For six years, Eclipse has promised more than they have delivered. Costs have been underestimated...performance overstated...milestones missed, reestablished, missed again, reestablished...market potential inflated...unreal production numbers...technical objectives oversimplified. The list goes on and it is a very long list. Nearly every marker has been missed.
Through it all amazing enough, Vern Raburn's credibility remains intact even as, one after another, he failed to achieve his stated goals. Thanks to the illusion he has created, the press and public has overlooked the shortfalls. Everybody would like jet air taxi service for the average air traveler. No more dehumanizing TSA hassles, no more long waits at hubs for connecting service. And for the pilots among us, maybe, just maybe, we can one day fly a jet ourselves. Powerful dreams that obscure reality.
There are comments posted to this blog relating to Vern's motive for developing the airplane, even empathy for his current difficulties.
I don't question the guy's love of aviation or love of flying. However, I believe the underlying motive for the program was to use the airplane as an opportunity vehicle to launch a large IPO so that he and the investors could cash in big, just as so many of his fellow pioneering computer and dot.com associates did in the 1990's... companies that promised the moon and never made a penny.
Had Eclipse met their original goals, a successful IPO may have been possible. Now with each set-back, the possibility becomes more remote. And if the airplane performance is no better than the sluggish numbers detailed in the August 31 post, the shortfalls may overshadow everything else. Sooner or later, the airplane will certify, the airplane will get in the field and there will be no more obscuring the true operational numbers.