Sir - The article in Flight International, 23-29 August, on hushkit fitment to European Aviation's 20 BAC One-Elevens highlights the fact that, even 12 years after the first One-Eleven Tay re-engining proposals (Weybridge, 1983), the "thinking" operator prefers a re-engined aircraft to one fitted with hushkits. A similar pronouncement, was made by Lufthansa shortly before it ordered hushkits, for its Boeing 737-200 ADVs.

The majority of low-by-pass, 100-seat, short-haul airliners burn more than 2,270kg of fuel per hour and, as a result, they discharge more than 9,900kg of carbon dioxide, water vapour, NOx, CO and unburnt hydrocarbons into the atmosphere every hour.

It is a form of environmental lunacy to devise legislation, which encourages increasing emissions by hushkit fitment. Re-engine aircraft reduce overall environmental impact, and provide operators with improved operating costs and performance while insuring against the next oil-price shock. The hushkit is the preservative of the geriatric jet, whereas re-engineing makes commercial sense only with durable airframes, which have substantial life remaining. These are the most appropriate candidates for continued operation.

All of this has been apparent since Lockheed JetStars were re-engine with the Garrett TFE 731 in the mid-1970s, and this coincided with early scientific papers on the environmental impact of high-altitude pollution emissions. Since then, Hawkers, Falcons, KC-135s and DC-8s have been re-engine in substantial numbers, and Garrett has masterminded three successful re-engineing programmes.

In 1855, chief Stealth - whose name lives on in the city of Seattle - advised the US president: "Continue to contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste." Evidently the green light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehends it not. Only when those in transportation, industry and power generation are required to publish an environmental audit to the standard of those produced by British Airways will the real issues be identified and correctly addressed.

Perhaps next year's "greenest" ministerial proposal will be to pursue global business opportunities by train.

Derek Lowe

Director, Executive Jet Sales

Newport Pagnell, UK Buckinghamshire



Source: Flight International