masi1157
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Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:57 am

Hello!


Has any of you ever heard any rumours about actual cabin noise levels during flight on a 787? I searched the web and airliners.net, but couldn't find more than a few announcements and an early, and quite ambitious, interior noise specification from Boeing. The first cabin noise flight tests must have been done in the meantime. maybe even with a cabin installed? Has anybody heard anything about it?


Regards, masi1157
 
hannahpa
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:50 am

I have been wondering this too. I wonder if the 787 is quieter than the 340's; or even the 380. I am looking forward to flying on her someday.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:50 am

There's no point in being quieter than the 380. Despite some people's inability to believe it, a certain level of background noise is more comfortable than dead quiet where you can hear every bug fart on the plane.
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Stitch
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:26 am

I imagine if it was appreciably louder than other Boeing widebodies, we'd hear about it because no bad news goes unpublished on the 787.

So I'm guessing it's no worse than the 777 (which doesn't bother me, but I know many find it onerous), but no better than an Airbus widebody, as Boeing would probably be crowing about it in their PR materials.
 
masi1157
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:49 am

Quoting hannahpa (Reply 1):
I have been wondering this too. I wonder if the 787 is quieter than the 340's; or even the 380. I am looking forward to flying on her someday.

I am quite sure that that is rather impossible in the rear cabin. The 787 is a twin, after all. So I would imagine it will be comparable to A330 and B777.

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 2):
There's no point in being quieter than the 380. Despite some people's inability to believe it, a certain level of background noise is more comfortable than dead quiet where you can hear every bug fart on the plane.

I read this opinion again and again, and I disagree. But this is not the question here.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
I imagine if it was appreciably louder than other Boeing widebodies, we'd hear about it because no bad news goes unpublished on the 787.

I would actually imagine it is just the other way around. If the 787 would meet the original ambitious targets, we would probably have heard it officially from Boeing:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
So I'm guessing it's no worse than the 777 (which doesn't bother me, but I know many find it onerous), but no better than an Airbus widebody, as Boeing would probably be crowing about it in their PR materials.

So can we conclude anything from the fact that Boeing is not crowing about?


Regards, masi1157
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:09 am

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 4):
I read this opinion again and again, and I disagree.

Don't you agree there is some lower limit though? An aircraft cabin that was as quiet as a library would be really off-putting...among other things, the sounds of the IFE (even through headphones) from people near you would be really distracting and the crying babies would disturb the entire airplane, rather than just a few rows.

I'm not saying the A380 is too quiet, just that the concept of "too quiet" does have some validity.

Tom.
 
masi1157
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:26 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 5):
I'm not saying the A380 is too quiet, just that the concept of "too quiet" does have some validity.

Well, may be. But even the A380 is far above that limit. And the 787 will surely be noisier. And that was my question. So has none of you heard any rumour about actual cabin noise levels in a 787 during flight?


Regards, masi1157
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:28 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 6):
So has none of you heard any rumour about actual cabin noise levels in a 787 during flight?

As far as I know, on this forum, only Tom knows what the noise of the 787 feels like. And he isn't talking. And as he stated, he has not been on an A380 in flight, so he can't compare.

Hey Tom,

Without divulging anything proprietary . . . is sound coming through a composite fuselage any different from the sound coming though a metal fuselage? Or does insulation make the distinction mute (oops I meant moot)? And O.K. I know the 787 engines are different then a 777 engines in terms of noise emission.

bikerthai

[Edited 2011-03-05 05:30:13]
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bikerthai
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:40 pm

Also Tom,

With bicycles, a composite frame has unique road dampening characteristics.
Are you seeing any difference in vibration on a composite fuselage vs a metallic fuselage?
Or does the correlation goes out the window with such large structures?

bikerthai
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tdscanuck
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:02 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 7):
As far as I know, on this forum, only Tom knows what the noise of the 787 feels like.

I'm not sure that's true, although I have no way of proving it.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 7):
And he isn't talking.

Correct. I'm pretty heavily bound by proprietary agreements, policies, etc. (just like most of the members here who work in aviation). Much as I love participating in this forum, I love my job considerably more and won't put that in jeopardy.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 7):
Without divulging anything proprietary . . . is sound coming through a composite fuselage any different from the sound coming though a metal fuselage? Or does insulation make the distinction mute (oops I meant moot)?

I can't tell. There are different sounds, but so much is different about the structure (and I'm not a noise guy) that I can't separate what's engine from what's systems from what's air noise from what's transmission through the fuselage (as opposed to through the windows, or wing box, or resonance, etc.). Good noise guys are amazing...they can just stand there and pick out each and every source, and the probable noise transmission path...but I'm not a good noise guy.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 8):
With bicycles, a composite frame has unique road dampening characteristics.
Are you seeing any difference in vibration on a composite fuselage vs a metallic fuselage?
Or does the correlation goes out the window with such large structures?

The correlation doesn't go out the window on principle, but noise transmission depends, a lot, on the exact makeup of the particular composite (the layup, the fiber, the resin, etc.). That varies all over the place, and is probably not very similar at all to what you get in a bike frame. Just off classical laminate theory, I think you can basically make the noise transmission properties whatever you want them to be.

Tom.
 
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:37 pm

I'm assuming Tom has been aboard ZA003 and I am not sure she's going to be the most accurate indicator of what a production 787 will sound like on the inside since I believe she had most of her insulation ripped out and reinstalled to handle travel work and configuration changes and that may have adversely affected the quality of said insulation in performing their noise-reduction part of their overall function.
 
masi1157
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Mon May 07, 2012 1:09 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Thread starter):
Has any of you ever heard any rumours about actual cabin noise levels during flight on a 787?

More than 1 year ago I asked this question, but nobody could say anything at that time. In the meantime the 787 entered service, so I hope some more of you have actually "heard" the 787 from inside. What was it like? Any noticeable difference to, say, a B777 or A330?

Regards, masi1157
 
CaptainKramer
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Mon May 07, 2012 3:16 pm

Best advice is keep an eye on companies that manufacture noise cancellation head phones, see if there is a drop in sales over the coming years, or an increase in sales on bug farting noise cancellation head phones (see reply 2)
 
masi1157
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Mon May 07, 2012 6:20 pm

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 12):
Best advice is

...no sorry, it isn't. I am interested in passengers' noise experience during a flight on a 787, perhaps even some numbers. No need for you to answer, if can't provide neither of them.

Regards, masi1157
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Mon May 07, 2012 6:27 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 13):
I am interested in passengers' noise experience during a flight on a 787, perhaps even some numbers. No need for you to answer, if can't provide neither of them.

There have been a couple of trip reports for flights on the 787. Madame Concorde has an excellent report. You may try contacting those members directly.

bt
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rcair1
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Mon May 07, 2012 7:26 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 4):
I read this opinion again and again, and I disagree. But this is not the question here.

I'm not an airplane sound guy - but I am a sound guy in terms of setting up and running sound reinforcement systems for events and buildings. It is well known that too quiet is a problem, both for privacy and for annoyance factor. Many a facility has a white noise generator installed to mask voices. Either because you do not want people listening in, or because it is very distracting and annoying to somebody working to hear voices from another area.

It can also be very distracting to hear an echo of a voice/sound with a small delay due to the speed of sound.

So - yes - in a crowded environment - there is a too quiet. Don't think any A/C are there yet - though I've heard rumors of it on an A380. Never been on either a 380 or a 787, so I can't comment.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 5):
Don't you agree there is some lower limit though? An aircraft cabin that was as quiet as a library would be really off-putting...among other things, the sounds of the IFE (even through headphones) from people near you would be really distracting and the crying babies would disturb the entire airplane, rather than just a few rows.

Yes - you are correct.

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 12):
Best advice is keep an eye on companies that manufacture noise cancellation head phones, see if there is a drop in sales over the coming years, or an increase in sales on bug farting noise cancellation head phones (see reply 2)

I had an interesting experience related to this. There are "noise canceling headphones" and "noise canceling - voice transmitting headphones". What I mean is some headphones are intended to mask steady state noise - through predictive phase shift cancellation and other noise via passive suppresion. Others are designed to mask sounds, but allow voices to be heard. These are used in industrial situations where hearing somebody talking to you can be important.

I had an experience with this once. I had the original "Noisebuster Extreme" headphones (or something like that) for travel. I broke them (physical connection between speaker and headband) - and after trying to fix them multiple times with paperclips and super glue, I gave up and bought some Sony noise canceling headphones. The Noisebusters did active suppression of the aircraft noise, and passive suppression of voices (obviously you cannot actively suppress voices)- worked very well. The Sony'd did active suppression of the aircraft noise - but actually seemed to amplify the vocal frequency region. I'd turn them on and, just like my noisebusters, the aircraft 'drone' died away - but suddenly I could hear everybody around me talking very well - much better than no headphones. It was VERY irritating. I immediately returned them and ended up with Bose's - which work like the Noisebusters.
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masi1157
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Mon May 07, 2012 7:44 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 15):
So - yes - in a crowded environment - there is a too quiet. Don't think any A/C are there yet - though I've heard rumors of it on an A380. Never been on either a 380 or a 787, so I can't comment.

That's what I ment: There are rumours about the A380 being too quiet. I can tell you, it isn't! I had a long night flight (SYD-DXB) and an even longer day and night flight (DXB-SYD-AKL) on A380s, and it was fantastic. But that is not my question. I just would like to hear of somebody's experience during a 787 flight. Is it noisier or quieter than comparable 777/767/A330?


Regards, masi1157
 
CM
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Mon May 07, 2012 8:11 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 16):
Is it noisier or quieter than comparable 777/767/A330?

Having flown on the 787 many times, I can tell you it is noticeably quieter than each of the aircraft in your list. You notice the difference almost immediately, as takeoff thrust noise in the 787 cabin is MUCH quieter than on any other twin.

In my opinion, the 787 is not as quiet as the A380; a judgement made based on a single A380 flight (QF LAX-SYD) sitting abreast of the wing trailing edge on the upper deck. That said, I would gauge (using my calibrated ear) the 787 to be closer to the A380 in cabin noise level than it is to any other in-service aircraft.

One more opinion: I did not find the A380 to be "too quiet", although I can easily see how this could change based on how polite people were being in nearby seats. All A380 operators still include ear plugs in their business class travel bag, so the old fashioned solution for tuning out a crying baby or drowning out the conversation of obnoxious travelers still works even in a very quiet cabin.
 
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Mon May 07, 2012 8:16 pm

Overall, I find the A380 to be quieter than the 787, but I find the 787 to be quiet.

[Edited 2012-05-07 13:17:26]
 
CaptainKramer
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Tue May 08, 2012 8:13 am

Sorry masi1157,

Duly noted, do not attempt humour, with your topic, I should have known better, even though it gave rise to an interesting comment from rcair1 reply 15 re noise cancelling - voice transmitting headphones.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Tue May 08, 2012 1:19 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 15):
Many a facility has a white noise generator installed to mask voices

I have the air condition vents over my head to perform that duty  
Quoting rcair1 (Reply 15):
but suddenly I could hear everybody around me talking very well - much better than no headphones.

That's why i have earplugs under my cheap noise canceling headphones.   

The headphones are not good when you are trying to sleep on your side.

bt
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masi1157
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Tue May 08, 2012 2:06 pm

Quoting CaptainKramer (Reply 19):
Duly noted, do not attempt humour, with your topic, I should have known better

Sorry, if that was humour, I didn't catch it. But actually I don't understand why almost everybody comments on "too quiet" or "noise cancelling measures", when I simply asked for on board experience and perhaps even some numbers.

Quoting CM (Reply 17):
Having flown on the 787 many times, I can tell you it is noticeably quieter than each of the aircraft in your list.
Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
Overall, I find the A380 to be quieter than the 787, but I find the 787 to be quiet.

So you two, CM and Stitch, seem to be the only ones so far, who really have 787 experience and can compare to other types. Would you say a bit more? Where in the cabin have you been sitting? Do you compare climb or cruise? Did you hear anything else worth noticing?


Regards, masi1157
 
CM
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Tue May 08, 2012 3:23 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 21):
Where in the cabin have you been sitting?

My flights on the 787 have been during flight test. That said, I've spent lots of time in virtually all parts of the cabin, from the flight deck to the overhead crew rests. While I find the entire cabin generally quieter, I suppose the place where the reduced noise is most evident to me is in the aft economy cabin (between doors 3 & 4) and in the forward cabin just forward of the inlet. These parts of the cabin are much quieter than other twins, particularly during takeoff. The nacelle shock noise in the aft cabin is minimal, and the "buzzsaw" noise from the fan in the forward cabin is also much less than you would experience on an in-service aircraft. These areas of the cabin are still at a very comfortable conversation noise level during takeoff thrust.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Tue May 08, 2012 4:45 pm

My travel has been in First Class on the A380 (main deck) and Business Class on the 787, so the first two rows, usually.

And yes, takeoff is where you really notice the reduced noise. Which in some ways is kind of a bummer, as I love the "buzzsaw" roar of, say, the GE90 on the 777 at takeoff. That being said, I appreciate the quiet through the rest of the flight.  Smile

[Edited 2012-05-08 09:47:21]
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Tue May 08, 2012 5:31 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 21):
So you two, CM and Stitch, seem to be the only ones so far, who really have 787 experience and can compare to other types.

I've flown 787 but not A380. I find the 787 quieter than everything else I've flown except perhaps the A340-300/400 (at cruise...the 787 is far quieter at takeoff).

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 21):
Would you say a bit more? Where in the cabin have you been sitting? Do you compare climb or cruise? Did you hear anything else worth noticing?

I've done flight deck, front end, over the wing, aft, and aft galley, for all flight phases (except takeoff/landing for the galley). At the back you can hear the chillers running (they're down in the left aft cargo) but it's more of a vibration in the floor than an audible noise. The engines are very quiet in cruise, pleasantly rumbly at takeoff but not overly loud. The center hydraulic pumps are distinctive and obvious when they run up but that's only for takeoff and landing and it's still less annoying than a PTU.

Tom.
 
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri May 11, 2012 7:56 am

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 2):
Despite some people's inability to believe it, a certain level of background noise is more comfortable than dead quiet

Sorry to buck the trend but I'd much rather no engine noise when I'm on a flight. I want to concentrate on the film, or my book or chat to people and have a peaceful sleep. I find the 777 incredibly noisy.

There obviously doesn't have to be ear shattering noise in the cabin from the engines as the A380 proves.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
masi1157
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri May 11, 2012 9:42 am

Quoting babybus (Reply 25):
There obviously doesn't have to be ear shattering noise in the cabin from the engines as the A380 proves.

Well, the A380 is a whole different animal. 4 engines (less jet noise per engine, 2 of the engines "far away"), much thicker skin panels and higher frames, all that helps a lot. But could we please stop the discussion about "too low noise levels"? This is about 787 in-flight experience and comparison to other twins.


Regards, masi1157
 
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri May 11, 2012 12:35 pm

Quoting rcair1 (Reply 15):
I had an interesting experience related to this. There are "noise canceling headphones" and "noise canceling - voice transmitting headphones". What I mean is some headphones are intended to mask steady state noise - through predictive phase shift cancellation and other noise via passive suppresion. Others are designed to mask sounds, but allow voices to be heard. These are used in industrial situations where hearing somebody talking to you can be important.

I had an experience with this once. I had the original "Noisebuster Extreme" headphones (or something like that) for travel. I broke them (physical connection between speaker and headband) - and after trying to fix them multiple times with paperclips and super glue, I gave up and bought some Sony noise canceling headphones. The Noisebusters did active suppression of the aircraft noise, and passive suppression of voices (obviously you cannot actively suppress voices)- worked very well. The Sony'd did active suppression of the aircraft noise - but actually seemed to amplify the vocal frequency region. I'd turn them on and, just like my noisebusters, the aircraft 'drone' died away - but suddenly I could hear everybody around me talking very well - much better than no headphones. It was VERY irritating. I immediately returned them and ended up with Bose's - which work like the Noisebusters.
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 20):
That's why i have earplugs under my cheap noise canceling headphones.   

The headphones are not good when you are trying to sleep on your side.

I gave up on active noise canceling years ago when I flew a lot. Cans won't let you lie on your side anyway. Sure, there are earbud noise cancelers but I still gave up on them. The best I've had is a pair of Etymotic ER-6i. Not made anymore but there are nice followups. These are passive noise cancelers but the shape of the earbuds really blocks out noise effectively. Etymotic's bread and butter is the music industry, where you want to decrease ambient noise (so the instruments don't make you deaf) but not distort the sound in any way. I love those earbuds. The other thing is that they kill all noise equally and are not dependent on software to figure out what to suppress. So you don't hear weird noises every clearly at unexpected times.

I actually work part time for a headphone company now, and I can say that I'll take our tiny passive noise canceling earbuds (not the primary design goal, but they do the job pretty well) over a set of big Bose cans any day.

BTW the "letting voice through" thing is used in military environments like shooting ranges.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
masi1157
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri May 11, 2012 1:02 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 27):
I gave up on active noise canceling years ago

...and I am about to give up telling you, that this here is about cabin noise experience on a 787. If you want to discuss noise canceling headphones or too quiet A/C cabins, would you do so in a separate thread? Thanks!


Regards, masi1157
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri May 11, 2012 1:59 pm

Quoting masi1157 (Reply 28):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 27):
I gave up on active noise canceling years ago

...and I am about to give up telling you, that this here is about cabin noise experience on a 787. If you want to discuss noise canceling headphones or too quiet A/C cabins, would you do so in a separate thread? Thanks!

Give up telling me what? I have posted exactly once in this topic...

You want people discussing and giving opinions? Then accept thread drift and tangents. After all we are discussing noise right? And I talked about noise. It may not be exactly on topic but it's hardly way out there. It's not like topics here never drift.

We typically stay on track. In the long run.

[Edited 2012-05-11 07:09:19]

[Edited 2012-05-11 07:09:57]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
XaraB
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RE: Any Rumours On 787 Cabin Noise?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Norwegian's (DY) CEO Bjørn Kjos stated (during the 787's PR visit in Oslo from 1st to 4th May) in a video interview that the 787 was very quiet, particularly up front during take-off, more so than your average airliner. The noise level in the video footage from the cabin during takeoff suggests the same, but it is hardly a reliable source.

Like with cars, however, I would expect every new airplane design to be quieter than its predecessor. Historically, this has mostly been the case so far, and I would be surprised if this didn't continue with the 787.
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