Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Weights - From the King Himself


The performance modification certification program has moved into the final stage this week and is on schedule for completion by mid-April. In addition, the Avio NG development program is making great progress and moving toward the scheduled completion this summer.

Many of you have speculated about the impact of the performance modifications and Avio NG on aircraft weight. While these enhancements have increased weight in the aircraft, the only weight numbers that truly matter, full fuel payload and useful load, remain unchanged. That is simply because in addition to the weight increases from product improvements, we have made significant progress on weight REDUCTIONS throughout the aircraft. From the moment we received our Provisional Type Certification at AirVenture last summer we have had a corporate commitment to constantly improve the Eclipse 500, and one significant area of improvement has been weight reduction.

I want to make sure that you understand that the weights listed below are for the final Eclipse 500 configuration with the complete performance modifications (extended tip tanks and drag reduction modifications) and the complete Avio NG installed. Once again I want to re-emphasize that in spite of continued speculation about the existence of a "B" model Eclipse 500, this data represents the final configuration and weight that all aircraft will have both in new production and once all the existing aircraft have been retrofitted at Eclipse Aviation's expense.

Eclipse 500 Weights

The chart below defines the final Eclipse 500 configuration with the performance modifications and Avio NG installed. It is true that the weight has increased due to these changes, but our continuous improvement in both engineering and manufacturing engineering helped us to offset the impact. The final Eclipse 500 will meet the guaranteed useful load of 2,400 pounds and the full fuel payload also remains unchanged.

Weight...... Previous....... Final

Ramp.......... 5,950.......... 6,029

Max T.O..... 5,920.......... 5,995

Empty........ 3,550........... 3,629

Fuel............ 1,686............ 1,686

ZFW........... 4,876............ 4,992

Payload......... 714................ 714
w./full fuel

Useful........ 2,400............ 2,400
Load

(NOTE: The format of the chart was changed to accomodate blogspot & time. The numbers reflect the original chart.)

In an effort to keep you informed about Eclipse 500 developments, I want you to be aware of the weight changes, but please understand that these weight increases will not affect your operations. I can make that statement since the performance improvements have actually resulted in improvements in virtually all areas of performance, not just in the area of speed and range. As promised, we will release the draft AFM section 5 by the end of this month. This draft section 5 will show all of the operating performance of the Eclipse 500 in the final configuration and is based on a combination of analytics and actual flight testing.

Once again as I have committed to you in the past, ALL customer aircraft will be retrofitted at Eclipse expense to reflect these performance numbers. We are working every day to not only deliver your Eclipse 500, but also to make the Eclipse 500 a top-performing aircraft.

Sincerely,
Vern Raburn
President & CEO

69 comments:

Stan Blankenship said...

The weight numbers sound to good to be true. My guess is they can't and will never build a standard airplane that will hit these weights.

To remove significant weight from any airplane requires reductions in little bits here and there. This means engineering changes, drawing changes, configuration changes, all of which will compound the difficulty Eclipse is experiencing in getting paperwork in order for C of A's and the PC.

flight guy said...

Just another goal to try to achieve. Just another target that will be missed.

Atleast Eclipse and Vern are consistent. ---We will do it, no problems, trust me!!!--- Send your deposits now.

JetProp Jockey said...

I find it interesting that after what amounts to hundreds of small changes, the net effect is EXACTLY the same empty payload and full fuel payload. Sounds like backing into the numbers you want.

Am I correct in assuming that the increase in Max Gross and Max TO weight is the result of design changes that will need to be, but have not yet been approved as the FAA as an amendment to the Type Certification?

twinpilot said...

They may have made "significant weight reductions throughout the aircraft." But that is not the reason the full fuel payload and useful load have not changed. The specs. show they grew the empty weight by 59 lbs. and upped the ramp weight to make up for it. Vern couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it.
He is right about useful load and payload being the important numbers, but he must think he can just tell the Eclips faithful anything he wants and they will swallow it. I think he is right. If they did make significant weight reductions, that would be the reason why the new ramp weight didn't have to be 6100, or 6150.

JetProp Jockey said...

Increasing Max Ramp and Max TO, even 5 pounds is a big deal from what I know.

When JetProp got their initial STC for the conversion of a piston PA46 to a turboprop, they didn't change the Max Ramp or TO that the airframe had been certified to in order to make the approval as simple as possible - no need to do any static or dynamic testing relative to landing gear, wing loading, etc. - Piper had done all that and it wasn't changing with the conversion of an engine.

From the day the STC was issued, JetProp prepared documents to amend their STC to increase the gross weight by about 200 pounds. This was partially able to be done due to the extra testing that had been done on the airframe after the rash of early fatalities (all of which were ultimately determined to be pilot induced).

Bottom line, after almost 8 years, the FAA has not approved the increase in gross despite a detailed proposal including a fuel dump system in the event a landing was required immediately after departure to get the pland back to the original landing weight.

I just don't see how the Max weights have been increased. I undertand that a TC holder has certain abilities that a STC holder does not, but all of the structual testing that was done to get the TC was done at the old Max weights.

I am only a pilot and manufacturer. If you guys that make a living in the aircraft industry can tell me what I am missing, please do so.

Stan Blankenship said...

With due respect to Tennessee Ernie,

"You reduce the empty weight and whattaya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt."

In addition to all the other updates promised for the early deliveries, now Vern promises to replace the myriad of components where this proposed weight savings will be achieved.

Think of what this mod program could cost the company.

Is there no end to the unrealistic promises this man will make to continue the sham?

Stan Blankenship said...

Here is a recent interview with Andrew Broom:

http://www.jetwhine.com/?p=113

The jetwhine site is a good one to bookmark, the guy has good insight.

Ken Meyer said...

I think this is very good news for Eclipse owners. There was legitimate concern that the 30 lbs of extra weight needed for Avio NG and other weight gains along the way would cut into the useful load. But Eclipse maintained all along that the 2400 lbs it promised, it would deliver.

Now, as to a potential delay, I would remind you all that it has been known "forever" that the B Model certification would include a weight increase; that's not a surprise to those involved in the certification effort. The A Model was certified at a maximum ramp weight of 5800 lbs, the B Model was originally planned to come in at 5950 lbs max ramp weight; now it will be 6029 lbs.

I don't think that change will affect the timetable for certification of the B model a bit. It's not as if this is a sudden and huge change that nobody expected; a weight increase was planned for more than 7 months that I'm aware of (probably longer than that).

I noticed in Vern Raburn's message a confirmation that certification of the B Model, including weight change, is on track for mid April.

Good news, indeed.

Ken

Gunner said...

"I find it interesting that after what amounts to hundreds of small changes, the net effect is EXACTLY the same empty payload and full fuel payload."

[snip]

"The specs. show they grew the empty weight by 59 lbs. and upped the ramp weight to make up for it. Vern couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it."


Bingo.

There should be a Critical Thinking Award given out on this Blog!

Gunner

Gunner said...

There is NO B Model, Ken, because there is no "A Model"; just an "interim delivery model, prior to a usable model".

From Vern's own lips, "Everythang is Everythang":
"Once again I want to re-emphasize that in spite of continued speculation about the existence of a "B" model Eclipse 500, this data represents the final configuration and weight that all aircraft will have both in new production and once all the existing aircraft have been retrofitted at Eclipse Aviation's expense."


Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,
"There is NO B Model, Ken, because there is no "A Model"; just an 'interim delivery model, prior to a usable model'."


Hand that man a prize. For the first time in a long time, gunner has written something that is almost correct! Hear Hear! Almost correct, that is--the "A model" is perfectly usable (its performance specs are very close to the Mustang's). However the "B model" has better specs in many regards.

The "A model" and "B model" designations are not company designations. They are designations those interested in the program use to refer to the aircraft before and after the performance modifications are cut-in at the assembly line.

To Elipse's credit, and with no obligation to do so, the company will retrofit all "A models" out of existence and convert them to the "B model" configuration. That's a pretty good deal when you think about it as they had no contractual obligation to do that.

It's another reason why the argument that Eclipse is running out of money is, ahem, out of steam.

Ken

Buckerfan said...

One possible answer to the mystery of the weight reduction program is that Eclipse has decided to drop some or all of the elements of the LX "luxury edition". This included a fairly weighty sound proofing component (several 10s of pounds of my memory serves me correctly). And I remember some chatter a number of months ago that " the soundproofing is barely necessary due to the exceptional quietness of the plane"

twinpilot said...

Jetprop Jockey Said:

“I just don't see how the Max weights have been increased. I understand that a TC holder has certain abilities that a STC holder does not, but all of the structural testing that was done to get the TC was done at the old Max weights.”

E-clips has “pulled the loads” on the wings, empennage, fuselage etc. etc. and they know the maximum weight they are capable of. (assuming their estimates of load distribution are correct.) If they have “margins” (strength in excess of what is required at the previous weight) then they can increase the weight accordingly. You also have to look at landing loads, make sure the gear will absorb the extra landing loads etc. If your STC company had the ability to do the same thing they could have increased the take-off and landing weights. They didn’t need to, because you bought it anyway. They did the same thing on previous Mooney conversions. (promise a lot, blame it on the FAA when it doesn’t happen)

Since E-clips hasn’t published performance yet, they don’t have much extra work to lower the performance charts to reflect effect the extra weight will have. Of course flight-testing will be required for stability and control etc. but that should be fairly straightforward.

Niner Zulu said...

The payload/full fuel numbers really do great. No wonder Ken is excited, and if it was anyone but Vern putting out this information I'd be excited too.

I'm reminded of the early Meridian's - almost no payload with full fuel. They did evolve over time so that the newer models are actually a decent airplane for what they are, albeit a lot more expensive than the Eclipse. Hopefully it will be the same story with Eclipse.

However, this again makes me wonder how Eclipse can really make a profit selling a twin engine jet for $350,000 less than Piper can sell a comparably sized turboprop with one engine.

I don't know...I'd like to believe the numbers but like always my BS meter keeps going off every time Vern opens his mouth.

lumar said...

Let me summarize:

The Eclipse is slower, with less range than planned and can only carry 3 persons. On the other side, it burns only half the fuel of a Citation.

One could accept this - as a privat Owner, to make part of the JetSet!

However NEVER for a higher price than 1.5 M$. We know thanks to Stan, that our fine little Eclipse can be never built for this amount.

So finally, thus it will give also no annoyance for the controllers - everything was only excitement…

twinpilot said...

Niner Zulu said:
"However, this again makes me wonder how Eclipse can really make a profit selling a twin engine jet for $350,000 less than Piper can sell a comparably sized turboprop with one engine."
I always thought Piper was making a killing on the Meriden. Here is my thinking. A new Mirage is $1,100,000. average equipped according to the Blue Book. A Meridian is 1,895,000. The cost to manufacture that flimsy airframe is about the same for either model, even though the Meridian is a little stronger. Therefore take 100K in cost off the Mirage to account for the engine/prop. and put 300K back on to account for the PT-6A, more expensive starter gen., prop etc. and you have a retail price for the Meridian of 1.3 million. But, Piper charges 595K more profit for the Meridian. Why? Because they can. Now add a little less than another 200K for the extra fan jet engine (inside information) and you charge 1.5 million.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think they should charge that. They have to build a stronger airplane with all new systems that are for a "jet" so they will cost more etc. If the design was worth a damn they should charge 1.75 million or more. But, that is a big " If." Pricing aside I think the single spar wing design, for instance, is very marginal and already a source of trouble with the drag loads that must be carried by the rear wing attach bushing. Normally that load is carried by the front and rear spars.

JetProp Jockey said...

twinpilot wrote:

They didn’t need to, because you bought it anyway. They did the same thing on previous Mooney conversions. (promise a lot, blame it on the FAA when it doesn’t happen)

I was never promised a gross weight increase from JetProp - only that they were trying to get it. My aircraft has the wiring in place to hold 10 gal. of fuel in the tip of each tank as part of the conversion to the increased GW. It would have been (or will be, if it has not been shot down by the FAA) an option at an additional cost - never offered or promised as part of the conversion, partially so that the base aircraft would have a gross weight under the limit for being charged user fees in Europe.

The limited payload with full fuel was a problem with the Malibu/Mirage, and did not get any worse or better with the conversion. What did get better was the ability to climb at 3000 fpm at max gross.

By way of full disclosure, the ONLY thing that I was not totally made aware of prior to taking delivery of my conversion was the fact that the remaining hull life was reduced by 10% as a result of the STC. The original Mirage has a 10000 hour pressure vessel life. The wings are a little higher, but the don't do much good without a pressure vessel attached.

lumar said...

Concerning the Jetprop:

You can not compare - then ALL we Jetprop-Driver have current overweight and overspeed!

Its not serios, but it works...

gadfly said...

"Forbes" magazine, April 9, 2007, edition just arrived in the mail. Pages 52-53: "Technology, Aviation", "Very Light, Has a Loo" . . . two page illustration and article on the A700.

Niner Zulu said...

Twinpilot - good points on the Meridian vs. Mirage price. Can't say I disagree, but on the other hand a fully equipped Mirage can be purchased for about $1,070,000 today (yes that's lower than list because dealers are dealing).

Compare that with a comparably discounted aircraft in 1996/97 of around $780,000 and the Mirage really hasn't gone up that much in 10 years and you get a lot more airplane for the money now than you did back then.

So is the Meridian overpriced or the Mirage underpriced?

Can't say I'd call the Mirage airframe flimsy, either, based on the results of testing done on the airframe following the rash of inflight breakups in the late 80's & early 90's.

Plastic_Planes said...

Stan said:
Here is a recent interview with Andrew Broom:

http://www.jetwhine.com/?p=113

The jetwhine site is a good one to bookmark, the guy has good insight.


Thanks for the link Stan. I am always looking for other perspectives. I will bookmark this one, too.

At the end of the article, though, I caught this:

Sure there are disgruntled employees around. You’ll never get rid of that completely,” Broom concluded.

And least he said "that" instead of "them". It's the mere fact that this exists at all and has been so prevalent that bothers me. It's all about understanding the "root cause" and addressing that rather than the "easy fix/blame game" and trying to convince everyone you've got it right.

What's the root cause for all the late engineering changes, vendor changes, lack of morale....

/s/

Ken Meyer said...

lumar wrote,
"The Eclipse is slower, with less range than planned and can only carry 3 persons. On the other side, it burns only half the fuel of a Citation."


Interesting summary, but some of it is wrong. Let's take a look:

1. Slower--Nope. Max speed announced in 2000 was 355 KTAS. It is now 370 KTAS.

2. Range--That one's true. In 2000, they promised a range of 1300 nm. It is now 1125 nm (both range figures listed as NBAA IFR/100 nm alternate). It does actually have a 1300 nm FAA IFR range.

3. Only carries 3 persons--Not so. Even fully-fueled, the plane was promised to carry a 200 lb pilot and 3 170 lb passengers as long ago as 2000. That's what Vern Raburn's announcement confirms they are still delivering.

Incidentally, the plane can carry a total of six 200 lb people about 800 nm with FAA IFR reserves. Like most jets, you trade range for passengers when you wish to carry more than the full-fuel payload.

4. Half the fuel burn of a Citation--that would depend on which Citation. On a typical 1000 nm flight at FL390, an Eclipse burns about 70% the fuel burn of a Mustang, 58% the fuel of a Cessna 525 and 46% the fuel of a CE500.

Ken

lumar said...

Ken, I do not BELIEVE those numbers - we are talking here about physics and not of wonders from Lourdes.

Anyway, for 1,5 M$, pilots would buy the eclipse, even with less performance.

But for this still anounced bargain-price, this aircraft will never be avaliable and you know about this fact...

Ken Meyer said...

lumar wrote,
"I do not BELIEVE those numbers"


As you wish, but bear in mind that the speed and range numbers have already been demonstrated with the "B model" configuration.

It is true we have only the company's word as to what the ultimate useful load will be, but they are backing their word with their wallet--the contracts specify a refund event if the useful load is not 2400 lbs.

Ken

bill e. goat said...

Vern: Weight......
Previous.......
Final

Goat: Wait......
Previous.......
“Final”........
“Pre-Final”......
“Final-Pre-Final”.......
“Final-Final”.......
“Post-Final”

(it's enough to make you go Post-al).

Vern: This draft section 5 will show all of the operating performance of the Eclipse 500 in the final configuration and is based on a combination of analytics and actual flight testing.

Goat: NASA has a draft of going to Mars.

Vern: Once again as I have committed to you in the past

Goat: Once again...

Today's L.R.B. Factor, 6.5 (conservatively)

bill e. goat said...

Ken, Lumar,

I think the numbers will be close.

Performance specs, satisfactory to the operators (at least, personal operators).

Financial specs, satisfactory to the owners (but I wouldn't want to be on the B.O.D.)

twinpilot said...

Niner Zulu said,
"So is the Meridian overpriced or the Mirage under priced?
Can't say I'd call the Mirage airframe flimsy, either, based on the results of testing done on the airframe following the rash of in-flight breakups in the late 80's & early 90's. "
I think the Meridian is overpriced compared to the Mirage, not that New Piper (remember Piper filed chapter 11) doesn't need the extra margins. It is probably what is keeping New Piper alive. With low volume you need high margins to cover the overhead. Maybe flimsy is too harsh. Lightly constructed would be better. I base that on personal observation at Piper, seeing that tail on the ramp, and looking at the airspeed limits. If you keep a Mirage or Jetprop under the max structural cruise of 168 and below 133 maneuvering speed it will probably stay together. The Mirage is 188 and 127! Most top of the line piston twins are at 210 and 160 respectively, which makes me think they are structurally stronger. Turbine twins are higher still.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

For those interested in a history lesson, or in keeping score on goals 'missed', the claimed MZFW of over 4900 lbs, now exceeds the original MTOW of 4800 lbs. That is weight growth of 41%

To put this in perspective, imagine if the 3600 lb A-36 Bonanza came in 1500lbs overweight - essentially weighing almost as a Baron.

That kind of weight gain, 2000 lbs, is considered significant on aircraft the size of the Gulfstream V (89,000 lbs) or the 737 (174,000 lbs for 737-800), we are talking about a plane the size of the Bonanza that came in fully a TON overweight from the original concept.

In other words, it is equivalent to the 89,000 G-V coming in 37,000 lbs heavy (126,000 MTOW) and Gulfstream saying, "Hey, no biggie - check out the gold plated knobs in the lav."

It would be an insult to REAL airplane people, but we have come to expect nothing less than his Royal Naked Highness, so now it just passes for more of the same.

Q - How do you know when Vern is lying?

A - His lips are moving or you can't see his hand when he is standing behind someone from Marketing\Public Relations.

gadfly said...

‘Seems to me, that a “taxi service” has to have a viable vehicle, that will get a potential customer from point “A” to point “B” in a reasonable time, safely, and in comfort, when said potential customer wishes to travel, and at a price that said potential customer wishes to fly.

‘Seems to me that the potential customer will use a “taxi service” with a proven record of safe travel.

‘Seems to me that the potential customer may not wish to pay a premium to sit in a flying “Volkswagen” of 1950's size, no matter at what price, and what speed . . . especially if potential customer has the pocket change to afford anywhere from $1.00 to $3.00 per mile (2007 USD).

‘Seems to me that this entire discussion is a tempest in a teapot . . . and when the last dog has died (apologies to Douglas Mawson of the 1912 Antarctic Expedition), the Eclipse will be an interesting anecdote in the annals of aircraft history . . . or maybe something that will best be forgotten, except to avoid repeating.

Then again, maybe Bill Gates will fund the thing, keep it going, and someone, in the future long after I’m gone, will write a blog like the one above.

Apply enough power to a brick, it will fly.

Apply enough money to a project, it will survive.

‘Goat, someone left the gate open . . . again! Carry on! (Stay out of those “cans” down at the end of the property . . . they’re not safe, even for a goat.)

gadfly

(Now, if someone could figure how to make a “Checker Marathon” fly, they would have the taxi market by the tail . . . long live the “Marathon”.)

twinpilot said...

Gadfly,
I agree. The E-clips doesn't have a chance in hell of attracting people as an air taxi. Lets face it, air travel by private airplane is far too expensive for the average traveler. You have to be very wealthy to afford it. Even the first class business traveler pays far less than $3.00/ mile. If you can afford $3.00 per mile you can afford $4.50 and for that you can get the CJ 1 with a pro pilot or two. Maybe it is up to $5.50 with the price of jet fuel. No matter. The E-clips might appeal to the businessman pilot who can sit in the right seat if he is a regular customer, but that is a rare case.
The E-clips is a personal airplane and that is all it will ever be if produced in numbers. The low price was an attraction for many who thought the airplane had credibility since Vern, the fob and best man at the wedding, and Bill himself, who threw him a bone, were involved. Who, in their right mind, thought that these two knew anything about building airplanes?
For it to be viable it should at least carry 1000 lbs. payload with 1000 mile IFR range. That sounds doable. Just bump the ramp wt.up 350 more pounds, up the zero fuel wt.,up the landing wt., drop the performance a little and we are good to go. Now we're talking. Are the margins there?

Ken Meyer said...

twinpilot wrote,
"For it to be viable it should at least carry 1000 lbs. payload with 1000 mile IFR range."


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

Ken

gadfly said...

Twinpilot

Me thinks the little jet is already slightly over every margin . . . stretched just beyond all reasonable limits. And even if it can take on the additional weights, it's still a volkswagen on wings, and not many people are going to pay premium to sit in a "coat closet".

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

Twinpilot said:

"With low volume you need high margins to cover the overhead. Maybe flimsy is too harsh. Lightly constructed would be better. I base that on personal observation at Piper..."

GOAT: I once dated a woman of high volume. Robustly constructed would be too harsh, solidly constructed would be better. I learned NOT to share my personal observations with her...

The Krell said...

Pop Quiz

What aircraft requires external power for all starts below 40F and can't be started at all much below 0F ?

Wouldn't be a very good aircraft for operations in the northern half of this hemisphere during the winter months.

Good thing summer is just around the corner for an aircraft with those kind of restrictions.

Beware Monsters from the ID !

p.s. Great blog

gadfly said...

‘Interesting thing about a tool. A good tool is almost invisible to the user. ‘Ever notice that?

A tool is an extension of the user . . . sort of like his fingers, his eyes, his arms. The user doesn’t need to give a good tool a second thought. He “thinks” . . . and the tool “performs”. Simple. I’ve often used this analogy in a Bible class . . . the responsibility of the man in God’s hands.

Over the years, I have designed and built hundreds, probably thousands of tools . . . some for machinists’, some for scientists’, some for electronics manufacturers’, some for assemblers’, and some for neurosurgeons’. In each and every case, I designed the tool to become “invisible” to the user, and always to be a safe extension of his/her abilities.

The “little jet” should be no different. Yet, all I see is that the user . . . pilot and/or passenger must “accommodate” the aircraft. This is all wrong. The aircraft is to be a “servant” of the user . . . never the other way ‘round. On every hand, the pilot and passenger are not only asked, but required to make sacrifices to use this aircraft.

There’s something dreadfully wrong with this picture. An “air taxi” is to serve the customer, in exchange for a profitable service fee. Yet, I see an aircraft that is requiring the customer to pay for the “privilege” of being abused . . . squeezing into a small claustrophobic space, exercising “bladder control”, giving up luggage, risking his life in an uncertain experience.

‘Wish I could do something to make it “all better”, but at this point, it seems to be a project built on wishful thinking, by well meaning folks, who are so busy putting out fires, they seem to have forgotten the original intent.

gadfly

(Goat . . . I warned you about those cans down by the fence at the end of the property. Would you listen? . . . No!)

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,

For what it's worth...
You mention wt gain of 41%.
I think thrust also increased, from something like 700 to 1000 lbs, a gain of....42%.

Now, if Volume would just increase 40 % or so...

(No doubt cost will match- ha).

Hmmmmm, some of our fellow bloggers are probably 40% older than they were when this program started...

gadfly said...

Goat

Maybe it was the juice from the Lutefisk we had Sunday . . . with green New Mexico chili . . . how's that for Southwestern Swedish food? Lapland never had it so good!

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,

The Goat eats cans for the minerals; as an expert of sorts, the goat would urge Vern to get the lead out!

(Southwestern Swedish food??- I'll be HOPPING right over!)

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gadfly,

Lutefisk in Bergen, Norway for Christmas dinner is a pretty special thing. Wash it down with some aquavit. Yum! Tradition!

gadfly said...

EO387

'Think I'll leave the aquavit to those who want to fly like the Eclipse . . . and I'll stick to Coffee, Potato Sausage, Meat Balls, Lingon Berries, and Cloudberries.

gadfly

JetProp Jockey said...

Interesting link to AVWeb article on pilots falsifying their medical records/history. Penalty can be up to $250,000 and 5 years in jail.

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/House_Committee_Probes_Aviation_Medical_Fraud_194776-1.html

Wonder what the penalty will be for not telling the truth on the personality test.

Stan Blankenship said...

the krell,

Other than weight considerations, why can't Eclipse put in a bigger battery and remove the cool/cold weather start limitation?

JetProp Jockey said...

My experience is only with a turboprop. For us, colder outside temps make for a cooler start. Whatever loss of RPM in the compressor being operated by the starter motor are more than made up for by pushing the cool air into the combustion chamber.

What is different about the starting process for a fanjet?

Eric said...

Ken is right... if this is all true then it's great news for position holders.

Also, keep your eyes out for the Performance section of the AFM that's coming out at the end of this month. That's in 3 Days. I'm curious about what the envelope requires to make FL410 and the time-to-climb.

Eric said...

JetProp Jockey... I wouldn't know for sure since our engines start with bleed air from the APU during normal operations.

I flew a Citation CJ1 with a guy in Florida one time. He had the battery on for a minute or two before 1st engine start. Since we had to wait for the batteries to recharge on that first engine's generators before second engine start we just sat there watching the volts. I can't tell you how long it took, but it was August and my shirt was drenched in sweat by the time we got the other started. It was only 10 o'clock in the morning!

I don't know how drained his batteries were before that 1st start, but it seems turning an engine takes a lot of juice. It really made me appreciate my APU bleed.

I assume putting in bigger batteries may be partially responsible for the increased empty weight. There's no way Linear Air can operate these things for Air Taxi if the starting limitations are that restrictive.

lumar said...

ERIC said:

I'm curious about what the envelope requires to make FL410 and the time-to-climb.

Honestly,I think you never flew on FL 410! Hmm...

Stan Blankenship said...

lumar,

The Eclipse can get to FL 410.

The company doesn't say at what weight.

Eclipse used to show flight profiles of a direct climb to 410 with 4 or 5 on board and cruising for 1,000 miles...don't show that picture any more.

Just wait for the "B" model.

airtaximan said...

"Iacobucci said delays in getting the Eclipse to market haven’t shaken his confidence in the airplane. “If we don't get our first couple of aircraft from Eclipse soon, I'll have to change our launch date, again,” he said. “But believe me, I don't think I've been sold down the river. Eclipse has had problems but I know they are being fixed and the aircraft is a good plane. I have every confidence in the product and that it will meet our customer's needs."

this is perhaps the craziest thing I've read so far.

If you look through the archives, Dayjet has been "sold down the river" for years since 2002 or so.

They have had 2 or 3 false starts, already based on delivery dates promised.

Payload range is a joke compared to what was promised...

They will be swimming upstream! Ed is acting just like Vern... any surprise?

Jake Pliskin said...

anyone want to revise their estimates of 1st quarter deliveries yet?

mirage?

goat?

JetProp Jockey said...

I'm not sure if there is a security problem, but I stumbled onto a ATP forum with a thread discussing DayJet and Eclipse. No recent posts - none since 9/06, but the comments from guys that are flying part 121 and part 135 are very interesting.

http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/showthread.php?t=3447

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"The Eclipse can get to FL 410.
The company doesn't say at what weight.
Eclipse used to show flight profiles of a direct climb to 410 with 4 or 5 on board and cruising for 1,000 miles...don't show that picture any more.
Just wait for the "B" model."


Stan, you don't need to wait for the "B model," although reports are that it is an impressive improvement over "A model" performance figures.

The existing model, according to the FAA-approved AFM, climbs just fine to FL410 at gross weight, and it can do it with five 200 lb occupants and still fly 1000 nm (though it wouldn't have much reserve when it got there).

It can do it, but those who think the niche for this plane is to fly 5 people 1000 nm misunderstand the plane.

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

No, I understand the niche for this airplane, it is made for people like you. And that is not intended to be a derogatory statement.

Eclipse made the long range mission a refund event and time will tell if they can achieve their goal.

The famous Gainsville flight certainly did not prove their point. Did they ever provide you specific numbers on this flight?

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,
"The famous Gainsville flight certainly did not prove their point. Did they ever provide you specific numbers on this flight?"


Bear in mind that the company says the flight did demonstrate their range claim. They say that they collected data on a flight somewhat close to the NBAA range profile, then extrapolated and adjusted the data according to actual miles flown, actual temperature, actual winds, etc etc in order to arrive at the bottom line figure.

I believe them.

However, I also was promised the detailed derivation of that flight in early February. Despite multiple messages to Ken McNamara, no such detailed derivation has been released.

Looking at the raw data that was released, it seems pretty likely to me that a detailed derivation would confirm the company's claims. After all, the main driver of range in that flight was the cruise fuel economy, which exceeded 1 nautical air mile per pound of fuel consumed. From that number, it is not much of a stretch, given the known climb and descent performance of the aircraft, for anybody to derive a range figure very close to what they released.

Therefore, it was galactically stupid for them not to release the information that would back their claim. But that's not the first really stupid thing they've done, and it's unlikely to be the last.

Ken

The Krell said...

Stan,

The rediculous cold weather limitations might be eliminated with independently powered backup instruments.

Or, it could be related to the complete loss of instrumentation and engine control if both generators give up the ghost and battery life is overestimated.

Oops, need a refill on my kool aid.

Thats better, everything is fine now.


The Krell

Beware Monsters from the Id.

(and ABQ)

gadfly said...

The looneys are leaving Sandia just now, so I’ll wait awhile to go home . . . it’s not safe on the highway with all those “scientist-want-a-bees” heading out on I-40 . . . narrowed down to two lanes in each direction, while the re-paving is done up around “Dead Man’s Curve”. And I’ve shut down the CAD system . . . to pick it up tomorrow morning.

Earlier today, I think I detected a “chink” in someone’s armor . . . just a slight hint . . . something about someone doing something “galactically stupid”.

On that note, it seems that a smart thing for the folks that want to get the little jet to market, could, it seems, invest some money in just flying one of the little critters between ABQ and . . . what was that place? . . . somewhere called “Gainesville”? . . . Could be that they would have much to gain, by flying a daily run from here to “Gainesville”, AND BACK . . . and publishing their times . . . sort of cancelling out the “tailwind” factor, etc. Let’s see . . . 1,200 miles (give or take) at the rate of say, $4 per mile, $10,000 per round trip . . . ten round trips ($100,000) would be worth an ad or three in “Forbes” or “whatever” . . . and sure would silence the critics!

But then, an insect only has a few grey cells to think of such difficult things.

gadfly

(Goat: Don’t eat the can, just the glue that holds on the labels . . . ain’t you had no fetchin’ up?)

Eric said...

Lumar, I didn't know if you were saying I've never been to FL410 or the Eclipse hasn't.

I don't know if the Eclipse has... Based on the company's passion for press releases I think we'd know about it. I'm assuming they're using analytical data for that promise.

As far as me, no, not while in the front seat. My airplane is limited to FL370. Strangely, the identical airplane made by the same manufacturer but marketed with a different name is certified to FL410. It'll even do it without "steps" after a MGTOW takeoff. Ours can do it, but the paperwork the FAA has says "no". FL370 is high enough for me though.

The reason I mentioned the envelope is because there are airplanes certificated for that altitude that can only make it inside a very small corner of the performance envelope.

Eric said...

Krell, I have no inside information, but I imagine the FADEC control is backup powered by a dedicated alternator on the engine accessory case. I can't imagine the FAA giving the thumbs up to anything less.

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly... “no fetchin’ up”?

Well, the Goat DOES modestly consider himself to be rather fetching, and generally up-bleat, I mean up-beat.

Now, it's time to beat-up.
On those silly boys and girls at Eclipse High.

What is this cold starting/non-starting non-sense???

Tried as I might, the internet left me rather out in the cold, regarding cold starting.

Found mixed references to:
1) Batteries with reduced voltage
2) tighter shaft tolerances (rotational "drag" at low temps)
3) Penguins

While I was rather sure the batteries contained giant springs, tightly compressed, others insist that they contain nicad cells (rather than jell cells or lead acid).

But it is possible they contain Penguins, I suppose, which may become rather homesick and lethargic when cold weather sets in.

(Perhaps the airplane will perform somewhat better when pointed south- towards Antarctica...I don't know if flight test takes these sort of things into account...).

Krell,
Did you say to beware of the monstrous IQ from Eclipse, Vern???

Always a snappy dresser, it did seem like Vern was dressed somewhat like a Penguin at the Collier photos...I think there might be some hidden significance in this.

I've also detected rumblings of anti-ice testing in the Southern Hemisphere- VERY suspicious...).

Eric,
I think the FADEC also uses giant springs for backup...

Ken Meyer said...

eric wrote,
"Lumar, I didn't know if you were saying I've never been to FL410 or the Eclipse hasn't.

I don't know if the Eclipse has"


It has indeed. Among other flights, the range flight from Albuquerque to Gainesville was conducted at FL410 on 1-25-07.

Ken

bill e. goat said...

Jake said:
anyone want to revise their estimates of 1st quarter deliveries yet?

Goat: I think 402, if they can get the FAA to cooperate and work Saturday.

Otherwise (those lazy FAA guys, almost as lethargic as cold penguins!), probably 0, maybe 3.

Zero is the right answer, but Vern will be as hungry for an "end-of-the-quarter" Stunt, so perhaps he will arm-twist the FAA into signing off some.

Note, the End-of-the-Quarter Stunt is NOT to be confused with the Annual End-of-the-Year Stunt (Second-First-Flight, and First-Non-Delivery).

Appologies to KAD1/CAD1, although it is Vern who really ought to be appologizing, on his hands and flippers.

bill e. goat said...

Regarding previous discussion about those pesky standby indicators, vaccuum versus electrical power.

Maybe windup springs are the answer here too.

No anti-skid? No problem-o. Just install regenerative-braking springs (great for those F-18 wanta-be types during their next takeoff).

gadfly said...

Genius strikes when it’s least expected.

Our dishwasher pooped out recently (it only has a single electronic control unit without secondary backup). So, I checked out various brands, and decided that “LG” might be the best choice. My Swedish wife likes to carefully investigate purchases . . . went down to Home Depot and came to a similar conclusion. But the model that made the best impression on her was the one with a feature that may well clinch the choice . . . it can run at reduced power for people that don’t have a full load.

Now, I tell you, that is shear genius . . . for dishwashers, or potential Eclipse customers: “Designed for people that don’t have a full load!”

gadfly

The Krell said...

Two batterys and two generators. No other sources of power for the FADEC systems that I am aware of.

Perhaps someone on this blog is aware of alternate sources of power in the event of generator and battery failure?

My concern with the cold starting limitations is that external power isn't always available 24hrs a day. A person operating out of his/her own hanger single pilot is going to have to plug in, start both engines, get out unplug the cart and get back in unless you have FBO support.

A majority of the time during the winter months in the northern half of the US and Canada you will need a cart start. If the temp drops much below 0F, the aircraft becomes a paperweight. How heavy a paperweight depends on what VR (Morbius) is saying that week.

Glug, Glug, Glug - time for another refill.

All better again.


Beware Monsters from the Id!


The Krell were natives of the planet Altair IV in the film Forbidden Planet. Two thousand centuries ago, their race died out when they completed their project (EA500) to gain freedom from "instrumentality" - that is, freedom from the use of tools and devices. A Great Machine (AVIO NG) would instead, read their thoughts and instantly make them into reality (range, Useful load, etc). Unfortunately, the 8,000 cubic mile (5800 - 6000 lbs) machine they created for this purpose also gave physical form to all of their subconscious hatreds - unfamiliar emotions that had seemingly been eradicated from their society (moral at ABQ), killed them all in the space of a single night. The unstoppable machine committed genocide.

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,

...I think EO387 might have a full load saved up by the time he flies non-stop on Dayjet all the way from Florida.

I just hope he doesn't "unload" on Vern if his airplane isn't ready in November...

Krell said: "A majority of the time during the winter months in the northern half of the US and Canada you will need a cart start".

Goat: SPRINGS- the "practical, economical, environmentally friendly, bi-hemispherical, non-latitudinal, non-seasonal, non-tempermental alternative, and can be wound with either the left or right hand"

(I'm not sure which hand Vern uses for curve balls though).

Krell said: "freedom" from instrumentality..."

Goat: I think that's what happens when Avio goes dark (wonder if they can put some springs in there).

Krell said: "...the machine (blog) they created...also gave physical form to all of their subconscious hatreds"

Goat: I'm glad the blog has become more civil of late (I was beginning to become worried a few days ago).

BTW, Gadfly- that new efficient dishwasher- does it contain springs too?

Krell: "Forbidden Planet"

Eclipse: "Lost Horizon" (oops, that's just the Avio conking out again...).

Time to wind the spring on the clock and go to bed. (Yup, that was a nightly ritual, albeit somewhat ceremonial, when I was, ah, "a little younger").

bill e. goat said...

Oh Krell,

BTW, I recognized your "handle" right away- was waiting to see if anyone else did too.

That movie scared the goat droppings out of me and my brothers when we were little.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc4w6FBSngk&search=baby+pug

gadfly said...

Goat

Until we get a new washer, I have to wash the dishes down at the spring.

The Eclipse won’t start on a cold day because of the built-in safety feature: No “FIKI”, no “P&W”, no need for FADEC . . . if it’s that cold, there’s bound to be some ice around, somewhere! Eclipse cares about your safety.

Kaptain Kool-Aid said...

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

Air taxis: Changing the way we fly

Read the article and draw your own conclusions.

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

The Krell said...

William Goat

Good Video

A movie quote that can probably be heard around Eclips:

Commander John J. Adams: Nice planet you have here. High oxygen content.
Robby the Robot: I seldom use it myself, sir. It promotes rust.

Good night all.

The Krell

Stan Blankenship said...

kk-a,

For better visibility, you might repost your link to Business 2.0 against the next post.

It is a good report that everyone should read.