Eclipse 500

The Eclipse 500 is a small six-seat business jet aircraft manufactured by Eclipse Aviation.

Eclipse 500 became the first of a new class of Very Light Jet when it was delivered in late 2006. The aircraft is powered by two lightweight Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofan engines in aft fuselage-mounted nacelles.



Production of the Eclipse 500 was halted in mid-2008 due to lack of funding and the company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on 25 November 2008. The company was then entered Chapter 7 liquidation on 24 February 2009. After lengthy Chapter 7 procedure, Eclipse Aerospace was confirmed as the new owner of the assets of the former Eclipse Aviation on 20 August 2009 and opened for business on 1 September 2009. In October 2011 Eclipse Aerospace announced that they will put a new version of the aircraft, to be called the Eclipse 550, into production with deliveries starting in 2013.

The Eclipse 500 is based on the Williams V-Jet II, which was designed and built by Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites in 1997 for Williams International. It was intended to be used as a testbed and demonstrator for their new FJX-2 turbofan engine. The aircraft and engine debuted at the 1997 Oshkosh Airshow.

The V-Jet II had an all-composite structure with a forward-swept wing, a V-tail, each fin of which was mounted on the nacelle of one of the two engines. Williams had not intended to produce the aircraft, but it attracted a lot of attention, and Eclipse Aviation was founded in 1998 to further develop and produce the aircraft.

The prototype and only V-Jet II aircraft was obtained by Eclipse Aviation along with the program, and was donated to the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2001.

Instrument Panel

The Eclipse 500 cockpit has glass cockpit technology and an integrated avionics package. Problems with the original configuration have involved a re-design of the system. The first aircraft have the original system called Avio installed. Later aircraft have the Avio NG system in place of the original Avio. The new avionics package was certified in December 2007 and it was intended at that time that the older Avio-equipped aircraft would be retrofitted to the same standard by the end of 2008.

In early December 2006 and in March 2007, Eclipse announced in letters to customers a number of changes to the initial specifications, including:
1.New fairings for the landing gear, wheel covers, and tail
2.Control surface hinge covers
3.Extended rudder and elevator, to eliminate Gurney flaps
4.Improved lower engine nacelle panel aerodynamics
5.Extended wingtip fuel tanks (+12 US gal. on each side)
6.Changes to engine FADEC software, to increase cruise thrust above 25000 ft altitude
7.Overall weight increase of 79 lbs with no change to full fuel payload or max useful load.

Together, these measures are expected to increase the cruise speed from 360 to 370kts TAS and increase NBAA IFR range from 1055 to 1125 nm. All aircraft, including the already delivered initial deliveries, will be upgraded to this new standard.

Production halt

Eclipse halted production of the E-500 in October 2008 at serial number 267, although serial number 266 was completed much earlier in the year. The company indicated that it lacked the funds to continue production or to refund customer deposits for the EA500 and 400 that were owed and are the subject of outstanding lawsuits.[3]

[edit] Total Eclipse refurbished aircraft

In March 2010 Eclipse Aerospace began offering refurbished EA500s under the brand name Total Eclipse. Company president Mason Holland explained: “In their rush to deliver the aircraft, the former manufacturer of the EA500 [Eclipse Aviation Corporation] delivered to owners an aircraft that was only about 85 percent complete. These aircraft were great performers, but still lacked several important features. We now have completed the design and engineering of the EA500.” The used airframes now feature GPS-coupled autopilots and the Flight Into Known Icing equipment package and retail for US$2.15M.

In March 2011 the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive restricting operation of the entire fleet of EA500s to 30,000 ft (9,144 m) from its previous limit of 37,000 ft (11,278 m) and before that 41,000 ft (12,497 m). The AD was required because a build-up of hard carbon deposits on the engine static vanes caused at least six reported engine surge incidents, requiring pilots to decrease power on the affected engine. The FAA was concerned that this problem “could result in flight and landing under single-engine conditions” or if it affected both engines, a double engine failure. This action is considered an interim solution while the engine certification authority, Transport Canada and Pratt & Whitney Canada devise a more permanent solution.[50]

The situation was resolved in July 2011, with a new combustion liner design from Pratt & Whitney Canada that, once implemented, will raise the aircraft’s ceiling back up to 41,000 ft (12,497 m).



General characteristics
Crew: one or two pilots
Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers
Length: 33 ft 1 in (10.1 m)
Wingspan: 37 ft 3 in (11.4 m)
Height: 11 ft 0 in (3.4 m)
Empty weight: 3,550 lb (1,610 kg)
Loaded weight: 5,520 lb (2,504 kg)
Useful load: 2,400 lb (1,089 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 5,950 lb (2,699 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofan engines, 900 lbf (4 kN flat-rated to > ISA+10C) each

Eclipse 500 Dimensions – Exterior:  Eclipse 500 Length: 33.5 feet or 10.2 meters  Eclipse 500 Wingspan: 37.9 feet or 11.5 meters  Eclipse 500 Height: 11 feet or 3.4 meters

Eclipse 500 Dimensions – Interior:  Interior Length: 12 feet 4 inches (148 inches or 376 Centimeters ).  Interior Height: 4 feet 2 inches (50 inches or 127 centimeters).  Interior Width: 4 feet 8 inches (56 inches or 142 centimeters).

The Total Eclipse 500 Dimensions and Eclipse 550 Dimensions are the same as the Eclipse 500

 

Eclipse 500 Interior Dimensions:  Interior Length: 12 feet 4 inches (148 inches or 376 Centimeters ).  Interior Height: 4 feet 2 inches (50 inches or 127 centimeters).  Interior Width: 4 feet 8 inches (56 inches or 142 centimeters).

 

Performance
Maximum speed: 370 knots (425 mph, 685 km/h)
Stall speed: 69 knots (79 mph, 128 km/h) in landing configuration
Range: 1,125 nm (IFR with 45min NBAA reserve) (1,295 mi, 2,084 km)
Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,500 m)
Rate of climb: 3,424 ft / min (1,044 m / min)

Takeoff distance: 2,345 ft (715 m)
Landing distance: 2,250 ft (686 m)

Avionics

Avio Next Generation (aka Avio NG)
Displays: Two 768 x 1024 resolution PFDs and one 1440 x 900 resolution MFD

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