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Special Conditions: Boeing Model 727-100/-200 Series Airplanes; High-Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for Boeing Model 727 -100/-200 series airplanes modified by Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing. These modified airplanes will have a novel or unusual design feature when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes. The modification incorporates the installation of new electronic air data systems that perform critical functions. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the protection of these systems from the effects of high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF). These special conditions contain the additional safety standards that the Administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.

DATES:

The effective date of these special conditions is October 19, 2001. Comments must be received on or before November 28, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on these special conditions may be mailed in duplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attention: Rules Docket (ANM-113), Docket No. NM200, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; or delivered in duplicate to the Transport Airplane Directorate at the above address. All comments must be marked: Docket No. NM200. Comments may be inspected in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Meghan Gordon, FAA, Standardization Branch, ANM-113, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2138; facsimile (425) 227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay certification of the airplane and thus delivery of the affected aircraft. In addition, the substance of these special conditions has been subject to the public comment process in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance.

Comments Invited

The FAA has determined that good cause exists for making these special conditions effective upon issuance; however, interested persons are invited to submit such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Communications should identify the regulatory docket number and be submitted in duplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments will be considered by the Administrator. These special conditions may be changed in light of the comments received. All comments received will be available in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons, both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking will be filed in the docket. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to these special conditions must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. NM200.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Background

On June 5, 2001, Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing, Georgetown, Texas, applied for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to modify Boeing Model 727-100/-200 series airplanes. These airplanes are low-wing, pressurized transport category airplanes with three fuselage-mounted jet engines. They are capable of seating between 120 and 189 passengers, depending upon the model and configuration. The modification incorporates the installation of new electronic air data systems consisting of a single air data computer, electronic altimeter for display of No. 1 altitude data and an air data display unit for display of No. 2 altitude data. These systems have a potential to be vulnerable to high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF) external to the airplane.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.101, Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing must show that the Boeing Model 727-100/-200 series airplanes, as modified to include the new electronic air data systems, continue to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations incorporated by reference in Type Certificate No. A3WE or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of Start Printed Page 54415application for the change. The regulations incorporated by reference in the type certificate are commonly referred to as the “original type certification basis.” The specific regulations included in the certification basis for the Boeing Model 727-100/-200 series airplanes include Civil Air Regulations (CAR) 4b, as amended by amendment 4b-1 through 4b-11.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., CAR 4b, as amended) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Boeing Model 727-100/-200 series airplanes because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

Special conditions, as appropriate, are issued in accordance with § 11.49, as required by §§ 11.28 and 11.29, and become part of the airplane's type certification basis in accordance with § 21.101(b)(2).

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing apply at a later date for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on the same type certificate to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under the provisions of § 21.101(a)(1).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

As noted earlier, the Boeing 727-100/-200 series airplanes modified by Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing will incorporate new electronic air data systems that will perform critical functions. These systems may be vulnerable to high-intensity radiated fields external to the airplane. The current airworthiness standards of part 25 do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the protection of this equipment from the adverse effects of HIRF. Accordingly, these systems are considered to be a novel or unusual design features.

Discussion

There is no specific regulation that addresses requirements for protection of electrical and electronic systems from HIRF. Increased power levels from ground-based radio transmitters and the growing use of sensitive electrical and electronic systems to command and control airplanes have made it necessary to provide adequate protection.

To ensure that a level of safety is achieved that is equivalent to that intended by the regulations incorporated by reference, special conditions are needed for the Boeing Model 727-100/-200 series airplanes modified by Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing. These special conditions will require that these systems, which perform critical functions, must be designed and installed to preclude component damage and interruption of function due to both the direct and indirect effects of HIRF.

High-Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF)

With the trend toward increased power levels from ground-based transmitters, plus the advent of space and satellite communications coupled with electronic command and control of the airplane, the immunity of critical digital avionics systems to HIRF must be established.

It is not possible to precisely define the HIRF to which the airplane will be exposed in service. There is also uncertainty concerning the effectiveness of airframe shielding for HIRF. Furthermore, coupling of electromagnetic energy to cockpit-installed equipment through the cockpit window apertures is undefined. Based on surveys and analysis of existing HIRF emitters, an adequate level of protection exists when compliance with the HIRF protection special condition is shown in accordance with either paragraph 1 OR 2 below:

1. A minimum threat of 100 volts rms per meter electric field strength from 10 KHz to 18 GHz.

a. The threat must be applied to the system elements and their associated wiring harnesses without the benefit of airframe shielding.

b. Demonstration of this level of protection is established through system tests and analysis.

2. A threat external to the airframe of the following field strengths for the frequency ranges indicated. Both peak and average field strength components from the Table are to be demonstrated.

FrequencyField strength (volts per meter)
PeakAverage
10 kHz-100 kHz5050
100 kHz-500 kHz5050
500 kHz-2 MHz5050
2 MHz-30 MHz100100
30 MHz-70 MHz5050
70 MHz-100 MHz5050
100 MHz-200 MHz100100
200 MHz-400 MHz100100
400 MHz-700 MHz70050
700 MHz-1 GHz700100
1 GHz-2 GHz2000200
2 GHz-4 GHz3000200
4 GHz-6 GHz3000200
6 GHz-8 GHz1000200
8 GHz-12 GHz3000300
12 GHz-18 GHz2000200
18 GHz-40 GHz600200
The field strengths are expressed in terms of peak of the root-mean-square (rms) over the complete modulation period.

The threat levels identified above are the result of an FAA review of existing studies on the subject of HIRF, in light of the ongoing work of the Electromagnetic Effects Harmonization Working Group of the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Boeing Model 727 -100/-200 series airplanes modified by Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing to install new electronic air data systems. Should Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing apply at a later date for a design change approval to modify any other model included on Type Certificate A3WE to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well under the provisions of § 21.101(a)(1).

Conclusion

This action affects only certain design features on the Boeing Model 727 -100/-200 series airplanes modified by Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing to include the new electronic air data systems. It is not a rule of general applicability and affects only the applicant who applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplanes.

The substance of the special conditions for these airplanes has been subjected to the notice and comment procedure in several prior instances and has been derived without substantive change from those previously issued. It is unlikely that prior public comment would result in a significant change from the substance contained herein. For this reason, and because a delay would significantly affect the certification of the airplane, which is imminent, the FAA has determined that prior public notice and comment are unnecessary and impracticable, and good cause exists for adopting these special conditions immediately. Therefore, these special conditions are being made effective upon issuance. The FAA is requesting comments to allow interested persons to submit views that may not have been submitted in response to the prior opportunities for comment described above.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

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The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701, 44702, 44704.

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The Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the supplemental type certification basis for the Boeing Model 727-100/-200 series airplanes as modified by Aircraft Systems & Manufacturing.

1. Protection from Unwanted Effects of High-Intensity Radiated Fields (HIRF). Each electrical and electronic system that performs critical functions must be designed and installed to ensure that the operation and operational capability of these systems to perform critical functions are not adversely affected when the airplane is exposed to high-intensity radiated fields.

2. For the purpose of these special conditions, the following definition applies: Critical Functions: Functions whose failure would contribute to or cause a failure condition that would prevent the continued safe flight and landing of the airplane.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 19, 2001.

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-27160 Filed 10-26-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P