Sunday, May 14, 2006

Eclipse Performance - What Happened to the 5% Guarantee?

While analyzing the range numbers for a future post, I noticed an interesting change.

The Eclipse web site used to show range information with the caveat that it was guaranteed to plus-minus 5%. Which met on the 1,248 mile Phoenix-Chicago leg at high speed cruise, the airplane could actually come up 62 miles short and still meet the Eclipse performance goals.

Today, the disclaimer reads, "subject to revision following flight testing."

Changing the disclaimer on the web page is a keystroke effort. If the disclaimer is embedded in the 2,400+ purchase orders, changing the 5% guarantee will take some fancy foot work.

Some 10-12 writers have flown the Eclipse yet none have reported on any altitudes above 32,000 feet. A peculiar situation since certification is predicted to be just weeks away, the test fleet has amassed over 1,700 flight hours and the aircraft will be certified to 41,000 feet.

It would be nice to know what the speed and fuel flows will be at altitude.

Is this a warning flag flying over the Sandia peaks?

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