Planes flew faster all those years ago

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From Mr Mark Mentges.

Sir, James Hanshaw observes (Letters, February 5) that flying time in 2014 is not much better than in 1965. Actually flying time in 1965 was faster than today because fuel was cheap and commercial planes flew at 100mph faster than today. Indeed the Convair 990 (one is on display at the Transport Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland), had a cruising speed of 630mph rather than the slow 530mph most planes fly at today. Then, Swissair flew that aircraft from Geneva to New York in two hours less than the flying time in 2014. Also because of less air traffic, planes flew directly into an airport without the circuitous routing of today. Of course we will not even go into the demise of the Concorde.

The aircraft industry is about the only industry I can think of that has gone back in time and not forward!

Mark Mentges, San Diego, CA, US

Letter in response to this letter:

Safety comes first when I’m flying / From Mr Rizwan Rawji

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