Date: 17 Dec 99 01:57:35 From: "P. Wezeman" <email@example.com> Organization: The University of Iowa Followups: 1 2 3 4
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What was the cabin noise level like in cruising flight in one of the pre-war Boeing 314 or Short Empire trans-Atlantic flying boats? Was it too loud to carry on a conversation easily? If information on noise is not available, how much sound insulation (if any) did the planes have and how did it compare to that on the later piston airliners? I have flown on a Lockheed Constellation and a Douglas DC-7 and as I recall these were reasonably quiet. Of course these planes needed thermal insulation at high altitudes and this would have damped the noise even if there was no soundproofing as such. Has anyone ridden on one of the surviving Martin Mars water bombers or on Kermit Week's Short Sunderland? I came across some information about my earlier seaplane question: why did some seaplanes like the Short Empire, Sunderland, and Martin Mars use wingtip floats for stability on the water while others such as the Dornier DO-X, Martin China Clipper, and Boeing 314 used sponsons for the same purpose? In reading about the 314 I found that the sponsons on that aircraft just did not work all that well; they did not provide enough righting moment to keep the wing tips out of the water under all circumstances. This is not surprising when you consider how short their moment arm was compared to tip floats. So it seems that floats are the better solution, at least for aircraft with longer wing spans. Floats can also be retractable as on the Saunders-Roe Princess and some others. I believe there was a small amphibian, similar to the Republic SeaBee, where the end of the wing folded down so the wing tip was the float. I would be interested to know if float pylons can act as winglets to improve the efficiency of the wing. Peter Wezeman, anti-social Darwinist "Carpe Cyprinidae"