The Federal Register has finally published a certification basis 32 months after Joby’s G-1 was originally signed. Because the FAA has not yet established powered-lift airworthiness standards in title 14 CFR, the FAA type certificates powered-lift as special class aircraft.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Powered-Lift Working Group (PLWG) will review in detail and coordinate industry member company comments from the perspective of serving as the baseline set of certification requirements for all future powered-lift category eVTOL aircraft.
Additionally, the proposed certification basis provides opportunity for comparison and contrast with the EASA CS-VTOL so that US and EU applicants may better understand similarities and differences that will need to be considered as part of future validation and acceptance activities.
GAMA will also monitor the docket to provide assistance to industry through clarification of any key questions or issues that arise, such as those that relate to performance based requirements (Part 23 Amendment 64) and the use of consensus standard Means of Compliance (MOC).
Under the procedures in 14 CFR 21.17(b), the airworthiness requirements for special class aircraft are the portions of the requirements in 14 CFR parts 23, 25, 27, 29 31, 33 and 35 found by the FAA to be appropriate and applicable to the specific type design and any other airworthiness criteria found by the FAA to provide an equivalent level of safety to the existing standards.
A GAMA memo to the eVTOL subcommittee and PLWG will be sent with the official Federal Register Publication and outline details on the GAMA plan to collect inputs from members and hold PLWG WebEx meetings to review and develop a consolidated industry response to the FAA. The schedule will be aggressive over the next 4-weeks to meet the FAA comment due date.
All comments to the Federal Register docket must be received within 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register which makes them due by December 8th, 2022.
In May, FAA approved Special Class Airworthiness Criteria for the Wingcopter 198 US unmanned aircraft, which defines technological requirements under title 14, Code of Federal Regulations that must be met to have an aircraft type-certified for regular commercial operations in the US.