Airbus Tries To Fix Jet Lag With Its A350 XWB

Scientists at Stanford University have come up with a finding that jet lag – that wondrous thing that frequent travellers wish they could do without – can be avoided in a very simple way, using flashes of light.

Ok, it’s not perfect and it’s not in-flight, yet. As we understand it, the traveller needs to be exposed to the “treatment” well before the flight and it must be administered by a finely calibrated machine. But still, Airbus feels it’s promising enough to talk about it.

While travellers are asked to pay for almost everything in flight these days, the consensus is that they would not mind paying for the privilege of avoiding jet lag. It is one perk that they might consider worth paying a considerable sum for.

Airbus’s new A350 XWB has LED lights that can produce 16.7m different colour shades which, it says, can mimic the light effect of different times of day. When travelling east, the plane can expose passengers to brighter lights before dawn, making it seem as if the day has already begun, as it has in their destination. In the reverse direction, continued exposure to light in the evening can simulate the delayed sunset to the west.

According to The Economist, Condé Nast Traveler’s Cynthia Drescher hopped on the first Singapore Airlines A350 flight, from the Airbus factory in Toulouse to Singapore. Here’s how she described the experience: “Flying eastward from Europe, it quickly got dark, but the passengers were still on European time and only just ready for dinner. The colours of sunset were simulated in the cabin as we enjoyed dessert, playing to our natural body clocks and getting everyone in the mood for sleep. Throw in an air management system that renews the air every two minutes while helping regulate cabin temperature, and sitting onboard an A350 may be less harsh on your body than hanging out at home.”

As of now, five airlines – A350, Qatar Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Finnair, TAM Airlines (Brazil) and Singapore – use it just for luxury flights. But Airbus, as of last month, reports having received 777 orders for the aircraft, including from British Airways, United and Delta.

Expect to see it in wider circulation soon—and to put its claims of jet lag elimination to the test, reported The Economist.

Watch video about the A350 XWB:


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