Epic Aircraft parent company Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) and Republic of Georgia-based Tbilisi Aviation Machine (TAM) in late July further cemented a joint venture announced last fall to build a $2 million very light jet (VLJ). Under the partnership, Epic Aircraft and TAM will co-produce the twinjet–Epic at its new 90,000-sq-ft Bend, Ore. facility and TAM at a plant in Tbilisi.
Gregg Williams, who has been president and COO of Williams International for eight years, has been named CEO. Williams, 46, is the son of company founder Sam Williams, 84, who continues as chairman of the Walled Lake, Mich. builder of military and business jet engines. Williams International, a major supplier of turbofan engines for light and very light jets, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Avocet Aircraft last month joined the ranks of Safire Aircraft, Century Aerospace and plenty of other failed start-up aircraft manufacturers. The Westport, Conn. company has put its six-seat very light jet (VLJ), the $2 million ProJet, “on the shelf” and last month returned escrowed deposits–ranging any- where from $5,000 to $25,000 each–for some 100 aircraft.
Tony Fox, the 84-year-old entrepreneur credited by those with long memories as being the father of the very light jet, last month sold the 1970s-era Foxjet design to start-up Millennium Aerospace of California. Fox still manages a multimillion-dollar business conglomerate and holds 96 patents.
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