The first Quiet Skies-developed Stage 3 hushkit for a Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B-powered Boeing 707-300 is due to be delivered to the inaugural customer, a private European owner, by the end of this month.

The delivery follows the award of a supplemental type certificate (STC) by the US Federal Aviation Administration earlier in November. Further deliveries are scheduled for the first four months of 1999, says Burbank Aeronautical (BAC) of California, which is licensed with the Parts Manufacturing Authority (PMA) covered by the Quiet Skies STC.

"Finally, we are getting a lot of interest," it says.

BAC admits operators have been reluctant to commit to the conversion until the award of the STC. This was originally due to be completed around October 1997, but BAC says technical difficulties took longer than expected to overcome.

"Even Pratt & Whitney initially told us it could not be done," says BAC, adding that following the award, "-we have at least another six operators already looking for availability".

The kit incorporates a long bypass fan duct, a 16-lobe internal exhaust gas mixer and common exit nozzles. The 350h flight test programme proved that the kit "-removes the fuel burn increase associated with Stage 2 Boeing 707 hushkit installations", says BAC.

It adds that the Stage 3 kit allows the 707 to be operated at its original certified maximum gross take-off and landing weights, including versions powered by the JT3D-7. "There are no restrictions on the original certified aircraft Vmo [maximum operating speed] or ceiling."

The rush on installation work has resulted in a slowdown on the winglet programme, says BAC.

"It has pushed it aside a bit and we are now looking at the middle of the first quarter of 1999 to complete that."

Meanwhile, the STC on the DC-8-50/61 programme is now targeted for mid-1999.

Source: Flight International