Posturing - But for what reason?
After an uncharacteristically long period of silence, Vern has emerged and is once again posturing. His recent mea culpa to customers was a shameless plea for money.
The airplane does not do what we said it will do. We want to deliver units that have severe limitations and will need mods at some future time, and we have just been fun'n you on delivery dates. When we say a few days, we really mean a few months and we promise to be more forthright when we encounter problems, though you have to understand that it is sometimes hard to reveal all of our secrets because we don't want our competition to exploit the situation, they have stolen enough from us as it is. Just trust us, show your love and support for Vern. Get out that check book and write us up for another half-mill. I can look out my window now and see your airplane coming down the production line.
Then the latest is Capt. Zoom's interview, www.aero-news.net 11-30-06. We can always count on Capt. Zoom to toss Vern those really tough questions.
Here is what Vern said was delaying buy off for the first airplane, "To approve a Production Certificate, the FAA requires detailed written guidance on both the building and inspection process."
Had Vern been reading this blog, he might have noted my statement last September, one of the objectives of the PC is to provide "100% accountability, who did the work, who did the inspection."
Vern claims he will build 500 units next year. This boast is no different than his boast that he would start delivering airplanes a few days after receiving the Type Certificate. After six years in the aircraft industry, he did not understand the basics of the FAA quality requirements until a couple of weeks ago when he and his QC people went to Ft. Worth for a sit down with the FAA and took the 101 course in FAR Part 21.
He still maintains Eclipse will deliver 500 units in CY 2007. Neither Vern nor I suspect anyone on his staff, has went from zero to 500 in 365 days. It is another hollow boast that will not happen but he will have some poor supplier to blame. I can hear the words now, "Eclipse could have done it if so and so had not let us down."
Further down in the interview he gives himself an A+ for "achievements in design and certification."
The airplane has fallen well short of its performance goals, his highly touted breakthroughs in avionic systems integration have yet to see the light of day and certification delays have been measured in years. This deserves an A+ grade?
IMO this kind of posturing is setting the stage for an IPO as soon as the first airplane is delivered. Ramping up production takes big bucks. Company survival in the near term may depend on those 60% progress payments due for those airplanes Vern projects will deliver before June 30. 2007. Then an infusion of cash from an IPO would provide sustaining capital until....they run out of money again.
Prediction from this end, look for a very proactive Vern, out on the stump, providing reassurance that all is well and the company and it's airplane will provide stellar performance in 2007. It is such a good deal we are going to let the investing public share in the bounty. Get your check book ready.