Qantas’ ultra-long haul dream, Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

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July 06, 2017, © Leeham Co.: In previous articles we have learned how to fly the challenging route Sydney-London direct. From a well-informed person in Qantas we learned not to fight the winds. We shall use them. If we fly intelligently we put a cap on the longest distance we fly, even on windy days.

The other way around, London to Sydney, is less of a challenge. The aircraft is blown down under by the winds.

Figure 1. Qantas planned URL routes with Great Circle distances. Source: Great Circle mapper.

Now we use our aircraft model to understand how Airbus’ A350-900ULR and Boeing’s 777-8 would cope with the route.


  • The ideas of Qantas did not stop with not fighting the winds.
  • We also learned how to simplify the analysis process for URL aircraft and routes.
  • Forget about cabins, seats and passengers. It’s all about the hauled weight.

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