Professional audio company AKG broke into the aviation market on Tuesday with the introduction of an active noise-reduction aircraft headset, the AV100, at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In. Its $1,099 headset uses hybrid active noise-cancelling technology and signal processing to attenuate the specific frequencies inside an airplane. Features include built-in LED map lights, as well Bluetooth connectivity and an auxiliary input for interfacing with navigation devices, tablet PCs, phones or other devices, allowing such things as Hi-Fi music streaming.
Lightspeed Aviation (Booth No. 5900) announced that its entry-level Sierra ANR (active noise reduction) headset may now be paired to Lightspeed’s proprietary FlightLink app, offering pilots the ability to capture radio transmissions for playback and archiving.
“Sierra has been our primary vehicle for introducing the benefits of premium ANR headsets to student pilots,” said Teresa De Mers, Lightspeed executive vice president for sales, marketing and support. “The addition of FlightLink to its capabilities adds a new level of utility to its already exceptional comfort and quiet.”
Business aircraft cabins are generally not quiet. Not with the turbulent boundary-layer rush of air around the fuselage at Mach 0.85 and the whine of a couple of jet engines no great distance from the comfy chairs. Then there are the pumps, hydraulics, fans, gears, actuators, electric motors, worn bearings and air distribution through the metal ductwork, not to mention the occasional hum of the microwave and induction oven, the rattling of glasses and flatware in the galley and that giant sucking sound coming from the lavatory.
Headset maker Lightspeed Aviation (Booth No. C11137) is offering a new aviation headset with a suite of options that offer a “personal flying experience” the company abbreviates as “PFX.” The options include “acoustic response mapping” and “streaming quiet.”
“Acoustic response mapping” uses sound waves and advanced signal processing to measure the user’s ear size and shape, adapting audio to each pilot’s “unique auditory landscape.”
The FAA has issued a final rule, effective September 3 this year, outlining the upcoming ban on jets that don’t meet Stage 3 noise standards. The rule stems from the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and prohibits airplanes with a maximum weight of 75,000 pounds or less from operating within the 48 contiguous states in the U.S. after Dec. 31, 2015, unless they meet Stage 3 noise levels.
Sennheiser introduced its new S1 NoiseGard headset at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, completing the S1 model lineup, which includes the ANR S1 Digital introduced two years ago and the S1 Passive released last year. The three headsets share design features and, said Sennheiser’s Christian Pulm, “as demand changes, there’s an S1 for every scenario.”
In its description of a new rule outlining the upcoming ban on jets that don’t meet Stage 2 noise standards, the FAA incorrectly stated that hushkits are available only for Gulfstream IIs and IIIs.
As part of a growing suite of noise- and pollution-control measures, France’s Nice Cote D’ Azur Airport will invest in the installation of a new underground power system that will reduce business jets’ dependency on auxiliary power units on the ramp. The system, the first of its kind in Europe, provides hatches under each aircraft engine start-up stand for access to a centralized power and heating/cooling system, greatly reducing the number of APU operation hours, as well as reducing exhaust emissions. The $2.7 million project is expected to begin this summer.
Sennheiser’s updated active noise cancellation HMEC 26-2 headset adds comfort, noise protection and a higher sound pressure level to the HMEC 26. To improve the fit for a wider variety of pilots, Sennheiser redesigned the two-piece automatic headband so it can be opened another 20 degrees. Restricting folding of the ear cups to a 45-degree angle improves wearing stability. The microphone boom is made of a new steel that remains in the set position more securely, according to Sennheiser.
Butler National is nearing completion of an STC for a Learjet 20-series Stage 3 noise suppression device. The aircraft is subject to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which includes provisions that ban its operation in the U.S. after Dec. 31, 2015 for not meeting current FAA Stage 3 noise level requirements. Installation of the Avcon Noise Suppressor should allow continued use of the airplanes in 2016 and beyond.Butler projects installations of the Avcon Noise Suppressor STC will begin this fall.
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