The longest flight in the world has been successfully tested – with 50 passengers and crew traveling nonstop for almost 20 hours from New York to Sydney.
Qantas Flight 7879 traveled 16,200 km (10,066 miles) in 19 hours and 16 minutes – landing in Australia early Sunday morning with plenty of fuel.
The journey on a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was an experiment to see how long-haul travel affects people on board.
Only a few people traveled on the 19-hour flight.
It is currently not possible for commercial aircraft to fly this far with a full passenger load and cargo.
To ensure that the plane could travel the distance, the flight had maximum fuel, restricted luggage and no cargo.
A team of researchers was sent to monitor lighting and activities – as well as sleep patterns and passenger consumption levels.
They also closely monitored melatonin crew levels and followed the pilots' brain patterns during flight.
The flight landed in Sydney after flying over 10,000 miles
Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce, who was on the flight, said after landing: "This is a truly historic moment for Qantas, a truly historic moment for Australian aviation and a truly historic moment for world aviation.
"We know that long-haul flights pose some extra challenges, but this happens whenever technology allows us to fly farther. The research we're doing should give us better strategies for improving comfort and well-being along the way." .
Australia's national airline says it aims to increase health and well-being on board, minimize jet lag and work out the best crew work standards.
The trajectory of the longest flight in the world. Pic: Flight Radar
After landing, flight captain Sean Golding said: "The flight was very successful with two components – the first was the research.
"And also the feat of distance – last night's flight was 16,200 kilometers. We stayed in the air for 19 hours and 16 minutes and landed here in Sydney with comfortable 70 minutes of fuel."
Patrick Hatch, a Sydney Morning Herald reporter who traveled on the flight, said the passengers were taking part in exercise sessions and even dancing at Macarena in an effort to maintain circulation while on the plane.
Researchers examined how to combat jet lag
Hatch added that the flight was three hours faster than normal travel time and that people around him felt "very good" when landing in Sydney.
Eventually, the company wants to make scheduled flights from the east coast of Australia to New York and London and will make a decision later this year on the viability of the services after further test flights.
Qantas already had the world's largest commercial flight record and offers full service on its direct flights between London Heathrow and Perth on Australia's west coast – a journey that takes more than 17 hours.