Wed, Jul 16, 2003
Written by the FAA
With as many as five Wreplica
Wright 1903 Flyer models' expecting to become airworthy
(to one degree or another) this year, the FAA has taken some
special steps to help ensure that history's remaking will not be
impeded, and that not too many Wright Flyers will become entries in
the NTSB's Accident and Incident books.
Most of the FAA's requirements are effectively 'permanent' (as,
to our knowledge, none of the replicas will ever get enough air
time to fly them off, even though some are requiring as little as a
half-hour's air time), some are at least interesting.
Interesting, in that the TBO for an authentic Wright Flyer
engine is expected to be measured in the dozens of minutes;
interesting, in that the replicas are all placarded from attempting
aerobatic maneuvers; interesting, in that the word, "EXPERIMENTAL,"
must still be prominently affixed to the aircraft; interesting, in
that these one-man airplanes are prohibited from carrying
passengers "or property for compensation or hire."
Nicely as it is done in the example (from the EAA/Ford/Wright
Experience machine, above), would you attempt aerobatics
in this machine?
Certain of the Wrights' construction materials and especially
methods aren't considered "airworthy" today, either -- how would
they have known? Nevertheless, the operating limitations must be
carried within the pilots' view.
At least the FAA isn't requiring lap and shoulder belts...
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