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Around the World in 53 hours

Started: 2007-09-30 18:42:33

Submitted: 2007-09-30 19:05:09

Visibility: World-readable

What's the modern version of "around the world in 80 days"? That is, how long would it take to circumnavigate the globe using commercially-available transport, and (while we're at it) meet the necessary requirements for an around-the-world flight (taking off and landing at the same airfield, and traveling a distance equal to or greater than the Tropic of Cancer)?

My answer: Fly from Sydney to LAX to London-Heathrow to Singapore back to Sydney, in 53 hours, five minutes. Let's consider the following four flights:

Flight Depart Arrive Distance (km) Duration Avg speed (km/h) Layover
Airport Time (Local) GMT Offset Time (GMT) Airport Time (Local) GMT Offset Time (GMT)
United 840 SYD 2007-09-01 13:45 10 2007-09-01 03:45 LAX 2007-09-01 10:14 −7 2007-09-01 17:14 12051 13:29 893.77 5:21
British Airways 278 LAX 2007-09-01 15:35 −7 2007-09-01 22:35 LHR 2007-09-02 09:45 1 2007-09-02 08:45 8780 10:10 863.61 2:30
Qantas 32 LHR 2007-09-02 12:15 1 2007-09-02 11:15 SIN 2007-09-03 08:00 8 2007-09-03 00:00 10888 12:45 853.96 1:30
Qantas 32 SIN 2007-09-03 09:30 8 2007-09-03 01:30 SYD 2007-09-03 18:50 10 2007-09-03 08:50 6288 7:20 857.45

This gives us a total distance of 38,007 kilometers in 53 hours, five minutes. That's just a thousand kilometers longer than the Tropic of Cancer, which the Internet tells me is about 37,000 kilometers. That's way more time than I ever want to spend in an airplane in such a short period of time, but it could be done.

Ok, well, the most obvious problem with [new years resolution
about getting a girlfriend] is that the intended outcome relies on
variables which are out of my control. It's a matter of chance,
luck, being in the right place at the wrong time, what have you.
Obviously, it also relies on the willful participation of
another human being. Since the only people we control are
ourselves, making resolutions -- promises to ourselves -- which
require the involvement of others, who may or may not want any
part of the game, is like sitting at home and cheering a
football team, and then saying "We won! We won!" when in fact
you had absolutely nothing to do with any of it. Or something
like that.
- Bitscape, Random Rambling, 01 August 2000