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January/February 2009

New and Proposed Airworthiness Standards

Subcommittee F38.01 on Airworthiness, part of ASTM International Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, has approved a new standard for flight authority and is currently working on a proposed standard that covers UAS recovery systems. Subcommittee F38.01 welcomes participation in its ongoing standards development activities.

F2690 — Flight Authority

Gerry Marsters, president, AeroVations Inc., and an F38 committee member, says that the new standard, F2690, Guide for Suggested Procedures for Applying for a Flight Authority for an Unmanned Aircraft System: Part I and Part II, will serve as an entry point into the complex world of aviation regulation. According to Marsters, developers and operators of unmanned aircraft systems can use F2690 to find additional regulatory material that is sometimes easily overlooked and to help determine potential costs that will be associated with securing permission to operate a new design. “The primary users will be small developers who create new designs but who lack extensive aerospace design experience or experience in working with aviation regulations,” says Marsters.

Now that F2690 has been approved, Marsters says users should feel free to comment to the committee on it. Initial revisions will be considered from these comments to ensure that the standard remains relevant and useful.

WK15881 — Recovery Systems

All interested parties are invited to participate in the development of a proposed new ASTM International standard, WK15881, Specification for Design and Performance of UAS Recovery Systems.

The proposed standard will provide a specification for design, manufacturing and testing of recovery systems for unmanned aircraft. Committee F38 has developed a standard for launchers (F2585, Specification for Design and Performance of Pneumatic-Hydraulic Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Launch System), but currently no standards exist for recovery systems. The proposed standard will provide a complement to F2585 as well as work toward completing a suite of standards for the overall airworthiness and operation of unmanned air vehicle systems.


Technical Information: (F2690) Gerald Marsters, AeroVations Inc., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Phone: 613-837-9326

(WK15881) Richard Caban, Engineered Arresting Systems Co., Aston, Pa.

Phone: 610-494-8000

ASTM Staff: Daniel Schultz

Phone: 610-832-9716