Eclipse Delivers at Sun 'n Fun
Following FAA certification on Feb. 28, 2014, Eclipse Aerospace has already delivered five of its new model 550 jets. On April 2, it was set to deliver number six at Sun ‘n Fun to a buyer who agreed to put the brand-new airplane on display during the show. In preparation for the arrival of the 550 at Sun ‘n Fun, Eclipse’s Mason Holland met with AVweb’s Rick Durden for a podcast to talk about the future for what Holland described as the world’s most technologically advanced light jet. The company expects to deliver 16-20 airplanes this year while actively supporting and upgrading the over 200 earlier models that are in the field.
Holland also reviewed some of the performance numbers of the 550, including a 375-knot cruise speed on less than 60 GPH with a maximum operating altitude of 41,000 feet. He said that it is the only jet with a purchase price of under $3 million and direct operating costs of $600-$700 per hour, depending on the cost of fuel. Going forward, Holland said that plans are for production to ramp up to three to four per month in 2015 while offering upgrade packages for Model 500 jets.