Design changes continue on Eclipse 500

 - December 21, 2006, 10:35 AM

Eclipse Aviation has further refined the Model 500 very light jet’s design to reach performance goals, according to a customer technical communication sent to buyers on December 4.

These refinements are part of a year-long performance improvement program designed to help the Model 500 reach the promised speed of 370 knots and 1,125 nm range (NBAA IFR, 100-nm alternate).

Eclipse told buyers that all 500s will be retrofitted with the improvements, with Eclipse paying for parts and labor, “ensuring that there is a singular aircraft fleet.”

Design changes include a new empennage bullet fairing, hinge covers on control surfaces, pylon and nacelle improvements, new main landing gear fairings and wheel covers, improved drain hole scuppers and rig pin hole covers and software changes so the engines deliver more power between 25,000 and 41,000 feet.

Another change is a further enlargement of the 500’s original seven-gallon composite tip tanks. New metal tanks will now each hold 19.5 gallons instead of 16.5 as announced at the provisional certification press conference at the Experimental Aircraft Association meeting in July. Total fuel capacity is now 249 gallons.
Until the mods are certified (scheduled for March or April) and installed, the Eclipse 500 will have a 360-knot cruise speed and 1,055-nm range.