Eclipse Jet arrives at Hanscom (review of interior comfort)

Linear Air accepted their first Eclipse Jet, which arrived yesterday at Hanscom, creating quite a crowd despite its location on the East Ramp inside the Air Force Base.

The pilots reported achieving a 700 n.m. range at high-speed cruise with a standard IFR reserve and a clearance to 27,000′. They described the interior noise level as extremely quiet (measurements to follow; I have lent one of them a sound level meter).  As far as I could tell, there are no provisions for noise-canceling headsets.  The plane has only the standard headset jacks, not a LEMO connector for Bose nor, as far as I could tell from skimming the documentation, tip-power for a Sennheiser.

Linear Air was kind enough to let me sit in the aircraft. The front seat is very comfortable for me (6′ tall), with pretty good visibility. The one really off note in the front seats is a backup attitude indicator that has been stuck on top of the pilot’s side glare shield, partly blocking the view.  Supposedly, this will be removed as the avionics suite gets additional certifications.

There are four seats in the back, plus a small baggage area behind the last two rooms. With one back seat moved all the way forward and the far back seat moved all the way back, I was able to sit in the far back seat with my knees brushing the magazine holder of the seat in front. If I owned the airplane, I would remove two of the seats and say “Here is my four-seat 700 n.m. very quiet very capable airplane”.

Fit and finish is excellent throughout.

11 thoughts on “Eclipse Jet arrives at Hanscom (review of interior comfort)

  1. When you write “very capable” are you keeping in mind that it isn’t certified for flight into known icing?

    I’m writing from ABQ home of, you guessed it, Eclipse aviation. I walked into the hanger next to the hanger where my DA40 is getting a new magneto. There were six Eclipse 500’s there. A tech was trying to get the aviation database to update on a customers plane. It had taken three hours and he was going to give up for the night.

    The brochure says certified into known ice. The tech said not yet, they still have to find some natural icing for the required FAA tests. I can’t remember the other certifications they are missing. Maybe single-pilot IFR?

  2. Colin: I’m pretty sure that it will be certified for known ice soon enough. Agreed that it will probably take at least one year for the avionics software bugs to be shaken out.

  3. This is the Eclipse 500, right?
    The specs on their website call it a 1100nm range jet, is there something I don’t know about? Hmmm, I suppose the jet crowd is more concerned about high speed cruise rather the economy cruise. (not too important for me, I got one of their cute hats at Oshkosh, but I doubt I will ever be inside their jet again)

  4. “The pilots reported achieving a 700 n.m. range at high-speed cruise.”

    “The specs on their website call it a 1100nm range jet.”

    Presumably it can go further than 700 n.m.: the pilots didn’t fly it until it ran out of fuel and then ditch it, parachuting to the ground.

  5. “As far as I could tell, there are no provisions for noise-canceling headsets.”

    There are plenty of battery operated noise cancelling headsets on the market. Is it just that there are certain brands that are more cool looking for the pilot crowd?

    Audio Technica has cheap ear canal noise canceling earphones that combine noise cancelation with what are in effect ear plugs, using a single AAA battery in a pod on the cable..

  6. John: The brochure range depends on using less power and, more importantly, getting an optimum clearance to the most efficient altitude (higher than 27,000′ no doubt). Up and down the crowded east coast, it is unlikely that a slow(ish) plane such as the Eclipse would get cleared too much higher so the 700 n.m. range might turn out to be close to the real-world number.

    Stephen: Battery-powered headsets are great for folks who rent 30-year-old planes from flight schools. Aircraft owners, even of cheap planes such as the Cirrus, generally use ship-powered headsets.

  7. I Flew an Eclipse from Modesto, California to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with one fuel stop (Salina, Kansas). The first leg took 3 hours at FL 390. Fuel consumed was 186 gallons! TAS was very close to the advertised 370 knots. Cabin noise level was very low (active noise cancellation not needed) and the seats were plenty comfortable. Trip included 3 adults and one 55 pound dog plus baggage. If Eclipse can iron out the remaining issues (FIKI and avionics), they will have a winner. However, factory support remains a major concern for operators/owners of this aircraft. Given the cost of Jet A (present and projected), you have to like the effeciency of this airplane.

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