Eclipse 500 Receives FAA Type Inspection Authorization

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Eclipse Aviation announced yesterday it has received Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) from the FAA for its forthcoming Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ). With this authorization, the FAA is saying the technical data required for Type Certification have reached a point where it appears to the agency the aircraft will meet FAA certification regulations. The practical effect is approving Eclipse's on-board aircraft testing of the Eclipse 500 for certification credit. According to Eclipse, it "demonstrated to the FAA that adequate development testing, analyses and design assurance have been achieved to allow formal entry into FAA certification testing." The company anticipates that, in coming months, the FAA will approve a series of TIAs allowing FAA engineers and test pilots to explore every facet of flying and operating the Eclipse 500.

"Thanks to the tireless work of the combined Eclipse and FAA team, today we are advancing to the next level of certification testing," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. "We designed the Eclipse 500 to bring unprecedented value and performance to customers, and it's exciting to be taking a significant step forward in our journey toward certification and first customer deliveries next year." Eclipse has six preproduction aircraft, including one static test airframe and five flight test aircraft. The company's flight test fleet has completed a series of critical testing milestones including flutter and dive testing. Eclipse says the FAA will certify the airplane in early 2006, with first customer deliveries scheduled to follow.