Flightradar 24

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Seems to be taking the scenic route ;)
Nonsense, everyone knows the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere is a Great Circle.

Flying the short arc rather than the long one is not so easily understood.
 
A NOAA WP-3D Orion flying in and out of a tropical storm at an altitude of 10,000ft whilst off the coast of Alabama. It was previously a Hurricane.

I actually have a friend who lives in Mobile and they say it's forecast to rapidly weaken once it reaches land, thankfully.

Screenshot_20180905-025042.jpg
 
A NOAA WP-3D Orion flying in and out of a tropical storm at an altitude of 10,000ft whilst off the coast of Alabama. It was previously a Hurricane.

I actually have a friend who lives in Mobile and they say it's forecast to rapidly weaken once it reaches land, thankfully.

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Nah! He's just trying to draw a cock and balls in high winds.
 
Nah! He's just trying to draw a cock and balls in high winds.
If he’s flying in and out of a tropical storm the bollocks are going to be very big.

And possibly chromium plated.
 
04BE20FE-2E50-4794-B375-61A505C84583.jpeg


Avoided all the weather so thought we’d give this a go instead!

On 9/11.........
 
The NOAA's Gulfstream at 45,000ft flying over Hurricane Florence.
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Next month I'm flying to Okinawa via Amsterdam and Taipei by China Airlines.
I've been looking at the outward and inward routes AMS-TPE and was interested in seeing the difference.
I guess choice of routes is both prevailing winds (as per transatlantic) and political.
KLM flies the AMS-TPE route over Russia in both directions though of course East-West is more northerly than West-East
China Airlines AMS inward;
AMS_TPE_inward.jpg

China Airlines AMS Outward
AMS_TPE_outward.jpg
 
As you say, winds play a big part in choice of route especially if you consider high level winds are very strong with jet streams blowing at up to 200 knots. If you consider a typical long haul aircraft cruises at about 520 knots in still air, the difference can be sizeable if you aim for tailwinds and avoid headwinds although you’re not going to be stuck in a jet stream the whole time of course.

Politics doesn’t play a big part in it really although there are some bits of airspace to avoid, usually because it’s kicking off on the ground so Syria and Ukraine are out right now. Also, you need to think about diversions should the need arise e.g. if you’re planned destination is in India, don’t divert to Karachi unless it’s essential although overflight is ok. We routinely fly over Afghanistan and ATC is brilliant although for some reason all the controllers have Texas accents......

Most airlines will go for MTT, Minimum Time Track, ie quickest as fuel is the biggest cost. Other things come into it too like Navigation Charges. In broad terms, every country you fly over charges for using its airspace, Nav Aids and of course, ATC. Fly over lots of countries and this can add up especially if the difference between various MTT options is small, it can tip the balance. Most Flight Planning now is highly automated and has all these parameters built in and teams of top blokes who keep it all updated. A typical flight plan for a 10 hour flight is usually accurate to within a couple of minutes and a couple of hundred kg of fuel.

Another factor is ETOPs. This is Extendend Twin (engine) operations, sometimes referred to as EROPs (Range) or Engines Turn Or Passengers Swim. Complicated but basically unless you’ve got >2 engines you mustn’t be more than typically 180 minutes flying time from a suitable diversion en route. Using southerly routes across the Atlantic to eastern Caribbean destinations like Barbados this can be an issue and across the polar routes if weather is bad (you can’t plan to use an airport under 20’ Of snow) and across the Pacific it can be a big factor.

Enjoy your flight.
 
Methinks you’re right.

The cock.

St Maarten I think.
 
Indeed it is. Quite rare - don't they usually take off in the opposite direction into the mountain?
I've seen some impressive landings there.
Indeed. Out of plenty of YouTube videos I've seen of St. Maarten, that's the first I've seen with a takeoff over the beach.
 
Might have something to do with the wind direction...
Yes. I was just saying - it's the first time in years and years that I've seen a take off from St. Maarten out over the ocean.
 
Unable to capture a screen image but there are 5x USAF C130J’s leaving U.K. airspace.

4 over Preston, 1 over Edinburgh.

Another two are inbound to UK.

Busy for a Sunday... Hurricane disaster relief?

Edit: Open ADSB now shows 6 C130J’s leaving U.K. airspace.
 
Unable to capture a screen image but there are 5x USAF C130J’s leaving U.K. airspace.

4 over Preston, 1 over Edinburgh.

Another two are inbound to UK.

Busy for a Sunday... Hurricane disaster relief?

Edit: Open ADSB now shows 6 C130J’s leaving U.K. airspace.
There's usually a few USAF C130's flitting about over the UK. Some head off to Germany, some back towards the US. I've never seen that number though.

The other day there were a couple of C5 Super Galaxy's heading into Prestwick. They're not too common here.
 

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