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Certified, Homebuilt or Ultralight? (merged)

Peter wrote:

One issue with the Evolution specifically is that there is probably a zero chance of getting it onto any EU registry

Never say never. IFR in homebuilt is no problems in Scandinavia. There are several older (warbird) jets here registered in the experimental category, flying circles around the Evolution, fully IFR, and lots of RVs and Lancairs flying IFR (when the pilot has the rating). The evolution is a cool aircraft, but it demands a lot from the owner, (way) too much for the average owner/builder IMO, it’s too much even for experienced people. This doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of people perfectly capable though. But the concept of the whole aircraft was to make it available to anyone (with enough money), which is exactly what has happened, and that’s why it has ended as it did.

Mooney_Driver wrote:

None of the serial built experimental kit planes are really what experimentals are all about, namely to build something unique and then fly it as experimental.

That is definitely not what it is “all about”. What are certified GA planes “all about”? a money scam for authorities and maintenance organisations? That’s about as far as the “usefulness” of these aircraft goes. The experimental kit market is in constant change. Some things work very well, other things dont, but in sum it is getting better and better.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

But the concept of the whole aircraft was to make it available to anyone (with enough money), which is exactly what has happened, and that’s why it has ended as it did.

Actually I think it ended like it did because not enough people bought them

If enough people buy your product, you can finance any amount of litigation, etc. Tobacco kills a much higher % of participants than aviation, and speeds up the death of almost everybody using it, yet the players are easily able to finance the litigation and pay nice dividends at the same time

So why did they sell only 80 kits?

Maybe 80 is the market? I don’t know.

What are certified GA planes “all about”? a money scam for authorities and maintenance organisations? That’s about as far as the “usefulness” of these aircraft goes.

That view is really wrong.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

LeSving wrote:

IFR in homebuilt is no problems in Scandinavia

We know that but it is not relevant to the rest of Europe. Same thing as if you said in America. True, but it will not sell one single experimental in those countries where IFR with them is not possible.

LeSving wrote:

What are certified GA planes “all about”? a money scam for authorities and maintenance organisations?

Well, that is what I have been saying all along. Certification of airplanes needs to change massively. Right now it is not attainable by most manufacturers so something is wrong. Apart: all of these airplanes are just that: airplanes. A Lancair like a Beech and so on. I see no reason why some of them need to fulfil airworthiness requirements others forego by declaring themselfs outside the rulebook. Either they are airworthy or not.

If it was for me, I would massively change the whole certification process and set clear preconditions what ANY airplane needs to fulfil to get a registration and be allowed to fly. Those who fulfil them fly, the others not, not shortcuts, no self-build scams, no 10 year development programs.

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Certification of airplanes needs to change massively.

Agreed.
The weather in Europe basically mandates IFR capabilities.
Hangaring 4-6 months out of the year due to stratus/cumulostratus clouds doesn’t make sense.

Last Edited by AF at 25 Oct 17:28

I’ve never experienced such prolonged periods of low clouds in 40 years in Düsseldorf. Usually I fly at least every second week also in winter – exclusively VFR. However I have the luxury to adapt my spare time to suitable wether for daytrips (normally max 200 NM) and do not have to go anywhere. Never got even stuck anywhere.
Our mopeds are no Airbuses anyway

Last Edited by europaxs at 25 Oct 17:46
EDLE

Mooney_Driver wrote:

I see no reason why some of them need to fulfill airworthiness requirements others forego by declaring themselves outside the rule book

Both types are very much within the ‘rule book’ under FAA rules that are managed by regulators having a quite complete understanding of their different meaning and application. One type however requires the pilot and passengers to accept that an individual is the legal manufacturer and that there is absolutely no guarantee by anybody that the design is safe beyond having been flown approximately 25 hrs (varying by type) unsupervised without obvious issues. The other type is type certified, designed to certain standards and then tested for compliance. Those are two different things and I think people can and do decide in which type of plane they want to fly.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 25 Oct 18:05

I would think that a very simple turboprop (no pressurization, constant section metal wings, simple landing gear, non-integrated avionics

I agree. Search here for e.g.

“grob 140” (with the quotes)

It looked like a great tourer but failed. Probably the €1.4M (likely €2M by the time they finished) placed it into the military trainer market and there are other TP options there which deliver more. And Grob ran out of money anyway, due to other problems they had.

A TP which can do FL250 and which needs a cannula or a mask would be perfectly acceptable – same as people pay $1M right now for an SR22T. But it would totally outclass an SR22T on smoothness and reliability.

We did this before here in many threads. IMHO, once Marketing get involved, they tend to say a turbine needs pressurisation in order to sell. Most people with the required money won’t fly with oxygen. Also, while the SR22 can fly at lower levels, the TP burns too much fuel at say FL100-150. One of the two Evos in Europe is in the former USSR and flies mostly around 3000ft so the owner must have deep pockets. The other one flies mostly at ~FL270. All this is on FR24 i.e. public domain. You cannot switch off Mode S for useful flying around Europe, and not at all when Eurocontrol IFR.

In Europe, the logical (and legal) first alternative to an Evo is the Jetprop. In the USA, the Evo can fly freely, so it must have failed for more basic reasons than a lack of utility.

Hangaring 4-6 months out of the year due to stratus/cumulostratus clouds doesn’t make sense.

That doesn’t actually happen under VFR if you have a reasonably high performance plane (say a TB20 or above) because you just climb VMC on top. VFR below the cloud is problematic any time of the year, and the summer suffers much more from haze. It is the VFR-under-cloud flyers who are stuck so much of the time.

IFR in homebuilt is no problems in Scandinavia

Apparently so but unless you can put an Evo on the Norwedian or Swedish or Danish registry, you still can’t do it because they will get you (N-reg) on the long term parking limits. Most “foreign reg” homebuilts can’t be based in most European countries. The matrix, as far as anyone could establish, can be dug out from various past threads.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Silvaire wrote:

that an individual is the legal manufacturer and that there is absolutely no guarantee by anybody that the design is safe beyond having been flown approximately 25 hrs (varying by type) unsupervised without obvious issues

That is the legality of it but it is far from the truth when it comes to planes like the Evolution and most other serial manufactured kits. The whole idea about them is that they need a legal way to forego certification and they let the owners “build” the plane in their own premises. Sure, some people actually touch a screwdriver but many do not, which makes the whole thing a scam to avoid costly certification.

That is the rub. If GA planes can no longer be built without lying about how they are built and what their purpose is, if the only avionics which are up to date technologically are those which go into kitplanes and if it has proven impossible to certify a new engine capable of what the least automotive engines today can do, then there is something massively WRONG.

If it takes 10 years to certify a bog standard 4 seater, if it takes even longer to certify any airplane which is outside that parameter, if major US developers no longer are capable or willing to even go that route and the only innovation there still is comes from supposedly garage built airframes then something is WRONG.

In that regard, the European rule makes much more sense then the American one. If those planes are inferior in the sense of safety and standards, they should not have the same rights to fly as those who are. In the US, this has eroded to the point where there is little if any difference in what you can do on a private ops. So no wonder that kitplanes today are the only ones that sell.

For me, kit production of airplanes for the sake of circumnavigating the certification standards is unacceptable and shows that the rulemaking has failed the industry totally.

LSZH, Switzerland

Normally there’s no need to base a foreign reg. Homebuilt in the country where one lives, because one can simply register it in that country. Germany is an examption here, but OTOH foreign homebuilts can be based here without any issues.

EDLE

Mooney_Driver wrote:

For me, kit production of airplanes for the sake of circumnavigating the certification standards is unacceptable and shows that the rule making has failed the industry totally.

In the US, there is a clear motivation to maintain an Experimental category, to allow risk taking by individuals who choose to take risks in the pursuit of a personal goal, and that the category like any other regulated by written regulations. Those regulations are clear and are in fact well understood by all. Obviously with any set of regulations, there are people who will push their activity to the letter of what’s allowed and that’s fine… the regulations were formulated with the intent that they do so. Occasionally somebody steps over the letter of the law, and FAA pushes them back. It’s all pretty straightforward and transparent.

If others don’t want to take part, obviously that’s fine too and there are certified aircraft regulations that cater to them.

In that regard, the European rule makes much more sense then the American one. If those planes are inferior in the sense of safety and standards, they should not have the same rights to fly as those who are.

That’s really an interesting point of view, and one that makes me doubly glad that I don’t fly in Europe, or at least CH Obviously the American ethos is one of personal risk management and its a huge reason why people like it here, especially pilots. In this case, E-AB planes are not necessarily “inferior”, they just governed by different regulations that promote individual risk management – very often with an associated benefit to the individual.

The reason that E-AB aircraft has become so popular relative to certified aircraft is that many people have decided the risk/benefit situation for the E-AB category is advantageous, particularly as the more popular kit aircraft have been developed over time and built up a good record… not as a result of certification but by other individuals taking greater risks before them.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 25 Oct 19:07
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