One Aviation, which now manufactures the Eclipse light jet, has received FAA approval for an increase in the structural life limit for the Eclipse 500 and 550 models with the extended tip tank configuration to 20,000 hours or 20,000 cycles, whichever comes first.
The announcement, made last week at EAA AirVenture 2017, effectively doubles the previous life-limit parameters of 10,000 hours, 10,000 cycles or 10 years, which were set without requiring the operator to enroll the aircraft in a life-extension maintenance and inspection program.
According to the airframer, when maintained in accordance with the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM), full-scale aircraft level testing and large-scale material coupon testing have demonstrated that the Eclipse 500/550 has a fatigue and damage tolerance life in excess of 20,000 cycles. The increase in life limit is automatic for existing and future U.S.-registered aircraft as the company works to get the new limits accepted by other civil aviation authorities. Structural inspections as specified in the AMM are still required.
“The FAA-approved changes to the aircraft life limits greatly simplifies the ability of Eclipse jet owners and operators to benefit from the extensive investment made by One Aviation in structural life testing,” said Brent Christner, the company’s senior director of engineering.