Airplane Noise Simulator

Introduction to the Simulator
You initiate a flight by clicking the Take Off button. Flights move over an aerial map of the Short Mountain Flying Field (Eugene, Oregon) until they reach an edge, or until you click the Erase Flight button.

A flight is represented by the intersection of its noise bubbles with the surface of the earth.

  • A black disk shows where the flight is heard at 55 or more decibels. The airplane's noise is a noticeable presence throughout the blackened area.
  • A purple disk shows where the flight is heard at 65 or more decibels. The airplane's noise disrupts conversations and thought within this area.
  • A red disk shows where the flight is heard at 75 or more decibels. In this region the noise distresses people.
  • A yellow disk shows where the flight is heard at 85 or more decibels. Bodily harm can result from the noise in this region.
  • You can adjust factors influencing surface sound by adjusting scrollbars at the right of the map.
  • Engine Noise - the decibel level measured 394 feet from the source (FAA standard). Values for some "quiet" Stage 3 airliners: 747, 106 db; DC-10, 102 db; 767, 94 db; A300, 94 db.
  • Direction - the flight path specified on a 360-degree compass.
  • Climb - the plane's rate of climb in degrees. (Altitude is reported here during a flight.)
  • Speed - the plane's airspeed in miles per hour.
  • Another scrollbar - the Time Multiplier - adjusts the extent to which the simulation is faster than life. The pace can be set at real time by selecting a 1:1 multiplier.

    Results are approximate since additional factors (like weather and sound frequency) affect how noise travels. Nevertheless the simulator provides insights concerning airplane noise, and what remedies would be most effective at a particular location

    This one takes a while to load so be patient. (Approx. 130K)


    This simulator was originally designed to simulate noise emissions of full size aircraft.  Photograph used here is of a model airplane runway (Short Mountain Airfield, Eugene, Oregon) and is not to scale as originally intended but included just for fun. Aerial photograph was taken by radio controlled aircraft flown by "Dangerous" Dave Upton

    This Java applet courtesy of


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