The Eclipse That Cannot be Named … Yet

New jet will have more range and better climb performance than the 550.

One Aviation Eclipse
The new One Aviation Eclipse is code named Project Canada.One Aviation

When Alan Klapmeier and his brother Dale certified the Cirrus SR-20 in 1998, it wasn’t long before customers began asking, “What’s next?” The answer in 2000 was the SR-22.

Today, One Aviation CEO Alan Klapmeier announced the next evolutionary product in the Eclipse aircraft line, code named Project Canada, with speed, range and climb performance the primary focus of the new airplane. Project Canada will, according to Klapmeier, fly an honest 1,400 nm trip with three people on board, using maximum cruise thrust. "No one ever pulls the power back in jets anyway," he told Flying.

At first glance, the airframe will look familiar, but gone are the tip tanks, replaced by small upturned wingtips. Although there is no firm commitment at the moment, the new Eclipse powerplant should be the Pratt & Whitney Canada 615, producing 1,175 pounds of thrust. While the aircraft’s interior remains essentially the same as the 550’s, the cockpit will be powered by the Garmin G3000 avionics suite, although an IS&S avionics system remains an option.

The bigger motors will translate into improved takeoff and climb performance, especially in hot and high conditions. Climb rates up to the airplane’s new service ceiling of 43,000 feet are expected to double from those of the 550. Although maximum cruise speed won’t increase significantly, the faster climb rates to thin air will help deliver the aircraft’s nearly 40 percent increase in range. For a 1,000 nm trip, that also means a payload increase of about 350 pounds.

The wing on the new aircraft will change in order to hold all that fuel, “4 feet at the wing root,” according to Klapmeier. The maximum weight of Project Canada should settle out at about 6,900 pounds, a figure Klapmeier said will increase the complexity of the certification some. He expects a prototype to be flying in about a year, with certification following in 2018.

One Aviation’s offering a special price for the new aircraft of $3.495 million, a slight increase from tab for the Eclipse 550. An order today requires a $100,000 escrow deposit to hold a delivery slot. “If we miss our certification date, we’ll give back the entire deposit,” Klapmeier said.

To sweeten the deal, the CEO said the company will sell a Project Canada customer a new Eclipse 550 today to fly until their aircraft is ready. “When it is, we’ll buy back their 550 for exactly what the customer pays for it today.”