For many of us, the anticipation of a flight journey brings along with it its own set of excitement and hassles even when we would be hardly a couple of hours ‘flying up in the air’. Imagine then the gargantuan haul of a plane ‘hanging about’ just some couple of hours short of an entire day! That’s exactly what the longest flight ever recorded recently ‘accomplished’ as it had on board its 40 passengers and 10 crew members safely cruise over the bluer terrains of the continentally unbounded sky for close to a staggering 20 hours!
At 16,200 kilometer (10,100 mile), the nonstop flight that took from from New York to Sydney sure pulled off nothing less than a stunt. Yet in the almost 19 and a half hours it took to achieve the feat, the Qantas’ special flight christened ‘Project Sunrise’ sure set a record- to emerge as the longest commercial flight ever recorded in history.
Behind the record however lies a greater goal- that of making marathon long haul flights like this one a reality as early as in the new decade, in 2022 to be precise. Equally ambitious has been the resolution that each of the potential passengers would be required to undertake; all 40 civilians aboard the Qantas had their medical checkups done and stuck to a routine some days before the massive flier.
From the JFK International Airport, the Project Sunrise, a Boeing model QF7879, took off as what was indeed an experiment of sorts. From regulated sleeping hours as passengers had to adjust to as many as 15 time zones to a specially curated menu along with other technical adaptations mainly to ward off jet lag and be a sustainable venture in the near future, the longest flight ever sure did some calculated hard work to embark on its success journey.
The experience would not have been any less exclusive as well. From special touches on the boarding passes to a dedicated check- in counter to specially curated ‘Project Sunrise’ business class pajamas, viewing first hand the pilot’s crew rest and the flight attendant break area, to even performing squats and some exercise before settling in for some uninterrupted sleep under controlled conditions, to waking up to mesmerising views, Project Sunrise wasn’t anything less spectacular than the real dawning of the sun.
In its time saving and other advantages, long haul flights such as the Project Sunrise sure needs to take the meticulousness some steps further. But with the future of flying seemingly expansive now, we hope this would soon be the norm. For now we are waiting for Project Sunrise to flaunt its ‘longest ever’ baton. Till at least next month, when another ambitious experiment takes flight!