Watch this airspace

The Cambridge-MIT Institute’s Silent Aircraft Initiative is developing the design for a future civil aircraft so quiet that its noise would be imperceptible to the public beyond the perimeter of an urban airport.


With air travel predicted almost to double over the next 20 years, aircraft noise has become an important issue. Could we ever invent an aircraft quiet enough to improve the quality of life for residents living under flight paths and close to airports?



This question, and many others, were answered on Friday  September 9 when Dr. Tom Reynolds from CambridgeUniversity’s Department of Engineering gave the BA Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture at Trinity College Dublin, as part of the BA Festival of Science.



Dr. Reynolds is a representative of a unique research project – the Cambridge-MIT Institute’s Silent Aircraft Initiative – which is developing the design for a future civil aircraft so quiet that its noise would be imperceptible to the public beyond the perimeter of an urban airport.



In his lecture, ‘The Future of Civil Aviation: The Approach of the Silent Aircraft’, he showed a model and playing a short animated film showing the futuristic-looking Silent Aircraft in flight.



But even if you couldn’t make it to TrinityCollege to listen to his lecture, don’t panic! Now, thanks to the power of the Internet, you can watch a recording of it here at: http://www.cusp.org.uk/festival/



Dr. Reynolds discusses the work the combined team is doing on three major noise sources from aircraft: the engines, the undercarriage, and the airframe – the physical structure of the plane, and rounds it all up by demonstrating what the Silent Aircraft could sound like!