Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed special conditions.
This action proposes special conditions for the Airbus Model A350-900 series airplanes. These airplanes will have a novel or unusual design feature(s) associated with control surface awareness and mode annunciation provided by the electronic flight control system. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. 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.
Send your comments on or before January 31, 2014.
Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2013-0899 using any of the following methods:
Federal eRegulations Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.
Privacy: The FAA will post all comments it receives, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information the commenter provides. Using the search function of the docket Web site, anyone can find and read the electronic form of all comments received into any FAA docket, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement can be found in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-19478), as well as at http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov/.
Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov/ at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Joe Jacobsen, FAA, Airplane and Flightcrew Interface Branch, ANM-111, 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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We invite interested people to take part in this rulemaking by sending written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposed special conditions, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.
We will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.
On August 25, 2008, Airbus applied for a type certificate for their new Model A350-900 series airplane. Later, Airbus requested and the FAA approved an extension to the application for FAA type certification to June 28, 2009. The Model A350-900 series has a conventional layout with twin wing-mounted Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. It features a twin aisle 9-abreast economy class layout, and accommodates side-by-side placement of LD-3 containers in the cargo compartment. The basic Airbus Model A350-900 series configuration will accommodate 315 passengers in a standard two-class arrangement. The design cruise speed is Mach 0.85 with a Maximum Take-Off Weight of 602,000 lbs. Airbus proposes the Model A350-900 series to be certified for extended operations (ETOPS) beyond 180 minutes at entry into service for up to a 420-minute maximum diversion time.
These proposed special conditions for control surface awareness, applicable to Airbus Model A350-900 series airplanes, propose suitable flight control position annunciation and control system mode of operation to be provided to the flight crew when a flight condition exists in which nearly full surface authority (not crew-commanded) is being utilized. Suitability of such a display must take into account that some pilot-demanded maneuvers (e.g., rapid roll) are necessarily associated with intended full performance, which may saturate the surface. Therefore, simple alerting systems, which would function in both intended or unexpected control-limiting situations, must be properly balanced between needed crew awareness and nuisance features. A monitoring system that might compare airplane motion and surface deflection, and pilot side stick controller (SSC) demand could be useful for elimination of nuisance alerting.
Type Certification Basis
Under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.17, Airbus must show that the Model A350-900 series meets the applicable provisions of 14 CFR part 25, as amended by Amendments 25-1 through 25-129.
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 Model A350-900 series because of a novel or unusual design feature, special conditions are prescribed under § 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 or similar novel or unusual design feature, the proposed special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.Start Printed Page 76255
In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Model A350-900 series 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 and the FAA must issue a finding of regulatory adequacy under § 611 of Public Law 92-574, the “Noise Control Act of 1972.”
The FAA issues special conditions, as defined in 14 CFR 11.19, under § 11.38, and they become part of the type-certification basis under § 21.17(a)(2).
Novel or Unusual Design Features
The Airbus Model A350-900 series will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features: electronic flight control system providing control surface awareness and mode annunciation to the flightcrew.
With a response-command type flight control system and no direct coupling from cockpit controller to control surface, the pilot is not aware of actual surface position utilized to fulfill the requested demand. Some unusual flight conditions, arising from atmospheric conditions and/or airplane or engine failures, may result in full or nearly full surface deflection. Unless the flightcrew is made aware of excessive deflection or impending control surface limiting, piloted or auto-flight system control of the airplane might be inadvertently continued in such a manner to cause loss of control or other unsafe stability or performance characteristics.
As discussed above, these proposed special conditions apply to Airbus Model A350-900 series airplanes. Should Airbus apply later for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, the proposed special conditions would apply to that model as well.
This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on the Airbus Model A350-900 series airplanes. It is not a rule of general applicability.
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The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:
The Proposed Special Conditions
Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Airbus Model A350-900 series airplanes.
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1. Current airworthiness standards do not contain adequate safety standards for the proposed design. In addition to the requirements of §§ 25.143, 25.671 and 25.672, the following proposed special conditions apply:End Amendment Part
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a. The system design must ensure that the flight crew is made suitably aware whenever the primary control means nears the limit of control authority.End Amendment Part
Note: The term “suitably aware” indicates annunciations provided to the flight crew that are appropriately balanced between nuisance and that are necessary for crew awareness.
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b. If the design of the flight control system has multiple modes of operation, a means must be provided to indicate to the crew any mode that significantly changes or degrades the normal handling or operational characteristics of the airplane.End Amendment Part
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Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 22, 2013.
Stephen P. Boyd,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-29988 Filed 12-16-13; 8:45 am]
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