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FAA issues special conditions for G700, G800 over 'novel or unusual' electronic flight system

On Tuesday the FAA issued Final Special Conditions for the Gulfstream G700 and G800 for the "novel or unusual" electronic flight system. This is the latest step as the G700 progresses to FAA certification. On Dec. 31, 2019 Gulfstream applied for an amendment to Type Certificate No. T00015AT to include the new G700 and G800 series. These new models are derivatives of the GVI and are currently approved under Type Certificate No. T00015AT. Under Title 14 21.101 provisions, Gulfstream must prove that the G700 and G600 series meet the applicable provisions of the regulations listed in the Type Certificate, or the applicable regulations in effect on the date of application for change. The special conditions are initially applicable to the models for which they are issued. The special condition applies to the novel or unusual electronic flight-control system providing control-surface awareness to the flight crew. Gulfstream intends to use an electronic flight-control system. including side-stick controllers for pitch and roll control, in the new G700 and G800 series planes. With an EFCS and no direct coupling from the flight deck controller to the control surface, the pilot could be unaware of the actual surface position. In unusual flight conditions, like from atmospheric conditions, airplane malfunctions or engine failures, may result in full or nearly full control surface deflection. If the flight crew is made aware of the excessive deflection or impending control surface limiting, the piloted or auto-flight system control of the plane could be inadvertently continued in such a way there could be a loss of airplane control or other unsafe stability or performance characteristics. Airworthiness standards do not have adequate or appropriate standards for the conditions that could result from the EFCS and lack of direct coupling from flight deck controller to the control surface. In order to establish a level of safety equal to those established in regulations special conditions are established. The special conditions require that flight crews receive suitable flight-control position annunciation when a condition exists in which the nearly full surface authority, which is not crew-commanded, is being used. The suitability of such this type of alerting must be taken into account that some pilot-demanded maneuvers are necessarily associated with an intended full performance and may saturate the surface.RELATED STORIES:Gulfstream G700 to make Singapore Airshow debut alongside G600FAA extends Gulfstream G700, G800 fuel icing exemption through 2026Gulfstream G700 outperforms during certification flying - increased range, cabin comfortGulfstream G700 achieves 25 speed records on world tour Simple alerting systems, which would function in an intended or unexpected control-limiting situation, must properly balance the necessary crew awareness and unwanted nuisance factors. A monitoring system that could compare airplane motion, surface deflection and pilot demand could also prove helpful in nuisance alerting. The special conditions also contain additional safety standards that the Administrator has found necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to those established by existing airworthiness standards. The action was posted to the Federal Register and effective on Tuesday. Comments can be submitted on or before March 29. The G700 has been slowly making progress toward certification but has faced major delays along the way. In September 2023, the G700 and G800 earned EASA certification. The original target for the G700 entry into service was the end of 2022 but the date has been pushed repeatedly. Certification was expected for the end of 2023 but is now anticipated for some time in 2024. Alisdair Whyte of Corporate Jet Investor said Gulfstream is targeting 50 G700 deliveries for 2024. Whyte stressed that the Special Conditions issuance shows the desperate need for updated regulations.
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