Wired.com: Pilots Complain the A380 Is Too Quiet for Sleeping

From Wired.com: Pilots Complain the A380 Is Too Quiet for Sleeping

The last thing you’d expect to hear from anyone who’s flown recently is that planes are too quiet. But that’s exactly what Airbus is hearing from pilots who say the A380 super-jumbo makes so little noise they’re having trouble getting to sleep.

Emirates airline pilots say the four engines propelling the long-haul jets are so quiet they can hear every crying baby, snoring passenger and flushing toilet, making it all but impossible to nod off during their breaks. The problems are unique to the A380, which Airbus boasts is significantly quieter than anything else in the sky. We took a ride aboard Emirate’s super-luxe A380, and it is indeed whisper-quiet. Emirates never expected that to be a problem.

“We’re getting lots of complaints,” Capt. Ed Davidson, the airline’s senior vice president for fleets, told Flight Global. “On our other aircraft, the engines drown out the cabin noise. [On the A380] the pilots sleep with earplugs, but the cabin noise goes straight through them.”

I don’t think that being too quiet was a problem that engineers thought about when designing the A380.

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