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Eclipse 500 becomes first certificated VLJ, earning provisional FAA approval

Eclipse Aviation has received provisional certification for its Eclipse 500, the first very light jet (VLJ) to obtain Federal Aviation Administration approval. But the company will not begin customer deliveries until it obtains full type certification, expected by 30 August.

Provisional certification includes operational limitations that will be worked off over the coming weeks. Full type certification will allow single-pilot, day/night visual and instrument flight rules (IFR), reduced vertical separation minima operations throughout the aircraft’s flight envelope, Eclipse says. Final performance figures include a 370kt (685km/h) maximum cruise speed, 41,000ft (12,500m) ceiling and 2,080km (1,125nm) NBAA IFR range with four occupants.

Earlier this month Eclipse announced the maiden flight of its first customer aircraft (pictured below).

As it prepares to begun deliveries, including to launch air-taxi operator DayJet, Eclipse has announced plans for additional factory-owned service centres. In addition to already-announced locations in Albuquerque, Albany in New York and Gainesville in Florida, centres will be opened in Boca Raton, Florida and Van Nuys, California and the Chicago and San Francisco areas.

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