Eclipse Reveals More Details of New E550 VLJ
Eclipse Aerospace has revealed more details of its $2.695 million Eclipse 550 twinjet to AIN. CEO Mason Holland said that, while the 550 will continue to use the same airframe and engines as the EA500, there will be several cockpit, cabin and system changes.
Avionics upgrades to the Innovative Solutions & Support flight deck include synthetic and enhanced vision, sharper displays, a separate avionics standby display unit, dual integrated flight management systems and autothrottles. The new interior package for the passenger cabin features higher-grade piped leathers, finished carpets, more robust table and cupholder attachments, better hand rails, a new one-piece cabin headliner that improves aesthetics, portable server, iPad and Bluetooth connectivity and a new intercom system for pilot-passenger communications. New aircraft will also be fitted with anti-lock brakes.
Holland said Eclipse recently concluded fatigue testing that should eliminate the current 10-year/10,000-hour/10,000-cycle airframe life limit. “We’ve validated to 20,000 cycles or more than 40 years of normal use,” he told AIN. Eclipse plans to add three company-owned service centers in the U.S. this year, bringing the total number to six (five company-owned and one independent). Holland expects the first 550 to come off the line in July.