/news/airb...mation-flying/

Very interesting development. Significant fuel savings, but many practical implications.
FMS82 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.