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Autonomous Formation Flight (AFF)

F/A-18 Autonomous Formation Flight (AFF) tests over California's Mojave Desert

Movie Number   EM-0048-02
Movie Date   November 9, 2001
Formats   160x120 QuickTime Movie (1.1 MB)
320x240 QuickTime Movie (2.3 MB)
480x360 QuickTime Movie (2.3 MB)
640x480 QuickTime Movie (2.3 MB)
Autonomous Formation Flight (AFF) Still photos of this aircraft are available in several resolutions at

This 32 second movie clip shows an F/A-18 Autonomous Formation Flight (AFF) test over California's Mojave Desert.

Autonomous Formation Flight (AFF) is intended to allow an aircraft to fly in close formation over long distances using advanced positioning and controls technology. It utilizes Global Positioning System satellites and inertial navigation systems to position two or more aircraft in formation, with an accuracy of a few inches. This capability is expected to yield fuel efficiency improvements.

Keywords   F-18; F/A-18; F/A-18B; AFF; Autonomous Formation Flight; Global Positioning System; GPS; fuel efficiency
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