The VLJ invasion into Europe took a major step forward yesterday [MONDAY] as Eclipse Aviation won approval from the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security to export the Eclipse 500 jet and its components to Russia.

At the same time, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Export and Import Controls Bureau has granted permission to P&WC to export the PW610F engine to Russia.

Meanwhile ETIRC, which invested more than $100 million earlier this year, is setting up the European MRO capabilities. There are plans for initially three centres, and the first two have been allocated at JetSupport in Amsterdam and at Aerlyper in Madrid. Both centres are initially authorised to perform maintenance on US N-registered aircraft.

“The Eclipse 500 is the standard in VLJs,” says Roel Pieper, non-executive chairman of Eclipse and chief executive of ETIRC. “It is the only aircraft that can be produced in the volumes that are required.”

Eclipse president Vern Raburn says the Eclipse has had its problems, but these are being addressed, with three retrofits under way. Around 35 aircraft will require the performance retrofit; 105 will need the NG retrofit and around 265 will need the Garmin 400W retrofit.

He says EASA certification is imminent. “I cannot put a date on it. But we do have certification in India and Australia, and are close in Turkey and Russia.”

Raburn adds that he expects “five more orders in the magnitude of last year’s 180 by next EBACE”. All the flight testing into known icing conditions is now complete and approval should be forthcoming in the next few weeks. “As a result of the testing we had to make some modifications and as of sn121 these are incorporated into the production line,” he says.

Raburn says: “This is a cash monster, but we hope to be in positive cash-flow by mid next year.”

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Source: Flight Daily News