USAir installing 'hush kits' to muffle DC-9 aircraft noise

December 18, 1991

USAir's DC-9 aircraft will soon roar a little more softly over neighborhoods surrounding Baltimore-Washington International Airport because of the company's decision to muffle its engines.

The airline yesterday announced plans to install "hush kits" on its fleet of DC-9s to meet federal noise reduction standards.

The company will spend $34.2 million on the kits, supplied by JTC ABS Partnership of Wilmington, Ohio, and Pratt & Whitney of East Hartford, Conn., to outfit the first 24 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 aircraft.

The engine modifications are expected to reduce the noise from the DC-9's JT8D engines by 50 percent. USAir owns 74 DC-9s in its fleet of 429 planes.

DC-9s are used in about 17 of USAir's 123 daily departures from BWI, a USAir hub airport. The 108-seat, two-engine aircraft is generally used for shorter routes, including round trips between BWI and such destinations as Boston, Cleveland and Chicago.

Tom Dixon, president of the BWI Neighbors Committee, which advises the airport on noise issues, welcomed the announcement, although he noted that federal law will cause all the airlines to eventually meet the same noise standards by the ** year 2000.

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