July 24, 2007 Eclipse Aviation manufacturer of the worlds first Very Light Jet (VLJ) has unveiled the new Eclipse Concept Jet (ECJ) a single-engine turbofan powered, V-tail aircraft. The ECJ will cruise at 345 knots with a service ceiling of 41,000 feet, yet needs no more than 2,200 feet of runway to take off or land. The aircraft's range is estimated to be 1,250 nautical miles. A unique element of the ECJ's aerodynamic design is its empennage, which features an external mounted engine pod and V-Tail vertical surfaces that create exceptional aerodynamic, weight, and operational benefits.
The ECJ shares a number of design elements with the Eclipse 500. Common to the ECJ and the Eclipse 500 are the wing assembly minus the tip tanks, which includes the ailerons, the fuel system, main landing gear and actuators, flaps and flap actuators, wheels and brakes. The nose assembly is also common to both aircraft and includes the nose landing gear assembly, landing gear doors, forward pressure bulkhead, air conditioning and oxygen supply.
The ECJ also features Eclipse's Avio NG system. The all-electric ECJ design delivers full Avio NG functionality, including aircraft computer systems, flight control trims, autopilot, electrical power distribution, FADEC, air data, AHRS, landing gear and flap actuation. Leveraging Avio NG's Total Aircraft Integration(tm), all of the ECJ's major system components are controlled and managed using Avio NG - exactly as they are on the Eclipse 500.
Building off the foundation provided in Avio NG, the ECJ is presented with one primary flight display and one multifunction display. Additional primary flight instrumentation requirements are currently being studied for inclusion in the ECJ flight deck. The sidestick controlled ECJ is also presented containing very similar instrument panel layouts as the Eclipse 500. A new concept panel has been created for the thrust console, which includes a rotary knob thrust lever with thrust position lighting, retractable pilot keyboard, and single push button engine control. A concept overhead panel includes exterior lighting controls and a LED lit panel with the intent of showing passengers specific flight parameters such as groundspeed, heading, and estimated time enroute.
Styled in black, orange, and grey leather with brushed metals throughout, the passenger cabin features a bench seat with integrated armrests, and fold-over capability to access the internal baggage area. The bench seat also has a vertical-tracking capability, allowing for a large amount of flexible leg room. Both rear passenger seats have access to 110V power plugs, cup holders and integrated MP3 player plugs for audio entertainment. Access into and out of the cabin is provided through one left side door, allowing simple entrance to flight deck and passenger seats. External baggage is available in the tail of the ECJ, which has the capacity to hold up to three full sets of golf clubs or skis.
Eclipse Aviation contracted Swift Engineering of San Clemente, California to assist with the design and subsequently build the Eclipse Concept Jet (ECJ) in slightly over six months from initial design in mid-January of this year, with first flight occurring on July 2. To date, the aircraft has accumulated just under 30 flight hours.
Eclipse's ECJ program is designed to help the company analyze demand trends within the growing single-engine jet marketplace, and gain customer insight on potential future aircraft products and designs. The initiative is modeled after the automobile industry's concept cars, which showcase advanced styling and technology to assess customer reactions to new car designs which may or may not eventually be produced and gauge the potential market size.
Following are preliminary performance and specification targets for the Eclipse Concept Jet.
Projected Performance: -Max cruise speed (FL 350) 345 KTAS -Service ceiling 41,000 ft -Range 1,250 nm (IFR +45 minutes reserve) -Stall speed (VSO) 61 KEAS -Takeoff distance 2,200 ft (sea level, ISA to 50 ft at MGTOW) -Landing distance 1,800 ft (sea level, ISA, max landing weight) -Time to climb to FL250 12 min -Time to climb to FL410 27 min Projected Specifications -Max T/O weight 4,480 lb -Empty weight 2,480 lb -Useful load 2,000 lb -Fuel capacity 1,261 lb (186 gal) -External length 29 ft -External height 8.8 ft -Wingspan 36 ft -Occupancy 4 max