The Eclipse Owners Group and Hawker Beechcraft have signed a non-binding letter of intent under which the company's service network will provide maintenance and upgrades for group members - consisting of individual Eclipse 500 owners.
The parties are negotiating a "definitive binding agreement", says the owners' group, which says it will negotiate with Hawker Beechcraft to provide the needed maintenance and support services to keep Eclipse 500s flying if the group purchases the assets of Eclipse Aviation.
Under the proposals Hawker Beechcraft "will provide services and support" to the Eclipse owners through its global service centre network so that the group can perform "its regulatory obligations and keep the Eclipse 500s compliant with US Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory rules", says the owners' group. It says that it hopes to eventually restart production of the Eclipse 500.
Eclipse Aviation entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on 24 November and converted to Chapter 7 three months later. A bankruptcy auction is expected soon, and The Eclipse Owners Group will have to compete for the assets with a number of other entities.
The group was formed last year to protect the assets of the bank necessary for the support, upgrades, and continued airworthiness of the Eclipse fleet on the best economic terms possible for current owners of the Eclipse 500. Its aim was also to evaluate any proposals for the purchase of Eclipse Aviation's assets by other parties and, if appropriate, support such proposals if they are in the owner's interests.