Updated: Friday, 21 Oct 2011, 1:45 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 11 Oct 2011, 6:37 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - Albuquerque's economy is about to go aero dynamicagain. Eclipse Aerospace plans to start making low-priced, high-tech small jet transports again.
They will be enhanced versions of the plane made by Eclipse Aviation, the bankrupt predecessor of the current company.
Company CEO Mason Holland announced Monday they're rolling out a new model, the Eclipse 550.
"So it's just taking the existing aircraft airframe and power plant with Pratt & Whitney and making it a little bit better as far as new technology goes and bringing it back into steady-steep production," Holland said.
Production as Eclipse Aviation in 2007 included assembly in Albuquerque. The company at it's peak employed 2000 people before going bankrupt in 2009.
Holland hopes that as Eclipse Aerospace, things will be better this time around.
He says Albuquerque has always been home to Eclipse and that even though it's not final, he can't imagine moving anywhere else.
Holland said the business plan is solid.
"We know that price point we think hits the market right to get the demand we want to start building 50 to 100 aircraft a year starting in 2012 as we ramp up," he said.
The company has also partnered with Sikorsky Aircraft, based out of Connecticut.
"We're just continuing along with a disciplined plan of costing out what it will take to build the aircraft, and we have right now 85 percent of the building materials costed out and under contract with our suppliers," said Holland.
Right now, Eclipse employs 150 people in Albuquerque who service and upgrade existing Eclipse jets. The company expects that to double by the end of next year.
The city's Economic Development Council is excited.
"It's a very positive development. As you know we've lost many thousands of manufacturing jobs in the state and around the country, so anytime you can see a positive move like this it is great news," said Gary Tonjes with Albuquerque Economic Development.
But don't be running out to Eclipse right away hoping to get one of those new jobs. Holland told us the hiring process won't even start until at least early next year.
The 550 is going to be the first auto-throttle jet. Eclipse is already taking orders.