Eclipse Aviation (Booth No. 7463) has received permission from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to export the Eclipse 500 very light jet and its components to Russia, and has also received Canadian approval for the export of the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines.
Eclipse Aviation displayed a new mockup of its redesigned Eclipse 500 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., last month, but first flight of the genuine article has been pushed back 30 days (to next July, rather than June) and certification pushed back six months to December 2003.
Claiming that Williams International did not meet its “contractual obligations” and is “significantly behind schedule” in development of the EJ22 turbofan for the Eclipse 500 very light twinjet, Eclipse Aviation on November 27 disclosed it has dropped Williams and is negotiating with “two Fortune 100 engine suppliers.” Eclipse 500 certification is expected to be delayed significantly.
At press time Eclipse Aircraft had flown the first Eclipse 500 very light jet just once–on August 26–pending the return of both engines from manufacturer Williams International of Walled Lake, Mich. Citing problems with engine accessories, fuel metering and starters, Eclipse sent both EJ22 turbofans back to the manufacturer not long after the first flight. On October 22 the right engine was back at Eclipse’s Albuquerque, N.M.
While most business jet manufacturers rarely announce how many airplanes they have built before providing quarterly shipment numbers to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Eclipse Aviation announced last month that it had delivered 45 aircraft in the first quarter. (“Delivered” airplanes have a bill of sale, the buyer has paid and signed the acceptance papers.)
Eclipse Aviation is breaking new ground again, but this time it’s in the California courts.
Under a bowl of scorching blue New Mexico sky, Eclipse Aviation rolled out the first Eclipse 500 at its Albuquerque facility on July 13–one big step toward confounding the skeptics who insist the startup company will never be able to deliver a certified six-seat twinjet at the promised price of $837,500. The next step will be first flight, possibly before you hold this magazine in your hands.
Eclipse Aviation announced the opening of its third service center during a ceremony at Albany International Airport in late February.
The 42,800-sq-ft facility encompasses eight maintenance bays in 30,000 sq ft of hangar space and also houses storage, tooling and customer service areas. Construction on the $8 million facility began in October 2005 and it received operational approval and certification from the FAA on February 25.
The FAA has certified a new airborne weather radar system for the Eclipse 500 developed by the Albuquerque, N.M. very light jet builder with assistance from Japan Radio (JRC) in Tokyo. Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn praised the approval as an example of the company’s ability to develop and certify its own technologies for the Eclipse 500.
Eclipse Aviation, developer of the Eclipse 500 ultra-light twin jet, secured $38 million in financing last month, closing a third round of equity financing worth a total of $100 million ($62 million was secured last September). In all, the Albuquerque, N.M.-company has obtained $220 million in guaranteed funding from undisclosed private investors.