Eclipse Delivers First Model 550 at NBAA Show
Eclipse Aerospace ceremonially delivered the first Eclipse 550 today at NBAA 2013, marking the first aircraft to come off its revived production line since its predecessor company filed for bankruptcy and shut down in 2007. The very light jet–S/N 265–will officially be delivered to its customer, Fred Phillips, in the coming weeks after three “minor” STCs are approved by the FAA.
These approvals–for the very light jet’s synthetic vision system and enhanced vision system cable connection–were expected before the NBAA show but were held up by the 16-day-long U.S. government shutdown earlier this month, Eclipse CEO Mason Holland told AIN.
Eclipse plans to deliver five or six more Eclipse 550s by year-end, he said. The Albuquerque, N.M.-based company expects to produce about two aircraft per month and, while the factory eventually could be ramped up to as much as 10 per month, Holland said he wants Eclipse “to grow at a pace slightly slower than the market.”
The company took four orders this morning at the show, helping it build the backlog for the $2.895 million aircraft. Holland said there are still Eclipse 550 delivery positions available for 2014, though he is hopeful that these slots can largely be filled by the end of the NBAA show.