Qantas has announced plans to operate three ultra long-haul research flights to collect data for Project Sunrise.

Three new 787-9 Dreamliners are scheduled to be delivered in October, November and December, which is when these flights will be operated.

Qantas will develop adjusted delivery routes to simulate two Project Sunrise flights, these being Sydney to London and Sydney to New York.

To compensate for the range limitation, only 40 people will be onboard. This does not reflect the amount of passengers that will be flown on actual Project Sunrise flights.

Qantas to Operate Project Sunrise Research Flights

Focusing on the environmental factors, Qantas states these 19+ hour flights will be completely carbon offset.

The research is being designed in partnership with Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre and Monash University, in conjunction with CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity.

Members in the cabin will be fitted with wearable devices that monitor crucial bodily functions such as heart rate, sleeping patterns, food and beverage consumption and physical movement.

Pilots will undergo greater analysis, specifically brain functions and alertness under various workloads. A fixed electroencephalogram will be used for this.

Qantas to Operate Project Sunrise Research Flights

Monash University researches will measure melatonin levels before, during and after the flights and use the data to determine optimal work patterns.

Qantas Group CEO says these flights will provide medical experts a chance to do real-time research, resulting in greater health and wellbeing.

“Ultra-long haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and wellbeing of passengers and crew. These flights are going to provide invaluable data to help answer them.”

Alan Joyce – Qantas Group CEO
Qantas to Operate Project Sunrise Research Flights
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce with their first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Excitingly the data collected from these flights won’t only be used for Project Sunrise, but also to improve existing long-haul services.

Airbus and Boeing are fiercely fighting for Qantas’ order, respectively pitching the A350 and 777X.

A final decision on aircraft – which depends on aircraft economics, regulatory approvals and industrial agreements – is expected by the end of December 2019.

Additional details are expected during Qantas’ 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Reflecting on this latest announcement, Alan Joyce had the following to say:

“Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right.”

Qantas aims to launch commercial flights from the east coast of Australia to Europe and New York by 2023.

Although many say they would prefer a stopover, Qantas data from Perth to London flights show strong demand is there for such flights.

Qantas to Operate Project Sunrise Research Flights

Whether the Airbus A350 or Boeing 777X is selected, Qantas intends on implementing a state-of-the-art cabin that will benefit passengers and crew.

The idea of these flights really translates to the highly-desired connectivity aviation has to offer, as well as the enormous technical advancements over the years.

When the time comes for passenger to board these flights, history will be made.

For a video overview, see here:

Are you excited for Project Sunrise?