London to Sydney: Trial for longest commercial flight touches down safely after 19 hours

15th November 2019 

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner took off on Thursday morning UK time and landed in Sydney the following afternoon.

A trial flight from London to Sydney operated by Australian airline Qantas has touched down safely after 19 hours and 19 minutes.

The Boeing 787-9 took off as part of a trial for a commercial flight that would be the world’s longest.

The Guardian reports on Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce where he remarked that passengers onboard witnessed a “double sunrise”.

40 people were carried onboard the test flight, including crew, while the Boeing aircraft had extra fuel for a further 1 hour and 45 minutes of flight time upon landing. The Dreamliner aircraft is equipped to carry some 300 people, however operating the plane at full capacity for such a long trip is currently not possible without stopping to refuel.

Passengers onboard the flight were mainly made up Qantas employees who were fitted with monitors to assess sleep patterns, food and drink intake, lighting and physical movement, according to The Guardian.

It is the second time that an aircraft completed the route non-stop. The first aircraft to complete the journey was a Boeing 747-400 in August 1989. It only carried crew members and is now in a museum.

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