The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would revise the requirement for function and reliability (F&R) flight testing to include turbine-powered airplanes with an mtow of less than 6,000 pounds. The requirement adds significant costs to certification of new airplanes and is a threshold that the Eclipse 500 VLJ was able to remain under when it was certified.
The FAA designated Tom Norton as one of only two Eclipse 500 pilot examiners in the world, allowing Sarasota, Fla.-based Norton Aviation to offer in-aircraft type-rating training, in addition to the FAA type rating checkride. Pilots can choose between conducting the training and FAA checkride at any location in their own aircraft or using Norton Aviation’s Eclipse 500.
Eclipse Aerospace started a program dubbed “Total Eclipse,” which allows customers to purchase final-configuration, pre-owned Eclipse 500s directly from the company. The upgraded aircraft are priced at $2.15 million each, with early buyers getting a guaranteed buy-back provision that “can be applied toward a first-year production slot when manufacturing resumes.”
The FAA has approved two sets of special conditions for certification of Cirrus Aircraft’s Vision single-engine jet, an indication that the company has made efforts to pave the way for eventual FAA approval of the aircraft. According to the FAA, Cirrus applied for type certification of the Vision SF50 on Sept. 8, 2008. The special conditions cover mounting of the engine in the aft fuselage and the jet’s Fadec engine control system.
The FAA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would revise the requirement for function and reliability (F&R) flight testing to include turbine-powered airplanes with an mtow of less than 6,000 pounds.
The FAA has approved North American Jet of Charleston, S.C., to fly its Eclipse 500 very light jets in single-pilot configuration. The approval came after upgrading
Innovative Solutions and Support (IS&S) has added electronic chart and XM satellite weather display to the avionics upgrade it provides for the Eclipse 500. The company signed a contract with Eclipse Aerospace late last month to add the upgrade following FAA STC and TSO approvals.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) approved Eclipse Aerospace as its newest member, bringing the international trade association’s membership to 67. Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace is providing service for the fleet of more than 250 Eclipse 500s. The company acquired the former Eclipse Aviation out of bankruptcy in September.
Before Eclipse Aviation declared bankruptcy and ended production of the Eclipse 500 in late 2008, the company manufactured about 260 of the very light twinjets.
Of these, some 30 were equipped with Avio NG avionics. At press time, seven aircraft had been upgraded for full flight-into-known-icing (FIKI) and Avio NG 1.5 avionics. It’s fair to assume that eventually all of the remaining “NG airplanes” will be upgraded.
Eclipse Aerospace has grown to more than 60 employees since purchasing the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation on September 4, and the new company is meeting its plan to supply parts and provide upgrades to Eclipse 500 VLJ owners.