Qantas has selected Airbus A350-1000 over Boeing 777x for its “Project Sunrise”, which is up to 21 hours of non-stop flights from Australia’s east coast to New York and London
“After detailed evaluation of the Boeing 777X and Airbus A350, Qantas has selected the A350-1000 as the preferred aircraft if Sunrise proceeds.” says Qantas.
The aircraft powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines to perform non-stop flights for 21 hours.
Airbus will add an additional fuel tank added and slightly increase the maximum takeoff weight to deliver the performance required for Sunrise routes.
No orders have been placed but Qantas will work closely with Airbus to prepare contract terms for up to 12 aircraft ahead of a final decision by the Qantas Board.
The last of three Project Sunrise research flights (New York to Sydney) will be conducted on 17 December. Once complete, Qantas will have almost 60 hours of ‘Sunrise flying’ experience and thousands of data points on crew and passenger wellbeing.
Qantas said it was pushing that deadline back to March 2020, but the flights could still launch in the first half of 2023.