I make it a point to fly formation manually for a few minutes after a manual take off but then go to AP.
Apparently the leader chooses a specific speed to maintain rather than a specific power setting causing everyone to constantly adjust throttle. Why they have to make such wild, 0-100%, changes I don't know. Just a limitation of the AI I suppose.
Oh, and thank God for time advance! Some of those missions are quite long.
"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which The Party is always right." - George Orwell, 1984