Monday, March 05, 2007

Avio NG


Eclipse Aviation Partners with World-Class Suppliers to Deliver Next-Generation Avio Total Aircraft Integration System.

VLJ leader and established avionics suppliers team up to advance the revolutionary Eclipse 500.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — March 5, 2007 — Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), and leading avionics suppliers Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. (IS&S), Chelton Flight Systems, Garmin International, Honeywell, PS Engineering, Inc., today announced a partnership to produce “Avio NG,” the next-generation Avio system for the Eclipse 500.

Avio NG, an improved version of the Eclipse 500’s Avio Total Aircraft Integration system, has been in development for many months and is scheduled for production and delivery this summer. In keeping with a customer-centric focus, Eclipse will retrofit all Eclipse 500 aircraft with Avio NG by the end of 2007, ensuring a homogeneous Eclipse 500 fleet.

Avio NG delivers significant enhancements providing next generation digital avionics with demonstrated airline reliability and systems capability unparalleled in the very light jet segment. These enhancements include:

- Improved reliability achieved through:

- EFIS software that has been similarly deployed as level A software

- Higher Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rates for Primary Flight Display (PFD) and Multi-function Display (MFD) hardware

- Use of hardware systems that have been used primarily in Part 25 airplanes

- Improved systems architecture and design

- 768 x 1024 resolution PFD displays and 1440 x 900 resolution MFD display

- Enhanced digital audio and Communication Navigation System (CNS) functionality

- Improved growth capability for future “next generation” avionics functionality

We are excited to partner with such highly-reputable avionics companies by our side,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “These suppliers have proven to be great partners to premier companies in almost every segment of aviation. Their established track records and superior capabilities will allow us to provide our customers with the Avio we always promised. We are looking forward to a long and successful relationship with each company.”

The proven, air transport-quality components provided by these suppliers will enable Eclipse Aviation to deliver on its promise to provide unmatched avionics functionality that significantly reduces pilot workload by simplifying tasks, generating useful information, managing systems and assisting with troubleshooting. Changes to the Avio user interface will be minimal, providing customers, pilots and mechanics with a seamless transition that will require little to no new training.

Eclipse Aviation will continue to serve as the systems integrator for the overall Avio NG system, but has employed a best-of-breed strategy for the Avio NG partners. Each supplier has deep expertise in the specific Eclipse 500 component they will provide.

Replacing the Avidyne displays, IS&S will provide hardware and select software for the Eclipse 500 PFDs and MFD for Avio NG.

IS&S is a high-performance international avionics supplier to civil, military, business and commercial markets. Prior major contracts awarded to IS&S have included the flat panel display systems for the Boeing B737, B757, B747 and B767; legacy Cessna Citation aircraft; and the Pilatus PC-12.

IS&S chairman and CEO Geoffrey Hedrick stated “IS&S is honored to be part of the revolutionary Eclipse 500 program. We look forward to delivering reliable and cost effective displays to Eclipse Aviation, allowing the Avio Total Aircraft Integration concept to become a reality on the Eclipse 500.”

Additional new suppliers for Avio NG are:

Chelton Flight Systems – Avio NG will also include a flight management system (FMS) provided by Chelton Flight Systems. This FMS has been proven in multiple aircraft installations starting more than 6 years ago and now has flight guidance algorithms for all of the ARINC 424 published path segments. The core of the FMS has been written and certified to level A standards in prior releases. The guidance functionality provided includes GPS-based lateral aircraft control, along with vertical navigation (VNAV). The Chelton FMS will be integrated into Avio NG, presenting the pilot with a consistent user interface. This full-featured RTCA/DO-229C capable flight management system includes capability to create, save, store, recall, reverse, and edit flight plans by waypoint or airway, the user will be able to create custom waypoints, add or delete waypoints from an active route, specify parallel track operation, and more.

Garmin International – Dual remote mounted Mode S Enhanced Surveillance transponders are provided by Garmin’s GTX 33 and GTX 33D. These IFR-certified, Level 2, solid-state Mode S transponders offer expanded capability including optional diversity capability.

Honeywell – Avio NG uses the new Honeywell Primus Apex KTR 2280 Multi Mode Digital Radios (MMDR), consisting of digital VHF Navigation receivers (VOR, LOC, GS), and an optional ADF receiver. Each MMDR includes one transmitter and six receivers, capable of 8.33/25 kHz channel spacing operation and simultaneous monitoring of two VHF communication frequencies. The KTR 2280 is seamlessly integrated into Avio NG, providing users with radio management capability through the PFDs and MFD. Honeywell also provides safety sensors for Avio NG including the industry standard RDR 2000 Weather Radar System and the optional KGP 560 Terrain Awareness System (TAWS).

PS Engineering – The digitally controlled audio system for Avio NG is provided using PS Engineering’s PMA500 remote audio control system. The PMA500 interfaces with Avio NG for radio and navigation audio selection, intercom and mode control, and has an integrated marker beacon receiver. The audio control panel includes split transmit capability, hi-fi stereo in-flight entertainment inputs, and IntelliVOX®, a patented squelch protocol that completely eliminates manual intercom squelch, adjusting dynamically to cockpit sound conditions.

About Avio NG

Designed by Eclipse Aviation exclusively for the Eclipse 500, Avio NG provides Total Aircraft Integration through integral, redundant computer systems and advanced data and power distribution systems. Avio NG applies integration technology to the entire aircraft, including avionics, engine operation, fuel system, flaps, landing gear, cabin pressure and temperature. The cockpit features two PFDs and one MFD, which are controlled by selection keys and knobs on the displays or by a keyboard at the pilot position. The PFD and MFD provide the pilot with high-resolution display of all flight parameters, engine and system performance data, and total system control.

Thanks to hotdog for alerting us to what is probably the most important announcement by Eclipse since the engine change.

149 comments:

Gunner said...

Question:
How does one go about creating (let alone announcing) the "Next Generation" of a software system that didn't work in the first place?
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

No mention of how much more money it will cost to develop and certify this very complex system integration.

No mention of how much more unit cost Eclipse will eat vs. the Avidyne system.

No mention of what it will cost Eclipse to retrofit the dozens(?) of units delivered with the present avionics suite.

Buckerfan said...

How EAC have the gall to be asking for any progress payments from their customers is beyond me. The avionics is now a "summer" deliverable, and we all know what that might mean, and as Stan's previous topic post has the FAA point out for us all again, there are numerous discrepancies between what the the plane's current capabilities and what is promised under the customer contracts. The EAC customers should be presenting a joint position to EAC- no more deposits until you have redesigned and recertified the plane with exactly the capabilities promised,
the company has received its PC, and an independent engineering firm, appointed by a committee of the customers, has checked for any discrepancies, concerns etc.

airtaximan said...

If it wasn't so sad...it would be funny.

- NG (next generation?) - yjey are trying to take credit for the first generation that was never finished?

- Summer? OH MY?

- I would feel much better about this if all the other suppliers participated in the PR. This would be customary. It is a little suspicious that they did not have a joint release. I fear some of the claims would create accountability/credibility issues for the larger companies.

- Eclipse LEAD the development of this system. Hmm...

Other than that, this might be good news. I expect planes with this system to be delivered in q-4 at the very earliest.

SRMach5 said...

Late summer? Try LATE 2008. This comes from a very reliable source over the weekend....an Eclipse employee at that!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

If they rename it Avio (tm) NFG I think they might be on to something. Otherwise, SSDD.

Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

Vern would have you believe that he will retrofit, on his own dime, perhaps 100 aircraft, for the entire avionics fit.

Plus perhaps the same 100 aircraft, or maybe more, or maybe less, for the "A" Model aero-mods and wing bushing fix - also on his dime.

Now if Avidyne did not complete the 135 kit, and the new team will not have the 'promised' functionality till 'sometime' in the summer, when exactly do Ed and Nancy at DayJet get their planes to BEGIN their 135 qualification?

Will the new team parrallel path the 135 kit with the other BASIC functionality that is missing?

How many service centers are open or will be open to support the essential rebuild\retrofit of 100 planes?

This is pure an-adulterated BS and the real Eclipsers should be ashamed to be a psrt of this SCAM.

I would include Vern in the above but he has celarly demonstrated that he knows no shame.

This is pathetically transparent, at last. The whole thing is nothing more than a glorified ponzi scheme.

airtaximan said...

does this fall into the category..


"say anything to get the deposit money?"


man, this is sooo sad.

Green-or-Red said...

Just now on AIN Alerts..
United Airlines Drops Eclipse Training Program
Eclipse Aviation and United Airlines have “mutually agreed to terminate their pilot training program,” according to Michelle Burns, manager of training development for United’s flight training division. In 2004 Eclipse and United announced that the airline’s training division would provide screening for Eclipse pilots and type rating training. According to Burns, “United has agreed to provide certain services while Eclipse transitions to a new provider.” Burns declined to elaborate on the nature of those “certain services” or why the two companies parted ways. Eclipse has not released information on a new training provider, but confirmed to AIN that Opinicus of Lutz, Fla., is still building the Eclipse 500 simulator and that it will be available in the coming months. Alteon Training, which was to provide instructors to United for the Eclipse program, told AIN last week that it still had an agreement to provide instructors to United, but was unavailable to comment on those plans at press time. A FlightSafety International official told AIN recently that the company has no interest in providing training for very light jets such as the Eclipse 500. The New York-based company is the authorized training provider for the Citation Mustang, which Cessna refers to as its entry-level jet.

SRMach5 said...

Ken...cat got your tongue?

Gunner said...

United joins the rubble of Dinosaurs who could not keep up with Eclipse.

No matter. We can expect a release of the new program,"Pilot Training, the Next Generation" to be available by summer. It'll be far more robust and far more advanced. I have it on good authority that the team will be headed up William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

Step right up, folks. We still have plenty of delivery positions for 2009.
Gunner

flyforfun said...

I had lunch with a gentleman who is on the list with Eclipse as a mentor pilot. He emailed them to find out when he would be receiving more info on his training and start up. They emailed back today that they were not ready to implement the program and they would get back to him later. Much later. Also took a look at the Eclipse owners site and saw at least one guy who said he was throwing in the towel and would be moving on. Heard a real, real low position had no bites at $1.6 and I for the life of me can not understand how a guy at 350 would put up his 60% with all this crap going down. I would rather fold and if they ever produce the plane buy one at list price, than risk $800K on a this load of dreams. I still think Vern is the present day Jim Bede. Lots of ego and talk but no substance.

bill e. goat said...

FFF- I think Bede is smarter.
And doesn't talk as much.
And wanted to do something good for general aviation.

Instead of becoming a vain-glorious egocentric blowhard, who has a poster of Osama bin Laden in his office, and speeds through school zones, and spits on the sidewalk, and sneers at Nuns, construction workers, and small children, and litters, and doesn't recycle, and doesn't like dogs, and secretly wishes he was a Canadian (and might possibly be bilingual).

On the other hand, Vern is a snappy dresser, and is arguably more photogenic.

And, don't forget- Bede didn't win a Collier :(
Or burn $1B. (or thereabouts...)

airtaximan said...

..and we IDIOTS over here keep asking:

"do you think Vern is being honest and has disclosed ALL the problems that he knows exist today?"

WHAT a complete crock.

Watch your wallets...

Gunner said...

Well, one thing we know for sure:
The claims that Avidyne was only designing the "User Interface" were way wrong.

The entire avionics package from radios to transponders to audio controls to weather to TAWS to Flight Management to PFD's and MFD are to be replaced along with the software that controls and integrates it all. And this will all be done by this summer with a correspondingly quick retrofit of the existing fleet immediately after (or perhaps even simultaneously). After all, this stuff should just plug right in.

In fairness, though, Eclipse has been secretly working with these new partners for "several months". Why they waited for Avidyne to leak the news about their divorce is a mystery to me, given the benefits of "NG".

In any case, so much for simply "addressing the buses" to properly display the "user interface". This is a whole new jet everyone will be getting. And at no additional cost whatsoever.

Who'da thunk it possible.

Gunner

Metal Guy said...

So someone help me find the post where EB put his reputation on the line by stating that Eclipse had an approved DME function. Search on the blog does not seem to work very well. I want to find his exact wording. Thanks.

airtaximan said...

IS&S specializes in OEM and retrofit systems, so my guess is Vern's been working with them to develop a system to replace Avidyne.

E-clips and Avidyne were failing at the Avio system...VErn saught another solution and stopped working with them to finish the job. Then, Vern did not pay Avidyne their 50% payment upon Certification (my guess) and they needed another solution. They found an experienced integrator (IS&S) who said they could use established supplier's parts and systems (they do this all day long) and create a new cockpit that would work for E-clips.

The cost is probably similar to the payment never made to Avidyne (I'm guessing).

I do not think they have had months and months of work, really. Maybe a few months, just enouph to get a handle on what the job might entail, and lure suppliers. I am sure IS&S are more the lead on this than E-clips is letting on...E-clips must remain the LEAD as they are the aircraft OEM. Aren't they?

stay tuned...it's going to be a long summer in ABQ.


*** just one ATman's opinion...OK?

airtaximan said...

metalguy,

forget it. It was hundreds of E-clips aircraft and program SNAFUs ago!

-I'd be fuming if I were a position-holder. There have been so many coverups and lies...so many things folks on this blog realized, anticipated, pieced together and just knew. None of which was disclosed or charaterized in an honest way.

I really would start a class action suit... but I have no deposit and nothing at stake regarding E-clips.

Gunner said...

metal_guy-
You won't find where EB said it because he didn't. It was Ken Meyer who stated at 11:07 PM, February 13, 2007:

"Uh, oh, more mistruths :(
It has DME, de-ice and RVSM.
[snip]
If you have to lie to knock it, it must not be so bad after all, eh?
Ken"


What EB said about the DME was at 6:41 AM, February 14, 2007:

"It does have virtual DME from the GPS receiver. The GPS receivers are operational, but the moving map display is not."

Which kinda translates to "It has DME. But it's not functioning." IOW, it's just another simply fixed "user interface" issue; just a matter of integrating the "symbology". In short, it doesn't work.

Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Warranty installation of "A" Model aero-mods for your first 100 customers - $5,000,000

Replacement of complete Avionics fit for your first 100 customers - $15,000,000

Knowing you are losing $500,000 for each and every aircraft but believing you can make it up on volume - Priceless

To quote Billy Crystal's character in Running Scared - "It's the new math, drives 'em crazy"

Metal Guy said...

Oh come one, someone find it for me – pleeeease . I did find where Ken stated for absolute fact that it was certified for RVSM, GPS and DME! Apparently NOT Ken. Ah, it’s just not as fun as it used to be… WE TOLD YOU SO!!! Oh, wait, that was kinda fun.

Nifty observation in the FSB report (FAR compliance table), it states that Standby Attitude Instrument Requirement for Turbojet Airplanes (135.149c) is an operator responsibility. Pilots remember to bring your portable attitude indicator with you for when the NfG (No f***ing Good) hodgepodge of avionics breaks.

Gunner said...

Metal_Guy-
As AT points out, the companies working on NG ARE top notch. There is no doubt in my mind that they can develop a first rate cockpit; but then, there's no doubt in my mind that Avidyne could also.

The questions on the floor are:
- In a few months, from scratch, on an aircraft whose basic design and performance still appears to be a moving target? Please
- In spite of whatever it was that caused Avidyne to walk away?
- At what cost?

Gunner

Metal Guy said...

Sure, they are qualified – but what was BAE – chopped liver? It was mismanaged by Eclipse and therefore screwed up beyond belief. Enough time and money, and sure it can be sorted out. But my god, this could easily take a couple of years. Granted, that’s only a couple of months in Vern years…

bill e. goat said...

ATM,

I think a better question might be,

What does Vern know?

or more explicitly,

Does Vern want to know?

I think he is very smart (my satire above aside). And if he wanted to know, he would know.

But does he REALLY want to know how bad things are- if they were really are bad- I'm not in a position to offer intelligent speculation on that. But hypothetically, if things were messed up, would he really want to know everything? I don't think so. He would want to know enough to be credible, but more than that would put him in a compromised position.

He is focused on getting the money, it's up to the managers to "do their part".

If they bring up the truth, they get canned for "not trying hard enough" or for “not being a team player”.

If they lie, or more correctly: over-engage in wishful thinking and say things are going to be okay; they can always hope somebody else has bigger problems, that mask their own.

I suspect it is a culture of fear at the top end, futility at the bottom end. And frustration and exhaustion across the spectrum.

If people are sufficiently intimidated into hiding schedule problems, for fear of getting sacked, it is natural to assume there is also tremendous dis-incentive to reveal technical and quality problems, which might result in even more schedule problems. I think that scenario is the worst danger in rushing things- the sad resignation that "maybe somebody else will speak up", or "I don't want to let that squeak by, but I know so-and-so will catch it"- whether another assembly worker, lead man, QA, or FAA inspector). And on the engineering side, I'm sure there is equal pressure to "make it good enough", with schedule and cost being a formidable concern.

I certainly am not saying ANYONE at Eclipse has succumbed to this, nor has anyone there lowered any professional, technical, nor ethical standard.

From the posts we've seen, I would say Eclipse has the highest turnover rate in aviation, under stress &/or duress; probably statistically higher than the two, or three, ?or four? closest competitors, combined. (I hope I'm wrong- I would like to see some real statistics on this so we could all rest better. I wonder, does the FAA monitor this sort of thing? I suppose not...until there is an accident investigation).

Surely, the lineworkers and office workers alike must see the turnover, and note the pressure on their foremen and managers.

Is that the kind of workforce management that will result in a quality product?

That is why, I sincerely hope, if appropriate, the program is delayed, and things are done right. I think it is in the long term best interest of Eclipse, the customers (better late than sorry), investors (deferred revenue, versus no revenue) and employees (layoffs/furloughs now for a few months, rather than the company going out of business due to lawsuits).

When Vern speaks, he wants to be sincere, as much as possible. So (hypothetically speaking) the more ignorant he is of the truth, the more sincere he can be.

This is not a funny assessment, nor a fun one to render. I am very sorry for the long suffering owners-in-waiting, but would rather they suffer delay, than heartache.

I think if Eclipse re-scoped their tasks, did a competent development program (including a flying testbed for all the newfangled avionics, repeated flight, static and fatigue tests as necessary, got the simulators going, got their training and L-39 fleet up, got the mentor pilot's through training, etc.), and adopted a realistic production schedule (with a measured, conscientious ramp up to 200, 300, and maybe eventually 400 planes per year), the whole enterprise would be better off.

While no opponent of innovation, building airplanes isn't like building cell phones- it HAS to be done right, every time. Planes (and pilots) can't just be stamped out like license plates...

Ken Meyer said...

srmach5 wrote,
"Ken...cat got your tongue?"


Nope. Just sunning myself enjoying you guys try to find fault with the great news out of Eclipse today :)

Ken

bambazonke said...

Ken,
What about an apology for misleading us all about the DME thingy and RVSM whilst you are sunning yourself over what most people in the industry consider extremely bad news?

What good can you take out of all these failed relationships? Williams,Nimbus, UND, Avidyne, Zodiac, United, to name a few.. Have you ever heard of any company go from no avionics to certified, yes c-e-r-t-f-i-e-d avionics in a matter of months from scratch? It has NEVER been done, and considering all the other monumental failures that KAF has had over relatively benign objectives for the industry, what makes you think that they can pull this off?

Before I forget, how about an apology on the DME thingy and the RVSM?

Plastic_Planes said...

BEG:

If people are sufficiently intimidated into hiding schedule problems, for fear of getting sacked, it is natural to assume there is also tremendous dis-incentive to reveal technical and quality problems, which might result in even more schedule problems.

I don't think anyone in my group felt intimidated to cover up schedule problems. The frustration can from not being able to fix the underlying causes. We met everyday to work on "recovery plans" and to try to put some sense into our situation. I left not because of intimidation, but frustration. They say you can ebat your head against the wall only so many times before it hurts.

Surely, the lineworkers and office workers alike must see the turnover, and note the pressure on their foremen and managers.

My boss left the company to return as VP/GM of a small aviation company in Independence. He was frustrated, too. I give the man kudos for putting up with as much as he did. We never realized how much he was shielding us until he left.

Many of my former employees have left (or are currently trying to leave) after I threw in the towel.


I certainly am not saying ANYONE at Eclipse has succumbed to this, nor has anyone there lowered any professional, technical, nor ethical standard.

I don't believe anyone at the functional level has lowered their standards. It is just that when you work 70-80 a week every week you are bound to make mistakes. You have to break from time to time to attack the problem. I am not a spring chicken (like a previous poster remarked I could have done it when I was 20, too), and I got tired of the continued strain on my health (mental and physical) and the toll it took on my family. To me, it just wasn't worth it. That said, the vast majority of the employees there are conscientious and have high levels of integrity. They are just tired and burned out.


layoffs/furloughs now for a few months, rather than the company going out of business due to lawsuits

The only problem I see here is that once you've let some of these people go, they'll nevr come back (not to mention you'll cause other's to go, too). ABQ simply doesn't have the base of qualified AMT's to just let them go. Most will return to the companies they came from (Boeing/Bombardier/Cessna/Gulfstream, etc) and E-Clips will be right back on the starting end of the learning curve all over again.

Anyway, miscellaneous ramblings from an ex-E-Clipser (who's typing this wearing his EAC Collier Trophy T-Shirt)

bill e. goat said...

P_P,
Thanks for the insight- glad folks are weathering the storm okay, and morale is holding up. (I'm also glad for those who are seeking a calmer harbor :).
I hope Eclipse doesn't have to lay anyone off, nor furlough anyone. In the big scheme of things, the temporary labor savings would probably not be worth it. I think Vern is under pressure to keep people, to make it look like things are going okay, but probably also under pressure to make a symbolic cost-cutting gesture, if the schedule slips a lot, to keep the B.O.D. off his B.U.T.T. Hopefully, there is enough Infrastructure developmen work to keep folks busy, until the production line ramps up.
Congratulations on the Collier- we poke (good natured) fun at Vern for some of his posturing, but I don't think there has ever been a team that worked harder and deserved it more for individual contributions!

mike said...

I wonder if my coin will be worth anything in a few years?

bill e. goat said...

Probably worth more than Eclipse stock! :), at least in the near term...

Plastic_Planes said...

mike said...
I wonder if my coin will be worth anything in a few years?


And I have a set of 12 EAC Champagne glasses from the TC party in July - held before TC, but that doesn't matter (grin)

Maybe I'll E-bay them when the time is right...

bill e. goat said...

Does the Eclipse gift shop sell special 64 ounce Kool Aid glasses? :)
(Don't know if you guys have picked up on a running joke on this blog, something along the lines of "true believers" and Jonestown. Intended in good...Taste???? -ha.
I would think the coin and glasses would be real souvenirs someday.

cherokee driver said...

I have an interesting question for anyone who would care to answer. Lets say you are a position holder between 2 and 50 and Eclipse somehow manages to get a C of A on serial number 2. Who in this group would actually take delivery of that nice shiny new airplane that doesn't work? You can make all the promises in the world, but those people aren't going to take delivery nor are the next 350. Given Verns production promises, they will just have airplanes stacked up all over the ramp because who in their right mind pays the rest of their money and takes delivery? Is he going to force them down their throats?

Cirrus has experienced this problem more than once. If they even hint at a new option becoming available on their SR 22, their customers refuse to take delivery until that option is available, and planes start stacking up everywhere. Their airplane works.

Buckerfan said...

Cherokee Driver, I could not agree with you more. If I was a low number position holder I would refuse to take delivery, and I would refuse ro pay my T-6 month progress payment, until they had a design stabilized and finalized and proven production in place on a PC certified line.
The problem for the low number position holders is of course their relatively favorable price compared to list of $1.5mm. I know from the time when i was a position holder and had access to the customer only website, EAC played hard ball with the early position holders. It was take it or leave it with respect to things like the purchase contract etc. On the customer site their was some speculation mid last year EAC were deliberately trying to force early holders to drop their positions so EAC could avoid selling the planes at a loss.
However I think the tables have turned. hence EAC's decision to offeer the B model to all holders for example.

Buckerfan said...

Further thought. I suspect Stans' excellent Blog has now become the main place interested potential customers go for insight on Eclipse. In addition there are prior position holders, like myself, who log on regularly. I for one would still like the E500 to become a certified, safe and reliable plane, in which case I will again be in the market for one.
Problem, Eclipse absolutely will not return any of my calls or emails, perhaps the same is true for others.
Ken or other position holders who log in here, perhaps you could get one of the co presidents of the customers groeup (Dan McElroy ?) to start logging in here from time to time and giving us some semi official insight.

SRMach5 said...

Did anyone catch the quote from AIN last night related to training. It said, and I quote....

"A FlightSafety International official told AIN recently that the company has no interest in providing training for very light jets such as the Eclipse 500."

I wonder what Ed Iacobucci and the folks at Dayjet are thinking now?

....hey Ken, clearly you aren't just sunning yourself, but rather suffering from a heat stroke if you consider any news recently from Eclipse as 'great'. Perhaps you are taking some of the hallucinogens that Vern is dishing out at the factory!

Metal Guy said...

Thanks for the date gunner. I found the dialog I was referring to:


EB Said: "For Gunner, the aircraft is RVSM approved and the pilots are required to get RVSM training and certification to fly in those realms (check the TCDS). It does have virtual DME from the GPS receiver. The GPS receivers are operational, but the moving map display is not.

Sandy Said: “One can guess all day long, but with obtuse statements like the one from EB (as a typical example), which just boils down to “it works, it just is available” WTF does that mean? Avidyne has had moving maps since day one. Something does not add up. Perhaps certification of the GPS itself? That would explain why moving maps would have to been disabled...

Let me dial in on a couple of specific ones:

EB: You stated that the GPS is functioning and provides the virtual DME. Please provide a specific answer to clarify your specific statement:

- Is the GPS currently certified for use as a virtual DME?

For your sake, the answer better be a resounding “yes” or your reputation is just shot.

EclipseBlogger said:
Yes.



WRONG AND WRONG AGAIN.

Ken and EB, I don't know what your information sources are, but they are NOT very reliable or accurate.

Gunner said...

Is anyone here able to register on ISS' site to get info on the new AVIO NG suite?

I've tried, but did not receive an email confirmation.

Here's the link:
http://tinyurl.com/2pkbsz

Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

metal guy wrote,
"Ken and EB, I don't know what your information sources are, but they are NOT very reliable or accurate."

Mine's the FAA-approved AFM. Why the DME didn't work in the aircraft the FSB flew is unclear to me.

The aircraft is RVSM group certified. You still think it is not?

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

srmach5 wrote,
"....hey Ken, clearly you aren't just sunning yourself, but rather suffering from a heat stroke if you consider any news recently from Eclipse as 'great'."


Why do you say that? What's not to like about a solid plan with reliable companies to finish the Avio project to specs better than we were promised in the first place?

And now its getting a nice PS Engineering audio system and some features (like parallel offset tracks and TIS) that we weren't getting from the Avidyne version. And we're getting suppliers that are interested in the project and have a history of accomplishing big jobs like this.

What could be wrong with any of that?

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
You're absolutely right. Cudos to Vern & Co. for their perseverance in light of Vendor after Vendor after Vendor that just doesn't understand how aircraft are built.

Williams, BAE, Avidyne et al. How many companies will Eclipse have to expose as incompetent before FINALLY finding a group that can keep up with their world class jet?

Spin as you will, Ken. You only make our point.


Ken said:
"The aircraft is RVSM group certified. You still think it is not?"

That's wrong.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,
"Williams, BAE, Avidyne et al. How many companies will Eclipse have to expose as incompetent before FINALLY finding a group that can keep up with their world class jet?"


Gunner, that's an interesting argument that you naysayers like to make. It boils down to: "Eclipse is at fault because they obviously cannot deal with their suppliers; no supplier in his right mind would want to work with this company."

The trouble is suppliers keep stepping up to the plate asking for the job. Honeywell, Garmin, PS Engineering, Chelton, and IS&S this time! Busy and successful companies keep stepping up to the plate.

Are they just doing the world a service, while holding their nose at the prospect of working with this stinky company? Maybe it is altruistic. Or maybe they don't see Eclipse as the devil reincarnated the way you do after your deposit fiasco :)

Everybody knows you have an ax to grind. But these 5 companies don't, and they took the job; you didn't.

Ken

mike said...

Ken, what about all the other problems with the aircraft,don't they concern you?
You do realize that you are going to have to wait another 12 months possibly even 2 yrs before the 1st planes come out? I base those dates strictly on the structural fixes, sodtware/hardware fixes, and RE-CERTIFICATION.

Am I the only one here that went throught the fiasco of all the TIA's and reliable flights with E gipse? They couldn't get it right the 1st time around, what makes them think they will get it right by mid summer?
It's fairly obvious to me that they pissed off the FAA, look what they got slammed on.

Gunner said...

Ken-
If that isn't the single most convoluted argument I've ever heard, I don't know what is.

Here's your logic:
"Because ISS is willing to take Eclipse money after Avidyne walked out, it must follow that ISS is begging for the work and agrees that Avidyne is incompetent."

OK.
Gunner

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"Or maybe they don't see Eclipse as the devil reincarnated the way you do after your deposit fiasco"

I didn't have a "Deposit fiasco". I got MINE back. ;-) You, on the other hand, no longer have that option. The plane "demonstrated" the required range in the infamous ABQ-GNV run. It's received TC, albeit with Avidyne systems and United training. There are no more default events available to you and it doesn't look like the Secondary Market is doing a very brisk business.

But, then, you will enjoy a handsome 6%(?) return on your "investment", AFTER you pony up the additional 60%(?) payment.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Mike wrote,
"Ken, what about all the other problems with the aircraft,don't they concern you?
You do realize that you are going to have to wait another 12 months possibly even 2 yrs before the 1st planes come out?"


Could be. But I'm right now flying a nice enough plane. I can wait. I don't actually think it will be as long as you're suggesting, but I'd rather they get it right than get it fast.

I think people tend to lose sight of the big picture here. Everyone is arguing over this detail or that detail. In the end, the good people at Eclipse will iron out these remaining wrinkles and deliver a nice product. Late, for sure, but nice :)

And I'll be the first the concede the company has an amazing propensity for pissing people off. Customers, employees, suppliers, and now, by many reports, even the FAA mid-level personnel. They're not always nice to work with, but that's not the issue.

The big picture issue, the only one that matters, is what will the plane do when it is finally completed? Having flown it and followed it for some years, I'm confident it will do exactly what I need it to do. Not today, but soon enough.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken, and everyone else...

Why are you arguing over avionics that is being thrown in the garbage?

The Avionics was unsalvageable...crap...garbage. It is being thrown in the garbage because it couldn't be finished to where it was functioning properly. E-clips lead the team, and had world class suppliers, and spent tens of millions over many years - but it did not work and it's all going in the garbage - Period.

Someone else has to produce a cockpit that works, now.

It's over.

Anyone who said it worked was wrong. It was all based on lies. Maybe this or that worked, but it did not do as advertised, and was not good enouph to keep, right? It's garbage.

Who cares about one knit pick or another? Only Vern, and maybe die-hards defending garbage that is being thrown out for good.

Now, SEND IN MORE DEPOSIT MONEY, QUICK! It's going to be a great airplane, even BETTER than the one that's going in the garbage - the one we used to get your deposit money before!

PS. the new training company will be better than the one's we used (UND and United) to get your deposit money before, too...It's very exciting!

Gunner said...

Ken makes a valid argument:
Problems are not the issue; Eclipse's desire, intent and ability to overcome those problems and deliver a world class jet are. Better late than never.

Question:
How many companies can we name that are in business today after running into this type of a mess after claiming they had completed testing and were ready to start production?
Anybody want to answer?


Question:
How many companies can we name that went out of business after running into this type of a mess after claiming they had completed testing and were ready to start production?

Enjoy your better-late-then-never jet, Ken.
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

Vern said, "We are excited to partner with such highly-reputable avionics companies by our side.”

Then Eclipse added:

"The proven, air transport-quality components provided by these suppliers will enable Eclipse Aviation to deliver on its promise to provide unmatched avionics functionality...."

And further:

"Eclipse Aviation will continue to serve as the systems integrator for the overall Avio NG system, but has employed a best-of-breed strategy for the Avio NG partners. Each supplier has deep expertise in the specific Eclipse 500 component they will provide."

My read is, the company building the trumpet will make sure the trumpet works.

The company building the saxophone will stand behind a fully functioning sax.

The company producing the bass drum will back his product.

Same for the clarinet, trombone, bassoon and snare drum.

It takes a superb band director (read system integrator) and a lot of qualified musicians and a lot of practice before they can march in the Rose Parade.

If my msg has gotten lost in the metaphors, I will be more direct in my understanding in what Eclipse has announced:

Honeywell is not doing the system integration, they are only supplying a product and probably technical support to the system integrator.

The Honeywell components are likely TSO'd and they won't be going to the FAA with documentation and the Honeywell cachet seeking certification for the Eclipse Avio system.

Neither will any of the other component suppliers. It appears this responsibility rests on the shoulders of Eclipse, a company with a proven record underperformance.

Stan Blankenship said...

There is another aspect of this avionics change worth watching.

The instrument panel is machined out of a solid aluminum plate. It appears to be an integral (read structural) part of the fuselage.

The panel was built for specific displays with specific attach points.

If the new components do not physically match the old ones, then the retrofit program might entail a new machined panel or an eyesore patch scabbed on to the existing panel.

gene said...

An unrelated question: What is the type code for an Eclipse? EA-500 and E500 both refer to the Extra 500 turbo prop. I am trying to add tracking for the Eclipse to my FlightAware watch. I have the Mustang type (C510) and pretty much only see N403CM flying (the lease backed demo)
thanks

gene said...

Never mind, I found it: ECL5

Stan Blankenship said...

gene,

I type in N506EA and you can go from there.

Very few flights show up on the site...must be opted out.

airtaximan said...

Stan:

I am sure they will redesign the panel to look very nice...

IS&S is the band leader (real lead and integrator) in the upcoming redesign of the avionics.

If Eclipse has a spec, I'm sure they are working with them...but it appears as if IS&S has done this work before, as the integrator.

Why Vern needs to say he's in the LEAD and that they system is designed and provided on an exclusive basis toE-clips..Hmm...where have we heard this all before. Ego?

MArketing BS - it means that no-one lese can just assemble a bunch of off the shelf systems and compete with the AVIO system.

Becasue after all, they are really just hiring IS&S to so this, right?

Trying to preserve a competitive advantage on paper and in the press - sad.

BD5 Believer said...

Dear Mr. Bede

I understand that after 33 years of continued developemnt of the powerplant for my BD5 NG, the final powerplant kit will be shipping for my BD5.

Attached is my final 60% payment.

I am confident that my aircraft will now meet all of the promised performance specifications.

Please note - I have not adjusted the fianl payment for CPI.

BD5 Believer said...

oops - wrong blog!

it is just that everything here looks and sounds so familiar....if only Al Gore would have invented the internet in 1973 instead of 1993!

airtaximan said...

FROM Dayjet:

We're pleased to share with you some exciting news from DayJet!

This morning we issued the following press release to announce DayJet's receipt of $50 million in private equity financing, equipping us with the necessary capital to launch the world's first "Per-Seat, On-Demand" jet service by the end of the second quarter this year.

At DayJet, we believe you have someplace important to be, and it's not sitting in your car, waiting in line at an airport or spending another night away from home. We're now just months away from making it possible for business travelers to get back to business and get on with life.

Stay tuned as we get ready to take flight.

+++ PRESS RELEASE +++


DayJet Receives $50 Million in Private Equity Financing
Latest Round Places "Per-Seat, On-Demand" Pioneer Among
Best Capitalized Pre-Launch Air Carriers in U.S. Aviation History

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - MARCH 6, 2007 - DayJetTM today announced the receipt of $50 million in capital resulting from the completion of its third round of private equity financing. This latest round of investment provides DayJet with the capital required to launch its innovative "Per-Seat, On-Demand" jet service in the second quarter this year. Combined with the proceeds of earlier funding rounds, this transaction places the company among the best capitalized pre-operational passenger air carriers in U.S. aviation history and the largest in the on-demand sector.

The majority of Series C securities were placed with new investors including eight institutions and private equity funds as well as numerous individuals. The investor group also included some private equity investors from outside of the United States. Raymond James & Associates, Inc. served as financial advisor to DayJet, and certain affiliates of Raymond James also participated as investors in the offering. The capital raised in this round will be used to finalize the development of the company's infrastructure and systems, hire and train the launch teams, and support the roll-out of DayJet's "Per-Seat, On-Demand" regional flight operations across Florida and the Southeast.

"This funding is the keystone to the operational launch of our 'Per-Seat, On-Demand' jet service," said Ed Iacobucci, president and CEO of DayJet. "With the necessary capital now in place, we are just months away from delivering regional business travelers something they have never had - accessible and affordable mobility between difficult-to-reach regional destinations."



About "Per-Seat, On-Demand" Jet Service
DayJet has developed the first "Per-Seat, On-Demand" jet service that makes the convenience of corporate jet travel broadly available and affordable for more people and organizations, turning wasted travel time into valuable business and personal time. "Per-Seat" means customers only pay for the seat(s) booked, not the entire aircraft. "On-Demand" means customers fly only on their individually negotiated schedules. The company will never publish schedules or operate on fixed schedules. Instead, DayJet flights will be uniquely tailored to each customer's needs and priced at a modest premium to equivalent regional full-fare coach airfares.

Until now, taking a regional business trip of 300-600 miles often meant spending endless hours in a car or taking a connecting flight through a congested hub, wasting time and productivity. Thanks to the convergence of innovative new technologies, DayJet turns these short trips into daytrips, giving professionals greater diversity in travel options and greater ability to manage their time. DayJet combines the scalability and efficiency of the Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ) with its proprietary technical innovations in real-time optimization to make "Per-Seat, On-Demand" jet service a practical and affordable regional travel option for a much broader range of people and organizations.

FROM ATMan: WOW! I wonder if this money was raised before or after the sh_t hit the fan!

Any takers?

hrr said...

"Avio NG applies integration technology to the entire aircraft, including avionics, engine operation, fuel system, flaps, landing gear, cabin pressure and temperature. The cockpit features two PFDs and one MFD, which are controlled by selection keys and knobs on the displays or by a keyboard at the pilot position. The PFD and MFD provide the pilot with high-resolution display of all flight parameters, engine and system performance data, and total system control."

So, as I read it.. If you lose the PFD or MFD, you have no airplane? I know computers have made great strides, but I for one would not trust my life in something like this. I've had too many run-ins with the "blue screen of death" just sitting on the ground.

ThisWillHurt said...

Dayjet news. $50M raise?
~ a $200M valuation on a company that has no revenue; and with current news, revenue that may be pretty far down the road...

1999 all over again? Is it the beginning of the Tulip bubble; or is this an indicator of it about to pop?

Black Tulip said...

A repeat posting with tweaks and updates...

When the history of this grand adventure is written there will be need for book titles and subtitles. Here are a few candidates:

TOTAL ECLIPSE
"Revolutionary Plane or Devastatingly Plain"

FROM JULES VERNE TO VERN RAEBURN
"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Six Hundred Million Down the Hole"

MY DEPOSITS ON THE ECLIPSE 500
"First in an Escrow Account; Later in My Shorts."

MY EXPENSIVE WEEK IN ALBUQUERQUE
"Why Didn't We Just Stick With Our Plan to Watch the Balloon Festival?"

TOTALITY
"If My Eclipse Deposit Becomes Worthless How Much Does the CPI Have to Increase to Recover My Investment?"

CLASH OF THE TITANS
"How Jim Bede Wrested Control of Eclipse Aircraft"

BOARD ROOM DEMENTIA AT 5,000 FEET
"How Oxygen Deprivation and Cosmic Ray Exposure Derailed an Albuquerque Company"

THE GATE GUARDS
"The Untold Story of How 2,500 American Communities Received Static Display Models for Their City Parks"

ADVANCED CHINESE COOKING
"Be the First on Your Block to Own a Chemically Etched Friction Stir Fried & Welded Wok"

A DOZEN USES FOR AN ECLIPSE
"Remove Wings and Add Trailer Hitch and It's Almost an Airstream"

YOU'RE SO VAIN with foreword by Carly Simon
"Then You Flew Your Eclipse Up to Nova Scotia to Look at a Total Eclipse of the Sun"

F.I.K.I.
"Faulty Idea Knocks-Out Investors"

DAYJET OR NIGHTJET?
"I'm Still Waiting for My Air Taxi and Now It's Cold and Dark Here at the Airport"

And, if you order before midnight, you receive a bonus DVD, "Will Dinosaurs Eclipse the Mammals."

Black Tulip

The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.

Gunner said...

hrr-
I don't think they can be faulted for the concept. This is the way avionics are headed and it makes much sense for SP Ops. ASSuming proper redundancy and backups, a fully integrated glass cockpit is desirable. This is not new territory they're exploring. They're to be commended for the direction.

The devil is in the details, however. Can they operationalize what they claim to be putting in the plane? They failed with BAE and they failed with Avidyne on simpler systems. Perhaps the third try really is a charm. By summer? I highly doubt it. By December 31? I'll take bets what they have promised will STILL not be fully functional.

Wonder how David Crowe is enjoying his Jet?
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

hrr wrote,
"If you lose the PFD or MFD, you have no airplane?"


Not quite. By design, you can display parameters and operate the aircraft using either one of the PFDs or the MFD. An ADI is continuously displayed on the MFD to provide backup in the event of PFD failure. For redundancy, there are 4 sources of power, 2 redundant busses, 2 (or 3) AHRS for attitude and heading information, and 3 redundant sources for air data information.

The one interesting scenario that is not accounted for in the setup is the possibility that a software bomb could take down all 3 display panels. That presumably was deemed to be too unlikely to worry about, and indeed a search of the the SDR database failed to reveal any episodes where all of an aircraft's displays were brought down by a software glitch. (That said, the recent Raptor episode sounds like it might be one, but of course there are all sorts of other factors involved in that episode that make it inapplicable here).

Ken

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

I agree...this IS the way of the recent past and future of avionics. My question...why did they not just for full FBW? They are almost there, and could have saved all the weight and rigging for the cables and pushrods...

Thoughts about Dayjet?

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

From Av Week 02-26, p.18.

The AF sent 12 F-22's to Okinawa.

When the first four reached the International Date Line, the navigation computers locked up so the airplanes returned to Hickham to wait for a software patch.

An AF official figured they had built the A/C for the Western Hemisphere only.

It hard to think of everything in advance!

gadfly said...

BD5person

You truly are a confused man. Al Gore didn’t have time to invent the “internet” in 1973 . . . back then he was working on the latest “consensus” theory of “global cooling”. And trying to figure out how to hate somebody name “Asbury”, when everyone else was “loving one another”and smokin’ who knows what!

gadfly

(Now if I can just figure out that Virtual Reality instrument panel . . . Where is the emergency switch for the “Virtual Parachute?”)

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"From Av Week 02-26, p.18.

The AF sent 12 F-22's to Okinawa."


I think I mentioned the Raptor episode, but I also think there are all sorts of reasons not to draw too much from that episode in terms of applicability to the Eclipse. It is interesting though.

Ken

Green-or-Red said...

Gadfly
Well, I will give you credit for knowing the phrase "green or red" that is associated with food. And you probably have figured out where I live. For all I know, we may be neighbors!

Green-or-Red said...

From today's ABQ Journal, part of the story...

"Raburn said Eclipse plans to deliver about 400 planes this year, down from a previous estimate of 500. Eclipse will build just under 1,000 planes in 2008, he said.
"In 2009, we'll let the market tell us where to go," he said.
Raburn acknowledged the delays, but characterized them as "to-be-expected start-up challenges," such as miscalculations on how long it would take to get production employees up to speed. The company is also making some engineering and aerodynamic tweaks to improve performance figures, which it also expects to retrofit to aircraft currently under construction.
"There is not extensive or major redesign of the aircraft," he said. "To be brutally honest, it really comes down to we miscalculated the learning curves ... and we had some mistakes in the early design which we're correcting right now."
"I think you're going to see a significant number of planes delivered in a fairly short period of time, but we still have our challenges out in front of us," he said."

Gunner said...

Ken said, "there are all sorts of reasons not to draw too much from that episode in terms of applicability to the Eclipse"

Fact is, the four aircraft affected lost everything from navigation to communication to fuel flow and quantity. The source was traced to a couple of lines of code.

As a result it has EVERY applicability to AVIO NG. It demonstrates that, when we rely on one system for EVERYTHING, everything shuts down when that one system goes Tango Uniform. In the case of the Raptors, as in the case of the Eclipse (as Ken admits), the one area where there is no redundancy or backup is in Bad Source Code.

This hardly gives me pause to argue that we go back to mechanical instruments. But it DOES cause me to roll my eyes when Eclipse claims it's gonna bring a fully functional, debugged, reliable and safe new Avionics Cockpit to the market by summer. Then of course, they HAVE been working on it for several months now.

FAA's gonna just LOVE that phone call:
"Hello, Marion?
Vern here.
It's ready for testing."

:-D
Gunner

airtaximan said...

...and I was concerned no one would see the relevance...



InformationWeek - 2 hours ago

Apple said the new iTunes 7.1 software fixes a number of unspecified Windows Vista-compatibility issues but leaves several potentially major problems unresolved.

gadfly said...

To "Black Tulip", I offer the following . . . 'hopefully taken in "light" humor:

“Pride and Prejudice”
. . . why dinosaurs can’t fly.

“Sense and Sensibility”
. . . but he said I should cough up my 60% payment.

“Tale of Two Cities”
. . . Albuquerque and Wichita

“Wind in the Willows”
. . . the sound of a fleet of VLJ’s

“For Whom the Bell Tolls”
. . . VR meets with BG.

“As You Like It” (in Albuquerque)
. . . “And we will mend thy wages. I like this place.
And willingly could waste my time in it.”
(Apologies to Shakespeare)

“The Comedy of Errors”
. . . “That’s a question: how shall we try it?”
(Again, an apology to Shakespeare)

To "Red or Green", when you get by our shop, we can share some valuable thoughts . . . we may be neighbors.

To the rest, I'll put together some comments . . . hopefully bringing the entire discussion back into focus . . . no, that won't happen, but I would rather be a "peace maker", than to further ferment confusion and animosity.

Emotions, pride, and prejudice cloud the real issues. Although not nearly so "rich" as some of you, yet having a far bigger impact on aviation than most of your are aware, I would desire that the problems of the "little jet" come to an end. Many of us have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on various enterprises. Not all of those losses were due to "fraud", but most were due to bad judgement. 'Not that most of you care, but I'll pursue this further in another email. Until then, don't tear each others throats out, just to "prove" your own personal opinion. It just may be that you might not have all the facts, including the MOTIVES of your opponents.

Enough for now! . . . Hey, I'm an old guy . . . give the frail old man a break . . . humor him . . . he might just come up with something worth the time to listen.

In the mean time, don't tear each other to pieces . . . believe me on this one, "It's not worth it!"

Some day "Another" will hold you responsible for what you say.

gadfly

flightfollowing said...

Concerning the realization that serial number 1 does not have virtual DME and is restricted to FL24 or below, I don't think any individual blogger misled anyone. I believe the Eclipse misled its position holders. Both Ken and other Eclipse supporters reported on the DME and RVSM compliance, which I believe they got that info from Eclipse, as Ken described. It appears to me that the world had to find out that the DME and RVSM was not implemented from Dave Crowe, the actual owner of s/n 1. I am afraid that Eclipse is absolutely ultimately to blame for this misinformation, but I would be curious to here Ken's thoughts on that. I am afraid that Eclipse is misinforming (read 'lying') to its customers.

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner wrote,
"Fact is, the four aircraft affected lost everything from navigation to communication to fuel flow and quantity. The source was traced to a couple of lines of code."


Gunner they didn't lose "everything." Not even everything run by computer. How do I know this? Because I know the plane is fly-by-wire, and I know they didn't crash :)

So, we need to be a little more careful about jumping to conclusions until we really know the facts on this one.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
I hate to be constantly correcting you; but you make it so very necessary sometimes:

"When the group of Raptors crossed over the IDL, multiple computer systems crashed on the planes. Everything from fuel subsystems, to navigation and partial communications were completely taken offline. Numerous attempts were made to "reboot" the systems to no avail.

The reason they didn't "crash" is the same reason why you can fly a 172 hither and yon with no instrumentation. THEY WERE IN VMC WEATHER!

"Luckily for the Raptors, there were no weather issues that day so visibility was not a problem. Also, the Raptors had their refueling tankers as guide dogs to "carry" them back to safety."

"They had no communications or navigation," said Retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd."

"It was a computer glitch in the millions of lines of code, somebody made an error in a couple lines of the code and everything goes."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/2mo3qr

Gunner

Observer said...

For those interested, United walked away because Eclipse broke most every contract term (including payment terms). Understand this has happened on other vendor contracts, also. Anyone think the new vendors will fare any better with Eclipse?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

From it.slashdot.org

"On Feb. 11, twelve Raptors flying from Hawaii to Japan were forced to turn back when a software glitch crashed all of the F-22s' on-board computers as they crossed the international date line. The delay in arrival in Japan was previously reported, with rumors of problems with the software. CNN television, however, this morning reported that every fighter completely lost all navigation and communications when they crossed the international date line. They reportedly had to turn around and follow their tankers by visual contact back to Hawaii. According to the CNN story, if they had not been with their tankers, or the weather had been bad, this would have been serious."

So Ken, you are stating unequivocally that the F-22 FBW is hosted on the same computers that drive the displays, all of which reportedly went Tango Uniform?

So that we know whether or not to place any confidence in what you say Ken, we need to know if you are a disgruntled ex-employee who could not take the pressure.

Spotlight on the face, here we go - do you now or did you ever work on the F-22 program Ken?

Of course, what can the Air Force possibly know about systems and software integration - Vern apparently invented it.

"We may not have gotten it right over the past 7 years and $50M, but we can now deliver all the promised performance, and more, in just a few short months.

Please send your deposits, YOUR airplane is on the way."

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner wrote,
"The reason they didn't "crash" is the same reason why you can fly a 172 hither and yon with no instrumentation. THEY WERE IN VMC WEATHER!"


Gunner, a 172 is perfectly flyable with no computer systems. A fly-by-wire aircraft is not. Raptors are fly-by-wire.

Therefore, it cannot be that they lost "everything" like you said. They would not be able to control the aircraft if the flight control computers went down.

I do think it would be very interesting to find out what really happened in that episode, but it obviously wasn't that "everything" was lost.

I think I said earlier that I could find no Service Difficulty Reports indicating a software failure that brought down all the panels in a civilian aircraft ever. That's a lot of flying experience, and in my opinion it justifies the conclusion that losing all 3 panels due to a software glitch in an Eclipse would be pretty unlikely.

But if you did somehow lose all 3 panels, what are the odds of being in IMC at cruise in an Eclipse when you cross the International Date Line anyway? :)

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Pub Grub added the following a couple of posts back and off the radar screen. Wouldn't want Ken to miss this confidence builder.

Pub_Grub said...

Observer, per your comments on the Empennage skin thickness.

"Mike,
Re: skin thickness
You brought up a critical issue. Are there still problems with skins? was it just a matter of incorrect specs given to Hampson?

I talked to someone in the Hampson plant in the UK who saw the first tail sections built in the UK. Said the skins were too thin."

All the skins used went through a full conformity process based on the drawing and spec requirements. Any deviations were NCR'd and allocated per the dispo. In certain cases, the design thickness of the skin did create some unique opportunities at assembly.

2:30 PM, March 06, 2007

Ken Meyer said...

Cold said,
"So Ken, you are stating unequivocally that the F-22 FBW is hosted on the same computers that drive the displays, all of which reportedly went Tango Uniform?"


Did it look to you like I said that? Or are you twisting my words in order to pursue your agenda?

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

I was just parsing your statement like you have done a few times. Nice to see you respond like a normal person.

After the last 'everything is beautiful' chorus from you re: basking in the afterglow of this 'exciting' development with the avionics, I was concerned you might be a pod person.

Glad we have that fingered out and can move on to your way overdue apologies for attempting to mislead everyone on RVSM, DME, GPS, Design Errors, Production Errors, immature wear, FIKI and other such trivial matters.

Does it all depend on what your definition of 'is' is?

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

From the owner of P1 himself....

"Good news today from Ken McNamara, at this moment, the synthetic DME is FAA certified and is being installed in all Avidyne equipped models, including P1."

Ken Meyer said...

flightfollowing wrote,
"It appears to me that the world had to find out that the DME and RVSM was not implemented from Dave Crowe, the actual owner of s/n 1. I am afraid that Eclipse is absolutely ultimately to blame for this misinformation, but I would be curious to here Ken's thoughts on that."


The AFM says the DME and the RVSM are both functional, however it obviously wasn't working in the plane the FSB used for their work (S/N 2) nor in Dave Crowe's plane.

Dave Crowe has just reported, and the company has confirmed, that whatever the issue with the synthetic DME was, it has been resolved.

The synthetic DME is FAA-certified; all Avidyne-equipped aircraft will have functioning DME on delivery; Dave's plane will get it too.

That resolves what could have been a very big issue for early customers. If instead of getting the synthetic DME working properly, the company elected to terminate all work on the Avidyne equipment, those buyers would have been limited to FL240 until their planes get the Avio NG installation.

Ken

gadfly said...

Are you people for real? International Date Line ?. . . last time I saw that, we were submerged “sneaking” under our own DEW (Defense Early Warning) line . . . P2V’s, and Lockheed Constellations . . . that sort of thing. An “Eclipse 500" encountering problems on the International Date Line? . . . give me a break!

We have some jokes about “Espanola”, as in “Why do they have speed bumps at the edge of Espanola?” . . . to keep the “low riders” from leaving town! Sure, it’s a “racist’ joke”. So why do we have mountain ranges around the borders of New Mexico? . . . to keep the “Eclipse” from leaving, and embarrassing the “tourist” trade and the annual “hot air balloon festival”.

We want the Eclipse to succeed. ‘How ‘bout “Bakersfield (California) setting up a plant for fabrication?” . . . Please? . . . closer to BG! But first, we need to get it to California without refueling (without a tail-wind), then we’ll talk about going to Hawaii . . . (oh, my stomach hurts real bad on this one).

You people have no mercy, whatsoever! Shame on all of you!

(groan)

gadfly

mike said...

Are we talking about the certification test flights with the Feds? If we are, than I can vouch that the feds flew on the test fleet(a/c's 103,104,106,107, and 108) for more than 90% of their flights. It wasn't working than and as far as my buddies tell me, it ain't working now - hence a new avionics package.
Who is feeding you guys this stuff, The reject mickey mouse club?

Gunner said...

Ken-
You really are one piece of work. I said the Raptors "lost everything". I stand by that statement, because it was made in CONTEXT of navigation and communications. You might well point out that I'm "wrong" because they didn't lose the wings, but this wouldn't make you "right", just silly and missing the point.

Nobody but the NTSB is really gonna care if your little jet creates a smoking hole because it "lost everything" and spiraled into the ground without controls or because it "lost everything" and spiraled into the ground due to zero situational awareness in hard IMC. A smoking hole is a smoking hole; a critical systems source code failure is a critical systems source code failure; and a company that can develop a complete "Next Generation" aviation suite in a few months, after failing miserably on a simpler system after 5 years, is a Bad Joke on those who buy the hype.

Gunner

Green-or-Red said...

Mike said..."I can vouch that the feds flew on the test fleet(a/c's 103,104,106,107, and 108) for more than 90% of their flights."

This is partially right and partially wrong.
Pre-production flight test aircraft are 103, 106, 107, 108 and 109.
104 is the static test article and was never flown. Static test was successful for xx load conditions.
105 is the fatigue test article and has not yet been tested.
This is per the old "timeline" when everything was transparent!!

Gadfly
Is your shop in RR?

Ken Meyer said...

Mike wrote,
"Who is feeding you guys this stuff, The reject mickey mouse club?"


What stuff?

Ken

gadfly said...

Green or Red

So there is no misunderstaning:

Cushman Engineering is at 9904 Cochiti Road SE, Albuquerque, NM, 87123 . . . Phone (505) 293-3323.

We welcome anyone and everyone, regardless of your views concerning the "little jet".

Robert B. Cushman

Niner Zulu said...

You have to hand it to Vern - the new spin is working. A lot of Eclipse owners have jumped on the "let's blame Avidyne, United and everyone else but Eclipse" bandwagon.

Comments from the Eclipse owners forum:
- "I see no reason they can't have Avio NG finished within 6 months
- Eclipse is now building a training facility at Double Eagle. The sims will be installed there. Work on this transition has been going on for some time. Evidently, United decided to refuse to honor their agreement with Eclipse after some review by United corporate management, not training management. Reasoning reported to be "why should we be training (at low prices) pilots to fly airplanes which will be taking our higher paying passengers out of our seats".
- I want to respond to some of the negative posts. I personally have to give Vern and the entire Eclipse team giant kudos for staying with it despite all the difficult hurdles. One of the big fights has always been that they are trying to change the face of aviation. There is a sea of legacy issues and companies out there and they are staying the course. It would be easy to cave and compromise their philosophy and they havn't. It has to be hard to hold on to your beliefs in such a world. But, they are. From me, hang in there Vern and all of the great people at Eclipse."

The kool aid dispenser seems to be fixed, at least for a few more weeks.

My wife reminded me again this morning just how fortunate we were that we didn't buy a position - I can't imagine having that money at risk in the Eclipse circus.

What a lot of Eclipse position holders overlook is that, if and when the plane is finally made right, they can still buy one. Maybe it will cost a little more - big deal. Does it make sense to risk hundreds of thousands of dollars just to save a fraction of that? I think not.

mike said...

Green or Red you are correct, error on my part. That's one guys.

Ken, if I have to explain it to you, then nevermind.

gadfly said...

Mike

It took me a little time to understand this “blog site”, but maybe I now have it in focus. There are many folks that are frustrated by the nonsense that is pushed out to the public by the “media”. . . and I happen to know some of the publishers (they must be careful . . . their many readers provide their income, and to be honest, I am locked in to certain financial relationships with them, although in no way connected with the “little jet”). But, because of that relationship, I am acquainted with the real experiences of a “real” jet, and not a “want-a-be” aircraft.

Some of us have an “altruistic” interest in the aircraft industry . . . dating back, for some, to before the WWII. In other words, we really believed that safety, and integrity were of absolute importance when developing new aircraft, and all of the components that, together, make up a reliable form of transportation. Each and every phase of our work in quality and safety took priority over any other consideration.

Today, it’s all “a joke” . . . anything to make a buck. ‘Sorry, but this present project is doomed to failure . . . sooner or later, many people will be hurt . . . physically? . . . financially? . . . Whichever . . . the end is near.

All too soon, the sound of “explosion” that so often reverberates across the “North-east Heights” of Albuquerque, will not be the “normal” shock wave of the “boys” at Sandia National Labs, setting off another experiment in the “shock tube”(of which I have had a part)”, or weapons that will find their way to Iraq, or Afghanistan, but the “implosion” of a company that thought it could change the aviation industry.

Discussions seem to center upon “computer graphics” and “computer controls”. I, too, spend much of my work day with a “high end” computer design system, which one? . . . Solid Designer, by CoCreate . . . a system that thinks the way I think. But it only thinks what “I think”, and allows me to machine each and every thought. . . quickly and accurately. The bottom line comes back to “me” as the inventor. That is something that “Eclipse” is totally lacking. Without that, there is no product . . . no viable aircraft . . . no total system. Successful aircraft is never . . . underline that, NEVER, designed by committee. Unfortunately, the “little jet” is the product of a “committee” . . . it’s time to call in the morticians, the mourners, the engravers of the “head stone”, and get on with life. Sorry, . . . but sorry don’t feed the bulldog!

airtaximan said...

I sincerely hope Ken Meyer leaves his deposit with E-clips and loses all his money. He is nothing but a snippy smarmy PITA. Nothing he says is of relevance, or even true.

One would need to think E-clips is FBW for any of his last 10 comments be relevant.

Perhaps he's an investor in Dayjet?
MAybe he want's to share his V-porn colection with us...

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?id=35457376@N00&format=rss_200

Gunner said...

An Eclipse Owner said:
"It would be easy to cave and compromise their philosophy and they havn't. It has to be hard to hold on to your beliefs in such a world. But, they are."

I doubt he's aware of just how prophetic those words are? From his lips to God's ear, as they say.

Niner-Zulu-
Thanks much for posting those Depositor thoughts. I go back to my explanation of "the con" and the very active role that is played by "the mark". They have to believe they're getting "something for nothing". As long as that illusion is maintained, a mark will turn on everybody who talks sense to him, including family. In this case, the illusion is maintained by promising people they're gonna get $80-100K in free avionics upgrades: "It's right around the corner here".

Gunner

Flying Wolf said...

I would like to bring up the issue of the psych exam. What are they looking for? You take a test and then get an evaluation. Does this test follow you around or is this for the Eclipse only. Is Vern sticking by the "if you can't train you get your money back" line?

Also would this would be as good way to get you money back? Go in and fail your psych exam so you can't fly the plane?

What scares me the most is that this could be a way for the TSA to get the number of pilots down because we'd all need psych exams. And we all know how crazy we pilots are already ;)

BTW a good friend of mine had a deposit on a plane but he canceled after They changed engines. He couldn't land or take off from his home strip "unless he wasn't carrying any fuel".

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"I sincerely hope Ken Meyer leaves his deposit with E-clips and loses all his money. He is nothing but a snippy smarmy PITA."


Doesn't surprise me a bit. Some people are so obsessed with their hatred for Eclipse that they cannot stand the idea that anybody actually likes the plane. For some reason, that thought is more menacing to them than any other possibility.

I didn't actually peg you for a full-fledged Eclipse-hating radical, but on the other hand, you just showed your colors, and they're hard to ignore.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Flying Wolf,

The Meyers-Brigg test seems to me to be a very odd choice as it basically diferentiates all of us into 2 camps, intravert or extravert, then looks at things such empathetic or judgemental, and several other issues. What does this have to do with earning a type-rating to operate an aircraft? Asking sincerely as I know pilots of varied backgrounds and certainly vaired personalities in the 'world' but we are all business in the cockpit, as it should be.

Will Eclipse be denying training to certain personality types, say an ENFP due to their primarily extraverted intuitive personaility that resorts to consensus and task avoidance when under stress?

I believe this is more marketing mumbo jumbo to make the Eclipse training gestapo appear to be something it is not (innovative and revolutionary). They are going to make even reasonably experienced GA pilots pay for having an SIC, even though the FSB says there is not (currently) and SIC training curriculum. Sounds like a retirement gift to the Age 60 crowd but what will it actually add to safety when Johnny JetJockey knows no matter how bad he screws up Steve Canyon Sr, the retired 777 driver, will be right seat and ready to bail him out?

Training is mandated in the TC data as contained in the AFM as well as the FSB report - Eclipse apparently wants to 'control' all the little pieces of what it takes to get into and operate their little jet.

Seems like more distinctions with no difference, inconsequential cost drivers that make it 'feel' different than a 4 day course at Simuflite or FlightSafety. Read that B.S.

Planet eX said...

Ken Meyer said...
hrr wrote,
"If you lose the PFD or MFD, you have no airplane?"

Not quite. By design, you can display parameters and operate the aircraft using either one of the PFDs or the MFD. An ADI is continuously displayed on the MFD to provide backup in the event of PFD failure. For redundancy, there are 4 sources of power, 2 redundant busses, 2 (or 3) AHRS for attitude and heading information, and 3 redundant sources for air data information.

The one interesting scenario that is not accounted for in the setup is the possibility that a software bomb could take down all 3 display panels. That presumably was deemed to be too unlikely to worry about, and indeed a search of the the SDR database failed to reveal any episodes where all of an aircraft's displays were brought down by a software glitch. (That said, the recent Raptor episode sounds like it might be one, but of course there are all sorts of other factors involved in that episode that make it inapplicable here).

Ken


The SDR database is a poor information source for these instances.

I suggest you read this:

"Honeywell is working with Gulfstream to certificate and field a Primus Epic avionics reversion-logic software fix to prevent momentary blanking of cockpit displays in the PlaneView integrated flightdeck on G350, G450, G500 and G550 business jets. "

http://tinyurl.com/33v955

I seen other mentions of display blanking in both Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

Some caused by electrical glitches and some caused by software glitches.

a37pilot said...

KM and ATM Chill !!!

Let's not forget there's more at stake here than the little airplane. Jobs if EAC goes belly up, lives if some substandard airplane gets out and turns into a smoking hole.

Perhaps EAC will realize this, step back, redesign, reengineer, whatever and ultimately manufacture an aircraft that can be produced at some reasonable rate. Whatever that airplane turns out to be, airtaxi, personal jet etc. EAC's survival would ultimately be good for all of us in GA.

This is a great blog with some good thoughts, ideas, and even alittle humor (thanks Bede 5 believer I drank that kool aide once too) don't take it too personally.

Gunner said...

Bless you, planet-ex:
That should be sobering information for ALL of us, but especially for the "Eclipse has got it locked" crowd.

Top of the line Honeywell systems blanking out MULTIPLE screens on Gulfstreams? Thank God they're equipped with completely separate backup instruments and a CREW to handle problems when things go bump in the night, in hard IMC.

Never fear, though. Honeywell is just one of those Dinosaur companies. (At least they were until Eclipse hired them two days ago.) No way AVIO NG could risk the same types of software glitches; after all, Eclipse has been designing this system "for several months now".

Seriously, pilots. I'm not preaching; just reminding everyone of something that I've become complacent about myself. Look VERY carefully at a plane's cockpit and make damned certain it includes enough separate system backup devices to get you home. Little things like a Standby Attitude Instrument help; the Little Jet lacked one of these last time the FAA checked.

Gunner

Gunner said...

More on the issue of backup fight instruments. I just took a little internet stroll. What I found is a bit eye-opening; and a bit frightening:

Check out Adam's panel and note the mechanical backups:
http://tinyurl.com/2nwong

Check out the Mustang's panel and note the mechanical backups:
http://tinyurl.com/ysqmud

Check out the D-Jet's panel and note the mechanical backups:
(clickthrus required)
http://www.diamondair.com

Now, check out the Eclipse and note how, umm, "clean" the panel is:
http://tinyurl.com/ytlykg

You guessed it. None of those unsightly backups. This is, after all, the Next Generation in avionics.

Gunner

Metal Guy said...

The aircraft is absolutely designed such that a single software bug could bring the aircraft down.

Planet eX said...

Gunner wrote:
Seriously, pilots. I'm not preaching; just reminding everyone of something that I've become complacent about myself. Look VERY carefully at a plane's cockpit and make damned certain it includes enough separate system backup devices to get you home. Little things like a Standby Attitude Instrument help; the Little Jet lacked one of these last time the FAA checked.


I guess the Mustang and Phenom are dinosaurs because they bothered to include standby instruments. How much more could it cost to include them? Better yet, go the Phenom route and use a single instrument like the ones that L-3 and Thales produce (the L-3 units are around $56,000).

airtaximan said...

Ken:

Nice try.
Nice propaganda.

Vern and E-clips had every opportunity to play it straight, spend the investors money wisely, develop what they promised, be honest, and fess up when they failed. They have done none of this to date...and it continues…

The level of cultural dissonance involved here is too great to overcome, and I find it appalling. You are a follower and are promoting such dissonance.

The previous aerospace industry culture was one of safety, honesty, responsibility and accountability.
The shift you are supporting is one of dishonesty, trickery, safety-last, fallacy, and irresponsibility.

Sorry, I'm appalled.

Your knit=picking posts promoting the interest of Vern, and the games you play are very serious regarding the industry and safety.

One needs only to look a few bad apples like Platinum Jet to realize the harm that can come from irresponsible commerce, promotion and puffery, skirting rules, finding loopholes, and treating the rest of the industry like dinosaurs.

NOTHING YOU HAVE CONTRIBUTED HAS BEEN ACCURATE, TRUE, RELEVANT OR EVEN INTELLIGENT.

Its worse to watch the infected compared to just dealing with the disease – E-clips. Read the story of Jonestown and understand. You are the worst case scenario.

It pains me to watch the shift you are dying to promote here - and I might ask "why?" But at last, I do not care any longer. You’re a die-hard. There’s no reasoning with you - it's obvious. Somehow, you'll have to hit bottom, and from what I've seen you are many knit-picks from the bottom. You can justify anything to yourself with a Vernacular here, a knit there.

I would prefer you sobered up, but I do not see this happening anytime soon.

You went dormant when E-Vern fessed-up a little bit this week - to cover his own butt. You claimed you were in the sun…but when you found a knit-pick, you came out from behind the “sunscreen” and poked at a valid point that made perfect sense. The point could have been seen as a safety warning, but you just saw it as an opportunity to knit-pick – I guess you felt somehow threatened, like someone was taking “your stuff” away – I cannot even imagine.

You are obviously in bad shape - defending Vern and E-clips no matter what - even Vern is admitting to his "holy mess" over there. OK,OK, sugar-coated, and laced with a plea for the deposit money, but even you could come clean a little like EB?

NOPE - you are “die-hard-core” and proud of it! You chose to knit-pick, defend, and argue.

Hey, why don't you go buy some heroin and take a flight "that way"? Promote heroine as a nice way to take a trip, avoid the security lines at the airport, travel on your own schedule...but PLEASE DO NOT CALL IT SAFE. In your current state, you would probably characterize Heroine as “not unsafe” based on certain instances of it not being lethal. A true knit pick, hard-core.

You have displayed nothing but one-sided-drunken-lust for the e-dream - one that is unrealistic, a fantasy, and a con.

The plane is in the garbage - wake up. You were lied to. You've been had. It's a redo. E-clips 500 is dead, long live E-500?

If it only takes a few months as Vern said, for all the fixes and redos, then it wasn't that hard to complete in the first place - and they failed at that. Every facet of the company has problems, major systems are being replaced after 8 years of development, things are cracking, and suppliers are fleeing. All the while, the Vernacular would have you believe things are under control, and going as re-planned, or re-planned, or –re-planned. They are not to be trusted with anyone's money or lives. They have proven one thing, they lie when they cannot deliver, they cover up, and they blame everyone else. UNSAFE, period.

I would never trust my family in that plane given the lies, the cover-ups, lack of honesty and overall disrespect for the FAA, the aviation community and above all safety. This pattern since 1998. It's a long time. Deep rooted. Required major surgery or intervention…and you defend them.

So, Ken, I suggest you go home, write a check for the 60% payment to fund re-development, and wait for your e-clips-redo-plain to arrive. Heck, go take all the photos you want at the factory. Eventually, you’ll “hit bottom” as they say (hopefully, only figuratively, but hey, Vern coined the term Die-hard).

Honestly, people like you really scare me, and I hope the M/B test weeds you out…but if it doesn’t (heck, Vern agreed to it, so it probably won’t, right?) I just pray that IF you are ever delivered an e-clips…

…you refrain from flying over my house or my kid's school.

airtaximan said...

fwiw,

My friend at Avidyne told me a few years ago that Vern stipulated that nothing except the glass panels and keyboard would be included in the avionics. No switches, dials, etc..and no other instruments.

It was almost as if he was trying to make a point that computers could do it all by them selves. This has been a serious issue with the FAA all along...how do you do anything if the lights/electric fails? Nothing to feel, no backups, etc.

Since, they have added some switches etc...but I'm sure Vern's design criteria led to huge delays.

Safety first, right?

Nice find, good point Gunner.

Planet eX said...

Call me old fashioned...but after almost 30 years dealing with computers, I don't trust them with my life no matter how robustly they have been designed and tested.

From what I understand, there are only three (3) mechanical circuit breakers in the cockpit; the rest are electronic circuit breakers.

Being conservative (like Cessna, Embraer and others) with new technology is the way to go when you're flying along at whatever flight level. If the SHTF, I'd like to be able to yank a circuit breaker or two and see if I can get the displays to reset. I'd like to have something that has it's own power supply (i.e., standby gyro) to give me some sense of what's going on if the software discovers that hidden bug that no amount of ground-based testing is going to find. Aviation is a very unforgiving enterprise and if something is going to go wrong, it eventually will with catastrophic results.

BD5 Believer said...

More on Stand By instruments...placement of the standby instrument is also critical..it needs to be in the immediate scan of the PIC. A stand by instrument placed on the far / opposite side of the cockpit is useless, unless you do a lot of training with it.

The accident record proves that a stand by instrument on the right side panel is only good if there is a qualified pilot in that seat...scanning cross panel in real IFR, with other real life distractors at that moment is no cake walk.

Gunner said...

AT and PE-
All of this is bringing me back to those ground school days. Remember when "redundancy" was a Good Thing?

Hell, in the Dinosaur world, we had alternate static air in case the air vent froze (or just break the instrument glass); we had dual vacuum pumps; we had stand-by electric attitude instruments; we were required to know how to use the Rate of Climb instrument and compass as crude altimeters and the turn and bank indicator (plus watch) in the event of a compass failure. All sorts of tricks.

Don't get me wrong. I'm ALL in favor of glass cockpits and don't even know how I got by without my little GNS 530. But, when these cockpits are taken to an extreme, I wonder if anyone is even practicing the old "partial panel" exercises?

I'm no commercial time pilot. But I've lost landing gear motors on rotation, radios and navigation in flight, vacuum pumps in IMC, deice gear in freezing rain over the Rockies, Stormscope and Radar in less than the best of conditions...just to name a few that come to mind.

My equipment and training has always provided a relatively straightforward "Plan B". What's the "Plan B" when all you have is Hal and Hal goes on strike?
Gunner

BD5 Believer said...

More on Fly By Wire and computers..

Take a look at the history of the A320 and its growing pains. Although they have not lost an aircaft due to the FBW system itself...they lost the Air France aircraft in 1988 becasue the pilot did not understand all the control logic - specifically the alpha floor limitor and it relationship to auto throttles and the thrust level position. They (and Boing) have also learned that a computer controled airplane still has to "feel" like an airplane to be flown safely.

Vern has forgotten that computers are usefull aids...but not the end all...we do not nee "HAL" in the cockpit

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

Take a look at the left side of the panel just next to the air vent and find something else to rant about :>)

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/eclipse_500/avio_ng/

Gunner said...

Saw that, KD1.
What's your point?
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

"What's the "Plan B" when all you have is Hal and Hal goes on strike?"

Some moron is going to say:
"It's certifies, it won't happen"

They also have non-refundable deposits at E-clips, believe the recently promoted delivery schedule, think the plane was designed for air taxi, and believe the avionics is just being upgraded.

Will they pass the psych test?

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

The Avio NG does have a standby AI next to the air vent left panel.

Gunner said...

Like I said, KD1, I saw that. But what's your point, especially as it appears to have materialized only after the FAA dinged them on it. It that what you consider acceptable backup, should the software shut down the glass panel on an Instrument Approach?
Gunner

bill e. goat said...

Okay, time for the blog nice squad to bust some offenders:

Gunner, above (hopefully, far enough above we can soon drop it) you probably knew what you meant to say, but since you included the word "everything" repeatedly, and never used the word "except", but did use include the terms fuel management in the same sentence with nav and com, it is certainly not clear that you meant to single out nav and com. You resisted Ken's efforts (twice) to specify "everything" did not include the flight control computers, and then finally agreed with him and accused HIM of distortions- you are sentenced to:

3 glasses of KoolAid (ice allowed- but no sugar).

{Well, even these testy exchanges generate some benefit- I was so sure you were speaking inclusively of FBW, I looked up the F-22 to see if it was naturally stable- or unstable (no comment) :): Found this interesting article- an interview with Paul Metz- who was the Northrop YF-23 chief pilot, now works for Lockheed (or did, this is several years old-egad, Sept 98!). It would be interesting to see what his assessment of YF-22 vs YF-23 is, after he is less obligated. (I suppose, as controversial as the E-500 is, the YF-22 v. YF-23 issue was even more "lively"- I was a YF-23 proponent, and think Lockheed got it because Northrop was messing up on the B-2 at the time. But, I've heard both sides.}
http://www.ausairpower.net/API-Metz-Interview.html

BTW, I agree, I think it is stupid not to have a mechanical (or electromechanical) standby instrument particularly on a brand new (unproven) avionics suite. In fact, I would argue that the cockpit should have been a 50/50 mix- maintenance costs be damned, until the avionics could matured. Guess this would have scared off the potential Air Taxi guys. Speaking of which:

ATM- I think you are the sane one that I agree with most over the past few weeks I've been reading this blog. But today's attacks on Ken- QUICK! Hit the retrorockets and drop back into the atmosphere- you need the oxygen. You are either suffering from hypoxia or have just quit smoking. Either way- quit fuming !!! :)

Penalty- 4 glasses of Kool-Aid, NO ice, NO sugar.

And go smoke a pack of cigarettes. Quickly. Please.

"After an individual has used tobacco for some time, the nicotine has a calming and sedating effect and the withdrawal is characterized by irritability, anxiety, restlessness and agitation". (from : http://www.pilotfriend.com/aeromed/medical/smoking.htm)

Planet eX said...

Koolaid-drinker1 said...
The Avio NG does have a standby AI next to the air vent left panel.


If that's a standby gyro, it's not located in the best of places. In fact, I'd consider it to be a bad location.

Gunner said...

Bill E-
"the four aircraft affected lost everything from navigation to communication to fuel flow and quantity" is a self explanatory and self limiting statement. It's also true to the facts.

Let it go.
Gunner

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

There seems to be some question on this blogg regarding the lack of "dinosaur" standby instruments on the E500.
My observation (my point) is that there now exists a standby AI on the Avio NG panel (where there once was none). I consider this a good addition to the 3 computer screens. FAA dinged or not, backups are always a good thing.

bill e. goat said...

Gunner,
Thanks, I'm three posts behind you on fly by wire, so I have to catch up.
Go smoke some cigarettes.

Gunner said...

KA1-
That's exactly the point. There were NONE until the FAA mandated this one. Yet, Eclipse continues to hold itself out as demanding 99.9999823798% reliability (a similar figure was calculated, Spock-style, and publicized on an AVIO system that failed to function 100% of the time!).

Additionally, even after this rather niggardly head-nod to FAA concerns, there is still no backup airspeed or altimeter, to name two. Think those might come in handy when the TV sets go dark?

Again, compare this to Mustang, Adam and D-Jet. Doesn't look to me like Eclipse is revolutionizing anything; except perhaps the need to bone up on "seat-of-the-pants" navigation.

Gunner

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

Thanks Gunner, you have some valid concerns. Good idea to have the backup Garmin 496 in the cockpit :>)

I would be interested in knowing more regarding the AVIO system that failed to function 100% of the time.

Thanks KA1

airtaximan said...

Bill E Goad:

I do not smoke, and I am very serious about my words for Ken.

I've watched him create confusion here, with retarded remarks for weeks. None of it makes sense. It's all knit-picking.

In light of recent admissions, some have come forth and said they were concerned about E-clip and Vern regardng the true state of affairs and honesty. It all relates to safety.

You got confused and began looking for FBW info..why? Ken... nice distraction. The remarks and insight provided by Gunner et als, were not designed to enlighten us about FBW, just the safety issues related to the AVIO TOTAL system. There's an analogy - sorry if someone might mistake it for FBW.

Bottom line, Ken is a die-hard. Check the record...more false impressions, bad info and wrong statements have been made by HIM and stated as fact. He's been flat out rude to many. He has been dismissive of very good points. Why?

He's been smoking Varijuana or something. Drinking V-odka to excess. Shooting e-roine...

The guys messed up.

Sory if you think I need to start smoking cigarettes or drinking his kool-aid...not for me.

I do not mind sincere honest evaluations of E-clips. But the enabling of the e-diction has to stop.

Ken should have satyed awa, or said "hello, man, I am really surprised Vern was not honest with us. Gee, I really am losing faith. I guess I'll keep my deppsoit and hope for the best, I really want a jey and all I can afford is the E-clips...or perhaps I'll trade mine for a can of beans later..."

Nope - just Gunner et als, you are wrong. There is no real danger in the AIO system and you are wrong regarding the example you give. Its not a perfect example.

We owe Ken nothing, except "seek help"

Ken Meyer said...

Before you get too enamored with how much better a mechanical backup is than a backup incorporated into the PFD/MFD layout, maybe you'd better read the FAA's own words on the matter in AC 23.1311-1B:

"Reversionary configurations are significantly more reliable than presently certified mechanical systems, and the skills required while flying in reversionary mode are identical with those used when flying in primary mode. Traditional external standby flight instruments (either electronic or mechanical) offer potential safety problems associated with delay in pilot reaction. The pilot may delay a decision to transition to standby instruments and to transition to partial panel techniques, as opposed to the simple action the pilot would take to switch displays. A nearly identical display of all flight information in the same format as normally shown on the PFD provides a significant safety enhancement over reversion to external standby instruments. This is especially true when the size, location, arrangement, and information provided by the standby instruments is significantly different from that on the PFD."


Ken

Gunner said...

KAD1 said:

"I would be interested in knowing more regarding the AVIO system that failed to function 100% of the time."

Lessee, AVIO never functioned as advertised and never even offered DME, up thru the time it was evaluated by the FAA (about 6 weeks ago). In fact, Vern's solution last July was to give everyone a handheld GPS to make up for the braindead AVIO system.

Would ya call that system "functioning" or "inop"? In Vern's former world of computers it was known as "infant mortality". When your computer fails to boot on start-up, would you say it could accurately be described as having failed"?

;-)
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"I am very serious about my words for Ken...It's all knit-picking."


That would be nitpicking, airtaxigoofer :).

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Would you like to tell the class what the FAA means by "A nearly identical display of all flight information in the same format as normally shown on the PFD"

Do you think they're referring to a single software code (bug) displaying the same (dis)information on separate screens or two totally different and isolated software systems displaying same?

As usual, Ken, you're obfuscating either thru intent or ignorance. I'm not likely to get pissy about it; but I will call you on it.

In your own words: That's wrong.

;-)
Gunner

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

Thanks for the explanation Gunner. I had thought you had some knowledge regarding some actual hardware / software failures. We all know that the Avidyne days were dark ones. If you know of any failures affecting the safety of the system I would be interested in learning of them.

Thanks again. KA1

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner wrote,
"Would you like to tell the class what the FAA means by "A nearly identical display of all flight information in the same format as normally shown on the PFD"


I can tell you that they are not talking about a separate mechanical backup as you seem to be promoting. They are saying that it is easier and safer for a pilot to revert to a MFD with backup ADI in the event of failure of the PFD.

The Circular goes on:

"Electronic display systems with dual PFDs should incorporate dual, independently powered sensors that provide primary flight parameters such as Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) with comparators and dual Air Data Computer (ADC). Dual PFDs with dual AHRSs and ADCs, which include checking and are powered by multiple power sources and distribution systems, are significantly more reliable than presently certified mechanical systems. For systems with these characteristics, dedicated standby instruments are not required."

Sound familiar? It's describing the Eclipse layout, the very one you say is no good.

Ken

Metal Guy said...

Not good enough for part 135 where more stringent safety requirements are in place. See 135.149(c) which requires a third system in addition to the dual system you describe.

Gunner said...

Ken-
I think the points are pretty well made here. The FAA may not describe a dual system with mechanical backups as "ideal", but that passage most certainly does not describe the Eclipse system, which is completely devoid of any separate backup at all. In fact, they've already written Eclipse up for lack of backup.

So, we'll let the readers figure out which they'd prefer:
- A few of those Dinosaur mechanical backups.
- No backup whatsoever, because AVIO NG is just that good (or, at least, "better" than its predecessor which didn't function at all).

KAD1 Asked:
"We all know that the Avidyne days were dark ones.
You are evidently not reading the History of Eclipse according to Ken Meyer and EB. They have taken great pains to explain that AVIO was not Avidyne. Avidyne was but a bit player in the AVIO system. Nope, AVIO was purely an Eclipse innovation. It also never functioned; now they're making it even MORE "robust".

Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner wrote,
"they've already written Eclipse up for lack of backup."


Would you mind directing us to where the FAA has done that?

Ken

Gunner said...

Sure Ken.
Here you go:
http://tinyurl.com/2xaf9k

It's long, I know. In fact, it's just about 4X longer than the same report issued for the Cessna Mustang.

Wonder why.

;-)
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

"Here you go:
http://tinyurl.com/2xaf9k"


Thank you.

I think you may have misinterpreted the FSB report, Gunner. That report calls for the plane to have a third attitude instrument in compliance with FAR 135.149: "Eclipse Aviation...will either install a third AHRS or a standby instrument group."

The third AHRS has been part of the Eclipse Part 135 option package for a long, long time. It was an Avidyne responsibility and one of the things they were unable to deliver on.

In other words, there is nothing in the FSB report that says Eclipse cannot meet FAR 135.149 using the third AHRS approach as planned. I thought maybe you'd come across something saying they could not do it the way they were planning.

Ken

cherokee driver said...

KD1

Eclipse might want to spend a little more time on epanelbuilder.com. That thing you are calling an SAI looks more like a $35.00 slip indicator from Aircraft Spruce. Hard to tell what that thing is from that picture.

Gunner said...

Ken-
I guess you haven't been following the script. This aircraft is designed to Part 135 specs. Didn't you know it's a high cycle Air-Taxi jet? No, standby attitude instrument found.

Also no rate of turn indicator as required under Part 91; no DME (you were wrong) as required under Part 91; no TCAS or TAS as required under Part 91; no RVSM (you were wrong, again) as required under Part 91.

Little wonder they're not too concerned with backup instruments...they've got their hands full just getting the Primary Instruments to work as advertised.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner wrote,
"I guess you haven't been following the script. This aircraft is designed to Part 135 specs. Didn't you know it's a high cycle Air-Taxi jet? No, standby attitude instrument found.

Also no rate of turn indicator as required under Part 91; no DME (you were wrong) as required under Part 91; no TCAS or TAS as required under Part 91; no RVSM as required under Part 91."


Rich, you're a smart guy. And I don't think you're uninformed, either. So, I can only conclude you write the stuff you do because of your vendetta against Eclipse.

Of course the plane they tested starting last September didn't have the third AHRS, therefore didn't meet the Part 135 requirement. Avidyne didn't provide it; that's one reason they were fired. That doesn't mean the plane delivered to Part 135 customers won't have a third AHRS.

"Also no rate of turn indicator as required under Part 91." Part 91 doesn't require a rate of turn indicator. Look it up if you don't believe me. It requires either a rate of turn indicator OR, a third attitude instrument as the Eclipse 135 package provides.

"no DME (you were wrong) as required under Part 91;"
It was inoperative due to inability to update the database. That problem is now resolved.

"no TCAS or TAS as required under Part 91;" Part 91 doesn't require TCAS or TAS. 91.221 requires that, if you have one, if must be approved and you must use it; it doesn't say you must have one. The Eclipse will be delivered with one regardless.

"no RVSM as required under Part 91." Where'd you get that from, Rich? That's just wrong; the plane is RVSM approved.

You're ranting with stuff that's just wrong. Everything that is required for Part 91 operation is currently in the aircraft. The third AHRS will be installed for Part 135 operations now that there is a new supplier for it.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

Two additional comments on the rate of turn indicator:

1. AC 91-75 permits replacement of the rate of turn indicator with a second AI (as the Eclipse has even without the Part 135 package) provided the aircraft has two independent power sources. The Eclipse exceeds that requirement, so it meets the Part 91 requirements as is.

2. Avio NG will reportedly incorporate a rate of turn indicator anyhow, so it will exceed the 91.205 requirements.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
You keep arguing the Eclipse that has been promised. My point is the Eclipse that has been tested and entered into service. The plane has received TC and we're gonna see 400 of 'em dot the skies this year alone. David Crowe can't fly a promise, Ken. That's why the FSB Report is so damned long.

As to your continued reference to my "vendetta" against Eclipse, give it a rest. I'm looking at the D-Jet, the Eclipse (that's right), the A-700 and the Mustang. You, on the other hand, have admitted to me that the A700 and Mustang are out of your price range; only the Eclipse will do. So, if there's anyone here that's fixated on the Eclipse, at the exclusion of all other options, it'd be you.
Gunner

Metal Guy said...

The FAA Approved FSBR states that “Eclipse presently does not have any aircraft equipped for RVSM operations. “ – Feb 22, 2007

What is the difference between being “group certified”? and the above statement from the FAA? Something is odd.

Anyone know what the "new new new plan" is for who is supplying the new third AHRS? I didn’t see it on the list of new vendors.

Gunner said...

metal-guy-
I really don't see why we don't use the performance promises made in 2001 as the benchmark for Eclipse Reality. After all, those promises were every bit as sincere as the ones made this past week; but the old promises allow us to fly it much cheaper, with higher payloads, for longer distances and at greater speeds. ;-)

"Will have" hasn't saved an aircraft in distress yet, to my knowledge.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

metal guy wrote,
"The FAA Approved FSBR states that..."


..."The EA-500 is certified for Day, Night, VFR and IFR operations to a maximum operating altitude of 41,000 feet and is approved for flight into reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace if the aircraft meets the minimum equipment requirements."

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,
"You, on the other hand, have admitted to me that the A700 and Mustang are out of your price range; only the Eclipse will do."


I think you misunderstood me. I actually looked quite seriously at purchasing an A-700 position. The plane is clearly bigger than I need and consumes about 50% more fuel. Furthermore, if you guys went after Adam with one tenth the zeal you're going after Eclipse with, I think you'd uncover their biggest problem: there is very serious doubt they will ever deliver this product to market. Heck, their A-500 is almost 2 years beyond certification and still can't fly over 12,500 feet. Eclipse was certified out of the box for VFR, IFR, single-pilot, autopilot, up to 41,000 feet.

Mustang is a whole 'nother story. That's a nice plane, but it is overpriced for what you get. It costs more than 60% more than the Eclipse, and entails operating expenses about 50% more than the Eclipse without providing a single performance aspect substantially better than the Eclipse. It's nice; if there were no Eclipse I might buy one (though I really like the Phenom better).

But all that aside, I don't have a vendetta against either of them. i like them both. I found the A-700 a joy to fly, and I'm still planning a testride of the Mustang.

My complaint with you is that you keep saying stuff that is flat out incorrect in support of your position against Eclipse.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
You skipped the rest of the paragraph. Here you go:
"At the present time, the distance measuring equipment (DME) system is not approved and the aircraft is restricted to operations below Flight Level 240. The EA-500 is not approved for flight into known icing conditions."

"Will have" doesn't get you up to 41K and doesn't dissipate ice. "Will have" is what created the billion dollar hole in the ground at ABQ. "Will have" is what keeps the marks sending in the money. "Will have" is a meaningless phrase in practical aviation circles.

Regardless, nice try.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner, you must have missed the news that the DME has now been approved.

You're right about FIKI, though. We're still waiting for it.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Avidyne/Avio/Dayjet...

from Dayjet's website...the Avidyne system is so integrated and integral, its affecting the operator!

" Avionics by Avidyne
"Avidyne was the first company to apply the advances of the personal computer and networking era to create integrated flight decks. Through our work with Eclipse and other advanced aircraft manufacturers, Avidyne is playing a key role in the ‘Per-Seat, On-Demand’ air service market.

We welcome DayJet’s announcements because they supply the key missing piece to make this market a reality. With its unmatched operations expertise, DayJet has developed the real-time operations system that enables flexible jet service based on these new aircraft. DayJet, Eclipse and Avidyne, working together, will provide business travelers with a new level of flexibility and productivity."

Dan Schwinn
President
Avidyne Corporation



Avidyne Corporation is supplying avionics and integrated electronics for the Eclipse 500. Based in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Avidyne is revolutionizing the future of flight for business and commercial aviation through the power of today's most advanced technology. The company is leading the avionics industry with innovative products that greatly enhance pilots' situational awareness and safety during every phase of flight."


I just love all the hype/BS... but sometimes (if you chose to remember back a little while) it's so hard to remove the stains left behind...

airtaximan said...

Ken:

Why do you parrot the hype and tread potential future features and benefit, when so many have been missed, and performance goals have been recast?

You treat the hype as if it were true?

Given enouph time and money, anyone can make any feature and benefit appear. I almost expect E-clips-NG to appear soon, if the deposit money does not flow...with a claim that the new generation Eclipse-NG aircraft will be available in 6 months with all the features and benefits we ariginally planned...and you will claim, "see, they did it - you were all wrong".

Yur points illuminate the problems inherent in the whole endeavor. Just becasue e-clips says somethng, does not mean it is here. The DME that you defended as available BEFORE, months ago...is just showing up, now.

This means... you were wrong, you were misled, you misled us, you made it up?

Why?

Perhaps one day I will be a professional golfer...but today I am not. I know the difference...I need to do a lot of work to get there, and if I claimed I was one today, I would be called a liar. In the future, every promise can be kept, with time and money and the desire. Track record plays into it as well...

I would put E-clips in the reactive rather than the pro-active category regarding their record on honesty, safety, and meeting their goals.

Not a good track record...especially when lives are at stake.

Planet eX said...

Ken:

You're ignoring one key phrase - "if the aircraft meets the minimum equipment requirements."

Jet_fumes said...

Ken wrote:
"Mustang ... entails operating expenses about 50% more than the Eclipse"

That's because the JetComplete program involves fuzzy accounting.

Things like maintenance parts and labor, recurrent training, and all those annual fixed costs (divided by 500 hours/year) are very similar for the same class of aircraft in Conklin&deDecker. I don't see why they should be any different for Eclipse.

The JetComplete cost per hour is about the same as the maintenance parts/labor cost per hour of the Mustang. So you substract that.

Now free of charge, Eclipse JetComplete program will also provide, at 500 hours/year:
- 20$/hr fuel discount (I'm using 50 gal/hr block fuel)
- 4$/hr Jepps, XM, etc.
- 16$/hr recurrent training
- 41$/hr AOG service, Flight support, etc...
for a total of $81/hour?

I mean $81/hour is a lot of money, for coming from nowhere.

Not only Eclipse will lose money on each aircraft (I guesstimate $200,000/airframe if they are lucky), but they'll lose $81/hour on the JetComplete program. Or $81 million per year for a fleet of 2000 airplanes flying 500 hour/year.

No wonder deposit holders are excited about this aircraft, even their hourly rate is subsidized.

Gunner said...

Jet_Fumes:
Good analysis. But you forget: Eclipse projects their insurance rates as about 40% cheaper than the Mustang, because their plane is so much "safer". (Remember what is required of the Mark for the Con to work: he has to truly believe he's getting something for nothing)

Now that we've each beat Ken's little diversionary escapade to death, I think we can all agree the an FAA Minimum Equipment List does not guarantee a "safe" jet. It guarantees only Minimum Equipment. (Well, Ken might disagree).

In avionics, safety is defined as the ability to get home, with all your body parts intact, after you loose a system from ice, electric failure, software bugs or crash program "NextGen" Avionics. In aircraft, safety is in redundancy, not in future promises to meet some Minimum Equipment Requirements.

So, at the risk of being redundant myself, let me repeat something:

Check out Adam's panel and note the mechanical backups:
http://tinyurl.com/2nwong

Check out the Mustang's panel and note the mechanical backups:
http://tinyurl.com/ysqmud

Check out the D-Jet's panel and note the mechanical backups:
(clickthrus required)
http://www.diamondair.com

Now, check out the Eclipse and note how, umm, "clean" the panel is:
http://tinyurl.com/ytlykg

What is it that Eclipse has developed in avionics that puts it so far ahead as not to require customary and redundant backup avionics? (I don't even see a mechanical compass!)

Ken. which avionics suite would you feel safer flying at night, over water, for instance, or in that occasional hard IMC situation where you're getting knocked around like a rag doll, as ATC is hammering you with instructs and lightening is strobing thru the cabin like a SWAT Entry Team serving a fugie warrant?

Gunner

Richard Kaplan said...

Gunner,

Sure the Eclipse has a redundant panel. They will give a Garmin 496 for free to each of their early customers!

Doesn't that make you feel an added sense of value from your purchase?

mouse said...

JetFumes, One important detail that is not mentioned in the "JetIncomplete" program is the deception and not on an equal playing field is what it covers, or more importantly what it does not cover.

The engine is not included. And if you opt to add the money for the engine coverage, guess what.. You are still not covered! The cost of life-limited parts is missing... The use of a loaner engine(s) is/are not covered...

Now go look at the comparable (or shoudl I say incomaparable) programs offered by the rest.

Once again Eclipse is pulling the wool over everyones eyes, or at least Kens eyes!

As for the inclusion in the program for Jepps, better wait and see how this works out... Is this database easily updatable? Is Jeppeson really on-board with this? Perhaps their deal will fall through too when they learn that the Not E-zactly 500 numbers don't meet their negotiated minimum cost and they elect not to get screwed by Vern...?

Fuel discount, huh. Better see where you have to go to get that discount. It's not everywhere, in fact it's not at most destinations the Eclipse was designed to fly to, is it? Once again, is AVFuel or any other fuel supplier going to eat the margins when the E-lusive jet fails to show up in numbers? What were they promised in return for their agreeing to offer their discount?

AOG service: The proof is in the pudding.. So far Eclipse has missed every single goal/target except those targets which make you pay them. Your promise better be good, because Eclipse has you by the purse strings... What do you have on Eclipse? Nothing, which is also their performance and ROI on the owners investment.

Recurrent training: This is a great one! Since there is no training available, there is no cost to cover is there? And Eclipse even got the FAA to throw out any transferrable flight credit from any other airplane. If this is true, or at least the statement about no flight credit for any other plane beside an EA-500, does this mean your required landings? Required instrument approaches.procedures? BFR's? Any other recurrent times? So you are current in your C-182, PA34, B58, CJ2, or B-737, but no of it transfers over or is creditable to your EA-500 type rating? Hmmmm...