Background: the "air taxi" model, discussed in these posts, this article,  this book, and this website, is showing viability around the world -- especially with companies using relatively inexpensive SR22 propeller planes from Cirrus, rather than faster-but-costlier small jets. Transportation of every kind is under pressure because of worldwide economic collapse and environmental concerns, but in the circumstances air taxis are doing OK.

And the "Very Light Jet" movement, discussed at all the places above and also here and here, has led to the development of several smaller, cheaper jets that are thought to have a commercial future, of which the best known is the Eclipse 500.


But oh, my, the poor Eclipse company that actually came up with these new planes. As chronicled here frequently in the past, it has had management struggles and financial crises and legal disputes that have called its existence into question. The latest discouraging news is here and here and concerns such ominous subjects as not meeting the payroll and employees emptying their desks. (Update: more end-of-days news here.)

The general economic and credit chaos that is felling older, stronger companies in more established industries is obviously doing no favors to these startups. And anyone who has seen the life cycle of, say, the computer business knows that Wang, KayPro, Eagle, Altos, Victor, Osborne, and other once-promising firms went down but that the computer industry itself surged forward. So it may be with the Eclipse company and the transportation systems it helped make possible. But this is another sad chapter in the era's economic contraction.