Thursday, December 04, 2008

Airbus A380 too quiet, pilots can't sleep

It's hard work being a pilot these days, especially when you're flying the A380. Apparently, the giant plane is too quiet that pilots can't even fall asleep! Poor thing. From James Wallace on Aerospace:
The pilots say that the lack of engine noise in the A380's cabin compared with other long-haul airliners means they are constantly disturbed by sounds created by passengers, such as crying babies, flushing vacuum toilets and call bells. Passengers also mistake the rest area for a lavatory, and pull the door handle.

The Dubai-based carrier has asked Airbus for a solution that does not involve substantially adding weight, which rules out insulating the walls of the rest area, situated at the rear of the all-economy main deck, says Emirates senior vice-president, fleet, Capt Ed Davidson.

"We are expecting to hear back from them by the middle of the month," says Davidson, who admits that the airframer has "over delivered" on its noise promises on the airline's Engine Alliance GP7200-powered A380s. One option could be installing lightweight generators to create ambient noise.

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