‘Planes could soon by flying in V-shape formations like migrating birds in a bid to save fuel and emissions.
Airbus says flight technology is now mature enough to use the formation which would allow aircraft to effectively ride on the coattails of each other.
The tactic is often seen in cycling where racers ‘draft’ behind leaders of the racing peloton, following in their slipstream.
Within six months, two A350 planes will make a long-haul formation flight to prove the so-called ‘wake energy retrieval’ can be accomplished, according to The Times.
Then early in 2021, an airline will pair two jets, with the second flying nearly two miles from the first, on a transatlantic passenger route.
Within five years, airlines will be encouraged to use the formation in a bid to save up to 10 per cent of fuel, lowering costs, as well as lowering carbon emissions.
For every tonne of fuel saved, three tonnes less carbon dioxide will be left in the plane’s trail.
It comes amid a growing trend of moral objection to flying by plane among environmentalists, with climate activist Greta Thunberg famously sailing to and from the US.
She popularised the Swedish term flygskam, meaning flight shame, to discourage others from flying due to its environmental impact. ‘