Sat, Sep 02, 2006
Awaits Final FAA Testing Of Avio
It's coming any day now... that's the word from Eclipse
Aviation, which had expected full FAA certification of its $1.5
million Eclipse 500 very-light-jet by the end of August.
Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn told the Albuquerque Journal the company
has completed almost all of the stipulations to the company's
provisional certification, which was awarded July 27 at Oshkosh
AirVenture 2006. As Aero-News reported at the
time, per the FAA the company needed to swap the
original jets' composite wingtip fuel tanks with aluminum, after
the composite tanks failed a lightning test.
That's been accomplished, according to Raburn... but still to
come is final FAA testing of the Avio system that is the heart of
the Eclipse 500 avionics suite.
"We're done except for one last thing," said Raburn, adding Avio
supplier Avidyne has suffered software development delays.
Meanwhile, Eclipse continues to ramp up production, in
anticipation of delivering customer aircraft as soon as full cert
is awarded. A few customer aircraft are already assembled... with
another line of the small planes just now beginning
Even after full certification is awarded, some features will
still be unavailable on the planes -- such as GPS navigation,
weather radar and other systems. Those will be delivered within six
months to one year after the first planes are delivered, according
to Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom, and will be retrofitted to those
planes already in service.
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