Qantas Airlines completed a record-breaking commercial flight on Sunday morning when one of the Boeing 787-9 countries landed in Sydney at 7:42 am local time after a direct flight from New York. The total trip took 19 hours and 15 minutes.
The exploration flight, the first time the two cities have been connected by air at one time, is part of Project Sunrise, Qantas & # 39; s effort to push the boundaries of commercial flight. Although the Australian airline is well-known for operating long-haul routes, Sydney and Melbourne to both New York and London have so far remained out of the airline's grip.
Flight 7879 left New York on Friday night loaded with 222,900 pounds of fuel to travel. Since the 787-9 does not have the range to complete 10,000 miles of full passenger travel, the aircraft carried only 50 passengers and crew and no cargo. The airline was brand new and had just arrived by Boeing's assembly line near Seattle.
As part of Project Sunrise's goal of limiting jet lag and ensuring the health of both passengers and crew on long flights, a few medical experts were on board to monitor the passenger's sleep pattern and consumption of food and drink. The four-member flight crew, which worked with rotation, also had EEG (electroencephalogram) monitors that tracked brain waves and wakefulness.
If Qantas decides to continue with new flights and wins the necessary regulatory approval, it hopes to start flying to New York and London by 2023, the airline says. But Qantas still needs to remove a critical obstacle before it can do so: It needs an aircraft that can create one or more full-load routes. Both the new Airbus A350-1000 and the still-flying Boeing 777X may have the necessary potential, but the airline has not yet placed any orders.
Qantas has operated a 17-hour flight from Perth to London directly with 787s since 2016, but flights to New York and London would both become the longest flights in the world, about 19 hours each. Passengers in New York would save a four-hour stopover in Los Angeles, and passengers in London saved a connection in Singapore.