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Kestrel combines with Eclipse to form ONE Aviation

A mock-up of a Kestrel Aircraft sits behind the Old Post Office building in Superior. (Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Two innovative planes, one of which is based in Superior, have been consolidated under a single company. ONE Aviation Corporation has been formed to design, develop and manufacture both the Kestrel K350 single-engine turboprop and the Eclipse 550 twin-engine light jet.

“We are excited to announce the formation of ONE Aviation,” stated Alan Klapmeier, CEO of ONE Aviation, in a news release today. “I feel privileged to lead this experienced team of aviation professionals as we increase production of the Eclipse Jet, further the development of the Kestrel turboprop, and build a suite of General Aviation products second to none in the industry.”

Kestrel operations in Superior and Brunswick, Maine, as well as Eclipse operations in Albequerque, N.M. and Chicago will be maintained at the current staffing levels, according to a ONE Aviation spokesman. The Superior site has 40 employees.

Kestrel headquarters moved from Maine to Superior in 2012, bringing with it the promise of up to 600 of jobs once plane production began. Plans call for a manufacturing plant to be built in Superior, but no ground has been broken. The Kestrel is still under development, according to a ONE Aviation spokesman, and is still 18 to 24 months away from its first flight. There are no changes to Kestrel plans at this time, he said.

ONE Aviation will focus on providing high performance aircraft owners an uncompromising aviation experience, from producing innovative aircraft to delivering industry leading training and customer support services. ONE Aviation will immediately gain operational and marketing efficiencies by consolidating and leveraging the Eclipse and Kestrel business operations, supply chain, marketing and sales teams all under a single and seasoned management team.

“Combining the synergies of Eclipse and Kestrel under the leadership of Alan Klapmeier is a perfect fit,” said Mason Holland, Chairman of ONE Aviation. “I believe that our current, as well as our future, customers will appreciate Alan's vision and his prior experience in leading the design, development, and production of one of the world's most successful aircraft programs. Alan knows our customers, he is a champion for them, and he is recognized throughout the aviation industry as an innovator and transformational leader.”

The Eclipse Jet is currently in production and is the world's only twin-engine light jet priced below three million dollars. While flying at 41,000 feet and incorporating auto throttle technology, the Eclipse Jet is not only the most fuel efficient aircraft in its class, but one of the world's safest aircraft, with over 300,000 incident free fleet hours.

The Kestrel K350, currently under development, will redefine the industry's single-engine turboprop market. Like the Eclipse, the Kestrel K350 is designed to make high performance aircraft more accessible to the General Aviation customer by reducing complexity and increasing value.

ONE Aviation will debut during the Sun N Fun fly-in and expo in Lakeland, Florida next week. More information is available onine at ONEaviation.aero.