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San Francisco-Sydney with United - aircraft?

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geoffb78

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Jan 15, 2005
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Hi all

I'll be flying with United from SFO-SYD in August and noticed the flight time is somewhere in the order of 14.5 hours. I didn't realise standard 747-400 aircraft could sustain this distance. Does United (and Qantas, for that matter) use the 400ER variant on this route, or am I mistaken as to the range of a standard 747-400?

Look forward to your elaboration.

Thanks, Geoff.
 

NM

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SFO-SYD is actually 70 miles shorter than LAX-SYD. The Boeing 747-400 can make that flight most of the year without weight restrictions. When strong headwinds are expected, they may need a slight weight restriction.

QF is the only operator with the passenger version of the 747-400ER and they are generally used on the LAX-MEL route as that is 450 miles longer than LAX-SYD. The -Er also allows QF to operate the LAX-SYD route with a little extra cargo on board. -ER can either do longer range or lift more cargo.
 

markis10

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The 747-400 has a range of 13450 miles, the 400ER 14205 miles so both are more than capable of the trip. Northwest was the launch customer for the 400 however the first 400 in Australia was operated by UA on the LAX-SYD leg.

Other 747 variants could also meet the range by reducing load.
 

NM

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markis10 said:
The 747-400 has a range of 13450 miles, the 400ER 14205 miles so both are more than capable of the trip. Northwest was the launch customer for the 400 however the first 400 in Australia was operated by UA on the LAX-SYD leg.
I think Boeing would be very pleased if they had a 747 that could make 13,000 miles. I think you might have to exchange miles for km when quoting those range distances.
markis10 said:
Other 747 variants could also meet the range by reducing load.
The only other 747 variant that could operate LAX-SYD with a decent load was the 747-SP.

The 747-100, 747-200 and 747-300 models could not operate that route with a commercial load. This is why QF used to operate those aircraft types via HNL or PPT.
 

markis10

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NM, you are completely right, got my kms and miles all mixed up, should have stuck to nautical miles (was going to say nm but that would just confuse things).
 

NM

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markis10 said:
NM, you are completely right, got my kms and miles all mixed up, should have stuck to nautical miles (was going to say nm but that would just confuse things).
Yeah it does get confusing since the aircraft manufacturers generally use nautical miles, FF programs now use miles, and we all know that km are the most common measure of distance (ok, that last bit might not be really true, but it sound good!).
 

og

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..and AC certainly would certainly know not to mix up gallons and litres when fueling a 762 (it goes very quiet when you don't want it to).
 

NM

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og said:
..and AC certainly would certainly know not to mix up gallons and litres when fueling a 762 (it goes very quiet when you don't want it to).
or kg for lb will do the same thing ;) .
 

og

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NM said:
or kg for lb will do the same thing ;) .
Hmmmm. I knew it was the metrication of the fuelling process, I just didn't add the time factor into the equation:D .
 

NM

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og said:
Hmmmm. I knew it was the metrication of the fuelling process, I just didn't add the time factor into the equation:D .
The Gimli Glider was due to the lb/kg confusion and that particular 767 being the only one in the fleet using metric measures, coupled with the broken fuel gage etc (rarely a single cause in aviation).

Of course gallons is a dangerous measure to rely on also, since the US folks like to rip us off with their 3.75 litre/gallon measure instead of the real measure being more like 4.25 litres. They might think they can get away with it when measuring fuel, but when they try to pass of 473ml of beer as being a pint (instead of 568ml) one really does feel ripped-off :( .
 

oz_mark

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NM said:
Of course gallons is a dangerous measure to rely on also, since the US folks like to rip us off with their 3.75 litre/gallon measure instead of the real measure being more like 4.25 litres. They might think they can get away with it when measuring fuel, but when they try to pass of 473ml of beer as being a pint (instead of 568ml) one really does feel ripped-off :( .
The size of a pint of beer in Australia seems a little on the variable side to me. Must be some of the US pint glasses around...
 
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