In generic use, an experimental aircraft is an aircraft that has not yet been fully proven in flight. The Model 76 Voyager was the first Aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or refueling Flight is the process by which an object achieves sustained movement either through the Air (or movement beyond Earth's atmosphere, in the case of Often, this implies that new aerospace technologies are being tested on the aircraft, though the label is more broad. This article is about the field of research and industry for the corporation see The Aerospace Corporation Aerospace comprises the Experimental aircraft is also a specific term referring to an aircraft flown with an experimental category Airworthiness Certificate. Airworthiness Certificate can mean Standard Airworthiness Certificate Special Airworthiness Certificate The term experimental aircraft is often erroneously used to mean homebuilt aircraft. Also known as amateur-built aircraft or kit planes, homebuilt aircraft are constructed by persons for whom this is not a professional activity While most homebuilt aircraft are registered as experimental category aircraft in the U. S. , there are many types of experimental aircraft that are not homebuilt.
The U. S. and Australia have much more flexible rules than most countries for experimental aircraft, and this supports a large fleet of homebuilt, imported, and ex-military aircraft flying today.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration requires an Airworthiness Certificate to be maintained as part of the official paperwork associated with each aircraft. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation with authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of Airworthiness Certificate can mean Standard Airworthiness Certificate Special Airworthiness Certificate Aircraft produced by certified aircraft manufacturers will go through an extensive period of testing to prove that they are airworthy. Airworthiness is a term used to dictate whether an Aircraft is worthy of safe flight These tests cover everything from engineering and construction to the flying characteristics of the aircraft in question. Once the manufacturer has satisfactorily completed these tests, the aircraft design is given a type certificate and the aircraft produced under this design are given a Standard Airworthiness Certificate. A Type Certificate, is awarded by aviation regulating bodies to aerospace manufacturers after it has been established that the particular design of a civil aircraft engine or propeller A standard airworthiness certificate is a certificate issued by a state's civil aviation authority to permit the operation of the Aircraft. Aircraft that do not meet these requirements must meet the requirements for a Special Airworthiness Certificate, which includes the experimental category. The special airworthiness certificate is a Federal Aviation Administration authorization to operate an Aircraft in United States airspace in one or more
The FAA issues experimental airworthiness certificates for eight defined purposes:
In the eyes of the FAA,and CASA in Australia, an Experimental Homebuilt Aircraft is not constructed by a licensed aircraft manufacturer. Also known as amateur-built aircraft or kit planes, homebuilt aircraft are constructed by persons for whom this is not a professional activity Also known as amateur-built aircraft or kit planes, homebuilt aircraft are constructed by persons for whom this is not a professional activity Instead, at least 51% of the aircraft is constructed by a private individual; the remaining 49% percent can be purchased from a kit manufacturer. In the past, far less than the allowed 49% of the kit was assembled by the manufacturer of the kit. Now, the majority of experimental aircraft builders purchase kits that are assembled by the kit manufacturer up to the 49% limit. These are often called "quick build" kits.
This category of aircraft can be built and flown by any licenced pilot, although an examiner must certify the aircraft for flight. Most nations' aviation regulations require new designs and amateur-built aircraft to be physically marked as experimental, and extra flight testing is usually required before passengers (who are not pilots themselves) can be carried. At least 25,000 of these homebuilt aircraft exist in the U. Also known as amateur-built aircraft or kit planes, homebuilt aircraft are constructed by persons for whom this is not a professional activity S. alone, though many are based on conventional designs and experimental only by name.
Homebuilt aircraft are built from materials in one of four categories: rag and tube, metal, wood, or composite materials (fiberglass, carbon fiber, etc. Fiberglass (also called fibreglass and glass fibre see Spelling differences) is material made from extremely fine Fibers of Glass. ). The first category, describes a building method where the aircraft's superstructure is built using welded steel or bolted aluminum tube covered with Dacron fabric. Uses PET can be semi-rigid to rigid depending on its thickness and is very lightweight This fabric can be painted to stiffen it. The second category, metal, describes the common all aluminum aircraft. Examples of this kind of experimental aircraft include Murphy Aircraft's kits and the Vans RV series of 1,2 & 4 seater kits. Murphy Aircraft Mfg Ltd is a Canadian maker of civil utility aircraft kits Founded by Richard "Van" VanGrunsven in 1973, Van's Aircraft is a Homebuilt aircraft kit manufacturer. Finally, the most recent addition to the fleet is made using Sandwich structured composite methods. A Sandwich structured composite is a special class of Composite materials that is fabricated by attaching two thin but stiff skins to a lightweight but thick core This category is notable for its designs employing body curvature and light weight which would be impossible with the other materials.
The FAA's Experimental Aircraft designation is supported by the Experimental Aircraft Association. Experimental Aircraft Association ( EAA) is an international organization of Aviation enthusiasts based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The largest airshow in the world is the EAA's annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, which takes place in late July and early August. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (formerly The EAA Annual Convention and Fly-In is an annual gathering of Aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport Oshkosh is a city in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, United States, located where the Fox River Other annual events are the Sun N' Fun Fly-In, which occurs in the early spring in Lakeland, Florida, and the Northwest EAA Fly-In in Arlington, Washington. Sun 'n Fun is a " Fly-in " and Airshow held annually at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida, usually Lakeland is a City in Polk County Florida, United States, located approximately midway between Tampa and The Northwest EAA Fly-In, known colloquially as the Arlington Air Show, is an annual Experimental Aircraft Association Airshow hosted in Arlington Arlington is a city located in northern Snohomish County Washington, USA, bordered by the city of Marysville to the south These events are called a "Fly-In" as many people fly their homebuilts and other aircraft into the airport hosting the show, often camping there for the duration. Definition Camping describes a range of activities Survivalist campers set off with little more than their boots whereas Recreational vehicle travelers arrive equipped Both events last a week. Takeoffs and landings at these shows number in the thousands.
Some countries have a special registration (tail-number) subset reserved for experimental aircraft. For example in Sweden these are SE-Xxx.