Private jets have many advantages over commercial aircraft, but are they also quieter?
Typically, private jets are quieter than commercial planes both inside and out. The engines on a commercial plane are much more powerful and can generate sound levels up to 140 decibels and can be heard from miles away on the ground.
Read on to learn more about the noise pollution created by aircraft and how private jets fit into the debate.
The Noisy Argument
Although great strides have undoubtedly been made in the field of aviation, one area still remains unconquered. We may have aircraft that can travel thousands of miles, carry hundreds of people, or be deeply luxurious, but we don’t really have any that are quiet.
Throughout the years, efforts have been made to lower the offensive sound levels of aircraft in the sky, and on the ground. However, the majority of these efforts concern military aircraft, such as spy planes.
It’s not hard to imagine why spy planes would need to be quiet, but what about commercial planes? It’s estimated that at any one time, there can be as many as twenty thousand planes in the sky, and the majority of them are commercial planes.
These planes will be taking off and landing from centralized hubs, and international or domestic airports. Now, most of the airports are located near residential areas, or their designated flight paths will travel over the top of said areas.
This obviously leaves the door open for a lot of noise pollution to come creeping in. It’s suggested that commercial planes can have sound levels that reach (or sometimes exceed) 140 decibels.
This fact makes commercial airliners some of the loudest things on the planet, not too far behind a literal rocket launch. At around 130 decibels, the human body ceases to resist the pain of the sound, and your hearing is intensely threatened.
However, while NASA and the like are working on methods and engineering innovations to quieten aircraft engines, it likely won’t happen any time soon. The matter of fact is, these engines are just so powerful and have to generate so much thrust, that it’s almost impossible to silence them.
It has been an ongoing problem and debate for decades, especially as air travel has grown exponentially in popularity. Organizations like the NCBI rate aircraft noise as one of the most detrimental environmental effects in the world.
Private: More Luxury, Less Noise
Although private jets are still quite loud, they don’t come close to commercial planes on the volume scale. However, it’s worth establishing that that is a general rule, and there are of course exceptions to that case.
It’s a common enough occurrence for commercial planes to be converted into private planes – it happens everywhere. For example, Air Force One, which is considered one of the most valuable private planes on Earth, is a converted Boeing 747-200B.
This plane is enormous and is equipped with four massive turbine engines that generate a staggering amount of noise. Therefore, you have a private jet that isn’t quieter than commercial.
For the most part, though, your typical private jet will be much quieter than a commercial plane for a few reasons. They’re smaller, require less engine power and thrust to fly, and tend to be a little more aerodynamic.
Further, the owners of said private jets are much more likely to spend out the big bucks to make their flight as comfortable as possible. This includes engineering marvels that go a little way to making the engines quieter.
As we mentioned earlier, private jets are quieter not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. They’re much better when it comes to sound insulation, and you’ll often have no issues holding a private conversation inside them.
We can use the Gulfstream G650 as an example; a massively popular and capable twin-engine private jet. The innovations behind this aircraft have produced one of the quietest cabins in aviation history.
It’s estimated that when in flight, there are less than 50 decibels of outside noise detectable inside the cabin. The cabin itself was partly designed by acoustics experts who also specialized in making super-silent submarines.
However, the Gulfstream G650 has a price tag of around sixty-five million dollars. If you have your sights set on a luxurious, exclusive, and quiet flying experience, it’s very likely to be worth the expenditure.
On the other hand, if money is a little tight, you’ll have to stick with the over-loud commercial planes, and maybe take some earplugs.