By Karen Di Piazza
On Sept. 30, Eclipse Aviation received full type certification for the Eclipse 500 from the Federal Aviation Administration. The milestone came two months after the company received provisional type certification on the very light jet. The TC was presented to Eclipse at its company headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M., during a customer celebration that weekend.
“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,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “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.”
The FAA TC clears the Eclipse 500 throughout the full operating envelope with single pilot operations, day and night operations, visual and instrument flight rules operations, and group reduced vertical separation minimum certification. In addition to this certification, the FAA has qualified the Eclipse 500 to noise levels well below Stage 4 limits.
Eclipse believes its aircraft will create a new air-taxi segment, transporting thousands of people from point A to point B, for short 300- to 500-mile trips, with fares close to airline coach. The company will start delivering customer aircraft shortly. Over the next few years, it will focus on fulfilling the more than 2,500 orders customers have already placed. Company spokesman Andrew Broom said Eclipse is capable of producing four aircraft per day.
The six-place Eclipse 500, priced at $1.52 million and powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines, is designed to land at more than 10,000 airports around the U.S. It delivers a maximum cruise speed of 370 knots and has a generous range of 1,125 nautical miles.
For more information, visit [http://www.eclipseaviation.com].