Time for some airo­bics...

Stretch­ing class (and wine for break­fast) on epic 19hr flight

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By In­derdeep Bains

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

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