Eclipse Aerospace received FAA production certification for its Eclipse 550 twin-engine jet. The production certificate allows Eclipse to manufacture the very light jet and its parts in conformance with FAA-approved type design, and is only granted when the FAA has determined that the organization's manufacturing processes and quality systems comply with all federal regulations.
"Armed now with a fully certified aircraft, a certified production process, and an established supply chain, Eclipse is well positioned to re-introduce the Eclipse Jet to new production. Earning our FAA production certificate means we have successfully built a reliable, high-quality manufacturing process, and are well positioned to expedite aircraft deliveries," said Cary Winter, senior vice president of Eclipse Aerospace. The FAA production certificate approval process includes the evaluation of an organization's manufacturing processes, quality control and production inspection system.
The Eclipse 550, with a base price of $2.7 million, will have the same airframe and Pratt & Whitney engines of the original Eclipse 500, and will include enhanced avionics systems from Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S), of Exton, Pa. Eclipse said it expects to make 50 to 100 per year with deliveries in 2013. Eclipse Aviation, founded in 1998, developed, manufactured and delivered about 250 Eclipse 500s before a lack of funding shutdown the company in 2008. Eclipse Aviation has filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. The company was purchased by a group of investors, rebranded as Eclipse Aerospace. Earlier this year, the company secured a minority stakeholder in Sikorsky Aircraft.