Sikorsky Aircraft president (and Eclipse 500 owner) Jeffrey Pino shed more light on the company’s investment in Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace, including the possibility of restarting production of the EA-500 very light jet, last month at the Paris Air Show. “We’re good at working with supply chains, driving them down in cost, positioning things in the market [and providing] good aftermarket support,” Pino told AIN.
Eclipse Aerospace received FAA approval for its newly redesigned PhostrEx fire-suppression system canister on the Eclipse 500. The new, all-welded canister stores contents at a lower pressure, resolving the leakage problems the original design encountered. The improved PhostrEx canister was tested extensively and consistently met all design specifications, Eclipse said.
Sikorsky Aircraft president Jeff Pino shed more light on the company’s investment in Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace, including the possibility of restarting production of the EA-500 very light jet, during a meeting this week at the Paris Air Show. “We’re good at working with supply chains, driving them down in cost, positioning things in the market [and providing] good aftermarket support,” Pino told AIN.
Eclipse Aerospace has completed fatigue testing of the Eclipse 500 and is in the process of assembling the data to submit to the FAA, company executive vice president Mike Press told AIN. Once it submits this data, Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse will seek to increase the Eclipse 500’s lifecycle limit from 10,000 to 20,000 cycles.
AIN met up with Eclipse Aerospace executive vice president Mike Press last week at the Sun n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Florida, to get an update on the Eclipse 500 program. Press reported that things are going well at the Albuquerque-based company since its rebirth after bankruptcy two years ago.
The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive for the Eclipse 500 last month that, as of March 21, would limit the airplane’s maximum operating altitude to 30,000 feet.
The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for the Eclipse EA-500 with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F-A engines. The existing AD requires operators to limit their maximum operating altitude to 37,000 feet. The new AD would restrict maximum operating altitude to 30,000 feet.
Sikorsky president Jeff Pino, himself the owner of an Eclipse 500, continues to decline to reveal how much Sikorsky paid when it invested in Eclipse Aerospace last year. On the prospects for restarting production of the small twinjet, Pino said: “If we can make a case for production, that’s something we do really well. And no, despite the rumors, we didn’t invest in Eclipse so I could get parts.”
Sikorsky Aircraft completed a “minority equity investment” in Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aerospace yesterday. Neither company disclosed the value of the deal. An agreement “in principle” for Sikorsky to take a “substantial” minority stake in Eclipse was revealed in October at the NBAA Convention, and since then both parties have remained mum on the deal until yesterday’s announcement.
Eclipse is back. Here at MEBA Eclipse Aerospace is exhibiting a Total Eclipse twin-engine very light jet modified at EA Aerospace's recently established platinum service center in Istanbul.