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The master category is "Experiemental".  There are several sub-categories such as "amateur built", "exhibition", "air racing", "flight testing", and so on.  Each has subtle to major constraints attached.

It is not entirely possible to give a brief and all-encompassing answer.  The FAA has made numerous changes to the limitations imposed upon "Exhibition" aircraft over time, so the impact on one airplane can be quite different from another depending upon when it was certificated.  There are also variations based upon the understanding of the FAA Inspector or DAR that issued the certificate.

The current regs in place for the certification of Experimental Exhibition aircraft- which are largely NOT retroactively effective to previously certificated aircraft - are very similar to those affecting Experimental Amateur built.  The chief difference is that the Exhibition aircraft is not allowed to fly over densely populated areas unless so directed by ATC.  Depending upon the interpretation of the issuing inspector, there may or may not be a "proficiency area" limit of 300 - 400 nm within which you may fly without interacting with the FAA.  Outside of this area, you must be going to or from an "aviation event" that is listed on your annual program letter filed with the FAA, or on a subsequent notice that you send to them but to which they are not obliged to reply.  Without them expressly prohibiting the flight outside of your proficiency area (which they never do), you are approved.

So, in the real world there is very little difference in Exhibition and Amateur built, particularly as it impacts typical aerobatic aircraft.

Don Peterson

charles chadwick wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: charles chadwick
To: NEW IAC LISTSent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 12:06 PMSubject: Fw: EXPERIMENTAL/EXHIBITION
----- Original Message -----
From: charles chadwick
To: iac listSent: Saturday, June 15, 2002 12:02 PMSubject: EXPERIMENTAL/EXHIBITION
 I am looking for some clarification on the "categories" of airplanes other that certified, and more specifically, what FAA restrictions are placed on them. IE., experimental vs experimental exhibition. How is each category defined and what are the "practical restrictions" on each.  Thanks. Ron 

© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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