Qantas will break records with its new Sydney-to-London ultra-long-haul flight — but the evolution of long-haul aircraft design is just as revolutionary.
When the Wright brothers designed and built the first aeroplane in 1903 it had a wingspan of 12 m, length of 6.43 m and a top speed of 48 km/h. To put that into comparison, the new Airbus A350-1000 jets measure just under 74 m, have a wingspan of 64.75 m and a top speed of 1,099 km/h. Aerospace engineering has come a long way since the Wright flyer took flight.
From the design and development of airfoils, twin-engines and composite materials, create maps the key moments in aerospace engineering that have enabled long-haul flights as we know them today.