Time for some airobics...
Stretching class (and wine for breakfast) on epic 19hr flight
PASSENGERS enjoyed two sunrises, wine for breakfast and aerobics during the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight which landed in Sydney yesterday.
The Qantas test flight took off from Heathrow at 6.09am (local time) on Thursday and landed at 12.28pm (local time) yesterday – 45 minutes behind schedule. The total time in the air was 19 hours and 19 minutes.
During the 11,060-mile journey, a physiologist led the 52 passengers on the Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner in a series of aerobic exercises including stretches, squats and walks around the cabin.
The ‘guinea pig’ travellers also saw their usual meal patterns disrupted, with the flight switching to Sydney time after take-off.
Passenger Jill Gralow said they were offered steak sandwiches, soup and wine instead of a regular breakfast. Those on board, mostly
Qantas employees, also participated in various tests including using wearable technology to track sleep patterns, food and drink intake, lighting and physical movement.
They were asked to play a ‘whack-a-mole’ reaction game on an iPad to test their attention levels, while their blood pressure, oxygen levels and heart rate were also measured.
The pilots will have their urine examined for the next two weeks to track levels of melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep cycles.
Qantas has launched the test flights to assess the effects of ultra-long-haul flights on crew fatigue and passenger jetlag. Last month, it completed the first nonstop flight from New York to Sydney in 19 hours and 16 minutes.
‘We saw a double sunrise,’ Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said after stepping off the flight.
He added: ‘We know that travellers want room to move on these direct flights, and the exercises we encouraged on the first research flight seemed to work really well. We’re definitely looking to incorporate on-board stretching zones and even some simple modifications like overhead handles to encourage low-impact exercises.’
Qantas aims to operate non-stop flights from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York by 2022.
Reaching for the sky: Passengers on the record flight to Sydney