Little Jets, Time And Money

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As AVweb reported Monday, Eclipse Aviation gathered some of its customers together last week to update them on the complications caused by abandoning the Williams EJ22 engine. The company issued a news release Monday detailing the facts and figures released during that meeting. The Eclipse 500 will cruise at 375 knots, an increase of 20 knots over the previous 355 knots max cruise speed. That's thanks to a boost in thrust to 900 pounds a side from its new engines. The maker of the new engines wasn't released but an announcement is said to be imminent. The payload is increasing by 250 pounds, but most of that is reserved for fuel for the thirstier engines. Weight isn't the only thing on the rise, however. The company confirmed that it would deliver the aircraft at a firm price of $950,000 (up from $837,500) for customers with non-escrowed deposits and $975,000 for those customers whose deposits remain in escrow. The million-dollar barrier will be broken at serial number 1533 and jets built after that will cost $1,175,000.  The Eclipse 500's revised operating range will be 1,280 nm and the jet's projected stall speed will increase slightly to 67 knots. Earliest certification is now projected at the first quarter of 2006. Eclipse’s current order book totals 2,102 aircraft priced at less than $1 million, with an additional 100 jets selling at this price. Don't forget, however, that the prices quoted are in June 2000 dollars so, factoring inflation, the checks actually written for all those aircraft will almost certainly be more than $1 million.