Eclipse 550

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550
N580WC Eclipse 550 LX Airflite (11589064064).jpg
Eclipse 550
Role Very light jet
National origin United States
Manufacturer Eclipse Aerospace
One Aviation
Status In production (April 2015)
Produced March 2013-present
Number built 6 (April 2014)[1]
Unit cost
US$2,995,000 (2015)[2]
Developed from Eclipse 500

The Eclipse 550 is a development version of the Eclipse 500 initially built by Eclipse Aerospace and now One Aviation of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. Like the 500, the 550 is a low-wing, six seat, twin jet-engined aircraft.[3] The Eclipse 550 is certified for single-pilot operation.

The aircraft was announced at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2011. The first example was rolled out in March 2013 and the first customer delivery was on 22 October 2013.[3][4][5][6]

Design and development[edit]

One Aviation Eclipse 550 Mockup with systems graphics

The 550 was developed from the earlier Eclipse 500, enabled by Sikorsky Aircraft's investment in Eclipse Aerospace in 2010. It retains the 500's airframe and PW610F engines, but incorporates an improved avionics package, including satellite phones, autothrottles, synthetic vision and enhanced vision systems, as well as anti-skid brakes.[3][4]

In May 2012 the company signed a deal with Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec to have the Polish company build the Eclipse 550 fuselage, empennage and wings, while final aircraft assembly will be carried out by Eclipse Aerospace at their Albuquerque, New Mexico plant.[3][7][8]

The initial price for the 550 in 2011 was US$2.695M and production was intended at that time to be 50-100 aircraft per year.[3] The aircraft achieved an FAA production certificate in April 2012.[9]

In June 2013 the FAA approved the Eclipse 550 for a fatigue limit of 20,000 hours or 20,000 cycles with an unlimited calendar life.[10] In August 2013 it was announced that the aircraft would incorporate autothrottles, new EFIS software, an anti-lock braking system and a high-resolution 3.25" x 4.3" standby display.[11]

In February 2014 the FAA approved autothrottles and anti-skid brakes for the 550. The manufacturer claims the new braking system will stop the aircraft in 700 ft (213 m) from normal landing speeds.[12]

The first customer delivery of a 550 was completed on 12 March 2014,[13] and 10 had been delivered by August. However, sales had been slow, and employees were laid off.[14]

One Aviation received EASA certification for its Eclipse 550 on 18 November 2015, clearing the way for sales of the light twinjet in the European Union and its use for air-taxi service there. The company has deposits from half a dozen European customers awaiting delivery pending certification. Deliveries will begin in January 2016, according to Cary Winter, One Aviation’s executive vice president. The only changes required from U.S. production models are to “paint a couple of switches red and change the connector on the door switch,” he said.[15]

Improved variant[edit]

One Aviation is designing an improved $3.495 million "Project Canada" variant to fly in 2017. A new wing root section will lengthen its span by 3.8 ft (1.2 m) to 41.7 ft (12.7 m), which will increase the wing area to 163 sq ft (15.1 m2), 13% more, and eliminate the tip tanks to reduce drag. 70 US gal (260 l) more fuel can be carried to reach 321 US gal (1,220 l), and a higher MTOW will increase the useful load to 2,787 lb (1,264 kg), 476 lb (216 kg) more. Its flat rated Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615 will produce 1,170 lbf (5.2 kN) of thrust, 190 lbf (0.85 kN) more. NBAA IFR range will improve to 1,400 nmi (2,600 km), and it will cruise at Mach 0.65 (373 kn) at a higher ceiling of 43,000 ft (13,000 m). It will have similar takeoff, approach and landing speeds but will need 24% less runway at takeoff at sea level and ISA+25 and time to climb to FL400 at ISA+10 will be halved. Garmin G3000 avionics suite includes synthetic vision, GFC 700 autopilot, Garmin ESP protection system, LNAV and VNAV, and is ADS-B and RVSM compliant.[16]

Operational history[edit]

In 2013, Eclipse planned to submit the 550 for the USAF's very light jet requirement, even though that requirement specified FAR Part 25 certification and the 550 is certified to the less-stringent Part 23.[17]

Specifications (550)[edit]

Data from One Aviation[18]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2[19]
  • Capacity: 4-5 passengers
  • Length: 33.5 ft (10.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 37.9 ft (11.6 m)
  • Height: 11 ft (3.4 m)
  • Empty weight: 3,634 lb (1,648 kg)
  • Gross weight: 6,034 lb (2,737 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 6,000 lb (2,722 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 251 gal
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F Turbine, 900 lbf (4.0 kN) thrust each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 432 mph; 694 km/h (375 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 430 mph (374 kn; 692 km/h)
  • Range: 1,295 mi; 2,084 km (1,125 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,497 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,456 ft/min (17.56 m/s)

Avionics

References[edit]

  1. ^ Durden, Rick. "Eclipse Delivers at Sun 'n Fun - AVweb flash Article". Avweb. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  2. ^ "Business Jets Specification and Performance Data" (PDF). Business & Commercial Aviation (Aviation Week). May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Niles, Russ (October 2011). "Eclipse To Resume Production". AvWeb. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Niles, Russ (19 March 2013). "New Eclipse Powers Up". AVweb. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Grady, Mary (24 September 2013). "New Eclipse Jet To Debut At NBAA - AVweb flash Article". Avweb. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Pew, Glenn (23 October 2013). "Video: Eclipse 550 First Delivery at NBAA 2013 in Las Vegas". AVweb. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Niles, Russ (October 2011). "Podcast: Orders Being Taken for New Eclipses". AvWeb. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Niles, Russ (16 May 2012). "Eclipse, Sikorsky Sign Airframe Deal". AVweb. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Pew, Glenn (25 April 2012). "Eclipse Earns Production Certificate". AVweb. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Grady, Mary (12 June 2013). "Eclipse Jet OK'd For Longer Life". AVweb. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Pew, Glenn. "Eclipse Adds Upgrades And One 'First' - AVweb flash Article". Avweb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  12. ^ Grady, Mary (11 February 2014). "FAA OKs Eclipse Upgrades". AVweb. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Grady, Mary (12 March 2014). "Eclipse Delivers First E550 Jet". AVweb. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Finfrock, Rob. "Eclipse Blames Layoffs on Sluggish VLJ Sales " AINonline, 19 August 2014. Accessed: 4 September 2014.
  15. ^ [1]" AINonline, November 18, 2015. Accessed: November 21, 2015
  16. ^ Chad Trautvetter (July 21, 2016). "New Eclipse 'Canada' To Have More Performance, Range". Aviation International News. 
  17. ^ "Eclipse Responds To USAF Request for Very Light Jets."
  18. ^ "Eclipse Jet Specifications". One Aviation. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  19. ^ "First New-Build Eclipse 550 to Appear at NBAA Show". Flying magazine. 26 September 2013. 

External links[edit]