Customer Lends A Hand "Building" His Jet
Earlier this week Eclipse Aviation celebrated a major milestone
as it began building the first Eclipse 500 jet that will be
delivered to a customer.
As a crowd of employees gathered to witness the initiation of
production, the first customer, David Crowe, stepped up to engage
the friction stir welding of one of his future jet's cockpit side
panels and to drill window attachment holes in the cockpit
Vern Raburn, Eclipse Aviation president and CEO, joined Eclipse
employees to observe the production start -- as well as to watch
Crowe help begin assembly of his jet.
"This is another very exciting day at Eclipse because this is
all part of the process of becoming a successful and enduring
company," said Raburn as he watched Crowe begin the friction stir
welding of the cockpit panel. "We couldn't be happier than to be
building this Eclipse 500 for Mr. Crowe -- thank you David, we
really appreciate your faith and confidence."
Mr. Crowe will receive his Eclipse 500 this summer, shortly
after the anticipated FAA certification of the Eclipse 500 in late
May. Sources at the company told Aero-News that Crowe's visit was a
boost to the Eclipse team members who had a firsthand opportunity
to see his enthusiasm for their efforts.
"It's beautiful," said Crowe as he finished drilling the holes
on the cockpit. "It takes some pretty special people to have the
dedication to carry through a project like the Eclipse 500. Folks
who work here are not just punching timecards -- I can feel that
every time I visit."
Eclipse is continuing Eclipse 500 flight testing as the company
moves aggressively towards FAA certification in late Q2 of this
As was reported by Aero-News,
the company was recently honored for the development of the Eclipse
500 by the National Aeronautic Association, which awarded Eclipse
the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy for the "greatest
achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America."
Additionally, Vern Raburn was also honored in Singapore last
week by Flight International with the Aviation Excellence Awards --
Publishers Award as "leading a revolution in private and business