T-34C PRIMARY FORMATION FLIGHT TRAINING
The cruise position, as flown in the T-34C, places Wing on Lead's 45° bearing line, with three
ship-widths of lateral separation and 30 feet of stepdown (Figure 7-3). Cruise is a fluid position
that can be flown on either side of Lead without directed crossunders and allows Lead maximum
flexibility to maneuver the section. It is used as an enroute formation. Cruise formation is safer,
requires less attention to maintain position, provides better lookout capabilities, and is more fuel-
efficient for the Wingman. The goal for Wing is to maintain position (stepdown and distance
from Lead) primarily by using radius-of-turn or pursuit curves (lag, lead, and pure) instead of
power corrections. During the Basic formation block of training, Lead is restricted to 45º AOB
level turns, and Wing is restricted to 60º AOB in Cruise.
Parade to Cruise
Pass the Cruise signal with an alternating pointing thumb over each shoulder (Figure 7-1).
Smoothly adjust power to 850 ft-lbs (unless otherwise briefed).
Maintain a stable platform until Wing is established in the Cruise position.
Once Wing is in position, Lead may maneuver as required.
Acknowledge Lead's Cruise signal with a head nod.
Slide out on the 45º bearing into the Cruise position. This will require a small power
reduction coordinated with a small aileron input away from Lead.
Approaching the Cruise position, reset power to 850 ft-lbs (unless otherwise briefed).
CRUISE FORMATION 7-1