We’re Going To Need More Peanuts

By on November 9, 2005

Boeing has developed a long-range version of the 777, the Boeing 777LR. As a publicity stunt, they’re going to shatter the long distance record for a commercial airliner by flying from Hong Kong to London in 22 hours non-stop.

Loaded with 360,732 pounds of fuel and just 35 passengers — pilots, Boeing engineers and an international assortment of journalists, all of whom had been carefully weighed with their luggage — the big jet burned just 700 pounds of fuel in is less than 3 minutes of taxi time. And in 40 seconds of acceleration, the record-setting attempt by the huge 777-200LR was airborne and wheels up.

The unusual route — planes traveling from Hong Kong to London usually fly a great circle route farther north — confused even the onboard entertainment computers on the flight. The entainment system, familiar to passengers on many long flights to show progress of the plane, kept veering off at a right angle trying to show the plane on the shortest route to London.

My guess is that covering the 22-hour plane ride was not exactly a plum assignment for the journalists. You’re a part of history and all, but, “I went on the longest commercial flight ever!” isn’t really going to impress anyone when you talk about it later.

Via kottke.



  1. This is a particularly pointless effort. The Earth’s circumference is approximately 40,000 km. So you can get from anywhere to anywhere in about 20,000 km. This airplane is flying an extra 1,500 miles just for the heck of it. There are some records that just don’t matter any more, and this is one of them. It’s as if someone had followed Magellan’s ship, and then sailed another 50 miles at the end.

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