Development and Validation of Generic Maneuvering Flight Noise Abatement Guidance for Helicopters

James H. Stephenson, Michael E. Watts, Eric Greenwood, Kyle A. Pascioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An extensive flight-test campaign has been conducted to look into developing actionable advice for pilots of today’s vehicles to reduce their acoustic footprints. Ten distinct vehicles were tested at three different test ranges, with nine of the vehicles’ data being documented here. Twelve pairs of turning conditions were tested to determine their effect on blade–vortex interaction noise. Each turning flight condition was evaluated using the peak A-weighted, band-limited (50–2500 Hz), sound pressure level measured throughout the maneuver. This metric was a surrogate for blade–vortex interaction (BVI) noise, and the difference between the peak values of each turning pair was investigated. That peak value difference was subsequently corrected by the offset from the intended vehicle altitude at turn initiation from the actual altitude at initiation. The corrected amplitudes were investigated and grouped into six validated actionable guidance principles that can be given to pilots to immediately reduce their acoustic footprint during operations. This generic guidance works by keeping the rotor well away from the wake throughout the maneuver, thus increasing miss distance and reducing the occurrence of objectionable BVI noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012012
JournalJournal of the American Helicopter Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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