According to the Governor of Ulyanovsk, Vladimir Putin has interceded on behalf of Eclipse Aviation. The Russian government has increased capitalization of the Vnesheconcom Bank by one hundred billion rubles, almost three billion dollars. Some of this is earmarked for ETIRC.
Asked for comment, a longtime Eclipse supporter said, “I’m just hoping they spend all of it on Eclipse… it would be a wise investment. Heck, for three billion dollars the Russians could annex the whole state of New Mexico. It would offset the bad deal they got on Alaska. I’m going to introduce the Governor of Ulyanovsk to Bill Richardson.”
Asked about the plane being built in Russia he added, “You know the Russians build great farm implements and heavy equipment. Right now the Eclipse 500 could use the robustness of a reliable farm tractor. I’m starting to study the Cyrillic alphabet so I can read the instrument panel. I can’t wait to take Putin for a ride in my jet.”
So we turn to another chapter in the Eclipse saga. Three billion down and three billion to go.
The company as we knew it will recede in the rearview mirror and we have unfinished business. Having had minor supporting roles in the investigations of PanAm 103 and TWA 800, I know survivors of aviation disasters need ‘closure’. Perhaps the blog can assist with this.
I propose an Eclipse Requiem Mass be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We need a mournful but uplifting piece of music, composed for the occasion. I suggest something along the lines of Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, or perhaps Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi. With the broad array of talents represented here, there must be a composer in the house.
Several have written here on integrity and ethics but none more eloquently than Gadfly. He is a professed man of faith and is best suited among us to deliver the eulogy. We can expect a thought provoking speech on the mortal temptations of the flesh, tempered with hope for better days. He may wish to call on the members of congregation for their recollections of the departed so start mentally rehearsing your piece. The program will be printed in English, Dutch and Russian with tasteful Eclipse colors.
We need to consider the Eclipse Survivors Memorial. This should be located near the rim of the Meteor Crater in Winslow, Arizona. The soaring aluminum sculpture will of course be fashioned of friction stir welded aluminum. On the front will be the engraved names of all 260 initial owners. An epitaph at the bottom will read, “A small smoking crater beside a giant formerly-smoking crater.”
Smaller text on the back of the monument will list 10% depositors, 60% depositors, investors, employees, politicians, parts suppliers, motel operators and taqueria owners. Affixed to the top of the memorial will be a life-size stature of Vern Raburn, reaching plaintively for the sky. He will be flanked by bronze replicas of the Collier Trophy and Cabot Award. The DayJet monument, complete with a working ant farm, will be located discretely nearby. We need a design competition for these memorials, to be judged by a team selected by Shane.
The dedication ceremony will draw cognoscenti from around the world. Sam Williams will be in back wearing dark glasses and a baseball cap. Bill Richardson will break into inconsolable tears. The service will end by spectators throwing rose petals, Eclipse apparel and memorabilia into the Meteor Crater (with the approval of the National Park Service, of course.) The crowd will retire for refreshments to a large Eclipse tent, preserved and replicating the vast presence and former glory at Oshkosh in year 2000.
Finally the Eclipse Fly-in at Sunriver, Oregon in September needs to be carefully orchestrated. It should be modeled after last year’s Legends aviation meet - billed as the last great roundup of P-51 Mustangs and the men who flew them during World War Two. It should culminate in an Eclipse flyby in the missing man formation. There won’t be a dry eye in the crowd.
We need volunteers. Can we count on the blog to assist Eclipse survivors in their one great hour of need?
As always, our very own Black Tulip blends truth (yes, Roel IS getting VEB support) with fiction in a delightful way. The remaining details have to be worked out, and I think it's very significant that the signing event is due to take place in Moscow on TUESDAY next week. Who says the Russians don't read the blog, or have a sense of humor?
Thanks again BT, and long may you continue to provide a 'sideways view' of our favorite American, sorry, Russian "Very Costly (sorry again, Delayed) Jet".
The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.