Australia's flag carrier Qantas QAN.AX completed on Sunday a nonstop test flight from NY to Sydney, researching how the world's longest potential commercial airplane journey of almost 20 hours would impact pilots, crew and passengers.
Qantas is considering introducing the NY to Sydney service flying on the Boeing 787-9 from as early as 2022. After the research flight is complete, it will enter normal commercial service with Qantas. Tests assessed the health and well-being of the 49 passengers and crew members aboard the flight, which was conducted for research purposes as the largest airline in Australia explores offering the "ultra long" flights.
It is a key test run as Qantas prepares to start direct commercial services connecting Sydney with NY and London as soon as 2022.
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The Boeing 787-9 took off from JFK airport at 9.27pm on Friday night, and landed at Sydney 19 hours 16 minutes later - at 7.43am local time on Sunday morning, due to the International Date Line.
Qantas hopes to begin flying the NY to Sydney route commercially by 2022.
There are two more flights coming as part of Project Sunrise, Qantas' larger effort to study health on long-haul trips. If approved, flights would start in 2022/23.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight is the first of three test flights, dubbed by the airline as "project sunrise", which will run in October, November and December to gather data. Distance between NY and Sydney is 16,200 kilometres. On October 18th, the world's longest test flight took off aiming to link Sydney directly to both London and NY. Indeed, nearly half of the flight's weight will be fuel, and it's expected to use all but 6000 kilograms of its 101,000 kilogram load during the trip.
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Alan Joyce and the pilots who flew between NY and Sydney.
I have so many questions - did the toilets just turn into a giant cesspit of floor piss, like a usual long-haul flight but times two? The brand-new jet will take off with about 101 tonnes of fuel, he said.
The aircraft weight at takeoff for the flight is 514,000 pounds, of which 222,666 pounds is fuel. The other is aircraft, passengers and bags.
Sleep researcher Dr Yu Sun Bin, who is part of the CPC team, said while most people actively try to reduce their jetlag, the study with Qantas shows they are not doing what is most effective.
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Findings on crew wellbeing will be shared with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority to help inform regulatory requirements associated with ultra-long-haul flights over 20 hours.