Just as military camouflage can be legally worn by civilians on most jurisdictions (e.g., in the U.S.), can I create a stealth aircraft for non-military use? More precisely, can I register and fly the thing?

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    $\begingroup$ In which country? Keep in mind that USA & the rest of the world are different planets in terms of weapon laws. What is legal in the USA could get you 10 years in prison in an EU country only for possessing it. $\endgroup$
    – Bakuriu
    Dec 24, 2015 at 11:37
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    $\begingroup$ Making a plane "look stealthy" and making it actually stealthy are two very different things. $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2015 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ See also The Facetmobile $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2015 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know about FAA certification, but I'd bet the DEA would be mighty interested in what you were doing! $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Dec 24, 2015 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ Usually people doing "stealthy" stuff are not interested in "registration". $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2017 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


Yes you may, but you need to carry a mode C transponder while above 10,000 ft or in some types of controlled airspace and have it switched on. Which pretty much negates the stealth capabilities of your aircraft.

To quote the linked AOPA page:

According to 14 CFR 99.13, no person may operate an aircraft into or out of the United States, or into, within, or across an ADIZ designated in subpart B unless operating a transponder with Mode C. Certain exemptions might apply to aircraft that were not originally certified with an engine-driven electrical system; see 99.13(d).

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    $\begingroup$ Any examples of what aircraft have been covered under the exemptions they talk about? $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2015 at 8:36
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    $\begingroup$ "Which pretty much negates the stealth capabilities of your aircraft." Well let's just say most of it is just for show. Like driving a sports car on speed-limited roadways. :-) $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2015 at 9:04
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    $\begingroup$ @curious_cat 99.13(d) covers "...an aircraft which was not originally certificated with an engine-driven electrical system and which has not subsequently been certified with such a system installed, a balloon, or a glider." - law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/99.13 It makes sense that you get an exception if you aren't certified to have a power supply to run the transponder! $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2015 at 9:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Andrew Also, as an pedantic aside, would one of the recent solar powered craft be excluded technically from the "engine-driven" definition & hence be able to find a loophole for not operating a transponder? Though God only knows why someone would want to do that. But just a hypothetical question. $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2015 at 11:19
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    $\begingroup$ Put another way, I don't think there is any country in the world where flying a stealth aircraft under stealth would not be considered either a de-jure or de-facto act of aggression. A "non-military" use of a stealth aircraft, therefore, simply does not exist. $\endgroup$
    – J...
    Dec 24, 2015 at 11:45

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