Air India makes world's longest non-stop flight
Thursday, 27 October 2016

Air India has won the world title for the longest non-stop flight route. The airline's flight from Delhi to San Francisco was originally the second longest flight, behind the Emirates Auckland to Dubai flight that took 8,825 miles.

But earlier this month, Air India switched the direction its flight took to get to San Francisco, traversing the Pacific Ocean instead of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

The change added 870 miles to the route, giving it a total of 9,506 miles and nabbing the company the 'world's longest' title.

Incredibly though, although the route was significantly longer, it took almost two hours less than the original journey - lasting 14 hours and 30 minutes in total.

 

The time saving came down to strong tailwinds, which occur when the plane is heading in the same direction as the wind.

This means that the winds push the plane along, helping it to travel faster.

An Air India official told the Times Of India that the original route meant the Boeing 777 plane was often battling strong headwinds - the opposite to tailwinds - which slowed it down.

 

They said: 'The Earth rotates from west to east, and winds flow in that direction too.

'While taking the [western] Atlantic route to San Francisco, we usually face headwinds of 15mph, which means that if our aircraft is doing 497mph, its actual ground speed is 482mph.

'Taking the [eastern] Pacific route will mean getting tailwinds of 86mph, which make the aircraft have an actual ground speed of 582mph.'

Air India's Delhi to San Francisco flight on the Pacific route is now expected to hold the title for world's longest flight for two years.

In 2018, Singapore Airline is launching a Singapore to New flight on A350 ultra-long-range aircraft that will cover 10,252 miles in 19 hours.

 



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