Despite intensified speculation about an impending collapse, Eclipse Aviation remained in business as this issue went to press, with company leaders still seeking new sources of funding and anticipating the long-awaited FAA certification of the Garmin 400W navigator upgrade and European Aviation Safety Agency certification of the airplane.
Just days after Eclipse Aviation achieved two key milestones–EASA and Avio NG 1.5 certification–the pioneering VLJ manufacturer this morning filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. At the same time, Eclipse Aviation entered into an agreement to sell “substantially all of its assets” to an affiliate of Etirc Aviation of Luxembourg.
Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation today received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. The approval is for private flights only, the EASA clarified, and Eclipse expects to receive the EU-OPS 1 certification for commercial operations next year. According to the EASA, the certificate is valid for VFR and IFR operations, including RVSM and flight into known icing.
Per-seat, on-demand very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi firm DayJet last Friday filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation), just four days after company founder Ed Iacobucci expressed doubt at a VLJ air-taxi conference that the Boca Raton, Fla.-based charter operator would be resurrected.
Overshadowed by far larger jets in the static display, the Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ) is being shown for the first time at the MEBA show, courtesy of Dubai-based Palm Aviation and MyJet Turkey. The entry-level jet will be staying here in Dubai to make flight demonstrations after the three-day event.
Eclipse Aviation founder and former CEO Vern Raburn stole the show at a VLJ forum held Tuesday and yesterday in West Palm Beach, Fla., with his day-one closing comments, in which he spoke candidly about the aviation industry and Eclipse Aviation. “This is an industry that eats its young,” he said. “It’s fraught with people whose comment to anything new is, ‘It can’t be done.
Albuquerque’s NBC affiliate TV station, KOB, reported earlier today that the employees of Eclipse Aviation learned this morning that they will not be receiving paychecks for their last two weeks’ work.
Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation yesterday confirmed that it scrubbed its planned attendance at AOPA Expo this week in San Jose, Calif., as it seeks to cut costs during its continuing search for financing. “We had to make the difficult decision to cancel our attendance at AOPA as part of our efforts to conserve cash,” a company spokeswoman told AIN via e-mail.
Two industry analysts now predict Eclipse Aviation will run out of cash and cease production of the Eclipse 500 very light jet early next year. Connecticut-based Forecast International on Tuesday said it believed Eclipse would not be able to attract the new investment necessary to allow continued aircraft production beyond the first quarter of next year.
On October 21, Eclipse Aviation formally placed defunct charter operator DayJet’s 28 Eclipse 500s on the used airplane market. According to the manufacturer, the airplanes will be sold in “as is” condition.