October 20, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Eclipse Aerospace gained the credentials and expertise of Sikorsky Aircraft Oct. 20 when Sikorsky became a minority partner for sales and service worldwide of the Eclipse 500. While Eclipse already had the financial means to resume production, a cash investment from Sikorsky further assures that goal.
Sikorsky is best known as a helicopter company, but its worldwide sales and service network can obviously be used for any type of aircraft. It will take two months before the details of the agreement are final.
“This agreement in principle affords us an opportunity to invest in a great product, and to further leverage our strong aftermarket and product support capabilities for fixed-wing applications,” said Mark Cherry, vice president of strategy and synergy for Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
“We are elated about this potential new venture with Sikorsky Aircraft and the phenomenal reach we can extend to Eclipse Jet owners by access to the global service, support, and supply chain network of Sikorsky,” said Mason Holland, chairman and CEO of Eclipse Aerospace. “With the closing of this agreement we would have it all—a phenomenal fuel efficient twin-engine jet, an enthusiastic customer base, and a fantastic support staff, all coupled with the depth and strength of a sound and experienced partner, Sikorsky Aircraft.”
There are 260 Eclipse 500 twin-engine jets in the fleet. Eclipse Aerospace is located in Albuquerque, N.M.
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.
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