ONE Aviation has announced it’s working on a program to bring an updated version of its Eclipse 550 jet to market within the next couple of years. The new model, dubbed Project Canada, for now, will boast a greatly redesigned wing, more powerful engines, greater range and speed, and updated avionics. Cost of the new Eclipse jet will be around $3.5 million, putting it in a niche in which it will have relatively little competition, except against used jets.
While all the details aren’t in yet, the main puzzle pieces are emerging. The new Eclipse jet will retain its fuselage, considered too small by some and lacking a lav, which is one area of weakness ONE Aviation was unable to address.
The new engines, usually the riskiest part of any new airplane program, won’t be, in this case. ONE Aviation chose to upgrade the Pratt & Whitney PW610 engines on the 550 with the Pratt & Whitney W615 engines, which were developed for the Cessna Mustang. The engines weigh slightly more and burn slightly more fuel, but add enough thrust to greatly improve performance. The engine selection is still a work in progress, says ONE Aviation CEO Alan Klapmeier, who added that the company has backup plans should ONE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney fail to reach an agreement on an engine contract.
Before you get to performance, though, you need to add fuel capacity and strength. ONE Aviation has done this with a wing redesign. In this case, the company chose to add wingspan at the root instead of the tips, which is an unusual approach, but one that gives the new model a great deal more extra fuel capacity than a tip stretch would have. The wing will weigh more, and this will bump the aircraft 800 pounds over the magic 6,000-pound limit that exempted the 550 from some particularly difficult flight test requirements. Klapmeier told Plane & Pilot that he’s confident the plane, given its additional power, will pass those tests with flying colors.
Garmin G3000 avionics will be available in the new plane, though IS&S avionics, now the standard in the Eclipse 550, will remain an option.
ONE Aviation’s targeted performance numbers for the new jet are eye-popping: a range of 1,400 nm at max cruise, a top speed of 390 knots and a ceiling of 43,000 feet.
ONE Aviation plans to make the first flight of the new Eclipse jet in the 2nd quarter of 2017, just nine months from now.
Learn more at One Aviation.