Turkish investor to produce Eclipse 500 light jets in Turkey

The Eclipse 500 is a micro jet that carries five passengers and a pilot. It registers a top speed of 685 km/h, consuming substantially less fuel than other airplanes.
The Eclipse 500 is a micro jet that carries five passengers and a pilot. It registers a top speed of 685 km/h, consuming substantially less fuel than other airplanes.

The Turkish investor who purchased the producer of the world’s lightest jet together with two U.S. partners is on the verge of relocating the firm’s production base to Turkey.

Ekim Alptekin bought Eclipse Aviation after the company announced bankruptcy. He said in an interview that his two partners, who had previously considered moving the factory to China or Russia, were now very close to giving up on Turkey’s two potential sites for the manufacture base’s new location, too.

“Aviation giants regret their investments in these countries. Turkey has the highest chance,” Alptekin said.

Alptekin had been planning to expand his air taxi business and ordered 120 airplanes from Eclipse. After the company delivered two airplanes it announced bankruptcy, having being stricken by the 2008 global crisis.The Russian bank supporting the company’s activities also went bankrupt, after which Eclipse’s fate was sealed. The procedure for the company’s sales was finished in 10 days.

“None of the previous partners took part in the sales bid, and big companies abstained from making an offer. As a result, we purchased the company, the investment value for which was $1.5 billion, by offering only $100 million. Our next step is to make Turkey a light jet manufacturing base.”

He also said after the manufacturing base was moved, the factory in New Mexico, U.S., would only work on research and development for the U.S. domestic market.

“Our target is to produce more than 200 jets in Turkey annually. The added value provided by one jet airplane is worth 10 automobiles. In 2012 we will be back to mass production and be able to produce 400 jets in a year. It is estimated that in five years, the light jet market will be 4,000 units annually. Since there are no other producers our share in this will be half,” he said.

 Alptekin said he believes the Eclipse 500 jet will mark a revolution in aviation history, because none of the factories in the aviation sector works by production line. Therefore, Eclipse is renowned for being the world’s fastest aircraft manufacturer.

The Eclipse 500 is also the world’s lightest jet, weighing in at 1645 kilograms, the same amount as a mid-class automobile. These jets are named as micro jets carrying five passengers and one pilot. The jet has a top speed of 685 kilometers per hour and consumes substantially less fuel compared to other airplanes.

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