Apr 14, 2014

UK May Waive Rivet Joint Certification Requirements

Britain may waive its normal aircraft certification process to approve Royal Air Force operation of the RC-135W Rivet Joint.
The age of the Boeing 707-based airframe means Rivet Joint will not meet current or previous UK certification regulations in place before the MAA was formed in 2010.
The likely change to RC-135W certification requirements is contained in a report warning that shortages of qualified and experienced safety staff at DE&S could undermine military air safety.
DE&S, the procurement arm of the Ministry of Defence, purchased three RC-135Ws in a 2010 deal with L-3 Communications. L-3 is converting 50-year-old KC-135 tankers into the Rivet Joint configuration to replace Nimrod R1 aircraft taken out of service.
The first of the aircraft was delivered ahead of schedule in November, but it has yet to fly again. The plane, known in British service as the Airseeker, is on track to enter service at the end of this year.
Due to the age of the original Boeing 707 design and the unavailability of certain design and qualification evidence, it is unlikely that the full UK certification requirement will be satisfied and a waiver may be required.

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