What is the longest possible flight without refueling?

Hey everybody.

I was thinking about doing an ultra long haul flight, and decided to look to the community for something help with calculations.

What is the longest possible flight?

Which aircraft have the largest fuel tanks in comparison to fuel Burn? (I.e range)
What is the slowest possible throttle level (or speed) to keep this plane in the air?

Thanks!

-Pie

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It depends :

  • Wind Direction and Speed
  • Aircraft
  • Range
  • Altitude

You can also check places like FlightAware or you can just google some.

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Range (decreasing by range) 380, 77L, 748, 77W, C172

Longest Flight is merely your imagination. I’ve done YSSY-EGLL over the North Pole (10000nm), VHHH - EGLL Eastwards (longest non-stop in the world, 11000nm), Buenos Aires to Chennai (9000nm), MMMX to WSSS (9500nm, B748) and many more with @MishaCamp (he helped a lot) ❤

All of the flights are at M85, pretty fuel efficient if you step climb. Don’t cross 85 though.

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So far, my longest flight has been 16 hours 47 minutes on board an a340-600 from JNB to JFK. SA 203. But, I would love to be able to do longer flights (17+ hours). I’m having trouble with it. For example, I tried to do a flight from Sydney to Frankfurt in a b747-8i with max fuel, 23.75 hours, with 0 passengers and 0 kgs of cargo. As I began my climb to cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, with VS 1000-2000 fpm, and gradually increased my trim to -100%, it still said that I did not have enough fuel to complete the journey. Can anyone help or suggests any edits in my flight?

As you fly, you get lighter. Then you can fly farther.

(There are many other factors though!)

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Don’t use the B748, consumes a lot of fuel when heavy. And, don’t believe whatever it says, it shows according to speed and fuel flow at that moment (your speed may increase, fuel flow will decrease - load decreases)

But them what should I use for this flight. I would love to be able to do this in the future. On the community, I’m seeing everyone get like 20+ hours of flight time in without refueling! Which aircraft would you recommend for the flight?

A380, B77L, B77W. I use the first 2 alot.

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Sorry for asking so many questions, hope you don’t mind. Another question: doesn’t the b77L have less fuel time then the 77W, and doesn’t the a380 have a higher fuel consumption rate then the other two though?

It’s okay. It’ll be helpful to others reading this.

B77L has greater fuel capacity. A380 has 4 engines and a huge fuel tank, it also has old physics and slightly incorrect fuel numbers which make a big difference after 16-17h of flying.

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So would you recommend just keep flying even if the fuel gage is showing up as red until it turns back to white or yellow?

Yes I would. That’s what I always do. I’ve had no issues even though difference between Fuel Rem. and ETE Dest is 4h (afaik)

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So if I’m getting this right,

I would fly some sort of 77 variant (if I wanted to keep realistic) as the a380 is older and incorrect.

Also, I know there is no service ceiling (I’ve seen fighter jets in orbit) so what would the highest possible altitude be if I wanted to do this?

Also: would a tailwind or headwind benefit me?

I start anywhere between FL 290 to FL 330 for long haul, climb 2000ft often as you burn dinosaur juice.

Tailwinds are better. (So fly eastwards, check www.windy.com)

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You have quite the way with words :)

Okay thanks. I’ll note all of this.

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“Dinosaur juice.” Man, I need to remember this 😂

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Ive gotten 22 hours out of the B77W from HECA to KBOS eastbound. I know with the B788 you have a 23-24 hours range. Those two I have found have the longest range

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The longest flight I have done was from OMAA to KORD which was 14 hours and 20 minutes or so, without refueling.

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I done a flight last night from Sydney to London Heathrow, in a Boeing 787-9. I loaded maximum fuel and just left it to fly. I ran out of fuel above France (110KNT headwind didn’t help) and I believe that was 9138nm? Just taken me over 18hrs.

B788 can do 23hrs if you plan correctly. 11458nm distance.

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