- December 15, 2006, 9:06 AM
In a letter sent yesterday to Eclipse 500 buyers, Eclipse Aviation outlined design changes to help the very light twinjet achieve promised performance goals. Changes include larger metal tip tanks, which add three gallons to the previously announced 16.5 per side, for a total of 19.5 gallons per tank. Total fuel capacity will be 1,668 pounds, while mtow will remain 5,920 pounds, for a decrease in useful load of 40 pounds. Aerodynamic mods will help the aircraft achieve a 370-knot cruise speed and 1,125-nm IFR range, and software changes will allow the P&WC engines to deliver more power above 25,000 feet. All aircraft will be modified at Eclipse’s expense. Eclipse expects certification of these changes by April. Pending modifications, the aircraft has a 360-knot cruise speed and 1,055-nm range. Eclipse also published a purchase agreement addendum where buyers scheduled for delivery through September 30 who have paid 60 percent of the purchase price will receive a 0.5-percent refund “of the additional deposit amount from the final payment due at aircraft delivery” for each month of delivery delay.