15:29 GMT +320 May 2019
Listen Live
    Airport

    No More Deafening Howl as New Airplane Toilet Promises Quieter Movements

    CC0
    Society
    Get short URL
    0 10

    There are few sounds more jarring than the scream of an airplane lavatory toilet flushing. However, the days of deafening airborne bathroom howls may soon be coming to an end thanks to a group of Brigham Young University (BYU) physicists who claim to have invented a new, improved and much quieter vacuum-assisted commode.

    "People have told us they don't want their kids to be scared to use the bathroom on a flight," lead researcher Kent Gee recently told Eureka Alert. "So, we've used good physics to solve the problem." 

    Airplane toilets are extremely loud when flushed as they rely on lots of suction to transfer waste but very little water into a holding tank. The powerful force of suction can very briefly move water at speeds of over 300 miles per hour. Any disturbance in the flow — including a bend in the pipe — increases the dreaded brutal bellow.

    In a paper titled "Noise Reduction of a Vacuum-Assisted Toilet," published in December 2018, researchers reduced the flushing scream by simply increasing the distance between the flush valve and the toilet bowl by means of an extra piece of pipe. In addition, the toilet testers — for science! — found that reducing the sharp angles of the plumbing that connects the toilet to the aircraft's holding tank also lowers the spectacular sonic attack.

    "Three stages of noise can be correlated with three flush valve conditions during the flush cycle: an initial noise level peak associated with the flush valve opening, an intermediate noise level plateau associated with the valve being fully opened, and a final noise level peak associated with the flush valve closing," the paper's abstract carefully explained. 

    "It was hypothesized that increasing the distance between the flush valve and the bowl and increasing the bend radius of the attachment at the bowl exit reduces overall noise levels. These modifications resulted in a 13 to 16 decibels reduction in the noise radiated from the bowl during the valve opening and closing in addition to a five to 10 decibels reduction in the noise radiated from the bowl during the open valve condition," the paper adds.

    The new science of quiet will be welcomed by almost everybody, although those patiently waiting in the aisle of a plane for their turn to pee will now have to listen more closely for that joyful noise indicating that their painful wait is soon to be over.

    Related:

    Eight Oddest Airplane Hijackings in History
    First Reaction to Saudi Arabia Airplane Incident 'Hasty' - FIFA Organizers
    US V-280 Valor Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Ready for First ‘Airplane Mode’ Flight
    Woman Arrested After Leaving Newborn Baby in Airplane Bathroom
    Norwegian Airplane Washing Method to Modernize Aerospace Industry
    Tags:
    study, toilet, plane
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik