Offline reer

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Flights from Sydney to the USA
« on: February 05, 2024, 05:15:32 AM »
When airlines fly from Sydney to the USA, they fly directly across the Pacific. A non-stop flight takes 14 hours or more, depending on origin and destination. Similar flights happen every day from other cities in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.

The distance between Sydney and San Francisco is about 12,000 km (7,500 mi) on an RE map. Considering jets fly around 850 km/h (530 mph), this fits well with the flight time of around 14 hours.

The first time I ever flew this route was from San Francisco to Sydney, in January 1970. The plane, a Boeing 707, did not have enough range to fly non-stop, so we made refuelling stops in Hawaii and Fiji, but it was essentially the same route still flown by the latest planes. I have flown this route many times since, in both directions, always across the Pacific.

A route across the Pacific seems silly on FE maps. On the mono-polar map, the shortest distance is across Eastern Australia, Indonesia and Alaska. The bi-polar map would have us fly across Australia, Africa (or, depending on the version, across Asia and Europe), and approach the USA from the East.

Why do airlines fly the routes they do? Don't they want to conserve fuel as much as possible, to minimise costs?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2024, 05:20:14 AM by reer »