Chair Force Engineer

Friday, June 16, 2006

Boeing vs. Airbus, Part 2: Bring Da Noise, Bring Da Funk

Last week I was forced by the government to fly United Airlines. If I had a choice in the matter, I would have flown Southwest, that all-American symbol of capitalism at its finest. However, United (the bloated beneficiary during the dark days of regulation) was the contract carrier for my destination.

The biggest indignity I had to suffer on United was flying in an Airbus 320 instead of a Boeing 737 (which isn't the case with that other, patriotic airline that I love.) While the Airbis 320 is slightly roomier than the 737 (which I don't really notice, being of below-average height and weight,) it's also noisier. I mean, the 737 is hardly a quiet airplane, especially if you have a wing seat. But the A320 is even worse.

In terms of noise, my favorite airliner was the Boeing 757. Because the wings were so long, the engines are far enough away from the fuselage and you don't get so much of it in the cabin. I also liked the old 727's, because the engines were at the back of the plane. Ironically, it was the FAA's Stage III noise requirements that took a lot of 727's out of passenger service.