Formation Flight Tips

Post Reply
User avatar
Scarecrow
Senior Veteran
Senior Veteran
Posts: 1223
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:08 am
Favorite Aircraft: T-50B
Location: IND
OS: Windows
Has thanked: 48 times
Been thanked: 232 times

Formation Flight Tips

Post by Scarecrow » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:11 am

Here are some simple tips you might want to keep in mind for formation flying.

Designate a flight lead. The flight lead takes mainly the center position in the flight and calls commands in a certain format of simple calls. The wingmen need to have a common understanding of what position they are. You may want to personalize a general communication way (Teamspeak, Skype, etc) between your team or flight.

You also need to understand your airplane. Every aircraft is different in the way it flies and moves around in the sky. Have a very good feel in your aircraft and how the stick responds to the airplane's movements. Also have a good feel with your throttle movement. Smooth movement is critical to maintain precise formation flight.

Power management is critical with formation flying. I see (and am guilty of) of overshoots of an aircraft approaching a formation. The flight lead should have a limit of 75% throttle either dry or in afterburner. If it is higher, or even a full speed, it becomes very difficult (or impossible) for the other wingmen to accelerate to get into position, and the higher the speed, the harder the formation is due to the aircraft moving around the sky much more quickly.

Understand what you are doing whenever you go formation flying. If you are running through maneuvers, or anything in the manner, it should be briefed beforehand with your wingmen. Also, keep a good listen out on your flight-lead. During large flights of 4+ aircraft, make communication a minimum in wingmen and let the formation lead and/or solo pilots do the talking.

Smooth correction to everything is the way to keep you in position. If you freak out and start putting a lot of force onto the stick, you get serious feedback and your jumping will look more similar to a steroid shot up jack-rabbit. Small movements.

In turns, your bank angle will generally match the lead pilot. When correcting wing angle, you can then worry about pitch. Mainly, smooth straight level flight and gentle turns should be a breeze before you move on.

Use tiny movements, as I noted bouncing is your enemy. The sooner you recognize drift, the sooner you correct, the smaller the correction has to be. Know your site picture. Flying "paint" (lining up markings on the lead aircraft) may help. I normally have a nice position I feel right in, and you should also have that 'box' of an area as well.

Do some working on your own and evaluate. Go into YS and fly a straight and level (maybe some turns?) and do your formation offline and put the other aircraft where you want it to be. Then, go back and watch and see if it matches up to your other references or personal locations. Take screenshots and study them.

Tap those airbrakes, and do so in work with your throttle. Get a feel for your aircraft and understand how fast is to fast and if you'll overshoot.

Try your training in the Hawk or maybe even the T-33, they are highly stable and smooth and should be the easiest for you to fly form in.

If you've got any questions, we can see if we can get them answered for you! For the rest of the community, feel free to add to this. Tips only please!
Last edited by Scarecrow on Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

"si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes"

Image

User avatar
Airbourne
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 464
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:51 pm
Favorite Aircraft: F-16 Fighting Falcon
Location: Chicago, Illinois
OS: Windows 10
Has thanked: 92 times
Been thanked: 308 times

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Post by Airbourne » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:53 am

my 2 tiny little pennies:

-Miminum movement!

-if you get frustrated then dont worry about it, come back to it later and take a break(my blue angel diamond 360(crows aerobatic admin pic)took me about 30-45 min).

-practice!

-use external objects ot activate smoke, airbrakes,etc....
example-train tracks,roads,rivers hit the bottom toolbar=smoke on,
-180 degrees inverted(top of loop,roll,etc...)-airbrakes on

-view some youtube videos to get ideas on the formation style

-make a diamond/delta AI and view it from the wingman to get an idea on how the manuever is made

there is probobly more but cant think of any right now.
Image

User avatar
Venom
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:24 am
Favorite Aircraft: F-15E Strike Eagle
Location: Ohio
Has thanked: 36 times
Been thanked: 46 times

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Post by Venom » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:57 pm

Flying paint is probably a great way of keeping focus and becoming smooth. Basically use a point on the Lead's aircraft (paint) and keep your eye's fixed on that location while keeping the aircraft steady. Stay in your box about 2-3 feet around each aircraft in the formation. Also make slight movement changes to adjust your aircrafts stability. Curling is another technique for beginners I used myself. During a formation rolling maneuver slowly roll your aircraft ahead of the rest of the formation giving you more time to focus in remaining in your formation position while maintaining fluid motion. Remember to much of this can result in getting out of position, throwing off the balance of the formation and/or falling behind.

Hope these help!
Image

User avatar
Phoenix
Legend
Legend
Posts: 3153
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:54 pm
Favorite Aircraft: Sr-71
Location: On that golden road to Samarkand.
Has thanked: 78 times
Been thanked: 41 times

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Post by Phoenix » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:03 pm

For those needing help, I recommend that you look at this.

http://ysfhq.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=365

User avatar
Flake
Staff
Staff
Posts: 4096
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:47 pm
Favorite Aircraft: Honda CBR600RR. Shit I mean Boeing F/A-18A.
Location: Newcastle, Australia
OS: Windows 10 (x64)
Has thanked: 745 times
Been thanked: 1002 times

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Post by Flake » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:04 am

Change your angle on the world.

Try flying line abreast by setting up a specific viewpoint to look to the left from the pilots perspective. A Good formation will put the flight leads helmet smack bang in the middle of the screen.

At first, you will be terrible. I learnt to fly in line abreast by forming on large aircraft on servers (The lag keeps you on your toes!) first.

People can achieve great things with a LOT of practice. If you do not beleive me, then watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JOKO_KWT2I

Then compare that to my current works. Scarecrow has seen my best from about a year ago.
And this is where I'd put my signature...
IF I HAD ONE!
+_+

User avatar
DD-Destroyer
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 308
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 11:45 pm
Favorite Aircraft: FA-50 Golden Eagle
Location: Seoul
OS: Windows
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 148 times
Contact:

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Post by DD-Destroyer » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:46 pm

Here is my and YS Black Eagles' tip.

At YS Flight's background, go to Option - Config - Game Rule. You can find it "Precise Simulaton". This; Precise Simulation fix YSF's dynamic information refresh rates; one refresh per 0.05 seconds. In close formation flight, due to that 0.05 seconds refresh, you would feel movement of partner aircraft unnaturally smooth.

But when check off Precise Simulation, YSF's dynamic information refresh rates will switch to refresh per EVERY SCREEN CHANGENESS. It means "If something moved in current screen, YSF will project that movement and will refresh dynamic information." After check off this option, you may feel partner's aircraft movement naturally smooth.

Caution: Turn off this option will bring less good flight environment. You need good enough CPU operating speed same or higher than 2.5GHz

User avatar
VNAF ONE
Senior Veteran
Senior Veteran
Posts: 2136
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:16 am
Favorite Aircraft: A-10C Thunderbolt II
Location: Indiana/Florida
OS: Windows 10
Has thanked: 212 times
Been thanked: 390 times

Formation Flight Tips

Post by VNAF ONE » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:21 pm

*Bump*

My friend posted this neat video on Facebook. It's worth a watch because it especially answers some common questions about formation flying as well as providing some clarification on different aspects. Take a peek!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_H8dma ... e=youtu.be
VNAF Aerobatics Commanding Officer and Founder - - - YSAS Member - - - YS Aerobatic Pilot
YS ACC A-10 East Coast Demo Team pilot - - - B-1B Razor Demo Team pilot
VFA-49 GhostHawks Commanding Officer
Image

User avatar
Coop
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:20 am
Favorite Aircraft: F/A-18C
Location: United States
Has thanked: 200 times
Been thanked: 402 times

Formation Flight Tips

Post by Coop » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:41 am

I get questions about formation flying often, so I figured, why not set some personal basic tips/guidelines/details about formations.
-First- My biggest tip is this: Your formation is only as good as your flight lead. What this means is your wingmen will struggle to maintain proper position if the flight leader is constantly adjusting the aircraft in attitude and speed. I suggest have the mentality as a flight leader that you are trying to fly formation off of someone else, and you are keeping it as smooth as possible.

-Second- Utilize effect practice: We all hear practice practice practice and formation fly will eventually come to you. True, but practice to improve truly lies in starting off slow. What I suggest to new formation pilots OR pilots looking to refine their skills and truly master formation flying, is they practice flat, turning maneuvers first. Keeping formation in turns and flat passes is basic but if those maneuvers are shaky, the loops/rolls aren't worth practicing. Eventually, after you feel comfortable that you can hold a solid diamond/delta/vic/etc in turns and flat passes, move on to those fun rolls/loops/etc....

-Finally- Rinse and Repeat: This means, practice the same show/maneuvers/position until it becomes second nature. With this idea, you can use helpful "cheats" to call for the entire formation to do an action without speaking or typing. For example, decide that you always want to extend the boards "speed brakes" at 60 degrees nose down for every loop you perform. Use roads you cross to turn smoke on/off at the same time. Keep these constants and your show will improve significantly.

********Most importantly, have fun! Formation flying is hard, but enjoy it, especially when you fly that maneuver that gets you every time right! :D
Image

User avatar
iqmal_97
Senior Veteran
Senior Veteran
Posts: 1759
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:47 am
Favorite Aircraft: Sukhoi Su-30MKM
Location: Somewhere in Asia
OS: Windows 10
Has thanked: 742 times
Been thanked: 190 times
Contact:

Formation Flight Tips

Post by iqmal_97 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:50 am

Reading each of the tips provided here, I take that using visual queues such as landmarks and roadways from the landscape/scenery play an important rule in formation flying, esp. in the timing of your smokes and executing maneuvers.

I'd like to know what maps you guys usually practice on. Maybe the map is plain like the stock Aomori and Hawaii, or airshow maps like El Centro and Grand Cayman, to name a few?

Or even surprise me by saying you guys flew in Slapstick...
Image
[N007HA]Nynaiqmal_97 <= My usual online callsign
Mein Imgur gallery. Feel free to use any of my screenshots (Crediting me is optional, but greatly appreciated)

User avatar
VNAF ONE
Senior Veteran
Senior Veteran
Posts: 2136
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:16 am
Favorite Aircraft: A-10C Thunderbolt II
Location: Indiana/Florida
OS: Windows 10
Has thanked: 212 times
Been thanked: 390 times

Formation Flight Tips

Post by VNAF ONE » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:15 pm

I typically fly on my maps or any other city/airshow maps because they usually have more local detail than others and mile markers are excellent cues to do things. Scenery can play a role but oftentimes, you don't necessarily need it. Of course knowing your bearings is more important so you don't approach the showline at a 45 degree angle for a flyover . . . which I see all too much.
VNAF Aerobatics Commanding Officer and Founder - - - YSAS Member - - - YS Aerobatic Pilot
YS ACC A-10 East Coast Demo Team pilot - - - B-1B Razor Demo Team pilot
VFA-49 GhostHawks Commanding Officer
Image

User avatar
Kujo
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 946
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:28 am
Favorite Aircraft: Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
Location: Las Vegas, NV
OS: Windows 8.1 - 64 Bit
Has thanked: 682 times
Been thanked: 616 times
Contact:

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Post by Kujo » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:11 am

Sorry for the bump here, but I had to add in this little video. It doesn't contain as much information as all of you have posted already but I think it's simple enough:
Image

User avatar
u2fly
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 1144
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:27 am
Favorite Aircraft: Antonov An-225 Mriya
Location: Ukraine
OS: Linux
Has thanked: 624 times
Been thanked: 258 times
Contact:

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Post by u2fly » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:08 am

Think this infographic will help someone
Image
/!\ READ YSFLIGHT HANDBOOK (.PDF) | updated 2017/05/03

“Spending #NewYearsEve w/ brave #Ukrainian Marines at a forward combat outpost - we stand w/ them in their fight against #Putin's aggression”
http://pic.twitter.com/vkz0gdozVV
- John McCain, U.S. Senator for Arizona, Republican party
(31 DEC 2016)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest