A DER is an individual, appointed in accordance with 14 CFR § 183.29, who holds an engineering degree or equivalent, possesses technical knowledge and experience, and meets the qualification requirements of Order 8100.8.
A DER may be appointed to act as a Company DER and/or Consultant DER.
Company DERs can act as DER for their employer and may only approve, or recommend approval, of technical data to the FAA for the company.
Consultant DERs are individuals appointed to act as an independent (self-employed) DER to approve or recommend approval of technical data to the FAA.
Some of the DER Technical Disciplines
Electrical Systems and Equipment
Flight Test Pilot
System and Equipment Engineering
Depending on what equipment you are designing for the GV, it will have to be approved by one or more DERs. Typically the minimum is an Electrical Systems DER and Structures DER. Equipment that includes vacuum or compressed gas systems, motors or is external to the GV cabin will require analyses by additional DERs. Please contact RAF early in the development stage to obtain the list of required certifications. RAF established working relationships with several DERs who are familiar with research equipment, which helps expedite the approval.
Note also that DERs do not approve equipment. DERs approve designs for the equipment. Therefore, it is best to contact a DER and receive an approval for the design before the hardware is assembled because if the DER requires changes, the hardware will have to be changed.
DER approval is issued as FAA Form 8110-3, Statement of Compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations.
Attaching Form 8110-3 to your documentation package is sufficient to indicate FAA approval of the design.
Note that DER approval is not the same as instrument approval, which is carried out at the RAF by one of the Inspection Authorization (IA) designees on staff at the RAF. The purpose of this instrument approval by the IAs is to verify the actual instrument's compliance with the DER approved design.