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Thu, Apr 26, 2007

Big News! Eclipse Aviation Earns FAA Production Certificate

Allows Company To Ramp Up Production

ANN REALTIME REPORTING 04.27.07 1620 EDT: It's a huge step towards Eclipse Aviation's goal of delivering over 2,000 aircraft in the coming years... and may just be the only time Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn could be accused of being "PC" (and he likely wouldn't mind a bit -- Ed.)

The Albuquerque, NM-based very-light-jet (VLJ) manufacturer told ANN Thursday the planemaker has received its production certificate (PC) from the Federal Aviation Administration. Representatives from the FAA presented the production certificate to Eclipse COO Peg Billson earlier today at a ceremony held at Eclipse headquarters.

A production certificate allows a company to manufacture aircraft with an FAA-approved type design, and is only granted when the FAA has determined that the organization's manufacturing processes and inspection systems comply with all federal regulations.

Eclipse Aviation is now authorized to issue standard airworthiness certificates for its production aircraft. Until now, Eclipse could manufacture aircraft for sale... but was required to submit each plane to the FAA for approval before delivery.

"Earning our FAA production certificate means we have successfully built a reliable, high-quality manufacturing process, and are well positioned to expedite aircraft deliveries," said Billson. "Our employees, customers and investors can have confidence that we are gaining momentum in production as more and more Eclipse 500s go out the door and into the hands of our customers. This is a critical milestone in our journey to become a high-production aircraft manufacturer."

Eclipse notes the FAA production certificate approval process is very rigorous, and includes the exhaustive evaluation of an organization's manufacturing processes, quality control and production inspection system.

A team of FAA inspectors fully audits the organization and production facilities, and examines approved design data for compliance. If the FAA finds inconsistencies, there are follow-up audits to ensure corrective actions were taken and integrated into ongoing systems and processes.

"We appreciate the professionalism and dedication the FAA has demonstrated throughout this initiative, and look forward to advancing Eclipse 500 aircraft production under our now FAA-approved system," commented Billson.

FMI: www.eclipseaviation.com

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