Eclipse Aviation risks losing orders for its pioneering very light jet to rivals if it does not sort out its production problems imminently.

That is the view of aerospace consultancy PMI-Media, which says in a new report on the sector that Embraer's Phenom 100 and Diamond Aircraft's D-Jet will "see increases in demand" if the Albuquerque-based manufacturer cannot get the Eclipse 500 into service in the next four months. Eclipse has faced problems with key suppliers that have led to delays in obtaining certification for the aircraft.

PMI has revised its 2007 delivery estimate for the VLJ sector from 205 to 125 units because of the effect of the Eclipse delays on the overall market.

Analyst Rainer Vogel says the company's problems are more deep-seated than previously thought and that it could take "far longer to achieve the 1,000 aircraft a year production rate it is currently planning",

The report estimates the backlog for VLJs at more than 4,000 aircraft, with 14 types now competing in the sector.

It forecasts that more than 4,120 very light jets will be delivered between 2007 and 2016.

Source: Flight International