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USAIR TO REDUCE JET NOISE WITH HUSH KITS

 USAIR TO REDUCE JET NOISE WITH HUSH KITS
 ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- USAir has become the


nation's first major passenger carrier to launch a large-scale effort aimed at reducing jet engine noise through hush kit technology.
 The value of initial orders for noise suppression kits and spares from ABS Partnership of Wilmington, Ohio, and Pratt & Whitney of East Hartford, Conn., is approximately $34.2 million.
 ABS, which holds the FAA certification for the kits, will provide equipment for airframe modifications for an initial 24 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 aircraft, plus related spare engines. Under this agreement, USAir may exercise additional options as future decisions are made regarding its remaining 50 DC-9s.
 USAir's agreement with Pratt & Whitney covers the supply of hush kit components for the modification of JT8D engines, which power both the DC-9s and its fleet of 74 Boeing 737-200 aircraft. The Pratt contract will allow USAir to modify the appropriate engines as future economic and marketing conditions require changes in its fleet plan.
 "This is a win-win proposition for USAir and the communities we serve," said USAir President and CEO Seth E. Schofield. "The hush kits will enable us to significantly extend the economic lifespan of these reliable DC-9s while still allowing us to be good neighbors by meeting the strict new federal noise rules. In addition, our passengers will enjoy a quieter cabin."
 "The noise reduction hardware ordered by USAir offers a cumulative noise reduction of 17 EPNL dBs as compared to currently certified Stage II DC-9s operated today. Noise experts indicate a reduction of 10 EPNL dBs represent a halving of perceived noise levels and so it is apparent that the communities served by USAir's hushed DC-9s will enjoy significant overall noise reductions," said ABS Managing Director Albert Wiseman.
 Selwyn D. Berson, president of Pratt & Whitney's Commercial Engine Business, said: "The JT8D/DC-9 combination has long been regarded as one of the most dependable, low-cost revenue producers in the industry. We developed JT8D noise reduction technology as the most economical option to ensure USAir many more years of service from its narrow-body fleet."
 USAir will begin installing the hush kit equipment in 1994. The move will bring the airplanes into compliance with Federal Aviation Administration Stage 3 noise standards. The modifications will be completed at the USAir heavy maintenance base in Pittsburgh during regularly scheduled visits and are expected to take an estimated 448 manhours per aircraft, said USAir Senior Vice President of Maintenance Operations Fred Kocher.
 "The hush kit will add about 330 pounds to the aircraft's weight, but there is not expected to be any penalty in takeoff, climb, cruise or approach performance," Kocher said. Fuel usage is estimated to increase slightly -- up to a half a percent (0.5 percent) per mission, he added.
 The hush kit consists of three basic components -- respaced inlet guide vanes, an internal mixer and an enlarged tailpipe area. By inserting a five-inch spacer in front of the engine between the inlet guide vanes and the fan blades, the distinctive siren-like noise is reduced. An internal gas mixer and an enlarged tailpipe area help reduce jet noise by slowing down the velocity of exhaust gases. New sound absorption materials in the fan ducts complete the kit.
 The DC-9s scheduled for modification were delivered to USAir between 1980 and 1982. The airline has long had an aggressive modernization program and its fleet of 429 aircraft is among the industry's youngest, with an average age of 8.8 years. Currently, 58 percent of the USAir fleet that is covered by the noise regulations already meets Stage 3 standards.
 "At that level, USAir is already ahead of the federally mandated compliance schedule, which requires 55 percent of the fleet to meet Stage 3 standards by Dec. 31, 1994," Kocher said. "With the combination of new aircraft deliveries and hush kit retrofitting, USAir expects to remain well ahead of each compliance deadline."
 The ABS Partnership comprises Airborne Express, Burbank Aeronautical and Sanfran. Pratt & Whitney is an operating unit of United Technologies (NYSE: UTX).
 -0- 12/17/91
 /CONTACT: USAir Corporate Communications, 703-418-5100 or 213-417-1294 (Western Region)/
 (U UTX) CO: USAir; ABS Partnership; Pratt & Whitney ST: Virginia IN: AIR SU: CON


TW-SB -- DC002 -- 2854 12/17/91 10:03 EST
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Date:Dec 17, 1991
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