Fuel-efficient jet offered to Air Force

Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:05 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A very light, fuel-efficient business jet from Eclipse Aerospace has been presented to the U.S. Air Force for undergraduate-level pilot training.

The aircraft, a twin-engine plane, could help the Air Force cut fuel used in the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Track program by 13 million gallons annually if it were to replace the 20-year-old fleet of business jets now used, the company said.

"I have met with senior Air Force leaders and they are looking for an efficient and affordable solution to their challenges (of fuel consumption)," said Eclipse Chief Executive Officer Mason Holland.

The offering was in response for an Air Force Response for Information notice.

The aircraft is reportedly 70 percent more efficient in fuel consumption and 70 percent less expensive to maintain than current aircraft used in the training program.

"Our submittal was fully responsive to the Air Force's request," Holland said. "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 $1 billion of O&M costs over 10 by converting to an Eclipse Jet fleet."

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