Eclipse Relaunches Production

First jet in 2013 will cost $2.695 million.

Eclipse

Eclipse

On Monday at the NBAA Convention, Eclipse Aerospace announced that it was restarting production of its EA500 very light jet. First delivery of the new jet is planned for 2013.

Eclipse is calling the new model the Eclipse 550, but it will retain the type certificate of the original while incorporating some noteworthy changes to avionics and systems, including autothrottles, a first for a light jet. The airplane will get upgraded avionics from IS&S, too, with faster processors and synthetic vision, enhanced vision and even greater integration of systems.

Eclipse CEO Mason Holland said the new jets will have major assemblies built in Poland with assembly continuing to be done for the foreseeable future in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Holland added that once demand industry wide had resumed, he hoped to see ongoing production of 50 to 100 Eclipse jets per year. Price of a new Eclipse 550 will be $2.695 million.