SunFlight – choose your airline seat based on what side the sun will be
Ever wondered what side of the plane is the best in order to avoid that early morning glare? Or you want to make sure you capture a beautiful sunset at 36,000 feet?
Then SunFlight could be for you! [Chrome only at the moment]
Created during THack Singapore in October 2011, SunFlight uses flight scheduling data provided by OAG OnDemand to plot on a Google Map exactly where the sun will be in relation to the progress of a flight.
After sitting around on the servers of GetFlight, an Australia-based flight search engine run by ex-Travellr boss Ian Cumming, for the past eight months, SunFlight has now been picked up by the influential Google Maps Mania blog.
Although SunFlight didn’t win THack Singapore at the time, it was praised by the judges for its creativity, ease-of-use and viability as a tool airlines and OTAs might consider using.
So how does it work?
Users enter any flight number for a trip and then plots the route on the map. It then adds a shaded area to illustrate night and day and also the sun’s position.
So here is Qantas flight QF320 from London Heathrow to Singapore later today. The aircraft symbol shows the flight in London at 21:15 local time, just after dusk.
Six and half hours into the flight and QF320 is somewhere over Afghanistan. It is coming up to mid-morning and the sun is on the left-hand side of the aircraft (note the sun symbol over the Philippines).
Fast forward to landing at Singapore’s Changi Airport (12.5 hours after take-off) and passengers on the right-hand side of the aircraft will get a wonderful sunset to the rear of their view from the plane.
It is worth mentioning that this hack was created in just 24 hours in Singapore.
As someone said at the time: “It would take my developers weeks to do that!”
NB: Not too late to join THack London. Other THacks for 2012 to be announced very soon!
Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in early-2017.