QANTAS are launching the first test route of the longest direct flight in the world, taking 20 hours.
The 10,000 mile flight will travel from New York to Sydney, taking off Saturday morning and landing on Sunday morning.
Qantas hope to launch the route, as well as a direct route between Sydney and London, by 2022.
Passengers currently travelling to Sydney from the UK can fly with Emirates, taking 22 hours with a stopover in Dubai; or Qantas, taking nearly 25 hours with a stopover in Singapore.
Cathay Pacific and Etihad Airways also offer stopover routes with similar flight times, stopping at Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, respectively.
The new tests, dubbed Project Sunrise, will take place in October, November and December.
Qantas plans to use brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on the routes, with two flights from New York to Sydney, and one from London to Sydney.
Carbon emissions from the flights will be fully offset.
However, passengers won’t be able to buy tickets for the flights – with 40 crew members being the only travellers.
The tests will analyse the well-being of the crew, such as how they sleep and how they feel, as well as how much they eat and move around during the flight.
Pilots will be tracked using an EEG (electroencephalogram) device that measures brain wave patterns to determine sleep patterns and routines.
What you can expect on a super-long flight
Sun Online Travel tested out Qantas’ non-stop 17 hour flight from Perth to London in economy when it launched in 2018.
The Perth to London route, going against the wind (which takes longer), took around 17 hours and 15 minutes – although the schedule time is 16 hours and 45 minutes.
The Sun Travel’s Jacob Lewis said the entire journey was in total darkness due to the timing of the flight.
He added: “The route is not only the UK’s longest, but also holds the depressing honour of being the world’s longest flight without daylight.”
Jacob explained that while it was certainly a faster route, it felt like an “endurance test” due to the cramped conditions and two meals.
The food, designed especially by nutrition boffins at the University of Sydney, “was painfully bland but meant to help keep you hydrated” according to Jacob.
TV addicts can binge through several seasons of shows but you might be stuck for options if you’re picky.
There was also no WiFi, although the Dreamliner aircraft that he flew on was a quieter plane than most, reducing the loud noises of the engines.
The Perth to London route was also more expensive than a route with a layover.
The longest flights in the world
1. Newark to Singapore, Singapore Airlines: 9,534m (18 hours 45 mins)
2. Auckland to Doha, Qatar Airways: 9,032m (18 hours 20 mins)
3. Perth to London, Qantas: 9,009m (17 hours 20 mins)
4. Auckland to Dubai, Emirates: 8,824m (17 hours 15 mins)
5. Los Angeles to Singapore, Singapore Airlines: 8,770m (17 hours 50 mins)
6. Houston to Sydney, United Airlines: 8,596m (17 hours 30 mins)
7. Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney, Qantas: 8,578m (17 hours 10 mins)
8. New York to Manila, Philippine Airlines: 8,520m (16 hours 30 mins)
9. San Francisco to Singapore, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines: 8,447m (17 hours 35 mins)
10. Johannesburg to Atlanta, Delta Air Lines: 8,439m (16 hours 55 mins)
Why the airline is testing the ultra-long haul route
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce explained that “ultra-long haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and well-being of passengers and crew”.
He added: “For customers, the key will be minimising jet lag and creating an environment where they are looking forward to a restful, enjoyable flight.
“For crew, it’s about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when they are on duty and maximise rest during their down time on these flights.”
It will be the first direct flight from New York to Sydney by a commercial airline, and the second time for London to Sydney according to Qantas.
Singapore Airlines launched the longest flight in the world last year, travelling from New York to Singapore in 19 hours.
The 9,534 mile route beat Qatar Airways for the longest flight route, which came in at 9,032 miles from Doha to Auckland.
Flights take longer now than they dd in the 1990s due to flying slower which saves on fuel costs.