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EA Aerospace seeks investors for Turkey-based EA500 production line

EA Aerospace, the Turkish founding partner of Eclipse Aerospace is hoping to establish a second production line for the EA500 if the go-ahead to restart manufacture of the very light jet is given.

The start-up is also evaluating the launch of an air taxi operation next year from its base in Istanbul. EA Aerospace - whose chairman Ekim Alptekin is a shareholder and board member of Eclipse - has acquired a privately owned EA500 from a UK owner, which was shipped to Turkey last week.

"Our main focus is on selling, maintaining and upgrading the EA500 in Europe [home to 30 of the types]," says EA Aerospace.

 © Eclipse Aerospace

The company already has two potential buyers for the new Total Eclipse model, a source from EA Aerospace reveals. Unveiled by Eclipse in March, the aircraft incorporates a number of upgrades to the original including Avio NG avionics, flight into known icing condition, a 41,000ft (12,500m) ceiling, a 20,000-cycle airframe life and several new systems, such as an on-board colour radar, electronic moving map, and Jeppesen eCharts. "The EA500 is still popular and we would like to built it in Turkey if the owners decide to restart production," says EA Aerospace, adding that discussions are underway with Turkish investors to fund the new assembly line.

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