Eclipse Aviation Plays with Fire

 - April 16, 2007, 12:22 PM

Eclipse Aviation unveiled its home-grown PhostrEx fire-suppression system for the Eclipse 500 today at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. According to the Albuquerque, N.M.-based company, its recently FAA-certified PhostrEx system weighs 90 percent less than a Halon fire-suppression system since two teaspoons of PhostrEx is equivalent to 2.5 cups of Halon. Further, Eclipse said PhostrEx requires less maintenance (once every 10 years versus Halon replacement every five years) and is more environmentally friendly since it releases no ozone when activated. The Eclipse 500 will be the first application for the PhostrEx system, though Eclipse plans to license the technology to other aircraft manufacturers. In other news, the Eclipse 500 recently reached its 41,000-foot service ceiling and 285-knot Vmo during flight testing. The four-aircraft test fleet has logged more than 200 hours, and a fifth aircraft is expected to come online this summer. FAA certification of the Eclipse 500 is still on track for the first quarter of next year.