Sep 20, 2007

How Long?

With the advent of ultra-long haul aircraft, it's common now to see scheduled flights lasting up to 13 hours and longer. Personally, anything more than 3 hours starts to wear me down. In the past when I was commuting from my home to my assigned base, I found that a 1 hour flight was busy-busy -- just get on, rush through a snack (ah, the good old days) and get off.

But for a couple of years I was commuting 2 hours and I actually preferred that. After a long day's work, I'd have time for a leisurely dinner (did I mention the good old days?), a movie, and maybe even a short nap, and I'd arrive home refreshed.

What about you? How long is your preferred flight? Short or long? Why? See my poll question in the top left margin and please feel welcome to share your reasoning in a comment.

9 comments:

Dan said...

Hey Captain, How Long until you bring the plane down to land? Been looking forward to the end of your story for a long time now. The anticipation is killing me!

Aluwings said...

Hey Dan, thanks for the encouragement. Life is so full of activities, distractions and opportunities!

I do enjoy writing those adventures with FO Paula etc.. so I will definitely get back to it. Now that summer is over, I'll be getting back to more writing and creative work in general - I just need more rainy days to keep me inside!.

dan said...

Sweet. It's nice to know you haven't forgotten about it. Here in YUL, summer won't seem to end with this wonderful weather, so I guess I'll have to keep waiting a little longer. Thanks again for sharing your stories.

moe said...

A bit unrelated, but I thought you may find this video interesting regarding the 787 composite design:

http://www.hd.net/drr231.html (press play)

Aviatrix said...

I like a flight to be 4-6 hours long. I can do two of these in one duty day, I'm ready for a good meal at the end of each, and it's efficient use of the aircraft and my duty time.

Aluwings said...

Moe, thanks for the video link. Fascinating. Boeing is risking the company yet again! Let's hope they've done their homework as well as previous teams on previous new-generation aircraft.

Aviatrix, I agree. Some of my favorite pairings were just like that - 6 hours out and 6 back.

Humorously it occurred to me one day that this 12 hours of flying with a landing and takeoff in the middle, was more work than the 12 hour legs non-stop that the A330/340/B767 pilots were flying across the Pacific.

Yet they're doing it with relief pilots, and sleeping facilities, and hot meals enroute - the works! Ironic.

MathFox said...

A word from "the back"

For a redeye 6 hours is too short to get a decent amount of sleep (if you want to eat dinner and breakfast) 8 hours is better.
For a daytime flight, 2 hours is a time that gives you some time to settle in your chair; the cabin crew has the time for snack and drink runs (and clean up). I prefer a 4 hour flight over 2*2 hours: every connection means wasted hours at the airport.

Soaring Student said...

How Long??

A1: How long? Overnight, I like a late start time and at least six hours. Flying Ottawa-Heathrow is 6+ hours, but it's a 18:35 departure time. The time at the destination might be 23:35 but my body is not ready to sleep. I'd rather take the 22:30 from YUL.

A2: How long? I dunno. That 320 has been buzzing the field at YVR since July 18th. And I thought the record for a commercial aircraft was 21 hours 23 minutes in a 777-200ER in April 1997.

Soaring Student said...

Update: On November 10th, 2005, a 777-200LR flew 22 hours 42 minutes eastward from Hong Kong to London UK.