If we go back to the era of Howard Hughes (meaning the early 20th century), one of his feats that first come to mind is the round-the-world flight which completed in only 91 hours on July 13, 1938. Fast forward to the present day, and the field of aviation has yet some more impressive accomplishments and ideas to offer. To be more specific, by December 2018 the Airbus A350-900ULR is to take the longest nonstop flight till date.
The Airbus A350-90ULR is Singapore Airlines' latest aircraft that had its initial test run on April 23. The flight lasted for nearly five hours and it was a circuit-trip that started in France. Apparently, the airline has requested seven of these planes to be made for them. The ULR in the plane's name stands for Ultra Long-Range. Previously, the company featured the A340-500 model which flew on 4 engines but turned out to be ineffective so the flights got canceled.
It's expected that this new plane will be capable of flying an outstanding 11,160 miles which is about 1,800 miles more than their regular A350 model. Of course, one of the more obvious concerns regarding these long flights is the comfort of the passengers. If the flights are to be almost as long as a day, then providing extreme comfort is a huge priority. The designers have had this in mind and the plane should feel more like being in a room.
Regarding the design of the plane, the A350 model is a good indication considering all A350s have the same design ideas and goals in common. The A350 is said to be, "a clean-sheet design that has been designed for those long-range flights" - as stated by Florent Petteni who is a marketing manager for the A350. In addition, the plane features high ceilings, modern lighting, and is also very quiet. Adding to the comfort is the simulated altitude of only 6,000 feet.
Petteni was also quoted to say: "You may not exactly pinpoint why it's so comfortable and so nice to be flying on this airplane, but everything was done on purpose. We have no missing windows. Whenever a passenger selects a window seat, they will always get a window". What this alludes to is the inclusion of panoramic windows which were made available by making the fuselage from substances such as carbon fiber.
Due to the extreme length of the ULR flights, a part of the comfort priorities that the plane needs to provide is adequate sleep conditions for the passengers. In other words, despite the abundance of windows - the cabin should be able to become completely dark. This will be made possible by the available pull-down shades as well as blinds that operate on an automatic system via pushing buttons. As for the noise level, the air circulation will ensure quietness.
"So even though we recycle the air in the full capacity of the cabin every two to three minutes, we do it in a way that we reduce the velocity of the air inside the cabin", added Petteni. Regarding the fuel, the ULR will carry 24,000 more than the regular A350-900 and Marisa Lucas-Ugena explains: "All that we are doing on the ULR is to use all of the volume that we have in the center tank, a bit more than the usage that we have for the -1000".