Eclipse Speaks On First Charter E500 Flight

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Eclipse Aviation on Monday told AVweb that "we are excited to see the aircraft being used in the way we have always envisioned," referring to the first Part 135 charter flight of an Eclipse 500 last Friday. North American Jet Charter flew two passengers round trip from Chicago to Baltimore on one of the very light jets. Eclipse, which in 2005 won the Collier Trophy for "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America" for the small jet, congratulated North American Jet "for their historic first commercial flight using the Eclipse 500," adding that the charter operator "is the first of a large group of customers who will benefit from this great aircraft." The flight is the culmination of eight years of work by start-up Eclipse. North American Jet was the first to receive Part 135 approval for commercial use of the Eclipse 500, but Florida-based DayJet might not be that far behind since it plans to start on-demand, per-seat service with the VLJs later this week.