Saturday, November 11, 2006

Avio Cockpit Display

Flight following provided the image. Moment arms are apparently programmed into the unit. Nice display. Thanks ff'.

CG starts at 19% and goes to 22% with fuel burn.

Empty 3,550 lbs
Fuel 1,410 lbs
Payload 915 lbs
Gross 5,875 lbs
Available 75 lbs

Pilot 180 lbs
Co-pilot 165 lbs
Pax (1) 150 lbs
Pax (2) 135 lbs
Pax (3) 195 lbs
Baggage 90 lbs

Without the moment arms, we can't really prove or disprove anything. The 3,550 lb empty weight is the latest Eclipse claim. I would bet the Avio is just set up for demos and does not represent a real airplane..

IMO, 2.5 inches of CG travel at gross is inadequate for this airplane and is a show stopper.


flight guy said...


How much does the available options weigh (6th seat) that are not presented in your display? What's the arm? How does the display look on cg with all 180 pound pilots and passengers with baggage?

This from the Eclipse Website.

The following options are available for your already-feature-loaded Eclipse 500™ jet.

It can even be installed or removed in minutes for the ultimate in flexibility.

Refreshment center.
Provisioned to ice down your favorite drinks, secure hot beverage carafes along with cups, snacks, and napkins, this unit is easily installed when on-board entertaining is in order.

Sixth seat.
A sixth, forward-facing seat is as easy to put in as it is to take out and is available for both editions. And, with a fold-over feature, even when this seat is in place your baggage is easily loaded.

Stan Blankenship said...

The Avio display does not match the CG envelope from the Type Data Sheet!

At the lighter weights, it is showing a 14% MAC forward limit and a 34% aft limit.

Subtracting, the CG excursion represented by Avio is 20% of the mean aerodynamic chord.

Now look at the fore and aft limits from the Type Data Sheet, 195.65" and 203.25".

Subtracting and there is 7.6" of travel.

If 7.6" represents 20% of the MAC, then multiply it by 5 and 100% of the MAC would be 38 inches.

Yet proportionally, the mean (or average)chord for the Eclipse is about the same as the max cabin width or about 55-57 inches.

For the Avio display to accurately reflect the Type Data Sheet, the 20% range displayed should be closer to 14%.

SpeakTest said...

The AVIO picture is definitely just an example. The CG diagram is completely different from the TCDS.

I have a scale drawing of the E500, and used a ruler to measure the chord. It was 59.3" at the root (not counting the small LE extension at the root), and 28.5" at the tip (not counting the tanks). This means the MAC is 43.9", and 7.6" is 17.3% of the MAC. 2.5" is 5.7% of the MAC. Anyone know how these numbers compare with other jets? Mustang?

Certainly loading a jet is going to be different from a piston/turboprop because the wings are behind the cabin rather than in the middle of the cabin.

I also measured the span as 15' (per wing), and came up with 110sqft total wing area. At the proposed maxto weight, that is a wing loading of 54lbs/sqft.

Stan Blankenship said...


Did you include the projected wing area within the fuselage?

My estimates included the rectangular area defined by the four points where the leading and trailing edge intersect the fuselage.

One could also extend the main leading and trailing edge to the aircraft center line and ignore the glove (which I think Boeing calls the "yahoote").

How the wing area and MAC is defined is somewhat arbitrary and diagrammed in Darrol Stinton's book "Design of the Aeroplane".

flight guy said...

Intesresting resource provide by Eclipse:

When I looked at configuring a typical Part 135 E500 with co-pilot instrumentation and an optional 6th seat. The empty weight calculates to 5061.8 pounds. When adding max fuel and just (5) 170 lb passengers. The gross weight jumps to 5911 lbs. - Need I proceed further.-- When I add 50 lbs of baggage the gross weight becomes 5961 lbs.

Conclusion, this plane has very little utility even though it is being sold like it does. FYI, I did not add in the passenger for the 6th seat because I can't use it anyways.

flight guy said...

Correction on my last post.

The 5061.8 lbs includes the fuel. Without the fuel the weight is 3651.8 lbs. The final numbers are all the same.

Stan Blankenship said...

flight folling e-mailed the mass balance arms which were part of a larger spread sheet. I am not clear on his source. They appear to represent a theoretical airplane and based on a 3,700 lb empty weight, 150 lbs heavier than the Avio display.

Empty 208.6" @ 3,700#
Crew 122.4"
Pax 1 & 2 160"
Pax 3 189"
Baggage 217.9"
Fuel 198"

If you figure a sixth seat, add another 40 lbs.

The CG envelope is on the Type Data Sheet:$FILE/A00002AC.pdf

airtaximan said...

For all you big brains trying to crack the code on the CG issue...take the source into consideration:

About half way through this Presentation, you'll see the "screen capture" of the CG calculation from Avio.

This is just an "image" and does not likly represent anything, except another tool in the bag of tricks to sell the airplane. It's a demo - an image of what should be displayed. I wouldn't make any attempt to reconcile this with real data, measurements or weights. Forget it.

Of interest: See the slide later on, regarding the Operating Cost. There's a full calculation of JetComplete and pay as you go with no MSP.

Notice that all costs are included based on operations, UP TO only 3 years or 300 hours. So this would mean, that the Engine Overhauls are NOT included in the estimated hourly operating cost... this is a big swinger on the cost. For example, if the overhauls cost $100,000 per engine at 1,500 hours, it is around $133 per hour MORE.

Doess anyone know what the PW610F overhauls cost?

Kaptain Kool-Aid said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SpeakTest said...


I didn't include the rectangle inside the fuselage. That would increase the MAC somewhat and decrease the wing loading, I suppose.

KKA, go back to school, your math sucks. If the Eclipse empty weight is 3626 "typically equipped" as you propose, and its max zero fuel weight is 4860 (from the TCDS). Then the maximum cabin load is 1,234lbs - more than enough to handle 400lbs of pilots, and 543lbs of passengers (and almost 300lbs of luggage).

Actually, being a fat is good, as this plane seems to be a bit tail heavy for the single pilot. Maybe Jenny Craig is out and Krispy Kreme is in!

Kaptain Kool-Aid said...


You are correct, my math did suck, so I deleted the post to avoid confusing the issue. Too much red dye and sugar in my diet, I suppose :-)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


The P&WC website suggests PW610F HSI at 1750hrs and overhaul at 3500hrs.

What is not known is can the HSI be completed in-situ (engine installed) which I suspect should be possible and what will this cost.

Given the low cost of the plane, presumably the engines themselves should cost less than might be expected, so I am guessing the engines new might only cost $150K, so HSI costs of perhaps $35K each (WAG) would be $40\hr. If the overhaul cost is in the $50-60K range each (another WAG), it adds another $35\hr, for an engine cost of $70-80\hr, on top of the JetComplete costs.

A review of the Eclipse JetComplete brochure suggests HSI, Overhaul and life-cycle limited coverage at $123 per hour, plus the $125 per hour for pay-as-you go. This puts maintenance costs alone at $250\hr but is limited to no more than 3000 hours in 3 years.

JetComplete Business, which allows for more coverage (4,500 hours in 3 years) is $199 to $219 per hour, putting total maintenance costs alone at nearly $350\hr.

Both programs give the best pricing by prepaying, and have minimum costs of $34,500 and $149,250 due at enrollment (and within 1st 25 hours of operation).

Imagine having a $5K bill due at purchase for real warranty coverage, on that new Lexus, AFTER buying the car, and you get some idea about this concept.

Add in another $200 per hour for fuel and $64 per hour for insurance (from the Eclipse website), and the costs to maintain, fuel and insure the aircraft are in the $500-600 per hour range - between $1.60 and $2 per nautical mile if you fly the plane yourself - a far cry from the Oshkosh '03 suggestion of some 67 cents.

Bambazonke said...

O.K. got a copy of the spreadsheet that the Avio folks are apparently using to design the graphics on the VLJ, (Very Lousy Jet, Very Late Jet etc. etc,)

Here are some observations;

1. There is no way a single pilot can fly the plane and remain in the envelope unless he weighs over 200 lbs. People that big are going to feel like they are wearing the plane..

2. Speaktest, your example just won't fly. The bird cannot carry 400 lbs in the front seats, 340 in the middle row and 203 in the rear seat with 300 lbs of baggage and full fuel. The aircraft will be 248 lbs over weight, it will 1.4" AFT CG on TO and over the ZFW weight limitation by 83 lbs. That is taking the empty weight of the aircraft at 3700 lbs, the weights that Eclipse's Avio people are using.

3. They are using a reserve fuel number of 400 lbs, which I think is a little light, but assuming this is OK this leaves 1065 lbs of fuel or 158 gallons. For an aircraft that is burning 134 gallons of fuel on take off, that apparently burns 100 gallons in the first hour, KKA's little rocket needs to go very fast in the second hour to do the range he has promised. In the first hour if the plane is 300 miles down range, and this is a huge IF, the second hour needs to be done at over 700 miles and hour to do 1000 miles, let alone the gaurantee range, but moreso needs to do this on 58 gallons!

If I was an owner I would not be amused about how long Eclipse is taking to come clean with a full disclosure on these issues.

SpeakTest said...


If this is the spreadsheet I think it is, it is *not* being used by the AVIO folks to design graphics for the E500. Rather it was built by and for members of the Eclipse Owners group using data from the preliminary POH, including basic empty weight and moment from the Sample provided in that section. There is no actual data from a real airplane.

Based on that, we can make some observations:

1) Single pilots will need to add ballast if they weigh less than 170lbs (not "over 200lbs"). This is subject to change once real data is available

2) My example was not based on the Sample aircraft, but rather the 3626lb "typically equipped" airplane proposed by Kaptain Kool-Aid (in a comment which has since been deleted). The typical 5 seat configuration doesn't really have rows, but KKA's example was (I think) 2x200lbs pilots, 2x190lbs, and 1x163lbs. He suggested this would exceed MaxZeroFuel weight, and I said it was almost 300lbs below MZF. However, you are correct, if you really have 300lbs of baggage it would be tail heavy (the baggage area is the only location behind the CG). You could carry 80lbs of baggage and 1112lbs of fuel and be in balance (I never said the E500 could take full fuel in that scenario). I think the E500 was designed to support full tanks only up to their their NBAA IFR Range loading scenario (1x200lb pilot, 3x170lb passengers).

3) The E500 max range scenarios are predicated on the larger tip tanks (and an MTOW increase): 1,686lbs (not 1516 as in the spreadsheet, or 1465 you seem to be using). The 400lb reserve number did not come from eclipse and may need adjusting. I don't think that 100Gals in the first hour is correct. I agree the E500 can burn 134GPH (900pph) at sea level, but thats not really important to fuel consumption (unless you are doing some high speed sightseeing). Here is an interesting tidbit though: at FL410, the E500 burns less than a lb of fuel per nm travelled. How many twin engine jets can say that?

BTW, the example above with two fat pilots, 2male passengers, and a female passenger, and 80lbs of luggage carrying 1112lbs of fuel would have a range of about 550nm (and with the tip tank aircraft about 700nm) at Long Range Cruise FL350.

Obviously all this data comes from Eclipse, and if you want to believe they are lying, there is no helping it until owners are actually flying around reporting real results.

I'm not really sure what you want Eclipse to come clean about. I think the W&B and Performance issues are fairly well sorted out. It is a small jet but its pretty darned fast and has decent range and load capacity for its size. Is it sufficient for a massive air-taxi industry? Maybe. If the average american is ready, this plane could probably do the job. I think you are better off with only one "cab driver" though from both a cost and weight perspective (put the second pilot on a continous real-time datalink monitoring a dozen flights or so).

I'd like Eclipse to speak up about the eternal delays, and the "FAA grounding" rumors, but apparently they're too busy building the stupid airplane to keep Stan in the loop...