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Jimm

Make The Bus Go Further

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Flipping through some old Youtube videos yesterday, I stumbled upon one that intrigued me.  It was from one of the Youtubers who posts quite a bit of flight simulation videos, and one of his flights surprised the heck out of me.  It was a long-haul flight from EINN (Shannon, Ireland) to KJFK (New York, USA).  It was a calculated 3,000nm+ flight...in an Airbus A318.

 

At first, I had to re-watch it, to see if my eyes were deceiving me, but sure enough, it could be done.  I confirmed it through another video on Youtube, whereby someone had posted an in-flight video of their trek from EGLC (London City) to EINN (Shannon, for a pitstop) and then on to KJFK.  I didn't think it was possible until I read all the details.  There are two BAW Airbus A318's that operate this long-haul flight, consisting of 32 business class seats and can carry roughly 5,000kg of cargo.  Now it started to make sense.  Less passengers, and almost maxed out fuel, yeah it's a flying gas can.  I cannot imagine just anyone taking a flight like this, as it is business class, and of course, the question of "why would anyone take an A318 on such a long trip" came to mind, but I guess it's for those who are hard-pressed to get to the states...kinda like taking a taxi from NY to LA. lol

 

Currently, or at least from the time of the video, BAW operates this route with the G-EUNA and G-EUNB registrations.  G-EUNA is a stock livery from Aerosoft, in case anyone wants to be super accurate with this.

 

Anywho, I looked this up afterwards:  http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a320family/a318/performance/

 

The interactive map is very helpful, not to mention all of the proper technical data, which is nice for those who want to "mod" their aircraft.  Granted, in this particular case, there is no need to modify the aircraft cfg file as this all has to do with data for planning.  Since I currently use the Aerosoft Airbus X A3XX Series, I've been constrained to flying routes appropriate to the size and range of the aircraft, dictated by what was established by the developer.  For instance, I would use an A318 for a short-haul flight from say, EGAA to EGCC.  On the flipside, I could take an A321 from UUEE to EKCH.  This is all example, albeit probably a bit of ignorance on my part, but hey, flight simulation is all about learning, and not just for flying the aircraft, but understanding the design, the limits, the strengths and weaknesses.

 

Anywho, the interactive map helps to calculate just how far you could go with your Airbus, and the map proved again that a flight from the UK to the US in an A318 is possible.  Granted, if you use any professional type flight planners, you have to adjust the specs as necessary.  I am still working out all of the details currently, but for what I have done, as well as setting up the aircraft for ETOPS, my PFPX created a great route that is almost spot on to the one the Youtube video showed.  Even after creating the plan, and exporting it, using the Aerosoft Fuel Planner is a must as well, for generating the loadsheet, unless you want to enter in everything manually, which is fine.

 

Importing the flightplan into the MCDU is simple, but then you have to set up the ETOPS waypoint properly, so have a copy of the flightplan at the ready in order to get the correct coordinates input into the MCDU.  Basically, for what I understand right now (I have yet to fly an ETOPS flight ever), that ETOPS point (midway between the two waypoints generated from PFPX, is a critical point for the aircraft to fly to (since the ETOPS is set at 180 minutes).  In any case, getting the correct input format is key, using coordinates instead of names.

 

I intend to fly this when I have time, but for all the backend info, this is pretty neat.  Up until yesterday, I had no idea this could be done, and furthermore, never knew it was a real flight.  I'm sure the reason why more airlines don't do this is due to operational costs, but it sure is a neat way to get across the pond. :)

 

If anyone is interested in learning more about this, send me a PM.  If everyone else but me already knew about this, please disregard. :)

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The flight actually originates out of London City Airport (LCY) with a technical stop in Shannon.

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That's the Concorde replacement flight. Only a bit slower :P

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The flight actually originates out of London City Airport (LCY) with a technical stop in Shannon.

Did I not mention that, I'm sorry.  When I watched the videos yesterday, they were in parts, whereby the Bus did a full circuit from EGLC to EINN and then to KJFK, back to EGLC.  I hear the stopover in Shannon is due to a "top off" of fuel.  I guess I'm just weird, finding this to be a most fascinating route.  I've been eager to fly some long-hauls, but didn't even factor in the full capabilities of the Airbus A320 series.  Again, I learned something. :)

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Did I not mention that, I'm sorry.  When I watched the videos yesterday, they were in parts, whereby the Bus did a full circuit from EGLC to EINN and then to KJFK, back to EGLC.  I hear the stopover in Shannon is due to a "top off" of fuel.  I guess I'm just weird, finding this to be a most fascinating route.  I've been eager to fly some long-hauls, but didn't even factor in the full capabilities of the Airbus A320 series.  Again, I learned something. :)

 

When someone told me for the first time that BA were doing a LC -NY route on the A318 I thought they were high. I was similarly surprised.  As far as I know, its a business class configuration aircraft.

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My bad, you did mention it. Very early morning start for me. 4:30AM van to SFO. Pumping RedBull to get moving.

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When someone told me for the first time that BA were doing a LC -NY route on the A318 I thought they were high. I was similarly surprised.  As far as I know, its a business class configuration aircraft.

When I first got wind of it, I thought it was a heavily modded flight sim scenario, until of course, when I mentioned the Youtube vid from another member, that I saw it was real.  It kinda sounds like fun, flying with 32 of your closest friends, sipping champagne and eating gourmet cousine, all the while using your very own ipad for inflight entertainment.

 

Yes, I did mention this is strictly a business class flight, both ways, but I think the going rate is about $6800 round trip for one person...I don't have those kind of funds, BUT I can simulate it! :)

My bad, you did mention it. Very early morning start for me. 4:30AM van to SFO. Pumping RedBull to get moving.

Oh come on.  I'm up every morning at 4am.  Sure, I drink a ton of coffee, but I'm wide awake and ready to go. :D

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...Concorde replacement flight. Only a bit slower :P

 

You beat me to it! The world has slowed down since the demise of that graceful angel. :( It's 2016, we should have 45-minute, suborbital London-Tokyo flights by now! ;)

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You also clear US customs in Shannon so when you land you walk straight out. It is a unique service as it us the only long haul aircraft allowed to use London city.

For your ceo in Canary Wharf this is a useful option...

Let's assume Concorde takes 3 hours 30 minutes from Heathrow to jfk. Add an hour or more to get to Heathrow and an hour or more to get through immigration so for arguments sake call it 6 hours.

BA says it takes 9 hours and 25 mins with their a318 service so it's only 3 hours 25 minutes slower than Concorde.

I miss the incredible Concorde and if I could experience her now I'd jump at the chance, but I can see the appeal for this service if you have the money. £2800! Also look at the leg room! sitting in concorde at Manchester she's definitely cramped(I'm bigger than average but not a giant by any stretch, 6'3" and rugby build).

This way you get the Concorde class service with loads more room.

http://www.britishairways.com/assets/images/information/about-ba/fleet-facts/airbus-318-100/500x962-map-airbus-318-100_32.jpg

 

On day we might have a worthy replacement for her though.

 

Chris

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