Andrew Doyle/LONDON

EUROPEAN AVIATION, parent of European Aviation Air Charter (EAAC), has signed an agreement with Quiet Nacelle for the hushkitting of the UK charter carrier's fleet of British Aerospace One-Eleven-500s. The deal marks the first available Stage 3 hushkit for the aircraft.

The modification will extend the operational life of the aircraft beyond 2002, when non-Stage 3 aircraft must be removed from service in Europe, through to around 2015, says European.

According to European Aviation chairman Paul Stoddart, the deal is valued at over $30 million, with the company investing an "undisclosed amount" in the project. European will also provide an aircraft for use as a prototype during the testing and certification of the hushkit system.

Under the contract, Miami-based Quiet Nacelle will manufacture 20 hushkit shipsets, which will be transferred to European's engineering base at Bournemouth International Airport in the UK, where the aircraft will be modified.

Stoddart says, that the "preferred route" would have been to re-engine EAAC's fleet of 20 One-Elevens', but adds that this is "not a viable option at this time". Dee Howard in the USA flew a Tay re-engine aircraft in the early 1990s before the programme dissolved in a controversy with British Aerospace.

While hushkitting the aircraft's existing Rolls-Royce Spey engines will be cheaper than re-engineing, Stoddart admits that the range and payload performance of the aircraft will suffer as a result.

"We are aware of the performance penalties," he says, "but we can live with those and still have a viable aircraft. We are not prepared to stand by and see a well-designed aircraft consigned to the scrap heap."

UK Civil Aviation Authority certification of the modification is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 1996, with deliveries starting at the rate of one aircraft a quarter from the beginning of 1997. The company will hold the sole European rights, to offer the modification to third party One-Eleven operators and the company sees a market for hushkitting, an additional 20 aircraft in Europe.

Quiet Nacelle is already developing a hushkit for the One-Eleven-400 Series in a private development, which is expected to be certificated in mid-1996.

Source: Flight International