Eclipse Aviation officially handed over the first customer Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ) to its new owners in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 4 January, following an informal event on 31 December. Accepting the aircraft were partners Randall Sanada, president of California-based fractional ownership programme Jet-Alliance, and David Crowe, a private co-owner.

The company had been targeting 10 deliveries in 2006, but delays in obtaining a Federal Aviation Administration production certificate in early December have required each aircraft to be individually certificated, lengthening the process. Eclipse expects to receive the certificate from the FAA after an agreed, but undisclosed, number of aircraft.

Eclipse has 37 additional aircraft in various stages of assembly on the production line. Seven are through final assembly and are being prepared for delivery. The company says it will deliver more than 500 aircraft this year.

First eight Eclipse 500s 
© Eclipse Aviation    
Eclipse plans more than 500 VLJ deliveries in 2007


Source: Flight International