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Max. Cruising Altitude For Extra-long Flights  
User currently offlineEmrecan From Turkey, joined Feb 2000, 944 posts, RR: 7
Posted (9 years 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5698 times:

Hi everyone.

I am curious about the maximum cruising altitude for the long range flights. I mean 15-16 hrs flights. (SIN-LAX or SYD-LAX or SIN-JFK).

thnx for the replies

[Edited 2005-11-25 14:17:55]

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8171 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5654 times:

Even on the longest of flights, they don't tend to go any higher than 39,000 feet. If the aircraft is right on it's max takeoff weight, they might spend more of the flight lower, ie 28,000 feet initial cruise, then a step climb as fuel burns off. I remember early 747-100s used to start the cruise at 25,000 feet (and people say the A340 is underpowered! haha!). The highest I've ever flown on a conventional airliner is 41,000 feet, but not necessarily on the longest flights. I remember hitting FL410 flying from London to Charlotte NC on a 767-200. I don't remember going above FL390 on any of the proper-longhaul flights I regularly do (eg LAX-SYD, NRT-LHR et al).

The exception is the 747SP. I spoke to the cockpit crew of the Iranair SP that took many of us a.netters around Cologne last year, and the captain said the 747SP is the most capable aircraft ever built - range, endurance, max altitude, speed etc. They were ferrying the SP empty back to Teheran, and had filed a cruise altitude of 43,000 feet. No other airliner can do that, no way.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineEmrecan From Turkey, joined Feb 2000, 944 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5646 times:

43,000 feet wowwwww

They were looking the world from the top  Smile


User currently offlineBBJII From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 850 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5627 times:

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 1):
cruise altitude of 43,000 feet. No other airliner can do that, no way.

Concorde could i think its was 55000,60000ft?...but now it flies at 000000ft  Sad


 wave 



Remember: The Bird Hit You, You Didn't Hit The Bird.....
User currently offlineArt at ISP From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 183 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5480 times:

I recall once or twice on UA 767-200's being at 430 for the last leg of a transcon. It was likely due to winds, but it happened at least twice that I can remember.

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5470 times:

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 1):
They were ferrying the SP empty back to Teheran, and had filed a cruise altitude of 43,000 feet. No other airliner can do that, no way.

The B-767 is limited to 43,100 feet so it can cruise at FL430. (I suppose that depends on the local atmospheric pressure along the route, though that seems far-fetched.)



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineJulesmusician From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5453 times:

I remember a flight I did on the flight deck of a 757. I specifically requested whether in the flight from London Heathrow to Edinburgh all of 1hr or so we could top 40,000. The captain said he would give it a go but it would be close. As we tagged the autopilot up to 40,000 we touched it for about two minutes before starting the descent. Probably cost BA considerable more fuel, but oil was cheaper then  Smile

J


User currently offlineMr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5409 times:

It's possible for airliners to cruise at very altittudes if theya re relatively light, usually close to the end of the trip nearing the destination. I've also seen on flight trackers SQ B747s crossing the atlantic at FL 390 climibng to FL 430 when closing in on the eastern US coast.


Boeing747 万岁!
User currently offlineStar_world From Ireland, joined Jun 2001, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5406 times:

Quoting Julesmusician (Reply 6):
I remember a flight I did on the flight deck of a 757. I specifically requested whether in the flight from London Heathrow to Edinburgh all of 1hr or so we could top 40,000. The captain said he would give it a go but it would be close. As we tagged the autopilot up to 40,000 we touched it for about two minutes before starting the descent. Probably cost BA considerable more fuel, but oil was cheaper then Smile

Hmmm I presume this was in a BA simulator rather than a real aircraft. BA captains don't just "give it a go" to reach altitudes that someone in the jumpseat requests....!


User currently offlineDoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3437 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5283 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 5):
(I suppose that depends on the local atmospheric pressure along the route, though that seems far-fetched.)

why would local baro settings matter above transition alt?



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5259 times:

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 9):
why would local baro settings matter above transition alt?

Well, as I indicated I consider it a little far-fetched but a possible problem. Because local baro settings are considered to affect the pressures at heights above the surface* On the other hand the type certificate limitation of 43,100 feet is expressed in altitude, not flight level.

So, presumablly when flying at FL430 if the air mass pressure in the region was very high, you might be higher than 43,100 feet absolute while indicating an even 43. It would not create a collision hazard because all aircraft would be flying with the 1013MB reference, but you might be flying at an absolute height greater than permitted by the type certificate.

Again, unlikely to cause you a problem, but theoretically against the rules.

* See the AIM, Section 7-2-2 regarding Lowest Usable Flight Levels with local altimeter settings lower than 29.93"hg (1013.2MB)



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineLY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2728 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5249 times:

most of the time, when I travell, we cruise at 37'000 feet


אמא, אני מתגעגע לך
User currently offlineCapt_smith From United States of America, joined May 2000, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 20 hours ago) and read 5187 times:

I was playing around with a GPS unit while flying WN from CMH to TPA and I swear the altitude I saw displayed after we reached cruise, was FL410. This varied a little, but stayed in that range for most of the flight. The funny thing is, I THOUGHT the capt. had mentioned reaching 39,000 f t. all the while I was seeing 41,000. Surely my GPS could not have been off that much. Can anyone explain what might have been going on?

User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 19 hours ago) and read 5168 times:

Quoting Capt_smith (Reply 12):
Surely my GPS could not have been off that much. Can anyone explain what might have been going on?

Pressure Alt was probably 39,000.. Actual Altitude could have been 41,000. As far as the Altimeter knew the airplane was at 39,000


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