By: AirTravellerPH Staff
Australia's Qantas Airways has reset the record of the world's longest non-stop flight after it flew from New York to Sydney last Saturday. The flight, QF7879, utilized a Boeing 787-9 which flew for 19 hours and 16 minutes non-stop. The flight was part of a test of Qantas's Project Sunrise, where the airline will be launching ultra-long haul direct flights from Sydney to New York and London.
The full project is scheduled to commence on 2022 to 2023.
The test flight transported 49 passengers and crew, where no cargo was loaded in order to give it its necessary range. The flight departed New York JFK at around 9:30pm from runway 31L.
Despite proposing to use Boeing 777X and Airbus A350s for the project, the airline will continue to use the Boeing 787-9 to gather data on ultra-long haul services.
The distance between JFK and SYD is about 8,700NM.
In a report by FlightGlobal, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says the Project Sunrise 787 landed just ahead of the A380, saying: "We saved a significant amount of total travel time by not having to stop."
"Months of flight planning has gone in to determining the optimum flightpath, including running daily plans to establish wind and weather patterns," said the airline.
The airline also studied ways on how to reduce the jetlag on passengers and the crew. According to Joyce, "night flights usually start with dinner and then lights off. For this flight, we started with lunch and kept the lights on for the first six hours, to match the time of day at our destination. It means you start reducing the jet-lag straight away."
During the flight, tests were also conducted to monitor pilots brain waves, melatonin levels, and alertness. The crew also conducted exercise flights for the passengers.
Joyce said that the airline is aware of the challenges posed by ultra-long haul flights where the tests and research will be used to improve passenger comfort and well-being throughout the trip.
The 787-9 test bed will be put back to its normal scheduled flights after the airline has concluded its research.
Before this, Singapore Airlines, utilizing an Airbus A350-900ULR, held the record of the world's longest non-stop flight from Singapore to Newark which is about 8,285NM in terms of distance and 18 hours 45 minutes flying time.