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Zoedyn
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How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:30 pm

Image

You might notice sth odd about the map above at first glance. Yes, it shows all the current intercontinental non-stop routes served at PEK. However, it's all clear to see that only destinations in South America, of all the populated continents in the world, are conspicuously absent from the airport's list of non-stop services. In fact, pretty much the same can be said of other major hub airports in East Asia, e.g., HKG, ICN, HND, all of which lack non-stop services to such major cities as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago in South America.

A central cause for this sorry state of affair is of course that East Asia and part of South America are largely antipodally separated from one other in geography, with an impossible distance beyond the furthest range of commercially viable civil aircrafts now in use.

Nevertheless, aircraft manufacturers are making tremendous progress in developing ever-better aircrafts with higher fuel efficiency, greater passenger comfort and further flying range, making a reality/near-reality previously unviable routes like the upcoming PER-LHR using B787-900, SYD-JFK (not available yet but highly likely in years to come), etc.

So, in the wake of such technological advances, how soon will we be able to have a type of new aircraft come to light, which would overcome the ultimate hurdle of distance approximating 20,000 km, the distance between antipodes? Or specifically, how many decades will we have to be continuing to wait before ppl living in East Asia can take a non-stop flight from either PEK or HKG heading for GRU/EZE, or vice versa? (BTW, São Paulo in Brazil remains the biggest unserved long-haul destination from China so far, statistics show)

Below is a list of some major near-antipodes routes and the distances to challenge the range capability of any aircraft to claim the crown of having truly ultra long range.
KUL—CUE 19955 km
TPE—ASU 19904 km
XIY—SCL 19882 km
CKG—BOG 19830 km
PEK—BHI 19827 km
SIN—UIO 19734 km
BKK—LIM 19726 km
MNL—CGB 19697 km
ICN—MVD 19644 km
PVG—EZE 19596 km

Image
Last edited by Zoedyn on Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Vio
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:37 pm

Good questions. My opinion is not that of an expert; hence "MY OPINION". I see a few things here:

1. Market. Is there a strong business / leisure market from Asia to South America? In the last 20 years or so, we saw a huge spike in Chinese citizens visiting abroad. Brasil is also (correct me if I'm wrong), South America's largest economy. There is potential.

2. Technology will improve. Before you know it, you'll have the range, but this brings me to step #3

3. Given today's technology, I think the issue is "speed" I've flown YVR - SYD on Air Canada 777 and BNE - YVR on the B787. They were insanely long and seats in economy were "cramped" at best. There's now way I want to sit in an aircraft for that long. It's unhealthy. Until the speed is cut in half and you can make the 20,000 KM flight in 10 to 12 hours, I don't think it'll be something people will forward to.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
 
c933103
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:40 pm

I think 359ULR can already serve GRU-SIN/URC?
 
rnav2dlrey
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:23 pm

distance is just one of many issues with these routes. ETOPS, terrain, temperature and available runway are all essential logistical considerations. many of your examples can be flown today, if distance was the only issue.

this is also to say nothing about demand. fuel is heavy, and you need lots of it to fly ULH. airlines need to have an economic justification to do that.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:05 pm

They’re all 11,000-ish nautical miles, can’t think of a current airliner that can reliably do that leg. EWR-SIN is about the longest regular route at 8300 nm (15,350km). DFW-SYD is about 250 nm farther. Your routes are about 6.5 hours longer than anything today—huge leap. Nearly 24 hours, block to block. It’s very expensive to operate ULR, especially fuel burns, so there has to be a large permium market.

Then, you have ask how many Koreans go to Uruguay or Paraguayans going to Taipei?

GF
 
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Zoedyn
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:09 am

Vio wrote:
Good questions. My opinion is not that of an expert; hence "MY OPINION". I see a few things here:

1. Market. Is there a strong business / leisure market from Asia to South America? In the last 20 years or so, we saw a huge spike in Chinese citizens visiting abroad. Brasil is also (correct me if I'm wrong), South America's largest economy. There is potential.

2. Technology will improve. Before you know it, you'll have the range, but this brings me to step #3

3. Given today's technology, I think the issue is "speed" I've flown YVR - SYD on Air Canada 777 and BNE - YVR on the B787. They were insanely long and seats in economy were "cramped" at best. There's now way I want to sit in an aircraft for that long. It's unhealthy. Until the speed is cut in half and you can make the 20,000 KM flight in 10 to 12 hours, I don't think it'll be something people will forward to.


Yes, it is true, and it is also why COMMERCIALLY VIABLE aircrafts need to be emphasized, not the sort of aircrafts for military or showcasing experimental purposes that have long been known to exist already.

But the key element in the topic here is still how soon human intelligence would be able to come up with genius technologies of aircrafts that meet the fundamental requirements of commercially viable flights as you implied in yr last point.

The challenges are clearly known there, but we simply don't know when they would be overcome.
 
WIederling
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:27 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
They’re all 11,000-ish nautical miles, can’t think of a current airliner that can reliably do that leg. EWR-SIN is about the longest regular route at 8300 nm (15,350km). DFW-SYD is about 250 nm farther.


If you go near the 180 * 60 nm antipodes distance chances are you can select the direction that will _always_ give you jet stream advantages.
i.e. the effectively flown distance will be less than the geographic 10800nm half circle route.
Murphy is an optimist
 
kalvado
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:51 am

WIederling wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
They’re all 11,000-ish nautical miles, can’t think of a current airliner that can reliably do that leg. EWR-SIN is about the longest regular route at 8300 nm (15,350km). DFW-SYD is about 250 nm farther.


If you go near the 180 * 60 nm antipodes distance chances are you can select the direction that will _always_ give you jet stream advantages.
i.e. the effectively flown distance will be less than the geographic 10800nm half circle route.

You can always find a point, which is furtherst away in terms of still air range / flight time from a given location. And I believe it will be further (still air) than 180*60.
 
kalvado
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:04 pm

Few things here: first, once you're past 1/4 of equator, you enter the range of diminishing returns - each extra mile brings less and less extra footprint. Once you're past 3/8 of a turn =15 000 km =8 000 nautical miles, returns are diminishing very fast.
Second, combination of time (using subsonic aircraft), weight of pax amenities (floor space, seat cushions), and energy density make cost grow exponentially.
I can see 2 ways out here: completely new technology (fusion powered suborbital flight as ultimate goal) or capitalizing on connection as an experience of its own (hello, ME3!).

Another interesting way of looking at it is a concept of land and water hemispheres (wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_and_ ... emispheres)
Look at this picture:
Image
Australia is pretty much the only significant part of populated world "on the other side" - and LHR-SYD and JFK-SYD are the ultimate long haul goals.
"edge to edge" flying on land hemisphere is also only that big, and connection/telecommute may be a long term way to go.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:24 pm

WIederling wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
They’re all 11,000-ish nautical miles, can’t think of a current airliner that can reliably do that leg. EWR-SIN is about the longest regular route at 8300 nm (15,350km). DFW-SYD is about 250 nm farther.


If you go near the 180 * 60 nm antipodes distance chances are you can select the direction that will _always_ give you jet stream advantages.
i.e. the effectively flown distance will be less than the geographic 10800nm half circle route.


True, but the OP’s proposed flights are about 33% longer than today’s longest routes, which already have jet streams used, so it’s hard to believe there will be, say, and extra 60-80 knots of wind factor added on. Plus many are trans-polar, not notably wind driven routes.

GF
 
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lightsaber
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:04 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
They’re all 11,000-ish nautical miles, can’t think of a current airliner that can reliably do that leg. EWR-SIN is about the longest regular route at 8300 nm (15,350km). DFW-SYD is about 250 nm farther. Your routes are about 6.5 hours longer than anything today—huge leap. Nearly 24 hours, block to block. It’s very expensive to operate ULR, especially fuel burns, so there has to be a large permium market.

Then, you have ask how many Koreans go to Uruguay or Paraguayans going to Taipei?

GF

It is that we expense. Too many of the top paying customers will go by business jets. If flying a team, chartering a business jets with one fuel stop makes sense. In particular if you avoid a connection.

Every additional mile (or I'm) is more expensive than the optimal design range as more fuel must be carried. About 5,500nm with today's technology. Now, there is enough J traffic for some longer routes.


To others:
ULH is exciting because premium fares drive routes that wouldn't otherwise be economical. The A359ULH and 778 will open new markets thanks to their lower cost per flight.

But getting another thousand nm of range? Not this decade.

Lightsaber
You only have the first amendment with the 2nd. If you're not going to offend someone with what you say, you don't have the 1st.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:02 am

When the Fuel burn of a jet that is designed to carry a Full payload out to the standard sort of long range (5-6knm) then has enough in the bank when swapping cargo for fuel. So when the slope of ever decreasing gradient at the end of the payload range curve is such that this swapping of cargo for fuel gives you the required range at typical pax payload.

It is my guess/understanding that the aircraft are designed around this 5-6knm range rather than the headline figures we see. The payloads required to be lifted aren't getting lower but the fuel required to get somewhere is and so the typical pax layout range is getting further.

Fred
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:50 pm

In my latest life, I had to do an hour by hour fuel burn comparison on a large, long-range business jet for a potential deal. The first two hours had the highest burns, naturally as a greater percentage of the time was spent at high power climbing. Pretty linearly, average hourly burns went down to about a seven hour flight, where they headed back up going out to twelve hours. So, I would you think you’re quite correct, the least fuel cost would be on flights of around 55%-67% of the maximum range.

Hence the need for lots of premium passengers on ULR.

GF
 
KRIC777
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:17 pm

Even if a plane can be developed with that kind of range, are we not talking about distances that aren't going to be feasible from a *passenger* perspective until it can be done via some sort of supersonic/transonic flight?
I love planes, but I don't want to sit on one for 20 hours. It would be one thing on a comfortable private business jet with plenty of room to stretch out..but in a typical airline configuration that would be profitable -- count me out!
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How soon will we see civil aircrafts conquer the planet's ultimate distance by flying antipodes city pairs?

Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:06 pm

I’ve spent 12 hours in a business, Global Express the roomiest one, and it was too long.

GF

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