Thursday, March 29, 2007

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!

David Green
Dan McElroy
Ken Wolf


And thanks to Ken Meyer for sharing this update with his fellow bloggers.

104 comments:

lumar said...

>> Serial 106 (the aerodynamic mod aircraft) is flying off to Europe in mid April to do a sales tour for 90 days. <<

Sales Tour in Europe?! What for?

AeroObserver said...

Many manufacturers do European aircraft tours right before EBACE, which be held May 22-24 in Geneva.

Ken Meyer said...

Eclipse thinks there is a huge potential market for the E500 in Europe. And maybe so; I got this message yesterday from a friend who lives in London:

"A couple of days ago I was one of two pax in a chartered King Air B200. Unavoidable business commitments made the cost worthwhile and I couldn't fly my 421 for various reasons. I've not done this before and it got me thinking about the whole Eclipse debate.

"It's interesting how in Europe the charter market pretty much starts with the Citation Bravo and B200. It's trivially easy (except for the cost) to get a 12500lbs turbine aircraft to take you from any A-B at very short notice. This was a 400nm trip which I guess is typical for many charters in Europe (250-750nm must cover 90% of them). The cost of a B200 or Bravo is just excessive and a 5.7t, 2 crew 8-seater is way more airplane than two guys with briefcases need. But, apart from the occassional Seneca or Chieftain, any smaller aircraft is simply not available for charter. A Meridian could have done this job fine, or even a Caravan (but single-engine turbines are legal only for day VFR charter in Europe).

"If the Eclipse can fly air taxi single-crew, and, especially, if the business ever scales-up to the point that there are enough aircraft across various destinations that they don't simply return empty on anything other than day trips, I think the low-cost charter/air taxi market may prove to be a significant one.

"I suspect there is a big pool of demand for private air travel in the cost range above first-class airlines and below the current charter entry point.

"I have a number of friends who charter a few times a year, perhaps at $5000/hr for a Bravo, and fly airlines the rest of the time, who would simply charter something like an Eclipse for every 2 person trip upto 1000nm - if the cost were nearer $2000/hr."

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Let me be very, very clear on this.

Eclipse badly underestimated what it would take to get the TC.

Until very recently, Eclipse had almost no understanding of what was required to obtain a PC.

Eclipse knows even less on what it will take to achieve JAA certification.

This task will be more difficult and take longer than anyone can imagine.

And keep in mind one thing about flying in Europe, FIKI is a pretty common occurence.

mirage00 said...

Stan...

So what say you about all this good news? Oh wait, lets pull a negative from all this good news.

mirage00 said...

My apologies, I was off with my forecast a bit but the trend seems about right.

JetProp Jockey said...

Report to Owners on 3/3 said:

First and foremost, Vern is very optimistic that the delivery schedule published last week will be met. The FAA is on premise and well into the inspection process for COA on three to five aircraft in the next few days, and on schedule for 10 in March and then about 1 every two days in April.

Seems like the 10 for March will really be 2, neither of which seem to be flying.

If this ratio holds, April's 15 will be 3.

I can't imagine that 4 completed aircraft will be enough to have the FAA turn over certification to the company.

Stan Blankenship said...

mirage,

Lumar, aeroobserver and Ken Meyer all brought up the subject of marketing the Eclipse in Europe. It is a fair subject for everyone to discuss.

Until recently, the hot jobs section on the Eclipse web site had an opening for a manager of foreign certification.

Therfore one might logically conclude, with all their other FAA certification and re-certification efforts in work, JAA approval has not progressed very far.

lumar said...

Certification on all possible levels is one thing - but as I understand we are talking about a SALES TOUR in Europe.

I just think that in Europe is no market for the Eclipse! Less than 20% of the european Owner-Pilots are IFR-rated. Private Jet-Owners are very rare.

Even Pilatus (a swiss manufacturer) sold 70% of their PC12-production to the USA!

Runabout in Europe trying to earn other deposits für new EJ's is a very bad idea!

Ken Meyer said...

The Eclipse Owner's Directory is a voluntary listing of owners that represents only a fraction of position holders. Still, I counted 41 European owners among the group already. That's more owners than the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, New York, Oregon, Oklahoma and Utah combined, which is pretty impressive considering the timetable for European certification.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Glad all the difficulties are behind us and it is all CAVU from now on. whew!

For a minute there I thought they still had to certify the aero mods; redesign the avionics suite and all supporting structure and infrastructure; establish, staff, equip and certify maintenance bases; get spare parts; pay vendors; modify 100 or so airplanes with the Avio NfG; modify 40 or so airplanes with the aero mods; install, train and certify FTD's AND full-motion simulators; EARN a PC like all the old dinosaurs did; certify the various optional equipment like, for example, a Part 135 equipment package; identify replacement 'world-class' vendors for all the non-team player crappy formerly 'world-class' vendors; EARN the remaining certification IOU's like FIKI, usable RVSM, GPS Nav, etc.; oh and lest we forget design, certify and install the window\windshield fix; design, certify and install the wing bushing fix; and address the premature tire and brake failure issue.

Yup, other than those minor issues all the HARD part is behind them for sure.

That Vern, Or Ken Mac, or Eclipse in any manner, way, shape or form, has ANY credibility with the E5C, or anyone for that matter, is simply beyond comprehension.

This is like Officer Barbrady on South Park - "Nothing to see here, move along." Well, if Eclipse says it is so, it must be so - I mean, consider the track record. Better yet, don't consider the track record, it helps the kool-aid go down.

lumar said...

Sorry Ken,

None knows, how many REAL contracts actually exist. The discussion is also academic, since no airplanes are delivered.

Ken Meyer said...

lumar wrote,
"None knows, how many REAL contracts actually exist. The discussion is also academic, since no airplanes are delivered."


I wouldn't do this except I've heard how Germans are meticulous sticklers for accuracy:

1. "No one knows how many REAL contracts actually exit." Of course someone knows. Eclipse knows. They're not telling you. But that's not the same as "no one knows."

2. "No airplanes are delivered." I suspect the bank accounts for the owners of N508JA and N816KD prove otherwise :)

Ken

JetProp Jockey said...

The message indicates that 3 jets were to be turned over to DayJet this week.

Assuming that they do not meet 135 requirements, can the pilots begin training in these aircraft? Is lack of trainers and mentors the only thing keeping #'s 2 & 3 on the ground?

Vmc said...

Gotta hand the oscar to slipperyfish on that one. The smoke is sooo thick you can't even see the mirrors. The E5C report sounds like it was written by Andrew Broom himself. The great media machine had to spin everything that way because today's realistic perspective does not equal investor/customer confidence, especially when the intent is to take this ship public so VR and his mighty-mights can kick-back and let a "real" company emerge. Are we going to bear witness to a Phoenix emerging from the ashes? In due time...

As alluded to earlier, JAA cert is no small task and is by no means a rubber stamp approach. Just because the FAA buys it does not mean that the EU has to buy it. EAC will have to show compliance to JAA regs through both reciprocal concurrence for regs that are the same and then through a complete cert effort for all of the regs that are more stringent, to include their dependants. Long road ahead for JAA cert.

Vmc

gadfly said...

Do the Europeans really want a bunch of these little jets running around at 1,000 feet vertical separation? (RVSM) . . . Scary!

Ken Meyer said...

...Why not, Gadfly? The plane is RVSM compliant, and the equipment is probably better than some of the older stuff currently flying there. I don't get your point.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, are you saying that the airplane, as it exists RIGHT NOW, can be flown above FL240, by any of the Type-Rated customer pilots (if there even are any)?

Specifically, you are saying that any of the all 2 'delivered' aircraft can be flown by the customer in airspace requiring RVSM equipment and DATA?

The Avidyne USB is installed and working, the NAV Data is updated, the group RVSM certification is in-place, and EAC is training pilots for RVSM as part of the type-rating course, right?

airtaximan said...

Sorry folks,

Take all that's been said, all that's been promised, and keep all of it in the forefront of your minds when reading anything out of ABQ.

The strqngest comments recently are:

1- we are going on a sales tour: they cut back on photocopies because money was too tight, PLUS they claim 2500 orders, and they are looking for MORE? Orderbook has ZERO credibility if this is the priority now. It must in fact be a huge problem in order for them to spend on bilding an orderbook under these conditions.

2- the recent cert weight adjustments... add 59 lbs to MTOW AND ALL IS WELL: anyone who knows anything about planes knows there a penalty to be paid somewhere...sorry

3- Vern said 3-5 planes would be CofA in the next few DAYS 3 weeks ago. Seems like this could have been taken seriously? What happened? Under the circumstances, why wouls anyone believe anything regarding delivery schedules/promises any longer? Why keep making statements and offering schedules?

Gueuss what: certifying aircraft is really NOT rocket science. There really is no mystery when you know the rules and follow them. The recent statements regarding following an agreed upon plan was actually made once before a few months ago... and no schedules/promises were kept then, either.

They qre scrounging for progress payments, and are hoodwinking their best few hundred custo,ers. They are spending the deposit money on trying to build an orderbook, at this point.

How sad.
How obvious.

Anyone who dares accuse Stan or anyone else on this blog of turning good news into bad is a fool.

Call a spade a spade. Eclipse is almost a year late, and they are hundreds of ssheduled and promised certified aircraft with performance they promised and failed to deliver.

This reflects the truth, not some fantastic made up stream of promises that fail to materialize...that is Eclipse.

twinpilot said...

Ken Meyer said:

Twinpilot, have you actually looked at DayJet's plans?

Yes I have Ken, and I dismissed it as pure BS years ago. Iacobucci also bought the 875K jet as a reality, which confirms to me that he is not in the real world. Thanks to Kaptain Kool-aid I read the link and thought this interesting:

Before that can happen, though, Iacobucci and Raburn have to prove that the first generation of air taxis can fly at a profit. It will come down to volume. Back at Eclipse HQ, Iacobucci figures it like this: "If the customers really come from cars, then I know there is a rosy road ahead, because there are a lot of them. If we end up just cherry-picking the same old guys in the zero-sum game of the charter operators, then we are in trouble."

I am guessing they are in trouble. Your friend in the UK isn’t going to drive, so in Europe he is the example of: they will end up just cherry-picking the same old guys in the zero-sum game of the charter operators. I just love it when the multi millionaires are going to figure out how to help the “little people” who are making 100K a year get out of their cars and into a jet.

When I said the E-clips needed to carry 1,000 lbs. and go 1,000 miles I was referring to it being used as a personal airplane. That is where the only realistic market is. IMHO

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

From the E5C release:

"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!
"

CWMOR Prediction - Watch this space for a SIGNIFICANT increase in costs AND a reduction in the 'covered' items AND a 'clarification' or two regarding how Pratt will handle engine issues.

CWMOR Prediction - Private owners will see their costs per mile approaching $2.50-$3.00, making the 'air-taxi' concept, with its' significantly higher overhead and cost of operations, DOA.

CWMOR Prediction - DayJet will significantly alter its' approach and cost structure AFTER taking delivery of their first few planes anytime in the next few days (or months), but BEFORE they fly a single revenue flight. Operational approval will be delayed by months.

gadfly said...

Ken

My point is this:

Most . . . not all, but most aircraft flying above 29,000 feet fly at about 100 to 200 knots faster than the little jet . . . and generally, . . . not always, but generally have a tremendous weight advantage over the little jet, which translates directly into “wing tip vortices” and other unhappy conditions.

Often on the freeway I come up on “Mini-Coopers”, and dirt bikes . . . all legal on the freeway, certainly, but mixed with full size SUV’s and “18 wheeler’s” is not a wise mix.

Do what you like within the law, but sometimes “common sense” trumps what’s legal. In my life, I did many things that were extremely dangerous, but I tried never to do them in such a way that I put “others” at risk. And that’s my point.

gadfly

Stan Blankenship said...

What incentive does an FBO have to give a 20% discount to an Eclipse owner wanting 150 gallons that must be gravity fed from the left side, then the hose drug to the right side?

Meanwhile, a Gulfstream is sitting waiting for 3,000 gallons that can be single pointed in less time than feeding the Eclipse thru the little straw.

Somebody try to convince me the big "G" is going to pay a 25% higher per gallon cost because they don't have Vern's connections.

flight guy said...

This just in from AIN alerts,


"Eclipse Aviation disclosed revised Eclipse 500 weights on March 26. With the new Avio NG avionics, aluminum tiptanks and drag-reduction mods, max ramp weight increases to 6,029 from 5,950 pounds and max takeoff weight to 5,995 from 5,920 pounds. Full-fuel payload (714 pounds) and useful load (2,400 pounds) remain unchanged, according to Eclipse."

Looks like the weights did change. Go figure.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

You see Stan, it's all about volume.

Once the skies are darkened with a gnat-like aluminum overcast of literally tens maybe even dozens of E500's and we are all paying higher user fees as a result of the stress on the NASS, their remarkably fuel efficient little engines will require hundred of thousands of ounces of fuel whenever the aircraft is actually operable.

It's all about volume Stan.

Vern shouting from the rooftops of the ABQ HQ, and his loyal minions repeating the party line here.

Planet eX said...

I notice that they mention FTDs rather that full-motion simulators. What happened to the full-motion Level D simulators?

...so even with the FTDs, time in a real aircraft is required for the check ride.

cherokee driver said...

Stan

They hedged with (hopefully). Doesn't sound like the FBOs have bought into it just yet. Airnav has 3659 FBOs supplying them with fuel prices. 300 sounds like a drop in the bucket to me. Wasn't this plane supposed to be able to go anywhere? Do you think all those air taxi passengers will mind making a fuel stop at an FBO that gives a discount? I'm sure everyone is happy about a price increase for Jet Complete though. Eclipse knows how to take care of their customers.

Ken Meyer said...

gadfly wrote,
"Most . . . not all, but most aircraft flying above 29,000 feet fly at about 100 to 200 knots faster than the little jet . . . and generally, . . . not always, but generally have a tremendous weight advantage over the little jet"


But wouldn't that be a condemnation of a lot of smaller jets? Take a look at this comparative listing for speeds at FL350:

Citation ISP: 332 KTAS
Cessna Mustang: 340 KTAS
Adam A-700: 340 KTAS
Eclipse 500: 365 KTAS
Citation 525: 389 KTAS
Citation 550: 402 KTAS
Citation 560: 422 KTAS
Boeing 727: 482 KTAS
(source: Flitesoft & mfr's data)

There are already plenty of planes in the speed range about 100 KTAS slower than the fastest jets (I don't think 200 KTAS is correct). Many more are obviously coming.

As for wake turbulence, European authorities did not find a big increase in reported wake turbulence encounters after implementation of RVSM. Those encounters reported were similar to moderate clear air turbulence.

All that said, wake turbulence is a legitimate concern with a light jet, and it is one very good reason why Eclipse is requiring all pilots to complete the jet upset training (that some on this blog poo-poo'd).

Ken

EclipseOwner387 said...

Stan,

I get significant discounts using my UVair card and can rarely purchase more that 100 gallons of Jet A. It is feasible that an expected large fleet like Eclipse would attract a fuel buying program. I am glad I found out about UVair - it has saved me some dough.

Stan Blankenship said...

eo387,

Is Eclipse going to save you 20% on your fuel purchases or just secure a program equivalent to your UVair card?

EclipseOwner387 said...

Stan,

I don't know the answer to your question.

gadfly said...

Ken

Frankly I hope you never encounter any of the other aircraft on your list, going in the opposite direction within 500 feet . . . vertical, or even a 1,000 feet lateral. Any aircraft on your list, with the possible exception of the Adams, or maybe another Eclipse, will give you more than a handful of problems in recovery.

The good part is that until Eclipse makes some very real improvements, you will never need to worry about “FL350".

Here is your list:

gadfly wrote,
"Most . . . not all, but most aircraft flying above 29,000 feet fly at about 100 to 200 knots faster than the little jet . . . and generally, . . . not always, but generally have a tremendous weight advantage over the little jet"

But wouldn't that be a condemnation of a lot of smaller jets? Take a look at this comparative listing for speeds at FL350:

Citation ISP: 332 KTAS
Cessna Mustang: 340 KTAS
Adam A-700: 340 KTAS
Eclipse 500: 365 KTAS
Citation 525: 389 KTAS
Citation 550: 402 KTAS
Citation 560: 422 KTAS
Boeing 727: 482 KTAS
(source: Flitesoft & mfr's data)

There are already plenty of planes in the speed range about 100 KTAS slower than the fastest jets (I don't think 200 KTAS is correct). Many more are obviously coming.

OK, assume that not only the “200 KTAS” is wrong, but that even that the “100KTAS” is incorrect (even though both you and I know that it is quite reasonable). I’ll not insult yours, nor anyone else’s intelligence. Just on “weight alone”, the horizontal tornados behind each and every plane are directly related to the weight . . . simple facts of life. And aerodynamic forces are proportional to the square of the velocity of those “horizontal tornados”.

Should you ever get to “FL350", keep your eyes wide open, so that you will survive long enough to say, “I told you so!” . . . I’d rather be wrong, than to find your name missing on this, or any other blogsite.

gadfly . . . not here to start a fight, but to make sure that any new aircraft is safe.

BigJim said...

The Europeans don't have a VLJ certification standard. From some of the draft advisory and regulatory material I've seen, the European cert authorities are concerned that the current standards aren't sufficient for small jets. They are leaning towards imposing a number of larger jet requirements on the VLJs such as takeoff performance (V-speeds and balanced field length), reliability/redundancy requirements, etc. It's only my opinion, but the very decisions that keep the Eclipse light (LOL) will make it almost impossible to certify in Europe. The JAA (now EASA) has never been shy about adding requirements above and beyond the regs...they're looking to have a field day with the VLJ crop.

bill e. goat said...

"Communications have improved markedly on the floor and we’re told there is an upbeat spirit of accountability...

"Eclipse has concluded a working agreement with the FAA...

"April production goal is forecast to be 15 aircraft, with 22 aircraft projected for May and June....

"Operations is working diligently to achieve a production cut in at approximately aircraft # 39" (tip tanks)

"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..."

"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!

GOAT:
I guess the lesson is, don't know what the heck you are doing, lie to everyone, double the price, triple the schedule, B.S. the press, squander money, and never be held accountable.

I mean, never give up.

gadfly said...

Goat

When my kids were in the Albuquerque Youth Symphony about a hundred years ago, there was a sign hanging on the wall where they had their rehearsals:

“Never try to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of your time, and it irritates the pig!”

‘Maybe you should stick to chewing the labels off of cans, and I’ll buzz around the barnyard . . . at least we’ll be entertained. And who knows, maybe pigs will fly, and maybe pigs will sing . . . who can tell!

gadfly

(As “Digger-O-Dell, the friendly undertaker”, used to say, “I’ll be shoveling off!”)

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,

I think Vern must use a shovel too.

One with a L-O-N-G handle, because what he's slinging is WAY over six feet deep by now.

sigh.

"Never teach a ______ how to build an airplane. It’s a waste of your time, and it irritates the _____".

sigh.

BTW (I'm sure everyone knows this, but just in case),

“Receiving a TSO Authorization is not an approval to install and use the article in the aircraft.”

bill e. goat said...

(I gotta start using spell check BERFORE I post stuff...)

Ken,

Thanks for sharing the E5C memo with us. I'm a bit disappointed with their obvious giggle glee over further delays and contractual under performance. But, I guess I am happy for them, if they are happy.

However, I WAS a bit enthused over the payload numbers you posted yesterday- pretty spiffy, certainly impressive for personal transportation (acknowledging nod to our commercial operator friends).

BTW, (Who are / what is), (the/an/a) E5C?

Thanks.

Kaptain Kool-Aid said...

I posted this last night at the tail end of the previous blog topic. In case you missed it the first time, here it is again...

There is an interesting article in the current edition of Business 2.0 about Eclipse Aviation and their relationship with DayJet. It is reprinted online here:

Air taxis: Changing the way we fly

Read the article and draw your own conclusions.

P.s. My favorite part (which unfortunately was not reprinted in the online edition) was the picture of DayJet’s two “Russian mathematicians” posed in front of some dry erase boards covered in complex equations.

Good luck, fellas!

EclipseOwner387 said...

Goat Man:

E5C is a twist on an abbreviation.

E=Eclipse
5=500
C=Club

The authors of the posted letter are the co-chairs of the E5C.

bill e. goat said...

Thanks, KKA. Very interesting article. Sounds technically promising, but commercially, well, tbd...

"...some operations research scientists at Georgia Tech who do have access to a supercomputer. It takes them 24 hours to come up with the same answers DayJet's optimization algorithm comes up with in a few seconds.

"In another office farther down the hall (these have windows), Iacobucci keeps his ant farmers. They are complexity scientists, originally from the Santa Fe Institute, who have created a massive simulation of the entire U.S. transportation system..."

Ooooooh boy. Do they serve KoolAid too?

The Vern: "He needs to sell at least 500 planes annually to break even, and he's confident he will get close to that this year. He thinks he can sell 750 planes next year."

The Ed: "His startup already employs about 100 people, and he plans to ramp up to 400 by year's end."

The Goat: "Clash of Titans"? Or "Titanic, Redux, Times Two"?

Wikipedia:
Sante Fe Institute's complexity research led to efforts to create artificial life modelling real organisms and ecosystems in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Goat: Hmmmm, I wonder if they were running it on OS/2 ???

bill e. goat said...

EO387 E5C AOK

:)- thanks for the info. I take it this is NOT the same as the owner's web site that Eclipse sponsors ?

(btw, do the Vernster's minions edit postings there?)

EclipseOwner387 said...

Goat,

I have never been edited on the owners forum. If it happens I believe it is rare. The posting you read was from the owners forum. The goal is to have the E5C forum up and running soon. I believe it will be run by volunteers from the owners at that point. Eclipse is building the site for the owners to run is my understanding.

bill e. goat said...

Thanks EO387,
- good luck with the new site once it's up.

Buckerfan said...

Couple of points. Firstly re the EASA certification. One experienced fleet operator in Europe, who has/had a couple of E500's on order, told me that the EASA cert program will be very tough, and he heard rumours that EASA will require truly independent backup up "steam gauge" intsruments.

The E500 Owners club was promised to be set up and running with help from Eclipse last summer, I am amazed that it is not operational yet.

lumar said...

''EASA certification''

Thats another story - even not worth to talk about!

How many E500 delivred ?? TWO !!

JetProp Jockey said...

A couple thoughts:

1. I had asked if anyone knew the price structure of DayJet. The link to the recent article has given me the most insite yet. I find it interesting that the two guys in the windowless rooms are able to produce pricing numbers that generate a profitable operation.

What I see as a real problem, is that the prices suggested for a time certain departure push the price near to the current cost of chartering a King or something of that ilk. The other option is to allow a six hour window on departure to get a cheep seat.

Most business trips that we do with our JetProp require an early morning departure and a specific time to be at our destination. I can't imagine telling my customer that I will arrive somewhere between 10AM and 4PM - if that's too late, will the next morning work for you? (While I purchase a hotel room and have to take s suitcase that will probably cause an extra charge)

The second issue is scheduling of a return flight. I have found over the past 10 years doing customer visits that they are either short - take care of business and get out in a half hour, or prolinged with the customer wanting to have lunch and plant tours and meeting with engineers, etc. The problem is, usually we don't know which situation will exist before we arrive. With DayJet, how do you get home. Will you have to call when you are leaving the customer and choose between the 1 hour or six hour option. If you picked the six hour option in the morning and arrived at 11:30 and had a lengty visit and are ready to head back at 4:30PM, the six hour option will not be much fun.

I also wonder, if you pick the 6 hour option, must you be sitting at the airport ready to leave on a moments notice, or will you be given a hour or so notice of your departure time so you can stay at work.

Seems to me that the relatively cheep ($600 one way for a 600 mile trip) could work for the grandmother wanting to spend a few days with her family and departure time can be flexible. I don't know alot of grandmothers who will pay this - they are all lined up in the "A" line at Southwest after paying $59 for a one way.

Bump that price up to $1800 for a one way, $3600 for a round trip, and I just don't see business guys breaking the door down to schedule to flights in this size aircraft.

I don't even want to speculate as to the effect of a fatal crash early in the program.

2. 20% savings on fuel. With my aircraft I can get in and out of any airport in the country that has Jet A. My second home is Florida is near PBI, so despite the high cost of buying fuel and service from Signature, I do so. Usually, on the way south I stop at Monks Corner, just west of Charleston to buy fuel. My last trip, I paid $3/gal less for fuel at a small rural location that at PBI. 20% off the the price at the large airport FBO's is nothing compared to what is available at the smaller airports.

I have found this to be the same situation with the fuel discount programs - the discounted prices are still higher than the list price of fuel at the smaller airports with independent FBO's

Just to give you a perspective on JetA cost/price. In 2000 when I changed from 100LL to JetA, our local airport did not have JetA, so I worked out a deal to puchase a 5000 gal fuel farm and I purchase the fuel and use as much as I want and the owner of airport can sell as much as he wants and repay me for the cost of the fuel.

My lowest cost purchase was in 2001 when I paid $.86 for 4000 gal.

My most recent purchase was $2.40 per gal. I certainly am not buying at the lowest price available as a purson who buys 4000 gal 4 or 5 times per year, so the big FBO's are buying cheeper.

When the biggies sell it for upwards to $6/gal (they are so generous to waive their handling fees), I don't feel bad about drinking one of their free gormet coffees.

They also aren't hurting badly by giving 20% off of list. Most are already offering similar discounts to their larger customers and individual customers who are taking a large fill up.

Having said all of this (sorry for getting longwinded), if the air taxi model does not take off, the market for E500 goes right back to the owner operator/small corporate/local charter operator that have been buying similar sized and priced aircraft for years, but not at the volumes needed to support the Eclipse business model.

Ken Meyer said...

jetprop jockey wrote,
"if the air taxi model does not take off, the market for E500 goes right back to the owner operator/small corporate/local charter operator that have been buying similar sized and priced aircraft for years, but not at the volumes needed to support the Eclipse business model."


That's an interesting point, but I think you may have reached the wrong conclusion. If the air taxi industry does not take off, the Eclipse business model might well be unsupportable at the current pricepoint of the EA500.

Without a successful air taxi market, it seems likely Eclipse would not sell as many planes as planned, and they would be compelled to raise the price of the Eclipse 500.

That said, there would still be a sizable market niche for them. If you look at the large number of aging piston twins as well as old turboprops coming up for replacement, and note the relative lack of competing choices, Eclipse can be profitable servicing the replacement niche alone (but at a higher pricepoint).

Furthermore, I'm not at all certain what exactly the "air taxi" market actually comprises. We have a great many owners who are not DayJet or Linear Air--those two actually represent something around 15 percent of existing orders.

Many of the owners are just guys who run a conventional small charter operation and believe the phenomenal operating efficiency of the Eclipse would permit them to offer turbofan transport to their customers at less than turboprop pricing. In other words, I doubt the failure of DayJet would, by itself, doom the idea that a lot of EA500's may wind up widely used in commercial service.

Ken

Nothing Like the Sun said...

Ken, et al: Can anyone explain in more detail what as Ken says are the "phenomenal operating efficiency of the Eclipse" compared to a charter company's alternatives, say a King-Air C90? For a typical 1.5 hr. flight, the C90 will burn about approx 625lb/hr.

According to Aviation Weeks test flight review of the E500 Published by Fred George in July, 25, 2005, the operating efficiency seemed very similar to a turbo-prop at the lower altitudes:

"Cruise performance was better at FL 250, as expected. That's as high as we could fly
pending the outcome of high-speed flutter tests, which were underway last week. At a
weight of 5,100 lb., we accelerated to 170 KIAS. The aircraft cruised at 255 KTAS while
burning 480 lb. per hr. Slowing to 154 KIAS, fuel flow dropped to 400 lb. per hr. and the
aircraft cruised at 231 KTAS--a speed not unlike that of an entry-level twin turboprop. We
concluded that while the Eclipse 500 indeed is efficient, it's still a jet. Maximum speed and
range performance will require flying in the mid- to high thirties."

Even though the plane was still in test-mode, without "B" aero-mods, etc., the bottom line is that unless you get the plane high- you will not get "phenomenal operating efficiency" compared to a charter company's existing turbo-prop. BUT a 1.5 hr. flight will not get you that high (mid-20's), especially if you are flying into a busy terminal area, where you will be forced down to low altitudes a hundred miles out from the field. Or if you do get low 30's it will only be for small percentage of the flight (25%). Now the eclipse will fly the 1.5 hr. trip a bit faster (15-20%?), but we are not talking warp-nine here...

Now, if you take the fuel burn difference between an Eclipse and C90 for this 1.5 hr. trip and divide by number of pax. seats, the C90 would be more effecient. You may get slightly lower overall fuel burn with the E500, and slightly shorter trip time, but I don't see any "phenomenal operating efficiencies". Do you?

P.S. Capt V mentioned in one of his early interviews that he chose the name Eclipse because his company was going to "Eclipse the competition". Well, there may be some truth to that...eclipses are relatively short lived events!!

Ken Meyer said...

"I don't see any "phenomenal operating efficiencies". Do you?"

Sure.

I have numbers for an E90 sitting in front of me in my Flitesoft program, so let's use that and the FAA-approved numbers for the A model Eclipse (bearing in mind that the B model is more efficient and faster).

Let us assume typical 600 nm jaunt. The King Air at FL250, the Eclipse at FL350. The King Air will take 2hrs 36min and use 1375 lbs fuel. Eclipse will do it in 1hr 50min with a fuel burn of 883 lbs.

Forget for the moment that the Eclipse saves the customer and the pilot 46 minutes in the air and is more attractive to passengers because they just don't appreciate those turning things in the front of the engines. The King Air needs 56% more fuel for the same flight even though it takes it longer to get there.

Now, I certainly grant you that if you're going to fill all the seats, the King Air is the way to go. But that's not the market for this plane (not to mention we seem to see King Airs land all the time with 1 or 2 guys on them).

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken:

Go D-jet and take your 2 pax, save a lot of money.

The e-clips has found a sour spot in the market, too small for air taxi or too big for air taxi - take your pick.

Either you belive there's a large market or you don't...

If the market is big, go bigger
If the market is small go smaller

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

Fuel flows might be published in an FAA approved Flight Manual, but the fuel flow information per se is not FAA approved or verified.

gadfly said...

‘Sure got me convinced!

Block to block, the EA500 averages 327 KTAS, including time to altitude, and final approach, etc., for a 600nm trip . . . for up to three passengers. Wait ‘til the folks back in Albuquerque find out what they really have. They’ll be ecstatic!

And that forty-year-old Beach only averages 231 KTAS . . . and those eight passengers could have been something more productive for those extra 46 minutes . . .

(Let’s see: 0.49 lbs fuel per passenger mile for the EA500; and 0.29 lbs fuel per passenger mile for the Beach; . . . hey, I could take the family for the price . . . let the wife shop all day, while I carry on business. ‘Guess the Beach might survive as the air-taxi for business oriented families . . . Nah! Rats . . . I forgot to figure in maintenance costs, depreciation, and all that tax stuff.)

JetProp Jockey said...

Ken, I haven't been arond this blog long enough to know what you are currently flying, buy I can assure you that based on my experience with a turbporp flying in the system, any flight from Jacksonville to Miami and from Richmond VA to Boston, MA will not be be flow at the numbers that your flight planning software produces when you plan for a best rate climb to certified ceiling and then a 2000 fpm descent to destination. In these airspaces, when you want the high 30's, you will be assigned high 20's to low 30's and the descent profile will start 100 to 150 miles out.

I am based in South Centeral PA and often am coming up from the south. Washington center will start to bring me down before Richmond and by the time I am in the Washington/Baltimore area they will nave me down to 12,000 to 14,000. Above FL180, there is nothing I can do, and below that, if the weather is IMC, I can't cancel and at least stay up at 17500.

Turboprops don't like low altitudes either, and I would estimate that ATC in the Northeast costs me about 20% extra in fuel every year.

Planet eX said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nothing Like the Sun said...

"Let us assume typical 600 nm jaunt. The King Air at FL250, the Eclipse at FL350."

Ken: I would argue that your typical 600nm jaunt is on the far-edge of a charter flight for the E500- especially sans restroom. Using Dayjets quote from their latest press release:

"Until now, taking a regional business trip of 300-600 miles often meant spending endless hours in a car or taking a connecting flight through a congested hub, wasting time and productivity.
Thanks to the convergence of innovative new technologies, DayJet turns these short trips into
daytrips, giving professionals greater diversity in travel options and greater ability to manage
their time."

So using your info, assume Sacramento to Van Nuys (302NM) for another comparison (which also seems a lot more "air-taxi-ish" of a trip then say SAC to SLC). Are the results "phenomenal"?? And run it assuming the E500 will only get cleared to FL270- I don't think the E500 can climb fast enough to get higher even if it could get the clearance from ATC.

To back-up my 300NM "typical" air-taxi leg, DayJets LONGEST Dial-port leg appear to be Miami to Pensacola (488NM), or somewhere near that viscosity. For a large percentage of typical "air-taxi" legs, the pilots will not be going to the mid-30's on those legs- mid 20's at best, sipping coffee like the rest of us at FL250, not kool-aide.

So side by side on the typical (shorter) charter flights, it appears the numbers look less then phenomenal compared to a turbo-prop? But factor in that I'm sure no charter operator has ever had either an additional passenger, an extra-large passenger, or extra-large luggage showing up at departure requiring addl. payload capacity, I'm sure the E500 will do just fine...

Ken Meyer said...

nothinglikethesun wrote,
"So using your info, assume Sacramento to Van Nuys (302NM) for another comparison (which also seems a lot more "air-taxi-ish" of a trip then say SAC to SLC). Are the results "phenomenal"??"


I dunno; let's see.

King Air E90 at FL250 - 1:24, 762 lbs

Eclipse at FL350 - 1:01, 519 lbs.

King Air takes 38% longer and burns 47% more fuel.

But, perhaps as you say, the Eclipse would get stuck down low. Maybe both planes are at FL250. Then...

Eclipse at FL250 - 0:59, 611 lbs

King Air then takes 42% longer but only burns 25% more fuel.

What if the Eclipse powers back at FL250?

Eclipse at FL250 (LR) - 1:09, 523 lbs

Then the King Air just needs 22% longer and burns 46% more fuel.

Many options, but each comes out with the King Air taking longer and burning more.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Comparing the E-500 to a King Air -90 is absurd.

Compare it to a B-36TC Turbo Bonanza, P-Baron, Seneca IV, Cirrus SR-22 GTS or Columbia 400, maybe even the TBM 700 - but to compare the wonder-jet to a turboprop 50% again as heavy, and designed for a completely different mission, is picking your opponent to make you look good.

The E-500 could not carry the King Air's jock-strap to use a sports analogy.

And don't forget, CURRENTLY, having no operational DME, the E-500 cannot fly above FL240 legally without a special clearance, and lacking a useable FMS or current GPS Nav Data, the E-500 must use Victor or Jet routes, whereas even most Bonanza's now can fly GPS-direct on own-nav - something the wonder-jet cannot legally do as presently certified.

"Los Angeles Center Eclipse 501KD is with you at 240, request flight following...."

I am so excited.

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet; I think you may be all-wet :)

You know for a fact that the DME still doesn't work, or are you just saying it?

And you think that nobody can go DIRECT without GPS or FMS? That's just wrong. You need to take a peek at Order 7110.65.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Has Eclipse CERTIFIED the updated Avidyne Hardware\Software that Vern said was NECESSARY to allow for updating the Nav Data Ken?

I am sure that is on the front burner for Avidyne, what with the public divorce and being tossed under the bus and all by Vern.

Unless the answer is yes (and I doubt it since there have been no trumpets from ABQ), and no ammended TC or STC yet, then yes, I am certain that no more than 28 days after any aircraft leaves the factory, the synthetic DME function can not legally be used to fly above FL240.

Since I am not an Air Traffic Controller, that particular order is not on my reading list as a commercially certificated pilot, like say the AIM-FAR.

Are you suggesting that after spending $1.5M on a wonder-jet with 'all the bells and whistles' that the loyal folks should be 'rewarded' by having to request vectors or attempt to navigate via DEAD RECKONING at 400 mph?

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

1. "CURRENTLY, having no operational DME, the E-500..."


and,

2. "Has Eclipse CERTIFIED the updated Avidyne Hardware\Software that Vern said was NECESSARY to allow for updating the Nav Data Ken?"


Now, one would think that you'd need to know the answer to #2 before you could authoritatively state #1. It appears you are making things up. Please, let's stick to the facts.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

Your parsing is showing.

I am asking you to acknowledge the previous statements of fact about the DME not being legal after the installed database expires, or prove me wrong.

Dealing with your flimsy high school debate tactics is like trying to prove a conspiracy theory does NOT exist.

Did or did not Vern say that hardware and software changes were necessary to allow for updating the Nav Data database?

Have those changes been certified or not?

Given the penchant for his Verntasticness to go out and shout from the rooftops whenever there is any reasonably good news, I feel confident saying the change has not yet been certified.

I am not making stuff up, I am restating the 'facts' about the non-functional DME as originally presented a month or two ago by his Vern-ness himself - and then basing my statement on the current status from the news, or lack thereof, re: certification, or lack therof, of the fix to allow updating the nav data database.

Same as the window and windshield fix - until it is Certified it ain't fixed.

Same as the wing bushing fix - until it is Certified it ain't fixed.

Same as the non-functional FMS - until it is Certified it ain't fixed.

Sames as the partially functional auto-pilot - until it is Certified it ain't fixed.

Same as the INOP accessories - until it is Certified it ain't fixed.

Sames as the 6th seat option - until it is Certified it ain't fixed.

Same as the Part 135 option - until it is Certified it ain't fixed.

Does the non-functional FMS include a hypothetical RNAV capability? Who cares - it does not work and the Avidyne FMS will likely never work.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,
"Your parsing is showing.

I am asking you to acknowledge the previous statements of fact about the DME not being legal after the installed database expires, or prove me wrong."


Uh uh. I'm saying it's neither correct nor morally right for you to say the DME doesn't work when you don't know that. It's not my job to disprove your assumption that stuff doesn't work on the plane 'cause you once heard from somebody at some point in the past that it didn't work.

It's your job to write stuff that is accurate and correct. When you don't, people reading your posts have every right to shrug and say, "Who the heck knows whether that's right or not?"

The same thing is true of the other things you wrote about. If you're speculating that they didn't certify the wing bushing, for instance, I have two answers:

1. I don't think they have to certify that change, and

2. I think you're just blowing smoke hoping nobody notices that you're talking about stuff you don't actually know about. There's been enough of that already; let's stick to the facts here, ok?

Ken

Niner Zulu said...

Jetprop jocket - you nailed it on the 20% discount BS - all I can add is that I'm sure the 20% discount will NOT apply to those FBO's already offering cheap fuel. You can bet the only people signing on to that program will be the overpriced FBO's like Signature who are 50-75% more on fuel prices to begin with. So whoopee, big deal.

Ken - with regard to your flight planning software & fuel burn predictions. I am curious as to how much turbine time you have - somewhere I thought I read you were flying a Cessna 340. Anyway no matter. In the world of flying twin turbine engines, you can't count on those fuel burn rates because of unpredictable climbs & descents. If you're flying low, for whatever reason, you're going to be sucking fuel so fast it will make you dizzy. And if you don't like your fuel bills on a piston twin, just wait until you get into a turbine twin and you'll see just how fast you can be separated from your money. And I don't care if you're talking about a King Air, a Mustang or Eclipse. At low altitudes they all suck fuel.

Last point about turbine powered aircraft - I never thought the Jet Complete program was realistic at the advertised price point (I think it was $115/hr). Maybe double that and I'd believe it. I can't imagine the poor suckers moving up from their Bonanzas and Mooneys thinking they are going to go faster AND save money because their "cost per mile" calculations appeared to be more favorable than their piston aircraft - itt just doesn't work that way. They will find that they are going to stop flying because they can't just go out and do touch and go's or shoot approaches without spending at least 4 figures. There is going to be a wailing of biblical proportions when the chaps who could (barely) put up the entry price to jet ownership find out the real costs of jet ownership.

flyforfun said...

Ken, using that E-90 to compare on a 600nm trip is like apples and oranges. Try it with my -10 Turbo Commander at 300 knots and less fuel burn than the E-90. And I will have 5 full grown people in the back with all the luggage and golf clubs they want.

Ken Meyer said...

niner zulu wrote,
"In the world of flying twin turbine engines, you can't count on those fuel burn rates because of unpredictable climbs & descents. If you're flying low, for whatever reason, you're going to be sucking fuel so fast it will make you dizzy."


Well the comparison that someone else brought up was between a King Air and an Eclipse. You don't think a King Air gets held low from time to time too? :)

"And I don't care if you're talking about a King Air, a Mustang or Eclipse. At low altitudes they all suck fuel."

Well, I guess you do think they all get held down sometimes.

So what's your point, exactly? That we should all fly piston planes? I guess I don't understand what you're getting at.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

flyforfun wrote,
"Try it with my -10 Turbo Commander at 300 knots and less fuel burn than the E-90."


Yeah, that's a nice plane. I like it a lot. I looked at one before settling in on the Eclipse.

My wife said it was "prehistoric, ancient history" and vetoed it.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

How many aircraft certification programs have you been directly involved in Ken?

I have close to a dozen under my belt.

What do you actually know about certification Ken?

I have been directly involved in a number of turbine aircraft certification efforts, I have served on several FAA/industry working groups, I have contributed to Advisory Circulars, and I have represented OEM's with the FAA, with vendors, and with Industry groups.

Any change to the aircraft type design after initial certification is essentially certified, either as no 'effective' change, or a change requiring an amended type certificate or a supplemental type certificate. Typically, form, fit and function are the primary measures, so while it is conceivable that the wing bushing change or the window\windshield change could simply be cut in as new engineering, I find it unlikely such a change would be minor.

Regardless, the new engineering still has to be evaluated, typically by a company or consultant DER acting on the FAA's behalf, and if there is no form or function change it is CERTIFIED as such through an engineering review process - if it is considered a change, that too is CERTIFIED, usually on a Form 8130-9.

Changes to aircraft structure can have impacts on static and fatigue test results, may require flight test, may effect warranty terms with the supplier, may alter the wieght and balance, may effect production costs, the possibile snowball effect, especially in structural issues like cracking or other premature wear and failure, are extremely unpredictable in nature.

I have personally filled out 8130's, First Article Inspection Reports, Certificates of Conformity, as well as preparing Certification plans and Certification reports Ken.

I have served on Change Review Boards Ken.

I have made decisions with multi-million dollar as well as safety-of-flight ramifications Ken.

I have served on safety-review-boards and even led incident/accident review boards Ken.

I am also a commercial rated pilot with experience in a number of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

So tell me, what is your aviation pedigree?

Until you can establish that you comprehend the FIRST thing about certification, or safety-of-flight, your pedantic meanderings of attacking the messenger while religiously towing the party line serve only to demonstrate that where the Eclipse program has really succeeded is in attracting people who, other than being gullible enough to believe the endless fabrications and well-heeled enough to risk $1.5M, are not otherwise qualified to be operating such complicated machinery in our system, placing all of us at risk.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Cold Fish said,
Until you can establish that you comprehend the FIRST thing about certification, or safety-of-flight, your pedantic meanderings of attacking the messenger while religiously towing the party line serve only to demonstrate that where the Eclipse program has really succeeded is in attracting people who, other than being gullible enough to believe the endless fabrications and well-heeled enough to risk $1.5M, are not otherwise qualified to be operating such complicated machinery in our system, placing all of us at risk.


Cold Fish,

I think you are treading on thin ice here. We need more pilots like Ken who particpate on web forums - absorbing and learning. We should be more worried by pilots who DON'T particpate in forums like this. Your opinion hidden behind a silly handle really hurts your credibility. I am sure you are as experienced as you say. However, if you truly see Eclipse as a danger to society, you should proudly stand up and put your name behind it. My guess is you work for a competitor and that is why you hide. My suggestion is you retract your retaliatory/rediculous comment that Ken is placing all of us at risk. He and his wife are both avid and active pilots. Just because he disagrees with you does not reflect his piloting skills.

Sincerely,
Dennis Crum
Prospect, KY

bill e. goat said...

...I think the blog needs an emergency temporary "cool down" kill button, sort of like Wall street has to interrupt a deteriorating situation, until cooler heads prevail.

Ken, the fact that some of our fellow bloggers would like to see your head pop off, cool or otherwise, well, I'd just take that as a compliment of sorts...

:)

mirage00 said...

I think you are treading on thin ice here. We need more pilots like Ken who particpate on web forums - absorbing and learning. We should be more worried by pilots who DON'T particpate in forums like this. Your opinion hidden behind a silly handle really hurts your credibility. I am sure you are as experienced as you say. However, if you truly see Eclipse as a danger to society, you should proudly stand up and put your name behind it. My guess is you work for a competitor and that is why you hide. My suggestion is you retract your retaliatory/rediculous comment that Ken is placing all of us at risk. He and his wife are both avid and active pilots. Just because he disagrees with you does not reflect his piloting skills.

Well said E387!

EclipseOwner387 said...

Billy,

You crack me up. We need to have a EclipseHatersBlog fly in somewhere so we can all meet each other. The funny thing is, we would probably all get along in person. (Except Gadfly - who can trust a tea totaler?!)

Just kidding Gadfly! You are the most poetic on the blog. Although the length of some of the posts make me lose interest. Just a critique. We are all cool with critiques right?

bill e. goat said...

Goat to CWMOR: Fowl- my fishy friend!

CWMOR to Ken:

“Dealing with your flimsy high school debate tactics...”

“How many aircraft certification programs have you been directly involved in Ken?”

“So tell me, what is your aviation pedigree?”

“...your pedantic meanderings...”

“...religiously towing the party line...”

“...well-heeled enough to risk $1.5M...”

“...not otherwise qualified to be operating such complicated machinery...”

Then CWMOR accuses Ken of “attacking the messenger”...

CWMOR, your aviation credentials are indeed quite impressive. And you bring up many questionable aspects of our little jet, with passion and keen knowledge.

But I think you just ventilated your foot, I mean fin.

(Haven't seen you get wound up before- you getting into Gadfly's secret herbs and sauces for Lutefisk???)

bill e. goat said...

EO387,

I agree!

I think we should have a regular shindig, at either;

1) "Final" certification

2) 10 year program anniversary

(whichever comes first...)

:)

EclipseOwner387 said...

Mirage,

Thanks Mirage! I try!! ;-)

Do you own a Piper Mirage?

EclipseOwner387 said...

Billy,

That sounds like an EclipseDieHardBlog shindig. I think the haters blog shindig should happen real quick since the clock is ticking and this blog may be close to done!! What will we do when this "fun" is over?

bill e. goat said...

EO387,

I think our spunky friend in ABQ (Vern, in this case*) will no doubt find other ways to "keep us amused".

The oft-rumored next whatchamacallit...

I'm not sure Vern has the stamina for it though.

Same here, after trying to keep up with this blog lately! :)

(*Gadfly fills the bill too- What a town that ABQ must be!!!)

(It would be fun to have a "social", maybe once the DoubleEagle facility is fully open, or something like that...Keep hearing conflicting stories about all of Eclipse moving out there, sometime in the next few months, to next few years...Just like cert- ha!)

Stan Blankenship said...

From the Eclipse Owners Board Friday regarding delivery expectations:

Dear Vern,

An old saying for economists is "give them a rate or give them a date, but never give them a date and a rate."

Will you ever learn??

Black Tulip said...

There has been a discussion about the King Air and Turbo Commander aircraft in relation to the Eclipse. Some have suggested an apples and oranges comparison.

Let us undertake more accurate designations.

The two turboprops are 'cabin' class aircraft - which carry a great deal. Occupants can change seats, move around and stretch out with feet up on an unoccupied club seat. The reclining seats are usually better than those in an airliner.

On long trips, I've turned around many times from the front left seat to see the family stretched out under blankets sound asleep. Excellent examples of these "prehistoric ancient history" aircraft are available today at the price of a new Eclipse. Plus you can fly one today well above 24,000 feet.

The Eclipse, if completed, will be a 'hut' class aircraft whose passengers will have to slither into a seat, place one elbow on their suitcase, lean their head onto the sidewall and find a place for their feet. They will try to stay motionless for the next hour as the numbness spreads from their calves to their thighs.

Such is life in a hut versus a cabin.

For our next discussion, I suggest we examine the term 'Eclipse owner.' Exactly what does an Eclipse owner own?

Black Tulip

The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.

mirage00 said...

E387

Owned (past tense) - Loved the plane but I drifted away from flying for 11 years because of lifes distractions.. 4 kids houses, job etc... I'm back now and am considering a position in this wonderful piece of stir-fried metal.

I will be at sun-n-fun, anyone else heading there?

bill e. goat said...

Jetprop jockey-
interesting post. Especially regarding the vagaries of business meetings (e.g., plant tours, dinner, meet so-and-so). This argues in favor of a dedicated aircraft.

It seems to me, this hearkens back to the idea of having a Bonanza for “personal” business travel. I don't think that idea worked out so well. Too bad- maybe with the advanced capabilities of the E-500 (relatively speaking, compared to an old ________ ,pick any 30 year old piston single) it WILL be doable.

I think the price point is still too high for that market though, throw in a dedicated pilot, and, nope. Too bad. I think this is what the FAA is drooling over, but I don't think we are there yet.

Maybe after those ex-SFI guys whoop artificial intelligence (NO, I'm not talking about Vern getting beat up- not anymore than here in the blog, anyway), finite element modeling of the US transportation grid, global warming, and predicting lottery numbers (oh, so THAT's what Vern is using now that serial no.s are passe'?), they can work on NASA's pie-in-the sky, I mean, personal “highway in the sky” schemes.

Which will allow you to put your Bonanza, Eclipse, X1 Skycycle, etc. on "automatic". (Black Tulip, you could even crawl in back and take a nap too!)

EO387-
could THIS be Vern's next big "whatchamacallit??? for the masses?:

http://www.canosoarus.com/10X1Skycycle/Skycycle01.htm

bill e. goat said...

Buckerfan said:
the EASA cert program will be very tough...

Goat:
I think those Euro Rat B#%$&8 are sticking it to the USA again. Trying to develop their own VLJ airplanes, while stonewalling Eclipse.

Buckerfan said:
(rumors that) “...EASA will require truly independent backup up "steam gauge" instruments.

Goat:
Dang Euro Rat B#%$&8. Must be they're trying to subsidize the European steam gage market.

Lumar said:
Hey, Yankee Rat B#%$&8, (well, he didn't say it, but I'm pretty sure he must be thinking it...):
“EASA certification'' Thats another story - even not worth to talk about!

Goat:
Trying to evade the issue, eh? So you ARE defending the Euro VLJ and steam gage market! I thought so!

Lumar said:
How many E500 delivered ?? TWO !!

GOAT: NONE !! You have been brainwashed* by reading too many Eclipse press releases! Somebody slipped something in your KoolAid!!

(*some would say the Goat needs his brain washed, if not also his mouth washed out).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but those LRB's haven't “shipped” a plane yet, not even the current “gamma-test” models (post “beta-test”).

And won't, for a while- until the training program is ready, anyway.

Even then, it is arguable whether the airplane will be ready to depart the “nest” at ABQ- a veritable nest of lies, deceit, and treachery!!!.

So your indigineous VLJ and steam gage markets are safe, for a while.

bill e. goat said...

Lumar,
and please stop calling us Yankee Rat B#%$&8, or well send a couple of X1 Skycycles over with the next Eclipse marketing tour!

(or worse yet, maybe even VERN!!!)

:)

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly said:
Let’s see: 0.49 lbs fuel per passenger mile for the EA500; and 0.29 lbs fuel per passenger mile for the Beach (King Air); . . . hey, I could take the family for the price.

Goat:
Foul Ball! Instead of a family of 8, how 'bout two guys that weigh 700 pounds each. (I know they “grow 'em large” in ABQ, but not THAT large! (that's a LOT of Lutefisk, o' winged one!!). We're talking major airline cattle-car territory here..., with emphasis on cattle!

But when you get down to only two 170+ pound guys, I think the Eclipse has it bleat, I mean beat.

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR said:
Compare it (E-500) to a B-36TC Turbo Bonanza, P-Baron, Seneca IV, Cirrus SR-22 GTS or Columbia 400, maybe even the TBM 700 - but to compare the wonder-jet to a turboprop 50% again as heavy, and designed for a completely different mission, is picking your opponent to make you look good.

Goat:
I agree, these aircraft seem to be worthy competitors for the “Eclipse air taxi mission”.

I am too lazy to research the specifics on each. Some of the above discussions involved King Air's, so I guess some consider it a "defacto" article of comparison...

I don't see any of the airplanes you mention in wide-spread air-taxi usage (to the tune of “1000's” per year, or thereabouts: oh okay, maybe 800~1200 per year), so I think the Eclipse air taxi model might be flawed.

(Love Verntasticness...)

Windshield:
think it is resolved (Plastic_Planes said the earlier windshields held up okay, so I think the same vendor can get these to work too, especially if Eclipse is modifying the mounting provisions).

Non-functional FMS;
I don't get why Eclipse dumped Avidyne, I suspect it was not inherent technical deficiencies by Avidyne.
Probably more like inherent financial difficulties by Eclipse (e.g., not paying Avidyne).
Why anyone else would sign on, is beyond me.
I know we don't have the full story, regarding either technical or financial aspects, so I'm not sure which was the more predominant factor influencing the decision to switch suppliers...

Autopilot:
What's up with this one? Don't know. How will it be influenced by the new avionics suite. “Transparent” change, or SNAFU? TBD...

Accessories: Yeah, next year probably...

Sixth seat? Well, window dressing- not that practical anyway.

Part 135 option: Sure is a lot “on the plate” for this year already...

BTW, according to the Eclipse PR (they never "stretch the truth-only our imagination) updating the nav database amounts to getting a usb connection to work.

If it doesn't work, it IS a big deal for the customer, but I don't think it will take too much to get it working.

The fact Eclipse didn't have time to address this "serious little" problem, seems to hint (to me, anyway) that they might be grappling with some "serious bigger” issues...Hope not- time to get this show on the road! (Watch out, Lumar!!)

bill e. goat said...

Nothing Like The Sun said:

Now, if you take the fuel burn difference between an Eclipse and C90 for this 1.5 hr. trip and divide by number of pax. seats, the C90 would be more efficient.

Goat: Foul! We're talking two pax, +/- 1 here. You may get slightly lower overall fuel burn with the E500; I think most would argue that under some conditions, the savings are significant, not slight.

NLTS:
"...and slightly shorter trip time (re: E500 v King Air)...

Goat:
maybe fast enough to generate an extra two revenue flights per day on the airframe.

NLTS:
but I don't see any "phenomenal operating efficiencies". Do you?

Goat:
“phenomenal” may be over speak, but, fuel savings, extra utilzation, lower cost of maintenance*; all adds up to SIGNIFICANT savings over a King Air for hauling 2 pax, +/- 1.

*Lower maintenance costs? I guess remains to be seen. But the fact the Eclipse components are generally smaller and lighter, should make them cheaper, eventually. Have to change them more often, well, maybe. I guess still tbd.

lumar said...

bill says: ''Lumar... well send a couple of X1 Skycycles over with the next Eclipse marketing tour!''

None of this flying-machines (Eclipse or Skycycle) will be certified in Europe for next 10 years!

But both would be nice and certainly welcome in the Bourget-Air-Museum...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So when Ken attacks someone else's pilotage like he did with Gunner, it is OK, but when someone calls him on his endless BS (can you say DME) and blind faith in the Spincycle from ABQ, I am the one called for a foul?

That would be funny, if it were not so remarkably in tune with his Verntasticness's own slash and burn tactics of personal destruction. Kill 'em all, take no prisoners, and cry foul if someone dares to question his veracity.

Sure it is an airplane and it can kill people but they released incomplete software at MSFT all the time and the sheeple just accepted it - what can possibly go wrong?

"We'd have delivered X planes by now if it wasn't for fill-in-the-blank (FAA, Avidyne, Quality, Production)."

I have not revealed my personal identity for many reasons, chief among them being Vern's petty and vindictive nature as evidenced by the suit against Aspen, and his penchant for tossing vendors and employees under the bus. Also, aerospace is a relatively small community.

FWIW, I do not work for 'the competition', as Eclipse does not have any competition in my opinion, with the demise of the other vaporware VLJ program at Safire. I own my own company but have worked for 'real' airplane companies in the past.

People who actually know a thing or two about the the design, certification, operation and support of these magnificent machines will recognize that I know what I am talking about and that is enough for me. If some of the open-minded customers can glean something useful from my contributions, that helps them to navigate the waters of dealing with Eclipse, that is icing on the cake.

True-believers like Ken, EB, Mirage and a few others can not be helped IMO, and they will be there all the way to the fall - and when the inevitable fall occurs, they will blame others, just like Vern will.

My point was and remains that our industry has examples of what happens when folks have the financial resources to purchase a product that exceeds their abilities to safely use (original Bonanza's, Malibu's, MU-2 to name a few). Ken's unquestioning acceptance of the fabrications and obfuscations from the ABQ leads me to question his reasoning and I would prefer not to share my airspace with guys who cannot think critically.

Now, since the Eclipse cannot currently provide all the performance that was represented, due to inoperative equipment, non-functional software, non-certified functions, and until recently the lack of training, maybe it does not matter that much.

I have spent a considerable amount of my life in this industry which I love dearly and I take threats to our freedom, our independence and our ability to self-regulate very seriously.

Eclipse is doing damage to aviation that will take focused efforts to repair, such as the alphabet groups having to fight user-fees thanks to Vern's prognostications of 'thousands' of VLJ's darkening the skies.

Add to that the appearance of Eclipse getting by on Certification IOU's and heavy reliance on DER's, and the required belief that the FAA is out for safety first can be shaken to its' very foundation.

I believe the Eclipse is very probably a decent airframe, and that once all the bugs are worked out it could be a reasonably successful personal aircraft. Will it supplant the King Air, or Bonanza, or Cherokee in numbers? No. And a complete management shakeup and program restart are necessary in order to achieve this in my opinion.

Will the VLJ Air Taxi Business Model prove out? Doubtful. Certain companies are doing reasonably well with piston aircraft (MyPlane and others), but the jump then goes to reasonably capable turbine equipment like Caravan's, King Air's, then jumps again to Citations, 24 Model Learjets, and such. I do not beleive the Eclipse will hold up in the hybrid 135\121 type of service imagined by the egg-heads at DayJet - chaos modelling or not. Sorry Ed.

Either this blog is about sharing concerns about this program (including its' official and unofficial defenders), or it is a kaffee klatsch. Which is it?

I have made my point about my qualifications and my belief about the nature of this program.

Make no mistake though, if Ken accuses me of lying or making things up I will drop the hammer again, without hesitation.

If Stan wants to establish 'rules of behavior' and they are equally enforced, I will abide by that, but I will not accept the status quo that allows personal attacks by the few true beleivers who then cry foul when they get a dose of their own medicine.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"I believe the Eclipse is very probably a decent airframe"


Now, there's something we can agree on, coldwet :)

The rest of it struck me as a bit of a tirade. And I'm really scratching my head wondering what they did to you to get you this angry at them:

"Kill 'em all, take no prisoners, and cry foul if someone dares to question his veracity"

See what I mean? Raw anger like that didn't just happen. So, what is it? What did they do to you?

"if Ken accuses me of lying..."

Did I say you lied? I think I said you were inaccurate and made something up. And you did. You came out and said the DME still doesn't work. And then you said you didn't know if the DME works. What we don't need is the gratuitous use of inaccuracies to smear the plane or the company. There's been enough of that already.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, I did not say I did not know, I asked you to provide proof it does - and you refused (wisely).

And yet you continue to parse your words and hide behind BS arguments. You said I made something up, which I did not - that is the same as lying to me.

Since the last 'official' word out of ABQ was the synthetic DME ceases to be legal for use when the installed nav data database expires, that is the defacto status, no?

And that would apply to being able to use the GPS data for Nav too, no?

Have you been told otherwise?

If not, then you should just agree with me that those functions do, in fact, remain INOP. Along with portions of the Auto-pilot, all the FMS, FIKI, and the others we have beaten to death.

If you have been told differently, I wonder why you have been uncharactistically silent about such good news.

My description of the tactics used by Vern is based on the very public, very pointed statements he has made, his self-inflicted persecution complex, and the legal posturing he has directed his company to take with former vendors and employees. Sorry to disappoint you, no drama with me.

My concern stems as I stated above from the damage this company and its' defenders (read that - you) are doing to aviation.

Stan Blankenship said...

All,

The only rule established for the blog is, no derogatory name calling. That is a pretty easy judgement call for me to make and I will delete those comments.

Needling is OK. Don't ask me to define the difference; like pornography, I know it when I see it!

Otherwise, the blog should be self-policing. Last evening, eo387 thought he spotted a low blow and called foul...better him then me. I don't want to be accused of favoritism.

Stan Blankenship said...

RELATED NEWS

"The Federal Aviation Administration completed its evaluation of the Cessna Citation Mustang simulator March 22 and awarded full Level D certification. This sets the stage for the first Mustang type rating course starting Monday April 2, at the FlightSafety International Learning Center at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ict).

FAA certification of the first pair of Mustang simulators, in combination with the EASA evaluation earlier this month, will allow FSI to train both foreign and domestic clients for the Mustang type rating."

FSI will offer the type rating in three flavors, Single Pilot, Crew, and Second-in-Command.

According to FAA registrations, the score remains:

Eclipse 2
Mustang 1

gadfly said...

What a beautiful cold New Mexico day. The gadfly sits on a window sill, the internet broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera beginning, the aroma of goat droppings and fish, stirred up by “The Ken Meister” . . . truly, what could be better.

Lumar,

For Eclipse and Skycycle to enter the European market, they could join forces with the “Skyclops” . . . appropriate name for a company with tunnel vision.

die “Fleder Flugzeug Werke” (. . . sorry, ‘never learned German).

‘Better buzz off before EO starts dozing off!

(Tea Totaler? . . . must have confused me with my cousin, “TT” . . . tse-tse-fly.)

Ken Meyer said...

"coldwet wrote,
"I did not say I did not know,"


You're right. I apologize for misquoting you. You did not say you didn't know. You asked if it was operational, and I took that as you didn't know: "Has Eclipse CERTIFIED the updated Avidyne Hardware\Software that Vern said was NECESSARY to allow for updating the Nav Data Ken?"

Trouble is that was right after you declared it didn't work :-{


"Since the last 'official' word out of ABQ was the synthetic DME ceases to be legal for use when the installed nav data database expires, that is the defacto status, no?...Have you been told otherwise?"

Yes.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

See Ken, this is the problem.

Despite all the protestations about transparency, there is none outside of the mad-monk squadron.

So please share this development.

Who made the announcement and when?

What specifically was the fix, and when was it approved\certified by the FAA?

When was it installed in either of the all 2 'delivered' customer airplanes so that they can utilize more of the capability of their aircraft?

Why has it NOT been shouted from the rooftops as has been the case for other pieces of 'good' news?

Since most of us have to rely on the inadequate news coverage out of ABQ, industry connections, and the info shared here, in order to build a picture of the situation, I am surprised you were not crowing about the most recent 'excellent progress'.

Quite an impressive feat really, adding the ability to update the navigation database after only almost a year from the initial certification, and only 3 months after the first customer delivery.

Don't hold out on us Ken, what other great things have transpired?

Just to be clear, you are stating that the nav database can now be updated through an FAA certified interface, that FAA approved data is available, that there are FAA approved maintenance instructions for updating the nav database, and the 2 'delivered' aircraft have been modified in accordance with the FAA approved data and can now legally use the synthetic DME function after the initial nav database expires?

That is great news, only two or three dozen more fixes to go.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,
"So please share this development.

Who made the announcement and when?

What specifically was the fix, and when was it approved\certified by the FAA?

When was it installed in either of the all 2 'delivered' customer airplanes so that they can utilize more of the capability of their aircraft?

Why has it NOT been shouted from the rooftops as has been the case for other pieces of 'good' news?"


You're a funny guy, coldwet. You asked me if I'd been told the DME is working. I told you, "yes" 'cause that's what I heard yesterday about it. Now, you're bombarding me with a gadzillion questions like I'm in charge of public relations for Eclipse. I'm not. I told you what I know--I heard yesterday it's working. That's it; that's all I know about it.

Ken

bill e. goat said...

Lumar said:

None of this flying-machines (Eclipse or Skycycle) will be certified in Europe for next 10 years!

But both would be nice and certainly welcome in the Bourget-Air-Museum...

Goat said:

Thank you for offering to store our “public embarrassments” in a secure government location.

I think 10 years of “certified” storage would be about right, before being released back into the public.

Oops, I was confused- you were referring to the aircraft, not our favorite CEO!

(btw, I hope I wasn't being too cheeky before- to borrow a term from our British Rat B#%$&8 friends. Oops, sorry- there I go again!)

:)

bill e. goat said...

Ken, CWMOR- TRUCE!

I'm going to go stick my head in the sand*, and when I come back in 24 hours, I want love, peace, and no more DME debates! Please! If not, I'll shoot myself- don't laugh, you'll be next!!

A goat has a notoriously hard head, but you guys are making me feel a little insecure about that- my sole bragging right!

(*Others might kindly suggest my head is already stuck elsewhere (a fence, I suppose they are referring to), and retrieving in a mere 24 hours will be a surprising and rare development. All I can say, is, "thanks for the compliment"- hmmm, I think.)

bill e. goat said...

(BTW, this summarizes my opinion regarding the DME, and many other topics here):

www.ratance.net/~maga/blog/images/bunny_pancake

HotDog said...

Eclipse Aviation Delivers Three Eclipse 500 VLJs to DayJet



New era in aviation kicks off with arrival of

first VLJs for use in commercial fleet operations

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — March 31, 2007 — Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced the delivery of three Eclipse 500 aircraft to DayJet at the Eclipse headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. DayJet is Eclipse Aviation’s largest customer with firm orders for 239 Eclipse 500s and options for an additional 70 aircraft over the next two years. The company, which is the first commercial jet service to take delivery of a VLJ, will offer point-to-point “Per-Seat, On-Demand” services to regional communities.



“As our population and business centers become more and more dispersed, air travel is more critical than ever to the health and growth of our regional communities and businesses,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “We are proud to be playing a role in expanding the future of air transportation by delivering the Eclipse 500, the first of a new generation of VLJs that can quickly move people from point to point across our nation. It is exciting to be a partner with DayJet as they take the next step in this journey.”



The aircraft delivered today will be used to train pilots at Eclipse’s facilities in Albuquerque. DayJet will put its fleet of Eclipse 500s into commercial operation in the second quarter of this year.



“Today is a major milestone for DayJet, as we begin to take delivery of our Eclipse 500 jets,” said Ed Iacobucci, president and CEO of DayJet. “Like many great innovations in history, there is a confluence of hardware and software advances that together, promise radical change and benefit to thousands of regional business travelers.”

Ken Meyer said...

Sweet!

And the Draft AFM just arrived too, as promised. I'm just now getting into it.

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Make that:

Eclipse 5
Mustang 1

Black Tulip said...

Let the games begin...

Let the skies be darkened by -

One Mustang

Five Eclipses

Ken, congratulations on receiving the draft aircraft flight manual. Please share the performance section of the manual with us along with a typical weight and balance.

Black Tulip

FlightCenter said...

It is extremely unlikely that Eclipse will apply for European certification prior to achieving FAA certification of Avio NG.

However, it is possible to deliver aircraft in Europe prior to receiving European certification. With the appropriate paperwork aircraft can be delivered in Europe with an N number prior to the aircraft achieving EASA certification.

Initial EASA certification of a new avionics system typically takes something on the order of 6 to 9 months following the initial FAA certification. If the typical process is followed, the avionics manufacturer will begin preparing the EASA certification paperwork after receiving the FAA approval. Then the package is submitted to the FAA, who in turn forwards the paperwork to their counterparts in EASA.

FAA certification of Avio NG is still quite a ways off. The comment stating that a TSO had been received for Avio NG in all probablity means that a TSO had been received for Avio FG (the first generation).

FlightCenter said...

JetProp Jockey said...
The message indicates that 3 jets were to be turned over to DayJet this week.

Assuming that they do not meet 135 requirements, can the pilots begin training in these aircraft?

---
The answer is - Yes. DayJet pilots can begin training in these aircraft. The Part 135 operators must meet Part 135 operational requirements prior to flying passengers for hire.