New Airbus to Embark on 19-Hour Commercial Flight


There are some instances where the brightest minds in aeronautics are put to the test designing and developing engineering feats that nobody ever really wants to use. In this case, I present to you the Airbus A350-900ULR.

ULR, I should add, stands for Ultra Long Range, and Airbus’s new plane is setting out to break some records. Once it enters service with Singapore Airlines in October, the A350-900 will embark on the longest continuous flight on record.

The trip will go from Singapore to Newark and it will take a whopping 19 hours. I have many questions, the least of which is – why anyone would want to go to Newark badly enough to sit on a plane for 19 hours…? But, that’s beside the point.

Apparently, Airbus was able to reach this incredible uninterrupted flight time with a change to the fuel system which allows for the plane to carry more volume – thus adding about 1,600 miles in range. Another update has to do with aerodynamics, a design change that Airbus says increases the fuel efficiency of the aircraft by 25 percent.

But because carrying a massive amount of fuel adds weight, thus requiring even more fuel, the Airbus 350-900 has been designed for a lighter passenger load – with 67 seats in business class and 94 in economy. Compare this to Airbus’s largest jumbo jet, which carries up to 500 passengers.

But the lighter passenger load has a dual purpose: apparently a super-packed plane isn’t anyone’s first choice when spending nearly a full day and night in the air. With a smaller group in tow, the cabin should be roomier and quieter. And while there will be loads of entertainment options available, I think I’d honestly be happier with a connection.

Luckily, these flights aren’t really aimed at the likes of me. The lighter passenger load and high fuel expenditure should send ticket prices way up, and this long-haul option is reportedly aimed at businesspeople who will gladly throw their expense account at a flight with the most direct route and then just cross their fingers that nobody pukes.

Hurricane-Resistant, Floating Dairy FarmNext Story »