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Maneuvers during Automatic Formation Flight of Transport Aircraft for Fuel Savings
Citation key kaden2020Maneuvers
Author André Kaden and Robert Luckner
Title of Book AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Year 2020
DOI 10.2514/6.2020-1255
Abstract Formation flying techniques, demonstrated by migratory birds, have a large potential to save energy, when two or more aircraft fly the same route at the same time. Although the aircraft fly straight trajectories in the formation for most of the time, it has to be investigated how vertical and horizontal maneuvers can be flown. Those investigations require a flight simulator. The paper addresses a method to model wake vortices on curved trajectories which can be used in real-time flight simulations. The concept of a formation flight control system is described, which contains a method for the relative position determination, the design of control laws and suitable cockpit displays. Two different strategies to coordinate turn flight maneuvers are introduced and the necessary modifications to the formation flight controller are described. First simulation results are presented. Piloted simulator tests confirmed the usability of the proposed formation flight techniques and an acceptance in principle by airline pilots as future users.
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