When I was learning to fly we were always advised to avoid wake turbulence
at all costs, but perhaps that has changed now, at least for the USAF. After studying birds the engineers at Boeing came up with the idea of using wake turbulence from a lead aircraft to surf, much like race cars draft each other by getting close behind another car. The idea is for one aircraft to trail (surf) behind another aircraft and use the wake turbulence off of a wing to pull the trailing aircraft along. Theoretically you could have two aircraft trailing behind the left and right wing tips.
Dangers Of Wake Turbulence
For years the FAA has been warning about the dangers of wake turbulence, and a number of years ago put out this video demonstrating those dangers.
How To Use Wake Turbulence
Now Boeing engineers have discovered that there are some benefits to wake turbulence and are using it to save fuel for aircraft flying the same route:
Have You Encountered Wake Turbulence?
Encountering wake turbulence can be an exciting event, particularly if you didn't expect it. While the military may use this technique I am not convinced it is a good idea for civilian aircraft. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
John White a/k/a JetAviator7 is an ATP pilot with an MBA in business who enjoys all things aviation and as an online entrepreneur loves providing exceptional products combined with exceptional personal service. Find out more about John on Google+ Share this post on Google+