Aviation Fleet Solutions has completed all flight testing required for FAA/EASA certification of its Quiet MD-80 noise reduction system, expected later this summer.

The system reduces noise levels up to 6dB, becoming the first retrofit programme to ensure compliance with Stage 4/Chapter 4 standards which come into effect next year

"The Boeing MD-80 is a workhorse of airline fleets in Europe and the U.S.," says Kevin Bartelson, president of Aviation Fleet Solutions. "This noise reduction system allows airlines to extend the viability and competitive life of their MD-80 fleets."

AFS, with support from Pratt & Whitney, evaluated a series of potential noise reduction configurations over nine months and 70h of flight testing. This process culminated in the selection of two configurations to take into certification flight testing, both containing licensed Pratt & Whitney components:

n A light-gross-weight configuration will be certified for all MD-80s with MTOW less than 149,500 lb (76,800kg);

n A high-gross-weight configuration will be certified and will be applicable to all MD-80s including the MD-83 with MTOW up to 160,000 lb.

Certification flight testing totalling an additional 50h was completed on 20 May. In this phase, the test aircraft was flown in a variety of take-off and landing configurations and at varying weights over instrumented noise measurement sites.


The Quiet MD-80 system includes acoustic liner upgrades, an advanced technology internal mixer and a new nozzle. Installation requires 160 man-hours of labour and can be accomplished in one day. The price of the Quiet MD-80 system is expected to be $825,000 per aircraft for the high-gross-weight configuration.

AFS is in discussions with several operators and expects a first order prior to certification. First deliveries could occur by end of this year.

Washington-based AFS was formed in 2003 to develop aftermarket modifications for commercial aircraft.

Source: Flight Daily News