2006 – 2008
- Deliveries ran from 2006 to 2008. During this time 260 aircraft were delivered by Eclipse Aviation.
- The Eclipse 500 created the Very Light Jet (VLJ) market segment.
- The aircraft has space for up to 5 passengers. However, this would result in one passenger being seated in the cockpit.
- The Eclipse 500 was the first general aviation jet to not feature a toilet onboard – a radical move at the time.
- The aircraft is fuel efficient with an average fuel burn of 59 to 68 gallons per hour (GPH).
Overview & History (2006 – 2008)
The Eclipse 500, classified as a Very Light Jet (VLJ), was one of the first aircraft within this segment. Arguably, the Eclipse 500 created the entire segment.
Eclipse announced the development of the aircraft in the early 2000s, with an aim to create a jet that combined efficiency, performance, and affordability.
The Eclipse 500 first flew in August 2002. However, the original engine choice (Williams EJ22) was not suitable. Therefore, Eclipse decided to source other engines, slowing down the production of the Eclipse jet.
Officially known as the Eclipse Aerospace EA500, deliveries began in 2006 and ended in 2008.
Deliveries ended after this two-year period due to a lack of funding, with the company entering bankruptcy in November 2008.
However, in August 2009 Eclipse Aerospace bought out the assets of Eclipse Aviation.
Following on from this, Eclipse Aerospace announced a newer version of the Eclipse 500 called the Eclipse 550.
Despite only being delivered to customers for two years, Eclipse Aviation was able to produce 260 aircraft. An extremely high number considering its short delivery window.
The Eclipse 500 is a distinctive aircraft with a unique wing shape and single-pilot capability.
Due to being a Very Light Jet, the Eclipse 500 is perfect for customers who are looking to fly with just one or two other people, with minimal luggage on a short flight.
The most similar aircraft that is currently available is the Cirrus Vision Jet. An aircraft that is perfect for owners/operators and small groups, just like the Eclipse 500.
Eclipse Aerospace 500 Performance & Technical Specification
Looking at the specification of this aircraft manufactured by Eclipse, it is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofan engines in aft fuselage-mounted nacelles.
These engines deliver a thrust output of 1,800 lbs (816 kg), enabling the jet to attain a high-speed cruise of 370 knots (685 km/h).
The long-range cruise speed comes in at 330 knots (611 km/h).
When it comes to the fuel efficiency of the aircraft, it performs extremely well, with an average hourly fuel burn of around 65 gallons.
The Eclipse 500 can climb to a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 meters), a height that is highly impressive for this small jet.
With these performance statistics, the jet boasts a remarkable range of 1,125 nautical miles (2,084 kilometers), permitting non-stop access to numerous domestic and international destinations.
It’s equally important to note the ground performance of the Eclipse 500.
The jet requires a take-off distance of only 2,345 feet (715 meters) and can land within a mere 2,250 feet (686 meters).
This allows the Eclipse 500 to operate at smaller airports, increasing the range of potential destinations.
However, it’s imperative to understand that these figures represent the best-case scenarios.
Various factors, such as weather conditions, air traffic, and payload, can significantly impact the range and ground performance.
Eclipse 500 Jet Interior
On the inside the aircraft dimensions come in with an interior width of 4.3 feet (1.3 meters), a length of 5.2 feet (1.6 meters), and a height of 4.9 feet (1.5 meters).
Optionally, the 500 can be fitted with an all-leather interior. This option was offered as standard on the later 550 model.
The typical layout accommodates four passengers, although it’s technically capable of seating five, with one passenger positioned in the right-hand cockpit seat.
The maximum cabin altitude is set at 8,000 feet (2,438 meters), but what’s truly impressive is the sea-level cabin climate available until 21,500 feet (6,553 meters).
This feature dramatically enhances the comfort level during flights, making the journeys less taxing on the body.
However, there’s a unique aspect that sets the tone for the overall interior of the Eclipse 500 – the absence of a toilet.
A feature (or lack thereof) that stirred some controversy upon its introduction, it was the only general aviation jet on the market at the time to not include this convenience.
Despite seeming unusual, in retrospect, it’s understandable given the size constraints of the aircraft and the average flight duration of 40 to 80 minutes.
The lack of a toilet represents a kind of compromise that comes with the territory of flying in a truly compact jet.
The cabin space, while modest, is efficiently utilized.
The seating arrangement offers adequate personal space, and the absence of a toilet lends a bit more breathing room.
Ultimately, it’s a space designed for short, comfortable flights, and in that context, the Eclipse 500 delivers exceptionally.
At the heart of the cockpit’s design is the Avio Avionics Suite, a highly integrated system that interfaces with nearly all aircraft functions.
This advanced avionics system serves as the backbone of the cockpit’s architecture, ensuring optimal performance and safety.
However, the EA500 is lacking the dual Avio integrated flight management found in the updated Eclipse 550.
The ‘glass’ cockpit, a term coined for high-tech digital flight instrument displays, takes center stage in the Eclipse 500.
The cockpit features two Primary Flight Displays (PFDs) that provide pilots with real-time flight information, allowing for precise control and navigation.
Additionally, the cockpit is equipped with two Aircraft Computer Systems (ACS) that work in tandem with the PFDs to enhance situational awareness and streamline flight operations.
The aircraft also features an anti-skid braking system.
Eclipse Aviation 500 Charter Cost
In North America, the approximate cost to charter an Eclipse 500 is estimated to be around $1,700 per hour.
However, it’s crucial to remember that this figure is just an estimate.
Much like any other aspect of aviation, the actual cost can be influenced by a multitude of factors.
These include but are not limited to, the flight distance, duration of the flight, the time of year, and the overall demand for private jets at the time of booking.
Additionally, operational costs, such as maintenance, insurance, and crew salaries, can also impact the final price.
Eclipse 500 Purchase & Operating Costs
When first introduced to the market, the Eclipse 500 was priced at a competitive $1 million.
Although the Eclipse 500 is no longer in production, its popularity has persisted on the pre-owned aircraft market.
Currently, the average price for a pre-owned Eclipse 500 is approximately $850,000.
As with any aircraft, owning an Eclipse 500 does involve ongoing costs.
Flying 200 hours per year, the Eclipse 500 has an estimated annual cost of just over $350,000.
This figure encompasses expenses such as insurance, maintenance, fuel, and crew salaries. However, despite these ongoing costs, the Eclipse 500’s lower purchase price and excellent efficiency make it a compelling option for many private aircraft owners.
|Range: 1,125 nm||Number of Passengers: 5||Baggage Capacity: 16 Cubic Feet|
|Cruise Speed: 370 knots||Cabin Pressure: 8.7 PSI||Max Take-Off Weight: 6,000 lbs|
|Ceiling: 41,000 feet||Cabin Altitude: 8,000 feet||Max Landing Weight: 5,600 lbs|
|Take-Off Distance: 2,345 feet||Production Start: 2006|
|Landing Distance: 2,250 feet||Production End: 2008|
|Exterior Length: 33.1 feet||Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney Canada|
|Exterior Height: 11 feet||Engine Model: PW610F|
|Wingspan: 37.2 feet||Fuel Burn: 68 Gallons per Hour|
|Interior Length: 5.2 feet|
|Interior Width: 4.3 feet|
|Interior Height: 4.9 feet|
|Interior/Exterior Ratio: 16%|