Sixteen years after conception, a decade since first flight and $1.4 billion later, the Eclipse finally is maturing into a full-fledged business jet, albeit the smallest now in production. Endowed with promising but untested DNA, the pioneering very light jet (VLJ) endured one of the most difficult and lengthy development cycles of any business aircraft, and only now is realizing its potential. The original 770-lb.-thrust Williams EJ22 turbofans were highly efficient, but trouble-prone from ...

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