Eclipse Aviation supplier Albany International revealed on August 19 that Eclipse “has indicated that it was substantially reducing production of the Eclipse 500 jet, and planned purchase of components from [Albany Engineered Composites] and other suppliers, for the remainder of 2008 and the first half of 2009.” Although Eclipse Aviation declined to comment about this information, Albany International added, “Based on information provided to
With a strong vested interest in a revitalized Eclipse Aviation, Eclipse 500 suppliers are walking on eggshells when discussing planned production curbs of the very light jet through mid-2009, but their underlying message is clear: the slowdown will affect their businesses. The subject is so touchy for Eclipse 500 avionics display provider IS&S that it wouldn’t even refer to Eclipse Aviation by name.
Very light jet manufacturer Eclipse Aviation late last week announced to employees and customers that the executive management team is working on “a plan to profitability by the end of the month.” And, the communiqué added, “Eclipse will not be releasing any further information or conducting interviews surrounding this media alert at this time.” While Eclipse isn’t talking, its suppliers are.
Pratt & Whitney Canada, manufacturer of the PW610F engine that powers the Eclipse 500 very light jet, and Eclipse Aviation are jointly investigating the cause of a carbon buildup that resulted in an in-flight engine shutdown earlier this month.
When VLJ manufacturer Eclipse Aviation announced early last week that it had received “first funds in a new round of financing” that hinged on the resignation of founder Vern Raburn, observers generally took that to mean that new money was flowing into the company.
Chichester-Miles Consultants of Hertfordshire, England, “is financially in balance,” said founder and chairman Ian Chichester-Miles. He also said he has “made some advance in obtaining financing” to develop the Williams FJ33-powered Leopard Six, but is bound by a confidentiality agreement about this financing until, possibly, the end of this year.
What a difference a year makes. At last year’s EAA AirVenture, Eclipse Aviation founder, president and CEO Vern Raburn made a dramatic entrance to the show aboard the Eclipse Concept Jet. At this year’s show, however, Raburn made a surprise exit, announcing yesterday that he was stepping down from the very light jet manufacturer.
Amid scuttlebutt about persistent financial problems, Eclipse Aviation founder and CEO Vern Raburn (left, in photo) stepped down today and company chairman Roel Pieper (right), a Dutch IT entrepreneur, became acting CEO, effective this morning. He had been serving as the non-executive chairman of Eclipse since early this year, when Etirc's investment of $100 million gave it a minority stake in the company.
Eclipse Aviation is back on the In the Works chart with the May launch of the EA-400 four-seat 330-knot single-engine jet. Although Eclipse has yet to make a formal application to the FAA for the EA-400 type certificate, the company has begun taking orders from existing Eclipse 500 buyers and opened the order book to new customers at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh late last month. Price is $1.35 million (2008 $).
Eclipse Aviation in late June received flight into known icing (FIKI) approval for the Eclipse 500, though in-service and undelivered aircraft up to S/N 265 will require modifications to fly in such conditions.