Judge Mary Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Tuesday 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 equity.
The public auction for the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation is scheduled for tomorrow, followed by the bankruptcy court’s selection of the winner on Friday. Some interested parties have visited Eclipse recently, according to an Eclipse spokeswoman.
Cedar Jet Center on Beirut’s Hariri International Airport has begun offering aircraft maintenance in a newly dedicated hangar in partnership with Masco, one
of two authorized service providers in Lebanon.
The EASA-approved facility has already completed Airbus Corporate Jetliner major overhaul checks. The company also offers line maintenance for aircraft all the way down to the Eclipse 500 very light jet.
Eclipse Aviation filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware on November 25, leaving creditors holding $702.6 million in claims. The move closely followed two major achievements in the company’s history, EASA certification of the Eclipse 500 very light jet and FAA certification of the Avio NG 1.5 avionics system.
A group of Eclipse 500 owners and position holders for the Eclipse 400 and 500 this week formed an ad hoc customer committee to represent their interests during the Eclipse Aviation Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. David Green, also the president of the Eclipse 500 Owners Club, was selected to be the group’s chairman.
When it issued Eclipse 500 Airworthiness Directive 2008-24-07, which becomes effective today, the FAA asked for comments from operators. The AD limits the Eclipse 500 to a maximum pressure altitude of 37,000 feet due to “several incidents of engine surge” of the jet’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F-A engines. The surge is due to carbon buildup on the static vane during high bleed flow conditions.
Kit aircraft builder Epic Aircraft has announced plans for its first FAA certification project, the all-composite Escape single-engine turboprop. Although Epic had previously announced plans to certify the twin-engine Elite jet and single-engine Victory jet, the Escape is now first in line for formal certification. The Escape does share the same fuselage design as the Victory, however, so the Victory might be next in line.
Per-seat, on-demand very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi firm DayJet on November 14 filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation), just four days after company founder Ed Iacobucci expressed doubt at a VLJ air-taxi conference (see page 40) that the Boca Raton, Fla.-based charter operator would be resurrected.
Eclipse Aviation founder and former CEO Vern Raburn spoke candidly at last month’s Aviation Week VLJ forum, held November 11 and 12 in West Palm Beach, Fla., about the aviation industry, his departure from Eclipse and his future plans. The following is a transcript of his statements, with minimal editing.
The VLJ era started with a bang on March 6, 2000, when Eclipse Aviation announced the formal launch of the Eclipse 500, a program “designed to apply technological breakthroughs in creating a series of safe, reliable, low-cost jet aircraft that will enable transformation of the U.S. air transportation system.”