30 December, 2021

HiFly scores a record flight time between Madeira and Lisbon

Commander Carlos Mirpuri registers record flight time between Madeira and Lisbon with 2 members representing FAI (World Air Sports Federation) on board; the wheels up time was 70 minutes.

The aircraft used was the A330-900neo, registration CS-TKY. The distance covered was 565 NM.

Commander Mirpuri commented: “Achieving a record flight time on this route requires a set of conditions that rarely come together. This means strong southwesterly tailwinds enroute and northeasterly winds in Lisbon.  It is also convenient to depart from runway 05 in Madeira, not normally feasible with southwesterly winds, and land on runway 03 in Lisbon. Today we had a reasonable tailwind enroute, far from ideal, and were forced to use runway 23 in Madeira, and runway 21 in Lisbon, which means the worst combination possible. But against all odds and with good support from Air Traffic Control, we still managed to cover the 565 nautical miles of this route in a record time of 70 minutes, which becomes now an official figure in the presence of FAI judges.

The choice of a cruise flight level offering the highest TAS (true airspeed), and proper point of descent initiation and deceleration played an important factor. Also, a positive ISA deviation helped us achieve a True Airspeed of 500 Kts. For much of the cruise, we had tailwinds averaging 35 Kts”

Previously, Commander Mirpuri had achieved on the same route 64 minutes with an A320, and 59 minutes with an A330. But then he had the good choice of runways and better tailwinds. These times were not however observed by FAI judges, as were not planned, but rather pulled out of existing environmental conditions on the day.

He also added: “70 minutes wheels up time with this runway combination is an amazing time”, and becomes now official. Normally the distance between Madeira and Lisbon is covered by airliners in a flight time of 75 to 80 minutes for a 05/03 runway configuration, and 85 to 90 minutes for a 23/21 runway configuration.”

It is interesting noticing that Commander Mirpuri also holds the record of maximum number of passengers out of Funchal (Madeira) to Lisbon. With an A330-300 in high-density configuration, the impressive number of souls on board was 410.

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