Meet the acoustics expert who wants to make your flights less stressful


Flying can be stressful. Before even boarding you must pass the luggage weigh-in, navigate security and snake your way through the duty-free assault course. But, for many, the flight itself is a real source of stress – particularly when travelling long-haul.

Not least of the inflight annoyances is noise. The hum in the cabin – a mix of the plane’s workings, crew announcements, airflow and fellow passengers’ chatter – can be overwhelming.

But a lab in Hamburg, Germany has been working to reduce the problem, with efforts including the construction of a replica plane cabin. At the ZAL Centre for Applied Aviation Research sits an 8.5 metre-long A320 fuselage demonstrator.

Minus wings, nose or tail,…

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