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Emirates A380 pilots find aircraft 'too quiet' to sleep

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Emirates A380 pilots find aircraft 'too quiet' to sleep

Old 3rd Dec 2008, 14:46
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Emirates A380 pilots find aircraft 'too quiet' to sleep

Bet this isn't one Airbus saw coming...

Emirates A380 pilots find aircraft 'too quiet' to sleep

Weary Emirates Airbus A380 pilots are complaining that they cannot sleep in their crew-rest area in the aft main cabin because the aircraft is too quiet.

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 "overdelivered" on its noise promises on the airline's Engine Alliance GP7200-powered A380s. One option could be installing lightweight generators to create ambient noise.

"We're getting a lot of complaints. It's not something we expected," says Davidson. "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."

Emirates is the only A380 operator so far to have situated the crew-rest areas at the rear of the main deck. It did not opt for Airbus' standard option of locating the pilots' compartment behind the cockpit as it would have compromised the design of the airline's upper deck first-class cabin, while the alternative location of the cargo hold was rejected as it thought crew would find it "claustrophobic".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 15:05
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It just goes to show that you should take the standard production offering. Still, I don't suppose that they'll being needing the rest facilities on the DXB-LHR route!
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 15:13
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BA take note.
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 15:29
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A friend of mine came back from Australia on one, was sitting "top deck" commented that it was like landing in a glider, almost no sound whatsoever...
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 15:42
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I was pasanger on a recent A380 flight. I had a look at the bunks as well.

It is quiet but there is also a problem with the locations of the bunks. they are next to the pasanger seats and toilets in economy. In other plane's crew rest compartiments you enter and climb steps to get to the bunks. In this one the bunks are the same level with the main deck. there is nothing in between apart from the door so you hear everything.
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 17:25
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Ear plugs reduce any noise, it is unbeleiveable to hear someone say ear plugs can reduce the engine noise on other large aircraft like the 747 or 777 but cannot reduce noise created in the passenger cabin on an A380.

The noise level in the 747 crew bunk area must be far noiser than any noise in a passenger cabin on any large aircarft.

I often use ear plugs on short and long flights (as a pax) to cut out the din some of the other pax seated near me make especially with young children.

My ear plugs work very well and reduce all noise levels to a very agreeable level including cabin and engine noise. I cannot hear the flight attendands speaking to me with ear plugs in place.

Perhaps they should try out some different types of ear plugs.
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 17:46
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Jean-Lill,
Humans are funny creatures.
A bit of steady, expected, background noise will send you right to sleep.
No noise, OK, but then every door banging, or kid crying, or whatever, will wake you up (or stop you from going to sleep).

Ear plugs work only so far.
Your ears work like your eyes... they adjust to huge differences in level of intensity.
Really dead silence.... your earplugs won't stop the buzz of a mosquito.

CJ
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 17:55
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Engine sound simulator

It's quite simple: Emirates could buy and install a continuos engine noise simulator (it could be a loudspeaker mounted in the top of bunk) that continuosly reproduce the aircraft engine noise.
I think no more weight is added, low cost solution, no certification needed

Good rest guys!!!!
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 18:31
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I recall the 'old' Raffles hotel in Singapore had personal air conditioners in each room, which were very noisy, like having your own Pratt & Witney next to you, kept all other noise out and one could sleep well, trouble was when it stopped ! One woke up with a start. The trick was to make sure it was programmed to run continuously - and sleep in a fur coat !

Last edited by ExSp33db1rd; 3rd Dec 2008 at 19:11.
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 18:35
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or just buy an iPod with a white noise mp3 and external noise cancelling headphones?
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 19:16
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Having just flown to and from Singapore/LHR on an A380 I would confirm the low noise level, almost uncanny, especially upon take-off but also noticeably low in the cruise. Rather odd actually...the aircraft seemed peculiarly characterless apart from its stunning take-off performance on full tanks - in contrast a 747-400's takeoff run always feels as if you might be going by road...
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 19:42
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Probably the very first Marriott motel/hotel was a mile or so off the north end of Washington National Airport DCA. They immediately had airplane noise complaints from the guests. An acoustical consultant was called in. The solution was to make the continuously-running air conditioning vents more noisy - white noise. That solved the problem.
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 20:41
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or just buy an iPod with a white noise mp3 and external noise cancelling headphones?
How do you sleep with that nonsense on? Do you only sleep lying on your back? Have you tried sleeping with noise cancelling headphones?
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 21:03
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Gents, don't waste your time giving this article the credit to discuss its contents as though it is serious - it's SPIN, pure and simple, from the EK spin machine.

The fact, pure and simple, is that the EK crew rest area on the A380 has been placed in about the most inappropriate position one could imagne - smack bang in the middle of the economy cabin.

It should never have been placed there, but like the very aptly nicknaned 'aft torpedo tube' crew rest area in the EK 777s (as far from the cockpit as it possibly could be while staying inside the pressure hull), commercial department overrode flight ops (not that that would have been much of a bump!!!) and quite simply allowed their perception of what crews require as an absolute minimum for rest rather than accept the standard Boeing/Airbus fitment.

Both fitments are an unmitigated disaster, but 'face' (as in not losing any) demands that they be made work and crews be made to accept them (along with the business class 'rest' for pilots in the ULH aircraft EK bought [can you believe it?!!] without a crew rest area fitted).

Spin. S. P. I. N. Spin.
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 21:30
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MTOW,
Somehow I don't believe it's all spin....

As I said, us humans are funny creatures.

A bit of steady background noise (whether music or white noise or pink noise, or just a bit of engine noise) will blank out all the other 'interference'.

Your mind drifts off to "did they really synchronize engine four properly" and next thing you're asleep.

No background noise? Every noise like a banging door is an intrusion that will stop you from going to sleep, or have you wide awake again.

CJ
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Old 3rd Dec 2008, 21:58
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I don't disagree with your comments. CJ. Most people who've tried to sleep in a crew hotel during the day have learned that leaving a radio on at low volume blanks out most of the banging and crashing of the cleaning staff.

However, where the spin comes in is that if the crew rest was where it should be - where the aircraft designers put it - the noise outside wouldn't be a problem, or at least nearly as big a problem as it is in the middle of the Economy cabin.
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Old 4th Dec 2008, 00:39
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In the crew rest area behind the flight deck on the B744 a lot of the noise is aerodynamic combined with conditioned air flow noise and therefore steady.
Agree 100% with ChristiaanJ, steady noise not a problem, intermittent noise varying in type and volume is a disaster for anyone trying to sleep. Ear plugs that are so good they can keep all noise out won't allow fire and smoke alarm noises to be heard either, (pertinent to Hotels rather than aircraft!).
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Old 4th Dec 2008, 00:48
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This wont be a problem at Buster Airlines! I'll have no sleeping on the job thank you very much!!! Paid to fly & fly you will! Crew rest area is in the Hotel, full stop!

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Old 4th Dec 2008, 04:25
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EK is so awfully kind:

while the alternative location of the cargo hold was rejected as it thought crew would find it "claustrophobic
Just look at a EK777 flying coffin in the rear and recite the above bulls**t.
I bet my next years bonus the Talking Horse has never set his nostrils into that torture bunk. You CAN'T sit up, you CAN't strech, you CAN't watch a movie, you CAN't eat, it's smaller than a Tokyo coffin hotel, you are confined to lie there for sometimes 7 hours, NO seat to sit or eat or relax and for human needs you have to huddle though 10 other bunk-corridor just to end up waiting in front of the only 2+1 toilets for you and 300 Y passengers. All this in a provided pyjama which would grant immediate access to any gay parade.:yu k:
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Old 4th Dec 2008, 04:50
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Just out of curiosity where are the sleep quarters located on SQ or QF?

Dont want the aussies complaining do we!!! They have enough to contend with, with the BA merger possibility
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