...Eclipse Goes Through Paces Today...

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Eclipse Aviation has the biggest presence ever at AirVenture, including two type conforming copies of the 500, one of which didn't come out of the factory until two weeks ago. However, in contrast to the Mustang's splashy arrival, AirVenture patrons could be forgiven for missing the arrival of the first two flying Eclipses to be displayed at Oshkosh because of some unfortunate timing. The Eclipses landed just before White Knight and SpaceShipOne and ground controllers told the pilots to stay put on a taxiway while the Rutan crew was formally greeted. However, the Eclipse 500 gets time in the spotlight today with a slot in the air show. Eclipse now has four type-conforming planes in the air and a fifth should be ready any day now. The latest aircraft on display at Oshkosh has a full interior and there was a long lineup of interested onlookers (and seat comfort testers) going through the airplane on Tuesday. Eclipse also announced a nosecone to tailfeather maintenance and support package called JetComplete that it says will reduce costs of ownership by up to 30 percent. "The program provides virtually everything customers will need to operate and maintain their Eclipse 500 at a fixed, guaranteed price," the company said in a news release. The cost is $34,500 or $115 an hour based on three years of use at 100 hours a year.