Friday, March 16, 2007

Free Drinks Continue But No Raises!

March 14, 2007

All Eclipse Enterprise,

We are writing you today to ask you for your help in controlling spending. As Vern & Peg have said, we need to start living within our means. And for us to do that effectively, we need everyone's help. As stock-holders of this company we have a responsibility to ourselves and to this enterprise.

We need to manage our cash just as we do at home. This is the beginning of an initiative to reduce spending, conserve cash and build a positive and disciplined attitude towards managing our expenses. This is our company and we have the opportunity to make a difference now - for our future.

Call to Action:
You know how to do your job in the most efficient manner, how things work and how to make them work better. In the past you may have felt that your opinion has not been heard or accepted. We will listen, that is a commitment to you. We need your ideas and your participation in saving money through productivity, identifying waste, recommending process improvements, and any other creative ways that will help us conserve cash and make us leaner and more productive. Your ideas should be communicated to your supervisor. Supervisors, please escalate these ideas immediately through your Leadership team.

As we gather ideas and suggestions from you, we have decided to implement the following cost control measures immediately.

Immediate Cash Conservation Initiatives:

- INVENTORY CONTROL: An inventory control plan is being implemented to consolidate tools & parts (including free stock & consumables) to prevent waste and loss of inventory. Please watch for a communication from Todd Fierro, VP Production.

- OVERTIME: All overtime must be scheduled and pre-approved by your organization's plant manager or director prior to work being performed.


- MERIT INCREASES: Unfortunately, merit increases for 2007 will not be awarded this year. Individual performance reviews will be postponed until July 2007 to maintain focus on the current task at hand. The payment of merit awards will be reviewed and reinstituted when the company meets its financial goals.

- HIRING: We will only be hiring new employees for aircraft production, engineering support for production, aircraft modifications and post delivery support. All other hiring is suspended until further notice.

-TEMPORARY LABOR/CONSULTING CONTRACTS: Temporary labor will only be utilized in support of line production, post delivery/aircraft modification and engineering operations in support of production.

- PRINTING & COPIES: Please reduce the amount of copies and printed materials - double sided print jobs will help. Today, stop producing color presentations and color copies. They look great but they cost 8.5 cents per copy vs less than 1 cent for black and white. Paper is very expensive; you can make an immediate impact here.

- FOOD: Catered lunches should only be used in support of business discussions which are best served by having lunch served while working. The number of lunches ordered should serve the guests and immediate company participants and not the department.

- BEVERAGES: Eclipse has been very generous and thoughtful in supplying free beverages to all employees. This will continue, however, we ask you to please not misuse this benefit. We are spending $50,000 per month right now on beverages alone!

- TRAVEL: Effective immediately, all company travel requires an approval of your organization's VP and Andrew Kamm, Acting CFO.

- FEDERAL EXPRESS/SHIPPING: FedEx will only be used to support transactions which generate immediate revenue and for critical documents, drawings etc. When FedEx is used it needs to be at the least expensive rate. When not using FedEx, use the US Mail. All departments will be asked to keep a log of their FedEx use. Prior planning when shipping can save money.

Team, we ask again for your help and support. Talk to one another and your supervisors, and bring forward any ideas you have on how we can be more efficient and save costs. We all will have to be self-disciplined in controlling spending. Hopefully these initiatives will make an immediate difference so further measures will not have to be taken.

If we work together and support one another, we will solve this problem

Andrew Kamm
Acting Chief Financial Officer

Ken McNamara
Vice President, Product Support

163 comments:

Frank Castle said...

Thanks for your generous support of our little airplane, by sacrificing your life, your health, now go home, work only 40 hours a week, and you ain't gettin a raise, because now we can't afford it, after all those expensive executive lunches, with pretty color presentations of just how bad the s**t hit the fan.

How much can brown cost you ?

Gunner said...

"In the past you may have felt that your opinion has not been heard or accepted. We will listen, that is a commitment to you."

When have we heard this before? Oh, that's right. This is what the Depositors hear about once a quarter.

"The payment of merit awards will be reviewed and reinstituted when the company meets its financial goals."

Translation: don't expect a Christmas Bonus either.

"Please reduce the amount of copies and printed materials - double sided print jobs will help."

Translation: With $800 million down the hole, we're now worried about $2,000 per year in unnecessary photo copies. We're chokin' over here!

"We are spending $50,000 per month right now on beverages alone!"

Then cut off the forced KoolAid rations, you dolts!

"Hopefully these initiatives will make an immediate difference so further measures will not have to be taken."

Translation: And this is just the beginning. The floggings WILL continue until morale improves.

_____________________

The only time I've seen pissant measures taken like this, for a company with the ongoing expenditures of Eclipse, was in advance of sale or in cases where they're living hand to mouth and need to buy time to raise additional funds.

Ken-
Hear the sound of steel on asphalt, yet? That's the sound of the first wheel-less hub on this endeavor. Wake up.

Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

It must be comforting to know your 60% deposit went for a good cause.

A one year supply of free pop for the workers and free kool-aid for upper-management. Total $600,000.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

This is another one of MetalGuy's jokes right?

Copies and pop are doing them in?

Could not possibly be 500-600 production personnel building non-conforming airplanes, standing around waiting for parts, and drinking all the pop and making all the copies.

A M A T E U R ' S

And the letter does NOT come from Vern and Peg but the ACTING CFO and the Customer Support Guy? WTF?

Not hiring designers or engineers, only MORE production staff? WTF?

$600,000 a year on soda, at $.25 a can, they ought to be able to work 24/7 with that much caffeine. WTF?

Unbelievable.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

How many airplanes could they build out of the 2.4 million soda cans consumed by the staff?

At $.25/can, that is 46 cans of pop, per week, per employee, or almost 8 cans per day on a 6 day work week.

Assuming an average of $600 per year per employee for free beverages, Eclipse has probably spent close to $3M on soda over the past 6 years.

$3 Million Dollars

for soda.

Think I am beginning to understand the nature of the problems here.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

$600,000 a year on pop sorta pales by comparison to a burdened labor burn rate of no less than $5M a MONTH though.

Pop is equivalent to maybe 1% of the labor costs per month, and labor is maybe 20-25% of their overall monthly burn rate (my guess is $20M/month).

Put those deck chairs on the LEFT side purser, this ship is UNSINKABLE.

Gunner said...

Frank-
On a related note, if you're willing, please email me: eclipse@thefiringline.com


CWMoR-
I'd approach the issue from the other direction: if needless copies are such an excruciating financial burden, just what corners are they cutting in design, design fixes, retro fixes and production of planes that have yet to leave the factory? Scary stuff, really.

Gunner

Planet eX said...

Get rid of some of those high-priced VPs and upper management that don't seem to know what they're doing and they'll save more money than they spend on cans of soda.

JetProp Jockey said...

Five years ago when I took delivery of my JetProp conversion of a Mailbu, the guy I trained with was on the list to get his Eclipse.

I have always scratched my head, as a business person, as to why a company would be willing want to be a market leader and underprice the product and plan on volume to be the salvation of the program.

My logic:

If the Eclipse could be manufactured for $850,000 and have $100,000 per copy profit, why not sell positions at $1,650,000 per copy, which cerainly would have attacted hundreds of customers considering that hundreds of customers were willing to pay about that much for a new single engine Meridian, like my STC's JetProp.

At that price, assuming again that the cost to produce a unit is $750,000, the profit is now $900,000 per unit and you only need to run a company that produces 50 planes per year rather than 500 or 1000. I'll manage the small one any day.

It never made sense to me.

Green-or-Red said...

Now I know why ex-CFO Reed left, he probably did not want his name associated with such a memo!!!

The next step will to be eliminate the free drinks so they can maintain all 15 VPs!!!

Niner Zulu said...

Stan,

Please tell us that letter is a fake.

Plastic_Planes said...

Saddest thing is that they're all 20 oz. plastic bottles, not aluminum cans.

Hey, don't forget the Red Bull was free, too during the surge week leading up to OSH.

/s/

Stan Blankenship said...

jpj,

Can you spell IPO?

Big multiples-fast returns.

No need to wait 10 years for the payback.

A fat order book would bolster the illusion.

Stiff the poor unsuspecting shareholders.


9Z,

The blog does not need comedy writers, Eclipse is providing all the material.

But the Eclipse predicament reminds me of the wisdom of intersection takeoffs...you can't use what's behind you.

The company should have been on an austerity program 5-6 years ago.

The first post on this blog last April asked the questions:

"So Vern, where is the progress? The Eclipse bloated organization consisting of a CEO, a COO, a CFO, a Senior Fellow, and 12 Vice-Presidents???"

And:

"Vern claims to have over 2,000 orders which means his production line is sold out for the next 3-4 years. Why then, all the promotion and self-promotion?

Air shows, city marketing tours, advertising and other promotions are all a drain on company resources. If I were running the program ( and I am glad I am not) I would husband all of my resources and concentrate 120% on certification and getting a firm grip on empty weight."

Planet eX said...

Green-or-Red wrote...
Now I know why ex-CFO Reed left, he probably did not want his name associated with such a memo!!!

The next step will to be eliminate the free drinks so they can maintain all 15 VPs!!!


I don't think cutting the free drinks would pay for one or two VPs' salary for a year.

Supposedly, Peg's pay is over $1.5 million per year.

mouse said...

Just to add a little girl scout water to the fire...

The rollout ceremony for the first flying aircraft was $1.9M for the 3 days...

Every Friday evening, after 5:00 pm, on company property was held (do not know if it still occurs, or when it stopped... never asked) a all you can drink binge party. Eclipse sent their building maintenance staff and truck to haul back $5K of beer, wine and hard liquor, chips, candy, and other light snacks... As the comapny grew these "sessions" were actually held in the shop where the planes were supposedly being built. Cans, bottle, and paper plates littered the tooling and tool boxes... Many people left quite intoxicated...

In fact the first flight party well exceeded this with 24 cases of Champagne brought in, 20 more bottles than there were employees. I personally helped move 3 people who were passed out cold and foaming at the mouth from the floor to chairs...

mouse said...

JetProp Jock,

Nice numbers, however the cost to build the plane is much closer to $2M than $1M... I said cost, not price... Better really hope the volume picks up to make up for any shortfalls...

Planet eX said...

Some of the comments about drinks, parties, too many VPs and more parties reminds me of the heydey of the software industry - free drinks, perks, excessive salaries and management and dreams of being the next greatest thing.

Reminds me of Corona, Columbia, Eagle, Osborne and all the other computer companies that ended up in the trash heap after spending millions of dollars and not generating one cent of profit. Of course, the same thing occurred with the dot.com bubble.

A few people got rich and everyone else got stuck with the debt.

gadfly said...

gadfly meanderings to the “mouse” and others, late on a Friday, for those of us who still work everyday for a living:

‘Interesting word, “shortfall”. Back in olden times, we used a different word . . . “shortage”. The problem was that “shortage” seemed to place the blame on someone. So, the word, “shortfall” has come into vogue . . . sort of puts the blame on the lack of ‘whatever’ out into space, somewhere. That way, “Nobody gets hurt”. Of course, the shortage still exists, but the “blame” vanishes into the morning mist.

Stan, our host, claims that we’re dragging out the dirty laundry . . . but somewhere I thought I saw a sign (maybe I imagined it) that said, “Stan’s Laundromat and Dry Cleaning Service . . . Pants Pressed While You Wait” . . . or something to that effect. (I didn’t know about the brothel out back, or I would not have entered this place of ill repute.)

Back in my “submarine days”, I thought I had seen just about everything . . . and probably there is nothing to compare with that, but somehow I had the feeling that folks that built and flew aeroplanes had a higher level of morality.

Here is the paradox, the contradiction of standards: The sense of “ethics”, back then, was on a much higher plane (no pun intended) than the business ethics that I observe in this fiasco. A man (a submariner, that is) could leave his wallet out on a table, behind a torpedo, or on his rack for a month . . . and it would still be where he left it whenever he returned. You see, each of us depended upon every other submariner for our very lives . . . you could say it was an “honor among thieves” . . . or whatever. Each and every life aboard depended on the integrity of each and every other shipmate.

But this scenario forces me to distrust everyone involved with this enterprise . . . if the “Old Man” (Captain, for you landlubber’s) on our sub could not be trusted, how could we trust anyone else. If the top dog in this “aeroplane” enterprise cannot be trusted, I would hate to put my trust in the safety of flying anywhere on this aircraft, now or anytime in the future.

Pass it off as the thoughts from an old man, still plugging away, designing, manufacturing (with good help and good equipment), and producing tooling for the company that manufactures engines for most of those jets that you use, to get out to see the “latest and greatest” in Albuquerque.

Don’t worry . . . we care that you get there and back, safely, far more than the “bottom line”. I like the motto of the hotdogs that we buy: “We answer to a Higher Authority”! Amen!

gadfly

Frank Castle said...

Ken ?

Oh, Ke-en !?!

Somebody's screaming "B.S." after your name !! ahahaha !

How do you feel about stomping on the little people for your aviating pleasure ?

bill e. goat said...

Back from spring break with family. Everyone is tired, and quiet. Time to catch up on reading.

bill e. goat said...

Ken said (March 06, 2007):

Quoting the FAA, "Reversionary configurations are significantly more reliable than presently certified mechanical systems, and the skills required while flying in reversionary mode are identical with those used when flying in primary mode. Traditional external standby flight instruments (either electronic or mechanical) offer potential safety problems associated with delay in pilot reaction".

GOAT-O-GRAM: Well, when all the glass displays go dark, I don't think it will take the average pilot too long to check the backup instruments.

Someday, this might not be an issue, but with the current state of vendor-of-the month? Standbys unreliable, yes. But better than nothing, yes.

bill e. goat said...

Ken, by the way.
Come back and give these guys heck.
You are usually right, or at least partially right, probably as much or more than the rest of us.

bill e. goat said...

Coldwetmackarelofreality
said (on March 07):

"Sounds like Avidyne cut off the spigot with perhaps less than 20 shipsets delivered, so who will take odds that there are more than than 20 deliveries between now and OSH?"

GOAT Bleats: I think the current emphasis on production is odd. How can Avidyne be delivering hardware, but yet, no longer on the program. What the heck is going on here????

mouse said...

Perhaps an even better reason for the "old stand-by's" is when everything goes to hell, and panic sets in (yes Virginia, some pilots still do this) the old stand-by's are engrained into our reactions and we don't even have to think...

I also have some reservations regarding all those little buttons on the bezel, and how they look besides the lines of text. You know, like when you use an ATM and can't tell which line of text lines up with what button... And how about when you are in moderate turbulence and your fingers are flying all around the buttons?

Way back in '00 I had asked for a rubber stem on either side of the screens, to serve as a base for your hand to reference and anchor off of in case of turbulence and to aid in button reference.

Another issues to think about on the Eclipse integration is the fact that most (if not all) of the buttons have different functions at different times, depending on what mode or screen you are on... Makes you wonder if when you really need it, is the button where it is supposed to be (do what you need it to do) when you need it?

Kids might adapt pretty well to this concept, just hope us "older" dogs can learn these new tricks too!

I'm all for new technology, but lets make sure the human interface (and the type of humans we are dealing with) works for improvement, and not just different to be disruptive... i.e. Why do we press the "Start" button to shut down our computer?

mike said...

The original soda cost was $75k back in July, they went from 2 providers to 1, to save money. So refigure everything before that date.

Tina Rulo was most probably the 6th main factor why that company is failing. The other five(right of the top of my head) are :Vern, bad a/c design, 2 manufacturing DAR's(x-cessna/bell types that literally didn't know anything), management(that didn't have clue one), no support for the few people who knew better.

And as far as the blackout possibility of the MFD's and PFD's, well......... it happened at night in August. The 2 pilot's had to turn the main power off and turn it back on to get the system to reboot. Go figure that, that wasn't published or recorded, so that is the only thing I don't have proof on in my records, but I do for everything else I might want to talk about.

We should heed to Gadfly's advice, I do. The only thing I really take interest in commenting on are the safety of flight issues. Good look to the sucker who buys one of those things, and god save the folks that get in the path of it when it crashes.

Ken Meyer said...

"Good look to the sucker who buys one of those things, and god save the folks that get in the path of it when it crashes."

Mike, there is one aspect of all this that's got me scratching my head.

Feeling as you obviously do about how unsafe the Eclipse 500 is, naturally, you took your concerns to the FAA when they were thoroughly investigating the plane before certification. Or maybe you became enlightened after certification and you approached the FAA with evidence of how bad the plane is and your recommendation that a series of ADs be issued to protect the public.

But...The plane got its type certificate and continues to fly without a single airworthiness directive against it.

So, did they not agree with your concerns? Or did you decide they weren't real enough to bring to the FAA?

Ken

Gunner said...

I remain more than a little concerned regarding the lack of backup instruments in this plane. Eclipse claims redundancy due to use of two computers, both running the same software, both subject to identical software bugs.

Just as important, both computers are electrically connected by virtue of common video screens. The system is, therefore subject to simultaneous "failure" due to electrical surge or strike.

Yet, unlike its competitors who run tried and tested glass panel systems, we see no backups such as:
- Mechanical Altimeter
- Mechanical Airspeed Indicator
- Artificial Horizon
- Vertical Speed indicator
- Turn and Bank Indicator
Not even a magnetic compass that I can find!

Given the latest memo, I have to question whether this is due to attempts at cost savings on the product itself? This is NOT the place to cut costs.

I know the management of Eclipse is certain the Avio NextGrift software is BombProof, but so was LastGen and it never even functioned. Additionally, they must be aware of the repeated shortfalls between their expectations and the realities of the systems in the Little Jet. I'm certain they never expected wing spar attachment problems or window fractures either...but they happened. There is simply no room for this kind of hubris in aircraft design; and no NEED for it either.

[No backup flight instruments] = [A Plea for Mr. Murphy to ride along in your shirt pocket]

Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken,
you said:
"But...The plane got its type certificate and continues to fly without a single airworthiness directive against it."

I won't go into why...but this is the funniest thing anyonme has written so far!

It also explains how you can keep drinking, and keep your deposit.

"Die-hard"

bill e. goat said...

Things that (almost) go bump in the night:

Thanks Mouse, the tactile references sounds like a good Human Factors/Ergonomics idea- maybe the NEW avionics system will have it. No, I forgot, it's just like the old system, but it's not like the old system. I'm confused.

Thanks Mike- that must have been a big-time pucker ride- glad it turned out okay- this time, I hope every time (I doubt if that was the first time, maybe at night; I wouldn't bet that it would be the last. I forgot- the new old avionics, or the old new avionics, or whatever, won't have the same old problems, only new problems, or new old problems, or old new problems. Ops- I'm confused again. I just don't see how this thing is ready for prime time.

With all the pressure on design, supply, and manufacturing, I fear the “that's good enough for now” pressure must have been severe. I think we are relying on the integrity of individuals to ensure safety. That is in reality, always the best “last line” of defense, whether it is a design checker, quality inspector, test pilot, FAA reviewer.

I just worry that the “last line” is being stretched pretty thin lately.

Stan Blankenship said...

Had a request to avoid the salacious material. That was easy enough to do with a few key strokes at this end.

The argument was there are enough airplane issues to talk about there is no reason to get side tracked.

I could argue that corporate culture is part of the debate but won't.

a37pilot said...

Clarification Please!!

Stan:

There's a group of us here at the shop that have been following your blog with great interest. Great stuff. With eclipse around, there's no reason to watch Soap Operas anymore.

Would you be kind enough to give some of us a little back ground on the deposit structure? How much does the average depositor have wrapped up in the airplane right now. Is the 60% everyone is talking about the final payment for delivery or does it represent 60% of ?.

Also any of the engineers out there care to explain the pressurization loads and wind loading on the windshield. Internal vs External mounting of the windshield. We'd be glad to see it.

Gunner said...

A37-
Total price and deposit structure varies by when you got in and whether you were able to negotiate a better deal than being offered (DayJet). The current (and apparently most common) model is this:
- $130K down on signing
- 60% Progress Payment 6 months prior to Eclipse's determination that your plane will roll out of the factory
- Balance on taking possession

This is from memory of the Deposit Agreement nearly a year ago. Ken will, I'm certain, correct me if I'm wrong.
Guner

Stan Blankenship said...

a37,

My understanding is that 6 months before delivery, your deposits must total 60% of the final price irrespective of what your initial payment may have been.

Position holders at the platinum level have locked in the final price, all others will see the final price growing with the CPI (Consumer Price Index).

Ken, please correct me if I am wrong because this aspect is really misunderstood by most folks on the outside looking in.

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"Yet, unlike its competitors who run tried and tested glass panel systems, we see no backups such as:
- Mechanical Altimeter
- Mechanical Airspeed Indicator
- Artificial Horizon
- Vertical Speed indicator
- Turn and Bank Indicator
Not even a magnetic compass that I can find!"


Rich, the Eclipse 500 has a magnetic compass. Look a little more carefully.

And, you might find these photos interesting:

A Falcon 900EX

A Citation Sovereign

A KA200 with Alliant panel

Not one mechanical instrument in any of those expensive panels. Lot's of nice, expensive planes have no mechanical instruments. The FAA approves them left and right. It's the way of the future :)

I think you're wrong on this one, too:

"The window problem ain't solved until the FAA says it's solved. We haven't seen anything on that front."

There is no evidence that the FAA was ever involved in the window problem or must sign off on it. The company discovered a lifespan issue for a component and wrote the AMM accordingly. The lifespan issue has been resolved and the AMM will be revised accordingly. There was never an AD on the window issue, so it is resolved when the company says it is resolved.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"The current (and apparently most common) model is this:
- $130K down on signing
- 60% Progress Payment 6 months prior to Eclipse's determination that your plane will roll out of the factory
- Balance on taking possession

This is from memory of the Deposit Agreement nearly a year ago. Ken will, I'm certain, correct me if I'm wrong."


Well if the shoe fits...

It turns out you are wrong. Here is the current deposit agreement.

Stan, I wouldn't want to speak to what all the different agreements entail since I have not seen them all.

Ken

Planet eX said...

Ken, you're not looking close enough at the instrument panels of those three aircraft.

There are standby instruments in all three - they may not be mechanical but they are there. Each one of those aircraft has an ESIS (Electronic Standby Instrument System).

It would appear Ken that you aren't keeping up on what's out there.

Google "L-3 ESIS" and you'll see what I mean.

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

Thanks for the link to the purchase agreement. It answers a lot of questions but you can be sure, it will raise a lot more, especially in the area of performance guarantees and icing certification by September 30, 2007.

We are almost out of the season for natural icing and as reported, Eclipse doesn't even have a vendor for the de-ice equipment.

Planet eX said...

I should add (after doing a little research), the Cessna has a L-3 ESIS and the Falcon 900EX has, most likely, a Smith's Aerospace ISIS (Integrated Standby Instrument System).

They may not be mechanical but they are standby systems that do not depend on the software or same power source as the primary displays. Each can display attitude, airspeed, Mach, altitude and vertical speed even if the SHTF on the primary displays.

Ken Meyer said...

planet ex wrote,
"they may not be mechanical but they are there. Each one of those aircraft has an ESIS (Electronic Standby Instrument System)."


I never said they don't have a backup. I pointed out that Rich Lucibella's contention that planes should all have mechanical backups is obviously false.

The Eclipse approach is a little different in this way--the large central panel serves the function of the electronic backup because it has a fulltime standby ADI (as preferred over mechanical instruments according to the FAA Advisory Circular I referenced earlier).

Cleverly, Eclipse chose to utilize that real estate for more than backup, and the backup instrument is capable of presenting all sorts of other information beyond just the stand by ADI.

The FAA requires that the airplane be equipped with multiple sources of attitude information (it has 2 or 3 AHRS units and 3 air data units) and multiple sources of power for those instruments (it has 4 sources supplied through multiple CB units and multiple busses). That's how the plane meets all the requirements.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the L3 and other backup electronic displays all have no internal power. The airframe manufacturer must provide a reliable electrical supply for them just as Eclipse is required to do so for its backup.

I think that the argument that a plane needs mechanical instruments for safety is completely bogus. It's needs a reliable backup, and the Eclipse has that.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"Eclipse doesn't even have a vendor for the de-ice equipment."


I have reason to think that's not correct.

I haven't heard where Eclipse stands on the icing tests. As you know (but the others may not), the problem is that some of the FIKI certification tests require natural icing (it wasn't always that way). The issue is that the final configuration is what must be tested (i.e. with the new tip tanks and aerodynamic mods). If they miss the season here, they may wind up having to seek winter weather further north or even in the southern hemisphere in order to meet the deadline specified in the contracts.

Ken

Kaptain Kool-Aid said...

Ken,

The King Air 200 panel photo you linked to does NOT depict the Avidyne Alliant system, but rather the Collins Pro Line 21. Look a little more carefully.

Metal Guy said...

Ken,

Gunners obvious point is the lack of backups of the flight deck. The direct competitors to the Eclipse all use mechanical, simply because it’s the most cost effective. The aircraft you point out are substantially more expensive, so are able to use electronic backup. However, whether it’s mechanical or electrical is not the point here.

The point is that the Eclipse is a single failure design where a single software bug can bring down the entire set of primary flight instruments. This is a fact.

The 900Ex, Sovereign, KA200 are not subject to that, as they ALL have an independent attitude system with different mechanical and software design. Eclipse does not.

That is the point.

(BTW Your reply is a typical “Vernism” that deflects the point to dispute a tangential and non-related issue to take focus off of the real issue at hand. This does not go un-noticed.)


If Eclipse had two brain cells to rub together, they would include the Part 135 third independent attitude system on all aircraft, simply from a liability point of view. The pilot base should mandate it given the immaturity of the AVIO system.


Ha – that’s pretty funny about the lack of AD’s. “There was never an AD on the window issue, so it is resolved when the company says it is resolved. & The plane got its type certificate and continues to fly without a single airworthiness directive against it."

Surely you jest or substantially misunderstand what an AD is. There was no AD on the DME issue either, but the FAA didn’t approve it in its currently designed state. There are also no uncontrolled aircraft flying around in the public’s hands to issue an AD against. But you know this.

Also, I for one would appreciate using the call names here versus filling in “Rich Lucibella” like your being clever. Not cool.

Gunner said...

There you go again, Oh Rajah of RVSM. Nitting a single word to prevaricate a conclusion.

I apologize for the adjective, "mechanical", though I have, in past, used "independent" in its place.

Fact remains, despite your attempts to prevaricate the Little Jet's systems to compare with REAL aircraft, the Eclipse 500 unlike its competition, has no "independent systems" for determining:
- Your altitude
- Your attitude
- Your airspeed
- Your rate of climb or descent
- Your rate of turn or bank.

This can be for only 1 of 2 reasons:
1) Eclipse believes its design is not subject to malfunction. With only two planes having been produced for customers, we've already learned this assumption equates to a Death Wish.

2) Eclipse cannot afford the redundancy, extra weight or both.

Smart move in either case....NOT.
Gunner

Planet eX said...

Ken:

I don't consider what Eclipse is using to be the same as what Cessna, Dassault, and others are using. The ESIS or ISIS on those aircraft is completely independent on what's running the primary displays.

It may be a matter of semantics - but at least the ESIS/ISIS is not depending on the same basket as the three Avio NG displays (same hardware/same software). There have been instances on aircraft where the entire display system has decided to go south (I've provided citations to back up that claim before). No matter how much ground testing you do, EFIS has been known to develop problems down the line. Without the standbys, the pilots would have been SOL.

As for power sources, how many does the Eclipse have? Three? (two generators and one battery). So what if there's another battery for the ESIS/ISIS? That's another level of redundancy that a pilot would like to have while cruising at FL410 in the middle of the night.

Ken Meyer said...

kaptain kook-aid wrote,
"The King Air 200 panel photo you linked to does NOT depict the Avidyne Alliant system, but rather the Collins Pro Line 21.


Yes, you're quite right; my slip. It is the Collins Pro-Line system that lacks mechanical backups.

Ken

Planet eX said...

The Avidyne Alliant uses mechanical standbys - look to the far left on the instrument panel.

http://www.alliantkingair.com/

Ken Meyer said...

planet ex wrote,
"I don't consider what Eclipse is using to be the same as what Cessna, Dassault, and others are using. The ESIS or ISIS on those aircraft is completely independent on what's running the primary displays."


Think so?

The aircraft supplies the power and all electronic displays are subject to the possibility of massive electrical overload (lightning strike) or radiation overload (notwithstanding that there is a standard required for this).

The Eclipse center panel is redundantly powered and is a dedicated backup to the PFDs. Your concern appears to be that the same manufacturer makes both the PFDs and the backup center panel. Ho hum. It doesn't bother me any. There are plenty of other things to worry about in an aircraft other than the miniscule possibility of a problem because the backup panel comes from the same manufacturer as the main panel. It's a silly concern.

And it's a silly concern that I hear very commonly from guys who fly piston airplanes with one vacuum-driven attitude indicator!

Can you tell me honestly that you think the odds of losing a single attitude indicator powered by a single vacuum pump aren't an order of magnitude greater than the likelihood of the Eclipse panel going dark because all three panels are coming from the same manufacturer?

You want my opinion? The people making this argument are not pilots in the real world flying real airplanes on real missions. They're make-believe pilots who haven't got a clue what the real risks are in aviation.

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

The Purchase Agreement on the Eclipse site is Rev 0.4 and dated 02-26-07.

It would be interesting to know how many of the 2,500 orders are bound by the terms in this agreement or if most other potential owners are covered by Rev 0.3 or Rev 0.2 and what performance guarantees are listed in those revisions.

In any event, I don't see any possibility of the airplane meeting all the "Guaranteed Performance Specifications", especially the one claiming a useful load of 2,400 lbs. This alone is a "Refund Event".

mouse said...

Ken,

Everything on the Eclipse is so new/disruptive/radical that to have mechanical backups would be very prudent. Time after time Eclipse has fallen flat on their face or embarrassed themselves, and you if you think about it. Why would you risk something so Flight Safety critical until the system is proven. Everything they do/have done is at risk and this is not how we have maintained such a safe record in aviation for so long.

As for the diceing issue... AERAZUR dropped Eclipse several months ago do their treatment and financial promises which did not pan out, and the lack of delivery and lack of faith in their program... Go check it out and let us know what you are told...

Gunner said...

"You want my opinion? The people making this argument are not pilots in the real world flying real airplanes on real missions. They're make-believe pilots who haven't got a clue what the real risks are in aviation."

I respectfully disagree, Your Imam of Imaginary Advantages. Every professional pilot I've spoken to says they would not fly the Eclipse 500 setup in real IFR if the jet were given to them as a present.

Your case against single vacuum systems on small GA Piston planes similarly fails on inspection. These planes, by design, have alternate instruments, a scan of which will provide the information required for the skilled and current pilot. While I don't fly IFR in single vacuum systems myself , it would not be the end of the world if I were to loose BOTH vacuums in my current aircraft.

But tell me: what do you scan on the Eclipse 500 when the TV goes out in hard IFR? The terror in your wife's face?
Gunner

mike said...

Stan or anyone else who knows, please explain what the difference is between a DAR and a DER, than how they relate to the FAA.

Next make sure KEN understands this.

OK KEN, tell me why there wasn't a DAR on hand that would sign the C of A on ships 1 and 3?

Ken, who signed the C of A on ship 3 the other day? I'll tell you, the company DER..... why not an FAA guy or a DAR?

Stan, what's your thoughts on a DER signing a provisional C of A on an aircraft? ( what is it code 21 )

Matter of fact, someone explain to Ken what the significance of the FAA not signing the C of A, and the DAR not siging it, and having the DER do it(if you don't know, it's rare that DER's do that or have the code).
KEN, tell me why/if the FBI is at Eclipse right now?

Does the FAA know about the aircraft, yes they do?

As far as stating that I said anything to the FAA - for legal reason I will not answer that question.

"well joe public (that would be you Ken) everything is fine."

Get a clue Ken

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"They're make-believe pilots who haven't got a clue what the real risks are in aviation."

Oh, by the by, just who do you think Eclipse is marketing this Wonder Jet to, Check Yeager or Joe Twin Pilot?

Gunner

Frank Castle said...

Well, kenny boy, why don't you compare apples with apples, or are you not up to the truth ???

HERE'S the link for the Mustang panel.

http://mustang.cessna.com/avionics.chtml#

Right there, above the center display. And, they are plumbed into the base pitot/static system. The only wiring is for lighting.

Compass is on the center post, just above eye level.

You could fly this thing on engines alone ! Safe and easy !

Affordable !

and DELIVERABLE !

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"These planes, by design, have alternate instruments, a scan of which will provide the information required for the skilled and current pilot."


Funny you should say that, Rich. There's a nice study the FAA did a few years ago that shows that "skilled and current" pilots do miserably badly with a slow rollover of an attitude indicator as would occur with vacuum pump failure. A surprising percent die. It's one of the compelling reasons for ripping out the old T&S from your plane and replacing it with a backup electric AI instead.

"what do you scan on the Eclipse 500 when the TV goes out in hard IFR?"

Your description of electronic displays as a "TV" suggests that you may be one of those guys who is better off with a mechanical suite of instruments. There are still some planes offered that way, Rich, but the number is dwindling each year.

As to the remote possibility that all 3 panels might quit at once in the Eclipse. Both wings might fall off, too, or the windshields pop out if we were to believe your view of the world. But let us say, the panels all quit. Rare as it is, it would most likely occur in cruise mode, at altitude. From your experience, how often do you think a pilot cruising at FL410 is in IMC as you suggest?

I think you're reaching on this one. You've made your point--you don't like the plane. So don't buy it. Why are you so heartbroken that somebody else likes it?

Ken

Frank Castle said...

Amazing how that contract doesn't list altitude AT ALL.....

NO FIKI

NO FL410

NO sense buying an Eclops, unless you're a die-hard speculator.

mouse said...

Ken,

Stop writing now and prove you have even 1/2 a wit in the appendage above your neck.

The Elcipse has already experienced two total panel failures.

Your slow roll scenario is accurate, and more importantly completey ignorant in this case/example. The old gauge is acting as a backup, not your scenario which is the primary.

It's customers like you that Eclipse thrives on, and when they fail to deliver your airplane, while we will all feel bad for anyone who loses money, you again will stand out as the exception.

You have no perception of reality or intelligence. Scary knowing that you might be licensed to operate anything with a motor after witnessing your reasoning potential...

Enjoy your imagination and I think you should order a few more EA-500's... Eclipse needs the help!

Gunner said...

"As to the remote possibility that all 3 panels might quit at once in the Eclipse. Both wings might fall off, too, or the windshields pop out

Preaching to the choir, oh Priest of Propaganda; Preaching to the choir.

As to what the "rest of us" should be flying, Ken; the rest of us should be flying planes that are safe and offer Plan B systems. A slow rollover of an AI may be a death sentence for some, but then so is crossing the street without keeping up a scan. And, if you're not able to master that simple little skill, you have no business in IFR weather, let alone walking in traffic.

You yourself are flying a near 30 year old piston twin; so, please, don't start lecturing the rest of us about what "we" should be flying.

Stan-
There really should be a :rolleyes: icon around here. This stuff is getting DEEP! ;-)
Gunner

Planet eX said...

DAR vs DER.

DAR - Designated Airworthiness Representative (i.e., can issue a COA on an aircraft).

DER - Designated Engineering Representative.

DERs do not have authority to issue COAs.

Stan Blankenship said...

mike,

A DER is a Designated Engineering Representative. They deal with matters relating to the Type Certificate.

A DAR is a Designated Airworthiness Engineer. They deal with inspection matters in conformance with the Type Certificate.

These individuals can be private contractors or be on the payroll of individual companies. Both receive their designation by appointment by the FAA. DER's from the Aircraft Certificaton Office, DAR's from the Manufacturing Inspecton District Office.

Like anything with people involved, some are better than others.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

This 'cost control' letter is probably now in its' 3rd iteration, having been sent out after Williams was fired, and after BAe was fired.

Just like the quality system du jour at the REAL airplane companies, the rank and file know there when is no congruent commitment to this and it will fail to provide results - just like the other two times.

Ken,

How many TOTAL electrical failures have plagued the Raytheon Premier 1?

More than 1, less than 10 (last I knew anyway).

Wonder what happens when you have a TOTAL electrical failure?

No AD's against a whopping 2 delivered customer airplanes, the 'oldest' one having been in the field an ENTIRE 3 months (after 8 years and $700M) - WOW - we should call Guiness, that is a 'real' acheivement.

How many hours on Crowe's plane? Has it seen a flight above 240? Is it on its' second set of windshields or side windows yet? How many flights has Crowe had to cancel due to known icing?

BTW - How many MANDATORY service bulletins so far?

BTW - How many NECESSARY modifications has Vern agreed to make on his dime (in order to begin to APPROACH the airplane he promised) just to keep the deposit money flowing?

All this for a spanking NEW airplane.

Clyde Cessna, Walter or Olive Ann Beech, William Boeing, Pug Piper, B.D. Maule, Al Mooney - none of the REAL aviation leaders would allow such nonsense to take place in their REAL aviation companies.

Most kitplane companies are managed and run better and show FAR more respect for their customer.

I know Jim Bede and have done business with him, I know Vern Raburn and have done business with him - Vern Raburn is no Jim Bede, and to compare the two is to slander Bede.

Oh yeah, Ken, unless and until the FAA signs off on revised Section 4 in the AMM, the transparency issue (plastic windows, not corporate communication) is NOT fixed.

Your fascination with Gunner's identity, as well as anyone else's, not to mention your parsing ability and cognitive dissonance reminds me of a short little formerly fat guy who has a corner office overlooking the flightline - come on Vern, come out of the closet.

CWMOR Prediction - the wire harness 'damage' will be publicly stated (by Vern and NOT the FBI) to have been 'sabotage' from one of the jealous dinosaurs in Kansas, perhaps one who recently stole back an executive level person, to try and 'hold Eclipse back'.

CWMOR Prediction - next major supplier to get blamed for delivery delays and then publicly tossed under the bus is not located in the United States, and requires a VERY long airplane ride to reach.

Frank Castle said...

Back to the subject of this blog.....

Management has always looked at sacrifice as starting at the bottom, and by the time is it at their level, they have earned the "bonus" for delivering the best numbers according to the level of sacrifice they propagated.

GM closed a plant in OKC, laid off 8,000 or so, and the CEO gets a "bonus". That's BS in the highest degree.

If Eclops wants to be so all-fired revolutionary, in ALL ASPECTS, they would start this "sacrifice" at the top, and work their way down.

Yes, revolutionary. Bold, daring, outside-the-box, and perhaps, edgey.

Turn your salaries down, live off the minimums, fly commercial, buy your own damn lunch.

Lead the "little people" by your example, instead of "do as I say, not as I do."

Yea, and pigs fly out of my ass tomorrow. I'm counting on it.

Metal Guy said...

The area of concern also extends into the air data computers and the AHRS. Although there are two (of each), each is designed, implemented, tested and manufactured by the same manufacturer. While Ken may call this a “silly” concern, the FAA has spent years carefully looking into this to ensure there is not a common mode failure issue.

23.1311(b) states that “the electronic display indicators, including their systems and installations, and considering other airplane systems, must be designed so that one display of information essential for continued safe flight and landing will remain available to the crew, without need for immediate action by any pilot for continued safe operation, after any single failure or probable combination of failures.” Silly? Ken thinks so.

As there is a huge amount of commonality (i.e. identical software code) in these units, are they really robust against a single failure (i.e. software bug)? Yes, one software bug will bring all primary data down.

Is it better than a single mechanical gyro as Ken is arguing? Probably, perhaps, eventually. Is it better than dual mechanical gyros? Probably not. Should Eclipse put people’s lives at stake making the assumption all of the aircrafts software is “bullet-proof”, especially now with the recent “emergency” tear-up and re-glue of the entire flight deck? Not only no, but hell no.

Simply equip all aircraft with the third attitude instrument until the systems are proven – that is the right answer. But it won't happen.

Metal Guy said...

ColdSmack,
Are you offering more hints on the next vendor to be "thrown under the bus"? Is the part located forward of the wing or behind? Left or right side? Is the new supplier Kmart or Wal Mart? We demand more clues!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Just for MetalGuy, because I appreciate his humor:

HINT - it is not on, above or below the wing, it is not in front or behind the wing, but there is one on the left side and one on the right side.

I will high fhive the first person who guesses correctly - your reward is waiting in the wings.

Pure conjecture on my part, but unlike our buddy Ken I have not been wrong yet.

PubGrubber said...

Mouse, quick question if I may?

The 1.9 mill party, was that for 100, 108 or 1?
Also, what was the time frame of these every Friday parties?

CWMOR - I would like to offer an opposing candidate to take the next painful bus ride - the parent company is over a different body of water in the other direction.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

That is quite a tail PubGrubber, I aft'a give it to ya - it is hard to fuse the facts into a cohesive theory, but you could be right.

How about loser buys the winner a Guinness Stout.

gadfly said...

Sardine Man . . . I know, I know the answer: It’s a "Rock and a Hard Place!" Do I get the prize?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

You'll need to be a bit more explicit with the Vendor name and\or the part(s) they produce my Tabanidaen winged friend of Hera.

mouse said...

PubGrubber said...
Mouse, quick question if I may?

The 1.9 mill party, was that for 100, 108 or 1?
Also, what was the time frame of these every Friday parties?


PG, The $1.9M was for what was originally called 100, and know I forget what it really was, but in any event it was the first plane to fly, and was Williams powered. Sequence numbers were changed and I plain forgot.

Parties were from the moment Vern and crew moved into the first Sunport building, and continued at least through 2002...

Stan Blankenship said...

coldfish/pg,

We're going to make this a threesome. Draw a line between where pg's "parent company" is located and ABQ, bisect the line with a right angle and travel a long ways south.

I am quite sure Eclipse is wanting to second source (their words) this supplier.

Planet eX said...

Hampson.

mouse said...

Wet Fish,

P&WC is so fed up as of 8 months ago.

The PW610 is an orphan engine and has a FADEC that is marginal at best. Nobody else is interested in this engine due to it's power and encumbered FADEC software.

They have no faith in the build schedule or P.O.'s (or lack thereof) from Vern. Watch them wave bye bye from the border if deliveries do not begin. Right now they have a 200 shipset build schedule for '07 and they know that's a pipe dream that only Ken could vouch for. Hey Ken, maybe you'll give P&WC your personal guarantee, warranty, warantee, promise, or whatever you might come up with...Huh? Are you their huckleberry?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So Stan is in for the front of the plane, PubGrubber is in for the back of the plane, and I am in for some other important parts.

Hmmmmmmmm.

Having seen a couple of the jets, there is something going on between the front and the fuse for sure - I haven't seen that much filler since the last semi-funny 3-minute Saturday Night Live skit was turned into an awful 1.5 hour movie.

Almost as bad as the fit and finish on the Adam A-700.

CWMOR Investment advice - invest in aerodynamic filler, Eclipse will use a lot of it.

mouse said...

Hampson's horizontal tail QA failure rate is running at better than 50% right now... This should be perfect for Vern... At this rate they are still able to deliver at 10 times the rate Eclipse can use them....

Of course I have to wonder what P.O. version and drawing rev they are building to?

gadfly said...

Oh fuji, and I thought I was "so close" . . . foiled again!

mouse said...

How would you like to be the Eclipse Wire harness manufacturer?

When the plane was under initial design ack in '00-'01 the design forgot to allow space or consideration for the wiring... The concept of databus was so screwed up that they had to switch to dino-soar wiring, and had no space in the structure for it... The wiring became so convuluted being routed over, under, around, and through so much... What a mess, and 160 Lb mess that was. almost 80 Lbs was dedicated to converting the original High AC voltage from the EJ22's built-in generator...

years of lost time here too...

PubGrubber said...

CWMOR - wager is on, be it Guinness, Saki or a nice Cab?

Ken Meyer said...

metalguy wrote,
"23.1311(b) states that “the electronic display indicators, including their systems and installations, and considering other airplane systems, must be designed so that one display of information essential for continued safe flight and landing will remain available to the crew, without need for immediate action by any pilot for continued safe operation, after any single failure or probable combination of failures.” Silly? Ken thinks so."


Nope; not silly. Not at all. The FAA didn't think so either. That's why they awarded a type certificate to the Eclipse without an ELOS, exemption or special condition for the the displays. They approved the layout as meeting FAR 23.1311.

Was that actually your point? If so, then we agree--Notwithstanding Rich Lucibella's thought that electronic displays don't belong in airplanes, it turns that the FAA ruled that the display system in use in the Eclipse is "designed so that one display of information essential for continued safe flight and landing will remain available to the crew, without need for immediate action by any pilot for continued safe operation, after any single failure or probable combination of failures."

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Word on the underground is that despite it's international pedigree, the airplane likes the Vapor's "Turning Japanese" far less than Chubby Checker's best known single, even AFTER Eclipse opened up certain tolerances to accomodate a vendor request.

So now, for only $1.5M plus CPI-w and options, you too can turn any direction you want, so long as it the direction the airplane wants to go - at least without the installation of bendy tabs.

Where do I find the untwisted wing option in the purchase contract Ken?

Must be right after the 'Eclipse pledge for no BS' option, the Mojave DLX Non Cracking Window option, the 'Damn Why Didn't Those Monkeys Install It Right' Wing Bushing option, and the flushing potty option (required for the No BS option - fit for all of Vern's excrement).

How silly Crowe must feel, failing to order the non-cracking window and secure wing bushing options.

As Alice told the Cheshire cat, 'Curiouser and curiouser'.

Vmc said...

After a brief sabbatical, I have returned to the blog to find thought-provoking truths, conjecture, and plenty of Vernacular retoric. My hat is off to those of you who emerged from the ranks of VR's sweatshop to bestow your wisdom upon the calling.

Regarding the upper management leading by example; back in the day, VR was about to lose his shirt (I know--that's a surprise, even though we all already see that he has no clothes), so they encouraged all employees to defer salary for stock options prior to first flight of AC100. According to my sources, this went on for approx 3-4 months until first flight. As an act of good leadership, VR and all of the VP's deferred most, if not all, of their salary for stock options. A great incentive for the workforce to achieve first flight in a prompt manner. Now, I sit here amazed that VR has not stepped forward in a gesture of commitment and forego his salary until all of his promises have been realized; shameful leadership.

Side thought: Manufactured article being assembled (not yet an airplane) + no Certificate of Airworthiness + possible sabotage = federal investigation? Not sure what federal statute would cover that one. This should probably be handled at the local level? Either way, that's a sad way to "get back" at a company. If you're that upset, a dirty lawyer can always find a good reason to represent your disenchantment (no offense to all the dirty lawyers out there).

Vmc

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"Oh, by the by, just who do you think Eclipse is marketing this Wonder Jet to, Check Yeager or Joe Twin Pilot?"


About a third of Eclipse pilots are owner-pilots, and if you hang around the owner's forum a bit, you'll see we have all kinds of ex-airline types, former Air Force pilots, and quite a few guys flying jets and turboprops right now.

The other 2/3 of buyers are commercial operators of one sort or another. Dayjet and the large number of smaller operators. I don't think many of those pilots are "Joe twin pilot."

You mentioned that every professional pilot you know says he wouldn't fly an Eclipse if somebody gave it to him. Oddly enough, Dayjet has so many professional pilots lined up who want to fly the WonderJet, that they're turning them away.

Do you know what the minimum requirement is to be a Dayjet pilot? ATP with 3000 hours total time and at least 500 hours PIC in turbojet equipment. That's more "Chuck Yeager" than "Joe twin pilot." And they're lined up to fly it.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, those requirements are similar to what it takes to fly Beech 99's at the Grand Canyon, Caravan's in Alaska, or to fly left seat for most REAL airlines.

Do you know where those requirements are typically derived?

Here is a hint, it is NOT the FAA.

The company establishes its own pilot requirements as part of the 135 certificate, and those are typically established based on....

(best Ben Stein imitation)

anyone?

anyone?

Insurance Company requirements.

Hell, right seat typically requires ATP and 1500 PIC with extensive turbine time - and they then fly for months with a REAL Mentor pilot.

Do you actually think you are conversing with non-aviation neophytes who don't know how full of crap most of what you say is?

You will find inexperienced aviation folks like who will 'buy' what you are selling working as executives at Eclipse but as my hunting buddies say, 'that dog won't hunt' here.

Vmc said...

With great conviction, I can honestly state that the act of NOT installing a stand-alone (meaning no electrical/software dependancies) suite of primary instrumentation (AI, ASI, AH), whether they be electric or steam guages, is a reprehensible act that MAY result in a single-point failure if the fuzzy electrons quit flowing. This has been a sticking point with the design from day one for many a level-headed cloudburner. Time will show that true stand-alone redundancy is a necessity when dealing with those crazy little 1's and 0's.

Ken: Since you are tossing about some Vernacular retoric, how about polling all of those professionals out there to see how many realize that there is no stand-alone backup instrumentation. Now how many are in that line??

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Another FACT not being pointed out by our friend Ken re: the 'overwhelming' number of pilots 'lining up' to fly for DayJet (a mere oversite on his part I am sure) - the Part 135 option, which is REQUIRED for the version of the aircraft these 'lucky' jet jockeys will, eventually, be flying, DOES have a stand along, mechanical AI.

Yes, MECHANICAL.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,
"those requirements are similar to what it takes to fly Beech 99's at the Grand Canyon, Caravan's in Alaska, or to fly left seat for most REAL airlines."


Well, duh! You're making my point for me. Rich Lucibella seems to be of the opinion that Eclipse is selling the bulk of its planes to neophyte pilots. I'm pointing out that he is (again) incorrect. The majority of the pilots who will be flying the Eclipse are ATPs with a lot of experience, not "joe twin pilot" or Cirrus drivers, as Rich might like us to believe.

Incidentally, on the MECHANICAL AI you mentioned, the word is is that the Dayjet planes, once equipped with Avio NG, will meet FAR 135.159 the way Eclipse always planned that they would--through the use of a third AHRS. The mechanical AI is a temporizing measure until Avio NG is completed.

Ken

Vmc said...

SlipperyFish
It's my understanding that the 135 option (once properly implemented) includes a third AHRS that displays its goodies on an "embedded standby artificial horizon displayed on the MFD". The mechanical is temporary, at least in today's Vernacular. The decision to leave out ALL mechanical guages was made early on in the program's design period (oh wait--they still seem to be in that period). Anyway, there seemed to be some innate fear of having a guage with a bezel and needle that could be tapped and fingered once in a while when the readings seemed a little off. Maybe the T2T warranty is voided if you tap the PFD's/MFD too hard when the electrons become fuzzy--they are always getting the coustomer on the details.

Vmc
(still a Wiliams/BAE/Avidybe fan)

airtaximan said...

Ken says:
"Dayjet has so many professional pilots lined up who want to fly the WonderJet, that they're turning them away."

Check out the pilot briefing I posted. I would venture to say that in every pilot forum and post I've seen so far, the Dayjet business model and the E-plane is considered a joke.

Dayjet just started interviewing pilots, and there is no indication they have interviewed many. Perhaps they are turning away ones that want to make more than $50k with less than the expereince they are looking for... not many.

Just more BS.

Last I heard, any flight with 1/2 hour itinerary inconvenience will be at $3.00 per mile. Joking, right? I wonder how much inconvenience for $2...or $1 (a day? perhaps that's why its called day-jet?)

Lastly, Dayjet has trupeted having 300 members. (I've heard also 800)

This is after 1 year of going from place to place, often with a plane, meeting with many companies, fdoing thousands of surveys and case studies.

- and they are bragging about this? Maybe these members will be pressed for time and make a few dozen trips a year...too?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, you missed my point. You held those standards out as if they were something amazing (they are not) and then intimated the pilot's are OK with the architecture - which seems quite a leap to me.

How many up-and-comers do you think know a whole lot about the cockpit of say a CRJ-700 BEFORE they take the job?

Specifically, how many do you suppose know, to a reasonable degree, the actual architecture and measure of redundancy for critical systems, be they avionics, or hydraulics?

Unless they are already expereinced and coming from the same or similar platform, they learn the airplane over a several MONTH period during sim training, classroom training, and eventually fleet training.

My point, just to be clear for your benefit, is that a newly minted ATP, or even a 'veteran' with 3000 hrs PIC, is very likely making ASSUMPTIONS about the Eclipse flight deck based on pretty pictures and some text at the Eclipse or DayJet websites and in neither place does it say there are NO stand alone 3rd attitude systems in these planes.

I do not believe that the original AVIO architecture would have, NOR do I believe that the AVIO NfG (sm)architecture will pass certification muster for independent 3rd source for Part 135. Expect the mechanical to be on ALL 135 birds.

Going to a mechanical stand alone attitude indicator is actually the single most intelligent and reasonable decision made in KABQ since they signed with Pratt, IMO.

Probably because I'll bet the decision was made in Florida, and not that great corner office overlooking the flight line.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

VMC,

I know that is what is 'gonna' happen, someday - but I am not talking about what might be, someday, in the future - I am talking about what has been designed and reportedly will be certified and implemented to get airplanes to DayJet.

It would be, IMO, stupid to accept a half-assed airplane for Part 135 proving runs and initial customer flights only to have to train a new flight deck (to maintainers AND pilots) when the - this is why the profitable REAL airlines go for uniform platforms - to minimize training differences.

Since I think it is stupid, you can probably lay money on it being wehat actually happens.

The US Congress look like amateurs at spending other people's money compared to Eclipse and DayJet.

bill e. goat said...

Wow, took the kids to see St. Pat (a drunken green fool, who was shouting something about being “THE FIRST”, I didn't quite catch the rest of it...He seemed to scare the children though, and also the parade leaders looked a little intimidated) and come back- blog is ablaze.

Sorry Ken is trying to keep the ship going straight, with only one rower on his side of the boat- where's our buds EB, and others?

Anyway, during the time it took to catch up reading, and composing a post, VMC and the fish have about beaten me to it. But, not one to let a good b(l)eating go unposted...

I admit “FOWL” (not fish, though, so as not to offend CWMOR)- I quote within 24 hours. Green beer, not KoolAid, for punishment, I petition...

Fellow blogger: “miniscule possibility of a problem because the backup panel comes from the same manufacturer as the main panel. It's a silly concern”.

GOAT: The fact they come from the same vendor is not a concern. The concern is that the architecture sucks.

Fellow blogger: “the odds of losing a single attitude indicator powered by a single vacuum pump aren't an order of magnitude greater than the likelihood of the Eclipse panel going dark because all three panels are coming from the same manufacturer?”

GOAT: Well, so far, someone previously posted there have been two “blackouts” (that “we” “know” about- I yield neither is definitive- but I also postulate there might be more that “we” don't “know” about). Figure with 3000 hours on the fleet. That is a failure rate of 1500 hrs. So, I would have to say, the failure rate of the all-glass system is about the same as a vacuum gyro.

The all-glass system theoretically CAN be reliable, if there is enough redundancy- and independence. I just don't think on an airplane that was designed to cost $875K, they are going to put the resources (analysis, development, testing, “extra” (redundant, independent) hardware, software coding, V&V effort, quality vendor selection) to make that happen. There are just too many “shared” resources (hardware, and probably software) to cut costs, and ah- "speed" (I use the term, well, in context here...) certification- that is what brought all the screens down simultaneously, I suspect.

The electrical power is reliable, due to redundancy, and independence. And, I might mention, is cheap to implement- two generators, two batteries. That is grossly simple, compared to achieving SYSTEM reliability (not much software goes into a battery).

I still feel an INDEPENDENT standby instrument (prefereably an electronic one, with it's own small battery) is cheap insurance. Only gross intransigence can be preventing it from being installed by the factory, or at least as being offered as an option (I would consider it a “mandatory” option, if they want to “save face”).

Fellow blogger: “There are plenty of other things to worry about...”

GOAT: I confess, late hit- penalty- two more beers!

Green-or-Red said...

CWMOR
"Where do I find the untwisted wing option in the purchase contract Ken?"

CWMOR, could you expand on this?

Ken, is it true some of the planes did NOT receive C of A because of this issue?

Metal Guy said...

Ken,

Simple yes or no answer: To your knowledge, has the non-part 135 third attitude configuration/architecture ever been certified, prior to the Eclipse 500?

The answer, I believe, is no. If this is the case, it’s clearly a grand experiment for the FAA into uncharted territory, so stating that it’s TC’ed really has no credibility.

If Eclipse gets it right the first time, there should not be any issues. And given Eclipses ability to get things right the first time, I for one, would not be at all concerned about not having any independent backups.

gadfly said...

Sorry Goat, but even the backup battery has “some” software, and although “not much”, Sony will tell you that the “battery-of-choice”, the lithium-ion rechargeable, can do marvelous things when least expected. (re: Laptop fires and recall of 4,000,000 batteries) And I saw a comment on the internet that said “Halon” only makes a lithium-ion battery fire worse. (Yeh, I know the Eclipse doesn’t use Halon.)

You can run, but you can’t hide. It’s funny how a “venturi” and basic “pitot” might be a good backup in any event for basic flight instruments. Like they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” (Henri Pitot had no idea how much he would contribute to modern technology, back in the early 1700's.)

An aside: When I left my Lexus at the dealer for maintenance, I was given a “loaner”. Lexus has returned some of the electronic controls to the older “user friendly” knobs, evidently finding that when people have other things on their mind, such as avoiding an accident, that last thing they need is to fumble in the dark for a “newer and better” menu or control. You BMW owners, take a good look at the “new” menu system, and get real honest with yourselves.

New is nice, but in a panic, it’s also nice to have the “old” available . . . just in case!

This comment is for anyone designing a “fly-by-wire” system.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,
"How many TOTAL electrical failures have plagued the Raytheon Premier 1?

More than 1, less than 10 (last I knew anyway)."


Is that written up somewhere? AD issued? SDR? Anything? I'd be interested in investigating it further, and it seems like the kind of thing that would get a writeup in one form or another.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

metal guy wrote,
"To your knowledge, has the non-part 135 third attitude configuration/architecture ever been certified, prior to the Eclipse 500?"


Maybe I'm not understanding the question properly, but sure, lots of planes have 3 AHRS units, multiple displays, and no mechanical AI's. That's an acceptable configuration for FAR 135.159. The FAA indicated some years ago that the Eclipse approach would meet the requirements of FAR 135.159.

Ken

Planet eX said...

AD 2003-09-10 Raytheon Model 390. Aft distribution box - two electrical failures mentioned in AD which resulted in loss of all attitude information.

gadfly said...

‘Have no idea to what the “twisted wing” comment refers, but in ‘wing design’, a “twisted wing” is often a good thing. The Mitsubishi “Zero” had a twisted wing . . . the angle of incidence decreased toward the tips, called “washout”, to assure the “tips” would be the last to stall in a tight turn, or maneuvering at low speed . . . one of the many features of the “Zero” that made it a superior fighter of WWII. (On the other hand, “washin”, an increase in angle of incidence towards the tips, which happens sometimes if wing torsional effects are not carefully controlled, can cause catastrophic affects. That was a major problem to be considered in the design of the “forward sweep” Hansa jet.)

If the Eclipse has such a feature (washout), it would give it a margin of safety, especially in tight turns at low altitude and landing on short runways, in small airports . . . such as in the “Eclipse” Ad in last month’s Forbes magazine. (Amazing what folks can do with a couple pictures and Adobe Photoshop CS2.) In fact, “washout” should have been on the required list in the initial design . . . and maybe it was.

Perfessor Gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Green-or-Red,

Rumor has it that some airplanes have exhibited a hands-free roll-off at speed.

I have not seen anything about it but if the speed mods have been as effective at cleaning up the plane as has been suggested, one has to wonder if that fat (relatively speaking), straight little wing exhibits any MACH-tuck tendencies when up in the high flight-levels.

Consider this with reference to the now-famous CG envelope and the equally famous Vn diagram.

Of course, since ALL of the 2 planes that have been delivered to-date (at the revolutionary and blistering pace of 2 in 3 months) cannot legally be flown above FL240 yet, AND they do not have the "A" mods yet, this may be putting the cart before the horse.

Planet-Ex - thanks for the quick backup.

Metal Guy said...

Specifically the configuration of dual-identical AHRS/ADC,(Eclipse non-part 135 configuration).

bill e. goat said...

Ah, Gadfly,
I think the twist would be, well, splendid.

If it was symmetric L-R.

I believe our kind fellow bloggers might be referring to the no-extra-cost corkscrew feature- look ma, barrel roll- no hands!

Or just plain roll out the barrel- Have I had too much green refreshment?

(Not sure- think there was a reference to twisted wing, I inferred -those damn furry ferrets- that it was in reference to screwed up manufacturing).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gadfly,

Not referring to 'intentional' twist as in washout\aeroerlastic tailoring - think more "Damn, why does the plane want to turn left?"

(best Homer Simpson)
Dohhh!

Because the twist is asymmetrical - OR - the wings are not mounted properly. Neither possibility is very encouraging.

bill e. goat said...

I knew they left those wing bushing out for a reason!!!

bill e. goat said...

No need to get all in a dither- mounting 10 or 20 lbs of lead in the appropriate tip tank should cure the "feature". And you guys thought they were just there for the sporty dashing look they depart, I mean, impart.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

With potential issues like these lurking in the wings (pun intended), you can see why it is so important for the team to focus on not abusing the free soda, only using FedEx when it 'absolutely positively has to get there overnight', and making color copies.

bill e. goat said...

I think the only thing that is going to "absolutely positively get there overnight" is Vern, when he goes to a secret, undisclosed location (?Bahamas?), when this thing goes south.

Ken Meyer said...

planet ex wrote,
"AD 2003-09-10 Raytheon Model 390. Aft distribution box - two electrical failures mentioned in AD which resulted in loss of all attitude information."


Thanks. That's a real interesting scenario. Due to the design of the electrical system in the Premier, moisture entering the aft power distribution box caused loss of the essential bus (among other things) and that caused loss of all attitude information.

Two things struck me right away about that case:

1. According to the AD, all attitude information was lost. That means the totally separate, independent, mechanical AI that Rich and others here are pushing for didn't help these pilots anyhow!

2. The Eclipse AHRS units and display units are served through redundant CBs, located in different boxes, and wired via different power buses. As best I can tell from the AFM, this scenario would not be possible in the Eclipse.

Thanks again for sharing it.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

It was not supposed to be possible for the Premier either Ken, and yet, it happened, several times.

It also says attitude 'display' information which indicates to me the loss was of all 3 displays on the panel. You will note that the Premier has mechanical standby's for attitude, altitude and airspeed.

The point is that an experienced and capable REAL airplane company, that has essentially been making airplanes since airplanes were invented, issued a Safety Communique, then a Service Bulletin and the FAA then followed up with an Airworthiness Directive, for what was surely something that could 'not' happen.

Have you seen Apollo 13?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The relevant lines from Apollo 13 -
Gene Kranz: EECOM, is this an instrumentation problem, or are we looking at real power loss here?

Sy Liebergot: It's, it's reading a quadruple failure - that can't happen! It's, it's got to be instrumentation

Planet eX said...

Ken:

I think you're reading too much into the AD. I don't think it refers to the standby attitude horizon. It is most likely referring to the primary flight displays.

As for claiming that it couldn't happen in the Eclipse is putting too much faith in the aircraft. When someone claims it couldn't happen, it will in the most unlikely of ways. How do you know there aren't any sneak circuits? Even the most rigorous of testing won't find those - they'll only show up during actual operations (you don't know how many wiring diagrams I've dug through only to find circuits that shouldn't have been with shorts that shouldn't be there).

You seem to think that the Eclipse is the perfect aircraft with a perfect design. I can almost guarantee you that after a couple hundred real operating hours, problems are going to crop up. As there are only TWO delivered aircraft, the problems haven't had time to rear their ugly heads.

Ken Meyer said...

metal guy wrote,
"Specifically the configuration of dual-identical AHRS/ADC,(Eclipse non-part 135 configuration)."


I'm not aware of any, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. You could certainly certify a Part 91 aircraft with two identical electric AI's (only) provided they had redundant power. As you know, the non-135 Eclipse setup provides redundancy in the source information (2 AHRS and 3 ADCs), redundancy in the power supply, and redundancy in the displays (any of the three can be used to fly the plane).

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet said,
"It also says attitude 'display' information which indicates to me the loss was of all 3 displays on the panel. You will note that the Premier has mechanical standby's for attitude, altitude and airspeed."


For clarification, the AD indicated that the failure scenario included the standby electrical bus. I believe that means the backup AI was lost.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

planet ex wrote,
"You seem to think that the Eclipse is the perfect aircraft with a perfect design."


No; if I left you with that impression, I apologize. I do not think it is a perfect aircraft. Nor do I think it is anywhere near as awful as Critic bloggers suggest.

I do think the Eclipse 500 is a very clever design with a lot of safety features and workload-reducing features incorporated at a breakthrough price.

I actually like the plane considerably better than I like the company, but that's another story entirely.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

You just keep telling youerself that it DID happen, several times, to Raytheon but 'CAN'T' happen to Eclipse Ken, if it makes you feel better.

The inflight 'fix' for the Premier was indicated to be set the STBY BUS switch to BATT - how does one do that with electronic circuit breakers controlled on the now BLANK MFD when, not if, when, this occurs in an Eclipse?

Is that the scenario based training for Eclipse -

TOTAL ELECTRICAL FAILURE - Can't happen, Vern says so. Well, glad that training is over, flying this jet is even easier than my 340 - I have an actual checklist for failures like that for my old dinosaur plane - want some coffee?

Wow! This IS truly revolutionary (except for being similar to most every other 2nd or 3rd generation EFIS - and THEY have REAL standby's).

mouse said...

Ken Meyer said...

"About a third of Eclipse pilots are owner-pilots..."

"The other 2/3 of buyers are commercial operators..."

Thanks for verifying the numbers Ken. Now we know that of the 2500 orders, 833 have the potential to be real...

mouse said...

Hey AirTaxiMan,

It only costs $250 to join the DayJet club so just like the Eclipse model, its a cheap lottery ticket for most, so they might as well buy one just in case... Heck $250 is less than a nice dinner for 2 in florida...

mouse said...

Concerning mechanical backup gauges for DayJet... I wonder what their FSDO is going to require? WOnder what effect a total failure will mean? The first 2 complete loss of indications happened before certification... wait til it happens on a certified plane... Can you spell Emergency AD?

bill e. goat said...

By all accounts, Raytheon did not do a particularly good job on the Premier, nor Horizon. Hopefully, those days are behind them.

They too suffered big delays, quality issues, no profit, horrible morale (thankfully for our friends at Eclipse, I believe things have not fallen to the old RAC level yet).

Oh, and SAP (not employees, nor customers, but the p.o.s. “wonder program” for running the company). Sounds too familiar...

What raises the Ire-ish of many, is the hype and hot air coming from ABQ, and not just during balloon week.

If Eclipse just said “it will take a year to get things sorted out, and we're going to do it right”, this time, this blog would become instantly boring. All the “critics” would be appeased, and all the “anti-critics” would not be much disappointed, as the additional delay would really not be too significant, I suspect, given the way things appear to be going.

Eclipse management team, we look for you either:
1)continue to provide us with entertainment
2)do the right thing.

(I think we'll be continuing our chats here for the foreseeable future).

mouse said...

Everyone needs to keep in mind that a certificated airplane with a C of A has no bearing on Part 135 requirements. When you see an EA-500 on a Part 135 certificate the entire picture and equipment list and limitations will be a whole new ball game...

mouse said...

In the original design of thhe electronic breakers on the Eclipse, I had the engineers open one of the breakers (on the schematic)... After they opened that breaker that I selected, I asked them to then reset it.

"It won't reset" was their reply because huess what??? They opened the source of power to the entire electronic breaker panel...

NASA did the same thing once too.. they directed the satellites antenna to look away, and then when they commanded it to look back they realized the antenna coulnd not receive the command... it was looking away..

Can't happpen huh...

Ken, if you are really Vern at least some of us might have more respect for you...

gadfly said...

Goat and Fish, are you done making jokes in class? The titanium wires holding me together after my quintuple . . . count ‘em, “five”, bypass surgery a couple or three years ago can’t take too much hilarity. (Hey, one of the five is a “super charger” . . . an artery brought down to aid the little piston pump with some “help” . . . sort of a “recycling” sort of thing). My suggestion for a “fix” on the little jet would be to put a pendulum right under the CG (wherever that might be, who knows?). . . about thirty feet long, with that “lead weight” of which you speak . . . that ought to do it . . . straight and level . . . might even slow the thing down to relieve those “disc brakes” that seem to be having a problem. Hey, we just might combine our talents, and save this little jet from itself. But all seriousness aside:

A comforting thing for a pilot is to be able to take his hands off the controls, and know that his aircraft will bring itself back to straight and level flight.

The other thing is to “believe” his instruments, and not his “feelings”. Nothing new here . . . basics to any pilot who has the right to call himself (herself) a pilot.

Once my hard-headed Dutchman instructor, “Dirk van Dam”, had me “under the hood”, and he said “recover” . . . and I passed the test . . . I believed my instruments, and not my “senses”. Another time, he said, “I’ll take it!” . . . I looked over the hood to see a DC-8, coming at us, and below us, through the low clouds in September, on final approach just two miles to ORD . . . and we rolled out in our Cessna 150, “Utility Class” . . . back in 1962. ; We returned to Moody Airport, Wood Dale, Illinois, between the radio towers of WGN and WBBM . . . at 500 feet above the terrain (per FAA requirements . . . landed on the grass strip, thankful to be alive. We were “legal”, but that’s no consolation if you’re dead.

My “Alma Mater”, Moody Bible Institute and Moody Institute of Science, made a film a long, long time ago called “Signposts Aloft”. (You can get it on Amazon, VHS or DVD.) Rita, my Swedish wife, and I were privileged to visit the studios (Santa Fe Springs, California) during the filming of this movie. We got to handle the parachute harness, recovered from the Libyan Desert . . . from a crew member of the “Lady Be Good”, a B24 Liberator, returning from a bombing run on “Ploesti” . . . read about it elsewhere. It went down in about 1944 . . . and was discovered in the late 1950's. The B-24 went on to a “dead stick” landing . . . auto pilot actually worked, back in the days of dinosaurs . . . the plane was mostly intact . . . coffee was still in the vacuum bottles. Bottom line: the pilot did not believe his instruments. The crew bailed out over what they thought to be the Mediterranean, only to find their error later. (They had a tremendous tailwind that night . . . but didn’t believe it.) The plane was found about twelve years later . . . the bodies of the crew were found, one the “chute” didn’t open, all but one of the others were found over the years . . . and a diary of the last while making his way north toward the Mediterranean, across endless sand where it had rained just once in a decade.

This film, “Signposts Aloft”, is a classic for any pilot . . . demonstrating the importance of a good aircraft, and believing your instruments, under all conditions. Simple, right? A recording on the film is a small aircraft coming into LAX (or nearby), and he’s in trouble. The air traffic controller tells the man to take his hands off the controls, (and allow his aircraft to level out) . . . the man will not do it, and the pilot’s last screams are heard as his plane goes into a graveyard spiral . . . and silence!

In the film, a demonstration is shown (Rita and I saw the device) about how a pilot may easily lose his bearings. I will never forget the demonstration . . . as a pilot, an aircraft mechanic, an inventor, a machinist, a tool designer . . . or as an ordinary citizen.

Applied to “Eclipse”: That little machine had better be so stable, that properly trimmed out, it can recover into straight and level flight in a “hands off” condition.

Applied to “Eclipse”: Those instruments had better be absolutely reliable under all conditions . . . no exceptions.

Fifty, sixty, . . . even seventy years ago, aircraft had the technology to bring everyone on board back home safe, under almost every condition. (Look at the classics: The Boeing 247, the Douglas DC-2, the DC-3, the Republic C-47, the Lockheed Vega, Lodestar, Constellation, P2V Neptune, the Beech 18, the Consolidated-Vultee “Catalina” . . . on and on, ad nauseum.) Even Igor Sikorsky’s first four engine aircraft, ninety years ago, could bring back their passengers safely . . . allowing a “mechanic” to walk out to an engine, to repair it in flight . . . and the plane could safely continue on just “any two” of the four engines.

Get the movie: “Signposts Aloft” . . . you’ll never forget it, and you will thank the gadfly for the experience . . . and if not, I will personally send you a check for double what you paid for it, including shipping. What’s my motive? . . . Well, part of it is to make sure that each and every one of you returns safe to your respective families, after each and every flight . . . even if you fly on this little jet, in which I haven’t the slightest confidence.

gadfly

(“Moody” trains fifty percent of all protestant missionary bush pilots, for the entire world. And, Ken, some of us really do care that if the Eclipse flies, we want you and all of your loved ones to be as safe as all of us who have considered flying to be the safest of all forms of transportation.)

Gunner said...

Ken-
Have I told you I loved you lately? Well, I do (in a guy kinda way)! Group Hug, now. Reason I'm so fond of you is that every time you tap your keyboard, you make my argument for me. See, I really couldn't care less who you give your money to, why you give it to them or what you fly.

My only concern is that the potential Eclipse Depositor of tomorrow, be given a different side of the story than the garbage that Vern puts out and the arguments that you drag in here....oh, but I repeat myself. ;-)

In any case, every time you do that "tap-tap" on the keyboard, one more eyebrow raises out there; one more eye opens. Please don't ever stop being YOU! I love ya, Man.

BTW, I don't have anything against Glass Cockpits. In fact, I'm a BIG fan. But I'd not be ripping out the standby instruments in a REAL plane that had a Glass Cockpit; I'm not about to accept Vern ripping them out in the design process on this plane.

Ooops, just heard the sound of someone's eyebrow arching. I think he's about to send an email inquiry to Cessna.

Gunner

bill e. goat said...

Ken,

I know I do, and I think a lot of non-posting readers, appreciate your input, and sympathize with the pounding you take.

Non-Ken posters: if Ken said he didn't "respect" you, he'd be torn up (even more than he usually is here).

ALL our fellow bloggers deserve respect and civility.
To offer anything less, is insulting and offensive to the recipient, and degrades and demeans the poster.

Take angst out against the company, or the product, or the management. Not those kind enough to stop by and visit.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,
"The inflight 'fix' for the Premier was indicated to be set the STBY BUS switch to BATT - how does one do that with electronic circuit breakers controlled on the now BLANK MFD when, not if, when, this occurs in an Eclipse?"


Well as I said previously, the power setup is different for the Eclipse. You shouldn't lose everything with the loss of the contents of any one box like occurred with the Premier.

I'm looking at the electrical layout of the Eclipse and scratching my head trying to figure out what single fault would cause the panels to all go dim like the single fault in the Premier. I don't see any such single point failure mode. Sounds like you do; where is it?

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"My only concern is that the potential Eclipse Depositor of tomorrow, be given a different side of the story than the garbage that Vern puts out"


What an altruistic guy you are! :)

Ken

bill e. goat said...

I suspect the blank screens were not cause by power problems, but some software problems with some non-power system application.

I suspect that somebody reading this blog knows what happened, let's hope they post it.

I fear an antagonistic atmosphere will discourage such a person from joining the discussion.

Metal Guy said...

The failure mode is simple – while flying north of latitude 20 while the outside air temperature is below -40, the temperature corrected time to destination calculation ends up dividing by zero on pilots PFD, MFD and co-pilots PFD. All displays lockup because all are computing the same value based on the same code, written by the same engineer, tested by the same other engineer, who didn’t think of that specific combination. Happens all of the time in the software world. Why? Usually because they were under pressure to get stuff out the door – Eclipse is prime territory for this to occur.

(Or replace the above with some other completely non-obvious combination of events. The above is not the Premier case.)

The point is every other aircraft certified has an independent, non-identical fall back method for obtaining the same information should the primary software fail. Except for the Eclipse.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

Are you trying to avoid the issue at hand?

The engineers at Raytheon did not envision the problem that occurred. The FAA did not envision the problem that occurred.

Any YET, it still occurred.

A quadruple failure 'could not happen' on a billion dollar Apollo Command Module, and yet the cryo-tank on the Apollo 13 Command Module did, in fact, explode, it did, in fact, take out adjacent systems, and the crew was, in fact, nearly lost in space.

The point is not that I claim to have perfect knowledge of what specifically MIGHT happen, it is that engineering teams with more experience and more access to previous work than those at Eclipse missed something on the Premier 1 (not their first walk-in-the-park), the FAA also missed it, and the result was an UNEXPECTED failure mode that crippled far more of the plane than SHOULD have happened.

Have you heard of the runaway trim failure on the Beechjet? Another failure mode that SHOULD NOT happen.

Empty fuel tanks SHOULD NOT explode, and yet the FAA and NTSB are mandating fuel tank inerting systems, for aircraft designed 30 even 40 years ago that see more commercial service in a day than the entire Eclipse fleet will EVER experience.

Why? Because things that SHOULD NOT happen, DO HAPPEN.

Autopilots SHOULD NOT fail passively and create slow dive situations, but they do, and people died, and the Piper Malibu got a bad rap because of it. The FAA has said repeatedly that the plane is fine as certified.

The AFM says the MU-2 is controllable in a one engine-out situation and the pilot SHOULD NOT lose control, and yet, we have lost several airframes and people JUST in the last 6 months. The FAA has said repeatedly that the plane is fine as certified.

The difference here is that we have an erstwhile airplane OEM claiming that its' superior concepts negate the need for the things you NEED when the defecation hits the oscillation.

Maybe it only happens once every few thousand hours, but one of those times something else will happen too, maybe the plane will be in hard IMC, and that pilot, whoever the poor bastard turns out to be, may lose more than situational awareness - all because Vern decided HIS little wonderjet did not need truly independent stand-by's.

The narcissistic hubris coming out of Eclipse is a warning - pride goeth before the fall.

airtaximan said...

PlanetX:
Ken's made it ery clear that the only reason he like the e-500 is becasue there's nothing else for $1.5 million that is a twin jet.

Give him that.

Then berate hime for thinking they have a $1.5 million dollar jet. Its based on high rate low cost production. More than 2 planes every 3 months or soo (being nice, it WAS certified 8 months ago, right?) and way more than 800 orders or even cinderella 2500 orders.

NO WAY this plane is $1.5 million for very long. So, no reaosn to buy it. Period.

Any reasonable buyer with the means will buy a Cessna or Phenom, or even Djet. All these companies have many planes in service, and can make valid and reasonable claims regarding DOC, Acquisition price, performance, training, mainteannce, insurance, etc...

not E-clips. They had a chance, not anymore.

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"What an altruistic guy you are!".

Why thank you, my Count of Cognitive Dissonance.

But it really has nothing to do with altruism; it has to do with demanding that the industry I've been involved with for 20 years not be turned into a sham or a magnet for even greater regulation by a foul mouthed egomaniac and his internet sock puppets.

(Not that you're a puppet, by any stretch, Ken; though some of your arguments would probably cause you less embarrassment were that to be the case. Tap-Tap.)

Gunner

airtaximan said...

wetfish, and everyone else who is up Ken's butt, I think you've missed the point.

1- Ken believes 100% that E-clips is what is being advertised

2- Ken believes all the excuses, supplier-problems, sabbotage, and order book claims - 100%

3- Ken will even suspend his own disbelief and logic, in order to defend his purchase (DME example)

4- Ken will look the other way regarding passed lies like Nimbus, Aviace, reclaiming the position numbers, performance, first flight, bushing...heck...I'm not going to list them all... and belive E-clips again and again - 100%

Why do you thin VErn calls him a "die-hard" customer?

It takes precisely THIS mentality which allows one to BE AN ECLIPSE CUSTOMER, beynd all reason for ever and ever...t'ill death us do part...

understand?

Metal Guy said...

Ewwwew. OK, no one kiss wetfish anymore. That’s gross. Yuk.

bill e. goat said...

"Boeing versus Airbus"
On BookTV (CSPAN2) -now!

bill e. goat said...

Eclipse has the niche to themselves for now.
Probably not room for two companies in this niche (maybe not room for ONE company- ha).

Ken's a savvy consumer, I'm sure.
Just, nothing out there, that comes close to what Eclipse will eventually be.

Nobody else can afford to deliver what the E-500 will become (in 12 to 18 months).

I don't even think Eclipse can afford to build it, but they will, even if it is just to get a "toe hold" in the industry. Hopefully the next airplane will make money for them (I hope there is one, probably an "upscale" model- that seems to be where the profit is).

The company will still be in ABQ (or in the USA, I hope), it will probably still be called Eclipse, maybe Eclipse-NG (NEXT GENERATION of management???)

Gunner said...

Bill E-
You cannot invent market; you cannot "create" more sales where there are only so many Buyers; you cannot interest Investors in throwing good money after bad, past a certain point of Hail Mary's.

Eclipse has burned thru more than 3X the Investment the market for this plane can provide a Return on....even at a realistic sales price.

You don't make that up on your next product. Your choices are simple: Choke To Death on it today or Death Rattle to your finish, twelve months hence.

The Investment Plan DOES NOT WORK any better than the first product does. The company, led by this or any other management team has no specific competencies to claim, other than marketing slight of hand and Dot Com investment strategies.

Stick a fork in this one. It's done.
Gunner

gadfly said...

A fork won’t work! Use a “ladle” and a “spatula” . . . it’s beyond “done”.

Ken Meyer said...

metal guy wrote,
"The failure mode is simple "


But you're invoking an example of an electrical fault to support your theory of a software scenario.

Nobody knows that your software scenario is even possible, let along probable, in an Eclipse. Did you or did you not identify an electrical scenario that can cause failure of all attitude displays like the Premier example?

Ken

bill e. goat said...

Gunner, Gadfly,
I think the $900K jet would have worked, maybe to the tune of 500 airplanes per year. (Don't think they could really have afforded to build it, but it would have sold well- until the doors closed).

At double that, maybe 200+ airplanes per year. Enough to pay back development costs? Well, I suppose, eventually, but certainly not an attractive catch for an investment group.

What will help Eclipse (NG) for their next model (if one will materialize), is the fact that Vern has got a $1 B-I-L-L-I-O-N (as Dr. Evil would say) education on how to build airplanes. And, now they have infrastructure, processes, people in place.

Bring in good management, and who knows? It might become the next, Mooney, or something.

Stick a fork in this one? Nope.

It is absolutely absurd they haven't gone out of business by now. But, beats me how- the money JUST....KEEPS....COMING. The incongruity and injustice of this is annoying and perplexing to those of us who have seen better companies, with better management, and better products, come and go.

But, not all is just in this word. Eclipse UP'PM (UPPer Management, perhaps a contrivance to keep from abusing any one individual) may not know squat about building airplanes (but, $1B pays the tuition at the school of hard knocks, heck- these guys are on a full-ride scholarship, for Pete's sake- good grades not required!- ha). But they can SURE raise money.

Where does it come from, and why does it keep coming? Beats the, ah, “fork” out of me...

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"Ken's made it ery clear that the only reason he like the e-500 is becasue there's nothing else for $1.5 million that is a twin jet."


Pure hogwash. If you're going to put words in my mouth, put correct words there. I don't appreciate a mouthpiece speaking for me when he's wrong all the time.

Ken

bill e. goat said...

I might add, I do NOT want Eclipse to go out of business- too many good people there.

And I do want them to deliver, when the product is right.

And I want Ken, EB, EO, KAD1, all to get a good, safe airplanes.

I am CONFIDENT that Eclipse will eventually deliver.

Confident that they'll ever make a profit, that's a different story...

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"the industry I've been involved with for 20 years not be turned into a sham or a magnet for even greater regulation by a foul mouthed egomaniac and his internet sock puppets."


Huh? The gun industry? Isn't that your line of work? Don't you publish a rag called "SWAT Magazine?"

And what about your qualifications in aviation? I'm remembering you were the one who said you could never feel comfortable flying a jet a FL410. Go figure; now you're going to tell us what the future of aviation is.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken, your Excellency of Error:

How can so many of us be wrong "all the time" at your bidding? The only way is for you to be "right all the time".

To be honest, you've been right sometimes; but you're hardly batting 200.

Keep tapping, Ken. There's a guy in Prescott, AZ that just put a phone call into Diamond. Vern is not happy with you. No more promises of "special retrofits that we're charging everyone else for", if you continue to embarrass him.

Think Twice; Blog Once.
Gunner

bill e. goat said...

Ken and Gunner-

My mom says it is time for you guys to go to bed.

You're both getting fussy!

I'm going to bed too.

Think happy thoughts tonight.

Eric said...

We haven't heard from EclipseOwner387 in a long time. I'd like to hear what he has to say.

gadfly said...

Senor Goat

When a designer is fired after a basic design has been conceived, that’s your first red flag . . . and you should well heed it. Anyone else will never be able to build on the foundation of the “first”, whether good or bad.

A “second designer” must start from his own premise. He (the “second”) cannot and will not be successful, unless allowed to start from “scratch”. Never can another fix a “conception” that is not his own. He must, like an artist, begin with a blank canvas.

You cannot expect to stop “van Gogh” halfway through a painting, and tell “Degas” to complete the work . . . or worse yet, to put together a committee for the final work . . . that would be ridiculous. And yet, that was the very thing that was attempted with Eclipse. Maybe none of the designers were “geniuses” in the true sense, but the analogy serves true.

And with aircraft, I have yet to see a successful “anything” designed by committee. There must always be a “genius”, who makes all final decisions. And, unfortunately, the “president” of this enterprise is no genius in things aeronautical. He may have many other talents, but he doesn’t live and breath airplanes . . . and without that, this enterprise is doomed to failure, regardless of the best of intentions. It’s almost like he picked up aviation as a “late-in-life” hobby . . . an interesting amusement, that fit in with “Microsoft Flight Simulator”.

When I fly, I want to know that the designer dreamed about airplanes since he was three years old, and almost flunked school because he spent so much time building model airplanes.

That is my firm belief!

gadfly

Kaptain Kool-Aid said...

Gunner said:

(Not that you're a puppet, by any stretch, Ken; though some of your arguments would probably cause you less embarrassment were that to be the case. Tap-Tap.)

Gunner, was that a double tap ;-)

Gunner said...

KKA-
Not intended as such and not hardly of the same effect, I think.

But you bring up an interesting point which I've toyed with touching and will someday. I doubt many of y'all are shooters and I doubt many of y'all follow the trials and tribulations of the Second Amendment, let alone the more important Bill of Right.

This Eclipse issue has EVERYTHING to do with both. Vern's approach has encouraged more Federal involvement in aviation than any of us need; and his failure WILL involve yet more.

Keep twirling the Pom-Pom's, Ken.
Gunner

Kaptain Kool-Aid said...

I'm from the "pry it from my cold, dead hands" camp myself...

Eric said...

I'm a shooter too! Gunner, how do you like that Springfield XD?

airtaximan said...

Ken,

"Pure hogwash. If you're going to put words in my mouth, put correct words there. I don't appreciate a mouthpiece speaking for me when he's wrong all the time."

Without going back to the previous posts looking for quotes (as many have taken the time to do here to disprove your statements, even regarding characterizing your opinions and thoughts) I sincerely remember you offering that you are buying the E-clips because of the price. If I am incorrect, I appologize.

This raises the question: why are you buying the E-clips?

I feel a comparison between the Mustang, D-jet, etc.. and the E-clips (described in the wishful promised reconfigured update, next-generated, fixed state Vern keep promising) ending with the price.

Have at it!
Thanks.

PS. sorry for stating that you have declared you are buying the E-clips because of the price.

airtaximan said...

Bill-e

There's no business case for this plane. Sorry.

Vern tried to sell many planes, and like Gunner said, it just became obvious that unless somehow you didn’t need to be a pilot, or you could take flyer's-ed with drivers-ed in high school, there is just not enough market out there to justify 1,000 planes per year (at $800,000 or even a million, let alone $1.5 million) which is needed to drive the case for a lower price. Without the large production run, economies of scale, many plane to amortize the development cost (better NOT spend a $billion, though) and other benefits, you end up with a Mustang-sorta-price. Cessna says they have a few hundred orders...get my drift?

So, Vern tried to justify his claim for higher rate and lower cost, with air limo..enter “air-orders” from Nimbus. This order collapsed under the report from Inc. Magazine that there was really no order...

Then Dayjet (Jetson systems) provided another monster order (1500 if I remember correctly), now revealed to be 300 or so. There ARE some other orders, from OURplane (share a plane for pilots gone executive e-clipse frax with no core fleet or experience at fractional ownership), Aviace (gone) and LinearAir, looking to place your e-clips under management and charter it - WOW! that's revolutionary. Even rumors Crandall at POGO will make an Eclipse order - but this was already a few months ago, maybe he realizes the plane will be in maintenance a lot more than flying passengers? I am not sure... NONE OF THESE GUYS EXCEPT DAYDREAM ARE BUYING MORE THAN 20-50 PLANES...

The business case was for a high rate, low cost jet. Where's the high rate? Where's the low cost?

Ask Ken, he needs the low price to buy his plane - and he's buying one. He should be scratching his head asking himself the same questions, because the long term viability (see the BEANS story for the alternative strategy, and also ask the 100 guys who sold their e-clips’) depends on building and selling and supporting many, many planes.

Get it? Good.

No forks, no second plane, no redo, especially after the last few months.

No self-respecting air taxi company would EVER take on this plane, especially not any early position as a fleet leader. It had to be right. It had to be well-made. It had to have world class training lined up. It had to have distributed maintenance in place. NONE OF THIS MATERIALIZED.

So, even if it had a daydreamers chance in the sky...it does not any more.

Take out gun...shoot foot.
Stop color copies, stop free soda...but keep the full page ads in Fortune Magazine coming.
…We need ORDERS.

Gunner said...

Stan-
Apologies for the aside to Eric. Delete or forward at your discretion.

Eric-
The Springfield XD is simply Bomb Proof. We have run thousands of rounds thru that model, without a cleaning and without a hiccup. We've dropped it in the mud and then frozen it; it still runs.

The latest, greatest news is the new .45ACP compact (10 rounds) complete with 13 round, extended grip, backup mags.

The ergonomics and controls are great, though I still don't understand why modern slides have to be thicker than the 100 year old design of John Moses Browning, samples of which have seen successful action in no less than five major US conflicts.

What do I think of the XD? We'll I'm currently awaiting mine to come back from Springfield's Custom Shop and will be wringing it out in training, end of April. If it functions as well as it did the first 500 rounds and as well as our reports, it'll be replacing my Shee-Shee, High Dollar 1911 for daily dress. Course I just had to dump $600 into a trigger job, Ashley Big Dot sights and OD Green Birdsong finish on the slide, just so my friends wouldn't call me "cheap". ;-)

Now, if they'd just make that little wonder in 10mm, we'd be cooking with gas!

Back on topic to Eclipse. Wanna see a firearm story that mirrors Eclipse's own history, absent the circus atmosphere, excuses and unsupportable hype?

Check out the Bren Ten:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren_Ten
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"I feel a comparison between the Mustang, D-jet, etc.. and the E-clips (described in the wishful promised reconfigured update, next-generated, fixed state Vern keep promising) ending with the price."


OK, what do you see as the pros and cons of each?

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Just got caught up on all the activity from yesterday afternoon and evening. A busy place indeed.

The discussion on the backup flight instrumentation was and remains interesting. Neither side won a knockout victory.

The configuration is FAA certified, that is a fact. Have all the bases been covered? Only time will tell.

Gotta run, with 155+ comments, it is time to put up new material.

bill e. goat said...

Good morning all,
ATM- you agreed with me- how dare you!

(Appologies for my "no quote within 24 hour rule"- egad, now I'm even quoting myself within 24 hours...):

ATM: "there is just not enough market out there to justify 1,000 planes per year (at $800,000 or even a million, let alone $1.5 million)"

GOAT: "I think the $900K jet would have worked, maybe to the tune of 500 airplanes per year
At double that, maybe 200+ airplanes per year"

ATM: "There's no business case for this plane. Sorry."

GOAT: "Confident that they'll ever make a profit, that's a different story..."

ATM: "Get it? Good."

GOAT: "Get it? Good."

bill e. goat said...

ATM,

Dang it, there you go agreeing with me again, I had posted last month:

"Personally, I think the air taxi business in the USA won't materialize".

and,

"things will probably work out if there are around 1200 to 1500 deliveries over the next 4 to 5 years. (Personally, I'd put it at more like 600 to 900 during the initial years"
(I was referring to total sales for this period, not sales/year)

BTW, Thank you for the interesting info on the air taxi orders for Eclipse. Lots of crushed dreams, or just imploded scams, I'm not sure which...

mouse said...

Air Taxi,

Touche, and exactly what I have been saying.

The fact is the plane no longer does anything any different than anyone else. It's a small little turboprop. It's only advantage on the turboprops is no propellers which passengers like... No Props! (too bad, the turboprop is so much more capable for the mission.

Anyway, Eclipse has two huge disadvantages; 1) it's way to small to be a working airplane (although as a personal jet it would have been perfect [if it worked] but now it's way too expensive for that mission too)
and 2) Eclipse creid wolf way to many times...

People have short memories, and will forget about all the delays, and even some cost overruns, Etc. but not when you spend so much time and money repeating the hype and delaying more, and more, and even more... Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing, or at the very least, very little, so we can forget your promises...

I don't think anyone believed (depositors) they would ever get a plane for $795K in any years dollars. Heck, we have all part cars, and who ever bought the $12K car for less than $19K LOL!

The numbers only play into the hands of the ignorant (the airlines, the non-flying public, the dreamers... not that they are stupid, they are not.... they just do not know/understand GA) The media loves this plane because it's an editors dream come true for stories... The only thing better would be a crash which they treasure for sales...

Going in to space is new and revolutionary! The Eclipse is just the next model to replace the previous model... However, they missed their mark and now offer nothing better than the planes they wanted to replace.

Sometimes comfort can replace speed, such as the King Air... Or lower maintenance cost, which I believe Eclipse will never achieve (but if they did, still no support for the volume), and "new" which gives you a few years of lower maintenance and downtime.

Eclipse loses on the "new" front because the planes will need lots of downtime and maintenance to correct all of their dicrepancies... What Vern has managed to create is the Winged Edsel.

In the beginning the only ones investing were dreamers, as it should be. The deposit holders should not be held with the financial loss bag... But now, thanks to Verns lies and empty promises, missed dates way too many times, and an inferior product that does not do what is what promised or advertized to do, we have a lot of depositors who will lose, cities, states and federal government investments and deferrments that will go down the drain, and this means the american public/citizen gets left holding the bag, and business owners and startups that invested a lot of money on the hype...

Ask Vern how much he personally invested? He put in time, which WAS worth a lot at one time, the dream, which might have been worthy of the fame he seekes, and not much else. The only money he has invested is his deferred salary that he "gave up" back in late '01/'02 due to the delays.

As far as fundraising, Vern makes PT BArnum look like a pimp, but as far as a manager he makes he makes Ernest T look like Einstein.

Eclipse employees are very well paid, but they had to be to get them to ABQ, and they knew a lot of the risks, thats why the pay and why they took it. We all still feel for the employees, like we do for children of bad parents. A lot of good people have been raped figuratively.

I too believed the dream for a while, and when I saw the truth I left.

If you are going to try and build a House-of-Cars, don't do it on sand, and not in the wind... The only advantage to building in ABQ was the remoteness so you could be less obvious in your deceptions...

You have to have very smart/experienced supervisors which Eclipse has for sure. But they have the worst management ever collected in one place, for the most part.

You don't have to have highly skilled workers to assemble an airplane (the mass production hands), but you do have to have Integrity, Inginuity, a Strong Work Ethic, and Motivated employees... That's why Wichita will remain strong despite what Vern is doing to our business and industry.

Read Stan's resume again at the start of the blog and ask yourself. Who better to know what works, and what doesn't. MAny of us posting have been there, done that, and have a lot of experience, and we are just trying to help those without the experience See-the-Light... We all wanted this to work, but it didn't and we know why.

Vern, drilling holes in the hull will not drain the bilge... And electric pumps don't bail in the dark...

airtaximan said...

bill-e,

you know I love you, man...

airtaximan said...

Ken:

You made this comparison for us all a few times...I was joshing ya, buddy! It's getting old.

You took exception with my remark that you were buying the E-clips due to the price tag. I expected your reply would be the regurgitation of your former comparison of these planes, leading to the price of the E-clips as the reason you chose E-clips.

Over...

bill e. goat said...

(reposted from above, because I kant speel with a hoot).

Thanks ATM!

Like I said before, you're the guy I agree with most here.

(Dang! There we go agreeing again!)

As appropriate on the Sabbath, we should all take a lesson in brotherly love, and ummm, "faith" from Stan's next post. (It's, ah, not for the faint of heart...)

"I love Vern and I love the Eclipse".

Gunner said...

Mouse-
I wonder about Peg Bilson. Unless I missed something, her track record is pretty damned good in Aviation. If Eclipse goes down in flames (the business, not the jet), she's gonna have a hard time BUYING another job in the industry.

Any idea why she stays on, other than the paycheck?
Gunner

airtaximan said...

bill-e

I agree...

TOUGH-love, though

mouse said...

Gunner,

I left before Peg's arrival, and have no idea why she hangs around, however salaries are very high at Eclipse, and money talks...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gunner,

I am guessing Peg stays for the same reason other good people stay- they believe in the program. Sure the money helps but I bet she believes it will work out.

She is also basically 1st in line to take over when, not if, when, Vern leaves (willingly, unwillingly, or in a straight jacket).

If it all goes tango uniform, I believe we all know where the blame will, for once, be accurately placed when the smoke clears (hint: 'burn' is part of the name).

Knowing this, it would seem a win-win to me for Peg.