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Technology Qantas completes record 19-hour flight to test limits of air travel

21:45  20 october  2019
21:45  20 october  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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Qantas just broke a record for air travel , and it may have helped science in the process. The Australian airline has completed the first non-stop commercial flight from New York City to Sydney as part of a project researching the effects of very long flights -- in this case, 19 hours and 16 minutes.

Advertisement. News. Australia's Qantas completes record -breaking 19 - hour flight . The plane flew with maximum fuel and limited passenger and cargo loads to ensure it could go the distance. With 50 passengers and crew members on board, the test flight departed New York's John F. Kennedy

Qantas just broke a record for air travel, and it may have helped science in the process. The Australian airline has completed the first non-stop commercial flight from New York City to Sydney as part of a project researching the effects of very long flights -- in this case, 19 hours and 16 minutes. The study measured pilots' brain waves, melatonin and overall alertness, while passengers helped gauge the effectiveness of anti-jetlag measures like changes to cabin lighting and meals. Travelers even participated in exercises to keep their bodies limber.

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway

There are two more flights coming as part of Project Sunrise, Qantas' larger effort to study health on long-haul trips. A London to Sydney flight is due in November, while a repeat New York to Sydney flight is coming in December. A decision on the initiative is expected before the end of 2019.

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In preparation, Australian airline Qantas has announced three test flights , with 40 people traveling directly from London or New York to Sydney, to see how the human body copes with 19 solid hours of air travel . Qantas previously announced its goal of operating direct flights between London, New

Now, Qantas wants to test the limits of human endurance with a 19 hour trial run this fall. The somewhat ominously named “Project Sunrise” will test three ultra long haul flights But we do know that there is a general ‘fatigue’ associated with long distance air travel , so I guess it is probably the

Some of the potential gains are already clear. While this flight left three hours later than Qantas' usual one-stop service, it arrived slightly ahead -- that's a lot of time saved. Also, Qantas' decision to leave the lights on for the first six hours of the flight (to replicate conditions in Sydney) helped fight jetlag right away.

However, there is at least one obstacle that could prevent flights like this from becoming regular occurrences. Qantas had to put tight limits on the number of people aboard in order to save fuel, with just 49 passengers and crew flying aboard a Boeing 787-9 that typically holds 280. Any travelers would likely have to pay a premium on an already-expensive flight to compensate for the low headcount. If that's not considered an obstacle, though, non-stop flights like this could be a viable option if time is of the essence... or if you really, really hate layovers.

Qantas

Qantas aircraft evacuated in Sydney after smoke fills cabin .
SYDNEY (AP) — Passengers on a Qantas flight from Sydney to Perth on Sunday used slides to evacuate the Airbus A330 after it was forced to return as the cabin filled with smoke. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2015, file photo, a Qantas plane maneuvers behind another parked at a gate at Sydney Airport in Sydney. Passengers on a Qantas flight from Sydney to Perth on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, used slides to evacuate the Airbus A330 after it was forced to return a (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File) Qantas said flight 575 returned to Sydney shortly after takeoff due to a hydraulic issue.

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