Great Circle mapper; sci.aeronautics.airliners WWW page news

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         13 Sep 96 03:03:31 
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In May, 1994, Terry Drinkard started a thread on Really Long Range
Commercial Transports.  That sent me scurrying for my atlas and to
find an equation for computing great circle distances, and was the
genesis of a much larger project -- not just to compute distances
along a great circle route, but to show them on a map.

Well, nearly two and a half years later, the fruits of that project
are ready for the world.  The latest addition to the collection of
WWW pages for sci.aeronautics.airliners is the

    Great circle flight path display

The URL for this page is
If you don't feel like exploring by yourself, try the following:,8700nm@SFO,HKG-EZE

The first illustrates the range of the proposed 747-600X and -500X,
respectively, from San Francisco.  The second shows some of the more
remote routes I've seen that are at least plausible.  (Santiago and
Buenos Aires from Asia came up in the 1994 discussion.)  HKG-SCL is
just a bit shorter than the unlikely New York to Perth, but unlike
the latter route it isn't even close to being flying with ETOPS.  I
hadn't realized that in 1994 but HKG-SCL/EZE covers some incredibly
desolate expanses of the world.

ETOPS maps will be added to these pages soon.  Right now, I've got
some holes in the alternate airport database which must still be
filled.  If anyone has a good list of ETOPS alternates, especially
for some of the obscure places like military bases on islands way
out in the oceans, I'd very much appreciate your help.

On the subject of the sci.aeronautics.airliners WWW pages, people
sometimes ask what my involvement is with the airline(r) industry.
Professionally, none -- airliners are just an interest.  I work for
a company called Network Appliance, which makes filers ("network
file server appliances").  On September 3rd, we announced the Web
Filer, new software that allows our filers to act as WWW servers.
A few days before that, my own WWW server, including the newsgroup
WWW pages (, became the first Web
Filer site on the Internet.  Alas, this is only a test project for
me to use in developing an application note, and to get some good
testing on our new product, so within a few weeks the pages will
move back to their old FreeBSD/Apache server.

Karl Swartz	|Home
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Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills