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World’s longest A350 flight to Australia

November 26, 2020 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Tom Boon in Simply Flying reports that the German Air Force has been putting its new Airbus A350, registered 10+03, to the test recently and surprise, surprise, as part of these tests, the aircraft operated an ultra-long-haul flight from Germany to Australia on Friday.

The flight clocked in at 19 hours and 13 minutes, rivaling Qantas’ non-stop London to Sydney service just over a year ago, and likely becoming the longest A350 flight to date.

The Airbus A350-900 is known for operating the world’s longest regular commercial flight, with Singapore Airlines’ trip from New York to Singapore is timed at 18 hours and 40 minutes in its schedule, with the German Air Force recently smashing this flight time with its latest test flight.

Typically a flight as long as that operated this weekend by the German Air Force would attract much media attention, however this weekend’s ultra-long-flight has so far flown under the radar, despite cruising at 41,000 feet.

According to RadarBox.com at 12:21 on Friday, 10+03 departed from Cologne Airport in the west of Germany, with  the aircraft not a stranger to long-haul, having previously flown to Los Angeles non-stop for training.

However, this time the aircraft proceeded to fly to the east, flying over Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, The Philippines, and Indonesia before arriving in Australian airspace.

While flying abeam Sydney, the aircraft started its descent from 41,000 feet at 17:07 AEDT and around half an hour later, at 17:34 on November 21st, 10+03 touched down in the Australian capital after 19 hours and 13 minutes in the air, with the hop from Cologne to Canberra is 8,930 nautical miles as the crow flies.

The aircraft is taking a slightly more leisurely flight back to Germany, with on Sunday, the aircraft flew for around six and a half hours to Papeete, French Polynesia’s capital, with earlier in the year, the domestic flight record was set twice with flights from Papeete to both of Paris’ major airports.

The aircraft departed Papeete at 10:02 THAT and one would assume that the trip from Papeete to Cologne won’t take quite as long as the trip down to Canberra.

With the trip part of the aircraft’s test program before it enters service, the reason this A350 is operating such long trips is while globally, travel remains at a standstill, however, as a military aircraft, this A350 isn’t being used for the paying passengers that just aren’t traveling right now, with instead, once fully commissioned, it will be used to ferry German VIPs such as Angela Merkel and the German head of state worldwide, with 10+03, along with two more A350s, replacing the country’s aging A340 that has been less than reliable as of late.

It will also allow them to iron out any little kinks before VIPs step foot on the aircraft.

A report edited form Simple Flying by John Alwyn-Jones

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