Eclipse Aviation sets GA jet production record in 2007

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Eclipse Aviation last year built and certificated 103 Eclipse 500 very light jets, a number the company says makes it "the fastest general aviation jet aircraft manufacturer in history to produce its first 100 airplanes".

Though the company says it will not report the actual number of deliveries for the year until next month as part of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association yearly review, Eclipse says the number "won't be far off" the 103 built. Cessna is the closest runner up for production ramp-up, Eclipse says, with 100 Citation 550s finished within 18 months of the first completion.

The news comes as Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Eclipse attempts to secure long-term financing to fund its operations until it can boost production rates to a break-even level of almost two aircraft per day, up from "very close" to one per day now.

Eclipse says a short-term funding solution that locks in the price of a new aircraft in return for a $625,000 non-refundable deposit has been successful.