Singapore Air Show

Indian firm joins VLJ parade

 - February 19, 2008, 2:52 AM

Very light jet pioneer Eclipse Aviation has sold 10 of the twin-turbofan aircraft to Indian charter operator Club One Air of New Delhi.

The purchase marks Eclipse Aviation’s entry into the Indian business aviation market and expands its global reach and impact, the Albuquerque, New Mexico manufacturer said.

Eclipse, which is exhibiting one of its Model 500s in the static display here at Singapore, early this year revealed it would expand its partnership with European Technology and Investment Research Center (ETIRC) Aviation. The agreement between the two companies includes an equity investment in Eclipse by ETIRC that substantially exceeds $100 million.

Club One Air promoter and managing director Manav Singh plans to use the Eclipse 500 to launch a new air charter service in India. Another company owned by Singh will operate the aircraft. The company will use Eclipse 500s to expand its offerings and provide more business travelers a quick, affordable and convenient way to travel across India.

Singh, whose Club One flies a number of Cessna Aircraft models as well as several large cabin jets, already has been talking with Eclipse about a substantially larger order of 500s.   

The aircraft on display here is UK-registered, and arrived after 14 stops that took it through Amsterdam, Istanbul, Kuwait, Vietnam and Hong Kong. From here it will fly to India.

Sim Approval for Eclipse

Eclipse Aviation has received FAA certification for its second level-D full-motion simulator on the first attempt–less than one month after it received similar approval for its first sim. “This will enable Eclipse to train 20 pilots every two weeks entirely in simulators,” declared Vern Raburn, president and CEO of the company.

The FAA granted Part 142 pilot training certification last month, allowing Eclipse to train and type rate pilots exclusively in simulators. The first customer pilots have already completed their initial type training.

By April this year, Eclipse expects to have a third level-D sim in operation, which will allow the company to train up to 60 pilots each month using all the new facilities.