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November 14, 2005

A new flying "record"

Boeing has established that their new 777-200LR "long range" is very long range, indeed. During Nov. 9-10 in a multitude of time zones lasting almost 23 hours, their test aircraft flew 11,664 nautical miles (which is 13,423 miles or 21,601 km) from Hong Kong to London. The trip required that they fly across the Pacific, and North America, and the Atlantic. A very impressive performance, though it leaves me scratching my head with a practical question: even if you have such an airliner, why would you fly it more than halfway around the world? I know, I know, stronger, faster, higher...

Posted by The Greatness at November 14, 2005 08:41 AM


What if you're flying exactly halfway around the world, but when you get there, all the airports in the vicinity are shutdown because of a massive double epidemic of bird flu/scurvy? What then, Greatness?!! I think you have to fly on. And it's nice to know Boeing is concerned with the truly important hypotheticals. It's also nice that they build their planes out of metal, unlike those French bastards.

Posted by: Ethridge at November 15, 2005 03:44 PM

I hadn't thought of that. Also, such an airplane would be a necessity should you land at your destination only to find you have arrived in a spent world a la The Langoliers. You would of course have to use the gas you brought with you to get home. And the autopilot.

Posted by: The Greatness at November 15, 2005 03:57 PM

I hear autopilots are very good at takeoffs and landings.

Posted by: Ethridge at November 16, 2005 10:34 AM

They're actually pretty good at landings. That's the source of the old airline maintenance joke where the pilot complains to the mechanic that the autopilot lands rough and the mechanic says "there is no autolander on this plane"...

Posted by: The Greatness at November 16, 2005 03:57 PM