NAV20
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Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:58 pm

This article provides some new information. It confirms that Singapore Airlines, Qantas, and even Emirates are actively researching the issue of pilot fatigue on Ultra-Long-Haul flights.

Interestingly, after 'extensive research', the studies appear to have re-discovered that something like the four-hour watch-and-watch system which has been known to seamen for centuries, rather than a single-long-sleep system, gives better results:-

"The ULR task force tried the option of two rest periods with Singapore Airlines's 747-400 and 777-200ER long-haul pilots on a volunteer basis over three months. It was found alertness levels increased with a two-rest period, particularly for the crew that rested first.

"Emirates has also been at the forefront of sleep studies as it expands its global reach. It also found that having two rest periods reduced pilot anxiety that they must sleep."


The article contains a definite claim that the 777-200LR will have 'better-than-brochure' long-range performance, and that Boeing is planning to prove it soon to Qantas (who, typically, still have doubts!):-

"At the same time, Boeing is promising even greater performance from its 777-200LR. New endurance/payload records are to be attempted in October by Boeing.

"The company also announced at the Paris air show last week that the 2 per cent fuel burn improvement achieved on the 777-300ER had shown up on the 777-200LR, giving the aircraft the grunt required to perform London-Sydney with an economic payload. But Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon isn't quite convinced. "Boeing is going to have to prove to us the capabilities of the 777-200LR," he told The Australian. Up to the challenge, Boeing is planning some spectacular, record-breaking test flights later this year."


Interesting details too of how Singapore modified the seat-mix on its existing ultra-longhaul flights (no First, emphasis on Business, 10% premium on 'Executive Economy') and how they handle passenger comfort:-

"On the A340-500s, Singapore Airlines eliminated first class seats, which are more than twice the weight of business class seats. The A340-500 has 64 Raffles Class (business class) seats and 117 new Executive Economy (EY) seats. Raffles Class has lie-flat beds and EY is set in a 2-3-2 configuration with a 94cm pitch.

"Initially, cost for the EY seat was the same as for economy class but it now attracts a 10 per cent premium. EY seats have a 20.3cm recline and every other seat has in-seat power. The aircraft has 14 cabin crew with a crew passenger ratio of 1:9 in Raffles Class and 1:23 in EY. This compares with 1:13 and 1:32 on the 747-400.

"Mood lighting throughout the cabin gave the aircraft an elegant club atmosphere with most passengers taking in a few movies and a meal before settling in for some sleep."


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au.../0,5744,15709638%255E23349,00.html

Looks to me that nonstop services from Australia to Europe are just about a 'done deal'. From my perspective I just have to hope that Qantas doesn't follow its usual practice of being the last airline to wake up.

And that someone eventually remembers that five million of us live in Melbourne, and two million in Perth; and that both are closer to Heathrow.....

[Edited 2005-06-28 07:12:19]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
rjpieces
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:04 pm

I wonder just how much of an economic payload they are talking about on LHR-SYD.
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HKGKaiTak
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:18 pm

And how many people really would like to fly Australian East Coast - Europe non-stop? I certainly won't as it is just too far without an opportunity to get out and stretching the legs.

IMHO this alone will be a tough sell for QF, if the 772LR is indeed capable of the range with a reasonable payload.
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NAV20
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:18 pm

If Singapore can make similar distances pay with A340s, doing it with a less thirsty ETOPS aeroplane shouldn't be too much of a problem. And no problem filling the seats, it's one of the busiest routes in the world.

Singapore's interest is quite striking - it must be potentially a pretty good earner if they are actually planning on overflying their own hub.
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United Airline
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:00 pm

I am sure hubs between Australia and Europe will remain just as strong. For example, BKK, KUL, SIN, HKG etc.....
 
Leskova
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:27 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
The article contains a definite claim that the 777-200LR will have 'better-than-brochure' long-range performance, and that Boeing is planning to prove it soon to Qantas (who, typically, still have doubts!):-

A "definite claim" is still just that - a claim; until Boeing can prove it in reality, I still have my doubts... and I do also have my doubts about the market for such services: yes, everyone's going to jump up and down saying "Finally a nonstop to Australia" (or vice versa), but I seriously doubt that it'll be available at the same fares that the flights via Asia are available at, and (which is probably what Qantas would prefer anyhow) the services will only be used by a relatively low amount of high yielding passengers.

Then again, there are dozens of other routes where passengers have the option of several carriers flying the route nonstop (take a look at UK-South Africa) with quite a number of high-yielding passengers still preferring to fly through either a European or even a Middle Eastern hub...

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Looks to me that nonstop services from Australia to Europe are just about a 'done deal'. From my perspective I just have to hope that Qantas doesn't follow its usual practice of being the last airline to wake up.

If Boeing can prove that the B777-200LR can operate the route with a reasonable payload year-round then, yes, I'm willing to agree - but that still remains to be seen.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 3):
Singapore's interest is quite striking - it must be potentially a pretty good earner if they are actually planning on overflying their own hub.

Would SQ even be allowed to fly nonstop from Australia to Europe?

The sole fact that SQ is participating in a study proves absolutely nothing in regards to SYD/MEL-LHR-plans on their part; they do fly (ultra-)longhaul flights from SIN, though, so the matter is of interest for them in any case - overflying SIN does not have to be a part of their plan.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 4):
I am sure hubs between Australia and Europe will remain just as strong. For example, BKK, KUL, SIN, HKG etc.....

Absolutely - the overwhelming majority of passengers will still be flying through those hubs.

Regards,
Frank
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NAV20
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:55 pm

It does look, though, as if a new category of potential route is emerging, bridging the gap between point-to-point and hub-to-hub - the 'hub-to-distant-hub' approach, which Boeing call the 'city pair'.

In a sense, Sydney-Heathrow or Sydney-Kennedy are misleading, because in terms of range, payload, and prevailing winds, they represent just about the ultimate challenge - there must be many more 'city pairs' within the comfortable range of the 772LR that are just waiting to be opened up.

Possibly in ten years or so a lot of current 'hubs' which rely on airliners having a maximum range of around 8,000 nms., but have little else to distinguish them as business or leisure destinations, will find themselves being bypassed to an increasing extent.
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antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:02 pm

NAV20,

Its a beat up. These studies or their forerunners have been going on for years.

We need a better plane to do non-stops economically both ways between London and Sydney, not that the 777-200LR or A345 aren't superb machines in their own right.

If you read any of the papers on latest Friday's $800 million plus write off by Qantas you'd understand why it has other things on its mind at the moment, not to mention fuel, and $US 70 or more a barrel will be an absolute killer for the ultra long haul game, since refuelling as near to a mid point is always more cost efficient than trying to lift off with enough fuel to get the damn thing non-stop with all legal safe reserves at the other end.

Incidentally the population of Melbourne isn't 5 million yet and I'm pleasantly surprised that Perth is now half the population of Sydney in your books. Sounds like the secret about the Perth life style (water shortages aside) is getting out. Damn!

Antares
 
NAV20
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:16 pm

'Round figures', Antares - the forum is about aviation, not geography! The 'passenger catchment areas' of both cities are higher than their nominal populations. Personally I very much hope that Perth gets its share of the action, it's a nice quiet 'human-scale' airport compared to Tulla or KS.

As to 'feasibility', I guess we're both old enough to remember the days when trans-atlantic services had to refuel at Gander? As I see it nonstops are only a matter of time; the question is 'when', not 'if'.

[Edited 2005-06-28 10:20:44]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:29 pm

As Yes, I pine for Gander....Actually I've never been to Gander but I have done BOAC to Idlewild (or was it JFKby then?) via Prestwick, and absolutely no-body got on or off.

Antares
 
LX001
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:48 pm

Imagine how painful such al long flight would be...
 
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:16 pm

It depends on the pax. Premium (First / biz class) would be happy to go non-stop. Econ pax would also, depending on price. Cost is the deciding factor for a majority of people
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whitehatter
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:59 am

It's all an issue of cost and operating economics. The old problem of having to carry your fuel to fly that last hour.

However, what would be a major plus is the desirability factor of being able to offer such a service. For airlines marketing is everything and a non-stop Europe (FRA or LHR for instance) to Australia is a powerful marketing tool.

Just like Concorde was to British Airways.

So the service might not be a great money maker, but there is the marketing factor to consider as well as the prestige angle. Just like when those Comets started flying or the first 707 services. They make extremely powerful images on televisions or cinema screens.
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lightsaber
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:46 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 3):

Singapore's interest is quite striking - it must be potentially a pretty good earner if they are actually planning on overflying their own hub.

Wow! However, hub bypass is a required part of creative distruction that is going to be required for airlines to adapt to changing economies.

Quoting Leskova (Reply 5):
but I seriously doubt that it'll be available at the same fares that the flights via Asia are available at,

True. This will be a premium fare.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 6):

Possibly in ten years or so a lot of current 'hubs' which rely on airliners having a maximum range of around 8,000 nms., but have little else to distinguish them as business or leisure destinations, will find themselves being bypassed to an increasing extent.

This is already happening on a shorter range scale with the A332 and B763ER. I agree that any surviving hubs will have to have significant O&D markets or as NAV20 put it "distinguish" themselves.

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 12):
It's all an issue of cost and operating economics. The old problem of having to carry your fuel to fly that last hour.

True. Even as a fluids engineer it amazes me how once you cross a certain weight the drag increases markedly due to a drop in wing efficiency. (CL/CD drops at high flight weights)

Is it just me, or are the airlines who are initiating ultra long haul service getting some really valuable experience? For instance, that tidbit on two rest shifts per flight dramatically improving crew performance. I wonder if that's why the 4 hour shift on aircraft is best versus the old 6 hour on ships as aircraft are not 24 hour flights (yet)?

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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:48 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 12):
So the service might not be a great money maker, but there is the marketing factor to consider as well as the prestige angle

Exactly where the 772LR is positioning. And IMO, it's going to shine.  Smile
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BOSPMV
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:49 am

I am wondering how long of a flight LHR-SYD non-stop would be? 18 or 19 hrs?

how many miles is it between the 2 cities?
 
Ken777
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:23 am

QF flew a 744 nonstop from LHR to SYD some years ago - it took 21 hours as I recall. Each pax was allowed 1 carry-on and the "cargo" was a football.
 
vegas005
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:33 am

Wow .. I worked 15 hours today and nobody asked me to go take a nap. What a frickin joke. You get on a plane say ZRH to DFW and the captain is out checking to make sure a business class seat is available for his nap 30 seconds after take off.


oh well..
 
zvezda
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 4:55 am

Quoting Vegas005 (Reply 17):
Wow .. I worked 15 hours today and nobody asked me to go take a nap. What a frickin joke. You get on a plane say ZRH to DFW and the captain is out checking to make sure a business class seat is available for his nap 30 seconds after take off.

I once worked 799 hours in two calendar months. That's close to what an airline pilot works in a year. However, we really do want our pilots to be well rested. While pilots were smart enough to take checklists from sailors, they have not been smart enough to take 4 hour watches. Centuries of experience have shown that four hour watches work better than 2 hour, 3 hour, 6 hour, 8 hour, or 12 hour watches. Bravo to SQ for taking an openminded approach.

As to the original question, of course, LHR-SYD will be operated nonstop. There is enormous demand between LHR and SYD/MEL. Much of this demand is for premium business traffic willing to pay premium fares. Some of this demand will prefer a nonstop. I would have thought it would be BA and QF, but the idea of SQ flying this is interesting. Do SQ have the rights to fly SIN-LHR-SYD-SIN?
 
antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:15 am

Zvezda,

On this issue I keep feeling like the budgerigar in the mine shaft warning that all is not well. The premium fare market is descending into danger territory, with too few rich individual buyers, and too many corporations who have suddenly worked out they can save prodigious amounts of money shopping around for cheaper but still premium product fares.

The result is that it is economy passenger derived cash flow that is subsidising the rich b*stards up front, not the other way around. As in 300 Y class fares versus the equivalent of four full P and 20 full J on some flights, in which the load might be 40 J paying half the ridiculous price actually posted on the carrier's web site.

What goes around comes around of course, but at the moment, there is only one issue for Qantas and some other leading carriers. How the hell are we going to pay for $18 billion worth of new jets already on order when we are earning only two of every three dollars needed to pay current costs of capital?

A heads up on Qantas as well. A very senior person is going to leave at least one year sooner than he has said. Wonder why?

Antares
 
zvezda
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:18 am

Quoting Antares (Reply 19):

The result is that it is economy passenger derived cash flow that is subsidising the rich b*stards up front, not the other way around. As in 300 Y class fares versus the equivalent of four full P and 20 full J on some flights, in which the load might be 40 J paying half the ridiculous price actually posted on the carrier's web site.

The passengers who are subsidized are those who are upgraded. Those paying F and C class fares are paying their way. When I fly UA, I am being subsidized by those in the back of the plane. When I fly SQ, I am not being subsidized at all.
 
Spark
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:12 pm

Back when the SIN-EWR/LAX flight was in the rumor stage I begin to investigate which other city pairs would be possible challengers for the longest flight in the world.
LHR-SYD has got to be the longest city pair that would be profitable for an airline to pursue.
From what I read in this forum, I think people are misreading the information. I didn't read anything that said that SQ and Emirates are interested in a SYD-LHR route (which would be profitable, but likely not in thier scope, or best interest). They are interested in research on ULR flights, along with Qantas, which all have a lot of potential ULR flights.
 
NAV20
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:10 pm

I think that's fair comment, Spark. On the other hand, both Singapore and Emirates fly the Kangaroo Route (via Singapore and Dubai respectively) and would have to stay competitive if anyone else starts a nonstop service on it.

Interesting that all three airlines serving the route are ALSO A380 customers. The possibility arises of two-tier service - nonstop at an 'Executive Economy' premium, or 'cattle -class' with a three-hour stop halfway.

You're right about the scope for other 'city pairs'. I don't know the region well, but my guess is that there is lots of scope for those connecting South American cities to North America and Europe.
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zvezda
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:34 pm

Quoting Spark (Reply 21):

LHR-SYD has got to be the longest city pair that would be profitable for an airline to pursue.

NRT-GRU and LHR-AKL are longer and have more than enough demand to justify nonstop service.
 
avek00
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:43 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 22):
Interesting that all three airlines serving the route are ALSO A380 customers.

Since when did BA and CX order an A380? They compete effectively on UK-Oz too.
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VEEREF
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:57 pm

Quoting Vegas005 (Reply 17):
Wow .. I worked 15 hours today and nobody asked me to go take a nap. What a frickin joke. You get on a plane say ZRH to DFW and the captain is out checking to make sure a business class seat is available for his nap 30 seconds after take off.


oh well..

Really? 30 seconds after we take off we regular mortals are still running checklists, cleaning the airplane up, complying with the departure procedure, communicating with ATC and sometimes dodging weather. Those Swiss pilots must be supermen. Nice overexaggeration to make a point though.

Funny though, because my last 3 duty cycles were all over 15 hours.
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lehpron
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:59 am

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
It confirms that Singapore Airlines, Qantas, and even Emirates are actively researching the issue of pilot fatigue on Ultra-Long-Haul flights

Can passengers experience fatigue on ULH flights or does the option of getting up and walking around makes them exempt?

Is there anything to do once the plane is in cruise? Pilots just sit there waiting anyway... biggrin 
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antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 7:17 am

If you guys dig around you'll find estimates from an outstanding airline source that the break even cost per seat for approxaimately 70 passengers of average weight carrying no more than 10 kilograms checked and carry on luggage flying non-stop between Sydney and London in a 777-200LR in known northern winter conditions is about eight times that of flying a jet with 400 or more seats across the same route with a stopping point more than eight hours distant from Sydney.

Not only that, but even with such restrictions, a minimum of one in four flights over a period of around four months would be forced to land short.

I think the fantasy desire to see this jet flown in such a manner no matter what the damage it inflicts on the finances of the airline concerned is pretty tragic.

Such financial penalties are insupportable in the current environment.

Times and technology will change, but I'd be looking beyond 2010.

Antares
 
NAV20
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:42 pm

Quoting Antares (Reply 27):
the break even cost per seat for approxaimately 70 passengers of average weight carrying no more than 10 kilograms checked and carry on luggage flying non-stop between Sydney and London in a 777-200LR in known northern winter conditions is about eight times that of flying a jet with 400 or more seats

Forgive me, Antares, but I can't see where on earth you get the '70 passengers' figure from?

Allowing for the 2% fuel-burn improvement, Boeing claim a range of around 9,600 miles for the 772LR, on 53,440 gallons of fuel (including extra tanks). Passenger total is given as 301, plus some freight. MTOW is given as 766,000 lbs. Admittedly they mention that 'loading restrictions apply', but it's hard to believe that those would entail leaving 231 passengers (40,000 lbs. weight) behind, as you imply.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/777family/777technical.html

If you could get say 200 passengers from Heathrow to Sydney on 53,440 gallons, wouldn't that broadly equate to a 744's performance, which would require around double the amount of fuel to carry double the passengers (with a refuelling stop and an extra 'climb to height' on the way)?

By all means post a reference to your 'outstanding airline source', and I'll look at it with an open mind. But, on the face of it, the 'eight times' claim appears to make no sense at all.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:16 pm

NAV20,

Sorry, you haven't even grasped the fundamentals of airliner payload range performance if I understand my sources, and be assured, I certainly don't understand them either.

It has something to do with a jet at the end of its range capability sacrificing payload in order to reach its destination with legal reserves of fuel for a diversion.

The latest range payload charts for the 777-200LR, the ones Lars Anderson showed off to various guests at Le Bourget, has the jet level pegging with the A345 for range without auxiliary tanks, or going another 700-800 miles with tanks, but with more passengers. The Boeing figure was 301 passengers and the Airbus figure was over 250 passengers. Both were totally misleading head counts, given the weight of acceptable premium cabin fittings, reduntant toilets, crew rest areas, extra catering and so forth. SQ gets only 181 seats max in its A345, because the 64 J class sleepers alone weigh many times what several hundred economy class seats would weight.

This is part of the A380 problem at the moment. Qantas for example is variously quoted at just over 500 seats, but because of the weight of the premium cabin fittings its probably the same result as packing in 700 unlucky sods in an all economy fit out.

Look at the drama with the Qantas A332, where 38 really crappy domestic business class seats or close to 50 ordinary economy seats in the first section of the jet weight so much less than a small number of business class slopers that Qantas is forking out $75 million to have the floor rendered strong enough to hold them and redeploy the jets on longer haul international routes.

We understand that both Airbus and Boeing have modelled the likely real maximum payload to fly a northern winter typical condition mission from Sydney to London in their best shot at such a requirement, meaning the A345 and 777-200LR, and the results are woefully unsatisfactory.

They are also pretty shocking for a hot weather takeoff going eastbound from LHR to Sydney in the northern summer.

Once we get a jet than can lob 200 people either way at competitive cost and with a high degree of certainty of delivering the 90-120 minute time saving for which they presumably pay a whacking big premium, aren't we going to get a jet that is seriously overweight for all but a handful of routes.

One day it will happen, unless the desperate need for fuel efficiency really renders such a jet too wasteful to consider even then.

Antares
 
iwok
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:01 pm

Quoting Antares (Reply 29):
NAV20,

Sorry, you haven't even grasped the fundamentals of airliner payload range performance if I understand my sources, and be assured, I certainly don't understand them either.



Quoting Antares (Reply 29):
SQ gets only 181 seats max in its A345, because the 64 J class sleepers alone weigh many times what several hundred economy class seats would weight.

Antares, you have lost me too.... Where does the 70 seats number come from? If SQ is getting 181 seats on the 345, then QF should be able to take around 230 in hte 777-200LR.

iwok
 
antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:59 pm

Iwok,

The flight time from ERW-SIN is around 18 hours 50 minutes to 19 hours 20 minutes, in northern winter conditions SYD-LHR the flight time could be 21 hours, indeed longer.

Flying the extra fuel required for the additional 100-120 minutes for about 19 hours before it is used compromises the whole fuel/payload/range situation. Even coping with it on top of the current prolonged takeoff rolls in hot conditions for a heavily laden jet is a problem. We are knocking on a door that will open one day, but seems firmly shut for the time being.

It is true that great range payload advances have been made in the past, but going these last yards seems inordinately challenging, never mind the additional factors of fuel prices.

You might find it interesting to compare the TG A345 with that of the SQ jet, to see what a modest decrease in flight times do to the payload.

John Leahy was on the record a few weeks ago as saying Airbus wouldn't even make a proposition to Qantas for the route if it could only offer the certainty of 50 seats occupied westbound.

We were told Qantas thought that with a 777-200LR it could be confined to 70 seats, with horrific consequences for costs.

I think it would be good if one of the flight magazines could persuade Airbus and Boeing to do a sealed envelope type submission, where both companies were asked to reveal precisely how many occupied premium category seats could be available in their best possible jets for the route under equal flight conditions. And then get Qantas to do a critique on each submission.

And correct me someone if I've missed a more recent announcement, but the last I read from Boeing a few months ago was that the 777-200LR couldn't do a commerical load from either New York to Sydney, or Sydney to London, non-stop.

It isn't that I don't want to see it happen, I just want it to make serious money, not see the introduction of a specialist jet that never pays for the costs of financing and operating it.

Antares
 
monteycarlos
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 8:00 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 28):
If you could get say 200 passengers from Heathrow to Sydney on 53,440 gallons

You said it yourself NAV and this is the big issue... why would QF put on a flight for 200 people and waste a slot that potentially could get 501 pax?

I just can't see the incentive for QF to do so when they have such tight margins for so few passengers...
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N1120A
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:51 pm

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 1):
I wonder just how much of an economic payload they are talking about on LHR-SYD.

They aren't.

Quoting Glideslope (Reply 14):
Exactly where the 772LR is positioning. And IMO, it's going to shine.

The over 700,000 pound 777s have already outperformed any expectation ever had of them by leaps and bounds. Still, the 772LR does not have the range to make the round trip without very economically unviable restrictions. JFK-SYD is a different story.
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NAV20
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 12:39 pm

Quoting Antares (Reply 29):
Sorry, you haven't even grasped the fundamentals of airliner payload range performance if I understand my sources, and be assured, I certainly don't understand them either.

Well, if neither of us understand the 70 passenger figure, Antares, perhaps we can afford to disregard it?  Smile

What I do know is that I’ve helped to prepare a fair few flightplans for light aeroplanes and twins, and kept fuel logs too – I’ve never seen a fuel consumption curve that didn’t consist of an initial ‘spike’ for takeoff and climb and a long downward slope after that, as the fuel load lightens and you get the same speed for less fuel. If there is some magical effect that somehow increases the consumption rate at the very end of a flight, I haven’t encountered it.

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 32):
You said it yourself NAV and this is the big issue... why would QF put on a flight for 200 people and waste a slot that potentially could get 501 pax?

Not so fanciful, Montey. I believe in using the KISS principle whenever possible, so I worked out the consumption of the various aeroplanes on the basis of US gallons per nautical mile of extreme range. The 744ER, for example, has tankage for 64,000 gallons and a range of 7,670 miles – which works out at 8.34 ‘gallons per knot’ (‘gpk’). Corresponding figures for the A380 are 82,000 gallons and 8,000 miles, giving 10.25 gpk. The 772LR comes in at 53,440 gallons and 9,600 miles, or 5.57 gpk.

So it does look as if around 250 passengers is the breakeven point for the LR. In broad terms, if it could carry that many, it would be carrying around half the load of an A380 for half the fuel – or 66% of the load of a 744ER (taking that at 375) for 66% of the fuel.

Beyond that, because the jumbos have to land and refuel, the economics are solidly in the 772LR’s favour. Even disregarding the fuel needed to detour from the GC route, paid crew time would be three hours less, there would be no airport charges or groundstaff costs at the refuelling point – above all, it would save the fuel the other aeroplanes would need to fly the approach, taxi in and out, and carry out another full takeoff and climb to height.

The other factor is difficult to assess, as the 772LR will probably open up a new market. As I understand it, ‘true’ fare structures are usually a mess – First and Business classes are heavily discounted and a lot of the Economy passengers are on concession fares too. Very possibly a non-stop fare, using the Singapore Airlines seating plan (no First Class, just Business and a more generous Economy setup) could open up new ‘classes’ of passengers (like me?) who would be prepared to pay genuine premiums for a lower journey time and increased comfort.

Like the difference between a limousine and an airport bus. Maybe that sort of passenger mix would be a lot more profitable anyway?
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:51 pm

NAV20,

I appeciate the effort you have put into this, however you say you think the break even factor is about 250 passengers.

BA only gets 220 passengers or thereabouts (it varys a little) in its four class 777-200s which are the same cabin dimension as the -200LR but without crew rest facilities tailored for Ultra long range flight.

In the sort of space premium fare travellers expect, in either economy at a premium or a fully flat parallel to the floor sleeper seat, you'd be hard pressed to fit 200 seats in, arranged VS style perhaps in J and eight abreast at 39 inch pitch in Y, equivalent i dare say to the seven abreast 39 inch pitch adopted in the SQ A345.

Room may be needed for additional relief crews over those carried for say a 15 hour flight. I said may. If they use the Boeing ceiling plan they add six tonnes to the dry weight of the jet. So that's a no-no.

The weight of these seats and presumably an averege human far exceeds the weight of say 300 tight pack fully occupied pending DVT cases crammed into economy seats or the old fashioned business class seats with no legroom shown in the Boeing diagram of the nominal 301 seat config for the 777-200LR.

The point I was trying perhaps not too lucidly to make about the fuel for the last 100 minutes of the flight is that several times its mass is going to be burned to carry it to the point where it is used. it is fuel being burned to carry fuel at extreme lengths of very unfavourable arithmetic. All to deliver a product to a tiny market segment that you are going to have to charge a huge mark up, and not be able to guarantee it won't turn out to be non-stop anyhow.

This is why I'm thinking of leader a shareholder revolt on the floor of the next AGM if Qantas really is stupid enough to add a new type, for a market that is too small, at a cost they can't recover, while they are being murdered by smarter operators over the rest of the kangaroo sector.

I'm not opposed to non-stop flight anywhere per se and its advantages are obvious, to a consumer.

In fact I agree with your proposition that non-stops on the route are assured, just not yet, and not, unfortunately, with the 777-200LR.

I also agree that new markets can be developed with improved or premium economy product. We believe more such initiatives are inevitable and worthwhile, as they will lift yield in the sense that they get those people who won't pay for business class to pay more than will currently pay for economy class.

Hopefully Boeing will hold news conferences during the world tour of the 777-200LR where the real passenger carrying capability of the Worldliner, with luxury long haul seating, will be explored and defined in a more meaningful way that it has been to date.

Antares
 
zvezda
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:54 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 34):
Well, if neither of us understand the 70 passenger figure, Antares, perhaps we can afford to disregard it?

I think I understand the 70 passenger figure. I believe that Antares is asserting that a B777-200LR with a full fuel load (including the 3 belly tanks) could carry a payload equal to 70 passengers from SYD to LHR 75% of the time. With 65 passengers they would make it nonstop bit more than 75% of the time and with 75 passengers a bit less often than 75% of the time. Did I understand that correctly Antares?
 
antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 3:55 pm

Zvezda,

My exact note of this conversation is that 'with 70 pax delivered to London the cost is the same as 400 going one stop'. From that I inferred that if you didn't have all those extra passenger in whatever cabin helping to pay the costs of the flight, serving those 70 presumably premium passengers in this manner is flushing mega bucks down the drain.

I realise now this note is open to a variety of interpretations. If it really did have 200 passengers on board, it would still be twice as costly to get them to London as it would be on something like a 744 or A380 stopping along the way.

You don't get 200 passengers a day at real premium fares to London on Qantas out of Sydney alone. You might get something like that number if you include all the people who connect from other Qantas flights at Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong, but they can't off course connect to a non-stop if it doesn't stop somewhere in Asia, so you are creating a very expensive service that cannot address the needs than of more than around half the Australian market, and is presumably limited to only once choice of departure and arrival time per day, and also assuming you give up one of your four slots for a smaller jet than an A380.

You also have to prevent the continued discounting of premium fares by the corporate clients, but in a way that stops the exodus to the likes of SQ,EK and CX. Tall order when your product is less than stellar anyhow.

Note that the benefits of a non-stop from Sydney to London are totally lost to a Melbourne originating passenger, who will have a choice of more one-stop departures via Asia, all of them arriving after a total flight duration not much longer than that of the Sydney-LHR leg on its own.

And Melbournians hate changing flights in Sydney, as they usually have to go from one side of the airport to the other, which is a tedious process, and no one would even think of flying something as heavy as a 777-200LR on a connecting leg with a block time of 85 minutes, only around 55 of which might be in the air.

Oh well, back to the drawing boards

Antares
 
monteycarlos
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:02 pm

Keep dreaming Nav...
It's a beautiful night to fly like a phoenix...
 
OHLBU
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:06 pm

Just to be curious, how about the performance of the A345HGW? I´m not aware if Airbus has officially lauched the type or if they ever will, but if they do, could it perform SYD-LHR nonstop? Or do you see that it would be possible in the future to develop the A345 so that it would out-perform the 772LR? In my opinion this would be a waste of money as the market for ULR aircraft looks to be quite minimal.
 
StickShaker
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:28 pm

..."In fact I agree with your proposition that non-stops on the route are assured, just not yet, and not, unfortunately, with the 777-200LR"....

If it wont happen with the 772LR then maybe it could happen a bit further down the track with a 787-10LR. It is inevitable that a 787-10 will be developed at some stage to compete against the A359. An ULH version of the 787-10 should be well within Boeings technical expertise. The massive savings in weight and fuel burn would have to extend the aircrafts range by a significant margin.
Boeing have not publicly canvassed the idea of the 787-10, this is probably at attempt to protect sales of the 772LR which would suffer once it became obvious that a composite replacement was on the horizon.

My guess would be 787-10 EIS around 2012/13 and 787-10LR EIS around 2015. Shudder to think what price jet-fuel may have reached by then.

Cheers,
StickShaker
 
antares
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RE: Heathrow-Sydney Non-Stop Virtually Certain?

Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:38 pm

OHLBU,

Somehow I think you are right about the small size of the market. Such a jet has to be useful in some other role. Boeing has made the 777-200LR highly useful ina freighter version, reducing its exposure to limited airline utilisation.

Perhaps Airbus will develop a longer range jet. Perhaps they will apply A350 technology, however that may be further defined, to an ultra long ranger, perhaps with four engines. But the benefits of such investment would this time around probably get more scrutiny than has been the case in the past.

The longer the process of developing a subsonic profitable ultra long ranger goes on the closer we get to the day when a competent, fly over land, 8-10 seat SST is devised, for those very, very few people who don't give a rat's what it costs, and would happily have their governments or companies pay $50,000 one way just to shorten the New York-Tokyo flight to four or five hours. Hell, they pay that for a night's 'entertainment' in some astonishing, even repellent, night spots in Roppongi.

Such a jet even stopping once or trwice on the way to London from Sydney would pull the heart out of the sub sonic non-stop market by removing just enough passengers to make it really painful. After all, if you are a diplomat or a top 500 companies CEO or chairperson, time is the only thing you care about in flight, not lolling around for hours in limbo at mach 0.82.

Antares