Although ONE Aviation intends the Williams FJ33-powered Eclipse 700, now under development, to succeed the Eclipse 550, the company says the latter, which gets it thrust from two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610Fs, is still very much in production.

“The 550 is not out of production yet; there’s still a market for it. We are still building the 550s,” Alan Klapmeier, CEO of ONE Aviation, said recently, adding, “We have a number of airplanes on order from China. We’re still in the process of doing the CAAC [Civil Aviation Administration of China] validation. They want more 550s.”

He said one 550 had been delivered to China and another 19 were on order from there, though some of those would be 700s.

As for the new model, Klapmeier said 50 employees have been assigned to its development, and that number would likely double in the near future. The aircraft should earn certification in “early 2019,” he said.

Regarding the very-light-jet market, he said the former company’s original promise of delivering 1,500 aircraft per year was unrealistic. “But are 100 airplanes a year ridiculous? Are 50 airplanes a year ridiculous?” he asked. “Of course not.”