New York Times: Tiny Jets May Usher in New Era, F.A.A. Says


#1

The New York Times (free subscription required) has a surprisingly detailed and astute article, for a non-aviation-industry publication, about Very Light Jets (VLJs) such as the Eclipse 500, the Adam A-700, and the Citation Mustang, their potential impact on air travel, ATC and safety issues, etc.

It has been interesting to follow the development of the Eclipse, which was pretty universally mocked and derided by established industry players, who, having seen Eclipse march fairly steadily toward certification and develop a 2300+ aircraft order book, may be about to see their industry turned on its head.

I’m curious what the FlightAware users thinks of these developments. Any opinions?


#2

I think there is and will be a market for these light jets. some will be good some will not same as rest of the market. From what I have seen of these small jets and personal experience as a corporate pilot is these may be mostly owned by owner/pilots. The space is very small making them a very beginning step into corporate flying. The Eclipse pilot seat is so close to the cabin door that if the pilot reclines the seat any it is in the doorway. I think Cessna mustang will likely stay in the market just because it has the backing of Cessna reputation and longevity of the company. Eclipse has a long ways to go that it will be there years from now to still provide parts, tech, such as that same with Adams and other entries. I am also watching folks here in Europe trying to develop new planes, mostly for piston market with diesel/jet fuel engines. Plus they are one of the biggest buyers of the corporate jets from America.
T


#3

I presume that these VLJs are IFR-capable. Are they assigned an aircraft code yet, so that they can be followed in FA?

The Dallas Morning News business section several weeks ago had a very favorable article about Adams and the large size of its potential market. I’d be curious to see whether FA is tracking VLJ flights.


#4

I don’t see any entries for the Mustang, Eclipse 500 or Adam 700 in the FAA’s official aircraft designator section, so they probably aren’t FAA certified yet.


#5

There is an Adam aircraft coded as “A500”.

faa.gov/ATPubs/ATC/Appendices/atcapda.html

Now I’ll have to see whether FA shows this one yet.


Yes, it’s there.

http://flightaware.com/live/aircrafttype/A500

But there’s nothing airborne at this time.

Evidently there’s no “A700” code and no appropriate FA error message. My search for “A700” went on too long to be reasonable, and then I got a FA ‘host not available’ message.


#6

Evidently there’s no “A700” code and no appropriate FA error message. My search for “A700” went on too long to be reasonable, and then I got a FA ‘host not available’ message.

It could be there’s no code because, as far as I know, the A700 hasn’t received its certification yet.


#7

As of 2:04pm EST, This A500 is airborne.


#8

Sounds like that could be an unrelated connectivity issue; that isn’t how FA is setup to handle those kinds of problems. Page loads should be under 1.5 seconds (including images, maps, etc), error or not, as long as you’re on a broadband connection inside the US.


#9

Eclipse is currently flying 7 jets, trying to meet aircraft certification. They fly under EJT, with differnt numbers to identify who is flying and what tests are being conducted. You might try to track EJT101, (chief test pilot). Much of the flying is done in the CATO MOA/ATCAA sowuthwest of ABQ. Usually when the aircraft enters the test area the radar track will be dropped, as ATC is providing aircraft and SUA separation.


#10

I haven’t seen any Eclipse 500s flying under EJT codes, but N506EA has flown under its tail number a few times.


#11

They were flying today, 6 flights, I know EJT101 was flying today.


#12

I can see a point-to-point usefulness for these ILJs, or perhaps in some sort of a “charter” role for large families, etc. Having said that, I can’t see mainline carriers (neither legacy carriers or LCCs) planning around these, with the hubs overloaded as they are. I don’t think someplace like ORD, for example, wants to reserve gate (or ramp) space, as well as fill flight slots with tiny jets flying to such metropoli as Lincoln, NE, Youngstown, OH, etc. (No offense intended to anyone in either area; just making a point) :wink:


#13

I can’t help but stir this pot…

As you may know, the old way of seperating aircraft was having one STAR for props, and one for Jets. The only place they got tangled up with on the vector to final, which approach controllers could handle with some slick speed and altitude adjustments.

Lately, props have been let go by most companies (piedmont and horizon the names that come to mind that still fly dashes) and have been replaced with slow jets. This has created some big problems in the enroute world. There used to be a 70/30 split of traffic, with similar speeds on similar routes. Now, there is a 90/10 split of traffic, and the 90 percent isn’t all as fast as the big boys would want.

On top of this, airlines are implementing “fuel conservation programs” to save money. Basically, if a flight is running a little early, they message the pilot via ACARS to slow way down to save gas. One that comes to mind, is an EGF E145 that requested M0.60 at FL350. That will NOT work for in trail spacing in most cases. So, the FAA is going to do thier best to think up a solution for where to put all these high flying slow as hell jets.

So far, the best they have come up with is NRP-Qroutes. Well, at least they plan on using that technology as that premise to solve the problem. Basically, the idea is that each major city pair would have two routes. One would be for fast jets, the other for slower jets. Both would be flexable to go around weather, and get the best fuel economy using the winds aloft. Then, each STAR would be changed to best suit the climb and descent characteristics of newer planes. Seperation will soon be based upon newer jets climbing at 4500 fpm in RNAV SIDs that include VNAV. LIkewise, STARs will assume jets descneding like thier FMC would like as well.

Again, this isn’t a final plan. ALot of it still in testing. However, from direct observation of the NAS, I have realized what the future holds, and it will be MUCH different that you expect. It won’t include everyone going direct as they please. Not free-flight-esq. Instead, the routes will be more like NAT tracks. Flexable and user friendly. The question is, how to do you create ATC sectors based on routes that aren’t always in the same place? Perhaps bigger sectors with URET and datalink?

-DM
ZBW