Big Day For DayJet: First Three Eclipse 500s Delivered

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On Saturday, Eclipse Aviation delivered three Eclipse 500s to DayJet -- the planned per-seat, on-demand air-taxi operator -- at the manufacturer's headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M. According to Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom, these three very light jets do not yet have the required backup air data/attitude and heading reference system (ADAHRS) display needed for Part 135 operations, but the airplanes will allow DayJet to start training pilots under Part 91 rules while Eclipse continues to pursue FAA approval for the backup system, which is expected soon. DayJet, which has firm orders for 239 Eclipse 500s and options for 70 more, plans to start air service with the VLJs by the end of June. "Today is a major milestone for DayJet, as we begin to take delivery of our Eclipse 500 jets," said DayJet President and CEO Ed Iacobucci. "Like many great innovations in history, there is a confluence of hardware and software advances that together, promise radical change and benefit to thousands of regional business travelers."

Also on Saturday, Eclipse sent a letter to customers along with a draft copy of the aircraft flight manual's Section 5 that outlines the final Eclipse 500 aircraft configuration, meaning the large aluminum tiptanks, the new Avio NG avionics and all aerodynamic refinements. "You will see from these data that the Eclipse 500 aircraft meets its performance guarantees and performs like we have always told you it would," notes Raburn. According to this data, the Eclipse 500 will cruise at more than 370 knots, have a 1,130-nm NBAA IFR range with four occupants and have a stall speed as low as 60 knots. Some takeoff and landing numbers are just shy of the guaranteed performance in the draft section, but Eclipse says it is working to meet or exceed these goals.