What route and plane to celebrate the maximum # of New Years Eves?
December 1, 2018 6:13 AM   Subscribe

If I chartered a plane in order to celebrate the maximum number of "midnights" on New Year's Eve, what is the ideal route and plane?

This is something me and a friend were thinking of (admittedly drunk) years ago in 1999. It was a thought experiment, but we felt there was an actual good answer to it.

We wanted to have a party on a plane that would let you celebrate the maximum number of midnight New Year's Eve celebrations.

I just googled that the planet at the equator spins at 1000 mph. The max speed of a 747 is about 988 kph. So it seems that we would need to be higher than the equator, which is good because we wanted one of the midnights to be over New York when the ball dropped in Times Square. And probably we would have to let the planet swing around underneath us, "catch up" to us instead of trying to outpace it. But that's about all the math I can handle before my brain explodes.

Any plane-savvy folks out there who knows the answer?
posted by Sully to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I once celebrated two different New Year's Eve countdowns in two different Holiday Inns in Nebraska during the course of a cross-country drive, so i consider myself a semi-expert on this topic.

First of all it should theoretically be easy to cross timelines 24 times, assuming you're not actually flying over the equator. The closer you are to one of the poles, the shorter the distance around the globe, and if you're very close to the south pole you could even walk in a circle around the pole and cover 24 time zones (theoretically).

What makes it more interesting is that in certain places, the time zones don't differ from their neighbor by exactly one hour, but by 30 minutes or some other odd number. (I think this is true in parts of Australia and the Indian subcontinent, and maybe elsewhere).

So it might be possible to plan your route to celebrate a New Year's countdown MORE than 24 times, depending on where the time zone lines lie, and whether it's possible to plan a route that covers both Australia and India with enough speed between time zone lines.
posted by Umami Dearest at 7:55 AM on December 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

How to celebrate New Year’s in every time zone

(It goes into absurd scenarios like being in an F-22 Raptor, but the realistic number seems to be 4 if you charter a Gulfstream G650.)
posted by bluecore at 8:12 AM on December 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

But if the party is on the plane, there's no need to take off and land....
posted by Umami Dearest at 8:23 AM on December 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you read bluecore's article none of the planes with the performance to do this also have the range to complete it without several stops to refuel.

I am wondering how close you could get to this using only scheduled airlines?
posted by Lanark at 12:21 PM on December 1, 2018

Hmm, I suppose making arrangements for nighttime mid-air refueling would drive up the cost of the whole operation rather substantially.
posted by Umami Dearest at 8:30 PM on December 1, 2018

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