Eclipse edges to certification with final hours of testing

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Eclipse Aviation was expected to secure full certification for the Eclipse 500 very light jet late last week, pending the completion of the final few hours of function and reliability flight tests. The long-awaited certification comes after Eclipse completed testing aluminium wingtip fuel tanks after it failed to secure certification of the original composite tanks. The need to replace the tanks is one reason the Eclipse obtained only provisional US type certification in July. The replacement tanks will be replaced in later production units with slightly larger tanks offering an additional 45 litres (12USgal) of fuel.

Initial certification allows single-pilot, day/night visual and instrument flight rules operation. A subsequent software upgrade is planned for October to add avionics functionality that DayJet needs to meet Part 135 operating requirements so that it can begin its air-taxi service. Around 19 aircraft are currently on the production line.