After having successfully completed the static tests program as well as all the stability, noise, vibration, performance and stall tests, the Sonaca 200 completed its flight test program with the spin tests which were conclusive. These tests closed the certification program which had been started in 2015 by Sonaca Aircraft.
At the end of 2017, Sonaca Aircraft had already obtained the DOA (Design Organization Approval). To get this certification, the company had demonstrated to the competent authorities that it had the necessary organization, procedures, skills and resources for the design and certification of a CS-VLA type aircraft (in reference to the Sonaca 200).
“Even if obtaining the DOA is not a compulsory step for the development of a CS-VLA category aircraft, it demonstrates that we have a high level of technical maturity and mastery of our product. Thanks to the DOA, Sonaca Aircraft has the privilege to be able to certify certain modifications or repairs and this allows us to be very responsive to customer requests,” said Simon André, Head of Independent Monitoring at Sonaca Aircraft.
Sonaca Aircraft now only needs the Type Certificate, which certifies that the aircraft, by its type definition, meets the airworthiness technical characteristics in every aspect. The Type Certificate comes with the Type Certificate Data Sheet which defines the product and its characteristics. In the case of the Sonaca 200, the characteristics are the following:
– MTOM (maximum take-off mass) = 750 kg
– Single-engined aircraft (pistons)
– Two seats
– Stall Speed (in the landing configuration) = 42 knots (78 km/h)
– Non-acrobatic version
– VFR flights (day & night)
“Thanks to this new certification, Sonaca Aircraft will now be authorized to fly the Sonaca 200 both in Europe and in the rest of the world under the European Airworthiness Certificate,” said Carl Mengdehl, Head of Engineering and Co-Founder at Sonaca Aircraft.
Dominique Roland, EASA Head of General Aviation, spoke about the Sonaca 200 certification project
“I remember very well the young Sonaca team’s first visit at EASA. At that time, I was handling organization approvals (DOA) and although the project which was presented that day did not require the establishment of a DOA, I nevertheless advised Sonaca Aircraft to consider this approach.
I am used to giving advice, which is generally not followed… But to my great surprise, Sonaca Aircraft was an exception and obtained their DOA in January 2018!
The Sonaca 200 certification application had been filed in August 2015 and the Type Certificate should be issued shortly, meaning within less than 3 years after the initial application. In the world of general aviation, it is a performance which is pretty rare and deserves to be commended…
This certification project was assigned to the DGA which obviously was able to provide effective support to Sonaca Aircraft during this adventure.
Bravo to Sonaca Aircraft and bravo to the project team!”
Dominique Roland is Head of General Aviation & Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Champion for the GA Roadmap Project and European Aviation Safety Agency