Quantification of formation flight benefits under consideration of uncertainties on fuel planning
Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS 2018)
Contribution to Conference
Within this study, a method is proposed that allows an effective fuel planning for a follower aircraft in aerodynamic formation flight missions. The special characteristic of such formation missions in the context of fuel planning is the uncertainty of the successful formation execution. The required trip fuel of the follower, therefore, strongly depends on the unknown factor of the formation success. The proposed method aims at minimizing costs due to carrying excess fuel and balancing the expected benefits with potential costs that might result from a refueling stop. For a set of 14 atmospheric days of the year 2012, the fuel planning by the proposed method is applied. It is shown, that an accurate fuel planning can help saving major amounts of fuel and money additionally to the formation benefits itself.