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Federal Aviation Regulations

Sec. 25.629 — Aeroelastic stability requirements.

(a) General. The aeroelastic stability evaluations required under this section include flutter, divergence, control reversal and any undue loss of stability and control as a result of structural deformation. The aeroelastic evaluation must include whirl modes associated with any propeller or rotating device that contributes significant dynamic forces. Compliance with this section must be shown by analyses, wind tunnel tests, ground vibration tests, flight tests, or other means found necessary by the Administrator.

(b) Aeroelastic stability envelopes. The airplane must be designed to be free from aeroelastic instability for all configurations and design conditions within the aeroelastic stability envelopes as follows:

(1) For normal conditions without failures, malfunctions, or adverse conditions, all combinations of altitudes and speeds encompassed by the VD/MDversus altitude envelope enlarged at all points by an increase of 15 percent in equivalent airspeed at both constant Mach number and constant altitude. In addition, a proper margin of stability must exist at all speeds up to VD/MDand, there must be no large and rapid reduction in stability as VD/MDis approached. The enlarged envelope may be limited to Mach 1.0 when MDis less than 1.0 at all design altitudes, and

(2) For the conditions described in §25.629(d) below, for all approved altitudes, any airspeed up to the greater airspeed defined by;

(i) The VD/MDenvelope determined by §25.335(b); or,

(ii) An altitude-airspeed envelope defined by a 15 percent increase in equivalent airspeed above VCat constant altitude, from sea level to the altitude of the intersection of 1.15 VCwith the extension of the constant cruise Mach number line, MC, then a linear variation in equivalent airspeed to MC+.05 at the altitude of the lowest VC/MCintersection; then, at higher altitudes, up to the maximum flight altitude, the boundary defined by a .05 Mach increase in MCat constant altitude.

(c) Balance weights. If concentrated balance weights are used, their effectiveness and strength, including supporting structure, must be substantiated.

(d) Failures, malfunctions, and adverse conditions. The failures, malfunctions, and adverse conditions which must be considered in showing compliance with this section are:

(1) Any critical fuel loading conditions, not shown to be extremely improbable, which may result from mismanagement of fuel.

(2) Any single failure in any flutter damper system.

(3) For airplanes not approved for operation in icing conditions, the maximum likely ice accumulation expected as a result of an inadvertent encounter.

(4) Failure of any single element of the structure supporting any engine, independently mounted propeller shaft, large auxiliary power unit, or large externally mounted aerodynamic body (such as an external fuel tank).

(5) For airplanes with engines that have propellers or large rotating devices capable of significant dynamic forces, any single failure of the engine structure that would reduce the rigidity of the rotational axis.

(6) The absence of aerodynamic or gyroscopic forces resulting from the most adverse combination of feathered propellers or other rotating devices capable of significant dynamic forces. In addition, the effect of a single feathered propeller or rotating device must be coupled with the failures of paragraphs (d)(4) and (d)(5) of this section.

(7) Any single propeller or rotating device capable of significant dynamic forces rotating at the highest likely overspeed.

(8) Any damage or failure condition, required or selected for investigation by §25.571. The single structural failures described in paragraphs (d)(4) and (d)(5) of this section need not be considered in showing compliance with this section if;

(i) The structural element could not fail due to discrete source damage resulting from the conditions described in §25.571(e), and

(ii) A damage tolerance investigation in accordance with §25.571(b) shows that the maximum extent of damage assumed for the purpose of residual strength evaluation does not involve complete failure of the structural element.

(9) Any damage, failure, or malfunction considered under §§25.631, 25.671, 25.672, and 25.1309.

(10) Any other combination of failures, malfunctions, or adverse conditions not shown to be extremely improbable.

(e) Flight flutter testing. Full scale flight flutter tests at speeds up to VDF/MDFmust be conducted for new type designs and for modifications to a type design unless the modifications have been shown to have an insignificant effect on the aeroelastic stability. These tests must demonstrate that the airplane has a proper margin of damping at all speeds up to VDF/MDF, and that there is no large and rapid reduction in damping as VDF/MDF, is approached. If a failure, malfunction, or adverse condition is simulated during flight test in showing compliance with paragraph (d) of this section, the maximum speed investigated need not exceed VFC/MFCif it is shown, by correlation of the flight test data with other test data or analyses, that the airplane is free from any aeroelastic instability at all speeds within the altitude-airspeed envelope described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

[Doc. No. 26007, 57 FR 28949, June 29, 1992]

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