U.S. Air Force looks to Eclipse for very light jet fleet
Jan. 7, 2013, Albuquerque, N.M. - Eclipse Aerospace responded today to the U.S. Air Force's Request for Information (RFI) for a large fleet of Very Light Jets (VLJ) to support their Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) Multi-place Training Track.
January 7, 2013 By Carey Fredericks
Eclipse Aerospace’s proposed solution could save 13 million gallons of jet fuel per year.
Currently operating a 20 year old fleet of legacy business jets that has become increasingly expensive to support and maintain, the Air Force is examining innovative industry approaches to meeting SUPT syllabus requirements in a more affordable and cost effective manner.
Mason Holland, Eclipse's CEO stated "I have met with senior Air Force leaders and they are looking for an efficient and affordable solution to their challenges. Eclipse is offering an innovative and quickly implementable alternative. In our response to the RFI we have proposed a solution that is expected to save the USAF hundreds of millions of dollars over the next ten years while upgrading their fleet with the most efficient and technologically advanced light jet currently in production."
"Our submittal," Holland continued, "was fully responsive to the Air Force's request. It shows that the Eclipse Jet meets and/or exceeds all of the SUPT syllabus requirements. More important, from a budgetary viewpoint, our response demonstrates how the USAF can save over one Billion dollars of O&M costs over ten years by converting to an Eclipse Jet fleet." The Eclipse Jet is 70% more fuel-efficient and 70% less costly to support than the current SUPT legacy aircraft.
As the largest consumer of jet fuel in the U.S. Government, the Air Force is seeking ways to reduce their fuel consumption and operating costs. By converting the SUPT program to the Eclipse Jet, the USAF could save 130 million gallons of jet fuel over 10 years.
"The Eclipse Jet is the perfect airplane for this Air Force mission," said Eclipse Aerospace Co-Founder Mike Press, a retired Air Force Colonel. "The Air Force is looking for significant savings and affordable solutions in this very tight budget environment and the Eclipse Jet is the only light jet that can meet the mission requirements, while at the same time providing the significant cost savings in fuel and operational support that the Air Force needs. At today's cost of jet fuel, fuel costs alone for this program would decrease by more than $500 million."