Monday, March 12, 2007

Eclipse DME - From the King Himself

There is a lot of confusion about the DME function on the Eclipse 500. I want to give you the facts. First and foremost there was never intended and has never been a DME receiver installed on the Eclipse 500. This is simply due to the fact the FAA made a very enlightened and informed decision several years ago that the expensive and unreliable DME system could be easily replaced by the GPS system. So when we received FAA Type Certification in September, 2006 that included operations up to 41,000 feet with "synthetic DME". The FAA approved the Distance Function that uses two GPS signals to give distance information to a fix in place of a conventional DME system. This Distance Function will accurately display to the pilot the distance between the aircraft and a navigation station tuned on the NAV receiver. This system avoids the DME slant-range error that is most prevalent at higher altitudes and gives the pilot a more accurate distance from aircraft position to the fix. Crossing directly over a nav fix at FL410 and having your distance indication show 8 miles to go to the fix is always somewhat amusing. The distance is calculated from the position of the navigation station, as retrieved from a navigation database. Therefore the currency of the database MUST be verified prior to using the Distance Function to ensure safe operations.

When we received the type certificate, the navigation database was up to date and allowed the synthetic DME Distance Function to be used. As you all know from IFR flying, the navigation database needs to be updated every 28 days, but the current version of Avidyne hardware installed in Eclipse 500s does not allow for cyclical updates.As a result the Eclipse 500 fleet has been limited to flying below FL240 due to the lack of current navigation database. The simple reason that the database could not be updated is due to the fact that Avidyne could not make the UBS interface port work correctly. Avidyne has now solved that problem and is working on new hardware to be installed that will allow us to update the navigation database. This new hardware is supposed to be approved and available to us any day now. As soon as the new hardware is approved, we will install the new hardware and navigation database and the "DME inoperative" restriction will be removed.

For those of you who simply can't stand to be without a DME receiver you can always order the International Operations Package and have a single DME receiver, in addition to an ADF receiver installed in your Eclipse 500. We have created this option for those that will be basing their aircraft in nations that have not taken the progressives steps that the FAA to start the modernization of their airtraffic control systems.

Vern Raburn President & CEO
Eclipse Aviation

58 comments:

Gunner said...

In summary:
- The Eclipse 500 STILL does not have an FAA functional DME system.

- The Eclipse 500 STILL is limited to FL24 or lower.

- To guarantee a functional DME system in non-US environments, even current Depositors will have to order an optional avionics unit.

- Avio is so far along that they can't seem to figure out how to wire the USB port for monthly database updates.

Ken was wrong. He has mislead us repeatedly on the DME and Altitude Restrictions for weeks, even while complaining of the equipment shortfall on the Eclipse Owner Site.

Once again, this Blog has been correct in its "hateful" assertions. Congrats on the heads up Bamba and/or CWMoR.

The Eclipse has some neat features, Ken. But there is simply no excuse for intentionally misrepresenting what it can do or downplaying the significant limitations in operation, design and inspections. This tendency really has to be checked.

Gunner

Gunner said...

Vern said:
"This new hardware is supposed to be approved and available to us any day now."

If that turns out to be true, I think it will be the first time, in 8 years, that Vern has actually "hit his numbers". I'm certain it'll be reason for all manner of backslapping and cries of adulation from the sidelines.
Gunner

Gunner said...

And.....

Did I mention that funtioning DME is available thru the International Ops Package? I should mention that. It's only a $50,000 option.

But wait, that's not all!
Order your Little Jet today with the IOP option and we'll throw in a fully functioning ADF, too.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

You gotta luv the chutzpah.

'If you are too embarrased to fly your $1.5M wonderjet below FL240 from VOR to VOR, just pay an extra $55,000 and you too can then have an expensive and unreliable DME system of your own.'

My gut hurts from all the laughing, look for Vern to take this comedy routine on the road hitting all the Improv clubs - travelling by bus of course.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Oh yeah, the question that NEEDS to be asked - since you cannot take anything for granted with this operation.

Is the International Operations Package certified?

And by that I mean is it:

CURRENTLY
FAA
CERTIFIED?

Other than that, a great idea and a smooth upsell, better then the kid at McDonald's asking me to supersize my fries.

airtaximan said...

OH CRAP. appologies to all -I forgot to add...


News Update from ABQ – Part 4

ECLIPSE DME FUNCTIONAL (WITH $50,000 UPGRADE)

By Bob McKlain
Journal Staff Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Monday March 12, 2007



...to the post from the King himself...

airtaximan said...

Ken:

you doing the math on the Dayjey vs the total order book percentage?

mouse said...

Hey Gunner, not so fast, yet. I'm wondering if you order your IOP before midnight tonight, along with your set of Ginsu knives.. Do you get an IOP that is FAA certified? Was the IOP in their test program and did the option get certified?

Just wondering...

mouse said...

CWMOR, sorry... I responded before scrolling down to see your response... I must be suffering from DST-Lag... Wonder if the Eclipse software has any issues that might be blamed on the DST issue... time will tell...

Gunner said...

Mouse-
Let me give you the answers as they would normally appear and mutate under questioning:

- FAA Certification depends on whether the Pilot is IFR qualified.

- Yes, it has DME [ie; I mean the TC'd concept]

- Yes, the FAA has looked at it

- Yes, we have it working "on the bench"

Translation:
Everything is cool. Step right up.

Gunner

EclipseBlogger said...

Mouse said... Wonder if the Eclipse software has any issues that might be blamed on the DST issue... time will tell...

Due to problems with daylight savings time and the onboard and eningeering computers, all previously announced schedules and deliveries will be moved ahead by one hour.

airtaximan said...

EB,

now THAT's funny!

good one.

PS. you want to back up Ken's contention that e-clips order book only contains 239 plus 70 orders from dayjet?

Any way to ask on the inside?
It seems like a fair question, given the risk, no?

Thanks.

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,
" The Eclipse 500 STILL does not have an FAA functional DME system.

- The Eclipse 500 STILL is limited to FL24 or lower.


Today, yes. But at certification, the plane had both DME and RVSM. And the company says the problem with updates has been resolved, and the plane will within a few days once again be to fly above FL240.

Ho hum. No big deal after all. I know you were hoping for something more dramatic like "it will never be able to fly above FL240" but not this time, sorry.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

Airtaximan wrote,
"PS. you want to back up Ken's contention that e-clips order book only contains 239 plus 70 orders from dayjet?"


That actually was not my contention; let's be crystal clear here. I believe I said that your contention was incorrect that half the Eclipse order book is from Dayjet orders.

I pointed out that Dayjet has repeatedly placed into the public domain the number of aircraft they've ordered. It is 239 with options for 70 more. To my knowledge, they most recently verified that number publicly in January.

Now if you've got some solid, reliable, believable and verifiable evidence that the information Dayjet released is substantially incorrect, I'm sure there are lots and lots of people who would like to hear about it.

Do you? Or are you just blowing smoke?

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Come on guys, read between the lines and you will understand, like Ken, that the airplane was legal for group RVSM operation, when properly equipped and flown by a trained pilot, from the date of certification in September, until the 28 day Nav Database expired, which by my watch would only be about 3 months before the 1st 'customer' delivery.

So it does not matter that NO 'customer' aircraft (either of them) can fly RVSM or above FL240 without special clearance TODAY, because there WAS a timeframe, of 1-3 weeks, 6 months ago, when it WAS possible.

Give the guy a break. I mean it should only take a few days to get new hardware and software installed, tested, certified and retrofitted.

No apology is required in my book Ken - I get your logic now.

Gunner said...

Ken-
You answered exactly as I stated you would:
"Well, OK. Y'all caught me in a lie. But the Concept Plane really did have DME. Do I get points for that?"


No, Ken you don't get any points. Nobody much cares what the "concept plane" had yesterday or what it's "promised" to have tomorrow. You can't fly a plane that existed yesterday or is promised to exist tomorrow.

What did it have the entire month of February, while you were claiming it had DME and was not limited to 24K? No DME...No flights over 24K

What did it have on March 6th when you claimed that, despite your previous misleading claims, it NOW had DME? No DME...No flights over 24K

What does it have today? No DME...No flights over 24K

The point, my friend, is that you are not willing to stand up and admit that you INTENTIONALLY misrepresented what you knew, that you specifically attempted to mislead others and that you now call that "No Big Deal".

We'll, for the rest of us "No Big Deal" is your credibility. You no longer have any, Ken. Your information has been repeatedly outed here as FALSE...woefully FALSE...FALSE despite Eclipse admissions to the contrary...INTENTIONALLY FALSE.

I take no joy in pointing you out as the Poster Child for Eclipse Double Speak, Ken. But I have to point it out because it is such a glaringly obvious FACT. You've earned this badge of dishonor, Ken Meyer. Wear it in good health. You are no longer credible.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner, you're making a pretty big deal out of this.

You complained because I wrote on February 13, "It has DME, de-ice and RVSM." And that on March 6 I wrote, "the company has confirmed, that whatever the issue with the synthetic DME was, it has been resolved."

But all that was correct, Gunner. It does have synthetic DME. It had it on February 13, and it has it today. It turns out it wasn't working right on February 13, but I didn't know that. The AFM said it worked, and it did--at certification. That of course is why the AFM said it worked.

So, for a while it was inop, and I didn't know that. Oh well. Deal with it. You get what you pay for :)

Now as to losing credibility with you. That's a mighty funny observation coming from a guy who thinks so little of his own credibility that he has to hide behind some hokey pseudonym. You think nobody knows that gunner is really Rich Lucibella? Brilliant.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
For God's sake, man, why would you choose to drag this out and further highlight your duplicity. There are near reams of posts on this Blog from you wherein you claimed the Eclipse 500 had working DME or working synthetic DME and was not limited to 24K feet.

Do you really believe none of the lurkers here, or your fellow Depositors don't read what you say on this Blog? Do you really believe we were repeatedly questioning you about the TC'd Concept and not about the ACTUAL systems at the time of those questions (right up to today)? Worse yet, do you really expect anyone here to buy that explanation?

Perhaps the email I just got is true and you were simply duped by Eclipse, as you claimed on the Owner's Board on March 2nd. Surely, if you were to take that position, I'd understand. After all, it would certainly be more forgivable if you were just gullible than if you intentionally inserted yourself into the Eclipse paradigm of falsehood, disinformation and empty promises.

I'm sorry, Ken. It really isn't a "Big Deal" to me if you choose the part of an Eclipse Disinformation Shill. But it should be a "Big Deal" to you. You have zero credibility.


Gunner

Gunner said...

Oh, my. How unbelievably cruel of you, Kenneth. You've revealed my true identity to the world!!!

I may never recover.

But then, you're a bit late, Ken. My identity has never been a secret here and was freely admitted months ago on this Blog. Better try a Tactical Reload....you appear to be shooting blanks, son. ;-)

Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken:

What part of what I wrote is incorrect...are you not saying "e-clips order book only contains 239 plus 70 orders from dayjet" and no more Dayjet orders are accounted ofr in the 2500 or so orders E-clips claims?

Just out of curiosity, have you ever seen some solid, reliable, believable and verifiable evidence that the information you have been told (regarding your position) vis a vis the orderbook is correct?

Just checking - check back in a day or so - someone is going to provide verifiable, solid and relaible evidence to the contrary...

Gunner said...

AT-
It was regarding that specific issue, that I demanded a refund in July. Ken is well aware that this was a systemic problem when Eclipse revoked all S/N's at that time.

Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"Just checking - check back in a day or so - someone is going to provide verifiable, solid and relaible evidence to the contrary..."


If you have verifiable, solid and reliable evidence that half the Eclipse order book is from Dayjet, I won't be the only one interested in hearing about it; it will properly belong on all the aviation news services.

This could be hot.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Gunner and Ken,

my guy just backed out and said unequivocally that he has no evidence of this. He backed down...and if by chance he provides some evidence, I have nothing to do with it.

Sorry.

Gunner said...

AT-
You jumped the gun. But at least you STOOD UP and admitted it rather than trying to create a charade around it. That's no excuse, but it is an acceptable explanation; at least for me.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

I'll take the heat, it's no big deal. The guy backed out...

Kinda like lsing a supplier, or having a working DME...easy come, easy go.

Seriosuly, sorry I failed to come through...

Somehow, I know in my heart the orderbook is Dayjet, plus the private market which is only 600-700 or so.

Just my opinion..

gadfly said...

Who knows? . . . maybe pigs WILL fly! At this point, it seems anything is possible. In the mean time, for those who want a “real” jet, the efforts put into the “blogs”, could have, by now, gone toward paying for, and flying a dinosaur.

For those whose hearts are set on the little jet that “thinks it can fly”, you have enough information to alert yourself to the potential problems you may incur.

For those who fly real airplanes, just stay out of their way.

And for those of us who can only watch from the sidelines and wonder . . . well, we’ll just sit on the sidelines and wonder.

After remembering the whine of a pair of “Allison’s” with superchargers, flying overhead, so many times over the Verdugo Foothills near Burbank, in another time, I longed to hear that “sweet” sound, once again . . . a deep throaty roar of twin Allison’s, and the whistle of those two superchargers.

About a year or so ago, as I worked here at my computer, I heard a sound I could never forget . . . and ran outside to see a P-38 Lightning flying low and slow overhead, with a P-40 close behind . . . flying off to the west, over Albuquerque. It seemed that the sky was almost “sanctified” by their presence . . . aircraft that were designed and built by people that knew what they were doing (or so it had seemed at one time).

It seems sacrilegious for anything less to fly these skies . . . a plane that could fly at 44,000 feet, carry a payload of 9,000 pounds (fuel and weapons), fly 2,600 miles, fly at 350 knots . . . and about 19,000 of them were built in less than six years . . . but, of course, they were dinosaurs, built by ignorant people, over sixty years ago.

But being an ignorant little kid at the time, it seemed, then, like a “big deal”, especially since my Daddy was a part of it.

gadfly

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"I'll take the heat, it's no big deal. The guy backed out..."


OK, just so we're clear. You're saying you have no evidence to dispute the order number that Dayjet released--239 firm orders and 70 options, is that right?

If so, that's fine. I just want to be clear that in the end, your speculation that half the orderbook at Eclipse was from Dayjet, is unsupportable; you have no evidence to back that claim.

BTW, I don't fault you for telling us that. If it had been true it would have been very interesting information on many levels.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken.

1- the verifyable information substantiating my claim has evaporated, sorry

2- I have seen numbers that lead me to belive Dayjet has about 1/2 the E-clips orderbook, but for now, just treat this as my own speculation based on what I belive I saw

3- I would say, you were right in that I cannot disprove Dayjet's claim the only have 238 plus 70 orders

4- Can you disprove Dayjet's representation that E-clips has will have functioning simulators at United for the pilots to train? What about their claim to pilots that they have 50 of the first 100 e-planes off the line. Hmm.

Suspicious, given the fact that Ed showed up 2 years or so into the deposit program, and many of your friends slept at the hotel to reserve a Platinum, Gold, Silver...what ever color entitled them to a rank-delivery position and non-refundable deposit...curious, I'd say.
READ:
http://www.aviationinterviews.com/pilotsample/dayjet.html

Planet eX said...

Concerning the Eclipse simulators (which were supposed to be delivered in first quarter 2006):

"Opinicus is still on track to deliver the first flight training device in the next few months. The FTD will then be upgraded to a full-motion simulator this summer."

The above quote is from one of the Eclipse press releases.

Now according to the Opinicus press release from 2005, they were going to build Level D simulators and Level 6 FTDs. Making a FTD a full-motion simulator is sometimes a lot more difficult than building the level D from scratch.

The quote makes no sense - next few months (May, June, July?) then conversion to full-motion in the summer? Why deliver a perfectly good FTD then take it out of service? As an FTD it can still be used to train and cut a few hours off the use of an actual aircraft for training. Simcom, CAE/Simuflite and a few other companies use fixed based simulators for training with no problems.

As for the new training organization, it's definitely not FSI...might be CAE/Simuflite...but I have a strange feeling that it's Simcom/Pan Am.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Caught this in AOPA e-News and thought it interesting in light of Eclipse and the 9 pilots (5 FAA, 4 Eclipse) reportedly undergoing type training now.

"PRIVATE PILOT GETS MUSTANG TYPE RATING
It's always been Dave Goode's dream to fly a jet. But he had only piston-engine time when he went to Flight Safety in Wichita, Kansas, for Cessna Citation Mustang training. He's owned a Cessna 172, 182, and 310. His 2.5-hour checkride in a Mustang called for instrument approaches on one engine, a failed primary flight display, an engine shutdown and restart, and an aborted takeoff. More than a dozen pilots now have Citation Mustang ratings, but Goode says he is the first private pilot to receive a type certificate for the entry-level jet. Goode, who owns a carbon-fiber ski manufacturing company, will take delivery of Mustang production No. 5 in April."

Don't those dinosaurs in Wichita know there is a new Sherriff in town - the nerve, 12 pilots including at least one and possibly several CUSTOMERS already type-rated.

What is next, delivering fully functional aircraft?

airtaximan said...

wetfish,

next...a full up virtual air taxi company - you'll see

who needs simulators
who needs trainers
who needs pilots

go to dayjet and take a flight on the E-500 without ever leaving your home...just look at pictures of where you wanted to go, on your computer.

thos Dinos with real plane and real pilots that do what theiy are supposed to...

Planet eX said...

Well...that's what happens when you get an airframe manufacturer, simulator manufacturer, and training organization cooperating as they are supposed to.

FSI does things quite well - that's how they became the largest flight training company. They started building the simulator and training program the moment Cessna signed on the dotted line and provided the first bits of engineering data.

If you want, they've got a ten-day initial available starting on April 2 in Wichita and will offer training in Farborough in June.

BTW, FSI and Cessna signed the deal in Sept 2005 - not bad...just about 1 1/2 years from contract to training.

If Eclipse followed the same line of thinking, they would have had a qualified simulator working by now.

airtaximan said...

...and then we have sister-DayJet...

It looks to me like more than just their customers will be on the fly - perhaps despite zillions of virtual simulations of their business on computers, they are hiring people NOW to develop an understanding of business requirements and user needs... (the spelling errors etc are theirs this time, not mine)

"Product Business Analyst Mar 12, 2007
Delray Beach, Florida
Send Job to a Friend
Description:
About the Company

DayJet Corporation was founded in 2002 to fill a market void for commercial-scale, on-demand air transportation. The company will build and operate the nation’s first “Per-Seat, On-Demand” regional air service based on a new generation of very light jet aircraft and its own real-time operations system. DayJet has a simple yet powerful mission: to make on-demand regional travel widely accessible and affordable.



Position Summary

We currently have an immediate opening for a Product Business Analyst. This is a contract position for local candidates that may become a full-time position for DayJet. Reporting to Marketing, this position is responsible for Facilitates business and user needs analysis to department teams and participates in various stages of requirements and analysis. The Business Analyst works in close collaboration with the Development Managers, business users and other department stakeholders to gather, analyze and document the business/functional requirements and workflows for various system products. Must be able to effectively communicate with both technical and non-technical users and produce product charter documentation. Documentation may be comprised of Use Cases, Requirement documents, Process Flow diagrams, and Business Rules.



Roles and Responsibilities:

Translate business needs to system functionality and business processes (includes process definition, business requirements definition, functional requirements definition, quality assurance, prioritization, etc.)
Conducts and analyzes product business processes. Design business requirements for product channels.
Responsible for definition, implementation, and support of system requirements. Identifies / develops customer requirements, sales requirements, customer care requirements and reviews testing plans.
Client requirements via industry standard analysis techniques such as Case Analysis, Workflow Analysis, and Functional Analysis. Solicits client requirements through interviews, workshops and/or existing systems documentation or procedures.
Apply user-centered research and design skills to organize information in ways that are meaningful and useful to end-users of the system.
Understand process of developing information architecture / UI from research and conceptual design to planning and production for assigned site areas.
Develop business systems documentation. Supports quality assurance/testing efforts with hands-on support. Participates in test plan development.
Lead the collection of business requirements; translate the business requirements into application functionality, specifications, and detailed test plans; collaborate with team members to deliver innovative solutions.
Communicate business directives, goals, and needs to the technical team and serve as the business user’s interface and manage their expectations and satisfaction.
Recommend enhancements and identify requirements
Participate in QA/UAT cycle and follow through on issue resolution
Coordinate end user testing/implementation, and user manual documentation.
Collaborate with development managers to coordinate review / design meetings, project schedules, request management, plan services and work authorization to meet time and quality targets.
Coordinate delivery of working pieces of functionality into overall product within agreed project timeframes.
Other assigned duties.

bill e. goat said...

I'm pleased to note the sprightly and informative banter between Ken, ATM, and gunner, and happy to note it is being pursued on a civil level.

However, the goat is NOT pleased with some droppings left by others during the past 24 hours on his favorite blog.

From henceforth, the goat WILL NOT suffer any b.s., and offenders WILL be hammered.

Metal Guy said...

I have not combed through all of the previous posts - but do I understand it’s limited to FL240

BECAUSE ECLIPSE FORGOT TO MAKE THE DATABASE UPDATEABLE??

They had to wait until the FAA told them this and forced the limitation at this point in the game??? Then they scramble around for a fix?? You have got to be kidding! They should have known this from day one if they are going to use the GPS DME functionality at all.

And people are supposed to put their lives in the hands of a company like this? Holy freaking moley. Please, someone tell me I missed something here…

Ken Meyer said...

metal guy wrote,
"I understand it’s limited to FL240 BECAUSE ECLIPSE FORGOT TO MAKE THE DATABASE UPDATEABLE??"


You're assuming facts not in evidence.

Ken

Gunner said...

MG-
Ken makes a good point. Eclipse Aviation can't be held responsible for every system on the Eclipse 500. Not at all. When a system fails, how can you possibly blame them when there are myriad vendors to shoulder the burden.

No, Eclipse cannot be held culpable for non-working avionics, engines that cannot carry the plane plus reasonable payload, wing attachments that start rattlin' like a BB in a boxcar, windows that crack, brakes that burn up, deice that doesn't exist, or FAA exasperation.

Let's get straight on this: Eclipse is in the business of raising Depositor and Investor money and spending it to get great press, in order to get more Depositor and Investor money. It's also responsible for taking credit when something IS worth announcing. Eclipse is the best there is at what it does.

It's the vendors that haven't put together an aircraft to meet The Grift...errr...."Dream". So let's not be jumping to conclusions and blaming Eclipse for shortfalls in performance, reliability or safety.

Next thing you know, if the project fails, you'll be blaming Eclipse Aviation when the world knows it was been the money-grubbing vendors that scammed the aviation community. A bit more perspective, if you please.

Gunner

Black Tulip said...

Vern says, "Crossing directly over a nav fix at FL410 and having your distance indication show 8 miles to go to the fix is always somewhat amusing."

I hesitate to nitpick The Vern but point out the following. DMEs display in nautical miles not statue. A well-calibrated DME flown over a sea-level station at 41,000 feet should display 6.7 not 7.8 miles slant range.

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.

Eric said...

Black Tulip, don't forget to nitpick the fact that none of these airplanes have been at FL410. Unless there's something I don't know.

Metal Guy said...

Ken,

What facts did I assume? That Eclipse is the system integrator and solely responsible for the configuration submitted to the FAA for certification? Now that they realize it’s an actual problem, all of a sudden it can be incorporated with just a simple sprinkling of hardware – “due out any day now”.

Why didn’t this ‘easy fix’ happen six, eight, twelve, fifty-eight months ago?

Face it, Eclipse either forgot or was trying to slide it by the FAA – which is probably worse.

Otherwise they would not have submitted the existing configuration for certification.

Or did they knowingly submit an unsafe system to the FAA for certification?

Take your pick.

Ken Meyer said...

The AFM contains these words, which would only make sense if the company knew the database would need to be periodically updated:

"GPS Based Distance to Station Function

"Navigation using distance information is not approved unless the currency of the navigation database is verified."

Ken

mouse said...

Thanks for clearing this up Ken, Eclipse is not ignorant, just stupid.

Actually the database update was to be done via infrared way back in 2000-2001 timeframe, and then shifted over to a USB cable. I was not in favor of infrared because who would want to hold the updating medium up or in range while it downloaded, plus it is easier to plug in a cable and monitor update progress for a maintenance technician.

Looks like someone dropped the ball or the system did not work so it was left out, hoping to be missed for now and fixed later...?

Either way the system(s) are not tried, proven or airworthy which is a huge issue.

It's not each of these single events that cause all of us such grief, its the fact that this is the norm for operations at Eclipse...

No slack when you consistanly prove how inconsistant and so dishonest, using words to hide behind and blaming everyone one else around you.

Vendors have sunk millions of dollars buying into the same dream that you (Ken) are living... You are just in for a few 10's of thousands... Care to add up how much the dropped vendors have sunk in a program that failed to deliver, and is still failing...

Gunner said...

I've got it!
BLUETOOTH UPDATES!

Just think about it, guys:
- Another aviation first
- Press Releases a plenty
- Announce to the Depositors that they'll be getting a "free retrofit upgrade"; their planes will no longer be illegal within 28 days of delivery

I can see it now! We can take members of the E5C to a secretly located research facility, located at the ABQ Store-All and give them a "bench" demonstration on a Palm Handheld.

It's got all the food groups:
"Upgrade", "revolutionary", "been working on it for months behind the scenes","secret location".

This could be as big as PhosTREX, I tell ya.
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

I've got it! Automatic upgrades to the GPS of the sort you receive on your personal computer.

A conversation overheard as an Eclipse Jet crossed the ABQ VOR westbound at FL400:

Pilot: "My GPS database just updated and Los Angeles just got forty miles closer. Gosh, this little jet is fast."

Controller: "How's that automatic update feature working out?"

Pilot: "It works great, just two minor disadvantages - I have to fly over Albuquerque every twenty-eight days and the displays all go blank for a couple of minutes while it reboots."

Controller: "Gosh, that doesn't sound good in IFR conditions."

Pilot: "Naw, it's not problem up here a flight level four-oh-oh; there are never any clouds. My wife and I enjoy looking over at the Jemez Mountains and we keep a sharp eye out for other planes."

Controller: "I dunno...IFR, RVSM and all..."

Pilot: "Not to worry." (Heard in the background: "Ralph you were smart to buy this little jet; did you say Los Angeles just got forty miles closer? But aren't you supposed to be wearing your mask?"

Controller: "...contact Los Angeles Center 133.25"

Anonymous: "Blocked."

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.

Green-or-Red said...

At one time, the rumor on the inside was that DJ had about 1500 planes on order....however it could not be publicly announced because no deposits had been placed. In other words it is a verbal order or handshake agreement.

airtaximan said...

G or R,

do you work at E-clips, or did you work there?

is this 1500 in addition to the 2500 order book?

what timeframe was this rumor?

thx

Stan Blankenship said...

Posted earlier off the radar screen:

Donald said...

To the person or person's that question Inspector Mike as a former employee.

Yes, Mike worked as an Inspector for Flight Test. I am sure he will mail any of you a copy of his Tax statement minus his Social Security number for proof.

One of the cool things about living in the United Staes is the privelage of Freedom of Speech.

That is the concept of the inherent right to voice one's opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment.

I respect Mike as a person and as an Inspector. I have nothing bad to say about Eclipse. I hope they are successful for many reasons.

Remember, there are knuckleheads wherever you work. I credit Vern for spending so many years dedicating himself for one of his dreams. Not many people have this dedication.

I also credit those that have remained at Eclipse during the bad times. I wish them all good luck

bill e. goat said...

R-or-G, ATM, anyone...

The goat is also curious about how many "firm" orders there are.

Let me rephrase that, so it will not be twisted in Eclipse-speak.

Does anyone know, in real English, how airplanes have 10 percent down?

Green-or-Red said...

ATM
At this point I will only say that I have a lot of friends that have worked at and a lot that are still working at Eclipse.

I believe that there are only an elite few that really know how many 'firm' orders are on the books. By firm, I would say that they are the ordrs backs by the deposit required by EAC.

To the best of my recollection of conversations with various employees was that the the large fleet for DJ was counted in the total order of approximately 2500. The total aircraft order backed by deposits is only the published number of 239.

Black Tulip said...

C'mon Guys -

There seems to be a preoccupation on the Blog with the number of hard orders, particularly orders for the supposedly flourishing air taxi business. The number of Eclipse Jet orders in question ranges from roughly one to two thousand. Ladies and Gentlemen, that's two to three billion dollars worth of aircraft. That's billion with a capital "B". Do any readers of the Blog believe that a hard order of that magnitude could either have been placed with Eclipse or so badly handled?

There shouldn't be any 'weenies' online asking if the DME worked, can I climb above FL240, what about known ice, when and where can I get typed and insured, and... where do I go when it breaks - if there were two to three very big ones behind this design and implementation.

Wall Street pays attention to this stuff. You wouldn't be depending on current or former employees to confirm such a gravitational shift of money.

Day Jets? Think about the business model. Think about fifty million they say is raised versus any number starting with a big "B".

Let's focus on other matters regarding Eclipse. Failure here, even to make a few hundred flyable little jets, hurts lots of folks.

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.

airtaximan said...

Black flowerman:

if they do not have a real orderbook of 2500 or so planes...there's gonna be hell to pay.

I have seen numbers reflecting many more than 2500 planes ordered...some with $2 million invested as equity for as many as 750 plus 750 options...

That's a BIG fraud... and I've seen it, just can't produce it - call it ATMan's opinion!

Call it everyone's loss....

airtaximan said...

What would depositors and suppliers think if E-clips really had a much smaller order book than they claimed?

What if sweetheart deals were made for fleet orders, and position-holders with real money up got pushed back?

What if not every "order" had "a real deposit"

Just curious what the buyers and suppliers would think?

BigJim said...

The size of the order book is critical for Eclipse because their pricing has been based on volume from day one. How many airframes do they have to push out the door before they even recoup their startup and development costs? A bunch...especially if they are selling at a loss to begin with. Throw in the costs for the aero upgrades and the latest HAL 9000 system and you're starting to talk real money. If they don't have a couple of thousand real orders on the books, their business model falls apart.

I'm still waiting for the Eclipse cover shot on Flying Magazine. Did I miss it somehow? You know, with the flight review article by J. Mac? I hope I just missed it because you'd think any company that certified a new aircraft something like six months ago would be chomping at the bit to get some press like that.

mouse said...

BigJim,

Mac McClellen never drank the Kool-Aid, in fact he is the only editor I know that had the guts to call the sham a sham at the very start.

He understands that nobody will be buying this many airplanes in such short order.

The order book is critical to everything. The only way the model for Eclipse would have worked (note the "would have") was with these huge numbers. The problem is the investment and lateness of the program has wiped out any hope at payback or return on investment. The final hope for any investors is in the IPO which I do not believe will ever pass the sniff test.

The plane should have certified way back in '03 at around $350M, no plan ever imagined a spend of nearly $750M. And lets not forget we are not seeing any production volume yet.

The order book/back log has to be huge or the investment money would have dried up long ago..

And the money is not even close to being spent. Want to guess what a new factory would cost (if were ever really going to be built) at Double Eagle?

How about the cost of warranty? Re-Manufacturing of the early airplanes? Cost of building their own service centers? Speaking of service centers... One can imagine that each center will require a base of about 75-100 airplanes to make it a profitable venture. If the cost of operations are even close, which they are not, this is a big number.

Also need to consider that the first 2 years all of the planes are under warranty, so a profit center at a service center is greatly hamstrung for at least 2 years.

If everyone (and they better!!!!!) signs up for the maintenance contract; is it Power-by-the-Hour, or Excuses-by-the-Minute? The best Eclipse can ever hope for is break even, and make it up in volume.. LOL!

As I stated a few days ago, any manufacturer who counts on a fleet deal (excepting of course the currently operating fleets like NetJets, Etc.) are smoking crack. I hope all of the fleet deals come to fruition, but how much would you wager on that? I put the chances of fleet deliveries around 30%.

I would estimate that the Eclipse order book is less than 50% of stated, and I would also estimate that the deposits are well over-stated by the same margin. Fleet customers do not pay the full deposit, never have, never will... Vern wants the big order numbers and will settle for whatever he can get for a deposit, and yes, they get preferential delivery positioning... And exemptions from taking deliveries too, or so it seems of late..

Gunner said...

Agreed that the Order Book is the fundamental underpinning for the entire Eclipse Business Model. I've stated before that I didn't think this company started out as a scam.

However, Vern has backed himself into a corner, with his need to grab headlines and trophies and his basic marketing style. Thus, he started talking thousands of orders early on and now is stuck with the model that resulted from those projections. There is no way I believe Eclipse has even 800 deposited orders, let alone 2,500 REAL orders.

To wit:
- Cessna and Adam have a fraction of that number.

- D-Jet only has 150.

- Eclipse notified us last July that it was revoking all S/N's.

- My SN, when Eclipse was touting 2,500 orders, was 1,3XX. By that alone, we know that half their Order Book was Fleet Orders or Fictitious Orders.

Fresh money, IPO, White Knight:
It matters not in evaluating whether the business plan is viable. IPOs don't create orders and they don't change business fundamentals. The fundamental here is that the ROI just doesn't work; thus, the product quality appears to be suffering in an attempt to reduce costs.

Gunner

gadfly said...

“When dinosaurs flew” or “How to amaze your friends and potential customers”:

http://www.historylink.org/essays/printer_friendly/index.cfm?file_id=390

http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=390

http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?$=main/feature/barrel/barrel.htm

. . . now that’s how to sell an airplane (in 1955)!

gadfly

Niner Zulu said...

Gunner,
I have to agree with you. If the Eclipse order book is really at 2500 orders, where are all the buyers? They sure aren't in the Eclipse Owners' Forum. The same few handful of names keep popping up. In fact, there are only 408 names total (worldwide) in the "Owner Connection" list.

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.

Which reminds me, thanks again Vern for making poor Marion think that soon we will all be living under the shadow of orange and black striped mini-jets. If we end up with user fees and FAA employees out counting our touch-and-goes so that they can send us a bill, we'll have you to thank.

mouse said...

The number of people who typically buy so early (i.e. before certification) is usually a very small number, and their orders/deposits happen in the first few months. After this group, the rest typically wait until certification is immenent. There will always be a few trickle in along the way, but the norm is very few, like maybe 10-20 per year (individuals). In order to keep from looking like their orders are going stagnent a manufacturer will make some "deals" with those who want to buy a "fleet" (3 or more). Fleet deals are always special, never use the same contract that an individual depositor signs, and never pays even close to what an individual would be required to pay.

I doubt, but for the sake of argument would imagine the Eclipse might have 350 individual owner/orders, and the rest are in the fleet group, and as I stated several times are 30%'ers at best...