Eclipse Aviation announced last month that it received certification from India and Australia for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. These certifications, which were issued on the basis of bilateral agreements between the FAA and the individual countries, allow customers to register and operate their Eclipse 500 jets in India and Australia.
Eclipse Aviation received permission from the U.S. and Canada to export the Eclipse 500 and its Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines to Russia. “This is the next step in establishing an assembly facility in Ulyanovsk, Russia,” the company said at EBACE.
With all 173 Eclipse Aviation employees now figuratively under one roof at Sunport International Airport in Albuquerque, N.M., the company expects to begin assembly this month of its first flight-test airplane in preparation for the model’s initial flight next July.
Eclipse Aviation announced this week that it received approval from U.S. and Canadian authorities to export the Eclipse 500 very light jet and its components to Russia, where it plans to establish an assembly facility in Ulyanovsk.
Eclipse Aviation (Booth No. 7463) has received permission from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to export the Eclipse 500 very light jet and its components to Russia, and has also received Canadian approval for the export of the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines.
Eclipse Aviation displayed a new mockup of its redesigned Eclipse 500 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., last month, but first flight of the genuine article has been pushed back 30 days (to next July, rather than June) and certification pushed back six months to December 2003.
Claiming that Williams International did not meet its “contractual obligations” and is “significantly behind schedule” in development of the EJ22 turbofan for the Eclipse 500 very light twinjet, Eclipse Aviation on November 27 disclosed it has dropped Williams and is negotiating with “two Fortune 100 engine suppliers.” Eclipse 500 certification is expected to be delayed significantly.
At press time Eclipse Aircraft had flown the first Eclipse 500 very light jet just once–on August 26–pending the return of both engines from manufacturer Williams International of Walled Lake, Mich. Citing problems with engine accessories, fuel metering and starters, Eclipse sent both EJ22 turbofans back to the manufacturer not long after the first flight. On October 22 the right engine was back at Eclipse’s Albuquerque, N.M.
While most business jet manufacturers rarely announce how many airplanes they have built before providing quarterly shipment numbers to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Eclipse Aviation announced last month that it had delivered 45 aircraft in the first quarter. (“Delivered” airplanes have a bill of sale, the buyer has paid and signed the acceptance papers.)
Eclipse Aviation is breaking new ground again, but this time it’s in the California courts.