Minimum Equipment for an Experimental Airship

by J. R.
(Cedar Rapids, IA, USA)

If I were to try and get an experimental type certification for a very large Airship (335 ft), what would the minimum required equipment be?

ANSWER: For experimental aircraft, there are no specific equipment requirements. You would probably want to pursue an experimental category for research and development. Any aircraft would be eligible for an experimental certificate under this purpose.

This type of certification could lead to a Type Certificate (TC). The experimental testing can be conducted by the applicant as a matter of research or to determine whether an idea warrants further development.

What if there is a plan to get a Standard Type Certification later? Does the equipment change?

ANSWER: Yes, things change significantly. There are specific operational equipment requirements. Those are outlined in FAR 91.205.

There are also the certification standards based on the weight of the aircraft. Aircraft under 12,500 lbs must meet the standards of FAR 23. Aircraft over 12,500 lbs must meet the standards of FAR 25.

Is it possible to have a non-certified display for the experimental type certification of the airship? For instance, what if I had the engine data displayed on a monitor driven by a PC?

ANSWER: Under the category of experimental research and development, I don't see why you couldn't experiment with different types of instrumentation. If you intend to go the standard certification route, you could consider this an experiment to show compliance with the regulation.

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