FAA To Update Composite Aircraft Advisory Circular

 - June 24, 2009, 11:10 AM

Advisory Circular AC 20-107B, pertaining to composite aircraft structure, will provide updated acceptable means for showing compliance with FAR requirements governing the airworthiness type certification of composite aircraft structures using fiber-reinforced materials. It supersedes AC 20-107A, dated April 25, 1984. The advisory circular emphasizes the importance of the factors unique to specific composite materials and processes, noting that the actual extent of testing and analysis for a structure can differ depending on its criticality to flight safety, expected service usage, the material and processes selected, the design margins, the failure criteria, the database and experience with similar structures, and on other factors affecting a particular structure. “It is expected that these factors will be considered when interpreting this advisory circular for use on a specific application,” an FAA spokesman told AIN. “A lot has happened with composite technology since 1984 and the technology continues to evolve, so [we] anticipate [we will modify] the advisory circular more frequently to ensure it reflects the continued evolution of composite technology.”