Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Buyin One Anyway

The blog be dammed, I'm buyin one anyway!

Actually, bet I can steal a Platinum Position this week for a big zero premium from one of those weak kneed speculators. Did my homework a couple of weeks ago to see what might be available for financing; thought I would be real clever and start with Cessna to see what kind of deal they would make.

For a Mustang, Textron Turbine Finance had numbers close at hand:

- 10% down
- 20 year loan
- 7 year note
- 6.8% fixed interest

That was clean, easy and reasonable. Since Eclipse has yet to develop a captive financing arm, I called one of the biggest banks in the country that has been financing business jets for over 30 years.

Here are their terms:

For starters, the bank would only recognize the platinum price plus options. They were not interested in funding the premium which I don't expect to be a problem since I am betting I can find a nervous nellie who will be just damn glad to get their initial deposit back this week. For example, I know of an offer made this week on a Platinum Position of $1.3m WITH options!

Now, so long as I agree to no prepayment before a 60 month term, the bank will finance two-thirds of the 60% progress payment, but only based on the Platinum Position price of $950k. So the amount they will front is $342k plus options, if the options are $140k, then the max that they will loan is $482K. The bank made it clear that they are not providing bridge financing. They want the term loan, early cancellation terms are very onerous. So, if I can get a Platinum Position for $1.3m with options, then the bank will finance $428k, this is equivalent to 37% vs 90% from Textron. Now let's say the market is not as scared as I am thinking it is, and sellers are standing by their numbers, I know that I can buy a Platinum Position for $1.6m. This now represents a different scenario with the bank though, as they will still only finance $428k, now we are down to 30% financing.

The bank is not interested in a security interest in the airplane. They want my personal financials to show a $10-15m net worth and my pledge of something valuable and reasonably liquid. I'll have to think of something here.

The interest is 1.75% over libor or prime plus 1%.

A 15 year term and a 5 year note.

The final kicker is that they are only going to take 30 of these sweetheart deals. May be an indication of the banking communities confidence in this program.

Think I'll study these numbers a bit more and maybe call Kenny. Perhaps he knows where I can get a better deal.

(moderators note - numbers are real the narration is fiction)

47 comments:

Eric said...

It would be great if you had such funds to actually do this. Then you could tell everyone how it actually flies (if it does get delivered to you).

Jetman said...

I'm sticking with my prognostication of a couple weeks ago, that there will be an implosion by Oshkosh 07. CG, windshields,speeds,range, simulators, mods,DME,avionics changes, stir fry welding (pun intended), serial number retractions, how much more can go wrong or be problamatic? It's like watching a death by a thousand cuts. What other problems have not been disclosed? I can't imagine that current order holders are falling over themselves to send in 60% when the production rate estimates for 07 are so outlandish. The construction industry axiom that it always takes longer and costs more money is certainly applicable here. It remains to be seen, but I think we have imminent carnage. I got a notice that there is going to be a VLJ siminar in Florida and VR is going to speak, question and answer period should be amusing. It's really to bad for the employees, investors and deposit holders.

Buckerfan said...

Hey Gunner,
you mention that when you paid your deposit you were told you were 13xx in line to receive your E-clips. Thats interesting. I also was giveen a 13xx delivery position. My order was made around easter 2005. But I recall you did not make yours until 2006. Am I correct?
On a separate note, lets all understand the truth about the role of the fleet deliveries in the order book. As I made clear in an earlier post, Dayjet, for example, have only enough money to pay for abput 30 jets. I dont care whether they have paid 10% deposits on more or less than that number of ultimate deliveries. The fact is that there can be absolutely no assurance behind the vast majority of their "orders". They will only have the funds to pay for most of their jets if their business turns out to be very successful. The reality is that the only orders that can be decently relied upon by eclipse are those by well heeled individuals and perhaps the occasional corporate order. Like others I suspect the number of really secure orders is less than half the 2500 number.

Gunner said...

Bucker-
I was assigned SN 1317, the first week of July 2006. Eclipse took my deposit and the signed contract and then sent me a casual email that they'd not be executing the contract they'd sent me a day or two before and which they were holding with my signature.

Instead, they'd be sending out a new contract for my signature; a contract with different terms and no guarantee of SN. (Of course, they wouldn't be sending my money back while I pondered these new terms.)

That's what started the ball rolling (downhill) and has given me the (richly deserved) reputation as a trouble maker and malcontent amongst The Faithful.

Interesting that your SN was so similar from such a different time period. Guess the :consolidation never dropped the floor from the magic "2,500" orders they've had since 2004!
Gunner

Gunner said...

Eric-
I'm fairly confident it'll fly "well". The question is for how long, before REAL problems start showing up in glass, airframe, avionics, wheels, skins and the like.
Gunner

gadfly said...

All of my life, I have been reading and studying the history of real aircraft. Until now, I never gave the “wannabe’s” much attention. Why has it taken me a lifetime to see what drives people to want to commit the lives of “others” to aircraft that haven’t any proven track record. The bottom line, as near as I can tell it is “the love of money” . . . a man named “James” had it right, two thousand years ago.

On this blogsite, very little of the discussion has been the “airworthiness” of the “Little Jet”, but rather the “finances”. Yes, some discussion has had to do with the avionics, and all the latest and greatest “fly by wire”, yet it still takes a “crate” to carry the load to a height, move it at a reasonable speed, and bring it down safely . . . and very little of the discussion has centered on the fact that not once has this “crate” ever achieved a “true air speed of 370 knots” with full load (unless I missed it somewhere), and done it over and over and over and over again. Would any of you trust your loved ones to make daily flights on this contraption? I would not, under any circumstances! And I don’t give a hoot how much it cost, nor how much profit the company may, or may not make.

Well, the “gadfly” looks on with amazement. And the State of New Mexico . . . oh my, the “State of New Mexico” . . . my oldest son just passed through Albuquerque (he’s the superintendent of schools in the most conservative county in New Mexico, down in the southwest corner, and spent the day attempting to get the attention of the “lawmaker’s”, and our governor, Bill Richardson, to fix the financial problems of education system) . . . the day in Santa Fe was spent by the lawmakers discussing “Red or Green” or “Christmas” (both Red and Green) chili . . . seems that “Christmas” won . . . someone will dispute that as being politically incorrect . . . What a place to be serious about a new jet! The world is going to hell in a hand basket . . . some are arguing about their place in line for delivery of an unproven aircraft . . . lawmakers are arguing over “red or green” chili, or “both”, on their enchilada’s . . . and life in New Mexico is suppose to be taken seriously!

Come to “New Mexico”, the “Land of Enchantment”!

gadfly

airtaximan said...

If I thought there were 2500 orders, and I placed my bet (deposit...suppliers agreement...training agreement...maintenance agreement, etc...) Bsed on this nunmber which has been bantered by Raburn for years...

AND

I now found out it was fabricated, exaggerate or complete BS..

I would sue.

Period.

I expect 2500 orders with deposits, a specified in the deposit agreement(s)..


Otherwise...

Someone had screwed me into thinking there much greater demand for this plain... and /or...

there are fleet orders for this plain,

with valid deposits and orders.

I placed my confidence in E-clips and Vern, based on his repeated contention there was THIS orderbook.

If not...

I sue him and them.

End of discussion.

Ken Meyer said...

buckerfan said,
"Like others I suspect the number of really secure orders is less than half the 2500 number."


And others have said that. Niner zulu, for instance, wrote,

"I think the only people that believe that Eclipse has 2,500+ orders on their books are Vern and Marion-VLJs-are-going-to-darken-the-skies-Blakey."

And Rich Lucibella piled on with his opinion,

"There is no way I believe Eclipse has even 800 deposited orders, let alone 2,500 REAL orders."

But do any of these people have facts to back their speculation?.

It turns out that NBAA Convention News reported the number of orders quite specifically during the 2005 NBAA meeting at the time when Linear Air announced its big order for Eclipse jets:

"These orders and others bring total orders for the Eclipse 500 to 2,357 airplanes (1,592 firm orders and 765 options), all secured with nonrefundable deposits."

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Stop being silly. "The NBAA Convention reported...." It reposted what Eclipse claimed, as do all other news sources. It's what News Sources do, Ken.

Ken said:
"But do any of these people have facts to back their speculation?"
Do you? Or are you gonna just regurgitate Eclipse's claims to the industry and call a fact what common sense calls, ummm, "Vern Fluffing"?

You just heard two Depositors say they both had a Serial Number in the 1300's; one in April '05 and the other (1317) in July '06. Even if you claim the 2,500 number is "delayed" fleet orders from Air Taxi companies that have yet to earn Dime One in Gross Revenue, why would the REAL orders not increase the SN log in 15 months?

How do you square that with your rather peculiar view of reality?
Gunner

Eric said...

ATM, I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think you'd have a very good case.

For my part, I have nothing to lose if this thing is a success or failure... except if the success of the Eclipse 500 drives the passage of a user-fee based system. I'm an airline guy and I'd like to think that GA will still be there when I retire and build my kitplane. I have lots of good friends that sit around at a nice, little GA airport and drink coffee, eat doughnuts, and shoot the breeze. What I worry about is the nightmare of a user-fee world where none of these nice old guys can afford to fly anymore.

I sometimes wonder if the FAA gave Eclipse just enough slack on the leash to make it look like they'd "darken the skies" with the E-500s just to make the user-fee argument to Congress.

No evidence to back that up... just my crazy conspiracy theory.

Stan Blankenship said...

Another comment off the radar screen, brought up for better visibility:

mouse said...
Back to the windshields for a moment... The early flights were conducted unpressurized or reduced pressurization, so the windshield and side transparency mystery is still on.

Even if the windshield changed configuration internally (heating element envelope changed to be much smaller), that is no excuse for the side transparency failures...

The Eclipse is also one of the very few (although I know of no others, there might be) that have their windshields installed from the inside out. Most other pressurized, high speed aircraft have their windows installed from the outside. The air loading at speed is huge.

The inside out installation forces the windshield tighter and tighter into the frame. I suggest that the frame contorts quite a bit more than most other airplanes due to skin thickness for weight on the Eclipse.

This cuases hevy/shifting loads on the windshield and side transparencies.

Another area of interest, and I expect some upcoming problems wil be the door to fuselage interface. Besides the two hinges (about 2" wide) on each clamshell door half, the only thing holding the door halves to the fuselage are two (2) bayonets. One forward and one aft. These bayonents do pass through a plate that connects the top and bottom halves, but still only 2 pins hold the door shut at 8.3 PSID. Wait until the doors start getting bent/tweaked by constant usage, people over the weight of 170 Lbs, the aft corner getting stepped on ny right handed people more, baggage loading, Etc. and things will sart to mis-align and wear...

The plane is built so weight critical (by a magnatude not seen before) there will be a whole lot of structure morphing into heavy maintenance costs and wear...

Watch for line service fuel nozzles leaning in the filler ports, brakes and tires due to heat buildup by the very thin wheels, skin damage from almost anything striking it, flap damage from ice, rain, rocks, debris, Etc.

The EA-500 is a small plane, with thin skin, and very light weight structure. Don't expect it to handle the heavy workloads of a charter/fleet operator, or anyone flying it more than a couple of hundred hours per year...

7:43 PM, March 14, 2007

Stan Blankenship said...

mouse,

From the Eclipse Owners Board, here is the claimed windshield fix though there is no evidence the fix has been tested:


From EOB:

"I was told that the primary problem with the windshield was not the design of or materials used for the windshield, but the installation procedure. What Eclipse learned in conjunction with the windshield manufacturer was that the tightening order of the attachment screws and the torque applied to those screws needed to be modified. Apparently after the new installation technique was used Eclipse has not experienced any additional windshield failures."

Gunner said...

Wing strut attachments rattlin' around; windows crackin'...to name just two: And what does Eclipse tell us in both cases?
"No problem with the Design; it's the morons that put together our WonderPlane that are to blame."

Where have we heard this before? Oh, that's right: Wiliams, BAE, Avidyne et al.

Next time a Blogger asks us to show some respect to the hard working employees at Eclipse, I will. I'll point to this comment and call BS on it. This is NOT "installation error"; not on the ENTIRE fleet, as we were told.

Wonder how the hard working Eclipse employees feel? Like the ones that left family and moved family to work on something "revolutionary" in ABQ...despite their efforts and sacrifice, Vern always seems to find a bit more room under that BUS!

Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken,

You are a fool. Period. Sorry.

So you belive NBAA did an inventory of E-cips books and rendered a legal opinion?

You must be joking.

I bet anythig you want E-clips has 1/2 the orderbok they claim.

Deposits backing "orders" equals 1250 or less...any wager?

PS. do not quote any source other than an audit of E-clips, which you as a major stakeholder should demand.

Unless someone can produce some documentation?


If not, I might ask..WHY NOT?

E-clips raised significant investment form the publci - anyone see a disclosure doc?

ANy supplier ever see a presenation designed to induce them with orders?

I'd be curious as to what E-vern tell his customers, investors and suppliers on the INSIDE.

BD5 Believer said...

Eric wrote

"I sometimes wonder if the FAA gave Eclipse just enough slack on the leash to make it look like they'd "darken the skies" with the E-500s just to make the user-fee argument to Congress.

No evidence to back that up... just my crazy conspiracy theory. "

Eric , you are on to something....Think about it,why else would the FAA allow Vern to claim Certification at Oshkosh if there was not something in it for them....you are closer to reality then many of us would care to admit. Normally the FAA hates being misquoted, but there was no reaction when Vern went to press claiming certification, when that was clearly not the case at Oshkosh...and all the FAA did was stand by and smile. :-)

BD5 Believer said...

What's the real order book?

Well Vern says he is building 400 this year, and a 1000 in 2008, and then will let the market determine production from there..sounds like 1400 orders to me...When will we realize this guy is just Jim Bede redeux?

BD5 Believer said...

Jetman,

I will take the "over" on the implosion by Oshkosh. Vern will keep the circus going until at least then, and try to hold out until NBAA, but I doubt they will make it to NBAA. You have hit the nail on the head with the hurdles that are waiting for the little jet.

I am not sure what is more popular in our office, the NCAA basketball bracket pool, or our pool on E- clips deliveries by quarter. We also have a line for when the next two board members bail out, a solid leading indicator of the implosion.

This would be funny if it was not for the hundreds of dedicated Eclipse employees that are working their butts off day in and day out. They have my respect!

Gunner said...

Bd-
Of course, if we extrapolate that 1,400 orders:

Baseline = Vern's production claims for '07 just 5 weeks ago

Extrapolation = 400 now

Projection: 1,400 aircraft should keep Eclipse busy well into 2013. Guess we'll never know how many orders they really had. Only how much they'd hemorrhaged in the meantime.

gadfly said...

Concerning windscreen cracks:

If it were me, I’d be doing some empirical wind tunnel testing at actual airspeed, which has never been done. Someone (a good friend, who I must allow to be anonymous), who has much experience in such things, and a long history of actual design, said the first thing he noticed was the shape of the “windscreen”, and the PROBABILITY of trans-sonic regions around the profile. Regardless of the obvious greatly increased drag, the vibration and stresses around the windscreen could cause serious dynamic stresses around the perimeter of the windscreen (“windshield”).

‘Just a thought that should be carried back to “Eclipse” for further consideration.

(For those who don’t know about such things, airflow over a curved surface can easily reach sonic speeds, especially at altitude, as the air travels further around the curved surface, therefore reaching greatly increased velocities. In addition, any protrusion in that area . . . rivets, fasteners, etc., can be a location for a localized shockwave to form. For educational purposes, notice the carful contour and surface of other higher speed jet aircraft, how carefully the shape and surface is designed in these critical areas.)

Some will say, “Ridiculous!” . . . that’s OK . . . what would you expect from a gadfly? . . . I’ll continue to ask the dumb questions . . . and once in awhile get an intelligent answer.

Gunner said...

Gadfly said:
"I’ll continue to ask the dumb questions . . . and once in awhile get an intelligent answer."

Bre'er Gad:
But you didn't ask a question! ;-)
Gunner

UpsetWithTheTradePubs said...

Is there anyone in this community of contributors that has had any recent discussions with the aviation insurance industry and their thoughts on the Eclipse?

I spoke to an agent about a year-and-a-half back to discuss pilot req.'s, coverage limits and premiums. The range went from roughly $39K/year for my client, PVT/INST/MULTI 1,100TT to $17K/year for me, ATP; 4000 Jet.

I'd be interested in hearing from someone in the industry now that these very serious problems are coming out about the airframe & avionics.

Eric said...

Upsetwithtradepubs, I haven't seen any updates on here about the insurance, but if you look in this month's issue of AOPA Pilot there's an article about the folks underwriting VLJ insurance and the difficulty some may have in getting it.

gadfly said...

Bullet man,

What do you expect from a critter with a brain the size of a grain of sand? But here is my question . . . maybe more than one: Why did not Eclipse spend some of their millions on wind tunnel testing at actual speed? Were they limited to only the University of Washington?

The early testing at less than 175 knots would have been fine for a much lower speed aircraft, but even with the “slight” possibility of portions of an aerodynamic body reaching trans-sonic speeds, especially at “altitude”, theory doesn’t count for much. Few
formula’s (formulae?) account for all the variables. Even propeller aircraft must consider “prop tip speed”, as it approaches the speed of sound (as in a nine foot prop turning at about 2,400 rpm at takeoff). And the limiting speed of the main rotor on a helicopter is governed by the “speed of sound”, although the tip may be well below “sonic” speed, portions of the tip may easily approach sonic speed, during the many motions as the blade advances (and swings) forward.

And a second question: Did “Eclipse” correct the contour of the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer (“fin”), where there is a sudden change in contour (in “plan view”)? . . . It’s not much, but every little bit of “drag” seems to have a large effect on the top speed of the “little jet”. All pictures on their website shows a severe vertical edge.

My little brain must rest now.

gadfly

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"Stop being silly. "The NBAA Convention reported...." It reposted what Eclipse claimed, as do all other news sources. It's what News Sources do, Ken."


That's right Rich. Companies relase public figures; news media report them. Basic Journalism, something I thought perhaps you knew a little about.

Alas, I was wrong.

Ken

Metal Guy said...

Out of curiosity, if it took so long to find the windshield cracking issue in the flight test program, wouldn’t one think it would take a corresponding length of time to ensure the “fix” is a real fix? This is a fatigue issue that may very well not show up until hundreds of cycles.

Has Eclipse pointed to real test results under the new configuration to prove that the issue is resolved, or did they just claim a fix and wave their arms?

If it’s the latter, I can’t imagine that the FAA would remove the inspection requirements based on their word…They were dead wrong the first time – what makes it any different now?

I suspect this is far from over and I would be willing to bet all of the deliveries for the foreseeable future will have the same inspection requirements as the current design.

Does anyone know what they are currently claiming? Oh, and more importantly, does the FAA happen to agree with what they are claiming. They sure didn’t on the DME issue…

mouse said...

BD5,

The story last year at OSH by those that know said that Marion was told to "certify a VLJ this year". Her nice governement bonus was tied to this event, period. The government has invested a lot of money of late in the VLJ movement, mostly with Eclipse. They wanted to show something for this expense.

The darkening skies are due to Vern's big mouth, and the airline executive morons listening and looking for any excuse to bail out their rotten management skills, and upside down payrolls.

The big boys (airlines) are scared as hell about GA for one simple reason... On many of their routes their profits could become break even or losses with the loss of just 2 first class seats (the sold ones, not the upgraders). So even the loss of a couple of passengers on some routes can put them in bancruptcy again/still/longer... Decend and maintain chapter 11, cleared as filed...

There are no more pilots, so who is buying all of these planes? The loss of airframes (retired or destroyed) runs pretty constant, so what is being replaced?

The operational aspects of the VLJ's are identical to a turboprop, yet they are smaller, unproven, and as yet undeliverable... Most of the pilots and aviators I know are pretty conservative, and would never endorse a VLJ until it is proven.

The initial depositors are gamblers and speculators... Just like the new breed of aviation users (not aviators) who buy the Cirrus... The are just buying into the newest gadget for Yuppies, and techno-peeps. Everyone knows a real aviator wouldn't pull the ripcord to get out of trouble... (LOL!)

Ken is a good example of the type of person who would buy an EA-500 (lottery ticket).. He wants to believe so bad that he can't see what's as plain as the nose on his face... It's not his fault. When we were all teens we would do anything to buy the rottenest piece of crap automobile just to have one, and thhen we learned our lesson... some of us just needed more lessons...

mouse said...

GadFly,

The single most important detail in installing a windshield is flexibility. Typical installations have lots of rubber bushings around all of the fasteners, so the windshield is literally floating (from the outside, in) in the big whole in the pressure vessel. The windshield seal is usually installed waxed, or formed in place with PRC to a waxed surface so the windshield can float...

Check out how the Eclipse windshield is installed... The more you pressurize, the tighter it fits, and no float is possible.. It has no choice but to fail... You might say by design.. (or at least I might say by design) ANd yes, I've installed a lot of windshields in a lot of different planes, including the EA-500.

mouse said...

Wind Tunnel Testing; ask Paul Robertson; Paul Robertson (Aeronautical Testing Service)
Affiliate Associate Professor
roberts@aa.washington.edu about the EA-500.

Most new companies are all depending on CFD Computational Fluid Dynamics. Here is essentially the definition:

"Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is one of the branches of fluid mechanics that uses numerical methods and algorithms to solve and analyze problems that involve fluid flows. Computers are used to perform the millions of calculations required to simulate the interaction of fluids and gases with the complex surfaces used in engineering. However, even with simplified equations and high-speed supercomputers, only approximate solutions can be achieved in many cases. More accurate codes that can accurately and quickly simulate even complex scenarios such as supersonic or turbulent flows are an ongoing area of research. Validation of such codes is often performed using a wind tunnel."

Call me old fashion, but I prefer a good old fashion wind tunnel. The computers are only as good as the data and the accuracy of the model. Eclipse has neither accuracy or a good model since the most fluid aspect of the EA-500 is the design... nothing is frozen in the design, trust me. Everytime somethingis forced to be redesigned or modified it effects everything else around it, and so it grows...

mouse said...

GadFly,

As of S/N 36 the new bullet fairing is going on the tail to horizontal attachment... time will tell if it solves the problem or ends up being a band-aid (band-aids have to be changed often due to infection (bad design) or when they get wet) LOL!

mouse said...

Release of numbers to the media at NBAA??? Are you kidding me?

Eclipse is a private company and can say whatever they want, and you can't prove it one way or the other... Now, if they go public, the truth will come out, and that's why I would not hold my breath on Vern ever passing that little audit...

gadfly said...

mouse

The fairing in question is not at the intersection at the "top", but at the leading edge of the vertical fin, where it "enters" the top of the fuselage (empenage).

Me thinks attempting to write a computer model for the little jet, for theoretical "testing" would be on a par of accurately predicting the surfing conditions, in Petropovlosk, for a week from next Tueday.

gadfly

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"Companies relase public figures; news media report them."

Persactly the point, oh Duke of DME. And THIS company lies...regularly, if not constantly. That's been demonstrated over and over again.

So, once again, what documentation do you have that 2,500 orders exist? How do you explain one person receiving SN 13XX in April '05 and SN 1317 being awarded to another, some 15 MONTHS LATER, BEFORE the announcement that all SN's were being revoked? Seems awful fishy for a company with "more orders than Sunshine Bakeries", no?

Gunner

Gunner said...

Mouse-
I'm no aircraft designer, but for the life of me I can't understand why ANY vehicle would be designed with the windscreen installed from the inside. It would seem obvious that it's gonna stress the seals and structure when placed under load; as opposed to sealing tighter and with less attach point stress when installed from the exterior. Also seems pretty back-assward from a maintenance/replacement standpoint.

Can you explain the original rationale?
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

We have mouse droppings all over the place. He left this one back on the March 5 Avio NG Post:

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...

8:28 AM, March 15, 2007

Mouse,

Better if you leave your droppings against the latest post.

mouse said...

Mice are known for scurrying around from place to place sniffing out rotting smells.. sorry... As I peruse the site I keep finding more and more to comment on... Squeak.

mouse said...

Type Certificate Data Sheet A00002AC:

(This is not the entire TCDS, just some of the major points) You can see the entire document at: http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgMakeModel.nsf/0/CE95866AFF2A54BD8625720C006525F5?OpenDocument

"MY COMMENTS IN CAPS"

This data sheet which is part of Type Certificate No. A00002AC prescribes conditions and limitations under which the product for which the type certificate was issued meets the Airworthiness requirements of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

Type Certificate Holder: Eclipse Aviation Corporation
2503 Clark Carr Loop SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Type Certificate Holder Record: Type Certificate initial issuance to Eclipse Aviation Corporation
I. Model EA500, (Normal Category), Approved September 30, 2006

Engines
Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F-A, Type Certificate Date Sheet (TCDS) E0074EN


Compliance with ice protection for flight into known or forecast icing has not
been demonstrated for issuance of a Type Certificate.

Compliance with ditching provision have not been met for issuance of a Type Certificate.

Type Certificate: A00002AC, issued September 30, 2006

Date of application: July 12, 2001
Model EA500 is defined by Eclipse Aviation drawing 06-105432-1006, latest FAA approved revision.

SO ECLIPSE FILED FOR THEIR APPLICATION OVER A YEAR AFTER THEY STARTED SELLING POSITIONS WITH DEPOSITS...

Production Basis
None. Before original airworthiness certification of each aircraft, an FAA representative must perform a detailed inspection for workmanship, materials, conformity with the approved technical data, and a check of the flight characteristics.

Equipment
The basic required equipment as prescribed in the applicable airworthiness regulations (see Certification Basis) must be installed in the aircraft for certification.

NOTES

Note 1
A current weight and balance report, including a list of equipment included in
the certificated empty weight, and loading instructions when necessary must be provided for each aircraft at the time of original certification.

Note 2
The Eclipse EA500 must be operated according to the FAA Approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), Document No. 06-100106, latest FAA approved revision.

THE FLIGHT MANUAL CAN CALL OUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT YOU BETTER READ AND UNDERSTAND VERY CAREFULLY...

Note 3
FAA approved Airworthiness Limitations for inspection time limits and maintenance checks are included in Chapter 4 of the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) Document No. 06-117751, latest FAA approved revision.

LIKE VERY LIMITED HOURLY INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT INTERVALS LIKE WINDSHIELDS, SIDE WINDOWS, ETC...

Note 4
All airplanes are equipped with RVSM capable dual air data system, pilot and co-pilot Primary Flight Displays, and Autopilot. Each operator must obtain RVSM operating approval.

*********************************
BETTER READ THE ONE BELOW VERY CAREFULLY... ANY REPLACEMENT OF THE AVIONICS SYSTEM INVALIDATES THE AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATE AND TC...

Note 5
The Eclipse EA500 incorporates integrated avionics systems using software-based line replaceable units (LRU’s) which share a digital signal transmission bus. The avionics configuration of the Eclipse EA500 as delivered from production is critical to the proper operation of the cockpit instrumentation system. Modification to the LRU software supplied with the Eclipse EA500, replacement of an LRU with a different LRU, addition of new LRU, or alteration of an LRU interface could adversely affect
the airworthiness of the certified product. Accordingly, no changes to the integrated avionics system may be made without coordination with the Certificate Management
Aircraft Certification Office.

EVEN THE REPLACEMENT OF AN IDENTICAL LRU (LINE REPLACABLE UNIT) CAN INVALIDATE THE AIRWORTHINESS OF THE AIRPLANE!

Note 6
The Eclipse EA500 shall be maintained according to:
Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), No. 06-117751, latest revision
Structural Repair Manual (SRM), No. 06-117755, latest revision
Wiring Diagram Manual (WDM), No. 06-117753, latest revision
Fault Isolation Manual, No. 06-117754, latest revision

Note 7
Any modification or changes in cockpit configuration which may affect aircrew
workload, cockpit noise level or day/night operational capabilities must be evaluated by an FAA Aircraft Certification Flight Test Pilot.

SO A NEW AVIO DESIGN AND CONTROL HEAD MUST BE RE-EVALUATED BY THE FAA, AND YOU CAN BET THIS WILL BE A NEW TC (REQUIRING 100% CONFORMITY AND TIA) PRIOR TO APPROVAL... ANY BETS ON HOW LONG THIS MIGHT TAKE, ESPECIALLY BY PREOPLE (THE FAA PEOPLE) WHO WERE BLAMED AND LIED TO WITH SUCH REGULARITY...

Note 8
Application of six inch registration numbers is approved under FAR 45.29 as stated
in approval memo from SW-MIDO-43, dated May 11, 2006 and memo from the Aircraft and Airport Rules Division, dated May 5, 2006.

Note 9
All pilots operating the Eclipse Aviation EA-500 must be trained and qualified in accordance with the FAA Accepted/Approved Eclipse Aviation training program or other FAA Approved training program.

THIS WOULD BE WHAT PROGRAM? OH YEAH, THE ONE THAT VAPORIZED LAST WEEK... SO NOBODY CAN FLY THEIR AIRPLANE...

Gunner said...

pheh!
Just another disgruntled, "fired" employee!

;-)
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

I question some of mouse's conclusions:

Regarding JetComplete, he wrote,

"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."

The company says: "Scheduled and unscheduled maintenance coverage on parts and labor for the airframe, avionics, and engines. JetComplete/Business also includes rental engines, consumables during shop visits, shipping, automated trending services, and financial protection against unforeseen safety-of-flight related service bulletins. Coverage for engine hot section inspection, overhaul events, and Life Cycle Fatigue (LCF) engine components are available as an option."

"there is no training available"

That's just wrong. The FSB report just approved Eclipse training program and about a dozen pilots have completed it.

"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?"

What statement about "flight credit" are you referring to? The FARs are pretty clear on currency for landings, night flight, and instrument flight; there's nothing in the Eclipse program that alters any of that. The Eclipse training program does not permit you to totally eliminate SOE simply because you have a previous jet rating; maybe that's what you're getting at? That one's true, but I think the mentoring program is a plus, not a minus.

"SO ECLIPSE FILED FOR THEIR APPLICATION OVER A YEAR AFTER THEY STARTED SELLING POSITIONS WITH DEPOSITS..."

Pretty close. In Flight USA first reported the filing of the application in 2000, but it was under the Williams name.

"THE FLIGHT MANUAL CAN CALL OUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT YOU BETTER READ AND UNDERSTAND VERY CAREFULLY..."

Is that not true of every aircraft--you always have to follow the limitations listed in the FAA-approved AFM. What's the big surprise there?

"LIKE VERY LIMITED HOURLY INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT INTERVALS LIKE WINDSHIELDS, SIDE WINDOWS, ETC..."

You know about the fix for the window issue, the upcoming SB, and the removal of the off-schedule inspections, right?

"EVEN THE REPLACEMENT OF AN IDENTICAL LRU (LINE REPLACABLE UNIT) CAN INVALIDATE THE AIRWORTHINESS OF THE AIRPLANE!"

I'm not too sure how you figure that. The TCDS says you cannot change the avionics package; I think you've overstepped the document to say you cannot swap a defective LRU for a replacement LRU.

"Any modification or changes in cockpit configuration which may affect aircrew
workload, cockpit noise level or day/night operational capabilities must be evaluated by an FAA Aircraft Certification Flight Test Pilot.

SO A NEW AVIO DESIGN AND CONTROL HEAD MUST BE RE-EVALUATED BY THE FAA,"


The company says the new avionics package makes no substantial change to the cockpit layout, look or feel of the user interface. I do agree they'll probably have to recertify the system because of the substantial change in equipment, but I don't agree it is because of this clause in the TCDS.

"FAA Approved training program.

THIS WOULD BE WHAT PROGRAM? OH YEAH, THE ONE THAT VAPORIZED LAST WEEK"


I think you misinterpreted what you read. The training program is very much alive and well; it is turning out pilots as we speak.

Ken

mouse said...

Ken, you wrote the following:

I question some of mouse's conclusions:

Regarding JetComplete, he wrote,

"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."

Ken, I stand corrected on rental engines, I now see they have added this missing part from when it was first introduced.

No where am I seeing what is called out for engine maintenance, (other than the statement that engine maintenance is covered) and life-limited and HSI/TBO is still an option.. which means more money.

"there is no training available"

That's just wrong. The FSB report just approved Eclipse training program and about a dozen pilots have completed it.

Ken, come on... 9 pilots are completing the training, and they are Eclipse or FAA people only. The United contract is over with and there is no training provider selected yet, unless of course you know something that has not been announced yet.

"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?"

What statement about "flight credit" are you referring to? The FARs are pretty clear on currency for landings, night flight, and instrument flight; there's nothing in the Eclipse program that alters any of that. The Eclipse training program does not permit you to totally eliminate SOE simply because you have a previous jet rating; maybe that's what you're getting at? That one's true, but I think the mentoring program is a plus, not a minus.

Ken, this has nothing to do with the mentor program, which by the way is non-existant right now. How many mentors are trained as of today? (Hint, None)

Here is a copy of the paragraph from the DRAFT FLIGHT STANDARDIZATION BOARD REPORT

ECLIPSE AVIATION CORPORATION
MODEL EA-500

DATE: February 22, 2007

APPROVED

ROMAN A. BUETTNER
CHAIRMAN, ECLIPSE EA-500 FLIGHT STANDARDIZATION BOARD

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
KANSAS CITY AIRCRAFT EVALUATION GROUP, MKC-AEG
901 LOCUST, ROOM 332
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI 64106

TELEPHONE: (816) 329-3233
FAX: (816) 329-3241

"The FSB did not conduct a comparison between the EA-500 and any other Eclipse Aviation models since this aircraft is the only model presently type certificated in the United States. No
credit may be given for training, checking, or currency between the EA-500 and aircraft built by another manufacturer." This is where my statement comes from...


"SO ECLIPSE FILED FOR THEIR APPLICATION OVER A YEAR AFTER THEY STARTED SELLING POSITIONS WITH DEPOSITS..."

Pretty close. In Flight USA first reported the filing of the application in 2000, but it was under the Williams name.

KEN, the Williams filing does not matter, and the plane in no way resembles the Williams filing.

"THE FLIGHT MANUAL CAN CALL OUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT YOU BETTER READ AND UNDERSTAND VERY CAREFULLY..."

Is that not true of every aircraft--you always have to follow the limitations listed in the FAA-approved AFM. What's the big surprise there?

Yes KEN that is correct, and based on everything to date, and all the mis-truths I am reiterating the fact that you need to look in all of these places for the real story. Eclipses history on honesty is not good...

"LIKE VERY LIMITED HOURLY INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT INTERVALS LIKE WINDSHIELDS, SIDE WINDOWS, ETC..."

You know about the fix for the window issue, the upcoming SB, and the removal of the off-schedule inspections, right?

KEN, Do you know what the fix is? Has the FAA approved and extended the intervals? You cannot go by what someone says from Eclipse...

"EVEN THE REPLACEMENT OF AN IDENTICAL LRU (LINE REPLACABLE UNIT) CAN INVALIDATE THE AIRWORTHINESS OF THE AIRPLANE!"

I'm not too sure how you figure that. The TCDS says you cannot change the avionics package; I think you've overstepped the document to say you cannot swap a defective LRU for a replacement LRU.

KEN, once again.. "NOT EXACTLY" Once again, just for you, here is the verbiage straight from the TCDS:

Note 5

The Eclipse EA500 incorporates integrated avionics systems using software-based line replaceable units (LRU’s) which share a digital signal transmission bus. The avionics configuration of the Eclipse EA500 as delivered from production is critical to the proper operation of the cockpit instrumentation system. Modification to the LRU software supplied with the Eclipse EA500, replacement of an LRU with a different LRU, addition of new LRU, or alteration of an LRU interface could adversely affect
the airworthiness of the certified product. Accordingly, no changes to the integrated avionics system may be made without coordination with the Certificate Management
Aircraft Certification Office.

Above you will read the following, repeated once again just for you KEN:

"Modification to the LRU software supplied with the Eclipse EA500, replacement of an LRU with a different LRU, addition of new LRU, or alteration of an LRU interface could adversely affect
the airworthiness of the certified product."



"Any modification or changes in cockpit configuration which may affect aircrew
workload, cockpit noise level or day/night operational capabilities must be evaluated by an FAA Aircraft Certification Flight Test Pilot.

SO A NEW AVIO DESIGN AND CONTROL HEAD MUST BE RE-EVALUATED BY THE FAA,"

The company says the new avionics package makes no substantial change to the cockpit layout, look or feel of the user interface. I do agree they'll probably have to recertify the system because of the substantial change in equipment, but I don't agree it is because of this clause in the TCDS.

KEN, how can the user interface not change? Do you realize that the screen with it's bezel and buttons IS the USER INTERFACE? If it's not the AVIDYNE component then it's a new interface...

"FAA Approved training program.

THIS WOULD BE WHAT PROGRAM? OH YEAH, THE ONE THAT VAPORIZED LAST WEEK"

I think you misinterpreted what you read. The training program is very much alive and well; it is turning out pilots as we speak.

KEN, I stated above my response to this, however I will ask you to please respond... What pilots are being turned out, and by who? Do not include Eclipse employees or the FAA.

Thanks, Mouse



Ken

2:15 PM, March 15, 2007

mouse said...

KEN,

since you have access to Eclipse information, perhaps you can answer this for me?

Did the missing owner/buyer of S/N 3 airplane ever get his/her training? Is he/she typed? Does he/she have a second-in-command with training? What part of the airplane functions? Auto-pilot? Is the database current or is it expired? Did the new owner puirchase the JetComplete program and with what options? Has their windshield and side window Service Bulletin been complied with, and is it FAA approved? Has his/her mentor been assigned and is that mentor trained and signed off?

airtaximan said...

42 E-clips for sale on Controller, alone, now.

I know, its not s definative reflection of the market...but it says something...its around 10 more than a month or two ago...and some have been sold.

There are more out there I'm sure, and this list has duplicates and planes already sold, I'm sure - just like last time...but it does reflect something.

Anyone seen Mike Press? Since he reflected arond 100 E-clips' sold, he seems to have disappeared?

Frank Castle said...

"What part of the airplane functions?"

THAT is just TOO FUNNY !!

Stan Blankenship said...

Let's keep this civil.

Gunner said...

I'm confused about something in Mike's report:

If Eclipse already has YEARS of orders on the books, shouldn't potential buyers value early positions at a premium? If so, why are those EARLY positions selling at a $200K DISCOUNT over 2011 prices for the second month in a row, despite the Great News about Avio NextGrift?

Anybody?
Ken...I'm certain you have a perfectly sound, or at least reasonably Vern-like, explanation.

Gunner

AeroObserver said...

Airtaximan said: "So you belive NBAA did an inventory of E-cips books and rendered a legal opinion?"

Uh, NBAA Convention News is a publication of Aviation International News and has no affiliation with NBAA, other than the fact that NBAA Convention News is in fact published on-site at the NBAA Convention. Soooo...be careful when calling people a fool, because mistakes like this just look plain foolish.

airtaximan said...

aero,

please do not atribute anything of the sort to me...there's no way I would say or infer anything like that.

The reporters have never done an inventory, nor has NBAA...I wouldn't imagine how they ever could.

VErn speaks...they record...they type....the public reads - and there aint no way VErns giving any hints as to the shallow nature of his 2500 order book.

airtaximan said...

Aero,

you are a genius, sorry. You caught me...you must work for the FBI investigating the wiring harness..

I forgeot to include "convention news" next to my words NBAA, so you could all know that I was not refering to the actual NBAA organization, just refuting a point attmpeted by Ken.

Sorry for the confusion.
Long hand, from now on...just in case...

Thanks