Role Very light jet
National origin United States
Manufacturer Eclipse Aviation/Eclipse Aerospace
First flight August 26, 2002
Introduction December 31, 2006
Status Production ended
Primary user DayJet (defunct in 2008)
Produced December 2006–November 2008
Number built 260
Developed from Williams V-Jet II
Variants Eclipse 550
The Eclipse 500 is a marketing name for the Eclipse Aerospace EA500, a small six-seat American business jet aircraft originally manufactured by Eclipse Aviation and later upgraded and sold by Eclipse Aerospace.
The Eclipse 500 became the first of a new class of Very Light Jet when it was delivered in late 2006. The aircraft is powered by two lightweight Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofan engines in aft fuselage-mounted nacelles.
Production of the Eclipse 500 was halted in October 2008 due to lack of funding and the company entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on 25 November 2008. The company then entered Chapter 7 liquidation on 24 February 2009. After a lengthy Chapter 7 procedure, Eclipse Aerospace was confirmed as the new owner of the assets from former Eclipse Aviation on 20 August 2009 and opened for business on 1 September 2009.
The Eclipse 500 is based on the Williams V-Jet II, which was designed and built by Burt Rutan‘s Scaled Composites in 1997 for Williams International. It was intended to be used as a testbed and demonstrator for their new FJX-2 turbofan engine. The aircraft and engine debuted at the 1997 Oshkosh Airshow.
The V-Jet II had an all-composite structure with a forward-swept wing, a V-tail, each fin of which was mounted on the nacelle of one of the two engines. Williams had not intended to produce the aircraft, but it attracted a lot of attention, and Eclipse Aviation was founded in 1998 to further develop and produce the aircraft.
The prototype and only V-Jet II aircraft was obtained by Eclipse Aviation along with the program, and was donated to the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2001.
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Customer reception of the aircraft has been mixed.
Despite some serious and expensive teething problems with many of the EA500s built so far, some pilots are quite enthusiastic about its flying characteristics and economical operating costs (although many other pilots consider it a dysfunctional mass of parts flying in loose formation)
Crew: one or two pilots
Capacity: 4 to 5 passengers or 2,400 lb (1,089 kg)
Length: 33 ft 1 in (10.1 m)
Wingspan: 37 ft 3 in (11.4 m)
Height: 11 ft 0 in (3.4 m)
Empty weight: 3,550 lb (1,610 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 6,000 lb (2,721 kg)
Maximum speed: 370 kn (425 mph, 685 km/h) true airspeed
Stall speed: 69 kn (79 mph, 128 km/h) in landing configuration
Never exceed speed: 285 kn (328 mph, 528 km/h)
Range: 1,125 nmi (1,295 mi, 2,084 km)
Service ceiling: 41,000 ft (12,500 m)
Rate of climb: 3,424 ft/min (17.39 m/s)
Takeoff distance: 2,345 ft (715 m)
Landing distance: 2,250 ft (686 m)
The Eclipse 550 is a very light jet initially built by Eclipse Aerospace and later One Aviation