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.

Eclipse is continuing to work towards a PC. The PC audit is complete and the FAA has responded with a list of issues that need to be addressed before the PC is issued. Eclipse feels that they are in very good shape to meet these issues and that the list is actually not as big as others have faced in the same situation and time frame.

Vern candidly admits that going for PC right from the first airplane was not wise, and now has split the effort. While getting the PC is very important, receiving it will not really affect production until later this spring, and Eclipse can meet the current schedule for a few months with the FAA signing off each individual airplane. Actually as the FAA signs off more planes, typically the process gets easier and more efficient. (This is the process for example that Mooney used on all their aircraft for many years.)

Vern repeated Eclipse's commitment to retrofitting all aircraft for both the wingtip/speed mod and the AVIO NG mod. Right now, as only an estimate, the wingtip/speed mod should be in place somewhere in the 40 to 50's serial number, and the AVIO NG mod available in the low to mid 100's, but this is certainly subject to change given unforeseen challenges.

Everyone at Eclipse is very confident about the wingtip/speed mod, and we get the impression that it will meet or exceed the expected numbers and maybe even shave a few pounds off the empty weight of the aircraft.

The AVIO NG mod also seems to be a very positive change. IS&S has a great deal of experience in customizing software and hardware to existing high level commercial aircraft systems. They have done it for many other commercial aircraft manufacturers, and have a great deal of experience writing the "bullet-proof" software interfaces that are required on a platform like Eclipse.

On a related subject, the "synthetic DME" that is required to fly Eclipse above FL240 was not functioning because of the inability to update the database. This is being addressed and all aircraft delivered before the AVIO NG changeover will have it operational, and of course after the changeover the FMS system in AVIO NG will meet all FAA requirements for high level flights.

Vern also believes that the weight increase of the AVIO NG system will be optimized in development to bring it in at the smallest number possible. With each pound equal to about 1NM in distance; an extra 30 pounds should have a marginal affect on range.

We brought up the idea of re-looking at the LX option to cut out some weight to make a "LX light" option. And Vern said he will investigate it, but reiterated how difficult it was to change specs, even on the interior, since the interior is part of the total certification process. He expressed his desire to use continuous improvement techniques to eliminate weight when ever possible.

Vern also told us that the windshield issues that have been reported are all but completely fixed and should be no issue going forward.

Finally, we all walked away from the call with a positive feeling about Eclipse. All of us have the same skin in the game that many of you do, as three of us have our 60% deposits at Eclipse and the fourth owns the first aircraft. So our concerns mimic yours. But Vern seems very connected to the critical issues facing Eclipse, and has a short term as well as long term strategy to meet them all head on including production, training, finance, and support.

We still believe communication is an unresolved issue, and pushed hard for an increased effort in this area. Vern believes that he cannot satisfy every customer, but he sincerely wants to make as many customers happy as possible because they own an outstanding, innovative, value rich aircraft with outstanding support. An example of this effort is his decision to retrofit all aircraft with both mods, something we think is costing Eclipse north of $10 million.

Candidly Vern does read the website (note: this probably refers to the Eclipse Owners Board, not this blog) and like any normal person gets a bit disappointed about some of the personal remarks made about him. (While criticism on any topic is certainly open game on the website, we don't think personal remarks aimed at an individual are productive.)

Many times Eclipse cannot respond directly to an issue because of confidentiality agreements or sometimes there is no answer yet formulated. But in the last few weeks, Vern has begun to answer more and more issues, and has asked his staff to get information out to the customer base as quickly as possible, even when the "perfect" answer is not readily available.

We, the leadership of the E5C recognize that our role is not to repeat the "company" line, but to continue to push for relevant, hard information and facts that will help inform and support the Eclipse customer community.

We think we can do it in a non-adversarial, non-combative manner, but still ask and get answers to the hard questions. We did so on this phone call and came away feeling that the next few weeks and month or two will bring much better news and communication to Eclipse customers.

We have asked Vern to continue to meet with us periodically so we can press those issues that have not been resolved by others in the organization. And we look forward to hearing from you and reading about your concerns, issues, criticism and comments so we can continue to make the E5C a responsive, sharing owner's organization.

87 comments:

airtaximan said...

I am impressed Vern has the time to read this blog, and not impressed with:
1- new admission of weight increase due to Avio NG
2- anyone's characterization of retrofits/mods being anyones commitment to customers - the plane did not meet requirements and the depositors forked over money and took a plane with scrap avionics and payload-range shortfalls. To characterize the deliver of a plane that comes close to meeting what was sold as "commitment to customers" and talking about it costing E-clips $10M is insulting. It shows a lack of appreciation for who the customer is.

Whoever sent this in seems like a terrific person. Thanks.
PS. I hope Ken gets the point on the DME, finally admitted by Vern himself - I hope Ken has the sense to finally...forget it

Stan Blankenship said...

atm,

I think he reads the Eclipse Owner's Board. I will edit in clarification on the post.

Gunner said...

"Everyone at Eclipse is very confident about the wingtip/speed mod"
That's wrong.

"Candidly Vern does read the website (note: this probably refers to the Eclipse Owners Board, not this blog) and like any normal person gets a bit disappointed about some of the personal remarks made about him. (While criticism on any topic is certainly open game on the website, we don't think personal remarks aimed at an individual are productive.)"
Translation:
It's OK for Vern to personally attack Williams, BAE, Avidyne, Cessna and the entire aviation industry; but when the shoe's on the other foot, it hurts his feelings. So stop, please.

"the next few weeks and month or two will bring much better news and communication to Eclipse customers."
If I hear this just ONE MORE TIME, I will surely scream.

Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Want to point out some blatantly obvious BS.

Vern, according to Ken said "no wiring harness changes are needed" yet we find out the radios will NOT be in the same location. Hmmmmmmm. Must be those new fangled radios that do not require connections to speakers, audio panels, power sources, ground, and remote tuning. Truly revolutionary!

Vern, according to Ken said "no structural changes needed" yet we find out the new radios will weigh more than old radios and NOT be in the same place. Hmmmmmmm. These new fangled radios must only weigh more in the fifth dimension where mass properties don't actually affect surrounding structure - exciting!

My bet is the "A" mods cost EAC $2-3M (assuming about 50 aircraft @ $50K parts and labor). Eclipse guesstimate fo 2-3 weeks mods, means they already have 2 to 3 years worth of work lined up for their repair station - great source of revenue - ooops, no money coming IN on those repairs.

More BS about Avio NfG
Previously it was stated that were only enough Avidyne AVIO sets for half the ships in production (currently just south of 40), now we are told up to 100 will be delivered with Avidyne Avio. Eclipse will pay to retrofit Avio NfG into the airplanes delivered with old school Avio. This will mean potentially a new instrument panel, new mounts and harnesses, and an STC for the affected planes (they cannot be modded to a new TC). My best guess is the avionics mods cost EAC $15-20M.

So if you are losing money on the first airplanes you deliver just by building them, then you lose more money 'fixing' them (and do not even get me started on the fraud that is JetComplete), is the plan to make it up on volume? That is some decidedly non-Dinosaur thinking there, we usually try to make money selling the planes AND on the back end through parts and service. Who needs profit, this is Eclipse we are talking about, a new paradigm.

More BS on DayJet
DayJet will start flying within 90 days.

How will they do that when the aircraft is not equipped for Part 135 Ops? They cannot even begin their proving runs unless the airplane is EQUIPPED and CERTIFIED. Hmmmmm.

How will they do that without type rated pilots who have also met all of the requirements of their 135 program?

Or will this be photo op stop overs at the 'Dayports' to make the investors who likely found out about the Avidyne and United Divorce the same time the rest of the world did, just comfortable enough to hang on?

More BS on the training scene
Ken happily informed us that there are 9 pilots undergoing type training - yes, 5 FAA and 4 Eclipse Instructor Pilots - neglected to say that but gave the impression it was customers. Hmmmmm.

So there is NO SIC training although SIC required based on current autopilot functionality, NO typed Mentor pilots, NO typed customer pilots.

And Uncle Vern is going to 'generously' pay for all the mods at 'his' expense because he is 'committed' to the customer satisfaction.

The South Park boys would be calling Shenanigans to Officer Barbrady on this one for sure.

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

it's amazing that HIS CUSTOMERS are making insulting personal remarks about HIM...

when I read it, I interpreted it to be that Vern read this blog...

I find it truly amazing that e-clips customers are so disgusted that they make personal remarks about Vern...very telling.

Send your "progress-payment" quick.

Gunner said...

AT-
I think Vern was probably referring to posts on the Owner's Board, like Ken's on March 2:
"That's not right. And it's not right either that we were told synthetic DME works if it does not. That's the kind of thing that contributes to the growing credibility gap Eclipse is suffering from."

Of Course, Vern shouldn't feel too bad. Just one day prior, Ken was making comments like this:
"Gunner please tell me you're not honestly hinging your pitch on the sour remarks of disgruntled fired employees with names like "plastic plane" and "cessna fan."

Gunner

Planet eX said...

I'm curious as to which aircraft they are using to train in. They only have one conforming aircraft with a COA. Can they legally train in the pre-production (i.e., test) aircraft?

Sounds like they don't have enough instructors at the moment - 4 isn't enough to support the supposed delivery schedule (unless they are going to work them to death 24/7).

Ken Meyer said...

Coldwet said...

"Want to point out some blatantly obvious BS."

OK, let's do that to some of your "facts" and see how they stand up. Here are some things you just wrote:

1. "Vern, according to Ken said 'no structural changes needed.'" Nope; I didn't say that. I think you'll find I said "Avio NG retrofit does not require a new harness. It does require some changes to the panel and mounting brackets behind the panel."

2. "the aircraft is not equipped for Part 135 Ops." It is with the addition of a 3rd AI. The company was crystal clear that the Dayjet aircraft will be delivered with a third AI.

3. "So there is NO SIC training although SIC required based on current autopilot functionality." Under Part 135, there is an SIC required unless the autopilot is functioning and meets the specifications of FAR 135.105. I think you may be reading too much into the FSB note on this point. The 8400.10 specifically requires only that the autopilot is "known to be capable of tracking a radial, localizer, bearing, OR hold a heading" and the Eclipse autopilot currently does that. It may be that it did not do it when the FSB flew (hence the limitation in their report), but it meets the requirement today.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken:

nit, nit, nit. (thanks for helping me with the spelling).

Dayjet will require 2 pilots anyway, so the SIC training is important.
Also, compared with your defensive posts Wetfish makes you look like a desperado.

-the company is a mess
-the plane is not at all what was promised
-the fixes are being considered gifts, which is the most insulting thing I've heard yet.
If I were you, I would ask for clarification on this one point alone, because without clarifying that Eclipse is obligated to make your plane do what was promised at not cost to you, you are actually accepting ANYTHING they deliver. I'd be a little concerned, at this point. After all, the plane was certified and ready for delivery mid-last year…right? Imagine you got stuck with THAT plane? It’s a good thing the FAA has stopped them from delivering planes, no? It could have been yours. You might have even had to pay for NG, mods, fixes, etc…

Some might suggest Downtime would be an issue with accepting a plane that REQUIRED all these fixes and upgrades (sound like the software industry – wonder why?) to approach what was bought.

Regarding your 3 year guarantee example of a TV...please see my reference to Warrantee vs. Guarantee –keep issues of misrepresentation and detrimental reliance in the forefront of your brain.

Mr. Raburn (in case he’s reading this blog too) is stating he’s doing you a favor by paying for what you bought. Judging from the attitude and track record, what he is now promising today will probably not be delivered tomorrow - why? See track record. See failure to accept responsibility. See BS. Years and years…

PS. why is Vern offended by his customers” postings about him? Ask yourself... WHY?

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"Regarding your 3 year guarantee example of a TV...please see my reference to Warrantee vs. Guarantee"


I think you're drawing a distinction between warranty and guarantee that is not, ahem, warranted. From Lawinfo.com:

Warranty:
A guarantee given on the performance of a product or the doing of a certain thing."


Ken

Gunner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gunner said...

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__________________

I swear, if PT Barnum lived today, he'd be running away FROM the circus to build a rich and successful career in the world of Post Eclipse Aviation.

Gunner

Niner Zulu said...

I don't know - I'd like to believe Vern is sincere - maybe he is but my wife is probably right in saying that Vern has been BS'ing everyone so long that even he believes what comes out of his mouth.

People start thinking that this time it is different, only to get whacked with another round of bad news. Then the factory spin starts, there's the old "..just wait a couple of weeks until an announcement is made.." and Vern comes out and gives a feel-good speech and the whole cycle starts over again.

I've lost track of how many times this has happened.

The postings from people who are are working for Eclipse now, or have worked their in the past, just don't paint the same rosy picture we always get from Vern.

Except for Ken, does anyone believe that Eclipse is still going to deliver 400 planes this year? How about 200? 50? I'd be surprised if the planes currently under production are actually delivered by Christmas.

gadfly said...

Here’s a lie we were taught when we were kids:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”

It only takes a single attack with words to destroy a life. Here’s a bunch of grown men, attacking each other with words . . . and to what effect!

One day, much sooner than anyone wishes, lives will be “hurt”, both the “innocent” and the “guilty”. In the mean time, as “Eclipse” is discussed, the best blogs have centered on “Eclipse Aviation”, the things claimed, and the discovery of the facts. Since “Vern Raburn” is “the man”, it cannot be helped that he will be targeted, just as I take the “heat” in matters with my own business. But the “top” of any organization knows, survival includes having a “thick skin”, while representing every thing that takes place within an organization . . . taking the blame for the problems, and sometimes receiving praise for doing things right.

If I were an English Professor, I would flunk most of you on spelling and grammar . . . in other words, it is easy to pick apart almost anything that is said. But “friends”, or at least, “acquaintances” should give a “little slack” . . . OK, “much slack” in the rhetoric, and get on with the discussion without the personal attacks.

The subject, as I see it, is the “Eclipse 500", and not “how to destroy the lives of the people involved”.

Having said all this, I seriously doubt that more than twenty percent of the readers of Stan’s blogsite have read more than the first sentence of this contribution. That’s OK . . . at least it has been said.

And although I find it a complement that I was suggested as “holding a bet” . . . $50,000 no less, I gave up all forms of gambling back in the 8th grade, when I lost thirty-seven cents, pitching pennies. Gambling for me, today, is taking people at their word . . . and I have lost the better part of a million dollars when folks didn’t do what they said they would do. But I don’t often make a “second mistake” with any liar.

It’s a “fine line” to draw between lying and unintentional misrepresentation, sometimes called “ignorant over enthusiasm” . . . show how intelligent you are in making the distinction.

“Satire” is great . . . use it often. But attacks on the character of “fellow” bloggers should be declared “out of bounds”.

Now, back to your corners, and when the bell rings, come out fighting . . . but no more hitting below the belt . . . Please!

gadfly

Gunner said...

[Aside to Gadfly]-
I don't often backtalk those with more life experience than I, but I think you need to discern the difference between attacking the argument and attacking the man; between satirizing the logic and ad hominem.

It appears that your yardstick for personal attack is whether the recipient gets his feelings hurt. That can happen simply by disagreeing with some; it is the problem of the recipient, not the opponent attacking the argument.

For myself, I've yet to feel personally attacked on this Blog, other than once when I was a called a liar and even that rolled off pretty easily. But then, I tend to look at the person's argument, without reading into it personal attributes.

No need for me to further bog down the board with this digression. If you wish to discuss it further:
eclipse@thefiringline.com

Gunner

ps: It wasn't $50K you were to be holding. It was $50K X 2! I think you're good for it.

Frank Castle said...

What's bad is the people that are hard at work (what few are left) trying to make it LOOK like an aircraft manufacturer.

Sharkey was telling me that when some owners would come out, they would get busy doing something, making the illusion seem real. Not getting anything acccomplished, just going thru the motions.

Lots of people can't work like that. There's no sense of accomplishment. Sharkey tells me that the new hangars at Double Eagle will just be storage for now. Then they'll wheel 'em back to the "line" to finish them, if they ever get PC. One guy told Sharkey he'd rather swab toilets than wait around for something real to happen. Something they can claim as work, not just standing around with their hands in their pockets, shootin' the breeze. Then, when any management comes around, no work going on, they start makin' it rough on those folks, and whose fault is it anyhow ?? Don't threaten to fire anyone because YOU (U.M.T.) can't make a move rate faster than a slug crawling thru salt.

It's too late to give them something to do. Too late to try and live up to broken promises. You play with people's lives, they get away from you.

airtaximan said...

Ken:
The spelling convention is a little tricky..warantee vs. warranty, but if you are not just trying to nit pick...here's the protection you should seek, and the importnat issues you might want to consider:

Hre's a hint: try to pick the definition which MOST suits your situation.

WARRANTY:

1. an act or an instance of warranting; assurance; authorization; warrant.
2. Law. a. a stipulation, explicit or implied, in assurance of some particular in connection with a contract, as of sale: an express warranty of the quality of goods.
b. Also called covenant of warranty. a covenant in a deed to land by which the party conveying assures the grantee that he or she will enjoy the premises free from interference by any person claiming under a superior title. Compare quitclaim deed, warranty deed.
c. (in the law of insurance) a statement or promise, made by the party insured, and included as an essential part of the contract, falsity or nonfulfillment of which renders the policy void.
d. a judicial document, as a warrant or writ.

3. a written guarantee given to the purchaser of a new appliance, automobile, or other item by the manufacturer or dealer, usually specifying that the manufacturer will make any repairs or replace defective parts free of charge for a stated period of time.
–verb (used with object) 4. to provide a manufacturer's or dealer's warranty for: The automaker warranties its new cars against exterior rust.

gadfly said...

[Aside back to “Gunner”]

Yes, I know that the amount was “$100,000" . . . enough to make a down payment on one of our “CNC” machines, and I considered your statement a complement, believe me. It could have been ten or 100 times that . . . it would be secure, regardless! You could have said “$10", and the message would have been a complement.

My comments were more made to somewhat protect a man who seems to be “nearly alone” and backed into a corner. Yes, he lacks support for his position, I grant you, but the man is desperate, like a trapped animal in desperation, and I don’t like to see anyone in that position . . . even if he is on the losing side. I’ve seen others backed into a corner . . . for instance, a man for whom I once worked. He served “time” in a government sponsored “tennis club”, and died not long after serving his time, many years ago.* We were right, and he was wrong . . . but we who survive feel no satisfaction over his ultimate demise. I don’t wish for others to experience what he went through.

And please forgive me for any hurt that I may have pushed in your direction. I, too, have been called many things . . . although not often a liar. The words can “hurt”, especially when totally unjustified, and coming from people of “power”. When you or Ken or anyone is attacked, personally, I inwardly “hurt”, having lived long enough to see some of the ultimate results of personal attacks (to others). Attacks against me . . . I can live with it, regardless of the hurt . . . it’s part of life.

Gunner, you have been a great contribution to this website . . . thank you. And now I’ll look up “eclipse@thefiringline.com”.

gadfly

*the company was in Albuquerque, “Industrial Concepts Corporation”, excellent oil-well recovery tools, 82 counts of interstate fraud . . . many people were hurt, many people lost money, even while “Dunn & Bradstreet” gave it high ratings . . . back in the early 1970's. Albuquerque is a “magnet” for unique enterprises.

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,
"WARRANTY:...
3. a written guarantee given to the purchaser of a new appliance, automobile, or other item by the manufacturer or dealer"


A warranty is a written guarantee. Are we not in agreement on that? If not, I guarantee you I can't imagine why :)

Ken

Kaptain Kool-Aid said...

gadfly said...

"If I were an English Professor, I would flunk most of you on spelling and grammar..."

Before you flunk anyone for their grammatical errors, perhaps, you should review the section in The Elements of Style devoted to quotation mark usage.

Plastic_Planes said...

disgruntled fired employees with names like "plastic plane"

Actually, I'm not "disgruntled", I'm full of "grunt"

And I wasn't fired, either - I quit.

: )


I'd be surprised if the planes currently under production are actually delivered by Christmas.

9Z - At least a couple are with the FAA being reviewed for CofA this week with several more behind them.

Now, do I think they'll ship 200? 50 would be more like it. There were/are quite a few in flow (~50), so there should be deliveries...

/s/

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"I think you'll find I said 'Avio NG retrofit does not require a new harness. It does require some changes to the panel and mounting brackets behind the panel.' "

We read what you said, Ken. I think what we're confused about is how the wiring harness was already setup for the new radios that Eclipse didn't plan on and are no longer located in the panel? Can you explain this? I know I can't.

I'd also like to ask how it's possible there's no harness change when you convert from Avidyne panels to IS&S panels, or the harness changes necessary to accommodate new Honeywell, Chelton, Garmin and PS Engineering hardware?

I'd heard Eclipse is way out in front of the rest of the Aviation Industry, but this is an absolute technical marvel.

Gunner

gadfly said...

Kaptain Kool-Aid

You is a funny man, my friend! “Bill” Strunk and I could never agree on the use of quotation marks, and dangling particles. He agreed to give me a passing grade, if I would agree to not major in English Rhetoric. From there, I went into the Submarine Service . . . my grades were below “C” level.

‘Satisfied?

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly- I thenk yar absotlete rite.
:)

And regarding our blog MO:

I tire of people quoting a post, and then slamming the quote and the quoted.

Believe it or not, I think we all read the original postings, and can probably remember things for 24 hours or so, and don't need to have it re-posted.

After that, with this program, it's old news anyway.

I believe all of our motives are "pure", or pure enough; at any rate, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and it is a courtesy for others to take the time to share them.

I think we all could be enlightened by reading other peoples opinions (whether it confirms our suspicions, sharpens our counter-point, or just plain informs or amuses us).

I think we can also benefit from reading other people's opinion of other people's opinion.
But when we quote each other verbatim, that's zero value added, and a waste of space in this blog, and time spent forced to read through it to get to new content.

I also do not find it enlightening to read speculation on other peoples motives, as this is surely the most inaccurate and ludicrous aspect of this blog. Even more absurd and inaccurate than the Eclipse schedules and press releases.

bill e. goat said...

So let's all be nice!
Lots of smart folks here
I like to read all the posts, but please, no bash'n !
Thanks.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

At this point, DayJet's best bet is to take delivery of the baseline airplane and have their engineering group design and certify an STC for a simple mechanical 3rd attitude - unloads the design effort from Eclipse which should be overloaded already, and puts DayJet partly in control of their own destiny which would be a real change.

If I was Ed for the past 12 months, I would recommend stock in Mylanta to all of you, you'd have made a killing.

Since Ken refuses to address the LIE Eclipse told the world about AOPA, the phantom harness changes, the weight issue, the DME issue, the RVSM issue, the FIKI issue (including rumors that the current boot supplier is either out or wants out), or the TAWS and TCAS issues, I have a new couple questions the E5C could ask Uncle Vern the next time he agrees to talk when they ASK him.

The most significant operational issue to me is the embrassament of offering a handheld GPS to make up for the functionally INOP on-board dual GPS, especially since FAA AC 20-130A states
"...ii) VFR and hand-held GPS systems are not authorized for IFR
navigation, for instrument approaches, or as a principle
instrument flight references. During IFR operations, they
may be considered only an aid to situational awareness."

So if the GPS database cannot be updated as reported by Ken in another thread (at least until this week), and the moving map display is not certified, can someone 'splain to me how the E-500 can be flown IFR other than on an airway or jet route?

Can the Avidyne 'old school' Avio display CDI and Glideslope information as currently certified?

I am not sure and this is a genuine question. I have noticed with some of the other aspects of the E-500 certification, the Feds have allowed some interesting language re: 'when properly equipped'.

Is the airplane properly equipped, as currently certified, to fly IMC by hand? Seems obvious the autopilot cannot presently fly an approach, how 'bout one of us carbon-based lifeforms?

Is the aircraft properly equipped, as currently certified, to fly an instrument approach?

Inquiring minds want to know.

gadfly said...

By now, I believe we can all agree that it’s easy to find fault in the way each of us express our opinions . . . and miss the intent of this blog. The subject(s), as I understand it, is/are the problems and successes of “Eclipse”, with the intent that when all is said and done, “nobody gets hurt” . . . at least to the point that they can’t walk away from the experience.

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly- I agree again.
Everyone should be able to "tune in" with pleasant anticipation, even if it involves some "I told you so's" (but NOT you are a blah blah blah).
And, everyone should be able to sign off with a pleasant smile as well.
Let's all try to make this happen.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet said,
"So if the GPS database cannot be updated as reported by Ken in another thread (at least until this week), and the moving map display is not certified, can someone 'splain to me how the E-500 can be flown IFR other than on an airway or jet route?"


Absolutely. There is no requirement that a pilot have access to a IFR-certified RNAV unit in order to fly random RNAV routes. You are perfectly legal to fly off-airway direct within the service volume of VORs or under radar surveilance (with vectors, as needed).

The story goes that years and years before RNAV came into being, pilots enroute to LAX would routinely depart JFK and immediately request "vectors to Hector." :)

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Correct me if I'm wrong. That would mean that you're relegated to filing VOR to VOR, yes? And, once up, in cases where you're in a Radar Environment, you MIGHT go more direct, providing ATC has the time and inclination to vector you?
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

In the past couple of days, Ken provided to the Eclipse Owners Board, a summary of what he heard during a conference call with Vern. Most of what he said has already been repeated, but here verbatim, is his last paragraph:

"One thing buried in those notes worth mentioning separately--The announcement of a windshield fix is, I think, significant. There had been nasty speculation that this was going to be a very big problem, but Vern Raburn says the fix has been found and will be implemented through a relatively simple service bulletin. Once implemented, the onerous additional inspection requirement will end."

End Quote.

Kenny Boy, think about this situation a bit.

The windshield installation as originally designed, passed all the static testing with flying colors. The problem did not surface until the test fleet logged a few hundred hours, then what has been described as fatigue cracks, started appearing.

We can disregard my unsubstantiated report that two major windshield producers who looked at the Eclipse design both concluded the installation needed a major re-design. Just forget I even brought this minor point up.

But now, Eclipse has come up with a band-aid fix.

Have they static tested the modification? Has the mod been subjected to the fatigue tests? Or, did they find a soft DER to pencil whip the problem?

I'm thinking perhaps they have made a 100% improvement. Now it may take twice as long for cracks to show up. Then perhaps the onerous 50 hour life might be replaced by a 100 hour life.

This may yet be a nasty problem!

airtaximan said...

Ken:
Here's the one I recommend suits your situation the best...its the compelte verison of the snipit you took...the most important part ws left out. It clarifys why you were wrong in the first place.

I would advise you pay close attention to this, versus garantee.

E-clips has failed on the guarantee, and is asking for your THANKS for paying them and relying on the mods and fixes which may come later to appraoch what you bought.

The 3 year TV "garantee" as you put it, I believe is more likly a Warranty for 3 years where they fix it at their cost - as described below.

So, they did not meet the garantee - period, fact, done. Your accepting the risk that they will reto/add/subtact/bless/change/fix/NG - whatever - your plane one day to make it work like the one you were sold and bought, and were garanteed it would meet those specs. The 3 year TV warrantee is different..OK?

3. a written guarantee given to the purchaser of a new appliance, automobile, or other item by the manufacturer or dealer, usually specifying that the manufacturer will make any repairs or replace defective parts free of charge for a stated period of time.

BTW, they are free....for a period of time...related to defective parts (is avio now defective, are windows now defective, bolts, tires, radios, DME...M-O-U-S-E?) Careful, look at the warantee...

But also, look for them to meet the garantee. BTW, perhaps the when they meet the guarantee(s), the Warantee should begin? It might extend your warrantee a year or two or three...

could get expensive if not.

One last thing fo tonight, Kenny. We're going to be watching the owners-board to make sure this guarantee/warantee thing does not get a different rap there..OK?

FOR EVERYONE ELSE ON THIS BLOG:
have you ever seen anyone fight so hard to get themselves out of free repairs or a product that actually meets the spec of what they bought? not me. Perhaps this is the new generation of consumer? Die-hard is right!

airtaximan said...

cold-fish-friend

"At this point, DayJet's best bet is to take delivery of the baseline airplane and have their engineering group design and certify an STC for a simple mechanical 3rd attitude"

MAN, if you think they have one engineer over there, you are on some kinda basd drugs. OK, computer engineers/matheaticiens...but aerospace engineers?

If there was one in the building, do you really suspect he would allow them to plan to use the e-clips plane for air taxi?

airtaximan said...

cold-fish-friend

"At this point, DayJet's best bet is to take delivery of the baseline airplane and have their engineering group design and certify an STC for a simple mechanical 3rd attitude"

MAN, if you think they have one engineer over there, you are on some kinda bad drugs. OK, computer engineers/matheaticiens...but aerospace engineers?

If there was one in the building, do you really suspect he would allow them to plan to use the e-clips plane for air taxi?

Stan Blankenship said...

Koolaid-drinker1 left this msg for Frank Castle on a previous post, I think he is trying to tell us something:

Frank Castle said...

"So much of that screams BS, kenny.
Vern's just tryin' to insure his money don't go bye-bye.
All I want to know is when the next delivery will take place, I'll be there to ask His Koolaidedness,

"Is that a complete aircraft with all working accessories ?" "



Frank, better start out for KABQ, can you get there by tomorrow 03/10/07?


KA1 :>)

8:32 PM, March 09, 2007

airtaximan said...

stan,

you say a delivery is coming tomorrow?

with all working accessories, etc?

Gunner said...

Curiouser and Curiouser.

I'm glad KoolaidDrinker1 is still around. Every Blog needs Comic Relief.

Aircraft #002 to be delivered tomorrow, or soon? It actually makes great sense to me. Rally the troops with another certed aircraft to the level of Poor David Crowe's abomination.


I wonder, though; and this is not specific to any poster here; just an observation that when Common Sense shows Vern's fortunes at the low ebb, there always seems to be some reporter, blogger or "inside source" to rekindle the buzz:

Is there a set Pay Scale for VFB's (Vern's Fluff Boys) or do they each negotiate separately?
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

sad fact is, another delivery or a few will be perceived as positive.

eventhough it has taken, by all accounts almost 1/2 a year to produce the planes...

somehow, this will be "progress"

Gunner said...

AT-
My point exactly. It's TIME for a NEW Eclipse to enter Stage Left. But that's not really news.

News is whether there's a Pay Scale for VFB's or not.
Gunner

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

Gunner,

Just when I was beginning to like you!

This blog needs some "comic releif" to offset the SWAT Team :>)

By the way, I may be easy but I'm not cheap. I could be tempted with some "fun in the sun" down in Florida right about now!

KA1

airtaximan said...

gnr,
I wonder what the post regarding the demise of E-clips related to specifically. It sated that "unless they deliver plane before the end of Q-1" they were sunk?

Why so specific? Why the exact timeline? I can't figure.

BTWY&M, I cannot believe anyone in their right mind would accept delivery of this plane plus the promises. I also cannot believe anyone would put down a progress payment and increase the risk.

I cannot even imagine the frequency the brain must be on to do this, at this point, knowing all the failures and lies.

airtaximan said...

KD-1,

so.. how many plaes coming out the sausage grinder tomorrow?

What sort of functionality/mods, etc?

Florida? I'll meet you there...

Stan Blankenship said...

For the record,

The faa.gov site shows:

Serial 002 tail # N126DJ
Serial 003 tail # N816KD

Also if the miracle happens tomorrow, that will make the score

Mustang 1
E-500 2

Frank needs to stay in Indy with his fellow Eclipse alumni and start putting in some long days and working 63 days straight with no time off, even for a kids birthday.

Management at Eclipse knows how to get things done.

airtaximan said...

so Dayjet gets a plane it cannot use for taxi, and there's a photop...nice

do you think his buddy will lease back the plane and charge him to train his pilots on his plane?

Gunner said...

D1-
You're a bit late to The Party, so I should clue you in. My identity, background and location are hardly State Secrets around here.

You're welcome in my Piece-o-Florida anytime. We always have Sun. Depending upon the kinda "Fun" you seek, I may not be able to help you out, though. In fact, when you respond that you're easy but not cheap, in context of the question, I'm pretty certain I can't help you at all. But it IS a big State; knock yourself out!

Gunner

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

Rich,

I have been to the party for some time now and if I want to visit your Piece-o-Florida I will stop in to see my brother who lives in your back yard.
As it is, I have a home North of you and was wishing that I was there right now. The fun I seek does not involve snow.

KA1

Gunner said...

KAD1-
Amazing! You actually know people that know people that live near where I live? What a small world! Group hug.

Back on track, now. Can you answer the question Ken hasn't about the Little Jet having to file and fly VOR to VOR like a 60's C-172 unless ATC has time to point it where it needs to go?

Let me clarify: I'm not talking about the "current" airplane that will make its first flight this summer; I'm talking about the "current" airplane, as in David Crowe's.....today.

Thanks much-
Gunner

airtaximan said...

KA1,

how many delivereis, when, what kinda functionality?

Thanks

PS. any clue when they were intiated construction?

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

No Gunner, I am just as ignorant as you are regarding that subject. Buy the way, I'm not implying ignorant in a bad way, just in the "not knowing" way.

I am starting to get the idea that this blog is not as much about Eclipse as it is about the self interests and large egos of many that participate. It has never been my intention to insult anyone on this blog and I do not care to be drawn into a "shootout" with you. Say what you will, it just speaks volumes of you as a person.

KD1

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

airtaximan

1- AC3 (It's not a DJ)

Functionality, It will fly!

All "comic relief aside" I don't know any of the particulars. Sorry.

KD1

airtaximan said...

d1,

all of the above, thanks. Just want to know what's going on...for my own reasons...including ego, I'm sure

later,

Jake Pliskin said...

ken and eb, i'm still curious. when were you made aware of the pending avionics shakeup?

really, its not a loaded question i'm just wondering when you were told it was gonna happen.

Gunner said...

Worry not, KAD1, you've not insulted anybody. At least not me. That requires real talent. Not talent you lack, mind you, just talent you haven't shown. ;-)

As for shootouts, you've definitely got the wrong guy. I'm actually a pacifist by nature; a "Gunner" only by circumstance.

But Geez-Louise, you sure did come on strong, with announcements of aircraft to be released tomorrow and all. Was that just funnin' with us?

Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner wrote,
"Back on track, now. Can you answer the question Ken hasn't about the Little Jet having to file and fly VOR to VOR like a 60's C-172 unless ATC has time to point it where it needs to go?"


I'll answer it for you. No, you do not have to fly VOR to VOR.

And, yes, Eclipse has announced that the Certificate of Airworthiness was received for S/N 3 today.

More good news for Eclipse and its customers!

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

Jake wrote,
"ken and eb, i'm still curious. when were you made aware of the pending avionics shakeup?"


I heard Avidyne was out over a month ago.

Ken

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

KD1

Gunner,

No, I was not just funnin' with you about AC3. I was just giving you a "heads up" and Frank the opportunity to live up to what he "said" he was going to do at the next delivery. :>)

KA1

Jake Pliskin said...

who are the owners of #2 & #3?

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"The windshield installation as originally designed, passed all the static testing with flying colors. The problem did not surface until the test fleet logged a few hundred hours, then what has been described as fatigue cracks, started appearing."


Stan, are you not aware of the number of hours on the Eclipse fleet today? The problem did not appear until the test fleet logged a few thousand hours.

"Then perhaps the onerous 50 hour life might be replaced by a 100 hour life."

You've got your numbers wrong. The side window required replacement every 250 flights; the windshield every 100 flights. You're correct that those restrictions are now gone.

Ken

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

Ken,

Now that you are online I am going to take a break and let you handle passing out the kool-aid for a while.

Good luck

KA1

Gunner said...

Thanks Ken and best wishes on SN 003. With the money you Depositors have contributed in the past 10 weeks, you deserve this: I mean that sincerely.

I read your answer regarding navigation and realize that my question may have led to the glib answer. I should have been more specific, as we have several "planes" here: the plane that was TC'd; David Crowe's plane on the 2nd of this month; David Crowe's plane (as reported) on the 7th of this month; the plane that will be certified tomorrow; the plane that will be retrofitted this summer and the plane that will be built in fall. Hard to keep track without a scorecard.

So, if I may impose, let's talk about David Crowe's plane on the second of March so that we can get a progress baseline on the avionics:

What would have been the equipment "/" designation on that aircraft when filing IFR?

Thanks much for whatever you can provide.
Gunner

Metal Guy said...

Oh boy, here we go again…


News Updated from ABQ – Part 2

The Upgraded VLJ

By Jim McKlain
Journal Staff Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn announced this past Tuesday a major effort to improve various aspects of the Eclipse 500, the company’s flagship Very Light Jet (VLJ).

In a press conference, held at Double Eagle Airport, dozens of Eclipse employees gathered around a sandy vacant lot, scheduled to become the first facility establishing a permanent presence at the blossoming air facility.

“We are pleased to announce a complete and comprehensive upgrade program to our already overwhelmingly popular Eclipse 500 VLJ”, boasted a gleaming Raburn. “We have listened to feedback from our customers and are determined to make our loyal customer base a satisfied bunch indeed.”

The improvements are significant and wide ranging, and include such highlights as additional paint trim colors, an increased selection of interior color options, a dual-redundant computerized auto-deploy air freshener canister (free with the sixth seat toilet conversion kit), interior “mood” lighting, spinner hubcaps, and the ever popular “Under Aircraft LED Light Kit” (available in “Razor Red”, “NG Prism Blue” and “Glam Green”).

“We feel that our customers have clearly spoken and demand such improvements - we are confident that on close inspection, all of the Nay-Sayers of the industry will realize that we are making significant upgrades on these significant upgrades. We are working diligently to have all of these available by mid summer, with the exception of the Next Generation “Prism Blue” kit, which seems to be somewhat more challenging. We are working with our key vendors on targeting that specific upgrade for early next year, but are sure the pilot community will understand and find it well worth the wait. In the mean time, we will be supplying “Razor Red” kits in lieu of “NG Prism Blue”, but will update all affected aircraft at no cost to the consumer.” Raburn followed up energetically with “This is an excellent deal for everyone and represents significant progress on our side!”

When asked about recent developments, such as major vendors, once again, backing out of key supplier positions, Raburn quoted “It’s a hard fact - the MTBF of the LED option alone increases from the HVGH from under 50 to well over 200. This is a substantial improvement we feel is key – there is no way the prehistoric dinosaurs of our industry would dare push the edge this far. This is clearly why we will succeed where so many others have failed.”

As the presentation went on, several employees seemed to wander off, apparently in search of old bottle caps littering the adjacent field. “They make good wind chimes, and Ned is trying to collect them for his cub-scout pack”, stated one, somewhat weary Eclipse employee.

Appearing irritated by his own employee’s irrational lack of interest, Raburn, with folded arms and making subtle clicking noises into microphone, patiently waited while Andrew Broom, Eclipse spokesman, dashed from the podium and attempted to round up the straying employees. In confronting one intently focused group apparently attempting to teach each other to “snap” bottle caps to make them fly like little Frisbees, Broom was unsuccessful in getting their attention, even while flailing his arms frantically and hissing something about “The boss man”. However, he had better luck with several stray loners that were eventually herded back to the podium.

Resuming, apparently un-phased, Raburn continued with his speech for another two and a half hours, going into detail as to the importance of each upgrade. At one point, he extensively detailed one of their concerns about a major decision they were currently negotiating with the FAA involving which side of the cockpit they should install the independent third cup-holder. “It’s surprising the amount of analysis required of the regulatory basis for seemingly simple decisions like this. It’s not just a quick “right or left” call. Important factors such as open platform compatibility and expandability need to be addressed. It’s actually a lot harder than anyone could have possibly foreseen.”

As the day wore on and on, the small group of employees, standing in the hot Albuquerque sun, got more and more agitated. At one point, one frail female employee, later identified as 87 year old “Ruby”, muttered “bite me Raburn” and walked over to an adjacent hanger and sat down in the shade, clearly unimpressed.

From that point on, the tension seemed to rise, reaching a crescendo when Raburn was hit forcefully on his left temple with a high speed bottle cap. Quickly limping to his vehicle he was heard muttering “But I just give and give, no one appreciates me.”. As he sped off, the sound of hundreds of whizzing bottle caps could be heard ricocheting off the back of his car.

Mr. Broom was found several hours later wrapped in duct-tape and hung out on the water tower just outside the main hanger facilities.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So let me get this straight, we can pay $1.5M AND we get to navigate by dead reckoning, at or below FL240, if we are too ashamed to be forced to go VOR to VOR in our wonderjet? What a bargain.

Ken, you are obfuscating again.

The fleet of 5 test aircraft had 1500-2000 total hours on them when Eclipse finally owned up to the fact that they had suffered MULTIPLE cracks in the windshields and cockpit side windows, on more than 1 aircraft, with themselves only several HUNDRED hours or cycles on them.

The failure rate was so disturbing that the FAA Approved AMM Limitations data placed SEVERE service restrictions on the Windshields and Cockpit Side Windows.

This, coupled with the wing bushing issue, also expreienced on aircraft with only a few HUNDRED hours on them should be a warning signal, not a cause for celebration. Add in Vern's cryptic message the other day about higher than 'anticipated' component failure rates, and seems to me that Eclipse does not apparently have anyone who understands the concept of lifecycle reliability for new parts and systems.

I have to ask, are you actually involved in aviation in any way beyond thanking the nice lady for taking your ticket?

Is the windshield fix FAA certified, yes or no? If yes, what is the STC or Ammended TC - and no, Vern's word is not good enough?

Has the FAA agreed to an updated Section 4 in the AMM removing the obscene replacement restrictions, yes or no? What is the STC or Ammended TC - and no, Vern's word is not good enough?

Does the DayJet aircraft have a 3rd AI installed, yes or no? What is the STC or Ammended TC - and no, Vern's word is not good enough?

Well on second thought, if Ken says that Vern says all is well - why do we even bother - you know, given the excellent track record for forthright, honest and open communication out of Eclipse and the tru-believers.

Fantastic news, a round of Kool Aid for the house, on me.

Ken Meyer said...

gunner asked,

"What would have been the equipment "/" designation on that aircraft when filing IFR?"


Beats me. You'd have to know whether the operator was RVSM authorized (not just the aircraft) and then check the equipment suffix table in AIM 5-1-8.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Cold-wet...

It's natural for Ken and the other depositors to keep seeing and believing. They WANT to believe.

In some cases, people really do "only see what they believe".

It is clear to many that:
- what was sold is not what is being delivered, guarantees and all
- upgrades and mods that are being described as gifts, are really only patches and fixes for a plane that did not make it
- AVIO NG replaces garbage that they could not or did not want to complete and make work
- the commitment to training was lip service, there's no capacity to train required pilots and Co-pilots, and sufficient mentors today
- there's a weight penalty for new avionics
- the plane was not designed for durability and lifecycle cost
- the order book is mostly options or friendly orders without normal deposits
- the plane is not a taxi plane, and therefore lacks sufficient market for higher production and lower cost
- e-clipse has been dishonest in many instances regarding virtually all aspects of their business
- supplier issues plague the company
- many executives have left
- many positions are being offered for sale or have already been sold, and today not many are being
sold
-e-clipse is doing everything they possibly can, including mischaracterizing the situation and "Stunts" "just in order to increase the number of 60% payment they get from depositors
- Dayjet is in cahoots

But, some do not see it this way. They have the deposits down on the plane. It's just that simple.

Somehow, Eclipse is doing a good job providing them with what they need to see in order to keep the faith.

bill e. goat said...

Metal Guy- A “geaming Raburn” ?- I knew he was a snappy dresser.

I think Vern would look quite dashing in the “NG Prison Blue” you mention, although I think “Conviction in Orange” would also do nicely.

Planet eX said...

I found something in the MMEL that I thought was interesting about the Eclipse.

Item 22.3 - Yaw damper inop:

a) Yaw Damper and Autopilot System is deactivated,
b) Aircraft is operated with a crew of two,
c) Stall Warning System and Stick Pusher are operative, and
d) Aircraft is operated at or below 10,000 feet MSL.

With the Cessna Mustang the limitation is:
"May be inoperative provided the flight is conducted at FL 300 or below.

NOTE: Autopilot must be considered
inoperative and RVSM is not authorized."

Sounds like the Eclipse is heavily dependent on the yaw damper.

Gunner said...

Ken-
You are a slippery devil. ;-) I just want to make certain we're talking about actual certified planes, not concept aircraft.

- David Crowe's Aircraft
- March 7, 2007 (Gregorian Calendar)
- IFR, Continental USofA
- Single Pilot, fully certified to fly the Eclipse; RVSM Cert'd
- Alt 39,000 FT (In Accordance with US of A Weights and Measures Standards)
- Personal, rather than commercial, flight

What would be the slant ("/") code for that Flight Plan?
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

Here is how the FAA would have established the original 50 hour limit on the windshield.

First they would want to determine how many hours it took for the first cracks to occur. For argument sake let's say 250 hours.

Assuming the cracks are fatigue related, the Feds could establish a safe limit of 50 hours during which it would be unlikely any cracks would occur.

Meanwhile, Eclipse developed a band-aid fix and said it has solved the problem.

Let's say the fix is 100% better and the cracks don't start showing up until 500 hours. Do you find that comforting?

Until the new design is fatigue tested, it is impossible for anyone to say the problem is fixed. And even fatigue tests may not duplicate conditions the airplane will see in service.

Individuals working on the airplane have reported a very flexible fuselage structure. It could be side loads on the nose gear causing high stress loads on a cold soaked windshield.

Fatigue testing may not duplicate this exact condition and the problem could resurface with the fleet leaders.

If you ever take delivery of one, I would suggest a close look at the windshield periphery before every flight.

bill e. goat said...

According to our fellow blogger Plastic_Planes, the "original" windshield did not seem to have problems, it is the newer one (with improved anti-ice electrcal heating) that seemed to be where the problem was first noticed. So maybe the structure isn't is "flexy" as suspected by many (including myself when I first read about the problems).

Not sure if this implies the new windshield was weaker, or if the different stress pattern is generated by anti-ice, or what.

Stan- you bring up a good point about the fatigue test- I don't think the airframes are subject to environmental stress, just mechanical stress.

Plastic_Planes- are you listening- can you shed any light more light on this? Thanks.

Repost (I know, I said I wouldn't do this, but I also said our memories are only 24 hours long...)

From Plastic Planes on March 04, 2007 :
The windshields have been an issue for quite some time (since before I left - about the July time-frame is when it began to cause shortage's on the line). I am not a designer (I was in manufacturing), but the windshields that were used extensively during the test phase (hence the high hours without many problems), were of a different design. The later production windshield also incorporated a different windshield heat grid to address an issue with fogging under certain conditions. Norham (the supplier of the pre production and production windshields) has been working with E-Clips on this issue since last July. Many of the original production AC were built out of sequence due to the lack of windshields - a lot of the production windshields got diverted to flight test to prove out changes.

bill e. goat said...

Point being, maybe the structure isn't really that bad, and maybe a relatively simple "fix" will be sufficient to alieviate the windshield issue.

Gunner said...

Bill E:
Good points. With production now reportedly back on, and Eclipse renewing it's pledge to greater transparency, I'm hopeful we'll have definitive answers in fairly short order.

I'm glad you noted the necessary evil of quoting in a Blogger environment. These are not one-on-one conversations; there are several or a dozen different exchanges going on simultaneously. Absent quotes, Blogs devolve into a cacophony of undecipherable comments.

Additionally, some Bloggers will always insist on verbal precision from the other side. There might be 11 points in another's post, only one of which is incorrect; yet some will glibly argue the poster is "wrong" or "lying", without providing any specificity of their own.

Thus, the need for quotes. They help to pin down specific issues, specific truths, specific falsehoods and specific attempts to mislead.

Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

Eclipse has a fix but is it fixed?

Only time on the airframe will tell.

bill e. goat said...

Frank, Frank, Frank...

You just don't understand disruptive technology.

Didn't you read the posting about the new Double Eagle facility, 20-some miles from ABQ Sunport?

And the posting about the difficulty in handling the thin skins (no, not Vern's thin skin-:).

It is obviously a stroke of brilliance, one none of us "Dinosaur brains"could have thought up.

Vern is going to have the 600 production workers he hired a year ago (a year before PC, excuse me, a year x N), hand carry the components to Double Eagle.

Figure 3500 lbs empty weight for each airplane.
Each worker can carry 50 lbs
3500/50 = 70 workers to carry components for one airplane.

Double Eagle is about 21 miles from ABQ-Sunport
Each worker can walk 3 mph
1 hour commute back to plant in company van.
(21miles/3mph)+(1 hour) = 8 hour day.

1000 planes per year, is 20 planes per week, is 4 planes per day:
requires 4 x 70 workers carrying parts to storage at D.E.
requires 4 x 70 workers carrying parts back from storage to ABQ
requires 2 x 10 van drivers (7 workers + 1 driver per van; each way)
results in 280+280+20 = 580.

That only leaves 20 guys to build the airplanes (No wonder Eclipse mentions production delays).

See, and you all thought they were idiots for hiring 600 production workers over a year ago.

Any production worker griping about nothing to do, is obviously not “carrying his weight” :)

Hey, Vern- I can help- make me a VP, or DER (Disruptive Engineering Representative). I think we can really get that production rate up- we start issuing roller blades- that'll really get things rolling!!!

Frank Castle said...

Sorry, I was out for a few days....

Kid's birthday. I'm a great dad.

Well, well. I surely missed an opportunity to consume some bovine skin covering my lower extremities. But, I am confident that all is NOT what it seems, we have another David Crowe incident here, and another useless piece of aluminum.

I am not an eclops alum, although I know several people in this industry, having been here for quite a while, and, as previously posted, I know of several people that wanted nothing more than to be in on the 15 minutes of fame accorded to them by Andy Warhol.

I wished 'em the best. Some made it, some didn't.

Some can't.

Why? they don't want to be associated with this avalanche of propaganda leading to the biggest fall of all.

One friend told me that the company they hired on to (not Cessna, more south.)
thatwen Eclops goes under, those that stayed till the ship sank will find it harder to stay in this field, unless they go to work for an FBO in the boonies, and work their way back up.

Actually, I'd like to rephrase my question for Vern.

Don't you have a @#$%^&* conciense at all ? Money grubbin' little @#$%^&*

Frank Castle said...

And please don't lecture me about who I work for. Textron/Cessna ain't no Mom & Pop shop either.

Damn, it's Saturday, and I better get back in to work !

Gotta build those planes, and fast ! We're losin' ground !

mouse said...

Just for squeaks, the price for a windshield is probably going to be $8-10K installed per side, and the side transparencies about $1500-2500K per side (all estimates). It would not surprise me to see Eclipse consider replacement a routine maintenance item rather than correct the thin skin cockpit skin design. Any reinforacement would affect weight, CG, cost, certification, fatigue testing, Etc...

As for the AVIO NfG boxes adding weight.. How can this be? I thought there is no change to mounting, wire harnesses, Etc.? If they weigh more I'll bet they; require more space to mount, which means new locations, new mounting structure and new CG changes, not to mention equipment list changes, manual and drawing changes, Etc... all of these are not fast or easy.

I understand the changes must be done. I also understand that new suppliers will have new components that need different mounting, wiring, Etc. What I don't understand is how anyone (not just picking on Ken) can believe even .01% of what Vern spews out regarding anything, but especially anything regarding cost, time, and functionality. I am not picking on Vern, however when he has been seen so many times with the curtain pulled back, standing on his little stool, and pulling the smoke and steam levers in his own personal OZ, how can anyone still defend him? Why would anyone give him one more penny? Why would the deposit holders not be demanding interest and refunds on their investment which has so obviously been collected on false promises and premises (I realize this may not be a real word, but too bad).

When the plane is certified and meets all of it's Guaranteed, Warranteed, Contracted obligations, Addendum promises, Etc. then deposits should continue, and final payment made when the all-up plane is delivered, and delivery should include completed pilot, SIC, and maintenance training (completed as in signed off and certificates updated by the FAA).

At the very list I would advise any deposit holder to demand and receive their pilot & SIC training, mentor pilot assigned and meet in person with each other, maintenance & IPC manuals, AFM, a locked-in in writing S/N position (not one of these imaginary numbers that slip and slide) before coughing up anything more.

I also wonder how the S/N's are breaking down now? It is not uncommon to see "Special" S/N's appear in between sequential numbers to accomodate "Special" customers like military, government, "Buddies with a fleet order", Etc. 1, 2, 3, 4, SP1, 5, SP2, 6, SP3, SP4, SP5, 7, 8, 9, SP6-239, 10, 11, ...

airtaximan said...

mouse,

all going to rise to the top, in the class action...as

misrepresenation
detrimental reliance
fraud
breach of contract
breach of warrantee
mail fraud
and racketeering

it's only a matter of time.
the depositors now feel like they are held over a barrel, and the only way out is to get delivery of something... if they sue, its ALL GONE.

none of this would withstand a courtroom

unless Vern mocking the customers for five years as "die hards" has actually worked.

mouse said...

The original VP of Mfg left for all the reasons you and I have stated... He felt that events, even back in 2002 were intentional and criminal...

I can hardly wait to see the fireworks if/when Eclipse tries to go for IPO... the scrutiny will reveal all, and it won't be pretty. The government has very high standards when you try to raise money from the working class investors. They don't care too much about the wealthy initial investors who have a lot a dollars and very little sense...

A side note.. the last big investors bet everything on the IPO and cashing out at that point... The fall will be big, dramatic, and very bad for all of the newer aviation companies....

Never have so few ruined so much for so many... and no regard for honesty, integrity, sincerety, or morals...

airtaximan said...

mouse,

my favorite deception was back in the days of the EJ22 engine...

August first flight
November dump Williams

Anyone want to bet the first flight witht he EJ22 was a stunt to get the deposit money, and E-clips already knew they could not make the engine work beyond one flight?

Anyone who understands the development process and design review process knows... it was a
complete fraud.

mouse said...

You are correct AirTaxiMan,

The plane was way overweight and needs about 1000 Lb'Thrust engines, and not the 770 Lb/Thrust which was all the FJ22 was capable of... But, there's more to the story...

The P&WC engine is also being pushed to it's max, and very little power reserve (flat-rating) is left. I doubt the engine will ever make it's TBO values and performance losses will show up pretty quick because the engine is being pushed hard all the time. At a minimum they should have a 1200 Lb/Trust engine de-rated to 1000 so they can have some reserve. Now, the owners will be stuck with an engine that is burning itself up with little reserve. The PW610 is a 1050 Lb/Thrust engine, and limited to 950 at max power.

The later fix for speed is going to require more power, which means more fuel, which means more weight, which means more drag, which means more power, which means more fuel..... Oh yeah, might also need more robust landing gear/wheels, which means more structure to support the more weight, Etc., Etc., Etc.,...

The plane will never get lighter, so the power demands will only go up... We now see the weight penality showing up for the AVIO NfG, and you can bet if they admitted a weight hit it must be a whopper...

More weight, more design (for attach, location and fasteners), more changes, more certification, more money, more delays...

And so it goes....

airtaximan said...

I smell the

PW610Fng

Plastic_Planes said...

Boy, go away for a couple of days and look what happens...

From BEG:
According to our fellow blogger Plastic_Planes, the "original" windshield did not seem to have problems, it is the newer one (with improved anti-ice electrcal heating) that seemed to be where the problem was first noticed.

I still stand by that as the early planes (test fleet) managed to keep windshileds in them for a longer period of time. As I mentioned, I was in Production, but I distinctly remember we have a couple of guys from the FT organization here. Wadda' ya' say?


The original VP of Mfg left for all the reasons you and I have stated... He felt that events, even back in 2002 were intentional and criminal...

So, does this imply that the next VP (Rod H) overlooked things? I doubt that very seriously. I have only the utmost personal respect for Rod and if things were that bad, I doubt he would have stayed three years.

I may be missing something here (it's like trying to listen to 6 converstaions simultaneously), so hopefully I am just on the wrong track.

If so, apologies in advance...

/s/

Plastic_Planes said...

Sorry, I menat to attribute that last quote to Mouse.

/s/

bill e. goat said...

Plastic_Planes,
Thanks for the info on the windshield, the issue seems to be resurfacing as an item of discussion, but it sounds like it is a vendor problem. It would be interesting to know why the new ones were cracking, but the old ones weren't, but since they are made by the same vendor, I'm sure they have a handle on it. Odd the airframe needs tweaking to resolve this, maybe there was an inherent deficiency with the original mounting method, that just surfaced sooner with the redesigned windshields.
Thanks.

mouse said...

Plastic Planes, I'm quite sure that Rod was not receiving the same picture that his predessor was. The stories and who was told what changed a lot when the Williams engine was dropped. Damage control and internal talk became very limited...

Eclipse was, and is full of very talented people, and very qualified people, in fact some of the best in the world... However, if Albert Einstein worked for Vern you can bet he would be turned into a moron in short order.

Bring in the best and tell them what to do... Doesn't really work, does it?

Plastic_Planes said...

Mouse:

True, so true.

As wasn't it Einstein who said that "the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"?

mouse said...

Back to the windshields for a moment... The early flights were conducted unpressurized or reduced pressurization, so the windshield and side transparency mystery is still on.

Even if the windshield changed configuration internally (heating element envelope changed to be much smaller), that is no excuse for the side transparency failures...

The Eclipse is also one of the very few (although I know of no others, there might be) that have their windshields installed from the inside out. Most other pressurized, high speed aircraft have their windows installed from the outside. The air loading at speed is huge.

The inside out installation forces the windshield tighter and tighter into the frame. I suggest that the frame contorts quite a bit more than most other airplanes due to skin thickness for weight on the Eclipse.

This cuases hevy/shifting loads on the windshield and side transparencies.

Another area of interest, and I expect some upcoming problems wil be the door to fuselage interface. Besides the two hinges (about 2" wide) on each clamshell door half, the only thing holding the door halves to the fuselage are two (2) bayonets. One forward and one aft. These bayonents do pass through a plate that connects the top and bottom halves, but still only 2 pins hold the door shut at 8.3 PSID. Wait until the doors start getting bent/tweaked by constant usage, people over the weight of 170 Lbs, the aft corner getting stepped on ny right handed people more, baggage loading, Etc. and things will sart to mis-align and wear...

The plane is built so weight critical (by a magnatude not seen before) there will be a whole lot of structure morphing into heavy maintenance costs and wear...

Watch for line service fuel nozzles leaning in the filler ports, brakes and tires due to heat buildup by the very thin wheels, skin damage from almost anything striking it, flap damage from ice, rain, rocks, debris, Etc.

The EA-500 is a small plane, with thin skin, and very light weight structure. Don't expect it to handle the heavy workloads of a charter/fleet operator, or anyone flying it more than a couple of hundred hours per year...