"Total Eclipse" VLJs Now For Sale

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Less than a year after they took over the type design for the Eclipse very light jet, the owners of Eclipse Aerospace say they are ready to offer a limited number of fully functional copies to new owners. "The EA500 is a sophisticated, high-performance, economic twin jet with low operating costs, low environmental impact and uncompromised safety," said Mason Holland, president of Eclipse Aerospace. "In their rush to deliver the aircraft, the former manufacturer of the EA500 [Eclipse Aviation Corporation] delivered to owners an aircraft that was only about 85 percent complete. These aircraft were great performers, but still lacked several important features. We now have completed the design and engineering of the EA500." The "Total Eclipse" jet now includes FIKI (Flight Into Known Icing) and a GPS-coupled autopilot. The company had acquired unfinished jets during the bankruptcy, and bought some back from owners. It is offering the jets ready-to-fly, with a factory warranty, at $2.15 million. Owners who took delivery of the original Eclipse jets can trade theirs in for a credit of up to $1.7 million.

The company plans to eventually restart the production line and produce brand-new jets. With that in mind, a limited number of the Total Eclipse jets will be sold with a "buy-back" provision. Eclipse Aerospace will agree to repurchase the aircraft for a guaranteed amount that can be applied toward a first-year production slot when EA500 manufacturing resumes. "The Total Eclipse program is the most comprehensive and important action we have taken to date as we expand our support for EA500 owners," said Holland. "We are proud that with this announcement, Eclipse Aerospace is delivering on the full promise of the Eclipse 500."