Robust Emergency Aircraft Avoidance Solutions for Commercial Aircraft Formations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


There is increasing interest in wake surfing formation flight as a way to decrease CO2 emissions in commercial air transportation. While the fuel efficiency benefits of formation flight have been proven over 20 years of research and flight experimentation, implementation of formation flight in air transportation operations has been limited by safety concerns. This work continues our series which explores aircraft escape contingency planning for commercial aircraft formations. Previous works in the series laid out requirements for commercial formation operations, presented baseline escape and exit plans drawn from pilot experience, and evaluated optimized modeling as a method of generating insight into formation escape and exit plans. Model-generated paths were found to be compatible with pilot-generated plans, however, a significant difference was noted between the two. While the pilot-generated plans were more general, accounting for differences in initial conditions and emergency aircraft maneuvering with a single plan, the model-generated plans were specific solutions. Small changes to initial conditions or emergency aircraft maneuvering generated significantly different solutions. Solutions which change due to small perturbations are undesirable from a pilot perspective. This work presents model-generated formation emergency aircraft avoidance solutions which are more robust to emergency aircraft maneuvers and initial formation positions and evaluates them using pilot expertise.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA AVIATION 2023 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
StatePublished - Jun 8 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Robust Emergency Aircraft Avoidance Solutions for Commercial Aircraft Formations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this