September 23, 2008
By Alton K. Marsh
Eclipse has received the full $205 million it needed to build a factory in Ulyanovsk, Russia, to assemble the Eclipse 500.
Funding came from the Russian State Bank Vnesheconombank, where Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (shown in photo) chairs the supervisory board. Production in the factory located at the Ulyanovsk-Vostochny International Airport is expected to begin in 2010. The factory’s ultimate capacity is projected to be 800 jets per year.
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Production at Eclipse’s headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M., will continue in full prior to and following the start of the Russian facility’s operations. Export of the Eclipse 500 jet components to Russia already complies with United States and Canadian export regulations, the company said.
ETIRC Aviation will represent the aircraft in Russia, Europe, and Turkey. ETIRC (European Technology and Investment Research Center) will provide sales, customer service, maintenance support, and flight training. Roel Pieper, CEO of Eclipse Aviation, is also the chairman of ETIRC Aviation.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
Continuing significant orders to the training market shows that Piper Aircraft is making progress in its three-year plan to gain market share in that competitive arena.
L-3 Aviation Products plans to join the general aviation ADS-B world with its Lynx MultiLink Surveillance System. The new products will be “specifically tailored to fit the panel and budget of today’s general aviation aircraft and pilots,” said Larry Riddle, vice president of sales and marketing.
It was a big day for the newly resurrected Mooney International Corp. Mooney president Jerry Chen handed over the keys to the first airplane to roll out of the Kerrville, Texas, manufacturer’s newly reactivated factory site.
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