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Qantas reassessing DFW-Australia route after B747 diverts for fuel

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Qantas, who started the Dallas-Australia route 2 weeks ago the route after its B747 ran low on fuel trying to make the non-stop leg to Brisbane yesterday and had to divert to Noumea to refuel. (www.theage.com.au) 기타...

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eagle763
We all knew this was going to be a strech anyway and any extra headwinds would cause a fuel stop. It's just like continental using there 757's going trans atlantic. When it's real windy they usally have to stop. Same thing going on here. The artical states it has been stronger than normal headwinds.
Av8nut
Maybe they need to get a 747-8. That has a little more range to it and is more efficient.
VANHO
Will the A380 be able to make that non-stop?
mabadia71
@VANHO Technically the A380 would be able to perfome the route better than the 744ER, given that the A380 has max range of 8000 NM and the 744ER has a max range of 7670 NM, that's all most a difference of 380 miles.
JBReinertsen
Or an actual difference of 330 miles, given the data you provided
mabadia71
No a diference of 330 NM and 380 actual miles, very diferent messure units.
JBReinertsen
I didn't realize you stuck it in nautical
JBReinertsen
Its aviation, its supposed to be in NM
MHarryE
Remember that after the engine incident Qantas cannot use full thrust on their A-380s. If I recall correctly, Qantas wanted compensation from R-R because they could no longer carry enough fuel to run their Sydney - LAX per plan. KDFW needs a lot more legs than KLAX or KSFO.
Av8nut
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure if any A380s go to DFW. That would be a nice addition to Dallas spotters. I still think the 747-8 would be a better fit for this. Too bad Quantas doesn't have any ordered.
JCCasebeer
The 744 is a fine airplane but they are using it fare beyond it operational range which has to take into account winds, storms weather etc. and allow for an alternate. The best plane for this is the B 777LR. Qantas is a fine airline but they seem to be making some poor decisions.
JENNYJET
Can Qantas consider reducing passengers on the return leg in favour of extra fuel? Failing that, abandon the non-stop idea and stop over at Honolulu perhaps!
Av8nut
John, I am all for the 777LR (my favorite). But they don't have any 777 pilots. They could use the 747 pilots they already have.

It would simplify maintenance too, having the same type just a little longer.
JCCasebeer
I think they have made some poor choices for their fleet i.e. getting the 388 wale and not getting the 777 particularly looking at their route structure where very long lags are built in.
davemc380
@Michael Enzmann: Qantas can use full thrust on all the A380s again now. You are correct in that there was a thrust limitation under normal circumstances (it was still avbl for emerg use), until the engines were modified. They are all done now. The main problem with the A380 going to DFW is the pavement strength at DFW is not high enough to accommodate it. This is one of the main problems for the A380 at a lot of US airports actually, and won't change until a US carrier starts operating them.
serfty
Storm in a teacup! The weather conditions were not as predicted that day.

Same day QF94 certainly visited SYD for a "splash and go" on it's way to MEL and there were reports that QF12 was close to a BNE diversion.
CKW27
@ Jennifer J., the flight from Australia isn't a problem. It's the west-bound flights that have to fight the jet stream. Flying easterly, with the jet stream is a breeze(pun intended;-).
kc8hi
I'm really sorry but some of you guys need to learn to spell. Just saying. Correct spelling adds validity to your comment, poor spelling takes away.
signature600
A340 would do it with ease ,even with headwinds
brhett
So is one of the options Qantas is considering to limit baggage, or add surcharges the way so many US airlines are doing? Qantas is one of the elite, I really hope this doesn't tip them over the edge to the pedantics of the US domestic carriers.
brhett
One question that was not answered in the article: Did the pilots take off from DFW at max fuel? Or was any fuel traded for cargo on this flight? In fact, the article doesn't even say if this was a full flight. This is important information...if there were 50+ empty seats and the A/C was full of fuel, that is a very different scenario than a flight at max T/O weight with added cargo and fuel-limited.
brhett
>>Headwinds in May have been "unseasonably strong", he said.

Hmm, that raises another question for the wx enthusiasts out there: Are there "seasons" when the winds are stronger than May? Are we seeing this problem at an annual high time for headwinds, or will the winds be worse come the fall?
chris13
I'm in the camp of having the right equipment for the mission. In this case, it doesn't appear the 744 is the right equipment. FARs clearly state the fuel requirements, and no pilot should ever try to stretch their aircraft like that. Get a friggin' 777LR or some 747-8s when they're available.
And as for the A380 at DFW, Dave is 100% correct. Those giant things would likely crack the bridges where the taxiway goes over the roads.
sjwatfa
Flying in coach for 17 hours non stop is NO FUN!
joealbert58
Couldn't find the word "pedantics" in the dictionary
brhett
@Joe- get a bigger dictionary?

pedantic
adjective
1. hairsplitting, particular, formal, precise, fussy, picky (informal), nit-picking (informal), punctilious, priggish, pedagogic, anal retentive, overnice [thefreedictionary.com]
xcoaster1
Sure the A388 would possibly crack the overpasses .. but the runway it would 90% of the time use has no overpasses and are the two longest runways.

The only issue would be if it landed to the east side, then had to taxi over .. but most of the time, it uses the west runways.
toolguy105
Quantas does not own any 777's. Neither do they have any on order. I think they made a mistake going with the A380 and should have gone with the triple 7. Now if they want to get any in a hurry they need to lease some, if they are available, or see if any airline has any parked that they may want to sell or lease. Then they still have to refurbish the plane and train the pilots. Not something you can do in a hurry.
JENNYJET
I think Emirates may have a few available soon as their A380 fleet expands even further!! And why not do what the military do? Fit underwing tanks in the form of pods....just a thought from a dizzy blonde!!
bregine1
Jeff Hardman, glad to see that aside the technical points, I am not the only one bothered by the spelling (see John Hale-Eagle 763)
kc8hi
Joe.....Now that's funny. Touche.
topflightpilot
Is "anal-retentive" supposed to be hyphenated?
capnvic
I agree,17 hrs is too long to sit in a plane,dont do a non-stop,and dont ask the airline to buy bigger more expensive planes,just do an enroute stop,give the passengers a break and eliminate the worry about fuel.
209flyboy
Here is information on range direcftly from the operating specs via Boeing and Airbus manuals:

747-8I (passenger version has an operating range of 8000 nm (15,000 km) at MTOW and carries 467 passengers.
A380-800 passenger version has a range of 8300 nm (15,400 km) and carries 853 passengers max)

It looks like either aircraft is marginal for operation non stop from Dallas. The distance between Dallas and Brisbane is 7219 nm. A fuel stop in San Fancisco or Hawaii would be a more prudent move. Headwinds prevail from the West so wouldn't it make sense to stop for fuel before crossing the Pacific. I'm sure arrival reserves are at minimum at best without a stop.
topflightpilot
I agree with Vic...just plan a fuel stop when westbound...always! Maybe not LAX, SFO or OAK but rather Victorville, CA (the old George AFB) or maybe Palmdale,CA just down the road from Victorville. Plenty of runway and not much in the way of ATC saturation like in LAX or SFO area. Edwards AFB could always be a nearby emergency alternate. Any ideas guys & gals?
topflightpilot
As long as no passengers are deplaned or enplaned there should be no issues with cabotage or customs.
topflightpilot
Cabitage?
Paciano
Qantas may be running into more headwinds - both physical and economic. For a review of the airline's history, which dispels some myths, read: http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/1/how-qantas-became-the-safest-airline
Paciano
Qantas may be running into more headwinds - physical and economic. For a history of the airline which dispels some myths read: http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2011/1/how-qantas-became-the-safest-airline
chain52saw
Small problem with the A380 flying into Brisbane. BNE is not currently setup to handle this aircraft. It can land and takeoff no problems, it the terminal - still in the planing stage. In relation to the 744ER, Air Services Australia (our FAA) require aircraft to have a further 500 NM endurance past the destination.
pilot62
Move it to Phoenix and forget it.
pilot62
BTW Dave no reasonable airline will stop to re-fuel at any of your suggested airports, when there are no services.
canuck44
canuck44 0
SAA used to operate 744s with an extra fuel tank to do the JNB and CPT to Atlanta (and for a while Miami) route which was at the time the longest non-stop. Does anyone know if the 744's that Qantas is flying are so modified...and I suspect those ex-SAA aircraft (6 with RR engines and 2 with GE) are still floating around somewhere.
JCCasebeer
I think SAA used 747SP which is downsized 742. American used them for DFW-Tokyo. There still some flying in third world countries.
JENNYJET
Saudi Arabian have one they use for Hadj flights. Usually filled to the brim with bodies and fuel!
pilot62
REALLY JEFF HARDMAN! u spent tim on thes.
u mus b a horid person 2 tex with

I'm really sorry but some of you guys need to learn to spell. Just saying. Correct spelling adds validity to your comment, poor spelling takes away.

Thanks we'll keep it in mind, maybe just move to the education blogs, :-)
canuck44
canuck44 0
Didn't do my homework...It looks like Qantas has a longer range version of the 744...

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2000/news_release_001128c.html

I did the Africa SAA trip and these were 747-400s, not the SPs. At the time they were code sharing with Deldta and when they withdrew from the market the latter stepped in using 767s and fueling in Dakar. They now do JNB to ATL non-stop with a 777.
topflightpilot
Scott, just talking about fuel here. Victorville is the Southern Calif. Logistics Airport...not much in the way of a terminal although troops (29 Palms) do use the airport for military staging and there is quite a lot of maintenance available with large ex-military hangars. I would think Qantas could put in place a sweet bulk fuel deal. Just my two cents worth. Similar to dropping into SLN (Salina, KS) and back up to altitude ASAP. Dave
209flyboy
The issue here is wheter they stop for fuel. The answer is YES. That's all.
JCCasebeer
Canuck44. You are right about the SP. They were used during the apartheid days when they were,t allowed to fly over Africa. The only longer range variant was the 747ER but only Qantas bought it according to the Boeing web site.
JCCasebeer
Canuck44. You are right about the SPs. They were used during the apartheid days when SAA could not fly over the African continent because of sanctions. I looked up the 744 and, although there are a lot of variants, none refers to any longer vaainra
canuck44
canuck44 0
http://www.airguideonline.com/AIRCRAFT744.pdf

On page 3 we see "An optional 3,300-U.S.-gallon (12,490 L) fuel tank in the horizontal tail boosts the 747-400's range an additional
400 statute miles (650 km)."

This was the configuration of the SAA 744's.

Distance from JNB to ATL = 8450 miles.DFW to SYD = 8575
JCCasebeer
Thanks. I learned something!
MichaelMcCarthy
A340 , problem solved . No worries mate , and a better chance of a full load on each trip .
canuck44
canuck44 0
No problem is correct...lots of airlines looking to unload their A340s. B777-300 or 200LR both make more sense given the price of fuel. AirBus have almost no orders for the 340 and Boeing is looking at almost 300 for the 300ER. The 748 is probably a victim of the success of the 300ER.
mabadia71
@canuck44 Airbus has absolutly NO orders for the A340, in fact since last year it's no longer in production.

MichaelMcCarthy
The status of the orderbook for the A340 is immaterial . It will resolve the problem , and so will the B777 , B787 (sometime in the distant future) , the A330-200 and the A350 .
canuck44
canuck44 0
@MichaelMcCathy....I was agreeing with you, but my point was that the A340 should be immediately available, but high cost per seat and that many of the current owners are looking to unload their A340 fleet in favor of more fuel efficient wide body A/C. Emirates has 18 that they would undoubtedly part with in a heartbeat.
The other half of the coin is that few are willing to give up their 777-300ERs or -200LR, particularly when the 787 continues to be delayed to a time unknown and the A350 is still a glint in the AirBus eye.
The A330-200 doesn't make it as its max range is 13,400 km or ~8300sm.
ysfsim
Have any of you noticed that almost every flight sim 777 released has a Qantas livery? Maybe Qantas should rethink their fleet. You don't need a A380 when you have a fleet of 747s. They have like 4 or 5 flights a day to KLAX with the 7470? No need for the A380. And shew away the A330s for the 777s plus get the -200LR for range (15,000 km)XD.
ysfsim
Qantas is sucking up to Airbus. My 2 cents
chiphermes
Is there a lot of cargo moving on this route and if so, which direction?

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