Direct flights from Heathrow to Sydney take off

A non-stop Qantas flight from London to Sydney has been taken away from Heathrow.

The Australian airline uses the flight to investigate the impact of ultra-long passenger and crew funnel trips.

Forty people are on board the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which started at 1 p.m. 06:00 Thursday in the 19-hour flight to the other side of the world.

A Dreamliner can usually carry between 230 and 300 people.

At present, it is impossible to fly a full-capacity aircraft from London to cities on the east coast of Australia without stopping to refuel.

Qantas began flying non-stop from London to Perth in Western Australia in March 2018 as it is 1,600 miles closer.

Thursday's flight is part of Project Sunrise, a bid to operate commercial flights from Sydney to London and New York in 2022, if aircraft manufacturers Airbus or Boeing can deliver a suitable aircraft.

Qantas said all carbon emissions from the test flight will be fully offset.

Those on board are mostly Qantas employees equipped with screens to track their sleep pattern, food and drink intake and physical movements.

The data will be assessed by researchers at the University of Sydney to assess the impact of flight on their health, well-being and body clock.

A team from Melbourne & # 39; s Monash University is partnering with pilots and crew to monitor melatonin levels before, during and after the flight. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep cycles.

Pilots are wearing a device that tracks brain wave patterns and monitors vigilance.

Qantas will also collect feedback from passengers on food choices, stretching and wellness zones and in-flight.

The airline's managing director, Alan Joyce, previously said: “Ultra-long flight presents many issues of common sense about comfort and well-being for passengers and crew.

"These flights will provide invaluable data to help answer them."

It will be the second aircraft flying the nonstop route – the first touched in August 1989.

Qantas flew a Dreamliner non-stop from New York to Sydney last month as part of Project Sunrise, though the route is about 1,000 miles shorter.

It must make a final decision on the viability of Project Sunrise as a commercial flight path by the end of the year.

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