2006-04-23

Airplane traveling

For my vacation I went to Croatia, taking Norwegian airlines from Oslo to Rijeka (and back). The flight from Oslo was more than half an hour late, and then the pilot had to wait extra 10 minutes because he missed the time-slot. And fritt setevalg is a bad idea: it takes people to board the plane much longer than when the seat is assigned upon check-in. Miraculously, the flight from Rijeka was in time and the plane arrived even a bit earlier :)

Disembarking from the plane is another story. People are simply too slow. Somewhere I've heard that the plane layout must be such so that it's possible to evacuate it in 1 minute (60 seconds). This seems impossible to me :)

During the 2:30 flight the following question came to my mind: does the long-distance flight route take Earth's rotation into account?

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2 comments:

Brooks Moses said...

There was a plane crash (of the sort where the plane slid off the end of the runway into a ravine and caught on fire) about a year ago somewhere in the northeastern U.S., where apparently they did manage to evacuate the airplane in something like one or two minutes, and thereby saved the lives of the passengers since the plane was completely burned within a few minutes after the crash. So it can be done.

(I suspect that having more than one door open, plus the added encouragement of having the plane be on fire, probably helps, though! As does having the flight attendants actively directing things.)

As to the question of the Earth's rotation: I'm not sure how that would affect things directly, but it affects things indirectly because it's responsible for the prevailing higher-atmosphere winds. And those are definitely taken into account -- the east-west cross country flights in the U.S. tend to be scheduled about 20 minutes longer (on a 5-hour flight) for flights going west compared to flights going east, because of the winds.

zvrba said...

The effect of Earth's rotation is that it can shorten physical distance if you're flying in the direction opposite of earth's rotation.