One Aviation has selected the Williams International FJ33-5A-12 turbofan to power its in-development Eclipse EA700 very light jet.
The decision marks a departure from Pratt & Whitney Canada, whose PW610F engine has been powering One Aviation's smaller EA500-series twinjet since 2004.
The Albuquerque, New Mexico-based airframer also evaluated the larger PW615F, but chief executive Alan Klapmeier says it settled on the FJ33-5A-12 because of its better performance and overall efficiency.
"We were also looking for an engine with a long-term future," Klapmeier adds. "The FJ33-5A is installed on the Cirrus VisionJet, for example, and that aircraft has been sold in very high volumes," he says, in reference to the personal jet’s 600-strong orderbook.The only other platform powered by the PW615 is the Citation Mustang, which was recently cancelled by Cessna.
One Aviation plans to wind down production of its EA550 – the latest iteration of the EA500 – within a year, to make way for its latest model.
The EA700, also known as Project Canada, features a host of design changes and enhancements over its predecessor.
These include more cabin volume, thanks to a 35cm (14in) stretch to the fuselage, and a larger horizontal tail. The wing has been lengthened by 61cm on both sides, and the fuel tanks have been moved from the tips to the root to allow the aircraft to carry another 265 litres (70USgal) of fuel. Wingtips will be added, and a Garmin 3000 flightdeck will replace the current IS&S installation.
"The improvements will give the new model a 1,470nm [2,720km] range – 320nm more than the current design," says Klapmeier. The aircraft will also be able to climb to its 43,000ft ceiling in nearly half the time of its $3 million stablemate.
One Aviation plans to fly a modified EA550, equipped with new wings and horizontal tail, in the third quarter. The first conforming aircraft, powered by FJ33 engines, will begin flight testing next year, says Klapmeier, with certification and service entry scheduled for 2019.
The EA700 will be pitched against light and entry-level jet designs such as the HondaJet and Embraer Phenom 100 respectively. It will also compete against high-speed, single-engined turboprops, such as the Daher TBM 910/930, says Klapmeier.
The company is talking to investors to secure the remaining $50 million to complete development and bring the six-seat aircraft to market. "There's plenty of interest," Klapmeier notes, "as this is a low-cost, low-risk project, and a game-changer in the light business aviation segment".