Airbus completes transatlantic flight in fuel-efficient training: Travel Weekly


Airbus has taken an important step in its Fello’fly project, designed to facilitate the introduction of formation flight into commercial aviation.

On Tuesday, the manufacturer completed its first long-haul training demonstration in restricted airspace, with Airbus pilots flying a pair of A350s spaced just 3 kilometers from the company’s home in Toulouse, France, to Montreal.

The goal of the project is to help airlines reduce their emissions, with a follower plane taking advantage of the wake updraft created by the lead plane, just as geese do when they fly in their familiar triangular formation. .

Airbus said more than six tonnes of carbon dioxide were saved during the trip and the results confirmed the potential of formation flights to reduce fuel consumption on long-haul flights by more than 5%.

Currently, aircraft over the United States must maintain a separation of at least 3 nautical miles, while aircraft over the North Atlantic are generally much further apart.

Airbus carried out Tuesday’s test in cooperation with air traffic control entities in Canada and Europe.

The manufacturer said the next step for the Fello’fly project is to secure the support of the authorities so that the commercial flight in formation can be certified.

As Airbus envisions, planes that fly as partners would not have from the same airport, they could also meet en route.

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