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Special Conditions: Gulfstream Model GVI Airplane; Electronic Flight Control System Mode Annunciation.

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.


Final special conditions.


These special conditions are issued for the Gulfstream GVI 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. These design features include an electronic flight control system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these design features. 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.


Effective Date: April 18, 2011.

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Joe Jacobsen, FAA, Airplane and Flight Crew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Standards Staff, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2011; facsimile (425) 227-1320.

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On March 29, 2005, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (hereafter referred to as “Gulfstream”) applied for an FAA type certificate for its new Gulfstream Model GVI passenger airplane. Gulfstream later applied for, and was granted, an extension of time for the type certificate, which changed the effective application date to September 28, 2006. The Gulfstream Model GVI airplane will be an all-new, two-engine jet transport airplane with an executive cabin interior. The maximum takeoff weight will be 99,600 pounds, with a maximum passenger count of 19 passengers.

Type Certification Basis

Under provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, Gulfstream must show that the Gulfstream Model GVI airplane (hereafter referred to as “the GVI”) meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-119, 25-122 and 25-124. If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the GVI because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under the provisions of § 21.16.

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 features, the special conditions would also apply to the other model under the provisions of § 21.101.

In addition to complying with the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the GVI 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. The FAA must also issue a finding of regulatory adequacy pursuant to section 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”

The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, in accordance with § 11.38, and they become part of the type certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The GVI will have a fly-by-wire electronic flight control system. This system provides an electronic interface between the pilot's flight controls and the flight control surfaces for both normal and failure states, and it generates the actual surface commands that provide for stability augmentation and control about all three airplane axes. Because electronic flight control system technology has outpaced existing regulations (primarily §§ 25.671 and 25.672), a special condition is needed to ensure appropriate mode recognition by the flight crew for events which significantly change the operating mode of the electronic flight control system.

Discussion of Comments

Notice of proposed special conditions No. 25-10-02-SC for Gulfstream GVI airplanes was published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2010 (75 FR 77569). Only one comment was received.

Clarification of Conditions That Should Be Annunciated

The commenter, Gulfstream, requested that the special conditions be revised to clarify the conditions in which the mode annunciation should occur. Gulfstream suggested that additional annunciation should not be required when transitioning from one normal operation mode to another in response to flight crew actions, such as extending flaps or landing gear.

We do not agree with the commenter's recommendation. The current verbiage clearly states that the mode annunciation is only required when “normal handling or operational characteristics” of the airplane are significantly changed or degraded. In the scenario that Gulfstream refers to, there would be no change to the “normal handling or operational characteristics.” Therefore, no annunciation would be required. No changes were made as a result of this comment and the special conditions are adopted as proposed.Start Printed Page 14796


As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the GVI. Should Gulfstream apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model on the same type certificate incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the special conditions would apply to that model as well.


This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one airplane model. 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 Special Conditions

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the following special conditions are issued as part of the type certification basis for Gulfstream GVI airplanes.

If the design of the flight control system has multiple modes of operation, a means must be provided to indicate to the flight crew any mode that significantly changes or degrades the normal handling or operational characteristics of the airplane.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 9, 2011.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 2011-6333 Filed 3-17-11; 8:45 am]