Sikorsky Contracted To Build Eclipse 550 Airframe And Wings


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Sikorsky Contracted To Build Eclipse 550 Airframe And Wings

By Steve Hall

May 20, 2012 - PZL Mielec announced has signed an agreement to produce airframe components for Eclipse Aerospace, Inc., contingent upon the launch of Eclipse 550 jet production. The Eclipse 550 is a proposed development version of the Eclipse 500 to be built by Eclipse Aerospace.

Like the 500, the 550 will be a low-wing, six seat, twin jet-engined aircraft. The aircraft was announced at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2011, with deliveries expected to commence in 2013.

The 550 is being developed from the earlier Eclipse 500, enabled by Sikorsky Aircraft's investment in Eclipse Aerospace in 2010. It will incorporate an improved avionics package, autothrottles, synthetic vision and enhanced vision systems.

Wing, fuselage and tail component manufacture is initially planned for Sikorsky's PZL plant in Poland, with final assembly carried out by Eclipse Aerospace at their Albuquerque, New Mexico plant. The initial price is expected to be 2.695M and production is intended to be 50-100 aircraft per year.  

The aircraft achieved an FAA production certificate in April 2012. The Eclipse 550 is a light twin-engine jet with a 1,125 nautical mile range at speeds up to 375 knots and an economical cruise fuel consumption of 59 gallons per hour.  

Major components include the fuselage, empennage and wings for the Eclipse 550 jet. PZL Mielec would manufacture these components in Poland and ship them to Eclipse?s facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, for final assembly and delivery to customers once Eclipse officially starts production. PZL Mielec is an affiliate of Sikorsky Aircraft, which is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.  

PZL Mielec currently produces the M-28 fixed wing aircraft and the Sikorsky S-70i? international BLACK HAWK helicopter. ?Sikorsky is proud of our ability to utilize world class facilities such as PZL to lower the overall cost of supply chain components and manufacturing for the Eclipse Jet,? said Shane Eddy, Vice President, Global Supply Chain, for Sikorsky. 

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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