The 'Silent' Aircraft Initiative

The 'Silent' Aircraft Initiative has a bold aim - to develop a conceptual design for an aircraft whose noise would be almost imperceptible outside the perimeter of a daytime urban airport. This requires radically different aircraft and engine designs.


The conceptual design that has been developed addresses the generation after next of aircraft, and there are still many technical challenges to be overcome before it could become a reality in the 2030 timeframe. However, the project has also clearly identified these challenges and thus provided a direction for the work needed to address them. In addition. some of the technologies and approaches could be used in more incremental aircraft designs.


Operations team is also working with an airport, air traffic control and local airlines to develop and flight test new enhanced approach procedures with current aircraft. The approaches are an enhanced form of Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs) which reduce noise and fuel burn by eliminating level segments, keeping aircraft higher and at lower thrust levels for longer than traditional step-down approaches.

An Extensive Network of Partners

The project is carried out in a Partnership between the University of Cambridge and MIT as part of a Knowledge Integration Community of aerospace partners, which include industry, airline and airport operators, policy makers and academics.


Funded by the Cambridge-MIT-Institute (CMI) with matching in-kind support from industrial partners.

The SAX-40

Click here to view a video of the SAX-40 in flight. (you will need Windows Media Player to view the streaming video)


What does the 'Silent' Aircraft concept design look like? | Why does the concept design look like this? | What are the major design features of the concept design? | What is the 'Silent' Aircraft predicted to sound like? | What is the predicted fuel burn of the 'Silent' Aircraft?

Latest News

Silent aircraft creeps closer to reality
Date: 06/11/06
Summary: Today, the vision of quieter and more environmentally friendly flying came a step closer as researchers from Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) unveiled their revolutionary concept for a silent aircraft.