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Tue, Aug 28, 2007

Danish Businessman Wins First Eclipse 500 Auction

Winner Will Pay Over $1.8 Million For S/N 38

Eclipse Aviation tells ANN the winner of the planemaker's first-ever Eclipse 500 auction was Morten Wagner of Denmark, who placed his winning bid of $1,833,945 at 0200 his time on August 11. Wagner plans to accept his Eclipse 500 at the company's headquarters in Albuquerque this week.

"I was just sitting there, holding my breath, watching the auction run out," said Wagner.  "When I saw I had won, I was delirious; I woke up the whole house and told everyone I just bought an aircraft on Eclipse's private marketplace."   

The 35-year-old internet entrepreneur said he was determined to win the auction and was prepared to make another bid if he had to. The founder of his company, Freeway, Wagner says he plans to use his Eclipse 500 for business travel throughout Europe, and to travel between his homes in London, Spain, and Denmark.

Wagner said he started flying about a year and a half ago, and has been following Eclipse Aviation ever since. He has already accumulated 462 hours and currently flies a Cirrus SR22.

"I've wanted an Eclipse 500 for a long time," Wagner said. "To me, it's top of the line, and the most beautiful aircraft around."

As ANN reported, Eclipse announced the auction of aircraft serial number 38 (N112EA) at EAA AirVenture 2007 on July 25. The auction of the VLJ went live on an online private marketplace powered by eBay at 1100 EDT July 30, and concluded shortly after 2000 EDT on August 10.

Over 200 people were registered on eBay to bid on the aircraft. There were a total of 15 bids among six bidders.

"The fact that we can sell an early Eclipse 500 on an open market for more than $1.8 million demonstrates the enormous demand for very light jets, and particularly for the aircraft that started it all and still offers the market's best value proposition," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. "It's exciting to see that the winner is going to put his Eclipse 500 to great use in both his business and personal life."

The auction was open to both existing Eclipse Aviation Bidders' Club members, as well as non-members who were interested in purchasing an early Eclipse 500. The Bidders' Club was originally offered from May 2000 to May 2002.

FMI: www.eclipseaviation.com

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