Sunday, February 18, 2007

Training/Mentoring

First a question, where in hell is the Eclipse simulator?

This is 2005! Simulators are de rigueur for any self respecting business jet training.

Are we going to hear they haven't had time to build a simulator?

They've had 6 or 7 years to get one built!

Are we going to hear they don't have the money for one?

Eclipse is knocking on the billion dollar development door with what they have burnt plus what the suppliers (like Pratt and Avidyne) have spent. What are we talking about, a half-percent of the development budget?

But they've got mentoring, a new idea, well sort of.

Forty years ago at Learjet, after delivery and completion of ground and flight training, we would send an instructor pilot along for a couple of weeks to allow the new crew in a new airplane to get comfortable in their own surroundings.

The Eclipse program works a little differently:

Training was included in the Type Certificate however, it did not give Eclipse the exclusive position that they wanted, so they placed the mentoring requirement in the AFM, which is an FAA approved document.

It is beyond the scope of this post to try and encapsulate the complexity of what the Eclipse idea of mentoring entails. I suspect only a small percentage of pilots designated to fly the Eclipse will be exempt from the mentoring requirement. And while intended to promote safety, it is going to be difficult to administer even more difficult to support, difficult to imagine the program as structured today holding up over the long term.

The goal is safety of course, and to prevent individuals with more money than piloting skills to go out and kill themselves (and others). Eclipse has taken on that responsibility and taken on the liability as well.

But back on the subject of mentoring, Eclipse details the program in their website:

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/ownership/mentor_faqs

A "fair use" quote establishes the basis:

The Eclipse 500 Pilot Mentoring Program is a critical element of the Eclipse 500 Training Program. It is intended to raise Eclipse 500 pilots to a level of proficiency such that they are competent to operate safely as a solo pilot in any environment they might fly.

Eclipse has screened, selected, and trained highly experienced jet pilots to accompany new Eclipse 500 pilots during their initial operating experience. Mentors do not function as flight instructors; instead they lend their extensive experience in aviation decision-making to the new jet pilot.

End quote.

Want an exemption from the mentoring requirement, it's possible if you have:

5,000 hrs TT
1,000 hrs turbojet time
500 hrs turbojet PIC
100 hrs in past year
25 hrs in past 90 days operating a turbine powered A/C as single pilot operating flight management system or moving map navigator
Minimum two turbojet type ratings.

Otherwise, take delivery of your airplane, complete your training and welcome to the mentoring program. You will be evaluated, proficiency goals set and you will be introduced to your new $600/day (plus expenses), mentor and no, you can't bring your next door neighbor, who happens to be a retired United Captain, Eclipse will assign you that guy over there in the corner, asleep in the chair. He has been waiting a long time for an assignment.

It all sounds good on paper.

There is no doubt the company plans to implement the most stringent training requirements in the industry. But in spite of their best intentions, there will be accidents and there will be lawsuits and the company has once again set themselves up as a big target, this time in the courtroom.

Eclipse's inscessant claims for safety are going to be repeated over and over and over, not by the defense but by a sharp tongued plaintiff's lawyer. I can almost hear him now:

"Your assured my client's husband the airplane was safe. You said if he passed all your training requirements, he would be safe. Now look at the first row in this courtroom, the pretty widow, and the three darling girls all in their matching pinafores, all destined to go through life without their beloved whom you said would be safe in your hands!"

Vern, your words will come back to haunt you!

101 comments:

Planet eX said...

Simulators take time to build - typically, one to two year time lag from contract signing to completion (this is based on how long it took CAE or NLX to build simulators for a company I used to work for). From what I've been able to find, Opinicus was given the contract to build the Eclipse 500 simulators in April 2005. It would appear that it's taking them a little longer than it should to be a simulator. However, a lack of engineering data from an instrumentated Eclipse could be causing a bit of trouble.

Opinicus (http://www.opinicus.com/) was started by two ex-Reflectone (now CAE) personnel and has supposedly be in business since 1988.

Ken Meyer said...

Pleanet ex wrote,
"However, a lack of engineering data from an instrumentated Eclipse could be causing a bit of trouble.


The company explains that the simulators cannot be set up until there is precise performance information available upon which to program them. Reportedly, that requires some specific post-certification test flights, and of course, the company is busily engaged in certifying the B model as well as pursuing the Production Certificate.

The training program is slated to be all-simulator late this year.

Ken

gadfly said...

“Planet eX” gave excellent information. Even his opinion was "low key". . . very informative and polite. The comment gave the benefit of the doubt to "all", without attempting to "justify" anyone.

Information was easily confirmed with the referenced "website", ( http://www.opinicus.com/ ). Take the time to thoroughly investigate the “Opinicus” website. Simple, but good. ‘Would that more “websites” were this easy to navigate.

That website, itself, gave information that was "low key" and easy to confirm. Opinicus merely said what their intent was to do for Eclipse, but did not include them on their list of completed accomplishments. Nor did they give any timetable, promises, etc.

Thank you, “Planet eX” . . . this type of comment would be most useful if I were a customer of the company in question or a “vendor” (which I am not). (We did our homework long ago, and decided to sit this one out on the sidelines.)

And for those who watch on the sidelines, as someone else has indicated, we have a passion for seeing that only legitimate companies manufacture products for the aircraft industry. Safety is absolutely first priority, hand-in-hand with honesty. We watch and wonder! If Eclipse should “come through”, we, here in the high-tech manufacturing community in Albuquerque can only gain . . . yet we continue to “watch and wonder”.

The tone on this website has somewhat improved in the past few days. May it continue to be less confrontational, and more informative.

gadfly

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken wrote:

"The company explains that the simulators cannot be set up until there is precise performance information available upon which to program them."

Sounds like a typical Eclipse excuse for another shortcoming.

Was it such a low priority issue the company couldn't obtain this information from the "A" Model sometime during the last 12 months? The company claims to have the most advanced in-flight data collection system short of Boeing and NASA.

The sim could be in place with the "A" Model performance and later new software reloaded with "B" Model performance.

This would sure be preferable to putting transitioning pilots into a very intimidating 757 sim just to get some "glass" experience.

Keep in mind, by "later this year", Eclipse expected to have hundreds of airplanes ( "A" Models)in service with probably an equal number of mentors. Is not having a sim in place to support the first hundred or so deliveries good planning?

Ken, regret the oversight, but forgot to include you in my query to eb and eo387 as to whether you know or have asked if the company has product liability insurance or will just self-insure?

Planet eX said...

A prudent airframe manufacturer has the simulator build and aircraft flight tests in concert with each other. This allows both the simulator and aircraft to come on-line/be delivered at roughly the same time. I've seen this done by Flight Safety more than a few times...they have the simulator ready roughly the same time that the manufacturer starts customers deliveries.

For example, FSI is supposed to have both Mustang simulators ready for training second quarter 2007.

Most of the work on a simulator can be done without the aircraft data. The tricky part is integrating the flight test information into the computers that control the simulator.

EclipseBlogger said...

Stan said... This would sure be preferable to putting transitioning pilots into a very intimidating 757 sim just to get some "glass" experience.

First, it's was a 767. Second, the 767 sim had a conventional 6-pack and was used just for the flight skills assessment. There was no plan to instruct at United in a 7X7 sim at any time.

Stan said... Ken, regret the oversight, but forgot to include you in my query to eb and eo387 as to whether you know or have asked if the company has product liability insurance or will just self-insure?

Although I have never asked Eclipse for the CoI, I know that they do carry product liability insurance. Frankly, I can't believe that you would ask such a question, or suggest that they would self-insure.

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"by "later this year", Eclipse expected to have hundreds of airplanes ( "A" Models)in service"


Huh? That's not right either.

Ken

Jake Pliskin said...

come on now ken: even you can't deny vern saying (@NBAA 2006)eclipse has a working plan to deliver 525 a/c in 2007. lets see 1.4 per day would take 143 days to reach 200 a/c which is both "hundreds" and "later this year"

bambazonke said...

So Ken and EB, who is paying for the fuel whilst you guys swan around being trained in the wonder jet instead of the simulator?

As to your comments " Although I have never asked Eclipse for the CoI, I know that they do carry product liability insurance. Frankly, I can't believe that you would ask such a question, or suggest that they would self-insure. How do you KNOW that they have if you have never asked, is like all the other counter points you have attempted to answer, you just know???

Remember this is the company that had you waive your rights, rights that you now say are unenforceable, but I have news for you...

Why don't you ask KKA or Ken Mc what kind of liability insurance they have and who it is placed with so that we can check to see if this is another KKA yarn or the truth..

BTW the cracking problem on the wonder jet windshield is not similar to that on the KA-200 that the KKA supporters jumped in on. The windshield cracking on the wonder jet comes from the aft corner attach screws and cracks inwards, this is not a delamination or 'spider web craze' as reported in the other examples.

Ken Meyer said...

Jake wrote,
"lets see 1.4 per day would take 143 days to reach 200 a/c which is both "hundreds" and "later this year"


They're not A models as Stan wrote; that was incorrect.

Ken

Jake Pliskin said...

ken, glad you cleared that up. i just realized i didn't punctuate or capitalize my earlier statement which must render it invalid.

you know it would be great if maybe you could just include that tiny little snippet in your first post instead of this requiring 1 post by me to extract another post by you explaining your first post. it thoroughly annoys me

Gunner said...

Ken Meyer said:
They're not A models as Stan wrote; that was incorrect.

I'll give you one thing, Ken. Your a stickler for details.

So, tell us, how 'bout that Product Liability Insurance? Shouldn't be a trade secret. Besides, inquiring minds (and sticklers for detail) would want to know.
Gunner

EclipseBlogger said...

Bambazonke said... How do you KNOW that they have if you have never asked, is like all the other counter points you have attempted to answer, you just know???

That seems to be OK around here for anyone else's "facts". In this case, as in others, I do know. And, it's not from unsubstantiated rumors and anonymous sources.

Stan Blankenship said...

eb,

If you plan to be a billion dollar company and you set aside 5% on gross sales (excepting t-shirt revenues), that amounts to a $50 million per year war chest.

Given that a lawsuit take years to reach a courtroom and the company has the most stringent training program on the block, and that the owners have signed away rights to sue for negligence, these arrows in the Eclipse legal quiver could encourage out of court settlements.

I'm just trying to figure out why Eclipse would put language in a purchase contract that everyone here suspects is unenforceable.

Gunner said...

EB-
The rumors" that have broken on this Blog have been, for the most part, pretty spot on. I won't repeat the history of hits again.

But I really don't understand the uber-secret shroud of mystery on this issue of insurance. It's hardly trade secret stuff. An Eclipse spokesman, saying that insurance is in place, has about as much weight these days as 500 Aircraft in 2006 (which you've previously announced as Gospel). Why not simply tell us who they've insured with?

There really is no need for the acrimony.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Here is the number, Gunner:

505-241-8802

Why don't you just call them and ask them yourself if you're so interested what their insurance status is? :)

Ken

EclipseBlogger said...

Gunner said... But I really don't understand the uber-secret shroud of mystery on this issue of insurance. It's hardly trade secret stuff. An Eclipse spokesman, saying that insurance is in place

No shroud of mystery, no trade secret, not a spokesman for Eclipse. I'm not an Eclipse employee. I have no need for the CoI, at this time. I know it to be in place. Sorry if you don't like the "rumor" that I am spreading.

EclipseBlogger said...

Gunner said... But I really don't understand the uber-secret shroud of mystery on this issue of insurance. It's hardly trade secret stuff. An Eclipse spokesman, saying that insurance is in place

No shroud of mystery, no trade secret, not a spokesman for Eclipse. I'm not an Eclipse employee. I have no need for the CoI, at this time. I know it to be in place. Sorry if you don't like the "rumor" that I am spreading, since it doesn't meet with your agenda.

Gunner said...

Fair enough, EB. No agenda other than the truth on this end, as I've given Eclipse high marks where due.

Unfortunately, you're batting zero on your "rumors" while others here are batting close to 1000. I'll take your response for what it's worth.
Gunner

bambazonke said...

Ken and EB, who is paying for the fuel whilst you guy's train in your own plane as opposed to the Sim?

EclipseBlogger said...

bambazonke said... Ken and EB, who is paying for the fuel whilst you guy's train in your own plane as opposed to the Sim?

I guess we'll find out when they actually start training. Until that time, any answer I gave you today would probably be wrong.

Stan Blankenship said...

Haven't heard from our good friend eo387 for several days.

His last comment was Valentines Day when he said he was thinking about a name change, like to maybe eo061 or something earlier.

Gunner said...

Ditto, Stan. I miss EO's presence also. He may debate a point, tooth and nail, but at least he's rational rather than knee-jerk. Eclipse owes him a debt of gratitude.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Let me understand the principle . . . “Beatings will continue until morale improves” . . . OK, I think I’ve got it!

Eclipse Owner . . . where are you? Please come back so everyone can take a few more shots at you. It’s difficult to find “owners” that are willing to take a few hits . . . all in “sport”, mind you!

(The owners aren’t any fun . . . they rarely show themselves, even on their own website.)

Ken Meyer said...

Bambi-zonked-out wrote,
"Ken and EB, who is paying for the fuel whilst you guy's train in your own plane as opposed to the Sim? "


What makes you think we won't be doing training in the sim?

Ken

Planet eX said...

Training in one simulator? Consider the fact that it's near impossible to run a simulator 24/7. I haven't seen one yet that could stand that kind of workload - more likely 16 hours a day with time for maintenance. Just like an airplane, a simulator needs continuous maintenance to maintain certification (more so if it's a level D simulator).

I haven't seen a number yet to show how many hours a student will require in the simulator to gain the type rating so I can't guess how much usage they'll be able to get out of the simulators. One or two simulators won't support a supposed 500 aircraft per year aircraft production rate. Add in recurrent training (usually at six months to get an insurance rate break) and through-put drops.

Compare the number of model-specific simulators out there (FSI, SimuFlite) against the number of aircraft in use and you'll see what I mean.

Gunner said...

Planet X-
I don't know the amount of time required on the sim, either. Let's guess VERY conservatively at 10 hours.

Well, if you're cranking out 3 aircraft a day as we've been told, that works out to 30 hours of new flight training per 24 hour day.

Wrong, you say? Many of those planes are going to Air Taxi? Agreed, but Ar Taxi Operators are hardly buying aircraft to sit on the ground. They're buying them for pilots to fly so that they can make money. AND, they need to train two of them for every jet coming off the line.

This is the logic constant clash that confronts us: If you believe Eclipse's numbers, you can't possibly believe their operational viability. If you don't believe their numbers, you can't possibly believe their story.
Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

Hey gang,

Been on vacation with the family. To answer Gunner's question about the contract terms, I assumed another person's agreement so if I wanted the jet I had to take the terms already agreed to. I do know that when I negotiated directly with eclipse they showed zero flexibility in the deposit agreement. I gather eclipse was less bold in the earlier days but as the order book grew they adopted more of a take it or leave it attitude.

I did not swap my position for earlier. I am still eo387.

No knowledge on the product liability insurance front - so I can't help out there.

My 60% true up and option selection is coming up so that will need some attention soon. As I have said before, I do not agree that Eclipse should be asking for more money until they have the production certificate. I would have expected more information from Eclipse by now. The rumors are indeed troubling in this area.

Glad to be back...

bambazonke said...

Ken,

Fair question, for some reason I thought you had a low SN. If KKA get's his production line up and produces 1.4 planes a day, and you are a Platinum or Gold member, I would wager that you won't be flying the SIM.

So to be more precise then; How do you think the early position owners (I use the word early loosely)are going to feel about burning up hours on their planes, and using their fuel doing their transition training when they purchased SIM training in the contract? Word on the street is the EAC has told them that they (EAC)are not paying for the fuel.

If it makes you feel any better, I hear that Honda sent out their contracts today, position holders that were told that they would receive 2010 positions have 2012 as their delivery date in their contracts ;-(

Gunner said...

Welcome back EO. You were missed, kinda sorta. ;-)

Oops, my bad on the math earlier. 1.4 planes per day and 10 hours training comes out to only 14 hours of sim use, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

With all the claims coming out of Albuquerque, I get a bit confused! ;-)
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner wrote,
"Oops, my bad on the math earlier. 1.4 planes per day and 10 hours training comes out to only 14 hours of sim use, 7 days a week, 365 days per year."


Thanks for the correction, but even the original numbers work out okay when you realize that Opinicus will be making a fleet of simulators for Eclipse.

The company has leased thousands of square feet of space for their interim training facility at KABQ. The pilot training locker room has lockers for at least a dozen trainees at once. I think you'll find the company is prepared for the onslaught once they get the PC and switch to 7-day-a-week double-shifts on the production line.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Thanks much for the info. From Your Lips to God's Ear, as they say, but I'll take you at your word pending additional info to the contrary.

Funny thing just happened. Bamba dropped on us a "word from the street" bomb that perhaps the coolest jet in this market, Honda, just delayed their first order from 2010 to 2012. I read it and thought, "Wow that's worth watching".

So why is it, when "word on the street" is that Eclipse lost its deice vendor, had to ground its planes, was dealing with windshield cracking problems, won't get its PC when claimed or can't possibly train the number of owners they claim to be getting jets in '07, there's a chorus of "You're lying! You just hate Eclipse! That's not true and I know because, well, I know!"

Why is that?
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

OK, you guys want some fresh meat to chew on, this came in a couple of days ago from a former employee:

Straight from Vern's lips to the entire E-Org last November:

"Every month we go without certification and delivery is going to cost us $30M"...

Yep eb, the statement is unsupported, maybe it has merit, maybe it doesn't.

Planet eX said...

Ten hours sim time sounds low to me considering Eclipse is saying seven flights in an actual aircraft for their training program.

More like sixteen hours actual sim time per student.

Also...consider that Eclipse is claiming to have around 400 (I've seen 600) mentor pilots...more sim time for their type ratings...then there's the sim instructors, classroom instructors, exmainers...etc.

Finally, I've seen mention in Eclipse releases that there will be ultimately six simulators - that's a nice chunk of change considering a full motion simulator runs around $10 million (CAE charges around $30 million for a Boeing simulator).

If Eclipse was smart, they would have had at least two simulators ready to go by now - even if the engineering data was not complete - at least they could have had the pieces in place. Also, once a simulator is installed, a month or two before certification.

Ok...I've written enough.

bambazonke said...

Gunner,

Just to be correct, I probably wasn't clear enough, I was saying that people who ponied up their deposits saying they would get a position in 2010 are now being told they are much further down the food chain, ie 2012. This does not imply that the date of first delivery is delayed until 2012, Honda might have slid a bunch of open positions into the program to sell down stream when the market was 'hot'.

airtaximan said...

folks,

get real. A full motion simulator is a cost reduction tool. On a $1.5 million plane, most training should be done in the plane. It makes no sense to use a sim. They cost more than the plane to own and operate.

If e-clips is refering to other
than a full motion sim, there's no earthly reason there aren't a fleet of them already established. There's no data issue, really, and they do not cost a lot.

I agree some limited sim time could be useful for high risk manouvers...but get serious, this is a VLJ. USE THE FREAKNG PLANE. It does not have the op cost that a boeing does, so why pay the $10M-$30M pricetag....plus maintenance, plus the space, plus, plus....

It makes no sense.

Niner Zulu said...

Stan,
I heard from an employee at the factory that the cash burn rate was somewhat less than $30 million/month. But let's say it's $25 million/month. In dollar terms, the award of the Provisional Type Certificate at Oshkosh and Eclipse's announcement that airplane deliveries were "imminent" was somewhere between $175 million and $200 million dollars ago. I know Eclipse has deep pockets but holy cow that's a lot of money to try to earn back a few hundred thousand dollars at a time.

Stan Blankenship said...

9Z,

Turns out this blog has been rather moderate on the cash concerns.

Reports are, the extremist over on the owners forum are using terms like Chapter 11 which have never been uttered here.

It is no wonder ken, eb and eo387 hang out here, it is a more comforting site.

Gunner said...

Stan-
I'd be hard pressed to believe the company will see Chapter 11. Even if it were in immediate financial trouble, if the investors and the Board really have their eye on things (and are getting honest financial), it would seem more likely to sell than go bankruptcy. After all, they ARE sitting on a Certified design. Assuming there is a buyer for that design, that is.

If push comes to shove, the unfortunate part is that the Depositors are completely unsecured. They go to the back of the line, even behind vendors in most cases. The investors? Guaranteed their investment is secured debt with conversion rights. They'll get the first dollars in from a courthouse sale (most likely ALL the dollars in).

The concern that I'd have is a panic run on deposits, should Eclipse suffer one more default event. If we take them at their word of 2500 orders and assume, on average for individuals, $100K per deposit: 1,000 refunds = $100 million. (No deposit positions would not let their position go.) That would be pretty devastating, I think.

Gunner

Green-or-Red said...

I think the burn rate is closer to $5-6 mil/month. The balance was lost revenue from not making deliveries

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"the extremist over on the owners forum are using terms like Chapter 11 which have never been uttered here.

It is no wonder ken, eb and eo387 hang out here, it is a more comforting site."


Makes a good joke, but it shows how springloaded you are to knock the company. You've misinterpreted the context--nobody has suggested Chapter 11 is likely for this company.

Which brings up an interesting point. Just why are you so springloaded against the company?

How about some full disclosure: What did they do to you, Stan?

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken Meyer said:
"You've misinterpreted the context"

Absent your providing "context", Ken, it would appear from your comment that Stan is not far off the mark. There IS talk of meltdown on the Owner's Site in one "context" or another, huh?

Personally, I don't think they need to worry too much about that just now. But, then, they're getting full transparency.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Chapter 11 is not in the cards for two years, unless:
1- there are certification or production issues we do not know pf that will prevent the delivery of aircraft any time soon (even a few months is OK)
2- depositors begin to demand their money back (if they even can, at this point)

Vern (even without a CFO - has the guy been replaced yet, its been a while, no?) can go get more cash. They have an order book that will keep them busy for a while (even without the air taxi market), and someone will take this risk as an expensive investor.

In two years, when they have no sales and the production rate is 50 planes a year (no more air taxi market to bolster claims of low cost-high rate) they are toast.

Also, I cannot imagine $30 million a month burn at Eclipse, unless it includes a huge amount of inventory for expected production lot of inventory to make planes.

Stan Blankenship said...

ken,

The blog started last April to expose aspects of the Eclipse program that were not true.

Since April, the untruths continue, the blog continues.

Regarding Chapter 11, here is what was on the owners forum. BTW, there was one comment in between the two listed below from a Shari Meyer (any relation?) who was moaning about the cost of training the second pilot.

Here are "fair use" comments from the board, and I guess we can assume the David Crowe posting one of the comments is in fact the one and only Eclipse owner:

davidcrowe
Re: Warranty vs. JetComplete
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2007, 12:26:46 PM »

My bet is the previously advertised pricing for Jet Complete will not be maintained, it will rise. We were not able to buy Jet Complete on Jan 4 because of Eclipse' unwillingness to honor the advertised price. Instead, we bought JC for Business, which, at $ 199/hour they did honor.

Ron, you've turned into an optimist. Only a 5 month delay?
I am now pretty happy to not be an Eclipse investor, after Chapter 11 proceedings, (not that I'm predicting that) those stock interests would be worth zip,zero, nada. The good thing would be that a buyer would only have to deal with the secured debt and so the balance sheet could look pretty good. Guess this is my way of rationalizing the continued existence of an Eclipse jet program.

At this point, Eclipse will probably need more operating cash and securing that may well cause considerable dilution of shareholder interests anyway.

Ron Lebel
Re: Warranty vs. JetComplete
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2007, 04:16:37 PM »

I did not say they are about to run out of cash - they might be but I have no idea. My point was that their planning, at least as publicly stated, when they got their last cash infusion was that planes would start being delivered in October. So at some time the $50M or so extra overhead has to be paid (unless chapter 11 intervenes). After all, they may have cash due to collecting deposits but they do have to deliver those planes, and pay for the parts and salaries that are used making those planes. Right now I'd guess they aren't making many planes to further back up the line so the overhead $$$ are flowing out without generating any value.

airtaximan said...

SB,

I can't imagine the last line being true:
"Right now I'd guess they aren't making many planes to further back up the line so the overhead $$$ are flowing out without generating any value."

If thisis the case, the have no business to ask for additional 60% payments. If they have stopped building planes, what's the money being used for? Once again, I'm NOT suggesting what this customer says is in fact true. But if it is true, its a sad day in ABQ and the end is near.
I doubt it.

Gunner said...

That be a bit of a bombshell, Stan. Looks like some of the Owners are more down on Eclipse than most of the Bloggers here. Also looks like Ken was the one taking stuff "out of context".

AT-
It makes sense to me. They need to get the FAA to individually certify every plane coming off the line at a time when they still have not received approval for fixes of prior design issues.

It's an assembly line. If the line has to be held at any point, the entire line must stop sooner or later.
Gunner

EclipseBlogger said...

It can't be too bad in ABQ. Check this out:

http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/57304.html

If money were all that tight, they would probably have delayed the start of the new building.

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"The blog started last April to expose aspects of the Eclipse program that were not true.

Since April, the untruths continue, the blog continues."


Well, I appreciate that, and your blog does offer some interesting information from time to time.

However, you still haven't answered the question--What did Eclipse do to you personally that set you off on this mission to bash them?

Ken

airtaximan said...

EB,

I guess the concept of construction financing is foreign to you. This has nothing to do with the financial health of E-clips....only the finacial stupididty fo the guys lending the oney for the building.

HAHAHAH!

I still cannot believe they would be going belly-up any time soon. I cannot believe they could stop the production line, and still take deposits...but hey...I'm just one airtaximan!

Blow on!

Gunner said...

EB-
Nothing in there tht says they "started it". It says they "plan". I "plan" to own my own small island nation and a G3 to take me there and back. ;-)

Seriously, I doubt the company is in any immediate financial trouble. But the delays certainly can't be helping their investor forecast. Unless sales and deposits suddenly jump by a few hundred, breakeven gets pushed further back and losses continue further out. Simple as that.

Compare that to the other startup, Adam. More conservative in their approach and forecasts, they already have substantive cash flow from A500 sales.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken:

I'm sure E-clips id nothing to stan, except insult his intelligence, integrity, love of general aviation, and care for safety.

Your question is designed to make a reader think that anyone who critics E-clips has an axe to grind.

NOT SO.

let the buyers remorse set in...and move along.

You'll be a much happier, safer and more satisfied GA customer with another plane.

gadfly said...

Here’s some useful data that apply to those of us in high-tech manufacturing:

For every employee, whether engineer, or machinist, or secretary, or janitor, the average output of the company must be between $150K to $250K per year per person (these are somewhat old data). For a company of ten employees, that means a conservative gross product of $2million. For 100 people, the product must be about $20million. For 1,000 people (Eclipse, for instance), the gross product must be $200million per year.

This does not include parts that are “outsourced”, nor does it include retiring debt, nor does it include the purchase of capital equipment, etc., . . . just enough to more or less break even plus a small profit of a few percent (usually less than ten). So a very rough estimate for say, 1,000 employees, Eclipse should be producing, and selling, at least $16.7million per month of just what is produced in Albuquerque.

The number, “$30 million” per month is not an unreasonable number, no matter how you slice it. It might even be low. This is a number that any of us would have “guessed”, simply by learning the number of employees, and reading that things like “wings” (Fuji), and various other assemblies are “outsourced”. If no one is buying the product at the moment, that is probably a very realistic number that the company must get from “somewhere”.

gadfly

Ken Meyer said...

Airtaximan wrote,
"You'll be a much happier, safer and more satisfied GA customer with another plane."


Which one?

Before settling in on an Eclipse I carefully looked at the A700, Mustang, TBM700, Meridian, and King Air. The Eclipse offers a feature set that is untouchable by any of those.

Take the Mustang, for instance. It is roughly 50% more in many categories--empty weight, gross weight, and fuel capacity. Alas, it is also 50% more in upfront cost (higher than that actually), fuel burn, and ongoing expense. But it doesn't offer 50% more where you'd like it--payload, range, speed. In fact its full-fuel payload is only about 100 lbs more, and its speed is a couple dozen knots less than the Eclipse.

Or the TBM--great plane at $1.5mil, but at $2.8mil it is not much of a value.

So which other plane do you think I'd be happier with that offers the feature set of the Eclipse at anything approaching the price of the Eclipse?

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
All kidding aside, you are the perfect candidate for the Eclipse, IF it meets its performance promise and proves safe and reliable. You fly a couple times a week, invariably with a copilot with commercial rating. Your flights are under 600 nm, for the most part.

So, yes, for you the Eclipse may make some real sense (as it did for me). The cost will compare favorably with a C-340. But what you continue to overlook are the very big IF's that are required to make the definitive statement that the Eclipse is best in class.

I'm not arguing that you should give up that 2008 delivery of the Eclipse, as this is purely an investment decision just now. But, for personal travel, if the Eclipse "IF's" don't play out, the Adam or Mustang may be a more realistic goal.

I'm interested in why you wrote off Adam? If it's only because the Mustang is so close to the same price, I can accept that. Was there anything else that put you off about it?
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken:

You said:

"So which other plane do you think I'd be happier with that offers the feature set of the Eclipse at anything approaching the price of the Eclipse?"

Nothing will provide you the features Vern has promised at the price he is now up to (forget the promised price)...NOTHING, not even the E-clips.

After carefully examining the alternatives, did you come up for a reason for the $1.5 million eclipse price?

- Less material used? (that woill not get you there)
- lower systems cost due to a breakthrough in technology? (Sorry Ken...this is not the case either)
-reduced development and certification cost due to computer aided design and other program/business management techniques? Nope...$1 billion or so up front costs for design, development, advertising and promotion etc...does not a cheap jet make
Perhaps reduced management salaries? nope...

So where is the savings, Kenny-boy?

Promised high rate? Related cost-plus based on high rate and unrealistic ammortised development cost? Heroin?

Remove needle...seek professional help

Ken Meyer said...

Airtaximan wrote,
"Kenny-boy...
seek professional help"


Just when I thought we were about to have an intelligent discussion of an interesting topic, it appears you couldn't hold back your true colors.

You're back on the ignore list.

Ken

airtaximan said...

OH NNNOOO!

Please do not ignore me. Please.

Ken, my opinion after reading your tireless posts which IGNORE the questions and IGNORE the facts, is simply...well lets just say, you are showing your true colors when you say you are going to IGNORE something.

Chow

unsafe@anyspeed said...

Whew, I finally caught back up. You guys are busy, what do you do just sit around hitting the refresh on your browser. I want to address an event on this blog that went by with very little comment.

STAN GAVE MONEY TO ECLIPSE!!!!!!!!!

Stan, does this mean Vern has your credit card number. NOOOOOOOOOO!!

Maybe this is a new revenue source for Vern. Anyway I can't wait to hear the raw numbers from the AFM.
Will you get a free update for the B model?

Are you planning anything for the first anniversary of the blog?

Lloyd said...

Back to the original start of this line. Mentoring.... Eclipse #1 was insured for a cost of 23,000 with 10 mil of liability. Willis wrote the policy. Show me another new airplane able to insure with this cost and liability.

skyrebel said...

I got this from AOPA forum
Vern on CNBC.


"I was channel surfing and a discussion on CNBC about airlines at 8:15pm EST caught my eye. The first segment had a group, including GA's bestest friend Mary Schiavo, discussing the future of the airlines. Being on CNBC it was mostly about how the airlines and their stocks will fare.

The second segment featured Vern Raburn discussing the impact of VLJs with a couple of 'aviation industry experts', in other words, totally clueless talking heads. Mr. Raburn obviously wanted to make the case for VLJs and the air taxi business, but had to deal with some really ignorant questions and the damn file tape they kept playing in the side pane of a HONDA JET taking off and landing over and over and over DOH!!.

My favorite question was one of the experts who asked Vern, (paraphrasing) 'So I understand your microjet is about $1.5M, when you get this thing up and running I expect you'll be able to drop that price to say $800,000.' Vern's only response was 'Well, then we'd be the first company in history to drop the price of an aircraft'. What followed was what can only be described as an awkward silence with the persistent video of a Honda Jet in the background.

I can only imagine what he was thinking after the tape stopped rolling. After all, you'd never see the CEO of Boeing talking about the 787 with tape of an Airbus playing in the background. Talk about no respect"

Did anyone see Vern Raburn on CNBC tonight?

bill e. goat said...

Lloyd,
Regarding insurance on Eclipse #1, does that refer to the #1 of 2002, or 2004, or 2006? And is it product liability (e.g., the operator and passengers sueing Eclipse), or those on the ground suing the aircraft owner or operator?
Thanks.

bambazonke said...

Lloyd,

I am not sure of the point in your post, which of the following are you implying;

1. There are no $1.5 million planes out there that can get insured for $23k with 10m premium inclusive at that price? I would wager a lunch that this is not even possible on the wonder jet. There is no way that this plane is getting insured with a transitioning 65 yr old pilot for $23k inclusive of the $10m. Maybe hull only, but not the TPLL. BTW, it would be interesting to see the requirements under the first policy for OPW and David Crowe getting a sign off..What kind of deductible got this rate?

2. Even if this was so, are you implying that all the wonder jets are getting this kind of rate? If you read the EOS you will see quotes upward of $40k.

3. With the amount of time the EAC-1 has been on the ground lately, is this a ground risks only quote?

Check the numbers that you have been quoted, I think that you will find you jumped the gun on this one matey..

flyforfun said...

On the subject of training, a friend inquired to Eclipse about the progress of the mentor program and who would he use for training in his a/c when he received it this summer.(Quit laughing) They told him there would be four mentor pilots trained for Texas and the closest for him would be Dallas. We live about 230 miles from Dallas. He asked about training a local pilot who is currently typed in two jets and meets the hours for Eclipse. They said they were not excepting any new mentor pilots and he would have to agree if excepted to flying at least 15 hours per week and fly with any other Eclipse pilots who request his services. He could not do that as he has a semi full time flying job and was only offering to help out my friend in his off hours with training. Seems like the only way around it is to send this pilot up as the "owner pilot" when the time comes and have the owner not go through training at Eclipse and receive his training from his pilot and upon receiving a bunch of hours and becoming proficient, then enter the Eclipse program and hope they don't assign him to a mentor pilot. What a crappy way to do business. He is not impressed.

airtaximan said...

Skyrebel,


Didn't Raytheon just lower the price of the Baron and Bonanza 20% or so?

Stan Blankenship said...

unsafe,

Yes, Vern has my credit card but I typed in a wrong addess resulting in Customer Care rejecting the transaction.

Ultimately decided, I did not even want to look at this preliminary data on what amounts to de facto certification on the "A" model.

While it is true the company can deliver "A" models, the customers will be paying for "B" model performance and capabilities.

Any thing we say about today's airplane will be met by a chorus from ken and eb singing just wait for the "B" certification. To protect their voices, I'll just wait for "B" certification and re-order a copy.

And "wait" is a familiar term with Eclipse:

Just wait til we get the PC.

Just wait til we get FIKI.

Just wait til we get the "B" cert.

Just wait til Avidyne gets their act together.

Just wait til we get our windows fixed.

Just wait til we get our sim(s).

Just wait til we get production up to 1.4 units per day.

Just wait til we issue our IPO.

Just wait til they run out of money.

mirage00 said...

Stan, did Ken hit a nerve? You do have something against Eclipse and it’s very obvious to the readers. Please stop pretending to be doing the world a "public service" by exposing them. It's so transparent.

Stan Blankenship said...

mirage,

I'll tell you a funny story at least it makes me laugh when I think about it.

It was around Thanksgiving when I walked in a local sheet metal shop that I support with tooling.

The president spotted me, came up all excited, threw his arm around me and said "Brother, I'm going to make you a rich man!"

Seems he had been visited by an Eclipse senior buyer who had pumped him full of the usual Eclipse BS. The guy was looking for a supplier for a sizable package of sheet metal parts. I told him I wouldn't touch the Eclipse for any amount of money and I won't.

Years ago, we built some Eclipse tools for Southern Stretch in Denton, Texas. Got paid, no regrets though looking at their drawings (actually electronic part models) provided some insight into the Eclipse design practices.

We have more work than we can handle, just finished a nice package on the 777, in the past 3 years, have won performance awards from 2 out of the 3 biggest general aviation manufacturers, have been involved for a couple of years in a new program that is yet to be announced.

We are in our second year in a new building and looking to expand through additional capital expenditures. Old enough to retire, having too much fun to even think about it.

As to the motivation for the blog, explained that before.

Gustaf said...

In the meantime, maybe Vern can make an appeal to Microsoft and make use of the new Flight Simulator X. Maybe they can lay the groundwork to include the Eclipse 500 in a future release of their simulator/game.

Planet eX said...

From a three-year old Avweb article I'm seeing the following insurance numbers for an Eclipse:

Relatively inexperienced pilot - $42k (1.175 mill hull/1 mill liability).

1,000 hour pilot - $37k (same hull/same liability) or $44k with 5 mill liability.

High-time pilot - $27k or $36k with 10 mill liability.

Lloyd said...

B-E Goat

The insurance I quoted is for David Crows aircraft, serial number 1.

I guess you guy's don't get it, and the whole point of my post. The insurance companies were willing to offer discounted rates (especially for a new and unproven airplane) due to the Eclipse program and the Mentoring. Is it worth it for the extra hastle and time? Is Eclipse setting a standard? We will see!!

Lloyd said...

I have to correct my original post of 23K for insurance. It was 28K. sorry for the error.

Lloyd

bill e. goat said...

Hi Lloyd,
Thanks for the info for everyone. Insurance does sound like quite a bargain. Probably predicated on the pretty elaborate Eclipse training program, and I would have to suppose, a favorable technical review by the insurance company (of both the airplane and training).
I think everyone on this blog has some reservations about Eclipse being able to staff up and equip-up for the training adventure, given the challenges they
ve had with schedules on the airframes.
I imagine the avionics functionality is pretty well finalized, enough to permit high fidelity modelling in the sims. But, I would think that the aero model would require testing with a finalized aircraft configuration (moments of interia, drag polars, etc) that might still be subject to change as flight test wraps up (um, pretty soon). Don't know how long all that takes to get squared away, probably not long, I suppose just tweak some coefficients in the sim software, but it might take Eclipse some more flying to establish these values.
BTW, I've seen some references to motion-based simulators, I would think that would be unnecessary for a biz jet, particularly as Eclipse was going to use some ex-eastern-bloc military trainers for unusual attitude stuff, at one time anyway- does anyone know if that materialized?
Thanks.

Niner Zulu said...

WHOA..fire sale on Eclipses! Now there are 38 listed for sale on Controller.

Now add to that number the ones for sale in the Eclipse forum, plus a guesstimate for the number of deposit holders whom I believe are on the fence or just haven't acted yet (I know of 2), and I'll bet the realistic number is easily double that.

In particular, the following ad at controller.com caught my eye, because it is one of the planes Mike Press is representing:

Sterling POSITION--SERIAL NUMBER 999--late 2008 DELIVERY (realistic)
PRICED AT $200,000 BELOW FACTORY PRICE.
$1.375M BASE PRICE (WITH CPI and Premium INCLUDED).
List price $1,045,000 in year 2000 dollars
Delivery price: $1,275,000 in late 2008 dollars
Premium to seller only $100,000
Seller has $150,000 deposit on the position.
Total price to purchase $250K ($100K premium plus $150K deposit which is transferred with position)

Hey Ken, is that your plane for sale? Just kidding :-). But seriously, if you do decide to bail I hope you will let us know. I did, and I think a lot of others here did too.

Planet eX said...

The two simulators in build are full motion level D's and there are supposedly fixed based procedure trainers also in build.

Almost all corporate jet simulators that I know about are full motion level C or level D units.

Stan Blankenship said...

It is my intent to provide a high level of credibility for this blog.

Now who is going to believe me if I report that Eclipse is calling for progress payments on deliveries through unit 400?

EO387, tell me this isn't true!

Ken Meyer said...

Bill e goat wrote,
" I would think that would be unnecessary for a biz jet, particularly as Eclipse was going to use some ex-eastern-bloc military trainers for unusual attitude stuff, at one time anyway- does anyone know if that materialized?"


It did indeed, and it's a heckuva lot of fun to fly. It is the Aero Vodochody L-39 jet trainer. There is a two-day course that includes some basic jet aerobatics (wingover, aileron & barrel rolls, Cuban-8, inverted flight, etc) combined with practice recovering from bizarre attitudes (like maybe a 150 deg roll combined with 60 deg pitch up).

You can read about the plane here.

It was very educational and a blast, too. Like the mentoring program, it's an example that Eclipse is going the extra mile to make sure its pilots are properly trained.

Ken

EclipseOwner387 said...

Stan,

I cannot attest up to 400 but it would be a good assumption since I have been notified that my 60% true up is due mid-march. As I said before, this is not appropriate without PC or true volume deliveries and I expect that Eclipse will get some serious backlash from this next traunch of depositors. It is not credible for Eclipse to believe they can deliver on schedule with the continued delays - even with a 30 day grace period.

cherokee driver said...

EO
Wow! It is hard to believe they have the stones to ask and believe anyone will pay. They wouldn't ask 400 customers to finance the first 40 aircraft if they weren't hurting for money. Those 40 airplane deliveries won't bail them out either. If you really want an Eclipse, don't pay. After bankruptcy, someone else will build it and you'll save yourself some money. No sense prolonging the inevitable with any more unsecured customer financing.

gadfly said...

Depending on “60 %” of “what”, that can be anywhere between 60% of $900,000 and $1,500,000 . . . so take the low figure which is about $540,000 minus $150,000 down payment equals, what?, $390,000? per “customer” times 400 equals $156 million. If the numbers are correct that Eclipse is bleeding red ink at the rate of “$30 million per month” (which we have shown to be a most reasonable number), they’ll make it to “Oshkosh” (maybe) before “Uncle Bill” needs to cough up some more “Windows Vista” bucks to keep the thing afloat. I had a rich uncle once . . . but he died, I could have done so much with his money, given the opportunity . . . but that’s another story.

‘Reminds me of a joke . . . I won’t repeat it but it has to do with a new cross-breed of fish that will not only survive, but put up a good fight . . . if they can only teach the thing to swim.

No matter what any of you think, this little plane is “photogenic”, as it taxies out to the end of the runway for takeoff! And it does fly . . . just you wait and see!

gadfly

airtaximan said...

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/local/sfl-zdayjet22feb22,0,4859089.story?coll=sfla-business-front

HELP! My planned air taxi business is bleeding becasue I relied on VERN's promises, and I've been paying my employees since 2002...

..without a plane.

I've announced service start dates 4 times already...I keep delaying and delaying - this aint no way to run an airline! I mean Dayline...I mean Dayport...I mean Dayjet...whatever.

It's really all about my computer system, right?

Telling...

gadfly said...

Mr. Taximan

‘Strange you should mention “computer system”!

Some of us “locals” in Albuquerque figure that the present subject is an attempt at “revenge” for the time when the local bankers rejected a young man for a loan, because he had something to sell (something to do with a new fangled thing called a “computer”), that didn’t have horns and go “Moo”, or was not made out of adobe bricks. (He left, and went off to Seattle or somewhere out west . . . never heard from him again, ‘til recently!)

‘Seems that you and “Vern” share a common thing . . . bleeding red ink!

gadfly

airtaximan said...

gadfly,

to be clear, I have nothing to do with Dayjet

luckily

bill e. goat said...

Thanks to Planet ex for sim info- sounds pretty uptown.
Thanks to Ken for the link to the L-39 info- what a hoot to fly one of those!
I can sympathize with Cherokee driver, but if Eclipse hasn't run out of money yet , then I can only conclude their well is never going to run dry. I'm glad, for everyone involved, but the corporate finances are, um, interesting.

gadfly said...

'Taximan

'Glad to hear it.

And I don't have anything to do with the "little jet" . . . but it has much (?) to do with the local economy, and credibility of our local industry.

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

"DayJet is counting on the reliability and efficiency of a new plane, the Eclipse 500, being built by Eclipse Aviation of Albuquerque, N.M. The manufacturer has delivered one plane to another customer and had 37 more in production at year's end. Deliveries are being held up until the FAA issues an airworthiness certificate for the aircraft type."

"We're not promising any delivery dates at this point," Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom said. "We have just over 2,500 deposits for aircraft -- a lot of people are anxious to get them."

Now if those two paragraphs don't say loads - nothing will.

Counting on reliability and efficiency - ooooops, sorry Ed, better luck next time.

Not promising any delivery dates, but have asked the first 400 position holders to pony up their progress payments. That is 16% of the entire claimed order book for anyone keeping score. I wonder what it is compared to the actual total number of hard orders.

Must really need that $200M to keep the boat a floatin'.

FWIW, I like my popcorn with butter, the show is about to get very interesting.

How long until the last peg in the trio of technologies that make this 'breakthrough' wonderjet possible joins the 'revolutionary' EJ-22 on the ash heap of history?

Vern has already tossed this major supplier under the bus in public - if history is any guide, the execution is not that far behind.

bambazonke said...

CWMOR,

I read this article and the following thoughts came across my mind. If Day Jet was for real, it seems to me that they would have been more prepared than the article demonstrates, they are talking about moving to new buildings, finding pilots, finding clients etc, all events in the future. This leads me to conclude one of the two following scenarios;

1. KKA told them sometime back that this project is a long ways to becoming reality so there is no rush.
2. They have realized that their business model will not work, so they are not pressing ahead with the program, this is why they have not trained pilots, recruited their client base and moved into their building.

In either scenario, if the opposite view held true, they would have a much higher presence with their marketing in Florida, they would have the act together with their staffing and location and would be ready to go. The capital investment that they would allegedly have in the wonder jets that would supposedly have been popping off the friction stir fry conveyor belts would have been eating their lunch if they would not ready to put them to work.

I would not be surprised if they are deep sixing this program and have some deal with KKA to keep quiet about this so he can keep his investors happy and place the vacant positions in retail hands.

bambazonke said...

Getting back the market and trading prices, I was informed today by the purchaser of a position in the low 300 serial number range that he purchased the position for $1,4m INCLUSIVE of the CPI.

Maybe EO387 can tell us what the approximate CPI value would be on this position, I would guess about $260k, so in effect this plane sold for $1,14k. This is well below the number that EAC is DEMANDING for their positions, with their onerous contract...The future looks bleaker by the day...

EclipseBlogger said...

Bambazonke said... 1. KKA told them sometime back that this project is a long ways to becoming reality so there is no rush.

I would expect that Eclipse has kept DayJet up to date with the progress of production and delivery.

Bambazonke said... 2. They have realized that their business model will not work, so they are not pressing ahead with the program, this is why they have not trained pilots, recruited their client base and moved into their building.

You are really unbelievable. DayJet is hiring airline and military pilots that have plenty of turbine time. Without flyable aircraft, what training would you have them perform - ground school? Reports have stated that 30 pilots have been selected from the 3000 resumes, and building are being constructed. Would you have them move into the new headquarters before the construction is completed? As far as client base, I don't think you are in any position to know anything about that.

Bambazonke said... I was informed today by the purchaser of a position in the low 300 serial number range that he purchased the position for $1,4m INCLUSIVE of the CPI.

Now that's a really lame statement. How do you buy a position with CPI included, if the final CPI adjusted price cannot be calculated until delivery of the aircraft? You really have no idea of what you are talking about, do you.

airtaximan said...

EB,

you sated:
"I would expect that Eclipse has kept DayJet up to date with the progress of production and delivery."

Why then has dayjet already invited the press to the rollout of the Eclipse plane almost a year ago? It never happend, and they replaced the rollout with announcing a "contest"?

Since then, they have made press releases and reported to the press that they were beginning service in Novemer (2006, to be clear) and then March 2007, followed by the new delay? If Vern is in fact keeping them in the loop as you suggest, there's a heap of collusion going on. I personally do not think this is the case.

i think Vern's being as dishonest with them, as with therest of the world. It's created a lot of problems for Dayjet.

The argument about building the space is incorrect - they have not signed a lease yet, and they are planning to move to the FAU campus - a University.

Regarding training, you are correct, for sure. There's nothing to train on... and why waste MORE oney hiring pilots and waiting for a lane that, well, might not come?My only curiosity regarding this is, the promised timeline? If Dayjet knows they should be waiting to hire pilots, why are they continuing to promise to begin service? Why don't they wait for their planes...then announce, then train (a delay) then taxi-away?

What gives? It seems like a "service" oriented business where passengers will have to trust that they will infact be picked up and not left stranded somewhere, would be more prudent with their PR? No? Why expose yourself as "unreliable" or "full of delays" even before you are off the ground?

Amateur hour stuff.

bambazonke said...

EB,

I want to reply to you respectfully, although you don't deserve it...

You may be correct that KKA kept Day Jet informed, if he did, these are the only people he has kept informed on the lack of progress on the certification on the wonder jet. This makes scenario #1 the possible logical scenario. IF you accept this as the situation, don't you think it is a little dishonest of him not to have kept the rest of the position holders up to date with the same reports, there are many position holders that are day to day wondering what is going on, others, beyond the 400 serial number mark are being asked to pony up the 'working capital' for Eclipse. Do you think that this is an honest situation. On this subject, do you think that Day Jet has ponied up the 20-60 deposits (assuming that they have this number of aircraft) on the wonder jets, or are they getting special treatment? If they were paying these deposits, then they would certainly be further along in the development of their business plan than they are, because they would rightfully be thinking their aircraft are being delivered any day now, like so many others who sent in their deposits over 6 months ago.

If you reject any of the above then quite logically scenario #2 is feasible, because if KKA has not been keeping them up to date, remember that we have been hearing from KKA since last July that the roll out of these wonder jets is imminent, if Day Jet had been aware of this, and they intended to go ahead with their business model they would have been extremely unprepared. It is not reasonable to think that they would have any chance of economic success if they were only going to hire the pilots which is how the article describes their intentions, when the plane was ready. Then train the said pilots, who as you say are these very experienced individuals, remember their model is 2 per plane, then go and find a building, then go and start looking for clients. This model would fail...Now if KKA is telling them that the bird is a long way from getting it's wings why has he been lying to the rest of us.

On the last item, the sale of the wonder jet in the low 300 serial number group, your comprehension of the vernacular and how things work is exemplified every time you engage your keyboard before your brain. Could it not be feasible that the seller and the buyer have agreed to fix the price at $1.4m with the seller picking up whatever the CPI is because he is so desperate to sell? The seller might view this as a risky business, if he gets out whole or for what ever the over run is on the CPI, he like many others, might think that he got out ahead of the game.

Your posts would have much better legs and make much better sense if you thought about them a little bit before you just launched off with your narrow minded responses.

EclipseOwner387 said...

BZ,

Assmuming a $995K original price with a 2.5% CPI-W for 2007 and a December 2007 delvery, the inflation amount would be about $189K. As EB said though, we cannot really know the exact amount until firm delivery date and CPI-W are known. This is only a reasonable estimate and I am sure that is what the buyer was using to determine the effective price. Under these assumptions the seller made roughly $216K. I paid a seller $245K back in the summer of 2006 for position 387. I figured at the ime I had bought for about $1.4 million as well (using July 2007 delivery at the time.)

EclipseBlogger said...

bambazonke said... when the plane was ready. Then train the said pilots, who as you say are these very experienced individuals, remember their model is 2 per plane, then go and find a building, then go and start looking for clients.

I don't know for sure, but I would assume that the pilots are either hired or have a commitment to be hired based on aircraft delivery. DayJet has been approved by the city of Gainesville and are in the process of renovating the facility.

bambazonke said... Could it not be feasible that the seller and the buyer have agreed to fix the price at $1.4m with the seller picking up whatever the CPI is because he is so desperate to sell?

That's certainly possible, but why would anyone do that. Even a desperate seller wouldn't want to stay attached to the position for a few percent.

bambazonke said... Your posts would have much better legs and make much better sense if you thought about them a little bit before you just launched off with your narrow minded responses.

Everyone here has a pretty narrow minded point of view, save a few. You are not one to point fingers.

Green-or-Red said...

Did anyone see the ABQ Journal on Wednesday....

Eclipse officially handed over ownership of its first production aircraft to a group of owners in late December, though it is leasing the plane back for marketing purposes. The company currently has 54 aircraft in production.

Stan Blankenship said...

For what it's worth, the FAA registry is still showing Eclipse serial 002, 006 and 007 with Delta Juliet tail numbers (dayjet ?). This has not changed for several months.

Thus far, the FAA is showing 28 "N" numbers assigned to specific Eclipse serial numbers. The highest serials assigned were 089 and 093.

The lowest unassigned serial numbers are 009, 011, 013, 015, 020 and the next five.

Out of the first 45 delivery positions, 21 do not have "N" numbers showing in the FAA data base.

gadfly said...

It's interesting to watch you people argue back and forth about the "little jet". Yes, it actually flies, now and then . . . sorta’!

The problem, from my viewpoint on the sidelines, is that this aircraft has been produced with the philosophy of "throw enough money at a problem", accuse others of failure to produce, and "voila" . . . all problems solved! Obvious questions: How much money is available, how many more targets of accusation, and who is doing the "throwing"?

‘Interesting thing about “targets” . . . sooner or later they get tired of standing in the center of those “concentric red circles”.

Some of the latest comments have been about "Day Jet". Well, look up their website: http://www.dayjet.com . . . and study it thoroughly. A person "just landing from Mars" at Orlando, would believe that they could pick up a phone, today, and fly from point-to-point, anywhere in Florida, on the Eclipse 500, right now. Of course, they should read the fine print, to see that it will be sometime in the future. Take your time . . . browse their website . . . notice almost sixty available airports for your traveling convenience. Notice their "founding staff" (I counted about twenty-five people in the picture). And don't miss all the exterior, and interior views of luxurious traveling comfort of this photogenic means of travel.

For you folks that have gone through the early (and present) development of computer programs, 'Is this what we used to call "vaporware"?' When we buy software it is packaged in a large glossy box, with all the "hype" printed on the outer shell. Inside, is a CD or two, with some "legal" printouts, a "security chip", and maybe a small booklet. (Please, Eclipse!, don’t set up an answering service in Bombay.) Why is it that when I look at the little jet, and read the specs as if they are facts, I sense the same sort of "hype". Could there possibly be a connection between this little plane, and computer software packaging? Who would have guessed that there was a connection!

'Nice thing about "software", the worst that it can do is cause a computer to crash . . . and I might have to re-format some hard drives, and reload everything, and find that the software didn’t wipe out one last backup hard-drive, and in time, we could recover all of our hundreds (actually, thousands) of engineering files and CAD/CAM programs. 'Been there, done that . . . on a very large and expensive HP-UX system . . . but I lived to complain about it (and move to "PC's" and Dell). (We donated the HP system to New Mexico State University, and took the write-off.)

We will all admit that the little jet has some beautiful paint jobs. Only a very few will understand what is missing in the design . . . the "updates" for later versions of the software, and, oh yeh, the "hardware".

Much of the conflict of "facts" can be put to rest by a simple "Google Search", but granted, it's not nearly as emotional and “fun” as a good "name-calling" argument.

'at your service,

gadfly.

airtaximan said...

EB,

you say:
"DayJet has been approved by the city of Gainesville and are in the process of renovating the facility"

What City approval is required to run part 135 from an airport?

I think this is the sort of joke Dayjet/Eclipse is playing on you, and those who believe. See below... and by the way, they are not renovating anything, either...a landlord is, in anticipation of collecting rent from Dayjet and Eclipse.

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewarticle&id=1191&Itemid=51

or

http://www.gra-gnv.com/docs/061406pr.pdf

Drink whichever flavor you like...purple or green!

Note the "daytripper" contest which was devised in lieu of the rollout of the Dayjet E-500.

"it took me sooo long, to find out, but I found out....Dayyyyeyytripper"

I wonder what they are on?!!!

EclipseBlogger said...

Cabbie said... What City approval is required to run part 135 from an airport?

Sorry, my fault. I should have phrased that better. There was some "resistance" in Gainesville to provide facilities to DayJet. DayJet eventually received approval by the city council to sign the lease and begin renovation on the building for their use. It had nothing to do with 135 approval.

airtaximan said...

EB,

YOU SEE, I'm NOT always wrong!

Hey, whatdaya say we get together and solve the issues in the middle east? Maybe even have a talk with Vern and try to get to the bottom of THAT mess?

Seriously, thanks for the clarification.

Do you think Dayjet will work? Do you think they really have many deposits down on planes, or is it a marriage of convenience - a way to pump up the E-clips book to something beyond a few hundred sales to individuals? I've read (must find this) that there could be as few as 500 individuals sales, around 1,000 Dayjet and other air taxi startup "sales" with "some" deposits (Dayjet was given a pass on the requirement for all the deposits) and then around 1000 (I'll be nice and not call them bogus) options, with no deposits.

Any evidence that this is inaccurate? You have any better insight?

Again, Thanks.

PS. if I was a depositor, I'd demand to know exactly the number of orders and the nature of the deposits. If there really is not a deposit for every position and the orderbook is more like 1,000 than 2,500 it would make a BIG difference to me regarding the plane and the viability of the company long term. I would insist on full disclosure.

Metal Guy said...

Did anyone see this in the ABQ paper?

Mass Raid on Eclipse Facilities

By Jim McKlain
Journal Staff Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Following months of delays, the Very Light Jet (VLJ) manufacturer Eclipse Aviation has inadvertently unleashed a veritable storm cloud of low-cost jets into the New Mexico skies - well, parts at least. Last Thursday, as reported by local state employees located adjacent to the Eclipse facilities (located at the Albuquerque International Sunport), a crowd of hundreds of angry depositors stormed the manufacturing facilities in an apparent attempt to lay claim to literally thousands of incomplete airplane parts. While not entirely clear what prompted the mad rush for these semi-built VLJ’s, one witness claimed to overhear the crowd yelling chants of “I can build this damn thing faster myself!” and “Take my money to pay for someone else’s airplane – I’ll show you.”

While Eclipse has made claim to be the first to certify the Eclipse 500, there has been little to no sign of actual ability to manufacture or deliver these little “wonder jets”, while other more traditional “latecomer” companies have made significantly more progress.

Amidst the confusion, Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse, was seen wandering apparently aimlessly and somewhat dazed amongst the strewn out parts, repeatedly chanting "We make the fuselage in three sections, starting with the belly.", intermixed with "I think part of what the Eclipse 500 is today is a direct, absolute reflection of my knowledge and my experience from the computer business,". The quotes were reportedly random portions of previous press releases related to the long-overdue, and vastly over budget development of the little VLJ.

One apparently furious depositor was reportedly seen stuffing several rolls of gaffers tape into Mr. Raburns mouth, yelling “stir fry weld this!!" The source of the reference is unknown. Mr. Raburn did not seem to resist the effort, but did continue to mumble something about if he could just get more deposits.

The confusion apparently died down after about an hour of scavenging and several fist-fights, where some depositors had to be taken to the local medical facilities for minor treatment. An apparent source of frustration between the battling depositors was confusion over who exactly had paid for what specific parts. At one point, four separate depositors were seen struggling over a single windshield, each claiming to have paid for it. The windshield eventually fractured into four parts, whereupon the depositors moved quietly on to collect other components.

When one depositor was stopped and asked what he intended to do with the parts, he stated that he intended to hand them over to engineers at Cessna to “see what they could do with them”.

Just as the preverbal dust was settling, a debris covered individual was seen frantically running from the scene yelling “We fully expected this minor set back and will be back in the air and flying within a couple of days, at most”. The individual was later found panic stricken and huddling in a storm drain, and identified as Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom. Police had determined that Mr. Broom had actually been one of the early casualties of the entire incident and had been wrapped in duct-tape, along with Mr. Raburn, and hung out on the advanced, state of the art flight-test telemetry antenna just outside the main facilities.

It’s unclear the long term impact this new outcome will have on the companies future, but Mr. Raburn appeared to be in a chipper mood at the local hospital, after receiving skin grafts on both his shins.

bill e. goat said...

Metal guy- very funny :)
I think Vern will soon need a skin graft somewhere else (check 6) if the investors and depositors don't start seeing an aluminum cloud over NM.

I don't know how Eclipse keeps getting money to keep going, especially during the past couple of years. But, they are a real company, and have a significant infrastructure, so I think the company is “in it for the long haul”, no pun intended regarding range :)
Plus, I think the state of NM invested something like $20M, so I assume (hope) the state was allowed to review some of the internal Eclipse financial information. I'm not sure what the profit on the airplanes is, but 500 sales to individual owners x $1.5 Mil = $750 Mil, for a ball park number. Pratt isn't giving away engines, nor Avidyne cockpit suites, nor any other suppliers, but, it seems somehow, things will probably work out if there are around 1200 to 1500 deliveries over the next 4 to 5 years. (Personally, I'd put it at more like 600 to 900 during the initial years, but that is still a LOT of airplanes). Enough cash flow to keep afloat? Well, if they haven't gone belly up by now, they probably won't. I just can't figure out how they've been able to do it so far. I've heard Eclipse sued the bejinkers out of Williams, and probably is screwing Avidyne every way they can as well, so there is probably some additional cash coming in from something besides the long-suffering depositors, and tee-shirt sales.
p.s.- someone above posted (Gadfly or Stan, I believe) that it takes $250000 in sales per employee to be successful in the high tech arena. Well, figure $250,000 x 1000 employees / $1.5 Mil per airplane = 250 airplanes per year. Maybe things will work out okay. Sure is a lot of debt accumulated though.

Griper said...

New post please. About beat this one into the ground.