Friday 5 February 2016

46) “On  a ball-Earth Cape Town, South Africa to Buenos Aries, Argentina should be a straight shot over the Atlantic following the same line of latitude across, but instead every flight goes to connecting locations in the Northern hemisphere first, stopping over anywhere from London to Turkey to Dubai. Once again these make absolutely no sense on the globe but are completely understandable options when mapped on a flat Earth.”

 “Aren't you tired of this yet? 

Like last time. First, the great circle flight path, to the right.

And then we turn to Google, which tells us that there's no non-stop flights. Which, in turn, tells us that there is no market.
However, there's a fair few with multiple stops. So what's up with that?

Well, some airports are so-called hubs. The idea is not uncommon and is, by far, not limited to avionics:

Airline hubs are airports that an airline uses as a transfer point to get passengers to their intended destination. It is part of a hub and spoke model, as opposed to the Point to Point model, where travelers moving between airports not served by direct flights change planes en route to their destinations.
Local routes are, largely, more feasible. There's less costs due distances, you can use smaller (and older) planes and there are likely more people for such a flight.

International routes, such as Cape Town - Buenos Aires, are flights that require a long-range plane (expensive), and thus require many passengers (unlikely). However, the same isn't true for a hub. Flights to hubs are far more feasible because there are extremely large numbers of other flight routes (hundreds) that connect, and as a result the flight is more feasible.
Via Great Circle Mapper.

So a small location, in terms of flight routes, would connect to a hub. Then, you travel to another hub. And then you finally come to your destination. How to determine hubs? Wikipedia has an (incomplete?) list.
via Google Flights.
For instance, from Cape Town (hub), you travel to Johannesburg (hub), to São Paulo (hub), to Buenos Aires (hub). (Image to the right)

Seems like that makes sense, doesn't it? After all, when you want to travel between two large cities in your country, you don't use the shortest route in terms of route. No, you'd rather use the high way - you can go much faster on a highway.  And because highways run past hub cities, you'll take a bit of a detour, but only in terms of distance - you still save time. The analogy is sound, but for airplanes it is costs that are saved, not time.”

#46 False claim.
As of this day, there is no airline flying directly from Buenos Aires to Cape Town. However, if you compared the flight durations, you would opt for a shorter connection from Buenos Aires right across the Atlantic to Johannesburg and from there back to Cape Town (yes, back! It's shorter and it works!) instead of taking the detour over London. These flight durations don't work on the flat azimuthal map (map problem Point 34 and  Point 35).”

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