I'm curious if anybody could give any indications as to how many hours of test flight a factory new small general aviation aircraft* goes through before customer acceptance and delivery.

(Not initial certification, but what is necessary for every new production airframe)

*e.g. Cessna 172, Diamond DA-42 or Robinson R22


2 Answers 2


All manufacturers have a quality system in place, and they also have a production baseline (which is a result of certification). so, as long as the quality system is utilized, there is technically no need to fly each manufactured airplane. Type certification validates the production baseline (and that each manufactured plane is within the tolerances acceptable for the certification authority or requirements).

However, depending on company manufacturing know how (or lack of) there might be several ground tests (structural, engine, systems checkout) before delivery.

On the other hand, for many military aircraft there's a factory checkout flight, to check and confirm the performance of each frame and propulsion system. This is more useful for risk reduction (to avoid customer complaints and to check the complex system in the air).


There is no regulatory requirement. It must be legally airworthy before any flight including its first one. Most flying done before delivery is to reposition aircraft to dealership or mod center.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.