yenolo provided the following, I guess it means we won't be seeing 50 units delivered by the end of the year, or ah make that 10, or ah maybe just 3 or 4...just wait until next year, were gonna do 500:
Dear Eclipse customers:
As we anticipate the end of 2006 we can reflect upon a year of great strides, frequent challenges and significant progress. As the year ends, I and all of the Eclipse Aviation employees wish to extend to all of you a peaceful and joyous holiday season. We want to wish you a happy New Year.
Prior to the end of the year, I want to update you on the manufacturing progress and recent developments at Eclipse Aviation.
We are making steady but slow progress toward delivering the first aircraft and obtaining our production certificate. The FAA has been very good about staying over weekends and is working diligently with our team to evaluate our manufacturing and quality processes. The 37th aircraft has now started friction stir welding and there are 11 aircraft in final assembly positions resting on their own landing gear. Production aircraft three has completed production flight test and recently emerged from our new Sunport 3 paint facility with a black and red striped LX-3 paint scheme. Two additional aircraft are in production flight test and should fly sometime this week depending on the Albuquerque winter weather.
I am also happy to report that the pre-production flight test fleet is progressing as expected through the fleet wide modification period. N505EA has been flying for more than two weeks and has been performing exceptionally well. This aircraft has been flown by the FAA and is being used to validate the training program. N502EA will be back in the air by the end of this week with the larger tip tanks. In January, N503EA and N504EA will also be back online. So, overall, you should feel confident that the flight test fleet will be completely up and running at the beginning of 2007 with the goal to certify the remaining performance modifications as soon as possible.
On an organizational note, I also want to let you know that our CFO, Peter Reed, has decided to retire at the end of this month. Peter will turn 62 next year and wants to transition from the hectic 80 plus hour work week that he has done for 35+ years to a lifestyle where he can afford the time to travel with his wife. While we are sad to lose a great and long-time team member, we wish Peter the best of luck in his much deserved retirement. I must emphasize that this is in no way whatsoever related to the health of Eclipse Aviation. Peter will be the first to tell you that his past seven plus years at Eclipse have been both rewarding and challenging. He is proud to have participated in our growth from two employees (Peter was the second Eclipse employee) with only a concept to almost 1,000 employees and a certified aircraft. A search for Peter's replacement is underway.
As I promised in an earlier communication, we will continue to give you regular updates on the progress at Eclipse Aviation. The next communication will come in January, following the holiday break.
Your Customer Care team will be available for routine business December 27th, 28th and 29th. In January routine business will commence on Tuesday, January 2nd. In the event of a serious problem during the holiday period, please call the Eclipse Aviation main number at 505-724-1140 and customer care will be notified to return your call.
Once again, thank you for your continued support and contributing to a great and monumental 2006.
President & CEO