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ECLIPSE and Cessna are engaged in a 'who's fastest' race with their respective EA500 and Mustang Very Light Jets. Both companies are blasting across routes over the US to set national speed records in the VLJ class.
12 NOV 07: ECLIPSE AND CESSNA GO AIR RACING
First, Cessna set a record for the New York-Atlanta route on 22 September, clocking 318mph with a flight time of 2hr 23:44.
But just a few days later, on 7 October, Eclipse flew the same route at an average speed of 393mph, breaking easily the two-hour barrier.
It wasn't a straight comparison though. Cessna's time was take-off to touchdown, while the Eclipse time was for airborne start and stop times.
US records are administered by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), which first set up the VLJ Record Class last June. It defines VLJs as sub-10,000lb jets.
"We are really excited about this new record class for VLJs," said Art Greenfield, NAA's Director of Contests & Records. "The VLJ class is more narrowly defined than other airplane record classes, so it will allow for better comparisons of the various models."
Eclipse Aviation is cock-a-hoop at the news. It said, "The Eclipse 500, flown by Don Taylor, Senior Fellow at Eclipse Aviation, exceeded the previous record time by 20 percent, while using approximately 25% less fuel.
"Using actual aircraft data as well as data obtained from the Citation Mustang's flight planning guide, the Mustang used 1330lb (198.5 USG) cruising at FL400 while the Eclipse 500 used 987lb (147 USG) cruising at FL320."
Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation said, "With oil prices climbing, we are proud to offer the Eclipse 500 as the most efficient VLJ to move travellers from Point A to Point B on a quick, affordable and convenient basis."
Let's see if Cessna respond!
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