August 5, 2008

An Update on Eclipse Aviation

James Wallace:

'As a self-described "aviation nut," Vern Raburn – the former software executive and one of the early employees of Microsoft who remains a close friend of Bill Gates – was well aware of a famous saying in the aviation industry: The way to make a small fortune is to start with a big fortune.

The charismatic, high-tech whiz raised at least a billion dollars from investors, including Gates, who were willing to hitch a ride on his dream that Eclipse Aviation, the company Raburn founded in 1998, could produce light and inexpensive six-seat jets (a pilot and five passengers) that would become an air-taxi service for the masses.

But last week, while Raburn was at the famed Oshkosh air show, where his friend and actor John Travolta was promoting prompting Eclipse Aviation, Raburn was ousted by his board, leaving questions about not only the future of the company but about the legacy of a computer industry pioneer who believed he could draw on software development background to transform general aviation.

Posted by jez at August 5, 2008 9:07 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
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