Sunday, February 04, 2007

ABQ - GNV Revisited

The now famous Albuquerque to Gainsville flight was terribly important because as gunner noted in a previous comment:

"... I'd like to point out that the significance of this announcement is not so much the cloudy math and lack of detail, as the fact that Eclipse seems to be claiming to Depositors that these two flights meet the Default Event guarantees. ie: Depositors would now be at the point of no return."

Now, bambazonke has had a couple of days to analyze the data and offers the following:

"EAC data has always quoted NBAA reserves...

In order to establish NBAA reserves and CLAIM them, the NBAA have a specific format that was not followed by EAC. Firstly the flight needs to be carried out at MTOW. Next the aircraft is to fly to it's destination, descend, shoot and approach, climb to 5000 feet, (this is known as the K-L leg) loiter for 5 minutes, climb to optimum altitude for flight to the alternate, fly 200 miles (not 100) and descend at 3000 feet per min to sea level and land with adequate fuel. The fuel on board is then stated as landing with IFR or VFR reserves.

NBAA have a standard form that is available for performing this test and verification of the claim of NBAA range. There is no place on the form for 'Air Miles' or any of the other terms that EAC use to stretch the truth, all speeds are to be calibrated to ISA and zero wind conditions.

From where I read the report from EAC and where I think they failed in their representation of NBAA reserves;

1. They do not state that the flight was performed at MTOW.

2. They did not perform an approach and loiter at 5000 feet, and they did not perform the NBAA JET alternate which is 200 miles. (The 100 nm alternate is a Turbo Prop alternate). Admittedly they claim to have held at GNV, so I am not sure that this is a big deal other than not following the NBAA protocol. EAC say in their missive that the flight was 1333 miles, but this is probably counting the circles they did in their 5 minute loiter, that is simply not the way it is done folks, the miles are calculated as the airway distance between the way points. IF they flew the airways from TLH (which I doubt looking at the funny little map that they issued with the missive) the distance would have been 133 miles from TLH to GNV, add this up, giving them the benefit of the doubt the total distance was 1212 miles, not 1330.

3. They have not normalized the values to zero wind. Taking the prevailing winds reported by NOAA and other credible sources on the day, the average tail wind component for the 3hr 42 mins was 74 knots. If they had calculated 'Air Miles' if such a thing exists, it would have been necessary to reduce the distance between ABQ and TLH to 905 miles to accommodate the winds.

4. This means that the pilot had this plane throttled way back, his TAS would have been 244 knots with these winds. The climb distance I notice on the graph was 200 miles, this also indicates that they were using a cruise climb configuration for the climb. The NBAA requires the range to be calculated at Normal Cruise Power, so again here I believe is another area where they are misleading their shareholders."

76 comments:

bambazonke said...

Oh, one thing I omitted, EAC promises this range with 720 lbs of payload. SN-1, without the BIG tanks, without the tail bullet, without the fairing mods, has an OEW 3667 lbs. (with 5 seats). So if you take this plane, and assuming there is no weight increase with the speed mods, and assuming the higher gross weight which has yet to be granted by the feds, so a lot of assumptions in EAC's favor, this plane is doing this range, according to them, on 170 lbs less fuel, assuming it takes off at their specified weights. So if we off load a passenger, we can according to them get another 170 miles, yeah right!!

EclipseBlogger said...

bambazonke, garbage in, garbage out. Eclipse never stated any flight time or speeds for the trip, so any time and speeds that you have assumed are simply that, your assumptions. The definition used for "NBAA range" has always been stated as with a 100nm alternate. This is no surprise. Cessna and Adam also specify maximum range in this same manner.
The values used are normalized for zero wind. The data is calculated from instantaneous true airspeed at periodic intervals. This yields zero wind corrected miles flown, winds speed doesn't have to be taken into account. That's why the x-axis of the chart in labeled in air miles, and not just miles. Given the climb estimates that we have seen, the 200 air miles down range do not seem out of line. Again, without all of the data, which we do not have, your speculation is purely assumption. Garbage in, garbage out.

airtaximan said...

E-blog'er, you stated:

"Again, without all of the data, which we do not have, your speculation is purely assumption. Garbage in, garbage out."

Why don't we have all the data?

Do you believe E-clips is making certain "claims" to try to secure deposits? More financing? What is the purpose of this flight and the communique?

Do you believe E-clip's claims regarding the improvements seen due to the mods? Is this the whole true story, or is there information missing which would gain insight into the true effect of the mods all things considered?

Do you believe the previous wing bushing story, or is the account posted here more in line with what really occured? Meaning that there is an inspection required very often, and that the issue related to a FSW part and the bulkhead should have been replaced?

Someone here, recently charaterized the first delivery as a stunt...because of the inability to really use the plane due to the bushing inspections, and limited avionics...and reasoned that Vern leased back the plane becasue otherwise, there would have been no sale. What do you think about this? In light of E-clis satements "we need as many aircraft as we can get for marketing purposes" - does this seem like a lease back for many planes is coming? Is this somehow, "required" in order to make a "sale"?

Please don't refer to Vern or E-clips statements. We know what they are saying...we know what they've been saying for 9 years. I would like to know how much you still trust E-clips and what you believe, today.

Thanks

Thanks.

Gunner said...

Eclipseblogger-
I'm still baffled by a simple question. Others have hazarded a guess but do not have the inside rack that you do. So let me ask you directly:

Here is Ken McNamara's statement, "Demonstrated Speeds (averaged over test point):
Speed (KTAS) Temperature Weight (pounds) Altitude (feet)
371 ISA -5 5,406 33,003
371 ISA -7 5,344 32,002
372 ISA -7 5,290 30,999
"

Does that or does it not indicate that Eclipse is claiming that it has met the Performance Guarantees reflected in Depositor contracts.

I think that is a VERY important question in context of the company's continued credibility.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Saw this on ANN today and was reminded of Eclipse's "no-problem" problem with their 'failsafe' windshield.

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=9e31e19e-6834-497b-96bd-3e8848d38561&

Essentially, a King Air B200 had a partial windshield failure in the FL200's, lost pressurization, and was severely damaged recovering from either a loss of consciousness or loss of control.

Remind me what the Time of Useful Consciousness is at FL410? Less than the time it takes to read these 2 sentences as I recall, and much less time than that in the FL200's.

Now I am sure that Vern, I mean EB, can remind us that this King Air is only one of tens of thousands of turboprops built by one of those dinosaur companies in that backwoods called Wichita that don't know how what they are doing.

Does anyone remember any other new airplane that was follwed within months by an ammended TC 'B' Model? I don't think aircraft were mod'ed that quickly even in the heat of WWII.

If these mods were only to take a few more months to certify, why not come clean and hold off on delivering substandard aircraft rather than the PR stunt of delivering on New Year's Eve?

Maybe because they knew all along that PC would take long enough to allow them to retrofit the aircraft on the line.

And on the subject of PC, does anyone honestly believe that the Feds will allow Eclipse to pencil-whip the 40 or so aircraft reportedly on the line post PC? Of course not, Eclipse will have to demonstrate 100% conformity on each and every part in all of those aircraft manufactured and assembled prior to PC.

The Seattle Fish Market has less odor my friends.

flightfollowing said...

Airtaximan and Gunner,

Although I am not EB, I will offer my impressions concerning your questions.

We probably don't have all the data because this information was an initial release of the very recent flight. Give them a few days and maybe we will get more data. However, I have not heard that the NBAA flight has to be demonstrated in reality, that would be quite difficult to get every condition complied with in an actual flight. Correct me if I am a wrong, but the logic of the NBAA flight is that the demonstrated performance values of the aircraft would permit a flight using the NBAA guidelines to reach a specified theoretical range, and actual demonstrated flight is not required or really even feasable to meet every spec or guideline. I have not heard that the mustang, nor any other aircraft has had to complete an actual flight meeting the NBAA specs, it is a theoretical performance condition. The fact that Eclipse flew this flight is simply a demonstration of its performance values related to the NBAA performance conditions as close as reasonably possible.
I do not believe this flight has much to do with customer deposits, it is likely more of a marketing flight rather than anything else. The B model eclipse will have to meet the specified performance numbers guranteed by Eclipse, according to FAA accepted flight manual performance criteria, in order to avoid a refund event for Eclipse customers. That is yet to be determined, but I have the feeling that Eclipse believes it will meet these performance guarantees, but proof of that remains to be determined by the FAA when they review the data Eclipse has accumulated in testing the B model aircraft. This press release and flight have no bearing on reaching the guarantees, that will have to wait for the FAA to accept the performance data.
You seem to have some doubt concerning the reality of these performance improvements and speculate concerning their validity. The FAA will be the final arbiter of the efficacy of the improvements, they will approve a revised flight manual at some point in the future that when compared to the A model aircraft, you will be able to compare them and see how well they helped. My suspicion is that Eclipse rushed the initial aircraft performance refinements in order to get it certified and delivered in the forcast time period. Once they reached that goal, they took the time to perform these refinements and gained the recent performance values. I think they would have been better off just doing it right the first time, and if it took longer than they thought, so be it. I am not a fan of their attempts to be first in the VLJ market at the expense of having to upgrade numerous aircraft and spending extra time and money in revising the certification process for the B model.
Concerning the bushing repair and window inspection and replacement, I believe that Eclipse is being forthright and their white paper reports are truthful. They would not be able to mislead the FAA concerning these issues, and the flight manual specifies something like a 50 hr inspection and a 100 hr replacement for the glass. This condition and replacement is rediculous, Eclipse will not be able to permit this condition for any length of time for production aircraft. The fact that they record in the flight manual this 100hr replacement limitation is embarrassing enough, they would have nothing to gain by stating something else.
Concerning leasing of initial aircraft, Cessna is doing the exact same thing with the Mustang, so there is obviously a valid marketing purpose for this seemingly widespread practice, singling Eclipse out for special criticism is not warranted in my opinion.
Concerning Gunner's comment about Ken McNamara's performance release I will offer my opinion. It does NOT claim that they have met the performance guarantee. That will have to wait for the FAA acceptance of the revised performance data. When Eclipse deems they have met the performance guarantees, the deposit holders will know with no doubt, as Eclipse will issue a formal communication to position holders concerning any refund events. However, Ken's statement certainly suggests that Eclipse believes it will meet the speed performance guarantee in the B model certification revision after the FAA accepts the data.

Gunner said...

ff-
Thank you for the the clarification. I will assume that McNamara's comments mean only, "We did it and we expect the FAA will certify that fact when the time comes".

No harm, no foul if that is the case. These flights would therefore be simple, internal test flights and the Press Release a heads up to the Depositors.
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

flightfollowing/gunner,

One point of clarification, the FAA does not certify fuel flow information. Only takeoff, landing and obstacle clearance performance. While the data may be in the flight manual, it is not certified.

bambazonke said...

EB, you are always quick with the rejection of data, but don't offer any of your own to back up your claims of 'garbage'.

The NBAA define what an NBAA distance is, not Eclipse. If EAC want to say THEIR range is x, then they are at liberty to do so, but if you are describing an NBAA range, you are obliged to accept their definition. To add credibility to your statement by chucking in Adam is really garbage, your statement about Cessna is not true, to make the checking of what I am telling you easy here is the link to the Mustang Range data : http://mustang.cessna.com/
specifications.chtml. Note, It says NBAA range of 1,150 nm. NO DESCRIPTION OF A REDUCED ALTERNATE RANGE as is the case of EAC. NBAA range is NBAA range, nothing more nothing less.

The comment that the climb to FL-410 is normal is also garbage from either you or EAC. Look at the chart that is on EAC's website where they show to the world what their distance to climb to FL-410 on their long range flight planning diagram, the distance is 100 miles, not 200 miles, so it is twice the normal distance. For me, this IS out of line.

I am now getting the sense that EAC is now changing the 'paradigm' of definitions of what the various power settings are. They apparently are now saying that normal cruise and LRC are the same by definition.

Changing the paradigm of aviation does not also mean coming up with your own definitions of what are commonly accepted standards for measurement. What is garbage, is EAC redefining standards that are accepted by the industry and I would be surprised if the FAA will allow them to change these accepted definitions. Next thing we will have EAC take off units vs take off distance measured in feet for the rest of the aviation community. This is not a good thing.

I agree with a lot of what flightfollowing wrote in terms of the FAA being the final arbiter in this debate, this is true, and I am certain that their flight manuals,(which have all kinds of unique restrictions on them) will have the correct data. However the fact that EAC won't release this data only fans the flames of speculation. Where I disagree with flightfollowing is the data on the spar bushings was not made public, they lied about the work that was being performed, and only after the fact admitted that there was a problem. The authority that I was quoting was an impeccable source, the fact that the aircraft requires a daily check of the bushing supports the information. Cessna is leasing their first aircraft, but not for the same reasons, so the comparison is a little odious. The Mustang is certified for known ice, has DME is RVSM certified, and has a published POH, so quite a difference.....

Eventually this will all come out into the public view, the speculation will be over, in the meantime whilst EAC continues to release information without back up data, with their own language (air miles??) to bolster their flagging ranks, they will have the doubting Toms and Bamba's out there.

Jet_fumes said...

Bambazonke, NBAA range for FAR23 turbofans is 100nm. I don't know where you get 200nm.
In any case, the Eclipse performance is NOT an issue anymore. If they miss range by 100nm or speed by 10ktas, who cares? Honda missed its performance targets by an order of magnitude more, and nobody cares.
PLEASE let's focus on real issues.

bambazonke said...

jetfumes:
http://web.nbaa.org/public/ops/
faq/cache/44.html. According the this site, NBAA official site, it is 200 miles.

What is your source for 100 miles?

BZ

EclipseBlogger said...

airtaximan said... Why don't we have all the data?

I think this blog is partially to blame for not having the data on the "A" model. Eclipse doesn't want those numbers to be cast in stone for the "final" production version. Data on this blog tend to get twisted and used for any convenient purpose to bash Eclipse. If the numbers aren't available they will soon be forgotten once the "B" production is in full force and that manual and data are released. The unfortunate result is that the secrecy probably hurts their efforts more than the data.

airtaximan said... Do you believe E-clips is making certain "claims" to try to secure deposits? More financing? What is the purpose of this flight and the communique?

I have to laugh a little here. When they don't say anything, it's bacuase you think they are hiding something. When they release marketing press releases and media statements, you think they are being bold, brazen, and dishonest. And when they send out a simple activity progress report, you think it's for some devious purpose and full of holes. Yes, they need to provide better communication. We know that all too well. But this was simply an e-mail to customers to say that Eclipse is still somewhere out there. It was not a press release. It took a day and a half for it to show up on AvWeb, and two days to be reported on ANN. I guess Capt Zoom was reading this blog last week.

airtaximan said... Do you believe E-clip's claims regarding the improvements seen due to the mods? Is this the whole true story, or is there information missing which would gain insight into the true effect of the mods all things considered?

I hope this is the whole story of this demonstration flight. It was not a certification flight. It was probably reported to try and tell the customers that the work is progressing well, and the good news will be coming soon.

airtaximan said... Do you believe the previous wing bushing story, or is the account posted here more in line with what really occurred? Meaning that there is an inspection required very often, and that the issue related to a FSW part and the bulkhead should have been replaced?

Yes I believe the wing bushing story. It had to do with a bushing that was able to migrate laterally, eithier at installation or during flight testing, so that it was no longer in full contact with the attach point hole. There have been many similar AD's in other aircraft where a bushing or bearing must have a keeper or washer added so that it cannot move. I don't view it as any great deal other than the fact it took so long to discover in the test fleet aircraft. The repair is very simple, and the modification to production procedure is also of no factor. It has nothing to do with any FSW structure, and the fuselage bracket that held the bushing is riveted to the fuselage. I guess it could easily have been replaced, but enlarging the hole and re-bushing it was probably easier.

airtaximan said... Someone here, recently characterized the first delivery as a stunt...because of the inability to really use the plane due to the bushing inspections, and limited avionics...and reasoned that Vern leased back the plane because otherwise, there would have been no sale. What do you think about this? In light of E-clis statements "we need as many aircraft as we can get for marketing purposes" - does this seem like a lease back for many planes is coming? Is this somehow, "required" in order to make a "sale"?

There is no prohibitive wing bushing inspection, as you have stated. Leaseback is not a condition of sale. Dave Crowe is looking for revenue for the aircraft and that is the reason he half-partnered with JetAliance. Dave is probably also waiting for a fully functional panel since he only has about 400 hours of flight time logged. Eclipse does want to show off a production copy of the aircraft, so leaseback works well for all involved.

airtaximan said... Please don't refer to Vern or E-clips statements. We know what they are saying...we know what they've been saying for 9 years. I would like to know how much you still trust E-clips and what you believe, today.

I still believe that this will be a great plane for my personal use. Everyone has their own methods of evaluation, and I think there are a lot of people that will think it is simply too small to be of practical use to them. There are others that are looking for a plane to shuttle them around on a 600-700 mile flight for the day for business, and they'll think it's the greatest think since sliced bread and the fax machine. To each his own. It will find a market, and I do think it will be quite successful. But it will not be for everyone.

Gunner said... Does that or does it not indicate that Eclipse is claiming that it has met the Performance Guarantees reflected in Depositor contracts

The communication from Ken McNamara was an informal customer update on the progress of the flight test program relating to the aerodynamic mods, and report of an actual demonstration flight. It is not a certification of guarantees to claim more deposits. Customers would probably receive that in hardcopy via FedEx if it were to take place.

flightfollowing said... Concerning the bushing repair and window inspection and replacement, I believe that Eclipse is being forthright and their white paper reports are truthful. They would not be able to mislead the FAA concerning these issues, and the flight manual specifies something like a 50 hr inspection and a 100 hr replacement for the glass

The 50 hour inspection and 100 hour replacement is obvious not practical for any airplane. This was added to allow the currently flying aircraft to continue flying until the final solution could be put in place. Once the final solution is in production, the 50/100 hours restrictions will be removed and replace with a more normal replacement interval in the 1000's of hours, such as at TBO of the engines.

Jet_fumes said...

Bambazonke, B/CA.
NBAA is subject to interpretation in many ways, was originally defined for larger FAR25 jets. Business and Commercial Aviation in its May issue is providing more details on what defines NBAA range and it is becoming industry accepted standard.
The range that Cessna is advertising for the Mustang and the CJ1, as well as other VLJ's is based on a 100nm alternate. So does Eclipse.

flightfollowing said...

Stan,
What are your knowledgable views concerning the absence of a production certificate yet assembled and ready to deliver somewhere from 7 to 30 aircraft, built prior to PC award? I have heard that these aircraft can be grandfathered in some fashion to be released when the PC is awarded, but I have to agree logically with coldwet that aircraft assembled prior to the PC, would likely require partial or complete FAA CofA inspection prior to delivery?

Bambozonke, the Mustang's 1150 sm NBAA range is completely non-definitive. Does anyone KNOW that the alternate was 200nm for this calculation. Did Cessna ever actually fly such a profile? I do think Eclipse is getting unfair criticism concerning their NBAA similar demo flight from people asking why don't they suppy all the data, at least as compared to Cessna who do not supply any supporting data for their 1150nm reported spec. The Eclipse flight is a demo flight and nothing more, I don't think that an absolute value for NBAA can be derived from the flight, that will be calculated from performance data.

Stan Blankenship said...

ff,

I don't know the answer to your question. It is not only assemblies not built and inspected with the proper paper work in place but also individual parts stored in the stockroom.

As mentioned in an earlier post, Eclipse is not the first company to be in this situation. There must be some mechanism to deal with the problem.

Will call the ICT-MIDO office tomorrow and get an answer. I will also ask if the FAA has to qualify the offshore manufacturers or if there is reciprocity with Japan, Chile and France.

airtaximan said...

FF,

you might be right regarding "unfair" criticism and skeptcism coming E-clips way for the flight and the communique.

The comparison to Cessna is unfair, though. Cessna never missed guarantees on the Mustang. E-clips guaranteed performance, and FAILED to meet the guarantees. This is a big deal.

Cessna is not trying to get ahold of their customer's money by modifying the Mustang and then making claims/statements that they met guarantees they previously missed...after years and hundreds of millions. Poof, a few mods, a flight, a communique and and we are back on track...seems a little silly.

The situation is different. E-clips is not Cessna, and E-clips has been less than reliable and forthright.

I believe the flight and publicity-stunt is more than just some update to the customers, as is being suggested here by some, to relieve the pressure. This is a lot of effort, not just a report of a Sunday flight from A-B. They are making claims. They are trying to prove something...and therefore, they get scrutinized. If they are proving something, they should provide the data, not a fairytale to the customers.

We'll see.

Just one taximan's opinion.

airtaximan said...

EB,

thanks for all the answers. I read what you write, and if it were Cessna or some other reutable company, with a good history, I guess I could believe it.

I won't go into the history of E-clips as I see it - by now, we all know my opinion on this.

I just can't help but think the latest flight and communique is designed as something more than what you are seeing it as...a simple flight without any claims and just simple communication to customers showing that Eclipse is still in business and working on the plane.

My intuition is telling me this is more like a Nimbus, missed AOPA, fake performance guarantees, etc..etc... All designed to help E-clips and nothing forthright, either. One would almost say they make it up as they go along...whatever is needed.

Sorry, I guess we'll see.

Just one taximan's opinion

EclipseOwner387 said...

The following was sent to me by a source that asked to remain anonymous. They sent it to me to counter claims on this blog - especially BZ's training claims. I have pasted it verbatim. Enjoy!


The first training class will start February 12th, exactly one or two days after the airplane gets delivered. There will be no break between airplane delivery and training class start date.

PC will most likely be third week in February. Deliveries to start in earnest next week with CofA on first couple of airplanes.

They brought in a new Quality VP with lots of aircraft manufacturing experience. The former Quality VP from Motorola just could not hack it. They are now loading up the senior and middle management staff with aircraft production experienced people and moving all the computer geeks out.

Training is up and running. Service Center in ABQ is up and running. There is a fix in place and in production for the wing bolt issue and the windshield issue. New performance mod has completed testing and will now complete qualification and production insertion. Progress is rapid.

Gunner said...

EO-
Will be looking for the following mini-mile stones:

- Feb 12: First Training Class to Start
- Feb 12-19: @2 A/C Delivered
- Feb 21-28: PC Announcement

As for, "The former Quality VP from Motorola just could not hack it."

Another wrong person for the VP Position? This time in QA?!!! And who should take the heat for that if it were a football team, a military unit, or a corporate startup? How much turnover is too much, before you start to look at the Coach, the General or the CEO?

No need for answer. The questions are rhetorical. For my part, I'm happy to wait a bit on the promised progress. Fingers crossed, believe it or not, I hope they deliver.

Gunner

airtaximan said...

EO:

"They are now loading up the senior and middle management staff with aircraft production experienced people and moving all the computer geeks out"

The guys they are now moving out, built the company in their image, designed the plane according to their design, and drank the Champagne at the celebrations of success.

Do you think they can just pave over the (real) problems by changing some execs?

This has taken a lot of time, and cost a lot of money. Many decisions were made regarding their only product, that will not be fixed by this. You cannot just fix some code, here...its harware, its integrated, and it has been designed according to someone's idea of what the product needs to do. Not a taxi. Not easily fixed.

BUT..it is a start, I suppose.

I suspect there are many skeletons, still to come.

Just one taximan's opinion...

Stan Blankenship said...

eo387,

The departure of the QC guy should come as no suprise to readers of the blog. The following comment was posted last fall.

On August 14, 2006, Eclipse announced the hiring of Saul Pacheco as VP of Quality Control. He comes from the medical technology field and Motorola. He has no reported aviation experience nor experience working with the FAA. But I bet he can do a good power point presentation.

1:02 PM, September 12, 2006

Then repeated again:

If they have done their homework during the past six years, have a complete QC Manual, can demonstrate to the FAA that all policies and procedures function properly, and they have a qualified and trained staff to implement the plan, the PC should come before the first dozen are delivered.

Ideally, Eclipse would have a retired FAA inspector or a grizzled old cantankerous inspector from the industry on board to help establish the ground rules. Either would understand the requirements and not bow to management pressures to bend the rules.

One of the intangible aspects the FAA will want to see before issuing the PC is some measure of independence on the part of the inspection department, as in, don't have inspection reporting to the head of manufacturing.

On August 14, 2006, Eclipse announced the hiring of Saul Pacheco as VP of Quality Control. He comes from the medical technology field and Motorola. He has no reported aviation experience nor experience working with the FAA. But I bet he can do a good power point presentation.

6:29 AM, November 28, 2006

Pacheco is probably a competent QC guy. Whoever put him in charge of QC at an aircraft company doesn't understand the business.

EclipseBlogger said...

Stan said... Pacheco is probably a competent QC guy. Whoever put him in charge of QC at an aircraft company doesn't understand the business.

Stan, even I'll admit that sometimes you can be spot on target.

airtaximan said...

nothing at E-clips is simple and straight-forward: not even hiring the QC guy.

"Pacheco was most recently the Global Director of Quality and Reliability for medical technology leader Medtronic..."

How did Mr. Pacheco find his way to E-clips? As usual for this company, if you want your answer, just follow the money.

Al Mann sold his company in 2001 to...Medtronic. Mr. Mann is likely E-clips's largest investor. Vern convinced Al Mann to throw another $47 million after the original $50 million he put in.

Who's doing the hiring?

Vern understands one thing...if he wants to remain in the aviation business, he BETTER hire the RIGHT people.

Nice coinkeedink? Perhaps.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Quality at Medtronics wasn't good for pacemakers and defribrilators either, so Pacheco must have been a great fit in Albuquerque.

http://www.schmidtandclark.com/Medtronic/

Medtronic recalled 80,000 pacemakers and defribrilators - not exactly like a warranty event on your $1.5 wonderjet - hmmmmmmmm.

Again, you cannot pencil-whip parts , assemblies or airplanes AFTER THE FACT for PC certification and that means each and every airplane currently under assembly or 'sitting on the ramp' will need to be evaluated for 100% conformity.

The super slow delivery rate does mean that Eclipse will have an opportunity to retrofit the B Model mods to the 'waiting' ships, IF and it is a big IF there is enough service capacity in ABQ and in Florida and California (assuming those facilities have earned their repair station certification, empolyees are trained, and that adequate parts and specialized tools are available). I hate to assume, it makes an ass out of me and umption, but with this 'transparent' organization, assumptions and our collective experience are all we have to go on.

Green-or-Red said...

It is intersting that when CFO Reed and VP Garnes left that the web site was update immediately. Pacheco is still listed as VP of Quality but my sources say two of his direct reports were out at the end of 2006. Another source says that Taylor, VP of Safety, Training, and Flight Operations has been elevated to a Senior Fellow similar to Masefield and Burtis. Did something go wrong in this department aslo?

airtaximan said...

I figured I'd add a dash of salt, again...this guys still looking for a job...

Until Oct 2006 he was Vern's MANAGER OF WARANTEE AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS!

I can only imagine the reason why he left....

http://www.thejobspider.com/job/view-resume-10448.html

airtaximan said...

Oliver Masefield once said there would need to be a 75% reduction in drag for the plane to meet the guarantees...

This is why I am skeptical about the "performace improvements"

This is why he's a fellow...

Stan Blankenship said...

ff,

Here is what I learned today:

Once the airplane is certified, manufacturing automatically falls (for up to 6 months) into a category called, "Production Under Type Certificate." Eclipse is now in this category and only the FAA can issue the Certificate of Airworthiness on completed airplanes.

During this period, it is a judgement call on the part of the FAA inspectors on the factory floor as to what gets inspected. To quote my source, "The FAA inspects to the level of satisfaction."

Will the FAA inspect every part in the stockroom, inspect every sub-assembly? Not if the on-site personnel have some assurance the parts or assemblies were built and inspected with proper procedures.

While I have never followed the issuance of the Production Certificate, I would expect that with each new delivered airplane there would be less and less involvement by the FAA as the company begins to get their QC act together.

From the company's standpoint, there should not be any difference in the inspection process before and after the PC. It is just a matter of earning the trust of the FAA so that the FAA delegates the authority to issue the C of A's to the company.

To prevent the company from taking shortcuts after the PC is granted and the FAA is out the door, there are automatic audits defined by FAA order # 8120.2D. Suffice to say, "He who giveth, can also taketh away!"

On the matter of assemblies produced off shore, both Japan and France have reciprocity with the U.S.. Which means that parts and assemblies manufactured in these countries are treated the same as if they were mfg in the U.S..

Chile is not on the list. Special arrangements may have been made here. Business in Chile is done in a pretty responsible manner so I would not expect any concerns here.

gadfly said...

Right now, it's easy to attack Eclipse . . . maybe they deserve it, having made great claims without much to support their claims. I am near the front of the line in thinking that Eclipse has much to hide. I wouldn't for an instant argue the fact. But recently the name, "Saul Pacheco" (. . . and some others) has come into the spotlight of criticism.

Personally, as expressed in early comments, I am most concerned about the safety of this little aircraft . . . regardless of "speed", "economics", and "range".

First, I know nothing about Mr. Pacheco, nor his former company, "Medtronics" (well, only a little), but the innuendo is that quality control of medical devices and aircraft have little, or nothing in common. Maybe the allegations are correct . . . and maybe not, . . . by light-years.

As an observer with a keen interest in flight safety, and the aircraft industry "at large", I follow these blogs daily, almost hourly. Earlier emails by the "Gadfly" will testify as to my lifetime interest in aircraft safety, flight control, and even "passenger comfort", going back before most of you were a glint in your father's eye . . . my Dad having nineteen patents of which most are still the "de-facto standard" in almost any commercial jet on which any of you fly.

Having said that, I must "toot" my own horn, as an inventor of a vascular surgical clip system, yes, even invented in Albuquerque, New Mexico . . . and finding its way into the medical community world-wide. And I am a licensed pilot, and a licensed "A&P" (Airframe & Powerplant) mechanic, among many other things, and an owner of a successful manufacturing company, involved in perishable tooling for the largest manufacturer of aircraft engines in the world. I say all this to move on to the next point.

Again, I know nothing about Saul Pacheco . . . absolutely nothing. But there is a close link between quality control of things that control "heart beat" and things that support a human life across the skies at thirty or forty thousand feet. It is un-fair to relate the "one" as opposed to the "other". I am personally far more knowledgeable than most of those who contribute to this "blog" in both aircraft structure and testing, and in medical quality standards, and in education in both areas, but there is a limit to how much criticism is appropriate towards any individual caught up in the overall picture of "Eclipse Aviation".

Quality control of the structure of aircraft, whether "airframe" or accessories (flight control systems, cables, actuators, main-spar attach points, etc.), all have much in common with things "medical" and "surgical". All must meet standards far higher than almost anything within your reach. A computer goes down . . . "no big deal" . . . talk to a person with an "Indian accent" and maybe get it fixed, maybe! . . . sometime! Get your "I-Pod" fixed . . . "rots of ruck". An elevator locks up . . . a failure of a "clip" holding an aorta together . . . who are you going to call? Frankly, I like the idea of a man who understands "quality control" in the medical field, overseeing the "quality control" on the "cable tension regulator" that controls the ailerons on my little jet, while I'm trying to make it on the remaining fuel to my destination.

Continue on with the so-called "test results", and criticize right up to the "hilt" all the "PR" released to the general public. A legitimate company will have nothing to hide, and even share their problems openly . . . otherwise it will surely come back to haunt them. But at the same time, go easy on the individuals within the company, that may have been called "on board" to do a legitimate service to what most folks feel is a wonderful new venture. ("Most" everyone with whom I speak think nothing but good thoughts about "Eclipse Aviation".)

Nothing is as simple as it seems. And association with false claims (should they be false) is not reason to destroy a reputation. 'Been there, done that! . . . not fun, no how!

Bottom line: Don't ruin the reputation of anyone for the sake of "proving a point" . . . God will take care of all of the final details . . . be fully assured of that. Slow down a little, give your blogs a “second thought”, and consider what your comments may do to any and all of those in question.

Gadfly3

airtaximan said...

anyone who has some time to reflect, it is ofen important to revisit history...as they say:
"those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past are destined to repeat them"

this shows the heritage of the V-jet (Vern-jet) and the claims made...try to keep in mind this is 3 or more years into the program - as long as it takes some to design and certify a clean sheet plane.

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.07/eclipse_pr.html

Enjoy

Gunner said...

Gadfly-
I read your post carefully, twice.

I agree with all you say; but I differ as to inference.

Nobody here has taken exception to Saul Pacheco's ability; nor are they out to paint him a Boob. Ands your point as to the similarity between QA for, for instance, a carbon fiber, "dial in" spine implantation and a Wing Root device are well spoken.

Still, the Dept which Pacheco headed up fell far short of reasonable expectation. This can only be attributed to one of three things:
1) An incompetent in the job
2) A competent in the wrong job
3) A Corporate culture or bureaucracy which renders a competent person impotent in the job

I personally don't believe the problem was #1 above, but pick your poison or provide an Option 4.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Gunner

As the owner of a small company, there is always the temptation to "blame" one of my people when things go wrong, but we all know better. Option 4 is really the first, and only, option: Aim at the top, and you'll hit the target every time.

And thanks to to airtaximan for bringing the "sights" right back "on target" with his suggestion to review history.

A year from now, me thinks all this will have come into clear focus. In the mean time, the "soap opera continues", and I hope no-one gets hurt (physically) in the process. It's too late to save folks from bad investments . . . that's my opinion.

Carry on!

Gadfly3

BigJim said...

I'll admit I'm ignorant about anything medical, but with regard to aircraft, QC it's about process, process, process. Most of the QC hiccups I see involve good parts that are lacking the proper paperwork. The FAA is very unforgiving with the process side of QC.

Stan is dead-on about how the FAA decides what to inspect. Show them you are competent and are aggressive in following your procedures, and you may get the occasional spot-check. Let them smell a rat and they'll turn over every 8130 tag they can find.

I don't know how long it usually takes a new company to get a PC, so Eclipse's biggest mistake may have been underestimating the effort. However, if the delay is due to problems with not following their QC manual such as missing paperwork, undocumented inspections, etc., they may have real issues. The FAA is entirely within their rights to require a complete airframe disassembly if necessary to verify an inspection.

That may be a bit extreme, but proves that it's better to do it right the first time.

gadfly said...

BigJim

Medical" things are very similar to "Aviation" things . . . "medical things" work best when the patient is still alive and has hope of recovery, regardless of the perfection of the "parts", and proper paperwork.

If the patient only had "hiccups", the paperwork might be as simple as a "paper sack" . . . in this case, a basket.

Gadfly3

flightfollowing said...

Stan,
Thanks very much for the answer concerning PC. I do think Eclipse grossly underestimated the timeframe for awarding the PC. If I remember correctly, Eclipse planned to get type certified followed by PC very shortly thereafter. Contrast this with Cessna, who planned on receiving Type Certificate and then 6 months or so later, the PC. And Cessna has had extensive experience getting a PC, whereas Eclipse would be conducting its first.
It may be enlightening to see how quickly Eclipse gets the PC and how quickly the built aircraft get delivered, sounds like this will be a measure of the trust and respect that the FAA has for the Eclipse team. If cessna planned 6 months, that might be Eclipse's reference point for a reasonable time from TC to PC.

Gunner said...

FF-
I'm holding EO387's source to his word:
"PC will most likely be third week in February." and assuming he means February 2007.
Gunner

cherokee driver said...

Adam Aircraft received their type certificate on 5-11-05 and their PC 9-19-06. If I remember right, Cirrus took a little over a year also.

cherokee driver said...

According to Cirrus's TC data sheet, TC 10-23-98, PC 6-12-00. Cirrus had over 500 legitimate orders at the time they received their TC and were feeling every bit as much pressure to get their PC as Eclipse. The composite airframe could be a factor for the time frame but friction stir welding will probably produce similar delays for Eclipse. Use proven technology and you're golden. Push the envelope and you're waiting.

EclipseBlogger said...

cherokee driver said...
(Cirrus') composite airframe could be a factor for the time frame but friction stir welding will probably produce similar delays for Eclipse. Use proven technology and you're golden. Push the envelope and you're waiting.

I don't think that is the issue.

cherokee driver said...

So what is the issue? How will Eclipse manage to get it's PC in record time for a startup company? Adam Aircraft told me every month for a year their PC was 3 weeks away. Maybe the FAA leads the company to believe it won't be a problem. Name a startup company that got it's PC in less than a year.

gadfly said...

Eclipse bloggers, let's talk! . . . about just one of many issues that seems to be overlooked:

A little history may be helpful, as it relates directly, believe it or not, to the Eclipse 500.

A long time ago, long before most of you were born, a man by the name of Jiro Horikoshi was commissioned to design a "fighter", to use against enemies of his nation, Japan. He designed the Mitsubishi A6M, commissioned in the Imperial year, 2600, . . . the last digit, “zero”, becoming the name of the best and most feared aircraft of 1940. Regardless of un-ending debate over this remarkable aircraft, there is one fact that has direct application to the Eclipse 500. The Japanese had developed a most remarkable aluminum alloy, which today we call “7075", and in its various forms is used throughout the world in most high speed aircraft. But it is not weldable.

The unique method of “joining” this alloy, with itself, or similar alloys, such as the “20xx” series, has until recently kept it in the category of alloys that are riveted or bolted together.

The “70xx” and “20xx” series are extremely strong, but suffer from things like “intergranular corrosion”. (Look it up on the internet . . . there are a wealth of sites that address the problems.) The method of “friction stir welding” seems to have overcome the problems of welding aluminum alloys that include “copper and zinc and lithium”, etc., since the fusion of the alloy to itself is accomplished at temperatures lower than its melting point. Of course, again, careful control must be maintained, to assure that the temperature does not exceed 1100 degrees F, the “melting point” of aluminum.

The “Zero” fighter, made primarily of this “new” alloy, is mostly “non-existent”, because of the internal crystal corrosion problems, “intergranular corrosion”, in other words, it “self destructs”. Improvements in fabrication, anti-corrosion methods (anodizing . . . non-conducting coating, and alodizing . . . conductive coating) were used to control the degradation of the basic structure. “Stir-fried-welding” (as it’s commonly called on this website), similar to the method used by ancient black-smiths, to fuse “iron to iron”, just may be an excellent answer to the problems of “true” welding. The alloy is understood, and has been properly controlled for these many years. But heating it to close to its melting point “begs” for its earlier problems to return. The competition has not yet been convinced . . . Cessna, and the others. Precision controls, and accuracy of application are crucial throughout. Quality control is critical to a degree little appreciated by most folks.

In the “short term”, the method seems to be “excellent”. The problem is in the “long term”, and the jury must be out for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, this is not a problem that is quickly studied in a “hurry up” laboratory test. Hopefully, for many, and not just “Eclipse”, the use of this excellent method of fabrication must be proved over an extended period of time. The dry climate of Albuquerque is excellent for the preservation of aluminum. But in humid situations, there must be concern, . . . and I wish it were not so.

Evidently, other major manufacturers are beginning to use this method of fabrication. Hopefully, they are using it in “non-critical” applications, until the long-term reliability is established. In the short term, any corrosion can be properly controlled by proper protection of each and every interface . . . therein lies the crux of the matter: Quality control of each step in the manufacturing process.

Although some have criticized Eclipse for using the “stir-fried-welding” in only a few applications, that in itself is actually a “plus”. The friction-stir-welding is a new, somewhat unproven method, while the rivet method is older that aviation, itself. It could be that certification of this aircraft might “hang” on something as simple as “stir fried welding” . . . and maybe not.

Eclipse seems to have taken on every problem imaginable, instead of attacking the problems a few at a time. Most of you are counting profits, or losses, on a product that does not yet exist. Carry on. But first, someone has to get this bird in the air, at the promised speed, altitude, weight, cost, efficiency, schedule, and reliability that has been promised. What is it that I’m missing?

Gadfly3

Stan Blankenship said...

gadfly,

You might read Part 2 of the very first post on this blog.

At Oshkosh 2 or 3 years ago, I asked a Eclipse sales rep how they planned to deal with the long term corrosion potential with FSW. He said and I quote, "The airframe is guaranteed for ten years."

gadfly said...

Stan

Yes, I do indeed remember your comments, and recalled my training while an employee of United Airlines, way back in the early "sixties" working "Ramp Service" at O'Hare and taking a series of UAL Home Study Courses . . . one being "Aircraft Sheet Metal" (I aced the course). I put your comments together with what I had learned, and figured that "Eclipse" had an "Achilles Heal". But I figure that I should take the blame for my own comments, without implicating others.

You and I can "hang together".

Gadfly

gadfly said...

Yeh, I know: "Achilles Heel" . . . spell checker got it right, but can't read my mind!

Gadfly!

airtaximan said...

Gadfly, you state:
"Although some have criticized Eclipse for using the “stir-fried-welding” in only a few applications, that in itself is actually a “plus”"

I do not remember anyone here criticizing E-clips for limiting FSW...the only criticism relates to claims they make as to the benefits achieved from their use of FSW. The benefit is further limited due to their confined application of the technology, despite all the hype.

The technology is risky. The savings are nowhere near what they claim, as far as weight, or fabrication time. The equipment costs a lot of money. The certification becomes more complex. Then there's the corrosion issue.

A bad decision, except for the Vern-acular: FSW is one of 3 enabling technologies for the low-cost-high-rate-automotive-industry-like jet. Translation - I need a tech industry acceptable case for lower cost, for my tech industry investors.

So far they are zero for 3, if you ask me:
FSW - high risk, low benefit, high cost
AVIO - high risk, limited real benefit - so far a bust
EJ22 - a bust

Bad judgement - except of course, it got investors.


Just one taximan's opinion, of course.

gadfly said...

airtaximan

The "plus" is that so little was "friction stir welded". A greater plus would be "all rivet" and/or conventional methods, at least in the beginning days of a new and un-proven aircraft.

gadfly

Vmc said...

Many moons ago, the 500 was an all-composite airframe. Considering the extreme three upon which this program is hinged, one may conservatively assume that an all-composite tube would have made a better training platform for astronauts in the drink than a certifiable bird. That was one very positive change early in the program's tenure. Just a little history from the days of Pronto Aircraft in Walled Lake...

Jet_fumes said...

Another positive change in those days was when Rutan got the boot.

Stan Blankenship said...

fumes,

IMO, the best thing that happened to aviation was when Rutan took a great interest in space travel.

gadfly said...

Question:

Who is the designer of the Eclipse 500? Is it a "person"? . . . or is it a "committee"? Either way, what is/are the background(s) of the designer(s)? . . . 'just wondering! 'Looking for a "real" answer, and not an opinion.

Gadfly

Stan Blankenship said...

A little off topic but worth a look:

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/GLF17/
history/20070206/1538Z/KATW/KATW

You may have to stitch the link together.

gadfly said...

Stan

You just don't get the picture. You are not playing fair. The Gulfstream is a "real" airplane, with all the things that go with the "real" world. If you wish to play the game, you need to "pretend", or you will not be long welcome in this land of "make believe". Now, come on . . . stay within the bounds of "fantasy land" . . . got it? . . . OK!

Gadfly

Lloyd said...

Gadfly,

Here is the Bio of the Designer of the Eclipse 500

Dr. Oliver Masefield - Senior Vice President, Senior Fellow
Dr. Oliver Masefield joined Eclipse in 2000 and led the design and development of the Eclipse 500™ jet prior to being named a Senior Fellow in 2004. Previously, Masefield was VP of Research and Development of Pilatus Aircraft, where he was responsible for technical innovation for Pilatus products worldwide. During his tenure at Pilatus, Masefield managed development and certification of the highly successful PC-12 corporate/utility aircraft as well as the development of the PC-7 and PC-9 military training aircraft. Before joining Pilatus in 1973, he was a Project Engineer on advanced Harrier V/STOL fighter aircraft for Hawker Siddeley Aircraft Ltd. Masefield holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a PhD in aerodynamics from the Loughborough University of Technology.

gadfly said...

Lloyd

Thank you much for the information about Dr. Masefield. In looking at the "specs" for the Pilatus PC-12, many things seem to come into focus as to the basic layout and capabilities of the "Eclipse 500". A comparison between the two aircraft have certain similarities that are most interesting, and maybe the philosophy of the one (a "turbo prop") have carried into the design of the other. You've given me a direction to study . . . Thank you, much!

Gadfly

bill e. goat said...

Rutan is a snake oil salesman.
His history is one of flamboyance, but there ain't no meat in that bun.
Of the notable/notorious public fiascos:
Beech Starship- FAILURE
Fairchild T46- FAILURE
Eclipse prototype- FIASCO, so far.
SpaceShipOne- FIASCO- anyone see the terrifying videos? Rutan should have been arrested, not awared.
Vari-eze; contribution to general aviation, exactly ZERO.

Jet_fumes said...

Masefield was leading the design team during the detailed design stage, but the conceptual design stage that locks 90% of the life cycle cost was done before he joined Eclipse.
The early iterations were made by Burt Rutan, with the forward wing sweep, the goofy windows and all.
Many changes to that design were already made before Oliver joined the team.
So, conceptually, nothing from the PC12 made it into the Eclipse, except maybe for the willingness and talent of Oliver Masefield to try to make complicated things work no matter what, and lose focus on what turns an aircraft into a money machine. Because that's the name of the game, isn't it?

Jet_fumes said...

bill e.goat, you forgot the Visionaire Vantage. If you want an aircraft that pitches up in stall and scares the bejeezus out of the test pilot, ask our friend Burt who should know better.
While I agree that whatever he touches with a ten feet pole turns out into a financial disaster - I already feel sorry for Richard Branson - SpaceShipOne has really pushed the envelope of what can be done with a small team. I would have been proud to work on that one. He has provided a lot of momentum to the X-prize and I believe some really interesting stuff are going to pop out from all those space faring startups.

Stan Blankenship said...

bill e. goat,

Then there was the Rutan built Toyota Advanced Aircraft.

Projected top speed 168 kts...actual, 128 kts.

Program cost above $50 million.

Jake said...

Burt Rutan is crap blah blah blah.

whatever, but you all left out varieze, long-ez, cozy, voyager, global flyer and a bunch of other pretty sucessful designs, of which more are flying than eclipse will likely ever fly.

Stan Blankenship said...

jake,

You left out the Pond Racer there in your list.

airtaximan said...

try the Rutan boomerang, aswell...

this is not a joke, it was a real Rutan airplane design.

flight guy said...

I thought this blog was for Eclipse, not for Rutan bashing.

With that said, don't forget the Adam A500 and A700. Those were napkin designs as well.

gadfly said...

"Bloggers all"

It's easy to criticize folks who attempt to do something new.

There are at least two groups, the way I see it.

There is the group that uses another's money, and allows someone else to take the risk of their "brain child". And I venture that many folks have the "answer" to the next generation of economic travel by aircraft. But I also venture that not one in a thousand would put up their own total wealth to "prove" their ideas. (By the way, I am fully qualified in this respect . . . I "bet the farm" on my own business, risking no-one else's money, but my own.)

There is the other group, such as the "Wright Brothers", Igor Sikorsky, and a handfull of others who took the risk themselves, putting their own lives on the line, even though they may have used the money of investors. (The "Wright's" of course, paid their own way.)

The famous pictures of history are of "the Wright's" sitting in their own invention, risking their own lives, to prove their theories.

Another famous picture is of Igor Sikorsky, sitting . . . a few feet off the ground, in the "fedora" hat in which he came to the United States, testing his own invention, the helicopter, that would in the next half century become a part of our daily lives.

The best inventions of the past are devices invented by individuals, or extremely small teams . . . almost "never" by committees. When unlimited money is invested, the end result is usually disaster.

Being the owner of a small business, and "betting the farm" on my own ideas, I know first-hand what it is to live by my own ingenuity. Therefore, I am slow to criticize others who have "high hopes" and "different ideas". At the same time, I have little use for others who have little to lose, yet proceed forward with little concern for the future of others.

Concerning "Eclipse", I question "Who gets hurt, "if", and when this thing "goes South"? And when the dust settles, "Who gets blamed?" With the "Eclipse", the question is not so much "physical safety" as it is "financial success".

Today, we have the FAA to carefully oversee each and every step. They are "slow", but maybe that's not a bad thing in this particular instance.

If Sikorsky had crashed, as he tested his own helicopter, the answer would have been simple. If "Wilbur" or "Orville" had died during tests at "Kittyhawk", none of this discussion would have taken place. Well, maybe . . . hydrogen would have soon been replaced by helium, and we would all drift across the Atlantic, or Pacific in relaxed comfort . . . watching the endless sheet of waves and clouds passing a couple thousand feet below our comfortable seats, while we anticipate our arrival in Tokio or Peking.

If "Dr. Langley's" famous Aerodrome had failed (which it did) and the pilot had not survived (which he, fortunately did), and the "Wright's" had not succeeded in the mean time, we would still be subsidizing the investigation of the possibillity that man might eventually "fly" . . . somehow, some day.

But "the Brother's" risked their lives, to refine their theories. And Igor Sikorsky did design the first "four engine" aircraft, "The Grand", where a passenger could stroll out on the forward deck, and "have a smoke", knowing that if even two of any four of the engines would fail, a mechanic could walk out and work on the engine, while this mighty aircraft of 1913 would continue on to a safe landing . . . and the passenger could relate his experience to his family upon safe arrival.

Risk is good, without it, nothing worthwhile would ever get done. Eclipse may yet "make it", and produce a "first" . . . a product designed by a committee, with an unlimited budget, and no real risk to the "promoters" . . . anything is possible.

Today, unlike the "days of old", folks want to set a record, forgetting the risks involved . . . always with the attitude that "fast and first" is best. Maybe, "steady and reliable" will get the job done. Remember the terribly ugly "Checker Marathon Cab"? It almost hurts the brain to remember it, but it transported millions of people, safely to their destinations, in "good time" (Please, Eclipse, get the implication) . . . at a profit for countless taxicab companies. The "Marathon" was so ugly, you had to love the beast . . . and it got the job done.

OK . . . enough words, enough said, enough for thought!

Gadfly

(Yes, Virginia, we are now having fun.)

Jet_fumes said...

"Phostrex contributes nothing to global warming".
Impressive. I want one too.

Lloyd said...

Lets Start a new thread. Eclipse owns the Phostrex. This is a new fire supression system that will be mandated to be installed and retrofitted to all aircraft with onboard systems. Eclipse as a company stands to profit nicely from this innovation. See this site and read the white paper for the science behind the product.

http://www.phostrex.com/

Investors are secured.

Gunner said...

Lloyd said:
"This is a new fire supression system that will be mandated to be installed and retrofitted to all aircraft with onboard systems."

Source, please?
Gunner

Jake said...

..."You left out the Pond Racer there in your list."

Ares, Proteus, Quickie, Defiant, Amsoil Biplane. I left out whole bunch of em some good, and some bad. So what do you want, a cookie?

He's also on wife #4 lets bash him some more for that. Oh and since we're ripping aircraft designers apart why don't we start on Jim Bede and how many people he's gotten killed. He probably saw a picture of eclipse somewhere so I say hes fair game.

The point is, Burt Rutan good and bad designs all considered has done more in aviation than anyone on this blog and he is certainly not in the same class as Vern. The continous personal attacks on here are getting old fast. (yes i know vern brings it on himself, but good grief just because its easy doesn't mean you have do do it)

airtaximan said...

www.eclipseaviationmag.com

anyone ever see this before?

some pretty wild claims if you click on the "production" link from Vern's page

this is the summer of 2006...

WoW!

Jake said...

Stan, you said "Then there was the Rutan built Toyota Advanced Aircraft.

Projected top speed 168 kts...actual, 128 kts."

built by Rutan yes, designed by Rutan, no. try a Toyota run group of Raytheon and Boeing engineers. as i understand it scaled composites was contracted to build the airframe only.

Stan Blankenship said...

jake,

Let's put things in perspective.

Rutan developed a tooling system so that you, I or any one else could build airplanes in our garage.

This same tooling system enabled him to produce this wide range of designs, flights of fancy if you will, that captured the imagination of the media and the public.

I am not going to pass judgement on how good or bad each individual design was, but to my knowledge, with the exception of the Starship, none of his designs were certified. So he really was not on the same playing field as the traditional manufacturers.

Stan Blankenship said...

lloyd,

Are you suggesting Phostrex is the cash cow that will enable Eclipse to continue to build airplanes that cost more to build then the what they have been sold for?

It takes time and money to develop a market for new products. Considering Eclipse's probable near term need for cash due to the painfully slow delivery rate, how are they going to manage to launch this product as well?

Has any other segment of the industry embraced this technology?

Comments getting numerous, new post tomorrow.

Stan Blankenship said...

jake,

One last thought (confession?).

Both my small companies are tied to airplanes built out of sheet metal.

I was never happy with the idea Rutan put in many people's head that plastic airplanes are the way of the future.

My pain continues as Cessna is, as we speak, installing three new large autoclaves.

Green-or-Red said...

Phostrex has been a big disappointment at this stage to the investors. Yes, it works but is only being developed for the EA500. While it has been sitting on the shelf, Airbus and Dupont have developed their own.

BigJim said...

Cessna isn't installing new autoclaves out of some newfound love of plastic aircraft. From what I hear, the cost of aluminum is increasing to the point where composites are now competitive or cheaper than traditional aluminum for some applications. Cessna certainly has the ability to build composite aircraft...there just hasn't been a good business case for it.

Maybe that's a good definition of a 'dinosaur' company: one that evaluates all the options and selects the best methods to meet customer expectations and maximize the investor's rate of return.

What a novel concept.

bambazonke said...

Airtaximan,

KKA, this Eclipse Magazine is just the type of hype that one could expect from this flim flam outfit? Here are some of the questions I would pose to KKA based on information in the comic release if I was an aviation writer/journalist;

"It’s official. The FAA has awarded Eclipse Aviation its FAA type certification on the Eclipse 500™ jet. As this magazine is being distributed, we are already delivering the first production models" of our revolutionary jet. We are proud to have delivered the very first production jet to Dave Crowe and the second to DayJet.

KKA: just how many of these wonder machines have been delivered now? Does the EA-500 really have a "Type Certificate", or was that just a little misprint "Provisional Type Certificate" maybe, at 5800 lbs, not as the rest of your propaganda machine says 5950 lbs. Is this the kind of butt kicking you boasted about in an interview recently or did we miss something?

By August 1, we are scheduled to have 12 Eclipse jets in the production line . By the end of 2006, we plan to be manufacturing 1.2 jets a day.

KKA we hear so much about how this wonder company of yours is on the cutting edge, how about updating this comic strip and telling us just how many you delivered to retail customers in 2006, and what your daily production rate is? This ezine of yours does not reflect the current status, and you are misleading the public, again.

All of us at Eclipse are obviously excited about where we are today. We’ve proven all the critics wrong no matter how they twist the facts. And we will continue to prove them wrong.

KKA, as everyday goes by, and the last time I counted we are 40 days into this year, I see zero deliveries, just who are you proving wrong? What facts are being twisted, you have not produced any facts to be criticized..

In publications ahead, we plan to share information from the Eclipse Owners’ Club, which is being formed very quickly now that we’re into production.

The Eclipse owners club being formed quickly now you are in production? I guess you meant to say as quickly as we can produce, the Eclipse owners club will be performed, I suppose this is another one of those facts that are being twisted..

Eclipse, we hope, will be the kind of company with which you want to continue doing business.

KKA, is really the kind of company that you think the world wants to deal with? As everyday goes by, this is becoming more and more of a joke. Your company does not communicate with it's position holders, it makes claims (NBAA Range) that when asked for data to corroborate the claim, you cannot produce this. EAC is a company that went from being transparent to one that is highly secretive, EAC places onerous restrictions on data that position holders who have parted with huge up front payments should be entitled to, like a POH. No this company does not meet the profile of a company that people want to continue to deal with.

FAA type certification has been achieved. The champagne bottles are empty and the entire Eclipse Aviation team is back hard at work on the next phase of business: ramping up production and delivering quality airplanes on time.

KKA, so tell us once and for all, do you have a TC, can we see this document? When was it awarded? Don't you think that one of the obstacles you have created for yourself is with this hype of yours you have created the perception that EAC is a company that really needs to be watched, particularly by the FAA. Don't you think that your concept of what these credentials are is so out of perspective. Don't you think the use of words such as delivering quality airplanes on time should be deleted from the lexicon of EAC..

First Deliveries:
• The first Eclipse 500™ was delivered to Dave Crowe
• The second Eclipse 500 was delivered to DayJet
• Nine Eclipse 500s are being delivered in the first two months of production.


KKA, come on, let's get a confession from you that this statement is patently false, it is written in past tense, i.e. the event has occurred. Just how many planes have you truly delivered? Really none? Don't point to Cessna, they are not making claims on the number of planes they have delivered.


No matter how many articles are written, brochures published, videos created, or speeches delivered, it is inevitable—people simply cannot get enough of Avio! Frankly, we can’t either. Yet the reality is that Avio is such a comprehensive, feature–rich system that the traditional means of disseminating product information simply aren’t adequate. To understand and appreciate Avio, you must experience it. And that is exactly what you will be doing soon in your own Eclipse 500™ jet!

Right, so where are all these instructional videos, they are not in the hands of the position holders. This wonderful Avio, that has no GPS, no DME, prevents this wonder plane from flying above FL-240, at which altitude the plane has a range of less than 700 miles, great stuff, tell us more...

Don’t be fooled—the Eclipse 500 is not your daddy’s jet. Instead, the Eclipse 500 is a no–compromise aircraft, offering standard features like autothrottle, smart crew alerting, electronic checklists, control–based system synoptics…and the list goes on. Total Aircraft Integration means more for less, which is the Eclipse Aviation definition of value.

KKA, Not our Daddy's jet, really...don't you think our Daddy's jet out performs your little plane any day of the week? Note I said you little plane, I did not say out performs your claims, that is another matter altogether. Autothrottle, yeah right, another slip of the typing keys, don't you know how to spell FADEC, isn't this what you meant to say? Big difference between FADEC and autothrottles.. BTW, is the FADEC working? or is it just another one of those wild claims.

To date, pilots of all experience levels have had the opportunity to fly the Eclipse 500 (see Bill Nutt’s story on page 12).

Really..I read Bill Nutt's flight, this is the one where you only let him go to 3000 feet. Great article and the plane was really shown how it performs in it's normal operating environment. Point to a real flight test, with a real aviation journalist, and we would love to read that article.

The bird’s extremely benign handling characteristics coupled with its outstanding performance capabilities make it very difficult to get yourself into a sticky situation.

KKA, if this bird is so benign why is it that we recommend upset training..yes I have read all the stories about how safe this is supposed to make things.. Just how many jets have been lost in upsets so I can evaluate this..

The spool time of the Pratt & Whitney 610Fs is almost instantaneous, resulting in turboprop–like acceleration and deceleration rates.

KKA, Gee they look like such little engines, how do they provide a the same deceleration as a turboprop? This another one of those wild claims or something you can back up?

Here is some flight training provided in the magazine for people wanting to be well on the way to flying their Eclipse jet:

Preparing to Fly the Eclipse 500
FLY GLASS: It doesn’t matter what type of glass or what airplane you get your hands on, just fly glass. A GNS430/530 or MX–20 does not count. I’m talking a fully glass airplane with at least a primary flight display. Get used to interpreting critical flight information such as airspeed, attitude, and altitude on a glass display.

DON’T BE LAZY: When practicing in a glass aircraft, be sure to actually practice. Don’t do the easy stuff; challenge yourself. Never accept the visual approach. Practice flying an instrument approach as many times as you can, couple it to an autopilot, and even practice the missed approach procedure. The best conditioning that you can do for yourself is to sharpen your skills as a single pilot in high–workload events. Of course, don’t forget your safety pilot.

USE THE ECLIPSE TRAINING MATERIAL: New training material is in development that will help you learn the Avio system, and it will be coming to you in advance of your official training. This material will be invaluable to you. The more you use this material, the better prepared you will be for your initial type training course. Take my word for it; you’ll be glad you did.
By applying these simple pointers, you are well on your way to a simple transition into your Eclipse 500 jet. You’re going to love flying and operating this airplane. I’m sure of it!


Great, read all that, got it, where is my little jet so I can go fly now?

EclipseBlogger said...

Green or Red said... Phostrex has been a big disappointment at this stage to the investors. Yes, it works but is only being developed for the EA500. While it has been sitting on the shelf, Airbus and Dupont have developed their own.

I don't know about the product from Airbus, but the one from DuPont is "green" to the ozone, but also highly toxic to humans. It's being discussed for use by the military, but is not a viable product for general use.