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22/05/01 GAAC Seminar Notes
The Quiet Aeroplane is Coming

Keith Wilson
Director, Liberty Aerospace USA
Managing Director, Europa Aircraft Co. UK

In 1992 Ivan Shaw, designer of the Europa, wrote "I do not consider that as a pilot I have a special right to fly around in a noisy aircraft annoying people on the ground". The final presentation of the day introduced the future of light aviation as born out of its current difficulties. In April 1995 a noise evaluation of the Rotax 912-powered 3 bladed propeller Europa Classic tested compliance with three different noise certification requirements. In summary the examiner wrote "The results not only met the above noise certification requirements but exceeded them by a considerable margin. The aircraft is clearly a modern day aircraft, which is guaranteed to satisfy environmentalists throughout the world. The more stringent requirements of some countries, e.g. Germany and Switzerland are also satisfied by the Europa 912 aircraft".

The recently launched XL-2 from Liberty Aerospace, sister company to Europa, builds on this new tradition of quiet aircraft. The XL-2 is designed for the 2 seat touring market but is also claimed to be just as suitable for the training and post-ppl rental markets. It is also quiet. Very quiet.

Unfortunately the quiet aeroplane may be coming, but for all practical purposes it is not yet here. The cost of replacing the entire GA fleet with modern quiet aircraft is an expensive and slow process. The average age of the training fleet in the UK is around 30 years old. It is claimed that if we continue to renew these aircraft at the present rate it will probably take around 60 years to work all the old 'gas-guzzling noisy' aircraft out of the system.

In the meantime, therefore, it is still down to the GA community to do all it can to alleviate the situation. More considerate flying, as detailed in the GAAC leaflet of the same name, will help mitigate some of the intrusion. Noise monitoring, with fines for noise offenders, is already a reality for the airliners at major airports. The cost of not fitting silencers is increasing. Good public relations efforts are becoming a necessity – next time you are at your local aerodrome put yourself in the shoes of a member of the public. What sort of welcome does it give you? More often than not it will be a case of "Keep Out!", "No Admittance" and "Trespassers will be prosecuted".

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Notes taken at the GAAC seminar;
"The Future for UK Aerodromes"
4th May 2001
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Seminar Index
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Bleak Future
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)White Waltham
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Little Gransden
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Safeguarding
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)
Quiet Aeroplane

sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Europa Aircraft Co
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Liberty Aerospace
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)More Considerate
1pix.gif (807 bytes)Flying

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