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ULR Flights Are An Irresponsible Waste Of Fuel?  
User currently offlineArt From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3398 posts, RR: 1
Posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2975 times:

It occurs to me that if an aircraft flies direct from Europe to Australia, it has to carry about twice as much fuel as it would if it stopped to refuel at half distance. For the first half of the direct flight, the aircraft will be carrying tens of tons of fuel more than if it was fuelled to stop halfway.

Even allowing for extra fuel used to descend and climb due to a technical stop, I wonder how much extra fuel is used flying direct (for the payload carried) compared with that used if a technical stop is made. My guess is that there is a dramatic increase. in fuel consumption per payload ton That seems a pretty irresponsible way for long distance aviation to operate. Should airlines (and manufacturers) therefore abandon the idea of ULR flights? Should governments put punitive taxes on such flights to discourage them?

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

It's actually far less efficient to do a refueling stop. I know it was looked into for a couple of potential routes with my company and the fuel burn of takeoff and climb far outweighs any gains from having a lighter aircraft.

User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2877 times:

I just hope politicians don't do a Google search on ULR flights, read only the thread-starter, and decide to tax the hell out of them.  vomit 

User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2859 times:

if the thesis was true, airlines would be constantly cutting routes "in half" in search of the supposedly lower fuel burn. obviously, the thesis is not correct.

User currently offlineWingedMigrator From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2260 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2817 times:

Quoting Art (Thread starter):
I wonder how much extra fuel is used flying direct

Roughly 15% more, using the same (heavy) ULR aircraft, or 20% more if you account for the fact that the one-stop flight can be flown at the same payload with a lighter non-ULR aircraft.

Quoting ILOVEA340 (Reply 1):
It's actually far less efficient to do a refueling stop. I know it was looked into for a couple of potential routes with my company and the fuel burn of takeoff and climb far outweighs any gains from having a lighter aircraft.

Since it is unlikely that 15% of the fuel load is used for takeoff and climb, I highly doubt this assertion.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 3):
if the thesis was true, airlines would be constantly cutting routes "in half" in search of the supposedly lower fuel burn. obviously, the thesis is not correct.

Dubai is (and increasingly will be) a great example.


User currently offlineArt From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2661 times:

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 3):
if the thesis was true, airlines would be constantly cutting routes "in half" in search of the supposedly lower fuel burn. obviously, the thesis is not correct.

There are other factors at play - an extra compression/decompression cycle, landing costs etc


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