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747 Classics And Long-haul Flights

Sat Feb 01, 2003 5:38 pm


Back in 1980s there were hardly ever nonstop flights between i.e. FRA and BKK/SIN. They allways made a technical landing in Bahrain or somewhere else enroute. Was this beacause the aircraft could not fly 10-12 hours nonstop or was it because the cabin crew needed rest? Then came 747-400s and nonstop flights increased. Now they are all flying nonstop. But also with 747 classics. What happened?
Lord Howe Island - The Last Paradise
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RE: 747 Classics And Long-haul Flights

Sat Feb 01, 2003 7:57 pm

In part procedures changed, putting replacement crew on board instead of at intermediate stops.
In part customers no longer accept intermediate stops, demanding non-stop flights instead or they go to a competitor.
In part it's simply cheaper to operate without fuelstops as it is faster and eliminates landing fees.

Maybe some airlines have installed uprated engines or other systems in their 747-200s so they burn less fuel making for longer unrefueled range (while different engines aren't allowed, modifications to the certified type probably are as long as the modifications themselves are certified).
I wish I were flying
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RE: 747 Classics And Long-haul Flights

Sat Feb 01, 2003 10:38 pm

The reason might be that when the communist block of countries was up and running western aircraft were restricted on what parts of that block they could fly over, and so it was more convenient to fly the longer route over the middle east. No doubt the 747-400 has a better range that the earlier 747 but not perhaps so good as to allow it to fly non stop to the far east if it had to fly over the MED--Middle East--India. Nowadays I understand they fly from Europe straight out over the old communist block and Russia to Northern India and so to the far east, a much shorter route so allowing Commercial nonstop flights

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RE: 747 Classics And Long-haul Flights

Sat Feb 01, 2003 11:27 pm

Thanks for the answers!

I just read a Singapore Airlines inflight magazine from November 1986. They had their own advertisement there telling that "Just to prove that the shortest distance between two points is Singapore Airlines." There was a picture with an arch from London to Singapore. They went on: "One undisputed law of aerodynamics is that only SIA can fly nonstop from London to Singapore. Any day of the week, except Tuesday and Sunday (which are one-stop flights). En route, you'll enjoy the comforts of our exclusive BIG TOP 747 ..."

I understand this so that their 747-300 (=BIG TOP) was something revolutionary and was back then the only one to fly LHR-SIN nonstop.

As it nowadays is so that even the 747-200s can fly over 12 hours flights, they must have done something to make its performance better.
Lord Howe Island - The Last Paradise
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RE: 747 Classics And Long-haul Flights

Sun Feb 02, 2003 1:20 am

At one time, including the era dominated by 747-200s and DC-10-30s on long hauls, flights from Europe to Japan were also routed through ANC, due to range limitations and the Soviet Union's refusal to allow flights over their territory. All routings therefore available required at least one stop enroute.

In about 1985-87, the Soviets began allowing a limited number of flights through their airspace over Siberia for fairly substantial fee$ and non-stop Europe-Japan flights were inaugurated. Among the first airlines to begin non-stop service to NRT routed over Siberia (as I recall) were Japan Air Lines, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM and SAS, with each airline typically flying Europe-Japan non-stop 1-3 times weekly (though ANC or other stop(s) on other days). During the same period, it seems like the Soviets also required some of the same airlines to route at least one weekly NRT flight with a stop at SVO -- with Aeroflot being granted reciprocal rights for 1-stop (also SVO) same plane (IL-62) service between NRT and the hubs of European airlines with overflight rights.

ANC (as well as SVO) almost totally disappeared from the timetables of European and Japanese airlines as a stop on passenger flights between Europe and Japan by the early 1990s when the airspace over Russia (by then the former Soviet Union) was opened for as many non-stop flights as the market would bear, a distance easily handled at full payload by 747 Classics and DC-10-30s, to say nothing of the capababilities of the 747-400s, MD-11s and 767ERs in service by that time.

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