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Eclipse 700 Jet on Track for Certification
By James Wynbrandt
July 25, 2017 - Alan Klapmeier, CEO of One Aviation, manufacturer of the Eclipse EA550 light jet and developer of the Kestrel single-engine turboprop, provided an update at AirVenture 2017 on the Eclipse 700, also known as Project Canada — the upgraded version of the Eclipse 500/550.
The Canada, announced at the 2016 fly-in, will have dimmable cabin windows, courtesy of Alteos interactive window systems by PPG, enabling passengers to change the window tints from clear to dark, and uses batteries from an Acme Aerospace lithium-ion battery system, Alan said.
The Eclipse 700 features five key enhancements from the out-of-production 500/550: longer wings, with 2-foot extensions on each side for added fuel capacity; a 14-inch-longer fuselage for a more comfortable cabin; a larger horizontal stabilizer; a Garmin G3000 avionics suite; and a Williams FJ33 engine to replace the 500/550’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW600. Together, the enhancements create a significantly faster, more comfortable, longer-range aircraft. “We believe this changes the nature of the airplane in terms of where it fits in the market,” Alan said. “This moves the whole curve and changes the way people will look at this niche.”
Though the 700 will require a new type certificate, the changes are relatively simple, and Alan expects certification in about 18 to 24 months, assuming expected financing arrangements successfully conclude. About 30 orders are in hand, but the company is “not being aggressive” in pushing sales, he added.
To showcase the difference between the 700 and 500/550, One Aviation is presenting here at its chalet (451, 452) using a virtual reality experience, created in partnership with developer Rival Theory. It will bring visitors “closer to the reality of Canada, as if the airplane is right in front of them.” A mock-up of the Eclipse 700 cabin and an EA550 are also on display.