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Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:11 am
by Scarecrow
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!

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:53 am
by Airbourne
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).


-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.

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:57 pm
by Venom
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!

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:03 pm
by Phoenix
For those needing help, I recommend that you look at this.

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:04 am
by Flake
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:

Then compare that to my current works. Scarecrow has seen my best from about a year ago.

Re: Formation Flight Tips

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

Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:21 pm

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! ...

Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:41 am
by PilotC
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

Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:50 am
by iqmal_97
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...

Formation Flight Tips

Posted: 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.

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:11 am
by Kujo
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:

Re: Formation Flight Tips

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:08 am
by u2fly
Think this infographic will help someone