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Eclipse Aviation Delivers First Customer Eclipse 500

Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world's first very light jet (VLJ), delivered its first customer aircraft.


September 19, 2007
By Carey Fredericks

Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world's first very light jet (VLJ), delivered its first customer aircraft today at its headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ramping up to fulfill the backlog of more than 2,500 aircraft, the company already has 37 additional aircraft on its production line in various stages of assembly. Seven of these aircraft have completed final assembly and are being prepared for delivery. In the coming days, Eclipse will hold a delivery ceremony at the company headquarters.

The first customer Eclipse 500 was delivered to co-owners David Crowe, a private owner, and Jet-Alliance, a shared jet ownership company in Westlake Village, California. While Crowe plans use his time with the jet primarily for recreation, Jet-Alliance will be using it to serve the needs of their growing list of co-ownership clients.

"Although the vision of an affordable jet may have seemed like a risky investment to some back in 2000, I never doubted this day would come," said Crowe.

With new facilities and team members in place, Eclipse is poised to begin ramping production rates. The company is leveraging advanced manufacturing methods not traditionally used in aviation to dramatically
increase manufacturing efficiency. These include proven automotive manufacturing techniques such as moving assembly lines and robotics. The company's current facilities are designed to support the production of approximately 1,000 aircraft a year, or four aircraft per day.