June 5, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
Eclipse Aerospace announced the beginning of production of its Eclipse 550 twin-engine jet.
The company forecast deliveries beginning in 2013. The announcement was accompanied by a rollout of its international dealer organization during its first sales conference June 1 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Production would begin now that Eclipse is “armed with an established supply chain, a new FAA production certificate and a certified airframe,” the company said.
“New production of the Eclipse Jet, that was the ultimate goal of EAI when we started the process two and a half short years ago,” said Mason Holland, Eclipse CEO and chairman in a news release. Eclipse said that production of 50 to 100 aircraft would be possible by 2014, paced by market demand.”
Dealers representing more than 30 countries were in attendance when management and directors signed the fuselage of the first production aircraft.
The Eclipse 550 is based on the Eclipse 500, of which 260 are flying, but offers “the next evolution of aircraft systems for general aviation jets which will include auto-throttles, synthetic vision, enhanced vision, and a redundant flight management system,” the company said.
Holland described the new aircraft’s design features in this AOPA Live interview from the 2011 National Business Aviation Association Convention in Las Vegas, Nev.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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