slinker
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Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:14 am

Just out of curiosity, anyone know the highest (typical) altitude for scheduled flights? I've seen things listed as high as 42K AGL, but it got me wondering if there were any that fly higher.

Thanks!
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:16 am

Concorde
 
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American 767
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:38 am

chunhimlai wrote:
Concorde


Yes. Concorde. 60000ft, an altitude at which you start seeing the earth's curvature with the sky above you getting dark. It must be fabulous to see the earth from 60000ft. Now that Concorde doesn't fly anymore, you won't get to experience that unless you are a pilot in the military or an astronaut.

But other than the Concorde, I think that the maximum altitude a subsonic airliner has ever flown is 45000ft. The 747SP used to fly at that altitude, sometimes on scheduled flights. The maximum altitude most airliners can fly up to is 41000ft.
Ben Soriano
 
ArchGuy1
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:45 am

American 767 wrote:
chunhimlai wrote:
Concorde


Yes. Concorde. 60000ft, an altitude at which you start seeing the earth's curvature with the sky above you getting dark. It must be fabulous to see the earth from 60000ft. Now that Concorde doesn't fly anymore, you won't get to experience that unless you are a pilot in the military or an astronaut.

But other than the Concorde, I think that the maximum altitude a subsonic airliner has ever flown is 45000ft. The 747SP used to fly at that altitude, sometimes on scheduled flights. The maximum altitude most airliners can fly up to is 41000ft.

Did you actually fly Concorde at 60,000 feet or the 747SP at 45,000 feet.
 
Opaque
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:13 am

I fly on A350s and 787s quite a lot, and on maybe 10% of the flights we end up at FL430 (43,000 feet.) If you look up QR1363 Doha - Johannesburg on 02 December on a flight tracker you will see a final level of 430. This is the highest certificated altitude for these two aircraft types. I believe the 777 is also certified to 43,000 maximum, not that it often gets there due to various limitations.
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:58 am

Concorde would climb steadily right up until just before the descent at the end of the flight. The top end could be anywhere from 55k-60k ft.
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slinker
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:53 am

Thanks, everyone!
 
TUGMASTER
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:01 am

Yep... flew on an IR 747SP-86 THR-LHR...
Had to convert the on screen flight info into feet... ( BTW it was the old one screen per cabin type movie screen, however, changed to run in a nice 50inch plasma)...
Anyway , it was 13720 meters.... which is a tad over 45000 ft....
Have a photo of it somewhere...
Very impressive.
 
timh4000
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:39 am

Made a few tatl's on a 747. Likely hit fl450. Back in the 80's no screens to tell the pax exactly how fast, how high. Talked to a 747 driver hospitalized ( I was a medic) and he said they commonly max out to 45k when the weight is right for it, but not always. As far as I know it's the only commercial airliner able to be assigned or able to safely fly that high. Others, that max out at fl430... we are only talking 2k extra. And they aren't always going to make it up there if not assigned to or requested to.
 
77H
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:22 pm

Was on a 752 from HNL-LAX that got up to FL410 and on a 77A from IAH-HNL that step climbed all the way up to FL400.

77H
 
reltney
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:43 pm

I have done a few repositioning flights on the 747-400. DTW to ATL was most frequent.. It was one of the few times we were so light we could go strait to FL450 and did .91 Mach . It was great. The plane usually had lots of Non revs and all 3 cockpit jump seats were full by curious “other fleet type” pilots who never been on a 747..
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PlymSpotter
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:49 pm

I've done a few KL 747s at FL450. All really light loads, so we stepped up quite quickly. The sky really is a beautiful colour of blue that high up.

chunhimlai wrote:
Concorde


The Tu-144's surpassed Concorde, cruising at up to 66,000ft.

Granted it definitely didn't have the service life, but if we're talking about retired airliners Concorde is in second place.
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American 767
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:00 pm

ArchGuy1 wrote:
American 767 wrote:
chunhimlai wrote:
Concorde


Yes. Concorde. 60000ft, an altitude at which you start seeing the earth's curvature with the sky above you getting dark. It must be fabulous to see the earth from 60000ft. Now that Concorde doesn't fly anymore, you won't get to experience that unless you are a pilot in the military or an astronaut.

But other than the Concorde, I think that the maximum altitude a subsonic airliner has ever flown is 45000ft. The 747SP used to fly at that altitude, sometimes on scheduled flights. The maximum altitude most airliners can fly up to is 41000ft.


Did you actually fly Concorde at 60,000 feet or the 747SP at 45,000 feet.


Nope never. It's just that I know how high these aircraft were able to fly. I have never flown on Concorde. I have flown once on the 747SP, from JFK to BRU. I don't recall how high the airplane flew but I don't think it was 45000ft.
Ben Soriano
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:43 pm

Four weeks ago I travelled from Aberdeen to Amsterdam. In 18 minutes our KLM 73G climbed to 41,000 feet. I wouldn’t have noticed the high altitude if it wasn’t for the Lufthansa 747 passing well below us (at 34,000 feet) while making contrails. Back home I looked up our altitude online. We cruised for 18 minutes at FL410, then started our descent. In the past I have travelled at 43,000 feet by A350. This was on board a Finnair flight from Helsinki to Hamburg.
 
ArchGuy1
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Re: Highest altitude scheduled flight?

Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:54 pm

American 767 wrote:
ArchGuy1 wrote:
American 767 wrote:

Yes. Concorde. 60000ft, an altitude at which you start seeing the earth's curvature with the sky above you getting dark. It must be fabulous to see the earth from 60000ft. Now that Concorde doesn't fly anymore, you won't get to experience that unless you are a pilot in the military or an astronaut.

But other than the Concorde, I think that the maximum altitude a subsonic airliner has ever flown is 45000ft. The 747SP used to fly at that altitude, sometimes on scheduled flights. The maximum altitude most airliners can fly up to is 41000ft.


Did you actually fly Concorde at 60,000 feet or the 747SP at 45,000 feet.


Nope never. It's just that I know how high these aircraft were able to fly. I have never flown on Concorde. I have flown once on the 747SP, from JFK to BRU. I don't recall how high the airplane flew but I don't think it was 45000ft.

The 45,000 foot altitude for the 747SP might have been reached on the New York JFK to Tokyo flights.

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