Tuesday, March 20, 2007



Whac-A-Problem

Remember the stupid arcade game from the 70's, the one with critters popping up at random, only for the gamer to "Whac" it back in the hole with a paddle. The faster you "Whac", the faster the next one pops up.

The Eclipse program mimics the Whac-A-Mole game except the billion dollar fiasco for this troubled little airplane has lots more "Moles" rearing their ugly heads.

Eclipse can hardly swing their PR paddle fast enough:

Empty Weight Growth -- "Whac"

Failed Delivery Forecasts -- "Whac"

Maintenance Training -- "Whac"

Employee Retention -- "Whac"

Psych Testing -- "Whac"

Vendor Turnover -- "Whac"

Windshield Cracks -- "Whac"

Production Certificate -- "Whac"

NBAA Range Figures -- "Whac"

Undersized Batteries -- "Whac"

Absentee BOD -- "Whac"

Escalating Maintenance Costs -- "Whac"

Employee Recruitment -- "Whac"

Mentoring -- "Whac"

Whistle Blowers -- "Whac"

Flight Into Known Icing -- "Whac"

Andrew Broom -- "Whac"

Financial Survival -- "Whac"

Part 135 Capability -- "Whac"

Service Centers Start Up -- "Whac"

Speculators -- "Whac"

Avidyne/IS&S -- "Whac"

FAA Foot Dragging -- "Whac"

Wing Bushings -- "Whac"

Dwindling Backlog of Orders -- "Whac"

Fatigue Testing -- "Whac"

Vendor Unrest -- "Whac"

"A" Mod Retrofits -- "Whac"

United Training Replacement -- "Whac"

Twisted Wings -- "Whac"

Certification for all Mods -- "Whac"

Collecting Progress Payments -- "Whac"

Fuel Discounts -- "Whac"

Limited CG Travel -- "Whac"

No Employee Raises -- "Whac"

Non-Conforming Parts -- "Whac"

"B" Mod Retrofits -- "Whac"

Escalating Operating Costs -- "Whac"

Field Service Support -- "Whac"

Cheap Shots From the Critics -- "Whac"

Functioning Flight Simulator -- "Whac"

Tugs Running Into Airplanes -- "Whac"

Free Sodas -- "Whac"

FSW Shortcomings -- "Whac"

Customer Unrest -- "Whac"

Tire & Brake Failures -- "Whac"

Vern Raburn -- "Whac Whac Whac"

And just like the arcade game, these pesky issues are going to keep popping up over and over again until Eclipse runs out of quarters.

93 comments:

Ken Meyer said...

Remember the Blog entry Stand did quoting a guy on the Eclipse Owner's forum who said he couldn't stand it any more and he's selling his Eclipse position?

Well he just posted this:

"A lot has changed since my episode of whining on Fed 22 '08. Mr. Raburn has been providing frequent candid substantive updates, the Avio fix has apparently been under development for some time, and airplanes are being delivered. Also a conversation with Brian Skupa and a nice email from Ken Wolfe helped to keep me from freaking out. My position is no longer for sale."

And no wonder:

370+ KTAS
1300 nm range with IFR reserve
Fuel efficiency better than 1nm/lb of fuel
Half the price of a Mustang

What's not to like? :)


Ken

Black Tulip said...

The Whac-A-Mole list is long but none of these issues are really a problem if view through Verntual Reality Googles.

Black Tulip

AeroObserver said...

The Andrew Broom comments are just plain childish, and Stan and the other posters should just know better.

It's fine if you have a problem with the company, but don't take it out on the company spokesman -- he's just doing his job. Ponder this -- if you disagree with the Bush Administration, would you bash Tony Snow? Of course not, you'd go after the policymakers (Bush and Cheney), not the messenger (Snow).

My daughter in second grade acts better than some of you. Shame on you!

Green-or-Red said...

Fatigue life of 10000 hours was based on successful completion of the static test. Why was this? Is there a direct relationship between static and fatigue testing or stress levels? Is it the same relationship for aluminum and acrylic?

Does anyone know how the windshield was tested during static test? I would assume it was to some factor of nominal cabin pressure of 8.2 or 8.3 psi. Probably a factor of 2. Was the static test windshield improperly installed as claimed for the windshields that cracked? If not would the same relationship hold for 10000 flight hour life? I think NOT!!

Once again, I think that VR and AB milked the static test success to the max thru the PR release. Nothing unusual about that.

Now to FAR 23...I believe that fatigue testing is required, but at what point in the overall program was really set a long time ago if the old timeline could be resurrected. Probably back in 2004, so it will be over 3 years late in starting [if and when???]. It appears that once again VR and crew has convinced the FAA that "they know how to NOT do things that the dinosaurs accomplished".

Just a few thoughts.

Gunner said...

Ken-
Why is it when we quote someone from the Owner's Forum, you call it "third hand hearsay". When you do it, it's Gospel?

I think you should buy 3 of the E-Collapse and triple your pleasure. :-)
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

ao,

I guess you are saying Andrew Broom does not sit in on meetings with Vern to strategize on how they can surgar coat the latest problem.

In your view, AB probably just waits outside Vern's office and when the latest release is slid under the door, he picks it up and sends it out to the world. Well first he sends it to Capt Zoom so he can scoop the story based on his inside knowledge of the company.

Since you bring political spokesmen into the discussion, had Herr Goebbels not taken the poison pill in Hitler's bunker, he would surely would have hung from the rope with the rest.

We have heard Broom is a decent fellow. Unfortunate for him he is in a tough spot.

Gunner said...

Stan-
Your latest entry answers something that's been on my mind all morning: Why is Eclipse singled out for so much derision at the exclusion of others? Let's look at the playing field for a couple of other opportunities:

- Adam: Another upstart, with reports of poor fuselage finish, only 12 A-500's registered and no TC for the A-700. No Adam Critics Blog exists.

- Embraer: They've been stealing American jobs for years, producing jets with cheap overseas labor. No Phenom Comedy Club can be found.

- HondaJet: Threatens to do to American aircraft manufacture what they did the the American Automobile Industry. No Honda Haters Board around.

- Sport-Jet: Crashed their single engine proto and are still taking deposits without a plane. No Sport-Jet Sucks Association.

- Diamond: EuroTrash, set up right across our border in Canada. Former Kit Plane manufacturer. Single engine entry to the market at nearly the Eclipse price. No D-Jet Deriders Journal exists.

Every one of these companies hypes their payload, range, speed, altitude and timeline. So, why does Eclipse get all this negative attention? You've provided the answer:

- Because Eclipse has insulted everyone in the industry with claims of "we know better". Depositors, vendors, government officials, employees, pilots, investors. You name it, they've insulted it.

- Because, unlike the rest, Eclipse holds itself out as selfless...wanting only to bring a "gift" to American Aviation at great personal sacrifice.

- Because, unlike any of the rest, Eclipse "hype" is so over the top that Steve Martin in "The Jerk" couldn't help but see thru the lies, attacks and finger pointing.

Ultimately, I think Eclipse is singled out for scorn because, unlike each of these other companies, they don't seem to understand what it takes to bring a useful, reliable, safe aircraft to production and certainly don't seem to want to learn.

From a signal to noise standpoint, Eclipse has contributed little but static.

Gunner

mouse said...

AeroObserver said... The Andrew Broom comments are just plain childish, and Stan and the other posters should just know better.

Hey AO, read his title:

Andrew Kamm
Acting Chief Financial Officer

His remarks are very important, especially when you consider he is the best person to understand Eclipse's financial postition. Do you think Vern did know this was coming? There is a very big reason he allowed this to come out... Stay tuned...

mouse said...

Ken,

Never mind...

Green-or-Red said...

Mouse
Andrew Broom and Andrew Kamm are two different RATS on a sinking/stinking ship!!!

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"Why is Eclipse singled out for so much derision at the exclusion of others?"


Are you for real, Rich?

You write something close to half the messages on this blog and you don't know why?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

OK, I stopped turning blue in the face laughing myself off the chair.

Thanks, Rich; I enjoyed that one.

Ken

mirage0000 said...

As I predicted this blog and Stan offer nothing of worth to the aviation enthusiast. Stan is jealous of Eclipse for some reason and its sooooo obvious. Time will tell and I do hope he is around when its time to eat some crow.

Observer said...

Plastic_Planes...answer to your questions in your post of Mar 19, 11:43 pm.

Yes, Sport-Jet in development, never stopped. Plane #2 currently being built.

See Sport-Jet section in following article in Aviation Week's...
Business & Commercial Aviation
Jan 2007 issue
Article title: "A New Class Debutes--Single-Engine Turbofans Are Coming"

EclipseBlogger said...

Rich,

I have to agree with Ken on this one. With your last entry, you have characterised yourself and the nature of this blog...

Eclipse Critics
Eclipse Comedy Club
Eclipse Haters
Eclipse Sucks Association
Eclipse Deriders

Stan Blankenship said...

m0000,

FYI, my company is involved in a development program for an unannounced business jet project many times the size of the pesky little project in ABQ.

If you think I am just setting around pining at being left out of the Eclipse program, you are dead wrong, my plate is full and I am looking forward to the challenges this program will bring for the next five years.

And I have never hesitated to put my name behind my statements because I have little doubt as to the eventual outcome of the Eclipse.

As I mentioned to someone the other day, General Patton loved war, I love new airplane programs, both the good ones and the bad ones.

Gunner said...

Ken and EB-
My, were those ad hominem attacks? Ouch, you hurt my feeling. Then again, I only have one! ;-)

As usual you two attempt to deflect the point by changing the subject. And neither of you are particularly facile at it. The point is simple: You guys like to whine about how we all have it in for Eclipse; how we're each jealous, angry or jilted former depositors, vendors and employees.

But the question remains, why aren't aviation groups (like the Bloggers congregated here) criticizing Honda, Embraer, Sport-Jet, Cirrus or Diamond? Answer: Those companies haven't EARNED IT. These are mainstream aircraft companies promising REAL products. Eclipse is a legend in its own mind promising...well, more promises. Certainly Adam might be receiving some of the "snark" accorded to the Eclipse, but so far...nothing.

This speaks volumes about the companies involved and the aviation community (including this Blog) that takes interest in their products.

Vern Critics did not materialize out of thin air. He created us, and he deserves us. Besides. I forgot to add the most important reason why Eclipse takes so much well deserved heat:

- None of the other companies has Ken Meyer or EclipseBlogger for PR spokesmen. That, in itself, is like fingers on a chalkboard to most pilots and aviation professionals with triple digit IQ's! ;-)

Gunner

Eric said...

While I enjoy the banter on this blog there are times when there's just a little too much speculation and it can take me all of my days off between trips to read everything that's been posted while I was gone. This is the reason why I've been a lurker for the majority of the time here. Hell, I had a comment about the standby instruments debate a while back that might have actually been worth reading but it took so long to get through all that mess that it wasn't worth writing because I didn't want to start that fire again.

I almost think we can learn something from the Eclipse Management Team about radio silence... or at least limiting remarks.



P.S. Big Thanks go to Ken for continuously reminding me who Gunner is so I could get that review on the XD... I never thought I'd have any direct communication to someone of his 'caliber' to ask questions of that nature, and I apologize for the blog aside.

P.P.S. Thanks, Gunner, for the review. I might be buying one in the near future.

P.P.P.S. I guess I didn't learn that radio silence lesson either. ;)

Gunner said...

Eric-
Coon Fingerin' the XD as I write. It just came back.

OD Green slide is, well, "different". Not certain I'm happy with the trigger job...I was looking for "crisper", not "lighter". On a press-check the slide is hanging at first and not returning to full battery. Gonna take it the range and get a couple hundred rounds thru it to see if I can burnish some of the Black T mating surfaces.

Back to your regularly scheduled soap opera.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Ken

Just for the record, in the last section you had 17 blogs, Stan had 12, and yes, I got in 12 (57 total). You were heard in your own unfiltered words 133 times (according to the record tab), so far . . . so I would say, there should be no complaint. And for better or worse, many give you our full undivided attention. (When you "ha ha ha", are you a singer practicing your scales? . . . just wondering!)

You have chafed over "pseudonyms", yet your own profile is unavailable. Nothing wrong with that, but seems like if the shoe fits, wear it.

Stan

Thanks, for the single opportunity for the rest of us folks who will soon feast on crow (or so I'm told) to sound off, asking and getting answers, midst the name-calling (which we simply filter out).

And, many of us have real questions of a technical nature, in this industry which for some us is serious business.

gadfly

Vmc said...

mouse said...
...His remarks are very important, especially when you consider he is the best person to understand Eclipse's financial postition. Do you think Vern did know this was coming? There is a very big reason he allowed this to come out... Stay tuned...

For some time I have suspected that VR is either a) posturing for a buyout; b) prepping the company culture for IPO where their tangible expeditures will be scrutinized; c) a hybrid of a and b where the new company quickly takes EAC public without the financial obligations that fall under EAC's domain. Regarding c); it would be interesting to see the details of the vendor contracts to see what kind of "out" EAC gave itself in the event of a buyout. This reminds me of a variant of the 'ol bait-n-switch tactic. I'll sign you on with my company as a vendor for a price at which you barely break even but I will allot 10 options of common stock with each delivered shipset. Oh, and never mind the fine print that states, "The sale of EAC in no event guarantees any vendor rights to the options granted or subject to being granted". Could result in some interesting backlash...

Just another conspiracy theory to lob through the firewall. Conjecture? Yes, bit given the culture of the company (ie Nimbus, Aviace, Aspen Avionics), I wouldn't be surprised to find something like that lurking in the background.

All of my theorizing leads to one question from one well-informed colleague. Mouse: What do you know to be the reason for the Kamm pleading to EAC employees? What do you believe to be the reason?

For grins, what timeframe were you on the program?

Ken: I have not responded much to your one-track perspective as your rantings are without much insight to the culture of EAC. Without an understanding or even a simple recognition of the culture of this debacle, you are ignoring the underlying truths behind the white-washed marketing lies. It's unfortunate because I am certain you are a nice fellow. I am certain we could have a great time discussing the impact of the VLJ concept to GA over a nice glass of Merlot, but how about we break the seal on our friend Jim Beam and really get into the core of why this aircraft will never fully realize the market potential for which it was touted. Gadfly said it best; this bird was designed by a committee; and the result is one of many compromises and shortcomings. Let's face it, the airplane is very small inside, offers no external baggage holds, and yes, fills a niche, but missed the mark of an air taxi extraordinaire. If the culture of EAC lent itself to constructive criticism and humility, this program would look very different today, and this blog would not exist in this capacity. Ken, I challenge you to dig a little deeper and be a little more honest with yourself based on the facts that exist. Nothing irks me more than "yes-men", who refuse to acknowledge reality when it's staring you in the face. Kinda reminds me of the inavsion of Iraq when Baghdad Bob fervently proclaimed that the infidels are running scared and fleeing the country with the insurgents on their heels; all while in the background everyone can clearly see the US flag wielding tanks rolling effortlessly into Baghdad.

I stand corrected, Ken does not equal EB or VR; Ken = Baghdad Bob

Vmc

lumar said...

I love this blog! We had a similar very exiting case in Germany: Cargolifter!

Finally, all the investors lost their cash - and some 300 MUSD of taxpayersmoney was burned...

The very large hangar had a methamorphose, check that:

http://www.my-tropical-islands.com/info/faqs.htm

What's the possible future of eclipseaviaton after the bankrupty??!

Jetman said...

I think Stan got offended by Eclipse claims of new technology and methods that in fact had been tried or used by other manufacturers for years. Then when all of the problems started surfacing and the resultant circumlocution from VR King of Planet Eclipse, it was just to much fun not to continue poking holes in the hot air balloons.
What about the rumor that Pratt is only building at most 200 engines for Eclipse in 07?? How many planes can you deliver without an engine? Implosion by Oshkosh is still my prediction.

gadfly said...

Jetman

You might just be wrong about the Oshkosh timeline . . . I'd give it thirty days "past" Oshkosh . . . and then it just might get nasty.

'Reminds me of the story of the old dying Swede . . . laying in bed. He could smell his wife's cooking, struggled out of bed, across the floor, and crawled to the kitchen table. He gave it all his strength, to reach up for his favorite treat. His wife hit his hand with the wooden spoon: "Don't touch that . . . it for the funeral."

The agony is in the waiting!

Niner Zulu said...

Ken,

In your first post in this seciton you said "370+ KTAS, 1300 nm range with IFR reserve, Fuel efficiency better than 1nm/lb of fuel, Half the price of a Mustang, What's not to like? :)".

But over in the Eclipse Forum you take on a different tone, when you said " I don't think we should just hang in there. You remember that Ken McNamara asked me to call him to discuss the owners' questions about the B Model range flight. I did that on February 5, 2007; that was more than 5 weeks ago. Ken was very accommodating, and I applaud him for that. He promised in no uncertain terms that the company would release the detailed derivation of the range figure "in the next few days.". Well, that never happened. I understand that these things need to work their way through channels, but five weeks?? That's not right. Frankly, I'm offended by being promised that the company would release the information and having that promise broken. Now would be a very good time for the company to demonstrate its good intentions by releasing the range flight derivation as it has promised.".

So it sounds like you're not really convinced on those perfomance figures either. In fact, you sounded pretty skeptical. So...with all due respect, may I call you....an Eclipse Aviation CRITIC?

Welcome to the Dark Side, Ken ;-).

Stan Blankenship said...

lumar,

It took me a few minutes to figure out what you are trying to tell us.

Now that is a methamorphose!

Probably not much chance the Eclipse facility could be morphed into something that grand.

The Eclipse will be around for the next 30 years. If it goes bankrupt tomorrow, a new group will pick it up for pennies on the dollar, move it to a new city that will give it a big incentive package. There will be new claims and a new owners group and perhaps even a new blog.

When that bubble bursts, look for another group to try, correcting the mistakes of the previous group. Eventually, after the third or fourth iteration, somebody might get it right.

Jetman said...

Gadfly,
The reason I am suggesting implosion by Oshkosh is, how many of the Eclipse mis-management team are going to want to show up in the summer heat to take more heat over so few if any deliveries or lack of progress on multiple fronts? It was bizarre at AOPA in Palm Springs, no Eclipse Jets there as the fleet was grounded and the staffing at the mockup consisted of some pretty people handing out brochures. The Eclipse team of yesteryear was nowhere to be seen. After listening to the conference calls and softball questions that VR was willing to answer, I know he does not have the disposition to sit and answer the hard ones.
If I'm wrong by 30 days or even a year, it will be much closer than any estimate that Eclipse has ever published.

gadfly said...

Ken

‘How ‘bout a pseudonym . . . one you may embrace with complete enthusiasm, and maintain your true identity . . . a name that identifies the “real you”, and “what you are about”.

You know, “Murphy” had a law named after him. Why not “Meyer’s Law” . . . sort of “entropy backwards”, the inverse of the second law of thermodynamics.

“Anything that can go right, will go right, and at the most opportune time.”

‘Shucks . . . I like that, but I’m already stuck with gadfly!

Gunner said...

Niner Z-
Thanks much. That's called:
B-U-S-T-E-D!
(again)

Pretty tough to have a polite conversation around here with those kinds of duplicitous, near schizoid claims thrown on the table over and over and over. And that technique, my friend, is called Argumentum ad Absurdum
Gunner

Jake Pliskin said...

looks like miragewhatever made his / her weekly flyby

Ken Meyer said...

niner zulu wrote,
"In your first post in this seciton you said "370+ KTAS, 1300 nm range with IFR reserve, Fuel efficiency better than 1nm/lb of fuel, Half the price of a Mustang, What's not to like? :)".

But over in the Eclipse Forum you take on a different tone: "...Now would be a very good time for the company to demonstrate its good intentions by releasing the range flight derivation as it has promised."


I call 'em like I see 'em. The company has assured the world that the range flight demonstrated an NBAA IFR range of 1156 nm. And I believe it did.

However there are plenty of naysayers that doubt the flight showed the range the company said it showed. So, many weeks ago, and in some measure because of comments made here, I asked Ken McNamara about the flight. He assured me that there was "no magic" involved, that the flight actually showed the 1156nm range the company calculated, and that the company would release how they got that figure in a few days.

However, we now all know they did not in fact release the derivation of that flight. I think customers and critics alike deserve to see how the numbers were reached, and I will continue to encourage the company to release that information.

I have said several times here that I like the plane a lot, but I am lukewarm about the company. This episode is one reason why.

Ken

EclipseBlogger said...

About 30 posts ago Gunner said... As usual you two attempt to deflect the point by changing the subject. And neither of you are particularly facile at it. The point is simple: You guys like to whine about how we all have it in for Eclipse; how we're each jealous, angry or jilted former depositors, vendors and employees.

I'm not deflecting your point, I just wasn't playing your game. I was restating my point, one that I have brought up before. But in this case Gunner, I am using your words for the characterisation of this blog. These are your words, not mine...

Eclipse Critics
Eclipse Comedy Club
Eclipse Haters
Eclipse Sucks Association
Eclipse Deriders

I've been quiet for a while since there really hasn't been any new revelations here for quite some time. It's just more of the same old arguements that we've all heard before, over and over again. The best thing that's been brought up recently is where I can get a good green chile cheeseburger the next time I'm in town. I'm really looking forward to it. But some just have nothing better to do, I guess, myself included.

mouse said...

Vmc said...

All of my theorizing leads to one question from one well-informed colleague. Mouse: What do you know to be the reason for the Kamm pleading to EAC employees? What do you believe to be the reason?

>>> They are out of money and need to demonstrate to the vendors they stopped paying, that there is a funding crisis... The makers of the engine FADEC has suspended shipments due to no payments from Eclipse. Hard to make an airplane fly without engines...

The real question is why would Vern let this be released. What is the motive, or who is he trying to prove what to?

For grins, what timeframe were you on the program?

>>> 1/00 - 10/02

Gunner said...

EB-
So tell me this:
Why don't we see sites like this dedicated to Adam, Embraer, Honda, Diamond, Sport-Jet, Piper, Cessna and the like? Your answer is certain to give us all a very big clue as to your own agenda.

And by the way. I can't believe you you went and responded after Ken's last post. I've just been admiring it, slowly twisting in the wind as a perfect final statement to this particular blog entry about failure and post-failure spin.

Personally, I think it was a work of art, hanging there at the end. Just had to ruin it, didn't you?
Gunner

Green-or-Red said...

I have the utmost respect for Gadfly...however, eating foreign hamburgers at McD's. For a long time my Dad, a midwest farmer would not eat them because the beef was imported from Mexico. Now I guess they are from SA.

Gadfly, by my name you should have known that I would catch you on this one. I will go to Monroe's!

Ken Meyer said...

Rich Lucibella wrote,
"Why don't we see sites like this dedicated to Adam, Embraer, Honda, Diamond, Sport-Jet, Piper, Cessna and the like?"


You mean beyond the fact that only one of them has a VLJ product to criticize? Who the hell is going to criticize Piper or Honda for a product that nobody knows anything about?

There are certainly people unhappy with various aspects of Cessna. I suggest you drop in at the Cessna Pilot's Association forum if you think not.

Every manufacturer has a few customers and suppliers that speak poorly of them. Guys like you who feel they were screwed over one way or another. They may be more visible here because Stan has graciously given them a place to congregate.

And the company has a lot of customers and suppliers. If just 1% of its customers are unhappy, that would be more than the total membership of this blog!

It's an empty argument to say that Eclipse is the devil just because there are a handful of vocal malcontents gathered here.

Ken

gadfly said...

Just when you thought there were enough problems for the little jet:

Blogger “Nothing Like the Sun” brought up issues about “Day Jet”, which reminded me of my first impression of Florida. We had an appointment at the university in Gainesville . . . and drove from the airport in a rented car. Within a few miles, the windshield and radiator were filled with a “yellow goo”, from “Love Bugs”, the engine was beginning to overheat, and visibility was reduced to “IFR” conditions . . . in a car. Attempting to wipe the windshield required far more that just a good washer fluid . . . and the “overheating” problem . . . well, we just had to drive slow.

Soon, I learned that “Love Bugs” (Plecia nearctica . . . don’t ask, I can’t pronounce it either) . . . swarm in May and September, each time lasting about four weeks. Obviously, the “dinosaurs” have somehow learned to live with this twice yearly plague, but the “little jet”, flying low and slow, across much of the Florida terrain (do they really have “terrain” in Florida?) and with a windscreen problem, might find avoiding this little bug (that flies “united” for eight weeks out of each year) a major problem.

They are especially attracted to bright white and yellow objects . . . maybe a “hint” as to the paint scheme for the little jet. And they are highly acidic . . . “if left for more than an hour or two, the remains become dried and extremely difficult to remove, and their acidity pits and etches automotive paint and chrome”.

If Dayjet ever gets going, I’ll say one thing, they have “guts” . . . billions of them, twice a year.

gadfly

(hey, bringing up irritating problems is the job of the gadfly!)

(And a note to Green-or-Red . . . I cheat the best I can . . . my #2 son, and partner in CEC, raises and provides beef when he can, all good stuff, but in between, when the surgeon that did my “quintuple bypass” isn’t looking, I’ll take what I can get . . . but not very often, or the gadfly will not live long enough to see the end of the little jet. I’ll let you go to Monroe’s or Lota Burger . . . and you enjoy it on my behalf.)

airtaximan said...

Ken:

Just so you should know, and this probably helps your point - most of us are not Eclipse-malcontents.

Most of the folks on this blog have nothing directly to do with E-clips.

I think its fairer to say that we are interested in the industry, and have noticed that e-clips is (in our opinion) a big problem. Also, that Vern has been inaccurate, and some even conclude dishonest with the industry and customers, again, in our opinion.

Most of the blog has been providing theories regarding what is really going on...because in our collective expereince and wisdom, there's a lot that comes from Vern and E-clips that makes no sense, in our opinion.

You are a big believer. Most here are not.

We just can't understand how at this point any rational person would agree with Vern and believe what we see as BS.

I believe this forum is unique in that regard - none exists for the other programs.

I believe I know why.
I can understand how come you don't.

Gunner said...

OK, Ken. How 'but we give you that some people have a problem with Cessna? That Piper's entry has not been noticed. That Honda's Spectacularly low key entry has occasioned only yawns.

I'll take that to mean you haven't a clue why people don't guffaw out loud when we mention Cirrus, D-Jet, Sport-Jet, Embraer or even Adam.

I'll also take it to mean you don't have a problem with people raising objections to the Mustang; just to the Eclipse.

Once again, you make the opposing point. As I said, your answer would show your agenda. You can kill the holier-than-thou act, now. We're all on the same page.
Gunner

Plastic_Planes said...

Mouse said:
His remarks are very important, especially when you consider he is the best person to understand Eclipse's financial postition. Do you think Vern did know this was coming? There is a very big reason he allowed this to come out

I don't believe this was ever intended for public dissemination. The reason I have stayed "anonymous" is that this kind of information can be very damaging to disclose. We all signed NDA's when we hired on. Putting this kind of information in the public's hands can lead to al lot of "out of context" thought.

I understnd some folks still at E-Clips are being investigated for releasing company proprietary material to the outside world without authorization. Supposedly, this lead to the dismissal of one employee and 30 some odd others are being "investigated".

Take it with a grain of salt, but "Eclipse Aviation Critic" is probably not one of Vern's favorite sites.

I'm all for freedom of the press but company proprietary materials are company proprietary. Especially when reproduced word for word.

/s/

gadfly said...

Plasticman has some very good points . . . provided the little jet stays inside the hangar.

But like the “trash” that we put in the “Dempster Dumpster” at the curb: When it leaves our shop . . . or flies over it, it’s public domain. And I don’t want it coming down in our parking lot . . . we have enough problems without that.

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

Ken:
You state:
"I have said several times here that I like the plane a lot, but I am lukewarm about the company. This episode is one reason why."

The plane IS the company, in my humble opinion. An aircraft design, performance, economics, maintenance, training, residual value, insurability and financability are all linked to the company.

You may have a piece of hardware and software with promised (by the company) performance, useful life and lifecycle cost all promised and dependant on the company.

To many, they are one in the same, unless you are restoring a vintage aircraft...

Besides the fact that the plane was NOT designed to high cycle airline design criteria, not designed for the taxi market, and fraught with risk in FSW, Avionics, engines, etc... I guess you could say you like the plane - but remember, it’s made by the guys who made the design trades that led to throwing the engine in the trash, the avionics in the trash, and FSW relegated to some parts.

Your plane is encumbered with not having the functionality of some avionics features (yet, perhaps one day), and no FIKI.

Somehow, no other jet time is calculated against experience for THIS jet.

And the training company left.

There has already been cracking and wear.

Lastly, no real provision for convenient distributed maintenance.

So your plane might be a good plane, but the ownership experience might just suck.

Also, since you agree you are NOT thrilled with the company... probably because even you noticed some "problems" (I won't say lies, mischaracterizations, shady dealing, missed promises, missed milestones, missed performance...) I would think you would be a little more leery about what they are promising, versus what is actually being delivered.

Their track record since 1998 speaks for itself - what do you hear it saying to you regarding the all these aspects to owning the plane you seem to like?

Eric said...

Why is everyone trying to convince Ken that he made a bad buy? I know the "critics" take issue with the "eclipse faithful", but come on! The reason why we're seeing 100 posts per day is because Ken is here.

If the critics are wrong about the Eclipse, let Ken enjoy his jet. If the critics are right about the Eclipse, then I'll shed a tear for Ken and his lost wages... I'm sure he's a big boy and can take it. You don't get to the point of making a deposit on a jet in development without knowing a little something about risk. He knew what he was getting into... may he reap what he has sown (jet or dented bank account).

Cheers!

gadfly said...

Back in 1970, I bought a BMW 2002 for $3,400. A friend said I was “nuts” (or words to that effect) . . . he was partly right, I only got about ten years, and about 100,000 miles out of it . . . and paid a fortune in repairs . . . but after a second BMW, I got them out of my system. (Now I drive a Lexus . . . I’m too old to mess with problems.)

The friend bought a “Simca”, for half the price . . . a real bargain. When the windshield cracked, his wife went down to the Chrysler dealer to get it replaced . . . they popped it out, only to discover that replacements had to be ordered from France, so she drove for a few weeks with a sheet of plastic for a windshield. He found it difficult to keep the beast going, until he discovered an abandoned Simca in a shopping mall here in a New Mexico parking lot . . . got the Colorado title changed to his name, and for a few years was able to cannibalize the one, to keep the other going. He found the “body” made a great “green house” for his tomatoes, in the New Mexico sun, out in Volcano Cliffs . . . just west of the Rio Grande. He was a brilliant man . . . but took his own life many years ago, leaving his wife and two children. He had seven “majors” at the University of Minnesota, and established the flood insurance rates for all the companies operating in New Mexico . . . no small thing. And advised surgeons on avoiding malpractice suits. I liked the man . . . a good friend, but we lost touch.

Somewhere in this true story, I see the “Eclipse” . . . a bargain, half the price of the competition . . . someone else can fill in the blanks. (Whatever happened to Simca?)

gadfly

(When Yugo was first introduced, I heard they were going to build an SUV, called the “Y’All Go”. Is the Eclipse fuselage expandable? . . . questions to consider in the night.)

Flying Wolf said...

I would like to ask another financial related question...with respect to Gadfly, I believe that money is just as important for safety (Just wait to see what will happen if we have to start paying for FSS briefs or IFR filings.)

I ran into a situation where I had a very expensive satellite transmission truck being built. Unbeknownst to me, the builder was NOT paying the vendors he was getting the equipment from. So it comes time to close the deal for a 2 million dollar truck and bam! The vendors had put leins on the truck. The bank would not pay out the loan balance because the title was not clear. The builder goes out of business and leaves truck w/o the ability to be cleared and vendors fighting over the remains.

My question is this: Is this something that could happen on an airplane? Suppose (hypothetically) that Avidyne hasn't been paid in full for the units they have delivered. Could they put leins on the remaining aircraft? Now you would have owners having to pay off the vendors if directly to get their plane out of hock. Or are there rules preventing this kind of situation?

gadfly said...

Wolfman

You need to ask someone else . . . but I would guess that many vendors are already lining up before Oshkosh.

The saying goes, "You get what you pay for", but I think that is completely backwards. I believe you pay for what you get!

Having said all that, the gadfly has used up all his grey matter.

Gunner said...

Flying Wolf-
I'll take a stab at that one.

It's ALL Risk Capital. This is not exclusive to Eclipse. Except for a start-up company at the early stages, you pays your money and knows it's being dumped into General Revenues. In other words, it's not escrowed. They can do with it as they please.

"Why would you do that?", one might ask. Answers: Earlier position; better price; just the jazz.

But, when all is said and done, the exchange ASS-umes the seller is acting in good faith; that they're not spending your deposit on trophies, predatory business practices against competitors, bloated executive staffs, advertising to support a Ponzi scheme, executive office Happy Hours or charter jet travel. In other words, you ASS-ume they are REALLY willing to earn THEIR money the hard way....just like YOU did.

When you find out your ASS-umption was wrong; that they thought it was all a game; that you'd paid them monies to support their life-style or egos rather than your delivery...well, you let the world know. That's the beauty of the Free Market.
Gunner

Gunner said...

ps:
Free Market Success is exactly why Blogs like this are so important.

A Perfect Free Market requires Perfect information on the part of Buyers and Sellers. Obviously, you can never get "perfect" information.

But in this case, the Seller holds all the cards. It knows whether it can accomplish Avio NG (or even simple DME), whether it really demonstrated its Performance Guarantees, whether it really will produce 400 (or even 40) jets this year, whether it has major design problems with structural systems, whether it's nearly out of money and whether it even believes in its own product at this point.

Buyers need to be, at a minimum, armed with the right questions.
Gunner

Metal Guy said...

The Andrew Broom comments are just plain childish, and Stan and the other posters should just know better.

To the best of my knowledge, Andrew is a perfectly decent, hard working fellow. He deserves respect and has stuck by Eclipse for many years, while most others (literally) have left for greener pastures. Kudos. Yes, he is in a hard spot between Vern and reality, but that’s the job he signed up for – a very public position that goes with the territory.

If Eclipse goes Tango Uniform, I would encourage anyone here to give him a chance if he wants to stay in the industry. Seriously.

However, until such time, how can WE possibly be responsible for what happens to him? If he gets wrapped in duct tape and stuck in a tree, well, I guess he ends up stuck in the tree. I’m not sure what we possibly do about it...

Stan Blankenship said...

flying wolf,

Perhaps there is an attorney following the blog who would be willing to provide some pro bono insight to the unwashed masses who congregate here.

My guess is that vendors deliver goods to Eclipse and present them with an invoice. At that point Eclipse owns the goods and the vendor becomes a debtor.

Should the Eclipse go belly up, the vendor gets in line behind a lot of other people who will be paid in full before the court will look at his claim.

To provide some protection, the vendor can deliver the goods with a UCC (Universal Commercial Code) filing that says the vendor owns the goods until they are paid for.

A vendor can deliver the goods on a COD basis but even then, in the event of a bankruptcy, the court can go back several months, and if a particular vendor has received preferential treatment, they can be made to pay back those funds which will be used for employee claims, government debts etc.

I am not an attorney, but I have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on start up airplane companies. A quarter mil alone on the Bromon Aircraft, another 30k on the OMAC program, 25k on Al Paulson's Hustler, minor amounts on others.

One takes a big risk in getting involved in startup programs and today, I am very cautious about these "to good to be true adventures".

Frank Castle said...

And no wonder:

"370+ KTAS
1300 nm range with IFR reserve
Fuel efficiency better than 1nm/lb of fuel
Half the price of a Mustang

What's not to like? :)


Ken "

The fact it won't make it past FL240, SFB, so try and ignore that factoid, Mr. Anal Retentive.

Yea, Stan, we are slowing a bit. It would help if Garmin designed a good product from the start. But, hey, if it's good enough for Vern.....

Gadfly, I took Autocad and drafting in High school. Started on R14. I thought it was fun at the time, and it helped lead me to college and a degree. Plus, I worked for a drafting firm part-time whilst going to school. Helped pay my way. Cheers.

PubGrubber said...

In defense of Ken – an emotional blog

Reading this Blog one of the hardest things to ignore is the extreme criticism of the company. I know the dedication required of its employees to do what they have done and still need to do. For me, the company is them, including the management team. There are times I want to jump in and defend the company, regardless.
Yes, this would require at times, suspending disbelief of certain facts and rumors floating around.
Why do I feel this way, (I assume like Ken) I still believe in the Dream and idea of what E-Clips is.
I am not an owner, nor an investor, but a former employee. I have three years of my life tied to the program.
I left a secure job, with fair pay to follow the dream. I was going to be an integral part of something that was going to change Aviation forever, to do something that hasn’t been done in quite a while. We were going to design, manufacture, and deliver a Jet airplane from the ground up. Using new technology of manufacture and design that would integrate the airplane so well, we could produce them at “automotive” rates. I was going to have the chance to work with the best in the industry, to lay the groundwork for the future ahead.
This was how the company was presented to me during my interview, and during my entire tenure there, this was how it was. I have worked with some of the best and brightest people I have encountered in my entire career. People who set the standard for what a design Engineer and stress Engineer should be. I worked with a group of people who basically dedicated their lives to the success of this project. If a concern with the airplane was raised, it was corrected. If we felt there was a better way, we were allowed to try it. We were given the chance to put the world of Aviation upside down, and we tried every chance we could. We always considered quality of the product, manufacturability of the design and worked with the AMT’s to produce the best we could while I was there. Safety was a number one concern.
Leaving E-clips was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life. I had found the perfect job, at the perfect company and had something tangible to believe in and work towards.
I believed in the Dream, and still do.
I have many concerns about the viability of the company and their product, but truly hope they do succeed.

Just a little thought on why so much dedication and belief in this program.

Ken, if I lumped you into this and I’m incorrect, please accept my apology in advance.

Frank Castle said...

"HondaJet: Threatens to do to American aircraft manufacture what they did the the American Automobile Industry. No Honda Haters Board around."

No, Gunner, the American auto industry rolled over on itself. And the Unions helped them right along. Read my blog about Toyota and Nascar. Don't wave the flag so hard. It ain't worth as much as it used to be.

Metal Guy said...

Pubgrubber
So why did you depart?

Flying Wolf said...

Thanks for the responses. It's what I thought. In effect, the vendors will start to try and get their monies they are owed and this will drive Eclipse down quick. Unless of course you want to pay extra to get your jet out of hock.

bill e. goat said...

Flying Wolf,
Vednors siezing assets?
No way man.
Eclipse legal department has headed 'em off at the pass.
You can bet Vern didn't swim in the dot.com world without learning legal stuff the hard way.
Which b.e.g.s the question, so to speak,

HOW MANY SHIPSETS HAS AVIDYNE DELIVERED?

ARE THEY CONTINUING TO DELIVER?

Nobody has addressed this issue worth a damn. It is the single most pivotal issue for Eclipse over the next six months.
Anybody know the answer?

bill e. goat said...

Ken says,

370+ KTAS
1300 nm range with IFR reserve
Fuel efficiency better than 1nm/lb of fuel
Half the price of a Mustang

What's not to like? :)

GOAT says,
Right on man! It might take'm another 10 months, but it's gonna be there!

bill e. goat said...

Whac-a-mole?

Why not swat'em.

(Down Gunner!)

bill e. goat said...

Green-or-Red said:

Does anyone know how the windshield was tested during static test? I would assume it was to some factor of nominal cabin pressure of 8.2 or 8.3 psi. Probably a factor of 2.

Most manufactureres "proof test" the windshields (and windows, doors, etc), I suspect something like x1.5 max delta P. I don't think it would be x2.0, no reason for that- outflow valve prevents that kind of over pressurization.

bill e. goat said...

Stan says,
"I guess you are saying Andrew Broom does not sit in on meetings with Vern to strategize on how they can surgar coat the latest problem.

In your view, AB probably just waits outside Vern's office and when the latest release is slid under the door, he picks it up and sends it out to the world. "

I think you hit the nail on the head. Even though you didn't mean to.

Vern, and the legal department come up with content, slip it under the door for Andrew to put star dust on, then pull it back and review the hell out of it.

bill e. goat said...

Gunner said:

Adam: ...
Embraer: ...
HondaJet: ...
Sport-Jet: ...
Sport-Jet: ...
Diamond: ...

From a signal to noise standpoint, Eclipse has contributed little but static.

GOAT says:
Lets play a game.
With both hands, count how many VLJ hulls all of the above have flown.

Now, count how many hulls Eclipse has flown.

bill e. goat said...

Mirage00 said:

"Stan is jealous of Eclipse for some reason and its sooooo obvious. Time will tell and I do hope he is around when its time to eat some crow".

Well, maybe he will have his choice of red or green peppers...

bill e. goat said...

VMC said:

Nothing irks me more than "yes-men", who refuse to acknowledge reality when it's staring you in the face

GOAT says, um, excuse me VMC, exactly WHAT the hell are you talking about?


VMC says:
Ken: I have not responded much ...

GOAT says, VMC, please keep up the good work.

bill e. goat said...

VMC says:
Gadfly said it best; this bird was designed by a committee; and the result is one of many compromises and shortcomings

GOAT says:
Yes, they surely need ONE engineer in a closet who knows everything about aerodynamics, stress, avionics, propulsion. What's wrong with this company? I have heard they actually employee SEVERAL engineers- no wonder they are so screwed up!!!

bill e. goat said...

Mouse said (again),
"Ken,Never mind..."

Goat says (finally):
"Mouse, Never mind..."

bill e. goat said...

ATM says:

"Ken:

...You are a big believer.
...believe what we see as BS.
...I believe this forum is unique
...I believe I know why."

Goat says: Ken, I believe you know what he is talking about.

bill e. goat said...

Eric said:
"I enjoy the banter on this blog..."

Goat says: Oh Eric, up yours too!

bill e. goat said...

Eric- just kidding.

bill e. goat said...

Lumar said:
"I love this blog!

Goat says: Up yours and Eric's too!

bill e. goat said...

If there is anyone I failed to offend, I appologize- I will try harder tomorrow.

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

All you lacky whiners and nay-says, get with the program!!!

bill e. goat said...

Goat, signing off.
For the night.

:) that was fun!

Jake Pliskin said...

goat, are you drunk?

1 post would do just fine

bill e. goat said...

VMC: please excuse my haste- I did not employee a spell checker :)

Maybe Aeroobserver's second grade daughter can proof my next posting.

-She acts better than me, and can probably spell better too.

bill e. goat said...

Jake,

Please forgive me, I didn't mean to make you read so many posts, I will try to compress them and put everything in one post.

I'll also try not to repeat myself so often...

bill e. goat said...

Jake,

Please forgive me, I didn't mean to make you read so many posts, I will try to compress them and put everything in one post.

I'll also try not to repeat myself so often...

bill e. goat said...

:)))))

Vmc said...

You're hearing those voices again, aren't you my little lost sheep. No worries, you just forgot to take your meds tonight...

In most herds, you would have been made a wether goat for being so spritely.

"bill e. goat said...
VMC said:

Nothing irks me more than "yes-men", who refuse to acknowledge reality when it's staring you in the face

GOAT says, um, excuse me VMC, exactly WHAT the hell are you talking about?"

I sympathize with you my friend; this was a 'lateral thinking' exercise that required a little more than meets the eye. In no way was it meant to frustrate or antagonize you.

"VMC says:
Ken: I have not responded much ...

GOAT says, VMC, please keep up the good work."

My little wether, I do hope you come back to a more sensible state of mind in due time. Your personal attacks are pointless and shameful. If you don't like my info, feel free to vent anytime as I will gladly act as your personal sounding board. We all need a friend when in times of despair (again, lateral thinking required here).

Yours,
Vmc

bill e. goat said...

VMC says:
Ken: I have not responded much ...

GOAT says, VMC, try harder...

bill e. goat said...

:))))))))

bill e. goat said...

VMC,

It's a J-O-K-E for bleats sake!!!

bill e. goat said...

VMC tells a fellow blogger (in ONE post, guess Jake is right about some things...):

"your one-track perspective...

"your rantings...

"are without much insight...

"you are ignoring...

"I challenge you...

"be a little more honest...

"Nothing "yes-men"...

"refuse to acknowledge reality...

"it's staring you in the face...


And THEN VMC tells the happless GOAT: "Your personal attacks are pointless and shameful."

Um, thank you VMC, for your objective observations...

:)))))))))))))))

Vmc said...

Touche my hairy compadre...

It's all fun and games until someone loses their deposit...

Vmc

bill e. goat said...

Or gets a persoanl aircraft that outperforms it's nearest competitor, and only costs 60% as much.

:))))))))))))

Vmc said...

Inshallah my friend, Inshallah

When EAC IPO's, I will meet you in ABQ for a celebratory drink. Deal?

As I stated early on in this bloglife, the airplane will succeed in some shape or form, but under new management and in a different time from the present.

Vmc

bill e. goat said...

And you, Lumar!

No more of that "nice" stuff out of you Europeans!

We Americans take our blogs very seriously!

This is not all fun and games!

p.s.- our DEA will bust you for that very large hangar full of Methamphetamines you mention, so keep it quiet.

(Over here, our drug of choice is KoolAid).

bill e. goat said...

VMC,
Deal!

(IPO- I hope we both live that long!)

I agree, I too think the airplane will be a modest technical success.

I too agree, I think the finances are beyond comprehension.

(BTW, I don't think Ken has ever defended their business model, only the adequacy of the jet as a personal aircraft).

Truce- Please!!! I surrender!!!

GOAT-a get to bed!!!

:)))))))))

Vmc said...

Truce...until a more conducive time for more fun and goateer games.

g'night

Vmc

lumar said...

>Hi Goat

You say: Let's rebuild the confidence for Vern's dream.

I say: The dream is over!

mouse said...

In 2002 Eclipse was visited by two Canadian aviation companies who were considering a purchase of the company. P&WC and Bombardier left after deciding there was nothing to buy and not imprtessed with the process or potential build numbers.

I still believe this is true today. The FSW is a waste of time and energy. The machine head is too big, making clamping of the two joining metals too difficult for consistant results. In quantities perhap, however don't expect 1000's of aircraft (one model) per year, ever.

The dream/scam is all about numbers and the production scam falls without the high numbers.

Much of the tooling is still not up to the task of consistant parts joining. The entire airplane is outsourced, so the control is now in the hands of the vendors and not Eclipse.

Who would want to buy into this deal? Nobody...

The best to hope for would be to descope the program, realign to the real market potentail, and press on witha great airplane.

Even the Great Southwest Airlines (great because they are still profitable, while serving their customers safely and quickly, and even consistantly) has their new Boeing delivered with their auto-throttles disconnected. They don't want the added maintenance, MEL potential, and their legs (except for a few like BNA-SEA, Etc.) are not long enough to realize any benefit from them.

Too much technology for no reason...

Stan Blankenship said...

mouse said... "Too much technology for no reason..."

Stan says... "just because you can automate doesn't mean you should..."

PubGrubber said...

Metal Guy

My family was living in a different state while I worked in ABQ. I got the opportunity to go work for an E-clips vendor in the same state the family was in. Still part of the program, just a different level.

BigJim said...

I truely hope for the success of Eclipse. I know several former co-workers that are there now, and can vouch for their honesty and integrity. They went into the deal with their eyes open.

Having said that, my hope for success forces me to suppress my dark side, which secretly hopes that Vern lands squarely on his a** when the smoke clears. You see, I wish the best for folks that have families to support and who gave their all to the program. But, it's tough to forget the big middle finger that Vern gave, and continues to give, the rest of the industry.

I have no inside info on the quality of the aircraft, and having worked on something like 5 or 6 certification programs, many of the issues noted on this blog don't worry me as much as they worry others. The spar fitting issue could have happened to anyone. In fact issues like that happen to everyone. They are identified, fixed, and (hopefully) the design is modified to reduce the chance of it happening again. The windshields may or may not be a big issue, depending on the real root cause. The real issues are much larger in scope, and can't be fixed with a few drawing revisions or doublers.

What is going to kill Ecipse is performance. It's obvious that the aircraft is heavy. A heavy aircraft needs more thrust to meet speed and altitude target guarantees. Thrust needs fuel. Fuel needs room. The aircraft doesn't have the space or payload to spare for more fuel, therefore they can't substantially boost thrust, therefore they can't meet their takeoff distance targets, speed targets, time to climb targets, etc. As mentioned before, the aircraft just doesn't have enough wing to offset the extra weight, and no amount of hype will change that.

Hell, a successful Eclipse program would be wonderful for Cessna and the Mustang. All those E500 owners who realize they really do need space for bags and golf clubs. The first or second time a wife or buddy needs to potty at 41k (OK, 24k). After all, what's another mil?

Nothing Like the Sun said...

Stan: A hundred to two hundred posts a day, and most of it a bunch of... by about 5 posters?!? Sorry to see what has happened to what used to be an informative blog about an interesting time in aviation...

I think you need to split your blog up:
Eclipseavationcritic

and

Eclipseigotbeatuptoomuchasakidcritic

Thank you in advance...from the rest of us...