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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 8/23/2004 3:21:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 3:21:30 PM EST by Boomer]
Probably the dumb question of the day, but using a flight tracker I see my daughter's non-stop flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong is currently just off the coast of Alaska. Is it just me or does this seem a rather roundabout way of getting across the Pacific?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:22:49 PM EST
Global circle is shorter than a straight line. Remember grade school geography?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:23:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 3:25:49 PM EST by raven]
Because it's the shortest route between hong Kong and SFO. Remember, the world is globe-shpaed, not a flat Mercator projection. What looks like a curve on a flat map is a straight line in reality.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:24:45 PM EST
I flew to Japan from LAX back in 83. We flew the Alaska route as well, stopping for fuel in Anchorage.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:26:18 PM EST
I understand that the world is globe shaped. Guess I'm just having tough time visualizing how an apparent arc is shorter.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:29:05 PM EST
Since eveyone has given you the good answers...

For the pretty scenery???

MT
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:29:24 PM EST
In case the plane needs to make an emergency stop, for any reason, it will be over land.

And of course the geography thing also.

BigDozer66
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:30:26 PM EST
I think the jet stream is figured into this.

Flying to Korea we passed by Alaska.

Flying back we basically went down the middle of the Pacific, right over Japan (where I looked out the window at Tokyo and had thoughts of B-29s . . .)

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:32:03 PM EST
To fly into the jet stream, duh.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:32:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 3:35:31 PM EST by Ramjet]

Originally Posted By Boomer:
I understand that the world is globe shaped. Guess I'm just having tough time visualizing how an apparent arc is shorter.



Get a globe and a piece of string. All will become clear.

Really, the aircraft just jumps in the air and stays static. The aircraft waits till the right city comes under its wings and then lands. Mondays and Thursdays are the best days to fly. The earth spins faster on those days.

By the way, here's a link:
http://williams.best.vwh.net/avform.htm
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:42:06 PM EST
Here you go:

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:42:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By DonS:
I think the jet stream is figured into this.

Flying to Korea we passed by Alaska.

Flying back we basically went down the middle of the Pacific, right over Japan (where I looked out the window at Tokyo and had thoughts of B-29s . . .)




The Jet Stream accounts for your return flight path - despite the distance being physically longer, the tailwind makes the plane think otherwise.

As for routes on our sperical Earth, HERE are some great images, and HERE is a great resource for computing flight paths beteween two locations.

Lemme see if I can link that one image:

Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:45:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2004 3:46:53 PM EST by Boomer]

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:
Here you go:




That certainly helps with the visualization. Thank you.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:46:25 PM EST
She going to be in Cambodia for Christmas?
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:47:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By CavVet:
She going to be in Cambodia for Christmas?



Nope, just Hong Kong.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:48:43 PM EST
I had a great flight with crystal clear skies once coming east over Alaska - I think it was to O'Hare. We actually followed the Alaska pipeline for what seemed like hundreds of miles. The mountains up there are breathtaking, and at 20+K AGL you get one HELLUVA view.

Every other flight I couldn't see squat.
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:50:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/23/2004 3:51:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By Adam_White:
I had a great flight with crystal clear skies once coming east over Alaska - I think it was to O'Hare. We actually followed the Alaska pipeline for what seemed like hundreds of miles. The mountains up there are breathtaking, and at 20+K AGL you get one HELLUVA view.

Every other flight I couldn't see squat.



Tracking her current flight, it looks like she's about to pass between Seward and Anchorage.
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