Eclipse Aviation, the 2005 Collier Award winner (stand D430), will deliver its first aircraft to an Asian customer in the first quarter of 2007. James Tang, a private individual and investor in the company, will upgrade from his Socata Trinidad to the very light jet.
The VLJ pioneer has sold over 2,350 of its $1.45 million jets to date, with 10% of orders coming from outside the USA - mainly in Europe. Asian Aerospace marks the start of the company’s serious regional marketing push, where the innovative manufacturer anticipates selling aircraft to a mixture of air taxi operators and private individuals. Although it does not yet have an Asian sales force, one of the goals it has for the show is to start talking to prospective regional partners in anticipation of European certification, which it hopes to receive by the end of this year.
Eclipse currently has five flying test jets in operation, and announced in January that it had passed the 1,000 flight hours mark and achieved several critical testing milestones as it hurtles towards US Federal Aviation Administration certification. To cope with sales demand, the company plans to double its production facilities by mid-2006. It is on target to begin production within the next two months in preparation for final certification and first customer deliveries in the second quarter. Additionally, Eclipse estimates it will grow its Albuquerque-based workforce from 500 employees to more than 1,000 by year end.
Source: Flight Daily News