The FAA has awarded Eclipse Aerospace a production certificate for the Eclipse 550, clearing the path for the re-launch of the very light jet in a rebirth that was first announced last October at the NBAA Convention.
With the new production certificate in hand, the company “is well positioned to re-introduce the Eclipse Jet to new production… [and] to expedite aircraft deliveries,” says Eclipse Aerospace Senior Vice President Cary Winter.
The news comes in conjunction with rumors that United Technologies Corp. (UTC) – which holds a 42 percent stake in Eclipse Aerospace – is not interested in funding renewed production of the Eclipse jet.
Eclipse, however, denied those rumors and reiterated its commitment to the 550 program.
“We have consistently stated that as the general aviation market returns to normalized levels, we will produce the new Eclipse 550. Our plans have not changed,” Eclipse CEO Mason Holland said.
He went on to say that the company continues to add to its Eclipse 550 order book, with first deliveries scheduled for next year, as originally announced.
While the Eclipse 550 is essentially the same as the Eclipse 500 model as that was first delivered by the original Eclipse company in 2006, the 550 will feature a number of improvements, including autothrottles, synthetic vision and dual digital FMS, among others upgrades.