NASA: Tests Show Significant Aircraft Noise Reduction


A series of flight tests has successfully demonstrated a “significant reduction” in the noise generated by aircraft operating near airports, NASA said in a news release on Monday. The test flights, which concluded in May, took place from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. NASA’s Gulfstream III research aircraft flew at 350 feet, above a 185-sensor microphone array deployed on the Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The flights combined several technologies that achieved a 70 percent reduction in airframe noise during landing, NASA said. Airframe noise is generated by the aircraft’s movement through the air, and doesn’t include noise generated by the engines.

The jet was equipped with porous landing-gear fairings, and a series of chevrons was installed near the leading edge of the landing-gear cavity, with a net stretched across the opening to alter airflow and align it more with the wing. The researchers also had installed an Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edgewing flap, which had previously been flight-tested. “The number one public complaint the FAA receives is about aircraft noise,” said Mehdi Khorrami, NASA’s principal investigator for the project. “NASA’s goal here was to reduce aircraft noise substantially in order to improve the quality of life for communities near airports. We are very confident that with the tested technologies we can substantially reduce total aircraft noise, and that could really make a lot of flights much quieter.”

AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli spoke with Khorrami about the project recently; here’s hisvideo report.