Described by its CEO, Mason Holland, as a ‘game-changer’, the Eclipse Aerospace delivered the first of its new Eclipse 550 to Albuquerque, New Mexico this week to the delight of the company’s European dealer, non-executive chairman of Aeris Aviation, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden fame.
Mr Dickinson, who believes strongly in the Eclipse 550 as the ‘only VLJ’ on the market, said, “In essence it is a two-hour aeroplane. You can stick pretty much anything you want in it and go for two hours. The same is not true for other alleged VLJ’s that weigh a lot more and cost a lot more to operate.” A accomplished private jet pilot and joint-CEO of Cardiff Aviation, Mr Dickinson joined Aeris Aviation to promote sales of the Eclipse in October last year and underwent his type-training while piloting himself to Iron Maiden concert venues in an Eclipse.
Certification has just been achieved from the FAA for the Eclipse 550, a beautiful aircraft that began its production journey in June 2012, and has been described as ideal for those wishing to upgrade from turboprop or pistol aircraft.
Mr Holland said it was an exciting day for Eclipse Aerospace and for general aviation, “With the Eclipse 550, we’ve built a high-performance light jet that includes advanced technology and safety features that have traditionally been found only on much larger cabin-class business jets and commercial aircraft.”