Editor's Note: The following article details the advantages of synthetic lubricants in certain applications. However, the user should be aware of certain design issues arising from the extract chemistry of the synthetic. For example, some synthetics may have low solvency for additives. Others may not be compatible with mineral oils or nonmetallic components such as seals and paints. Some synthetics may absorb water and may not have the same corrosion resistance as mineral oils. Finally, the user should consider biodegradability or toxicity before switching to any new lubricant. Many of these concerns are present in petroleum-based lubricants as well, so consult a lubrication specialist before specifying a lubricant.
A major source of helicopter cabin noise (which has been measured at over 100 decibels sound pressure level) is the gearbox. Reduction of this noise is a NASA and U.S. Army goal. A requirement for the Army/NASA Advanced Rotorcraft Transmission project was a 10 dB noise reduction compared to current designs.