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Special Conditions: Peregrine, Textron Model 650 and Beechcraft Model BAe.125 Series 800A Airplanes; Rechargeable Lithium Batteries and Battery Systems

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final special conditions; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

These special conditions are issued for the Textron Model 650 and Beechcraft Model BAe.125 Series 800A (Model 800A) airplanes as modified by Peregrine. These 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. This design feature is rechargeable lithium batteries and battery systems installed in the airplanes. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature. 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:

This action is effective on Peregrine on June 15, 2017. Send your comments by July 31, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2017-0579 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).

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 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nazih Khaouly, FAA, Airplane and Flightcrew Interface Branch, ANM-111, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2432; facsimile 425-227-1320.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA has determined that notice of, and opportunity for prior public comment on, these special conditions is impracticable because these procedures would significantly delay issuance of the design approval and thus delivery of the affected airplanes.

In addition, the substance of these special conditions has been published in the Federal Register for public comment in several prior instances with no substantive comments received. The FAA therefore finds it unnecessary to delay the effective date, and finds good cause for making these special conditions effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

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 special conditions, explain the reason for any Start Printed Page 27405recommended change, and include supporting data.

We will consider all comments we receive by the closing date for comments. We may change these special conditions based on the comments we receive.

Background

On June 17, 2015, Peregrine applied for a supplemental type certificate to replace the original standby altimeter installed on the left side of the pilot's instrument panel in Textron Model 650 and Beechcraft Model 800A airplanes. These modifications include rechargeable lithium batteries and battery systems installed in the Textron and Beechcraft airplanes.

The Textron Model 650 and the Beechcraft Model 800A airplanes are small transport-category airplanes, each powered by two turbine engines.

The Textron Model 650 airplane has a maximum takeoff weight of 23,000 pounds, with seating for 2 crewmembers and 13 passengers.

The Beechcraft Model 800A airplane has a maximum takeoff weight of 31,000 pounds (modification no. 253379A), or 26,866 pounds (modification no. 25B047), with seating for 2 crewmembers and 15 passengers.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Peregrine must show that the Textron Model 650 and Beechcraft Model 800A airplanes, as changed, continue to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate nos. A9NM and A3EU, respectively, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for the change, except for earlier amendments as agreed upon by the FAA.

If the Administrator finds that the applicable airworthiness regulations (i.e., 14 CFR part 25) do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for these airplanes, as modified by Peregrine, 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 models for which they are issued. Should the applicant apply for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other models included on the same type certificates to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other models under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Textron Model 650 and Beechcraft Model 800A airplanes, as modified by Peregrine, 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 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 § 21.101.

Novel or Unusual Design Features

The Textron Model 650 and Beechcraft Model 800A airplanes, as modified by Peregrine, will incorporate the following novel or unusual design feature:

Installed rechargeable lithium batteries and battery systems.

A battery system consists of the battery, battery charger, and any protective, monitoring, and alerting circuitry or hardware inside or outside of the battery. It also includes vents (where necessary) and packaging. For the purpose of these special conditions, a battery and battery system are referred to as a battery.

Discussion

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and battery systems are considered to be a novel or unusual design feature in transport-category airplanes, with respect to the requirements in § 25.1353. This type of battery has certain failure, operational, and maintenance characteristics that differ significantly from those of the nickel-cadmium and lead-acid rechargeable batteries currently approved for installation on transport-category airplanes. These batteries introduce higher energy levels into airplane systems through new chemical compositions in various battery-cell sizes and construction. Interconnection of these cells in battery packs introduces failure modes that require unique design considerations, such as provisions for thermal management.

Special Condition 1 requires that each individual cell within a battery be designed to maintain safe temperatures and pressures. Special Condition 2 addresses these same issues but for the entire battery. Special Condition 2 requires the battery be designed to prevent propagation of a thermal event, such as self-sustained, uncontrolled increases in temperature or pressure from one cell to adjacent cells.

Special Conditions 1 and 2 are intended to ensure that the cells and battery are designed to eliminate the potential for uncontrollable failures. However, a certain number of failures will occur due to various factors beyond the control of the designer. Therefore, other special conditions are intended to protect the airplane and its occupants if failure occurs.

Special Conditions 3, 9, and 10 are self-explanatory.

Special Condition 4 clarifies that the flammable-fluid fire-protection requirements of § 25.863 apply to rechargeable lithium battery installations. Section 25.863 is applicable to areas of the airplane that could be exposed to flammable fluid leakage from airplane systems. Rechargeable lithium batteries contain electrolyte that is a flammable fluid.

Special Condition 5 requires each rechargeable lithium battery installation to not damage surrounding structure or adjacent systems, equipment, or electrical wiring from corrosive fluids or gases that may escape in such a way as to cause a major or more severe failure condition. Special Condition 6 requires each rechargeable lithium battery installation to have provisions to prevent any hazardous effect on airplane structure or systems caused by the maximum amount of heat it can generate due to any failure of it or its individual cells. The means of meeting special conditions 5 and 6 may be the same, but they are independent requirements addressing different hazards. Special Condition 5 addresses corrosive fluids and gases, whereas Special Condition 6 addresses heat.

Special Conditions 7 and 8 require rechargeable lithium batteries to have “automatic” means, for charge rate and disconnect, due to the fast acting nature of lithium battery chemical reactions. Manual intervention would not be timely or effective in mitigating the hazards associated with these batteries.

These conditions apply to all rechargeable lithium battery installations in lieu of § 25.1353(c)(1) through (c)(4) at Amendment 25-0 (Model 650) and Amendment 25-42 (Model 800A). Section 25.1353(c)(1) through (c)(4) will remain in effect for other battery installations on these airplanes.

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.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Textron Model 650 and Beechcraft Model 800A airplanes as modified by Peregrine. Should Peregrine apply at a later date for a supplemental type certificate to modify any other model included on Start Printed Page 27406Type Certificate nos. A9NM and A3EU, respectively, to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to those models as well.

Conclusion

This action affects only a certain novel or unusual design feature on two model series of airplanes. 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
End List of Subjects

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Start Authority

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

End Authority

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 Textron Model 650 and Beechcraft Model 800A airplanes as modified by Peregrine.

Each rechargeable lithium battery installation must:

1. Be designed so that safe cell temperatures and pressures are maintained under all foreseeable operating conditions to prevent fire and explosion.

2. Be designed to prevent the occurrence of self-sustaining, uncontrolled increases in temperature or pressure.

3. Not emit explosive or toxic gases in normal operation, or as a result of its failure, that may accumulate in hazardous quantities within the airplane.

4. Meet the requirements of 14 CFR 25.863.

5. Not damage surrounding structure or adjacent systems, equipment, or electrical wiring from corrosive fluids or gases that may escape in such a way as to cause a major or more-severe failure condition.

6. Have provisions to prevent any hazardous effect on airplane structure or systems caused by the maximum amount of heat the battery installation can generate due to any failure of it or its individual cells.

7. Be capable of automatically controlling the charge rate of each cell to prevent cell imbalance, back-charging, overcharging, overheating, and uncontrollable temperature and pressure.

8. Have a means to be automatically disconnected from its charging source in the event of an over-temperature condition, cell failure, or battery failure.

9. Have a failure sensing and warning system to alert the flightcrew if its failure affects safe operation of the airplane.

10. If its function is required for safe operation of the airplane, have a monitoring and warning feature that alerts the flightcrew when its charge state falls below acceptable levels.

Note 1:

A battery system consists of the battery, battery charger, and any protective, monitoring, and alerting circuitry or hardware inside or outside of the battery. It also includes vents (where necessary) and packaging. For the purpose of these special conditions, a battery and battery system are referred to as a battery.

Note 2:

These special conditions apply to all rechargeable lithium-battery installations in lieu of § 25.1353(c)(1) through (c)(4) at Amendment 25-0 (Model 650) and Amendment 25-42 (Model 800A).

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 9, 2017.

Michael Kaszycki,

Assistant Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-12381 Filed 6-14-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P