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Sun, Apr 17, 2005

Eclipse 500 Gets Some Sun

There was an Eclipse out in the sun today. The Eclipse being the jet of the same name -- the first one in the test program to venture out of Albuquerque -- and the sun was, of course, in Florida, where Eclipse introduced the jet, still in flight test, to the public.

On arrival, the jet taxied in as far as possible and was then towed to a prepared space at the Eclipse display, where Eclipse workers, including CEO Vern Raburn (is this what they call a hands-on CEO or what?) pushed it into place.

Unlike the nice mockup that thousands of show-goers have trooped through, the flying Eclipse is a working bird, jammed to the beak with flight test recording equipment, but it is also a fully conforming prototype and is already taking part in a series of certification flight tests.

We'll have MUCH MORE coverage for you shortly, including an interview with Eclipse's Vern Raburn, but for now, here are some pictures to hold you.

Raburn, who flew the Mu-2 chase plane, told us that the flight was absolutely normal in all respects -- and at 25,000 feet, the Eclipse was burning less fuel than the Mitsubishi turboprop.

FMI: www.eclipseaviation.com

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