In The Works: Eclipse 500

 - September 19, 2006, 10:12 AM

Eclipse Aviation, of Albuquer-que, New Mexico, said it has overcome the supplier problem, revealed in December, that was blamed for delaying FAA certification by three months from late March to late June. A spokesman told AIN last month that the revised June approval estimate is “looking good.” Icing certification is planned for September.

At press time, five Eclipse 500 test aircraft had logged more than 1,500 flight hours. According to the spokesman, N504EA–the avionics testbed–has nearly all of the avionics software loads, with e-checklists and moving-map functions
to come. Avionics and instrument tests were expected to be completed on April 25. Meanwhile, N505EA successfully completed hot- and cold-weather testing in late March at Eglin AFB in Florida.

Canadian certification of the Eclipse 500’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F was pending at press time. The spokesman said competitors’ claims that the Eclipse 500 is not meeting its high-speed cruise guarantees are unfounded, since the aircraft’s upper range has not been expanded using production engines. One airplane has reached 365 knots using pre-production engines, he said, which is one knot below the lower end of the guarantee. The published guaranteed estimate is 375 knots, plus or minus 2.5 percent.

Eclipse Aviation said its order book for the $1.295 million Eclipse 500 exceeds 2,350 aircraft.