I spent close to eight years working on a dream. It was Vern Raburn's dream and I bought it hook, line and sinker.
Our mission was to change the way people travel. Many said it couldn't be done. However, a lot of us spent most of our waking hours making it happen.
Eclipse Aviation's Type Certificate and Production Certificate were history making. The 500 is the quietest and most fuel-efficient jet ever produced. Even with the final price being more than twice the original, at $2.7M it is still the least expensive new jet on the market.
In the end, Eclipse Aviation filed for CH7 Bankruptcy and was sold to a group of customers for a small fortune. The new company is called Eclipse Aerospace. They are servicing the existing 500 fleet and have plans to restart production in the future.
I write this post because I saw an Eclipse 500 as I was leaving the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport yesterday.
It was the first time I had seen one since I left Eclipse and Albuquerque earlier this year. I couldn't help but smile. I loved the plane and the company, I learned much while there and I greatly admire the drive and belief of my fellow Eclipsers.
The pictures below are of production #13. It was my first and only ride on the aircraft I dedicated 8 years to. It was an honor to work on this product and it will always have a special place in my heart.