Old 4th Jun 2019, 11:44
  #22 (permalink)  
Pilot DAR
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 58
Posts: 4,131
DAR , lets embrace the Young and the idea.
Certainly yes. However, in a formal, mentored learning/research environment, the visionary projects either must acknowledge the need to conform to the prevailing design requirements, or, discuss advancing those requirements also - which ones, and how. It's incomplete to just presume that the design requirements aren't there, or are old, and can be overlooked. Though the design requirements present as burdensome rules, they really are an important summary of lessons learned over the decades, and are owed acknowledgement as being the present wisdom. Sure, if the design requirements can be updated to harmonize with new technology, that's great, and a worthy objective, but it cannot be overlooked.

I was contracted to undertake certification planning for an STC'd modification to make a C 172 electric powered. The present design requirements do not enable this from a regulatory perspective, but only 'cause at the time the present design requirements were developed, there was no need to consider this. Now, there very certainly is, and I found the regulatory not only willing, but eager to undertake the development of new design requirements to enable electric aircraft. That happening is a certainty. However, the new design requirements will have to have the present ones as a starting point. Where a design cannon meet just one or two design requirements, it is common for a documented "Special condition" to be agreed upon between the design organization and regulator. That means that everyone has agreed that there's a different way, and allowed the design to proceed with that design.

So perhaps the innovative team at Delft have recognized the gaps between their design, and the prevailing design requirements - I hope so, that's a part of any design undertaking. If so, they have prepared a "compliance table" listing the prevailing design requirements, and either how compliance will be shown, or where there is a gap which will require a change to a design requirement. This design appears so innovative, that a whole bunch of special conditions will not be enough. New design requirements will be required, and that is an early and extensive step in such a project. Perhaps that has been addressed in the description of the aircraft, if so, well done. If not, an instructor/mentor to the team has overlooked an important step, and the project has passed itself a little too much....

Out of a curiosity, can you transport legally pax in a cargo aircraft (one with no windows at all )
I have approved ex freighter Cessna Caravans (no cabin windows) to carry parachutists. This was accepted by the authority, though with a sidewards glance (pun intended). I'm not aware of a design requirement stating that there must be windows for passengers to look out, but I think it's fairly widely agreed that passengers might not like the ride, if seeing out is impossible.
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