The world of aviation is constantly expanding, what 100 years ago seemed impossible is now being carried out on a daily basis. All of this has been possible thanks to major investment in the sector and the new technologies introduced in recent years. Air travel is part of air transports, the aim of this sector is to connect as many people as possible to as many cities as soon as possible.
Aircrafts are currently very efficient, so we can say that almost all destinations in the world are connected with direct flights.
The longest flight ever:
The longest route in history is an historic flight that connects two major continents and in particular two large cities, London and Sydney.
The service for this flight started years and years ago with a pioneerist trip of days and days; it took 28 days to reach these two different lands for the first time in 1919 when Captain Ross Smith took off on his way to Darwin.
Qantas first flew the so-called Kangaroo Route in 1947. This epic flight carried 29 passengers and 11 crew from Sydney to London with stops in Darwin, Singapore, Calcutta, Karachi, Cairo, and Tripoli. A return fare was £585 that is now equivalent to $23,040.
In November 2019, exactly 100 years later the first expedition in 1919, a test flight was operated with a brand new Boeing 787-9 of Qantas (Australian national airline) from the airport of London Heathrow to the airport of Sydney.
On this 19 hours and 19 minutes direct flight there were just 50 people, most of the travelling public were experts in aviation, the remaining part consisted of experts in several areas to monitor the effects that such a long flight can have on our body.
Qantas introduced this project, the double sunrise, to connect the east part of the world to Australia, it is called The Double Sunrise because it is the only flight where it is possible to see a double start of a new day. This is also a challenge for majors industries to produce the most efficient plane to
achieve this goal.
According to one of the passengers of this flight, Mr. Sam Chui, one of the most famous aviation blogger, it is said in one of his videos about this flight that The first flight took off a few minutes after 6AM in the morning and reached Sydney the day after at 12:30PM after a 17800 km trip.
18 tonnes of fuel were required for the entire flight, half of which was compared to those used during the first research flight in 1989 with a Boeing 747 – 400, this demonstrates the great progress made in the aeronautical sector.
The crew was composed of 4 pilots 1 captain, 1 first officer and 2 second officers.
Passengers had been put on as special diet and had been practicing numerous physical exercises in order to adjust their biological clocks with Sydney local time starting from a few minutes after take-off.
Qantas is planning to introduce numerous ultra long services into their destination map to create direct links with Europe and East America; routes should go into service from 2022, which could be postponed due to the major crisis currently affecting aviation. The aircrafts that could be used are Boeing 787 Airbus A350 and in a future Boeing 777-8. To date, the current longest commercial flight is operated by Qatar Airways from Doha to Auckland, it takes around 17 hours and 15 minutes and is done by a Boeing 777.
Another famous flight is the Singapore – Newark, it was activated some years ago and then reactivated for a few months, it is a 19 hour flight operated with a special aircraft, an A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range).
One of the problem of this flight were the profits, the costs for this long journey were higher than profits, this should be related to the reduced number of seats available on this specific kind of aircraft operated on this route.
During the pandemic lockdown period another record was broken, innumerous unscheduled flights were done due to the restrictions that were active in numerous nations. One of them was a direct flight from Papeete (French Polynesia) to Paris, this flight is usually done with a stop in L.A. but this was not possible so the Boeing 787 of Air Tahiti Nui travelled a total distance of 15700km without stops, the longest scheduled flight for distance travelled.
After the success of this flight the company is thinking of starting this new link between these cities.
Things change very fast in the aviation world and no one can predict what could happen in 10 years, big investment will be done and new technologies added, probably we can’t even imagine where we will be in some years but for sure the world is becoming closer to us.
Until next time, and as always, “We Speak Aviation.”
The article was written by Pilotamireh Social Media Team Member Jacopo Favarato