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With my current pipe dream being to get physically involved in aviation instead of only theoretically, I looked into the regulations for ultralight planes in Germany.


On multiple occasions in the LTF-UL regulation it is mentioned that in special cases the design inspection authority "Musterprüfstelle" needs to approve the aircraft.

This and the fact that most articles about building your own UL are referring to using existing design patterns "Muster" makes me wonder if it is even possible/feasible to design your own UL aircraft.


So the question is split into two parts:

  1. Is it possible to legally design, build and fly your UL in Germany (complying with LTF-UL)?

  2. Is it feasible to design, build and fly your UL in regards to the financial and time-killing aspect of the bureaucracy in contrast to using an existing design pattern?

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  • $\begingroup$ Not an answer, but you might be more interested in experimental than ultralight aircraft. Have you considered that venue? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 26 '19 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ @aCVn That of course would be more fitting but to my research I couldn't find an "experimental aircraft" class in the German regulations. I only know of "motorisierte Luftsportgeräte" (motorized aviation sports equipment, MTOW <600kg). $\endgroup$
    – GittingGud
    Aug 26 '19 at 8:50
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not familiar with German regulations specifically; a separate question asking whether German regulations have provisions for experimental aircraft in general, and what the relevant regulations would be in that case, might not be unreasonable. That would allow this question to focus specifically on UL aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Aug 26 '19 at 9:18
  • $\begingroup$ @aCVn I asked the question about experimental aircraft regulation in Germany $\endgroup$
    – GittingGud
    Aug 26 '19 at 11:29
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Your starting point for regulations about certification of aircraft in Germany is the Luftverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung (LuftVZO).

§1 Zulassungspflicht states

(3) Ein Luftfahrtgerät, dessen Nachbau nicht vorgesehen ist, wird als Einzelstück zugelassen. Einzelstücke sind von der Musterzulassung befreit.

So no, there is no Musterprüfung/-zulassung anymore, but still an Einzelstückzulassung.

How does this work? Let's take a look at the Verordnung zur Prüfung von Luftfahrtgerät (LuftGerPV)

§ 3 Einzelstückprüfung

(1) Der Nachweis der Lufttüchtigkeit eines Luftfahrtgeräts nach § 1 Absatz 3 der Luftverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung wird in einer Einzelstückprüfung erbracht, deren Art und Umfang von der nach § 2 zuständigen Stelle festgelegt wird. Das Gleiche gilt für Änderungen, die sich auf die Lufttüchtigkeit des Luftfahrtgeräts auswirken. Die zuständige Stelle kann Dritte mit der Überwachung der Prüfung beauftragen.

(2) [...]

(3) Absatz 2 gilt nicht für Luftsportgerät. Die Verkehrszulassung von Einzelstücken eines Luftsportgeräts wird in der Kategorie „Luftsportgerät“ erteilt.

The competent authorities (zuständige Stellen) in the case of Luftsportgerät/Ultraleicht are the Luftsportgerätebüro im DAeC and the Deutscher Ultraleichtflugverband, where you can apply for an Einzelzulassung.

So yes, you can design and build your own ultralight, and it doesn't have to be similar to an existing design, but its airworthiness still has to be assured, so it can be quite an involved process.

More details on the process can be found in this report of college students at the HAW Hamburg.

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