January 19, 2007 Eclipse Aviation delivered the world’s first very light jet (VLJ) customer aircraft earlier this month, intent on clearing the waiting list of more than 2,500 aircraft. Given the company’s current facilities are designed to support the production of approximately 1,000 aircraft a year, it’s unlikely that joining the waiting list for the US$1.5 million Eclipse 500 will get you one this side of late 2009, but the market for very light jets seems to be getting a lot of attention and we suspect this is just the beginning of a whole new era of personal flight.
The first customer Eclipse 500 was delivered to co-owners David Crowe, a private owner, and Jet-Alliance, a shared jet ownership company in Westlake Village, California. While Crowe plans to use his time with the jet primarily for recreation, Jet-Alliance will be using it to serve the needs of their growing list of co-ownership clients.
“Although the vision of an affordable jet may have seemed like a risky investment to some back in 2000, I never doubted this day would come,” said Crowe. “With my Eclipse 500, I’ll not only have convenient access to my favorite places and hobbies, I’ll have a lot more time to enjoy them.”
To maximize his investment and Eclipse 500 usage, Crowe entered a partnership to co-own his Eclipse 500 with Jet Alliance. Their arrangement is a fitting example of the Eclipse 500’s appeal to both private owners and a whole new generation of entrepreneurs.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this major event in aviation history by accepting co-ownership with David Crowe of the very first Eclipse 500,” said Randall Sanada, president and CEO of Jet-Alliance. “The Eclipse 500 creates wonderful new alternatives for traveling and owning a jet aircraft, and our clients have been awaiting this day just as eagerly as we have.”