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Home / Business / Nineteen hours, 9,534 miles and no economy class – the facts and figures behind the world’s longest flight

Nineteen hours, 9,534 miles and no economy class – the facts and figures behind the world’s longest flight



Y You must ask yourself what the Wright brothers' ghosts think of today. The great pioneers of the United States air force spent most of 1903 bumping into frustration along the sandbanks of the North Carolina coast – first, on December 17, finally managed to raise their child, the Wright Flyer, from earth, in what was the first flight.

This result that changed the world lasted for 12 seconds and 120 feet (37 m), at a rate of 6.8 miles per hour. So, Wilbur and Orville (especially the latter, who was in charge for that first takeoff) would have said that today's news would have been a fascinating reality television show. But we can assume that they would be astonished ̵

1; that the industry that actually started 115 years ago has become so adept that planes can now fly nonstop from Singapore to New York.

Yes, this is the title. That the longest flight in the world – or, indeed, the longest flight in the world – will take off this afternoon.

This is the Singapore Airlines service between Singapore and Newark International in New York. It should take off from Changi Airport at 23.35 local time (4.35 pm UK time) – before flying to 9,534 miles above the planet's surface, a process that will take only 19 hours.

Do not worry about the Wright brothers are astonished from the perspective of the afterlife – this is also a big problem in the living world. But what else do we know about this leap from Asia to North America without a break to breathe in Europe? Everything is revealed here …

Aviation has come a long way since Wright Brothers

Credit:
Image library SSPL / Science Museum / Science & Society

The longest flight in the world? Yet? It's becoming a normal thing, is not it?

Well, yes. C & # 39; was a wave of "oh blimey, to what extent ?? !! " the flight was launched in the recent past. Skip back a little more than two years, in March 2016, and the arrival of a direct Emirates service between Dubai and Auckland – 8.823 miles long – was greeted with identical fanfare. The applause lasted only 11 months, until February 2017, when Qatar Airways turned on a rival connection from Doha to the largest city in New Zealand – which stole the lightning of the Emirates only 209 miles (9,032 miles). In face.

Wait. I thought there was a new flight from London to Australia, which is the longest in the world. Sections of travel like this are focused …

Ah yes, you're right. Well, partially right. You refer to the Qantas service that connects Heathrow to Perth, Western Australia. It was launched in March of this year – and there have been many stories about it. So how it is, this is the only non-stop service between the UK and Australia, making a trip of 9,009 miles and about 17 hours. However, it was always the second longest flight in the world. Starting today, it is the third.

The first direct flight UK-Australia – to Perth – launched in March

Credit:
GETTY

So this new flight to Singapore Airlines is definitely the longest?

Yes. That figure of 9,534 miles is significant. It makes it the only flight on the market that breaks the 15,000-kilometer mark – 15,344 kilometers, to be exact. Which is exciting if the statistics are your thing. That Qatar Airways flight of 9,032 miles is roughly 14,536 km. Close, but without cigar. Not that you can smoke more cigars on planes.

Wait again. There is a ring of familiarity here. Singapore. New York. The longest flight in the world. Why am I experiencing a strange feeling of déjà vu on this?

Very well. Well remembered. The new Singapore-Newark flight is not at all "new". It is more a case of reuniting the band than a classic debut album. This connection has already existed. Singapore Airlines flew between 2004 and 2013, before canceling it – among the complaints that fuel costs made the journey too expensive.

So what has changed?

Singapore clearly feels that customer demand for a service that does not have to stop on the road, for example, in Frankfurt or Amsterdam, exceeds all financial worries. Although it also helps the airline has changed the plane. In the first incarnation of the flight, he used the Airbus A340-500. This resurrection will implement the Airbus A350-900 ULR.

The A350-900 ULR is so new that Singapore Airlines is the launch customer

ULR? Do not blind me with acronyms …

I'm sorry. It stands for "Ultra-Long-Range". It is a new generation aircraft: lighter, more efficient. Presumably it uses up to 30 percent less fuel than its predecessors such as the A340-500. It is so new that Singapore Airlines is the launch customer and has not received the first delivery until September 23rd. He purchased seven planes for his Newark route. No commercial aircraft – produced by Airbus or its rival Boeing – can currently fly farther.

A thought that has just occurred to me. In which direction is the plane going?

An excellent question. The distance between Singapore and New York is virtually the same – giving or taking complications such as head and tail and weather conditions – whether taking off in the east and crossing the Pacific, or going west across the Atlantic. One might think that this would make more sense, but Singapore Airlines said that today's launch flight will take the "NOPAC" route.

Oh sir, another acronym. Simply English, please.

I'm sorry, the force of habit. NOPAC indicates the "North Pacific" route. Which means that today's flight trajectory will fly over the top of Taiwan and Japan, before cutting Alaska and continuing in Canadian airspace until the Big Apple appears.

And this is 19 hours in the air, right? Five hours less than a whole day? Good God, what will I do with myself for 19 hours in economics?

Ah, well, here's the catch. Or the reason for being cheerful, depending on your perspective and your bank account. There is no economic cabin on the Singapore-Newark flight. In this brave new world of crossing half the planet into a single limit, there is no room for "cheaper" rates. Singapore Airlines has configured its ULR A350-900 in such a way as to have only business and premium-economy compartments: 67 seats in the first and 94 seats in the second. So 161 passengers in total at maximum capacity – which will also contribute to fuel consumption during the final push throughout Ontario.

The flight will have a business class section – but no place in the economy

Even so, the question remains. What to do for 19 hours?

Well, you could always eat. If you're in premium economy, you can expect to receive three meals. If you're in business, there are two – even if the business class passengers also have a bed in which to sleep. And this will certainly help to pass the time.

Next. Even three meals translate into food every six hours. What am I going to do for the rest of the time?

Well, Singapore Airlines has long been proud of the quality of its in-flight entertainment system, so you can watch some movies. Actually, in 19 hours you can run a straight in the movie menu. You could even get to the last play by Mark Wahlberg. Alternatively, you could stare out the window at the night of coal over the Pacific and count the minutes one by one.

What if I had someone sitting next to me who likes to have a conversation?

Then there are headphones, because that comedy by Mark Wahlberg has become much more fun. Have you seen Daddy & # 39; s Home 2? It's not funny at all – as, strangely, he pushes Mel Gibson into a Christmas sweater and making him growl his jokes do not make gold-plated humor. Still, it's a much better bet than chatting with a stranger about turbulence.

Dad's house 2. More fun than turbulence

Credit:
Paramount Pictures / Claire Folger

19 hours in a pressurized aircraft cabin is very good for you?

Well, this is a good question. And a serious one. According to some research, you are 100 times more likely to catch a cold during a flight, thanks to the probability that someone somewhere on the plane is sick and that you have to breathe the same air of them for the duration of the flight. travel. There is the problem of oxygen deprivation – as a general rule, aircraft cabins are pressurized to about 75 percent of normal atmospheric pressure. This is fine in terms of breathing, but lower levels of oxygen in the blood can make you feel dizzy and tired and can cause headaches. The altitude also plays chaos with your taste buds. About a third of them become numb on an airplane – although it may be objected that, with some meals served by airlines, it is not a bad thing.

So, what should I do to feel good? [19659002] Oh, you know the drill. Drink lots of water – your body can be rehydrated up to 1.5 liters of water on a three-hour flight. Get up and walk around – do not dive so much into all the great comedies of Mark Wahlberg that you will not let go. Especially if you fly for 19 hours. There are other flight health problems and survival tips here …

OK, fine. So long-haul flight will become the norm? And will the Singapore Airlines flight keep the "longest record in the world" for a long time?

Most likely yes, and most likely not, respectively.

If the flight is a commercial success, you can expect other airlines to follow the example. Philippine Airlines will launch a direct flight from Manila to New York (John F. Kennedy) on October 28 – the same date that Air India will launch a direct connection between JFK and Mumbai. Air New Zealand will weigh with a new service from Auckland to Chicago on November 30th. And Singapore Airlines will add to its route with a non-stop jump between Singapore and Los Angeles that will take paradise on 2 November. Neither of these will be longer than the Singapore-Newark flight (Singapore's connection to Los Angeles will be shorter than 767 miles), but it is certainly only a matter of time before the aviation envelope is rejected again.

And then someone really will have to hire a medium and contact the Wright brothers for a quote …


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