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Old 05-01-2008, 04:06 PM   #1
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Airlines slowing flights down to save fuel

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Old 05-01-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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It's all about lift to drag ratio with planes, they have to fly fast enough so that they have enough lift going "straight" through the air, they ease off too much and have to fly at a positive angle of attack (nose up) which causes more drag which uses more fuel.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
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Very interesting! In a nutshell, I think the airlines are "hypermiling" .
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:30 PM   #4
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as long as they dont EOC or draft behind another airplane, i will be fine with it
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:38 AM   #5
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I have a friend who is a commercial airline pilate, and he was telling me that if they get a pay cut, or otherwise get screwed around by the company they slow the plane down and use MORE fuel, that in a large plane like that, that there is an ideal speed to go for fuel usage and that they carry more in case they have to slow down or take a different rout, but that the simple act of slowing down while on the same course will take more fuel to keep the plane in the air.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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There's usually a couple of "sweet spots" as it were in the performance envelope, the one they're slowing back to is the point of least fuel consumption, but the one they've been flying at is probably the one where they get a fraction more speed for minimal extra fuel consumption, it's just got to the point where the "minimal extra" is costing enough that it's not worth the time saving.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:37 AM   #7
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A couple of years ago I read somewhere that UPS was changing the routes to their trucks so they only make right turns when delivering so they don't always wait at lights when needing to turn. Saved them lost of not only fuel but time.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:13 AM   #8
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Oh great. Now flying is going to take even longer. The more annoying flying becomes, the more I find myself driving instead of flying. When you waste more time at the airport instead of in the air, you know theres something wrong with the system. A lot of people are choosing air taxi service over the airlines because of this kind of BS from the airlines. The growth of dayjet and a few others is evidence of this.

Maybe instead of constantly complaining about the cost of fuel, these airlines should worry more about finding better management, providing better service and killing off the damn unions. None of the European or Asian airlines are freaking out about the cost of fuel. Here's another wild and crazy idea. Open the US air market to foreign competition, privatize the airports, security and the air traffic control. It works in Europe. Why not here?
http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/
http://www.easyjet.com/en/book/index.asp
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Oh great. Now flying is going to take even longer.
I guess, but for me 4 minutes/flight isn't gonna change my mind.

I'm headed over to Saudi and Qatar next week, I'm gonna spend about 40 hours on planes. I doubt the change to 40 hours+20 minutes will really even be noticeable (especially since some of it will just reduce my layover time)

I guess I'm in favor of choosing flight speed according to most economical fuel usage instead of fastest possible, if it will help reduce overall fuel consumption, emissions, and maybe take a step toward preventing another airline from going out of business.

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Old 05-02-2008, 12:48 PM   #10
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I wonder if this will some day lead to a situation where you can pick the slow flight out and pay less or pay more and be there faster.

It wouldn't surprise me; after all being there faster was already sold as a luxury article with the Concorde, so why not offer cheaper ways to get somewhere that take 50 percent longer to get there? I'm sure there'd be people that would gladly sit in the airplane and watch a movie for four hours longer if it would safe them $100.
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