The prognosticators may claim that the very light jet era is over, but the investors who paid $40 million (half in cash up front) for the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation think otherwise.
Eclipse Aerospace has grown to more than 60 employees since purchasing the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation on September 4, and the new company is meeting its plan to supply parts and provide upgrades to Eclipse 500 VLJ owners.
Although Eclipse Aviation no longer exists, having been liquidated following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing earlier this year, legal actions surrounding the company continue to multiply.
Former deposit-holders for Eclipse 500 very light jets recently filed four lawsuits in New Mexico district courts alleging various wrongdoings by Eclipse Aviation executives before the company filed for bankruptcy one year ago. Named in the suits are former Eclipse Aviation leaders, including Vern Raburn, Roel Pieper, Peg Billson, Michael McConnell and Mark Borseth, as well as sales and support personnel.
Eclipse Aerospace held a supplier summit on October 27 for manufacturers and vendors of Eclipse EA500 very light jet components. Eclipse Aerospace purchased the assets of bankrupt manufacturer Eclipse Aviation on September 1 and is focusing on supporting the existing fleet of EA500 VLJs.
Harco general manager Michael Milardo said his company would support the Eclipse EA500–for now. Harco makes the airspeed probes for the compact very light jet. Milardo said his company is planning to participate in the Eclipse Aerospace suppliers conference scheduled for October 27 in Albuquerque, N.M., and will work with Eclipse’s new owners and current aircraft operators.
Eclipse Aerospace, the new owner of the assets of Eclipse Aviation, has wasted no time consolidating facilities, organizing inventory and modifying Eclipse E-500 very light jets with flight-into-known-icing (FIKI) systems and avionics upgrades. On September 30, the FAA and EASA formally reinstated the E-500’s U.S. and European type certificates to Eclipse Aerospace.
The bankrupt status of Eclipse Aviation finally ended in August after Eclipse Aerospace bought the assets of the very light jet manufacturer for $40 million. On September 1, Eclipse Aerospace founders Mason Holland and Michael Press joined Albuquerque mayor Martin Chávez to celebrate the reopening of the factory at Eclipse’s headquarters at Albuquerque International Air- port.
Eclipse Aerospace, formerly Eclipse Aviation, has vacated its $8 million factory service center on Albany International Airport. Instead, the company purchased North American Jet Maintenance on Chicago Executive Airport and plans to use it as an Eclipse platinum-level service center.
Eclipse Aerospace, the reincarnation of defunct Eclipse Aviation, has vacated its $8 million factory service center and told Albany County Airport Authority officials not to expect it to return. Doug Myers, director of public affairs for the Authority, told AIN that five years ago the airport authority began an economic development initiative to attract new businesses and jobs to the Albany, N.Y. airport.