Australia's full-service airline Qantas will test its first 20-hour flight from New York to Sydney on October 18. Named as Project Sunrise, it will use brand new Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The airline hopes that by running a series of ultra-long test flights, it will give them insight into the physical and emotional impact long-haul flights have on passengers. No airline has ever completed that route without stopping. The nonstop Sydney to New York flight will be the first airline to fly the same route without any scheduled stops along the way. The 20-hour long flight is set to become the record holder of the world's longest flight.
The scientists and medical researchers inside the cabin will turn Qantas into a high altitude laboratory. They are required to screen the brain of the pilots for alertness and will also keep a check on the food, sleep, and activity of the passengers. Their aim is to study human behavior on such a long flight and how it affects their body clock. The first New York to Sydney flight is just one of the three flights spread over October, November, and December that will operate as Project Sunrise flights. Each of the three specially fitted aircraft will have no more than 40 people on board, including pilots and crew, to minimize weight and extend the aircraft’s range.
The physical burden on customers is putting a renewed focus on jet lag and making a store of items and homemade arrangements to ease the suffering. The jet lags mainly occur when a passenger crosses three time zones or more in quick order. It leaves the body's internal clock running to the timetable at home. The scientists have found that the right exercise and the right food can help overcome the problem. Qantas's ultra-long flights will be priced squarely at the business class. It must gain permission from Australia's civil aviation regulator for cabin crew to be on duty for longer than 20 hours. The airline also needs a new deal with pilots who will fly the extra-long routes on new aircraft.