|Brisbane to St. Lucia|
All I know about the game of cricket can be summed up in the phrase 'sticky wicket'. That and cricket fans seem to be more fanatical about the game than other fans, but that might just be my perception. Anyway, this week the Australian men's national cricket team is playing a series of games on the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia. They flew non-stop 10,000 miles aboard a Quantas jet airliner.
Curiously, if we change from Map View to Satellite View in Google Maps, the route shifts. If you are flying halfway around the world, it doesn't much matter which direction you go, you are still traveling halfway around the world. 10,000 miles isn't quite halfway, but evidently it's close enough to confuse Google's route plotting algorithm.
Airliners travel about 500 miles per hour, which means a 10,000 mile flight would take about 20 hours. Traveling east in the jet stream means you pick up a tailwind which can cut your flight time to 16 hours. Does that mean the return flight should continue in the same direction? Possibly. 10,000 miles at 400 MPH would take 25 hours while 14,000 miles at 600 MPH would only take 23 hours. In addition, there would be more places you could stop and refuel. On the minus side, most of those places would be in central Africa.