Wednesday, April 25, 2007

FIGHTING BACK

A grievance was filed 10/20/06 by an FAA engineering group against FAA management alleging award of the Eclipse Type Certificate "without allowing the aircraft certification engineers and flight test pilots to properly complete their assigned certification/safety responsibilities."

A copy of the document is available on the following website:

www.eclipsecritic.net

Keep in mind, this event happened six months ago and the circumstances surrounding the award of the TC are just coming out. There are similar allegation surrounding the inspection and the recent award of the C of A's for the three DayJet airplanes. It may take some time to learn if the circumstances as reported in the last post are factual.

331 comments:

1 – 200 of 331   Newer›   Newest»
sparky said...

DAMN.......

AlexA said...

Stan Blankenship said...
alexa,

Ken Meyer did not question my integrity nor dispute the content of this last post nor did eo387 for that matter.

Stan,
I’ve never questioned your integrity, I question your motives. Obviously something hit close to home. A disgruntle vendor that was not given a contract? A former employee? Owed money? Or are you out to save the aviation world on your own?

The only person that controls his credibility is the person that controls his credibility.

Gunner said...

Alexa said:
"A disgruntle vendor that was not given a contract? A former employee? Owed money? "

Alexa-
This tactic gets so old.
- A former employee shows up and fails to gush about Eclipse....he must be a disgruntled, fired employee

- A manufacturing professional shows up and fails to gush about Eclipse.....he must not have been given a piece of the Vern Virtual Gravy Train.

- A former Depositor shows up and doesn't gush about Eclipse....he must hate Vern personally.

Please, let's give it a rest. The only people here with a short term, vested interest are people like yourself, Ken, Eb, EO and others.

We accept that you have a vested stake in the company. We're fine with that and some of you carry it very honorably. But please, don't paint the rest of us with the reverse conflict of interest as yourself. Far and away, we have none.
Gunner

Gunner said...

Got awful quiet around here on the heels of the "pheh, just another Conspiracy Theory" posts. Wonder why that is?

Stan-
You have sunk to a new low. You're just propagating the complaints of disgruntled FAA employees. Then again, just perhaps, this may be real professionals expressing real concerns. Nah....not possible.
Gunner

bill e. goat said...

Alexa,
Thanks again for sharing the details of your recent trip to Eclipse. We look forward to more of your views and information.

Now, with honesty, regarding credibility: from the last decade (or last year) of public statements and factual results, how would you rate Eclipse's credibility? Not their gregariousness or hospitality or good intentions, but their factual credibility (not their predictions of what they will do, or how much things are changing, but their actual track record so far).

(Please take some time to respond with your real thoughts on the matter- I know the atmosphere has been a little charged lately... :)

Thanks from all of us.

Metal Guy said...

Wow, that’s amazing. Having this type of political pressure driving down from the top of the FAA to bypass the FAA engineering judgment is bordering on criminal. Something stinks to high heavens here and I doubt that it’s isolated to the just the TC.

Clearly the singular condition for the publics deposits to be released (full TC) was not met in intent or reality, and is now exposed as a complete fraud using some loophole in the regulatory system. The depositors obviously got screwed.

Further and more importantly, if “FAA ASI's would no longer look inside panels or floorboards” is true, the corruption is much much deeper than a financial slight of hand.

If they were making something as critical as pace makers, they would be forced to hold all deliveries and recall what went out until the depth of the political corruption and its impact on safety is fully understood. This is the FAA’s job by the way.

Next they will get a PC and jump up and down yelling success, which from the light of these new findings, will be yet another politically induced sham.

At least the Pinto was an honest mistake. Carry on Vern

airtaximan said...

the grievance was filed on 10/20/06...

Alexa:
perhaps you have another question or two to ask e-clips before you make your 60% progress payment?

AlexA said...

Bill e. goat believe or not I agree with your last posting. Eclipse has shot themselves in the foot with missed deadlines, production projections, etc; there is no question that their credibility has suffered. The best way to recover would be to hunker down, resolve any technical issues remaining and start delivering aircrafts without squawks. Gee, I that’s what I think they are currently attempting to do.

As to Gunner’s post, your words about the “missing the gravy train” might turn out to be prophetic. Stay tuned (I learned this technique from Vern and Stan). It might be an old story but there is certainly a great amount of new information emerging.

Gunner, there is no question that folks like myself, Ken Meyer, EB, etc have vested interests in seeing Eclipse succeed. There are also 1000 that work at Eclipse, probably 1400-1500 other depositors and countless other folks that work for suppliers that produce products for the Eclipse venture.

Even though I disagree with Frank Castle I admire him. He tells you what he believes and we all know where his loyalties are. No hidden agenda there. The same cannot be said of some of the bloggers or the blog admin.

Today might be an interesting day at ABQ, stay tuned.

workerbee said...

As someone else who has 'lurked' on this blog for a long time and been quiet, I am also compelled to say something...

The rumor of the FAA giving Eclipse favorable treatment has been on the floors of the OEM's for a long time. When we see the substance of the rumors they are validated. This not only undermines the industry, the FAA, but also diminishes the efforts of those that are hard working, diligent employees at Eclipse. I hope that this investigation comes down on the individuals concerned at the FAA, management at Eclipse that have obviously put the pressure on in the first place, and an example made of this practice to ensure that it NEVER happens again.

Vern Rayburn is a fraud. Any of you that are getting this plane that have not seen the writing on the wall before now need to really reconsider your positions and stop sipping the Kool-Aid. As in the past when this kind of news breaks you are all up in arms with your childish name calling, refusing to be open minded about the possibility of this kind of rumor being true. When someone posts it, you all go quiet and ignore it, for goodness sakes take some responsibilities for yourselves, you are being given fair warning from many people who do not have an agenda to beware of this mess in ABQ, yet you cannot see beyond the 'honest, sincere' spin merchants that you interface with in 'jonestown' aka ABQ.

As before here we are being hyped up to expect a PC being issued in ABQ today (yawn), so what? With the bona fides of the people involved in the certification of this plane, the company that has been misrepresenting themselves, their product and their capabilities for nearly a decade, what value will there be in a PC? It is not evident that the culture in ABQ is one that I have traditionally associated with a PC in the time I have been involved with true OEM's in this country, having worked at Piper, Beech and Cessna. Integrity is the one missing and essential component that is not evident to me.

This grievance filing is a big deal, FAA employees do not file these kinds of statements against their employers lightly, the ramifications of this are far reaching. This grievance undermines the validity of everything that the FAA stand for and are tasked with providing the public. This opens the government up to the plaintiff lawyers that are salivating at their prospects when there is an accident. It smacks of collusion with the very company they are supposed to be auditing. In public Rayburn has acknowledged IOU's to the FAA, this is undoubtedly unethical.

OK now I have had my rant, I will be waiting for the personal attacks from the Eclipse position holders, and we will wait to see if the PC is issued in ABQ today, as my man Romey says "over and out".

mirage00 said...

Snooooooooze..... Let's see, I bet they want to claim damages. $1 million for pain and suffering?

Since this happened long ago, I would imagine its been looked into already.

Wake me up if the FAA grounds the fleet. Otherwise, it's a certfied airplane.

AeroObserver said...

The only fact is that this is an unverified grievance. And even if it is a real grievance -- it's still only a grievance until further action is taken. Continuing on the assumption that it's real, why is a six-month-old document being released only now? How do we know that this hasn't already been investigated and is now over and done with?

Unlike those who are acting as the judge, jury and executioner, I'm calling NATCA to confirm the grievance and the DOT IG to see if there is any investigation. I'll settle for only the facts, not opinion.

airtaximan said...

alexa:

nice to know that you agree with the Goat given all the missteps and exaggerations at EAC.. but he asked you a question:

"how would you rate Eclipse's credibility?...their actual trackrecord?"

For me, this is central to safety, which you said concerns your family...

Gunner said...

AO said:
"I'll settle for only the facts, not opinion."
Except, of course, when the e-pinions are from Eclipse and suit your fancy.

If the logic sword don't cut both ways, it's probably pretty dull.
Gunner

EclipseBlogger said...

At the Eclipse Customer event of September 30 everyone was told that there were certain issues that remained to be completed and had been promised to the FAA in order for the TC to be issued. If this document is correct, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, the test pilots complained to their Union that they had not completed the tasks required, but the TC was issued anyway. Their signatures are all over the documents leading up to that point, and should an incident occur, they probably felt that they would be under scrutiny. If it were me, I too would document that I had not completed everything required.

In that light, was there pressure to get the TC for the customer event, most definitely. Was it a marketing stunt, probably. Was it a safety issue, cetainly not since nothing was being delivered. The required tests and completion of whatever issues remained open were probably resolved as promised.

Gunner said...

"Was it a safety issue, cetainly not since nothing was being delivered."

But it IS a safety issue to the extent that people are relying on the illusion of Certification in deciding whether to Deposit on the aircraft or make Progress Payments. They believe they are paying for a traditionally approved, safe aircraft. Instead, what they're buying is (by your own admission) an aircraft of questionable safety and a PROMISE that all will be in order, after the fact. Once Deposited, they are locked in to take delivery or attempt to sell the position.

That is no way to do business. Not with lives of pilots and families at stake. If Eclipse has plenty of funding, they should get the design finished and approved before making "deliveries" that lure more Deposits; if they need the Deposits and Progress Payments to complete design and obtain certification (with no guarantee of that forthcoming), they are defrauding their customers.

Plain and simple.
Gunner

Green-or-Red said...

EB
Check your dates.
The customer event was the week before the TC dated 9/30.

EclipseBlogger said...

The TC was delivered during the customer meeting. Perhaps the paperwork was filed on the 30th.

airtaximan said...

folks,

There could be may explanations for the document posted...its a fake, its been condured up by disgruntled FAA employees, its resolved already...

BUT, I have to ask:

Why would anyone file this, all the remedies are safety related. No one is asking for monetary damages... they are looking to restore the good faith safety process that is the FAA's business.

They claim the planes were not inspected and passed - they were not allowed to do their job?

These are test pilots and inspectors...

All I have to say is:

After all this time and money, why did it have to come down to this?

Passing the FAA cannot just go into the "too hard" category..especially if you are safety focused.

If the document is real, its a big deal.

If it has not already been resolved, its a big deal with ongoing ramifications.

If they obtain a PC today or any time soon, under these conditions...it will be like the Collier... except the Collier had no direct implications for safety.

airtaximan said...

what is a provisional-TC?
of what use was it for e-clips?

gwengler said...

Why don't you check with Tomaso.DiPaolo@faa.gov ?

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

The timing of the release to this Blog by Stan Blankenship of this 6 month old apparent grievance is very suspect. Could you have planned the timing on this Blog to circumvent any good news that may be coming out of ABQ in the near future Stan? A tactical maneuver? In any event, if genuine, this is an internal FAA grievance, not a Eclipse grievance. I don't suppose that anyone in the NATCA union has ever filed a grievance against their management before! Perhaps you got it wrong and should have started an FAA Critic Blog instead of one for Eclipse!

KAD1 (aka CAD1)

Gunner said...

Stan seems to be a more confusing personality to some than George Bush. Like Bush, the same people that call him a moron, call him an evil genius in the next breath.

Case in point:
- Stan hints that there is an Official FAA complaint regarding the manner in which Eclipse obtained TC. Stan's a moron, spreading rumor and innuendo.

- Stan verifies his claim with a copy of the actual document. Stan's an Evil Genius who sat on this information for months, waiting to drop it on a Blog to dull the Wonderful Best New News from Eclipse This Week.

Which is it?

And why are we not speaking to the issue at hand? FAA Employees, with absolutely nothing to gain, filed a Formal Grievance regarding the manner in which the EA500 received Certification and the very safety of the jet. If this was Cessna, there'd be blood on the floor of this Blog.

If this isn't news (especially coming now), what's it gonna take to make news with this company? Another "delivery" of a VFR only aircraft? PC awarded under the cloud of FAA rank and file Grievance and concerns. Loss of lives? What's it take?
Gunner

airtaximan said...

kad1:

if this is an "internal FAA grievance and not an E-clips grievance", why would it have any affect on e-clips, making you remark "Could you have planned the timing on this Blog to circumvent any good news that may be coming out of ABQ"... yu make it seem as if a grievance by inspectors/test pilots for the FAA against their upper management for stopping them from their work and circumventing the safety processes they have to adhere to, have nothng to do with e-clips.

I guess, according to your statements, the FAA higher-up just decided to lighten up on the process, as a matter of a new way of doing their business?

come on,man. You have to agree this looks pretty bad. Looks like someone is messing with the certification process and skipping some safety related checks?

Maybe you are right...maybe its just an internal FAA grievance - with no implications for safety, influence or other on belhalf of our friendly neighborhood mini-jet builder.

I doubt it, though.

I would certainly want to know exactly what is going on, here.. even if it is nothing.

Safety seems to be secondary, though - not a good thing for my friends and family.

PS. maybe Stan just recently discovered this? Maybe? You certainly knew nothing about it...neither did anyone else here...

oopps...my mistake - part of what comes soon from the e-lievers is "so what if YOU didn't know about this...we all did, or you had no right to know...you stupid, drunk, bead-sitting cab driving fly-boy...

sad state of affairs. I certainly think ther'll be more soon...

mirage00 said...

This is nothing more than 1 or 2 people who got their ego's bruised. Happens all the time. Ask any human resource department. End of Story!!!

Let me know if the FAA grounds the fleet, otherwise the plane is certified to fly.

airtaximan said...

Its always fun to look back on history... lets look back about a year:

Eclipse nears FAA certification
New Mexico Business Weekly - May 2, 2006

Eclipse, based in Albuquerque, is designing and manufacturing the Eclipse 500, a six-seat aircraft it says has, to date, achieved a total of 1,700 hours in 1,250 flights, 700 (hours) of them in the past three months. The company predicts, based on the "unprecedented rate" of flight testing, it could achieve Federal Aviation Administration certification by the end of this (second) quarter. It said it expects to reach European EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) type certification status by the end of this year. The company has seven test aircraft, including five flying jets, a static test airframe and one fatigue airframe.

What happened to the fatigue test airframe? Until May 2006, they needed it? What happened?

airtaximan said...

mirage..

ego's bruised by WHAT?

AlexA said...

airtaximan said...
"how would you rate Eclipse's credibility?...their actual trackrecord?"

Airtaximan my command of the English language must be slipping. I though I answered that one in the previous post (copy and paste) “Eclipse has shot themselves in the foot with missed deadlines, production projections, etc; there is no question that their credibility has suffered. The best way to recover would be to hunker down, resolve any technical issues remaining and start delivering aircrafts without squawks. Gee, I that’s what I think they are currently attempting to do.”

There is a huge difference between failing to make deadlines and cutting corners when it comes to safety.

Airtaximan are you implying the E500 is unsafe?

Gunner said...

Alexa said:
"Airtaximan are you implying the E500 is unsafe?"
Dunno about AT, but I'm STATING it's unsafe in its present configuration and given the information Eclipse has and has not released.

We know the following:
- This is currently a VFR only JET
- The pitot tubes freeze in cold weather when flying from a humid environment.
- There have been safety concerns raised by FAA professionals in a formal process
- Not a single plane has been delivered into the control of anyone but EAC

We don't know the following:
- Have the window issues been fixed in a manner that removes the inspect requirements?
- Have the wing spars been fixed in a manner that removes the inspect requirements?
- Is the plane DME and RVSM capable after the first 28 day cycle?
- Are there no problems with the brakes and wheels.

Sure, I'd fly it. Just clear up those issues and deliver 80 or 100 into the hands of end users for about a year.

How 'bout you, Alexa? Would you fly your current aircraft with these known and outstanding issues?
Gunner

airtaximan said...

alexa:
When you say:
"There is a huge difference between failing to make deadlines and cutting corners when it comes to safety."

Is this the case at EAC? Really, you chalk it all up to
they failed to make dedlines?
That's it?

wow...

I guess when you put it like THAT, I'd agree the plane is perfectly safe.

If you look realistically at what has happend since 1998... I'd say, Nope - company probably lacks the right level of respect for safety.

I would not fly in that plane.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Guys we can say all we want but Eclipse was just awarded Production Certificate! Congratulations Eclipse!

Also,

I am SN24 now.

Gunner said...

Congrats to Eclipse and EO.
May it be a safe and reliable aircraft. I mean that.
Gunner

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

Well Boys and Girls, why don't we take a look at what other Grievance's Mr. Tomaso DiPaolo has filed with the NATCA Union against actions by Mr. John Hickey, AIR-1.

http://regionx.natca.net
/Documents/AIR
/Illegalworkrules-
Developmentalengineerspaynegativeimpact.doc

Of course, Mr. Tomaso DiPaolo wouldn't have a beef with by Mr. John Hickey as a result of this would he?

KAD1 (aka CAD1)

mirage00 said...

Yep... E387, you beat me to it. I wanted to give the good news.

It must not be valid I tell you. Something is not right. This can't be. This just can't be. Oh that was the voice inside Stan's head.

Stan... I'm still here! :)

mirage00 said...

E387... Congrats on the number SN24! Can you give me a lift one day?

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

MORE KOOL-AID For you!

Eclipse Aviation, Inc, maker of the first VLJ, proudly received the
Production Certificate from the FAA for the Eclipse 500 at 12:15 PM today at
company headquarters!


KAD1 (aka CAD1)

cherokee driver said...

KAD1

Tomaso DiPaolo is the union representative. His title is NATCA Aircraft Certification National Representative. It would be his job to file the grievance on the employees behalf. He is not the employee who has an issue with management. If that is the only other grievance he has filed, I guess it takes something pretty serious to result in a complaint.

sparky said...

Congratulations E-guys, you made it to the starting line.

Green-or-Red said...

****PRESS RELEASE****

Eclipse Aviation Receives Production Certificate

Pace of Eclipse 500 deliveries to increase as inspection and approval process matures

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — April 26, 2007 — Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced that it has received its production certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Representatives from the FAA presented the production certificate to Peg Billson, chief operating officer (COO) of Eclipse Aviation earlier today at a ceremony held at Eclipse’s Albuquerque headquarters.

A production certificate allows a company to manufacture aircraft with an FAA-approved type design, and is only granted when the FAA has determined that the organization’s manufacturing processes and inspection systems comply with all federal regulations. Eclipse Aviation is now authorized to issue standard airworthiness certificates for its production aircraft. As is common in the production start-up phase of a new aircraft manufacturer, Eclipse was previously required to submit every aircraft to the FAA for approval before delivery.

“Earning our FAA production certificate means we have successfully built a reliable, high-quality manufacturing process, and are well positioned to expedite aircraft deliveries,” said Peg Billson. “Our employees, customers and investors can have confidence that we are gaining momentum in production as more and more Eclipse 500s go out the door and into the hands of our customers. This is a critical milestone in our journey to become a high-production aircraft manufacturer.”

The FAA production certificate approval process is very rigorous, and includes the exhaustive evaluation of an organization’s manufacturing processes, quality control and production inspection system. A team of FAA inspectors fully audits the organization and production facilities, and examines approved design data for compliance. If the FAA finds inconsistencies, there are follow-up audits to ensure corrective actions were taken and integrated into ongoing systems and processes.

“We appreciate the professionalism and dedication the FAA has demonstrated throughout this initiative, and look forward to advancing Eclipse 500 aircraft production under our now FAA-approved system,” commented Billson.

AlexA said...

Gunner, Gunner, Gunner..

My serial number is in 200s. I live in sunny (read warm) Florida, my trips are short (200-400 Miles = not a long time to climb). Am I willing to fly VFR for the next two weeks with an Eclipse pilot beside me? Hell yeah!

Give it up. There is no bushing problem. There is no tire/brake problem. There is no software update problem. The window problem is believed to be resolved and data is being gathered. Everything is fine, be happy.

Will Eclipse run into additional technical problems down the road, probably. The bottom line is there a lot of dedicated individuals at ABQ working their rear ends off to deliver a quality aircraft. As issues arise I feel comfortable that they will be addressed. The young lady that is my contact person is working 18 hour days 7 days a week (the last email from her was received at 8:46 PM ABQ time on Sunday).

I’m sure I am in the minority but if Eclipse had the power to expedite the FAA inspection process (as I believe was the real issue) then the more power to them. The doubters (dark side) interpreted the information to mean short cuts were taken. If I have the clout to expedite anything that has to do with the government trust me I would use it.

Congratulation Eclipse!

EclipseOwner387 said...

Mirage,

Thanks! And of course. I like showing off my toys! I mean airline quality, air-taxi-capable personal rocket.

;-)

EO24

Green-or-Red said...

EO24
I would assume you will have your plane around June 1. This should be about the time the fatigue testing will begin.

EclipseOwner387 said...

G/R,

I drink lots of coffee so I am seldom fatigued.

Ken Meyer said...

Well, Gentlemen, indeed it is true...

Eclipse Aviation, maker of the world's first VLJ, indeed received a Production Certificate from the FAA this afternoon. With nearly a thousand employees in attendance, along with friends and supporters of the company, Peg Billson accepted the Certificate from two dedicated FAA employees at about 12:15 PM at the company's headquarters in Albuquerque.

Ms. Billson recognized the extraordinary collective efforts of both Eclipse employees and FAA employees in shepherding Eclipse to become one of the handful of new aviation companies to reach this achievement.

At the same time, Ms. Billson openly acknowledged that the Production Certificate is simultaneously an acknowledgement of the quality of work Eclipse and its employees are doing AND a high calling to produce quality, airworthy, compliant products each and every time.

Here are two photographs I shot of the event:

Peg Billson receives PC

Peg Billson holding PC

And for those of you who harbor lingering doubts (Stan's latest post showing there are still some of you), you can take a close look and see that the fine print on that Certificate shows it is indeed the real McCoy :)

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Congrats, Honestly. And kudos for flying in for the event.

You snapped those photos, personal-like, during the ceremony today? Must have been a helluva a celebration lunch at ABQ, no?
Gunner

BD5 Believer said...

Now that Eclipse has reached this terrific milestone of a PC, can we shift the discussion to the maintenance plan?

Also - not trying to be picky - but doesn't it bother you guys that Eclipse keeps claiming to be the worlds 1st maker of a VLJ! Sorry but they lost that race, and to keep promoting that idea leads to a loss of credibility - which they seem to be short of already. Why not just admit that Cessna beat you to the TC and the PC and move on.

Come on, give us a break from the marketing BS and just start rolling some planes out the door.

Many of us potential buyers are waiting to see some planes in the hands of everyday Joes.

airtaximan said...

bd5er,

the claim is a tricky wording...they make it seem like they are saying what you are reading...but in fact, htye only claim to be "the manufacturer of the first VLJ" - kindasort different...it means they started a long time ago, so they were the first to begin a VLJ --the first VLJ, the one started the longst time ago.

As for the PC, I will hope this somehow brings out the best.

As for comments like "If I have the clout to expedite anything that has to do with the government trust me I would use it."

clout: as in "special advantage or influence" to "hasten" the process... this gets off on the wrong foot, already.

Ater only a few planes delivered over 6 months of working, in what needs to become high rate production/quality process - I hate to think about the realities of what's been done here.

This might go down as the fastest PC in history, and on a plane with the most problems of any new plane put into service, which has the most IOU's to customers, and which missed the target dates by the most, as well.

There's not a lot to be positive about here, unless you really do want clout to replace following the standard FAA quality inspection process...

Funny how Peg Bilson ackowedged the importance of the PC to the investors...but never once refered to clout:

"The FAA production certificate approval process is very rigorous, and includes the exhaustive evaluation of an organization’s manufacturing processes, quality control and production inspection system. A team of FAA inspectors fully audits the organization and production facilities, and examines approved design data for compliance. If the FAA finds inconsistencies, there are follow-up audits to ensure corrective actions were taken and integrated into ongoing systems and processes."

Seems like she wants everyone to believe the FAa was very hard on them, and made them jump through the normal hoops in the normal way. There's even a tutorial on how the process works.

I'm worried.

Plastic_Planes said...

Ken:

Was Vern there? I didn't see him in any of the pictures and no quotes were attributed to him...

Talking to several of my former employees there, they are all very happy to have this happen. It has been a haul to get there. They all, though, admitted there is still a lot of work to get done to make the deliveries.

/s/

gadfly said...

That is wonderful news (or is it?) . . . a Production Certificate for Eclipse, allowing them to churn out clones of the aircraft that the FAA inspected. By the time they manufacture a few hundred of them, they may be so far behind in aircraft needing updates, to make them perform as originally promised, they might never dig their way out of the hole.

There is no doubt that by reading the “fine print” anyone will see that the certificate is, indeed, the “Real McCoy” . . . but that does not prove that the “plane” is the real thing . . . not by a long ways. That the work-force is trusted by the FAA to put together the little jet in a “proper manner” according to print and to certain high standards speaks well for the hard work and skills of the workers. But it does not assure that the plane will meet the promises and assumptions of “seller” and “buyer”.

In fact, it may even delay the many modifications and corrections needed to refine the design. I won’t rehearse the original “specs”, and the possible mechanical problems that may or may not exist . . . they are irrelevant to the discussion. The “real” question revolves around the true value of the PC, so far as getting the promised aircraft into the hands of the buyer. (Eclipse may, at least, get “a jet” into the hands of its many customers.)

As far as the aviation industry is concerned, there are a thousand or more new highly skilled technicians in the labor force . . . is that good? . . . probably . . . it will, for sure, lower the cost of future aircraft manufacture . . . competing for desirable jobs. And, after all, wasn’t that one of the goals? . . . to lower the price of a jet? (Maybe it’s not according to the plan, as to how a cheaper jet was to be provided . . . but what’s done is done.) For whatever it’s worth, this new work-force is gaining valuable experience . . . sort of like what happened just before the end of WWII . . . and industry had over two million new workers, without any more need for fighters and bombers.

Eclipse, you can now prove to the world that it’s possible to build hundreds of the little jets . . . perfect clones of an airworthy, easy to fly, twin-engine VFR, three passenger jet. Please show the world your stuff.

gadfly

EclipseOwner387 said...

BD5,

EA is pumping vlj's out faster than cessna. Enjoy.

PP,

It has been previously established Vern is in Europe.

ATMAN,

Cessna had PC and TC before Eclipse and yet Eclipse has delivered more planes. Relax pal.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gadfly,


Talk about diehard. You are like the hard headed brother that thinks pro wrestling is real.

BD5 Believer said...

EO387

Well, they might be pumping them out faster then Cessna, but at least Cessna has a/c in the hands of owners already. Only time will tell, which is what we have all been waiting for.

Seriously, it will be a great day when guys like you get your airplanes into service. And by "Guys like you" ,I mean private owmers, not air taxi's or shared ownership etc. Guys that are going to take pride in the aircraft and go fly the heck out of it. Looking forward to some real hands on flight test reports.

Meanwhile, now that they have their PC, maybe they will stop the false bravado, and let the product speak for itself.

a37pilot said...

BD5

Good point. Air Taxi or not when are we going to see some type rated Eclipse pliots flying around the country not hovering around ABQ. BTW who's going to start training all the pilots if production is going to ramp up.

airtaximan said...

EO...

lotsa band-aids on them there delivered planes...

E-clips needs to deliver 10x the number of planes Cessna does for their business case...

Its May... they promised (last count) 400 this year, to Cessna's 40.

...and did e-clips really obtain PC and TC before Cessna? Your plane will get a lot of added functionality and replaceent parts and mods in order for it to be acceptable to you - are these certified?

I think when the plane is finished, and the mods, replacement avionics and fixes are certified, perhaps you have what you are claiming.

Honestly, its not a race between e-clips and Cessna, to me...but that's how I see your comment, in reality.

e-clips delivered what they could - not your finished plane, upgraded to a level of acceptability - that's why all the fixes and upgrades and replacement systems are free...right?

EO, enjoy. I'm sure your first flight in the plane will be a terrific and exciting moment for you - as a private pilot, this is really all that matters.

Best wishes and congratulations!

airtaximan said...

FWIW:

E-clips is a success...

They have achieved what they needed to this year - the paperwork from the govenment to allow them to raise more money.

Plain and simple.

The reception of the PC is the last necessary requirement...for them to be able to convince a lot of unsuspecting investors that they are real...they have the government's seal of approval to "pump our planes"...and its going to be a while before anyone can really say anything about e-clips.

They are going to raise gobs of money. They will ask for the deposit money, of course...

This was the goal.

You gotta hand it to them - mission accomplished!

airtaximan said...

EO,

when you say "it was established that Vern was in Europe..."

I still think ths is a little strange for e-clips.

Europe is just a private flight away...for such an important milestone. Many folks flew to ABQ for the event, right?

All the mdia was there...ah, actually, not many... hmm kinda strange, too.

I wonder what the timing on all this was? I wonder what made them rush?

It might also be an attempt to show organizational depth and less relaince on Vern...

Interesting course of events. A new first for e-clips.

mirage00 said...

airtaximan...Sounds like something struck a nerve????

Stan...Could you please post the most recent PR regarding the Production Certificate awarded to Eclipse yesterday. You know, in the spirit of fairness.

"Smile and wave boys.... Just smile and wave"

Black Tulip said...

Is is possible that the blog could slowly get back to other issues? How many aviators out there wanted to debate whether Eclipse Aviation could develop, build and certify the aircraft? Many assumed that having raised such a pile of money, Eclipse would do at least as well as Lear or Cessna. The planes were supposed to be rolling out into the bright New Mexico sun long ago.

I suspect most wanted to know if the controversial range/speed/payload numbers could be met. (Revisit Stan's first note, April 2006). We were worried about the following conversation:

Departure: "Eclipse NXXX change to Center 128.2."

Eclipse: "Center, Eclipse NXXX climbing through twelve thousand to fifteen thousand."

Center: "Eclipse NXXX maintain fifteen thousand."

Eclipse: "Center, we need an unrestricted climb to flight level four one oh, or... we need to divert to our alternate."

Center: "Eclipse NXXX, sir, you just departed five minutes ago. What is your fuel state?"

Eclipse: "We're full tanks."

Center: "Eclipse NXXX, standby."

Regarding the question of who came first, I suggest Eclipse change their tag line to read, "first to coin the term VLJ." In fact, if the term had been trademarked, Eclipse could pick up a few cents everytime it is used by another.

The results of this debate will unfold soon. We have the ability to see jets actually in the air via FlightAware. Enter ECL5 (EC50, was shown once) for the Eclipse and C510 for the Mustang. Soon we should have real data on positive control airspace and RVSM compliance plus speed, range, climb and descent rates.

Black Tulip

Black Tulip said...

For instance, there is a Cessna-owned Mustang in the air right now (1345Z Friday)... climbing out of FL376 to FL410. The tail number is N600DE, going from Utah to Michigan, and the flight is unblocked... right there for everyone to watch.

Black Tulip

sparky said...

Two things I forgot to add to my last post:

1) The Sats study assumed the de-centralization oof people and businesses away from the city and urban areas into a more evenly distributed rural location.

2) the feasability study was done under the assumption of a Single pilot operation.

How's that Pitot problem?

airtaximan said...

Mirage:

check my posts since I showed up here.

I've been fairly consistent at noticing "flies in the ointment".

These are usually leading indicators of something going on.

A required skill in dealing with E-clips...there's always more than what meets the eye. Usually not good.

** PC after 7 or 8 (conflicting reports) deliveries, out of sequence... for a revolutionary new jet from a new company, proposing to do high rate production? I won't fgo into all the quality issues, incomplete systems, replacement systems, cracking etc...

Nothing strange going on here...

AJ said...

Stan, You're big time now! This on the front page of todays Albuquerque Journal:

Friday, April 27, 2007

Eclipse Gets FAA Approval


By Andrew Webb
Journal Staff Writer

Eclipse Aviation passed the Federal Aviation Administration's final test Thursday, winning production certification for its $1.5 million light jet.
"We are transitioning from a development company to a production company," Chief Operating Officer Peg Billson said during a ceremony with FAA representatives outside company headquarters.
Billson said the certificate would speed up the manufacturing process to one plane off the assembly line every day by this summer and eventually three a day.
Meanwhile, Eclipse and FAA officials downplayed allegations that the FAA rushed type certification of the jet last year.
A grievance was filed in October against two FAA managers by the union that represents the agency's inspectors and test pilots.
The grievance, which was made public on a Web site this week, alleges the FAA issued the Eclipse 500 type certificate "without allowing the aircraft certification engineers and flight test pilots to properly complete their assigned certification/safety responsibilities."
The grievance claims inspectors and test pilots had identified several outstanding safety and regulatory issues, and sought to indemnify any inspectors or test pilots against legal action should there be an accident involving an Eclipse 500.
Tomaso DiPaolo of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association confirmed the grievance had been filed.
He said it was the first regarding safety of an aircraft since the union began representing FAA certification engineers in 2000.
When the plane was set for certification at the end of September, "my guys were telling me it wasn't ready, but the FAA managers went ahead and approved the plane design," DiPaolo said in an interview with the Journal.
"I don't think any of my engineers that were involved signed off."
He declined to identify any of the inspectors or pilots involved.
The grievance is still under review by the FAA, DiPaolo said.
FAA spokesman Roland Herwig said he couldn't comment specifically on the grievance, but he said the FAA had no safety concerns with Eclipse.
"Eclipse Aviation Corp. has satisfactorily completed all immediate and corrective action plans resulting from the FAA's production certification audit," he said.
"The FAA will, of course, continue oversight of Eclipse for both production and operational safety."

Highest approval
The certification issued Thursday in front of many of the company's 1,200 employees means the federal agency has signed off on Eclipse's production processes and the company can issue its own airworthiness certificates for each plane.
"Production certification is the highest approval the FAA issues to manufacturers, and we're very proud to issue that to you today," said Vaughn Schmitt, manager of the FAA's Manufacturing Inspection district office in Fort Worth.
Since Eclipse received type certification for its twin-engine Eclipse 500 jets last year, the FAA has had to individually test each plane before delivery. The process is common for companies building a new aircraft, but it is cumbersome.
Eclipse has delivered eight aircraft since late last year.

Safety concerns
Since its type certification, Eclipse has revealed a list of planned or completed modifications to fix problems such as cracking windows, and it has scrapped its original avionics system.
DiPaolo said he believes a new FAA pay system that ties performance to manager pay may have been to blame for rushing certification.
"We're very concerned here that there may have been undue pressure brought on employees because managers had their pay linked to the success of the Eclipse program," he said.
"We'd be more than happy to see these guys succeed, but we have safety concerns with Eclipse. We want the FAA to ensure they'll give these guys protection."
The grievance was published Thursday on a blog, Eclipse Aviation Critic, written by Stan Blankenship, a semiretired engineer who has worked on other business jets, such as Learjet and Gulfstream.
Blankenship's year-old blog also has alleged political pressure on the FAA to certify the Eclipse 500.
"We have never asked anyone to pressure the FAA," Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom said Thursday.
Representatives for Gov. Bill Richardson and several members of the state's congressional delegation said they had not applied any pressure.
As he has previously, Broom said the blog is a result of heated competition between older, established aircraft manufacturers and upstarts like Eclipse.

Longs hours for FAA
FAA representatives have worked long hours, frequently on weekends, alongside Eclipse engineers to solve problems with the Eclipse 500. The FAA has also made some concessions, such as giving Eclipse an early "provisional-type" certification, which gave the company a schedule to complete a few fixes.
In addition, the FAA agreed to work with Eclipse on future adaptations to its certification as it makes adjustments to the plane, such as adding new wingtip fuel tanks and a reworked avionics system, later this year.
The provisional-type certification last summer allowed Eclipse to tap into $225 million in investments in the startup company.
Eclipse's Billson said the FAA worked hard on the project because of its mission— the commercialization and safety of air travel.
"The very light jet movement, and especialy the Eclipse 500, represents an expansion of the commercialization of air travel," Billson said. "They've been terrific helping us realize this dream."

Lloyd said...

a37,

Training is ongoing now. Approximately 70 pilots have been through the upset and high altitude training. The training facility being completed now at Double Eagle will have the ability to train the pilots necessary for their production rate. Recurrency training will start in one year as well. They are aware of the numbers necessary and are prepared to see them through the necessary training. I have verified the numbers with the director of training with Eclipse.

airtaximan said...

man, this is quite an article.

I guess I was wrong about Vern not caring about this blog. Perhaps the timing of the PC was indeed realted to the post here.

On its face, its appears like a rush to celebrate... no Vern, no press...

The grievance obviously got the attention of the local (and generally very supportive ABQ press) - the reaction I'm sure is exactly what E-clips was seeking to avoid by a public disclosure of the safety related grievance. The union seems to be concerned with e-clips safety, even today.

I like what Peg Billson says regarding the FAA mission:

"Billson said the FAA worked hard on the project because of its mission— the commercialization and safety of air travel."

Umm...that's e-clips' mission... here's the FAA's mission:

Our mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.

Plus their vision:
Our vision is to improve the safety and efficiency of aviation, while being responsive to our customers and accountable to the public.

Our Values
Safety is our passion. We're world leaders in aerospace safety.
Quality is our trademark. We serve our country, our customers, and each other.
Integrity is our character. We do the right thing, even if no one is looking.
People are our strength. We treat each other as we want to be treated.

there's a big difference, and her attempt to place the FAA in some commercialization role, and mitigate their real business mission, is telling.

I'm sure there's more to come...

I'm sure the PC is designed to try to keep the money flowing... the other FAA-awards were timed this way...why change now?

7 or 8 planes out the door with band-aids... after $1 billion and 8 years...

Doesn't seem alright.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

WELCOME TO NEW READERS

aj, thanks for the Eagle article, interesting to see these suspicions\allegations finally gain some traction in the press.

Those of us who have been in industry for a while knew or suspected that strange things were afoot in ABQ, nice to have some verification.

FWIW - Eclipse has had people from the FAA working on their program removed if those people did not cooperate with the agenda, this is fact, I know of at least two.

For me, personally, this recent PC places the FAA's credibility in a bad light - we all know that Eclipse already has a long way to go establish any real credibility after so many missed schedules, so many lies (like the absence at NBAA), so many physical issues with planes (wing bushings, windows and windshield cracking, thin skins), so many issues with avionics (NO FMS, limited autopilot, the GPS\DME\RVSM fiasco, blanking displays), and such unbelievably limited operational use (no FIKI, no IMC, no commercial use) - it is disturbing though to see the FAA drink the kool-aid as well.

The FAA has had a challenging time ever since gaining the twin responsibilities of aviation safety as well as promoting aviation and aviation business - this PC stinks, IMO.

I will congratulate the team at Eclipse when I believe they have actually EARNED a Type Certificate and when they have actually EARNED a Production Certificate - you know, like the dinosaurs do, by establishing a reliable, repeatable, and trustworthy quality system, by having controls in place to deal with production floor problems, by knowing how to address non-conformances, and by building aircraft that actually conform to type design.

I will congratulate Eclipse when they deliver an aircraft that actually does, at the time of delivery, what they said it would do, not after several modification trips back to the barn in Albuquerque, after multiple software updates, and after replacing the entire avionics system.

Must say, the instant ad hominem attacks on DiPaolo by Mirage are a testament to the religious fervor of the true beleivers - can't attack the message - attack the messenger.

Read the Wichita Eagle article carefully, there is a lot of good information there - the complaint is real, not a fake; the FAA IS investigating the complaint, seriously; it is the FIRST time such a complaint has been filed by this union in 7 years of representing the AIR staff.

As for Vern's uncharacteristic silence and the increasing focus on Ms. Bilson, I am encouraged. You see, we have video conferencing, even regular telephones, so Vern COULD have easily been reached or COULD HAVE easily called in to make a statement - he did not.

CWMOR Prediction - Vern is out by year's end (possibly 'promoted' to the BOD) and Peg is promoted to CEO.

CWMOR Prediction - Eclipse will publicily announce Brian Barents has left the BOD to 'pursue other interests', between now and Oshkosh.

CWMOR Prediction - Total production of Eclipse 500's for 2007 will be between 45 and 100, with ALL aircraft needing significant modification after delivery.

CWMOR Prediction - DayJet will begin commercial operation in Q3 with a handful of jets, and fold in 2008 due to lack of market.

CWMOR Prediction - By Oshkosh, Eclipse will come clean about other shortcomings and issues previously alleged here such as premature tire and break wear, compressor stalls, and significant supplier quality issues for structural suppliers.

FlightCenter said...

By JOE SHARKEY
THE idea of cheap little jets that resembled sport utility vehicles and could be produced by the thousands seemed far-fetched — and some even said preposterous — when the two pioneers in the field, Eclipse Aviation, in Albuquerque, and Adam Aircraft, near Denver, were gearing up for production six years ago.
Edward E. Iacobucci was an early believer. He had worked for I.B.M. for 11 years before founding a software company, Citrix Systems.
He was retired in 2001, when he ran into Vern Raburn, a former Microsoft executive and founder of Eclipse who was developing a little five-passenger jet with a price tag of $875,000.
“What really interested me more than this notion of ‘an airplane in every garage’ that some people were talking about was the notion that you can mass produce these things at such a low price,” Mr. Iacobucci said. “Vern told me he wanted to be the Henry Ford of aviation.”
Mr. Iacobucci, now 53, gave this some thought and decided that if Mr. Raburn could be Henry Ford, he could be Checker Cab.
That was the beginning of DayJet, a company based in Delray Beach, Fla., that recently took delivery of its first three Eclipse 500 jets. The company plans to begin flying the nation’s first on-demand, per seat air taxi service in June. DayJet, with $68 million in equity capital, has so far ordered 239 Eclipse 500 jets (each one selling for $1.5 million).
Competitors who are considering getting into the air taxi business will be watching carefully. DayJet plans to operate at first in a few regional markets in Florida. By fall, DayJet expects to be flying between 10 secondary airports with 35 jets, and by the end of the year, it expects to have as many as 15 routes and 50 aircraft.
The keys to the business are “on-demand” and “per seat.” Air taxis, Mr. Iacobucci said, will open a new market in business aviation, mostly to people who now drive on business trips of 300 or so miles. It is also hoping to attract business travelers who now fly from, say, Gainesville, Fla., to Pensacola, Fla., on commercial airlines that route them through a hub like Atlanta.
Skeptics insist that you can’t make money running an airplane on demand like a taxi because of the economics and the enormously complicated logistics.
Mr. Iacobucci acknowledges that it is very complicated logistically.
“We are providing a service that never existed before,” he said, “so you get into all sorts of things like value networks and viral marketing that help us identify not just the city but which combination of cities works best” to find on-demand passengers. “You have to balance demand and supply in a world where you don’t know what demand is.”
I nodded and made notes. Somewhere deep, I had a sinking feeling similar to those I vaguely recalled from college economics courses.
How does this work? I asked.
“Think of it as a time arbitrage system,” he said.
I tried.
“The value of a leg from A to B, well, you can quote that in a myriad of ways that involve how you value your time,” he said. “If it takes an hour to fly from Boca to Gainesville, and I as a customer say, ‘I can’t leave any earlier today than 9 a.m. and have to be there by 10:30’ that’s going to be an expensive ticket, maybe close to $4 a mile, because chances are I am not going to get enough other people to converge with you.
“But our technology lets people game the system, until they find the point — say, try 9:30 or try 7:30 a.m. — where they feel comfortable with the price matching the value received.”
How much does it cost? It depends.
It costs about $600 each way to fly between Florida cities, through Atlanta. It costs about the same to fly directly from Fort Lauderdale to Tallahassee, he said. But there’s only one flight a day. “Our price for Fort Lauderdale to Tallahassee may not beat that every time, but it can range from between $300 and $1,000 each way, depending on your value of your time,” he said.
In general, Mr. Iacobucci said, fares will average about the same as unrestricted coach fares on commercial airlines.
I was still hanging in there.
“Every reservation that comes in,” he said, “is an opportunity to find a better solution, which is the essence of complexity science.”
By definition, an air taxi cannot be on a schedule, he went on, adding: “The minute you nail something down and build a schedule, you’re eliminating options. Don’t make a decision until you have to. That is what it is all about.”
I thought I would show that part to my wife and my editor, both of whom think I should plan ahead better. The phrase “time arbitrage” will be most useful.
Meanwhile, I’m test-flying one of Mr. Iacobucci’s taxis next month. I’ll let you know how I fare.
Email: jsharkey@nytimes.com

Black Tulip said...

At this moment (1545Z), Cessna Mustang N600DE is cruising at FL410, making 332 knots over the ground, and is two-thirds through a 1,467 nm trip. See FlightAware. Don't think the wind is helping them much.

Black Tulip

Lloyd said...

Winds are currently 30 knots directly on their tail

Lloyd said...

Must be landing with VFR Reserves, or have tanks on board. VFR Range listed at 1300nm, and NBAA IFR at 1150mn.

Gunner said...

Lloyd-
I think that's not the point.
It's flying; at 41k ft; On a route that exceeds its range promise; De-ice Equipped; RVSM capable; Windows intact; Autopilot Functional.

No "promises" of major retrofits of systems that have yet to be Certified; In its final Design and Production Form; No "IOU"s to or favors from the FAA Administrator; No specter of safety issues announced by on-site FAA Inspectors.

Let's put things in perspective. EAC got a Production Cert yesterday. They have been congratulated on their success by all of us. The Mustang is quietly fulfilling its promise today; no photo ops, no fanfare, no hidden-from-view Flight Aware profiles and performance.

Man up and do the right thing. Congrats to the Dinosaur! ;-)
Gunner

airtaximan said...

hmm...

Between $1-$3 for Dayjet service -promoted since 2003 timeframe, now "maybe close to $4 a mile"... perhaps it was $1-$3 per mile in 2001 dollars? ;)

"fares will average about the same as unrestricted coach fares on commercial airlines"...

The average of the value of my house and Madonnas is around $25 million... I LOVE AVERAGES, they are a terrific was to obfuscate.

Once again, after $20 million plus, and years spent working on this business model...we are down to this?

Green-or-Red said...

CWMOR
Are you drinking Kool-Aid? Where is aj's Wichita Eagle article? Did you mean the ABQ Journal?

Lloyd said...

OK, Lets be fair.... Mustang has had their share of problems, delays as well.
1. G1000 screens blanking out completely, gounding the fleet.
2. ISA +10 performance: Must decrease gross weight for takeoff significantly. 400 lbs if I remember correctly. with only 750 lbs of useful load.

I don't think that Cessna has been as open about their problems and failures (or discussed at all) or recieved as much criticism as Eclipse.

gadfly said...

The man on the street in Albuquerque does not know the difference between “Production” and “Performance”, as announced this morning on the local radio station. ‘Seems that the folks who are standing in line to take the keys to their brand new twin engine jet have also failed to see the difference.

Earlier, I was called a “diehard”. He got that one right. I believe that promised performance, at a promised price, are no longer negotiable by only “one party”.

And a PC may come back to haunt Eclipse, when it comes time to make good on modifications. The process is now “set in concrete”, and not so easily changed, without much additional red tape and additional costs.

And I’ll repeat my earlier comments: Give it a little time, and there will be a “plethora” of highly trained technicians looking for jobs with the dinosaurs, with their newly learned and “honed” skills. The “PC” is a credit to the workforce at Eclipse, but not necessarily to the management.

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Sorry Green or Red, I thought I saw Wichita Eagle, it IS the ABQ Journal, which makes it even more amazing!

gadfly said...

Clarification of my last comments:

The local radio station simply announced the award of the Production Certificate. In asking an intelligent individual what he understood, it was obvious to me that he “heard” that the little jet had been approved as to having achieved all their goals . . . and it was clear sailing from now on. Frankly, his understanding is probably in line with what I believe to have been the “intent” of Eclipse in announcing the good news.

gadfly

airtaximan said...

g-fly:

their intent was probably more to diffuse the possible fallout of making the grievance public, and lower the risk of not sealing the deal on more financing.

- deposits based on cranking out planes...
- further validation of their business and capabilities enabling more finaicing from unsuspecting investors

flyger said...

Lloyd said...

OK, Lets be fair.... Mustang has had their share of problems, delays as well.
1. G1000 screens blanking out completely, gounding the fleet.


On the point of "being fair" (not something this blog does much of on either side), I note that the Mustang fleet was not grounded during the Garmin bug episode. The severity of the bug didn't warrant it. You can see the FA tracks for Mustangs and they flew essentially continuously since the bug was found sometime in Feb 07 until the present day.

What other delays and problems do you know about for the Mustang? You imply there a numerous ones but what are they? As far as I know, only 2 airplanes were promised in Q1 and those got delivered early Q2. I think everything else is on track. And what the customer gets is the *finished* product. Can't really say that about Eclipse, right?

2. ISA +10 performance: Must decrease gross weight for takeoff significantly. 400 lbs if I remember correctly. with only 750 lbs of useful load.

Again, "being fair", I don't believe you are correct that the Mustang has to be 400 pounds under gross to take off at ISA+10. Source for your assertion?

As for climbing to FL410 in ISA+10, the Eclipse AFM seems to indicate it can't do it at MGTOW. Maybe with the fuel burned down during the climb, it can just do it, but it is close.

I don't think that Cessna has been as open about their problems and failures (or discussed at all) or recieved as much criticism as Eclipse.

Maybe that's because they have much fewer problems, in other words, they are better at it than Eclipse. I don't think absence of reported problems means there is a cover up, it may just mean there are fewer problems. This isn't Cessna's first time doing this, you know.

redtailhawk said...

FishMonger said... Those of us who have been in industry for a while knew or suspected that strange things were afoot in ABQ, nice to have some verification.

There was no verification at all. They reported what was alleged here. They did not do their own investigation, and the response from Richardson was it never happened.

FishMonger said... I will congratulate the team at Eclipse when I believe they have actually EARNED a Type Certificate and when they have actually EARNED a Production Certificate

I'm sure they're waiting eagerly for your approval. Maybe there will be a press release in your honor.

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flyger said...

As for the "grievance", NATCA and the FAA have been in a pissing contest for a while with little childish stuff like this. They are upset about the new work rules and make every point to bash the FAA over something.

Until I see real evidence there was any wrong doing, which was decidely abssent from this document, I don't put too much weight on this filing.

Lloyd said...

Flyger Said:
Again, "being fair", I don't believe you are correct that the Mustang has to be 400 pounds under gross to take off at ISA+10. Source for your assertion?

Source is the Mustang AFM. Available online.

sparky said...

Redtail,

do you not know how to read, or is it just selective reasoning on your part?

Per the Journal:
"my guys were telling me it wasn't ready, but the FAA managers went ahead and approved the plane design," DiPaolo said in an interview with the Journal.
"I don't think any of my engineers that were involved signed off."

Notice the part in between quotations. it says something about "an interview with the journal". So no, they weren't parroting what they read here, they investigated the matter.

flyger said...

As of today, the FAA registry web site reports for DayJet's 3 "delivered" airplanes:

126DJ: 3/28/07 CofA
109DJ: no CofA date
110DJ: no CofA date

Contrast the recent Mustang:

600DE: 4/20/07 CofA

So why is it Cessna can get CofA registered with the FAA in a week, and Eclipse is 4 weeks and counting? Why would one airplane be processed and not the other two?

flyger said...

Lloyd said...

Source is the Mustang AFM. Available online.


Please give us the URL, then.

Lloyd said...

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — April 27, 2007 — Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced that it has finalized the team of partners who will train Eclipse 500 pilots. The company revealed new partnerships with two highly-experienced training operations – Flight Simulation Company (FSC) of The Netherlands and Higher Power Aviation, Inc. (HPA) of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. These organizations join Eclipse’s established relationship with simulator manufacturer OPINICUS Corporation of Lutz, Florida. Collectively, this team will work closely with Eclipse to deliver the comprehensive and rigorous Eclipse curriculum that was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier this year.

FSC, recognized for its pilot training and simulator center management expertise in Europe, will provide Eclipse’s FAA-approved course content and oversee Eclipse Aviation’s overall Eclipse 500 pilot training program. While FSC will begin training Eclipse pilots with a focus on North America and Western Europe, the company’s agreement with Eclipse supports the potential expansion of Eclipse training to other geographic regions. Under its FAR Part 142 certificate, HPA’s certified flight instructors and training personnel will conduct FAA approved flight training and administer the Eclipse 500 type rating curriculum in the United States. HPA will apply their extensive knowledge in training under FAR Part 125, 91, 121, and 135.

“We take our responsibility to train our customer pilots very seriously,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “We have assembled an outstanding team of experienced instructors and administrators to deliver our FAA-approved, scenario-based training curriculum to our customers. We look forward to joining forces with these respected organizations to create an entirely new generation of safe and highly-proficient jet pilots.”

The Eclipse 500 training program is comprised of a multi-phase curriculum, including an initial flight skills assessment and supplemental training if required, self-paced
computer-based study, emergency situation training, a type rating transition course, post-certification mentoring as well as recurrent training. The training curriculum was developed using Line Oriented Flight Training (LOFT) and Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) principles, which are considered airline standards. In addition, Eclipse 500 training is accepted by the FAA/Industry Training Standards (FITS), which emphasizes scenario-based training that focuses on real-life situations and provides the appropriate tools to make the right decision in any circumstance.

In 2005, Eclipse Aviation selected OPINICUS as its exclusive manufacturer for Eclipse 500 flight training devices and full flight simulators. Eclipse is on track to receive its first simulator in June 2007, the second in September 2007, and third and fourth in early 2008. Later this year, Eclipse will begin using these full-motion simulators for all Eclipse 500 type rating training. The simulators will be housed at a new 41,585 square foot Eclipse facility, which is currently being completed at Albuquerque’s Double Eagle II airport.

FSC is an independent flight training organization that offers sophisticated training curriculums that are designed in close cooperation with airlines and aircraft manufacturers. The organization places a special focus on the selection, training, experience and proficiency of its instructors. FSC is centrally located in Western Europe at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The company will conduct Western European training at its headquarters facility, and leverage HPA’s training facilities for U.S.-based Eclipse 500 training. FSC operates full-flight simulators and offers simulator dry-lease, type rating training as well as simulator services and consultancy to commercial airlines.

Based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, HPA provides jet crew training for the Boeing 737 Legacy, Classic, and New Generation (B737NG), plus the Boeing 727, 757, 767, DC-9 and MD-80. HPA is an approved FAA Part 142 training center for airlines, corporate flight departments, government and military agencies, and individuals.

OPINICUS Corporation, incorporated in 1988, is a privately-owned company specializing in advanced full flight simulation technologies. OPINICUS has extensive experience in manufacturing, upgrading and retrofitting simulators for military and commercial aircraft. Utilizing their 60,000 sq ft 8 bay facility in Florida, Opinicus is breaking new ground in aircraft simulation innovations. Opinicus, through its world class software technology, has been able to quickly respond to the fast paced aviation market trends.

sparky said...

lloyd said...

In 2005, Eclipse Aviation selected OPINICUS as its exclusive manufacturer for Eclipse 500 flight training devices and full flight simulators. Eclipse is on track to receive its first simulator in June 2007, the second in September 2007, and third and fourth in early 2008. Later this year, Eclipse will begin using these full-motion simulators for all Eclipse 500 type rating training. The simulators will be housed at a new 41,585 square foot Eclipse facility, which is currently being completed at Albuquerque’s Double Eagle II airport.

So, Eclipse not only has to rip out the avionics suite for the entire fleet, it has to do the same for the Sims. sounds like fun.

AlexA said...

Niner Zulu said...... said the blog is a result of heated competition between older, established aircraft manufacturers and upstarts like Eclipse.". With all due respect, Broom couldn't be more wrong.

Niner Zulu I am in the process of confirming the background as to the motives of the person that started it. If I cant play in your sandbox then I going to xxxx in your sandbox. Stay tuned.

Gunner said...

Alexa said:
"If I cant play in your sandbox then I going to xxxx in your sandbox.

Well that's constructive. And mature.

When in doubt, attack the messenger. Novel approach for Eclipse....NOT.
Gunner

sparky said...

Alexa,

You ganna' confirm my motives next?

redtailhawk said...

9Z said: I googled the word "Eclipse" and "scam" and it lead me to this blog.

Nice try, but that is misinformation. Does come up...

redtailhawk said...

9Z said: Lies, spin, pinning blame on others, character attacks, and endless exaggerations are major character flaws and huge red flags.

Sounds a lot like this blog. Especially 9Z.

AlexA said...

This Blog was started by an altruistic individual whose only motive is the safe advancement of general aviation. There was absolutely no monetary ulterior motive. NOT!

gadfly said...

‘Reminds me of the “wannabe” pilot that got so messed up on the flight simulator that he actually was in fear for his life, hanging onto the controls, and beginning to cry . . . until the Wal Mart greeter came out and unplugged the power cord.

gadfly

Gunner said...

This is getting ugly...and childish.

Alexa-
If you have some valid documentation, demonstrate it. Thus far, your credibility is sourced from your accusations that Stan was either lying about or spreading innuendo regarding internal FAA concerns for the safety of the EA50X. You were wrong....so wrong, in fact, that the ABQ Journal picked up the documentation from here and printed it.

So, your next allegation is that Stan (or someone else?) has a monetary interest in this Blog? OK, make your point. As much as any other person with a vested interest in Eclipse, you represent the Company. At least do so with a modicum of civility and a minimum of spittle on your chin.

It'll play out much better. I promise. ;-)
Gunner

redtailhawk said...

Gunner said...
This is getting ugly...and childish

from the ringleader himself...

AlexA said...

Gunner said...
This is getting ugly...and childish.

Gunner, it’s been ugly and childish for an awful long time. Please point to any of my post that have been inaccurate or wrong. Obviously you have been drinking Stan’s Kool-aid;)

gadfly said...

Alex

Maybe you should go back to your own neighborhood and play a nice friendly game of "softball". This crowd gets rather crude, sometimes, and don't always play by the rules. Much of what you say is certainly true. But if you wish to love your Eclipse 500, and believe it to be without fault, this is definitely the wrong neighborhood. When you got off the "Ell", you should have turned right instead of left. Even the cops don't like to come down this way.

Down here, the only game is "hardball". You leave your "E500" overnight down in this neighborhood, tomorrow morning you'll be fortunate to find the remains of a cracked windshield and a twisted wing.

But all these neighborhood kids are essentially just mis-understood and maybe in need of some therapy.

Officer Crumky (aka gadfly)

gadfly said...

An Ode to ABQ!

Isn’t Spring wonderful? . . . the humming birds are back, the fruits and trees are in full blossom, the snow is almost gone, the whisper of very light jets filling the skies, cottonwoods putting out seeds and leaves, the blooming of the idiots . . . ah yes, Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the birdies is?

gadfly

(Suffering from green chili spring fever.)

Black Tulip said...

Gadfly,

Where can I mailorder some green chili? As a former New Mexico resident, I miss it.

Black Tulip

gadfly said...

Dark Blossom

The only way I know is to be here in the "Fall", buy a sack, have it roasted, skin it yourself, and freeze it. In fact, you take it that far, you can skin it and freeze it right here in our shop . . . we have a complete kitchen and a couple freezers.

UPS comes to our door every day at 4pm . . . we'll pack and ship it.

You fly home in your "Eclipse 500", and UPS might be there with your green chili's when you get back.

gadfly

(Aerospace tooling and green chili . . . now that has to be a "first".)

airtaximan said...

“We take our responsibility to train our customer pilots very seriously,”

so after $1 billion and 8 years, heere's our new training program...just signed the deal!

It's really, really mportnat to us.

I think back to the promise of hundreds of planes last year - either Vern didn't really believe the projections of deliveries last year and took the hundreds of 60% progress payments, OR training really is an afterthought.

Which is it?

UND was the best a few years back as a solution, together with a homegrown training program.

The insurance community barfed...so United was the best... exit stage left (still do not know why???)

Now we're really serious...serious I say...se-ri-ous.

man, I feel like I just completed UPSET training.

Eric said...

This blog has now degenerated to a point where I can't follow it like i used to. What's with you guys? Reading through this garbage posturing is so freakin' frustrating.

It'll be another year before anyone can say much about Eclipse's product. By then we'll see how it has done in the marketplace. I'm still waiting for the Flying Magazine or AOPA article on the newly PC'd airplane.

airtaximan said...

alexa,

as I predicted, a new defender of e-clips would soon show up...and you did.

As I predicted, the new defender would imploy the same tactics we've witnessed here, everytime a real problem is pointed out on this blog...congratulations, you did.

Today Andrew Broom came to your defence, and dismissed this blog as an invention of the old aircraft companies.

I guess something is REALLY bothering e-clips about this stupid little blog. Shame on Broom... misinforming the public about this blog. Very low. I guess he HAD to say something, and he could not say:

"the blog seems to reflect an aerospace/aviation concern that E-clips has been misinforming the public about its plane and its program. We have looked at the blog and noticed some valuable insights, and also many inaccuracies. We elcome freedon of flight and freedon of the press, and freedom of speech. These folks are entitled to their opinion, which has no real affect on e-clips"

I am sure most folks looking at this blog and contributing to it are NOT from the old established competition of e-clips. Most of us are pilots, professional and private. Our interest is all things aviation. This blog has been spot on regarding deducing the BS from e-clips.

If increased safety comes from this blog..terrific. But I doubt it. I'm sure e-clips is PO'ed that this blog exists, becasue the truth is, the truth hurts...when you are not willing to do anything about it. They have been covering up mountains of problems and misstatements for a long time.

Its gotta hurt...after $1 billion and 1200 employees, worrying about a little guy with a blog. Welcome to America...where everyone has a right to speak up, dis, uncover, blog...and everyone has a right to get screwed!

Jake Pliskin said...

"...There was absolutely no monetary ulterior motive. NOT"

well alexa, is there a monetary ulterior motive in your continuing character attacks? post your evidence when you make a claim like that.

airtaximan said...

eric...

next week you'll be able to read Joe Sharkey's report on flying the plane..

Why would you need AOPA of Flying -worried he's not objective?
;)

airtaximan said...

jake,

its so childish - we've already stated everyone has a motive... who cares.

Does this idiot think Stan's paid for this?

Any advertising revenue?

Perhaps he's on the payroll of 60 Minutes and needed a story?

Maybe his tooling firm is looking to destroy a competitor to his current custmomers? Man, this is a long road...

So, leave this guy alone, he's been asked to come up with real data for his accusations, something Stan DID.. despite being accused of making stuff up.

E-clips is hating this blog - read Brooms dismissal of it. Sad. Sad.

Satn's done a great job. All dishonest people hate a source of real data exposing them...otherwise who cares about this blog?

Jake Pliskin said...

uh AT, it looks like you credited satan with doing a great job in that last post

gadfly said...

Eric

Don't be discouraged. Some of us have taken careful note of your earlier comments. I guess my favorite (of yours) was "Just think what the EA500 could have achieved with a larger wingspan instead of tip-tanks... maybe even some sporty winglets too!" A long ago comment of my own had been along these lines, and someone had stompted on it "big time".

Sometimes, the best fishing is reached by wading through some very disgusting muck and mire. 'Just hang in there . . . "there's got to be a pony in here, somewhere!"

Another good comment was . . . "who pays for the fuel to fly it back to ABQ for the aero mods and AVIO NG installation? Is the fuel and per hour cost for coming back to the nest included when they say they'll retrofit the aircraft at their cost?"

And again, you said, "The plot thickens!!!"

It's OK to lose a battle now and then, so long as you win the war.

gadfly

('Just remember to keep your seat belt fastened, wear eye and ear protection . . . you'll be just fine! The rest of you, remember we are guests at Stan's party . . . no one was forced to attend.)

airtaximan said...

jake,

Stan...I do not proof my posts, and left fingers out pace right fingers sometimes...

I'd think you know what I mean?

Jake Pliskin said...

yup, just found it funny

airtaximan said...

funny...

http://newmexico.jobing.com/Job_Details2.asp?JobID=927521

airtaximan said...

another funny one...


http://newmexico.jobing.com/job_details2.asp?JOBID=903946&Page=&CameFrom=JobFair

PC?

Eric said...

Thanks gadfly, glad to see someone notices me around here. I feel like the little guy since I haven't engaged in any of the little battles going on.

I still would like to know if Eclipse will be paying for the customer to take it back to the factory for the mods. We have quite a few pro-Eclipsers on the blog these days... do you guys know? I guess it's possible the plan is to deliver the airplanes and keep them at ABQ until the mods can be installed. That would negate the cost debate.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Eric,

I have no idea but I am really not too worried about that. It could probably be done as part of a routine service flight which would negate the cost to fly back as well. Like piggyback the drop off on a 100 hour inspection. Or a window change out at 50 hours. You know, the normal stuff.

;-)

Frank Castle said...

I stand by my remark of days ago.

It will take something drastic before the scales fall off the eyes of the "believers".......

From what I see in these posts, that's what they want to see, too, before they will turn from the Dark Side.

Oh, and gunner.....I meant what I said, you weren't paying attention.

I will exercise my 2nd Amendment rights to DEFEND my First Amendment rights.

Gunner said...

Frank-
Again, let's agree you have no First Amendment rights here. Nor do I. Yes?

This group, for the most part, is so zealous they will savage their own in order to maintain their logic filters. God Forbid something untoward happens, they will be the first to question the decisions and skills of the pilot at the yoke before ever questioning the platform.

Please, let's not go there. This debate is getting raunchy enough with the claims of "I've almost got my dossier finished on Stan. Just a matter of minutes now".
Gunner

AlexA said...

Gunner, you funny guy.

You admit to being an Eclipse depositor but after Eclipse refunded your deposit and told you to have a nice day you all of a sudden believe “aircraft of questionable safety and a PROMISE.”

You then continue your comedy “But please, don't paint the rest of us with the reverse conflict of interest as yourself. Far and away, we have none. “

It’s called vendetta.

AlexA said...

Airtaximan, I’m not here to defend Eclipse. I found my way here to obtain additional information about an upcoming purchase. After sorting through the hundreds of post I compiled a list of concerns and issues that I wanted answered before putting down my hard earn money. What I found was a vast amount of misinformation intermingled with some half truths, exaggerations and outright lies on this Blog. It’s obvious that Vern has rubbed many people the wrong way (maybe Stan can change the blog’s name to Vernhatersblog). But Eclipse is not one person it’s 1000 employees, 1500 or so customers and countless suppliers. OK OFF MY SOAPBOX.

If you have the factual information that there is something wrong with the design or construction of the E500, please share it with us Newbies. I have no problem playing hardball as long as the umpire is neutral without a HIDDEN agenda.

AlexA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Plastic_Planes said...

ATM,

I know I'll get busted bad for this, but I can't resist:

Senior Manager Systems Quality

Conflict Management 3-5 yrs
Conflict Resolution 3-5 yrs

Weekend Required YES

Functional Area Quality
Hierarchy Level Manager
Years of Experience 00-03


A senior level manager requiring only 0-3 years experience? With 3-5 years in conflict resolution/conflict management?

Now I know why weekends are required!

Oh boy, it sure seems like things are getting better there now.

Of course, the rest of you can call me the disgruntled ex-employee, but I really poured a lot of my life into EAC. And left a lot of it behind.

I talked to several of my old employees this week (to congratulate them on the PC and recent deliveries), and every one of them said it's still a conflict filled place where tempers are short and fear and intimidation still reign.

I think all managers there should learn that the people are the reason for the success - not their tirades.

Congratulations to the Eclipse employees that have given up so much of their lives to help the company achieve these milestones.

I wish nothing but the best for the 1000 or so EAC employees who put their uniforms on every morning and build the planes to help Ken, EO387, Alexa, and others find their dreams.

/s/

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

Alexa-
Gimme a break. I was a Depositor for every bit of four days before Eclipse broke its contract and I demanded a refund. I got it.

I was a lurker here for every bit of FOUR MONTHS between the time I posted this site on the Eclipse Owner Forum and the time I first posted here. So don't talk to me of vendetta. I had none and have none.

I don't much mind you being so hormonal about this company. Just don't ask me to share the progesterone.

Gunner

AlexA said...

Gunner, you went from a trusting depositor to a disgruntle customer in four days (probably a record time), a few months later an aviation safety expert and clairvoyant “but I'm STATING it's unsafe in its present configuration and given the information Eclipse has and has not released.”

Gunner #1 come in. Gunner #2 are you there?

Metal Guy said...

Alexa,
I think the agenda here is fairly clear – critique of Eclipse. Motivation is a different matter. The Eclipse Believer blog is four doors down and to the left.

As for facts, don’t hold you breath. With the BS that flows from Eclipse, one can’t tell reality from marketing spin. The few facts that do come out are spinning so fast, you won’t be able to tell the difference between them and David Copperfield doing a slight of hand trick with a blue whale. (No critique of the analogy please…)

Regarding safety, the blog has been riddled with many issues. Not to dig into the details again, but even in this post alone, it’s reported that the Mustang G1000 screens blanking out completely has been an issue. If this happened in the Eclipse under IMC, it would have been a crater as it has no backups. Lots of little things that they could have done much better if they were truly a safety conscious company, versus an IPO machine that they really are. No one can truly predict what combination of events will cause one to fall from the sky, but given the brazen approach Eclipse has taken, we sadly will probably not have to wait too long.

If you looking for outright flaws in the aircraft, you might want to check the inside panels and floorboards – rumor has it someone didn’t like what they saw.

cherokee driver said...

plastic_planes

Sounds like management has the right attitude for their new PC.
GIT-R-DONE

alexa

A company that is "still a conflict filled place where tempers are short and fear and intimidation still reign", doesn't bode well for the quality or safety of their product. What do you think? Were you able to talk to a random production employee without a member of management present on your little quest for the truth at Eclipse? Maybe you just had to endure a few hours of regurgitated propaganda from a company stooge and decided everything is groovy. There is nothing quite like making the pilgrimage to Mecca and drinking from the Holy Grail is there?

AlexA said...

cherokee driver you might be right. The performance put on by the multitude of workers was worthy of an Academy Award. Folks were showing up to work early, they were courteous, friendly and informative. I get a sense that they were proud of their accomplishment. Since we were one of the first tours of the day I have no doubt they were taken out to the parking lot and whipped before the second tour.

Now that I think about it I didn’t drink the water from the Holy Grail but I did have one of those “free” refreshments…maybe you are right.

AlexA said...

Metal Guy said “…you might want to check the inside panels and floorboards.“ Did you leave a present in there for a future owner?

It is unfortunate but the next “flash in the pants” for this Blog will be when a tragic accident happens. I could see it now “..I told you so.”

airtaximan said...

PP...

I stopped posting the jobs, but there are more...some direct quality jobs available...

I'm sure anyone with industry expereince will find some humor..

BUT NO SAFETY OR QUALITY CONCERNS, OF COURSE NOT..

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

alexa,

I am sure there is nothing anyone can post here, that will make you agree there is a quality/safety problem with EAC and their products, you’ve made this crystal clear.

You've seen and heard of many concerns, but I guess you have all the answers you need - you asked questions (apparently you had serious questions and concerns) and EAC's answers quelled your concerns. Your first post here said you looked through this entire blog, picked up all our questions/concerns, asked EAC, and all our issues were put to rest. You are satisfied now.

...as I guess we should be too, by your reference.

Then, Stan posted the safety related grievance filed with FAA management, by some inspectors working at EAC who claim they were not allowed to do their job, and A TC was granted while open safety issues were not signed off.

You dismiss it as a sham...disgruntled employees, some bruised egos.

OK, alexa, we understand…

You go into the bucket of "die-hards" (Vern's term for you, tacky, but hey...it’s probably the first time reference was made to death regarding aviation customers in advertising) – So…nothing will convince you the plane has quality or safety issues... we know this.

Your recent post about planes crashing, and folks here saying "I told you so"... is silly. I would think that G_D forbid planes do crash, you would be more concerned with the quality and safety issues than someone on this blog saying “ I told you so..” But, they did try to tell you. You can say "heck, I was told there were problems...".

There is a mountain of evidence showing e-clips, which spent $1 billion over 8 years, has fallen way short. What was promised and sold was not delivered - if you accept the revised guarantees, delays and shortfalls that's your decision. BUT it does not erase the fact that e-clips failes again and again to demonstrate that they are reliable and predictable in their statements, process and products. Every major time or delivery milestones have been missed. Entire systems have been thrown in the garbage, even a month or two after TC and first flight. I will not go on, BUT there is no reason to believe EAC will be better regarding quality and safety than they have been regarding every other failed aspect of this program. NONE.

Add to the dismal track record, the recent revelation (first time in recent history a safety grievance as filed with the FAA... another proud first?) about the grievance, and you should be concerned. Very concerned.

Your "high rate" manufacturer has delivered 8 planes or so, into very, very limited service, tethered to ABQ... with a host of promised replacements, mods and fixes. It took them 5-9 months, depending on whether you consider the "provisional"-TC as the starting point or not. The E-PR did... to get your deposit money based on some ridiculous notion they would deliver hundreds of planes in 2006. They “delivered” one. Off by a long shot, again – WHILE proving to the FAA they were a reliable quality organization… hmm…

EAC apparently did not lack the money... and they've spent 8 years so far getting there, so they didn't lack time...they've had many employees and now have 1200, so they do not lack manpower... ask yourself what they lack…because there is a problem when you consistently miss by that much.

What they seem to lack is the competency and desire to deliver what they promise, on time, with no quality or performance issues. They use mods to meet the guarantees, replacement avionics system couched as NG, and IOU's. Think hard about this. I know you accept it, but it IS extraordinary in this industry. It does not equal safety or quality – it’s the opposite. Band-aids mean it was not done right the first time. There’s lots band-aids on this plane.

And to your point, EAC does not lack clout - which I guess they used instead of their competencies elsewhere to obtain a PC... after "delivering" 8 moderately functional planes over 9 months they finagled a PC, like the “provisional-TC”… This is sad.

It means the PC no longer means what it used to mean –that’s it, and everyone in aviation knows that this happened. Like the Collier trophy. It means way less today, and that’s why e-clips tried to make it seem like it still means so much… everyone in aviation knows, it means less today than prior to today. Congratulations, our expectations have been lowered, once again.

Maybe we have a new movie title: "die-hard with some clout?!"

One last thing - when you were at e-clips, did you ask them how they are achieving increased MTOW, and exactly what trade off will be the result? Except in the fantasy world of E-clips PR, (where the guarantees are revised later and the die-hards take the planes anyways) there's no free lunch.

So, what shortfall will result from the increased MTOW? How will it affect the plane?
AND
Why didn't they tell you this already? What else are they NOT telling you?

mirage00 said...

Lots of angry bashers these days... very funny. I wonder why?

"Smile and wave boys, just smile and wave"

Plastic_Planes said...

Alexa said:

The performance put on by the multitude of workers was worthy of an Academy Award. Folks were showing up to work early, they were courteous, friendly and informative. I get a sense that they were proud of their accomplishment. Since we were one of the first tours of the day I have no doubt they were taken out to the parking lot and whipped before the second tour.

Alexa,

Let me make a few points with your interpretation of my comments. You may have made a tour through the factory, but I lived there (literally, some nights).

I want to go on record as agreeing with you on one thing - Eclipse employees are among the mong professional people in the industry (certain exceptions noted). The ARE very proud of what they are doing. But that doesn't mean all is perfect in Kool-aid land. Let me 'splain it to you.

Visitors frequently toured through the shop and offices of EAC. Whenever this happened, people extended their best faces to welcome them there. After all, many of these were prospective customers. Behind the scenes, though, there were shouting matches and F-Bombs dropped at any opportunity when things didn't go "as planned". Many technicians left because they were tired of the verbal abuse that went unchecked with no HR intervention. It was one of the reasons I left. You do get there early (80-90 hrs per week was not uncommon for anyone) and leave late. David Crowe once remarked how "impressive" it was to see the parking lot nearly full at midnight on one of his trips in to see his plane. In reality, many of those folks had been there for 13-14 hours. I had many days I came in at 5 am and didn't leave until 2 am the following day. During the surge before OSH last year even the Red Bull's were free.

Now, I want to point out that this was primarily the Management Team. The Techs were forced to take breaks and move off the clock. They were tired, though, too.

There were no beatings in the parking lot (that I was aware of). However, when a VP tells you that you aren't worth a sh*t and can't f***ing do your job in front of the entire production group, does that mean you weren't abused?


/s/

Gunner said...

Performance numbers have been mentioned here. In the cloud of all the problems and spin, I've lost track of this issue.

To the best of my knowledge, Eclipse has delivered 8 aircraft (maybe, sorta) and demanded untold progress payments but has yet to demonstrate its performance guarantees, in a manner consistent with industry standards. Surely the infamous Gainesville flight did not prove out these numbers, even by Ken Myer's admission.

I'm more than willing to be corrected on this, if I missed the performance demonstration. Did it occur or has it gone the way of Williams, United and Avidyne? Just one more superfluous component of the program?
Gunner

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

Mirage,

I love your moniker by the way.

I think the number of bashers is consistent, and the level of anger is around the same.

At least your comments are among the least misleading or insulting, which is nice. They are not related to any facts presented here, though..I wonder why?

There's fertile ground for criticism, lately. More fodder for discussion... maybe even seems like more opinions and anger to you, becasue there's serious issues at hand?

Dispell some inaccuracies. Make some good point FOR e-clips.

Be safe, fly right, and waive from the tarmac.. like I said - be safe.

airtaximan said...

P-Planes,

How much industry expereince do you have?

What was your job (in general) at e-clips?

How come folks are working 90 hours a week, if they have all the money in the world? Is this normal for the industry? Is it a reaction to poor planning, poor hiring practices where underqualified folks are expected to perform? Is it just the willfull dedication of the people to get it done "as fast as possible?"

In your experience, is this practice in line with safety and quality?

I'm told the e-clips QMS involved self-inspections along the line... is this still true? Are the tired folks performing their own QA inspections? or was this changed by the FAA?

Are there other quality/performance/misc things we have not been told that are yet to come out?

Finally, do you believe strings were pulled and the TC and PC were obtained by using "clout" or by really demonstrating the ability to produce quality conforming aircraft at rate?

Thanks

AlexA said...

Plastic_planes, thank you for your heart felt and sincere comments. I would certainly hope that the management problems you describe have been addressed. If they have not been addressed at this juncture, there is enough upper management that visits this Blog that I have a feeling it will be taken care off. My understanding is the Peg Billson has an incredible reputation as far as getting things accomplished and being a fair and approachable individual.

One of the reasons that I been posting lately is the fact that some folks have a tendency to paint Eclipse with one brush stroke. Eclipse is not one person. I have met a lot of fine individuals over the years that work there.

I am very grateful to you and your former colleagues for the hard work you put in trying to build a fine aircraft. The workers on the line, the engineers, test pilots represent 95% of the company and the effort. Thank you!

airtaximan said...

alexa:

"If they have not been addressed at this juncture, there is enough upper management that visits this Blog that I have a feeling it will be taken care off"

Really?
Andrew Broom just said this blog is the work of the old aviation companies against eclipse...

Its nice to see you are so fond of the 95% of the hard workers at the company...like PPlanes, who LEFT.

He's working hard somewhere else, now.

The broad brush strokes that you describe as "Some of us painting e-clipse" is actually the brushstrokes painted BY e-clips in the media.

Its a real work of art, too.

Some say "cartoon"
Some say "fiction"
Some say "biography"
Some say "mystery"
I say... "fairytale"

I only hope all the characters "live happily ever after"

;)

Plastic_Planes said...

ATM:

How much industry expereince do you have?

22 years in Manufacturing, half of which is aviation related


What was your job (in general) at e-clips?

Careful now - that would be a direct giveaway. I was in operations first as an individual contributor and then later as a manager.

How come folks are working 90 hours a week, if they have all the money in the world? Is this normal for the industry? Is it a reaction to poor planning, poor hiring practices where underqualified folks are expected to perform? Is it just the willfull dedication of the people to get it done "as fast as possible?"

It's really all of the above. As I mentioned above, there truly are a lot of dedicated people there. There just is a lot of work to do and only a set amount of time to get it done. All of our livelihood rested on our abilities to deliver. Delieveries are not optional in a manufacturing company.


In your experience, is this practice in line with safety and quality?

In my venue, we were very aware of flight safety. And to Peg's credit, she was, too. We saw a few things happen on the floor that we caused by inattention, but there were immediately addressed. Quality there is more of an issue with paperwork rather than process. The are "escapes" in every business, but they are generally a result of poor process control rather than intentional mischief. EAC does have some very good process documentation. The biggest challenges (as anyone in this industry can tell you) is that a constantly changing design is very difficult to manufacture in a high rate production. Poor supplier performance alos contributes - every aircraft in the early stages was built in a different sequence because of parts availability issues. Variability in process leads to variability in product.

I'm told the e-clips QMS involved self-inspections along the line... is this still true? Are the tired folks performing their own QA inspections? or was this changed by the FAA?

Again, yes and no. There are self inspection points, but there are QA toll gates that must be performed before major structures and systems are closed up. I don't know what the current system is as I have been gone for a "while". I'll argue again, though, that variation in process (sequence) leads to variation in product. I hope their parts supply is more consistent now.

Are there other quality/performance/misc things we have not been told that are yet to come out?

I'm not at liberty to speak of these, but no, I know of no other major issues that have surfaced. Everything I knew about has been discussed here before.

Finally, do you believe strings were pulled and the TC and PC were obtained by using "clout" or by really demonstrating the ability to produce quality conforming aircraft at rate?

Only speaking IMHO, no, I don't think that anything was violated in the strict letter of the law, but I know Vern has a lot of clout and probably was instrumental in "moving things along". It's important to him to be first. It's also a fixation that has contributed to some of the attitude that was so prevalent there.

Touching on one last note, I want to clarify from my previous post that one of the worst offenders in the verbal abuse notation is no longer there. Paul Shumacher was one of the worst offenders. Talking to others in the industry, this was also his style at Raytheon. My only point was that upper management knew this was going on and did nothing to temper it. Even with Paul gone, there still exists an attitude there that it's not a problem on the floor. Anybody who says so is just a "future disgruntled ex-employee".

Hope this helps!

/s/

Plastic_Planes said...

Alexa said:
My understanding is the Peg Billson has an incredible reputation as far as getting things accomplished and being a fair and approachable individual.

Sadly, I met with Peg on my last day to talk. I braoched the subject of the verbal abuse that was taking place and her only comment was that "they know what they are doing." After that, I promptly thanked her for the time I was there and wished her well...

/s/

Plastic_Planes said...

ATM:

I only hope all the characters "live happily ever after"

Thank you. I left the aerospace industry after many years. EAC was a chance to get back into it again. Barring the fact that I left for reasons of frustration, I will be forever grateful to get back "into the thick of things". I love this industry and will always enjoy being part of it.

/s/

airtaximan said...

P-planes,

Thank you very much. I think your characterization of e-clips is probably very accurate, since you were there.

Man, I am impressed that you think the TC, PC are all Kosher, and it certainly makes me revisit my syaunch skepticsm regarding the quality and safety.

One thing you say makes me wonder even more - "every aircraft was built in a different sequence" and "that variation in process (sequence) leads to variation in product"... how could they obtain a PC is this was the case? Its not like they worked the bugs out on a production run of 20-50 planes? They delivered a handful.. how can you explain a PC?

One last question:
Why the safety-related grievance?

It is easy to dismiss e-clips, based on the missed milestones, lack of complete functionality and missed performance. You make me stop and at least wonder if they could possiblly be putting out a quality plane in the same environment that misses all the other goals.

AlexA said...

Airtaximan, there you go again. Spewing out your versions of facts “first time in recent history a safety grievance as filed with the FAA... another proud first?”

Interesting reading on Natca trying to bury the FAA on grievances:
http://www.faa.gov/about/plans_reports/Performance/ quarter_scorecard/media/ Grievance_Processing_Time.pdf

In case the link does not work “…the union continues to file grievances in mass, often in thousands,..” Darn I thought Reagan fixed the problem. Over 12,000 filed.

To me it’s amazing you have such a phenomenal amount of wisdom as everything that’s going on and what will happen. Pratt & Whitney should have consulted with you before spending millions on the PW610. Fuji would have benefited from you knowledge. Let’s not forget Seamech, Northstar aerospace, Mecaer, General Dynamics and many more. Oh my lord what about those poor equity investors, boy you could have save them some money (about a billion according to you). Geeze, I forgot, those 1500 or so unfortunate bozos that plunked down their money (about 2.5 billion).

It’s astounding that this wonderful country has some many individuals that can afford million plus dollar airplanes without having a clue. Airtaximan I need a pair of sneakers. WalMart, Target or maybe stick with an old dinosaur like Sears? Please enlighten me;)

Plastic_Planes said...

ATM:

A PC is really nothing more than an agreement that there is a process in place that if followed would consistently produce a quality product each and every time.

I think you know where I am going with this.

Out of sequence (or "traveled") work is commonplace in this industry. Where some of the Legacy players do better it is because the work is generally well defined and has been performed many times. It isn't the most efficient way to do things, but it can adress the occasional NCR or shortage. Where EAC is still struggling is that this tends to be more the rule rather than the exception.

EAC has some very well defined FTP's (Functional Test Procedures) and has proven them to the FAA on numerous occasions. As I mentioned before, they also have well defined procedures. They just need to be good and honest about following them.

Other aircraft comapnies have received a Production Certificate only to lose it again on a subsequent audit. Just because you have one doesn't mean it can't get limited or revoked. They will be subject to routine audits just like Brands "C", "B", and "R". Let's hope they honestly work to their procedures.

I cannot explain the grievance. My only comment is that much of my aerospace career has been in a union environment. I had more than my share of grievances written against me (3 in my first day!) We'll have to let the process come to conclusion on that one.

Missing goals? Nah, that never happened. Yeah, right.

Frankly, if I were offered a ride on a E500 today, I'd jump at the chance to ride on it. I never got to, you see... I'd need a shoehorn to get in, but that's another story altogether.

Plastic_Planes said...

Alexa:

The problem here is that people think that there are only two sides to this story:

Eclipse is the biggest scam in history!

Eclipse is the most persecuted company in history - for no apparent reason.

It's very gray. They've done things I am not proud of organizationally. They've even bent the rules of common sense some times. But they are trying to build a quality product that has not existed in this market place before.

I go on record again as saying I don't think they'll ever achieve the numbers they are say. 150-200 a/c per year max. Price will be $2M+. Air taxi's will be a fad and nothing more.

But the planes are inherently safe and as long as everyone does what they are supposed to, you'll get your plane and will surely enjoy having it.

If I had the money to spend (I don't), I wouldn't buy one. I'd point my money in another direction. But not for the reasons you might think.

/s/

airtaximan said...

alexa:

try K-mart...

There are also a lot of new retailers that fail every year..nice try.

Walmart is a nice example of success...The history of Wal-Mart can be traced back to the 1940s when Sam Walton began his career in retailing. After being interviewed by recruiters from both Sears Roebuck and JC Penney just before graduating from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Sam accepted a job offer from JC Penney.[1] He began working at a JC Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa on June 3, 1940, making a salary of $75 a month.[1] During his employment there, Sam was able to meet James Cash Penney, the department store's founder, during a visit to the store. He remained at JC Penney for eighteen months.[1]

In 1945, Walton met with Butler Brothers, a regional retailer that owned two franchise operations: a chain of department stores called Federated Stores, and a chain of variety stores called Ben Franklin.[1] Butler Brothers offered Sam a Ben Franklin store in Newport, Arkansas.[1] Unable to come to agreement on his lease renewal and unable to find a new location in Newport, Walton located a variety store in Bentonville, Arkansas which he would open as another Ben Franklin franchise, but called "Walton's Five and Dime."

As a typical businessman, he was always looking for better deals from his suppliers, and he realized that he could obtain higher sales volume by passing on the savings to his customers, instead of pocketing them.[2] And in 1962, the first Wal-Mart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas.[3] By 1967, the company grew to 24 stores across the state of Arkansas, and had reached $12.6 million in sales, and by 1968, the company opened its first stores outside of Arkansas in Sikeston, Missouri and Claremore, Oklahoma.

Hmm..sound a lot like e-clip history to you? Nope. I like the example, though.

Finally, your link provides no "safety-related" grievances in recent history - so I do not get your point.

It's starting to look like you cannot make one -

read plastic planes reply to my questions, and my follow up remarks. You'll see how a discussion based on facts can take place...

OK Pumpkin?

Koolaid-drinker1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Koolaid-drinker1 said...

stupid, drunk, bead-sitting cab driving fly-boy...
(your own words)

try this link......

http://www.faa.gov/about/plans_reports/
performance/quarter_scorecard/media/
Grievance_Processing_Time.pdf

KAD1 (aka CAD1)

AlexA said...

Plastic_plane, unlike many bloggers on this site you come across sincere without an agenda. I truly appreciate that. I have no doubt that Eclipse like any company grows quickly has experienced and will probably continue to experience growing pains. The question is can they properly address the concerns and correct them.

From a customer perspective in the years past they have had many gaffes. After pressure from the customer base they finally “do the right thing.”

As to the number of aircraft that they can produce I guess only time will tell. I look at Cirrus and based on the GAMA they shipped over 700 aircrafts last year. Without a “taxi” market there is probably a good case for around 750-850 entry level jets a year. The Diamond D-Jet certainly looked exciting but the price point puts it to close to the Eclipse (a twin engine aircraft that is capable of climbing to 41k for around 200K more certainly looks more attractive). If Eclipse has to raise the price to the $2M mark then that will change the market dynamics. The Cirrus-JET(at least the initial info) also looks attractive. But after waiting too many years for the VLJ I would hate to get in line again.

The PiperJet on paper does not appear attractive to me, especially at the announced price point. Adam seems to be having their own delays and once again is outside my price point. I had heard that the E500 was designed as a “loss leader” to allow a new startup company to create infrastructure. No doubt that a multi-billion startup should impress the boys on Wallstreet.

My guess is you will see Eclipse shy away from production predictions until processes are in placed and they have a track record. I have no problem with that. The best way to reduce the chatter is to produce and deliver quality/ safe aircrafts without too much hype. Once there are 100 aircrafts flying around the country we can discuss the tradeoff of the E250 vs Cirrus-JET vs D-Jet. Thanks again.

AlexA said...

All knowing Taximan, thanks for the WalMart rant. When you have time can you do your homework on Boeing, General Motors, Chrysler, Eastern Airlines, Pan American Airways, General Mills, Coca Cola, IBM and post it on this site. Also please compare each with Eclipse.

EclipseBlogger said...

airtaximan said... P-planes, Thank you very much. I think your characterization of e-clips is probably very accurate, since you were there.

Man, I am impressed that you think the TC, PC are all Kosher, and it certainly makes me revisit my syaunch skepticsm regarding the quality and safety.


Back to AirJordanMan... you're sounding almost human and rational here. My compliments!

airtaximan said...

are you guys refering to this:

07E102 Grievance Processing Time
Description
Reduce grievance processing time by 25 percent by FY 2010, and maintain through FY 2011.
FY 2007 Target: -10%.
Commentary (12/2006) The target is Yellow. As a result of the implementation of the NATCA Certified Professional Controller (CPC) agreement, the union continues to file grievances in mass, often in thousands, based on the changes implemented by the new contract. The grievance processing time performance target may change to only include grievances from NATCA CPC prior to the implementation of the new contract, and grievances filed by all other unions, including the non-CPC NATCA units (e.g., Engineers and Architects, NATCA Multi-Unit, etc.). By omitting the grievances from NATCA CPC, we get a more valid picture of normal grievance processing time. The baseline for grievance processing time was established using grievances in the system prior to the new NATCA agreement anomalies and was approximately 11,000 grievances as of July 2006. We will include approximately 13,000 grievances in our processing time determination, as of December 2006, after subtracting the NATCA CPC post-contract grievances.

...and this is your point - that's it?

the word "safety" doesn't even appear once?

Are you just dismissing the grievance?

You can, just like you can dismiss all the BS regarding e-clips. But please do not offer this as a complelling rebuttal of a single, serious, safety-related grievance.

Unions are unions...but:

"Tomaso DiPaolo of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association confirmed the grievance had been filed.
He said it was the first regarding safety of an aircraft since the union began representing FAA certification engineers in 2000.
When the plane was set for certification at the end of September, "my guys were telling me it wasn't ready, but the FAA managers went ahead and approved the plane design," DiPaolo said in an interview with the Journal.
"I don't think any of my engineers that were involved signed off."

So, KAD1 - even a "stupid, drunk, bead-sitting cab driving fly-boy..." (which is what you guys have been calling me) can see your link and the rebutt you offer and offer again has no relevance to this point.

Since 2000, this union has not filed as safety-related grievance, EXCEPT FOR THE ONE FILED REGARDING YOUR BELOVED AIRPLANE COMPANY AND THEIR PLANE.

Alexa...take note, 'cause you offered the same link and the same info as a rebuttal, too.

Perhaps you should be doing a little more homework... I've done mine.

airtaximan said...

since you seem to have your ears on regarding Plastic_planes...and you say "unlike many bloggers on this site you come across sincere without an agenda."

take note:

he says: "I talked to several of my old employees this week (to congratulate them on the PC and recent deliveries), and every one of them said it's still a conflict filled place where tempers are short and fear and intimidation still reign."

a conflict filled place where fear and intimidation still reign...

...doesn't sound like a quality organization to me - fear and intimidation...nnniiiccceee.

airtaximan said...

EB,

you and I go way back, a lot of water under that blog...

But I must say, I am very surprised at Pl-Planes description.

I'll say t again - some of what I see makes no sense, there's been tons of BS, and many misses BUT, when a guy from the inside says he has no real fears about the safety or quality of the plane...I take note.

This IS a very impressive statement, and I doubt he's FOS.

You will probably not see me questioning the safety of the planes or the quality of the work anmore, unless something new comes up.

I put the "grievance" in another category, all by itself. Someone on the inside filed this serious grievance. If its not resolved positively in e-clips favor, I'd say all bets are off again on safety and quality.

For those who just dismiss the grievance - like I sadi, they've had to dismiss a mountain of misses/failures and accept IOUs... so I'm not surprised.

Plastic planes says the planes are high quality, not other issues other than what's been cited on this blog, and the planes are safe... this issue is in the clear for now.

airtaximan said...

EB,

you can take it from me

according to alexa, "I am all knowing"

airtaximan said...

alexa-luthor,

(sorry, but this image of you just popped into my head)

You say:
"I had heard that the E500 was designed as a “loss leader” to allow a new startup company to create infrastructure"

Man, this is a revolutionary market. You can sell 750 planes a year for many many years (I think the plan is 20 years) and lose money on them, and create infustructure.

Hmm... I think I understand the problem with your analogies and rebuttals, and why you resort to lame insults.

Sorry... welcome to America, where everyone is entitled to get screwed, and I guess, everyone is entitled to by whatever aircraft(s) ("aircrafts", as you put it) they want - no secondary education required apparently, either.

gadfly said...

When workers put in more than fifty or sixty hours per week, and/or work seven days per week . . . that’s a setup for serious mistakes.

Pushing for speed is a sure plan for mistakes . . . and disaster. Speed takes care of itself, after skills are learned and become a comfortable habit.

When workers are reprimanded in front of co-workers or others . . . that’s a setup for serious mistakes.

When co-workers witness yelling and/or profanity from a supervisor (or higher) . . . that’s a setup for serious mistakes . . . a tendency to “hide mistakes”, until it’s too late, as in a fatal crash. Post inspection will not discover hidden mistakes . . . it’s too easy to hide them.

When workers have a fear of being terminated for making mistakes . . . mistakes will be made, and thoroughly hidden.

There’s enough evidence showing through on this blog that the problems are ingrained in management.

Argue all you wish about the flight characteristics, the design, the price, the instrumentation, etc., ad nauseum. But in the mean time, this little plane was and is being built by a management system that doesn’t know the basics of good management, or so it seems. Until that changes, you do not have a plane . . . one that you can safely trust, now and far into the future.

gadfly

EclipseBlogger said...

ATM, what region of the country are you in?

flyger said...

Lloyd said...

Source is the Mustang AFM. Available online.


Lloyd, still waiting for a link to your source. You didn't just make it up, did you?

flyger said...

Lloyd said...

Source is the Mustang AFM. Available online.


Lloyd, still waiting for a link to your source. You didn't just make it up, did you?

AlexA said...

Airtaximan, you are just so much smarter than everyone else, I’ll guess I just pick up the phone and cancel my order on Monday. Thank you

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

alexa:

I suggest since your position is in the 200's, you should try to sell your position for a premium instead of just cancelling your order.

I'd say you have until August or September, if you belive Vern, or a year or more if sanity prevails.

Good overall decision, though.

AlexA said...

Vern, Airtaximan now says “…probably not see me questioning the safety of the planes or the quality of the work anmore (sic), unless something new comes up.” Never mind my previous post.

AlexA said...

Oh yee wise man please elaborate. What should I do with my “premium?”

Hopefully none of the other 1500 or so depositors are lurking in the background. This wealth of knowledge will stay just between us..

airtaximan said...

use it to enroll in college, after you obtain your GED...

best of luck.

If you have trouble, try the Texas school system: I hear they have a "no child left behind" program.

airtaximan said...

psst, alexa...

don;t worry, since all the recent great news, I'm sure the eclipse market is going to be a "sellers market" for a while...

confimred, last week, 40 posts on Controller, now, 39...

hurry...

AlexA said...

AirTaximan I knew it would be easy to have you show your true colors. Mission accomplished. You wanna share your WalMart story again for those that missed it…;)

cherokee driver said...

Q1 results are in at GAMA and since we're keeping score between Cessna and Eclipse:

DELIVERIES

Cessna 214
Eclipse 4

BILLINGS

Cessna $730m
Eclipse $5m

You could almost design an Eclipse for $730m. Cessna delivered 1239 aircraft last year and not a single one was stir fried. Maybe the dinosaurs do know something about high production.

Lloyd said...

Flyger,

I have been looking for the AFM, it was available on the FAA web site during certification. I have not been able to locate it. Possibly Opspecs.com. I will continue to look for you. The Mustang is weight limited in hot and high conditions. Maybe they pulled it to avoid the bad press!! Another conspiracy??

gadfly said...

Well, I guess we did, indeed, see a few of the "true" colors . . . of two participants. But not quite the way intended by the person who made the statement.

This blog is educational . . . in direct proportion to the comments directed at the little jet, and the organization that is attempting to produce it.

The educational value is inversely proportional to the attacks directed against the participants in the blogsite.

All of us bring certain baggage to the discussion . . . it is useful that we do not confuse the message, right or wrong, with the messenger.

'Them's my thoughts on the matter!

gadfly

Black Tulip said...

It is important to maintain a high level of discourse on this website. The term "basher" is seen frequently on stock market message boards but is inappropriate here. The phrase "koolaid drinker" doesn't fit at all. The poor folks at Jonestown suffered acute poisoning and would never have survived the eight years that led to the creation of Stan's blog.

This is a long-running, chronic situation and I suggest we seek other clues and terminology. A factor explored by the medical profession and justice system springs to mind:

The Stockholm Syndrome
is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage can show signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger. Think Patty Hearst.

Could it be that eight years of isolation and torment has so affected depositors that they need to be treated for EDS - Eclipse Depositors Syndrome? Reach into your hearts ladies and gentlemen, these people need your help, not nagging criticism.

After eight years, they have a deposit on an aircraft which now performs roughly equivalent to a Piper Meridian with inoperative boots:

Ceiling of 24,000 feet.

Speed at that altitude in the high 200 knot range.

Range of 700 to 800 nm.

Better full-fuel useful load than a Meridian, maybe two big guys with bags.

Cabin about the same, maybe a little smaller.

No known ice approval.

The panel - well, the Meggitt is primitive compared to all the promises but it is there and works.

And all this for the price of... a Meridian... that they could have been flying for the last few years.

The lure has been the promise of a two million dollar airplane for only a million. The plot thickens now that Cessna is delivering Mustangs. Some Cessna jets including the CJ2 have the reputation of appreciating after delivery, not depreciating. How so for the Eclipse Jet?

Let me close with the appeal that we reach out to the EDS sufferers that we know and offer them guidance. They now crave any news from the factory and can be distinguished by their touting the most insignficant of press releases and developments. They can be seen obssessed on street corners, head down, mumbling, "Production certification, production certification."

EDS happens to the best of families.

Black Tulip

gadfly said...

Dark Blossom

You is a breath of fresh air . . . bringing things back into focus. Thanks!

Being married to a Swedish Nurse (RN), the terms of “chronic situation” . . . or “chronic condition” may turn this blogsite from the “acute” condition of “fellow blogger bashing” to a more refined discussion of the issues, that may keep the customer’s of the little jet alive for many more years. I would be most happy to be entirely wrong on my assessment of the “little jet”, and be able to argue some time in the future over the merits of this little jet. I couldn’t care less about whether it makes a profit for a taxi company in Florida (being a native of California, there is a “genetic” alienation to anything Florida . . . but I digress). But I do care that the safety of those who travel in vehicles made from aluminum . . . yes, even composites . . . it is most important that loved ones return home safe and sound to their families at the end of the day. And none of them care one whit (or a shekel) how they got home, only that they got home . . . safe.

Thanks, tulip, you said things I wish I had said.

gadfly

Lloyd said...

Black,

All of the items you mentioned are a refund event. If these items are not cured soon, the number of deposits held will be fewer very quickly.

Black Tulip said...

Lloyd,

For your sake and many others, I'm glad to read this.

Black Tulip

Lloyd said...

BTW, Where has Stan been since announcement of PC? He has been noticeably quiet. I would have expected something back from him! Weren't predictions made that PC would never happen?

Black Tulip said...

They can be seen obssessed on street corners, head down, mumbling, "Production certification, production certification."

Black Tulip

Lloyd said...

Black 2 lips

PC is the biggest hurdle that Eclipse has overcome. Give them some credit.

bill e. goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Black Tulip said...

Lloyd,

I have never been in the aviation manufacturing business - only a 'consumer'.

I think you are right.

Given that many Eclipse employees may be reading this, they deserve a great deal of credit for achieving this milestone. A well-led team of a thousand can develop and produce a great product.

The Eclipse Jet is about the future. What can it do tomorrow? Let's see what this little machine can achieve.

And for investors, "A dollar spent is a hostage that has been shot." If the number of hostages shot totals nearly a billion, there may be more where that came from.

Black Tulip

gadfly said...

Lloyd

How in the world do you revive a comatose victim of “EDS” . . . (Eclipse Depositors Syndrome, coined by “Black Tulip”)
These folks are so deep in the sleep of whatever they have been drinking, it is not likely they will ever waken . . . even when it’s too late. Maybe a future generation will benefit! But by then, it won’t matter, no how!

gadfly

(By the way, please note that the “PC” is a credit to the employee work force, and it is the biggest hurdle that the “work force” has overcome . . . give credit where credit is due. Sorry, management, but you didn’t have much to do with this one. It only proves to the FAA that the “workers” can make a plane according to approved processes and “prints”. It does not say that the little jet can, or will, do all the things promised. Do not forget that!

Management: You are a long way, and a dollar short, of your part and responsibility in all this. In fact, I would venture that the “work force” earned the “PC” in spite of you.)

(Oh yeh, “Welcome back, Billy Goat Gruff.” . . . where were you when someone turned on the fan?)

Gunner said...

I guess we all should have taken a factory tour, directed and controlled by Eclipse Salespeople. Seems to be the only way to validate your position to some; in fact, it actually makes you an expert, in some circles.

Then again, we probably would have gotten a "knowing (condescending?) smile" in response to a simple question and some would have pushed for an answer; they wouldn't have gotten one. Their eval of the Company would be exactly what it is today. Then they could be accused of being stupid, instead of just ignorant.

Signal to Noise Ratio around here is really suffering.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Gunner

"Signal to Noise Ratio around here is really suffering."

When the world went from analog to digital, I thought we no longer had to worry about "signal to noise" ratio . . . but the company born of digital technology seems to have missed a bit or two. 'Seems to be a couple bits short of a byte.

gadfly

(sorry 'bout that. Old Folks like myself aren't suppose to understand that sort of thing . . . even though our generation invented it.)

bill e. goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Sorry, Goat!

You didn't remove it fast enough. Vern probably saw it, and will want a castle just like Patty's grandfather . . . and a machine gun to keep the "workers" in line.

bill e. goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bill e. goat said...

Black Tulip,
Well said on the EDS- (I think we've all been there, either with a mechanic, or a construction project, or hmmmm).

I don't think Lloyd was disagreeing with you.

Lloyd,
Regarding Stan's absence- rumor has it black helicopters were observed around Wichita this weekend...monitoring radio traffic, it seemed ATC was being unusually cooperative, and there were call signs with the missing Eclipse N-no.'s, an someone with “Eclipse-1”...

BTW, I think Patty was engaged in getting some deposits back too- I hope Vern doesn't see this happening in ABQ!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Patty_Hearst.jpg

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,

I've been trying to figure out how to keep these links from getting truncated. (Oh well, my thoughts are a little disconnected and incomplete too!)

I finally found one that is short enough it won't get cut off, I hope.

It features Patty with an Uzi in basic flat black- I was trying to find something a little more becoming for Patty, maybe a gun metal gray finish... Maybe Vern will offer one in Eclipse Orange- goes well with the toaster! (Maybe Gunner can help him out).

Speaking of Gadfly's and Gunners electronic's analogy (or is that digitology), there is something known as clock slip when digital values are off by a factor of x2 (say, like cost) or x4 (say, like schedule :)

-and Gadfly, you are sure right- I think someone plugged the Fan is plugged into 220 !!!

bill e. goat said...

Black Tulip said:

Some ABQ residents were seen mumbling, "Production certification, production certification."

Goat:
I thought that was "Worlds First VLJ, World's First VLJ, World's First VLJ" (The Provisional bit always gets left off for some reason).

gadfly said...

Albuquerque Journal, Saturday, April 28, 2007 . . . C6

“Eclipse Revises Pilot Training” . . . etc., etc.

“Eclipse has sold 2,500 of its new jets and each one will likely have two or more trained pilots, Broom said. The training here can be completed in around 10 days, he said.”

OK, whatever . . . why “2,500" . . . why not “2,517" or “2,489"? Why not give an actual number?

And “Wow!” . . . 5,000 to 7,500 Eclipse pilots . . . ‘boggles the mind. 50,000 to 75,000 man/days of training! That’s 400,000 to 600,000 student hours . . . they’ll pay back that “$ billion” in no time.

gadfly

(Goat: The quote was a fifties Hurst . . . and someone plugged it into a sixties socket-to-me. And they say you can't go wrong with basic black and a string of pearls.)

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,
I think in this case, it's basic black, and a cartridge belt! :)

flyger said...

Lloyd said...

I have been looking for the AFM, it was available on the FAA web site during certification. I have not been able to locate it. Possibly Opspecs.com. I will continue to look for you.


I never saw it at those web sites and I've been looking.

The Mustang is weight limited in hot and high conditions.

The Eclipse has similar issues. The issue is tire speed. The plane needs to be light enough to take off without exceeding Vtire (usually 139 knots).

I'm pretty sure the Mustang takeoff weight envelope is not materially different than Eclipse. I doubt one airplane is significantly more limiting than the other. If I had access to both AFMs, I would compare and see.

gadfly said...

Goat

Only just now did I get to read the Albuquerque Journal front page article “Eclipse Gets FAA Approval, Questions Raised About Earlier Certification”, April 27, 2007 . . . I’d been out of town for a few days. If I were a “customer”, I would be very concerned. The “Journal” is very careful about anything “aviation”, for reasons that I will not discuss, so when I read an article like this, I take it very seriously. “Houston, we have a problem!”

‘Good night, y’all!

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,
I'm not sure if it was the ABQ article, or the FAA grievance, but as you say, "the fan was on high speed for a few days" :)

(I was on the laptop and free hotspots for a few days too, and missed most of the low flying shells!)

BTW, there was some unkind talk about proper English usage earlier in this series of posts. I appologize for the rest of us who value all contributors.

(and I must remind others, that there are some distinguished folks who are not always precise, but we usually figure out what they mean :o)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdmVXHtgooI

airtaximan said...

GAdfly,


there must be some magic in the 2500 number...

what most folks don't know is that E-clips has been referring (not alway publicly) to 2500 orders since 2002 or so.

I imagine their business plan and exit strategy requires at least 2500 orders for some level of return over some perios of production.

They probably figure that its far enough into the future to achieve so no one will really be able to disprove the orderbook numbers published in the past, when they run out. Perhaps it provides enough cushion so they can keep filling for a while, too, so they might catch up to the number.

In any case, there's some magic, because there's been an attempt to show 2500 in one way shape or form for a long time already.

gadfly said...

Taximan

Frankly, a number like: 2,497.3 would sound more believable. The ".3" has a nice ring to it . . . lending the impression of "precision" and "accuracy"!

gadfly

FlightCenter said...

A few recent comments that I agree with --

It is important to maintain a high level of discourse on this website.

This is getting ugly...and childish.

Signal to Noise Ratio around here is really suffering.

And a suggestion -

Perhaps the Eclipse community would be well served by creating a wikipedia type site that posted the facts as we know them about Eclipse and the Eclipse 500.

This could include official documents like press releases, type certificates, production certificates, depositor agreements, service plans, production schedules, as well as facts regarding the aircraft's status, competitive offerings, etc...

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"there must be some magic in the 2500 number...

what most folks don't know is that E-clips has been referring (not alway publicly) to 2500 orders since 2002 or so."


Bong; that's wrong, like so much else here. This press release shows that even in late 2005, they were not claiming 2500 orders yet. Where do you get your "facts" from anyway? So many of them are just wrong.

Ken

Black Tulip said...

Flight Center,

I agree that those close to Eclipse could dispel rumors by establishing a detailed Wikipedia reference to the Eclipse 500. However, I suggest that they avoid any links to 'Patty Hearst' as there is an eerie match between the orange and black background colors in her portrait and the official colors of Eclipse Aircraft.

Regarding signal-to-noise ratio, if the content of the web log does not improve we may have to resort to advanced techniques. For instance, GPS receivers must extract signals buried many decibels in the noise. We may have to apply auto-correlation or cross-correlation filtering to this site soon.

Black Tulip

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