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When an aircraft is still in the testing stage it is considered experimental. The aircraft hasn't been proven yet. Homebuilt aircraft can also be in the experimental class but most of the experimental aircraft are not homebuilt. Experimental also includes planes flown with an Airworthiness Certificate.
To get an experimental certificate from the FAA the plane must demonstrate that it is air worthy and pass all the required tests. The construction of the aircraft must also pass inspection. If the aircraft doesn't meet the requirements of a standard Airworthiness Certificate than a special Airworthiness Certificate can be issued. Research and development aircraft can get a certificate to test new designs, equipment or operating abilities.
Concept Aircraft: Prototypes, X-Planes, and Experimental Aircraft Homebuilt aircraft are usually not constructed by manufactures but instead built by a private individual who are responsible for at least 51% of the construction. The rest of the aircraft can be kit built. Many will buy an aircraft that is already 49% put together by the manufacturer. These quick build kits are popular and speed up the process to build and fly your own airplane.
Many people have plans to build their own airplane but most of the time these plans sit on the shelf. With the pressures of job and family this dream doesn't in many cases get off the ground. It is important to put family first but it is also good to have a hobby that you enjoy. You could have a goal to work on your project one-day per week and invite your older kids to help. Make sure they work only on non critical parts but this could be a family project that would help bring you closer instead of coming between you.
There are special sections on this page for homebuilt, and kit also. Find parts, plans and designs.
Experimental Aircraft Engines
Airplane Maintenance & Repair
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