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Sat, Sep 30, 2006

Aero-News Alert: Eclipse Earns Full TC

Day/Night, VFR/IFR, Single Pilot, RVSM... Yup, That's A Working TC

ANN REALTIME 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) certification

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 statement.

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 current orders.



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