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Proposed Rule

Special Conditions: Embraer EMB-550 Airplane; Flight Envelope Protection: Normal Load Factor (g) Limiting

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed special conditions.

SUMMARY:

This action proposes an amendment to special conditions for the Embraer EMB-550 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. This design feature is associated with an electronic flight control system that prevents the pilot from inadvertently or intentionally exceeding the positive or negative airplane limit load factor. 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.

DATES:

Send comments on or before April 29, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments identified by Docket No. FAA-2013-0772 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 website, 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:

Joe Jacobsen, Airplane & Flight Crew Interface Section, AIR-671, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, Washington 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3158; email joe.jacobsen@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Start Printed Page 13839

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 recommended 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 August 9, 2016, Embraer applied for a change to Type Certificate No. TC00062IB to include additional flexibility to the normal load factor limit on the Model EMB-550 airplane, by amending the existing Model EMB-550 Special Conditions No. 25-520-SC as a result of harmonization efforts in the Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG). The Embraer EMB-550 airplane, currently approved under Type Certificate No. TC00062IB, is a twin-engine, transport category airplane with a maximum takeoff weight of 42,857 pounds. The EMB-550 has a maximum seating capacity of 12 passengers.

The Model EMB-550 flight control system design incorporates normal load factor limiting on a full-time basis that will prevent the pilot from inadvertently or intentionally exceeding the positive or negative airplane limit load factor. This feature is considered novel and unusual in that the current regulations do not provide standards for maneuverability and controllability evaluations for such systems.

Type Certification Basis

Under the provisions of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 21.101, Embraer must show that the EMB-550 airplane, as changed, continues to meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in Type Certificate No. TC00062IB 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 the Embraer EMB-550 airplane 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 feature, or should any other model already included on the same type certificate be modified to incorporate the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would also apply to the other model under § 21.101.

In addition to the applicable airworthiness regulations and special conditions, the Embraer EMB-550 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.

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 Embraer EMB-550 airplane will incorporate the following novel or unusual design features:

The Model EMB-550 flight control system design incorporates normal load factor limiting on a full-time basis that will prevent the pilot from inadvertently or intentionally exceeding the positive or negative airplane limit load factor. This feature is considered novel and unusual in that the current regulations do not provide standards for maneuverability and controllability evaluations for such systems.

Discussion

The normal load factor limit on the Model EMB-550 is unique in that traditional airplanes with conventional flight control systems (mechanical linkages) are limited in the pitch axis only by the elevator surface area and deflection limit. The elevator control power is normally derived for adequate controllability and the maneuverability at the most critical longitudinal pitching moment. The result is that traditional airplanes have a significant portion of the flight envelope where maneuverability in excess of limit structural design values is possible. The Model EMB-550 because of the normal load factor limit does not have this excess maneuverability.

Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 25 does not specify requirements for demonstrating maneuver control that impose any handling qualities requirements beyond the design limit structural loads. Nevertheless, some pilots are accustomed to the availability of this excess maneuver capacity in case of extreme emergency such as upset recoveries or collision avoidance.

As a result of harmonization efforts with other civil aviation authorities through the Flight Test Harmonization Working Group (FTHWG), the FAA is including additional flexibility in maneuverability limits by amending the existing Model EMB-550 Special Conditions No. 25-520-SC. This additional flexibility allows for reduced maneuverability limits beyond Vmo/Mmo. The existing special conditions are otherwise unchanged.

The 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.

Applicability

As discussed above, these special conditions are applicable to the Embraer EMB-550 airplane. Should Embraer apply at a later date for a change to the type certificate to include another model incorporating the same novel or unusual design feature, these special conditions would apply to that model as well.

Certification of the Embraer EMB-550 airplane is currently scheduled for April 2019. The substance of these special conditions has been subject to the notice and public comment procedure in several prior instances. Therefore, because a delay would significantly affect the applicant's installation of the system and the certification of the airplane, we are shortening the public comment period to 20 days.

Conclusion

This action affects only certain novel or unusual design features on one model of airplane. It is not a rule of general applicability.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 25

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

Authority Citation

The authority citation for these special conditions is as follows:

Start Authority

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

End Authority

The Proposed Special Conditions

Accordingly, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes the following special conditions as part of the type certification basis for Embraer EMB-550 airplanes.

Flight Envelope Protection: Normal Load Factor (g) Limiting

1. To meet the intent of adequate maneuverability and controllability required Start Printed Page 13840by § 25.143(a), and in addition to the requirements of § 25.143(a) and in the absence of other limiting factors, the following special conditions are proposed based on § 25.333(b):

a. The positive limiting load factor must not be less than:

(1) 2.5g for the normal state of the electronic flight control system with the high lift devices retracted up to Vmo/Mmo. The positive limiting load factor may be gradually reduced down to 2.25g above Vmo/Mmo.

(2) 2.0g for the normal state of the electronic flight control system with the high lift devices extended.

b. The negative limiting load factor must be equal to or more negative than:

(1) Minus 1.0g for the normal state of the electronic flight control system with the high lift devices retracted.

(2) 0.0g for the normal state of the electronic flight control system with high lift devices extended.

c. Maximum reachable positive load factor wings level may be limited by the characteristics of the electronic flight control system or flight envelope protections (other than load factor protection) provided that:

(1) The required values are readily achievable in turns, and

(2) Wings level pitch up responsiveness is satisfactory.

d. Maximum achievable negative load factor may be limited by the characteristics of the electronic flight control system or flight envelope protections (other than load factor protection) provided that:

(1) Pitch down responsiveness is satisfactory, and

(2) From level flight, 0g is readily achievable or alternatively, a satisfactory trajectory change is readily achievable at operational speeds. For the FAA to consider a trajectory change as satisfactory, the applicant should propose and justify a pitch rate that provides sufficient maneuvering capability in the most critical scenarios.

e. Compliance demonstration with the above requirements may be performed without ice accretion on the airframe.

f. These special conditions do not impose an upper bound for the normal load factor limit, nor does it require that the limiter exist. If the limit is set at a value beyond the structural design limit maneuvering load factor “n” of §§ 25.333(b), 25.337(b) and 25.337(c), there should be a very obvious positive tactile feel built into the controller so that it serves as a deterrent to inadvertently exceeding the structural limit.

Start Signature

Issued in Des Moines, Washington.

Suzanne Masterson,

Acting Manager, Transport Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-06647 Filed 4-5-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P