• Project Sunrise and the longest flight in the world:

    Get ready for ultra long distance flights…

Australian airline Qantas is behind Project Sunrise, heading the investigation of an ultra lengthy distance travelling investigation. A few weeks ago, CEO Alan Joyce, announced, in 2025, they will be offering flights connecting Sidney and London or New York, without stopovers.

These flights, the longest in the world, are within Project Sunrise, and are based on the investigation of the changes in our bodies after spending so much time inside an aircraft. The first trial flight was done in 2019 but research was stopped due to COVID-19 and the airline has now restarted the project.

The longest flight in the world, both in duration and in distance

These new flights will break two world records, as they are the longest flights, both in duration and distance, with a 17,000 km route and over 19 hours long. During the flight, it will be possible to see two different sunrises on different days, something never seen before in aviation.

The chosen aircraft for Project Sunrise is Airbus A350-1000, with capacity for 238 passengers. This aeroplane stands out for its great efficiency and low acoustic pollution and is practically the only model of aeroplane in the world with sufficient autonomy for this type of operation.

To take this project forward, the Australian airline has bought twelve A350-1000 with an estimated release date between 2025 and 2028, which is when Project Sunrise will begin.

Following you’ll see Sam Chui, the most famous aeronautical reporter in the world, on board Project Sunrise’s first trial flight. He tells us a lot of amusing facts!

But, what was the longest flight in history?

There is an aeroplane flight time milestone that has yet to be beaten; it just wasn’t a commercial flight, which is what we’re talking about in today’s post.

In 1958, pilots Bob Timm and John Cook managed to stay in the air for 64 days, 22 hours and 18 minutes aboard a Cessna 172.

Bob Timm worked as a mechanic at the Hacienda Hotel in Las Vegas, so he decided to talk his boss into sponsoring what would be the longest flight in history; he agreed and the aviators completed their milestone.

To stay in the air for so long, it was necessary to devise a system that allowed them to refuel in flight. To do this, when necessary, they would descend to a road near Las Vegas where they would pick up a hose connected to a truck that allowed them to refuel. In the 64 days they were in flight, they made a total of 128 refuelling.

As time went by, the aircraft began to give problems, in addition to the pilots’ accumulated fatigue. So, finally, they landed at Las Vegas International Airport on 7 February 1959.

Of course, the Cessna used by the aviators is still on display at Las Vegas airport today.

How the longest trial flight went with Project Sunrise

On their first flight, passengers were monitored at all times to see how their heartbeat, levels of oxygen and sleep quality varied.

Cabin Crew and pilots used glasses to measure their eye activity and be able to establish fatigue levels. Food on board, as well as light adjustment in the cabin or mood lighting were other factors that were taken into account when planning flights.

Without a doubt, a new era in aviation is about to commence, the designing of aeroplanes which are much more aerodynamic, as well as the search for the most efficient engines, is permitting feats we had never seen before.

What would the Wright brothers think if they saw aeroplanes flying over 19 hours non-stop at 11 kilometres’ altitude, at the speed of sound and with almost 240 passengers on board? Yes, you can insert the emoji with the exploding head here.