As part of Qantas’ revolutionary ‘Project Sunrise’ ultra long-haul flights development program, the airline’s first official test flight on its proposed non-stop Sydney to New York takes flight on 18 October.
No airline has ever had the capabilities to operated a non-stop Sydney to New York flight. But on the back of Qantas’ successful—and popular—non stop services between Perth and London, this route is next on the airline’s list of goals.
Non-stop flights from New York and London to Sydney will take around 19 hours each, subject to wind and weather conditions.
The primary purpose of the research flight that will operate with just 40 people aboard including crew, is to collect data about in-flight passenger and crew health and well-being on ultra-long-haul journeys.
The on-board research is being designed in partnership with Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre and Monash University in conjunction with CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity.
People in the cabin – mostly Qantas employees – will be fitted with wearable technology devices and take part in specific experiences at varying stages of the flights. Scientists and medical experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will monitor sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and in-flight entertainment to assess impact on health, well-being and body clock.
“Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
“For customers, the key will be minimising jet lag and creating an environment where they are looking forward to a restful, enjoyable flight. For crew, it’s about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when they are on duty and maximise rest during their down time on these flights,” he added.
Findings on crew well-being data will be shared with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to help inform regulatory requirements associated with ultra-long haul flights.
We wish Qantas, the test crew and passengers all the best on this historic flight, and we look forward to seeing the results.
In other news, Qantas’ newest 787 Dreamliner has rolled out of the paint shop at Boeing’s factory in Washington State today, wearing a special Centenary livery to celebrate the flying kangaroo’s 100th year in the skies.
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