The company that introduced the first very light jet has disclosed today developing an even lighter, single-engine aircraft currently called the Eclipse Concept Jet (ECJ). The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F is mounted externally above and behind the fuselage, with exhaust flowing over a V-tail.
Unveiling the prototype at the week-long Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, ended six months of tight secrecy, with only a few Eclipse Aviation employees aware of the development. The ECJ, which first flew July 2, is estimated to cruise at a top speed of 345 knots and its service ceiling will be 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.
The engine mounting and V-tail configuration resembles the jet mock-up unveiled by Cirrus June 27. Computer controls and improved design capability make V-tails more feasible than when they were first used.