ONE Aviation flies Project Canada wing on Eclipse 500
ONE Aviation has fitted the Eclipse 700 proof-of-concept wing onto an Eclipse 500, and flown the aircraft for the first time.
The Albuquerque-based manufacturer modified the wing on a 2004-build Eclipse 500 N990NE to match the size and aerodynamic profile of the wing that will be used on the EA700.
“This is a key milestone in the path to making a very good airplane a great airplane,” said Alan Klapmeier, president of ONE Aviation. “The ONE Aviation team has worked hard to achieve this key milestone for the EA700 proof-of-concept wing.”
Previously known as “Project Canada”, the Eclipse 700 is a larger variant of the Eclipse 500, with a larger fuselage and increased range.
By adding a new section at the wing root, ONE Aviation was able to increase the wing area of the Eclipse 700 by 13%, allowing an additional 27% fuel to be loaded. Despite the extra wingspan, the aircraft retains similar approach, landing and takeoff speeds to the Eclipse 550.
During the hour-and-a-half first flight on 1 September, the aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 15,000ft, with the pilots testing handling characteristics and transitions between different configurations.
“The aircraft felt very solid,” said Jerry Chambers, chief test pilot and PIC for the flight. “[It was] a testament to the efforts of the engineering and build teams.”