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3 Answers

Definition of complex: what qualifies?

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Aircraft Systems, FAA Regulations, General Aviation

61.1 (b) states:  Complex airplane means an airplane that has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller, including airplanes equipped with an engine control system consisting of a digital computer and associated accessories for controlling the engine and propeller, such as a full authority digital engine control...[and further definition regarding seaplanes]


Does this mean that in order for an airplane to be classified as complex, it must have both a controllable pitch prop and retractable landing gear, and that if it has only one or the other it doesn't qualify?  (I've never seen an airplane that didn't have flaps so I'm not including that as part of the equation.)  Or does it need only one or the other but not necessarily both to qualify as complex?

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3 Answers

  1. Mark Kolber on Sep 01, 2017

    Yes. That’s what the word “and” means.

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  2. KDS on Sep 01, 2017

    Your interpretation is correct.

    Also, just FYI, an example of an airplane without flaps is the Cessna 120.

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  3. Russ Roslewski on Sep 02, 2017

    And an example of an aircraft with retractable gear but without a constant speed prop (and therefore not complex) is a Globe Swift (at least some models).

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