Monday, March 26, 2007

DayJet, the on-demand charter operator that is Eclipse’s biggest customer, hopes to get its first Eclipse 500 in April and start training its pilots.
According to CharterX, a charter industry trade journal, the start-up has received FAA approval for its pilot-training program and just needs airplanes to train them on. Co-founder Ed Iacobucci told CharterX the first four of its 239 Eclipses will be used to get pilots type rated. "After that, as more aircraft are delivered, we'll use those for our customers." Iacobucci said delays in getting the Eclipse to market haven’t shaken his confidence in the airplane. “If we don't get our first couple of aircraft from Eclipse soon, I'll have to change our launch date, again,” he said. “But believe me, I don't think I've been sold down the river. Eclipse has had problems but I know they are being fixed and the aircraft is a good plane. I have every confidence in the product and that it will meet our customer's needs."
CharterX reported this on the 23rd and AVweb re-reported the story today and added the photograph of Ed Iacobucci. The story is in the photograph.
Notice Ed demonstrating the lack of headroom in this tiny jet, plus even big guys with ample girth can be shoe horned into a front seat. When traveling this large, a solo flight by a big guy may also eliminate the need for other ballast. He is also showing the lack of a third AHRS which the airplane will need for Part 135 operation.
Inside sources report the third AHRS to be a real headache for the company. The first panel location failed to provide adequate visibility so a re-design was required.


Eric said...

I'd be curious to know Ed's height. He is twisting himself around to look back so his head is probably a little higher than if he were sitting facing forward in the seat. I'm 6'1" and I've found Citations very uncomfortable for someone of my height (especially in the legroom department). If my head or even hair was brushing against the ceiling during normal operations it would drive me bonkers.

Not to mention the neck-ache that a good bump of turbulence would cause. I once rode in the back of a Civic and had this problem... on a bumpy road too... not too nice.

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"He is also showing the lack of a third AHRS which the airplane will need for Part 135 operation."

Stan is showing something too. A little lack of knowledge, it seems.

AHRS isn't a panel instrument. It doesn't show in a cockpit photo.


Eric said...

As far as DayJet's pilots, I'm willing to bet the majority are coming from other 135 or part 91 operations. I've talked to a number of guys at my airline about working for DayJet. Interestingly, no one really cares about the aircraft (since most don't know much about it) but more about the operations. The usual response is, "air-taxi flights in Georgia and Florida in the summer-time and no APU? F--- that!" It seems that most airline pilots are concerned about sweating their genitals off.

I looked at Linear Air's website since they're already doing the air-taxi thing with Caravans and have some Eclipses on order. Here are their hiring mins:

-2500 TT

First Officers
-1500 TT
-Commercial w/Instrument
-ATP Written

*Multi time not required but recommended for upgrade to Eclipse

Eclipse (I'm assuming Captains)
-3000 TT
-1000 Multi
-500 Jet

DayJet's Mins for Eclipse Captains:
-3000 TT
-1000 PIC
-1000 Multi
-500 Jet PIC

Interestingly, the Linear Air mins didn't specify any PIC requirements for the Eclipse. I'm assuming this is because many of their initial crews will be coming from the left seat of the Caravan and have previous twin time. As far as this air-taxi thing goes, my money is on Linear Air because they have the experience and infrastructure already in place and operating, not to mention a customer base.

Eric said...

Ken, some of the airplanes in my airline have mechanical backups, others have an ISIS. The ISIS gets its heading information from the #1 AHRS but it has it's own Attitude Reference System. In the event of a #1 AHRS failure you can use the mag compass for heading information.

I only say this because I think the whole point of this design is to have a separate display of backup heading information in the event of a failure of all primary displays.

The mechanical gyro is the best for absolute reliability since (according to the systems book) it gives reliable attitude information for 9 minutes after total electrical failure due to the high rotor speed of the gyro.

Eric said...

In case anyone noticed I'm trying to post more these days... I want to bring this blog back to reasoning instead of bickering.

Ken Meyer said...

eric wrote,
"Ken, some of the airplanes in my airline have mechanical backups,"

I don't doubt it a bit. Many planes have that arrangement. However, that is not the arrangement Stan alluded to. The Eclipse design calls for compliance with 135.159 through the optional third AHRS. Whether that is installed or not in the plane Ed was sitting in is impossible to tell from the photograph.

We've been over the backup issue a few times already. The Eclipse design uses a separate dedicated display for the full-time backup ADI, fed information from the third AHRS. People have trouble getting around the idea that the dedicated backup display also shows other information useful to the pilot. There are a great many planes that utilize a third attitude source displayed through an electronic display, powered by redundant electrical sources and fed through a redundant bus arrangement. That is exactly what the Eclipse design uses.


HotDog said...

The cockpit is not as tight as the picture would suggest. However, I have sat in the left seat several times (on the ground only) and had a very hard time understanding how someone of significant size can fly this thing. I am 6' tall and weigh about 190 and had to pour myself into the seat. I also found it a real challenge just to squeeze between the two front seats. I didn’t find it to be a comfortable situation. Just my opinion.

Stan Blankenship said...


You're right, everything I know about AHRS, I learned from you. Here is what you wrote March 6:

"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."

mirage00 said...


This post is just another confirmation that you are running out of subjects to discuss regarding the Eclipse. Oops I mean criticize.
It’s happening!!! The jet is being built, the jet is being delivered, the jet will succeed. One serving of Crow at Oshkosh for you.

EclipseBlogger said...

Eric said...
I'd be curious to know Ed's height.

Ed is quite the large specimen in both height and girth. I'm 6 foot and 200 lbs, and find the cockpit quite roomy. The picture you are looking at is in one of the older mockups. Note the original version of the autopilot control panel and the speed brake actuator on the throttle quadrant. Headroom in the actual aircraft will accommodate pilots bigger than Ed.

Stan Blankenship said...


What is your idea of success?

Delivering 5, 15, 25 airplanes that cost over $2m to build that were sold at less than $1m?

Is your idea of success squandering $1,000,000,000 in development costs? Yes, count the bucks spent at the vendors and the deposits from all the position holders and you're knocking on that billion dollar door. Probably 3-4 times what the company projected to spend!

And as far as subjects to write about, we can go down the Whac-A-Problem list, plenty of subject matter left.

mirage00 said...

Delivering 5, 15, 25 airplanes that cost over $2m to build that were sold at less than $1m?

Stan I'm wondering... how do you know how much it costs Eclipse to build each jet?

Stan Blankenship said...


As of today, if you amortize the development cost, you are looking right at a half-billion apiece for the two of them!

mirage00 said...


Haha. But I will have to take your answer as an "I have no idea."

Jake Pliskin said...

mirage's flybys have become more frequent. even doing multiple passes today!

mirage, kinda funny you should pick that for an name when so many people on this blog think that is the sum of this program.

"mirage = something illusory and unattainable"

probably just me but i found it amusing

gadfly said...

Eric’s comments are a “breath of fresh air”. It steers my thinking back to practical matters . . . such as “air” and “space” (interior air and interior volume) and the lack of an “APU” . . . and that got me to thinking about claustrophobia and submarines and elevators.

Our sub was crowded with four batteries (512 cells), instead of the normal “2" (256), and additional snorkel equipment, etc., yet we had about 400 cubic feet of breathable air per crew-member. That was enough to keep us alive for about 16 hours . . . or about .4 cubic foot of air per minute per man. That assumes men who are not claustrophobic, are not in stress, and not at work. At the end of 16 to 20 hours, cigarettes will not stay lit . . . oxygen approaches the lethal lower limit of 16%, and CO2 approaches the upper limit of 2 ½ %. At that point, hopefully we were back out of the bad guys’ harbor, the sun was down, and we could come up within 56 feet of the surface to snorkel, run two of our four engines, to charge batteries and replenish air in the boat . . . cool, sweet air, that hadn’t already gone through someone else’s lungs a few times in recent history. Or, if somebody was “overhead”, air must be transferred from “uncontaminated” airbanks (there were five), and inside air must be pumped into a “contaminated” airbank.. CO2 absorbant must be spread out, and breathing becomes a chore . . . yet the crew does not go into panic. ‘Been there, done that. Yet get me in an elevator with four or five other people, and I start calculating cubic feet times two divided by 60 minutes divided by the number of people on board . . . and I begin to get claustrophobic.

The “little jet” calculates to somewhere around 180 cubic feet interior space, subtract the volume of seats and interior “appliances” and body volume, and you end up with about 160 cubic feet, divide by . . . say, four people, and you have 40 cubic feet of breathable air per person . . . about 80 minutes of life . . . and you begin to see the problems with “normal” people, sitting in a hot vehicle, waiting to get started, on a “feeder” airport, without the engines running, no “APU”, and the tendency for claustrophobia of the average person, who is now using more than minimum, impatient, etc., etc.. Somebody will say, “Leave the door open!” . . . OK, but I noticed that it often rains in Florida, and it’s a nice warm muggy rain . . . Now what?! Tell everyone to breath less, and try not to sweat. Or fire up those engines . . . plenty of fuel on board . . . right?

All this seems to indicate that potential “passengers” need to be screened, rather than the “flight crew”. And brings us back to the basic problems of a small jet being a good platform for taxi service. Maybe there is a minimum size for an “air taxi” and maybe it isn’t directly related to “price” and “length of runway”. Maybe it has a whole lot to do with the comfort and mental well-being of the passengers who are not “airplane nuts” like most of us who enjoy this blog.

And people said I was crazy to enjoy living under water for a month at a time in places where we were not welcome.


JetProp Jockey said...

I had posted this question on an earlier topic, but a new topic was started before I received a response.

Does anyone know what the requirements are in order to charter a DayJet ride in an Eclipse for $1.00 per mile. Have they published any sort of rate schedule for this charter service?

I would assume that portal to portal the average speed will be about 300 knots. I also assume that it can't cost less than $400 per hour to operate the aircraft plus about $200 per hour for the pilots (assumes that total employment cost is $100,000 per year with 500 hours per year billable hours.

You certainly can't afford to offer a seat to anyone without filling the other 3 seats at only $1/seat mile.


PubGrubber said...

JetProp, you may find the below URL interesting

gadfly said...


You, sir, are an optimist. On a $2,000,000 investment in equipment, with a ten-year life, you would be doing quite well to figure $300K per year, if it only sat in a hangar.

If you only spent $300K per year on a single pilot and mechanic, you would need to account for $600 per hour, if you flew it 1,000 hours per year . . . you said “500 hours”.

Your average speed of 300Knots would match the “big boys” on flights between BOS and LAX . . . which is highly unlikely. An average speed of 250Knots would even be optimistic . . . but keep the number of 300Knots, just for kicks. That’s 300,000 nm per year . . . $2 per mile, just to pay for the equipment and minimum crew . . . no new parts, no breakdowns, no taxes, no advertising, no overhead, no bad anything for ten years. And, oh yeh, NO FUEL, no tires, no insurance, no new training, no airport fees, no profit! (Your 500 hours would double the figures, except for fuel and tires and engine overhauls.)

Now I’m not too bright, and I’m an outsider just looking in, but the first five years of my own operation is looking better and better in comparison . . . thirty years ago, I was only losing $2.80 per hour, and working about 4,000 hours per year . . . it takes about five years for a new business to become believable . . . if it lasts that long. We’ve been at it for over 31 years. If we buy a machine for 1/3 million, and make a profit, it’s a bargain. If we buy a machine for 30K, and it doesn’t make a profit, it’s no bargain.

‘Seems to me that these “lovers of the VLJ” have some serious problems, no matter how well it flies, and no matter how many thousands might be delivered over the next few years.

“JPJ” . . . I hope you get some answers from others who are more knowledgeable than I. Your question is well thought out, and deserves a thoughtful answer.

gadfly . . . ‘just filling in until then!

Niner Zulu said...

A couple of random thoughts on the air taxi business.

- I wonder if any of the air taxi operators have ever considered what effect "peak oil" will have on the per-mile operating expenses they are counting on. Even more important - there are no new refineries being built in the U.S. As demand increases and refining capacity does not, there goes cheap fuel (if you can call today's prices cheap). Remember early 2003 when Jet A could be had for $1.50/gal?

- as a practical matter, how are air taxi crews planning on handling passenger bathroom emergencies. We all know it is going to happen ;-).

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"You're right, everything I know about AHRS, I learned from you. Here is what you wrote March 6:"

Yeah, except that what I wrote was right. However when you got done with it, it was wrong :{

The regulations (FAR 135.149 and 135.159) can be met with a panel instrument although most Eclipse Part 135 aircraft will use a third AHRS instead. The rumor is that Avidyne-equipped aircraft used under Part 135 will have a panel-mounted conventional attitude indicator instead of the third AHRS.

A third AHRS is not a panel instrument so you cannot see it in a photo of the panel. It is just the source instrument for the 3rd attitude display that is already part of the panel, and is present for each and every Eclipse aircraft that leaves the factory.

The airplanes all come equipped with 2 AHRS units and 3 air data units for redundancy. The third attitude instrument (a third AHRS or a conventional panel-mount attitude indicator) is optional because it is not required under Part 91.

You can rest assured that the DayJet planes will have a third attitude instrument of one sort or the other when the company launches its service.


gadfly said...


The Adam comparison makes me feel good. Although it assumes that the “Adam’s” is a viable aircraft (whatever), the numbers bear out my “shot in the dark” . . . once you get rid of the “fluff”. Unfortunately, the comparison actually makes the Adam’s look bad . . . not what they intended, I’m sure. But then I’m not in the market for either aircraft, even if I had that kind of pocket change. I have better things to do with my money . . . and I’ll fly on the dinosaurs, thank you.



The “Sunshine Taxi Service” may need one more “attitude” instrument, tied in with the atomic clock in Boulder Colorado and the GPS . . . a “loss per mile/loss per minute” . . . called the “LPM2", with units in USD, Euro, Yuan, Peso . . . with an “Yen” option (available in 2010, when the Honda Jet comes on line).

gadfly said...

A note to Eric, that many of you may have missed:

Eric, you mentioned the ability of a gyro to spin another nine minutes after loss of power (or vacuum, which you didn’t mention). And you are absolutely correct. The fun thing that any licensed “A&P” gets to do, early in his training, is to “play” with the gyro compass, “tip and bend”, and the artificial horizon . . . a light push with “shop air”, and the gyroscope seems to spin forever. A complete set of these mechanical instruments would be about a twenty pound penalty, for the entire group, and use up less than a half square foot of instrument panel . . . not bad for five or ten minutes of life preserver. I’d give up three gallons of fuel any day, for this kind of backup. (The “real” numbers are probably closer to half that.) At least, I’d want that as an “option”.


(By the way, a venturi will keep these instruments turning as long as the aircraft is moving through the air . . . the “drag” is almost infinitesimal. Add airspeed, etc., you have all you need to bring the crate down safely to any flat spot in sight . . . and live long enough to sue the socks off Eclipse for instrument failure.)

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"The rumor is that Avidyne-equipped aircraft used under Part 135 will have a panel-mounted conventional attitude indicator instead of the third AHRS."

It's even more difficult to follow your point when you confuse systems than when you confuse "presently available" and "future promised".

So, are you telling us the panel in the picture with Ed is the Avio NG ISS panel with third AHRS, ready to go Part 135? Or is it an Avidyne panel, lacking the "panel-mounted conventional attitude indicator"?


Ken Meyer said...

"So, are you telling us the panel in the picture with Ed is the Avio NG ISS panel with third AHRS, ready to go Part 135? Or is it an Avidyne panel, lacking the "panel-mounted conventional attitude indicator"?"

I think if you'll carefully read the comments again, you'll see I didn't say either of those alternatives.

I suggested that Stan had overreached when he told us the photo showed the lack of a third AHRS. I believe a photo of an Eclipse panel would not ordinarily be sufficient to tell if the aircraft is equipped with a third AHRS or not. You'd have to zoom in really tight and read the small print in the upper left of the fulltime standby ADI--it will say something like "ADC 3 AHRS 3" if the third AHRS is installed.


EclipseBlogger said...

Reposted from above since you didn't read it the first time:

The picture you are looking at is in one of the older mockups. Note the original version of the autopilot control panel and the speed brake actuator on the throttle quadrant.

Gunner said...

I read it EB.

I simply didn't understand the contradictions. You claim it's an old mock up. Ken claims it may well sport a third AHRS. No matter. I'll take your word for's a dummy cockpit that Ed is showing off.

Wanna see my Moller again? ;-)


bill e. goat said...

Hi Eric,
Welcome to the show.

I think Ed Iacobucci is a pretty stout fellow- not pudgy, just large. Kind of guy you'd want on your flag football team.

If Eclipse refuses to put one in, I think I'd put some of this stuff in my backpack with school books!:

bill e. goat said...

Mirage00 said:

This post is just another confirmation that you are running out of subjects to discuss regarding the Eclipse. Oops I mean criticize.
It’s happening!!! The jet is being built, the jet is being delivered, the jet will succeed. One serving of Crow at Oshkosh for you.

Hello Mirage00,
I think a good percent of the bloggers (or at least readers) have fairly high confidence that the airplane will eventually fulfill most of the expectations (no- not the smoking hole expectation!!!- ha).

The question of the next few years will be addressing production and marketing:

how many (per year),

how much (will they cost the "new"- e.g., unsigned, customers), and

how fast (prod. rates).

I think most of us expect (and hope) the answers will be sufficient to keep Eclipse in the game.

What is almost unavoidable is the fun we have with Vern's verbose (and apparently, frequently clueless) proclomations. No ill will intended, but I think Eclipse will survive, IN SPITE of Vern's best efforts- ha.

perhaps you can correct my interpretation of schadenfreude?
Eclipse-speak: Rio Grande River Valley_Freunde

“...making our blog a better place...”

gadfly said...


You can get out of your pen at sundown . . . whatever, but there is no such thing as the “Grand River River” . . . any more than the “Desert Desert”. It’s the “Sahara” (as an example) . . . and it’s the “Rio Grande” (Yeh, we all know that it’s not much more than a wide flowing path of mud . . . perdonami . . . “adobe”) . . . now be a good goat, and try not to get into too much trouble.


Gunner said...

Two words for you:
Gobi Desert


bill e. goat said...

Jetprop Jockey asks about cost per seat-mile discussion ensues.

Thanks to pubgrubber for the Adams link with the cost comparison for A700 vs E500.

Stan posted this pertinent article a few threads back (FAA forecast):

“...This year's forecast assumes that microjets will begin to enter the active fleet in 2007 (350 aircraft) and grow by 400 to 500 aircraft a year after that, reaching 6,300 aircraft by 2020.

Utilization rates for VLJ's will vary by mission. VLJ air-taxis are expected to average approximately 1,500 hours per year, fractionals 1,200 and private use 350.

This results in an expected utilization rate for all VLJs in 2020 of 1,067 hours per year.

Traditional (non-VLJ's) turbojets are expected to average approximately 407 hours per year by 2020, since VLJ's are expected to have a greater share of their use in on-demand air-taxi than the traditional turbojets..."

GOAT: sounds like the FAA is trying to drum up money for modernization.

ATM, Gadfly, others in the Air Taxi biz- does 1000 hrs/year seem reasonable?

(The utilization seems like the biggest part of this air taxi puzzle, much like sales volume is part of the Eclipse business model puzzle).

gadfly said...

OK . . . it’s time for me to pick up my marbles, head up the hill, and go home. You really know how to hurt a guy.


bill e. goat said...

I'm sorry sorry :)

I guess my Spanish is worse than my German, both are nearly as bad as my English.


bill e. goat said...


I think this blog was founded with the intent of keeping an eye on those wile rascals that run Eclipse, and their adventures in aviation.

As such, I have considered the banter, and thought perhaps the website should more appropriately be called "Eclipse proponent", or "Eclipse observer", or "Eclipse criticizer".

But, I suppose, "Eclipse Critic" is adequately encompasing.

I would even suggest the term "Eclipse Prognosticator".

You seem to be forecasting technical success. I agree (eventually).

Would you care to share your predictions for deliveries for the following periods?

2007 Q1
2007 Q2
2007 Q3
2007 Q4


mirage00 said...

2007 Q1 - 12
2007 Q2 - 55
2007 Q3 - 98
2007 Q4 - 235

bill e. goat said...

Thanks, Mirage00.

I appreciate your optimism, and candor in sharing your thoughts. I hope they can make it. There will probably be some racket about those numbers, I hope the flak is directed at Eclipse, not you. (I think you might be close for 2008, I'm not so sure about 2007).

I think the airplane will be (almost) technically mature by the end of the year (read: in the final, certifiable configuration, unlike the sort of interim version at present).

But I think they will face "challenges" getting the avionics system ready by then.

(Following rant addresses that).

Thanks again- good luck if you have an early serial no. I'm sure you'll be satisfied with the product, and good wishes that the wait is satisfactory as well. (if it has been so far, another month or 10 shouldn't matter too much, compared to years to follow of enjoyment and operating comfort and safety).

That being said, I'm gonna bash 'em!!! -not you though :)

gadfly said...

‘Must be one of those Microsoft updates like “goat-be-gone”! I hit “refresh”, and your last post was removed . . . amazing!

EclipseOwner387 said...

I think 12 in Q1 is optimistic for sure. They have less than a week to pump out about 10 to make it. I would be happy to see 3-5 more before the month is over.

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly- slightly revised, and less extreme, rant follows:

Thanks to Gunner for a few days ago posting the Eclipse PR headline, and link:


"Avio NG Development Progress
March 20, 2007 -- The test bed shown below utilizes actual software code to validate functionality and systems integration. This test setup shows the fuel system and electronic circuit breaker control synoptic pages displayed in the lower half of the MFD. Much of the software developed under the initial Avio development efforts are integrated into Avio NG."

GOAT: I read the description, and I was modestly impressed that the Avio-NfG system was already flying- and thought, “Wow, that's a lot sooner than I thought it would be”.

But I didn't open the link.

Until now.

Those Lie'n Rat Bastards!!!

The “test bed” to me implied a FLYING test bed. NOOOOO.

The picture is of a ground mockup. There were pictures of a ground mockup, YEARS AGO. Where did that lead, YEARS LATER ?!?!?

If they don't fly this on a REAL FLYING TESTBED, they're screwed. Months of work remain, it would seem.

(The fact they are using lame-o “weasle-speak” does not bode well for the progress made so far).

Not to fear, disappointed technophiles amongst us. I think I've found a spy shot of the REAL testbed. You've heard the expression, dumb as a box of rocks? Well, it looks like they poured their best efforts into this Avio-NfG thing: all 15 rocks.

L.R.B. Factor, “Test Bed” = 8.5

L.R.B. Factor, “First-First flight” = 9.5.

L.R.B. Factor, “Second-First flight” = 9.0

L.R.B. Factor, “402 deliveries in 2007” = 10.0

(apologies to Mirage00, this is NOT directed at him).

Jolly bad show, from those wile weasels for more “Eclipse-speak”. Very disappointing.

Long live the blog of truth, justice, and the American Way!!!

(Ahem, thank you. Rant over).

bill e. goat said...

Good luck (I think you're just trying to sneak #387 in before the end of the year! :)

BTW, if s/n's are not so much related to delivery no.'s, where will 387 fall?

Jake Pliskin said...

gadfly, someone else mentioned it earlier but let me add to it. If you should ever write a book (or maybe you have) it will be high on my reading list.

EclipseOwner387 said...


I am told November.

I am so confident I have already booked a ticket on DayJet to take me to ABQ!


bill e. goat said...


I think Vern put in a call to his buddy Bill (his OTHER buddy Bill), for a special "patch" incorporating anti-virus and anti-goat software.

In case our friends at Microsoft are listening, just don't forget:

I love Vern!

and I love the Eclipse!

Let's rebuild the confidence for Vern's dream!!

bill e. goat said...

Just don't forget, they don't have a potty on those 2000 nm non-stop flights!

(Ah, I'm sure Vern will be almost as relieved to see you as you are to arrive there!).

Best of luck. (I'm sure the airplane will be satisfying, and the wait worth it- hope they make the Nov timeframe).

Planet eX said...

In that image I see what we do in the systems integration lab (SIL). Taking it from the SIL to the aircraft takes time. Making it all work on the ground takes some more time and making it work in the real world (i.e., under actual conditions) takes even more time. What works in the SIL, sometimes causes problems once it's in the aircraft.

Mind you, the company I work for is not some small hole-in-the-wall company who hasn't done this sort of work before. I'll just say that I work for one of the top ten US defense contractors.

bill e. goat said...

Pluto (no, that's ex-Planet),

Planet eX,

Dang! I thought that white board was some new "disruptive technology" wide-screen alternative to a HUD! :)

What do you figure a reasonable timeline would be once it "leaves the lab (SIL)"?


bill e. goat said...

Maybe Microsoft will call it "Fences" rather than "Windows" :)

I'm all in favor of mending fences, as well as patching windows!

gadfly said...

Thanks, Jake, for the complement.

We used to have a poem that read:

“Why reeks the goat on yonder hill,

Who daily dines on chlorophyl?”

Every now and then, the goat chews the label off a can of something sour . . . but this last time he had a picture that included rocks (I couldn’t count all fifteen) that could have been labeled: “Bjorn Free” . . . actually quite good, for a goat . . . no kidding!

But we all listen to the goat’s comments . . . maybe! If you’ve ever raised goats, it’s impossible to ignore them, for many reasons.

Gunner said...

planet ex:
I know you can't even make an educated guess from the info provided in that photo or press release. But we can assume from that release that they haven't moved past the lab bench with it yet.

With that as a disclaimer, give s your best estimate (or time bracket) for when NG will be installed and usable in an FAA Approved, IFR Certified Eclipse aircraft.

Thanks much.

bill e. goat said...

Gunner said,

"'s a dummy cockpit that Ed is showing off. Wanna see my Moller again? ;-)"

GOAT: You're not saying Eclipse and Moller are sharing hardware by offering cockpit commonality are you? (I thought they just shared business plans)... :0

bill e. goat said...

Your literary skills are amazing!

Don't let those Eclipse PR guys get ahold of you!

Well, off to chew tin cans, and dream of Eclipses landing "over the fence" at 67 knots. All 402 of them!

'Night all!

Eric said...

Ken, the reason I gave that description of the backups was to illustrate how an aircraft in 121 operations is configured.

Notice I said the systems book gives scenarios for the "failure of all primary flight displays." The RMUs (Radio Management Units) can be used as backups to display engine and limited CAS data as well as nav data. What provisions does the Eclipse have for failure of all primary flight displays? Or is that beautifully large MFD not considered a primary display?

Our EICAS is powered similarly to the Eclipse's MFD according to your description... except that the manufacturer makes the assumption that it can fail as well. Hence, the Engine page on the RMU.

I bring this up since I just finished reading the Crew Awareness section of my systems book. So for the next few months I'm an expert...

Everybody... I have no interest in the Eclipse other than the thinking part of these comparisons. I probably will never step foot in one unless it's at Oshkosh or I have an ABQ overnight and scam a factory tour (I'm trying). I am neither a critic nor an advocate. For now, this type of thinking exercises my brain in ways that I don't get through normal line-flying.

Gadfly, the mechanical is an electrically powered gyro, no vacuum in the aircraft other than the reference vacuum for pressurization. Though I've wondered if that could be used to run a vacuum standby.

Eric said...

To address the personality test debate:

We did a personality test in new-hire training. However, it wasn't really referred to as a personality test, but that's what it was. We did it in Crew Resource Management (CRM) class after watching and analyzing various reenactments of landmark accidents. The test we took was called the Strength Deployment Inventory.

We discussed the results but we kept our own booklets. Nothing was handed over to the company. The idea was to look at it from time-to-time and think about what it says, and maybe to do it again.

That type of exercise was a nice way to get into the CRM discussions a little deeper as well. It made you think about how you react to things and how you interact with others. I am supposing this might be the idea behind the Eclipse training.

Someone suggested that the Eclipse test would help the instructor tailor the program to that individual. Gunner said that would mean the instructor would have to be trained on how to interpret the results. As someone who instructed for a while, I can tell you that any instructor worth his/her salt doesn't need personality test results to tailor training to an individual.

Any experienced instructor will start doing that within the first 30 minutes of training... often during just the pre-brief for that day's lesson plan. Suggesting that instructors can't do that is an insult to any competent CFI.

gadfly said...


‘Guess I’m really getting old. Back when I worked as an A&P mechanic at “Air Oasis” in Long Beach, California (1965-66), most systems were vacuum . . . from the intake manifold (as I recall) on Continental and Lycoming engines. Before that, on the 65 hp engines, a small venturi on the right side of the fuselage “pulled a (partial) vacuum” to operate two or three gyro instruments. That, plus the “pitot tube” just about covered everything, except the tachometer, altimeter, and a magnetic compass. The engine used an “armstrong” starter . . . with a leg to swing the “starter” away from the prop when it “kicked”. The fuel level on the “J3 Cub" was a cork, and a piece of wire . . . which froze up sometimes in the “full” position, on cold winter mornings back in Chicago. A radio, to keep in touch with ORD tower doubled the price of a J3.

Sometimes, old does not mean obsolete . . . referring to the possibility of using a vacuum backup, that is . . .


Gunner said...

"As someone who instructed for a while, I can tell you that any instructor worth his/her salt doesn't need personality test results to tailor training to an individual."

Don't disagree with you, Eric. But, if we accept that as the case,then I don't see the point of the test other than as window dressing which could eventually be used against the pilot.

Now it may well be that Eclipse intends to use Myers-Briggs in the way you mention: you keep your own score and booklet, and learn about the various personality types in the matrix. That certainly makes sense, but is hardly worth highlighting as some key feature to the training.

If, OTOH, the results are collected and logged and training is not individually tailored as a result, it provides nothing other than potential liability to the pilot.


Eric said...

Addressing the OEI (One Engine Inop) characteristics of the EA-500:

Ken mentioned that the Eclipse was inherently very safe due to the centerline-thrust design and lack of a Vmc speed.

This rubbed me a little oddly. The aircraft doesn't have engines on the longitudinal axis of the fuselage, so it's not really centerline-thrust. I know the FAA says it's close enough but I'm a nitpicker.

Many turbojets with fuselage mounted engines lack a Vmc speed. This doesn't mean you can't "Vmc" the aircraft. It just means there's no published speed. That's because it stalls before it reaches Vmc. As any MEI will tell you, Vmc is a constantly changing number based on those 6 factors we all learned about when we got our Multi tickets.

However, the human factor is the most important. Overcontrol is the real killer in V1 cuts in these types of aircraft. Guys who are used to handling piston twins get a little too aggressive on the corrections and can get into trouble.

I'll give you an example of the human factor: I did a lot of teaching in Piper Seminoles, a twin with a published Vmc one knot lower than stall. Nobody should lose directional control in these things... but I had students who routinely lost 30-180 degrees of heading because of issues of human factors.

Having spewed all that... I don't think any pilot who passes Eclipse's training program and does the recurrent training will have a problem. I bet it's a kitten on one engine.

Eric said...

Gadfly, I'm with you, I like the old-school stuff. Haven't flown a J-3 in a while though.

Gunner, I think you're right. The personality test is probably more an advertising gimmick than anything that will enhance training outside of CRM discussion. I would also be hesitant to hand over my test results to be logged by anyone other than me. I'm sure there's nothing sinister about the Eclipse program, but I agree about the liability issue.

I guess it's that type of thing that makes me glad I'm union. Not to mention having a good management team. ;)

Ken Meyer said...

Eric wrote,
"Ken mentioned that the Eclipse was inherently very safe due to the centerline-thrust design and lack of a Vmc speed.

This rubbed me a little oddly."

As well it should. If that's really what I said, I take it back. No airplane is "inherently very safe." What I thought I wrote was that an aircraft with centerline thrust is safer than a comparably-powered aircraft with asymmetric thrust.

"Centerline thrust" is an FAA definition that arises when an aircraft has no published Vmc. As you observed, it doesn't actually mean there is no asymmetric thrust, just that there is little enough that Vmc falls below stall speed. There are some interesting (and powerful) aircraft listed by the FAA as centerline thrust like the F/A 18, F-111, and A-10.

I do think the fact that the Eclipse is rated as centerline thrust by the FAA reflects an important safety benefit to the pilot.


Eric said...

Ken, I'm glad to see we agree on that. I apologize if I misquoted you on the "inherently safe" thing.

Good point about the military guy. I remember doing an ATP rating for a guy coming out of the Marines. In addition to the regular tasks he also had to perform a Vmc Demo to get rid of the "Limited to Centerline-Thrust" limitation on his ticket. He was probably one of the most enjoyable guys I ever flew with.

JetProp Jockey said...

Since there is a new thread started, this may not get read, but relative to required testing for an Eclipse TR - Seems to me that a keyboarding skill test is actually more critical than a personality test. Looks to me that if you can't type, you can't fly.

airtaximan said...

someone asked:

"Does anyone know what the requirements are in order to charter a DayJet ride in an Eclipse for $1.00 per mile. Have they published any sort of rate schedule for this charter service?"

the numbers disclosed so fqr qre if you wish to depart within 1/2 hour of your desired time it will be $3 per mile... for a dollar, I imagine it will be MUCH less convenient. The trip does not guqrqntee non-stop, either. $3 is no bargain, especially if a stop is involved.

BTW, I imagine the 1/2 hour is before or after so its an hour...