As the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet nears certification, the price has gone up.
The jet, expected to be certified in less than a year, now costs $1.295 million, up from the initial price of $837,000, which was raised in January 2003 to $975,000.
According to Eclipse officials, the price increases are tied to increases in two key areas: energy-based raw materials, with the cost of aluminum alloys alone increasing 50%-75% since January 2003; and increased supplier costs triggered by engine-driven design improvements, which impacted more of the aircraft than Eclipse initially anticipated, as well as replacement of “underperforming” suppliers, which opened up contract negotiations with new suppliers. Originally, the jet was to be powered by the Williams International EJ22 turbofan engine. In February 2003, the company decided instead to go with Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.’s PW610F turbofan engine.