In a letter to position-holders this week, Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn asked customers to send money now, and he will in return give them a discount on the final delivery cost when their jet is ready. Raburn said he hopes to raise $30 million in the next few weeks with the offer, which will go to finance operations while the company finalizes a new round of capital raising. The offer would give customers a locked-in base price of $1.25 million in return for an up-front payment by Dec. 14 of $625,000. The deal can save owners up to a half-million dollars on the final cost. Some customers already have shown interest in the program, Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom told AVweb on Wednesday. "We're not trying to raise all of our money via customers, but we are raising more money and thought we would ask our customers to participate," he said. If not enough customers come forward to raise at least $30 million, then Eclipse will refund the money, he added.
Raburn said the money would "help meet our need for short-term funds while our production capability matures and we put in place additional long-term financing ... The financing we are seeking is relatively small as a percentage of the total capital we have raised to date. We have been successful in the past in our ability to raise capital and believe we will be able to close this financing within 120 days. In the meantime, we are looking to raise funds now so that we can complete our financing in an orderly fashion." Raburn also said acknowledged in the letter that Eclipse has not met demand for pilot training, but three full-motion simulators will be operational by March, which should allow training to catch up with deliveries.