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Sep 14, 2019, 06:39 PM
A man with too many toys
Thread OP
Discussion

55 lb +


Thinking of building a giant scale airplane.

What's the procedure for flying heavier than 55 lb airplanes for recreational purposes?

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Sep 14, 2019, 07:58 PM
Registered User
vollrathd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man
Thinking of building a giant scale airplane.

What's the procedure for flying heavier than 55 lb airplanes for recreational purposes?

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First on the list, buy 30 pounds of batteries!

Giant Corvus Model (This one weighs 23 pounds)
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...-Models-Corvus
Sep 14, 2019, 08:52 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man
Thinking of building a giant scale airplane.

What's the procedure for flying heavier than 55 lb airplanes for recreational purposes?

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You'll want to check the governments "drone laws", but I don't think the govt. addresses weight other than if you fly an airplane larger than a hummingbird (my interpretation) which means you have to register yada yada yada.

As far as the 55lb+ category, it has always been in the AMA's rules and regs as to how that works.
It's all here: https://www.modelaircraft.org/sites/...iles/520-a.pdf
Sep 14, 2019, 08:54 PM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
Well to be legal and all you need to get the 55+ pound plane certified through the AMA Large Model Airplane Program. Then you may or may not need to register with the FAA, but basically you have to register via paper work not online with the FAA. It gets uglier with the FAA if you are being paid to fly the RC planes or drones that are that big.

But since there are quite a few folks flying really big RC planes, it can't be all that onerous to get setup for it.

ref https://www.modelaircraft.org/sites/...uments/100.pdf

ref https://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets...m?newsId=22615

ref https://www.flitetest.com/articles/f...gistration-faq

ref https://www.pumphreylawfirm.com/blog...one-55-pounds/
Last edited by earlwb; Sep 14, 2019 at 08:56 PM. Reason: add more info
Sep 15, 2019, 05:17 AM
A man with too many toys
Thread OP
Looks like you just have to fill out an inspection form each day before you fly and you are good to go.
Sep 17, 2019, 11:04 AM
Registered User
GWRIGHT's Avatar
for AMA insurance to cover you, their program has 2 levels with various requirements. 55~77 lbs and 77~125lbs. Currently, 125 is the absolute maximum for AMA to recognize it for insurance purposes. Numerous requirements, such as inpection (AMA has specific inspector), maximum thrust (If I remember correctly it's the LOWER of either aircraft weight plus 5 lbs, or 77 lbs for the first category, and change that to 90 lbs for the larger category. There are also minimum servo torque requirements, and how to compute them is documented on AMA's site. So,.. build, have AMA inspector go over it and watch it fly, assuming you've met the other qualifications. As for FAA registrations, if it's above 250 grams and under 55, just register and put your number on the plane. Over 55 is not a small unmanned ariel system according to them, so technically you'd have to register it the same as a manned aircraft with tailnumber and such. However, they've not enforced that ,..........yet.
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Sep 17, 2019, 03:37 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by GWRIGHT
for AMA insurance to cover you, their program has 2 levels with various requirements. 55~77 lbs and 77~125lbs. Currently, 125 is the absolute maximum for AMA to recognize it for insurance purposes. Numerous requirements, such as inpection (AMA has specific inspector), maximum thrust (If I remember correctly it's the LOWER of either aircraft weight plus 5 lbs, or 77 lbs for the first category, and change that to 90 lbs for the larger category. There are also minimum servo torque requirements, and how to compute them is documented on AMA's site. So,.. build, have AMA inspector go over it and watch it fly, assuming you've met the other qualifications. As for FAA registrations, if it's above 250 grams and under 55, just register and put your number on the plane. Over 55 is not a small unmanned ariel system according to them, so technically you'd have to register it the same as a manned aircraft with tailnumber and such. However, they've not enforced that ,..........yet.
All great reasons to keep that sucker at 54lb, 15.9oz.:
Sep 17, 2019, 06:06 PM
A man with too many toys
Thread OP
Does anyone know why the FAA chose such an odd-ball number

Why not just 50 lb or 100 lb?

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Sep 19, 2019, 07:10 AM
Registered User
Does anybody know why bureaucrats do the things they do?
Whenever those inside the beltway issue another fatwa to we peons, it is not our job to question our betters. After all that's why they are there in the first place: because they know what's best for us.
If they weren't there, then all of civilization would collapse and fall into....well, anarchy and people would have no idea what to do next.
And of course, it's all to keep us safe.
Sep 19, 2019, 07:45 AM
Multi-Platform Pilot
barracudahockey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RC Man
Does anyone know why the FAA chose such an odd-ball number

Why not just 50 lb or 100 lb?

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Because we are the last last people on the planet not to convert to metric.

To the reset of the world the FAI uses 25 kilograms which converts to 55 pounds.
Sep 19, 2019, 08:21 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollyroger
Does anybody know why bureaucrats do the things they do?
Whenever those inside the beltway issue another fatwa to we peons, it is not our job to question our betters. After all that's why they are there in the first place: because they know what's best for us.
If they weren't there, then all of civilization would collapse and fall into....well, anarchy and people would have no idea what to do next.
And of course, it's all to keep us safe.
It's not the bureaucrats fault.
It's the people who vote for them.
That said, don't blame me. Blame the party that brings you this.
Sep 19, 2019, 10:03 AM
A man with too many toys
Thread OP
The general public just does not like radical ideas like converting to the metric system or taking away your play things (drones and guns). They tried to change the speed limits to metric in the 70's but that was rejected by the public. It's human nature to appose change.

We should have a law that says you must live with all the laws that were in effect they day your were born and no new laws would apply. That way you know the rules and can plan your life accordingly. The way the FAA keeps flip-flopping and making up random rules and not enforcing some makes it hard to know what's actually legal and what's not. First you had to register, then the courts said that it was illegal for the FAA to make you register, them they say you must register again - the whole process is crazy.

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Sep 19, 2019, 11:09 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treeline
It's not the bureaucrats fault.
It's the people who vote for them.
That said, don't blame me. Blame the party that brings you this.
Bureaucrats are NOT voted into their office. They are unelected government apparatchiks.
Sep 19, 2019, 01:16 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollyroger
Bureaucrats are NOT voted into their office. They are unelected government apparatchiks.
They are appointed by those that ARE voted in.
Same thing. Elections have consequences.


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