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Eclipse 500 cockpit
The Eclipse 500 has one of the most advanced avionics systems in the sky. Pilots call this concept a glass cockpit. The heading indicator, communications and navigation radios, and vertical speed indicator are all digital. The Eclipse's so-called Avio Total Aircraft Integration system also includes a GPS moving map with a full-color display of weather in the vicinity. This should be no surprise: Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn is a Microsoft alum, and Bill Gates is a large investor.
The interior of Eclipse's microjet. The Eclipse 500 is awaiting certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and initial deliveries are expected this summer. Expected customers include corporate travel, air taxi service and private owners.
Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse says its forthcoming microjet will be able to fly up to 41,000 feet at a speed of 375 knots or 431 miles per hour. The range with four occupants (it can seat up to five people plus a pilot) is 1,395 nautical miles.