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Encyclopedia > Experimental Aircraft

In generic use, an experimental aircraft is an aircraft that has not yet been fully proven in flight. Often, this implies that new aerospace technologies are being tested on the aircraft, though the label is more broad. Experimental aircraft is also a specific term referring to an aircraft flown with an experimental category airworthiness certificate. The term experimental aircraft is often erroneously used to mean homebuilt aircraft. While all homebuilt aircraft are experimental, there are many types of experimental aircraft that are not homebuilts. An Airbus A380, currently the worlds largest airliner An aircraft is any vehicle or craft capable of atmospheric flight. ... Flight is the process by which a heavier-than-air animal or object achieves sustained movement either through the air by aerodynamically generating lift or aerostatically using buoyancy, or movement beyond earths atmosphere, in the case of spaceflight. ... Look up aerospace in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Contents

FAA definition of Experimental Aircraft

The United States Federal Aviation Administration requires an airworthiness certificate to be maintained as part of the official paperwork associated with each aircraft. Aircraft produced by certified aircraft manufacturers will go through an extensive period of testing to prove that they are airworthy. These tests cover everything from engineering and construction to the flying characteristics of the aircraft in question. Once the aircraft and manufacturer have satisfactorily completed these tests, they are authorized by the FAA to produce aircraft with a standard airworthiness certificate. Any other aircraft will be issued an experimental airworthiness certificate.   FAA redirects here. ...


The FAA issues experimental airworthiness certificates for eight defined purposes:

  • Research and Development -- Aircraft whose purpose is to test new design concepts, equipment, or operating techniques.
  • Showing Compliance with Regulations -- An aircraft that is built for the purposes of demonstrating the airworthiness of a design. For example, any model of aircraft that is today built with a standard airworthiness certificate, will have initially flown as a prototype with an experimental certificate.
  • Crew Training -- An aircraft used solely for training that, for some reason, does not have a standard certificate. For example, NASA operates a highly modified Gulfstream to train pilots as a simulation of the landing behavior of the Space Shuttle.
  • Air Racing
  • Market Survey -- A sales demonstration aircraft.
  • Operating Amateur (Homebuilt) Aircraft
  • Operating Kit-built Aircraft

Also known as amateur-built aircraft, homebuilt aircraft are constructed by one or more persons for whom this is not a professional activity. ...

Amateur Aircraft and Kit-built Aircraft

In the eyes of the United States Federal Aviation Administration, an Experimental Homebuilt Aircraft is not constructed by a licensed aircraft manufacturer. Instead, at least 51% of the aircraft is constructed by a private individual; the remaining 49% percent can be purchased from a kit manufacturer. In the past, far less than the allowed 49% of the kit was assembled by the manufacturer of the kit. Now, the majority of experimental aircraft builders purchase kits that are assembled by the kit manufacturer up to the 49% limit. These are often called "quick build" kits.   FAA redirects here. ... Also known as amateur-built aircraft, homebuilt aircraft are constructed by one or more persons for whom this is not a professional activity. ... An Airbus A380, currently the worlds largest airliner An aircraft is any vehicle or craft capable of atmospheric flight. ...


This category of aircraft can be built and flown by any licensed pilot, although an FAA examiner must certify the aircraft for flight. Most nations' aviation regulations require new designs and amateur-built aircraft to be physically marked as experimental, and extra flight testing is usually required before passengers (who are not pilots themselves) can be carried. At least 25,000 of these homebuilt aircraft exist in the U.S. alone, though many are based on conventional designs and experimental only by name. An aviator is a person who flies aircraft for pleasure or as a profession. ... Also known as amateur-built aircraft, homebuilt aircraft are constructed by one or more persons for whom this is not a professional activity. ...


Homebuilt aircraft are built from materials in one of four categories: rag and tube, metal, wood, or composite materials (fiberglass, carbon fiber, etc.). The first category, describes a building method where the aircraft's superstructure is built using welded steel or bolted aluminum tube covered with Dacron fabric. This fabric can be painted to stiffen it. The second category, metal, describes the common all aluminum aircraft. Examples of this kind of experimental aircraft include the Vans RV series of 1 & 2 place kits. Of note is the fact that over 4700 of the Vans aircraft are currently flying. Finally, the most recent addition to the fleet is made from composites. This category is notable for its designs employing body curvature and light weight which would be impossible with the other materials. Bundle of fiberglass Fiberglass or glassfibre is material made from extremely fine fibers of glass. ... Carbon fiber composite is a strong, light and very expensive material. ... The term plastics covers a range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic condensation or polymerization products that can be molded or extruded into objects or films or fibers. ... Vans RV-7 Founded by Richard Van VanGrunsven in 1973, Vans Aircraft is a homebuilt aircraft kit manufacturer. ...


Instead of building experimental aircraft from kits, it's also possible to build from plans. The builder needs to procure all raw material him/herself. An example of a plans built aircraft is this IBIS experimental aircraft project.


Experimental aircraft culture

In the United States, the FAA's Experimental Aircraft designation is supported by the Experimental Aircraft Association. The largest airshow in the world is the EAA's annual AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which takes place in late July and early August. Other annual events are the Sun N' Fun Fly-In, which occurs in the early spring in Lakeland, Florida, and the Northwest EAA Fly-In in Arlington, Washington. These events are called a "Fly-In" as many people fly their homebuilts and other aircraft into the airport hosting the show, often camping there for the duration. Both events last a week. Takeoffs and landings at these shows number in the thousands. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is an international organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. ... The Oshkosh Airshow is an annual gathering of Aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. ... Oshkosh is a city located where the Fox River enters Lake Winnebago in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. ... Sun n Fun is a Fly-in and airshow held annually at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida, usually during the second week of April. ... Lakeland is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. ... The Northwest EAA Fly-In is an annual Experimental Aircraft Association airshow hosted in Arlington, Washington at the Arlington Municipal Airport (IATA airport code AWO). ... Arlington is a city located in Snohomish County, Washington, USA, between Marysville to the south and Mount Vernon to the north. ... Car camping is camping in a tent, but nearby the car for easier access and for supply storage Camping is an outdoor recreational activity, in which the campers get away from civilization and enjoy nature by spending one or more nights at a campsite. ...


See also

This is a list of experimental aircraft. ... X-Plane is a flight simulator for personal computers produced by Laminar Research. ... A pilot using a foot-launched powered hang glider. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Vehicles - Experimental Aircraft - Advanced (1460 words)
Most of the aircraft built at home are built by one or two people over a long period of time for fun and recreation.
The aircraft used by the military and commercial airlines must be built more quickly and pass much higher standards of flight and endurance.
This is to be expected in the field of experimental aircraft.
Experimental aircraft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (761 words)
Experimental aircraft is also a specific term referring to an aircraft flown with an experimental category airworthiness certificate.
Aircraft produced by certified aircraft manufacturers will go through an extensive period of testing to prove that they are airworthy.
Homebuilt aircraft are built from materials in one of four categories: rag and tube, metal, wood, or composite materials (fiberglass, carbon fiber, etc.).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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