Eclipse Aviation has received type inspection authorisation (TIA) from the US Federal Aviation Administration on the Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ), increasing prospects that the aircraft could be certificated by the end of March 2006.

“With this TIA, the FAA is authorising its personnel to begin performing on-board aircraft testing of the Eclipse 500 for certification credit,” says Eclipse. It obtained the TIA after demonstrating to the FAA that “adequate development testing, analyses and design assurance have been achieved to allow formal entry into FAA certification testing”, says the New Mexico-based manufacturer.

Although the TIA clearance gives it increased optimism that certification is on its original track, the company is sticking to the guidance given by president and chief executive Vern Raburn at last month’s National Business Aviation Association show in Orlando, where he said Eclipse was “70% sure of certification by 31 March and 95% certain of certification by May”.


Source: Flight International