Record flight! Air India flies Delhi to San Francisco over Pacific Ocean non-stop
New Delhi, Oct 23: Air India has become the first ever flight to flown over the Pacific Ocean from Delhi to San Fransico (SFO), instead of the Atlantic. Last week, Air India flew non-stop over the Ocean making the record of operating the world’s longest nonstop flight. The Air India flight covered 15,300 kilometres in 14.5 hours which is almost 1,400km longer than the Atlantic route. Although, it was a longer route, the flight made it earlier to its destination. It took almost tow hours lesser due to tailwinds which blow in the same direction as the direction of travel, thus helping the aircraft move faster. The plane took from Delhi at 4am on October 16 and cross the international date line (October 15) and landed in San Franciso at 6:30 am on October 16.
Times of India quoted, a senior AI official as saying, “The Earth rotates from west to east, and winds flow in that direction too. Flying west means facing strong headwinds (that decreases an aircraft’s actual ground speed), and flying east means getting strong tailwinds, which does the opposite. 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.” (ALSO READ- Air India Diwali ‘Maharaja’ Offer: Buy one ticket, take one companion free)
Air India become world’s second-longest flight to take Atlantic route from Delhi to San Franciso at 13,900km, after Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland which flew at 14,120 km. Now, Singapore Airlines is all set to grab the record that will cover 16,500 km in 19 hours. It will fly from Singapore to New York on the same route. Air India Pacific route will remain world’s longest nonstop for two years.
Captains Rajneesh Sharma, Gautam Verma, MA Khan and SM Palekar, and the 10 cabin crew members are the minds behind achieving this feat. The pilots are overwhelmed that they are the first to take the lead in making this record.
One of the pilots were quote saying, ”The aircraft took off from Delhi at 4am on Sunday (October 16) morning. We were in that date till Japan. After that, we crossed the international date line and were in October 15. By the time we landed in San Francisco, it was 6.30am on October 16 (local time in SFO).” (ALSO READ: Air India felicitates grappler Sakshi Malik with a return business class ticket)
To fly according to winds, the Air India Delhi-SFO-Delhi flight does a round trip of the world, on both the outbound and inbound flights, as it flies back to the India. Reportedly, for each hour of flying, AI’s Boeing-777 200 long range, on this route, on an average takes 9,600 litres of fuel. Thus, lesser span of flying time would cut fuel usage too.