Loudest Aircraft on Earth


I think the early DC-8’s take the trophy home for loudest aircraft.

Any other thoughts?


Concorde, BAC 1-11, and Tupolev Tu-95 are up there too.


how about the old water injected KC-135 tankers the air force used, use to be my 6am alarm clock.


I’d have to vote for the Turbo Commanders. I worked out of the same hangar as those Air Ambulance guys. Whenever they’d fire up those turbines, It would break my ears.


I was on a boat on Lake Michigan during the Chicago Air Show one year. A B-1 bomber flew in at 500 feet and went into a nearly vertical, afterburner-driven climb almost directly overhead. I’ve never heard, felt, smelled, tasted or seen anything like it, including B-52, Concorde and DC-8 takeoffs. Talk about shock-and-awe!


the EA-6 of the navy has a nice ring in the ear also.


The Space Shuttle! :smiley:


Either the T-37 just for the pitch… or Aloha Airlines 737-200s. :slight_smile:


I have to agree with kirkbrewer on this one, the B1B is definately the loudest I’ve heard. Several years back I was working security for Lowe’s Motor Speedway (then called Charlotte Motor Speedway) when they had a B-1 do a flyover for the national anthem. Just as kirkbrewer described, the B-1 did a second pass in which he pointed her skyward and went full afterburner. My ears felt like they were going to burst and the whole speedway seemed to shake. We had to answer several calls where the drunks fell off of their campers due to the noise/shaking!

There is a G4 that takes off from KJQF that makes quite a rumble also, I’m not sure what kind of engine kit they have that causes that.



Yeah, there’s a GLF2 that frequents KHIO that doesn’t have a hush kit. It sounds like a freakin’ F-4 Phantom.


Gotta be the converter…the Tweet.

Only airplane I ever flew that pretty much demanded I wear double ear protection even while flying the thing…Runner-up B-1B in full AB is a different kinda loud…more of a roar…not as “piercing” as the mighty Tweet.



Yeah…there were plenty o’ complaints on that one…


As a kid I was at an airshow where an Avro Vulcan did a flypast. That’s the loudest I’ve ever heard.
Coincidently, I happened to be in Chicago a few years ago during the airshow and heard, but didn’t see, the B1 flypast. And yes, that was loud too.


I used to live in Savannah, Georgia and about once a year the B-52s and F-111s would come into town for exercises. As I recall, the F-111 was quite a noisemaker when it flew out in full AB.

I also remember reading about the XF-8B, a NASA experiment with a supersonic propeller (i.e. tip speed). Supposedly it was so loud that it would give people nausea (and, needless to say, hearing damage) if they were too close without protection.

And the guy who mentioned the Space Shuttle is onto something. It’s loud at launch, of course, but I heard that double sonic boom from right underneath at KSC, and it was like a cannon going off next to my head.


Two or three years ago at the Ft Lauderdale Air and Sea Show, one of the Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet’s hit mach right over us on the beach as he flew out of the west heading out over the ocean. Loudest sound I’ve ever heard. Not sure if he intended to do that over A1A or not, but I for one appreciated it!!! FYI the Ft. Lauderdale Air & Sea Show features the Blue Angels again this year…May 6 & 7th. Y’all come down!!!


I think you’re referring to the XF-84H “Thunderscreech” which was an attempt to combine the advantages of jet- and prop-power on a single airframe. Dismal failure :blush:

abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/s934718.htm (warning - slow loading)

Edited to add: I don’t suppose any of you ever heard the 3-and-a-half engined HS Trident 3. So loud on t/o it rattled your rib cage :open_mouth:


I think you’re referring to the XF-84H “Thunderscreech” which was an attempt to combine the advantages of jet- and prop-power on a single airframe. Dismal failure :oops:

Yes, you’re absolutely right. The XF-8B was prop only.


I agree with one posting - there is no louder aircraft tahn the EA-6B at full power. It has a shriek that defies description - not the deep throated roar of a RA-5C, FB111, F18/A, commercial airliner or any other fighter bomber, civilian combo even, in full afterburner. The Prowler has a sound that makes your teeth ache, ears bleed and all you want is for the sound to stop.


at Kadena AB we would watch the SR-71 launch, and our ramp was close to the run-way and those things could make the ground shake.


That Habu was indeed noisy! Used to fly in RC-135s out of Kadena, sometimes in coordinated missions with the Habu. The RAF Vulcans posted to Offutt AFB were also awesome to see and hear.