Eclipse, Etirc Scout Russian VLJ Plant Location

 - February 21, 2008, 8:58 AM

Eclipse Aviation and its investor/European distributor, Etirc Aviation, yesterday said the team is making progress toward establishing an Eclipse 500 manufacturing facility in Russia, a development that was announced last month when Etirc disclosed it was providing more than $100 million for the very light jet program. Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn and Etirc Aviation chairman Roel Pieper met yesterday in Ulyanovsk with federal officials and local administrators to discuss the steps necessary to establish a factory there. A special free trade zone in Ulyanovsk is being set up as a first step, and Raburn and Pieper visited the Ulyanovsk-Vostochny International Airport to evaluate possible factory site locations. A final agreement on the facility location is expected within the “next few months.” Meanwhile, Etirc’s pilots flew an Eclipse 500 to Ulyanovsk on Monday and provided demonstration flights to Russian officials and media. Etirc is in charge of sales, customer service, maintenance support and flight training for the Eclipse 500 in Europe, Russia, CIS and Turkey, in addition to holding EA-500 manufacturing rights in the region.