Qantas is testing the effects of the world’s longest single-haul flight on various body systems of humans. As a part of the research, the company is going to send 40 of its employees on a trip from New York to Sydney.
The 19-hour non-stop flight will be commenced on a new Boeing 787-9 and will be the longest passenger flight ever.
The flight is basically a part of Project Sunrise – a research project aimed at assessing the effects of long-haul flights on the human body.
The passengers of this flight will be fitted with the apparatus needed to measure various body parameters, such as the sleep-wake cycle and nutrition routines.
The effects of on-board entertainment will also be recorded.
The pilots will be fitted with EEG (electroencephalograph) machines which will measure their brain activity and will find out the best conditions for the pilots to work in.
The research is a combined effort of Charles Perkins Center and Monash University.
Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group, said that the purpose of this research is to reduce the adverse effects of long-haul flights on the health of the passengers as well as the crew.
Joyce said: “Ultra-long-haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and well-being of passengers and crew. These flights are going to provide invaluable data to help answer them.
“For customers, the key will be minimizing jet lag and creating an environment where they are looking forward to a restful, enjoyable flight.
“For crew, it’s about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when they are on duty and maximize rest during their down time on these flights.
“Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right.
“No airline has done this kind of dedicated research before and we’ll be using the results to help shape the cabin design, in-flight service and crew roster patterns for Project Sunrise.
“We’ll also be looking at how we can use it to improve our existing long-haul flights.”
The data and findings of this research will serve as a master key in developing regulations regarding long-haul flights by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Joyce continued: “There’s plenty of enthusiasm for Sunrise, but it’s not a foregone conclusion. This is ultimately a business decision and the economics have to stack up.”
Qantas will run another test flight between the same two cities next month.
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