In The Works: Eclipse Aviation Eclipse 500

 - January 30, 2007, 10:14 AM

OK, first about the photo. We promise this will be the last time we’ll show the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., and the Wright Flyer in the pages of AIN, at least until 2103. But we just couldn’t resist running a photo of an airworthy Wright airplane reproduction next to a business jet, albeit a mockup.

Eclipse Aviation, along with Ford Motor, Northrop Grumman and Microsoft, was one of the main sponsors of EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk. So, on December 10–one week before the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ historic first powered flight–Eclipse got to stage a photo op with the Wright Flyer replica. Ostensibly, the meeting “signified the transition from the first century of flight to the second,” symbolically representing the past and the future of flight.

Said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse, “As aviation enters its second century, it is at a critical inflection point. The retirement of the Concorde and the struggles of aerospace leaders such as Boeing have many people wondering what the next 100 years of flight will hold. We see tremendous opportunity ahead for aviation and for air travelers, but realizing it will require us all to reignite the spirit of aviation innovation sparked by the Wright brothers on December 17, 100 years ago.”

If only Orville and Wilbur could have been there…