Eclipse Aviation and its largest stakeholder European Technology and Investment Research Center (ETIRC) Aviation are establish the first Eclipse 500 manufacturing facility outside the USA in Ulyanovsk, Russia - 900km (560 miles) east of Moscow.

The first Russian-assembled very light jet is scheduled to roll off the production line in the middle of next year, and full production of around 800 aircraft annually is expected to be reached in 2011.

The new assembly facility will be built at Aviastar Aircraft complex with construction costs estimated at Euro 50 million ($74 million). Total investment in the Russian operation is set at around 5 billion roubles($204 million). Russian-built Eclipse 500s will be similarly priced and configured as the US-built models.

"Our visit to Ulyanovsk and the very productive meetings we have held here reflect our commitment to rapidly increase the global reach and impact of the Eclipse 500," says Eclipse president Vern Raburn. "This week's progress also signifies the advancement of our recently expanded relationship with ETIRC Aviation, a partnership that will be instrumental in helping Eclipse reach its global volume production goals."

A well as being the majority shareholder in Eclipse, Netherlands-based ETIRC is also the sales and service provider for the VLJ in Russia, the CIS, eastern Turkey and western Europe, where 300 aircraft have already been sold. The company also buying 120 aircraft for its own operation.

Watch the news report on Russia Today....

Source: Flight International