A pair of STCs announced late last week by Eclipse Aerospace add anti-skid braking and autothrottle capabilities to new-build Eclipse 550s. The approvals also bring the company closer to first customer deliveries of the very light jets.
Autothrottles give Eclipse 550 pilots a cockpit management advantage compared with other Part 23 aircraft, while the anti-skid brake system–which is also available for retrofit on Eclipse 500s upgraded with the Avio IFMS avionics suite–can stop the aircraft on dry pavement in approximately 700 feet at normal landing speeds, according to the company. Both are features often seen on larger jets, and further reinforce the Eclipse 550’s standing as “the most advanced general aviation aircraft in the world,” Eclipse CEO Mason Holland said.
Although the Albuquerque, N.M.-based manufacturer ceremonially delivered the first production Eclipse 550 last year at NBAA 2013, an Eclipse spokesperson told AIN that the FAA must still sign off on an undisclosed number of items before customers are able to fly away in their aircraft. “We expect to be fully certified and delivering Eclipse 550s in a short period of time,” they added. “Although [we] expected full FAA certification to happen much sooner, we are patiently awaiting the finalization of this process.”