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Bidders amass for Eclipse assetsBidders amass for Eclipse assets

Eclipse Aviation’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing this year has attracted bidding groups with competing visions for how to keep the Eclipse brand alive.

So far, several bidders have announced their intention to buy the assets of the bankrupt manufacturer, which currently has 250 to 260 jets in service. One additional group wants only the intellectual property rights of Eclipse, in order to provide service to existing aircraft.

The latter group, a cooperative of owners called Eclipse Services and Support LLC, is designed to enable the owners of the Eclipse jets now in service to continue to service their aircraft. It was formed by Linear Air of Concord, Mass., which owns and maintains Eclipse aircraft for its charter operation. According to a Feb. 25 press release, it intends to bid on parts and the intellectual property rights for service and support.

Another group, New Eclipse Acquisition LLC, plans to buy the manufacturer’s assets in order to continue production. New Eclipse, led by Harlow Aerostructures CEO Phil Friedman, hopes to restart new aircraft production at modest levels in 2011, according to a Feb. 26 press release. The company would charge customers to bring their aircraft up to the latest certification level.

Also among the bidders is a team of Eclipse owners and deposit holders called Eclipse Jet LLC. The group was formed by leaders of the Ad Hoc Customer Committee and Steering Committee. According to a March 13 press release, the group intends to outsource most existing service and support geographically to reduce costs and has plans to expand the fleet of Eclipse jets.

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