Eclipse Offers Upgrades

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Eclipse Aerospace has announced it will soon begin modifying existing EA500 very light jets. The company is offering FIKI and AvioNG 1.5 upgrades (performed only together, not separately) at a cost to owners of $149,000. The new company has also invited former Eclipse suppliers to attend an Oct. 27 meeting at Eclipse's Albuquerque headquarters to help Eclipse begin to sort out a workable supply chain for parts. Eclipse Aerospace does not yet have plans to resume manufacturing operations in Albuquerque, and won't make a decision on starting up production for at least six months. The company does have commitments to service centers at Albuquerque's Sunport International and Chicago's Executive Airport (formerly Palwaukee). Upgrade work is so far being performed in Chicago, but in a memo obtained by the Albuquerque Journal, Eclipse says it is "committed to the ABQ community and the city of ABQ."

The existing fleet of Eclipse 500 jets is composed of about 259 aircraft, all of which are currently approved for a lifetime of 10,000 hours. Only those equipped with the appropriate de-icing boots and AvioNG avionics packages are eligible for the combined upgrade program.