Almost 27 years after bizjet legend Allen Paulson announced–and then abandoned–the single-engine jet known as the Gulfstream Peregrine, the single-engine very light jet (VLJ) concept is inching closer to fruition.
Cirrus Aircraft last month raised the price of the single-engine Vision Jet, a personal VLJ, to $1.39 million for existing position holders and to $1.55 million for new orders placed before December 31. The price increases to $1.72 million for orders placed after January 1. All prices are in 2009 dollars. When Cirrus started taking orders for the jet in June 2007, the target price was about $1 million.
As anticipated, no last-minute bids emerged for the assets of Eclipse Aviation and yesterday a federal bankruptcy judge in Albuquerque approved the $40 million offer from Eclipse Aerospace for the former builder of Eclipse 500 very light jets. Eclipse had entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in November last year and Chapter 7 in February.
Anyone attempting to view information on the Web site of European Technology and Investment Research Center (Etirc) will find what looks like a television test pattern occupying what was formerly a description of a thriving investment business.
Roel Pieper’s European Technology and Investment Research Center (Etirc) has filed for bankruptcy, ending Etirc Aviation’s once-lofty plans to distribute Eclipse 500s in Europe and Russia and build an Eclipse assembly plant in Russia. Etirc announced plans to become an Eclipse distributor and help companies operate air-taxi networks two years ago.
As the liquidation process for the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation drags on, four groups have announced proposals to buy those assets and restart product support and in some cases production for the orphaned Eclipse 500 very light jet. There may be Chinese interest in bidding on the Eclipse assets, too.
Eclipse 500 owner Mike Press and deposit-holder Mason Holland on Friday launched a new company called Eclipse Jet to bid on assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation, restore Eclipse 500 product support and eventually return the very light jet to production. “Many of the owners are my personal friends, whom I’ve introduced to Eclipse and sold them their aircraft,” said Press.
On February 18, Eclipse Aviation’s board of directors elected to furlough most of the remaining 800 employees to conserve cash and allow more time to complete the bankruptcy court-approved sale of Eclipse Aviation to EclipseJet International. The latter is an affiliate of Eclipse Aviation CEO Roel Pieper’s company Etirc Aviation, which is Eclipse’s largest shareholder. The bankruptcy judge approved the Chapter 11 sale
Although the bankruptcy court approved the sale of Eclipse Aviation to EclipseJet International on January 20, the financing to complete the sale has yet to be finalized.
Judge Mary Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on January 20 approved the sale of bankrupt VLJ manufacturer Eclipse Aviation’s assets to EclipseJet Aviation International, an affiliate of Etirc Aviation. No other bidders surfaced. The court approved the sale of Eclipse’s assets for $28 million in cash, $160 million in promissory notes and 15-percent equity to preferred shareholders.