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EAC (Evolution Aircraft Company) to cease production

Silvaire wrote:

In other words, if somebody hires somebody else to build a whole plane for him he can’t register it in E-AB, which is a significant downside.

He can claim he built it which some people do. Just stop by every now and then and have a beer with the guy you’ve hired to do the job.

achimha wrote:

He can claim he built it which some people do. Just stop by every now and then and have a beer with the guy you’ve hired to do the job.

I’ve seen it happen once, with an expensive aerobatic aircraft owned by a high roller type. The plane later suffered a control system failure during hard aerobatics and doesn’t exist now. I don’t know how the licensing deception was arranged, especially given that it was actually built by the factory.

Of course anybody can break any law if they’re willing to take a risk, but most people in the US prefer to remain within the spirit of the E-AB rules, encouraged by most DARs having a brain when examining the aircraft and records prior to issuing the C of A, and those DARs having their FAA designee status at stake. The EAA and individual homebuilder ‘culture’ established since the 1950s is one of respect for hard won legal rights, and gentle self policing. On the FAA side, I think the main issue is ensuring that the rules are not flagrantly violated so as to maintain and encourage the activity, not a non-value-added obsessive compulsive approach to policing every builder based on an assumption that most individuals aren’t trustworthy. The E-AB building community has in response proved themselves generally trustworthy. It’s a cooperative balance.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 04 Oct 16:31

Peter wrote:

Which European homebuilt registries have a “build assist” option? The usual option here is the “51%” one

First you have to define this 51%. The 51% is the airframe. Engine including installation and systems is not part of the 51%. Avionics and instruments including installation is not part of this 51%. Upholstery, seats, lights are not part of the 51%. Paint is not part of the 51% and neither are any other auxiliary systems. It’s only the basic structural airframe that is a part of the 51%. For everything else, someone else can do everything.

To stay within the rules, you only have to built 51% of the basic airframe. Depending on how advanced the kit is, this may actually be only a few percents of the total job needed to get the aircraft flying (carbon composite for instance). Building from scratch however, and keeping all systems dead simple, the airframe may easily be 80-90 % of the total job.

I think the 51% rule and it’s definition is universal, more or less, but that’s where the similarities end. In Norway, what is needed is a build leader, and a QA person appointed by LT (CAA). Who actually is building the airplane is irrelevant, legally speaking. What is relevant is that the build leader and the QA person follow the process and document it. The build leader is the single responsible person, the QA person is just that, a QA person, and is void of responsibility. In most cases the build leader is also the sole builder, but it’s not unusual that several person go together and build, or that the build leader hire someone or get some help somewhere. When the airplane is finished, and tested it gets a CofA, and becomes just like any other aircraft, but restricted to non-commercial use (with some exceptions, kind of).

However, LT is not that found of these “factory built” aircraft I have heard (the Evolution for instance). I’m not completely sure why, but I guess it kind of completely shatters the build leader’s involvement and opportunity to be responsible for what is going on. Obviously the factory is in charge here, and is the de facto build leader, as well as the de facto QA. You could as well have visited the Cessna factory, fastening rivets for a few weeks, and voila – you have an “experimental” C-182.

The elephant is the circulation

I think the 51% rule and it’s definition is universal, more or less, …

I don’t know… the german rules for example say nothing about “airframe” regarding those 51% ( But what they specifically say is that those 51% of the work must be performed within Germany. So going to the States for two weeks and “assisting” company workers in laying carbonfibre prepregs into moulds is not an option.

EDDS - Stuttgart

Actually the German regulation also limits the 51% to basically the aircraft structure.

Als Einzelstücke im Sinne dieses Merkblattes versteht das LBA Luftfahrzeuge,
die überwiegend im Selbstbau (mit einem Eigenanteil an der Bauleistung von
mindestens 51 %) hergestellt werden. Allerdings können schwierig herstellbare
Bauteile oder Geräte aus industrieller Fertigung stammen.
Hierzu gehören insbesondere: Flugmotor, Ausrüstung für den Flugmotor,
Propeller, Reifen, Federn, Fahrwerke, Räder- und Bremsanlagen,
Tragschraubenblätter, Schmiede- und Gussteile, Normteile u.v.a.

Also the rules do not say that it has to be built inside Germany, only the majority of it which gives a lot of flexibility. If you spend 3 weeks in a US factory, ship stuff to your garage in Germany and then spend 6 months there, I would say that that you have a good case.

Das “Einzelstück” muss überwiegend in der Bundesrepublik
Deutschland gebaut werden; d.h. im Ausland gebaute Einzelstücke
können in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland nicht zugelassen werden!!
Last Edited by achimha at 05 Oct 13:43

Actually the German regulation also limits the 51% to basically the aircraft structure.

It allows to use difficult to manufacture parts like engines and avionics as a whole. But it does not say that time-consumimg and tedious tasks like laying cables and upholstety don’t count towards the 51% (at least not as I understand it).
And BTW: Further down it says that all those parts which are which are not self-made (e.g. engine) must have a certification.

EDDS - Stuttgart

The certificated parts requirement only applies to homebuilts with more than 2 seats.

What I was trying to show: the German rules are pretty much the same as the US rules. 51% on the core structure and that is so hard to objectively assess that you can easily play games with it like in the US.

US AOPA article

Doesn’t sound good…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

What do Lancair actually make and sell these days, which could be operated in Europe?

They support the old fleet and have just one model right now, the MAKO. Looks like a Columbia with retracable nose gear.

Re the Evolution, one of the more famous customers who actually flies one is Austin Meyers of X-Plane and Xavion fame. He has an elaborate BLOG about his plane which offers a lot of insight in what his experiences were. Austin is quite outspoken about some of the shortcomings in some articles but he appears to still be happy in general with his decision to build one and fly it.

I was reading his blog on and off just out of interest, it sure gives an insight in what it is to operate a plane like this.

If the background of the closure is the lack of liability insurance due to a number of fatal crashes, it will be the end of the product. No US company can exist without this kind of insurance given the legal environment there.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

Hm. It would be ironic if that last accident (N571JM), where it looks like a pilot lost control in the circuit in severe VMC (40 miles visibility, SCT 15 thousand feet), was the one triggering this. While the pilot reported an electrical failure, of all the accidents that happened that one had least to do with the aircraft..

I could only find four accidents in the NTSB database, three of which were serious / hull losses
– the above one
– N427LE, 1 fatality, was pilot incapacitation, could have been a decompression / loss of consciousness, but could also be a medical issue.
– N846PM, where the windscreen blew out at FL250, which ended in a forced landing
– N3WB, a nose gear collapse, likely due to overstress, not a hull loss.

That is three hull losses, two of which likely aircraft related.

I wonder what the other two hull losses were?

Biggin Hill
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