View Full Version : Conveyor belt solutions to airport noise reduction...

27th Mar 2008, 22:56
Airplanes make more noise taking off than when landing, right?!

OK. So, in order to make planes taking off quieter, we need them to be able to take off sooner, within the airport's perimeters so that by the time they fly over the neighbours, they're already a lot higher...?!

Therefore, I propose adapting maglev train technologies as a "catapult-launching platform" for everyday airplanes. The purpose being to have even the largest airplane airborne and at a suitable height really really fast. Such maglev conveyor belts could also be used instead of or in addition to Indian (or African) elephants for towing airplanes out to the runway.

It's my original idea, and I reserve all rights to be contacted first by Siemens / ThyssenKrupp / BAA offering millions in consultancy fees...?! :ok:

27th Mar 2008, 23:08
in addition to Indian (or African) elephants for towing airplanes out to the runway.

You would have to employ lot's of teams to ensure that no waste products were left on taxi ways.....

Then again the gardens around the airports would have great fertiliser...

27th Mar 2008, 23:13
Airship, on reading your idea an extension sprang to mind.

After the take-off the second mnoisiest part of the flight is the landing, where they turn the engines round* and use them to slow the aircraft down. Now admittedly this normally takes place within the airfield perimeter** but it's still noisy.

Now if we exrtend your maglev conveyor belt idea so the landing aircraft could touch down on it and the belt would dynamically brake the aircraft then the 'landing' belt could be used to power the 'take off' belt thus providing most of the take-off power for free. There would be a few snags to be worked out (for instance if there wasn't an aircraft waiting to take off when another landed some sort of storage system would be needed) but nothing that couldn't be sorted with a few lead-acid batteries and a capacitor or two.

I will only claim the consultancy fees on the landing bit though if you're worried.

* Aka 'Reverse Thrust'. See I know the technical talk.

** If not the noise of the engines is replaced by a series of crashes, bangs, thuds, screams and the occasional explosion.

27th Mar 2008, 23:39
From one's limited understanding of maglev technology, it offers complete and relatively fail-safe control during acceleration / deceleration, and ideally suited to say an A-380 which was not originally designed to be operated from the deck of an aircraft-carrier, as is.

Of course, the same runway could not be used for both take-offs and landings. But maglev would operate in either direction as required on the same runway. A 3rd runway at Heathrow - essential, and overall quieter...?!

If the maglev catapult works as envisaged, it should allow a 100-200% increase in the numbers of takeoffs from any single runway whilst respecting all norms, with lower noise levels and perhaps lower overall energy usage to boot.

BTW, I'm assured that anyone in UK who spreads elephant dung in their gardens increases their protection against being attacked by marauding man-eating tigers or leopards by something of the order of 1 magnitude...?!

Out Of Trim
28th Mar 2008, 00:00
This sounds good; but a slight adjustment - you could put these maglev launchers on a turntable - allowing the launcher to be turned into wind - therefore no crosswind problems anymore! :ok:

Windy Militant
28th Mar 2008, 00:26
From the news earlier it seems BAA are already using conveyors to cut down Aircraft noise! :}

PS It's already been tried albeit with compressed air Harwell Catapult. (http://home.freeuk.com/rmarg/harwell_catapult.htm) ;)

Shaggy Sheep Driver
28th Mar 2008, 00:38
Maglev? Why go hi tech? What's wrong with a big bungee?

Tow tractor pulls the bungee back from the upwind end until it is fully stretched. It's attached to the nosewheel of the next departure, and whooshoff it goes.

With a bit of clever pulley engineering, landers on an adjacent runway could engage an arrestor wire, obviating the need for noisy reverse thrust, the energy of decelleration being dissipated in hauling back the bungee for the take off runway, so the tractor would not be needed.

Cheques to me please from anyone who takes this up commercially. ;)

28th Mar 2008, 01:06
Airports are traditionally built on flat, level ground.
If, instead they were built on sloping land, they could land uphill (thereby saving on brake wear) and take-off downhill, saving on fuel . . .

28th Mar 2008, 01:36
Yes, in T5, lack of working conveyors has today caused a lot of unwanted noise. :mad:

28th Mar 2008, 10:36
Conveyors for planes must be too complex or we wouldn't have recurring threads running to thousands of posts about them. Therefore, you need to think out of the box.

The conveyors should be for the pax to take them up to FL350 at Mach 0.8 where they can board the plane while flying. Therefore, the aircraft always stays in the fuel-efficient cruise, and the noisy fuel greedy take offs & landings are avoided altogether. As an added bonus, the pax would never have to put their seats in an upright position nor turn off portable electrical apparatus :ok:

28th Mar 2008, 10:52
I think Mariner 9 has the right idea in going outside the box ... just needs to move slightly more outside the box.

Forget the shiny aluminium (or aluminum) tubes .........

ULD's with rows of seats, portoloo and vending machine.

Simply launched via the aforesaid maglev at the destination as a sort ballistic device.

(Note to self: just need to sort out the arrival).

And when FR start this I'll sue....

28th Mar 2008, 12:15
Being launched from a Maglev device would put one well outside the box. Possibly further outside the box than 'any man has gone before'.

Another possible, somewhat less radical, solution would be the 'Brunel' option. In this a large steam catapult (merely an extension of the current carrier launch systems) would be used to assist the take-off. For the landing an arrestor wire would be connected to a piston in a cylinder full of water and the heat generated by the compression of water in the cylinder would be used to generate steam for the launch catapult (I believe a system somewhat like this is used, again on carriers, but without the heat gathering option (the water is allowed to escape through a hole instead) to brake incoming aircraft). This system would, in honour of the name, be trialled at Bristol and Plymouth airports.

Finally for any of the launch assistance systems note should be taken of the medical requirements of the passengers, with copious quantities of the appropriate ointments being made freely available.

Loose rivets
28th Mar 2008, 13:26
Airplanes + Magnets OooErrr Missus. Mind you, if you could youse 400 Htz, it would degouse the aircraft. Deviation? Well, there would have had to be none in the first place, or degousing would....Oh, ****, I'm board with this, I'm going back to conveyor belts.:E

28th Mar 2008, 13:54
no no no, you've all got it completely wrong!
you use a catapult and just launch the PEOPLE and hope that they land in the right general area!

no more carbon emissions!
(and no more aircraft! -cries-)

28th Mar 2008, 14:54
I can see a few potential Centre-of-Gravity problems: specifically, how well will the plane fly with all the passengers (in their seats) and their luggage crushed in to the last few metres of the fuselage? It's either many Gs, or you're talking about a catapult with a length in the hundreds of metres. :ooh:

west lakes
28th Mar 2008, 15:05
and their luggage crushed in to the last few metres of the fuselage

Luggage - what luggage

See the T5 thread (or any news media)
Obviously BA are going through the first phase of testing by not loading luggage.:\

28th Mar 2008, 15:28
OK - When buttered toast is accidentally dropped, it always lands buttered-side down, right?

AND - When a cat is dropped it always lands on its feet.

The solution here is clearly to attached buttered toast onto cats' backs. The cat / toast combination would then rotate at a steady rate just above ground-level.

By constucting all major airports' taxiways and runways from millions of cats / toast units, aircraft could be carried to runways, take off, land and return to terminals with almost zero emissions.

If no-one can tell me where my proposal is in error, I am off to see Richard Branson to claim my 5 pounds.

30th Mar 2008, 23:38
The conveyors should be for the pax to take them up to FL350 at Mach 0.8 where they can board the plane while flying.

The Roads must Roll (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Roads_Must_Roll) you mean?

Well nearly. :confused:

John Hill
31st Mar 2008, 00:36
If we were really serious about reducing emissions we would bore tunnels from everywhere to everywhere else. This would be especially effective on long haul antipodal routes, Barcelona to Wellington for example. The capsule containing the passengers and freight is dropped in one end of the tunnel and quickly accelerated by gravity alone, just a few minutes later it will almost reach the surface of the earth at the destination so one little tiny motor is required to go that extra bit.

31st Mar 2008, 00:44
I'd go one further. I'd arrange the mag-lev conveyor belt such that it moved backwards at the exact same rate as the aircraft's wheels moved forwards. That way, the aircraft could stay still as it built up speed and the noise wouldn't get spread around as much.


Lights blue touch paper, dons tin hat, retreats to a safe distance...

Buster Hyman
31st Mar 2008, 02:40
Lets reignite the nuclear powered flying aircraft carrier. You know, the one that circles the globe & you 'shuttle' up to it & get off at your destination...I always thought that was a classy idea.

31st Mar 2008, 02:44
Or what about a big satellite in geostationary orbit, and you climb up to it on a rope ladder, and then take a flying fox down to wherever you want?

Now that would be class.

31st Mar 2008, 03:02
We could always NOT build homes near airports.


31st Mar 2008, 03:27
we would bore tunnels from everywhere to everywhere else.Making the Earth a sort of gruyere cheese . . . and boring these holes will require passing close to the central core (which ani fule kno is formed of bubbling raclet). What happens when the holes in the cheese line up?

John Hill
31st Mar 2008, 04:25
Da only time the holes will line up is if the tunnels cross and of course that is what God gave us traffic lights for.

31st Mar 2008, 06:48
I thought that you would just change the name of Air Traffic Control to Mole Traffic Control and add a - before all altitudes. What other changes would you need??? :}:}:}:}