We put up with jet lag as an annoying side effect of travel, yet a new airplane designed by Airbus could eliminate this modern inconvenience. The A350 XWB employs LED light technology to minimize jet lag so that passengers can arrive halfway around the world feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Our circadian rhythms are disrupted when we move through multiple time zones, but LED lighting in Airbus’ new plane can imitate the cycle of sunrise and sunset to help the body adapt during the flight. The plane can display 16.7 million lighting combinations, which allows it to produce the right spectrum depending on the time of day and where the plane is in the world. The lighting is targeted towards helping passenger’s bodies prepare for the time zone of their destination, so whatever time they arrive, they can look forward to a restful sleep that night. Airbus’ A350 XWB is designed primarily for long flights, which makes the technology that much more beneficial to travelers.
Yet lighting isn’t the only aspect of air travel that messes up circadian rhythms. Pressure and dryness take their toll as well, and the A350 XWB is equipped to tackle those challenges too. The body of the plane is made with innovative Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic, which handles humidity better than aluminum planes. Typical flights pressurize the cabin to imitate 8,000 feet on land, but because of its construction, the A350 XWB only has to be pressurized to 6,000 feet and it can incorporate more humidity into the cabin air.
Speaking of air, it’s fresher on the A350 XWB. Using new filtering technology, the air is entirely replaced “every two to three minutes.”
Yet how do these improvements impact the environment? It turns out the plane is more efficient than competitors. The new materials utilized in the body of the plane results in “a 25 percent step-change in fuel efficiency” compared to other long-range planes. LED lighting also means the plane uses energy more efficiently. The planes are currently flown by airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airlines, and Finnair.
Images via Airbus