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The University of Southampton

Airbus turns to Southampton for quiet future

Published: 3 November 2008

A new research centre is set to help combat the pressing environmental issue of aircraft noise by identifying quiet solutions for future airliners.

The Airbus Noise Technology Centre at the University of Southampton will work to find ways to reduce the noise generated by airliners.

The University of Southampton has a long history of conducting research into all aspects of aircraft noise. For many years, the University has collaborated with Airbus on a range of noise research and development projects and the new Airbus Noise Technology Centre, which is formally launched at the University on Monday 3 November, consolidates the relationship between the two organisations.

The Centre’s immediate goal is to work towards the target set for the airline industry by the Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe, to cut perceived noise in half by 2020 and eliminate all noise nuisance outside airport boundaries. This requires a doubling of the previous rate of progress, and requires advanced research and development across a range of new technologies.

University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bill Wakeham, comments: “We are honoured and delighted that Airbus has chosen Southampton as its partner to help find novel ways to reduce aircraft noise. By combining the talents of engineers at Airbus and the University, we are certain that significant progress can be made in this important area.”

Pierre Lempereur, Airbus France, adds: “We are confident that this Centre will provide Airbus with enhanced access to technology innovation and support from world-class skills, experience and tools needed to develop solutions to cope with the challenging objectives Airbus have set for aircraft noise impact mitigation.”

The Centre, led by Professor Xin Zhang, brings together academic staff, research fellows and PhD students using state-of-the-art computer simulations and wind tunnel testing to develop new noise reduction concepts. Undergraduate students will also work with the research team, providing exciting projects to stimulate the next-generation of engineers for industry.

More information about the Centre can be found at:

Notes for editors

  • Airbus as a world leading commercial aircraft manufacturer has the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Over 9,100 Airbus aircraft have been sold to more than 390 customers and operators worldwide and more than 5,300 of these have been delivered since the company first entered the market in the early seventies. With annual revenues of over 25 billion euros in 2007, Airbus is a global company, employing around 56,000 people of some 80 different nationalities in design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain, as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China, Japan, and in the Middle East.
  • Sensitive to its position as an industry leader, Airbus strives to be a truly eco-efficient enterprise. To that end, Airbus is the first aeronautics company in the world to have earned the ISO 14001 environmental certification for all production sites and products for the entire life cycle. Airbus seeks to ensure that air transport continues to be an eco-efficient means of transport, delivering economic value while minimizing its environmental impact.
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