Airbus has completed a series of trials of the most widely used of its original A300B series, the B4, which establish that the variant can be operated into and out of the most noise-sensitive airports enforcing Chapter 4 limits.

The B4 was certificated in March 1975 and was the most popular of the original A300B models. Although the bulk of the fleet is over 25 years old there are still over 100 A300B models in service, the bulk of which are B4 variants in service as freighters with carriers such as TNT and Channel Express. These two European operators say they will take “full advantage” of the trial outcome to operate into noise-sensitive airports.

In the trials, Airbus demonstrated that the combination of aerodynamic modifications introduced over the life of the aircraft to improve its efficiency, coupled with operational changes, were enough to make it compliant with Chapter 4 noise regulations, due to take effect in January 2006.

Airbus A300/A310 chief engineer Marc Guinot says that in its original certification testing, the A300B4 produced between 6 EPNdB and 8EPNdB less noise than the current Chapter 3 noise regulations. Chapter 4 is 10dB below Chapter 3.

“With the better technology of noise measuring equipment and adjustments to trajectories, speeds and weights, we have shown that we can meet Chapter 4,” he says.

Airbus says that although most A300B4s are not legally required to comply with the new regulation, “they can now be operated into airports with strict noise restrictions as they will in fact be compliant with the new requirements”.

It says the other two “legacy” Airbus types, the A300-600 and A310, “are both certificated at a level better than Chapter 4”.

Source: Flight International