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CO764
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United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:14 pm

Does anyone know what N647UA (one of the older B763's in United's fleet) has been up to today and yesterday?

Tracking available here: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/n647ua

Yesterday, it took off from Dulles at 9:30AM, spent over 7 hours (!) in a high-altitude holding pattern over Ohio, then returned to Dulles in the late afternoon.

It seems to be doing something similar today, and has been in a holding pattern over Vermont at FL350 for nearly two hours. I've seen my fair share of test/maintenance flights on Flightradar24, but none lasting as long as these. Definitely using up a lot of gas!
 
32andBelow
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:15 pm

Testing something probably. Maybe new wifi product.
 
drdisque
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:19 pm

Also, with 767 hours down so much, they could be taking a bunch of 767 pilots up and giving them hours to stay current.
 
Antarius
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:23 pm

32andBelow wrote:
Testing something probably. Maybe new wifi product.


Or a pressurization issue that was fixed?
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
raylee67
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:37 pm

Keeping their pilots licensed? Asiana has been doing that with their A380s. Ryanair is doing a lot of that too.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI LX
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Okcflyer
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:43 pm

Highly doubt it's related to pilot currency. UA pilots are rated for 752, 753, 763, 764. There are nearly 30 757's flying around that they should be able to rotate through and keep current. Likewise, the fuel bill would be quite a bit less to fly a 752 for such purpose as opposed to a 763.

This is almost certainly a technical test/validation of some sort.

Regards,
 
Yakflyer
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:50 pm

drdisque wrote:
Also, with 767 hours down so much, they could be taking a bunch of 767 pilots up and giving them hours to stay current.


I don't know what they were doing or why the plane was up for that long, but I do know they were not flying the plane to give pilots hours to stay current. The cost of flying actual aircraft for flight training or currency is significant;y higher that using a simulator. Many pilots at the airlines that fly long international routes occasionally loose currency on landings (they have to have 3 landings in any 90 day period). When this happens they go to the respective training center and fly s short course to reestablish their landing currency.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:07 pm

It's something to do with the US Govt and DARPA.

https://hub.united.com/2020-07-20-unite ... 39262.html

In addition, United has been partnering with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study how effectively the unique airflow configuration onboard an aircraft can prevent the spread of aerosolized particles among passengers and crew.
 
EssentialPowr
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 10:30 pm

Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:17 pm

drdisque wrote:
Also, with 767 hours down so much, they could be taking a bunch of 767 pilots up and giving them hours to stay current.


No. That’s what simulators are for, Initial Operating Experience is on live flights.
 
EssentialPowr
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:18 pm

raylee67 wrote:
Keeping their pilots licensed? Asiana has been doing that with their A380s. Ryanair is doing a lot of that too.


No, see above
 
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lightsaber
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:18 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
It's something to do with the US Govt and DARPA.

https://hub.united.com/2020-07-20-unite ... 39262.html

In addition, United has been partnering with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study how effectively the unique airflow configuration onboard an aircraft can prevent the spread of aerosolized particles among passengers and crew.

I haven't seen aerosol research since grad school... This would reduce Covid19 risk, if it works.

Lightsaber
Winter is coming.
 
EssentialPowr
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:26 pm

lightsaber wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
It's something to do with the US Govt and DARPA.

https://hub.united.com/2020-07-20-unite ... 39262.html

In addition, United has been partnering with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study how effectively the unique airflow configuration onboard an aircraft can prevent the spread of aerosolized particles among passengers and crew.

I haven't seen aerosol research since grad school... This would reduce Covid19 risk, if it works.

Lightsaber


That press release is about running a/c packs during boarding and deplaning and I believe was done in house. Do you have a reference for any government/DARPA coordination with an airline for Covid?
 
jetmatt777
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:34 pm

EssentialPowr wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
It's something to do with the US Govt and DARPA.

https://hub.united.com/2020-07-20-unite ... 39262.html


I haven't seen aerosol research since grad school... This would reduce Covid19 risk, if it works.

Lightsaber


That press release is about running a/c packs during boarding and deplaning and I believe was done in house. Do you have a reference for any government/DARPA coordination with an airline for Covid?


There is no public press release for this flight or the one yesterday so I am not at liberty to share any other info besides that. If you have access to SSD a few minutes of poking around this flight will bring you around to the term DARPA. 12 pax on board, departing from Washington DC, charter flight #, Do the math.
 
JHCRJ700
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:47 pm

I forgot to screenshot it, but I noticed a similar flight the other day with a 777. Took off from IAD and flew down to Florida and then off the Atlantic coast in a big loop.
It's the power and the glory, It's a war in paradise, A Cinderella story, On a tumble of the dice
 
canyonblue17
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:05 pm

If its work for DARPA, then whatever they tell you it is.....its probably something different.
negative ghostrider the pattern is full
 
catiii
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:11 pm

canyonblue17 wrote:
If its work for DARPA, then whatever they tell you it is.....its probably something different.


Seconded. At a previous carrier we took an ER for about 8 hours of flying with a DOD team. The stated goal was vastly different than what they did.

Got a great story that I can tell though from it!
 
Relayer
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:06 pm

Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:30 pm

FlightAware shows the same flight number doing shorter duration donuts in Miami and Denver on different aircraft. The current flight seems to be varying speed in a regular pattern.
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL2696
 
gaystudpilot
Posts: 266
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:55 pm

Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:33 pm

Testing out the new, improved Polaris Bloody Mary cart service.

:D
 
jayunited
Posts: 2961
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:03 am

Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:33 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
EssentialPowr wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
I haven't seen aerosol research since grad school... This would reduce Covid19 risk, if it works.

Lightsaber


That press release is about running a/c packs during boarding and deplaning and I believe was done in house. Do you have a reference for any government/DARPA coordination with an airline for Covid?


There is no public press release for this flight or the one yesterday so I am not at liberty to share any other info besides that. If you have access to SSD a few minutes of poking around this flight will bring you around to the term DARPA. 12 pax on board, departing from Washington DC, charter flight #, Do the math.



In addition to the information in the SSD, its also in the notable logs but like you stated we don't have liberty to share any additional info on this flight.
 
Okcflyer
Posts: 668
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 11:10 pm

Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:00 pm

UA Press Release that mentions DARPA.

https://hub.united.com/2020-07-20-unite ... 39262.html

Fair Use Excerpt

In addition, United has been partnering with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study how effectively the unique airflow configuration onboard an aircraft can prevent the spread of aerosolized particles among passengers and crew.


Key words there are "in addition"
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: United B763 7+ hours in a high-altitude holding pattern

Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:19 pm

Please keep this thread on topic.

✈️ atcsundevil

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