Saturday, July 07, 2007
Yep, It's True
Oshkosh, Wisconsin - July 23, 2007
Excitement is running high here at the opening day of EAA AirVenture 2007. As the curtain is pulled open at the Eclipse Aviation tent, this reporter has conducted an exclusive interview with Vern Raeburn, President and CEO.
“I am pleased to end months of speculation about Eclipse Aviation. As some have guessed, we are introducing a new jet here at Oshkosh. It was only natural that we build on the proven track record of the Eclipse 500 and add a successor to this remarkable aircraft.”
“We will achieve multiple goals with the new Eclipse 1000,” continued Raeburn. “As the world knows, we pioneered the Very Light Jet revolution. It was inevitable that we draw imitators and the ‘space’ is getting a little crowded. We saw an unmet need for an Ultra Light Jet and have moved to fill the void.”
“Our statisticians and engineers analyzed hundreds of thousands of general aviation flights conducted over several decades. We found that the average flight carried only 2.73 people. Having empty seats in an aircraft just adds structure, weight and drag. It is crazy that no one has done this before – the new Eclipse 1000 has exactly 2.73 seats. There is no drag penalty for unused seats. Less drag means more speed and range.”
Vern added, “We also analyzed the number of engines used in most general aviation flights. Without boring you with all the numbers, I’ll tell you that we rounded off the number of engines to one. My engineers told me it would be simpler if the number of engines were an integer.”
“I’ve saved the best for last,” said Raeburn, his voice rising. “Eclipse Aviation is fulfilling its social and moral commitment to the environment by introducing the first aircraft with a Carbon Footprint of zero. The aircraft is powered by anhydrous hydrazine and red fuming nitric acid. This fuel and oxidizer combination was perfected in the Titan missile half a century ago. Pull out your high school chemistry book and you won’t find a ‘C’ for carbon in either of these. There is another advantage – these chemicals are hypergolic, they ignite on contact. This allows us to eliminate the exciters and igniters found in other jet aircraft. Leave it to Eclipse to disrupt the dinosaurs.”
“In fact the only carbon emissions leaving the Eclipse 1000 come from the human occupants. We figure our outflow valve scrubbers will take care of most of it. The approved flight manual carries a limitation prohibiting consumption of enchiladas or burritos within six hours of departure.”
Vern turned his head as a commotion erupted at the back of the Eclipse tent, “I gotta go. Our guest of honor is here. Former Vice President Spotted Al Gore is going to unveil the little beast. He’s bringing his non-refundable deposit for an early serial number jet. We’re going to run the check right down to the bank. Gosh, I think he could take up all 2.73 seats by himself. Hey, but don’t print that; we’re off the record.”
The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.