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Commercial flights over the Artic

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Hello friends :)This was sitting on my mind and I wanted to ask you all:Are there commercial airline flights that cross the Artic?Would'nt that route create *shorter* "long-haul" flights?...like say New York-Tokyo, Moscow-Seattle etc.Or are such routes not yet possible because of the very harsh environment and lack of SAR facilities?Would'nt that be exciting...being on an A340-600 over the top of the World!!!!

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>>Are there commercial airline flights that cross the Artic?Yes, there are. I think Continental flies from Newark to Bejing a polar route and some other airlines do it as well. Polar route requires a bit of special preparation before take off like for example pilots must be absolutely sure of this particular batch of fuel freezing temperature. Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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Yes! Have been for decades....see "great circle route" in MSFS lessonsand flight planner. DN

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> Have been for decades....hmmm... definitely not for decades, the polar routes opened up when the Cold War ended (and then it took some years of negotiation) since Russians had to agree to let flights enter their previously closely guarded 'syberian' airspace from the north - so it is a fairly recent phenomena.Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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I guess I've been living under a rock!I didnt know that there were regular polar flights! I thought it was not permitted because if a plane goes down it would be a bit of an issue as far as rescue operations went.Do they allow only 4-engine planes to fly these routes or are the big twins (777, A330 etc) also allowed?Thank you all for your interesting replies!:)

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CO's EWR-HKG flight is a 777. Just comply with ETOPS rules.

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Nevin,In autumn 1958 KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines started the Amsterdam - Tokyo line flown via the Geographical North Pole with Douglas DC-7C aircraft.An intermediate fuelstop was made in Anchorage(Alaska). Total abridgement was 3000 km (1620 NM) compared to the southern route flown up till then.Cruise-altitude 17000 feet / cruise-speed 495 kph (267 knots)/ OAT - 35 Celcius (- 31 Fahrenheit).A navigation promblem formed the magnetic compassses, becoming completely unreliable in those arctic regions(dipdown force overruling the azimuthal force of the magnetic field), therefore gyrocompasses were used.For crewmembers there were special arctic survival training courses, given by the famous Alaska- and Polar explorer Allan Innes-Taylor, who once was a member of the Byrd expedition. I still possess the "Artic Survival Guide" edited and compiled by Alan Innes-Taylor.This "polar line" was later on extended from Tokyo to Biak (former Netherlands New Guinea).Paddy.

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>>> Have been for decades....>>hmmm... definitely not for decades, the polar routes opened up>when the Cold War ended (and then it took some years of>negotiation) since Russians had to agree to let flights enter>their previously closely guarded 'syberian' airspace from the>north - so it is a fairly recent phenomena.>>>Michael J.>WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB>Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2Michael; I stand UNcorrected; In the 60's ,in my capacity as an aircraft dispatcher with the USAF/Strategic Air Command, I Personally dispatched a number of Artic/Polarmissions DAILY! The question Kevin asked concerned "Artic" not just "Polar Crossing"flights,but regardless, both were occurring on a daily basis...bothmilitary and civilian. None of these flights BTW made any incursion of Soviet Airspace, butsure came dam close. Regards Denny

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>Strategic Air Command, I Personally dispatched a number of>Artic/Polar>missions DAILY!Denny,My understanding was that the original question implied commercial flights. Pretty much all viable commercial city-pairs that benefit from the Polar routing cross Russian airspace.Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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Thanx again friends, lots of info there. Paddy your reply is most interesting. Didnt know polar-routes were around for that amount of time! I dont know why I thought they were not permitted. I do recall reading an article some time ago that spoke of "opening up polar routes" to "create shorter city-pairs"...perhaps those were just *additional routes* and not brand new ones! I do recall though that it did mention SAE concerns if an airplane went down.BTW dont the Americans have ski-equipped C-130 planes up there? Are they SAR planes or civvie ones supplying the research stations in the Artic?

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With the reliability of modern airliners, the chance of one going down in the Arctic is slim to none. Think about it, how many accidents, in total, have happened where an airliner has had to make a forced landing off-airport?SAS started its first Polar route in 1954 between Copenhagen and Los Angeles, with a stop in S

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In the late 70's I was a Merchant Navy officer working mostly on the far East fleet. My flight home after a trip was frequently via SAS (They still do the best ship crew fares) from wherever I was to Anchorage, then over the pole to Copenhagan, and on to London from there. On one occasion when the plane had a problem in Anchorage they shifted me onto a JAL flight from Anchorage to London as well. As an aside, I'm now in a business where we do a lot of work at airports on the fueling systems. Anchorage has a HUGE amount of fuel storage compared to the amount of flights it handles, simply because back in the 70's and 80's transpolar flights all had to refuel there.Richard

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>>enter their previously >>closely guarded 'syberian' airspace from >>the north 'closely guarded' so they thought... :)>>BTW dont the Americans have ski-equipped C-130 planes up there? Are >>they SAR planes or civvie ones supplying the research stations in >>the Artic?That would be the Antarctic... down south. Operation Deep Freeze. The Air Force Weekend Warriors fly LC-130's(originally the Navy's VXE-6) in and out of Antarctica. They support the National Scientific Foundation. Basic Mission: fly toilet paper in, and rocks out.:-outtahttp://publish.hometown.aol.com/p3superb/i...s/sign_name.jpgThere is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness".- unknown"My daddy gives me up, to fight for you"- a US Military Members Child

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Hi!I flew on one of the last SAS flights direct Copenhagen-Anchorage. It was a fantastic, if slightly long, flight in one of SAS' last DC-10s. This flight pretty much took us straight over the North Pole and I saw in plain view the northernmost reaches of the Alaskan coast, the North Slope. Sadly, I hadn't yet become an avio. nut so I didn't go out and talk to the pilots about polar navigation etc. They dropped the route for lack of customers.-Dasher7PS Did anyone mention Ellesworth ?

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