Eclipse 500 Breaks VLJ Speed Record Using Far Less Fuel
Eclipse Aviation’s very light jet beat the current NAA speed record by 20 percent while burning 25 percent less fuel.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM . — Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced that it has set a National Aeronautic Association (NAA) performance record that distinguishes the Eclipse 500 as the industry’s fastest jet aircraft weighing 10,000 pounds or less. This milestone was achieved in early October when the Eclipse 500 set a new U.S. national speed record in the NAA record category of Class C, Aeroplanes, Very Light Jets.
The Eclipse 500 beat the existing NAA record on October 7, 2007 on a flight from New York (Westchester) to Atlanta (Peachtree-Dekalb), with a new record time of one hour, 55 minutes, and eight seconds (1:55:08), averaging 393.32 miles per hour (341.79 knots). The previous record holder, a Cessna Citation Mustang set the record on September 22, 2007, flying the same route in two hours, 23 minutes, and 44 seconds (2:23:44), averaging 318.87 miles per hour (277.09 knots). The NAA requires the record to be broken by at least one percent to qualify. The Eclipse 500, flown by Don Taylor, Senior Fellow at Eclipse Aviation, exceeded the previous record time by 20 percent, while using approximately 25 percent less fuel. Using actual aircraft data as well as data obtained from the Citation Mustang’s flight planning guide, the Mustang used 1,330 lb (198.5 gal) cruising at FL400 while the Eclipse 500 used 987 lb (147 gal) cruising at FL320.
“Upon reviewing the previous record, I was extremely confident that the Eclipse 500 could defeat the speed, but more importantly, we could use significantly less fuel while going faster. So two weeks later we flew the same route with the Eclipse 500 using at least 50 gallons less fuel than the Mustang and beating the time by about 27 minutes,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “With oil prices climbing, we are proud to offer the Eclipse 500 as the most efficient VLJ to move travelers from Point A to Point B on a quick, affordable and convenient basis.”
The NAA announced a new record class exclusively for VLJs in the summer of 2007. A VLJ is defined as a jet-powered airplane with a maximum gross takeoff weight of 10,000 pounds or less, holding a standard airworthiness certificate, and capable of carrying four or more passengers. Each year NAA tracks dozens of new world and national aviation record attempts from numerous companies, certifying new records as the official record keeper for United States aviation and ratifying them with the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the world air sports federation.
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