Aircraft Review

October 2000 Issue

Eclipse and Safire

A 350-knot jet for under $1 million? Call us very doubtful. But for a few bucks more, someone will win this sweepstakes.

[IMGCAP(1)] A scene from real-life at Oshkosh: Midday on a breezy Wednesday afternoon, the cavernous Raytheon/Beechcraft tent is deserted, with not so much as a straw hat or logo’d golf shirt in sight. No tire kickers, either.

From the looks of it, everyone is gawking at the mock-up of the new Eclipse personal jet, in a pavilion hard by Raytheon’s lot. A cynical journalist can’t resist drawing this to the attention of a Raytheon PR person. “You’ll have to excuse us,” says the flack, “We’re out building and delivering airplanes.”

And so the line is drawn between the Jurassic has beens of the piston era and the would-be Walter Beeches of the new millennium, who propose to make 300-knot...

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