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.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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