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.
Very light jets
The Embraer Legacy 650 obtained FAA approval in late February. Brazil’s ANAC (National Civil Aviation Agency) and the EASA granted their certifications for the super-midsize jet in October. The Legacy 650 is an extended-range derivative–3,900 nm, to be exact–of the Legacy 600. Two Legacy 650s were delivered to customers in the fourth quarter last year.
Diamond Aircraft temporarily suspended its D-Jet single-engine jet program yesterday after a $35 million loan from the Canadian government failed to materialize. The company also laid off 213 employees associated with the program at its London, Ontario facility.
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.
The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive today for the Eclipse 500 that, as of March 21, would limit its maximum operating altitude to 30,000 feet.
Diamond Aircraft CEO Christian Dries is focusing “more on strategy and specific programs,” following the appointment of Gerd Berchtold as CEO of the company’s Austria-based production and engineering division. Berchtold is responsible for design, production and customer support and reports to Dries, who is the shareholder of Diamond Aircraft.
Honda Aircraft Company announced late last month that it completed the first flight of an FAA-conforming HondaJet. The light jet took off for a 51-minute flight on December 20, from the company’s headquarters facility at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C.
For a year marked by a lackluster recovery in flight activity, tepid used aircraft sales and continued slow sales of new light and midsize jets, there was a surprising amount of activity in new aircraft programs.