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Briefing August 2013 Issue

Briefing: August 2013

Eclipse Jet gets the OK For Longer Life

When the Eclipse very-light-jet was certified by the FAA in 2005, the airframe was life-limited to 10,000 hours/10,000 cycles/10 years. In June the FAA extended that to 20,000 hours/20,000 cycles, with an unlimited calendar life. “An actual Eclipse jet was subject to the movements, loads, and fatigue that would normally be experienced over more than 60,000 flight operations,” said Cary Winter, vice president of manufacturing. “This testing also validated the strength and superiority of our patented friction-stir-welding process.” That process welds the airframe together without the need to drill holes and install thousands of rivets. Because rivet holes create opportunities for stress cracks to form, their elimination and the strength of the friction-stir-welded joints create an airframe three times stronger than a traditional riveted airframe, according to Eclipse. The longer life limit applies to both the legacy jets that are now flying and the new jets now in production by Eclipse Aerospace.

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