Eclipse Repairing Damaged Test Aircraft

 - February 19, 2007, 5:22 AM

Eclipse Aviation’s fourth conforming flight-test aircraft, N505EA, which experienced a gear-up landing on September 4 at Albuquerque International Sunport, will be repaired and back in the air by the end of October, according to a company spokesman. The two pilots on board were not injured during the accident, which Eclipse said was caused by pilot error. The spokesman said none of its five test aircraft currently have operating gear-up warning systems. A software update containing the gear-up warning will be released this fall, as originally planned. Meanwhile, Eclipse has completed airframe static testing for its very light jet. As such, the FAA has cleared the Eclipse 500 to an initial 10,000-hour lifetime. Eclipse said today the flight-test program has reached 500 hours. FAA certification of the Eclipse 500 is scheduled for March.