The Next Big Thing - Car Service with Wings

Posted by William Herp on Mon, May 28, 2012

People who do a lot of open road driving, and who actually like to drive, tend to know a lot about cars:  what different models look like, how they perform, and what their favorite features are in each model.

Similarly, people who fly a lot on business tend to know a lot of about commercial airplanes. But few business travelers know much – yet - about the new crop of “Very Light Jets.” But we believe VLJs, as they’re known, are the “next big thing” in business travel. And we at Linear Air are glad to provide executive charter “air taxi” service exclusively on the first and most successful VLJ, the Eclipse 500. It’s a fantastic airplane and we believe that sophisticated business travelers will become aficionados of VLJs in general and great fans of Eclipse Jets in particular.

Why? Because there’s no more cost efficient, fast, and comfortable aircraft in the world for business travelers flying between any two points up to 800 miles apart. We run a fleet of a dozen Eclipse Jets. Any one of them can pick up as many as four passengers at any of the 1,000 or so business aviation airports in our current East and West coast service areas, and fly them quickly to virtually any of the 5,000+ business aviation airports in the U.S. and Canada.  Compared with the 500 U.S. airports served by commercial airlines, we can get travelers from exactly where they are to exactly where they want to go. In most cases that means by-passing those busy commercial airports that often are long distances from business travelers’ ultimate destinations.

Our Eclipse Jets carry up to four passengers (with two pilots). And because the Eclipse Jet is lightweight and powered by sophisticated and fuel-efficient Pratt & Whitney engines, it can be flown at a lower cost than any jet in the world. It also is faster, quieter, more comfortable and more reliable than the piston- and turbo-prop powered planes that until recently have been the only economical (but usually unsatisfying) alternatives for business people flying relatively short distances to and from secondary airports.

We pass along efficiency savings from the Eclipse Jet to our customers. Three or four business people can charter a flight on one of our Eclipse Jets at a price competitive with what they’d pay for last-minute tickets on an airline. And because we typically operate from less congested airports closer to our customer’s offices or homes, and closer to their destinations, and because we operate from corporate aviation terminals instead of the crowded and hassle-packed commercial terminals, we can shave 30% to 40% off the door-to-door travel times.

Yet the Eclipse Jet is no puddle jumper. It’s certified to fly at up 41,000 feet – where the big boys fly.  And it’s fast. We cruise faster than any other VLJ and about as fast most commercial jets fly over the continental U.S.  It is equipped with a state-of-the-art cockpit and all of the same radars, communications and safety equipment found on big jets.

The Eclipse Jet also is the product of cutting edge design and manufacturing techniques. It is based on the work of famed aviation engineer Burt Rutan – who designed, among other things, Voyager, the first plane to fly around the world unrefueled, and SpaceShipOne, the first privately-funded craft to fly into outer space and return safely, for which he won the 2004 Ansari X-Prize. And it is manufactured of aluminum using the new age “friction stir welding process” rather than conventional rivets to achieve great weight savings AND increased structural strength.  For its ground-breaking effort, the Eclipse Jet team won the prestigious Collier Trophy in 2006 as "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.”  The Collier Trophy dates to 1911 and past recipients include Orville Wright, Chuck Yeager, the crew of Apollo 11, Rutan's SpaceShipOne team, and Boeing for its 787 Dreamliner.

Another advantage of the Eclipse Jet is that while it’s slightly smaller than its closest competitors in the VLJ market space, from the passenger’s perspective it’s actually wider at the shoulders in the front two seats (where most passengers prefer to sit). And unlike its competitors, all seats face forward. That’s important. Traveler feedback tells us most people prefer a conventional cabin layout over the so-called “club” configuration that forces some passengers to “fly backwards” and all passengers to interlace their legs like they’re playing TWISTER.

Simply put, the Eclipse Jet allows us to offer our customers a value proposition that just can’t be beaten. That’s why we think it soon will become a recognizable and beloved aircraft among business travelers.

See you onboard!


Tags: very light jet, air taxi, eclipse jet, eclipse 500

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