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Cutting the noise level on (private) big jets

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12-18-2013, 11:06 AM
  #1
LadyStanley
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Cutting the noise level on (private) big jets

http://www.businessweek.com/articles...e-levels#r=rss

Some luxury/wealthy owners are spending $35mm (single aisle) and up on the interior of their jets, improving the ambient cabin noise to below 50db (you can hear a whisper).

Quote:
The task of muting engine and other mechanical sounds presents challenges. Technicians strip planes down to strategically install lightweight insulation in multiple layers. To lessen one of the main sources of cabin noise, the air-conditioning system, customizers tear out commercial air ducts and other equipment and replace them with quieter units, redesigning the ducts to minimize airflow restrictions.

The quiet has its trade-offs. So much noise can be muffled that previously undetectable sounds—such as flight control motors—are suddenly apparent. “As you bring the overall noise level down, you begin to hear these more annoying tones,” says Brian Joyal, business development manager at 3M Aerospace (MMM). “It can actually make a long flight more uncomfortable.”

Engineering to silence a jet’s mechanical systems raises the bar for Federal Aviation Administration certification, Joyal says. The agency has to approve all custom design work. Muffling a plane’s mechanical parts requires engineers to tinker with systems directly related to safety.
So, other than the Boeing 787 which has a number of noise dampening features in it's design, how soon will the average traveler get to enjoy less noise (if ever)?

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12-18-2013, 11:27 AM
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Hurt
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I personally enjoy the sound of a plane. It is comforting.

I'd say 5 to 10 years based on the fact that technology will trickle down while private jets will get something better.

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12-18-2013, 12:37 PM
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I wonder if noise induced hearing loss a concern for flight staff.

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12-18-2013, 03:11 PM
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Sevanston
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I'd estimate about 15-25 years, at least.

Airlines need really big incentives to modify their planes or buy new ones because planes are so expensive. I don't think cabin noise is enough of a problem on its own to make airlines want to do anything. Especially since I don't think many people would pay a higher price just for a quieter cabin.

So I think it'll be an add-on kind of feature to a new model of plane that airlines buy for some other, bigger reason.

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12-18-2013, 06:19 PM
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MarkGio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevanston View Post
I'd estimate about 15-25 years, at least.

Airlines need really big incentives to modify their planes or buy new ones because planes are so expensive. I don't think cabin noise is enough of a problem on its own to make airlines want to do anything. Especially since I don't think many people would pay a higher price just for a quieter cabin.

So I think it'll be an add-on kind of feature to a new model of plane that airlines buy for some other, bigger reason.
I think you're right. But I can see them forced into it because a lawsuit. That's why I asked about the.noise induced hearing loss. Let's say a traveling seminar instructor spends 20 hours flying for 47 weeks (holidays and what have you), he might get a few hearing tests and have been told he's lost a small amount of hearing bilaterally (in both ears), he might take a damages suite to the "airline safety commission" or whoever.

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12-20-2013, 02:03 AM
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PredsV82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGio View Post
I wonder if noise induced hearing loss a concern for flight staff.
noise induced hearing loss is basically dose dependent. The longer the exposure the less loud it has to be to risk damage.

OSHA require ear protection for noise levels above 85dB (about the sound of a motorcycle)

exposure to 90bB for 8 hours can cause damage

raise that to 105dB (an mp3 player cranked up to maximum) and the damage can occur in one hour

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owa...ARDS&p_id=9735


sadly, i am seeing teenagers who have the beginnings of noise induced hearing loss from iPods...


Last edited by PredsV82: 12-20-2013 at 02:09 AM.
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12-20-2013, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGio View Post
I think you're right. But I can see them forced into it because a lawsuit. That's why I asked about the.noise induced hearing loss. Let's say a traveling seminar instructor spends 20 hours flying for 47 weeks (holidays and what have you), he might get a few hearing tests and have been told he's lost a small amount of hearing bilaterally (in both ears), he might take a damages suite to the "airline safety commission" or whoever.
would be hard to fly long enough at a time to do damage. You'd need cabin noise exceeding OSHA safety levels for 8 hours. Not many people fly 8 continuous hours over and over.

when you get off the flight if there hasn't been damage you reset the clock...

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12-20-2013, 02:26 AM
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MarkGio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
noise induced hearing loss is basically dose dependent. The longer the exposure the less loud it has to be to risk damage.

OSHA require ear protection for noise levels above 85dB (about the sound of a motorcycle)

exposure to 90bB for 8 hours can cause damage

raise that to 105dB (an mp3 player cranked up to maximum) and the damage can occur in one hour

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owa...ARDS&p_id=9735


sadly, i am seeing teenagers who have the beginnings of noise induced hearing loss from iPods...
What about the possibility of high altitudes having a synergistic effect of sorts?

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12-20-2013, 02:35 AM
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PredsV82
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What about the possibility of high altitudes having a synergistic effect of sorts?
Barotrauma can also cause hearing loss but I am not aware of altitude and noise being synergistic.

I would also think as long as we have had jets if this was a concern it would have already arisen

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12-20-2013, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
Barotrauma can also cause hearing loss but I am not aware of altitude and noise being synergistic.

I would also think as long as we have had jets if this was a concern it would have already arisen
I believe WCB claim rates are high for noise induced hearing loss for pilots and flight staff. I'll see if I can find a link.


Last edited by MarkGio: 12-20-2013 at 03:06 AM. Reason: spelling
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