Four years after the bankrupt program's purchase, the first new Eclipse—with upgraded avionics, systems and interior and rebranded the Eclipse 550 (see photo)—is about to be delivered.
Central to the twinjet's improvements are faster processors within the Avio integrated avionics system, permitting dual flight-management systems with GPS guidance on the primary flight display, electronically activated anti-skid brakes, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast transceivers, deicing boots and autothrottles as standard equipment, plus a variety of optional features such as an enhanced or synthetic vision system.
The aircraft will feature a new windshield with a glass outerply rather than acrylic, more robust air conditioning, single-piece headliner, better leatherwork and more electrical outlets.
All system improvements are being addressed through supplemental type certificates to the EA500's type certificate. CEO Mason Holland anticipates the Albuquerque, N.M., factory will deliver 6-7 aircraft this year, and build two aircraft per month until an increase to three sometime in 2014.