Wednesday, January 10, 2007







Progress






Eclipseblogger e-mailed three images from the customer forum showing the airplanes in queue on the production line.


Meanwhile, lloyd was a recent visitor to Eclipse and offered his observations to the readers of this blog:


Micah was kind enough to take Shari and me on a tour of the factory today. There is a lot of activity going on. It's a busy place, and things are really cranking up now. We met many enthusiastic employees, proud of their work and happy to see us coming through, like this nice guy who showed us how they put fuselage segments together:




We saw many planes in production. They're going to need more floor space pretty soon:




We watched S/N 10 undergoing its first engine runup test on the ramp, and here's the lineup of airplanes just about ready for that big step (S/N 12 in the foreground):




Work continues on the test planes--undergoing upgrade to the new tip tanks, new bullet and other aerodynamic modifications that will turn A models in B's. The new tip tanks look nice!




All in all, a great afternoon and indeed a very reassuring visit.




Thanks Micah!



Thanks to both lloyd and eb for the update. While not wanting to detract from what has been accomplished in ABQ, they are a long ways from delivering 499 more airplanes in the remaining 355 days of '07.

9 comments:

AJ said...

Stan,

I think Eclipse's success depends more on being able to produce 1.37 jets per day than able to manufacture 500 planes by the end of 2007. I think everyone knows they will fall short of 500 by the end of the year, but if they can prove they can manufacture enough to be on pace or exceed 500 in a 12 month span, then that should satisfy owners, investors, and pave the way for a successful IPO.

preacher said...

Well, it's like this. If Cessna, who has been building aircraft for some years now, only expects to build 40+ Mustangs in a year, then surely the numbers are flawed, so quit beating the horse around the head and ears. Sooner or later, Vern will get the bad news, and he'll recant to a more reasonable figure, one that is based on a more reasonably projected production rate. Gotta admire him, everybody knows he's FOS, but they're still going along with him.

I don't see them going belly-up, just getting off to a bad start. Their employees will make up the difference for that.

BTW, rumor has it there is an Eclipse billboard advertising for employees just outside of Indy, KS.

Stan Blankenship said...

Preacher, you're stealing my thunder! Those billboards are the subject of my next post.

EclipseBlogger said...

I thought for sure by now everyone will have realized that the pictures of the Eclipse factory floor that I sent Stan were created in the same studios where they filmed the lunar landings in 1968. Well, no matter.

Preacher said... Well, it's like this. If Cessna, who has been building aircraft for some years now, only expects to build 40+ Mustangs in a year, then surely the numbers are flawed, so quit beating the horse around the head and ears. Sooner or later, Vern will get the bad news, and he'll recant to a more reasonable figure, one that is based on a more reasonably projected production rate.

What's a reasonable number? You have to remember that in 1978, Piper was producing in excess of 18 aircraft per day. If you don't believe it, look it up. For Eclipse to produce 4 aircraft per day is certainly not unreasonable. The real question is can the orders received to sustain that rate be obtained. Cessna does have that goal in mind because they don't have the orders to sustain a higher rate. It wouldn't be a good business decision to make the investment in production facilities if the line could not be filled. Only time will tell if Eclipse has made a good investment decision or not.

preacher said...

Sorry, stan. If you need a picture, let me know. I'll go find it.

EB, all I meant was that I think Vern has his head in the clouds. I think Eclipse can and will be a viable aircraft, and I have no idea what would be an "acceptable" number. Maybe after I did the research, talked to suppliers, and most of all, kept my mouth shut until the deals were inked, then I ~might~ tell you how many a/c we would make, or I might just hand you the prospectus brochure and see if you figure it out for yourself. All this high-school-he-said-she-said-we-did-it-you-ain't-gonna-catch-us baloney is just that.

I admit, I wouldn't last long in the wide world of big business. Too much "shmoozin" for my likin's.

Stan Blankenship said...

preacher,

Thanks, but I have the picture. Kinda been sitting on it to space the posts out a bit.

With deliveries happening every 2 weeks (or more) and all the other development projects not expected for months, I'm running out of things to write about.

Like you said, it is getting to be an old story. Eclipse saying their going to do something and the blog questioning the call.

preacher said...

My "sleeper" pick is the HondaJet. Not much fanfare, just gettin' things done.

preacher said...

Well, it's more about the Eclipse fans, and other companies, who are in the big media game.

I hear about Eclipse all the time.
I really could care less. I have friends in both places, Indy & ALQ. I just can't believe the BS that the Eclipse CEO gets away with. And, other companies just rub it in, that there's no way it will ever happen.

Sure, Piper may have built 18 a day. EA might pull off two a day. Who knows until the line gets going in a somewhat organized fashion ? From the pictures, looks like it's BAU on the floor. I am sure there are problems at every manufacturer, and they get handled. But, not all get handled with a fancy press release from the CEO everytime something goes wrong, or someone quits. That's just bad business, and bad PR to boot.

I enjoy the information, there is always some new twist, I just wish the high school attitude from both sides would kinda melt off. There's room at the table for good product, regardless of who builds it. If the software and other problems persist, well, customers don't want an aircraft sitting on the flightline looking all shiny, with half the avionics collared, and they will be the ones to take care of that. I would wager that if an a/c was delivered at less than full potential, most investors would send it right back.

If it even left the tarmac at all.

Ken Meyer said...

I see the photos of my recent tour made it here. And, no, they weren't doctored; there really are all those planes being built up on the floor. Those and a lot more. BTW, I've got a couple more good photos if you're interested.

This was my 4th visit to Eclipse in about a year. Each time, the operation gets bigger, better, and more impressive.

I've been reading the Eclipse Aviation Critic blog for a while. It serves a good purpose--something of a counterpoint to the always positive message from the company.

And I considered very carefully all the comments here when it came time to mail the 6-month progress payment. And then I paid the money. I've got the FAA-approved AFM for the A model, and I'm pretty enthusiastic about what the plane can do.

See, I'm not a "true believer" or an "Eclipse apologist" like some, but neither am I a "naysayer" who feels the need to poo-poo everything Eclipse does. I just want a nice plane at a good price, and I think Eclipse can and will deliver it.

Ken