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Thu, Oct 14, 2010

Aero-TV: Slow and Steady -- Updated Eclipse Program Maintains Course

Embattled VLJ Keeps Up With Promising Comeback

With the 2010 rendition of NBAA's annual convention literally days away, a recent trip to KABQ necessitated a run over to Eclipse to see what they might have in store for this year's event in Atlanta, GA.

We covered a number of topics... though Eclipse Honcho Mason Holland refused to divulge any of the announcements planned for Atlanta... but did offer up a status report on all things Eclipse and Total Eclipse.

Recently, ANN reported on the completion of an enhanced windshield application for the dissipation of precipitation static on windshields, and aircraft design changes for operation up to 41,000 feet -- in accordance with promises they made to Eclipse aircraft owners after EAI acquired the assets of the previous company.

The new FAA certified windshield application uses a thin carbon strip that is adhered directly to existing Eclipse twin-engine jet windshields. This maintenance-free strip is bonded across the windshield and to the aircraft structure creating a conductive path, which acts as a diverter to dissipate potential precipitation static under certain flight conditions.

In addition to the improved windshield application, EAI also announces the successful completion of the engineering requirements addressing the existing FAA Airworthiness Directive, restricting flight to 37,000 feet. Eclipse is actively testing these modifications and has completed the final design.

Final certification of the aircraft modifications are expected prior to the end of the year. After installation in the aircraft, these modifications will permit the EA500 to return to a service ceiling of 41,000 feet.

Mason also noted that the Total Eclipse refurbishment programs seems to be holding its own despite the vagaries of a tough economy and our inspection of a recent TE completion showed off some pretty nice work... especially on the interior. So far... so good!



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