New ASTM International Standard Supports Water-Based Aircraft

A new ASTM International standardized practice will help determine “water loads,” that occur during landing, taxiing, and takeoffs for water-based aircraft. These planes must be able to safely react to the water loads, which are based on an aircrafts’ operating characteristics.

“The standard provides clear instructions on how to determine the required loads for either dual float equipped planes or single hull floatplanes,” says Larry Van Dyke, president of ICX Consulting.

According to Van Dyke, a member of ASTM International’s general aviation aircraft committee (F44), the new practice represents one of the first steps toward developing standards that can be applied to more than one category of airplane.

“This practice can apply to light sport, normal category, and transport category airplanes,” he says.

The standard will soon be published as F3331 and effectively replaces the section on calculating water loads in the specification for design loads and conditions (appendix X7 of F3116).

Airplane and airplane float manufacturers as well as airplane modification and maintenance organizations, will find the new standard useful. According to Van Dyke, the standard can be identified in a certification plan as an accepted means of compliance to regulatory requirements without the need to provide an extensive description of how compliance will be shown.

Van Dyke also notes that if and when civil aviation authorities accept the practice as a means to compliance, applicants for a type certificate could use the standard to show compliance and for validation with the requirements of foreign regulatory authorities.

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