Eclipse Says It Built 103 EA-500s Last Year

 - January 3, 2008, 11:58 AM

Eclipse Aviation rang in the New Year by announcing that it produced and certified 103 Eclipse 500s last year, and the manufacturer delivered all but a handful of these very light jets before the ball dropped in Times Square on Monday night. While this fell short of its production goal of about 200 airplanes for the year, Eclipse claims it has delivered its first 100 airplanes more quickly than any other general aviation jet manufacturer in history, besting Cessna’s record of 100 Cessna Citation 550s in about 18 months. Eclipse is producing “not quite” one aircraft per day, a spokesman told AIN, but it still plans to deliver “hundreds” of Eclipse 500s this year. Meanwhile, the Albuquerque, N.M. aircraft maker is within days of delivering S/N 105, the first Eclipse 500 equipped with the Avio NG avionics suite. This news comes two weeks after Eclipse obtained FAA certification for the upgraded avionics system, which provides increased avionics functionality, including a third AHRS, Skywatch HP, Class B TAWS, DME, ADF and Mode-S enhanced transponder. The Eclipse spokesman said the company expects to add moving map, GPS and other avionics functions over the next few months.