Brussels, 22 June 2004
European-funded research projects to reduce aircraft noise and fuel
consumption are now running at full speed. Included is one of Europe’s
largest-ever noise-reduction research ventures, known as SILENCE(R).
A consortium of 51 companies is testing new technologies to reduce
aircraft noise by up to 6 decibels (dB) by 2008, with the EU contributing
half the funding for SILENCE(R), with a total budget over €110
million. Other significant initiatives include FRIENDCOPTER, to
reduce helicopter engine and rotor-blade noise; TANGO, to create
lighter aircraft structures; EEFAE, to build aero-engines that reduce
fuel consumption and emissions; and AWIATOR, to decrease aircraft
structural weight, reduce noise and improve performance.
European Research Commissioner Philippe
Busquin said: “Through EU funding and co-operation within
the “Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe”
(ACARE) technology platform, Europe’s key aircraft manufacturers,
research institutes, universities and small-to-medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs) are working together to create cheaper, cleaner and quieter
aircraft. These projects will help minimise the environmental downside
of increased air traffic, while also helping to maintain the competitiveness
of the European aerospace industry.”
Technology helping to cut
Noise is now considered a serious health hazard, not just a nuisance,
with a third of Europeans experiencing noise levels that disturb
sleep. Current research programmes expect a reduction in noise (by
10dB) to halve jet noise within the next decade.
The four-year SILENCE(R) project
is assessing noise reduction technologies based on cost, weight
and performance. These tests include low-noise fans, novel intake
liners, bypass and hot-stream liners, nozzle jet noise suppressers,
active control techniques and airframe noise reduction technologies.
The FRIENDCOPTER project aims to
provide engine and cabin noise reduction, low-noise flight procedures,
noise-absorbing engine inlets, methods to identify cabin noise leaks,
control technology to reduce rotor noise, vibration and fuel consumption
and a model rotor for testing in a wind tunnel at Mach speed.
Lighter and cleaner aircraft
set to take off
The TANGO project aims to achieve a 20% reduction in weight and
cost in current aircraft structures and manufacturing processes
to improve competitiveness. Four aircraft sections (including a
lateral wing box, centre wing box, fuselage section and advanced
metallic fuselage section) are being tested to help improve fuel
efficiency and reduce emissions.
The five-year EEFAE project, involving
all major European aero-engine companies and a number of universities,
will build and test aero-engine technologies to reduce fuel consumption,
emissions and costs and also improve reliability. It will test technologies
for use in new three-shaft engines, a geared turbofan engine and
inter-cooled recuperative aero engine, to be available for use from
2008 to 2015.
By integrating advanced technologies
into new fixed-wing configurations, the AWIATOR project expects
to improve aircraft efficiency by improving performance and making
It is estimated more than 500 researchers
from all member states are working on these projects.
For further information:
Press and information officer, Research DG
Tel.: +32-2-296.96.29, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20,
E-mail: Boris.Kandziora @ cec.eu.int
Commissioner Philippe Busquin’s
Spokesman for Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, Press
Tel. +32.2.296 41 74, Fax +32.2.296 30 03
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