Eclipse Aerospace (EAI) marked the official start of customer deliveries for its Eclipse 550 very light jet Wednesday, as company CEO Mason Holland handed over S/N 265 to Louisiana businessman Fred Phillips at the company’s Albuquerque, N.M. headquarters.
A pair of STCs announced late last week by Eclipse Aerospace add anti-skid braking and autothrottle capabilities to new-build Eclipse 550s. The approvals also bring the company closer to first customer deliveries of the very light jets.
Eclipse Aerospace received a supplementary type certificate from the FAA on February 10 covering the autothrottle and anti-skid braking (ASB) systems on the new Eclipse 550. “The [550’s] is the only ASB in general aviation that does not require a complex aircraft hydraulic system and it can be retrofitted to most earlier Eclipse 500s,” the company said.
Eclipse Aerospace (Booth No. C10844) ceremonially delivered the first Eclipse 550 yesterday at NBAA 2013, marking the first aircraft to come off its revived production line since its predecessor company filed for bankruptcy and shut down in 2007. The new twinjet builds upon the “proven and reliable” Eclipse 500, adding more range, upgraded avionics and improved cabin comfort.
UAV start-up Titan Aerospace of Moriarty, N.M., yesterday named former Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn as its chairman and CEO. Originally a Microsoft executive, Raburn founded Eclipse, manufacturer of the Eclipse 500 very light jet, in 1998. He stepped down from the company in 2008 before it entered bankruptcy, and it later re-emerged from bankruptcy as Eclipse Aerospace.
The first production Eclipse 550 will be on display at the company’s booth (C10844) at the NBAA Convention next month in Las Vegas. This will mark the first aircraft to come off the revived Albuquerque, N.M.-based very light jet manufacturer’s line since its predecessor company filed for bankruptcy and shut down the Eclipse 500 plant in 2007. The new twinjet builds upon the “proven and reliable” Eclipse 500, adding more range, upgraded avionics and improved cabin comfort.
Eclipse 500 upgrades announced yesterday by Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace promise to bring long-pledged safety equipment and performance capabilities to the original very light jet. The new Safety Enhancement Package (SEP) will also remove the last of the “INOP” stickers present in Eclipse 500 cockpits since the former Eclipse Aviation delivered its first customer aircraft nearly seven years ago.
DayJet founder Ed Iacobucci died last Friday after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer. After he left Citrix Systems, the software maker that he co-founded, in the early 2000s, Iacobucci started laying the groundwork for per-seat, on-demand charter operator DayJet and placed an order for 239 Eclipse 500s in May 2005. DayJet started operations in October 2007 but ceased flying 11 months later.
Eclipse Aerospace received FAA approval for the extension of the service life of the Eclipse 500 and 550 to 20,000 hours/20,000 cycles with unlimited calendar life. According to the company, the life extension will provide the typical Eclipse Jet owner with more than 50 years of operation at typical usage rates, as well as improved airframe residual value.
Eclipse Aerospace announced late last week that it received FAA approval to double the life limit on existing Eclipse 500s and new-build Eclipse 550s to 20,000 hours/20,000 cycles. Cary Winter, senior vice president of engineering for the Albuquerque, N.M.-based company, said the extension “validated the strength and superiority of” the friction stir welding process used to assemble the aircraft’s fuselage and wings.
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