The news will no doubt come as some source of relief for those living near any airport and in particular, those near Heathrow’s now approved third runway.
NASA’s Langley Virginia facility have been testing a range of alterations to existing aircraft that could drastically reduce the airflow noise created.
These including creating a stretchable material that covers the gap when a plane’s wing flaps are deployed for landing.
They also found that creating a cover for the landing gear pickpocketed in tiny holes also helped direct the airflow and in turn drastically reduce the noise created.
Finally they went about creating more aerodynamic plating around the wheels themselves so that again, when the landing gear was deployed the plane would create less drag.
Not only does this increase the efficiency of the plane (reducing fuel costs) but it also reduces the cavities for air to flow into - one of the main causes for noise when landing.
The designs are of course still in the testing phase but if you do live near an airport or are about to then the good news is that NASA’s track record in this area is seriously impressive.
In addition to its work in space, NASA actually does a huge amount of research into conventional air travel. Everything from the modern runway to those tiny ‘winglets’ at the end of plane wings were all first tested by NASA.
“This airframe noise reduction produced by NASA technology is definitely momentous, and the best part is that it directly benefits the public,” said ARM Project Manager Kevin Weinert.
“While there are obvious potential economic gains for the industry, this benefits the people who live near major airports, and have to deal with the noise of aircraft coming in to land. This could greatly reduce the noise impact on these communities.”