Eclipse 500

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Eclipse 500
EA 500
Eclipse 500
Type: Very light jet
Design country:

United StatesUnited States United States


Eclipse Aviation

First flight:

August 26, 2002


December 31, 2006

Production time:


Number of pieces:


The Eclipse 500 is an aircraft from the manufacturer Eclipse Aviation . On July 27, 2006, it received preliminary approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration .


The concept of Eclipse Aviation was to build a very light and fast, but economical small jet for private and above all business flights. This meant that airfields that were previously out of the question due to the runway length being too short should be flown, which would have given a very wide range of possible applications and widespread use.


On September 30, 2006, the Eclipse 500 received full FAA certification for single pilot operations, visual (VFR) and instrument flight (IFR) , day and night flight, and for a reduced minimum vertical distance to other aircraft.

The commercial license according to JAR-OPS1 was granted in 2008. On November 21, the European EASA approval took place - just four days later, on November 25, 2008, the manufacturer Eclipse Aviation went under bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of US law. The proceedings were opened on January 20, 2009. On March 5, 2009, however, the dissolution of Eclipse Aviation began. An auction of the equipment was scheduled for August 2009.

As a result of the bankruptcy and liquidation, EASA suspended its approval for the Eclipse 500 on June 12, 2009 due to unpaid fees. This meant that no commercial flights with the type were possible in Europe. According to EASA, no Eclipse 500 were registered in the European registers in June 2009. At least the Spanish operator TaxiJet has a US-registered copy with which it wanted to offer an air taxi service.

At the time of certification, Eclipse Aviation said that 2,500 orders had already been placed - before the manufacturer had to cease operations, however, only a good 270 units were completed, of which 266 were still in use in mid-2009.

With the 2nd issue of the type certificate (October 28, 2009) the suspension was withdrawn.

In 2010, Sikorsky Aircraft acquired a minority stake in the successor company Eclipse Aerospace and announced at the NBAA in October 2011 in Las Vegas that it would be delivering the Eclipse 500 slightly modified as the Eclipse 550 from 2013. The improvements mainly relate to the installation of a glass cockpit from Innovation Solutions and Support . The first machine (S / N 265) was handed over to a customer from the USA in October 2013. The price of the Eclipse 550 is currently (2017) three million US dollars.

Aircraft class

The manufacturer called the Eclipse 500 a Very Light Jet and claimed to have created its own class of aircraft with it. With a sales price of around 1.67 million euros or 2.15 million US dollars and a very low starting weight, the manufacturer hoped to open up new markets. This also includes new, inexpensive transport services (air taxi) and the operation of small airfields, where commercial jet aviation was previously not possible due to the short runways. The US Department of Transportation hopes the VLJs will relieve the major airports.

The aircraft has two turbines from Pratt & Whitney of the type PW610F . It should reach a maximum cruising speed of 685 km / h (370 kt / 0.64 Mach). It is 10.2 meters long and has a wingspan of 11.6 meters. In its basic configuration, it offers space for up to four passengers in addition to the pilot; Optionally, however, the aircraft can also be equipped with an on-board bar, a toilet or a sixth seat. It requires a runway length of 715 meters and a runway length of about 686 meters. The maximum range is 2408 km (with four people including pilot, plus 45 min. Reserve). A service ceiling of just under 12,500 meters (41,000 feet) enables severe weather to be avoided to a large extent.

According to the manufacturer, the Eclipse 500 was the quietest twin-engine jet in the world with the lowest fuel consumption in 2008. A complete re-architecture of the avionics caused delivery delays. The existing development by Avidyne and its own product AVIO were replaced. Together with Garmin , Honeywell and IS&S , the successor system AVIO NG is now being built into the Eclipse 500.

Technical specifications

Parameter Data
crew 1-2
Passengers 3–4 or 4–5 (depending on the configuration)
length 10.2 m (33.5 ft)
span 11.6 m (37.9 ft)
height 3.4 m (11.0 ft)
Cruising speed
Long haul 528 km / h (285 kts)
maximum 685 km / h (370 kts)
Service ceiling 12,496 m (41,000 ft)
Range 2,408 km (1,300 nm) (plus 45 min. Reserve)
Engines 2 × PW610F turbo fans
Base price 2.15 million US dollars (approx. 1.67 million euros as of December 2008)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. EASA certifies Eclipse 500, November 21, 2008 ( Memento from September 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Eclipse Chapter 11 Case Converts to Chapter 7, (English)  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  3. a b c EASA withdraws Eclipse 500 certification, July 1, 2009, (English)
  4. EASA Type Certificates Overview, (English)