Passenger jets of the future could save on fuel by flying in formation and following in each others' slipstream.

This article titled “The future of flying? It's V-shaped and faster than the speed of sound” was written by Dan Milmo, industrial editor, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 25th October 2011 08.16 UTC

The passenger plane of the future could be solar powered and travel at five times the speed of sound but the British government must act quickly to ensure that the domestic aerospace industry has a chance of making it, according to a report.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers said state-of-the-art technology will allow airlines to travel in a V-shaped group formation similar to migrating geese by the end of the century. The IME study groups aircraft into three types: subsonic planes that travel slower than the speed of sound; supersonic jets that fly faster than the speed of sound; and hypersonic aircraft that travel at more than five times the speed of sound.

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