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Monday, November 7, 2016

Flat Earth Follies: Flight Times versus Airplane Speed - Globe Wins

Flat Earth has a big problem down under.  They can squeak by in the North on excuses because the distortion on their various Flat Maps is minimized but as you get further and further South the distances become so outrageously distorted that Flat Earthers end up just denying reality to excuse their gross error.

Let's first think about how lines of latitude work on a Globe:

Figure 1. Lines of Latitude

Each line of latitude North or South of the Equator is smaller around than those closer to the Equator.

Indeed, to follow a line of Latitude around the globe, with the exception of the Equator, you must change compass heading.  As you get closer to the Poles the rate at which you must change compass heading increases.  Imagine being just 10 feet from the North Pole and running around in a circle around it, you would obviously be running around it in a tight circle.

But if you look at the Gleason map, or any other North Pole centered projection then you are going to have a tremendous amount of distortion as you have to take the ever smaller rings of Latitude South of the Equator and STRETCH them out into an ever widening circle.

In fact, we know with very good accuracy that it's about 6214.9 miles from the geographic (rotational) North Pole to the Equator and we can mark that out here on Gleason's map in dark blue.

We also show the equator in Red - but already we've run into a massive problem.  This equator would be 39,049 miles around instead of the 24,874 miles around we measure in reality.

There is simply NO WAY to fit a 24,874 mile circle to a radius of 6214.9 miles -- those are the dimensions of a sphere where the 6214.9 distances is the distance along the curve, not straight-line distance or radius.

And the further South we go the bigger this problem becomes, by 45° South latitude the circumference of this circle would be an impossible 58,512 miles around as shown in the purple.
Figure 2. Gleason Map Projection

We will also use this 6214.9 mile (10001.97 km) distance from North Pole to Equator as our benchmark to measure the flight path distance.

The conclusion is inescapable, the Southern Latitudes get shorter the further South you go, matching the Northern Latitudes.

Qantas Flight 27 & 28

These are two flights between Sydney and Santiago.  The direct path on a globe is 7061 miles.

Flight's do not always follow the most direct path for a number of reasons:

  1. Geo-political: might have to fly around airspace you don't have permission to use
  2. Navigational: Commercial Flights fly via specific navigational waypoints
  3. Wind: it can be faster to fly a little further and catch the wind going your way
  4. Safety: might want to fly closer to land in case of emergency
  5. Hubs: airlines often primarily fly between major hubs so you might have to fly out of your way to go theirs

For example, the planned flight route for one instance of QF 27 was filed as:
DCT OPTIC DCT 39S159E 42S163E 4444S16645E 4653S17004E 48S172E/M084F330 52S178W 55S164W 56S156W 57S143W 5633S13100W/N0476F350 DCT 56S126W 55S120W 53S110W 50S100W/N0484F370 46S092W 4504S09000W/N0478F370 DCT 43S086W 39S080W 3830S07857W 37S076W 36S075W DCT DGO
'DCT' means direct and 'OPTIC' would be the name of the waypoint in this case (or Fix), which is found at 34° 24' 6.00" S / 151° 53' 18.00" and most of the others are lat/long coordinates outside controlled airspace until you get to South America with 'DGO'.  The named waypoints exist to control the flow of planes and give them specific routes in or out of a controlled airspace.  Airport controlled approach and departure procedures usually dictate the specific waypoints selected.

The main variable that applies to Qantas Flight 27 & 28 is Wind - the flights will divert to the passage with the most favorable winds at the time.  This causes some fluctuation in the total flight time but the overall flight time is completely impossible on any kind of flattened map projection centered around the North Pole.

Figure 3. Great Circle distance between Sydney & Santiago

Wolfie6020 actually flies similar routes, you can watch his YouTube videos.

Qantas Flight 27 manages this flight in about 12 hours and Qantas Flight 28 is usually about 13 hours 30 minutes due to winds and Earth's rotation going the other direction.

On a Globe this is ~7,061 miles and the 747-400 (B744) cruising speed at altitude is on the order of 570 mph.  570 mph is AIRSPEED, not ground-speed.  So if they catch a 30 mph wind they are effectively going 600 mph along the ground.   So that's how it makes it there in 12 hours and back in under 14 hours.

Meanwhile, QF 27 on the Gleason map is a joke.  The flight goes nowhere near North America and it's not anywhere near 16,026 miles (25,791 km) distance.

Figure 4. Qantas Flight 27 Impossible On Flat Earth

Flight Tracking?

Now it is true that this carrier does not pay for satellite uplink coverage for InFlight data which means it isn't tracked 100% of the time on popular free Flight tracking sites.  This is not unusual and it doesn't mean the flights are 'fake' which is just a pathetic excuse for Flat Earthers to ignore the extensive problems with their model.  There is ample evidence that real people are taking these flights.

I don't know why some Flat Earthers seem to think that GPS is tracking YOU - it's the other way around.  A GPS device uses the GPS signals to figure out where IT is, but this gives you NO ability to tell anyone else where you are.  For that, commercial airlines have to pay some service to receive their data and transmit it.  And commercial flight operators are very slow to move to new technologies (it's the 21st century and I still cannot use my phone in-flight yet).  So these very isolated routes do not have coverage 100% of the way.  They DO have GPS coverage but they don't have a way to send that information to the commercial sites for the more remote portions of the flight.


#FlatEarth is busted.  The only way its blind adherents remain is to ignore the simple evidence such as this flight.  They are forced to bring the airlines in on the giant 'conspiracy'.  It's really all just absurd and an insult to our intelligence.

You can read more about gyroscopes, Artificial Horizon, gravity, density, the horizon, and many other related topics on my post:

Flat Earth Follies: Planes would have to constantly pitch down to fly!

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