Twenty-hour flight studies the science of jet lag :: WRAL.com
- Qantas flight 7879 left New York's JFK airport Friday night at 9:08 p.m. EDT bound for arrival in Sydney Sunday morning after a total of nearly 20 hours in the air. It is the longest commercial airline flight to date.
This research flight, dubbed "Project Sunrise" by the airline, was conducted on a just-off-the-line Boeing 787-9 aircraft delivered from the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington just three days before. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was also built and delivered to customers from similar facilities in Charleston, South Carolina.
A team of four pilots worked on rotation throughout the 10,200 mile journey. The primary purpose of the flight was to better understand the effect of long flights on pilots in studies conducted by Australia's Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity Alertness.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors measured brain activity as pilots worked and rested. Urine samples provided before and after the flight will be used to measure melatonin, sometimes called the "sleep hormone."
The flight deck was also equipped with cameras to record activities and monitor for alertness queues. Six cabin crew members also participated in data collection, wearing activity monitors and logging their sleep, rest and alertness in diaries.
Most of the 50 onboard were airline employees, but six were frequent fliers invited to participate in studies by researchers from the University of Sydney on the effects of ultra-long-haul flights. Each was monitored through wearable technology as they followed a specially designed schedule of sleep, food and beverage and physical movement.
The study included new recipes for meals and tested new lighting schemes in the passenger cabin. The lights don't just set the mood -- they are designed to help passengers and crews adjust their circadian rhythm to match the destination timezone. Delta, JetBlue and other airlines have also incorporated blue mood lighting into their cabins at takeoff and before landing.
Blue light has been found to suppresses melatonin, the hormone your body begins producing after sundown.
A 2014 Western Michigan University study of pilots and flight attendants found that exposure to blue light increased alertness by 40 to 50 percent. Harvard Medical School had similar findings in a study aimed to help people who work at night fight fatigue. This is why sleep experts recommend avoiding use of devices that emit a lot of blue light, like cell phones, tablets and televisions for at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
Data will be added to previous inflight studies. Changes are already being made in terminals to expose passengers to more natural light at their destinations and encourage them to stretch, according to the airline.
University of Sydney sleep researcher Dr. Yu Sun Bin said that, while most people are trying to reduce jet lag, they aren't doing what is most effective.
"We know that going outdoors for sunlight at the destination is one of the most important strategies for syncing the body clock, but only 47 percent of passengers made the effort to do it," she said. "Drinking more than a few glasses of alcohol will make jet-lag worse. It might make us fall asleep faster, but, beyond a certain point, it also disrupts the quality of sleep and causes dehydration," she sdded.
Ultra-long-haul flights, or those over 12 hours, are relatively new to the industry. The current longest non-stop commercial flights including Qatar Airways' nearly 18-hour flight between Auckland, New Zealand and Doha, Qatar and the 17.5-hour flights offered by Singapore Airlines between Singapore to Newark and Qantas' Perth, Australia to London. Each began service in 2018.
Findings will also be used to help meet regulatory requirements by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority and help design new strategies to reduce jet-lag. The airline hopes to operate direct flights from cities on Australia's east coast -- Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane -- to New York and London by 2022.
More News in Research
"New York City, NY: October 20, 2019- International Gamma Knife Market Research Report 2019″ liable for its analysis which furnishes an overall assessment of Gamma Knife market including sales and evolving business sectors.
London: Researchers have developed a new interface that allows phones, wearables or computers to "feel" sensations such as tickling, caressing, twisting and even pinching just as the human skin does. The "Skin-On" interface, mimics human skin
The ocean is a huge place, and it has animals that are so amazing that some of them look like food, especially a popular Italian delicacy. A team of researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Qantas has made a record non-stop flight from New York to Sydney with its Dreamliner aircraft in just over 19 hours. The test flight was researching just what effect the world's longest commercial plane journey would
The "Period Panties (Menstrual Underwear) Market" report includes an in-depth analysis of the global Period Panties (Menstrual Underwear) market for the present as well as forecast period. The report encompasses the
The first non-stop commercial airline flight from New York to Sydney has landed after 19 hours 16 minutes in the air. A total of 49 passengers and crew were on the flight, which was used to