Qantas carried out two tests in October and November with a view to offering ultra-long-haul flights in the future, connecting cities such as London and Sydney non-stop in 19 hours and set to be available from 2023. The carrier has chosen the Airbus A350-1000 to fly its passengers half-way around the world.
Credits: Pixabay / Thomas Pikolin
The Qantas ‘Sunrise’ ultra-long-haul flight project is set to go ahead with Airbus aircraft. The Australian airline has chosen the A350-1000 to carry out what are set to be regular 20-hour non-stop flights from 2023 onwards, according to BFMTV.
Initial tests had already taken place but the carrier was aware of the fact that the model of aircraft is not the only issue when looking to cross no fewer than 15 time zones.
London to Sydney in 19 hours
Qantas’ main priority is those on board the aircraft, be they the passengers or the cabin crew. Australia’s geographical location – at a considerable distance from the world’s most popular destinations – has enabled the airline to acquire significant experience when it comes to very long flights. However, a 19-hour non-stop Sydney-to-London will bring with it challenges that simply cannot be compared with the current 14-hour flights available with Qantas.
The two experimental flights carried out in October then November were primarily used therefore to work out what the ideal conditions were in the cabin and the cockpit, and to make any adjustments necessary. Changes in lighting and staff shifts were tested across the enormous distance covered, and the data collected via sensors to measure activity, concentration and brain waves was then studied in detail.
Lighting, food and stretching all adapted
For example, the airline used warm lighting similar to a sunrise at the right moment for its passengers. Physical exercises were suggested to reduce the risk of problems linked to blood flow and muscle tiredness, and even the food was designed to promote sleepiness among the passengers or to give them extra energy, depending on the stage of the journey.
For the cabin crew, the experiment called for shifts of five-and-a-half hours work followed by two-and-a-half hours break before returning to their duties. In the cockpit meanwhile, a team of four pilots took turns.
Cover Image: Pixabay / Rudy and Peter Skitterians
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