Light jet manufacturer calls on competitors to follow its example and provide detailed development progress reports

Eclipse Aviation has launched an initiative designed to increase transparency and improve communication with its stakeholders during development of its Eclipse 500 very light jet. The Albuquerque, New Mexico-based manufacturer is calling on its competitors to adopt a similar strategy.

"Starting today," says Eclipse president and chief executive Vern Raburn, "we are providing a completely unprecedented window into a development and certification programme for a new aircraft."

A new section on the Eclipse website, dubbed "Track Our Progress", lists over 200 tasks and milestones that the company must achieve before US Federal Aviation Administration certification of the six-seat aircraft in late 2006. "Each of these milestones has a due date. We will post the actual date as each item is achieved," Raburn says.

He adds that the schedule will be updated "in the unlikely event there is an overall schedule delay".

Eclipse says transparency has "been sorely missing" among new manufacturers of very light jets, including Adam Aircraft, Avocet and Safire Aircraft, and invites its competitors to publish the same detailed information. "We look forward to having our performance judged both on its own merits and in comparison to others," it says.

Fledgling manufacturer Safire Aircraft has dismissed Eclipse's initiative as a gimmick. It says: "We regularly provide progress reports and press releases based on our achievements and not on our intentions. We couldn't be more transparent."

Meanwhile, Joe Walker has been appointed president of light aircraft manufacturer Adam Aircraft. Walker, a former senior vice-president of worldwide sales for Gulfstream and vice-president of General Dynamics, will be responsible for expanding sales, marketing and customer support for the Englewood, Colorado-based company's aircraft line - the A500 piston twin and A700 very light jet, under development.


Source: Flight International