Are you ready for 20+ hours of non stop flight?
Whether we as passengers like it or not, both airlines and people are absolutely fascinated by ultra long range flight. Why stop en route, when you can fly direct on a state of the art new plane? We’ve seen it with Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner opening up the first regularly scheduled direct flight between Europe and Australia and thanks to a new ace in the hole from Airbus – we may soon see yet another plane shattering records. This new Airbus A350-900ULR truly puts the ultra long range in ULR and as of yesterday, it’s now officially off to a flying start…
While that may look like quite a bit of gibberish to most non #avgeeks – the designated hash tag for plane nerds – the title designates Airbus’ ultra long range version of its newest and most prized aircraft, which took to the skies for its very first test flight yesterday in Toulouse. The Airbus A350 family of airplane has instantly become a passenger favorite, with improved air pressure, less noise and increased passenger space.
The longest regularly scheduled flight in the world remains Qatar Airways Doha to Auckland flight, penciled in 7,848 nautical miles. For reference: that flight clocks in 18 hours. This prized new ULR variant of the Airbus A350-900 has the potential to shatter the current record by almost 2,000 nautical miles. In case you’re wondering, a nautical mile is 1.15 miles.
Singapore Airlines will be the launch customer of this modern marvel. The plane will instantly unlock the once tricky direct route between Singapore and New York City. With the new fuel efficient technology and aerodynamic enhancements, the plane will have roughly 1,500 miles of potential flight left when it touches down. This would also put London to Sydney well within its sights. New York to Singapore would instantly become the longest flight in the world by 497 miles shall it resume in 2018, with 20 hours or more of flight time.
If you’re sitting here scrolling through this article thinking: you couldn’t pay me to fly economy for 20 hours on any plane – you’re not alone. Though there will likely be some economy component when Singapore takes delivery of their first A350-900ULR later this year, the focus is primarily set upon capturing the luxury “no fuss” market. Businesses and high net worth individuals don’t like connections, wasted time and hassle – and with the way seats are going, life in the front of the plane has never been more comfortable.