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Proposed Rule

Special Conditions: Airbus Model A380-800 Airplane, Design Roll Maneuver

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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:

Notice of proposed special conditions.

SUMMARY:

This notice proposes special conditions for the Airbus A380-800 airplane. This airplane will have novel or unusual design features when compared to the state of technology envisioned in the airworthiness standards for transport category airplanes. Many of these novel or unusual design features are associated with the complex systems and the configuration of the airplane, including its full-length double deck. For these design features, the applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for design roll maneuvers. 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 May 15, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on this proposal may be mailed in duplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attention: Rules Docket (ANM-113), Docket No. NM340, 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. NM340. 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:

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 Start Printed Page 15644application 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 had been moved from May 2005, to January 2006, to match the delivery date of the first production airplane. In a subsequent letter (AI/L 810.0223/98 issue 3, dated January 27, 2006), Airbus stated that its target date for type certification is October 2, 2006. In accordance with 14 CFR 21.17(d)(2), Airbus chose a new application date of December 20, 1999, and requested that the 7-year certification period which had already been approved be continued. The FAA has reviewed the part 25 certification basis for the Model A380-800 airplane, and no changes are required based on 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).

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, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under the provisions of 14 CFR 21.101.

Discussion of Novel or Unusual Design Features

The A380 is equipped with an electronic flight control system. In this system, there is not a direct mechanical link between the airplane flight control surface and the pilot's cockpit control device as there is on more conventional airplanes. Instead, a flight control computer commands the airplane flight control surfaces, based on input received from the cockpit control device. The pilot input is modified by the flight control computer—based on the current airplane flight parameters before the command is given to the flight control surface. Therefore, there is not a direct mechanical relationship between the pilot command and the command given to the control surface.

The formulation of airplane design load conditions in 14 CFR part 25 is based on the assumption that the airplane is equipped with a control system in which there is a direct mechanical linkage between the pilot's cockpit control and the control surface. Thus for roll maneuvers, the regulation specifies a displacement for the aileron itself, and does not envision any modification of the pilot's control input. Since such a system will affect the airplane flight loads and thus the structural strength of the airplane, special conditions appropriate for this type of control system are needed.

In particular, the proposed special condition would adjust the design roll maneuver requirements specified in § 25.349(a), so that they take into account the effect of the A380's electronic flight control computer on the control surface deflection. The proposed special condition would require that the roll maneuver be performed by deflection of the cockpit roll control, as opposed to specifying a deflection of the aileron itself as the current regulation does. The deflection of the control surface would then be determined from the cockpit input, based on the computer's flight control laws and the current airplane flight parameters.

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.

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.

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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 Proposed Special Conditions

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

In lieu of compliance with 14 CFR 25.349(a), the following special condition is proposed:

The following conditions, speeds, and cockpit roll control motions (except as the motions may be limited by pilot effort) must be considered in combination with an airplane load factor of zero and two-thirds of the positive maneuvering factor used in design. In determining the resulting control surface deflections, the torsional flexibility of the wing must be considered in accordance with § 25.301(b):

a. Conditions corresponding to steady rolling velocities must be investigated. In addition, conditions corresponding to maximum angular acceleration must be investigated for airplanes with engines or other weight concentrations outboard of the fuselage. For the angular acceleration conditions, zero rolling velocity may be assumed in the absence of a rational time history investigation of the maneuver.

b. At VA, sudden movement of the cockpit roll control up to the limit is assumed. The position of the cockpit roll control must be maintained, until a steady roll rate is achieved and then must be returned suddenly to the neutral position.

c. At VC, the cockpit roll control must be moved suddenly and maintained so as to achieve a roll rate not less than that obtained in paragraph b. above.

d. At VD, the cockpit roll control must be moved suddenly and maintained so Start Printed Page 15645as to achieve a roll rate not less than one third of that obtained in paragraph b. above.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 20, 2006.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-4509 Filed 3-28-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P