Eclipse Aviation plans to build another aircraft beyond its archetypal very light jet, the Eclipse 500. But its product will have to be as much of a marketplace revolution as the -500, or it would not fit the Eclipse model, explains the company’s vice-president marketing and sales Michael McConnell.
He says candidly: “All I can tell you is that the new aeroplane will either be bigger or smaller than the Eclipse 500. We want to build other airplanes. We have done a lot of talking; we have a lot of plans, a lot of people and have spent some time on it, but not a lot of time.
“We have to prove we can deliver the Eclipse 500 in the way we told the world five years ago we would deliver it. The markets today are exciting. In some ways Eclipse will take the credit for creating this VLJ market when, in 2000, people said there is no market for it. Now other companies have decided this is a good idea. We think we have a competitive advantage over them in many regards. So the market is crowded.”
McConnell concludes: “Slogging your way through a bunch of other manufacturers trying to sell a $2 million-3 million jet, that’s not the Eclipse model. The Eclipse model is go find an area where you have a massive, massive competitive advantage, both in product, and in price, which means value; you get more for less. If we can find markets where we believe we can deliver an unbelievable value proposition, then we’ll go into those markets.”
Source: Flight Daily News