Bruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5035 posts, RR: 17 Posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2923 times:
I always get them mixed up. Which direction do planes on long haul flights usually need a fuel stop? I want to say eastbound....because I'm thinking there is increased wind and therefore higher fuel burn. But doesnt the prevailing winds flow from west to east? That would give an eastbound a tailwind.
I've seen several flights on the trackers that are able to make long hauls westbound but not eastbound. For example, a flight out of New York can go to HKG non stop but coming back they will probably need a fuel stop. Freighters thatgo between Huntsville and Asia can go westbound non stop but almost always stop in ANC on the way back, with 742's sometimes needing an extra stop.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
PolAir From United States of America, joined May 2001, 893 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2729 times:
General direction of winds (round a world I think) is from west to east. Therefore, eastbound flights will most likely fly faster (tail wind) and burn less fuel, therefore not requiring to stop. I hope that helps.
411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 9 Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2704 times:
Keep in mind that freighter aircraft, when departing westbound from the USA are rather light...ie; not much cargo.
Lighter weights, with jet transport aircraft, result in a much lower hourly fuel burn, headwind or not.
Westbound, from Asia, for example, they are very heavy (lots of cargo) and as a result, a fuel stop might definitely be required, even with a tailwind.
CitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2312 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2664 times:
NYC to HKG is not really a westbound flight. It is more a north-south routing.
Go to Great Circle Mapper http://gc.kls2.com/ and enter JFK-HKG. You will see that the flight goes straight north, near the North pole.
PolAir From United States of America, joined May 2001, 893 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2623 times:
I am not an expert, but 90% of time gound speed will be higher eastbound (at higher altitudes). A lot depends if you can catch a jetstream, it will give you hell of a boost, and as far as I know jetstream can head north, east or south but never west ( correct me here).
Like Citation said, HKG-NYC is not really westbound.