AzoresLover
Topic Author
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Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:55 am

What is the greatest difference in flight times that you have experienced round trip between the same two points?

We all know that you get there faster going east than going west. I've always enjoyed comparing flight times on my round trips. Last year between San Francisco and Manila, most unusually both flights round trip were exactly 12 hr 30 minutes. That had never happened to me before.

My greatest difference came when I was in the Air Force. I flew on a C-141 from Lajes Field, Azores, to McGuire AFB NJ one March when the headwinds were particularly strong. Flight time was 7 hr 30 minutes. The very next day I flew on the same aircraft back to Lajes in 4 hr 10 minutes, a difference of 3 hours 20 minutes in actual flight time.

Can anyone beat that??
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
 
LimaFoxTango
Posts: 804
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:33 pm

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:07 am

Basically its the wind. When flying west, you are going with the wind and most times the ground speed (GS) will be higher than the true air speed (TAS). Going east, however, you are going against the wind and generally, the GS will be lower than the TAS.
You are said to be a good pilot when your take-off's equal your landings.
 
SafetyDude
Posts: 3654
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:02 am

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:31 am

My greatest difference came when I was in the Air Force. I flew on a C-141 from Lajes Field, Azores, to McGuire AFB NJ one March when the headwinds were particularly strong. Flight time was 7 hr 30 minutes. The very next day I flew on the same aircraft back to Lajes in 4 hr 10 minutes, a difference of 3 hours 20 minutes in actual flight time.
Those are not the same routes. For example, JFK-LHR and LHR-JFK are different.

For the actual same route, LGA-MCO can vary by about ten or fifteen minutes depending on the plane (MD-80, 737, 757, 767).

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
micstatic
Posts: 612
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 10:07 pm

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:38 am

Lima,
I think you are reversed in your mantra. East is with the wind.

dg
S340,DH8,AT7,CR2/7,E135/45/170/190,319,320,717,732,733,734,735,737,738,744,752,762,763,764,772,M80,M90
 
InnocuousFox
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RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:46 am

It all depends on what latitude you are at. Prevailing winds shift depending on where you are.
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:48 am

The factors of head/tailwinds, route-of-flight, and altitude aside, the missing factor in the poster's original question is -what speed- the aircraft is operated at.

If an airline is flying their aircraft at M.72, the trip will take longer than another identical aircraft flying at M.84 over the same route, same FL, same winds, etc.

Invidual airlines come up with their own decisions as far as what's the most economical "normal" speed at which to operate, and, as always, it's a tradeoff between cost/benefit. M.84 will get you there faster, but will use more fuel than lower speeds. M.72 will save you fuel, but may not help your schedules, since it'll take you longer. Current fuel prices are also a factor.

That being done, there may still be differences between airlines. If Airline "A" is operating 737-700s that are equipped with -B22 engines, that airline's "normal" cruise speed may be different than that of Airline "B" that also flies 737-700s but has -B27 engines.

In summary, it's sometimes difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons between airlines, even when they operate the "same" equipment...  Big grin

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24725
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:01 am

I once did FLL-JFK on a cool spring day in just over two hours. Take off to touchdown was two hours, two minutes, on jetBlue. Normal flight time is about 2h30m.

I also did MIA-MDW on ATA last September. A very empty plane (September is the slowest travel month of the year) with probably about only 40 people. It took about 2h15m instead of the usual 2h45m.

It all depends on a lot of factors, namely weather.
a.
 
LimaFoxTango
Posts: 804
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 11:33 pm

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:05 am

Well Micstatic, in the Caribbean, winds blow from east to west. Hence, the reason why hurricanes leave the African coast and blows westward to the Caribbean.
You are said to be a good pilot when your take-off's equal your landings.
 
User avatar
Crosswind
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RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:19 am

Those are not the same routes. For example, JFK-LHR and LHR-JFK are different.

There is no reason why that should be the case, depending on the organisation of the North Atlantic track system, it is entirely possible to fly a route from LHR to JFK and then the same route in reverse.

A route from the Azores wouldn't be on the OTS - so again it is possible to fly exactly the same route in reverse - off the tracks you are pretty much free to choose your own route.

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:25 am

Those are not the same routes. For example, JFK-LHR and LHR-JFK are different.

There is no reason why that should be the case, depending on the organisation of the North Atlantic track system, it is entirely possible to fly a route from LHR to JFK and then the same route in reverse.


One flight begins in New York, the other begins in London. Flying a route in reverse is different than flying the "same route".

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
User avatar
Crosswind
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RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:49 am

You are talking about a route that a passenger would book - I'm talking about a route a pilot would fly with reference to coordinates and waypoints. If the coordinates and waypoints are the same - it's the same physical route - except on the return leg you will fly the route in reverse.

The whole point of the thread was the difference in outbound/inbound flying times between a given city pair...

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12504
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:07 am

Let us not forget that traffic in the air and around airports at different times of the day, slot times availability & weather can all affect the time of travel between 2 same points. Ditto as to specific engines, a/c model, specifications.
 
Horus
Posts: 5131
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:04 am

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:10 am

Also the aircraft type varies the travel time significantly, for example the 744 is faster than the A340/B777.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
andz
Posts: 7628
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:49 pm

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 3:23 am

JNB-SYD with QF 744 is about 11 hours, the return trip on the same aircraft is over 14 hours, daylight too which makes it seem even longer!
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
EZEIZA
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RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:00 am

I was recently on MAD-EZE (IB 6845 on a A346) and the flight time was over 12hrs 30min, while on the return flight (IB 6840) was roughly 11 hrs.
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
SafetyDude
Posts: 3654
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:02 am

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:28 am

You are talking about a route that a passenger would book - I'm talking about a route a pilot would fly with reference to coordinates and waypoints.
Um, okay, but my initial reply was regarding "a route that a passengers would book" and this whole thread was about routes that a passengers would book.

it's the same physical route - except on the return leg you will fly the route in reverse.
It could have the same reference to coordinates and waypoints, but it is not the "same route" since one leg would be in reverse.

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
CVG777
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue May 02, 2000 6:42 am

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 6:49 am

December 2001

ATL-CDG Air France B772 7:55
CDG-ATL Air Fance A343 9:35 (I blame it on the A343 engines  Big grin , although we did pass a KLM B763 while enroute)

December 2003

ATL-HNL Delta B763ER 9:15
HNL-ATL Delta B763ER 8:00
 
sfo212
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:26 am

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:08 am

I know on flights from SFO-HNL and back, times can really vary depending upon the weather. Usually SFO-HNL is a 5 hour 10 minute flight. Coming back one time from HNL to SFO during the winter, we caught the the jet stream and made it in 3 hours 58 minutes. That was according to the pilot. I can only imagine how much longer the SFO-HNL route was on that day.
 
User avatar
Crosswind
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Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:34 am

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:00 am

SafetyDude,
You said LHR-JFK and JFK-LHR are not the same route - I said that wasn't neccesarily the case, it's possible to follow the same route on the return leg.

Next you say that you aren't talking about the route in terms of coordiantes/waypoints, but in terms that for a passenger route.

Still following?

The difference is a passenger could book 5 LHR-JFK tickets and as far as they are concerned they have travelled the same route 5 times, but the aircraft could fly a different route each trip they took - 5 different routes. Passenger routes do not specify airways, waypoints and coordinates.

It's a simple concept that the outbound and inbound legs of a flight can follow the same route - if you drew it out on an airways chart there would only be 1 pencil line on the map because both legs of your flight followed the same physical route.

If you're still stuck, ask a grown up.

The meaning you personally want to inist on for the term route is up to you. The fact is in reply 2 you missed the whole point of the thread - it was about the difference between outbound/inbound flying times between a given city pair. The examples quoted were;
--
San Fransisco-Manila 12h30
Manila-San Fransisco 12h30
--
Lajes-McGuire AFB 7h30
McGuire AFB-Lajes 4h10
--
Talking about different flying times between La Guardia and Orlando dependent on aircraft type is not the point of the thread.

Anyway,
Hats off to you. I think it's amazing that even with 150+ posts per week, you can still manage maintain the same quality in every single post... There are few here on airliners.net that are so consistent.
 
Skip7966
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 6:05 pm

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:40 pm

SFO to Hong Kong took me over 14 1/2 hours, while the return flight was done in under 9 1/2
 
copter808
Posts: 1384
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:22 pm

Ah, the MILITARY flight could take longer in one direction because of "per diem"!

Per diem (the pay that the crew receives for expenses when traveling) is broken down to 6 hour blocks, I believe--been a while since I was in the Military. For example, if you arrive at 0550 hours, you would get 25% of the daily rate, at 0601, 50%, and so on. I learned this the hard way!

Really though, the time differences are due to normal winds aloft and expected enroute delays. A flight from ORD to LAX might be scheduled to take longer if it arrives/departs during a period of heavy traffic.
 
AzoresLover
Topic Author
Posts: 756
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 4:43 am

RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:39 pm

Skip7966 - that's a dramatic difference in times between the same cities; I wondered if there were other large differences like my Lajes-McGuire one. What time of year were your flights, and were there any specific conditions that contributed to the flight time difference?

In my military example, it was in March, and it was at a time when the winds aloft were extremely strong. In fact, the ramp at Lajes was quite full of turbo-props, primarily C-130's of various models, that were unable to make it to the states during that time because the headwinds were too strong and they didn't have the fuel capacity to make it under those conditions. They just had to sit on our ramp until wind conditions abated enough that they were able to make it to the states.

I spent four years of my 6-year active duty tour at Lajes, and that roughly 2-week period that March was the only time during my four years there that conditions were so severe as to cause planes to sit on our ramp because of the inability to reach the states on full tanks of fuel.
Those who want to do something will find a way; those who don't will find an excuse.
 
LFutia
Posts: 3156
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RE: Flight Duration Difference On Same Route?

Thu Aug 26, 2004 9:07 am

AMS -> BOM DC-10 8 hours and 5 minutes - NW
BOM -> AMS DC-10 8 hours and 26 minutes- NW

EWR -> AMS 767 6 hours and 15 minutes - KL
AMS -> EWR 767 8 hours and 10 minutes - KL

That's how long my flights were when i traveled in the beginning of August and this past sunday.
Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?

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