The Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down in Sydney early Sunday morning after a flight of 19 hours and 16 minutes — the world's longest.
Qantas said tests ranged from monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness to exercise classes for passengers. A total of 49 people were on board, in order to minimize weight and give the necessary fuel range.
"Overall, we're really happy with how the flight went and it's great to have some of the data we need to help assess turning this into a regular service," said Capt. Sean Golding, who led the four pilots.
The flight was part of Project Sunrise — Qantas' goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from Australia's east coast cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York. Two more research flights are planned as part of the project evaluations - London to Sydney in November and another New York to Sydney in December.
"We know ultra long-haul flights pose some extra challenges but that's been true every time technology has allowed us to fly farther. The research we're doing should give us better strategies for improving comfort and wellbeing along the way," said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.