ETA: Partly ninja’d by more posters while I was eating lunch. Oh well.
I see a few things getting glued together here. I’ll try to pick them apart and the OP can tell us which aspects he’s further interested in.
- As Riemann & **Richard Pearse **said in posts 3 & 4, a jet flying due West can keep pace with or outrun the sun at/above ~60 degrees latitude. But at/above ~67 degrees latitude the Arctic Circle = perpetual day/perpetual night effects start to intrude.
So for current speed jets, there’s a narrow latitude window where we can get the effect of a flight ending earlier than it began as measured in solar time. Not clock time.
2) Timezones are not simply 15 degree chunks of longitude. Some are wider or narrower or have notches & bulges. So there’s plenty of opportunity for oddities there.
3) There’s obviously an edge effect surrounding time zone boundaries where flights can arrive an hour earlier in clock time even though later in solar time. There are certainly airports located near time zone boundaries. If a flight travels from an airport near the western edge of one time zone westward to just across the border and lands at an airport near the eastern edge of the next time zone, that can easily take less than one *clock *hour. Heck, it might only be 20 miles across town.
Maastrict mentioned a common example: western Europe to Great Britain. The US has lots of examples of such airport pairs, but I can’t come up with a specific example off top of my head.
It’s unhelpful that
A) Short flights have an inordinate fraction of ground time.
B) Takeoff, climb, descent and approach are far slower than cruise speed.
C) All that maneuvering is far less straight than cruise.
As a concrete example I often fly a particular short route. It doesn’t straddle a time zone boundary but it still works as an example. The straight line distance airport to airport is 192 statute miles. Our planned air mileage is typically 215 statute miles. And typically 35-40 minutes air time depending on wind. Which implies an average effective ground speed vs. the straight line distance of 288-329 mph. Which is much slower than our long haul average cruise speed of ~450 knots = ~520 mph.
Plus, the several flights scheduled on any given day from early morning to late at night are planned for anywhere from 1 hour exactly to 1 hour and 13 minutes gate to gate depending on time of day. So the worst case gate-to-gate time is ~2x the best-case air time. IOW half the “flight” is on the ground.
The overall punch line being that for a typical US airline operation, not very many flights are actually < 1 clock hour gate to gate time. Those that are cover very little distance over the ground. So little in fact, that not too many people are interested in flying on an airplane that short distance; too much overhead. Which is why there’s not too many such flights in the first place.
4) As already pointed out by a couple poepl, the vast majority of high latitude flying is using the polar regions as a shortcut. So although they’re going net eastbound or westbound they’re nowhere near simply following a line of (high) latitude. The best bet for finding flights that do fit the OP’s criteria for solar time is to look for flights in and between Alaska, northern Canada, northern Europe, & Russia.
I’m not thinking there’s much similar opportunity in the Southern hemisphere. Just not much land at the correct latitudes.
Following up on the recent posts since I started composing. …
Much of what **Machine Elf **is describing is Arctic circle effect. Yes, you’re going westbound. But beyond that you’re up at high latitude where the rest of the behavior of the Sun is counterintuitive.
Hilarity N. Suze: Yup.
One of our disfavorite things is to depart an eastern city about an hour before sunset going west. As we climb, the effect of the climb can reverse the Sun’s motion even at US latitudes. We can lift off shortly after sunset and pull the sun right up out of the horizon into the sky.
The worst case is when the Sun is already sorta low on the horizon at takeoff. During climb it reverses direction for awhile then goes stationary. Then once we level off and then as we drive west, the Sun sets about 1/2 as fast as normal.
So there we sit staring into that blazing thing for 2, 3, or occasionally 4 hours before it finally sets. Ouch.
The opposite effect obtains on landing. It’s not uncommon going eastbound to be in bright late afternoon sunlight in cruise and then descend into dusk and land in almost full darkness just 20 minutes later. Mostly as an effect of descending, but going east helps amplify it.