Exactly a century ago it took 28 days to reach from the UK to Australia, during the time of the second world war. Times, however, have changed. The Qantas has come up with the longest hours of non-stop Qantas research flight which was first named “Double Sunrise”, and later changed to “Project Sunrise”. This flight created history by flying from London to Sydney in just 19 hours and 19 minutes. This has given the passengers a surreal experience of witnessing the “double sunrise” from the flight while onboard.
“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” said Alan Joyce CEO of Qantas.
Four pilots and six cabin crew were involved in the execution of the research flight. All the crew members were asked to wear an active watch for the data collection, measuring activities, light exposure, completing sleep diaries, a test of alertness, and reaction time.
Let’s get to know more about this research flight:
This research flight was conducted to test the well being of passengers while onboard. To check alertness, safety, collect real-time data on passengers and crew inflight health and wellness onboard, Qantas tied hands with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and CRC.
Further, the flight involved passengers eating supper at breakfast time, intending to encourage them to sleep at 10 in the morning as per London time to avoid jet lag and help them wake up fresh & relaxed and set their body clock according to the Australian time zone. Qantas will also provide refillable water bottles to every passenger to avoid the use of plastic bottles. No soft drinks are provided except Kombucha and Coconut water.
The lighting of the flight is also kept in mind to make sure passengers adapt well to the time zone of the landing destination. The lighting schedule of the cabin is designed to maximize adaptation to the destination time zone. Likewise, these long flights have small stretching sections for proper blood circulation because of sitting for long hours.
All the measures mentioned above taken by the Qantas indicates that prioritizing customer satisfaction and keeping them at ease is the priority along with reducing the travel time on long routes. After successful execution of the activities carried by the flight performance, crew, and passengers, the decision to bring this kind of flight into proper operation will be taken by the end of the year. If the flights keeps up the standards determined by Qantas, it could start as early as 2023 as a commercial flight.
To test the effectiveness of such long-hour flights, 38 passengers were invited including 6 undertaking the research. The others who were invited onboard were the Media, Regulatory Personnel, Vip, and Qantas Management. All of these passengers were assigned specific roles on the flight. Moreover, passengers were presented with the flight certificate “Secret Order Of The Double Sunrise”, whose one side shows the participation of the passenger in the current flight. On the other hand, it also slows the replica of the 1944 flight made on the Catalina flying boat.
At the end of the journey, the participants were welcomed by the ground staff, media, and natives.
We still have to wait to hear the final verdict on this flight.