The Loudest Military Aircraft In The World Flying Today?

The Loudest Military Aircraft In The World Flying Today
Two Tu-95 (center) and one B-52H (front); behind is the much larger An-124. Credits: TSGT. FERNANDO SERNA / US Air Force

As per the Guinness Book of World Records, the Tupolev Tu-95 holds the title of the loudest active military aircraft.

After World War II, the Soviet Union sought a long-range strategic bomber capable of carrying nuclear weapons. They utilized a Boeing B-29 Superfortress that had made an emergency landing in the country’s Far East as a basis for developing the Tu-95.

Designed by a German team of ex-Junkers prisoner-engineers under the leadership of Austrian aerospace scientist Ferdinand Brandner, they developed the 12,000hp Kuznetsov turboprop engine. Each Tu-95’s four Kuznetsov NK-12 engines was fitted with two counter-rotating four-blade propellors.

The Tu-95 is one of the loudest military aircraft, particularly because the tips of the propeller blades move faster than the speed of sound. Its distinctive swept-back wings are set at an angle of 35°. The Tu-95 is the only propeller-driven aircraft with swept wings that has been built in large numbers.

The complex airflow generated between the two poppers produces a deep buzzing noise that can be heard for miles. The Tu-95 is so noisy that Navy personnel in submerged submarines can listen to it flying overhead.

Tu-95s, which entered service in 1952 and are still flying today, are so loud that submarine crews can hear them on patrol, even when submerged.

As per the Guinness Book of World Records, The loudest aircraft ever flown was likely the Republic XF-84H “Thunderscreech”, a turboprop-driven variant of the US Air Force’s F-84 Thunderjet fighter.

However, the XF-84H program was canceled after only 12 short test flights. In addition to the impractical noise levels, the aircraft also exhibited poor handling characteristics, mechanical unreliability, and failed to achieve expected speeds.

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