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Experimental category; opportunity?

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  • Experimental category; opportunity?

    Now that SSDR is closer to reality, I recalled the original wonderful document put out by Keith Negal, and signed by all those others. At the time this was exciting stuff, and the cover depicted Jeremy Hucker's Chaser in suitably 'sporty' pose. This seemed an answer to so many prayers, as at 300kg the development of new ideas on such aircraft could feed through to mainstream 'big' microlights without much alteration. This has been diluted now by the low wing loading requirement and the empty weight limit of 115kg, so the thirst for an experimental 'free' category still isn't satisfied.

    However we now have a powerful political ally in the RAeS shouldf we choose to resurrect the 300kilo deregulated idea, but repackaged as Experimental. Certainly sops to such a risk-averse regulator will have to be many, but when someone as exacting as Guy Gratton puts his signature to a document calling for a route to experimentation without the onerous approval, maybe they will decide it is time to sit up and take notice.

    Here are a few suggestions that might stop the proposal frightening the horses at Gatwick; they're crap but at least it might start the ball rolling:-

    1) not allowed to be sold; the XP machine must only be owned by the builder. You can break it for parts and sell them, but not the full aircraft, this will stop someone else suffering if your calcs. or build quality is bad. This will stop it getting out of hand or being exploited by cowboys.

    2) Licence required and minimum of 100 hours experience on type

    3) Noise, naturally

    4) Microlight definition compliant on stall and weight for a single seater

    5) Tech team visual only examination before flight; advisory only (no liability) with report suitably couched to avoid litigation.


    Just been to shops and picked up Todays' Pilot; Dave Unwin has written an article on this very subject, will read it tonight, eagerly.

    BMAA 5696

    "If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls."

    R.J. Mitchell :- Designer of the Supermarine Spitfire