EuroEnaer, the Chilean-Dutch joint venture company developing the Eaglet light aircraft, expects to begin delivering the first examples in early June, pending the successful completion of certification by the European Joint Aviation Authorities by June.

EuroEnaer managing director Michael Van Tooren says: "We need another two months to get it done, but we are well on the way to type certification." The Den Helder, Netherlands-based company has received "serious interest" in the aircraft, and is "in the final evaluation stages with a launch customer". The all-composite trainer is aimed primarily at flight schools where the $158,000 aircraft is being presented as a baseline Cessna 152 replacement.

Assembly of the first production standard aircraft from an Enaer-built kit is under way in the Netherlands. "This will be used for the last phase of the flight test effort," says Tooren, who expects "all issues to be technically closed" by late May.

The bulk of the test programme has been conducted using an Enaer-assembled prototype. The second test aircraft, due to fly in April, is powered by a larger 120kW (160hp) Textron Lycoming O-320 and incorporates design features perfected in the Netherlands.

These include composite seats, produced using a vacuum-injection method, passive force limiters on the seat belts, and a composite rudder manufactured by a special resin transfer moulding technique that also uses a vacuum system.

EuroEnaer has completed production and design organisation approval. The latter was made possible in early March with the signing of a bilateral agreement between the Chilean and Netherlands aviation authorities under which each country agreed to recognise the other's quality assurance certification processes. The agreement was vital as all Eaglets will continue to be assembled in the Netherlands from kits produced in Chile. EuroEnaer plans to complete six Eaglets this year.

Source: Flight International