Day/Night, VFR/IFR, Single Pilot, RVSM... Yup, That's A Working
REPORTING 09.30.06 1515 EDT: Today, before a happy -- soon
to be happier -- crowd of customers at its Albuquerque, New Mexico
headquarters, Eclipse received a full type certificate for its
revolutionary Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet.
In a release to Aero-News, President and CEO of Eclipse Aviation
Vern Raburn said, "In spite of the hurdles we’ve encountered
and those that still lie ahead, this is a day to reflect on what
has been accomplished. We successfully launched a new aviation
company, developed and certified a truly revolutionary aircraft and
created a whole new market segment that helped return relevancy and
growth to general aviation."
This FAA Type Certification clears the Eclipse 500 throughout
the full operating envelope with:
- Single pilot operations
- Day and night operations
- Visual and instrument flight rules (VFR/IFR) operations
- Group reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM)
The composite tip tanks that failed initial certification have
been replaced. The FAA has approved metal tip tanks similar in size
and shape to the original composite tanks for installation on the
first production aircraft. Extended tip tanks, in the works, should
be approved next year and offered as a modification for aircraft
delivered between now and then.
Also, Eclipse expects to receive icing certification next
March... as it's difficult to find icing conditions for
testing in the summer. Company officials say they will begin
customer shipments "shortly."
COO of Eclipse Aviation Peg Billson said, "To all the members of
the Eclipse community who are gathered with us today in
Albuquerque, and those that are with us in spirit around the world,
I want to express my deep gratitude for all the innovative
thinking, unwavering encouragement and arduous work that made this
unforgettable day possible."
There's an old missive, credited to Cheops -- the builder of one
of Egypt's great pyramids, that says something to the effect that
nothing monumental ever gets done on time or in budget. ANN has no
doubt that an ebullient Vern Raburn, having now earned a working TC
for the revolutionary Eclipse 500, can find little fault in such a
But that having been said, now comes the real work. Raburn has
to build over 2500 of the things just to get a handle on