Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is the future of air travel.

Last year Qantas publicly challenged Boeing and Airbus "to design a plane capable of making a viable direct flight from Sydney to London or New York," said Angus Whitley at Bloomberg. It appears they have succeeded. Australia's flagship airline confirmed last week that its long-held goal of nonstop 20-hour routes is becoming a reality. The airplane makers met Qantas' challenge, with long-haul versions of the Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 that can fly "farther than any regular service to date."

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Looking forward to flights by 2022, "manufacturers are dreaming up cabin interiors geared toward surviving such marathon flights." Think bunk beds, child-care facilities, "and even somewhere to work out." The 20-hour flights are in stark contrast to the early days of the Sydney-to-London route. In 1935, it took 12½ days to make the journey, requiring as many as 30 stops.