Thanks...but no thanks
First person accounts from three who flirted with the Eclipse and then walked away:
I purchased an Eclipse position in August of 2000 and when they were willing to sell me another position at the same price in November of 05 if I rolled over for the price increase, increased my deposit to 155k for each and released the deposit, I weighed the risks and did it.
In the Spring of 06 and before Oshkosh I started smelling a rat. I listened in on the "conference calls" and yet I was never quick enough to be able to ask a question and when all the questions were softball questions, I decided to sell my positions.
I visited Independence, Kansas last week and flew a production Mustang (MLJ-medium light jet) 355 knots at FL340 with 5 men in excess of 170 pds. A real jet coming down a real production line.
I opted for reality instead of fantasy and my Eclipse position premiums are helping me pay for it.
I had hoped to fly an Eclipse and transition into a bigger Jet if I needed more size or range. The delays, the unrealistic promises and the unlateral actions helped me decide to exit. I can only hope the implosion I'm betting will happen before Oshkosh 07 will not hurt the aviation industry.
10:28 AM, February 12, 2007
Niner Zulu said...
With regard to the number of Eclipses that have changed hands so far....it does seem that Mike Press has the best handle on what is going on in the resale market. Yes, he has a vested interest in Eclipse and makes a profit where he can - I don't have a problem with that - and if he says that 100 have changed hands then I am inclined to believe his number. My problem with him is that perhaps he is a little too enthusiastic about Eclipse's future prospects. I hope, for his sake, he is right.
If I may offer my take --- I was interested in purchasing an Eclipse position until as late as last November. After doing some homework, visiting the factory, putting out some feelers and talking to other Eclipse position holders, I decided to pass on purchasing a position.
What I discovered in doing my homework is that there are
1) a lot of Eclipse position holders who would really like to dump their position, but just haven't gotten around to it for one reason or another,
2) more than a few position holders that are just plain clueless about Eclipse and have more money than sense, and
3) there are a lot of wait-and-see'ers who just aren't motivated to do anything at this point because they haven't been asked to put up more money yet.
How many of these people are future sellers remain to be seen, but my guess is that there are a lot more out there that may sell before they take delivery and it just wouldn't take that much to start a stampede in the resale market.
I didn't need to find this blog to realize that I was being fed a lot of BS by the Eclipse factory reps and that anything they said was questionable if not downright false. My final assessment was that I don't need to save a million bucks so bad that I am willing to risk a million to buy an unproven product from an unproven company.
Eclipse has proven again and again that they are full of hot air - it's all about hype and marketing. Seriously - has anyone ever seen any airplane manufacturer advertise more than Eclipse? Their ads are everywhere and one has to wonder why. I mean, what is it they are selling - position number 3000 for delivery in 2020? Anyway, the risk of losing everything in the event that the speculators head for the exits was, for me at least, too great.
There are too many products coming on line soon from real companies like Embraer, Diamond, Cessna, Piper, Honda, and Cirrus to seriously consider the Eclipse.
So why am I still interested in this blog if I'm not interested in an Eclipse? Well, my wife wonders the same thing but the short answer is that you guys provide me with regular laughs, good heated debate over a topic I love (aviation) and good information about the other VLJ's as well, one of which I will end up owning in the near future.
9:12 PM, February 12, 2007
Hats off to you, guy. I actually stepped up with a deposit before I started paying real attention.
It took me 3 days to realize that the company fosters a cult-like relationship with its "customers". The lies, excuses and "corrections" begin immediately upon "joining" and quickly spiral from there. It's really pretty amazing how Vern keeps so many deposit holders in line. Seriously, who else could get away with claiming "no big deal" when the entire in-shop fleet has been found to have faulty wing spar attachments and windshields/windows that crack every few hours? And still have a chorus raise their voices in adulation of what you've "created".
Anyway, I came, I drank, I got ill, I got out.
What amazes me, though, is bright guys, savvy entrepreneurs and successful businessmen listening to the tales from ABQ weekly and STILL publicly defending them as believable.
In the end, even if you can make a hundred grand or a half mil (directly at the expense of someone else) by selling your position, you've done so at the expense of your credibility and your integrity: internet anonymity be damned.
Things have changed much in six months and one would have to be near blind (or desperate) to pretend that everything's gonna be just peachy as soon as we work out a few wrinkles like cracking windows, unsafe wing spar attachments, avionics that are still on the drawing board, flight training barely past the rumor stage, operating envelopes that look like they were drawn by Pac-Man, a year that would see 500 aircraft delivered with not one out the door as we head toward Month Three, an FAA that will NOT be left holding the ball, and performance that is measured in new terms like "air miles".
11:34 PM, February 12, 2007