• Qantas simulates ultralong non-stop services to Sydney

    From Aviation HQ@2:292/854 to All on Fri Aug 23 01:04:18 2019
    Qantas plans to open direct scheduled services from East Australia to London and New York within a few years. To know what the effects of these ultra-long flights are on the well-being of crew and passengers, the Australian airline is planning three test flights, which will be carried out with factory-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

    The plans for direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Europe and North America are known as "Project Sunrise". That should be the longest non-stop airborne services in the world. The purpose of the test flights is to simulate the scheduled services as truthfully as possible. The schedule includes two flights from New York and one from London in the months of October, November and December.

    The Boeing 787-9s with which Qantas performs the test flights are flown to New York or London after delivery in Seattle. From there, a course is set for Sydney. The simulation flights, including the crew, will have forty people on board. In this way, weight is saved and the flight range increases, so that the Boeing 787-9 can perform the flights directly. Fully loaded does not work.

    Measuring equipment

    The passengers in the cabin - mainly Qantas personnel - will carry measuring equipment and participate in specific experiments during the approximately nineteen-hour flights. Scientists and physicians from a renowned institute monitor the influence of sleep patterns, food and drink intake, light, exercise and inflight entertainment on health, well-being and the body.

    Researchers from Monash University investigate the pilots during the test flights. The melotonin level is measured both before and after the flight. This is a hormone that plays a role in the body's sleep-wake rhythm. The pilots wear an EEG device that tracks brain wave patterns and monitors alertness. According to Qantas, the data should contribute to creating optimal working and rest times for pilots on these ultra-long flights.

    Not a done deal

    Whether the intended flights of Project Sunrise will actually be introduced is still uncertain. Qantas expects to take a decision there at the end of December. "There is enough enthusiasm for Project Sunrise, but it is not a foregone conclusion," says CEO Alan Joyce. An important condition is that the Airbus A350ULR or Boeing 777X - both candidates for the ultra-long flights - can operate the flights in a profitable way with sufficient payload. "Ultimately it is a business decision."

    With the flights, Qantas sets a new milestone: it will be the first time that an airline flies directly from New York to Sydney. A direct flight between London and Sydney has only been operated once before, also by Qantas. That was in 1989, in honor of the introduction of the Boeing 747-400.

    Note from the moderator:

    Airbus has already flown a non-stop sector Toulouse to Auckland (New Zealand) and back with an A340. This is over 2.000km more than Qantas plans. The flights took some 22 hours ...

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    * Origin: AVIATION ECHO HQ (2:292/854)