Several days ago, a friend flying from Chicago to Sydney noted that a stop at Tokyo only adds about three hours to the travel time versus a stop at Los Angeles. The great-circle distance is about 1,888 miles (3,038 km) farther; at Mach 0.85 (cruise speed for a Boeing 777) the flight time via Tokyo works out to be about 3:21 greater without considering winds and other factors.
The Great Circle Mapper includes a feature to help compare the distance of paths with stops relative to a non-stop path. When mapping several paths, if the first path is a simple one between two points (ORD-SYD in this case) and the next path is between the same two endpoints but with one or more intermediate points, the Distances section of the map page shows the percentage incerase in distance for the second path as compared to the non-stop path. This behavior continues for additional paths between the same two endpoints, stopping upon encountering a path with different endpoints.
This feature can help when comparing trip alternatives, not only to identify the shortest connecting trip but also to find the longest, which may be of interest in planning a "mileage run" to accumulate frequent flier points.
Today's Featured Map shows the geodesic paths from Chicago to Sydney, non-stop and then via Los Angeles and Toyko, but click on the map and look at the Distances section of the map page to see the distance comparisons.
Information on this site may not be accurate or current and is not valid for flight planning or navigation. No warranty of fitness for any purpose is made or implied. Flight planning and navigation should only be done using official charts.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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