Kelowna Flightcraft of Canada has begun modifying the US Federal Aviation Administration's Boeing 727-100 testbed and research aircraft with DuganAir Technologies' stage three compliance kit.

This is a coup for the Washington-based company, whose Quiet Wing System kit was chosen over several other hushkitting, re-engining and stage three aerodynamic modification proposals. Installation of the kit was delayed when at least one losing bidder forced the contest to be repeated.

DuganAir Technologies president Bob Olson says the win is significant "because we offered performance improvement along with stage three compliance at low cost. We also have potential for stage four, even though none of us knows exactly what that will be yet".

The kit includes various options, but in the FAA's case it will involve the fitting of winglets, aerodynamic modifications and noise-treated engine exhausts for all three engines. The FAA has opted to fit DuganAir tailpipes for the 727, rather than Pratt & Whitney nozzles which are optioned in the kit.

Orders for the Quiet Wing System total 47, of which 27 are in operation. "There are also a whole bunch more on which we are waiting to see what happens," adds Olson. The majority of these are 727-200s operating in Latin America, most of them high-gross weight, late-build aircraft dating from 1976 to 1982.

• The FAA has identified the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) as its ideal aircraft for a future research testbed after completing initial evaluation of range and payload requirements. The BBJ is based on the 737 -700 fuselage and offers the 7,400km (4,000nm) range which the FAA believes is needed for its eventual 727-100 successor. The selection criteria included operating costs below those of the 757-200 and no greater than those of the 727-100.

Source: Flight International