Air India sets world record for longest non-stop flight
Air India set the record for the longest non-stop flight when it flew from Delhi to San Francisco (SFO) over the Pacific Ocean instead of the Atlantic, reported The Times of India.
The flight covered the distance of 15,300 kilometres in 14.5 hours— two hours less than usual. The flight flew eastward as opposed to westward which increased the speed due to the tailwinds instead of strong headwinds.
“While taking the (western) Atlantic route to SFO, we usually face headwinds of 24kmph. This means that if our aircraft is doing 800kmph, its actual ground speed is 776kmph. Taking the (eastern) Pacific route will mean getting tailwinds of 138kmph, which make the aircraft have an actual ground speed of 938kmph,” an AI official told the daily.
Four pilots, captains Rajneesh Sharma, Gautam Verma, MA Khan and SM Palekar, and 10 cabin crew members were on board to operate the flight.
AI’s Delhi-SFO (13,900 km) non-stop is now world’s second-longest flight after Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland (14,120 km). It will hold this record for two years till Singapore Airlines launches the Singapore-New York flight that will cover 16,500 km in 19 hours.
Using this route, the Delhi-SFO burns 9,600 litres of fuel for each hour of flying, on an average.