Eclipse Aviation has released more information about its planned flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) program, which the FAA recently approved. The company has not revealed the regulatory basis of the approval. The FOQA program will gather data from Eclipse 500s for analysis by Austin Digital, a software company that works with many FOQA equipment manufacturers and airlines.
Eclipse Aviation signed a contract with Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) of Japan for the manufacture of complete wing assemblies for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. As part of the long-term agreement, Eclipse also licensed its friction-stir welding process to FHI for use in the wing assemblies, as well as other potential applications within FHI’s manufacturing operations.
Litigation filed last month by Eclipse 500 empennage assembly supplier Hampson Aerospace in the New Mexico Second District Court against Eclipse Aviation quickly turned into yet another public feud between Eclipse and one of its suppliers. Eclipse’s previously publicized battles include those with former vendors Williams International, BAE Systems, Nordam and Avidyne, among several others.
Personal jets, mini-jets, ultra-light jets, very light jets. The category has many names and now many contenders. But no company has yet brought a very light business jet to certification and production. Several programs that have been displayed over the years at past NBAA conventions, such as the Alberta Phoenix FanJet and Century Aerospace Century Jet, are now “on the shelf” and may stay there forever.
Eclipse Aviation has placed a second Eclipse 500 very light jet, S/N 082, on the auction block. The online eBay auction began yesterday at 11 a.m. EST and will conclude at 8 p.m. on November 29. Bidding began at 95 percent of the aircraft’s retail value of $1,844,804.30, and bidders must pre-qualify with a $5,000 refundable deposit. The aircraft will be ready for customer delivery early next month.
On Tuesday, Eclipse 500 empennage assembly supplier Hampson Aerospace filed a lawsuit against Eclipse Aviation in the New Mexico Second District Court for failing to pay Hampson “in accordance with the schedule and under the terms set out” in a contract.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise is considering buying Eclipse 500s very light jets (VLJs) for its new flight academy, a deal that might reach fruition during the airshow. The appearance of the diminutive twinjet here marks not only its own Dubai debut, but the first showing of any certified VLJ in the Middle East.
Eclipse Aviation’s Avio NG avionics suite remains on schedule for FAA certification in mid-November, according to an Eclipse spokesman, and an Eclipse 500 fleet customer told AIN, “We believe that Avio NG will be certified this month.” Eclipse investor Mike Press, who owns an Eclipse 500 and sells Eclipse positions, wrote on his Web site that certification testing has begun and the first Eclipse 500 with Avio NG, S/N 105, is in production and
Light aircraft fractional provider OurPlane last week took delivery of the first Eclipse 500 that will be operated under Part 91K fractional aircraft ownership rules. The very light jet, Eclipse 500 S/N 066, is based at SheltAir at Jacksonville International Airport for a corporate customer. According to OurPlane, this event marks the launch of the company’s nationwide fractional VLJ aircraft service.
Eclipse Aviation yesterday released more information about its planned flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) program, which was recently approved by the FAA though the company didn't reveal the regulatory basis of the approval. The FOQA program will gather data from Eclipse 500s for analysis by Austin Digital, a software company that works with many FOQA equipment manufacturers and airlines.