The Certification Challenge of the High Technology Aircraft of the 1990's 871842
The technologies which will be employed on the transport category aircraft being designed for the 1990's and beyond require the development of new safety standards to ensure consistent and uniform level of safety with today's aircraft. The changes that will be required to the regulations are significant and far reaching.
The first of these new technology airplanes to be certified will be the fly-by-wire Airbus A32D airplane. To meet the challenges of the technology incorporated on the aircraft, the FAA has developed approximately 25 special conditions which address new features of the aircraft and supplement the existing regulations. Some of the areas covered by these special conditions include: the evaluation of flight characteristics and redundant modes of operation by handling quality rating procedures; flight envelope protection such as angle of attack limiting, normal load factor limiting, and high speed protection; active controls, high energy radio frequency protection; and operation without normal electrical power.
This paper discusses the certification and regulatory process in light of the new technologies being developed and, in particular, the special conditions that have been developed for the A320 which are expected to establish the base line for the certification of other fly-by-wire airplanes to follow.