The first public flight exhibition for the Eclipse 500 very light jet is planned on July 27 during the annual EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., from July 25 to 31. “We think Oshkosh is the perfect showcase, because of its huge audience and reputation for fostering innovations,” said Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn.
Very light jets
Embraer, which has sustained a presence in the business aviation market with the Legacy, a corporate version of its ERJ 135 regional jet, last month announced two clean-sheet additions to its business jet portfolio–a light jet and a very light jet (VLJ).
Houston-based Magnum Jet has placed an order for 50 Phenom 100s, with options for another 50 Phenom 100s and/or 300s. The start-up company plans to offer “a turnkey ownership and comprehensive management program for very light jet owners and will operate…air limousine service for regional travel.” Magnum Jet is scheduled to take delivery of its first Phenom 100 in early 2009.
Former Raytheon Aircraft v-p of operations Paul Schumacher has joined Eclipse Aviation in Albuquerque, N.M., as v-p of manufacturing. He will lead the primary assembly team for the Eclipse 500 very light twinjet, which Eclipse said at press time would receive full type certification “shortly.” Meanwhile, its powerplant, the P&WC PW610F, received FAA certification on August 23.
Eclipse Aviation selected Opinicus of Clearwater, Fla., to be the exclusive supplier of flight-training devices and simulators for the Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ). The first Eclipse 500 simulator is scheduled to be delivered to Eclipse training partner United Airlines Flight Training Center in Denver early next year, coinciding with the expected FAA certification of the VLJ.
The experimental HondaJet is scheduled to make its worldwide public debut at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month. Will this be the initial step in actively marketing the new light business jet? Stay tuned.
The FAA has hit Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based charter operator Platinum Jet with civil penalties totaling more than $1.86 million for violations involving 49 passenger-carrying flights.
The agency became aware of the violations during its investigation of a February 2 accident at Teterboro Airport in which a Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet crashed into a building after an aborted takeoff.
Epic Aircraft parent company Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) and Republic of Georgia-based Tbilisi Aviation Machine (TAM) in late July further cemented a joint venture announced last fall to build a $2 million very light jet (VLJ). Under the partnership, Epic Aircraft and TAM will co-produce the twinjet–Epic at its new 90,000-sq-ft Bend, Ore. facility and TAM at a plant in Tbilisi.
Just months after announcing plans to manufacture two new business jets, Embraer has begun modifying its sales department to sharpen its focus on the executive aviation sector. Before making the modifications, the company had a single sales team for both the regional and executive jet markets; it will now have two sales teams, one dedicated to business aviation and the other to commercial aircraft sales.
The amateur-built market has been a crucible for avionics development for decades. The word “experimental” on the airframe often also applies to the panel. It was, after all, a homebuilder who first tried out a loran receiver from a bass boat in his airplane and adapted it for aerial navigation.