From: Dallas, Texas, USA
I suppose there could be some arguement, whether the game accomodates this or not I doubt it, to setting a shorter search, but being up a shorter time as well. IOW, if you're patroling out to 200 miles, and are told to do so for 3 hours, you will spend much less fuel than if you get the same orders but doing so at a much greater distance. The results achieved from searching at 200 miles should improve in that more immediate area, as opposed to the concentration being further out, but in these two scenarios one thing is clear, and that is the shorter patrol is also using much less fuel. I can't recall if WITP awards less supply/fuel expended for shorter flights, especially as far as patrols are concerned (flights to bomb cities, for example, may get into costing less supply/fuel). What's more, I would think since it's a generic search, and is only limited to the range you give them, then they are always up the same amount of time, whatever that may be.
Anyone have a firm grasp of how fuel/supply is spent for flight, particularly for patrols?