NDiesel
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Less Turbulence On The 787?

Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:55 pm

Hi fellow travellers,


Some time ago I posted a thread named The Fear of Turbulence, and thank you for your amazing and extensive feedback. Your experiences were a treat to read. I'm glad to tell you that I'm finally flying happily again, having successfully completed my 8th intercontinental flight of this year.

Landing at LAX recently after a lovely flight from LHR on the amazing BA 744, I began wondering if any of you who have flown the 788 can confirm (or deny) whether or not the design of the wings dampen the effect of turbulence like Boeing claims, or whether the plane feels like any other widebody jet flying through rough weather? Although cured of my flying fears, I still heavily dislike turbulence. Would the 787 be a good choice for someone like me?

Thoughts?

(Proof of a now-cured, previously-nervous flyer: A great trip with SK earlier this year. I got invited to sit up front during landing at OSL. How often does that happen in the U.S.?)

Delta MD-11 JFK-CDG - Upon sunrise I fell in love with Aviation
 
alphaomega
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RE: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:05 am

There is no way to say 1 aircraft will dampen turbulence more than another - all aircraft are subject to the same conditions and generally the larger the aircraft, the less of an effect (such as a Cessna 172 vs a Boeing 747 through the same airspace) but there would never be a way to prove Boeing's claim.

Quoting NDiesel (Thread starter):
(Proof of a now-cured, previously-nervous flyer: A great trip with SK earlier this year. I got invited to sit up front during landing at OSL. How often does that happen in the U.S.?)

Interesting...unless you're a direct air carrier employee, receive written permission from the flight ops department of an air carrier, an FAA inspector, ATC controller, pilot, or any other person on a very short list, this doesn't happen in the US. Lucky you! It probably really helped your fear of flying/turbulence getting to see what happens in the flight deck during flight.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:53 am

Quoting NDiesel (Thread starter):
I began wondering if any of you who have flown the 788 can confirm (or deny) whether or not the design of the wings dampen the effect of turbulence like Boeing claims

I'm not aware of any Boeing claim that it's the wing design that dampens turbulence. There is a vertical gust suppression system on the 787 that dampens turbulence through the flight controls. Here's an old, but still good, article about it:
http://www.seattlepi.com/business/ar...technology-gives-787-a-1238203.php

Quoting NDiesel (Thread starter):
or whether the plane feels like any other widebody jet flying through rough weather?

I've flown the 787 in a wide variety of conditions and it felt smooth...but there's a major caveat to that. I have no idea what it would have felt like on a different aircraft. The variance in turbulence from point to point and day to day is far wider than turbulence handling capability of various airliners. So I have no idea if I was flying in heavy turbulence and the 787 was working furiously to damp it out, or if I was just flying in light turbulence.

One thing I've noticed is that, if you're on a 787 in turbulence, the flight controls are wiggling like crazy, far faster than any pilot would move them, so the flight control system was obviously doing something with great enthusiasm.

Quoting NDiesel (Thread starter):
Although cured of my flying fears, I still heavily dislike turbulence. Would the 787 be a good choice for someone like me?

I'm not sure. I think having the big windows would help you more than anything else, honestly.

Tom.
 
rakma76
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:01 am

Sorry, I tend to disagree. I have taken two of the flights now - one on a 787 Dreamliner (ANA Singapore to Tokyo) and another on the 747-8 (Frankfurt to Los Angeles) and they were quite bumpy. The normal 747 flights or 777 wide-body flights are not that turbulent, I believe the 787 weighs 110,000 lbs less than the 777 (due to composite materials) and is thus thrown around more.... could that be the case?
 
robsaw
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:39 am

rakma76 wrote:
Sorry, I tend to disagree. I have taken two of the flights now - one on a 787 Dreamliner (ANA Singapore to Tokyo) and another on the 747-8 (Frankfurt to Los Angeles) and they were quite bumpy. The normal 747 flights or 777 wide-body flights are not that turbulent, I believe the 787 weighs 110,000 lbs less than the 777 (due to composite materials) and is thus thrown around more.... could that be the case?


A larger, heavier plan will generally be less sensitive to turbulence but it is completely impossible to compare two different flights at different times when there is absolutely no way to confirm that air conditions were identical.
 
Viscount724
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:48 am

rakma76 wrote:
Sorry, I tend to disagree. I have taken two of the flights now - one on a 787 Dreamliner (ANA Singapore to Tokyo) and another on the 747-8 (Frankfurt to Los Angeles) and they were quite bumpy. The normal 747 flights or 777 wide-body flights are not that turbulent, I believe the 787 weighs 110,000 lbs less than the 777 (due to composite materials) and is thus thrown around more.... could that be the case?


Just curious, how did you find this 4-year-old-thread to resurrect it?
 
jpetekyxmd80
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:10 am

rakma76 wrote:
I have taken two of the flights now - one on a 787 Dreamliner (ANA Singapore to Tokyo) and another on the 747-8 (Frankfurt to Los Angeles) and they were quite bumpy. The normal 747 flights or 777 wide-body flights are not that turbulent,


Oh, well that settles it then!
The Best Care in the Air, 1984-2009
 
Noise
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:13 am

As planes get lighter, can we expect them to be more sensitive to turbulence??
 
b747400erf
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:24 am

An airplane is not a fragile piece of machinery, if you are worried about turbulence you better not get on an airplane.
 
flyabr
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:34 am

I thought I read somewhere that wing loading can have an effect on flight smoothness during turbulence? For instance someone on Anet noted that the MD-11 is smoother in turbulence because of heavy wing loading. Is that bunk, or is there something to it?
 
b747400erf
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:59 am

flyabr wrote:
I thought I read somewhere that wing loading can have an effect on flight smoothness during turbulence? For instance someone on Anet noted that the MD-11 is smoother in turbulence because of heavy wing loading. Is that bunk, or is there something to it?

I am not an engineer but it could be the design of the airplane including one engine on the tail.
 
B777LRF
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:02 am

flyabr wrote:
I thought I read somewhere that wing loading can have an effect on flight smoothness during turbulence? For instance someone on Anet noted that the MD-11 is smoother in turbulence because of heavy wing loading. Is that bunk, or is there something to it?


No, that is quite correct - so long as you're comparing two 'analogue' aircraft to each other. The MD-80 was also known for it's fairly decent ride in turbulence, courtesy of a high wing loading. Modern FBW flight controls can, however, create much of the same result with a far lower wing-loading. Even so, if you take a lightly loaded A319 and fly it through the exact same weather as a heavy A321, the latter will handle turbulence better.
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kitplane01
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 6:31 am

NDiesel wrote:
I began wondering if any of you who have flown the 788 can confirm (or deny) whether or not the design of the wings dampen the effect of turbulence like Boeing claims, or whether the plane feels like any other widebody jet flying through rough weather?


That makes no sense. Suppose you fly in plane #1, and experience turbulence. Then later you fly plane #2, and experience a different amount of turbulence. It could be the change in airplanes, but it is almost certainly also the change in weather. Unless you fly both planes in the same weather at the same time in the same place, the difference is more likely to be different weather than different airframes.

If it helps, the best planes for turbulence are typically (everything else being equal) the planes with the highest wing loading (total weight / total wing area).

777-300er is 351,500kg / 437 m^2 = 804
787-9 is 253,000kg / 305 m^2 = 829
737-8 is 79,000 kg / 125 M^2 = 632
 
warren747sp
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:15 am

Definitely because they climb much faster and cruise at a higher altitude unlike the B777-300ER or A380 which rarely goes above fl40.
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jpetekyxmd80
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:52 am

What? They don't climb faster (not that it matters) and they cruise at the same altitude for all intents and purposes.
The Best Care in the Air, 1984-2009
 
warren747sp
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:08 am

Obviously your don't fly a lot. The B787 always cruise higher on almost all flight i been on transpacific, north south flight etc.
747SP
 
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zeke
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:25 am

Does this have anything to do with the GEnx having to avoid icing conditions ?
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:31 am

rakma76 wrote:
I have taken two of the flights now - one on a 787 Dreamliner (ANA Singapore to Tokyo) and another on the 747-8 (Frankfurt to Los Angeles) and they were quite bumpy.


How does saying rides on two very different size aircraft (787 & 748) lead to a conclusion that the smaller 787 is more sensitive to turbulence?!? Especially when you go on to say:
rakma76 wrote:
The normal 747 flights or 777 wide-body flights are not that turbulent


Sooooo... a 747-8i is supposed to be smaller than a "normal" 747?

Your post makes no sense...
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:32 pm

There is one thing you can do to reduce the effect of turbulence. Sit near the wing box.
On a long aircraft, if you sit near the front, you will experience more flexing and bending as the turbulence load reacts from the wings through the fuselage.

That may be why larger aircraft like the 747 and A380 seems to do better in turbulence (besides the weight of course). With a large cross-section, the fuselage is relatively more stiff and would flex less, thus you don't get as much bouncing at the front or tail of the aircraft.


bt
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oldannyboy
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:11 pm

I don't think that many of us do actually "enjoy" turbulence, even though we might love flying, aeroplanes etc...We know the aircraft is gonna be safe flying through turbulence, and I personally don't get scared or anything, but the "physical feeling" (like the free-fall feel of sudden air pockets) I do most certainly dislike. I love aeroplanes and flying, but am never gonna be a big fan of (strong) turbulence, simply because it bothers me in exactly the same manner that a rollercoaster ride upsets me.. err... "bodily".
I think your point of view and debate is very interesting, but it's really hard to make a definitive point on which aircraft will be better in rough weather for above said reasons...
I am not entirely sure that size really matters that much actually... I've had some seriously rough flights on 747s too.... and pretty scary turbulence on a 757 once... I have flown a lot and think IMHO that one of the smoother jets to fly on is the A330.. the MD-11 was also very pleasant to ride across the pond. It felt "very stable". Besides being very noisy, I don't find that the 777 handles rough weather that well.
Some smaller turboprops I have found to be very smooth (Fokker 50).. maybe due to the combination of lower speed/lower altitude...I think the very high speeds might exacerbate turbulence? I am no technical expert, and no engineer so I might just be guessing here...
Definitely feel a difference between the A321 and the A319, with the latter being much more subject to yawn and pitch in turbulence. Also, the BAe146 felt always very stable to me, even in the rough northern European winters... But then again, this is just me....
Don't enjoy the 737s that much in bad weather... I guess it's time for a new wing?! :-)
 
EMB170
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:42 pm

My experience flying the 787-8 with BA was that it was very sooth and handled turbulence well. We did climb all the way to FL410, but the pilots did say there were some strong winds off the coast of Newfoundland. Long story short, the seatbelt sign turned off shortly after leaving PHL and didn't come back on again until we were landing in LHR...not something that I can say often happens on TATL crossings.

That being said, not to scare you, but if you think the 787 happens to handle turbulence better, ask NZ. Earlier this year, an Air New Zealand 787-9 from NRT to AKL hit heavy turbulence shortly after leaving NRT.

I've flown many times in my life, but like you, I can't stand turbulence either. But then, I'm also not a fan of roller coasters...
IND ORD ATL MCO PIT EWR BUF CVG DEN RNO JFK DTW BOS BDL BWI IAD RDU CLT MYR CHS TPA CID MSP STL MSY DFW IAH AUS SLC LAS
 
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OA412
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:13 pm

Viscount724 wrote:
rakma76 wrote:
Sorry, I tend to disagree. I have taken two of the flights now - one on a 787 Dreamliner (ANA Singapore to Tokyo) and another on the 747-8 (Frankfurt to Los Angeles) and they were quite bumpy. The normal 747 flights or 777 wide-body flights are not that turbulent, I believe the 787 weighs 110,000 lbs less than the 777 (due to composite materials) and is thus thrown around more.... could that be the case?


Just curious, how did you find this 4-year-old-thread to resurrect it?

The search function actually works on this new site. :lol:
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SEPilot
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:20 pm

For an aircraft with conventional controls, the most important factor in how it handles turbulence is wing loading; weight is far less importance. I believe wing flex will also affect it; it acts just like the springs in your car. But I also believe that active stabilization in the controls (as the 787 has) will have a very large effect if properly designed. I know that in flying light aircraft, novice pilots almost always try and counter the turbulence with the controls. This is a mistake; the ride will be much smoother if you just hold the controls steady and only make a correction to maintain altitude, attitude or heading. But a human reacts much slower than a computer-by the time a human reacts the movement he makes will almost always be in the wrong direction, and then he must make a counter move which only makes the disturbance worse. A computer can react fast enough to make the move to counter the turbulence caused deflection while it is still useful.
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bhill
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:32 pm

What bout Concorde? Is there enough atmosphere at the FL she cruised at to even have turbulence?
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LH707330
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:01 am

The 787 will probably feel smoother than a 330 in the same stuff because the wing is thinner and more flexible. Think of it like springs on your car, the a stiffer spring means more bounce for the same pothole. I know that my 330 has springs like that ;)

As others have said, here are factors that influence behavior in turbulence:
Wing loading: higher means less susceptibility to turbulence
Total weight: more inertia means you need more total push to move it
Wing flex: bendier is better
Technology: FBW gust/turbulence alleviation lets the plane dump or add lift by twiddling with the ailerons and spoilers in turbulence. IIRC Airbus got an extra ton of MTOW out of the 320 by doing this.
 
sixtyseven
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:32 pm

Pretty subjective opinions based on "personal experience". "I've flown once in a 747 once on a787, the 747 was smoother." Lol.

Pretty hard to quantitate. The 787 has some technology to help alleviate turbulence but one of the biggest factors is its ability to fly higher to avoid it altogether. At high weights its ability to get to altitude sooner is unsurpassed. Especially when compared to the 777 which spends a lot of time in the very low 30s initially on UHL flights.
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b747400erf
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Re: Less Turbulence On The 787?

Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:53 pm

I never noticed how old this topic was. Guess I am still getting used to this new forum layout.