Eclipse Aviation still hopes to meet the December 2003 certification target date for the Eclipse 500 personal jet by uprating its flight-test telemetry and data acquisition system, but admits it is running short on time while it waits for uprated engines from Williams International.

The first aircraft has not flown since its maiden sortie on 26 July following problems with its 770lb-thrust (3.4kN) Williams EJ22 engines, accessories and starter units. To meet Eclipse's original delivery target of January 2004, the company must now compress a 16-month flight-test effort into around 13 months, assuming it can restart this month. Flight tests are scheduled to be wrapped up around November 2003 to meet the certification target. Eclipse has invested heavily in upgrading its flight-test system, which will be able to transmit 1,056 channels of data per test aircraft.

Source: Flight International