FAA Approves Structural Life Limit Increase for Eclipse 500/550

Agency’s action doubles the operational life of very light jet.

Eclipse 550
The FAA has extended the structural life limit on the Eclipse 500 and 550 jets.Jon Whittle

A new lease on life is always welcome. One Aviation said last week the FAA had granted it just that by extending the structural life limit on the Eclipse 500 and 550 from 10,000 to 20,000 flight hours or 20,000 cycles, whichever occurs first.

The change applies to all airframes with the extended tip tank modification that One Aviation's president Ken Ross told Flying, "applies to virtually every Eclipse aircraft flying." The update evolved after a long-term fatigue and damage test tolerance effort on both the aircraft structure and materials. The life limit change is automatic to existing and future Eclipse Jet owners, with no additional action necessary beyond continuing to perform the required structural inspections.

The previous 10,000-flight hour limit included a 10,000-cycle, as well as a 10-year limit. One Aviation said the new life limits apply only to U.S. "N" registered aircraft although the company is working with aviation authorities in other regions of the world to extend the life of all Eclipse aircraft.