(June 2011) The FAA has issued an STC to Eclipse Aerospace for its Avio Integrated Flight Management System (IFMS), specifically designed for the Eclipse twin-engine light jet by Innovative Solutions & Support. The IFMS system is an upgrade to the already certified AvioNG system.
As was the case with other systems, the avionics package originally specified in the Eclipse 500 jet was a remarkably ambitious concept for any jet, let alone a very light, sub-million-dollar model. At the time, Eclipse was the avionics integrator and Avidyne Corp. the main supplier. The system Eclipse came up with gave the avionics package control of every imaginable system as part of the company’s plan to create a cockpit unlike any other. Avio even did away with circuit breakers, using an all-electronic version instead. But Eclipse could never deliver a complete system. As originally certified, the 500’s capabilities were embarrassingly spare. It lacked even GPS.
With Avio IFMS, those days are gone. The system from the new company includes autopilot-coupled vertical and lateral navigation with LPV approaches, required navigation performance, victor airways, holding patterns and procedure turns. XM satellite weather with graphical freezing levels and winds aloft, and Jeppesen’s electronic charts, can be overlaid on the moving map. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Eclipse Aerospace provides engineering, service and support for the fleet of 260 Eclipse jets in operation. With a recent cash infusion from Sikorsky, resumption of production of the twin-engine jet is more likely, though no timeline has been established.
“We’ll be ready as soon as the market is ready,” says Mason Holland, CEO.