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Bruce
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Eastbound, Westbound, And Fuel Stops

Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:22 pm

I always get them mixed up. Which direction do planes on long haul flights usually need a fuel stop? I want to say eastbound....because I'm thinking there is increased wind and therefore higher fuel burn. But doesnt the prevailing winds flow from west to east? That would give an eastbound a tailwind.

I've seen several flights on the trackers that are able to make long hauls westbound but not eastbound. For example, a flight out of New York can go to HKG non stop but coming back they will probably need a fuel stop. Freighters thatgo between Huntsville and Asia can go westbound non stop but almost always stop in ANC on the way back, with 742's sometimes needing an extra stop.

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PolAir
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RE: Eastbound, Westbound, And Fuel Stops

Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:08 am

General direction of winds (round a world I think) is from west to east. Therefore, eastbound flights will most likely fly faster (tail wind) and burn less fuel, therefore not requiring to stop. I hope that helps.
 
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Bruce
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RE: Eastbound, Westbound, And Fuel Stops

Wed Mar 23, 2005 6:03 am

Well that's what I thought too but there are lots of examples of eastbound flights that require a stop. Are the winds at cruise levels different than here on the ground (opposite direction)?

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RE: Eastbound, Westbound, And Fuel Stops

Wed Mar 23, 2005 6:12 am

Keep in mind that freighter aircraft, when departing westbound from the USA are rather light...ie; not much cargo.
Lighter weights, with jet transport aircraft, result in a much lower hourly fuel burn, headwind or not.
Westbound, from Asia, for example, they are very heavy (lots of cargo) and as a result, a fuel stop might definitely be required, even with a tailwind.
 
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Bruce
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RE: Eastbound, Westbound, And Fuel Stops

Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:16 am

What about passenger flights. I don't think an A340 can go from Hong Kong to New York? But they do fly from New York to Hong Kong.

Cathay-Pacific flies an A340 from HKG to NY with a stop in YVR.

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RE: Eastbound, Westbound, And Fuel Stops

Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:46 am

NYC to HKG is not really a westbound flight. It is more a north-south routing.
Go to Great Circle Mapper http://gc.kls2.com/ and enter JFK-HKG. You will see that the flight goes straight north, near the North pole.
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RE: Eastbound, Westbound, And Fuel Stops

Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:49 pm

Bruce,
I am not an expert, but 90% of time gound speed will be higher eastbound (at higher altitudes). A lot depends if you can catch a jetstream, it will give you hell of a boost, and as far as I know jetstream can head north, east or south but never west ( correct me here).
Like Citation said, HKG-NYC is not really westbound.
 
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RE: Eastbound, Westbound, And Fuel Stops

Thu Mar 24, 2005 12:23 am

Quoting Bruce (Reply 4):
. I don't think an A340 can go from Hong Kong to New York?

Depends what version. The 345 could. EWR-SIN is longer.
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