Helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky has announced it has reached an in-principle agreement to purchase a strategic stake in Eclipse Aerospace, which is currently focused on supporting the global fleet of 260 Eclipse EA500 very light jets.
“We are elated about this potential new venture with Sikorsky Aircraft and the phenomenal reach we can extend to Eclipse Jet owners by access to the global service, support and supply chain network of Sikorsky,” said Mason Holland, chairman and CEO of Eclipse. “With the closing of this agreement we would have it all – a phenomenal fuel efficient twin-engine jet, an enthusiastic customer base and a fantastic support staff, all coupled with the depth and strength of a sound and experienced partner, Sikorsky Aircraft!”
Neither party has disclosed how large a stake Sikorsky will take in Eclipse nor the price involved, but it is expected that these will come out once a formal agreement is signed. Eclipse Aerospace emerged out of the now liquidated Eclipse Aviation which declared bankruptcy in 2009, and since then has been focused on providing modifications and support to EA500 owners.
It is understood that the company holds long-term plans of bringing the EA500 back into production. But it is not known if that plan has the support of Sikorsky which has emphasised the synergies available through the two company’s support and spares networks.