DENVER — Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. (AEAC), developer of the Sun Flyer solar electric flight trainer, participated in noise tests for the National Park Service at Centennial Airport Dec. 2 to determine the amount of noise generated by electric-powered aircraft.
AEAC flew its single-seat electric technology demonstrator aircraft while representatives from the National Park Service gathered sound data.
Conventional aircraft provided comparison for the AEAC electric aircraft.
“The difference in noise level was on the order of 30 dB, so the AEAC aircraft radiates roughly 1/1000th the noise of the conventional aircraft,” said Kurt Fristrup, Branch Chief, Science and Engineering, National Park Service. “The replacement of conventional aircraft with quiet electric aircraft should result in more than a 40-fold reduction in the number of community residents highly annoyed by noise.”
“The results of the test were extraordinary,” said George Bye, CEO of AEAC. “Organizing detailed sound data with the National Park Service and CSU teams emphasizes the importance of the future of electric propulsion in general aviation. Erik Lindbergh and the Powering Imagination team are to be congratulated for the important role they have played in pulling together this important flight test event with the National Park Service. Flight test and highly sensitive noise measuring equipment set-up was carefully coordinated with the Centennial Airport Authority, and we thank them for their outstanding support.”
Lindbergh said his organization was thrilled to witness and document the stunning absence of noise from the flight operations of electric trainer.
“This baseline data collected by the National Park Service will demonstrate, inform and guide the development of a clean and quiet future for aviation,” he said. “Aircraft make a lot of noise and its proliferation threatens not only our environment, but our industry and its infrastructure. This is a small but very meaningful step in the development of electric propulsion that will ultimately strengthen the aviation industry beginning with the personal and training markets and growing from there. From my own electric flight experience, pilots can look forward to an extraordinarily simple, smooth and quiet flight experience when these aircraft come to market.”
Former Cessna President Charlie Johnson, now president of AEAC, said the test results are a powerful indicator of how low noise emissions are just one benefit of flying electric powered aircraft.
“We have received comments from observers over the past few years that the electric airplanes we have flown are substantially quieter than traditional general aviation aircraft,” he said. “It is a significant milestone that we now have test data that substantiates those observations.”
AEAC is developing the first certified U.S.-sponsored, practical, all-electric airplane serving the aviation flight training markets. Final assembly fit check on the Sun Flyer solar-electric prototype occurred in early November, company officials report. Following paint shop and avionics integration, the aircraft will be moved to its home at Centennial Airport for assembly of its electric power plant in the first quarter of 2016.