Air India flight from Delhi to San Francisco which usually flies over the Atlantic Ocean, flew over the Pacific for the first time and earned the record of operating world’s longest nonstop flight.
Although, the maiden route was almost 14,000 km longer than the previously operated one, the journey took 14 hours and 30 minutes to complete, which is 2 hours lesser to the Atlantic route owing to the tailwinds which flow in the same direction as an aircraft thus making it go faster.
A senior Air India official told that, “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.”
Captains Rajneesh Sharma, Gautam Verma, MA Khan and SM Palekar were the 4 pilots who operated the aircraft along with 10 crew members and each of them were delighted after setting the record.
Air India’s this Pacific route will now remain the world’s longest nonstop for two years, until the Singapore Airlines launches Singapore-New York flight that will cover 16,500km in 19 hours.