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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Extracting Snowden

A single tweeter is claiming Edward Snowden has left Russia on board a diplomatic jet.
A single claim isn't really worthy of a mention, even on this blog, however there is one detail above worth looking at.  The mention of a Gulf Stream jet.

A Latin American country looks the most likely chance of asylum for Snowden, even more so since yesterday's grounding over Europe of a diplomatic flight carrying president of Bolivia Evo Morales managed to rile a whole continent against the US.

But as we saw yesterday, travelling from Moscow to South America with a contentious cargo isn't that easy since the flight would ordinarily pass through the airspace of quite a few staunch US allies.

Not only that, but the range of many aircraft would necessitate a refuelling stop en route.

Re-routing to avoid such airspace is pretty much an impossible task, and going the long way round, east over Russia then over the Pacific, is even harder.
Click to enlarge. Source/copyright: maps.google.com
The best, if not the only, feasible route would be to head north from Moscow, refuel at Murmansk then skirt the airspace of northern European countries before heading south over the Atlantic.

Such a trip would require an aircraft with a rather long range of around 6,000 nautical miles.  A bit like the Gulf Stream V.


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