- Maximum take-off weight for a 787-9 is 254,000kg.
About 100,000 kg of that is fuel for the epic journey across the North American continent and onward south-west toward the Pacific and finally to Australia.
The survey flight, the first time the two cities have been connected by air in one go, is part of Project Sunrise, Qantas' effort to push the limits of commercial flying.
At virtually 20 hours, the unprecedented journey is about to be the world's longest flight. With a 15-hour time difference between NY and Sydney, the impact of jet lag will be closely watched by the experts on the flight.
It's reported no other airline has successfully completed such an undertaking.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight is the first of three test flights, dubbed by the airline as "project sunrise", which will run in October, November and December to gather data.
Researchers from Sydney University's Charles Perkins Centre, Monash University and the Alertness Safety and Productivity Cooperative Research Centre - a scientific program backed by the Australian government - will examine the impact of the long flight on those on board. "Pilots are concerned about being able to get enough quality rest during ultra long-range flights to maintain peak performance and we believe significant caution should be exercised in the initial operations to make sure there are no unintended consequences", he said.
The experts are terming this flight to be an elemanitaor of the travelers' enemy, the jet lag.
"Drinking more than a few glasses of alcohol will make jet lag worse", Specialist sleep researcher Dr. Yu Sun Bin, who is part of the CPC team, said on Friday. "It's pretty devastating physiologically", Carrie Partch, a biochemist and associate professor at the University of California, told Bloomberg this week.
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The brand-new Qantas jet will take off with over 100 tons of gasoline, an official mentioned.
Those on board will eat, drink, sleep, and move about the cabin according to a preset schedule.
Cameras will be mounted inside the cockpit to record pilots alertness and they will also be expected to keep sleep journals.
Oh, and because this is a commercial airline, they've also been checking out the impact of lighting, in-flight entertainment, and physical movement on the overall health of passengers. Meanwhile, the aircraft-turned-testing-laboratory will be delivered to Qantas just prior to each flight. Crew melatonin levels before, during, and after the flights will be measured.
"The final frontier in aviation": Qantas CEO Alan Joyce mobbed by media aboard their flagship Boeing 787-9s.
"It won't just help on these long flights to London and NY, but on the existing flight network that we do".
After the test flights, the new planes will enter commercial service.
After that, the airline will determine whether or not it presses on with ultra-long-haul flying.
"This is ultimately a business decision and economics have to stack up".