The European Union’s research program on noise reduction, Silence(r), officially ended in June with promising results. It explored all noise sources, from engines to landing gear and flaps. However, although it achieved a reduction of five decibels in aircraft noise, several more leads need to be developed to reach the ambitious target of cutting a full 10 dB from average noise levels by 2020.
The FAA’s rules are a “barrier to the development and application of supersonic technologies in advanced general aviation aircraft,” said the General Aviation Manufacturers Association in comments submitted to an agency request for information on SST noise rules.
After a flurry of interest late in the last decade that appeared to lose momentum in the wake of 9/11, there is evidence that progress toward defining a supersonic business jet continues quietly.
Gulfstream is now delivering the G200 standard with a thermal/acoustic interior, which is said to reduce both aircraft weight and cabin noise levels. The weight saving is at least 150 lb, according to Gulfstream. Acoustical testing is planned for later this month and measured noise is expected to be about 55 dB on the speech-interference-level scale.
E-A-R Specialty Composites (Booth No. 331) has broken ground for a new 11,500-sq-ft acoustic test center designed to increase the Indianapolis company’s test and analysis capabilities.
Three companies have expressed serious interest in developing a supersonic business jet (SSBJ), but none of the designs proposed by Aerion, Sukhoi or Supersonic Aerospace International has reached the launch stage, making it unlikely that any will emerge as a flying prototype anytime soon.
The prototype personal stereo was famously developed in 1978 to help Sony founder Masaru Ibuka listen to opera while airborne on business trips.
Manufacturers of newly designed helicopters will have to meet slightly revised U.S. noise standards, effective with applications for new designs or major design changes submitted after June 1. The FAA revised FAR Part 36 to harmonize helicopter noise standards with those of the JAA and ICAO.
Gulfstream Aerospace hosted a NASA F-15 in Savannah, Ga., on February 14 for an aerial demonstration of its Quite Spike telescopic nose spike installation. If Gulfstream were ever to decide to launch a supersonic business jet, it would have to employ some means of suppressing the sonic boom while flying over land.
Business aircraft crews and passengers are generally aware of the danger of prolonged exposure to noise in terms of hearing loss. Now there is a growing body of evidence that prolonged exposure to a combination of high-intensity and low-frequency noise may pose far more serious health threats.