Pavlin From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3716 times:
Take for example a 13000km flight. Very few planes (777-200ER, 300ER, 747-400 and A340-500/600) can handle it with one flight.
My question is if it wouldn't be cheaper if a plane landed some 6000-7000 km into the flight and make a quick refuel (20minutes, something like formula 1) and takeoff again?
Since the plane would be lighter because it wouldn't need to carry all the fuel in one flight, it would also consume less and carry more payload. I know that when climbing the engines burn a lot of fuel, but on a 13000 km flight it would still use a less if you would make a short stop? And landing fees are not so high, that they would matter so much?
Starlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17300 posts, RR: 67
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3681 times:
This has been discussed before but it was a while ago. I don't mind a repeat.
Your argument has merit, but it is still better to go all the way if the aircraft can handle it. Take-off and climb use much, much more fuel than cruising, even with the lighter load of a shorter flight. Also, you are adding at the very least 1ï¿½ hours to your total time. 20 minutes for refueling in itself might be feasible, but you have to descend, get into the patter, land, taxi, refuel, taxi, take off, climb. Takes longer.
You talk about landing fees, but there are other costs:
- Extra flight planning.
- Ground staff.
- Extra flight time = extra crew pay.
- Extra flight time = potentially extra catering.
I have a vague memory of Captain Squares doing a ballpark calculation once on the relative costs, or at least fuel consumption in take-off climb compared to cruise. There was a huge difference.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."