Re: Really Long Range Commercial Transport

From:         rna@leland.Stanford.EDU (Robert Ashcroft)
Organization: Stanford University, CA 94305, USA
Date:         14 May 94 21:09:51 
References:   1
Followups:    1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <>,
Terrell D. Drinkard <> wrote:
>  We've been kicking this around a bit, and I thought I'd ask the group's
>  Assume for a moment that a commercial airframer could build a transport
>that is capable of flying halfway around the world in scheduled service.
>Does this have any real value?  Or are we happy at roughly 7000nm range?
>  I'd ask a live customer's opinion if I knew one.  :-)

I've done one flight that went half the way around:  British Airways,
London-Auckland, New Zealand in 1984/85.  This was three stops, which
was at least one too many.  It was scheduled at something between
24-30 hours, depending on direction.

On the other hand, it was mighty nice to get off the airplane, stretch and
so forth.  At the very least, really long-range craft should include areas
in which to stretch and so forth.  Maybe a exercycle?  ;-)  That
foolishness with recycling air might have to stop on such a long flight
(perhaps the air could be "refreshed" every 8 hours or so?).  And thought
has to be given to inflight cleaning of planes---they get pretty nasty
after the first twelve hours or so! 

You might ask in one of the soc.culture groups for the opinions of people
who do have to do a half-the-way round trip regularly.  E.g. soc.culture.
indian, since that country is half-way around from the US.  Singapore
is another one.  They might tell you if the non-stop would be worth it
to them.

As an aside, I wonder how much you would gain on such flights by always
going in one direction (i.e. west to east) so as to take advantage of
prevailing winds.  I.e. London-Auckland nonstop heading east, and then
Auckland-London also nonstop, also heading east.  A 7X7 merry-go-round.