New Qantas flight is as long as it is technologically advanced

The days of non-stop travel to the other side of the world got one city closer over the weekend, with Qantas completing its first flight between Perth and London Heathrow.

The flight takes 17 hours, that's a massive leap since the original so-called Kangaroo route in the 1940's that saw the flight stop at seven stopovers, taking four days.

But 17 hours is still a long time in the air. Qantas' CEO Alan Joyce says the airline has combatted this by putting "hands-down the most comfortable aircraft that Qantas has ever put in the sky."

In 1947 a one-way flight between Australia and London would cost the equivalent of $35,000 in today's currency and carried 29 passengers. This new flight costs on average $1300 one-way and carries 236 passengers.

Qantas Constellation Aircraft.
It used to take four days and seven stops to get from Australia to London. Photo credit: Supplied.

The Boeing-designed Dreamliner has features that reduce jetlag, turbulence and noise.

Qantas also worked with scientists to develop food and meal schedules that will keep passengers more comfortable during the long flight.

For those around Heathrow Airport in London, there would have been no mistaking the origin of the flight as the Dreamliner flew into the city.

Aircraft named 'Emily' painted with special livery based on the Yam Dreaming artwork of Kame Kngwarreye.
A special livery based on the Yam Dreaming artwork of Kame Kngwarreye. Photo credit: Supplied.

The aircraft - named Emily - is painted with a special livery based on the 'Yam Dreaming' artwork of Kame Kngwarreye.

Fast facts about the new non-stop flight:

  1. In order to find the fastest route possible, Qantas analysed 10 years of wind data on the flight route to work out exactly where the plane should fly for maximum efficiency.
  2. Qantas Flight 9 is the third longest flight in the world at 14,498km behind the direct flights out of Auckland by Emirates to Dubai and Qatar to Doha.
  3. It will need 110,000 litres of fuel to get to London from Perth.
  4. To make the plane lighter, this Dreamliner only carries 236 passengers compared to other Dreamliners that carry more than 300.

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