The first non-stop commercial airline flight from New York to Sydney has landed on 20 October, after 19 hours 16 minutes in the air.
A total of 49 passengers and crew were on the flight, which was used to run a series of experiments to assess health and well-being onboard. Data from these experiments will be used help shape the crew rostering and customer service of Qantas’ ultra long haul flights in future – including Project Sunrise.
Tests ranged from monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness, through to exercise classes for passengers. Cabin lighting and in-flight meals were also adjusted in ways that are expected to help reduce jetlag, according to the medical researchers and scientists who have partnered with Qantas.
Two more research flights are planned as part of the Project Sunrise evaluations – London to Sydney in November and another New York to Sydney in December. Emissions from all research flights will be fully offset.
A decision on Project Sunrise is expected by the end of the year.