What's the very first thought that comes to mind when you step into one of our ultra-modern and enormous passenger-jets that seem to zoom round and round the world non-stop?
|Inside the beast ... I've often wondered, looking out from a cabin window, how all the stuff you see being pushed in below the cabin actually fits in. Wikipedia shows how. By Asiir at English Wikipedia - Transfered from en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5|
The first comes close to the time of booking a flight.
Looking at the second thought first this week was almost as daunting as the revelation that came with the first thought.
Here I was committing my life to a Turkish jet that would take me non-stop from 41 degrees North to just under 35 degrees South. I am a nautical navigator, and a circumnavigator as well, but my maths is not exactly of Euclid's standard. Well, it's poor.
|I've skippered many yachts between the South Coast and Cape Town, and vice versa. However, even with the classiest of those big boats, the fastest time was two months.|
Multiply by 60 for the distance in each of those 76 latitudes and you'll have 4,560 miles.
I can't help but exclaim
Sitting in the window seat in my preferred position almost as far aft as possible, I can't help but exclaim. Four and a half thousand miles plus one more latitude! And that vast distance non-stop ... They must be joking.
I compare it to my nautical life. I've skippered many yachts between the South Coast and Cape Town, and vice versa. However, even with the classiest of those big boats, the fastest time stands at two months.
Yes, sixty days. Admittedly the latitudes and longitudes add up to a bit more than the total for this flight from old Constantinople to the Cape.
Even so, it's pretty obvious that what you save in fuel – the wind comes gratis from Nature, remember – you'll lose in airliner fuel.
Ah, the saving in time
Admittedly, the saving in time is rather significant, I have to agree.
My bulletin of, er, surprises for at least this jet setting traveller is getting rather long, so please let me continue tomorrow when I hope you'll join me to learn of something that I simply would never have believed.