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Revision as of 16:44, 23 June 2020

Issues in Flight Analysis refers to the issues in using flight information as a scientific tool for determining the layout or dimensions of the Earth. It is often asked whether it is possible to use flights to determine geographical information about the Flat Earth models under investigation (Ie. The Bi-Polar Model or other possible models).

There are many factors to consider other than geography, such as jet streams and trade winds. Non-stop flights are not necessarily always non-stop for various reasons. It is found that planes can and do travel at supersonic speeds (groundspeed) on a regular basis. Investigators have also found that listed flight times are purposely skewed by large amounts. The wind anomalies and conditions may further exist differently over different parts of the Earth. Based on these complications, it is difficult to utilize the flights in any certain way in investigation of the Flat Earth geographic models in discussion.

Listed Flight Times Skewed

Why Flights Take Longer (Archive)

  “ Did you know that a flight from New York City to Houston, Texas is over an hour longer today than if you took the same flight in 1973? Now it takes about three hours and 50 minutes, but 43 years ago it would have taken 2 hours and 37 minutes. What gives?


Surprisingly, flight time is calculated from when the aircraft releases the parking brake (on push back) to when it sets the brake on arrival to the gate,” commercial pilot Chris Cooke told Travel + Leisure. “All that waiting in line during taxi and takeoff counts toward flight time.

Not surprisingly, saving money is another reason flights take longer today. “Airlines are able to save millions per year by flying slower," reveals a video from Business Insider. ”

Are You Being Told the Truth about Flight Times?

A study which says airlines are skewing flight times: (Archive)

Are you being told the truth about flight times?

  “ Passenger jets have never been more advanced. With Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, introduced in 2011, leading the charge, and new models like the 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo following in its wake, the aircraft on which we travel are safer, smoother, quieter and more fuel efficient than ever.

They also appear perfectly capable of flying faster than their predecessors. Just last month the low-cost carrier Norwegian issued a celebratory press release after one of its 787 Dreamliners whizzed from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to London Gatwick in five hours and 13 minutes, setting a new transatlantic record for a subsonic plane. That’s three minutes quicker than the previous best time set by British Airways in January 2015.

So why, record-breaking feats notwithstanding, are airlines claiming it takes longer and longer to fly from A to B?

That’s according to research by OAG, the aviation analyst, carried out for Telegraph Travel. It found that over the last couple of decades, despite new technology, scheduled flight times - ie. how long an airline estimates it will take to complete a journey - have actually increased by as much as 50 per cent.

Looking at Europe’s busiest international route, for example - Heathrow to Dublin - it found that in 1996 the vast majority of airlines published a scheduled flight time of between 60 and 74 minutes. Fast forward 22 years and almost all claim the journey takes between 75 and 89 minutes, while a handful bank on 90 minutes or more. ”

Jetstreams Enable Routine Supersonic Flight (Groundspeed)

Riding a Wild Wind, Transatlantic Jets Fly Faster Than Ever (Archive)

A 200-mph jet stream has sent several passenger jets to nearly 800 mph and helped break a (subsonic) speed record.

  “ OK, about that "subsonic" bit. You might know that the speed of sound at an altitude of 30,000 to 40,000 feet is roughly 670 mph. But Norwegian’s planes didn't break the sound barrier. Those near-800-mph figures represent ground speed—how fast the aircraft is moving over land. Their air speed, which factors out the 200-mph wind boost, was closer to the 787's standard Mach 0.85. (The older Boeing 747 can cruise at Mach 0.86, but is less efficient than its younger stablemate.) When talking supersonic, and breaking sound barriers, it's all about the speed of the air passing over the wings, which in this case was more like 570 mph. ”

Wind Estimates

A quote from a University of Hawaii professor David Duffy suggests that travel times in various wind conditions can be quite wild. He discusses dispersion of undirected airborne radiation traveling from Japan to Hawaii:

Hawaii and Dealing with a Worst-Case Scenario from Fallout from Japanese Reactors (Archive)

UH professor lays out questions we need to be asking to determine whether we're ready for worst-case scenario.

  “ How soon? Honolulu is at 21° N, Sendai is at 38° N. The Hawaiian Islands are about 3800 miles from Sendai as the albatross flies. If the plume of radioactive material rises high enough, it could hitch a ride on the jet stream, at 100-400 mph, and cover 3,800 miles in as little as 9.5 hours or as much as 38 hours. ”

Center of a Tornado

If Professor David Duffy is correct that Jet Streams reach 400 mph, for context this is the speed of winds at the center of a tornado: (Archive)

  “ Tornadoes will travel up to 70 miles per hour (mph), with wind speeds approaching 400 mph within the tornado’s center. ”

Flight Paths Not Regular

Many assume that the flights fly on great circle, or direct routes, in a simplistic manner. In reality the flight paths change daily:

  “ Another example of the significant change in aircraft routes offered by more flexible use of airspace are the new nonstop flights between the US and India, which overfly Norway, Sweden and Finland one day, but may appear in Portuguese, Spanish and North African airspace the next day, depending on weather and prevailing jet streams. ”

Shortest Possible Time

It is also generally assumed in such analysis and arguments that pilots are trying to reach destinations in the shortest possible time, which may not always be the case.

  “ By flying in a jet stream, aircraft travelling from west to east get carried along by the tailwind, saving them time – and/or fuel. In fact most airline pilots are trained to reduce airspeed when the winds are so much to their advantage, to save fuel costs – not to fly in the shortest possible time ”

Anomalous Winds over the Southern Oceans

Winds over the Southern Oceans are reputed to be of an anomalous nature, as compared to winds in the North.

Australian Antarctic Division (Archive)

  “ The Southern Ocean is notorious for having some of the strongest winds and largest waves on the planet. ”

BBC Earth (Archive)

  “ There are huge belts of wind caused by the uneven way the Sun heats the Earth's surface. 30° north and south of the equator, the trade winds blow steadily. At 40° lie the prevailing westerlies, and the polar easterlies begin at around 60°.

Ask any round-the-world sailor and they will quickly tell you the stormiest seas, stirred by the strongest winds, are found in the Southern Ocean. These infamously rough latitudes are labelled the "roaring 40s", "furious 50s" and "screaming 60s". ”

Journal of Geophysical Research (Archive)

  “ The Southern Ocean is a vital element in the global climate. Its circumpolar current plays a crucial role in the global transport of mass, heat, momentum, and climate signals from one ocean basin to another. Moreover, the Southern Ocean hosts the strongest surface winds of any open ocean area, fostering strong heat, moisture, and momentum exchanges between the ocean and atmosphere. However, the Southern Ocean is tremendously undersurveyed by traditional observation methods because of the remoteness of the area and rough environment, causing the largest data gap of global oceans. ”

Easterly and Westerly Wind Directions

Prevailing Winds

Maps of the Trade-winds show that winds can travel in both Easterly and Westerly directions in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres:

Map prevailing winds on earth.png

Ocean Currents

The winds also cause the direction of the ocean gyes, which in turn show both Easterly and Westerly directions in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Ocean Gyres.png

Note: The seen clockwise and counter-clockwise prevailing wind and ocean currents runs contradictory to the Coriolis Effect. See Coriolis Effect (Weather)

Non-Stop Flights

Reported issues with Non-Stop flights may suggest that the existing flights depend on a balance of physical phenomena.

Annoyed by a fuel stop on your direct flight? (Archive)

Annoyed by a fuel stop on your direct flight? Why airlines can't always plan ahead

  “ Travel delays. We've all been there.

But there's something about fuel stops that particularly irritates travellers. Why didn't the airline plan ahead? How could it not know the aircraft would need more fuel?

In November Chad Hinchey was on a direct WestJet flight from Edmonton to Yellowknife when he says the pilot announced they were going to have to divert to Fort McMurray, Alta., because of bad weather.

Passengers were told that the plane didn't have enough fuel to attempt a landing in Yellowknife and fly to an alternate airport if it had to. ”

Flights Stop for Fuel

Flights Stop for Fuel


January 11, 2012

  “ Dozens of Continental Airlines flights to the East Coast from Europe have been forced to make unexpected stops in Canada and elsewhere to take on fuel after running into unusually strong headwinds over the Atlantic Ocean.

The stops, which have caused delays and inconvenience for thousands of passengers in recent weeks, are partly the result of a decision by United Continental Holdings Inc., the world's largest airline, to use smaller jets on a growing number of long, trans-Atlantic routes. ”

So-called nonstop flights now stop for fuel

Air travel: So-called nonstop flights now stop for fuel

  “ In winter, to lower the odds of getting snowed in by an ice storm, a good idea is to choose warm weather for your connection, even if it seems a slightly longer trip. In summer, fogs and thunderstorms can also wreak havoc with airline schedules. Obviously, buying your tickets far in advance, there is no way to avoid these situations. But if you’re buying your ticket at the last minute, check a source like the Weather Channel before nailing down your final arrangements.

If the jet-setters of the 1960s had climbed aboard a plane designed 40 years before, they would have been getting into something with wooden wings. In some ways the world changed more rapidly and dramatically in your grandfather’s day than your own.

Accept the reality that most of the stress in travel by plane is out of your control. As you will quickly see, you have much less control of things in general than you might like to believe.

Be aware that so-called nonstop flights now stop for fuel. Flights to the East Coast from Europe are being forced to make dozens of totally unexpected stops in Canada and elsewhere to take on fuel after running into unusually strong head winds over the Atlantic Ocean. According to The Wall Street Journal and other sources, these stops, which have caused dramatic delays and inconvenience for thousands of passengers in recent weeks, are the results of a decision by United Continental, the world’s largest airline, to utilize a smaller jet on a growing number of long transatlantic routes.

The strategy works when the winds are calm. It allows the airline to operate less expensive aircraft. And with fewer cabin-crew members to an array of European cities that would not generate enough traffic to justify larger planes. But according to Susan Carey and Andy Pasztor, by pushing its 757s to nearly the limit of their roughly 4,000-nautical-mile range, United is leaving little room for error, especially when stiff winds increase the amount of fuel the planes’ twin engines burn. ”

Reliance on Jet Streams

If the winds are not in the plane's favor, they may stop to refuel:

  “ In 2015, the jet stream hit speeds over 200 mph. Riding the wave, an eastbound plane was propelled to nearly the speed of sound, delivering passengers from New York to London in just over five hours. In the opposite direction, planes bound for New York were forced to stop in Maine and refuel, because the head wind slowed them to a sluggish eight-hour haul. ”

Non-direct Route

Planes do not necessarily fly on the direct route, the so-called 'great circle' route. Flight path mapping requires diversion airports (ie. countries or islands with airports) near the flight path. (Archive)


  “ The most direct route between two points is known as the "Great Circle" line that connects the two points.



Third, a plane will not fly the Great Circle route if there are no suitable diversion airports along the flight path. This a bigger problem for two-engine long haul planes like the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A330 as they must adhere to the Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPS).

Essentially, if one engine goes out, a plane's ETOPS rating says how long that plane can fly on a single engine. ”


Travel writer Maggie Teneva states:

  “ Long-haul flights are often associated with long layovers and delays or cancellations. ”


Airliners call a cancelled flight "rescheduled":

  “ How often are flights cancelled/diverted?

Not often. Flights are more often rescheduled than cancelled or diverted. In the event that a flight is cancelled whether under the airline's control or caused by a severe weather or air traffic disruptions, many airlines will rebook your flight or cancel your remaining flight(s). ”

See Also

Perceived Anomalies