The Sound Effect

September 3, 2021

Europe, Basel, Completions

Three VIP completion projects have been redelivered from Jet Aviation Basel this year, each one completely unique — except for one important feature they all have in common. An industry leading balance between cabin weight, and cabin sound levels.

If you checked the data of Jet Aviation’s completion redeliveries over the past decade, you would notice one striking trend. Unusually, as cabin weight has decreased, so have cabin sound levels.

“To redeliver an aircraft that is not only light, but also exceptionally quiet, is a fantastic achievement, and testament to our continued work and innovation in this area,” says Jeremie Caillet, vice president VIP completions. “As we strive towards creating the ultimate customer experience, our engineering and production teams are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is considered possible in VVIP completions.”

A lighter cabin of course means an increased range, and potentially lower fuel consumption per flight, which many customers are keen to achieve. However, traditionally, a lighter cabin meant a louder cabin, as sound proofing materials are heavy and add significant weight to the interior.

“To redeliver an aircraft that is not only light, but also exceptionally quiet, is a fantastic achievement, and testament to our continued work and innovation in this area. As we strive towards creating the ultimate customer experience, our engineering and production teams are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is considered possible in VVIP completions.”

“It used to be that the balance always tipped in favor of one benefit: quiet or light,” says Florent Klinger, head of engineering. “However, we have spent almost a decade working with our sister company, Gulfstream, on identifying the exact source of a sound, so that we can apply soundproofing materials with incredible accuracy. This means we are only applying this weight where it is absolutely necessary, and in the exact amount necessary, allowing us to achieve the best balance between weight and sound.”

The process started in Savannah, Georgia, where Jet Aviation collaborated with Gulfstream to gain insight into the way the OEM measured and predicted the sound levels of their cabins. However, one big difference was that, unlike an aircraft built as part of a series, every Jet Aviation completion is unique. There is no previous data to draw from, and there was no established process to predict sound level of a one-off completion with total accuracy.

Jet Aviation changed that. Drawing on Gulfstream’s sound-measuring technology, and developing exceptionally detailed measuring processes and rigs, the team are able to more accurately ascertain the cabin sound of the green aircraft. They can then take this data to create a process for unique VVIP cabins that models the exact bespoke interior to see how different materials will affect these sound levels, even before production starts. In this way, the completion center can work with the customer to fully optimize both sound and weight.

"We are not just estimating these sound levels, we are predicting them. There’s no guess work. We know what they will be in the finished cabin."

“What is important, is that we are not just estimating these sound levels, we are predicting them. There’s no guess work. We know what they will be in the finished cabin,” says Jorge Moral Calvo, director engineering stress. “This deep understanding of acoustic behavior means that we can predictably assess acoustic performance before production, offering our customers more flexibility when designing their interior.”

It is not just the production materials that the team works with. As the approach is so accurately targeted, the team can see exactly which elements of an interior or airframe create most sound. With this knowledge, they can also work with parts such as the OEM blankets, window treatments, airflows etc., and have developed new methods of installing these ‘behind-the-scenes’ materials to further enhance the sound / weight balance of a VVIP cabin.

Find out more about VIP completions at Jet Aviation here.

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