Eclipse 500 Makes First Landing in Europe

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Eclipse Aviation last week said one of its Eclipse 500 very light jets (VLJs) successfully ventured outside of North America for the first time. The aircraft left the company's headquarters in Albuquerque, N. M., on April 14, 2007; flew the North Atlantic route through Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and the United Kingdom; and landed in Friedrichshafen, Germany, for the AERO 2007 show. Additionally, the aircraft will tour Europe over the next few weeks, with scheduled stops in Cannes, France, for EUR-AVIA on April 27, and then to Geneva, Switzerland, on May 22, for the European Business Aviation Conference and Exposition (EBACE). “Europe is such a great market for the Eclipse 500 because of its superior performance and efficiency to anything else offered today,” said Andrew Broom, director of public relations at Eclipse Aviation. “The Eclipse 500 offers a quicker and more convenient way to travel. We already have more than 100 orders throughout this market, and we believe that once people in Europe and the UK see it and fly it, we can change the way they travel.”

According to Eclipse, the European market may be an even better one for the popular-but-untested VLJ, since its range -- 1,125 nm -- and low noise footprint -- it exceeds ICAO’s most stringent Stage 4 noise standard by more than 40 decibels (dB) -- make it uniquely suited to the region. The company adds that additional testing by Pratt & Whitney Canada shows that the Eclipse 500’s PW610F engines are setting a "green engine" benchmark by registering a smoke number (SN) of less than five, while the regulatory limit for engine smoke emissions is a SN of 50. Eclipse expects to achieve full EASA type certification of the Eclipse 500 by the end of 2007.