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UK CAA Seeks To Support GA Aircraft Projects

by Jason Gorringe,, London

27 November 2014

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has made announcements relating to new experimental aircraft and the restoration of vintage aircraft models.

On experimental aircraft, the CAA has launched a consultation on a proposal to allow designers to conduct proof of concept flights without going through current procedures described by the CAA as being "costly and time consuming." Relaxed rules would apply to aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 2,000kg (2.2 short tons).

The CAA said that it has been working closely with the Royal Aeronautical Society's General Aviation Group to reform the rules. It also explained that the proposal has been developed in response to the UK Government's Red Tape Challenge. A risk assessment will still be required.

The CAA believes the move could benefit the evolution of aerospace technologies in the UK, making it easier for young engineers to enter the industry and to reverse the decline in the number of new aircraft designed and developed in the UK.

Meanwhile, on historic and ex-military aircraft, the CAA has compiled guidance on restoration. The CAA has developed a dedicated section of its website to provide everything a vintage aircraft owner needs to know when starting a restoration project for an aircraft intended for flight. This includes advice on using new replacement parts where originals are unavailable and on how to establish an aircraft's original identity. There is also guidance on approving ex-military replicas and reproductions.

In particular, the CAA recommends arranging an early inspection by a CAA airworthiness surveyor to establish whether an aircraft is an original or a replica. Otherwise, an aircraft may have to be dismantled to allow an inspection of work already undertaken. The CAA will also check whether approval has been granted for an aircraft's previous owner.

TAGS: aviation | United Kingdom | research and development

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