Eclipse Aviation has received its Production Certificate from the FAA.
The Albuquerque-based company produces the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet.
A production certificate allows a company to manufacture aircraft with an FAA-approved type design, and is only granted when the FAA has determined that manufacturing processes and inspection systems comply with all federal regulations. Eclipse Aviation is now authorized to issue standard airworthiness certificates for its production aircraft. As is common in the production start-up phase of a new aircraft manufacturer, Eclipse was previously required to submit every aircraft to the FAA for approval before delivery.Earning a Production Certificate, which requires undergoing a rigorous approval process, is a critical milestone for the company, according to Peg Billson, chief operating officer. “We are gaining momentum in production as more and more Eclipse 500s go out the door and into the hands of our customers,” she said.
In other news, Eclipse has inked agreements with Flight Simulation Co. (FSC) of The Netherlands and Higher Power Aviation, Inc. (HPA) of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, who will join with simulator manufacturer OPINICUS Corp. of Lutz, Florida, to deliver the Eclipse training curriculum approved by the FAA earlier this year.
FSC, recognized for its pilot training and simulator center management expertise in Europe, will provide course content and oversee the pilot training program. HPA will handle flight training, including administering the Eclipse 500 type rating, in the U.S.
The training program is comprised of a multi-phase curriculum, including an initial flight skills assessment and supplemental training if required, self-paced computer-based study, emergency situation training, a type rating transition course, post-certification mentoring and recurrent training.
Eclipse is on track to receive its first simulator in June, the second in September, and third and fourth in early 2008, according to company officials. Later this year, Eclipse will begin using the full-motion simulators for all Eclipse 500 type rating training. The simulators will be housed at a new 41,585-square-foot facility, which is being built at Albuquerque’s Double Eagle II airport.
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