frostyj
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Why was that airplane so loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:28 am

Sitting in bed and was frightened to hear a very loud plane flying overhead. Its 4am so no planes fly here at this time..
It sounded as though the plane was flying a few thousand feet but turns out its a Transaero plane at 37,000!

At night I hear alot of planes here very high up and sometimes it does sound like they are low but when I check they 35000+.. During the day not really.

This one freaked me though, I actually thought a plane was going to crash it was that loud.. Do the Transaero have different engines?? I have honestly never heard a plane so loud so far.. Its quite amazing that it is so loud at sea level.

[Edited 2014-12-23 20:33:30]
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bill142
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Why was that airplane so loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:41 am

Weather and lack of other noise to cancel it out most likely.
 
Q
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Why was that airplane so loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:44 am

Trains freighter near railroad? LOL Maybe train has snow plow remover that could be loud, too.

Q
 
trnswrld
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Why was that airplane so loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:59 am

Sorry, there is no way any commercial airliner in cruising altitude can sound so loud to someone on the ground that it sounds like it's going to crash. It can be a 707, 727, MD80, 747-100 it doesn't matter, at cruise altitude even the slightest noise around you will block it out (like a bird chirping, or the air condition in your house running).
You sure you know that what you were hearing was even an airplane? Why couldn't it have been an airplane down at like 2 or 5 thousand feet or something?
 
frostyj
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Why was that airplane so loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:22 pm

Quoting Q (Reply 2):

No it was a 747. It must be the engine type because a ups went over and it was very quiet.
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frostyj
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Why was that airplane so loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:24 pm

Quoting trnswrld (Reply 3):

Well it didn't have sqeeling noises it was just so loud that I knew that it was a large plane that sounded a few thousand feet up. Its very common here to hear planes at cruise here.
When I am sitting in bed alot of planes go over starting about 2am.

It was certainly a plane.

[Edited 2014-12-24 04:25:24]
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Bongodog1964
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Why was that airplane so loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:35 pm

Find it hard to believe that anything at 37,000 feet would be audible on the ground unless there was an extreme freak weather condition. I realise that noise carries further at night but even so. 37'000 feet is a long way up, and the noise would have a long way to degrade, and in any event would be heard if at all a long way away from directly overhead. The only night time plane noise I ever hear is the droning of a turbo prop which seems to be a regular cargo route into East Midlands airport that comes across from mainland Europe, its probably at sub 10,000 feet though and is well known. I recall it is a Lockheed Electra.

Chances are that your noise is a military flight that doesn't show up of any of the flight data programmes, we see a lot of those here in East Anglia.
 
frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:41 pm

No I promise you I Can hear the transatlantic planes very clearly at night. Its really weird you can literally hear them coming before you see them and then the noise lasts until its a whizzing sound to the east.

I will try and make a video but its probably hard to hear the sound in the video.

[Edited 2014-12-24 04:42:35]
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trnswrld
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:00 pm

^^^ that's weird that you can hear the plane before you can see it. That's personally another thing I just can't believe. I live near Chicago and we have probably one of the busiest airways up above where all east coast-west coast transcon flights funnel through and for the most part you don't hear a single one of them. You certainly don't hear it before you see it. The sound a commercial airliner makes at FL370 going Mach .80 would actually only be heard AFTER the plane goes by. I dont see how it's possible as sound can't travel that fast to be able to hear it before you see it.

Wish I could help, but none of this information we are given is adding up or making much sense.
 
frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:27 pm

But is really quiet here at night its quite rural. I live in NW NI and those planes go every night.. I guarntee you each night you will hear a plane.
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:59 pm

I can substantiate that the planes are audible, although I find you only hear them as they are nearing being overhead.

I live in a semi rural area - last street in the city and basically surrounded by fields, so it is quiet. I hear most aircraft flying over, but particularly at night.

In fact it's become a standing joke that my cue for making the last cuppa of the evening is hearing BA245 to EZE or BA247 to GRU rumble overhead. Even if I have music on and the window shut, I can still hear it - especially the 744 on 247 as it is generally still climbing between 30-36,000ft.


Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 6):
The only night time plane noise I ever hear is the droning of a turbo prop which seems to be a regular cargo route into East Midlands airport that comes across from mainland Europe, its probably at sub 10,000 feet though and is well known. I recall it is a Lockheed Electra.

You would be surprised. Occasionally there is an ATR 42-300F (I believe this is the subtype) which routes over my house from DUB to CDG (again, IIRC) at 22,000ft. I can hear that damn thing droning for literally about ten minutes - it's the only aircraft which I can hear significantly before it appears overhead.


Dan  
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KFlyer
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:14 pm

Just thought of adding my thoughts... Generally you can hear an aircraft at 37k feet if the surroundings are not too loud - but often once the aircraft passes you overhead and not before. But it is very difficult to imagine you will hear it so loud as if it will frighten you. Transaero has all three engine types (RR, GE, PW) on its 747 fleet. Could it have been that generally overflights over your area fly at say 40,000ft and this one flew at 34,000ft instead?

[Edited 2014-12-24 06:19:13]
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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:27 pm

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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:28 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 10):

Yes I live in the flightpath of the transatlantic flights so I hear them frequently at night. Common ones are the ones to Turkey and Russia.
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tommy1808
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:40 pm

Quoting frostyj (Reply 9):
I guarntee you each night you will hear a plane.

plausible, but you should also be able to hear a rail track from very far away or any other sound that is loud at the source even in significant distance.
Also, once your brain decided to give special attention to a certain type of noise, you will hear it a lot louder subjectively than objectively justified.

Best regards
Thomas
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SpaceshipDC10
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:46 pm

Quoting frostyj (Thread starter):
Why was that airplane so loud?

Night quietness and weather conditions, like air pressure. There are nights when I barely notice a 747 at cruising altitude with my window open, and there are nights while my window is closed wide-bodies passing overhead are very noisy.
 
KFlyer
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:55 pm

The aircraft you have mentioned is a PW powered version. I am not sure whether that is louder than the other variants, but the experts should be able to shed some light. No offense - but it could also be physchological to some extent. Of course the aircraft must have been somewhat loud too.
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Rayzor1700
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:30 pm

I also hear aircraft at cruising altitude all the time while I'm trying to get to sleep at night. A couple of the louder ones are the US a330's still climbing out of CLT and the DL 777 on it's way to DXB. Some nights they seem louder then normal, I'm sure there's some scientific reason dealing with air pressure or something, I don't know. I live under the final approach for RDU and sometimes I'll start to hear a rumbling sound and expect to watch a plane go over at 1,000 ft, but instead realize that it's at 30,000+.
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TC957
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:21 pm

The loudest things I get over here in West Sussex are the occasional AN-12's out of BHX or EMA on the Ebola relief flights. That and some private Harvard based down in road in Goodwood.
 
B737900
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:34 pm

Interesting thread. Each morning at almost exactly 0620 my wife and I hear a single engine, low flying plane ( +/- 2000'). Sometimes I'll say 'ah..... the 6:20's a bit late'. Weather does not seem to keep it grounded very often. I believe it's a commuter as we are directly under the flight path between two very small airports. We are on the San Juan Islands in Washington state. I would love to know exactly what type of ac and what the flight number is. Can any A.netter shed any light? Thanks!

[Edited 2014-12-24 10:36:04]
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trnswrld
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:40 pm

Now you wanna hear loud? Growing up about 2 miles east of ORD in the 80's I remember hearing 727s and old 737s taking off and it was downright brutal loud! Living in an older house in the city and windows would literally be rattling...no exaggeration. I thought it was cool  
 
MSPNWA
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:02 pm

Quoting frostyj (Thread starter):

A possible explanation for the unusually loud noise would be if the airplane was climbing to a higher flight level. Normally a person can easily hear a 747 overhead at night, and sometimes it's quite noisy, but there's a big difference in noise between one at stable cruise and one climbing. Out in the country I've heard 747s in the daytime that startled me because they were climbing. It sounds like they're right on top of you.
 
frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:19 pm

Quoting Rayzor1700 (Reply 17):

Yes thats what its like. They come over at 2am
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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:22 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 21):

Yeah I live in the country and as I said you can hear them quite clearly. If I get my binos I can actually see the livery, like i've seen American and British alot.
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COSPN
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:21 pm

I Met a girl that lived near MNL ; when she was young. She had to wait until Continental Micronesia's non hush kitted 727-200 took off for GUM every night to go to sleep (about 2300) She said it rattled the tin roof "so mush louder than PR/CX/ and the others  
 
awthompson
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:24 pm

Hi frostyj

I also live in Northern Ireland and can concur. I also live on a busy transatlantic flight path with both west and eastbound flights throughout the 24 hour day. From day to day, the sound from overflying high altitude aircraft does vary from nothing on occasions to rather loud at times.

There are a large number of factors at play here. The main one is background noise which varies largely due to the time of day. This includes such things as road traffic, farm traffic, machines running, house equipment such as boilers, immersion heaters, air conditioning running, even your refrigerator, water running, rain falling, the affect of wind on trees and buildings, drafts, people talking, TV/radio, farm and domestic or wild animal sounds etc etc.

Clearly, the early hours of the morning on a calm night will generally see the lowest background noise.

Sound propagation in air is also affected by weather conditions including air pressure, ground air temperature, air temperature and pressure curve from altitude to ground, moisture content etc.

Wind direction and speed is another big factor. Also the variation in speed and direction of wind at the various altitudes between the aircraft and your location on the ground have an affect.

A further atmospheric factor that is important is how smooth or turbulent the air is both at the level the aircraft is flying at as well as the various levels between the aircraft's altitude and the ground.

Other factors can adjust the intensity of the sound from overhead airliners. Cloud has an affect, ie. single layer, thick layer, many layers, cloud altitude, cloud type etc. Also surrounding buildings or trees which may reflect or even focus sound at certain precise points on the ground. Surrounding hills or mountains can also reflect and even focus high altitude sound intensifying the same sound at certain points on the ground. I have been aware of this affect many times.

Some of the more obvious factors are the aircraft type, type of engine, engine power setting, whether it is climbing, cruising or descending. Also airspeed of the aircraft as well as ground speed are important in how the sound reaches any single stationary point on the surface below.

Remember that much of the sound you hear from an overflying aircraft, especially one flying at cruise speed, does not come from the engines but the aerodynamic affect of the air frame cutting through the surrounding air, or put another way, the airflow over the aircraft. This will also vary dramatically between flights even with the same precise aircraft type depending on how it is loaded, ie light, or at close to maximum payload.

It is not at all shocking that the UPS Boeing 767-300F which flew over you sometime after the Transaero Boeing 747-400 had dramatically different sound. Some time, albeit short, had elapsed hence many of the factors above could have changed if only momentarily. The different aircraft type and likely different engine types and ratings would have had only a small effect. I would suggest that the different altitude (5000 ft) was a big factor. Also the airspeed and ground speed as well as direction of flight in relation to you were very significant.

At the point over the ground where the two plane's paths crossed, which I understand is the vicinity where you were at the time, TSO554 was flying at FL370 at 563 knots whereas UPS232 was flying at FL320 at 393 knots. I haven't checked with the website to see what speeds are being quoted here but the large difference between the two aircraft speeds clearly suggests that these are ground speeds. Herein lies one of the main factors as to why the two planes were heard dramatically differently on the ground. It appears the Transaero was flying with a tail wind (generally the case with transatlantic eastbound flights). This would certainly be the main reason why you likely heard the sound before the plane reached you. Contrarily, the UPS was fighting a strong headwind making it less likely you would hear it in advance.

Finally, did either airplane fly precisely overhead, or did one or other fly ever so slightly north, south, east or west of your point on the ground? Combined with high altitude wind, this could make a big difference.

Even though my list of factors is long, there are still more but I don't wish this post to become too boring or no-one will read it!

As you can see so many things are at play. At the moment the Transaero aircraft flew over you, most of the above factors must have culminated at that precise moment to maximize the sound you heard.

Sorry for the post becoming unintentionally complicated, but now you have your answer. Hope this helps explain the seemingly strange anomaly.
 
3green
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:26 pm

I too can verify that sometimes large aircraft at high altitude can be quite easily heard, I live in southern Tasmania,
and I often hear flights passing overhead from New Zealand to Perth WA, which can be anything from 767s, 777s, 747s etc.
The roar is obviously more distant sounding due to the high altitudes, but its very deep and distinct, and late of a night its
even more audible. I remember one night I was sitting in my lounge room with nothing going but the computer, and I could
hear a rumble outside, and sure enough, thanks to FlightRadar I was able to verify it was a 747 at 37000 ft.
 
rlwynn
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:47 pm

Where I live every weeknight at 11:30 a Swiftair EMB120 flies over on its was to Paris at 26000 and it is the loudest scheduled plane of the whole day. Only Avantis and the occasional Antonov are louder. But yes at night I can hear every jet at altitude easily. Sometimes at night there is a really loud jet and I think it is an AWACS from Geilenkirchen probably at around 25000. But it is never on FR24.
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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:54 pm

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 27):

Sometimes I actually hear airliners flying in the early hours but nothing is ever on the radar.
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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:55 pm

Quoting awthompson (Reply 25):

Thanks  
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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:57 pm

Quoting 3green (Reply 26):

Yea it must be nightime but it usually happens when its dead quiet and i'm lying in bed. Its not the first time its happened and when it does happen its almost as if I am outside.

Sometimes I think the hills amplify it.
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:58 pm

Is it possible that there was another aircraft, perhaps military, that was not on FR24 flying over at the same time? It might not be the Transaero plane to blame.
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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:01 pm

No! I live beside the ocean there are no military planes here!

If I am still awake when they arrive maybe I will record it but you may not hear it.

[Edited 2014-12-24 14:02:34]
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tommy1808
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:03 pm

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 27):
I think it is an AWACS

they are some 15 db/a louder on approach compared to an A32x/737 .... so, yes.... If it's very loud in europe, AWACS is a good guess. And i am afraid they won't ever get around upgrading them to CFM56....

Best regards
Thomas
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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:24 pm

Heard a Swissair a340 go overhead, again sounded very loud almost as if it was a few thousand feet up.
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Tod
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:30 pm

Quoting awthompson (Reply 25):
Remember that much of the sound you hear from an overflying aircraft, especially one flying at cruise speed, does not come from the engines but the aerodynamic affect of the air frame cutting through the surrounding air,

I live under the flight path north of PAE and you can clearly Boeing's 747LCF beating its way through the air well above any engine noise. It is so obvious that I can identify the aircraft inside my garage.
 
ThirtyEcho
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:13 am

You want loud, I mean really LOUD? OK, try a B-36 climbing out of Carswell AFB in Ft Worth, Texas at midnight. As a young boy, I heard these things at my grandmother's house during the early 1950s. Although the house was sold decades ago, I'm sure the windows are still shaking.
 
fraapproach
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:13 am

I live 15 miles from FRA Right under the approach path. There is a curfew in place from 11pm to 5 am which is why at night time plane noise cant be from FRA bound planes. I can tell you that there is quite a lot of noise from high level flying traffic. Thanks to FR24 you can easily look up who is around and its mostly Traffic between north america and the middle east. However it could also be some freighters mostly from LUX, Belgian or Dutch airports or military traffic for Ramstein Airbase ( of course you dont see these on FR24). Sometimes even during daytime hours outbound traffic from Ramstein will be clearly audible despite the noise from inbound planes to FRA and all the normal daytime background noise. This makes me sometimes wonder whether some of the noise the NIMBYs account to FRA is actually caused by non-FRA movements.

[Edited 2014-12-26 00:31:58]
 
frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:04 pm

Quoting fraapproach (Reply 37):

You hear transatlantic flights at Frankfurt! Thats a bit far in!
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fraapproach
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:16 pm

@ frostyj: Though I never wrote I hear transatlantic flights @ FRA, the flights I hear go from north america (at least the east coast) to the middle east and are also transatlantic...   
 
frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:03 pm

I suppose. Most of my flights are transatlantic though, thats all we hear.
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rlwynn
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:41 am

So, all morning long there are planes out of Dusseldorf climbing out at about fl160. I can hear them go over and they are just able to be heard. Just a few minutes ago there was a plane much louder than the usual. I looked and it was a 747 out of AMS at fl350. It was rumbling and all. Strange how it works with the plane noise. Right now as I type this there is a faint sound of a jet. So I look and it is an AB A320 at only fl110.
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:05 pm

Since I was bored this morning and it is very quiet here, I got my environment meter out and measured some aircraft going over.

Conditions: No cloud cover, 5 degrees at ground level (500ft ASL). Environment meter on desk in office, window wide open. Outside wind, NW @ 9 mph.

Background noise average: 27.4dB (range 27.3-27.7dB)

Aircraft passing:

Jet2 B737-800 @ 35,000ft: 28.5dB (Directly overhead, G-GDFV, MAN-LPA)
Virgin Atlantic B747-400 @ 32,000ft: 28.6dB (6 miles North, G-VAST, LGW-BGI)
Ryanair B737-800 @ 37,000ft: 28.3dB (4 miles East, EI-ENS, BCN-DUB)
American Airlines B777-200ER @ 36,000ft: 28.1db (16 miles North, N754AN, LHR-MIA)
Aer Lingus A320-200 @ 36,000ft: 27.4dB - not audible (12 miles East, EI-DEC, BCN-DUB)
British Airways B777-200ER @ 35,000ft: 33.2dB (3 miles North, G-VIIO, LGW-PUJ)

So I guess what I've demonstrated is that a 777-200ER is louder than a 737-800....


Dan  

[Edited 2014-12-27 05:00:04]
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frostyj
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RE: Why Was That Airplane So Loud?

Sat Dec 27, 2014 12:49 pm

Ugh there aren't many transatlantic flights today.
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Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos