I got this email this morning, and felt it deserved a prominent place in our history. I've altered a few lines to protect my sources, one of which you can work out pretty easily....
From: His Highness, Vernicius the First
Sent: Fri May 30 2008
To all Eclipse employees:
Today at our E-rrival customer event, I made two significant announcements. These announcements represent the reality of life as a start up – the highs are incredibly rewarding, but they come with challenging lows.
Let’s tackle the tough stuff first. We are raising the price of the Eclipse 500® to $2,150,000. The increase is necessary for Eclipse to move forward on a financially-sound basis. The reality is that the slope of our production ramp has been slower than we had hoped, and this has impacted our ability to deliver this airplane for the cost we had targeted. While we have pursued many other alternatives to rectify this situation, we now need to take this action to lower our break even and move toward profitability.
In addition to sharing the difficult news of this price increase with our customers, I was also thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce a new aircraft to the Eclipse Aviation family – the Eclipse 400 single-engine jet. This is a production version of the Eclipse Concept Jet (ECJ), which we first revealed at EAA AirVenture 2007. Since that time we have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from current and potential customers alike.
After completing 10 months of extensive research on the ECJ, we are confident this is the perfect aircraft for the emerging single-engine jet market. As many of you have experienced firsthand, this jet inspires people. It immediately captures their imaginations, and when they look a little closer and begin to grasp the level of performance and value it delivers – they are truly blown away.
All indications suggest that the single-engine jet market will be a major force in general aviation, and the Eclipse 400 will once again give us the chance to dominate by offering the most economical and technologically-innovative aircraft in the industry. We believe we are very well positioned to take the market lead as we have in the VLJ category. With this in mind, we have decided to reward our many loyal customers by allowing them to be the first to place deposits on the Eclipse 400. In fact, today at the customer event we began taking Eclipse 400 orders. We will start accepting deposits from the public at EAA AirVenture in July 2008.
The Eclipse 400 will be powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615F engine. At an estimated 330 knots, it will use less than one pound of fuel per nautical mile — making it the world’s most fuel-efficient jet aircraft. It seats four and cruises at 41,000 feet, nearly four miles above its closest competition. It will also feature the most sophisticated flight deck and complete aircraft integration available in general aviation. The Eclipse 400 is priced at $1.35 million in June 2008 economics. We expect to start delivering Eclipse 400 jets in 4Q 2011.
We have always dreamed of having a family of aircraft, and it is wonderful to begin to realise this goal today. I have no doubt that the Eclipse 400 will be just as wildly popular as the Eclipse 500. I hope all of you are as excited as I am, because we have another challenging and exhilarating task at hand. Yet, while it is exhilarating to launch a new aircraft, especially one like the Eclipse 400, our focus is and will continue to be producing and supporting the Eclipse 500. Opportunities associated with developing and producing the Eclipse 400 will be communicated as we move through the process.
Whether it is the Eclipse 500 of today or the Eclipse 400 of the future, I believe we will ultimately be known as the company that built the best jets in general aviation. We have the talent, drive and assets in place to make it happen, and the customers who have taken delivery of their jets are telling us we’re succeeding. We absolutely have what it takes to create more highs, and avoid more lows. Let’s keep pushing to realise our incredible potential in everything we do.
Lord Raburn of the Sith
So, there you have it, from direct from the top table. Two long predicted events, linked for maximum impact.