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Thread: Experimental eVTOL innovation

  1. #11
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Bruce,

    You have hit the nail on the head, and have illustrated my point about the fact that, until someone actually presents one of these aircraft for certification, we do not know how the FAA will proceed. As you have enumerated, there really isn't any way to get a powered-lift rating without going to work for Boeing or joining the military. So if they decide to go down that route they will need to figure out some path forward. The exemption from a category/class rating for experimental aircraft is indeed found in the regulations, but this is often overtaken by requirements found in the individual aircraft's operating limitations, which are issued as a part of its airworthiness certificate. All currently-issued operating limitations DO carry a requirement for specific category/class ratings appropriate to the aircraft. So that's not a guaranteed solution, and as you mentioned doesn't work as soon as a passenger is introduced.

    So we are back to "what will the FAA do". Well, they won't do ANYTHING until they are officially presented with the issue. So all this talk is just that, talk, until someone approaches the FAA with an official application for airworthiness certificate. That's the only way that we will find out what the FAA is going to do about this emerging class of aircraft.

    As I've said in my previous posts, stay tuned.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  2. #12

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    What if a student pilot wants to learn to fly and solo in a EA-B Homebuilt. Is that now impossible because of the limitation?
    One of our chapter members built a Flybaby in the 60’S and got some instruction in a two seater and then was signed off to solo the Flybaby without a class or category certificate.
    Is that no longer possible?
    Last edited by Bill Berson; 09-10-2019 at 02:18 PM.

  3. #13
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    What if a student pilot wants to learn to fly and solo in a EA-B Homebuilt. Is that now impossible because of the limitation?
    The limitations says an instructor's endorsement is also acceptable. Nothing has changed in that regard.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  4. #14

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    I am still a bit confused about the limitations. 17 and 18 seem to contradict, See below.

    As a Private pilot, do I need an instructors endorsement to solo a VTOL? Or do I need to go get another Student certificate?

    17. The pilot in command of this aircraft must hold an appropriatecategory/class rating. If required, the pilot in command also must hold atype rating in accordance with FAR 61, or a letter of authorization issued byan FAA Flight Standards Operations Inspector.
    NOTE: This limitation applies to any turbojet/turbofan-powered aircraft, anyaircraft with a maximum takeoff weight exceeding 12,500 , or anyother aircraft when deemed necessary.
    18. The pilot in command of this aircraft must hold a pilot certificate or anauthorized instructor’s logbook endorsement. The pilot in command alsomust meet the requirements of FAR 61.31(e), (f), (g), (h), (i), and (j), asappropriate.

  5. #15

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    As Malcolm Gladwell might say, "This thread has reached a Tipping Point".

    Although the word "certified" is used interchangeably with the words "type certified", there is a difference between a "certified" airplane and a "type certified" airplane. The pilot requirements pointed out earlier in this thread are for operators of "type certified" airplanes (and "type certificated" to be more technically correct). OEMs (Cessna, Beech, Piper, Cirrus, etc.) play by the exact same regulations as EAB airplanes. Reference 21.19X for these regulations.

    The Regulations (CAR3, 14CFR23, etc.) were written for type certification of aircraft … EABs were added later.

    Looking at 21.19X, one can see all the different "Experimental" aircraft categories that exist (amateur built, research and development, market survey, show compliance, etc.). So, if one wants to design/build/fly a powered lift to fixed wing vehicle, there is nothing preventing that from happening. What is prevented is carrying "passengers" on an experimental airplane (through operating limitations on an EAB). OEMs have this same restriction on their prototype airplanes (all people on board an experimental airplane must be required flight crew). This is also why EAA has done all the work to get a "second pilot" on board the first flights of an EAB.

    If one wants to carry passengers (not required flight crew), they can put the aircraft into experimental "market survey" to be allowed to do so. OR, the restriction can be removed from the operating limitations.

    Even OEM-built prototype airplanes play by these same regulations their entire life, … even after the aircraft model is awarded a Type Certification (which does not cover the earlier built prototypes unless the prototypes are brought up the type certification configuration).

    Now, if one wants to build these vehicles for commercial service (and/or as a type certificated aircraft) that is a totally different story.

    I'm really, really hoping to help (clarify), but this is a very complicated subject.

    Bottom line: Just design/build/fly it. There is a way.

    Blue on Top,
    Ron

  6. #16
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    I am still a bit confused about the limitations. 17 and 18 seem to contradict, See below.

    As a Private pilot, do I need an instructors endorsement to solo a VTOL? Or do I need to go get another Student certificate?

    17. The pilot in command of this aircraft must hold an appropriatecategory/class rating. If required, the pilot in command also must hold atype rating in accordance with FAR 61, or a letter of authorization issued byan FAA Flight Standards Operations Inspector.
    NOTE: This limitation applies to any turbojet/turbofan-powered aircraft, anyaircraft with a maximum takeoff weight exceeding 12,500 , or anyother aircraft when deemed necessary.
    18. The pilot in command of this aircraft must hold a pilot certificate or anauthorized instructor’s logbook endorsement. The pilot in command alsomust meet the requirements of FAR 61.31(e), (f), (g), (h), (i), and (j), asappropriate.
    You are quoting limitations from an obsolete version of Order 8130.2. The current version, 8130.2J, contains the following limitation for amateur-built aircraft:

    "6. The pilot in command must hold [insert] category and [insert] class certificate or privilege. The pilot in command must hold all required ratings or authorizations and endorsements required by part 61."

    The inspector inserts the category and class appropriate to the aircraft being certificated. So in the context of our discussion here, the inspector would have to come up with a category and/or class appropriate to the aircraft. Since we don't know what would be appropriate to the type of aircraft being discussed here, the FAA would have to make a decision at the time of certification. The FAA does have the authority to replace this limitation with something "custom made" to fit the situation. The operating limitations can be modified to fit a particular situation, but only so as more restrictive than the limitations called out in the order. They can not make limitations less restrictive.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers!

    Joe

  7. #17

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    Regrettably, that doesn't help.
    I just want to know if I build an EA-B seaplane or VTOL, can I fly it solo without that appropriate category and class rating?
    Last edited by Bill Berson; 09-11-2019 at 02:10 PM.

  8. #18
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    Regrettably, that doesn't help.
    I just want to know if I build an EA-B seaplane or VTOL, can I fly it solo without that appropriate category and class rating?
    And the answer would be no, because the operating limitations issued to the aircraft would be the one I quoted in my above post. It would require some sort of category/class rating, at the discretion of the FAA. You have to abide by all regulations AND the operating limitations issued to the aircraft in question. Basically, whichever is the more restrictive of the two is what you go by. Neither one gives you relief from the restrictions of the other.

    Hope this helps to answer your question.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  9. #19

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    Ok then.
    It would not be prudent for an individual to invest into something that may or may not be approved in the future.
    Back to FAR 103.

  10. #20
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    It would not be prudent for an individual to invest into something that may or may not be approved in the future.
    Back to FAR 103.
    It will be approved. Just don't know the details yet. Like any emerging technology, somebody has to take the first steps. It will happen. And when it does, we will know all these answers.
    Cheers!

    Joe

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