Qantas Completes 19-Hour Test Flight Between New York and Sydney

Qantas sets record with nearly 20-hour commercial flight from New York to Sydney

Qantas sets record with nearly 20-hour commercial flight from New York to Sydney

A regular, one-stop NY to Sydney service (QF12) takes 22 hours and 20 minutes, that means Qantas saved a good three hours off the travel time.

With 50 passengers and crew on board acting as ultra long-haul guinea pigs, the Qantas Flight 7879 is expected to complete the 10,200-mile journey in 19-and-a-half hours, subject to wind and weather conditions.

On-board tests included monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness as well as exercise classes for passengers and analysis of the impact of crossing so many time zones on people's bodies.

Regardless, the almost 20-hour trek in business class, with the redesigned cabin service, was a notably different experience compared to other long-haul flights I've flown in premium cabins, including first and business class. The flight would edge out current frontrunner, Singapore Airlines, which offers an 18.5-hour non-stop flight between EWR and SIN that clocks in a 9,534 miles.

Qantas Flight 7879 lands in Sydney after a 19-hour flight from NY.

Data and feedback would also determine products and service on the ultra-long-range flights.

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"Given how long we were airborne, we were able to keep optimizing the flight path to make the best of the conditions". The Boeing 787-9 has the capacity of 280 passengers, however the Project Sunrise flight only had 49 passengers on board.

A second trial flight will go from NY to Sydney while the last will arrive in Sydney from London. Qantas has said that it will decide by the end of 2019 which one it will use and that it expects to start commercial service as early as 2023, Alan Joyce, Qantas' CEO, said.

If the data from the test flights suggest non-stop flights will not pose a health risk for crew and passengers, flights would start in 2022/23.

This saw meals served at different times to normal flights and lights kept on for longer to help passengers adapt to time differences.

Joyce added that this flight is the first of the three test flights that are going to come up with recommendations on how the company manages pilot fatigue and how it actually manages jet lag in passengers. Medical researchers and scientists that partnered with Qantas for the experiment said that cabin lighting and in-flight meals were also adjusted in ways to help reduce jetlag on passengers. Headwinds picked up overnight, which slowed us down to start with, but that was part of our scenario planning.

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