EIPremier From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1533 posts, RR: 2 Posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1514 times:
I have been tracking the AS ANC-LAX flight prior to taking it, and have noticed on at least two occasions that a 737-400 was subbed for a 737-700 on this route (once in each direction). I guess I'm surprised the 737-400 has sufficient range to make the trip non-stop. The distance is 2345 miles, although it must be routed along the coast as a non-ETOPS aircraft, this adds another 50 or so miles. Isn't this pushing max range? I know US used 737-400 for some transcons, although I believe these aircraft had auxilary fuel tanks. I know AS had a 734 flight on ORD-SEA (1721 mi), and the westbound trip actually had to make a fuel stop on one occasion I can recall due to very strong headwinds.
AS739X From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 5834 posts, RR: 23 Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1486 times:
Alaska -400 do not has aux tanks. But with a light load the -400 can do the ANC-LAX with sufficient reserve. The flight you see (Flight 106) has less then 60 passengers. The tough flight is LAX-ANC which I don't think can be done with bad weather on the ANC end and I never saw it leave with more the 45 pax.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
EIPremier From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1533 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1482 times:
AFAIK, AS did not install auxillary tanks on the 734s, because AS carries so much cargo to/from Alaska and that would take away from payload. I know they did (perhaps still do) have auxillary tanks on a few MD-80s, but they are no longer needed since AS uses 737NG for all it's long-haul routes now.
According to the airliners.net aircraft info page, the max range of a 737-400 with full load of 146 pax is 1960 nm which is 2260 mi. Obviously there are a lot of factors (pax/cargo load, temp and wind at departure city, dept runway length, en route weather/winds) that will affect the range. But, I still wonder if this flight would be even possible with max payload.