FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

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skyfrog
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FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by skyfrog » Wed Nov 17, 2004 5:25 pm

On July 20, 2004, the FAA issued new requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots, and repairman. Under the new rules, which go into effect on September 1, Light Sport aircraft are limited to:
1,320 lb.(600 kg), (1,430 lb. seaplanes) maximum takeoff weight
1 or 2 occupants
single engine (non-turbine)
maximum stall speed (without lift enhancing devices) of 45 knots
maximum airspeed in level flight of 120 knots
fixed landing gear
fixed pitch propeller.
They include airplanes, gliders, gyroplanes, balloons, airships, weight-shift-control, and powered parachutes. Helicopters and powered lifts are excluded.

------------------------------------

Look at the bolded terms. I can't believe my eyes. Taiwanese's regulation didn't say that. What about other countries ?
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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by larry cottrill » Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:05 pm

skyfrog wrote:On July 20, 2004, the FAA issued new requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots, and repairman. Under the new rules, which go into effect on September 1, Light Sport aircraft are limited to:
1,320 lb.(600 kg), (1,430 lb. seaplanes) maximum takeoff weight
1 or 2 occupants
single engine (non-turbine)
maximum stall speed (without lift enhancing devices) of 45 knots
maximum airspeed in level flight of 120 knots
fixed landing gear
fixed pitch propeller.
They include airplanes, gliders, gyroplanes, balloons, airships, weight-shift-control, and powered parachutes. Helicopters and powered lifts are excluded.

------------------------------------

Look at the bolded terms. I can't believe my eyes. Taiwanese's regulation didn't say that. What about other countries ?
I believe there is one other important requirement: This does not apply to homebuilt, i.e. EXPERIMENTAL craft, only to production designs. I don't remember whether kit-built aircraft are included or not. Perhaps someone else will know this.

L Cottrill

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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by skyfrog » Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:49 am

Hi Ben,

I think it's experimental, just like this one.

http://www.amtjets.com/gallery_real_plain.html

Please check the link, where you can see a French pilot and his 170kg Cri-Cri powered by two AMT microjet engines.
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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by larry cottrill » Thu Nov 18, 2004 2:11 am

I'm not sure of the answer, Ben. I think for standard category aircraft, if you made any modification not specifically approved by the manufacturer, it would need to be licensed in the experimental category. For ultralight stuff, the rules could be quite different, of course.

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What kind of aircraft is this one ?

Post by skyfrog » Thu Nov 18, 2004 2:33 pm

What kind of aircraft is this one ?
Twin-turbine powered, deployable wings, lunched by a mothership, man or ultralight aircraft ?
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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by Mike Everman » Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:06 pm

Man, that's a great pic. His landing gear looks a bit tender, though.
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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by skyfrog » Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:23 pm

Bruno loves it too.
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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Thu Nov 18, 2004 4:45 pm

Ben wrote:I think that type of aircraft is in the MMTB category.

(More money than brains)
More balls than brains. The cost of such stunts is always underwritten by various sponsors.

Actually, a lot of brains are involved, too. This guy and his Austrian pal Felix Baumgartner, who flew in free flight over the English Channel (or La Manche; take your pick) are doing this very studiously, with lot of wing development, enormous amount of testing etc. It is all done far more seriously than it looks on the surface. But, it does take huge balls to do.

The upshoot will be a change in the way we perceive flying, I think. A new class of flying machine has been in the offing for a few decades and I'm waiting for the various strands to come together.

In one corner, there are hang gliders. In the other, there are paragliders. In the third corner, flying suits and hard small personal wings like Baumgartner's Skyray. All of them have been flown powered in some incarnation. (Bill, are you sitting in the fourth corner?)

I feel they are slowly converging on the same ultimate goal -- a flying machine you will be able to use as you use a scooter (only with a great deal more training). It's been going on over the past four decades. Give it one more.

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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by tufty » Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:31 pm

Bruno Ogorelec wrote:I feel they are slowly converging on the same ultimate goal -- a flying machine you will be able to use as you use a scooter (only with a great deal more training). It's been going on over the past four decades. Give it one more.
I'm not sure. Predictions like that remind me of a song I heard back in the early '90s, called "The future is not as good as it used to be", listing the many dreams of the 1950s that never came true. The lyrics, if my addled brain serves me correctly, went something like this:

...
Jet powered packs that you strap on your back and 'zip' up into the sky /
Picture telephones that let you look at to whom you are talking /
Moving sidewalks take you to work so you don't have to do any walking /
The future is not as good as it used to be /
Global peace and harmony and everyone talking esperanto /
International worldwide government solving problems pronto /
...

etc etc

It was the 'esperanto/pronto' rhyme that hooked me.

I still have it on a tape somewhere.

Simon

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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:42 pm

Tufty, I am not talking of dreams. I am talking of very slow and very real technological development -- remember, I said it has already taken 4 decades and will need at least one more. There's nothing dream-like about the explosion of paragliding and powered paragliding. Nothing dreamlike about tens of thousands of hang-gliders flown worldwide, or powered trikes etc. Cheap wings are getting cheaper and more sophisticated. Small engines are getting smaller and better and cheaper. Just extrapolate a little bit, nothing too fancy, and you get there. The Light Sports Pilot is already a big thing -- a belated official recognition of a revolution that has taken place since the late 1970s. And, it is going on.

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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by skyfrog » Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:02 am

Well, the deployable wings may not be ready for sell yet, but the jet engines he used in this stunt performance has been in the market for a while. You have to believe that this performance must have been sponsored by the model jet engine maker as well. If I were the engine seller I'll tell my customers like this "See ? our engine is the perfect powerpalnt for your scale model, it can even makes you a jet-man if you like."

Jet engine is a real product and a big dream.
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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by Mike Kirney » Fri Nov 19, 2004 5:01 am

I think 'experimental' means that a one-off design for personal non-commercial use. It does not have to be groundbreaking or technologically advanced in any way, just homebuilt from raw materials (as opposed to a kit).
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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by tufty » Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:44 am

Bruno Ogorelec wrote:Tufty, I am not talking of dreams. I am talking of very slow and very real technological development -- remember, I said it has already taken 4 decades and will need at least one more.
Hi Bruno. Although I can see where you're coming from, I still think you're wrong. When it comes down to it, the technology for personal air transportation has been around pretty much since the Wright brothers made their first flight. The early experimenters and pilots were mostly individuals, albeit, at the time, rich ones. Still, at the time, the cost of a 'plane was not much more than the cost of a car.

To my eye, there is no technological reason why a personal flying machine could not be manufactured for a price in the same sort of bracket as a scooter or small car - what is going to hold it back is a combination of the following:

Insurance (personal) : Not many insurers are going to be happy to insure Joe public to fly something, the risks are so much more than for a simple 'rolling' vehicle. I mean, the bar is so much higher when something is airborne - I read an article in one of the bike rags back in the UK that reckoned 3 out of 5 drivers on the UK's roads would fail their eye test...
Insurance (corporate) : How many manufacturers are going to open themselves up to lawsuits from the famillies of darwin award winners who try to 'land' vertically at full speed and smear themselves all over the landscape? Or who have pushed the envelope too far and discovered the point at which their flying scooter goes into a death spin?
Regulation : Regulations on who gets pilot licenses are pretty strict, and lliable to get stricter, post 9/11. What government is going to want a million flying machines buzzing about, effectively uncontrolled? What's to stop me getting a personal flying machine, loading it and myself up with high explosives, and smacking it down into a major urban zone? Or a nuclear power station? Or into commercial aircraft on final approach over a major city? I know that most of these are largely speaaking bogus reasons, but we've all heard more bogus arguments from gubmints teh world over, no?
ATC, which is already overloaded in most places.

Not to mention that, even if the technology is affordable, the training to use it is going to cost an arm and a leg. Hell, it's already expensive to get a driving license, and that only has 2dof.

This is not to say that there won't be a market for the private pilot, but I really don't think it will ever be anything more than an expensive hobby. Sadly. Personally, I think it would be way cool to fly to work, but I don't see it happening. I guess I'll have to build myself a pulsejet driven hovercraft instead ;-)

Simon

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Re: FAA requirements for Light Sport aircraft, pilots

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:07 pm

Tufty, I can agree with much of what you say. However, we seem to be talking at cross-purposes. Here’s why.
tufty wrote:I really don't think it will ever be anything more than an expensive hobby. Sadly. Personally, I think it would be way cool to fly to work, but I don't see it happening.
I agree! I don’t expect it to be anything other than a very expensive hobby either. But so what? Motorcycles are – by and large – a very expensive hobby. Relatively very few people go to work on motor cycles. A bike is thing you use primarily to vent off surplus testosterone.

But, at the same time, motor cycles are a huge industry and that particular hobby is a huge market. That was my point. I see personal flying machines becoming as accessible a Mazda Miata. Not much more than that.
tufty wrote:To my eye, there is no technological reason why a personal flying machine could not be manufactured for a price in the same sort of bracket as a scooter or small car
Ah, this is where we disagree completely. Aircraft, boats and cars are just not comparable in this respect. Cars can be – and sometimes are – cheap. Aircraft and boats cannot be. Boats can be cheap only in the smallest and simplest incarnations.

The reason is very serious – different working environment and different mission requirements. Look up a bolt used to hold parts of an aircraft wing together, or a sailboat rigging bolt. Look up a car bolt. Look up their respective specifications and standards and you will see a huge difference in materials, manufacturing technology and performance under stress. The quality expected of aircraft parts is in a completely different class from the requirements on car parts, while boats are usually somewhere in between.

That is why a car bolt will be a dollar and aircraft bolt will be $ 25. That is why a car lasts 6 years before major breakdowns are expected and can last about 20-25 years before it is best scrapped. An aircraft is not expected to suffer major breakdowns and easily lasts 50 years or more despite a more severe use. A boat is exposed to the most severe load amplitudes and major breakages are expected to occur in extreme situations, but the useful life is easily a century or so.
tufty wrote:what is going to hold it back is (snip) insurance
Not necessarily. Insurers are bloodthirsty leeches, agreed, but – as a rule -- they are not stupid. They will offer cover under acceptable circumstances. For instance, you can get powered hang-gliding insurance today without much problem -- provided that you are a member of a credible association that polices the conduct of its members, mandates proper training by certified instructors, vets equipment etc. etc. Stands to reason.
tufty wrote:Regulation : Regulations on who gets pilot licenses are pretty strict, and lliable to get stricter, post 9/11. What government is going to want a million flying machines buzzing about, effectively uncontrolled? What's to stop me getting a personal flying machine, loading it and myself up with high explosives, and smacking it down into a major urban zone? Or a nuclear power station? Or into commercial aircraft on final approach over a major city?
Well, despite your stated reasons, the Light Sport Pilot regulations just got introduced about a month ago, opening doors to exactly what you say -- a million flying machines buzzing about. OK; probably tens of thousands, rather than a million, but big enough. And, don’t think that the issues you mention have not been raised in the long and painful process leading to the new legislation and regulations. They have. And each and every one got a constructive response.
tufty wrote:ATC, which is already overloaded in most places.
The ATC overload is in many respects an overblown issue. Talk to a controller, heart to heart, and you will hear that things are not always what they seem. That’s one part of the answer. (A more detailed story goes beyond the scope of this forum.) The other part is, recreational aviation can (and probably should) stay clear of commercial and other controlled airspace. It is a sport after all and there’s plenty of room for people to engage in it elsewhere.

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