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Someone needs to come up with a 12,500 mile route (half way round the world) give or take a bit. With prevailing winds, it might well make more sense to continue flying in the same direction, rather than going back the way you came. For some reason, that would amuse the heck out of me.
"It was the first non-stop [scheduled commercial] flight from Australia to Britain in history."
You need to add those words because the same airline flew their first Boeing 747-400 from London to Sydney nonstop in 1989, a distance of over 18,000 km.
Lets hope the polar flights (Abu Dhabi - Los Angeles and Singapore - New York) never encounter medical emergencies or mechanical problems while crossing the North Pole. Very few hospitable alternate landing sites that far north.
"AT 63 metres long, 17 metres tall and weighing more than 250 tonnes, it is a wonder that the 787-9 Dreamliner built by Boeing, an American airplane-maker, manages to fly at all"
You know, I get that pretty much all Economist articles are meant to have an element of sass in their introductory sentence, but this one is among the most ridiculous ones we've been served so far.
Is it a wonder that the Airbus A380 (80 meters long), Airbus A350 (65 meters long), Antonov 225 (88 m long) manage to fly at all?
I totally agree . . . here's my personal story:
"At 73 metres long, 19 metres tall and weighing more than 330 tonnes, an Air France Boeing 747 (tail no. F-BPVC) lifted off from Montreal's Dorval airport in August 1970, carrying me to Paris, then back three weeks later. I can attest to the fact that it did indeed manage to fly at all, as evidenced by the fact that I'm still here to write this 48 years later"