Progress on Eclipse Pitot and Production Plans
Eclipse Aviation has submitted a final report to the FAA detailing tests of a pitot/angle-of-attack probe fix for the Eclipse 500 VLJ and expects FAA approval shortly. An Airworthiness Directive (2007-13-11) effective June 27 limits operations to day VFR with two pilots due to a moisture freezing problem that occurred during three test flights. Ten test flights with the new pitot/AOA probe system in humid/rainy IMC and cold-soaking at altitude “were successfully completed without any anomalies,” according to Eclipse. The service bulletin for the upgrade is already written and parts are in stock. Flight testing of the performance improvements, including larger tip tanks and aerodynamic and engine modifications, is complete and certification should take place “within the next couple of weeks.” Plans remain on track to incorporate the mods beginning with S/N 39, which is in final assembly and has already received the upgrades. Eclipse certified 26 jets and delivered 17 during the second quarter and expects to deliver 20 this month.