Eclipse Aerospace


Eclipse Aerospace, founded in 2008, is an American aircraft manufacturer specializing in the production of very light jets (VLJs). Renowned for its Eclipse 500 and subsequent Eclipse 550 models, the company focuses on creating efficient, cost-effective, and technologically advanced business jets. Eclipse Aerospace has played a significant role in the development of the VLJ market, providing reliable and economical options for private and business aviation. The Eclipse 550, with its innovative features and affordability, reflects the company’s commitment to making jet travel accessible to a broader range of aviators and businesses.

History and Evolution:

The Eclipse Aviation Corporation, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was the manufacturer of the Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ) and had plans for the Eclipse 400 single-engined jet. Founded in 1998 by Vern Raburn, a former Microsoft employee and Symantec CEO, the company played a significant role in introducing the Eclipse 500 VLJ in 2006. Despite initial success, financial challenges led to a production halt in October 2008 and subsequent bankruptcy proceedings. In August 2009, Eclipse Aerospace emerged as the sole bidder in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, acquiring the company’s assets.

Products and Services Offered:

Eclipse Aerospace, following its acquisition of assets from the Eclipse Aviation Corporation, primarily focused on the Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ). The Eclipse 500 was a key product, representing a compact and efficient aircraft for personal and business travel. The company aimed to provide aircraft sales, support, and maintenance services for the Eclipse 500 and potentially other aviation offerings.

Product Line and Notable Features:

The avionics system in the Eclipse incorporates a redundant Integrated Flight Management System, Class 3 E-charts, FADEC engine control, and XM Satellite Weather. The high-resolution MFD/PFD displays have control over major aircraft systems, and precise navigation is facilitated by dual WAAS/SBAS beta-3 GPS receivers from IS&S.

Sustainability Efforts:

The Eclipse Aerospace environmental initiatives focus on reducing the carbon footprint of their aircraft. They emphasize advancements such as weight reduction, aerodynamic improvements, and the use of fuel-efficient engines. Additionally, the company explores sustainable aviation fuel options and commits to staying at the forefront of eco-friendly technologies. Eclipse aims to contribute to a greener aviation industry by prioritizing environmental considerations in its aircraft design and operations.

Technological Advances:

The design team at Eclipse has revolutionized the flying experience by simplifying cockpit controls through a strategic reduction in the number of switches and dials. This simplification is achieved by creating user-friendly synoptic pages for each aircraft system. The result is a more intuitive and streamlined interface, enhancing the overall ease of operation for pilots. This innovative approach not only improves pilot efficiency but also contributes to a safer and more enjoyable flying experience.

Notable Customers and Partnerships:

European fleet orders and refurbishments contribute to the company’s stability, emphasizing a commitment to the existing Eclipse fleet and potential plans for the restart of Eclipse 550 production. Resurgent Aviation Solutions (RAS) founder Cary Winter provides crucial parts support for the Eclipse, aligning with its role as an owner-operated aircraft. Despite challenges, optimism surrounds Eclipse’s future under the ownership of AML Global, emphasizing the aircraft’s innovative design and eco-friendly attributes.

Future Outlook:

Under current ownership, Eclipse jet owners express satisfaction with the provision of free maintenance management software, direct parts sales to local shops, and responsive customer service. In the face of a tightened market and general inflation in used aircraft prices, owners estimate a 30% increase in the jet’s value since 2021. According to market insights, the recent bankruptcy led to a significant reduction in available aircraft for sale, with the Eclipse jet regaining its appeal for its unique capabilities at an attractive price point. The aircraft has evolved into an ideal personal jet, offering nonstop flights from New York to Florida at FL410 with fuel efficiency that surpasses comparable turboprops, showcasing its enduring appeal in the market.