Qantas To Operate Three Project Sunrise Research Flights - Direct London & New York To Sydney On A 787-9

Qantas will operate three “Project Sunrise Research Flights” to gain data regarding passenger and crew wellbeing.

  • Re-purposed 787-9 delivery flights scheduled for October, November and December
  • On-board research to test ways of improving wellbeing on ultra long-haul flights
  • Made possible by carrying 40 people to increase aircraft range

The flights will take around 19 hours each.

  • The aircraft will position from Boeing’s factory in Seattle, where they will be collected off the production line by Qantas pilots, and flown to their starting points of New York (for two of the flights) and London (for one flight). Cabins will be fully fitted out and otherwise ready to enter normal commercial service.

Other than crew, those in the cabin will mostly be Qantas employees taking part in testing. No seats will be sold as these flights are for research purposes only. (sad face)

This is great news. It’ll be very interesting to see the future of these routes once Qantas selects the proposed A350/777X models.


Wow! Very exciting, I hope to fly this flight in the future!

These ultra long haul flights are becoming closer and closer to reality. I hope that the research turns out positive results, i.e. people not feeling sick after flying for such a long time, otherwise the project may end up delayed…

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I also cant wait for the Qantas Flight from Brisbane to Chicago


I know! Qantas has some amazing things ahead of them!

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Yep, just reread it, thanks. Fixed the title.

In all honesty Qantas needs an a350 do some of these routes

I believe the 787 can handle it too

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Wow these are both longer than KEWR-WSSS too

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A359ULR has same problem that the 789 will have on these flights, it can’t carry a full passenger load which is something Qantas is aiming for. Yes the A359ULR can carry more passengers than the 789 on this flight, but the really only capable plane would be a modified 778, basically get a 778, do similar modifications to it like the A359 to the A359ULR, add more tanks, increace MTOW and you could just about get 280 or so passengers with just luggage, to London. Boeing has the upperhand here, it’s just whether they actually care enough to do so, because Qantas could be left with a less capable A359ULR if Boeing doesn’t put as much effort that Airbus is doing


The 777-8 can actually according to the numbers I can find make the flight with 60km of range to spare, so in a low density configuration, maby all business or something to that effect, and no extra cargo, it is actually very conceivable for it to make it with no modifications…

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Wouldn’t that be against the diversion + 30 mins fuel rule?

A359ULR could fly yssy-eidw. There would be demand

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Well the range usually assumes max weight the way I understand it. So if they were to do a low capacity seating arrangement (which I would assume it would be all business, or economy+ at the very least since people would easily pay a premium for that much extra comfort on that long of a flight) and carried no extra cargo they could surely make it. It’s the same as how they are doing the 787-9 on these flights. It can’t actually make it with it’s published range, but they have greatly extended that by flying it very flight…

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It will be interesting to see how these flights will go

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That’s realy cool

Well for me an avid Qantas fan, cough cough my profile name, I am very happy that Qantas has taken on this project for the B789 (Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner) I hope all goes well for them.

I’m a little confused. Didn’t Qantas say they will be using the A350 for project sunrise?

A350 or 777X. These are just test flights with 40 maximum pax on a 787-9 to gather data regarding the passengers and the flight.


Ohh, I see. thanks for the clarification.