Engines Turn or Passengers Swim - ETOPS
2 months 3 weeks ago #17566 by Westcoast
Engines Turn or Passengers Swim - ETOPS was created by Westcoast
Most of us can remember the days of the tri-jets: B727, DC-10, L1011, with an engine under each wing and one mounted on the center-line, at the base of the vertical stabilizer. In part, these aircraft existed because the routes available to twin engine aircraft were limited by the FAA's 60 minute rule: that in case of the loss of an engine, the aircraft must be within range of an acceptable airfield within 60 minutes on one engine. This eliminated many trans-oceanic routes for twin aircraft like the early B-737s (and, I think both early B757 and B767 models), because they could not reach an alternate within an hour flying on a single engine. I still remember how surprised I was to discover that I was able to buy a ticket direct from Orange County (KSNA) to my favorite destination, Kahului, Maui (PHOG) on a B737! This was in 2009. The explanation lies in the steadily improving statistical reliability of the newer jet engines, which has enabled "ETOPS", extended twin engine operations. Now, qualified aircraft need only remain within a three hour (180 minutes) single engine range from an acceptable alternate. This means that long distance overwater operations need only to be able to fly a route that is always within a series of overlapping 180 minute, single engine range circles to be qualified for the route. This makes most long-distance trans oceanic routes available for aircraft like the B777 and B787, as well as, of course, the B747. Sound kinda far fetched? Check this out.
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