General Aviation Propeller Noise Reduction-Penalties and Potential 810585
Results of a study are reported in which the influence of noise reduction on weight and cost of propellers used in General Aviation aircraft was evaluated. Aircraft performance was not to be degraded by installation of the reduced noise propellers. Only propeller modifications were permitted. Engine modifications, such as introduction of a gearbox to reduce noise by reduction of RPM, were not permitted in the study. Major factors in noise reduction found promising in the study were (1) optimization of performance by use of the best available airfoils, (2) use of thin airfoils and a narrow elliptical tip blade planform, and (3) increasing the number of blades consistent with maintaining aircraft performance. For the three aircraft studied (a single engine, a light twin and a heavy twin) the flyover noise reduction potential varied from 3 to 8 dBA with no weight and/or cost penalties. Also, in some cases, engine noise would have to be reduced to achieve greater reductions. The progress by General Aviation aircraft manufacturers in reducing noise is indicated by the finding that the most recent aircraft design had the smallest noise reduction potential.