CNN

First commercial flight from New York to Sydney departs JFK airport

Oct 19, 2019, 8:18 AM
Sydney flight...
A research flight set to test human limits on long-haul flights during what will be the first commercial flight to travel non-stop from New York to Sydney has departed John F. Kennedy International Airport. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

(CNN) — And we have takeoff. A research flight set to test human limits on long-haul flights during what will be the first commercial flight to travel non-stop from New York to Sydney has departed John F. Kennedy International Airport.

With 50 passengers and crew onboard acting as ultra-long-haul guinea pigs, the Qantas Flight 7879 is expected to complete the 10,200-mile journey in 19-and-a-half hours, subject to wind and weather conditions. It is due to arrive in Sydney Sunday morning, local time.

Research will be carried out on passengers and crew, Qantas has said, to quantify the effects flying such a distance has on those on board, including health, wellness and jetlag.

It was reported on Friday that most onboard would be Qantas employees, although six Qantas Frequent Flyer volunteer passengers were expected to take part too.

Four pilots will work on rotation during the flight, with two additional pilots in the cabin, Qantas said.

“Months of flight planning has gone into determining the optimum flight path, including running daily plans to establish wind and weather patterns,” said the airline on its website.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight is the first of three test flights, dubbed by the airline as “project sunrise,” which will run in October, November and December to gather data.

The next test flight will take place in November, from London to Sydney, while there will be another New York to Sydney flight before the end of the year.

After the test flights, the new planes will enter commercial service.

Qantas has said it hopes to operate direct flights from three cities on Australia’s east coast — Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane — and New York and London by 2022.

Currently, the only direct route from Australia to Europe goes from Perth to London, a 9,000-mile journey that started in March 2018.

How will passengers be monitored?

Researchers from Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre, Monash University and the Alertness Safety and Productivity Cooperative Research Centre — a scientific program backed by the Australian government — will examine the impact of the long flight on those on board.

Passengers in the main cabin will wear monitoring devices, and experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will study how their “health, wellbeing and body clock” are impacted by a set of variables that include lighting, food and drink, movement, sleep patterns and inflight entertainment.

Those on board have been advised to keep a daily log in the lead-up to the flight and for two weeks afterwards, to show how they feel and how they’ve coped with jet lag.

Pilots and cabin crew will also be monitored and keep sleep diaries. Cameras will be mounted in the cockpit to record pilot alertness.

“People seem to be wildly different when it comes to the experience of jetlag — and we need more research on what contributes to jetlag and travel fatigue, so we can try and reduce the impact of long-haul flights,” Professor Stephen Simpson, academic director of the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, told CNN Travel.

“We have a long way to go in terms of understanding how the wide variety of influences — including nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep and light — might work together for maximum benefit.”

Monash University scientists will focus on the flight crew, recording their melatonin levels before, during and after the flights, as well as studying brain wave data from electroencephalogram devices worn by the pilots.

This information will then be shared with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority “to help inform regulatory requirements associated with ultra-long-haul flights,” Qantas said in a statement.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022, in Highla...
Amir Vera, Jason Hanna, Adrienne Broaddus and Helen Regan, CNN

Highland Park parade shooting suspect charged with 7 counts of murder, state’s attorney says

Officials in Illinois have filed seven counts of first-degree murder against the individual suspected of being involved in the Highland Park shooting Monday.
1 day ago
Police in Highland Park, Illinois, respond to a shooting at a Fourth of July event....
Eric Levenson, Adrienne Broaddus, Shawn Nottingham and Brynn Gingras, CNN. Mark Jackson

Police have arrested a ‘person of interest’ after a mass shooting at July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois

Robert E. Crimo III, a person of interest in a mass shooting at a parade that left six dead and sent more than two dozen people to hospitals, has been taken into custody near Lake Forest, Illinois, authorities said during a brief news conference.
2 days ago
People leave Field's shopping centre, after Danish police said they received reports of shooting, i...
Kim Norgaard, Pierre Meilhan and Jorge Engels, CNN

Several people killed in Copenhagen mall shooting, police say

shooting at a mall in Copenhagen has left several people dead, local police said Sunday.
3 days ago
Joseph Petito, father of Gabby Petito, speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, September 28, 20...
Jennifer Henderson, CNN

Florida judge allows lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito’s parents against Brian Laundrie’s parents to proceed

A lawsuit filed by Gabby Petito's parents will move forward, a Florida judge ruled Thursday. The lawsuit is against the parents of Brian Laundrie.
6 days ago
Immigration activists rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 26. Photo credi...
Tierney Sneed and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

Supreme Court says Biden can end Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave President Joe Biden the green light to end the controversial "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy.
6 days ago
Justice Stephen Breyer and President Joe Biden....
Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

Breyer makes it official: He’s leaving the Supreme Court on Thursday at noon

In a letter to President Joe Biden, Breyer said it had been his "great honor" to participate as a judge in the "effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law."
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
First commercial flight from New York to Sydney departs JFK airport