Qantas Boeing 787 100th annivesary design unveiled: New Dreamliner for London-Sydney test flight

Qantas has unveiled its newest Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring a special livery to celebrate the airline's 100th birthday next year.

The new plane will next month be used for the second of Qantas' "Project Sunrise" test flights - an epic non-stop journey from London to Sydney. This week the airline's first test flight, from New York to Sydney non-stop, takes off.

Named Longreach, after the Queensland town that played a key part in the airline's origins, the aircraft will be the 10th Dreamliner delivered to Qantas.

Photos supplied by Qantas show the plane at Boeing's manufacturing facility near Seattle in the US, where it will undergo further testing before being handed over next month.

The plane's design features every Qantas logo since its 1920 founding in outback Queensland, along with a new 'Qantas100' that will be used across the airline's centenary celebrations next year.

Project Sunrise is Qantas' plan to have the airline flying non-stop from Australia's eastern capitals to London and New York by 2022. It became the first airline to launch non-stop flights to Britain when its Perth-London route took off in March 2018.

Those flights take 17 hours, but Project Sunrise flights would take up to 22 hours.

During the airline's test flights, researchers from Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre will monitor passengers to track sleep patterns and eating habits. Crew will also be monitored to record melatonin levels before, during and after the flights, while pilots will wear a device that tracks brain wave patterns and monitors alertness.

Meanwhile, Monash University researchers will put electroencephalogram monitors on pilots' heads to track their brain waves and measure their alertness levels before, during and after the flights.


That pilot data will form part of Qantas' case to Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority to change current fatigue rules, which do not allow a crew of four pilots to fly longer than 18 hours.

The research flights will be limited to 40 passengers, mostly Qantas staff, to reduce weight so the Dreamliners can make the distance.

The airline is yet to determine which type of aircraft it will use on the ultra-long-haul flights.

Rivals Airbus and Boeing have pitched versions of their longest range aircraft (the A350-900ULR and 777X respectively) as being capable of making the flight distances with a viable commercial payload (passengers and luggage) on board.

A final decision on the viability of the routes is expected in December.

See also: Hour by hour: My epic trip on board the world's longest flight

See also: Airline review: 17 hours in Qantas economy class non-stop to London