LONDON – Australia’s Qantas Airways has conducted a non-stop test flight between London and Sydney on Thursday November 14, 2019. It’s the second ‘Project Sunrise’ flight, where the effects of ultra-long flights on travelers are tested. It is the world’s longest flight in aviation history, in distance and time. Last October, Qantas flew non-stop from New York to Sydney.
Delivery flight and research flight
The brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – with registration VH-ZNJ – in Qantas special Centenary livery, flew in from the Boeing factory during a delivery flight via Los Angeles to London, just one day before the research flight. The aircraft then departed London Heathrow Airport on Thursday for the 19.5 hour flight, bridging a distance of 11.060 miles (17,800 kilometers).
There was a select number of passengers on board, like during the first test flight from New York to Sydney. The passengers were constantly monitored through smart technology to map the effects of the long flight on sleep rhythm, eating behavior and body posture.
Qantas has named its endeavor ‘Project Sunrise’ after the airline’s historic ‘Double Sunrise’ endurance flights during World War II, which remained airborne long enough to see 2 sunrises.
Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Centenary Aircraft
The new 787 is painted in a Centenary Livery to mark the airline’s 100th anniversary next year. The aircraft will fly to international destinations, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and London. The 787 is named ‘Longreach’ after the Queensland town that was key to the airline’s origins. The aircraft joins 9 other Qantas 787s that are all named after iconically Australian things, like ‘Skippy‘, ‘Great Southern Land‘, ‘Waltzing Matilda‘ and ‘Jillaroo‘.
Qantas Airways Limited is Australia’s flag carrier and it’s the country’s largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations. Qantas – founded on November 16, 1920 – is the third oldest airline in the world, after KLM and Avianca. The airline began with international passenger flights in May 1935. The airline’s name comes from ‘Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services’, and it is nicknamed ‘The Flying Kangaroo’.
Qantas is currently the only airline in the world flying non-stop between Europe and Australia, due to the scheduled service between London and Perth that started in 2018.
(Head image: Qantas)