n88kb
Topic Author
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:22 am

LH Cruising Speed Question

Hi everyone,
The picture below prompted me to ask if LH tend to cruise slower than other airlines. A few years ago I was on a BA 777 crossing the Atlantic to JFK and we passed a LH 343 like it was standing still. It was a little higher than us like the LH 744 in the picture. I know there alot of variables that determine cruise speed and was wondering if this a coincedence or does LH actually fly slower.

Cheers
N88KB

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[Edited 2011-10-04 03:56:39]

LY777
Posts: 2396
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:58 pm

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

The 744 has a cruising speed of 0.85
The 777, mach 0.84
The A343, mach 0.82

this is why you went faster
Flown:717,727,732,734,735,738,73W,742/744/748,752,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W, 788, 789, DC8,DC10,L1011, A3B2,A319,A320,A321,A332,A343,A388

SASMD82
Posts: 616
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:44 am

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

Are you sure this is an A340-300? I think it is a LH 747-400. The KL machine might had to gain some extra speed to comensate some delay. Maybe the LH bird departed from FRA before their actual departure time and did not have to fly at their maximum cruising speed. A lot of factors determine an aircraft's speed.

Both the A340s as well as the A330 fly slower than the Boeing 747 and 777.

Speedbird741
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:13 pm

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

 Quoting n88kb (Thread starter):was wondering if this a coincedence or does LH actually fly slower.

Just a coincidence. Optimal cruise speeds and altitudes are a function of many variables that range from cost index, to weight, to winds. Further, potential departure delays could prompt crews to select higher cruising speeds.

 Quoting n88kb (Thread starter):A few years ago I was on a BA 777 crossing the Atlantic to JFK and we passed a LH 343 like it was standing still.

That's generally the case given the A340s smaller typical cruise speed. I'd take the A340 over the 777 any day though
 Quoting LY777 (Reply 1):Are you sure this is an A340-300? I think it is a LH 747-400

It is a 744 and the OP did mention that.

Speedbird741
Boa noite Faro, Air Portugal 257 climbing flight level 340

wilco737
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

 Quoting LY777 (Reply 1):The 744 has a cruising speed of 0.85
 Quoting LY777 (Reply 1):The A343, mach 0.82

Due to the high fuel costs the cruise speeds got reduced now. We usually fly 0.84 on the 744 and the A340 usually only 0.80 or 0.81. That's why it is pretty easy to overtake an A340

wilco737

rduguy
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:02 pm

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

 Quoting SASMD82 (Reply 2):Are you sure this is an A340-300? I think it is a LH 747-400.

N88KB is saying that this picture reminds him of something that happened with him in the past. But is just using this picture is an example. He clearly states a valid question, in which he is wondering if LH overall, on all a/c has a lower cruising speed.

wilco737
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

And it could be that one airplane was ahead of schedule and reduced the speed to save more fuel and the other was late and was doing M0.87? Could happen as well.

wilco737

LY777
Posts: 2396
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:58 pm

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

Last year, I flew CDG-TLV on a LY 772. A Sun d'Or 752 performing the same route took off at least 5 minutes before us.

Finally, we landed 5 minutes before the Sun d'Or flight!

This is due to the different cruising speed (mach 0.84 for a 772, mach 0.80 for a 757)
Flown:717,727,732,734,735,738,73W,742/744/748,752,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W, 788, 789, DC8,DC10,L1011, A3B2,A319,A320,A321,A332,A343,A388

wilco737
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

I overtake the 340s, 330s, 767s all the time with the 744  Only the 777 is sometimes difficult to beat when they do 0.84 and we do 0.85 or 0.86, then it takes a lot longer.

wilco737

SASMD82
Posts: 616
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:44 am

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

On the contrary, I flew a A346 of LH on the FRA-ICN leg and we overtook a company B744 (FRA-BJS).

The 747 left the gate (which was next to us) 2 minutes earlier and took off just before us. When we passeed WAW, we flew next to each other (2,000 or 3,000 feet below us) and by the time we passed Minsk we obtained a significant gain. After we passed Moscow, we were not able to see the 747 anymore (sunset).

wilco737
Posts: 7275
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:21 am

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

I had to check what BJS is, never heard that before
 Quoting SASMD82 (Reply 9):The 747 left the gate (which was next to us) 2 minutes earlier and took off just before us. When we passeed WAW, we flew next to each other (2,000 or 3,000 feet below us) and by the time we passed Minsk we obtained a significant gain. After we passed Moscow, we were not able to see the 747 anymore (sunset).

Sure that can happen. The 340s fly higher than the 744 at the beginning of their flights. And I guess they had a lot better wind up there and maybe the 340 was in a hurry and flew faster and the 744 flew slower. Then that is possible without any doubt.

wilco737

ACDC8
Posts: 7405
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:56 pm

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

Back in 1990, I was on a LH B742 from FRA-YYZ and we overtook a Wardair A310 Mid-Atlantic so I guess sometimes LH overtakes as well

Interestingly, the A310 we overtook was the same aircraft that we ended up taking from YYZ-YVR via YYC later that day ... now that was pretty cool
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut

musapapaya
Posts: 998
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:02 am

RE: LH Cruising Speed Question

Funny enough, if you compare similar schedules of LH and other airlines (both long haul and short haul flights), you can see LH usually have their shorter scheduled times.

Take for example, LHR-FRA - LH sends their A320 series and scheduled time is 1:35, however, BA gives the same route 1:45, similar can be said for FRA-LHR too.

You can see similar situation with LHR-MUC too.
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