Flight into Known Icing OK for Eclipse 500
Eclipse Aviation yesterday received flight into known icing (FIKI) approval for the Eclipse 500, though in-service and undelivered aircraft up to S/N 265 will require modifications to fly in such conditions. Company vice president of sales and marketing Mike McConnell told AIN that S/N 266, which is expected to be delivered in late summer, will be the first Eclipse 500 off the production line with FIKI capability, as well as the dual Garmin GPS 400W avionics configuration that will provide GPS WAAS functionality. Meanwhile, the Albuquerque, N.M.-based company is finishing for pre-S/N 266 Eclipse 500s a FIKI service bulletin that will require early serial numbers to be fitted with new de-icing boots, as well as the previously announced aerodynamic modifications. All aircraft up to and including S/N 265 will need rain-repellant coating on the windshield and static ports, engine ground bonding straps, additional static wicks, a new autopilot pitch servo and a rudder-centering spring to meet FIKI requirements. McConnell said FIKI modifications on in-service aircraft should start in about 30 days, and the goal is to have a large percentage of the fleet FIKI approved before the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere.