I don’t usually call inanimate objects pretty but one look at the Eclipse 400 and I was hooked. This must be one of the prettiest planes I’ve seen for quite a while and I’m not really a plane person. Designed by Eclipse Aviation as a business/sport plane, the Eclipse 400 is a single engine, V-tail jet aircraft. The things is, it’s a sports plane so it’s not very big. In fact it can only carry 3 people plus the driver or an 840kg combination of people and fuel, so you probably won’t be hiring one to take your soccer team on a jaunt.
Speaking of fuel, did I mention that it’s quite economical? In fact it’s the most economical jet aircraft in the world, but don’t think that makes it a plonker. At a maximum cruising speed of 580km/h it consumes less than 1 pound of fuel for every 1.7 km flown. Try getting that mileage out of your Cessna. With a full tank it will travel about 2100km but only if you remembered to fill it up with fuel and not passengers.
Inside it’s just as fantastic, the controls look like they’re straight out of the Millennium Falcon, and the seats from a Bugatti Veyron. There are a couple of things missing though, notably legroom and in-flight entertainment, but who cares, you’re in your own private jet. You can count your money and tell the pilot what he’s doing wrong for entertainment.
Speaking of money, as usual if you have to ask about the price then you probably can’t afford one. One Eclipse 400 will set you back about $US1.35 million but you’ll be the envy of everyone on your street, especially if you park it out the front. Oh and you’ll have to wait until the end of 2011 because they’ve only built one so far. Whoops, forgot to mention that bit. They are going to build more though, honest.
The Eclipse 400 blends tremendous operating efficiency with unmatched performance capability. It seats four and cruises at 41,000 feet, three miles above its closest competition. Its robust v-tail design provides superior handling and its gold standard Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F engine produces exceptional thrust and envious fuel economy.