By 2023, the Qantas airline aims to link Australian cities (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) with a direct plane flight to London or New York. Either a journey of nineteen to twenty hours. It inaugurates this October 18 the first of its three test flights and scientists will try to understand how the human body can withstand such a long flight.
Teams from the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney, Monash University and the Alertness Safety and Productivity Cooperative Research Center will examine the impact of the New York-Sydney long haul on the forty to fifty pedestrian guinea pigs. board the Boeing 797-9 Dreamliner, comprising six volunteers, pilots, scientists, crew and medical experts.
Everything for the comfort of the customers
Passengers in the main cabin will be equipped with surveillance devices and experts from the Charles Perkins Center will study how their "Health, well-being and biological clock" are influenced by lighting, food, drinks, movement, sleep patterns and on-board entertainment. Before the flight and two weeks later, passengers are advised to keep a daily diary to record their feelings and their reaction to jet lag. Pilots and cabin crew will also be monitored and hold a sleep diary. Cameras will be installed in the cockpit to record pilot vigilance.
Monash University scientists will focus on the flight crew, recording their melatonin levels before, during and after flights, as well as their brain waves. The data will then be shared with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority "To inform the regulatory requirements associated with ultra-long haul flights", said Qantas airline in a press release. "For customers, the key will be to minimize jet lag and create an environment conducive to a relaxing and enjoyable flight. For crew members, it's about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when on duty and to maximize their rest during down-times on those flights. "Qantas added.
According to Bjorn Fehrm, an aviation and economic analyst at Leeham News, future travelers will find this direct flight very attractive because "There is no stopover in Dubai or Singapore, no extra customs clearance and no transfer stress". The next test flight will connect London to Sydney in November, and the last will take place before the end of the year between New York and London. Flights will be marketed following testing by 2023.