boswashsprstar From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 188 posts, RR: 0 Posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 17526 times:
I was recently on a flight from the Middle East to New York, which I have occasionally heard referred to as a ULH route, and was thinking about how EK/EY/QR only started doing that route nonstop once they had A345s and 77Ls in service. However, it's not really that long of a trip--about 14 hours, similar to JFK-NRT. So, a few questions for my curiosity:
Did the Middle Eastern giants wait for the latest gen ULH aircraft because of the poor performance when taking off in desert temperatures? Or could the 744 have made the trip, but it just happens that those carriers never operated the 744?
How long have routes of around that length--say JFK-NRT and LAX-SYD--been operated nonstop? What was the first aircraft capable of those types of missions? I'm guessing the 742?
LHCVG From United States of America, joined exactly 4 years ago today! , 1369 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 17478 times:
The 747SP would be the first true ULH aircraft, and JFK-Tokyo was one of the routes it was designed for, so that would put that route at roughly 40 years old (just shy). Fun fact: according to Wikipedia, the SP sold 45 frames vs. 34 for the 345 and 57 for the 77L.
cargolex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1169 posts, RR: 9 Reply 3, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 17264 times:
The 747SP was definitely the first ULH-capable plane. The 747-400 and then the A340 eclipsed it, but from 1976 to 1989, it was more or less the only aircraft capable of what was then thought of as ULH. It isn't an ultra-long-haul aircraft compared to the 77L or A345, but at the time it could do missions no other aircraft could do.
The SP was used on a variety of ULH routes, mostly to Asia/Australia but also to the middle east. One reason Braniff got the SP was that they wanted to fly DFW-Bahrain, which might have been a profitable route if they'd been able to do it - though by the time the equipment was in place Braniff's situation was deteriorating quickly, so I don't think that happened. It's no coincidence though, that the only carriers who bought the SP were those who really needed them for distance or had routes where they thought they could use them profitably - Pan Am, CAAC, China Airlines, Qantas, SAA, etc., with only a few exceptions.
As for the Middle Eastern carriers...
EK/EY/QR were very young carriers when the 744 was new and didn't even exist when the SP was around - so it's natural that they would not have ordered these aircraft back in those days. By the time they'd grown large enough to justify flying nonstop between Abu Dhabi and New York, they had access to the A340-500 and 77L, or soon would, and the 744 wouldn't have made sense to acquire.
Two middle eastern carriers did buy them for passenger operations - Syrian and Iran Air. I don't know much about Syrian Air but Iran Air did (and does) use them long haul for many destinations including, before the revolution, JFK.
airzim From Zimbabwe, joined Jun 2001, 1105 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 16938 times:
Quoting boswashsprstar (Thread starter): Did the Middle Eastern giants wait for the latest gen ULH aircraft because of the poor performance when taking off in desert temperatures? Or could the 744 have made the trip, but it just happens that those carriers never operated the 744?
You have to remember Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha that we know today were essentially villages 30 years ago. These cities have exploded as a result of state directed investment, and partly driven by their respective national government desire to build carriers through aggressive expansion. Until recently, most of these countries made entry visas painful (much like Kuwait and Saudi today) If nothing else, these airports were primarily refueling stations before between Europe and SE Asia before the 744's hit the scene.
Even as short as 20 years ago, Gulf Air was the dominate airline in the region, QR was a back packer carrier flying 747's from LGW via DOH to KTM, EK had probabaly less than 20 planes, and Etihad didn't even exist.
Let's also keep in mind that the 747SP cost about as much to operate as a 742, but with 100 less seats. The plane was a killer on the balance sheet. Boeing killed itself on this plane with the 742B's. The 200B's performance satisfied many markets which the 747SP was designed to handle. I believe JFK-NRT and NRT-LHR come to mind.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 21507 posts, RR: 24 Reply 6, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 16844 times:
Quoting cargolex (Reply 3): Two middle eastern carriers did buy them for passenger operations - Syrian and Iran Air. I don't know much about Syrian Air but Iran Air did (and does) use them long haul for many destinations including, before the revolution, JFK.
747SP nonstop services U.S.-Middle East included:
I don't think Syrianair ever used their SPs on routes that required the SP's range.
mozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2015 posts, RR: 14 Reply 7, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 16835 times:
What I find interesting to observe is how companies like Emirates wait for ULH planes to be launched before flying nonstop to - for instance - the US East Coast. The first DXB-JFK flights were on the A345. Some flights also routed through Hamburg (not so long ago), also on the A345 IIRC. Today that route is flown by a "mere" B777-300ER, whilst the A345 are all used on much shorter routes. Probably EK's rationale is that routes for which the A345 was originally acquired can today be operated more economically with B77Ls and B77Ws, so they use the economic disadvantage of the A345 only on shorter routes. What surprises me though is why they don't get rid of their A345s altogether? Why keep them and fly them to Vienna and Beirut? Is their plane shortage so acute as to keep otherwise unattractive planes in the fleet?
The other carrier which first served the Gulf-USA route with a stop was Qatar, who stopped over in Geneva en route to Washington. And wasn't Etihad also stopping in Geneva en route to New York? All of this is about ten years ago or even less.
So the nonstop Gulf-USA flights is a very recent phenomenon, and even more recent are ULH flights from the Gulf to South America. Having said that Sao Paulo now sees all three (EK, QR, EY), Buenos Aires has two (EK, QR), and Emirates goes to Rio de Janeiro. There only spots left that have no nonstop connection to the Gulf region despite some sizeable international gateways are Northern Cone/Pacific Coast South America, Mexico/Central America, New Zealand and - although less important gateways in international aviation - Pacific islands like the Hawaii archipel or Polynesia.
seabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 4277 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 16767 times:
Quoting mozart (Reply 7): What surprises me though is why they don't get rid of their A345s altogether? Why keep them and fly them to Vienna and Beirut? Is their plane shortage so acute as to keep otherwise unattractive planes in the fleet?
It's more expensive to get rid of a plane with low resale value than it is to keep it flying in the most appropriate niche. EK has been using their A345s to handle routes that are short but super-premium. On these routes, the fuel burn disadvantage matters less, but the A345's ability to lift very heavy premium hard products is still a big advantage. This also gives them the flexibility to use the A345 on long-haul when it fits the schedule best.
Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 21507 posts, RR: 24 Reply 9, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 16683 times:
Quoting mozart (Reply 7): So the nonstop Gulf-USA flights is a very recent phenomenon,
Don't you consider Saudi Arabia and Iran as the "Gulf"? As mentioned in an earlier reply, 747SPs were operating nonstop JFK-THR (IR), JFK-JED (SV) and JFK-DHA(PA) in the late 1970s, about 35 years ago.
ktachiya From Japan, joined Sep 2004, 1729 posts, RR: 2 Reply 13, posted (11 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 15885 times:
Quoting airzim (Reply 5): he 200B's performance satisfied many markets which the 747SP was designed to handle
I heard that until enhanced engines for the B747-200B came out, the 747SP was the only aircraft capable of flying JFK-NRT. Until JAL acquired the 200B with the JT9D-7R4G2 engines (the engines carried on their vanished B747-300 fleet), JAL flew to JFK via a tech-stop in ANC with a DC-10-40.
BLRAviation From India, joined Feb 2009, 194 posts, RR: 14 Reply 14, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 15645 times:
Still remember the AA 747SP flights DFW-NRT. Huge business class and minuscule coach class (by normal 747 standards of those days).
If one has to talk about ULH services, we cannot overlook the SIN-EWR, SIN-LAX, and BKK-LAX operated by SQ and TG. All these flights use the A345 and I have used to be a regular on them.
I still remember the inaugural return flight LAX-SIN. The flight was 4 hours early in to LAX due to tail winds, and there was concern whether the 18 hour return flight would turn in to a 22 hour one, which of course, would necessitate a re-fuelling stop. So the captain decided to take an equatorial route from LAX over Hawaii, Philippines, and on to Singapore. A massive 170 tons of fuel. 20 hours later we all breathed a sigh of relief when we landed in Singapore, non-stop.
Singapore Airlines had all their cockpit crew connected up measuring brain waves etc., since they really did not have definitive data on the effects these ULH flights had on the human body and by extension their flight crew.
The SIN-EWR flight is about 20 hours in each direction and both legs are flown eastbound due to winds. Regularly goes very close to the north pole. Eerie to see out of the window. Its a night purple sky and all you can see is the huge swathe of white on the ground.
But by and large the A345 is a failure. Apart from the killer fuel costs, even EK flies it DXB-MEL where they do not have too much load, rather than for the distance. Also, Boeing has improved the 777-300ER to the point EK can cover most points in the globe with this aircraft.
triple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 681 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 15404 times:
The 747SP was the first airplane that could fly the ultra long haul routes. The reason it is shorter was to make it lighter, where it could fly higher and burn less fuel, giving it the range. Before the 747SP if you wanted to fly JFK-NRT you would need to fly by way of LAX or SFO. And if there were heavy headwinds, a fuel stop at ANC was required. The 747-200 had the range to fly LAX-NRT but it was getting close to it's limits. The 747-400 changed all that when it came out in 1988. It had the range of the SP plus the space. The 777-300ER and 777-200LR can fly even further.
AA flew the 747SP DFW-NRT and later replaced it with the MD-11, which had a lot of mixed reviews. With the purchase of the 777-200ER, AA can fly JFK/DFW/ORD/LAX-NRT easily.
DIRECTFLT From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 39 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 14142 times:
I remember seeing the AA 747SP at DFW. It was a site to behold. Like a Space-Age plane, in it's appearance.
I flew on the MD-11, within the US, and I was not impressed with it.
I've never been on a 747, but I'd like to, just to have done it.
But honestly, any flight over 10 hours, and I'm ready to land and lesiurely walk around for awhile, before the next leg of along trip, assuming I won't have to change terminals, or go through customs hell, like at Miami, where you walk for what seems forever to get to customs, and then make that same long walk back to about where you got off the plane.
Smoothest Ride so far: AA A300B4-600R ~~ Favorite Aviation Author ~ Robert J. Serling
Quote: The Fw 200 was the first heavier-than-air craft to fly nonstop between Berlin and New York City, making the journey on 10 August 1938 in 24 hours and 56 minutes. The return trip on 13 August 1938 took 19 hours and 47 minutes.
But in revenue service, it carried 30 passengers 810 nm... is this still ULH, considering the state of airplane engineering then?
trent1000 From Japan, joined Jan 2007, 423 posts, RR: 2 Reply 19, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12095 times:
I knew someone who flew SYD/KUL/LHR in 1976 on what was then Malaysia-Air System. This was probably on one of their new DC10s. Back then, KUL to LHR non-stop was a big deal & certainly long haul (probably seemed ultra haul).
I didn't realise that MAS didn't get their first 747 until as late as 1989!
But then...in 1997, Malaysian Airlines flew the world's longest non-commercial, non-stop flight from Boeing Field in Seattle to Kuala Lumpur, flying eastward passing the European and African continents and breaking the Great Circle Distance Without Landing record for an airliner on a Boeing 777-200ER; this record is now held by the Boeing 777-200LR. http://www.jctrans.net/Content/tool/plane/MalaysiaAir.htm
blink182 From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 1999, 5430 posts, RR: 19 Reply 20, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11380 times:
A little surprised JFK-TLV hasn't come up yet; these two cities have been connected since the forties, initially by TW, I believe. I don't know when the route went nonstop and can't seem to dig any information up, but I'm fairly confident that this is a prime example of ULH in its early days.
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
jfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 7350 posts, RR: 7 Reply 21, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11325 times:
Quoting trent1000 (Reply 19): I knew someone who flew SYD/KUL/LHR in 1976 on what was then Malaysia-Air System. This was probably on one of their new DC10s. Back then, KUL to LHR non-stop was a big deal & certainly long haul (probably seemed ultra haul).
MAS DC-10-30 flew to LHR with a stop in Bahrain or Dubai, not Nonstop. SYD to LHR was a 2 stop thing back then.
Quoting trent1000 (Reply 19): I didn't realise that MAS didn't get their first 747 until as late as 1989!
Malaysia has 742's flying to Europe from the early 1980's. in 1989 they got 744 which they are still flying to Europe and soon LHR will see only A380's for MAS.
BLRAviation From India, joined Feb 2009, 194 posts, RR: 14 Reply 22, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7335 times:
Another flight, which I do not know if it constitutes as ultra long haul, is CX HKG-JFK service. At 16 hours 8068 miles it is another seriously long haul flight if not a ULH.
Quoting xdlx (Reply 16): Not mentioned here... but a true ULH rote was MIA-JNB on SP and then 742B.... still a ULH by many stds.
Which airline operated this flight?
Quoting triple7man (Reply 15): With the purchase of the 777-200ER, AA can fly JFK/DFW/ORD/LAX-NRT easily.
Despite having lived in the US for over 20 years, I have always been surprised with the US fixation on the 777-200ER. While most carriers in the rest of the world has moved on to the 777-300ER (77W) there was so much hoopla recently when AA became the first carrier to buy the 77W. Not that I mind it, just was surprised since Emirates is right at 100 passenger 777s (may be 101) in their fleet 69 or 70 of them being 77Ws. But I am truly surprised how people withstand such long flight in the 10 abreast pathetic 17 inch wide seats of EK and EY economy class. By comparison 9 abreast are QR, SQ at 19 inch AI and 9W at 18.5. BA is 9 abreast but only 17.5 inches.
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 16838 posts, RR: 57 Reply 23, posted (11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7277 times:
Quoting pilotanthony (Reply 12): Longest flight i have been on is LHR-SEA took about 10 hours with Northwest Airlines on an A330-200!
And you raise a good point. While there are certainly longer flights, the average citizen of the world, even the average frequent flyer, is unlikely to ever take a flight longer than about 14-15 hours and even those are very rare for most people. The vast majority of "long-haul" flights are in the range of 8-12 hours in length. Longest flights I've ever taken were DTW-OSA and SFO-SYD, both on 744's. But the majority of 744's in the world are flying shorter flights of 7-10 hours' duration.
There is a lot more to an airliner than its maximum range, since most airliners will never be used at their maximum range.
The South African SP was also helpful during Apartheid sanctions to hook around the African bulge on flights to Europe, since SA did not have overflight ability, much the same way LY needs to do goofy routings to fly East from TLV.
25 Prinair: I don't believe IAH service on SA was a tag-on to MIA service. SA flew IAH-GIG-CPT-JNB
26 eta unknown: It was JNB-SID-IAH & JNB-SID-JFK. The Syrian SP's were always a curious buy- they never went any further west than LHR, and the easternmost point
27 deltacto: AA had just 78 seats in coach http://boardingarea.com/blogs/freque...ap-american-airlines-boeing-747sp/
28 Viscount724: Pan Am was similar with only 86 seats in Y class on their 747SPs (47 F, 100 J, 86 Y). I think UA retained that configuration when they took over Pan
29 Newark727: It's been touched on already, but I'm curious about the performance of the 747SP versus the 747-200B. Could the 747-200 do transpacific at launch or w
30 eta unknown: Correct. And on SYD-LAX even eastbound they had to make frequent HNL fuel stops.
31 BLRAviation: Were the two SPs that AA used from Pan Am also? I thought someone at AA told me that, but sorry I forget.
32 jfk777: The concept of a ULH flight is one that has expanded since the 747SP first did JFK to NRT in the 1970, then that was ULH now its NOT. LAX to SYD and
33 CO787EWR: So roughly 6600nm+ is considered ULH in your opinion?
34 seabosdca: It's very subjective. But ULH definitely means something different today than it would have in the days when the 747SP was the thing for the longest
35 CZ346: If this ones not considered ULH I'd like to submit a complaint. I do close to 250,000 miles a year with UA and don't have a single leg in the past ye
36 B777LRF: There is no set definition for what constitutes ULH, of even LH, MH or SH. One is therefore, more or less, free to set the parameters, which in my cas
37 BLRAviation: You remind me of myself back in the mid 90's to early 2000's. Very similar, 250K~350K per year, except my airline was SQ, and SIN-LAX, SIN-EWR were c
38 RobertS975: SAA bought the 747SP in part because it was capable of flying certain routes without refueling, and at one point, political issues resulting from apar
39 jfk777: SAA also had to fly around Africa to Europe not over it, when Aparteid ended its flights to LHR from JNB suddenly became a little over 1 hour shorter
40 baje427: In the days before the A340, 777,744 etc what would have been some of the longest routes flown by the DC10, L1011, and 747 sp,200 and 300?
41 CZ346: Haha - It didn't take me too long to get horribly sick of it. I'm from NYC, I live in China, and at any given month bounce between HKG, EWR and GRU.
42 RWA380: eta unknown, you got it, IAH was always a 747sp, and operated via SID, MIA came along much later, IAH was early 80's. And GIG was the fueling stop th
43 ltbewr: I would add changes in politics and governance in many parts of the world over the last 20 or so years has allowed more ULH flights. For many years m
44 DIRECTFLT: The Wiki Non-Stop entry lists the Air India - AI 191, from Delhi to Chicago, on the 777-300ER, as the longest flight by duration at 19:40, but with a
45 Viscount724: Don't trust Wikipedia. AI's nonstop 77W DEL-ORD is AI127 and the block time is 15:55. Leaves DEL 0200, arrives ORD 0725, plus 10.5 hrs time differenc
46 airtechy: Did any of the propliners have the endurance to do 15 -20 hour flights? Jim
47 SonomaFlyer: The Lockheed Starliner could do SFO to LHR non-stop. Other examples are in the linked article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockhee...JlWYX2gkBqh6zmVl
48 RayChuang: I think the reason why SQ bought the 747-400 as an early customer was so it could fly SIN-LHR non-stop and the segment between HKG and SFO on SQ 001/0
49 aquariusHKG: Many I believe, try looking at the West Coast to Europe flight back then also the famous Flying Boat flight during WWII from Australia to Ceylon, 26
50 RWA380: I had heard exactly what you stated, JFK-NRT was the route they wanted to serve, but was also told SFO-HKG or LAX-HKG, LAX-SYD were also routes inten
51 otnysaslhr: In the 60's TREK AIRWAYS operated an L1649 Starliner on the route LUX - JNB, the sector SAL(Cape Verde Islands) to Luanda was scheduled at 16.30hours
52 jfk777: Correct !!! JFK to Tokyo, San Francisco to Hong Kong and LAX to Sydney were the primary 747SP routes, add to that JFK to Dharan, Saudi Arabia. PA-Sau
53 Devilfish: Check out this inspiration for PanAm's 747SP China Clipper ulh TPAC service.....albeit with enroute stops at HNL, MDY, GUM and Wake for the 60-hour j