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Virgin Jet Pulls Off One Of World's Longest Ever Flights

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Virgin Jet Pulls Off One Of World's Longest Ever Flights

With travel restrictions in place all over the world, and many airports closed, a Virgin Australia plane has managed to pull off a bit of an impressive feat - by flying for almost 20 hours non-stop.

Although the airline has suspended most of its normal timetable because of coronavirus lockdowns, it is still running some charter flights in order to repatriate people from countries around the globe.

The Boeing 777-300ER flew from Paris to Brisbane in 19 hours and 43 minutes, travelling approximately 9,888 nautical miles. It landed with just six tonnes of fuel left, after leaving Paris with 144.

The Virgin Australia flight travelling over the French Alps. Credit: Virgin Australia
The Virgin Australia flight travelling over the French Alps. Credit: Virgin Australia
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The flight landed in Brisbane on Wednesday night (15 April) and was the return journey after its mission to Paris via stops in Auckland and Hong Kong, which was taking French citizens back home from New Zealand.

And it's not even just that it's one of the longest flights ever that made it such an impressive achievement.

As reported by news.com.au, the flight had to be planned around the various restrictions, taking many different factors into account.

Firstly, the flight course had to make sure that it had a selection of what professionals call 'Enroute Adequate Airports'. These are airports along the flight path that are close enough for the plane to land safely if it needed to for any reason.

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It was decided that for this particular flight, the flight path would leave Paris and fly over Rome, then on to Bahrain, Colombo, Singapore, Darwin, Alice Springs, Townsville and then finally Brisbane.

The flight crew on the 20 hour journey. Credit: Virgin Australia
The flight crew on the 20 hour journey. Credit: Virgin Australia

The airline needed to make sure they thought about things like how long the runway is, fire and rescue provisions of each airport, and whether there was crew on the ground in case it did need to land.

Bosses at Virgin Australia told the news outlet: "We also have to look at the level of weather forecasts that are available for the airport and the availability and accuracy of the airports' arrival and landing procedures.

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"We also have to ensure that our flight stays within three hours flying time of at least one of these airports at all times."

Other data, such as wind needed to be taken into account, to make sure it could make it without having to refuel.

Having less weight on board will have an effect on how much fuel it uses, therefore meaning it can fly for longer without the need to stop to fill up again.

Featured Image Credit: Virgin Australia

Topics: World News, Coronavirus, Australia

Amelia Ward
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