Type Certificate

what is a type certificate

Type Certificates – Type Certificates contain the type design, the operating limitations, the type certificate data sheet (TCDS), the applicable regulations with which the Administrator records compliance, and any other conditions or limitations prescribed for the product in the pertinent airworthiness regulations.

The original type certification of a type of aircraft is taken very seriously. Part of this process is a system where the type design (airworthiness standard) needs to be maintained throughout the operational life of a particular aircraft, which is listed as being manufactured and tested so that it meets stringent type certification standards. As an aircraft is operated through its useful life, certain parts will deteriorate over time. Modifications are made so that the aircraft can be used for different types of operation.

Included with the initial type certification basis is a system of regular maintenance activities designed to ensure that the aircraft remains in a condition that meets the type design and is “safe for operation”. This system is called the continuing maintenance program. The continuing maintenance program is reviewed and amended from time to time so if design problems are encountered or unsafe problems occur, there is an ongoing system to deal with them. Changes to the continuing maintenance program are usually contained in documents such as service letters (SLs), service bulletins (SBs), service instructions (SIs), advisory circulars (ACs) and amendments to the maintenance manual or system of maintenance.

These are usually prepared by the aircraft manufacturer, or holder of the type certificate and sanctioned, accepted or approved by the national aviation authorities of the country of initial type certification or manufacture. In addition, the world’s aviation authorities issue airworthiness directives to rectify design deficiencies or safety problems for an aircraft or aircraft type due to operational requirements. This can happen when things which were designed to last the life of an aircraft are found to be wearing out or corroding.

In many cases when an aircraft was designed it was never imagined that it would be still operating 25 to 30 years after manufacture, so many components of the design run into difficulties. There have also been many advances to aircraft equipment, particularly in the area of avionics, since the 1950s and 60s. When designs need to be changed, or new equipment fitted, or parts that are no longer available or are difficult to obtain need replacing, there are provisions in the regulations, provided the changes or equipment still complies with the airworthiness standard of the aircraft.

AC 120-77

Type certificate data sheet (TCDS), contain information relevant to the certification of particular aircraft. TCDS contain information that is useful, not only at the time the aircraft undergoes certification, but as an ongoing resource for the life of an aircraft. Any time a Certificate of Airworthiness requires renewal or re-issue, aircraft configuration or aircraft performance information is required or some particular limitations are being considered, the TCDS may provide crucial information. Following are examples of what might be found

on the data sheets, although the information does vary from aircraft to aircraft. Engines and propellers that can be installed and their limitations

Fuels and oils that are approved for use in the engine Airspeed limitations

Weight and balance limits, including the centre of gravity range and the datum

  • The means for leveling the aircraft
  • Fuel and oil capacities and amounts that are unusable
  • Control surface movements Operating ceiling
  • The certification basis for the aircraft
  • Equivalent safety items
  • Special conditions
The flight manual that is applicable to particular models
  • Placarding requirements
  • Configuration variations (e.g. Whether the aircraft may operate without a prop spinner)
  • Variations between aircraft models
  • The original type certification of a type of aircraft is taken very seriously. Part of this process is a system where the type design (airworthiness standard) needs to be maintained throughout the operational life of a particular aircraft, which is listed as being manufactured and tested so that it meets stringent type certification standards. As an aircraft is operated through its useful life, certain parts will deteriorate over time. Modifications are made so that the aircraft can be used for different types of operation.

    Included with the initial type certification basis is a system of regular maintenance activities designed to ensure that the aircraft remains in a condition that meets the type design and is “safe for operation”. This system is called the continuing maintenance program. The continuing maintenance program is reviewed and amended from time to time so if design problems are encountered or unsafe problems occur, there is an ongoing system to deal with them. Changes to the continuing maintenance program are usually contained in documents such as service letters (SLs), service bulletins (SBs), service instructions (SIs), advisory circulars (ACs) and amendments to the maintenance manual or system of maintenance.

    These are usually prepared by the aircraft manufacturer, or holder of the type certificate and sanctioned, accepted or approved by the national aviation authorities of the country of initial type certification or manufacture. In addition, the world’s aviation authorities issue airworthiness directives to rectify design deficiencies or safety problems for an aircraft or aircraft type due to operational requirements. This can happen when things which were designed to last the life of an aircraft are found to be wearing out or corroding.

    In many cases when an aircraft was designed it was never imagined that it would be still operating 25 to 30 years after manufacture, so many components of the design run into difficulties. There have also been many advances to aircraft equipment, particularly in the area of avionics, since the 1950s and 60s. When designs need to be changed, or new equipment fitted, or parts that are no longer available or are difficult to obtain need replacing, there are provisions in the regulations, provided the changes or equipment still complies with the airworthiness standard of the aircraft.

    Source: aviationglossary.com

    Category: Insurance

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