Acoustic analysis techniques developed for military airframes by UK technology company Qinetiq are being applied to the Boeing 7E7 in an effort to achieve a quieter cabin environment with acceptable airframe weight and cost.

Using a simulation of noise sources and decibel levels, computer algorithms developed to analyse military helicopter acoustics will be used to produce a more accurate picture of the aircraft's noise environment. Boeing has provided a baseline acoustic model of the 7E7 that will be "refined" by Qinetiq over the next six months using these algorithms.

"We've developed [acoustic] algorithms beyond the current commercial state of the art," says David Howes, Qinetiq's Boeing business development manager. "The [7E7] cabin layout is significantly different to other aircraft. We are working out the sound transmission paths. We are looking to reduce in-cabin noise levels as much as we can."

The acoustic characteristics of components such as the 7E7's carbonfibre doors are "significant unknowns that had to be modelled", says Howe. Noise sources include airflow over the fuselage, engines and the increased use of electrical power in the 7E7.

Source: Flight International