On November 14th, Qantas completed the second ever flight by a commercial airline from London to Sydney, as part of the three Project Sunrise research flights. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registered VH-ZNJ, took off from London’s Heathrow Airport shortly after 0600 local time on Thursday. It had a takeoff weight of 233,000kg and landed in Sydney as QF7879, 19 hours and 19 minutes later at 12:30 Australian Eastern Standard Time.
Its arrival came 30 years after the first nonstop flight from London to Sydney, in August 1989, which was also operated by Qantas, using a Boeing 747-400 (VH-OJA), taking 20 hours and 9 minutes.
On board Friday’s historic journey were 40 important passengers, including the Qantas Group Chief Executive, Alan Joyce, Qantas International Chief Executive, Tino La Spina, various researches and other invited guests and media.
These three research flights aim to evaluate the impact of ultra long-haul services on pilots, cabin crew and passengers, with data used collected and used by researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC) on sleep cycles and alertness of pilots and cabin crew during extended flight duty periods, to establish optimum work and rest patterns.