Eclipse Aerospace announced the official launch of production for its Eclipse 550 very light jet.
The company has an established supply chain, new Federal Aviation Administration production certification and a certified airframe, according to information from Eclipse.
Deliveries are to begin in mid-2013.
Eclipse plans for initial low-volume production with full production in 2014 for 50 to 100 planes a year, depending on market demand.
Eclipse was founded in 1998 by former Microsoft employee Vern Raburn; Bill Gates was a major stockholder.
The company produced 259 Eclipse 500 jets before it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2008. That converted to Chapter 7 liquidation in early 2009.
After a lengthy bankruptcy, one bidder, Eclipse Aerospace Inc., headed by Mike Press and Mason Holland, bought the assets out of the company.
“New production of the Eclipse Jet, that was the ultimate goal of EAI when we started the process two and a half short years ago,” Mason Holland, Eclipse Aerospace chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Besides announcing production of the Eclipse 550, Eclipse also announced the Eclipse International Dealer organization. Dealers representing more than 30 countries have signed agreements to buy Eclipse 550 jets scheduled for delivery in 2014 and early 2015, the company said.
The Eclipse 550 twin-engine jet is built on the Eclipse 500 model, but includes updated aircraft systems, such as auto-throttles, synthetic vision, enhanced vision and a redundant flight management system.
Eclipse Aerospace operates its corporate offices in Charleston, S.C. Its principal operations are in Albuquerque and Chicago.