# What is the longest possible flight on earth? [closed]

If every place on earth had a runway. What would be the longest possible flight? What would the distance and flight time be?

Between two point on the equator? Between the north and south pole? Something else? Consider winds as well.

Is there a commercial plane that could do it without refueling? What airplane and how long would it take.

What would the crew of such a flight look like.

• Welcome to Aviation.SE it's not clear, but it sounds like you're essentially asking what is the greatest distance between two bits of land and is there a plane capable of flying it. If a plane's capable of air-to-air refuelling and had multiple crews it can fly pretty much indefinitely. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 10:26
• I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because while this question is about plane range compared to Earth circumference value, it can be answered easily without expertise. You may edit it to make it more specific to aviation (please don't add comments to refine your post, edit it).
– mins
Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 10:59
• You can fly around the world without refuelling, albeit not in a commercial airliner. A commercial airliner could not do this (indeed, why would one ever design such a plane, seeing as not every place on earth has a runway?). Aerial refueling allows for flying nearly indefinitely (until the crew runs out of food, but you can store a lot of food aboard large military aircraft). Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:02
• What would the crew of such a flight look like. - oh, around 5'10, medium build, handsome to some people's eyes. (sorry, couldnt resist)
– Jamiec
Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:05
• Either way, not voting to close because I don't think it's necessarily off-topic, but I did downvote because it is "not useful". Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:06

This is only half related to aviation, but I'll bite.

As the Earth is close enough to a sphere (but not exactly..) it is simplest to assume that the longest flight would be from one end of an antipode to the other.

According to this site, such a flight would be approximately 20,000 km:

There are no non-stop scheduled flights between any two antipodal locations by commercial airline service. A hypothetically perfect antipode flight would be Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport, Morocco to Whangarei Aerodrome, New Zealand (approximately 20000 km flight).

The Boeing 777-200LR is the aircraft with the longest range at just under 17,400 km (but see also this question which explains why that number can change). So with present technology (or economics), such a flight is not really a possibility.

• A very good answer to a very poor question! Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:36
• Yo may also mention ETOPS that would likely make the flight longer than the great circle.
– mins
Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 11:36
• @mins ETOPS does not increase the aircraft range. An ETOPS-certified aircraft is allowed to fly far from airports, that's all. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 16:33
• @Quentin mins means that the flight path might not be able to take the great circle route due to the ETOPS regulations (which does indeed effectively shorten the range between cities that can be connected.) That said, the 777-200LR's ETOPS limitations don't meaningfully restrict almost any possible flight. Only a few parts of Antarctica are not covered. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:12
• Note that the range listed here for the 777-200LR is assuming a full load a passengers. With limited payload, the 777-200LR can - and has - flown more than 20,000 km. It currently holds the world record at a bit over 21,600 km. This required an 8-pilot augmented flight crew, so it's probably not legal in passenger service. Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:18