Supplier Sues Eclipse, Alleging Lack Of Payment

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Hampson Aerospace, a U.K.-based company that has been building tail sections in Texas for the Eclipse 500 jet, sued Eclipse Aviation on Tuesday, alleging that required payments have not been made since March, the Albuquerque Journal reported Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Eclipse told the Journal she couldn't comment on the pending litigation. Email and voicemail messages left for Eclipse by AVweb late Wednesday were not returned by our deadline. According to the suit, Hampson agreed to reduce the payments, but Eclipse then said it could rescind the agreement altogether on the basis of fraud, according to the Journal. The suit did not give details of the basis for the fraud allegation. The value of the contract is estimated at $380 million. Eclipse laid off about 100 workers last month, and has run into repeated production delays. This week, however, the company went to the Dubai Air Show for the first time, and sold 12 Eclipse 500 jets to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Flight Academy (DAEFA). Delivery of these Eclipse 500s will begin next year, the company said in a news release.

DAEFA will use the Eclipse 500 jets in its new ab initio training program that is scheduled to open in March 2008. The program will offer a 12-month course starting every month with up to 400 students in training at any given time. Students will start their training in a Cirrus SR22, progress to an Eclipse 500, and finish with a type rating in a multi-crew jet transport aircraft. DAEFA plans to train thousands of aerospace and aviation professionals to fill the shortage of airline pilots in the Middle East, Europe, India, and North Africa.