View Full Version : New Longhaul Record

4th Feb 2004, 21:36
Singapore Airlines was due to make history yesterday by setting a record for the world’s longest scheduled flight, carrying passengers on a 16-hour, non-stop journey from Singapore to Los Angeles. The airline is using an Airbus A345 for the route, carrying 117 passengers. The return journey takes eighteen and a half hours, two hours faster than the existing route via Taiwan. Passengers are given two meals on the day-long flight and will get “warm snacks” if they feel peckish. The aircraft also has a “passengers’ corner” where people can stretch their legs and socialise. The initiative is a response to strong demand from business travellers on the route, which stretches 7,937 miles over the Pacific. Singapore Airlines placed an order with Anglo-French Airbus for 10 A345s six years ago, in a deal worth $2.2bn (£1.2bn). The airline is planning to launch an 18-hour direct service from Singapore to New York later this year. At present, the world’s longest scheduled non-stop flights include United Airlines’ service from Chicago to Hong Kong, which takes 15 hours 50 minutes. Most flights between the United States and south-east Asia have involved a stop at an intermediate hub such as Tokyo or Taipei. Singapore Airlines is the sixth largest international carrier in the world according to IATA rankings, carrying 14.7m passengers a year.

4th Feb 2004, 22:30
Any 340-jock who could estimate the blockfuel for that kind of flight? 117 tonnes would be a nice figure (a ton per passenger).

Flight Level Zero
4th Feb 2004, 22:37
The aircraft also has a “passengers’ corner” where people can stretch their legs and socialise

Surely the US authorities will stop passengers socialising.

4th Feb 2004, 22:46
Only if it is close to a toilet.

4th Feb 2004, 22:56
Anglo-French Airbus
What izzat?

5th Feb 2004, 00:05
carrying 117 passengers

It will only carry 117 pax if they don't sell any business class seats. The configuration is 64 J (6-across) and 117 Y (7-across), a total of 181 seats.

5th Feb 2004, 00:35
Standard capacity for this type of aircraft looks to be 313 passengers. Mind you those economy seats are pretty impressive:

This new SIA class of travel will offer 117 Executive Economy Class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, with a seat pitch of 37" and a seat-back incline of 8". It will also feature a seat width of 20", a leather adjustable headrest, an innovative leg rest and foot rest, and a 9" personal video monitor for in-flight entertainment.

Jet II
5th Feb 2004, 00:39
Its all very well there only being 181 seats as opposed to the normal 313 - but you are still going to be sat in a tin-can for 18 hours

Thats way to much for an oldie like me:{

5th Feb 2004, 00:49
Jet II beat me to it.

I usually get my "8 hour sense of humour failure" on the trip back home.

This way I can get twice!

5th Feb 2004, 02:28
Singapore to New York. Now there is a great example of the Great Circle technique. Wonder how far north it will route?

5th Feb 2004, 02:36
You're right. SIN-JFK is 8300nm over the pole. Not much leeway there to skirt south.

Pax Vobiscum
5th Feb 2004, 04:57
If you've got time to stopover for 2/3 days mid-route that's clearly better, but if I have to do it as a single trip I'd rather go 16 hrs nonstop than 19 or 22 hrs with 1 or 2 stops en route - just my preference :D

Can anyone tell me how many flightdeck crew they need to do this - would they need three different pairs? Just curious ...

5th Feb 2004, 06:23
Pax Vobiscum,

but if I have to do it as a single trip I'd rather go 16 hrs nonstop than 19 or 22 hrs with 1 or 2 stops en route - just my preference

That's because you are not smoking, presumably... All smokers are voting for stops en-route.

Spearing Britney
5th Feb 2004, 07:27
2 crews with 2 rest periods each they tell me...

5th Feb 2004, 17:03
2 meals in 16 hrs? Not exactly spoiling them are they?:ooh:

Wonder if the smokers corner is outside.:}

Felix Lighter
5th Feb 2004, 17:35
For the flight crew a round trip must be vic. 42 duty hrs....... not bad, only 2 trips per month and you'd go into over time!

One take-off/landing per month each too ;)

5th Feb 2004, 19:09
Surely this type of operation demands a smoking section. As a non smoker I have never had the pangs associated with the addiction to nicotine. I am, however, sympathetic to smokers on journeys that are of this specific length.

......and don't call me Shirley.

5th Feb 2004, 19:40
Regarding smoking

Maybe the airline can "advise" smokers to take the flight that stops over at Narita instead. There's still this choice for them.

A noticeable thing about "air rage" reports was their rise a few years ago coincided with the withdrawl of smoking accommodation. It often gets blamed on booze but I always wonder if the real reason is the addicts being denied their nicotine in a way they are not used to. Any analysis on how many air rage attackers are smokers ?

Max Angle
5th Feb 2004, 23:54
Surely this type of operation demands a smoking section It certainly does NOT. As an ex-smoker I can testify that gum or patches work very well in curing the hunger for nicotine when you can't smoke. Perhaps SIA could hand them out to smokers, not as nice as nice strong Marlboro but that's too bad.

6th Feb 2004, 01:29
18+ hours in the old aluminum sensory-deprivation tube, eh? "Oh look! There's the ocean!" Then, "oh look! There's the ocean!" 14 hours later... "oh look! There's the ocean!" I'd worry less about deep vein thrombosis and more about suicide attempts.

Dave :eek:

Jim Morehead
6th Feb 2004, 01:46
Is there a possibility we can ban smoking in the world?

6th Feb 2004, 01:48
Two meals in sixteen hours is not unreasonable when you consider that there'll be a little self service bar, where pax can get snacks, drinks etc. as they wish.

Good on SQ, a leader once again.

As to the fuel requirement, I was just trying to work it out myself and came up with around 126t, based on 18h at 7t per hour, on average, but then you need to add in holding time and a diversion to SFO/SJC or LAS, so that probably brings it up to around 135-140t, plus OEW (170.5), plus pax/freight (say 20t), still well within the MTOW of 365t.

6th Feb 2004, 03:59
Anglo-French Airbus? Maybe, one day, the English and French could collaborate on a Supersonic Transport for trips like this. Now there's an idea!

6th Feb 2004, 10:08
Does anyone know what the augmented crewing is for this flight? Talk about a long duty day.

6th Feb 2004, 14:48

I think I read somewhere that SIA is using two complete crews for these flights. Each crew has two rest periods during the duty. If memory serves I read this at www.justplanes.com on Wednesday.

I must admit I don't think I'd fancy this duty as a crewmember or the trip as a passenger.

6th Feb 2004, 14:51
You can also read it on page one of this thread.:rolleyes:

6th Feb 2004, 15:10
It's better than rowing across the Pacific!

Jim Morehead
6th Feb 2004, 15:18
Even on the 747-400 on flights that exceed 14 which are quite a few,you need two complete crews. Different airlines comply with the rule differently.

Some airlines use 2 Captains. Some Use one Captain and 3 First Officers. I believe tht one would have to be type rated to do this. United type rated everybody in this long range crew for that purpose even though many times people did not get takeoffs and landings. The number of legs per month can be as few as 6 in a normal month often split by a Captain and First Officer.

Still other airlines use a relief pilot or cruise captain that is training to function as Captain from cruise and is usually only able to takeoff and land from the right seat.

Some airlines use Second Officers(not to be confused with a flight engineer which is not to be confused with an engineer in some parts of the world is a mechanic) who are ONLY qualified at cruise or once the airplane is airborne.

Either way, you are tired at the end of the trip!

6th Feb 2004, 15:56
If you want to see where the tracks for these amazing long haul flights go to have a play around at:-

Great Circle Mapper (http://gc.kls2.com/)

How long will it be before we see London Sydney non stop, I wonder?

6th Feb 2004, 18:02

I remember some airline (Thaiti Nui?) wanted to introduce A345 on Papeete-CDG non-stop, that's some 2 hours more than SIN-LAX...

7th Feb 2004, 01:06
Heard the same... then a few months later they shelved the idea.

It was Air Tahiti Nui and they figured that it wouldn't be economic to go CDG-PPT direct as the traffic CDG-LAX and LAX-PPT pax made the whole gig viable..


7th Feb 2004, 04:07
The great circle routes you pointed out don't always coincide with reality. An example is Air Canada's non-stop YYZ-DEL service, which flies well south of the great circle track (due to political restrictions imposed by Russia's ban on overflights of her territory).
As for SQ's LAX-SIN service (SQ19), I note from the display on www. passur.com that it heads out of LAX due west for at least 80 miles (climbing slowly - little wonder, hauling that s***load of fuel). It seems to me, if it followed a great circle track, it should turn towards the NW much sooner. I'm just SLF - can someone confirm this or correct me?

7th Feb 2004, 04:25
Correct me if I am wrong but if something is built in Wales, then they are usually called British made. If something is made in England then its usually called made in England or referred to as Anglo.

The trouble is all Airbus wings are built in Hawarden in Wales. The Airbus 340 is assembled in France although the A320 family is assembled in Hamburg, Germany with other components from other countries in world including Spain. I am not sure if there much about the aircraft that is English or Anglo at all so how can it be Anglo? Then the word Anglo derives from the word Angel a once German tribe like the Saxons so may you are right after all!

alles klar

7th Feb 2004, 11:51
Talking to mates on the fleet it seems that the double flight deck crew will be taking two rest periods each, with one longer than the other. The rest facilities feature a business standard seat with fully interactive entertainment system and bed.
Apparently crews on the ultra long haul flights will have two rostered days off prior to the flight, three nights at the destination, and minimum four local nights off after the trip.

7th Feb 2004, 22:07
The Great Circle route does not do well in understanding winds aloft so is more interesting in theory than in practice.

On UA's ORD-HKG route, for example, the eastbound flight at this time of year crosses the Pacific and the westbound flight does not.

11th Feb 2004, 03:06
As far as time aloft goes, back around 1960's a TWA flight from SFO to PAR was SCHEDULED for 23h59m, Lockheed 1649 Connie.

11th Feb 2004, 04:56
:E :E :ouch:

trainer too 2
11th Feb 2004, 05:13
Better an "under performing" A340 any day rather than flying Etops around the globe..

Capt Fathom
11th Feb 2004, 05:34
Etops or not, there's no comfort when something goes wrong over the North Pole!

11th Feb 2004, 06:46
Sense a bit of jeolousy somewhere....Anyway, out with the old and in with the new!

11th Feb 2004, 07:20
Remember the MD-11 a few years back? It couldn't live up to it's range/payoad claims and so Singapore went to Airbus instead.

SawThe Light
11th Feb 2004, 07:40
So, 15 hrs one way and 18 hr 20 the other.

I don't seem to recall what times the other types were doing on those legs.

11th Feb 2004, 08:01
No other type has ever done SIN/LAX non stop before, commercially.

11th Feb 2004, 08:07
and at 151 PAX nobody is doing it profitably either. Boeing flew a 747 from LHR to Australia to prove a point. Problem was there was only 25 people on board to make it. It makes no diff that it can be done, we are in this business to do one thing.......MAKE MONEY. :}

11th Feb 2004, 08:26
747... It would be my guess that Airbus have to make a contribution to each flight also, due to underperformance

11th Feb 2004, 08:58
Jim - how can you be tech crew on a flight if you are not type rated ??

11th Feb 2004, 09:02
SQ wouldn't be doing it if they weren't making money. Those executive economy seats aren't cheap - it's like BA's World Traveller +.

I thought the point by our two Australian friends was well made - "I wonder what the block times are on this route when operated by other types?" indeed. 18 hrs 20 is a significant achievement.

compressor stall
11th Feb 2004, 11:52
And the record still is held by Qantas for thier famous double sunrise scehduled flights from Perth to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) during the war. Radio silent, and with mail and only 3-4 pax, they left pre dawn and arrived about 30 hours later, the following day....


Oh yeah - it was in a Catalina

Buster Hyman
11th Feb 2004, 13:35

That's exactly what I thought when I read it! As SLF points out, I'm sure they have been duly compensated, alternatively, SQ have lowered their standards!:hmm:

11th Feb 2004, 13:51
Don’t want to get into an Airbus versus Boeing slanging match here, but I was told recently that the new 777-300 ER with 250 pax and baggage on board weighs the same as an empty A340-600. If that’s true, Boeing’s going to clean up big time with the bean counters. And the new 777 when it comes out is capable of going further than the 340, isn’t it? Is there anyone out there who can say whether these figures are true?

I know for a fact that on shorter legs, the 777 fuel burn is significantly less than the A430s, as I was in Auckland recently and heard an A340-500 and a 777-300 both pass their fuel figures over the company radio. The 340 was heading for Sydney, the 777 for Brisbane (which is a little further). I can’t remember the exact figures, but the 340’s burn was a lot more than the 777’s, (as in many tons more), and the 773 carries a lot more passengers than the 340-500. Don’t know the loads of the two aircraft, but even if the 777 had been empty and the 340 full, the difference in the fuel burn was still amazing.

Someone told me some time ago that any sector under 10.5 hours was a loss maker for the 340. Again, this is all hearsay.

11th Feb 2004, 23:43
Maybe the A380 will beat it though. :E

12th Feb 2004, 01:30
Fubaar, somebody is having you on.
Manufacturer's published figures for empty weight (OWE):

A340-500 170.4T
A340-600 177.0T
B777-300ER 167.8T

12th Feb 2004, 02:07
Anyone know the current longest commercial flights from LAX in the 744, 772, and 763? SYD? HKG?

Just curious?


Pax Vobiscum
12th Feb 2004, 05:02
Qantas fly MEL-LAX nonstop (QF93) in a 744, scheduled for 14hr 5 min. Return flight (QF94) is 15hr 15 min.

Ought to be a contender, Snakum.

Buster Hyman
12th Feb 2004, 06:07
MK used to do MEL-MRU in a 762ER. That was somewhere in the vicinity of 14 hours...ETOPS.

12th Feb 2004, 06:50
Hi Snakum,

Once did a LAX-BKK in a 744F. Just under 17 Hrs A/B. Quite long enough!

Old Aero Guy
12th Feb 2004, 21:24
I think that Fubaar has the right idea about the 777-300ER vs A340-600 relative weight story but is a little off in magnitude.
Using the OWE's provided by supercarb, a 777-300ER with 100 pax & bags weighs the same as an empty A340-600.
Still, this ought to make for some interesting economic comparisons.