June 30, 2011
By Thomas A. Horne
Eclipse Aerospace announced it has earned FAA certification of a new canister for the PhostrEx fire suppression system used in the company’s EA500 twinjet. The canister stores the fire suppressant gas at a lower pressure. This eliminates the leakage problems associated with the Eclipse’s earlier fire bottles.
“The environmentally friendly PhostrEx system is nothing short of remarkable,” said Mason Holland, CEO and chairman of Eclipse Aerospace. “With its low weight, low cost, and maintenance-free design, PhostrEx will quickly become the Halon alternative of choice not only for aviation but for many other industry applications.”
PhostrEx was approved as a replacement for Halon by the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s the only fire suppressant that meets the ecological standards of the Montreal Protocol, according to Eclipse. The company also says that one Eclipse engine can be protected with an entire PhostrEx system weighing as little as 0.7 pounds. The system is designed to be maintenance-free for eight years, at which time owners replace the canisters. The new canisters are expected to be available for purchase beginning in August 2011.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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