SAAB AIRCRAFT IS tackling sound at source to try to achieve the 76dB average cabin-noise level promised for the Saab 2000 high-speed regional turboprop. Launch customer Crossair criticised Saab earlier this year for failing to meet cabin-noise guarantees.

The Swedish manufacturer says that the present average noise-level of 78dB " comparable to a jet and lower than other turboprops". This level has been achieved by refinement of the aircraft's Ultra Electronics active noise-control system. Further cuts will require reduction of noise, at source Saab says, noting that boundary layer scrubbing and air-conditioning ducts are major contributors.

Saab says that "many small steps" will be required to reduce noise further, but adds that it is "committed" to achieving the 76dB goal "no later than 1998". Ultra acknowledges that there were problems with the noise-cancellation equipment on the first Saab 340s fitted with the system, but says that hardware and software changes have resolved these.

Ultra active noise-control is standard on the Saab 340 and 2000 and optional on the ATR 42. The UK company is believed to have been selected to supply noise-cancellation systems for a new low-noise interior planned for the Bombardier de Havilland Dash 8.

Saab plans to build 30-40 regional aircraft in 1995, up from 15 in 1994. Saab refuses to comment on reports that American Eagle is negotiating orders for 15 Saab 2000s and 25 Saab 340s.

Source: Flight International