Archived Articles

2006 Mar  
ALBUQUERQUE, NM — March 01, 2006 — 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 frame.

Vern Raburn, Eclipse Aviation president and CEO, joined Eclipse employees to observe the production start. “This is another very exciting day at Eclipse because this is all part of the process of becoming a successful and enduring company,” said Vern as he watched Mr. 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. His visit was an incredible boost to the Eclipse team members who had a firsthand opportunity to see his enthusiasm for their efforts. As Mr. Crowe finished drilling the holes on the cockpit, he told the group of Eclipsers watching, “It’s beautiful. 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 Aviation 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.” Eclipse’s 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 aviation.”


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