U-Haul needed a way to economically service their 1,500 stores throughout the country and in a sustainable manner. Their mission states, "At U-Haul, we are committed to sustainable development through environmental protection, social responsibility and economic efficiency."
U-Haul turned to Eclipse Aerospace to solve some of their transportation issues. Targeting a high-performance mode of transportation, the moving and storage company was drawn to the Eclipse 500™. As the first of a new class of Very Light Jets (VLJ), the six-seat Eclipse jet is powered by two lightweight turbofan engines. These revolutionary aircraft are powered by two Pratt & Whitney engines that are very economical to operate. The Eclipse 500 burns jet fuel at a low consumption rate which is 35 percent less than the most comparable small jet on the market today, while still flying in the upper flight levels safely above most weather at speeds in excess of 400 mph. A perfect complement to U-Haul‘s mission to protect the environment, the Eclipse 500 allows them to transport staff safely and efficiently to serve the needs of customers throughout the United States.
Today U-haul owns two Eclipse 500s and leases a third to add to their business aircraft fleet, which includes a Pilatus PC-12 and a BeechJet.
U-Haul Chairman Edward "Joe" Shoen selected the Eclipse 500 Jet because of its economics; low direct operating cost, reliability, maintainability and "green" footprint. Shoen stated, "Compared to larger, more expensive jets or even the commercial airlines, the Eclipse 500 fits our needs perfectly. We selected the Eclipse 500 to save travel time and costs in managing our stores. Our middle managers can visit three to four stores in different cities each day with the Eclipse 500, versus using airlines that would take one day per city."
In late 2009, new management has taken the helm of the manufacturing and servicing of Eclipse Aircraft. With this change in Eclipse management, U-haul‘s Eclipse 500s became some of the first aircraft to go through a new upgrade program. This six-week modernization of the aircraft adds Flight into Known Icing, an upgraded coupled Auto-Pilot, and an advanced GPS Navigation System.
Shoen reflected, "I also like the Eclipse 500 for its environmentally-friendly design. I can fly 400 mph and burn only twice the fuel as my wife‘s SUV going 60 mph." The Eclipse 500 uses new technology to consume less fuel, produce fewer emissions and emit less engine noise than any other jet airplane in the world. In addition, the Eclipse 500 utilizes a new fire suppression technology called PhostrEx. Unlike typical Halon based systems, PhostrEx does not deplete our atmospheric ozone layer and is environmentally-friendly. "It is not often that more environmentally friendly products are introduced to the market that at the same time are more cost efficient to aquire and operate than comparable systems," Shoen concluded. "We are elated with our Eclipse Jets!"
"Companies like U-Haul that need fast, economical, regional travel are perfect customers for the Eclipse 500," shared Mason Holland, Chairman and President of Eclipse Aerospace. "We are proud to be the business airplane of choice for U-Haul and look forward to serving their air transportation needs for many years to come."
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