Eclipse Begins Producing First Customer Jet

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Eclipse Aviation on March 1 said it has begun building the first Eclipse 500 jet for delivery to a customer. In a ceremony witnesses by a crowd of employees, the first customer, David Crowe, stepped up to engage the friction stir welding of one of his future jet’s cockpit side panels and to drill window attachment holes in the cockpit frame. According to the company, Crowe will receive his Eclipse 500 this summer. Vern Raburn, Eclipse Aviation president and CEO, joined Eclipse employees to observe the production start. “This is another very exciting day at Eclipse because this is all part of the process of becoming a successful and enduring company,” said Raburn.

Eclipse is continuing Eclipse 500 flight testing as the company moves aggressively towards FAA certification late in the second quarter of this year. The company was recently honored for the development of the Eclipse 500 by the National Aeronautic Association, which awarded Eclipse the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy for the “greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.”