From the E5C
Here's the report of the Eclipse 500 Owner's Group this morning:
Things Are Looking Good at Eclipse!
The E5C had a very upbeat phone conference with Ken Mac on 3/26. Lots of good news to report.
The new Vice President for Manufacturing (Todd Fiero, former Ford Motor Company Manufacturing Executive and Plant Manager) has completed his third week on board and is already making an impact. Communications have improved markedly on the floor and we’re told there is an upbeat spirit of accountability and can do spirit. Seems like a great new addition to the leadership team.
Eclipse has concluded a working agreement with the FAA concerning C of A and PC. The process embraces an agreed to methodology for the inspection and acceptance of aircraft by the FAA to issue a Certificate of Airworthiness on a plane by plane basis. The agreement with the FAA also clears the way for an issuance of a production certificate when Eclipse delivers four aircraft using the newly agreed to and adopted process. The milestone date for the issuing of the PC is projected to be April 24, 2007. We’re told this was a great effort on the part of the entire operations team and Peg Billson.
April production goal is forecast to be 15 aircraft, with 22 aircraft projected for May and June. The schedule will be recalibrated in May as more is understood on lessons learned and the impact of the new production processes is better understood.
The aeromod (extended tip tanks) is in full swing. Every available space in the factory is dedicated to modifying airplanes to meet the delivery goal. Aircraft 106 which is fully modified continues to fly beautifully. Operations is working diligently to achieve a production cut in at approximately aircraft # 39.
Development work on Avio NG is progressing on schedule and we’re told the performance results to date are outstanding. The plan is to introduce the system in production around aircraft # 100. Of course that could move either way but the team is focused on that goal.
Other excellent news is that Eclipse has been advised that a TSO has been issued for the Avio NG system. This is another major milestone for Eclipse.
The weather has not always worked with Eclipse this past week but even given mother natures mood three Day Jet Aircraft will be deliver this week. The leadership of Day Jet is on the property and the mood is very up beat. It is reported that the airplanes are beautiful.
Training is in full swing. There have been some changes in Training. Bob Wright is taking on full time responsibility for coordinating the regulatory issues with regard to training internationally. Tom Norton has been named the new Director of Training. Paul Burns was named the Manager for Pilot Training.
Six instructors are now type rated. 13 pilots, some customers and some company pilots begin aircraft training this Thursday. The ABQ service center is up and running, the Gainesville center will be functional by end of May, and Albany, New York and California by late summer or early Fall.
Serial 106 (the aerodynamic mod aircraft) is flying off to Europe in mid April to do a sales tour for 90 days.
Simulators (FTD's) are on track for delivery in May, second in July, with early 2008 for the other two (possibly sooner).
Jet Complete is in the process of being completely restructured. We can expect some price increase but also some cool stuff like (hopefully) substantial (20%+) discount on fuel at 300 locations!
E5C should have its very own very robust Owners Web site courtesy of Eclipse (thank you very much), and it should cut in after some of the bugs are worked out in the not too distant future.
We also heard a great comment from the pilot who came to pick up serial number 3 aircraft after his intro flight "This was the greatest day of my life!"
A sincere expression of appreciation goes to Eclipse for hanging in there, fighting the good fight, and never giving up! A lesson for all of us to learn!
And thanks to Ken Meyer for sharing this update with his fellow bloggers.