Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Lament from the EOB

A position holder recently posted the following on the Eclipse Owner's Board.


Thank you Vern,

For talking to us again. I understand your need to keep some tight lips on inside technology development. I also believe that your drive and ambition has pushed this dream to where it is today. I've been with you since the EAA article on march 12, 2000 (yes I remember the date). I also was 12th in line in may 2000 to buy the gold position.

If you could provide some information to the customers on how you plan to fund the ramp up, and provide the customers an alternative to the unsecured $700k loan to the company it would go a long way to raising values and confidence which is at an all time low as discussed by Mike Press.

When you tell us nothing, we can only assume your only plan is to use the 60% deposits for current Eclipse carry costs and we all know this money is not then available to pay for airplane engines, wings, and tails. There has been some discussion that the Eclipse cashflow will be solved if we can just get the production to ramp up. Those of us that have invested in, or been involved in senior management (I am a CPA, investor in manufacturing, and run my own company with over $100m in debt.) I and some of the customers know that in fact Eclipse will need a huge revolving line of credit to ramp up production. Some of us know that Prat, Fugi and others will not ship or even make parts unless they know they will get paid. If you are using our deposits to pay current expenses, which I hope you will tell me I'm wrong, then you can not use your receivables from us for collatoral to get the line of credit. I have heard the hedge fund loan already has the other assets pledged, I hope I heard wrong from an Eclipse investor, so please tell us your plan. We are only customers but we have a huge stake with you in this company.

Another alternative, and you have been great at being creative with alternatives, would be to show customers that you do not need our deposits now to pay current expenses. A short reprieve with discounts to pay the deposit just doesn't do it. Yes, our deposit agreement gives Eclipse the right to 6 months of free money and I think we are all OK with that. We also all knew our initial deposit was at risk at some point. What we did not bargain for is that our $700k deposit would be called on a projected delivery schedule that most of us do not believe is realistic, and that this $700 k additional deposit is an unsecured loan and appears that it is being used not to build airplanes but as risk capital to cover costs during delays. This, if true, is not right. Please tell us you have received additional capital investments and that our additional deposits are in cash and available to pay for airplane parts.

This alternative to build confidence is as follows:
1) Eclipse uses a realistic track record of deliveries to project future deliveries.
2) As an alternative to the 60% $700k deposit 6 months before delivery, the customer can post an irrevocable bank letter of credit in the same amount which is called when the customer can take title and have a real asset.
3)Eclipse is then entitled to a 10% increase in the contract purchase price.10% x $1500000 = $150,000 / $700,000 = 20% for 6 months, and is a 40% annual return for Eclipse and it's investors.
4)Eclipse can use the letters of credit as collatoral for borrowing against.The banks have access to Eclipse financial information and should be funding this capital-not the outside customer.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a customer since day 1 2000. My original position of 277 gold (even though I was the 12th buyer, I was given a later position because of escrow to certification). In january 2007, when deposits were being called on what I thought was an unrealistic delivery, I traded my delivery position to 716. THIS MEANS I AM SUGGESTING ECLIPSE INCREASE MY PRICE 10% in return for lower risk on my deposit. I know at least one other customer who had this same idea.

I love Vern and I love the Eclipse. Let's rebuild the confidence for Vern's dream.

End Quote.


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Ken Meyer said...

Here's another post you might enjoy:

Yesterday it was about 80 degrees, Summer is early this year. The skies were clear and clean in Modesto. We had just flow a passenger up from Palm Springs.

“That an Eclipse” , announced Brian O’Malley, the PC-12 pilot I was flying with. His paced double-timed as he darted between the hangers to try to get another view of the Eclipse in its high speed fly-by. It was too late, when we had reached the tarmac it had disappeared, there was no sound to help locate the plane, it was to small to see on this bright sunny day.

Seconds later the unmistakable throaty rumble of a B-25's radials could be heard as prepared to touch down. In an impressive display of control, the pilot held the nose 5' off the ground for almost the entire ground run. As the old Warbird was being directed to parking, our attention was redirected back to the runway by the quiet whine of the Eclipse.

By now, the few people who had not already left the lobby and maintenance bays at Sky Trek were pouring onto the ramp. The small crowd of about forty congregated behind the line attendant as he motioned the little jet to its parking place in front of the lobby entrance. With wheel chalks being placed, before the engine completed windmilling, the crowd enveloped 505EA.

The crowd was filled with questions, how far, fast, much, how many...
The friendly pilots and passengers were eager to answer and allow the admirers to look inside. The pilots had recently come from the military where they had been flying F-16s, one had only been with Eclipse for a couple of days. They were excellent representatives of the company, as was the rest of the group. Both the Eclipse and the B-25 had been doing publicity photo shots together along the coast and had stopped for fuel and food.

Within 20 minutes the crouds curiosity was satisfied. The crews were asking for directions to the restaurants. The workers had gone back inside. In the excitement over the Eclipse, no one had walked over to the B-25. The stately symbol of America at its best seemed to understand and approve that today belonged to the shiny little jet.


bill e. goat said...

Hi Ken,
Did the B-25 have to slow down to stay in formation? - ha, just couldn't help myself :)

Thanks for the post- glad Eclipse is making PR tours. It generates some useful "in service" data. I believe one of the planes, not sure which one, must be approaching 1000 hours?

Hopefully, one of these will be "coming to an airport near you" soon.

airtaximan said...


"Within 20 minutes the crouds curiosity was satisfied"

I noticed at the shows that it takes at most 20 minutes for most folks to dismiss the e-500 as anything worth looking at long term, too.

Thanks for this nice story.

Also, I'm glad E-clips customers like you appreciate how important is is for E-clips to continue spending (your deposit?) money on advertising, tours, etc...given the enormous order-book and the business case which totally relies on it.

One might ask, while cutting back on photocopies, why spend the time and money, trying to build a BIGGER orderbook? You cannot deliver planes, and you claim 2500 sales...and you are running low on you spend your money on building a bigger orderbook?

Something smells rank.

Gunner said...

I like your post. I like it much.

It gives lurkers the "other side" of the story. One of the first things that comes to mind is, "Were the onlookers questions answered, directly and honestly":

"how far, fast, much, how many"

After all, once the 20 minutes of fame is over, those are the answers that drive success. Can you answer those simple questions? I'd hope so, since you ARE a major unsecured creditor.


bill e. goat said...

20 minutes of fame?

Let's see, 7 years, hmmm.

That's a 2.6% ROI, assuming 15 minutes of fame initially.

(About in line with the CPI...)

I think it will become a half-hour show before this is all over...

(Do I see a mini-series in the works?)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


Did Andrew Broom write that? It is very poetic, almost professional even.

Especially the part where the 'once proud' B-25 acknowledged that 'her' day as the best Amercia can produce was over, now that the WonderJet is on the scene a scant 60 years later.

Good thing for Vern and crew that incorrect twist, thin skins, non-functional avionics, and bad wing bushings are not visually perceptible.

Did this aircraft fly down at FL240 or did the former USAF Jet Jockey's violate the FAR's?

High speed flyby, 'just because'.


"Goose I'm going to buzz the tower."

Total Eclipse might be a good name for this scam, I mean 'marketing tour' after all.

Total eclipse of the truth.

Surely this marvelous little anecdote of golden age blue skies and CAVU includes the ACTUAL answers to the onlooker questions right?

How far?

How fast?

How high?

How much fuel?

How many failures?

How many MANDATORY Service Bulletins so far?

How many AFM and AMM revisions so far?

How many cancelled/delayed flights due to known icing along the VOR-VOR routes and airways?

How many windshields and side windows?

How many sets of tires?


Ken Meyer said...

And yet another angle. It's an interesting sign of the times that might catch airtaximan's eye--I just ran across this advertisement on the owner's forum:

"Eclipse Pilot Needed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Full Time Compensation plus Benefits - Owner prefers minimum of 5,000TT. Aircraft should be delivered early summer.


This is the third guy I've heard of in the last week who bought an Eclipse but isn't actually even a pilot. So there are non-pilots out there buying these planes just to fly in them from point A to point B at their convenience. I suppose that shouldn't surprise me--rich people have been buying personal jets forever but in minuscule numbers (or so I thought). Maybe the low price of the Eclipse will make it a lot more common?

I wonder how the economics would work out if you have to throw a pilot's salary and benefits into the mix. Are guys who are right now flying First Class or using a Marquis card figuring they can afford to own an Eclipse instead? Now they can say, "honey, let's take our jet". Perhaps those who are right now flying much more expensive planes are looking to downsize their budget by downsizing their plane, who knows?

I'm wondering how many people can really afford to operate a VLJ when they have to figure in the cost of a pilot. Of course pilots aren't earning all that much these days.


Gunner said...

Oh my.

You mean you actually located another person who deposited on an Eclipse? That certainly is news. I expect the stampede to the Sales Department should begin any time now.

What's your point, Ken? That you're not alone? We could have told you that. Of course, this non-pilot probably wouldn't wander over here to explain to us how No DME is really DME; No RVSM is really RVSM; No FIKI is really FIKI; No production is really 1,000, err 500, oops 400 aircraft this year.

So maybe you ARE alone! ;-)

Metal Guy said...

Lack of any plan or at least communication of said plan, on how to get from here to there seems to be seriously lacking. I have to assume that with the new cost cutting measures, there is little left in the coffers.

Any rumors out there of (yet another) cash injection? I would think this is an absolute must at this point given the dismal delivery performance.

If so, this one is probably going to really really hurt (dilution wise) with certification so long ago and so little to show for it. Eclipse has shown a solid pattern of poor performance, which means money will be much more expensive at this point.

Another $250 Mil would probably work.

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"What's your point, Ken?"

My point, Rich, is that the guys buying the Eclipse who aren't pilots show that the company is successfully finding a market for the wonderjets that I never actually considered before--moderately well off individuals who don't like airlines.

See, normally to own a VLJ as an individual you need 5 different things. There aren't all that many people that have all 5 at the same time:

1. Money

2. Interest

3. Health--you gotta pass the medical. Rich guys are often old guys.

4. Time--you need time to dedicate to training. Rich guys usually have little spare time.

5. Skill--though the Eclipse is remarkably easy to fly, nobody can be flying a jet in the flight levels without a certain high level of IFR proficiency.

Five different things that have to fit in place all at the same time.

But, what if you could just hire a pilot for a relative song? Then, all you'd need is money and interest. There is an endless supply of people with money and interest, all of them potential customers.

And that, Rich, explains why Eclipse is advertising in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. They're pretty clever, eh? :)


airtaximan said...


Planes privately owned, and flown professionally is nothing new to me...why do you think this is a new trend?

The cost of a jet card or first class will be less expensive overall, unless the plane can be flown more than a few hundred hours a year. Given the range and payload limitations...I doubt it. Also, perhaps he should be looking for 2 pilots, if he really needs it for all these hours. Having just one pilot on the payroll might work if there are many out there who are typed in the plane – not the case with E-clips.

Maybe the ad should have read “Eclipse PilotS Needed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming…”

Also, I'm glad you did not expect the owner to say "honey, kids...let take our jet" because that wouldn't work. Especially not with ski equipment….

The funniest thing is that this non-pilot somehow thinks he's getting an E-clips and needs a pilot this summer. I guess he's number 10 or lower?

Ken, I thought Vern promised between 3-5 planes in the next few days, a week ago? What happened?

airtaximan said...

When you say:
"And that, Rich, explains why Eclipse is advertising in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. They're pretty clever, eh? :)"

I have to ask myself, are you for real? This general advertising is extremely expensive. There are many more cost-effective ways to get customers (even non-pilot semi-rich types you could fool into thinking buying one of these is a good idea). But the real question for your clever marketeer is:
If you have 2500 orders, have produced 2 planes in 6 months (since the first cork... hey Vern said it was certified, right) and you are cutting back on soda and photocopies..


Why is this somehow clever?

If I was an employees being asked to bust my butt AND cut back, and I saw these ads, I'd be angry and I'd be certain I've been lied to about the orders.

Some things make no sense, Ken. Go spash some cold wet stuff on your face, and re-read my post here.


Not clever.

Gunner said...

I still dont understand your point. Are you arguing that Eclipse will suddenly "materialize" a new market of thousands of "rich guys" who hire pilots to fly them in their private jets? Are we to assume this is some clever, "new" market for aircraft? If so, you really ARE an embarrassment to The Vernster.

Jets have been around for years. Jet ownership has been around for years. For many wealthy people there isn't much difference between $1.6 mill, $2.1 mill or $2.8 mill when they decide to buy The Right personal jet. Additionally, wealthy people have greater resources to get the real facts on such purchase decisions.

So, why wouldn't even a fraction of Eclipse's order book jump on the Mustang bandwagon? It's a known quantity, backed by a known company and in production TODAY. Maintenance is available; training is in place; parts are in supply; and there's little risk of it becoming a bad memory in two years.

After all, if wealthy people were motivated by price, they'd be driving Taurus', not Mercedes.

The answer to the mystery of the Mustang Order Book being right where it was predicted to be (250 orders)? Vern is less than honest about his order book and you HAVE TO believe him, in order to rationalize that you're getting $2+ million in quality for $1.5 million in price. In short, you fit the perfect profile for "A Mark", Ken. Vern needs "Marks" like you; lots of 'em, according to the latest Austerity Campaign.


Black Tulip said...


When can we look forward to examining Eclipse 500 flights on FlightAware? This important website could provide important unbiased information on speed, range, ceiling and climb performance.

Either the Eclipse fleet stays on the ground a great deal, doesn't file IFR (therefore staying lower than 18,000 feet) or the flights have been blocked.

Which of these and why?

Black Tulip

Planet eX said...

Just a little perspective on how much they are spending on ads in Forbes magazine (prices based on 12 insertions four color):

1/3 page - $32,010 per insertion
1/2 page - $49,670 per insertion
1/2 page - $61,800 per insertion

All numbers based on Forbes Jan. 2007 rate card.

bill e. goat said...

Eclipse advertising in WSJ and Forbes...
1) trying to get buzz going for IPO
2) trying to drum up orders
3) trying to keep the owners-in-waiting psyched, with their buds saying "Isn't that YOUR airplane?"

1) Somehow, I don't think the IPO thing is going to work based on advertising.

2) Generate orders, well, maybe if they are going to stiff the present OIW- "Yeah, we'll sell you a new jet for $2Mil, and move you up to the front of the line- those other guys can wait".

(I have a funny feeling about the suspension of sn's...I don't know what kind of protection there is for the guys already in line. I would think my postulation here is BS, I hope. Then again, if the company is to survive...Maybe Ken or others can correct me here- please do- it seems a little "fishy", not only to CWMOR).

3) Keeping the OIW's jazzed, well, this doesn't hurt that effort...

Gunner said...

By the way, EO38X was one of these wealthy guys, intending to hire a pilot. While he is a pilot himself, he's a prudent one and recognizes that he's relatively new to flying.

But EO38X doesn't seem to be around here any more. Why is that? I suspect he's not real active on the Owner's Board either; at least, not as a cheerleader.

Planet eX said...

A little more information on how much they are paying for advertising (I'm bored and the weather is low overcast so I can't go flying).

WSJ National edition rates (single shot ad):

1/7 page - $28,376
1/6 page - $33,106
1/4 page - $49,659

Of course, there are volume discounts.

WSJ rates vary considerably from region to region (that is if you want to target your ad for a particular coverage area). For instance, if you just wanted to hit the New York region of the paper, that 1/7 page ad would only cost you $6,000 for a single insertion (day).

cherokee driver said...

The only income they have is from deposits and progress payments and 40% of one jet every 2 months. They have to do something. Reminds me of Visionaire. Any of you catch the Visionaire 500? I asked them why they were spending all that money sponsoring Nascar. They said that besides name recognition, they were getting more than a 100% return on their investment in deposit money. That's real marketing for you. They only left a $100 million smoking hole. I wonder if customer deposits are included in that figure?


Loved the story above. It was hilarious. The sense of irony really got me. I honestly didn't believe you had a sense of humor. That one gives some of metal guy's stuff a run for its money. Thanks Ken

airtaximan said...



Ken NEVER SAID anything like this..

in order to rationalize that you're getting $2+ million in quality for $1.5 million in price

According to one of his his last corrections of me, he IS NOT buying the E-clips because of the price.

Gunner said...

Ahhh, but Ken and I know better. I still have his emails from July 2006.

Of course price and operating cost is a serious consideration in buying a personal jet. And, of course you sacrifice either performance, comfort or reliability as you come down in price.

For my money (and hundreds of other people), Eclipse has cut so far into reliability, in order to achieve its current price, that basic, common sense safety has been compromised.

That's the difference between Ken and I. He still thinks the Little Jet can be compared to a Mustang in safety and reliability. I submit it can't be compared to a D-Jet. Ken believes that price is synonymous with "economics"; I don't. The Mustang Economics work, if you can afford them. The D-Jet economics work, if you're willing to accept single engine flight constraints. The Eclipse Economics simply do not work at any price....the basic design flaws and trade offs have rendered is pretty much useless at any price.


airtaximan said...


Anyone can compare anything. Period.

It's all about the value you attribute to certain attributes.

First Ken will begin with the "promised, fixed, NGed and modified plane and the guaranteed performance, with FIKI etc..etc..

He will assign nothing to the lack of existing training, non-existent maintenance network, difficulties financing the plane, scary insurance environment, etc.. associated with E-clips

no to mention, the cracking, warping, and bursting of parts...

No risk assigned to a "new manufacturer"

No risk assigned to "risky pricing based on fantasy business model"

No risk assigned to lower than advertised demand for this bird

So... he might compare the planes and find that:
At $1.5 million (PRICE) the E-clips is the one he wants.

But, its a BIG LEAP to get there -impossible for most, I'd say.

A true blue in the face "DIE HARD"

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"the basic design flaws and trade offs have rendered is pretty much useless at any price."

Oh, Rich, that's rubbish. There are no design flaws in the plane. Where are you dredging that crap up from, anyway?

airtaximan wrote,
"According to one of his his last corrections of me, he IS NOT buying the E-clips because of the price."

Well, that's not quite right either. Of course price plays a role. But it is not the most important role in the decision-making process. I think the plane is a particularly good design, with a great many workload-reducing features and clever use of technology to reduce downtime and maintenance expenses.

A buddy of mine just finished his CJ2 rating and had this to say about flying the CJ2 vs Eclipse single pilot:

"I think one of the things that Eclipse has done that will be labeled a breakthrough is Avio. I now see, after experiencing it, that the citations were never optimized to be flown SP. They are tacked together, off the shelf systems for aircraft, engine, avionics, and navigation from Cessna, Collins Proline 21, BK Radios, and Universal FMS.

"The Proline 21 and Universal were not designed for SP. When things start failing you are hopping all over the cockpit like a one armed paper hangar between the aircraft and twisting and punching buttons on the Proline 21, the FMS, and a standard stack of BK NAV/COMM radios. You have three baros to set, three CDI's to set for an approach, four places you need to plug in your minimuns.

"The FMS knows the aircraft weight but you have to pull up a page, note the weight, look up the landing speeds in a table, and dial them into the Profline 21. I can go on and on. With enough repitation youc an learn the flow SP.

"I can see where AVIO, with real aircraft integration, can make SP jet flying much more doable. I think flying a jet SP is not difficult because it's a jet. It's because of the lousy human factors design in the cockpit."

So here in a nutshell, are my reasons for getting an Eclipse:

Good design
Reduced workload
Enhanced safety
Low direct operating expenses
Enhanced reliability
Reduced maintenance expense
Reasonable upfront cost

Is cost a factor? Just one of many, and I think the design advantages of the plane are a lot more important.


Gunner said...

Ken said,
"There are no design flaws in the plane. Where are you dredging that crap up from, anyway?"

Why, from Eclipse itself, Oh Maestro of Memory Disorder. Remember the wing attach issues that used to be an "install problem" and then were admitted to be a "design problem" only to later revert to an "install problem"?

Same thing with the windows. Bad Design for which the install employees have been thrown under the bus.

I'd say that an aircraft whose Avio avionics fail to work constitute and Avionics Design Flaw, regardless of who you point the Blame Finger at.

You've heard here, direct from former employees, that the wiring harness is a design nightmare and the wheel/tire design is in deep doo-doo.

That's just the stuff that has been admitted or leaked. We have yet to see customer aircraft actually FLY for awhile? Think the news is gonna get better?

Of course you do! That's why you get the Eclipse Butt Smurf Award for 2007. ;-)


ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And all this time I thought BSA was a motorcycle.


Since they have been ignored I'll ask again re: the ejoyable post Ken shared with us:

How far?

How fast?

How high?

How much fuel?

How many failures?

How many MANDATORY Service Bulletins so far?

How many AFM and AMM revisions so far?

How many cancelled/delayed flights due to known icing along the VOR-VOR routes and airways?

How many windshields and side windows?

How many sets of tires?


ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And I will add:

How many Type Rated CUSTOMER pilots (6 months after TC)?

How many trained and authorized mechanics\technicians (6 months after TC)?

How long does it take to fly to the nearest Service Center at FL240 or BELOW?

How long do the controllers laugh when they see the WonderJet filing VOR to VOR at FL240 or BELOW?

How long until the BOD steps up like apparently some customers are FINALLY doing and demanding an end to the CHARADE of 400 planes this year and instead focusing on COMPLETING THE DESIGN?

I have said before and will say it again - this is not some piece of over-the-counter software that can be KNOWINGLY be shipped with bugs, shortcomings, etc.

This is a damn airplane and people can DIE. Hubris in the software high-tech world leads to embarrasment and occasionally the failure of a company, in airplanes it leads to deaths and property damage.

Ken Meyer said...

Rich, you're dredging up baloney.

You continue to mischaracterize the wing spar issue as a design flaw when it was an installation error, but ok we can go with your version.

You think that's a major "design flaw?" I guess you don't know much about new airplanes, do you? Every airplane has minor, insignificant design changes that crop up early in production and have to be corrected. My 340 had 2 major ADs before it was 6 months old. And it had to go in for tail inspections every 10 hours for months! And that plane was a 1980 with a thousand previous 340's off the line before Cessna built mine.

Design flaw? I guess it depends on your point of view, but you're making it sound like I should've trashed that 340 back then because it was a "flawed design." Well, I didn't, and it has served me quite well over all these years, thank you.

You're trying pretty hard to come up with something major wrong with the design of the Eclipse, but you're coming up empty-handed.


mouse said...


I guess you really are not too aware of business aircraft are you? Ever wonder how many pilots actually own any business jet, from the Lear 23 (the first) to the Boeing BBJ? About as many bus drivers who own a bus, and as many airline pilots who own airliners... Almost none!

Companies own these jets and they hire pilots to fly them.

With the Eclipse being priced in the same areas as old used jets, and turboprops there was a big market for pilots to own their own jet... Guessing that's when you signed up... am I right? (I'm sure you will come up with a better answer that Vern would smile at)

Now that the $795K jet is over $1.5M and still not deliverable before your medical expires, even if you hold a 3rd class medical, how many are signing up?

It was a great dream, and it's still a great dream...

mouse said...

Ken, you said you are buying the EA-500 for it's:

"Good design" - Which design is good, the first one or the last one? Have you seen a frozen design yet?

"Reduced workload" - Lets see, are your Auto-throttles working yet? Is AVIO DfG working yet? I'm sorry, has it even flown yet in the Eclipse? Actually Ken, you have no workload in your airplane so you should be ecstatic! Heck, send in your deposit now and sit back and relax while you enjoy reading your AFM... Wait! You do have your AFM right? You mean Vern won't send you your AFM yet? Why not? Which version will you get?

"Enhanced safety" - The EA-500 is as safe as any other ship in the harbor... You can't get any safer than not flying...

"Low direct operating expenses" - How low can you go! The EA-500 is so economical, it's like flying nothing at all!!!!

"Enhanced reliability" - Very reliable... nothing in it's class can do nothing for so much money! Again if you can't fly because you don't have you little jet, or your only expectation is to listen to Vern read you fairytales and bed time stories, then you have a very reliable plane... Send them your deposit now! If you don't pay for your airplane on time it will be you ken who puts Eclipse out of business! Shame on you!

"Reduced maintenance expense" - Yep again, nothing is more reduced than FREE! Look at all the fuel you are saving! Heck, Eclipse should get the green award for the most fuel efficient plane ever designed... It burns up only others peoples cash... Kens jet consumes 0 fuel...

"Reasonable upfront cost" - Ken, how reasonable has your upfront costs cost you? Are you getting interest on your deposit? How far upfront has Vern been with you?

"Is cost a factor? Just one of many, and I think the design advantages of the plane are a lot more important." - The design advantage is amazing Ken... Never has anyone collected so much money on a jet that will forever hold the safest record ever...! Since it does not fly, it's hard for anyone to be injured in a plane accident.

Sure it's ruined some lives, broken a few hearts, destroyed some savings, and maybe even made a few people cry, but hey, I have to admit it to you Ken, when you are right, you are right...

airtaximan said...


" I think the plane is a particularly good design, with a great many workload-reducing features and clever use of technology to reduce downtime and maintenance expenses."

You must think this...
So far, you are proven completely wrong.
reduce downtime? and maintenance expenses?

Now, this is really funny.

In the end, if you could afford a CJ2, you wouldn't buy one becasue of greater downtime and higher maintenance expenses than an e-clips?

Sorry - I call BS on the whole thing.

Even you know, and the FAA refusing to certify planes proves, this E-clips thing is a piece of crap. They just threw out the avionics becasue it was garbage. You say you feel better about buying an E-clips for reasons other than it is cheap to buy...

Sorry. Perhaps you would like to compare it with a Boeing or Gulfstream next and come up with the benefits of E-clips versus them?

You are joking..

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,
"I guess you really are not too aware of business aircraft are you?"

I'm no expert, but I know enough to recognize that an owner (be it an individual or a company) could own 100% of an Eclipse and hire his own pilot for a fair amount less than the cost of owning a fractional share through NetJets, FlexJet or Flight Options.

I think what we're seeing is that some savvy fractional owners have figured that out, too.


Gunner said...

I'm not certain what to say anymore.

I've seen drug addicts with clearer thought processes. Honestly. Your ability for rationalization at any personal cost, simply takes my breath away! If anyone has earned the right to own an Eclipse, it is certainly you.


mouse said...

Hey Ken,

Were you in posession of your C-340 when the AD's came out? You see AD's are issued against airworthy airplanes that are in the hands of owners...

Cessna has been building planes for decades and has AD's... wonder what you expect from a company that has never produced a plane before?

OK, they have produced 2 planes so far, and they are...?

Fully functional? (Hint, NO!)...

In the hands of their owners? (Hint, sitting in ABQ is not in the owners hands)

Safe? (Hint, not flying does not = safe.. it equals GROUNDED)

Ken, is your C-340 still flying? Better keep it that way until you take delivery of your new Eclipse... What is your current delivery date?

Planet eX said...

1. Good design
2. Reduced workload
3. Enhanced safety
4. Low direct operating expenses
5. Enhanced reliability
6. Reduced maintenance expense
7. Reasonable upfront cost

Of the seven items that Ken lists, two I have problems with - Nos. 5 and 6.

What evidence do you make these claims? Reduced expense based on a comparison with what - your aging Cessna 340?

Reliability - that has not been proven in the real world. Reliability of any component or airframe is based on time not claims from the manufacturer. Who knows, this airplane might be failing components left and right during initial service. Is Eclipse telling the potential owners the maintenance and reliability problems? When someone claims something is reliable, I remember my 1981 Ford Escort - that POS ate an engine in less than 20,000 miles and fried the electrical harness at 30,000 miles.

I've heard stories about how things are installed in that aircraft. Basically crammed in every available space to the point that you have to remove more than just one component for a repair. Where are all the avionics on this aircraft, are they in one central place like most business aircraft (i.e., in the nose)?

mouse said...

Ken Meyer said...
mouse wrote,
"I guess you really are not too aware of business aircraft are you?"

I'm no expert, but I know enough to recognize that an owner (be it an individual or a company) could own 100% of an Eclipse and hire his own pilot for a fair amount less than the cost of owning a fractional share through NetJets, FlexJet or Flight Options.

I think what we're seeing is that some savvy fractional owners have figured that out, too.

Ken, wake up! Bring me your Eclipse today and I will lease it from you for $1M a day for the next 6 months! CASH!

You can't leaseback anything because you don't own anything! Hello, McFly!!! How many Eclipses is anyone operating? Besides the Eclipse PR department, and Eclipse Flight Test, the answer is the same as you... NONE!

Ken, I have to admit, you need to be in the next "owner profile" advertising for Eclipse... They truly designed their business around you! Hook, Line and Sinker...!

airtaximan said...


I hope you really don't believe most of what you are writing, especially the economics of the fractionals and jet cards and first class airline travel compared with owning an E-clips and hiring crews.

For starters, jet fuel in GA is 4 times the price of the airlines.

The downtime for the e-clips is unproven, and will lilky be a lot more restrictive than you think, making reliable transport a big issue with this plane.

Pilot and crew cost a lot of monet for a couple of hundred hours, which is a lot of trips at 1 -2 hours in duration.

The plane cannot handle long trips and cannot handle many pax or payload. You will augment your wonder-jet (now so called because you would have to wonder WHY anyone would care to buy one) with the airlnes, fractionals, cards, charter or whatever...

One crash, and your insurance doubles...

Don;t fly anywhere near snow - see post for Pilots in Jackson Hole. It's a 5 month job at best...

So, Ken, I hope you do not think this plane is a real workhorse, with high reliability and low cost maintenance.

It's not.

It's been rejected by every established fractional operator, and every established charter operator. Why?

See above.

You happen to be on the wrong side of this argument.

I would hope you would just say...its going to be fun to fly for recreational purposed, a few hours a month.

Planet eX said...


I'm curious as to how long you've owned that 340. More than twenty years?

bill e. goat said...













I think this sort of summarizes the discussions so far on this thread...

BTW, I think the C-340 is a nice airplane. It had it's share of problems, Eclipse will have it's share of problems.

bill e. goat said...

On to A37's inquiry regarding windshield stuff, from yesterday (I think).

Using the technical resource de jour of simpletons (well, mine anyway- wait a minute, what am I saying...)- Wikipedia:

Assuming (I know, I know) Sea Level, 350 knots (don't know if our favorite little jet has the umph for this, but close, maybe).

Density of air = 0.075 lbm/ft^3

Dynamic pressure = 2.8 psi (this would be the “stagnation” pressure, if the air were brought to a complete standstill, sort of like what is affecting our favorite airplane of late- ha!). Since the windshield is at an angle, and the air flows past it, I would figure the actual "air load" would be much lower, any aero-wennies out there- maybe 0.5 psi or something? Pretty small compared to out-ward pushing pressurization forces of 8.2 psi (at, ahem, 41,000 ft and a cabin altitude of about 8,000 ft).

The advantage of a windshield that mounts on the inside is, these enormous outward-going forces of pressurization can be “pressed against” surrounding structure. The disadvantage is, it's a pain in the butt to work around the cockpit instruments.

Also, I would suppose for an impact, like this turkey hitting a bird, I mean a turkey hitting this bird, perhaps the impact forces briefly exceed the out-ward pressurization forces, in which case it would be better to have a windshield which mounted from the outside.

I don't know if the Eclipse windshields mount from the inside or outside- anyone know? I think either way can be made to work okay.

airtaximan said...


You say, "can be made to work..."

I say after $1 billion (I'm tired of hearing anything less...add the deposits, the investments, the progress payments, the gov't grants, in-kinds services of suppliers, etc etc... and it north of a $billion) they should have had ample resources to solve all these issues.

The FACT that these issues have NOT been solved, after 8 years and $1 billion is simply a testament to priorities, and lack of focus on:
- reliability
- safety
- durability
- high cycle
- maintainability
- total lifecycle cost
- total cost of ownership
- the customer
- residual value
- insurability
- financeability

I would never attribute any of the above to the e-clips. They have proven a disregard for all the above.

It’s a low cost aircraft. PERIOD.

Low initial cost, like a YUGO.

Get it?

LIKE a Yugo.

- Appeal for the rich and famous hiring pilots = zero
- Appeal for the marginal jet customer, who shouldn’t really own his own plane = marginal at best
- corporate flight departments appeal = limited, unless there's a short haul (very) shuttle mission once or twice a week for 2 passengers max
- ramp appeal = zero - perhaps freak-show value, but it’s a puny little non-jet like plain
- fractionals = zero
- charter = zero

Perhaps a fun private pilot plane for a few hours month...

DIAMOND, CESSNA, etc... make much more sense...

Gunner said...

Bill E.-
I'm no design engineer, but it appears to me that, at 40K feet, an aircraft maintaining 8K feet pressure is going to be stressing the interior of the vessel with a pressure just north of 10psi; perhaps less.

I have to believe the exterior pressure from traveling at 330 kts at, say 10,000 feet is going to significantly exceed that. However, I too would like to know the comparative forces inside and out.


Gunner said...

Make my last, "just north of 8 psi"

bill e. goat said...

I'm no design guy either- I hope one will drop by to visit. But from our fiends, I mean friends, in physics:

I think we're close enough on the pressure differentials (I dug up an online atmosphere table, which shows pressure ratios for 40K = .1851, 8K = .7428, std pressure = 2116.2 lb/ft^2, so the delta p = (.7428-.1851)*2116/144 =
8.2 psid

(whew, like I said, close enough for the amount of work involved!)

Regarding air loads on the windshield, I'm even less competent, I mean confident, here.

But think of it this way, (again, as a rough order of magnitude):

If generating lift required NO power, and the ONLY air drag on the airplane were the windshield, then the resistance it offers would be equal to the thrust of BOTH engines.

So, the air load on the windshield, perpendicular to the direction of flight, would be force = pressure x area, or force/area= pressure
In this case,

force = 2 x 900 lbs
(for two mighty PWC 610's)

Area = 12 inches high x 40 inches wide = 480 square inches
(rough guess on the FRONTAL area (not surface area) of the windshield)

So, pressure = 1800/480 = 3.75 psi

And THAT assumes: no drag from the rest of the fuselage (whereas the windshield is only a small part of the total frontal area) nacelles, vertical tail, horizontal tail, wings, antennas, wake drag, induced drag, etc....

So, I'm pretty sure the air load is a lot lower than 3.75 psi, (probably by a factor of 10, given how much other drag there is).

(Given the windshield is at an angle, of maybe and the loads I give would go up by a factor of 2.5 or so, maybe, but again, I would guestimate the airload would be less than 1 psi or so; at any rate, certainly much lower than the pressurization loads. Aero-wiennies of the world- help!)

I know this doesn't seem intuitive, I hope some design guys correct this as needed (I'm sure some technical-oriented non-posters are groaning- the rest are probably laughing).

bill e. goat said...

Gunner- first ATM, now you- both agreeing with me!

I already posted my second blurp, but both the first and second came up with the same number you did,

"Pretty small compared to out-ward pushing pressurization forces of 8.2 psi "


Gunner said...

I think you're confusing units and WAY oversimplifying the forces. Thrust is, I believe, measured in foot pounds (energy) rather than pounds (force).

Additionally the forces at work here are more complicated than you reckon as only a fraction of the energy is used to overcome air friction; the lion's share is used to accelerate the aircraft, against the forces of gravity and air.

Somebody stop me before I hurt myself by cracking a college physics text!

Stan Blankenship said...


You are on the right track.

The maximum airload on the windscreen would be at the lowest altitude and and the highest speed.

Over land it would be 250 kias at 10,000 ft. To be conservative, the loads engineer might also consider a drug run over the Gulf of Mexico; Vmo at sea level with a zero pressurization differential which would tend to be relieving.

It would be easy to instrument a test airplane and record actual loads but they could be approximated by taking the flat plat drag coefficient of 1.28 X the area of the glass X sin of the windshield slope X dynamic pressure.

I would be very very surprised if this condition was ever looked at or ever tested during structural testing.

Normally, when one thinks of loads on the windscreen, it is from pressurization loads...loads pushing out. But then most pressurized airplanes are designed with the front glass installed from the outside.

Not the case with Eclipse, their windscreen is installed from the inside, so that airloads pushing in might be more critical than pressurization airloads pushing out.

To carry the analysis one step farther, pressurization loads, the outward loads, would dictate the glass thickness, and we can assume since it is a plug type, it is evenly supported by structure around the periphery.

Airloads, the inward loads would stress the fasteners.

And to complete the story, whatever the airload might be for a sea level Vmo condition, the loads applied during static test would have to be 50% higher to provide the required safety margin.

Stan Blankenship said...


In steady state flight:

Thrust = Drag

Lift = Weight

In the U.S., we typically use pounds for these calculations.

bambazonke said...

DME thingy Ken,

When you post items why don't you fill in the blanks for everyone...

The so called "Rich Guy" in Jackson Hole WY happens to be Brandon Carlson, of JetAmerica. This is a wanna be fractional seller of of the wonder jet. Also suggest you go to and have a look at the amazing organization behind this fellow, I am sure that he has pilots willing to leave the jobs and apply to join him in droves....This post is like all the others that you put up, they lack substance and credibility..

airtaximan said...


careful on the idea that the new companies are not real...

Ken has already told me (us) that we cannot disqualify these new companies, as entrepreneurship should be valued and not all business models have bene proven by the real companies.

Ken, I know I am paraphrasing again, and I fully experct you to admonish me, but this is what you said when I balked at AVIACE - which was essentially the same as JetsAmerica.

Also, shame on you for stating they were your newly developed market (clever, eh?) of wealthy but not super rich owners looking to buy planes for their own use, and hire a pilot.

Like I said, somehow, this guy needs to change his ad, for pilotS.

I guess you used a bad example, everyone can do this. No problem.

So what's the marketNG?
Which market is eclipse cleavery going after now using Fortune and the Journal?

please describe MARKET-NG for us...


bill e. goat said...

Your turboprop leanings betray you :)
Engines loads (not thrust per se) for turboprops are regulated by torque (ft-lbs),

Thrust in jets is specified by lbs only.

You're right, I am way simplifying this, because I'm a moron. But I think the order of magnitude is correct, and the typ max dynamic load is probably around 1 psi on the windshield. (Please, somebody dig up an aero guy...)

Stan, I believe air load is typically in psi; drag,thrust, et al is in lbs.

Gunner said...

Using your example, I come out with what I would have thought is a ridiculously low external pressure. Approximating the Dynamic Pressure at 250 lbs/ft^2 and assuming a 30 degree windscreen angle on a 24" x 48" windscreen:

Total load
= 1.28 X the area of the glass X sin of the windshield slope X dynamic pressure
= 1.28 X (24 x 48) X.5 X (250/144)
= 1,761 total lbs of force

(1761 / Windscreen Area)
= @1.5 lbs/in^2

By no means am I trying to become an armchair aircraft designer; nor am I about to tell, even Vern, how to design a jet. But this kind of number just doesn't make intuitive sense to me. Are the external pressures really on that low an order of magnitude at speed?


airtaximan said...


stick your hand out the window of your car at 60mph...

what do you think?

Ken Meyer said...

Bambi wrote,
"When you post items why don't you fill in the blanks for everyone...

The so called "Rich Guy" in Jackson Hole WY happens to be Brandon Carlson,"


Wrong again Bambi. Brandon Carlson posted the message for his customer. Since you're not that dumb (you aren't, are you?), you must be twisting facts to make your case. I think that's unseemly.

(But thanks for telling us you've been using the site illicitly; I'll pass that on to the webmaster)


Stan Blankenship said...


Remember, Thrust = Drag

And the total engine thrust is 1,800 lbs so the windshield component can't be much.

Gunner said...

That's exactly where I get the intuitive sense that the pressures must be much higher. But Stan continues to be a totally coy and with-holding host and he refuses to correct my math homework for me.

Is there someone around here I can complain to?

bill e. goat said...

I've not heard of anybody testing windshield airloads, on Eclipse, or on any airplane. I suspect that is because they are inconsequential compared to pressurization loads. I'll try to find out from some air-heads tomorrow....

Thanks for the inputs. I guess the casual venacular of "air load" is like load in a piece of metal, commonly, but inaccurately, referring to stress- psi, but in the strictest definition, a load is not a pressure, as you point out.

airtaximan said...


You specifically said an owner who is lookinf for a pilot to operate HIS plane, and you even compared it to fractions and jet cards.

You called this a NEW market.

Why did you not say a new fractional guy looking for a pilot for a plane he has under fractional ownership, which he is looking for other owners for, but cannot find them yet?

Is the America guy doing the owner a favor? Does the owner not have a computer? What gives. Perhaps the America guy is now in the find-a-pilot business?

This smells funny. Maybe Eclipse-fractional-NG?

Come clean...

Nerdy Engineer said...

Re: Windshield Loading

Your calculations for the pressure differential are about right. The load on the inside will push outward at about 8.2~8.4 PSI. This load will be distributed equally over the entire interior surface since there are no dynamic forces at play.

As far as the dynamic loads are concerned, Gunner is correct, it is not a simple thing to calculate. I can't even give you a good estimate because there are so many variables. Here are a few things to consider:

Dynamic pressure will not be uniform over the surface. It is highly dependent on shape.

Stagnation pressure only applies to points where streamlines diverge (e.g. leading edge, tip of the nose).

Friction acts tangential to the surface so it will impart a twisting motion to the windshield, not pressures exactly.

Engine thrust is irrelevant. Although thrust=drag in level flight, the windshields account for a fraction of the total drag. This does, however, provide an upper limit to the total windshield load.

Since thrust=drag, dynamic loads will be greatest at the altitude where the engine produce maximum thrust.

Bottom line: A CFD analysis will give you an estimate but the best way to determine the loads is to glue up some strain gauges and go flying.

airtaximan said...


1800lbst to push the whole plane - so how much can be on the windscreen?

The real question might be, how much stress is on the attachments?

This is different.

bambazonke said...

DME thingy Kenny,

Now don't be telling any fibs on anyone, you should not be posting stuff off the EAC owners board here, remember that it says "© 2001-2007, Eclipse Aviation Corporation". Read Our Policies" read their policies like a good fellow..

Now back to our buddy Brandon;

NEW 2007 ECLIPSE 500 $840,TX
1/2 Fractional Ownership - $840,000, For Sale - $840,000, S/N: EA.000.00251, N680JA, 0 TT, 0 SMOH / 0 SMOH, 0 SHSI, IFR, West Houston, TX. Based Eclipse 500 50% OWNERSHIP SHARE AVAILABLE , 2007 Paint, 2007 Int , 6 Seats
JetsAmerica, Inc.
Phone: (281)702-6820 Details & Photo(s)
Send a Message
Add To 'Aircraft Of Interest'
Updated: Mar 6 2007 2:49PM

NEW 2007 ECLIPSE 500 $475,000 AZ 1/4 Fractional Ownership - $475,000, For Sale - $475,000, , 0 TT, IFR, June 2007 Eclipse 500 Phoenix Based. 1/4 Fractional Shares and Greater Available , 2007 Paint, 2007 Int , 6 Seats
JetsAmerica, Inc.
Phone: (281)702-6820

and from another one of his ads:
"Early Eclipse 500 delivery positions available! Several 2006 and 2007 platinum and gold delivery dates. Why wait until 2008 when you can have your new Eclipse 500 in 2006! These positions are selling fast, call today!". Like the fact he has some 2006 models for sale that are selling fast.. probably to that rich guy in Jackson Hole, WY.

and here's good ole Brandon after a slug of Kool Aid talking to AIN;

"Eclipse 500 VLJ Fractional Set To Fly

By Gordon Gilbert
January 18, 2007
Charter and Fractional

Scottsdale Ariz.-based fractional operator JetsAmerica is scheduled to take delivery of its first Eclipse 500 by the second week of March, according to company chairman and CEO Brandon Carlson. The company offers quarter-share turnkey ownership in the new very light jet. A one-quarter share will equal 200 hours of real flight time; Carlson says owners won’t be penalized for taxiing or empty positioning flights. Based on the Eclipse delivery schedule, the operator plans to have full shares in 14 jets sold by the end of the year. While the Eclipse is certified for operation by one pilot, upon customer request JetsAmerica will provide a second pilot for an additional charge. The company says it will also offer the VLJs for on-demand charter, splitting revenues with the fractional owners. Plans call for operations from Scottsdale and Houston, with a third possible base in Kalamazoo, Mich." Note the delivery in 2nd week of March, is that the one that went to WY?

Nerdy Engineer said...

If all of the drag is due to the windshield, the maximum pressure is 1.56 PSI.

PSI = force/area
1800 lbs / (24x48) inches

Cabbie's correct. The real issue is stress concentration. Although I don't think dynamic loads are a major contributor.

Stan Blankenship said...


You are probably in the ballpark for the pressure loading on the windscreen, less than 1 psi.

airtaximan said...


you da man!

Make Kenny look like a complete lie'n fool.

MAN... it smelled bad, and it was BAD.

Kenny, shameful display. Nice try. Perhaps you should look in the mirror, and realize you've got it ALL wrong. Even your examples and the facts you present.

Head down...think been HAD.

bill e. goat said...

I also thought about the "arm out the window" thing.

I think a typical number for "cruise hp" for a car at 60 mph is about 15 HP (those who slam GA piston engines for not being "durable" should consider this when comparing them to a car engine that goes 100,000 miles, which is only 1670 hours, btw.

Gunner's reference to acceleration is particularly apt here, that is why car engines have peak hp much higher than cruise hp).

I think "rolling resistance" make up about a third of the losses at 60 mph, the rest is air drag.

So, Power = Load x Speed
And, Load = Power / Speed
or load = Power (2/3 x 15 hp) / 60 mph
this all comes out to 62.5 lbs.

Sticking your arm out the window doesn't do much to slow the car down, so the load must be much lower than 62.5 lbs.

Doesn't seem intuitive, but for what it's worth...

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"Why did you not say a new fractional guy looking for a pilot for a plane he has under fractional ownership, which he is looking for other owners for, but cannot find them yet?"

Maybe 'cause that's not the situation? :)

You discovered Brandon Carlson is setting up a fractional operation called JetsAmerica. So, naturally you assumed his ad is related to that.

You obviously are not aware that he is also Mike Press's partner in selling Eclipse positions to all kinds of people.

That you jumped to the conclusion that this must be about a fractional ownership is right in line with your typical approach to everything related to the Eclipse. Blog readers should take careful note:

Airtaximan is not interested in reaching a fact-based assessment; he is interested in bashing. Surprise, surprise.


cherokee driver said...

What about the chicken factor. Do they still shoot a live chicken at the windscreen? What is the load factor of a 5 lb chicken hitting it at 250 KTS? With Eclipse's windscreen problems, they probably wouldn't want to use a sparrow.

Nerdy Engineer said...

cherokee driver said...
...they probably wouldn't want to use a sparrow.

That depends. Is it a European or an African sparrow? Is it carrying coconuts?

Stan Blankenship said...


It is a Part 23 airplane, bird shots not required.

But it brings up a point, did Cessna bird proof the Mustang or CJ series, all of which are Part 23?

Frank C., can you fill in the blanks?

bill e. goat said...

Good point.

A few threads back, someone posted this class of airplane needs only to survive a 2 pound bird strike, at approach speed, if I recall...

I think the approach now days is to pluck a dead chicken- from the freezer, and thaw it (old wives tale about somebody NOT thawing it- don't know if that is an urban legand or not...), and using an air cannon to "shoot" it.

airtaximan said...


more lame stuff from you -
here's what I said...I gave you the opportunity to clarify your misleading statements...

"You called this a NEW market.

Why did you not say a new fractional guy looking for a pilot for a plane he has under fractional ownership, which he is looking for other owners for, but cannot find them yet?

Is the America guy doing the owner a favor? Does the owner not have a computer? What gives. Perhaps the America guy is now in the find-a-pilot business?

This smells funny. Maybe Eclipse-fractional-NG?"

Where's the beef?

I expect you really do not know the story, and just tried to use one guy as an example. The plane will somehow be managed/fractionalized...etc...

What do you know?

I leave the door open...I'm not bashing; you are obfuscating, and bashing.

Jet_fumes said...

Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

bill e. goat said...

How the HECK do you search for something on this blog, other than brute force (reading every line)?
Is there some nifty trick I'm missing out on? If there isn't, then this is crummy software! (E-blog?)

Jet_fumes said...

bill.e.goat, of course you are NOT allowed to thaw the chicken. What temperature would you expect at cruise altitude?

bill e. goat said...

Jet fumes,
I donno, I just know it's cold enough to chill the beer when I hold my arm out the window!

Stan Blankenship said...


If you use a frozen chicken you may as well use a rock! That poor sucker needs to be fresh kill before Uncle Rigor Mortis sets in.

A hose from a car exhaust running to a small cardboard box does the trick though I suspect gunner would prefer his 10mm.

airtaximan said...

another old wives tale:

remember first flight, the trigger for non-refundable deposits?

E-clips used the EJ-22...their plane was to have the engine/aircraft certified as a system and forgo birdstrike based on a patent. The patent was for an aircraft engine configuration which had the engines "behind" the fuselage, tuckd in, in order to make it impossible for a bird to enter the engine. They asked the FAA for an exemption, and the FAA refused.

Fast forward to first flight - -they KNEW they would never be able to use the EJ-22 engine. It could never withstand a bird. Anyone remember the compressor on the scale at the shows? Did anyone see the blades? The engine was designed as a disposable engine really. It was very fragile, and Williams stratgey was to pass the FAA with an exemption.

It did not fly.

E-clips knew they needed another solution, but took the deposits anyway.

I''ll add my disclaimer for all things I know but am not allowed to prove - so this is just another airtaximan speculation. Apply the info as if it were Vern speaking himself- don't believe it.

lumar said...

So we all have to wait for that Piper-Jet...

bill e. goat said...


Hence my reference to thge urban legand in the aircraft world.

BTW, Myth-Busters (the TV show, not this blog!) did a show some time back, using a Piper prop-job windshield (can't remember which model), and shot a frozen chicken- it went clean through the windshield (and the plexiglass safety cage, if I remember).

I don't remember what they were trying to prove. I suppose investigating "bird strikes".

If I recall right, the other side of the windshield also broke, although not as dramatically, using a thawed chicken. I think they used a radar gun to "clock the bird"- don't remember the speeds though.

bill e. goat said...

I'm curious, did the EJ22 ever fly, on anything, other than the one flight in 2002?

Stan Blankenship said...


Search the blog?

This train doesn't back up, only goes forward!

Blogspot may have that capability, will have to check if I can add it.


Engine bird ingestion is covered by FAR Part 33.76. It is a pretty tough series of tests. I thought the engines were canted in to minimize Vmc.

EclipseOwner387 said...


Brandon Carlson is as Ken said also a broker. He acted as my broker (working for Mike Press) when I sold my platinum position. From what I can tell in my personal dealings with Brandon is that he will assist in any way he can to facilitate Eclipse ownership. I am not aware of this exact situation, but my guess is that JetsAmerica is not Brandon's main source of income yet and building relationships with owners and pilots will make for a nice rolodex. Brandon is a young guy and an airline pilot turned broker/entrepreneur in this new age of VLJ's. Will he be wildly successful? I have no idea. I was impressed with his agressiveness and eagerness.

Metal Guy said...

Here is the frozen chicken one:

Scientists at NASA have developed a gun built specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all travelling at maximum velocity. The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields. British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains.

Arrangements were made. But when the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurtled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, crashed through the control console, snapped the engineer's backrest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin.

Horrified Britons sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield, and begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.

NASA's response was just one sentence: "Thaw the chicken."

Nerdy Engineer said...

RE: Frozen Chickens
I'm pretty sure Myth Busters found no difference between frozen and thawed chickens. I don't know what would happen if you flew through a flock of migrating coconuts.

RE: Searching the blog
You can use Google to search this blog by using the site: parameter (actually you can use it to search almost any website). Copy and paste the following string in the Google search box before your search terms. Make sure to add a space between this string and your terms.

It also works with:

Gunner said...

Let me be the first to welcome you back. I know this is a REAL tough venue for someone in your position, but I think you've done more to advance the Eclipse side of the story than all others combined. And I honestly welcome that.

In short, your presence was missed.

Are you still in line for delivery?
Can you tell us what's happened with Deposits at your stage?


Metal Guy said...

Random factoid for the day - the EJ-22 was a tripple stage turbine. Very rare.

Nerdy Engineer said...

There was one more thing I wanted to say regarding blog searches.

You can use it to find all of Ken's flip-flops on the bushing issue. One day it's a design issue, the next day it isn't. Here's an example.

From today:
"You continue to mischaracterize the wing spar issue as a design flaw when it was an installation error...

From Feb 14:
"...the design of the lug did not positively retain the bushing..."

bill e. goat said...

Thanks for the tip searches!!

BTW, are those coconuts frozen, or thawed???

Metal_Guy, thanks for the "rest of the story" on the frozen birds, and info on the 3-stage engine- pretty "nutty" design, so to speak (ughhhhhh).

cherokee driver said...

When you meet up with that frozen coconut, Is it better if the windscreen is mounted from the inside or outside?

Gunner said...

Nerdy Engineer said:
You can use it to find all of Ken's flip-flops on the bushing issue. One day it's a design issue, the next day it isn't. Here's an example.

From today:
"You continue to mischaracterize the wing spar issue as a design flaw when it was an installation error...

From Feb 14:
"...the design of the lug did not positively retain the bushing..."

We call that.....
B-U-S-T-E-D Again

I suspect he's getting used to it by now. No matter, he'll be along any minute to point out that he's been misquoted.


EclipseOwner387 said...


I am still in line to take my position. The delivery schedule has been pushed back and so has my 60% true up. I now have a couple more months to see if Eclipse can get their act together and give me the confidence to "double down." Vern's increase in communication has been welcomed by all position holders that I have heard from. I believe the next step to increase my confidence is a disclosure of Eclipse's financial condition and liquidity. The "bugs" in the airplane do not concern me at this point. It comes with the territory and I expect all the issues can be overcome. Eclipse's financial strength is my biggest concern.

bill e. goat said...


Didn't mean to delay responding to your post about “design committees” on the last thread.

From the last thread (or whatever blog-speak is for "the thing before this", ?post? I guess)- make that the post-post.

Gadfly says (unrepentantly, I might add):
"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”.

First I had to dig out my calculator, now my flyswatter!!! What's a “day of rest” coming to!!

I think day's of the “genius” designer you allude to are over. There is still room for creativity, and genius, but aircraft design is a science, not an art, now days.

I'm not sure if Kelley Johnston was a genius (please, I've already read all the books): he is credited with leading a crack team though, that had stunning, spectacular successes. How much he contributed as a designer, versus as a leader of a design team, I'm not sure- either way, the facts speak for themselves, and are outstanding.

I would argue the team is what made the difference, rather than the individual; witness the F-117, designed after Kelly's departure, and the B-2 bomber, designed after Jack Northrop's exit- both equally stunning aircraft, and fitting successors to the fine earlier efforts. And I would say the team, the committee, is what makes the difference.

I consider there to be four basic design areas for commercial aircraft,

There is just no way one person can master more than, maybe, two of these at best. So, there is going to have to be a team, a committee of some sort.

I've heard that Dr. Oliver Masefield might qualify as one. I believe he was instrumental in the E-500 conception. The Eclipse web site says he has a PhD in Aerodynamics. Perhaps he was also involved with the structural layout, given his impressive background.

However, I doubt if he could also cover all the bases, notably, propulsion and avionics. I'm sure there were some good people involved on those aspects as well, and there is simply no way one person could have handled it all. That those areas have not turned out so spectacularly, maybe suggests a “genius”, as you say, was needed in those areas also.

Propulsion was farmed out, Avionics were farmed out, so I'm not the Eclipse design folks can be faulted in those areas.

I agree that turnover is disruptive, at any phase of a program. But, aircraft design is not documented in someone's head- it has to be on paper, to be checked, documented, and sent to the FAA and manufacturing. If it's not documented, it cannot be built, nor tested, nor certified, nor manufactured. I cringe at the term, but this is where “processes” come in.

Regarding our favorite CEO, amongst the, ahem, “compliments” that could rightfully be tossed his way, saying he picked aviation up as a “late life hobby” is definitely not true. From the Eclipse web site:

"Raburn's interest led him to join the Civil Air Patrol when he was 11 years old. "I think the first time I actually flew an airplane was a Piper Cub that was a Civil Air Patrol airplane when I was about 12, he said. After his father was transferred to Southern California to work at the Douglas headquarters at Santa Monica, 16-year-old Vern Raburn earned money for flying lessons by mowing lawns and working a paper route. He soloed in a Cessna 150 at Torrance Airport...”.


“Since he first learned how to fly as a teenager, he has accumulated over 6,500 hours of flight time and has earned his multi-engine, instrument, commercial and rotary ratings. He holds type ratings in more than 15 aircraft types ranging from WWII bombers to piston airliners to modern corporate jets. He is on the board of directors of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Executive Council to the FAA's Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Presidential Advisory Board.”

So, I think he is definitely an “airplane guy”, as much as any of us. Some might grouse about Eclipse winning the Collier, but I think there was nobody prouder, nor more sincerely honored, than Vern. That pride and (uncharacteristic, I admit) humility was a telling sign of his passion for aviation, and the regard he has for the industry. (Trash talking Cessna, well, that's a little unbecoming).

I think Vern would confess to not being an aeronautical genius; the success, or failure, of Eclipse will be determined by some things within his control (building a good team, building a good product) and some things beyond his control (market conditions, geopolitics, etc.)

It is worth reading:

BTW, Kelly Johnson's bio is also interesting:

bill e. goat said...

Mom says it's time to go to bed, so I can get up in time for school tomorrow.
I hope I don't have nightmares dreams of frozen coconuts coming through my windshield at Vmo...

airtaximan said...


I'm curious, did the EJ22 ever fly, on anything, other than the one flight in 2002?"


An FJX engine flew the V-Jet, the scheduled demo flight of FJX-2 (the precurser to the EJ-22 did not make its scheduled demo flight...Williams was given the GAP money anyways...Why?
BEats, me. Ask Vern. By then, it was his program.

The plane flew again with Teledyne missile engines, as a continuation of the stunt for the deposit money - couched as "flight testing".


mouse said...

The engine vs. bird strike issue was more BS from Vern. He figured the engine frontal area was hidden from the front view of the airplane...

Guess nobody ever figured that birds and airplanes sometimes don't fly straight... Or that the air won't bend around a corner... Poor Mr. Bernoulli must be spinning in his grave.

Gunner said...

I can't argue with your approach, mainly because I believe you're in a unique position in terms of your experience with market timing and already established contacts for flipping your position.

Good luck on it.

I still have your email addy from July '06. Look for an email on a non-Eclipse, non-personal business issue that I think will interest you.

mouse said...

Bill e G,

Oliver is a very nice guy, however genius he is not. His brother and Father are the heavy Aero-Hitters in his family. He came from Pilatus, although most of his work there was after the fact.

With that said, Oliver is quite smart, but not as smart as Vern (Joke). Vern whipped him like a slave and treated him poorly in front of his team, and everyone else in the meetings.

mouse said...

Bill e G,

Vern is on the BoD of the EAA because he was so kind as to donate $1M+ to the EAA... Now isn't that nice of him... spending the investors money that way... Guess all depositors and investors should be so proud to be contributers for Vern's board seat... Of course that contribution also helped Eclipse get their tent so close to the barkers and carni's row...

gadfly said...


Maybe the gadfly will need to repent, but not just yet. Me thinks the answer is not long in coming.

After you get home from school, and your Mom serves you a glass of milk and a peanut butter sandwich, and you check your email, please give the following some thought:

Assuming the design by committee is now the way to go, maybe a couple sub committees should begin work on “run-flat tires for the nose gear”, and a “self-sealing windscreen”.

‘Just trying to be supportive!

Of course, the examples you gave were companies that had the traditional background of the single geniuses in their history, who had already laid the foundations on which the “committees” could build. Eclipse, on the other hand, has no such history.


(Oh yeh, the theoretical dynamic forces on the wind-screen are indeed quite low . . . baring high altitude chickens, but I would venture the static forces due to cabin pressurization, and delta “T”, combined with dynamic flexing of the frame are, indeed, the major considerations . . . I wonder if the other things like the fact that plastic absorbs moisture like a sponge have been considered? (Look it up, it will surprise most people) . . . but what can possibly be gained from the brain of this tiny insect. That blogger with the flyswatter has me concerned.)

And thanks for your response . . . I really mean it.

lumar said...

Do you remember the Jetcruzer-Story? Those people invested +100 million$ (they are still on NASDAC) in developpement and then shut down.

Later, they aquired Mooney and are still alive - instead of the Visionnaire-Folks...

Vern should stop everything NOW and try to restart after bancrupty - so the dammage for everyone is limited.

Vmc said...

EB? EB? EB! Where are you EB? Hmmm, does anyone find it interesting that EB disappears at the same time that VR is on leave?? (disclaimer: statements made by Vmc are purely speculative, forward-looking, and not predictive of future results)

I think it's time that EB and Ken admit they are alter-egos of the same blogger. I suspect there are a few on here...keeps things interesting.

Just for the record; the "flight testing" with the TCM engines did generate some valuable test data...not just PR hype. Anyone know what ever became of AC100? I heard the Smithsonian was interested (see disclaimer above).

(still a Williams/BAE/Avidyne fan)

airtaximan said...


airplanes crab...

Williams and Vern forgot this,

The FAA didn't.

EclipseBlogger said...

Vmc said... EB? EB? EB! Where are you EB? Hmmm, does anyone find it interesting that EB disappears at the same time that VR is on leave??

I haven't gone anywhere. I'm just enjoying watching you guys. You haven't posted anything of substance, and there's to much BS flying around it's difficult to keep current these days (100 posts per day????).

As far as alter egos posting, why not ask BambaZonke about his. He used to dual post as Yenolo.

Stan Blankenship said...


"Nothing of substance"

Coldfish suggests there may be problems with the wing assemblies and the wing vendor.

Any substance to his comment?

airtaximan said...


glad to see yu are well, feisty and entertained.

lot's to read, not much new, though.

where are the 3-5 deliveries promised by Vern "in the next few days?"

any clue?

EclipseBlogger said...

Stan said... Coldfish suggests there may be problems with the wing assemblies and the wing vendor.

I believe that is old news. The were some wings on the test fleet that had a twist at one time due to a jig problem. It was identified and corrected. I haven't heard that it still exists.

EclipseBlogger said...

Cabbie said... where are the 3-5 deliveries promised by Vern "in the next few days?" any clue?

My guess is that the storage hangars are filling up faster than the cord-wood waiting for more FAA guys to inspect them. Mike Press' aircraft is due, so I'm sure we'll hear something from either Eclipse or Mike shortly.

Cabbie said... glad to see yu are well, feisty and entertained.

Thanks for caring.

Gunner said...

I can vouch for Ken Meyer. He's a living, breathing, Carbon Based Unit geographically distinct from Vern. Cannot speak to genetics, however.

airtaximan said...


I doubt EB and Ken are alter-egos.

EB is much saner. I don;t think he could even approach Ken's psychological composition. It would be hard to play that roll!

airtaximan said...


Why the promise, then? "in the next few days" is an open timeframe, but why even get expectations up, at such a fragile time?

There is little trust and credibility, and to promise between 3-5 deliveries in the next few days, seems like the same old BS. One came out.

If you are saying 100% ompleted planes are waiting in hangars, and the FAA is holding everything up, I would just say, once promised deliveries were rejected by the FAA. they came, saw and left without the CofAs - right?

Do you expect the FAA inspected the one plane, and provide the CofA and left? or they inspected between 3-5 planes and rejected the,m all except the one that was delivered?

Any insight?

Ken Meyer said...

Airtaximan wrote,
"I doubt EB and Ken are alter-egos.

EB is much saner. I don;t think he could even approach Ken's psychological composition. It would be hard to play that roll!"

And Rich Lucibella wrote,
"I can vouch for Ken Meyer. He's a living, breathing, Carbon Based Unit geographically distinct from Vern. Cannot speak to genetics, however."


Are you familiar with the fallacy of the ad hominem attack?

You guys like to attack the writer, rather than his ideas. And that is well-known to occur when you have no substance to your argument.

Doesn't bother me any. Take your best shot. I look bad, I'm stupid, I'm too short, I was born to a rhinoceros, whatever. It won't bother me any.

But you are chasing others away. I got an email from one of the regulars here the other day saying he'd finally had enough your crap and exited the scene.


mouse said...

They came, they saw, they walked away unimpressed... C of A's go to planes that are represented as ready to be inspected, documents in order, and all parts in place... Looks like one of them met this scenario...

"Wolf!" cried the little man... again...

Gunner said...

I certainly didn't attack you. Quite the opposite, I vouched for the fact that you are who you say you are. Dunno what more I might do as I'm not gonna volunteer myself for long moonlight strolls.

There's a big difference between attacking ones argument and argumentum ad hominem, Ken. And, take my word for it, your arguments and logic provide a pretty target rich environment. I've no real need to attack you personally when you continue to use the classic ploys of:

Argumentum ad Ignorantiam


Circulus in demonstrando


airtaximan said...


Like I said, it would be hard for anyone to mimic your psychological, I do not think you and EB are the same person.

regarding the word "Saner" -
2. having or showing reason, sound judgment, or good sense: sane advice.

I think EB's arguments are saner than yours, that's all.

Sorry buddy...but you did insult me and state that I am not interested in getting the facts, only to bash. A saner argument would have been that "I am obviously in disagreement with Vern's position, and I do not have all the facts that he does"

Saner. More polite. Less personal.

But hey, I'm like you - -it's all OK with me as long as it is fun, and it provides insight.

You are the quintessential "die-hard" in my opinion...and an interesting animal, at that - and born from rhinos you say! Impressive. Who woulda thought?

airtaximan said...

anyone know what happened to the 3-5 planes Vern said would be delivered in a few days from a week ago? 1 was delivered...

Stan Blankenship said...


I am getting confidential e-mails this morning about vendors not getting paid, stopping work on the program and halting all shipments to ABQ.

Can this be true?

EclipseBlogger said...

Mouse said... C of A's go to planes that are represented as ready to be inspected, documents in order, and all parts in place... Looks like one of them met this scenario...

I don't think there was an attempt to inspect any or all of the wood pile. I expect that the aircraft are waiting in line for inspection (except Dayjet) and when the FAA gets to it, it'll get done. Eclipse may be using the FAA talent in other areas, the FAA may have some issues and have not been showing up until they are resolved by Eclipse, or Eclipse may not have their act together (still?). Had the PC been issued I would expect that 10-15 aircraft would have already been delivered by now. I have no further insight at this time. The DayJet aircraft are probably being deferred until the 135 thingy gets sorted our and the mechanical backup instruments are installed and approved. There's probably more to it than just heading to your local avionics shop adding an ADI to a Bonanza.

Stan Blankenship said...

Karen Di Piazza of Charterx has written an interesting interview with Mike Press:

airtaximan said...


I am now your biggest fan... nice assessment of the liklihood of what has happend regarding the Cof As promised by Vern.

Why did he state between 3-5 aircraft deliverd in the next few days? I keep asking, and I'm scratching a hole in my head trying to figure this out...


airtaximan said...

regarding Mike Press:

I'd say the same sorts of things if I was buying or selling E-planes.

Sad, he's blaming the FAA, he believes everything Vern says.

I'd be die-hard-pressed to agree.

EclipseBlogger said...

Cabbie said... I am now your biggest fan...

Now I know I have been silent for too long. Everybody here's getting cabin fever.

Green-or-Red said...

It is interesting that Press verbally stated that the FAA was to blame because they only had one inspector. He does not do that in his newsletter.

For a fact, at the end of Feb there was a team of more than 6 FAA people on-site at E-clops, and they left. How many came back I am not sure of.

Maybe Ken know how many inspectors are on-site now.

Green-or-Red said...

EB said
"I believe that is old news. The were some wings on the test fleet that had a twist at one time due to a jig problem. It was identified and corrected. I haven't heard that it still exists."

The wing twist exists on some of the production aircraft. Maybe this is incorrectly stated, however, the aircraft rolls to one side, and it is attributed to an incorrect build/usage of tools for locating the wing attach points.

I had asked Ken to verify this a few topics ago. Maybe someone else on the 'inside' can confirm this. Was this the reason the FAA walked away without granting C of A's to some of the aircraft?

airtaximan said...


everyones entitled to their opinion, especially when so few actual answers are forthcoming...

even you- even me.

Let's plan a trip to the middle east...we can set an example..


mouse said...

E Blogger,

Even if Eclipse had a PC the planes would not pass inspection and would still be sitting in storage waiting ofr parts and documents.

The exact same criteria is required whether a PC or a C of A inspection.

One can only imagine the pressure from Vern to kick out planes under PC regadless of the "small details" like full conformity, all their parts, all the correct documents, Etc... This is on the minds of the FAA right now and may very well delay their PC issuance...

Nobody better think that PC is going to solve Eclipses problems... It's not FAA manpower that's holding back deliveries... It's Eclipses lack of readiness that is the hold up. The FAA resources have been "above & beyond" concerning Eclipse...

EclipseOwner387 said...


I think what you speak of is the key. If the planes aren't passing inspection then PC would NOT increase productivity. BUT If planes are passing inspection and not getting rejected then lack of PC IS slowing up deliveries. My guess would be a little bit of both is going on here and until the initial bugs in production to delivery are figured out we won't see many COA's or PC. My hope is this is a process they will figure out before the money runs out.

Gunner said...

I wonder:
Does anyone not see a bit of subterfuge in the fact that Vern promised $10+ Million in free retrofits, while trying to secure Progress Payments, at a time when he knew the company was under enormous financial pressure just to keep its head above water?


Nothing Like the Sun said...

Seems the info about the 135 birds being further delayed did not make it to Florida. Article on May 7th, Lakeland FL Ledger article states Dayjet seemed optimistic about launching service by June! "We remain on track. We intend to launch our service in the second quarter."

I guess "intend" is the key "vernaculation" here- if you "intend" but you don't get a plane in time, you still (supposedly) look good to your investors.

Dayjet also received $50M in additional funding adding to the $18M they appear to have already spent. Having once been very involved in the "Mom and Pop" charter business (read "bricks and mortar"), makes me wonder how many Eclipse revenue "passenger miles" one needs to fly to recoup $18M in investment, not to mention a possible $68M. Any clues? And now there is a new Earthjet ready to jump into the ever so hot Florida "per-seat" charter market.

But the real solvency test is still unknown: Will the Dayjet pilots get to drink free Cokes while flying?!?

EclipseBlogger said...

Cabbie said... everyones entitled to their opinion, especially when so few actual answers are forthcoming... even you- even me.

How about this? When we have finally determined Eclipse's outcome, be it full production or the ultimate demise, we all meet on top of the Empire State Building wearing red carnations.

Gunner said...

Not me.
I'm deathly afraid of heights! ;-)

airtaximan said...


read my post on the Nigerian Internet Banking Scam...

They ask you to transfer money in smaller amounts ($10,000) to prove you are able to receive a larger payment from them, say $250,000.

Send some money now, I'll deliver you a $2.5 million jet for the low introductory price of $1.5 million...PLUS, I'll fix it free later.

Sound familiar?

gadfly said...

Two interesting “asides”, that came to mind in comments about this assembly jig for the wing(s):

When my Dad got his first job at Lockheed, just prior to the war, he was hired to build “tooling jigs” for aircraft (it turned out to be the YP-38 Lightning fighter-bomber) . . . no small thing. But my Dad pictured something that would fit on a bench. He soon learned that it was large framed things to properly align the “wings” on the aircraft, known as “lofting”. Soon , things changed and all of you may be thankful that my Dad designed the things (called “cable tension regulators” . . . all patents assigned to PSCo.) that are the last thing between the pilot and the rudder/elevator/ailerons . . . those things that look like a couple hollowed out “pie” pieces, called “sectors”, that expand or contract, at each and every “neutral” tension position, yet carry full load to control surfaces . . . no small thing on a Boeing . . . and some of the throttle controls to the engines, that get you from point “A” to “B”. Yeh, there are tens of thousands of his inventions keeping folks safe, every minute of every day.

The second “aside” has to do with politics . . . maybe! About twenty years ago, each and every Ford LTD going down the freeway had a “crab” to the left. After observing each and every Ford LTD, I came to the conclusion that every “LTD” was put together on the same “jig” . . . and I wondered, “Why doesn’t someone fix that thing?” This wasn’t some slight thing, but something that could be easily observed. I would drive behind one of these road barges on the left . . . then move to a right lane and look closely on the right side . . . the things always crabbed to the left. Now, with someone from Detroit on board (at Eclipse), I hope he had nothing to do with the division that made the tooling for the LTD . . . or maybe, the Eclipse might find future application for a carousel ride at Disneyland or Disneyworld . . . around and around and around.

Did this Vern type person have a clue as to what he was taking on? Somehow I suspect he wished he had never heard of airplanes.


(Question: What goes through the mind of a “gadfly” when it hits your windshield at sixty miles per hour?)

(Hint: “two words”)

(And “Gunner”, me too . . . about heights. Aboard a submarine, if you sink, you don’t have as far to go . . . and I can’t get my youngest daughter to give up her “Glock” (she should “share”, don’t cha’ know, jah? . . . somehow I didn’t bring her up right . . . and I’m stuck with “Walther’s”, Colt’s, and a couple “S&W’s) . . . ungrateful kids . . . I taught them from the time they were about four or five!)

Observer said...

Mouse is correct Vern has purchased EAA and other Board seats. His $1mil to EAA bought quite a lot. He was able to keep the first VLJ (TwinJet) that flew into Oshkosh (2000) from flying. Vern demanded that EAA not allow TwinJet to fly and EAA complied. So money is influence/power and with influence you can block other competitors.

Also, the TwinJet was scheduled to fly with FJX-2 (and then EJ-22). Of course, Vern blocked this also by buying exclusivity of the engine.

Speaking of genius designers .... Bornhofen is one. He designed TwinJet and then the single engine Sport-Jet (with Williams FJ-33 on board).

Stan, sorry for bringing up other programs. Couldn't help it. I have a deposit on a Sport-Jet.

gadfly said...

“Observer” . . . whoever you are.

In looking up the “Sport-Jet”, it’s obvious that the designer, Bornhofen, is light-years ahead of the “aircraft in question”: Realistic claims, low-to-the-ground landing gear, general aerodynamic shape of fuselage, etc., etc.

Of course, some things like “wing tip” shape could be questioned, etc., but there is a quality of design apparent, that is lacking in the “other” jet.

This little aircraft is worthy of further attention. Within the general shape, it’s obvious that the man was thinking from inside, and out, during the design. Once every now and then, things seem to be in all the right places, like a good looking woman, without clutter and additional makup.



gadfly said...

Now that I think of it, the “Eclipse” looks like it was designed by a committee . . . a “good intentioned” committee mind you, but never-the-less, it looks like the results of a committee.

Sorry folks, but it is what it is.


airtaximan said...

Eb suggested,
"How about this? When we have finally determined Eclipse's outcome, be it full production or the ultimate demise, we all meet on top of the Empire State Building wearing red carnations."

EB, my opinion is its not an all or nothing outcome.

I think a logical outcome could be that the company goes through a transition, the production rate is aligned with reality as is the price, and somehow, 20% of the production at $2.5 million is achieved.

Shakeout comes to mind regarding investors and shareholders. They will resolve to wait a long time.

Private owners will probably love this plane, once it is finished being designed, certified, quality is not a question and support systems are in place.

Forget the aint happening.

I am into celebrating any time this blog is no longer relevant...

Ken Meyer said...


I looked at the Sport-Jet pretty seriously, but I've still got my deposit form. It has nice performance figures that should theoretically make it a contender.

What do you figure caused the crash in June? I talked with the test pilot, James Stewart, at Oshkosh. He and the company think it was wake turbulence as they departed behind a Dash-8. Evidently no mechanical faults were identified during the investigation, but the NTSB so far hasn't endorsed the view that it was wake turbulence:

"It is most likely that the wake vortices were neither strong enough nor close enough to N350SJ to cause the violent roll to the left reported by the witnesses to the accident."

Aren't they going to have a cloud over them 'til they figure out why the plane crashed?

Do they have the funding to see this project through to completion? What sort of timeframe do you figure until they start delivering planes? I would like to see this plane succeed.


Gunner said...

"I would like to see this plane succeed."
I'll second that. In fact, I'd like to see 'em ALL succeed:
Eclipse, Adam, Mustang, Phenom, HondaJet, Sport-Jet, Maverick, D-Jet, Piper and Cirrus (just off the top of my head).

If each of these companies comes in with a real product at a real price, the results can only be a good thing for aviation, in general, and pilots, in particular.

But, let one of them at the Eclipse end of the visibility spectrum screw its promise, investors, depositors, vendors and government agencies and its gonna make it that much more difficult for any of the others to succeed. In the end, it'll cost every one of us, in money, time to production and alternatives.

Pretty much the heart of the reason why Eclipse's continued circus act chaps my butt.

Ken talks about the cloud that may be over Sport-Jet for a test plane crash that the pilot walked away from? That ain't nothing compared to the Hiroshima sized cloud that's gonna be over ABQ if Eclipse does not get its act together in the design, assembly, QA and general integrity departments.


Gunner said...

Ken said:
"Do they have the funding to see this project through to completion? What sort of timeframe do you figure until they start delivering planes?"

Deja Vu (all over again).

Were you talking about Eclipse? Because the rest of us have asked these questions dozens of times only to be dismissed with the wave an "order book".


airtaximan said...


Sh_t up....

I sense some reality setting in..

What are you doing, man?

airtaximan said...


Bornhoffen sold out to Maverick jet's Jim McCotter...who makes Vern look like a priest.

OK, they could be related.

Bornhoffen was taken for a ride by McCotter...

He's on to better things, not some modified helicopter engine powering a homebuilt.

But, he needs funds to complete his dream.

As for Mav... I wouldn't hold my breath.

gadfly said...


You seem to be a decent person, regardless of the many who attack you. (Let's keep you alive.)

There was a time when I was certifiably among the nut cases, less than 3% of the entire Navy, of the things I would be willing to do . . . submarines, etc. . . . and yes, I was once trained to be a bush pilot, a further indication of my insanity.

But now, I have a wife, and the families of four children, with seventeen grandchildren that seem to want me to stick around for a few more years . . . and I have an agreement that I’ll do my best to do that very thing.

Now, having said all that, if given the choice of flying on the “Eclipse” or, say, almost any other aircraft, I will never set foot aboard an “Eclipse”, yet consider almost every other aircraft as an option.

This aircraft has not one good thing going for it. It flies . . . sort of! It lands . . . always, but not always good! That says nothing about all the other issues . . . speed, altitude, de-icing, . . . those things that have become standard on every other aircraft I can name.

Once, on approach to ABQ, the pilot on the 737 gave “full power” to get up to the edge of the runway after going over the Rio Grande . . . that was the only time in fifty years of flying that I had real concern (aside from a quintuple bypass), but the aircraft was not at fault . . . only the pilot. And I have been across the entire Pacific by piston and prop, more than a couple times.

Eclipse is a thing that scares me . . . and regardless of your stated confidence (which I doubt, or you would not be so bothered by the attacks), Eclipse will not easily, nor soon, gain the confidence of the flying public. And without that confidence, the little jet is as dead as a door nail.



Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"'Do they have the funding?'
Were you talking about Eclipse?"

I thought it was pretty clear which plane I was talking about. The Excel Sport-Jet. It's a single-engine VLJ entrant that was mentioned a few messages ago; perhaps you missed it.

The information I have is that there is no shortage of money at Eclipse to see the project through to mass deliveries. In fact, I updated just today the steps they've recently taken to have sufficient funds to tide them over until deliveries begin in large numbers.

That Eclipse has excellent sources of financing available to them is the thing that distinguishes them more than anything else from companies like Excel-Jet LTD. The problems both Eclipse and Excel-Jet are experiencing can all be overcome with the judicious application of time and money. I'm not sure Excel-Jet has enough of either; that's what I'm asking about in my question to Observer.

Several people here have openly speculated Eclipse is running out of money, but that's not the information I have. Do actually you have any reliable information that they have a financial problem?


airtaximan said...

I've asked and not received more than a "close" answer..

the key today is:

Has e-clips submitted 3-5 or more planes (as Vern said 3-5 would be delivered in a few days) to the FAA, and they DID NOT pass them (again) or did E-clips not present the to the FAA, or did the FAA not have time to examine all 3-5 planes.

They delivered one (more) not 3-5 more in a few days.

What happened?
I smell more Vern-sh_t.

airtaximan said...

Ken says;

"The problems both Eclipse and Excel-Jet are experiencing can all be overcome with the judicious application of time and money."

$1 billion judiciously spent dollars and counting. Are you remotely connected to the reality of the situation?

This is really scary stuff, Ken. Do you have any clue as to what "normal" programs like this cost? Does it not phase you one bit that they are 3x overspent and not even close to delivering on the promises made a week ago regarding 3-5 planes in the next few days?

What gives?
You OK?

gadfly said...

Let’s see . . . last time I checked, the going rate for a man’s integrity was about “thirty pieces of silver” . . . thirty piece of silver . . . a thousand million dollars . . . isn’t it amazing? . . . the rate of inflation? . . . must be the Democrats having won the last election! . . . ‘spose?

Planet eX said...

Bad comparison, but I have to make it...

Boeing 787 - $11 billion
Airbus A350 - $5 billion
Airbus A350XWB - $8 to 11 billion.

Considering all three considerably more complex to design and build, $1 billion on the Eclipse sounds like they spent way, way over budget.

Pray tell...what number of aircraft does Eclipse have sell to even get close to breaking even?

Observer said...

First, let me apologize to Stan and other readers for discussing a program other than Eclipse, but Ken asked about Sport-Jet.

Excel-Jet hired a wake vortex expert who confirmed the cause of the crash was the Dash-8 wake v. Yes, the company is aware of the NTSB report. Funny, how NTSB ignored the ATC separation procedures requiring a mandatory 3-min. hold (which test pilot did NOT receive). How many other aircraft can claim they saved two lives in this type of crash?

The Co. bus plan was to first build the product, prove it could pass FAR 23 testing and met safety objectives (which has been done).

Co. is in process of securing funds for certification. Co has firm certification bids based on the aircraft performance.

Again apologies for getting off topic.

Gunner said...

C'mon, Ken.

When Eclipse spends three times the amount of money as its competitors to get to certification, one can't possibly use the words "judicious application" of money with a straight face.

Eclipse is not running the Manhattan Project, somewhere behind closed doors. Their management style and treatment of depositors, employees and vendors is hardly a state secret: Splurge Today and Borrow Tomorrow. So stop now, OK?

As to "reliable information" that they are in a cash bind:

- The opening to this Blog Topic from a depositor that's been in since day one. Speaking for a group of depositors, he raises the perception that his progress payment is not going to be used to build his plane; that Eclipse is using tomorrow's funding for today's payroll.

- Emails this AM, that Stan referred to, that vendors may be cutting Eclipse off for lack of payment.

- Eclipse's own latest austerity campaign. Something not seen since the Williams days.

- EO387's own admission that he would like to know more about the company's solvency.

- The fact that two planes were not delivered the week of Feb 12, Pilot Training, while ostensibly "starting" the week of Feb 12, has actually gone backward with the walkout of the training vendor, 3-5 more planes have not been delivered in the "next few days" and PC (most recently promised at "the end of March") has now been postponed indefinitely.

Ken, in police work, we call those "clues". Get one.


Nerdy Engineer said...

Ken said...
Do actually you have any reliable information that they have a financial problem?

I'd say this is a pretty good indicator of financial difficulty.

"...merit increases for 2007 will not be awarded this year... The payment of merit awards will be reviewed and reinstituted when the company meets its financial goals."

And what's up with your constant use of "Rich Lucibella"? Do you think you're being clever? Impressing us with your vast intellectual superiority? Demonstrating your unparalleled detective skills? Do you fancy yourself a modern day Dick Tracy?

Inspector Gadget is more like it.

gadfly said...

Yes, Observer, you should be completely ashamed and disgraced . . . comparing airplanes with the Eclipse . . . the Nerve!

But somehow, me thinks Stan and “most” of the rest of us will forgive you in time, provided you promise not to take us into the real world, too many more times . . . this week.

Green-or-Red said...

On the finacial side of it all, in the ABQ Journal Biz section today was an article about Eclipse getting a 2 year extension on their IRB funds.

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"Has e-clips submitted 3-5 or more planes (as Vern said 3-5 would be delivered in a few days"

I'm sorry; where and when did Vern say that?


Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"As to "reliable information" that they are in a cash bind:

- The opening to this Blog Topic from a depositor that's been in since day one. Speaking for a group of depositors, he raises the perception..." blah blah blah, and so forth and so on.

I asked you for reliable information and you give me third hand innuendo.

Come on! You haven't got anything, have you??


Nerdy Engineer said...

RE: Clever Eclipse decisions

Since Ken was droning on about how clever Eclipse is, I thought I'd add a few more of Vern's "clever" actions to the list.

-Fabricating a 1,000 jet order (Nimbus) to secure funding.

-Blaming everyone else for his failures (e.g. Williams, Avidyne, the FAA, etc.).

-Revoking serial numbers to slide in higher priced units at the beginning of production.

-NOT doing fatigue testing like all those fossilized companies.

-Spending money on advertising when it should be used to finish development.

Ken Meyer said...

Nerdy Engineer wrote,
"And what's up with your constant use of "Rich Lucibella"?"

What's the matter? You don't like his name? I guess maybe he doesn't like it, either :)

That's darts.


bill e. goat said...

Just got home from school.
Mom says I can either watch tv or "blog out" for a while.
This is going to be harder than my homework!
(Just no calculators today, please).
And, No psychology class assignments!
Ad hominem attack
Argumentum ad Ignorantiam
Circulus in demonstrando
(I prefer things that involve crayons...)

Anonymous said...

You know what all this reminds me of ?

The Argument skit from Monty Python.

Ken Meyer = John Cleese ( visualize, if you will....)

"No, I'm not arguing"

"Yes, you are."

"No, I'm not."

If you're not arguing, then what are you doing right now?"

"I could be arguing in my spare time."

Freakin' Priceless !!

Haven't a clue, but he'll argue right down to the last!

Like he knows better ! Ha !

Ken Meyer said...

Nerdy Engineer wrote,
"NOT doing fatigue testing like all those fossilized companies."

You have it on reliable authority that Eclipse will never do fatigue testing? That's amazing; please tell us where and when that was announced.


bill e. goat said...

Working backwards for a while,

Planet eX,

Thanks for the development cost info. I think the most pertinent example would be Raytheon and the Starship.

Wiki puts development cost, at least until first flight, at $300 Mil, in 1988 dollars. This seems roughly comprable to the E-500 costs in current-dollars (um, and timeline...).

And, our spunky friend in Mojave was involved with both at some stage....

It can be argued that Raytheon spent a lot of money just on composites. Yeah, but Eclipse spent a lot of money on stir-weld, and just plain building a factory from scratch.

Not sure where I was going with this.

Anyway, Wiki also had an interesting link to a website for a book called "the Starship Diaries". It would be fun to read something like this for Eclipse.

(Maybe Stan can go into the publishing business...)

bill e. goat said...

Oops- sorry Frank,
I didn't mean to "argue" there...

bill e. goat said...

Ken, NerdE,
I assume we're talking about not YET doing fatigue testing, (I hope?).
Can FAR 23 get by doing "fatigue" by analysis only?

airtaximan said...

Ken, You asked:
"airtaximan wrote,
"Has e-clips submitted 3-5 or more planes (as Vern said 3-5 would be delivered in a few days"

I'm sorry; where and when did Vern say that?


HHHeeerrres Vvvveeerrnnniie.....

"Friday, March 09, 2007
Vern Speaks With an Owner's Group

As posted to the Eclipse Owners Board:

Yesterday the leadership of the E5C had the opportunity to speak directly with Vern Raburn for about 60 minutes on a wide variety of issues. Vern was very upbeat, candid, and open with us. While many of this comments were given confidentially, we felt it important to give you all a sense of the meeting.

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."

Just so you do not miss the point:

Vern said:
"The FAA is on premise and well into the inspection process for COA on three to five aircraft in the next few days"

So, are you now going to say Vern did not mean they would deliver the planes, just have the FAA inspect them, and perhaps issue CofA, but keep them under wraps for posterity?

You might be right actually - I never thought obtaining a CofA would create the problem of "the buyers do not want them anymore" is this your point?

...or did you just miss the whole point?

Your G-D said the faa would provide CofA on between 3-5 aircraft inthe next few was granted and delivered to the unknown-masked-recipient. Proud recipient, I'm sure.

This was on March 9th, it is now 10 days later -

Where are the 3-5 planes he claimed with great confidence would be CofA by the FAA?

and...I surmise, delivered...unless no one want's them. Heck, perhaps EO387 is really next in line? WHO KNOWS?


Anonymous said...

This is a great day, cut and paste this.... The Argument Skit.

Ken Meyer said...

bill e. goat wrote,
"I assume we're talking about not YET doing fatigue testing, (I hope?)."

It's not crystal clear to me what the urgency is to do fatigue testing at this particular juncture when the airframe has an initial lifetime of 10,000 hours and there are more pressing matters to pursue.


Gunner said...

You're right. They haven't done fatigue testing yet. Of course, in your world, that means the plan will be fatigue tested....ummm, when? After the 300 production planes come off the line "in the next few days"? Before the next TC, since the last one is now worthless paper?

Classically embarrassing use of Arumentum as Ignorantium.

Still, I give you credit. You ARE consistent as a menstrual cycle. ;-)

Anonymous said...

"Ken" sez...
"It's not crystal clear to me what the urgency is to do fatigue testing at this particular juncture when the airframe has an initial lifetime of 10,000 hours and there are more pressing matters to pursue."

Yea, like building and DELIVERING a real freakin' aircraft !!!

One to be proud of, not hide it in the shadows because it's the laughingstock of aviation !!


Back to ya !

Anonymous said...

I must scream it from the rooftops !!


NOT do any fatigue testing ? What magical fairy, or aquatic tart lobbing a scimitar at you made you think this thing will make it to 10,000 hours ?

Sorry, fellas, he's gone past Koolaid. He's on the hard stuff now.

airtaximan said...


Your analogy is flawed regarding spending.

Vern has spent north of $1 billion...all told. Raytheon did not come close. Vern said his program was for a low cost plane. Raytheon was not.

Vern spent on engine development, avionics development, fostrex development, wild advertising and promotion - Raytheon did not.

Raytheon had wild aero ambitions, Vern never did.

Raytheon had wild composite ambitions, Vern had non...except stir welding, which saves a bag of rivits.

add all the equity, deposits, government money and in-kind service, and you are NORTH of $1 billion for E-clips.

Also, Vern claimed to be leveraging computer aided design and telemetry etc... Raytheon, well, they were in the dino age.

I'd say Vern is 2x the dismal performance of Raytheon on the Starship. They are on the same certification schedule, production schedule, delivery schedule, profit schedule, and customer satisfaction schedule.

I must say, the Starship has the e-clipse beat by a million miles on the cool design schedule...though.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Ken,
Well, I hate to sound optimistic here, but I don't really think there is too much left to sort out:

1) Avionics, well, that IS a big item, but the structures guys can't really contribute to that effort, so they might as well go do, um, structural things, and stuff...

2) Drag reduction, is, about done, I think. Again, structures dudes can't contribute to this effort too much...

3) Manufacturing/Quality efforts- again, not much structural guys can do here.

So, unless they don't HAVE any more structures guys (I heard there was an exodus in that dept over the past few months), then they might as well "get on with it".

I too was impressed with the PR about "10K initial fatigue life". But, given the unexpected windshield problems, I think it would be prudent to pursue it- I think it HAS to be done (but I'm not sure), so there seems to be no reason to postpone it...unless BIG DESIGN CHANGES are coming????

Hmmmm, this didn't really lead to where I thought it would. Anyone got some news here?

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"Classically embarrassing use of Arumentum as Ignorantium."

That would be "argumentum ad ignorantiam," wouldn't it?

Gotta spell right, Rich, or we'll start thinking you're just throwing big words around :)


airtaximan said...


Leave Ken alone..he has his own money on the line, HE ACTUALLY IS BUYING ONE OF THESE THINGS. After all that's been disclosed...he's still buying one.

Can you even imagine?

gadfly said...

All right, Billy

Here it is “real slow” and you won’t need a calculator or a Latin lexicon:

Figure about 25 pounds per square foot on a flat plate at 100 mph.

That’s 100 pounds per square foot at 200 mph.

That’s 225 pounds per square foot at 300 mph.

That’s 400 pounds per square foot at 400 mph.

Drag proportional to the square of velocity, right? And four times four is sixteen, right?

So, if the little jet can achieve 400 mph (350 knots), we have 4oo pounds per square foot, right?

Now divide that by 144 square inches, and you get about 2.8 pounds per square inch. Are you with me so far?

Now, slope the flat plate back to say, 45 degrees, do your vectors, and you get less than two pounds per square inch, “frontal attack”. (2.8 x .707) But the sloping area is much greater than a square inch, so the pressure is reduced even further. So rather than play with various numbers . . . and you know that the profile is probably less than 45 degrees, it’s safe to assume for “SUBSONIC” airflow, that the pressure will be less than 2psi, at any point on the windscreen, and in most cases approaching 1 psi, as Stan already stated.

Word of caution, which no-one else has addressed: If, IF, a portion of the airstream approaches the speed of sound, which it can, even in a “sub sonic aircraft”, all bets are off, and strange things can happen in that region . . . that’s why true empirical testing is so important.

OK, now that wasn’t difficult, was it?


Anonymous said...

It's not too late....

Even sinners have a chance to repent. OMG another MP skit !

No one expects the SPANISH INQUISITION !

Oh, Mr. Meyer, did i spel that rite ?

airtaximan said...


Vern says its a taxi plane designed for taxi use...high utilization, etc.

So it follows he says it is designed for 10,000 hours.

None is true. It is designed as a low cost private pilot plane. It was NEVER designed as an air taxi.

Cracks, bursting tires, loose bushings, no payload-range, small cabin, etc...

It's a bold faced lie designed to attract some neophyte operators (Aviace, Nimbus, Dayjet, etc...) into placing orders to create some volume. Otherwise, he is SOL.

..and he knows it, and he's miling it.

Do a fatigue test and eliminate the claim. They will not disprove the appropriateness of the plane for air taxi. This would be the result.

Its BS.

Nerdy Engineer said...

Inspector Gadget said...
"You have it on reliable authority that Eclipse will never do fatigue testing? That's amazing; please tell us where and when that was announced."

I like how you pick only one item and then proceed to put words in my mouth as a rebuttal. (I'm sure there's a Latin term but we've had enough of that.) I didn't say never. If they had a test article maybe they would have discovered the windshield and bushing issues sooner. But they are far too clever for that approach.

Care to respond to the other "clever" actions on the list? How about no merit raises as an example of financial difficulty?

Anonymous said...

Bullshittimus rectimus copuli.

airtaximan said...

You now more than me, but I can tell you one thing.
None of what you write makes one bit of difference.

You need a stress analyst to look at the stress where the cracks are occurring. Period.

All the loads are not equal. You need to look at the actual attachments...thats why smart companies mitigate this risk with floating windscreens. The loads are disseminated and are dynamically adjusted instead of forced through static attach points.


Anonymous said...

You are accused of heresy on three counts -- heresy by thought, heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action -- four counts.

You have one last chance.

Confess the heinous sin of heresy, reject the works of the ungodly -- two last chances. And you shall be free -- three last chances. You have three last chances, the nature of which I have divulged in my previous utterance.


gadfly said...

And Billy,

Since the numbers I gave you were for sea level, the actual dynamic loads are somewhat less within the operating envelope of this aircraft . . . actually, I take that back! (I made a wild assumption just then.)

And the rest of you, wash your mouths out with soap!

Shame on you!

airtaximan said...


you seem like a nice smart guy.
Prepare yourself for a descent to the level of the critically impared.

This guy will cut and paste and nit pick you to death.

PAy no mind. He's using the same nit picking logic to lead him to the eternal opinion that the plane is a good plane, it is finsihed, certified, and functions as advertised. There an abundance of training and maintenance available, as is there tons of money left in the eclipse coffers.

Alls well in his own mind.

Never you mind.

gadfly said...

Have you tried the Green Chili Cheese Burgers at McDonald's in New Mexico? In about fifteen thirty minutes I'll be enjoying this gastonomical pleasure, times two, with coffee and fries, with my favorite Swedish blond (my wife) . . . and not a thought about the Eclipse, and dynamic loads all across its little windscreen.

Of course it's not that simple, but sometimes it helps to bring it back to the basics, before you get all hot and bothered. And in the end, it won't matter diddly.


(You folks are all too serious about this thing . . . lighten up a bit . . .)

Gunner said...

Nerdy Engineer said:
"I like how you pick only one item and then proceed to put words in my mouth as a rebuttal."

It's Ken's stock in trade, NE. But let it go...he simply makes our point for us, as follows:

- Ken gets his feelings all hurt about his fantasy plane and asks for "reliable information" of a claim.

- A list of 7 facts an/or issues is produced to support the claim.

- Ken picks out one, or part of one, (or even one word from one) and begins to argue as though he's latched onto something substantive.

- 3 more potential depositors, considering sending in their money (so that Ken's plane might stand a ghost's chance of limping off the line) roll their eyes.

- Realizing that Ken, by omission, must be admitting to the OTHER SIX facts and/ or issues, those Depositors take a second look at Adam, Cessna and others.

Ken REALLY wants his jet. Unfortunately, he's his own worst enemy in that regard. That's why I'm so fond of him.

bill e. goat said...

I don't think the analogy is far off...
I toured the Starship development and manufacturing several times back in the '80's, and I heard the number $500M more often than any other number.
Wiki says "over $300 M". Say we use $400M for ball park.
The CPI correction for 1986 dollars (mid-way through development) to 2006 dollars, converts then-$400M to now-$722M

I think this is ABOUT what Eclipse has spent so far- I don't doubt by the end of 2007, it will be close to $1 B_I-L-L-I-O-N dollars (Dr. Evil speak).

And glass cockpits for gen av was pretty avante garde back in the mid-1980's (since that WAS twenty years ago, I'm a little disappointed it seems to be taking Eclipse so long to get it down).

Vern leveraging CAD? Well, Raytheon was using CATIA- also pretty avante garde for back then.

Telemetry? Raytheon had state of the art for GA back then. Not sure how Eclipses' compares to state of the art for gen av now (I suspect, since Vern is a "computer nerd", it is also modern).

Raytheon was attempting "disruptive" improvements in value (jet performance at turboprop price). Eclipse is attempting "disruptive" value (tubroprop+ performance at piston price).

So, I think the programs are pretty comparable. There was a significant difference in aircraft size (Starship over twice as heavy), but also a significant difference in infrastructure costs (autoclaves not withstanding, Eclipse started out from scratch).

1) both are FAR 23 airplanes
(I think - Starship was a little heavy, but I think it was certified under the initial design wt, less than 12.5K),
2) twin engine,
3) glass cockpits,
4) unusual construction techniques,
5) about the same speed and range targets (E-500 a little higher and faster, Starship a little more range).

Anonymous said...

(You folks are all too serious about this thing . . . lighten up a bit . . .)

Sorry, maybe the Spanish Inquisition was a bit too much.

Sorry..... Sorry !

I wil go away and not taunt you a second time.

airtaximan said...


Starship sold a hand-full we doing so Far on the comparison?

I hope in 1998 Vern was promoting advanced computer design systems that would reduce risk and save time and money, that were well advanced compared to 1988.

Sorry, I do not buy the comparison. Except perhaps both are financial disasters.

airtaximan said...


are there really green chili burgers at McD's there?

This is very cool.

Are they good?

Gunner said...

Starship depositors and owners also got their money back in cash or kind.

The Starship also crippled an aircraft manufacturing company that dwarfed Eclipse.


bill e. goat said...

Gadfly, it's SWAT-TER time (NO Gunner, put that thing down!!!):

Strike ONE:

Gadfly said (March 19, 8:23 PM): Here it is “real slow” and you won’t need a calculator or a Latin lexicon: .....and you get about 2.8 pounds per square inch.

GOAT said (March 18, 5:20 PM)
Dynamic pressure = 2.8 psi


Gadfly said (March 19, 8:23 PM):
“it’s safe to assume for “SUBSONIC” airflow, that the pressure will be less than 2psi, at any point on the windscreen, and in most cases approaching 1 psi, as Stan already stated”.

Stan Says (March 18, 8:03 PM):
“be.g, You are probably in the ballpark for the pressure loading on the windscreen, less than 1 psi”.

GOAT said (March 18, 6:39 PM): “I would guestimate the airload would be less than 1 psi or so”


Gadfly said (March 19, 8:03 PM): “Are you with me so far?”

GOAT says (NOW), Ummmm, I'll try to keep up. (...where did I put that flyswatter....)

EclipseOwner387 said...

Anyone read the Twin & Turbine article on Epic?

Gunner said...

Trying to dig it out. Which issue?

Stan Blankenship said...

What's interesting about Ken is that he believes every new pronouncement coming out of Eclipse even though the company has a miserable record of failure on every prediction, every promise, every commitment.

His earlier comment is a classic example:

"The information I have is that there is no shortage of money at Eclipse to see the project through to mass deliveries. In fact, I updated just today the steps they've recently taken to have sufficient funds to tide them over until deliveries begin in large numbers."

Ken doesn't give us any specifics because it is not likely, the new Ponzi Scheme would pass the smell test here.

Jet_fumes said...

Gunner said:

The Starship also crippled an aircraft manufacturing company that dwarfed Eclipse.

Didn't Burt Rutan design an 85% scale model of the Eclipse?

Oh wait, Eclipse forgot to add the 15% didn't they?

EclipseOwner387 said...


March 2007 issue. Article on Epic's efforts to certify the turboprop. However, they are working on the Epic Elite Jet. Concerns me that they would be thinking Jet when they haven't even certified the turboprop but the numbers are flat out impressive. Can these guys pull this off? I am tempted to fly out to Bend and take a peek.

Gunner said...

Was that a "dwarf" joke?

Careful, someone might get personally offended. Stranger things have happened here.

Gunner said...

Can't find the article for the life of me.

The Epic is a pretty slick looking jet, and I think they have every bit as good a chance as Eclipse, Adam or Sport-Jet in making it happen.

The issue I have with it is market niche. Looks to me like they're going head to head with the REAL players in air taxi: HondaJet and Embraer. That's gonna be real tough spot.


Metal Guy said...

Ken said “Do actually you have any reliable information that they have a financial problem?”

With $20+ Mil per month burn rate and near zero income, a much better question is whether there is any reliable information that they don’t have a financial problem.

Silence has never been a good leading indicator...

bill e. goat said...

Gunner said:
Starship sold a hand-full we doing so Far on the comparison?

Well, since Eclipse has sold a handfull, I guess the comparison is pretty valid.

I take it you had a point?

Stan Blankenship said...

PMBT (just invented that one, past my bed time), have a new post written but will save it til morning, don't want to change the many subjects you guys have been discussing tonite.

Was hoping Frank would tell us if the Mustang windscreen has been tested for bird impacts other than the kind they are getting in the hangars. Not delivering too many are they Frank?

And goat, what flavor kool aid are you into tonite? What's this playin baseball with a fly swatter thing all about? I was hoping you would be able to give us a precise number to the 6th decimal point.

Gunner said...

Bill E said:
"Gunner said:
Starship sold a hand-full we doing so Far on the comparison?

Well, since Eclipse has sold a handfull, I guess the comparison is pretty valid.

I take it you had a point?

Well, I generally try to. But on that comment, I really didn't. Because I didn't say it.

I think you're looking for AT. ;-)

bill e. goat said...

Oops- sorry gunner, sorry ATM,
Didn't mean to be flippant (sure is a lot easier to do than the research!!!!).
For our viewing enjoyment...

Beech Starship:
Work began in 1979 on a King Air replacement....
Prototype flew in Aug 1983 (couldn't find the exact date).
First “real” airplane (flight test NC-1) flew on Feb 15, 1986
NC-2 flew mid-1986
NC-3 flew Jan 1987
NC-4 flew late 1988
Conditional certification” June 1988
First Delivery June 1989
Full Certification Dec 1989
Production ended Mid-1995 (53 units, including flight test)

Eclipse E-500:
Eclipse formed in 1998
Prototype flew in Aug 26, 2002
First “real” airplane flies Dec 31, 2004
“Provisional certification” July 2006
Certification date, Dec 31, 2006
First year deliveries: I'm guessing, maybe, 5 or 6 (theoretically, maybe 3 dozen).

Program launch to prototype first flight
Beech, 4 years
Eclipse, 4 years

Proto first flight, to “Real” first flight
Beech, 30 months
Eclipse 28 months

“Real” first flight to “conditional/provisional certification”
Beech, 28 months
Eclipse, 19 months

Conditional/provisional certification to first (fake) delivery,
Beech, 12 months
Eclipse, 5 months

“Conditional/provisional certification” to “real” certification
Beech, 18 months
Eclipse, 17 months (assuming Dec 2007)

“Real” first flight to first 53 airplanes,
Beech, 9 years, 4 months
Eclipse, 3 years, 6 months (assumes June, 2008)

Interesting to note, the Starship used a prolonged "conditional certification" period- guess Eclipse didn't corner the market on that one.

Also, the Starship turned out to be a turkey (slow, expensive, heavy, range limited). So, Raytheon/Beech really didn't "truly" deliver many- most were leased out, but owned by the factory. Hmmmm, beginning to sound a little familiar...

But, so far, Eclipse is doing pretty well by comparison...


For further punishment to those who provoke me to do research!!!:)

"The Shape of Planes to Come"
(Time magazine, June 27, 1988),8816,967782,00.html

Interesing Starship website:

"Lessons learned about Starship"
CNN.Money (May 2, 1994)
(says “over $350 Million” spent on development)

Yet more starship history....

Timeline for Starship program:


I think the Beech Premier of late, is a more apt comparison, but you guys are killing me!!!! :)

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