Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
A new record set from Singapore to Newark in an A350 in just under 19 hours.

The great circle track goes very close to the North Pole.


Using the same distance of 8285 nm as this flight, the shaded area on the map below shows the parts of the world that the flight from Singapore couldn't have reached.


Iceman 8)
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Mike Tango wrote:I can foresee a future punishment for minor offenders. Rather than community service or such like, it will be 19 hours in economy seats on such a flight.

I'm sure that I read that that flight had no economy class
The poles are the location of the maximum Coriolis forces on the planet. Flying at 500 mph away from the pole for 225 miles will take 27 minutes. And during this 9 minutes the aircraft must accelerate laterally to 2x pi x 225/24 = 58.9 mph to keep in step with the earth's rotation.
Admittedly an acceleration of 0-60 in 27 minutes doesn't quite compare to that of a Ferrari, but I wonder whether it is noticeable in any of the aircraft systems or calculations?
Ian Melville wrote:Forgive my ignorance but I don't understand the shaded bits that the flight could not reach. Wouldn't they be reduced in size by going over the South Pole rather than North?

The flight in question was 8285 nm Singapore to Newark. Taking that distance, the second figure shows a range profile of where on Earth you could get to in the same distance by flying a great circle route (the shortest distance between any two points on the surface of the Earth). The shaded areas represent where on the Earth's surface you couldn't reach in 8285 nm from Singapore, taking a great circle route. Going over the South Pole from Singapore would not reach the shaded area within 8285 nm. Singapore being in the northern hemisphere, going south over the South Pole is going to be a long way. As an experiment, get yourself a globe and a bit of string. Cut the string to the length indicated by the great circle route shown between Singapore and Newark and place one end on Singapore. Move the other end around over the surface of the globe and it should trace out the perimeter of the shaded area. You will see that if you take the string via the South Pole, it won't reach inside the shaded area. Bear in mind that most globes are perfect spheres whereas the Earth isn't.

Alternatively, have a play with the tool at the following address to see arbitrary great circle routings and range profiles from any point, e.g., how far could my TB20 get from Blackbushe (1100 nm range) would require the following command in the map section. The tool takes into account the non-spherical nature of the Earth.


Iceman 8)
gaznav wrote:I flew over the pole once - very strange as the sun just moved around the sky but never went below the horizon! :shock:

Polar flights in summer/winter have some fun effects. Highest latitude I’ve flown past is around 78°N on the way from Heathrow to Seattle in December (well North of the great circle - funny winds) and you get the spectacular effects of a sunset, total darkness and the aurora, then the sun rises again in the west as you head back south.

On the cruel and unusual punishment front, just think of the crew! Not sure I’d fancy a 20+ hour duty day. Wake up, come to work, brief, get the aircraft away, takeoff, 8 hours in the cruise, head to crew rest, 8 hours in the bunk in a cycle of drink water, sleep, wake up dried out but needing a pee, go to the loo, rinse, repeat and then back in the seat, indeterminate meal, coffee, deal with New York ATC and land at max crosswind on a contaminated runway.

Even long haul captains with their yachts and Ferraris (or Yaks and RVs :twisted:) don’t get paid enough for that.
Iceman, Mike Tango, Barcli and 6 others liked this