First Eclipse 550 powers up

Eclipse Aerospace has celebrated a major production milestone — the first power up of the new production Eclipse 550 Twin-Engine Jet.

The first production Eclipse 550 aircraft successfully powered up its two Pratt & Whitney PW610F engines, and the aircraft systems came on line March 18 at the company’s facility in Albuquerque, N.M.

eclipse2Eclipse Aerospace officially restarted the Eclipse Jet aircraft production line last June and continues to track for delivery of the first new Eclipse 550 series aircraft in the third quarter of this year, according to company officials. Built upon the same airframe as the Eclipse 500 aircraft, the new Eclipse 550 series is enhanced by additional technologies, including a dual and redundant integrated flight management system and independent standby displays  powered by advanced microprocessors, officials explained.

The Eclipse 550 will be powered by the same PW610F turbofan engines as are used in the EA-500, which collectively produce 1,800 lbs. of thrust. This gives the 6,000 lb. Eclipse Jet a maximum cruise speed of 375 knots and a maximum IFR range of 1,300 nm with a 45-minute fuel reserve. Like the EA-500, the Eclipse 550 will have a maximum service ceiling of 41,000 ft. and a cruise fuel flow of 59 gallons an hour.

Eclipse 550 customers will also be able to customize their aircraft with new features, including auto-throttles, synthetic vision, enhanced vision, satellite phones, custom interiors, and anti-skid brakes, officials added.

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