Kate Sarsfield/LONDON


EURO-ENAER has pushed back certification of its two-seat single-engined Eaglet trainer to the second half of the year. The manufacturer blames delays in the flight testing programme caused by "poor weather" and teething problems with European Joint Aviation Requirement (JAR) 23 certification procedures.

"We were planning to certificate the aircraft this month, but as it is the first general aviation aircraft to be certificated under JAR 23 rules, it is not as straightforward as we first thought," says Euro-Enaer managing director Jan Van Toorn.

Euro-Enaer was set up in 1995 as a joint venture between Chilean aircraft manufacturer Enaer, and a group of Dutch investors. The aircraft is based on the original design of the Namcu, a basic trainer developed by Enaer around 10 years ago.

Under the current agreement, components and the composite fuselage are built at Enaer's factory in Santiago and shipped to Den Helder in the Netherlands for assembly and completion. "The first Eaglet is already on the production line and all the tooling is in place. We shall deliver the first aircraft as soon after certification as we can," says Van Toorn.

The company is aiming for certification by the end of the year in the USA, which it claims will represent the bulk of its orders. "We have forecast sales of about 50 aircraft in Europe and four times this amount in the USA," says Van Toorn. The $160,000 Eaglet will be targeted at flying clubs, private buyers and police forces.

Discussions are under way with the Mexican police force for the possible purchase of an undisclosed number of Eaglets for coastal patrol operations.

Source: Flight International