category of aircraft classification

i. With respect to the certification, rating, privileges, and information of airmen, it means a broad classification of aircraft. Examples include airplane, rotorcraft, glider, and lighter-than-air aircraft.
ii. With respect to the certification of aircraft, it means a grouping of aircraft based upon intended use or operating limitations. Examples include transport, normal, utility, acrobatic, limited, restricted, and provisional.
iii. With respect to certification by weight, aircraft are classified as small (i.e., aircraft weighing 12,500 lb [5700 kilograms] or less) or large (more than 12,500 lb).
iv. With respect to wake turbulence, aircraft are classified as heavy, large, and small. Heavy aircraft have takeoff weights of more than 255,500 lb (116,000 kg); large aircraft have a certificated takeoff weight between 41,000 lb (18,600 kg) and 255,500 lb; and small aircraft have a certificated takeoff weight of less than 41,000 lb. This classification is by the FAA. The ICAO classifies aircraft for this purpose as heavy, medium, and light. Heavy aircraft have a maximum certificated takeoff weight (MCTOW) of more than 136,000 kg (300,000 lb); medium aircraft have a MCTOW of more than 7000 kg (15,750 lb) and less than 136,000 kg; and light aircraft have a MCTOW of 7000 kg or less. This is irrespective of whether they are at these weights at that particular phase of flight.
v. With respect to aircraft approach speed, classification is based on 1.3 times the stalling speed, or VSO , and categorized from A to E as shown in the illustration.

Aviation dictionary. 2014.

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