Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Thought Economy Class Would Suck Less

I got all excited when I saw the latest research from Georgia Tech, talking about how they've developed a new material to mute the noise from airplane engines. People could buy those houses near the airport, I wouldn't be kept awake by engine noise on long flights, and I'm sure the military would want to use it for some kind of stealth plane.

Well, they've only developed a prototype material, and I'm not very excited about it. The material is supposed to be a honeycomb of channels that work together to trap noise and remove its energy before it gets to our ears, but it sounds like they're still figuring out what they'll need to use in order to construct the channels that would be as small as a single micron. Some kind of superalloy, they suspect.

Right, so check back once you have the material in production, and actually used in an engine design that is less loud than current airplane engines. Who am I kidding? Even if they did get it into production, it would do nothing about the screaming baby in the seat next to me.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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