Last week, assuming all went well, James Teng took possession of Eclipse 500 Tail # N168TT. James was one of Eclipse’s earliest customers, having placed his deposit for an Eclipse 500 on the very first day we started taking orders – May 26, 2000.
At that time, we emailed back and forth quite a bit because James lives in Singapore and was unable to place his order in a person, a somewhat arcane requirement that we had put in place. He graciously accepted that he would be at the “end of the line” on that day. In one of the most amazing experiences of my career, we took orders for more than 200 aircraft on a single day in 2000, and James was awarded position #159 (Why it was 159 instead of 200+ makes sense if you understand the various sales programs we had in place. I won’t try to get into that here.)
That was just the start. James and his wife Irene have been among the most stalwart supporters of Eclipse. While I was with the company, they flew in from Singapore for every significant event and we saw more of them than we saw of many of our domestic customers. Their support never wavered despite Eclipse’s significant setbacks, the most notable of which was a two-year delay when Williams International failed in developing the original EJ22 engine.
I had not communicated with James since my departure from Eclipse in mid 2005, so I was thrilled when he sent me an email about the imminent delivery of his airplane. Here’s a photo of James and Irene at the Naples Flight Center and a photo of their Eclipse 500. (click on the images to see them larger. I haven’t figured out how to display them full size yet.)
To James and Irene: Congratulations on your jet. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with us through thick and thin.