Wednesday, August 02, 2017

This 30-hours flight from 1943 is actually the world's longest

Much before Qatar Airways and Air India started competing over who runs world's longest non-stop flight, there was one flight years ago, that, if put to test today, could have defeated both of them.
In 1943, the World War II left Australia completely isolated from the British Empire. However, to retain communications, Qantas Airways introduced a top-secret, non-stop service between Perth and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Operating once a week, the airline maintained complete radio silence, while navigating by stars only.
This secret Qantas carrier could travel as long as 32 hours and nine minutes, which is much longer than any operating commercial flight today. And while on board, one could see the sunrise twice!
But how did the 'Double Sunrise' flight manage its fuel supply for such a long duration?
Well, the fleet had been reportedly modified with extra fuel tanks to hold as much as 2400 gallons. On the other hand, some non-essential equipment, like de-cing insulation, was taken off the plane to make it lighter. Besides, the flight could accommodate only three passengers at a time, with a few bags of mail, microfilmed to reduce weight.
01/08/17 Disha Roy Choudhury/India Today