eaa3
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Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:26 am

Is there any obvious pattern to aircraft that don't handle turbulence well. I have a few observations. However, they may be random observations. Are there substantive differences? What are your feelings on the subject.

B737-700/800 - I've had a surprising number of turbulent flights on this type. Is it turbulent prone?
B757 - They seem to handle rough air well.
B767 - They seem to handle rough air well.
B777 - Likewise, seem stable.

A320 - They seem to handle turbulence better than B737's and especially more modern ones seem to have better active management to avoid uncomfortable turbulence.

E170-190: Seem some what prone to rough flights.

What do you think?
 
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777222LR
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:18 am

The worst turbulence I've experienced was on a 757. My point is, there's no one aircraft that handles turbulence better. Just ask the passengers of the American Seoul-Dallas flight.

Now, turbulence definitely feels different on different types of aircraft. In my opinion, the shorter the wingspan, the rougher it feels. Turbulence on an A380 feels much different than on an ERJ-190.
 
zrs70
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:55 am

Among the props, the Shorts 330/360 and the Jetstream 31's were the worst!
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Max Q
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:19 am

Quoting 777222LR (Reply 1):
The worst turbulence I've experienced was on a 757. My point is, there's no one aircraft that handles turbulence better. Just ask the passengers of the American Seoul-Dallas flight.

I couldn't disagree more, certain aircraft handle turbulence significantly better than others.


The B727 was the best passenger aircraft in turbulence ever, a flexible wing with high sweepback and a high wing loading
gave an extremely good ride and there are definitely differences between types.


The worst Jet transport(s) I know of in turbulence are the B733 / 735.


The 707 was pretty good (high sweepback, flexible wing)
747, DC10, L1011, pretty good, see above.

B757, not so great, moderate sweep, very stiff wing.
B767, very good, almost as good as the 727, flexible wing.


B777, not bad, but the tail swings around a lot as the vertical fin is too small.
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rugger
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:21 am

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 2):
Among the props, the Shorts 330/360 and the Jetstream 31's were the worst!

I agree with the Shorts 330/360. That slab sided aircraft was also prone to side drafts and cross winds too! It was like a flying boxcar.
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:57 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 3):
The B727 was the best passenger aircraft in turbulence ever, a flexible wing with high sweepback and a high wing loading
gave an extremely good ride and there are definitely differences between types.

Ill Add the Md series as a very good in turbulence, due to its wing, it seemed to vibrate more but bumps are smaller. The 727 -200 hand down is the best anti turbulence aircraft...   

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Max Q
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:04 am

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 5):
Ill Add the Md series as a very good in turbulence, due to its wing, it seemed to vibrate more but bumps are smaller. The

Agree, don't know about the DC8 but the -9, -80 and of course the DC10 had a good ride.

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 5):
727 -200 hand down is the best anti turbulence aircraft...

I didn't realize how incredibly good its ride was until I started to fly other types.


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LAXdude1023
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:40 am

The 787 is supposed to be the best anti turbulence aircraft so I heard, but I can't confirm that.

Most big planes feel the same to me.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:51 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 3):
high wing loading

A high wing loading means a lower gust load factor, which all other things being equal means lower sensitivity to turbulence.

[Edited 2015-09-08 04:52:39]
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trijetsonly
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:40 pm

I've experienced ERJ's as worst. I've never ever had a single smooth flight on those.

Compared to their size the CRJ's are pretty good.
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Max Q
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:09 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
A high wing loading means a lower gust load factor, which all other things being equal means lower sensitivity to turbulence.

Correct, that is why I mentioned it !
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diverted
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:43 pm

I'm gonna go with the Dash 8 and ATR personally.

Lower altitutes, meaning you're often flying through the weather rather than over it.
 
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tb727
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:05 pm

A319 is the worst! Like a bucking bronco, up down, left right. It's better as you go to 320 and 321.

727, of course the best. So nice it was never an issue, just a little side to side movement up front.
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notaxonrotax
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:36 pm

Apart from the fact that turbulence of today is very hard to compare to tomorrow´s turbulence; some aircraft types will be better then others.......stands to reason.

But I guess it also depends on the particular frame, on the seat (as mentioned before)...and on the passenger.

I do feel quite a bit of tail wagging on B777, in fact; chatting to cabin crew about this in he rear pantry they understood me completely and reported the B777 to be quite bad for that.
It is described here:

773ER Strange Yaw / Oscillation? (by Sandyb123 Nov 9 2009 in Tech Ops)


Obviously, others disagree.
Pretty subjective, really.


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CrimsonNL
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:49 pm

The most noticeable turbulence per aircraft type I think I experienced on the 318. I suppose because it shares the same wing as the bigger 320/321 but is much lighter.

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CRJ900
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:13 pm

Colleagues who worked as cabin crew on the DC-8-63 says this aircraft was horrible in turbulence, especially in the back. They could never leave coffee pots unattended on the galley counter - they would end up on the floor. The MD80 and B727 handled turbulence quite well, they say.

Having thousands of flights on the B737 Classic and B737 NG as active cabin crew, I find the B733 to be good in turbulence while the B738 bounce around a lot especially in the back. The B736 and B73G also bounce around a lot due to the huge wings, I've had several rough rides with them.
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bond007
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:42 pm

Quoting diverted (Reply 11):
I'm gonna go with the Dash 8 and ATR personally.

Lower altitutes, meaning you're often flying through the weather rather than over it.

Which doesn't mean they handle turbulence any worse than other aircraft ....just more often  

Wing Loading is a big factor as already mentioned.

IMO overall aircraft mass is also a factor, from an inertia standpoint ...i.e. it's easier to move a smaller mass than a large one (with same wing loading) ...but I've been corrected by the physicists on this more than once  


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rwessel
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:01 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 16):
IMO overall aircraft mass is also a factor, from an inertia standpoint ...i.e. it's easier to move a smaller mass than a large one (with same wing loading) ...but I've been corrected by the physicists on this more than once

No, that's taken into account by the wing loading. Sure a four-times heavier aircraft is four times as hard to move, but if it comes with a four-times larger wing (and thus the same wing loading), you'll get four times the force from the effect a gust or bit of turbulence has on the wing.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:11 pm

Quoting tb727 (Reply 12):
A319 is the worst! Like a bucking bronco, up down, left right. It's better as you go to 320 and 321.

Makes sense. Wing loading again. Same wing (ok almost same for the 321) but heavier aircraft. Higher AoA for the same speed to give the same lift means a lower gust load factor.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 16):
IMO overall aircraft mass is also a factor, from an inertia standpoint ...i.e. it's easier to move a smaller mass than a large one (with same wing loading) ...but I've been corrected by the physicists on this more than once

As rwessel mentions higher mass gives higher wing loading given the same wing. Assuming two identical aircraft with different weights, the heavier one has a higher wing loading and thus a lower gust load factor. However a heavier aircraft with a proportionately larger wing would have the same wing loading.
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Max Q
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:13 am

The 757-300 has a significantly better ride in turbulence than the -200.


It's a little heavier and there is noticable flex in the fuselage which helps to 'soak it up'
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Faro
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:21 am

The lower the wing loading the higher the turbulence. Likewise the stiffer the fuselage the lower the turbulence. Aircraft with relatively small wings and short fuselages are best in turbulence. Also, the higher the inertia, ie the weight, the lower the turbulence so that aircraft in the approach phase are more prone to turbulence than those in climb.


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Max Q
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:59 am

Quoting Faro (Reply 20):
Likewise the stiffer the fuselage the lower the turbulence

Disagree completely, the MD80 has a very flexible fuselage, as does the 757-300 and this helps to soak up turbulence just like a flexible wing does.


The 753 has a noticeably better ride in turbulence than the -200.

Quoting Faro (Reply 20):
Aircraft with relatively small wings and short fuselages are best in turbulence.

Disagree, again, the 737-500 and 300 are good examples of the above and they have terrible rides in turbulence.


The best possible design for turbulence is a long fuselage with a flexible, highly loaded wing with high sweepback and rear mounted engines.


Sort of like a B727..
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wing
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:29 am

Many of the comments are based on single or few experiences on aircraft types.Spend a life on the airplanes and you will see that there is no airplane which doesnt effect from turblance and there is no part of the world which is always smooth or turbulent.Just keep your seatbelts on when seated and you are guaranteed not to die on an airplane at least because of turbulence  
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DocLightning
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:06 pm

The worst turbulence I've ever experienced was on a BAe-146 from DEN to ASE. There were times during that flight when we had negative-G...as in my seatbelt was the only thing keeping me from flying up to bump myself on the overhead. It was terrifying.

The second-worst turbulence I've ever experienced was on a NW 744 flying SYD-OSA. We went between a line of thunderheads and got bounced around pretty heavily by clear air turbulence. Fortunately, the captain had predicted this might happen and had cabin crew collect all service items and secure the galleys and take a seat about 20 minutes before. We didn't get negative G, but I felt almost weightless in brief moments. I know now (and I knew then at 16) that the aircraft is designed to handle worse forces than the passengers are, but it was still a bit unnerving watching the engines bobbling around on their pylons like that while the wing flapped like a bird's.

The two factors that determine how much turbulence you will feel are 1) wing loading (a more lightly loaded wing gets shoved around more) and 2) How far you are from the aircraft's CG. If you are all the way forward or all the way aft, you are going to bounce around a lot more than someone seated right over the thickest part of the wing.
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seat55a
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:51 am

Surprised nobody has mentioned A380. With that big wing it is in the "light wing loading" corner. I experienced this over the Bay of Bengal on SQ SIN-CDG , service stopped and FAs ordered to sit down.

That said my worst experience was a 752 over Colorado.
 
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allrite
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:47 am

Quoting seat55a (Reply 24):
Surprised nobody has mentioned A380.

The A380 can certainly be affected by turbulence - witness the experience on one Singapore Airlines flight. I did find the large wings seem to "soften" some of the sudden vertical movements in a way that is not always the most pleasant.

So far I've been impressed with the 787. The wing flex should absorb some of the vertical energy and it apparently has accelerometers in the nose which detect turbulence and very quickly adjust the control sensors to compensate. That said, you can certainly still experience turbulence on board. It's difficult to compare flight conditions as turbulence is by nature highly variable, but I do think the 787 handled the gusty conditions during one landing and one ascent very well. It was a high altitude cruise where I experienced the worst during a 787 flight. That said, as soon as they switched on the seatbelt lights the turbulence virtually disappeared and didn't come back until they switched them off!  

I don't much like the E-jets in turbulence as they seem very sensitive. The 737-400s (sadly gone) always felt better on the same route and I flew through some pretty nasty weather on them.
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Western727
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RE: Most Turbulent Aircraft

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:08 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 21):
high sweepback

The wing loading and flexible wings parts of the equation I get...but can you please elaborate on why a larger wing sweepback helps with turbulence?
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