Are there any acrobatic-category aircraft that are also type-certificated/rated and equipped for flight under the instrument flight rules? What limitations would be placed on such an airplane when flying as an IFR aircraft vs. a VFR aircraft?

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    $\begingroup$ How else are you supposed to practice flying the inverted ILS? $\endgroup$ – pericynthion Jan 30 '15 at 22:27

Yes: Consider the Zlin Z 242. The type certificate shows that it is certified in the Acrobatic, Utility, and Normal categories. In the section for Optional Equipment, the aircraft can be sold with

Communication and navigation equipment VFR DAY, VFR NIGHT OR IFR according to actual requirements of the customers

Generally, if the aircraft meets the minimum equipment requirements and inspections, and the POH, Type Certificate or other manufacturer's documents allow it, an aircraft may be flown IFR in IMC.

There would be no particular limitation on operations specifically because the aircraft is capable of aerobatics, but the pilot would still need to follow their clearance. This would significantly limit the benefit of the instrument certification. (Note that even if deviations in altitude and flight path were approved, aerobatics still wouldn't really be possible.)

  • $\begingroup$ The last paragraph doesn't make any sense. Aerobatics and IFR flight are not compatible, but neither are they mutually exclusive. An IFR capable Aerobatic plane would simply allow you to fly IFR to an airshow, and when the weather clears, perform aerobatics. They are two very separate capabilities, neither of which limits the other. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Feb 6 at 0:36

Most combat trainers are equipped and rated for IFR. For example, Pilatus makes the PC-21!.

  • $\begingroup$ Another example would be the PZL-130 "Orlik". $\endgroup$ – ra9r Jan 30 '15 at 18:54

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