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Proposed Rule

Special Conditions: Airbus Model A380-800 Airplane; Fire Protection

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed special conditions.

SUMMARY:

This notice proposes special conditions for the Airbus A380-800 airplane, which has novel and unusual design features, such as a full-length double deck passenger cabin and distributed electrical equipment bays. For these design features, the applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards regarding fire protection. These proposed 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. Additional special conditions will be issued for other novel or unusual design features of the Airbus Model A380-800 airplane.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before September 23, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on this proposal may be mailed in duplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attention: Rules Docket (ANM-113), Docket No. NM313, 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. NM313. Comments may be inspected in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Holly Thorson, FAA, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-1357; facsimile (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. We ask that you send us two copies of written comments.

We will file in the docket all comments we receive as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning these proposed special conditions. The docket is available for public inspection before and after the comment closing date. If you wish to review the docket in person, go to the address in the ADDRESSES section of this notice between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed late, if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change the proposed special conditions in light of the comments we receive.

If you want the FAA to acknowledge receipt of your comments on this proposal, include with your comments a pre-addressed, stamped postcard on which the docket number appears. We will stamp the date on the postcard and mail it back to you.

Background

Airbus applied for FAA certification/validation of the provisionally-designated Model A3XX-100 in its letter AI/L 810.0223/98, dated August 12, 1998, to the FAA. Application for certification by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) of Europe had been made on January 16, 1998, reference AI/L 810.0019/98. In its letter to the FAA, Airbus requested an extension to the 5-year period for type certification in accordance with 14 CFR 21.17(c). The request was for an extension to a 7-year period, using the date of the initial application letter to the JAA as the reference date. The reason given by Airbus for the request for extension is related to the technical challenges, complexity, and the number of new and novel features on the airplane. On November 12, 1998, the Manager, Aircraft Engineering Division, AIR-100, granted Airbus' request for the 7-year period, based on the date of application to the JAA.

In its letter AI/LE-A 828.0040/99 Issue 3, dated July 20, 2001, Airbus stated that its target date for type certification of the Model A380-800 has been moved from May 2005, to January 2006, to match the delivery date of the first production airplane. In accordance with 14 CFR 21.17(d)(2), Airbus chose a new application date of April 20, 1999, and requested that the 7-year certification period which had already Start Printed Page 46109been approved be continued. The part 25 certification basis for the Model A380-800 airplane was adjusted to reflect the new application date.

The Model A380-800 airplane will be an all-new, four-engine jet transport airplane with a full double-deck, two-aisle cabin. The maximum takeoff weight will be 1.235 million pounds with a typical three-class layout of 555 passengers.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.17, Airbus must show that the Model A380-800 airplane meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-98. If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the Airbus A380-800 airplane because of novel or unusual design features, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.16.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Airbus Model A380-800 airplane must comply with the fuel vent and exhaust emission requirements of 14 CFR part 34 and the noise certification requirements of 14 CFR part 36. In addition, the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy pursuant to section 611 of Public Law 93-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

Special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, are issued in accordance with 14 CFR 11.38 and become part of the type certification basis in accordance with 14 CFR 21.17(a)(2), Amendment 21-69, effective September 16, 1991.

Special conditions are initially applicable to the model for which they are issued. Should the type certificate for that model be amended later to include any other model that incorporates the same novel or unusual design feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design features, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.101(a)(1), Amendment 21-69, effective September 16, 1991.

Discussion of Novel or Unusual Design Features

With its configuration, the Model A380-800 airplane has a novel and unusual design relative to those which have been previously certificated under 14 CFR part 25. These novel design features include a full-length double deck passenger cabin and electrical equipment bays that are distributed throughout the airplane in various locations, including one electrical equipment bay located above the flight deck.

While current regulations (§ 25.857) require that cargo compartments have a means to exclude hazardous quantities of smoke or extinguishing agent from penetrating into the occupied areas of the airplane, there is no requirement that addresses penetration of hazardous quantities of smoke or extinguishing agent from one airplane deck to another deck or between two decks via a connecting stairway.

Similarly, no current regulation requires the detection of smoke or fire in an electrical equipment bay. Typically, the electrical equipment bay on transport airplanes is located beneath the flight deck next to the forward cargo compartment. The number and location of the electrical equipment bays on the A380 is novel and may contribute to an increased risk of smoke affecting passengers and crew.

Therefore, the FAA is proposing a special condition that includes requirements to prevent propagation of smoke or extinguishing agents between or throughout cabins and to provide smoke or fire detection for electrical equipment bays.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Airbus A380-800 airplane. Should Airbus apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design features, these special conditions would apply to that model as well under the provisions of § 21.101(a)(1), Amendment 21-69, effective September 16, 1991.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features of the Airbus A380-800 airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability, and it affects only the applicant which applied to the FAA for approval of these features on the airplane.

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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:

Start Authority

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

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The Proposed Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for the Airbus A380-800 airplane.

a. Requirements to prevent propagation of smoke or extinguishing agents between or throughout main deck and upper deck passenger cabins:

1. To prevent such propagation, the following must be demonstrated:

(a) Means to prevent hazardous quantities of smoke or extinguishing agent originating from the electrical equipment bays on either deck from incapacitating passengers and crew on the same deck, and

(b) Means to prevent hazardous quantities of smoke or extinguishing agent originating from one deck from propagating to the other deck via vents and stairways.

2. A “small quantity” of smoke may enter an occupied area only under the following conditions:

(a) The smoke enters occupied areas during system transients [1] from below deck sources. No sustained smoke penetration beyond that from environmental control system transients is permitted.

(b) Penetration of the small quantity of smoke is a dynamic event, involving either dissipation or mobility. Dissipation is rapid dilution of the smoke by ventilation air, and mobility is rapid movement of the smoke into and out of the occupied area. In no case, should there be formation of a light haze indicative of stagnant airflow, as this would indicate that the ventilation system is failing to meet the requirements of § 25.831(b).

(c) The smoke from a smoke source below the deck must not rise above armrest height.

(d) The smoke from a source on the same deck or above the deck must dissipate rapidly via dilution with fresh air and be evacuated from the airplane. A procedure must be included in the Airplane Flight Manual to evacuate smoke from the occupied areas of the airplane. In order to demonstrate that the quantity of smoke is small, a flight test must be conducted which simulates Start Printed Page 46110the emergency procedures used in the event of a fire during flight, including the use of Vmo/Mmo descent profiles and a simulated landing, if such conditions are specified in the emergency procedure.

b. Requirement for fire detection in electrical equipment bays:

A smoke or fire detection system that complies with 14 CFR 25.858(c) and (d) must be provided for each electrical equipment bay. Each system must provide a visual indication to the flight deck within one minute after the start of a fire in an electrical equipment bay. Airplane tests must be conducted to show compliance with this requirement, and the performance of the smoke or fire detection system must be shown, in accordance with Advisory Circular 25-9A or by other means acceptable to the FAA.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 18, 2005.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  Transient airflow conditions may cause air pressure differences between compartments, before the ventilation and pressurization system is reconfigured. Additional transients occur during changes to system configurations such as pack shut-down, fan shut-down, or changes in cabin altitude; transition in bleed source change, such as from intermediate stage to high stage bleed air; and cabin pressurization “fly-through” during descent may reduce air conditioning inflow. Similarly, in the event of a fire, a small quantity of smoke that penetrates into an occupied area before the ventilation system is reconfigured would be acceptable under certain conditions described within this special condition.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 05-15656 Filed 8-8-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P