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Tue, Dec 16, 2003

What A Difference A Century Can Make

Old Meets New

This week near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina the jet that is poised to define the next century of flight, Eclipse Aviation's revolutionary Eclipse 500 jet, stood face-to-face with the world's most accurate 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction for the first time in a moment that signified the transition from the first century of flight to the second. 

The milestone meeting took place at the First Flight Centennial Celebration, a six-day tribute to the past, present and future of aviation that begins today. To symbolically unite the past and the future of flight, Eclipse Aviation and EAA brought the 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction, which will attempt to fly on the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight, together with the Eclipse 500 jet in front of the Wright Brothers National Monument in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

"As aviation enters its second century, it is at a critical inflection point," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. "The retirement of the Concorde and the struggles of aerospace leaders such as Boeing have many people wondering what the next 100 years of flight will hold. We see tremendous opportunity ahead for aviation and for air travelers, but realizing it will require us all to re-ignite the spirit of aviation innovation sparked by the Wright brothers on December 17th, 100 years ago."

Vern Raburn will participate in a panel discussion today on The Future of General Aviation on Tuesday, December 16 at 4:00 p.m. at the First Flight Centennial Media Tent. He will be joined by executives from the FAA, the EAA and Cirrus Design.

The Eclipse 500 is a revolutionary new aircraft that will redefine jet safety, performance and value in the next century. Priced at less than $1 million, and providing twin-jet safety and performance, the Eclipse 500 is credited with spurring both the very light jet market and the growth of the emerging air taxi transportation model.

FMI: www.eclipseaviation.com

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