Civil Airworthiness Requirements

Military aircraft are procured under comprehensive flying qualities specifications. These specifications are contractual obligations by the manufacturer to a single military customer. On the other hand, the flying qualities of commercial aircraft are generally not governed by contracts with individual customers, but rather by governmental agencies, acting to protect the flying public.

Civil flying qualities requirements are found in airworthiness requirement documents. Compliance with airworthiness standards is proved in flight testing, leading to the award of airworthiness certificates and freedom to market the aircraft. Civil airworthiness require­ments are the minimum set that will ensure safety. This is a different objective than military requirements, which not only address safety, but also the effectiveness of military airplanes in their missions. Thus, flying qualities requirements found in civil airworthiness require­ments are much less detailed than specified requirements for military airplanes. This is a key distinction between the two sets of requirements.