Lufthansa Technik has developed an external silencer for avionics cooling systems to reduce noise for maintenance staff when the aircraft is in a hangar.
The cylindrical muffler can be wheeled to the aircraft to cover the air extraction valve for the cooling blower in the avionics compartment in the forward part of the fuselage.
An employee at the maintenance firm's site in Munich originally developed it for the Airbus A340-300. But the company then partnered with German ground support equipment supplier Franke Care System, which further refined the device for use on other widebodies, including the A380 and Boeing 777.
Franke Care System says the equipment, designated "Silencer", cuts noise level by 14.5dB to 72.3dB in the immediate vicinity of the air outlet on an A340-300.
Lufthansa Technik claims it improves health and safety conditions "significantly" for maintenance personnel and should allow staff to have conversations near the valve. The company has applied for a patent and plans to sell the equipment to other maintenance providers.