Role Very light jet
National origin United States
Manufacturer Eclipse Aerospace
Status In production (September 2013)
Developed from Eclipse 500
The Eclipse 550 is a development version of the Eclipse 500 built by Eclipse Aerospace of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. Like the 500, the 550 is a low-wing, six seat, twin jet-engined aircraft.
The aircraft was announced at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2011. The first example was rolled out in March 2013 and the first customer delivery was on 22 October 2013.
Design and development
The 550 was developed from the earlier Eclipse 500, enabled by Sikorsky Aircraft's investment in Eclipse Aerospace in 2010. It retains the 500's airframe and PW610F engines, but incorporates an improved avionics package, including satellite phones, autothrottles, synthetic vision and enhanced vision systems, as well as anti-skid brakes.
In May 2012 the company signed a deal with Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec to have the Polish company build the Eclipse 550 fuselage, empennage and wings, while final aircraft assembly will be carried out by Eclipse Aerospace at their Albuquerque, New Mexico plant.
The initial price for the 550 is US$2.695M and production is intended to be 50-100 aircraft per year. The aircraft achieved an FAA production certificate in April 2012.
In June 2013 the FAA approved the Eclipse 550 for a fatigue limit of 20,000 hours or 20,000 cycles with an unlimited calendar life. In August 2013 it was announced that the aircraft would incorporate autothrottles, new EFIS software, an anti-lock braking system and a high-resolution 3.25" x 4.3" display standby display.
In 2013, Eclipse planned to submit the 550 for the USAF's very light jet requirement, even though that requirement specified FAR Part 25 certification and the 550 is certified to the less-stringent Part 23.
Data from Company website
- Crew: 2
- Capacity: 4 passengers
- Length: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
- Wingspan: 37 ft 9 in (11.51 m)
- Height: 11 ft (3.4 m)
- Empty weight: 3,634 lb (1,648 kg)
- Gross weight: 6,035 lb (2,737 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 6,000 lb (2,722 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 251 gal
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F Turbine, 900 lbf (4.0 kN) thrust each
- Maximum speed: 432 mph; 695 km/h (375 kn)
- Cruise speed: 430 mph (374 kn; 692 km/h)
- Range: 1,496 mi; 2,408 km (1,300 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,497 m)
- Rate of climb: 3,456 ft/min (17.56 m/s)
- Automatic Direction Finder (ADF)
- Avio dual Integrated Flight Management Systems
- Distance Measuring Equipment (DME)
- Enhanced vision system
- Radar Altimeter
- Synthetic vision
- Terrain awareness and warning system
- Traffic collision avoidance system
- Weather radar
- Niles, Russ (October 2011). "Eclipse To Resume Production". AvWeb. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Niles, Russ (19 March 2013). "New Eclipse Powers Up". AVweb. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- Grady, Mary (24 September 2013). "New Eclipse Jet To Debut At NBAA - AVweb flash Article". Avweb. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- Pew, Glenn (23 October 2013). "Video: Eclipse 550 First Delivery at NBAA 2013 in Las Vegas". AVweb. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Niles, Russ (October 2011). "Podcast: Orders Being Taken for New Eclipses". AvWeb. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Niles, Russ (16 May 2012). "Eclipse, Sikorsky Sign Airframe Deal". AVweb. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- Pew, Glenn (25 April 2012). "Eclipse Earns Production Certificate". AVweb. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Grady, Mary (12 June 2013). "Eclipse Jet OK'd For Longer Life". AVweb. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Pew, Glenn. "Eclipse Adds Upgrades And One 'First' - AVweb flash Article". Avweb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
- "Eclipse Responds To USAF Request for Very Light Jets."
- Eclipse Aerospace (May 2012). "The Eclipse 550 Jet". Retrieved 3 May 2012.