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.
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.
New designs for small business turboprop singles could be included in proposed changes to FAR Part 36 noise-certification rules. The more stringent levels are aimed primarily at reducing noise from newly designed primary training aircraft, but new turboprop singles certified under Part 23 would also be covered. The FAA said the more stringent requirements are intended to keep limits within the capability of current technology.
The FAA is concerned that some noise-canceling headsets might prevent pilots from hearing audible alarms, abnormal engine noise or other mechanical sounds. The agency, in a January 1 Information for Operators (InFO 07001), said noise attenuation of headsets “may vary by make and model” and if these sounds cannot be detected “discontinue the use of noise-canceling headsets.”
All jet and transport-category airplanes (those with an mtow of 12,500 pounds or more) for which application of a new type design is submitted on or after January 1 this year have to meet new noise certification levels. Stage 4 is a cumulative 10 EPNdB (effective perceived noise level in decibels) less than Stage 3 limits. Virtually all in-production business jets will qualify to be recertified under Stage 4.
AgustaWestland and Eurocopter might be competitors in the helicopter market, but they seem to be decidedly good friends when it comes to defining rotorcraft for the future. In addition to partnering on the Erica tiltwing research project, they have joined forces on another European-funded project, dubbed Friendcopter.
HAI’s Manufacturers Committee, assisted by the HAI Acoustics and Fly Neighborly Committee, is introducing a new noise-abatement training CD here at Heli Expo’06. The CD emphasizes the importance of “flying neighborly” and specific noise-abatement procedures by helicopter model. The CD is being offered free at the HAI booth (No. 1801) to all helicopter operators. A demonstration of the CD is also available at the booth.
New amendments to Part 36 require a minimum 3 dB–noise reduction for small single-engine propeller aircraft– including turboprops–weighing more than 3,307 pounds, for which an original type certificate is applied after February 3. As proposed, the new standard would have also applied to new STCs.
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