Eurocopter has begun EC130 deliveries to Grand Canyon tour operators as the US Federal Aviation Administration prepares a new "quiet technology" (QT) standard for aircraft used in tour operations over the national park.

Eurocopter has delivered twoEC130s to Grand Canyon Helicopters and will soon deliver two more to Papillon Helicopters. The six- or seven-passenger helicopter has a fenestron tailrotor, and main rotor RPM is reduced in the cruise, resulting in a flyover noise level of 84.3EPNdB, says the manufacturer. This is within the proposed QT limits.

The standard aims to meet a Congressional mandate to restore natural quiet to the canyon.

Source: Flight International