Re: Another Seaplane Question

Date:         31 Dec 99 02:09:20 
From:         "Allen Hope" <>
Organization: OzEmail Ltd, Australia
References:   1
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P. Wezeman <> wrote ...
> 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 dont have any objective data, but the S25 Sunderland flying boat was
bloody loud!
Definitely worse than a DC-4.

Flew the S25 once SWA - LHI - SWA in 1972.  Twice SWA - LEC - SWA in 72/74
and once SWA - RTH.
SWA = Sydney Water Airport (Rose Bay), LHI = Lord Howe Island, LEC = Lake
Eucumbene Authorised Alighting Area & RTH = Rathmines (former) Airforce
Base, Lake Macquarie.
Aircraft were VH-BRC & BRF operated by AFBS (Ansett Flying Boat Services), a
subsidiary of Airlines of New South Wales, a subsidiary of Ansett Airlines.
SWA - LHI were regular airline services, the others were AHSA (Aviation
Historical Society of Australia) charters.

After nearly 4 hours enroute (to LHI) I had a buzzing in the ears for days
afterward, normal conversation was impossible, both upstairs and down. While
the pax cabin had interior lining, the cockpit (which is not much smaller
than upstairs on a B742) and other parts of the aircraft had none. I dont
think there was much insulation behind that lining. Weight was always a real
problem on the S25's.