Singapore Airlines has announced that the worlds longest non-stop flight will officially begin jetting between Singapore and New York at the end of 2018.
The airline just completed its first test of the cutting-edge Airbus A350-900ULR, a new variant of the jet lagâ€“busting A350 that can fly up to 11,160 miles adding up to 20 hours without refuelling. The Airbus A350-900ULR embarked on its first test flight on 23 April, at which time it made a five-hour round trip that launched from the air-framer's assembly plant in Toulouse, France.
Singapore Airlines will be the first airline offering the record-breaking 20-hour long-haul flight, having ordered a total of seven ULRs, which comes as part of a commitment to 67 A350-900 jets (21 of which have been delivered so far).
According to the airline, like Airbuss other A350 planes this model will also fight jet lag as passengers fly, with a lighting system that mimics the daylight at their destination to get them prepped for the time change and an air management system that renews the air every two minutes while helping regulate cabin temperature. These particular-900ULRs will also have fewer seats than on standard A350s to lower the overall weight of the aircraft, though Singapore Airlines hasnt announced specifics.
Previously, the airline had used the A340-500 on the 15,323 km journey from Singapore to Newark, New York. However, the four-engine commercial jets were returned to Airbus in 2013 due to the high cost of fuel and the issue that there were only 100 business-class seats on board.
The ULR will be capable of flying 17,960 km, which will return the title of worlds longest non-stop air route to Singapore Airlines.
Bearing in mind that this is still an almost 18,000 km plane journey, which will inevitably mean a lot of pins and needles in passengers legs, the 900 ULRs have also been designed to ensure greater comfort. This includes "fully dark" cabins, the guarantee that all rows will have a window, reduced noise levels and an active humidification system.
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