Linear Air Buys Early Eclipse Slot

 - July 17, 2007, 11:41 AM

Charter operator Linear Air has 30 Eclipse 500s on order, with first deliveries scheduled for September, but the company bought an earlier serial number aircraft (S/N 16) that recently became available. “We jumped on it,” said William Herp, president and CEO. “This constitutes a watershed moment in our three-year history.” Linear Air was formed to test the VLJ charter concept using Cessna Caravans, which offer similar operating economics. Two Linear pilots have earned Eclipse type ratings and will fly the jet to Linear Air’s headquarters at Hanscom Field in Concord, Mass., following installation of a third ADI to meet Part 135 requirements. Herp said that after more pilot training, FAA demonstrations and 25 hours of proving runs, Linear Air’s first Eclipse 500 should begin commercial service in mid-August. Herp is hoping that his Eclipse’s pitot/AOA probe will be replaced with the new probe that Eclipse has submitted for FAA approval and that the VFR-only restriction will have been lifted by the time his airplane is ready to enter commercial service.