What is an STC?


What is a Supplemental Type Certificate? How are STCs obtained?

At New Flight Corporation, these are common inquiries. They are usually followed by "How much does an STC cost?" Once you know the answers to the first two questions, we think you will agree that, for the serious owner or pilot, an STC is a wise long-term investment rather than an expense.

Original aircraft manufactures obtain a Type Certificate from the FAA in order to go into production. Any company that produces a product to modify aircraft must obtain a Supplemental Type Certificate from the FAA. There are many steps involved in the STC approval process. They include extensive technical analysis and thorough regulatory review. Substantial time is devoted to engineering, testing and actual flight. After all the required submissions have been made, the FAA must verify these data. Only then does it issue an STC, which is an authorization to manufacture and install the modification.

A recently issued STC was found to require 2,300 pages of written material, drawings and test reports. These include: flight, ground and noise tests; engine, flap, tail and wing loads, sheer, torque and moment of stress; fatigue, flutter and pivoting analysis; wind, inertial and braking variables. The aircraft must prove acceptable under every conceivable condition at all corners of the flight envelope. Once completed, this process ensures both performance and safety.

In addition to certifying that the modifications will be performed up to government standards, the STC could not be granted until a modified aircraft was completely flight tested by an FAA pilot. This was done in accordance with a detailed and exhaustive test plan. The test aircraft was outfitted with laboratory-grade instruments to demonstrate compliance with a detailed checklist of mandatory criteria.

The program described above took two years to complete and cost more than $1 million. When pro-rated over the number of aircraft covered by this STC, the fee charged buyers, for certification alone, was only $10,000 per installation. The true value of an STC is realized through the improved performance and greater utility of the airplane.

Who developed this STC?

The Gross Weight Increase STCs now offered by New Flight Corporation were developed by Branson Aircraft Corporation. Since its founding in 1966, Branson has introduced several breakthrough aviation products. The research and development required to obtain this certification took years to complete, and the original gross weight increase STC was issued in 1975. The aircraft modifications have been installed on planes that currently operate in countries all over the world.

The New Flight Corporation is now the exclusive marketer of this and other STCs. Many of the same personnel that developed this STC now provide New Flight with the same dedication, service and expertise that have made it one of the most beneficial upgrades available for business jet aircraft.