Times are changing in the field of civil aviation. Right now, Singapore Airlines operates the world’s longest passenger flight from New York to Singapore. It covers the 9,500 miles in slightly less than 19 hours. Qantas launched direct flights last year between London and Perth. This Australian city is on the west coast and the duration of the flight is 17 hours. However, the three most populous cities in the country are on the east coast.

The distance between Melbourne and New York is more than 10,300 miles while that between Sydney and London is 10,500 miles. Duration of these flights would be around 19 hours. Therefore, the airline will test its long duration non-stop flights to understand its effect on passengers and crew.

The Guardian reports qantas will carry out three test fights in October, November and December. There will be 40 passengers and crew in each comprising employees of the airline apart from scientists.

They will be human guinea pigs and will be fitted with a wide range of equipment to monitor various parameters. These will have a bearing on long duration non-stop flight. If the trials are successful, Qantas could launch these flights by 2022.

Such flights would revolutionize aviation

Alan Joyce is the chief executive of Qantas.

In his opinion, flying a commercial airliner non-stop from New York to Sydney would revolutionize aviation because of the distances involved. There is no record of any commercial airline flying direct from New York to Australia. In 1989, the airline flew its Boeing 747-400 non-stop from London to Sydney. It was on the occasion of marking the entry of the jumbo jet into its fleet. There were only a handful of people on board to preserve fuel.

The Guardian explains the plans of Qantas. It has identified a Boeing 787-9 plane for test flights and their success would trigger a competition among manufacturers. They would possibly be 777X of Boeing and A350 of Airbus. The latter is already in service with Singapore Airlines for its New York to Singapore route.

'Project Sunrise' could be a game changer

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian airline is keen to start direct flights between major cities of Australia and destinations like London and New York. These would be 19-hour non-stop journeys and the airline plans to conduct a few "research flights" under the "Project Sunrise" program. It would use new Boeing 787s Dreamliner to study the effect of such long journeys on people.

There will be emphasis on understanding how flights of this nature would affect pilots. The present rules of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia does not allow a crew of four pilots to fly longer than 18 hours. If the tests are successful, it will be a game changer and Qantas could begin non-stop commercial services by 2022.

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