The Last Boeing 727 Stronghold
Speed increased by 50 mph (80 km/h), due to replacement of the two side engines with the JT8D-217 or the JT8D-219, which are also found on many MD-80s, along with the addition of hush kits to the center engine. Winglets were added to some of these aircraft to increase fuel efficiency. This modification was originally developed by Valsan Partners, but was later marketed by Quiet Wing Technologies in Redmond, Washington.
The Valsan program was intended to make 727-200s compliant with the Stage 3 noise rules. The outer (#1 and #3) JT8D-9, -11, -15 or -17s are replaced with JT8D-217s, which have a higher bypass ratio and are quieter. The -217s are the engine found on the MD-82. The center (#2) engine, being buried in the tailcone, could not be easily replaced, so instead it looses its thrust reverser and gets an internal (bypass/core) mixer, to lower its noise signature. The first modified aircraft, for
Sterling Airways of Denmark, re-entered service in October 1988. Aircraft modified have included some Continental aircraft and high gross-weight Federal Express -200s (late model aircraft). Since this time, Valsan has also certified and put
into service winglets on the -100 and -200. These are intended to cut cruise fuel burn. A 5% improvement is claimed.