Eclipse wins kudos for ‘green’ fire suppression

 - May 21, 2007, 7:44 PM

Eclipse Aviation (Booth No. 202) has won the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Stratospheric Ozone Protection award for its development of a new engine fire suppression system that avoids the use of ozone-depleting Halon.

The company, which received an FAA production certificate for its Eclipse 500 very light jet in April, patented the PhostrEx fire suppression system and claims it is the world’s first commercially viable substitute for Halon, as well as bringing “vastly reduced” lifecycle costs and weight.

Eclipse, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said PhostrEx is also much more potent than Halon, two teasponfuls being equivalent to 2.5 cups of Halon. The result is that the Eclipse 500’s PhostrEx system weighs only 10 percent of a traditional Halon system.

Work started nearly three years ago when freelance scientist Dr. Peter Holland contacted the start-up manufacturer about his patented material, chemically known as phosphorous tribromide or PBr3. “Environmental protection is everyone’s responsibility,” said EPA administrator Stephen Johnson in announcing the award.