Friday, January 26, 2007


A German View

A German/Canadian reader provided the following translation to a recent aviation magazine article:

Today I found an interesting article from a renowned German aviation magazine "Pilot und Flugzeug (PuF)": http://www.pilotundflugzeug.de/news/ PuF calls it "The Phantom Jet from Albuquerque". In the article, PuF says that Eclipse claimed to have received certification last year but the certification was very limited. PuF calls this a marketing stunt with the help of the FAA.
Next, there were some restrictions lifted, but most importantly not the certification of the Avidyne "Avio". Therefore, you can now only jump from VOR to VOR. PuF calls this a marketing stunt with the help of the press.
PuF questions the first "delivery". Could the performance promises be kept? PuF is especially interested in the jet's weight. Therefore, PuF requested from Eclipse the AFM (or POH). PuF was told by Eclipse, that the AFM will not be made public and that only a few customers have seen it.
PuF states that in the 26-year history of the magazine, they have not ever encountered anything like this whereas a legally required document is not available for review.
PuF concludes that the status quo of the project obviously does not look good. Further changes on the jet's design can be expected which in the opinion of PuF is nor problem but the question must be asked if there is enough money available for all this. It is more problematic to undermine the credibility of the company with the above mentioned PR-tricks considering that customers have to pay for the project with "non-refundable" deposits says PuF.


Our translator added:

"Nothing new, but straight forward words."

I would disagree, unlike most quid pro quo journalists in this country who one day hope to gain advertising dollars or a test flight in the airplane, we have not seen much objective reporting. PuF has called a spade a spade, in this case, the Eclipse a phantom.

39 comments:

Gunner said...

A rather ugly machine translation of the article. But, if you can understand Yoda in Star Wars, you'll get the idea.

Gunner

"23. January 18:07 o'clock January Brill

Technology: Eclipse 500

The phantom jet from Albuquerque

Briefly before year end one agitated the boost with Eclipse aviation again strongly. The first customer distribution one communicated to the surprised aviation world. Is Eclipse thereby at the goal? The age of the VLJs nevertheless finally started?
We wanted to know it more exactly and found... the silence in the forest.

With the press releases of Eclipse one must see very exact. Only to the air venture in Oshkosh in July yearly passed one had celebrated the type permission of the Eclipse 500.
More exact Hinsehen resulted in: It was a type permission under substantial restrictions, which made the airplane for the everyday life use practically not usable. In other words: It was a marketing Stunt under co-operation of the FAA.

Soon some these restrictions, IFR Day and Night were overcome the airplane for VFR certified. The largest part of the technical literature, above all with the many multicolored pictures, was jubilant.
In addition, exact Hinsehen is in demand here. The airplane may not be certified, those by Eclipse with Avidyne together developed prop. guessing acres avionics Suite „ Avio “. After the information, the pilot and airplane are present, are the avionics so far neither for R-NAV nor V-NAV certified. One can hop with the airplane for the moment from FORWARDS to FORWARDS. More in addition, not. Thus the airplane for the commercial enterprise is not yet suitable. This time it concerned thus a marketing Stunt under co-operation of the press.

First distribution with question marks

Now the first customer machine was handed over. The first flier went to a Privatmann, who operates the airplane as well as JetAlliance. Great! Thus at least humans in this world a certified AFM (airplane Flight manual) in the hand have and can the question answer, which moves us all for months: What knows the Eclipse really?

Did the company succeed in around Vern Raburn reaching the performance values which one already sold to countless customer against hard dollar? Above all however: What weighs the machine?
Is the fact that during the development such data are not publicly broad-stepped clear, but now is the Eclipse „ a Certified aircraft “ – or about not?
Gladly we would have informed our readers now about the specifications of the Eclipse. However: The enterprise blocks off:

„ the AFM is not published, only few customers to have at present it at all already received “, announced the PR-department of the enterprise. We hold: For a certified sample, „ a Production aircraft “ is unique this in the 26-j√§hrigen history of this magazine. Such a thing did not occur so far yet.

A AFM (or POH) is the officially abgesegnete Bible to an airplane. This to keep secret is expressed uncommon in the industry and suggests for the conditions of the project nothing property.

In all probability Eclipse becomes still changes at the series makes. That would continue to be not bad, and raises only the question whether for these also the money of the enterprise is enough.

The reliability of the enterprise with such PR-Stunts to infiltrate, is however more problematic: Customers must finally deposit a considerable part of the purchase price - and this is “non refundable”.
"

AeroObserver said...

I hope this was a commentary and not an article, as stated. This piece mixes some facts with pure speculation:

* The writer presents no facts that the provisional cert was a marketing stunt under cooperation of the FAA -- and no whistleblower from the FAA nor DOT has yet come forward with such information. If you're going to put this one on the table, it needs to be backed up with solid proof.

* Eclipse has always stated the limitations of its certification (VFR, IFR, etc) and has not hidden the avionics functionality problems. It might be blaming its vendors (rightly or wrongly) for avionics shortcomings, but it has never hid the fact that Avio isn't fully functional -- yet. The aviation press has stated these limitations and queried vendors on what Eclipse has said. The vendors have so far not gone on record about Eclipse's criticism -- that's not the media's failure. If people won't talk on the record, the press can't torture them to make them talk like the CIA does to suspected terrorists. If the general press has failed to make mention of these problems, its most likely because they don't understand airplanes enough to go into detail, nor would most readers understand if they did. There is no "cooperation of the press."

* Where is the Eclipse 500 AFM? Possibly Eclipse doesn't want it out until the mods are done, so that any numbers are final and not preliminary. With blogs like this, I wouldn't want any AFM released for an aircraft I developed until they were absolutely final and cast in stone. On the same token, where's the Mustang AFM?

* So the "age of the VLJ" got off to a slow start, both for Eclipse and Cessna in terms of deliveries? This is a marathon, not a sprint race -- it doesn't matter how you start, it matters how you finish.

I'm seriously hoping that this was just a commentary.

Frank Castle said...

"aeroobserver" said "On the same token, where's the Mustang AFM?"

Who cares ? they are TC, PC, and being sold AND delivered, by a company that has consistently delivered aircraft since the late 1940's. All the while, increasing the use of technology, and delivering working, useful aircraft, without help from the speculation market to drive interest for their stuff.

(Personally, I think they need to re-enter the ag-aircraft market.)

Don't pick on Cessna & Mustang just because they have succeeded and Vernie hasn't (and won't).

And, Cessna isn't trying to baffle you with BS, either. NO magic numbers, NO strange curves that make no sense, NO aircraft that don't work. Mustang didn't just go to Cali and park it in a hangar and say "Here it is !"

A genuine, certified product, being compared to a pipe dream. Yea, that works.

Stan Blankenship said...

ao,

On the provisional, if my memory serves, Vern said there were some IOU's to the FAA so that the Administrator could make the grandiose presentation at Oshkosh. And meaning no disrespect, the Germans do tend to follow the rules so I can understand why Jan Brill would take exception to the IOU's.

I have heard, but have not checked that the Mustang AFM could be purchased from Cessna.

Also have not heard of Cessna threatening legal action if any data from the manual is shared with anyone but the intended user.

Regarding, "blogs like this," remember, Vern invented transparency in aircraft programs. We're just helping the process.

Jet_fumes said...

The Mustang POH has been available for order for awhile. Anybody and his mother can buy one.
https://support.cessna.com/techpubs/pubcatalog/m510Catlg.htm

Jet_fumes said...

My link to the Mustang POH was cut off by the blog system.
Try this:
http://tinyurl.com/353ltj

Gunner said...

Or this:
(316) 317-5800

Hardly shrouded in secrecy, I think.

Amazing that people can cry "foul" and, in thew next breath, engage in the very same factually unfounded innuendo they're crying "foul" about.
Gunner

Niner Zulu said...

Frank - I agree with you about the Mustang. Why pick on Cessna? If anyone wants to see the Mustang AFM all they need to do is call Cessna and they'll make it happen.

At Oshkosh and AOPA we had the opportunity to hang out with the guys from Cessna and spend a lot of time talking about the Mustang. Those guys are hiding nothing - the Mustang is what it is. If you like it, great, if you don't, then move on. It meets or exceeds the published performance specs. It looks great on the ramp. So it's just a matter of does the price and the specs meet your requirements or not. What more could you ask for from Cessna?

Personally, I think the Mustang is a bitchin' plane - no comparison between it and the cheap, squatty Eclipse with it's ugly tip tanks and slew of systems that don't even work. The only downside to the Mustang is that it costs a lot more (or maybe not - time will tell).

Frank Castle said...

I can't believe it !

These idiots bite the hand that feeds 'em !!

I am talking about the article that "Jake" linked us to in the last post. Man, whatta piece of pie in the face ! If I were a local politician, I'd give them the old heave ho !

"This man is going to school this community about risk and reward."

Oh yeah ? How about he's gonna show you how to cut and run when the deal goes south ?!? MORONS !!

Frank Castle said...

More from the idiot Gene Grant, of the ALQ Trib......

http://www.abqtrib.com/news/2006/sep/06/gene-grant-next-stop-in-our-city-transportation/

"So let's keep pushing, taking risks and embracing pirates."

Yea. You go right ahead.

hrr said...

"The situation is perfect because we're getting to watch in real time an industry about to flip. You get one of these a generation, and it's not happening in some behind-closed-doors skunk works. What a privilege."

That's classic. Sort of reminds me of another "journalist" - our friend, Captain Zoom.

airtaximan said...

E-clips sighting: unconfirmed.

A pilot buddy told me he saw the Eeeek!-500 on the ramp in Palm Beach Florida yesterday.

They apparently missed the Ferrari show they were supposed to be at, but somehow showed a day late.

Very strange...especially for a plane that supposedly flew thousands of hours with a 99.9x%dispatch record.

By the way, this guy is rated in a number of planes, and is a former airline pilot - he said: "it really looks like an RC plane."

Pretty funny, I thought.

EclipseOwner387 said...

And so does a piper malibu and a tbm 850 then. stupid comment.

gadfly said...

Couple of questions:

1. Was the Eclipse 500 ever wind-tunnel tested about the 170Knot limitation of their first "wind tunnel" in Washington?

2. Were the problems encountered by the Convair F102 "coke bottle" shape ever addressed? . . . considering that the Eclipse has a "straight" wing design, usually not used in high speed aircraft.

gadfly3

EclipseBlogger said...

Cabbie said... A pilot buddy told me he saw the Eeeek!-500 on the ramp in Palm Beach Florida yesterday... By the way, this guy is rated in a number of planes, and is a former airline pilot - he said: "it really looks like an RC plane."

Strange... The Eclipse schedule says they planned for Houston today, and Austin tomorrow. Maybe your airline pilot did see an RC and just doesn't know the difference. I guess that's why the FAA retires them at 60.

Gunner said...

Well, as I stated earlier, I was at the PBI event.

Eclipse paid for space on the banner walking in (the second or third space).

Eclipse was not there.

So, maybe they WERE scheduled and arrived way late OR maybe they now take front page advertising at events they choose not to attend.

Pick your poison: Marketing Misadventure or Advertising Absurdity.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

EO and EB,

Why so sensitive? Seems like a terrible Napoleonic complex. Maybe this is a new psychological condition we can call Jet-envy, or Vernapoleonic complex from now on.

Jet-envy: "the coveting of the jet by an aircraft company which has produced a poor performing prop-like plane with little jet engines which has led to feelings of inferiority and defensive or compensatory behavior about their plane"

Vernapoleonic complex: "a colloquial term used to describe a type of inferiority complex suffered someone who has spent a billion dollars and almost a decade producing an embarrassingly small airplane. Also describes someone who is driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their aircraft, often resulting in boasting, exaggeration, incessant hype and wild spending on promotion and advertising”.

Back to your overreaction to my pilot friends comments...I guess he was surprised at how small this new jet is, especially considering it’s supposed to be revolutionizing air transportation.

I am pretty sure I don't ever remember Piper or Socata making these claims about their aircraft. So, there's nothing funny or surprising about how small their planes are. Sorry EO.

Eclipseblower: the pilot is around 50, and he's been running a terrific corporate flight department for years...sorry your assumption/statement that he was old and retired is wrong. He doesn't even wear corrective lenses...I guess he was just surprised at how small the Eeeek-500 actually is. No Dinosaur here either, sorry.

Go find a couch...

EclipseBlogger said...

Cabbie said... Why so sensitive? Seems like a terrible Napoleonic complex. Maybe this is a new psychological condition we can call Jet-envy, or Vernapoleonic complex from now on.

Not sensitive to the size of the plane, only the to the misinformation posted here for the sake of bashing. If you have something relevant to discuss, great, but do't make it up as you go along.

Stan Blankenship said...

BigJim left a comment off the radar screen. It deserves to be read so I'm moving it up here.

BigJim said...
eclipseowner387 said...
I think most all of the position holders understand that the FIKI cert is a process that will take time but a low risk in not getting certified. Nothing special about the system - proven and basic technology.

I wouldn't make the assumption that FIKI is a low risk cert effort. The FAA has had icing in the crosshairs since the ATR accident in 1995(?) near Roselawn, IN. There's a ton of new regulatory material out there. As mentioned here before, the Mustang sprouted a boot on the vertical tail during their cert program. My guess is that it was driven by something more than asthetics.

The longer it takes to get FIKI cert, the more aircraft Eclipse will (theoretically) have in the field. That's a risk of more mods in addition to the "B" model aero improvements. I'll venture a guess that when/if Eclipse gets FIKI, it'll involve a lot more than just pushing in circuit breakers and updating that phantom document known as an AFM.

3:20 PM, January 28, 2007

Frank Castle said...

They're only sweatin' it cuz that magical 1.37 aircraft that should have been delivered this month still ain't appeared.

Better remember my advice about Spring Break, fellas. he he.

EclipseBlogger said...

I know that FIKI flight testing has been an ongoing effort, but the effort has obviously been sidetracked due to the recent distractions related to other certification efforts. By now, Eclipse should have completed enough testing to determine if they have any other certification issues with FIKI, but the again, they should have known about the requirement for the aero-mods needed to meet the "B" model specs. We'll see...

airtaximan said...

Guys,

We should listen to Eclipseblower and “stop making stuff up as we go along”. Everything we write is nonsense, and only E-blower and E-assume-the-position-387 are correct. We are all wrong.

It’s incorrect to acknowledge that the EEEEkk!-500 missed the Palm Beach Show.

And their retarded rebut should be taken as Gospel, too. They are not making stuff up...of course they have perfect knowledge, and their opinions are all better than ours. Like the ABQ journalist said - Vern's right and we are all wrong.

By the way...the plane did miss the show.

Also, it’s a puny little prop plane with jet engines (payload-range, cabin volume, GA reliability) and professional pilots ARE laughing at it being touted as a revolutionary passenger plane...LOUDLY

Remember, this is a 50 year old industry, not a new one sprouting like MPG music or the PC industry when Vern started. People WILL laugh, because we have all been conditioned with what is acceptable and what isn't for a long time. This is not some greenfield arena with no history or customer expectations. You cannot dictate what is acceptable, or deliver crap and fix it later. This is different than software.

So failure to meet specs, comfort, performance and reliability will be met with harsh criticism. Perhaps THIS is the difference between what Vern and you seem to expect and what you are receiving from the marketplace.

Hard to swallow E-blower and E-assume-the-position-387...HUH?

May I remind you, after almost a $Billion and a decade, you are still defending this clown? Do you really think after all this time, we should be talking about mods and improvements in DEFENCE of the revolutionary tiny little plane?

Most aviation people are laughing out loud.

EclipseBlogger said...

Gees Cabbie, More ranting. Looks like your self-discovered Napoleonic syndrome must be catching. I must have hit a sensitive nerve.

EclipseBlogger said...

Cabbie said... We should listen to Eclipseblower and “stop making stuff up as we go along”. Everything we write is nonsense, and only E-blower and E-assume-the-position-387 are correct. We are all wrong.

Wrong again Cabbie. I didn't say everyone, just you. Your editorials are purely for the sake of bashing and contain incorrect "facts". You ought to be writing for the supermarket tabloids.

baron95 said...

The Cessna Flight Manual is available by calling Cessna since at least December 2006 and costs US$181.00.

Call Cessna support and ask for 510FM.

By the way, if you want a revision service to be informed every time Cessna revises the FM order the 2 year subscription 510FMRS for US$129.00 as well.

You can also order maintenance manuals, service bulleting DVDs, etc.

Why wonder, guess, assume, speculate. ALL THE INFO you could want on the Mustang 510 OR ANY OTHER CESSNA PLANE is available from Cessna to ALL.

baron95 said...

EclipseBlogger said...
Gees Cabbie, More ranting

I agree with EclipseBlogger. Lets have more ballance and less rant.

I do believe that Vern and the Eclipse crew were very naive and got a looooonnnnng 10-year, $1B schooling on the GA aviation ways.

I do believe that, unfortunately, they have a bit more pain to go through.

Obviously, there is no question that Cessna (the so-called dinosaur) showed Vern and Eclipse how to do it, on time, on budget, quietely.

Having said that, it is true that Vern and Eclipse are trying to push the (low) corner of twin-jet aviation. They had a vision and are driving to it. Having venture investors requires you to keep the PR turned up high. Cessna only has to go to the Textron board to get $$$ for a project. Eclipse needs to go to the press and the venture investors with a cool story. I understand that.

Is Vern naive? Yes. Is he a dishonest fool? No.

Is the EA500 a challanged design? Yes. Is it a useless piece of crap? No.

Lets have some ballance please. Criticize the tip tanks by all means. But you don't have to say that Vern, the Eclipse Company and the EA500 are all piles of crap to make that point.

Lets stick to concrete discussions.

tom_collins said...

I've been reading the blog for some time now, too. AirTaximan's comments are totally off base and truly without merit. His facts are distorted and confused. He readily mixes hearsay with truth, without distinction. He obviously has some agenda against Eclipse. Eclipse does have their problems, but the facts are that they have a viable product even though it is not to the original proposal. AirTaximan's comments are just getting repetitive and tiresome.

Stan Blankenship said...

baron95 asked and answered his own questions.

Is Vern naive? Yes. Is he a dishonest fool? No.

I would ask Baron if he thinks it was naive, dishonest or a matter of expediency, to extract 60% progress payments from the first 200 position holders with the promise of delivery by the end of June?

The promise of token interest payments hardly mitigates the risk.

EclipseBlogger said...

Stan said... The promise of token interest payments hardly mitigates the risk.

This is aviation. Just in the last week we've seen two manufacturers file for bankruptcy. I don't think that the risk is whether these planes will be delivered, but rather whether the company will exist in five years. I think the answer is yes to both questions. The reality of what is going on in the factory, and what will be delivered in the next six months most probably lies somewhere between what is projected by Eclipse and the crital views here. But the line has to be drawn somewhere, and at the moment there are over 45 aircraft, in or through, the assembly line. Let's not forget that this blog is always so critical about the amount of money raised so far, but that also seems to keep coming in when needed.

EclipseOwner387 said...

PURE SPECULATION:

I wonder if Eclipse's financing required certain milestones to be achieved such as progress payments by a certain date or suffer a trigger of some sort. Not uncommon for these type of stipulations when getting funded but again-- PURE SPECULATION. As I have stated earlier, I believe Eclipse should have had PC before asking for progress payments. They are taking a lot of liberty as to what is a certified airplane to trigger these progress payments.

AeroObserver said...

OK, so the Mustang manual is available now. My bad.

However, no one else has addressed the rest of my comments. I think what it comes down to is that if I, as a journalist, don't write what YOU want to read (the facts be damned) then I'm just not doing my job. That's Fokked up!

Stan Blankenship said...

aeroobserver,

I answered your most critical statement:

* The writer presents no facts that the provisional cert was a marketing stunt under cooperation of the FAA -- and no whistleblower from the FAA nor DOT has yet come forward with such information. If you're going to put this one on the table, it needs to be backed up with solid proof. End quote.


My reply and thanks for giving me the chance to restate it:

On the provisional, if my memory serves, Vern said there were some IOU's to the FAA so that the Administrator could make the grandiose presentation at Oshkosh. And meaning no disrespect, the Germans do tend to follow the rules, so I can understand why Jan Brill would take exception to the IOU's.

Further:

Assuming traslation of the article was correct, for the FAA to award the provisional with outstanding IOU's was considered to be a stunt by the German writer.


On the other points you raised, perhaps no one disagrees.

EclipseBlogger said...

I've been reminded many times that this is a blog and as such contains opinion, not fact. In many cases the opinions are stated here as fact and it is often hard to discern the difference or the truth. It's also been stated that Eclipse is irresponsible for making this claim or that, and that they are messing with countless lives and businesses on a task that will never be completed. Well, in reality those same bloggers here are just as irresponsible to those same lives and businesses when they make their baseless statements under the guise of fact. AeroObserver, you are right - it's Fokked up. Luckily, the world knows that this is a blog and hopefully takes it as just that. Journalists like yourself check in here for possible leads, but don't take much of this too seriously.

Stan Blankenship said...

eb,

A year ago, Eclipse controlled the message with a well oiled propaganda machine.

Thanks to pioneering efforts from individuals like Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Vern Raburn et al, we have computer software and the internet and the blogosphere.

Get used to it, Eclipse doesn't control the message anymore! They're still putting out the same BS, but there aren't so many believers as there were last year.

That's why when reporters call the Eclipse mis-information department with questions, the response is, "you've been reading Stan's blog".

BigJim said...

I have no doubt that Eclipse will complete the 500 and eventually make deliveries. I doubt, however, that they will deliver anywhere close to the number of aircraft they claim to have sold. Purely speculation on my part, but call it a gut-feel.

Learjet had some significant development issues on the Lear 45 ten-plus years ago. Like Eclipse, they were running full-bore production in parallel with the cert effort. There were many changes to the airframe and systems after Bombardier turned on the big sausage machine in Belfast, and Lear had Model 45 fuselages stacked up like cord wood. They ran two lines in the factory for years...a line for new aircraft, and an 'mod' line to update all the aircraft started before all the TC changes were complete. In the end, they have hundreds of Model 45's flying, and it's by all accounts a good aircraft. However, I don't know if they've ever made a cent off of them.

The nut of the story is that Eclipse will likely finish the 500, eventually mod all the aircraft currently in various stages of production, and ship them to their customers. I just don't see how they'll ever make money doing it...especially if the delivery numbers are an order of magnitude lower than they are claiming. Time will tell.

Gunner said...

The numbers for Eclipse Production simply do not compute. They continue to tout orders that are about 10 fold what Cessna states for the Mustang. (Dec 2006, "Flying").

How is this possible?
Ostensible Answer: The Air Taxi Market

But let's examine that just a bit. From Eclipse's own site, they claim an Op Cost Per Hour of $372 vs their number of $574 for the Mustang.

Lets adjust that a bit more fairly as follows:
- Conservatively subtract $36/hr from Mustang to render the insurance estimate equal.

- Conservatively subtract half of the $40/hr from Mustang for costs Eclipse claims will be attributed only to Mustang for AOG calls, "Flight Support", "Trending and Monitoring", "Rental Engine Liability" and "Enhanced Operators'
Web Site Functionality" (whatever that is).

- Add back the $27/hr Fuel Cost differntial Eclipse claims to have locked in on the Not-Yet-Been-Implemented JetComplete program.

Suddenly the hourly cost comparisons are $399 vs $517

Now, lets rough out hard costs per seat mile (assuming full fuel and full passenger payload):
- 370 knots vs 340.
- 714 lbs full fuel load vs 800
- Average Passenger Weight with carry on (FAA 2005): 192 lbs

Bare Bones Costs per Seat Mile:
Eclipse: $.29
Cessna: $.36

So, where is this Air Taxi market that has flocked to a tiny, no baggage, no lav, startup jet company while refusing to give the time of day to a proven company with a more spacious, better suited AirTaxi Jet that is already in full production?

Surely, the op costs come into play, yes. But is this Air-Taxi-Industry-In-Waiting so price sensitive that an op cost jump from $.29 to $.36 would drive demand from 2,000+ Eclipse to Zero a couple dozen Mustangs?

I somehow don't think so. The smart players in this Burgeoning New Industry would bite the bullet and start flying at least a few hundred of those clunky old Mustangs just to gain market share before Carey Limousine enters the market with its couple thousand Eclipse.

I'm sorry, no matter how you do the math, there is simply no reason that Eclipse should have thousands of Air Taxi orders while Cessna claims 250 TOTAL orders.

Even if you take into account the $1MM price differential, it doesn't add up. Cessna has a track record for longevity, reliability and stability. All Eclipse has is Vern.

And people ask why nobody believes the Eclipse model.

Gunner

baron95 said...

[i]Stan Blankenship said...

I would ask Baron if he thinks it was naive, dishonest or a matter of expediency, to extract 60% progress payments from the first 200 position holders with the promise of delivery by the end of June? [/i]

Stan, I am not up to all the Ts and Cs of the Eclipse contract withe customers. But my understanding was that at that point in the program, customers had the right to either a) put up the 60% with the state conditions or b) cancel their orders and get their money back.

I feel that so long as that choice was given, it is OK. You have to understand 2 things:

1 - The typical Eclipse customer is a sophisticated and accomplished business person. They are not a poor grandma buying a used car and needing extra protection. They are fully capable of making these continue/cancel decisions.

2 - EVERY Eclipse customer todate is a "launch" customer. Launch customers understand that they take significant risks in delivery time and performance IN EXCHANGE for the beneffit of earlier (than others) delivery AND lower price. SG, QF, EK are facing the same issues with Airbus and the A380. It is par for the course. Don't want to face risks? Simple. Wait till there are 500 Eclipses 500 flying for 5 years, with a profitable company and proof of good support before buying. But then be prepared to PAY MORE and get your jet LATER than launch customers.

In the end it is buyer beware and a customer choice to take the risk or not.

I DO NOT feel sorry for Eclipse's customers or fell that they need extra protection. They knew the risks and they continue to know the risks and make appropriate decisons.

That is BUSINESS AS USUAL.

baron95 said...

Stan Blankenship said...

Get used to it, Eclipse doesn't control the message anymore!

This hits the nail on the head. In aviation, it is relatively easy to control the message during development and even early flight test.

But once planes need to be delivered to customers, and production articles become available for independent evaluation, any discrepancy between the promises and actual performance or delivery numbers come quickly to a head.

Eclipse is right in that cusp, scrambling to cover their shortcomings (B version) and delays, before it all comes crashing down.

I think it is an interesting race. Will they get there before the naked truth in performance and achievable production numbers and costs come out?

Honestly I don't think so. I think the best realistic scenario for Eclipse is:

a) One more redesign "C Version" witn a PW615 (not 610) and a fuselage tank (no tip tanks).

b) A steep price increase (25%-33%).

c) Decrease in annual production to something like 50/year ramping up to 100/year in 3 or 4 years.

d) Investors taking compleely over the business as they trade cash infusion for equity.

e) A bumbling 3rd tier GA jet mannufacturer way, way behind Cessna.

bill e. goat said...

I'm not sure if this will work...
simple:

simple1