|Role||Very light jet|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Eclipse Aerospace (2009–2015)|
One Aviation (Eclipse division, 2015–2018)
AML Global Eclipse (service & support, 2021–present, includes Eclipse 500)
|Number built||33 through 2017|
|Developed from||Eclipse 500|
The Eclipse 550 is a very light jet initially built by Eclipse Aerospace and later One Aviation of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. The aircraft is a development version of the Eclipse 500, which was produced by predecessor Eclipse Aviation. Like the 500, the 550 is a low-wing, six seat, twin engine jet-powered aircraft. The Eclipse 550 is certified for single-pilot operation.
The aircraft was announced at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2011. The first example was rolled out in March 2013 and the first customer delivery was on 22 October 2013.
In March 2017 the company announced that 550 production would end after four more aircraft were completed, to concentrate production on the new Eclipse 700 model of the aircraft.
In February 2021, One Aviation entered a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation process.
The 550 was developed from the earlier Eclipse 500, enabled by Sikorsky Aircraft's investment in Eclipse Aerospace in 2010. It retains the 500's airframe and PW610F engines, but incorporates an improved avionics package, including satellite phones, autothrottles, synthetic vision and enhanced vision systems, as well as anti-skid brakes.
In May 2012 the company signed a deal with Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec to have the Polish company build the Eclipse 550 fuselage, empennage and wings, while final aircraft assembly will be carried out by Eclipse Aerospace at their Albuquerque, New Mexico plant.
In June 2013 the FAA approved the Eclipse 550 for a fatigue limit of 20,000 hours or 20,000 cycles with an unlimited calendar life. In August 2013 it was announced that the aircraft would incorporate autothrottles, new EFIS software, an anti-lock braking system and a high-resolution 3.25" x 4.3" standby display.
In February 2014 the FAA approved autothrottles and anti-skid brakes for the 550. The manufacturer claims the new braking system will stop the aircraft in 700 ft (213 m) from normal landing speeds.
One Aviation received EASA certification for its Eclipse 550 on 18 November 2015, clearing the way for sales of the light twinjet in the European Union and its use for air-taxi service there. The company has deposits from half a dozen European customers awaiting delivery pending certification. Deliveries will begin in January 2016, according to Cary Winter, One Aviation's executive vice president. The only changes required from U.S. production models are to “paint a couple of switches red and change the connector on the door switch,” he said.
In March 2017 the company announced that 550 production would end in favour of production of the new "Canada" model of the aircraft.
One Aviation is designing an improved $3.495 million "Project Canada" variant that was planned to have its first flight in 2017. A new wing root section will lengthen its span by 3.8 ft (1.2 m) to 41.7 ft (12.7 m), which will increase the wing area to 163 sq ft (15.1 m2), 13% more, and eliminate the tip tanks to reduce drag. 70 US gal (260 l) more fuel can be carried to reach 321 US gal (1,220 l), and a higher MTOW will increase the useful load to 2,787 lb (1,264 kg), 476 lb (216 kg) more. It was initially intended to use flat rated Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615 engines of 1,170 lbf (5.2 kN) of thrust. NBAA IFR range will improve to 1,400 nmi (2,600 km), and it will cruise at Mach 0.65 (373 kn) at a higher ceiling of 43,000 ft (13,000 m). It will have similar takeoff, approach and landing speeds but will need 24% less runway at takeoff at sea level and ISA+25 and time to climb to FL400 at ISA+10 will be halved. Garmin G3000 avionics suite includes synthetic vision, GFC 700 autopilot, Garmin ESP protection system, LNAV and VNAV, and is ADS-B and RVSM compliant.
In June 2017 it was announced the design would fit Williams FJ33 turbofans instead of the PW615s, derated to 1,200 lbf (5.3 kN) from 1,900 lbf (8.5 kN). This selection follows the possible end of the PW615 production as a backlog of already developed PW610s components for the Eclipse 500 is consumed, and restarting the production line at a low rate and for a short time is uncertain. The production of the 550 could be interrupted as early as in 2017, leaving a gap until "Project Canada" reaches market, which was initially forecast for late 2018 or early 2019, but which was not met.
It is intended that "Project Canada" will be eventually designated as the Eclipse EA700, but it requires an additional investment of US$50 million to complete the development. It will compete with similar light business jets like the HondaJet and the Embraer Phenom 100 and also with high-speed single turboprops such as the Daher TBM 930/910.
The EA700's fuselage is stretched by 14 in (36 cm) and its horizontal stabilizer has a greater span. The FJ33 engines provide better hot and high performance with a 75 kn (139 km/h) higher speed and a range of 1,470 nmi (2,720 km). In 2017 it was forecast that the aircraft would be priced at $3.6 million and by July 2017 had received 30 orders, mostly from current owners, who will benefit from a trade-in program. Certification was expected between January and July 2019, provided that One Aviation secured sufficient investment.
Three prototypes are planned: the first, presented in August 2017 and developed from an Eclipse 500, sports an aerodynamically conforming wing and the next, also based on an existing plane, will test the FJ33. The EA700 wing was first flown on an existing fuselage in September 2017.
On October 10, 2018, One Aviation announced it had voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Citiking International, a Chinese-supported company, then acquired the company; and the acquisition was cleared on March 9, 2020. However, in February 2021, it was reported that those efforts were ultimately unsuccessful and that the company's Chapter 11 reorganization case had been converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation process, with United States-based company AML Global Eclipse LLC maintaining support for all current Eclipse aircraft under the name Eclipse Aerospace, Inc.
In 2013, Eclipse planned to submit the 550 for the USAF's very light jet requirement, even though that requirement specified FAR Part 25 certification and the 550 is certified to the less-stringent Part 23.
Data from One Aviation
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
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