Eclipse 500 Test Fleet Tops 2,000 Flight Hours

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Also, Eclipse Aviation last week provided updates on its efforts to certify a new airplane, its eclipse 500 VLJ. The company said certification is "on the horizon" and noted that its six flight-test prototypes have accumulated more than 2,000 hours of flight time while and completing the majority of required FAA certification testing. The company also announced that six customer Eclipse 500 VLJs are in various assembly positions on the production line. The Eclipse 500 is on track to achieve FAA certification by the end of this quarter and will be the first VLJ to market. "Our test fleet of five Eclipse 500s continues to burn test points and build hours at a rapid rate. We accumulated more than 300 flight hours in the last four weeks," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation.

"I am also thrilled to see the production line coming to life. Last weekend, the first customer Eclipse 500 forward fuselage was mated to the aft fuselage." There's little question that the Eclipse 500 will be the first VLJ certified and in customers' hands. According to the company, recent milestones include successful completion of all engine-on-airframe certification tests, including restarts, cooling and ventilation. Eclipse says it now has six aircraft in various assembly positions, and that the first production aircraft will be delivered shortly after FAA certification.