Wednesday, April 18, 2007

From WhyTech

EAC Bloggers,

Just recently happened across the EAC blog, and because I know some of the senior folks at E-clips, elected to read through all of the posts. I have been a GA pilot and aircraft owner for 40 years, and a private equity investor for the last 20 years.


Despite my connections at E-clips, I cannot offer compelling arguments against the bulk of the criticism posted here. In fact, many of these same ideas have occured to me as I did my own informal due diligence on the Company periodically over the last 8 years.

Occasionally, a company in deep trouble is able to pull back from the brink (usually as a result of a just-in-time financing, such as at FedEx in the early days) but this is rare.

Management appears to be engaging in a very troubling pattern of deception/misrepresentation going back almost to the inception of the Company. This is characteristic of what is called by some grandiose entrepreneur syndrome, something we see frequently to varing degrees in the private equity business.

While I wish the Company well, the currently available information suggests a less than happy outcome. In any event, this story has the ingredients for a best seller book 2-3 years from now.

Best,

WT

Grandisose:Psychiatry. having an exaggerated belief in one's importance, sometimes reaching delusional proportions, and occurring as a common symptom of mental illnesses, as manic disorder.

83 comments:

EclipseOwner387 said...

Grandiose -

Hmm. Pretty much covers all the self-important, self-indulgent bloggers and creator of this blog. Good word!

Just kidding of course!

(or am I?)

;-)

Gunner said...

whytech-
Welcome. Don't mind EO387. The Force is still strong in him. Sometimes he dabbles too much in the Dark Side.

Let me jump ahead of the Little Pack and get the following out of the way.

- You're a disgruntled former Employee
- You're a disgruntled former Depositor
- You're a disgruntled former Investor
- You're a disgruntled former Vendor
- You're over the hill, unable to see revolutionary concepts that the rest of us visionaries see

You must fall into one of these categories to be posting what you did. ;-)

Welcome again. Honestly.
Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

"Stay on target!"
"Stay on target!"

"Luke!!!"

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

eo387,

Did Vern ever tell you what happened to your father?

I, I am your father. Join me and we can rule the dark VLJ world as father and son.

Noooooooooooooooooooooo.

he he he

Stan Blankenship said...

WhyTech,

Book...no,I'm thinking a movie.

Maybe they can get Richard Gere to play the blogger.

Flying Wolf said...

Make it an e-book-another failed enterprise...

WhyTech said...

gunner,
".... unable to see revolutionary concepts that the rest of us visionaries see"

What revolutionary concepts? Revolutionary 10 years ago? Maybe. Today? Not a a chance.

WT

Gunner said...

WT-
You make my point.
Check my posts, you, you, you Charlatan, you!

Case in point: Eclipse has got a wonderful web site and sterling Press Releases. It's got an exterior cargo bay suitable for 3 doilies, and a couple hankies (or your Parcheesi set, sans board). Are these not "revolutionary" concepts? Putz.

;-)
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

The latest from Richard Aboulafia--

http://www.richardaboulafia.com/shownote.asp?id=241

WhyTech said...

Gunner,

"Are these not "revolutionary" concepts? "

Technological innovation waits for no man, not even Vern! A classic example of some of the risks associated with a major program slip.

WT

airtaximan said...

whytech,

are you the guy that has said "Vern knows he has the wrong airplane" since around 4 years ago?

gadfly said...

The timing is off by about seventy years, but the story has a familiar ring: Vern has a sale on “Boeing 247's”, while the dinosaurs are selling “DC3's”. ‘Interesting thing about history . . . eh what!

gadfly

Nothing Like the Sun said...

From airportbusiness.com

"SATSair says its planes typically fly about 100 hours a month, and the company expects to earn its first annual profit this year. But officials declined to release financial information.

"We've validated the marketplace, and we've been through a steep learning curve," Quist said. "We've made significant infrastructure investments. Once we achieve profitability, we expect to stay there."

Question: You have 26 airplanes flying "100 hours a month" and you still can't make a profit yet?!?!Sounds like the old "we loose money on each transation but make it up in volume..." approach. Flight Options can't even make a profit, and they have OTHER people buying the airplanes for them. Pro Dialjet bloggers use Satsair as an example that this type of air-taxi works. Don't think so. What makes Dialjet think they can own the planes and make any type of ROI.

A more telling question: Why are there not any of the established prominant charter firms diving into this business if it is so hot? TAG mentioned they might "dabble" in it and that is about all I can find. It's only these startup's that are making any "self-praise" about the "new air-taxi market." You can't eat praise.


http://www.airportbusiness.com/web/online/
Top-News-Headlines/Not-Waiting-for-VLJs--
Two-Air-Taxis-Operate-Out-of-Smaller-Atlanta-
Airports/1$9670

WhyTech said...

Gunner,

"Vern has a sale on “Boeing 247's”, while the dinosaurs are selling “DC3's”. "

I am inclined to be a bit more generous. IMHO, E-clips specs are at about competitive parity, plus or minus a little, however, the product remains vaporware.

WT

Black Tulip said...

Given WhyTech's recent post, may I repeat a previous note:

I'd like to raise a medical aspect of this story that hasn't been touched on. Few know of a condition called MCS - Magazine Cover Syndrome. As soon as the CEO appears on the cover of a magazine, the end is near. It is only a matter of time. Think back on the magazine covers featuring Kozlowski, Ebbers, Scrushy, Rigas, Lay and Skilling.

Another stage of this debilitating disease involves products not people. Products singled out as 'best in class' or 'most innovative' by industry groups or trade organizations seldom make it.

Being awarded a prestigous trophy could be the worst blow of all. I just don't know how any organization could survive the adulation and afterglow.

Someday a cure will be found for this dreaded malady. It has been with us for at least a generation. Back then the buzzwords included, "turbo", "digital" and "quartz". These have been replaced by "paradigm", "disruptive" and "space".

Think what the future may bring.

Black Tulip

JetProp Jockey said...

I find that WT's comments got me thinking about Eclipse from and investors perspective.

I wonder what has been presented in the perspeci that shows a possiblity of a big return for a high risk start up venture.

I assume that an IPO would have been the only possible way for a quick return and the early investors may have thought this was a possibility, but over the past couple years a savy investor wouldn't have taken this seriously.

I just can't figure out what is presented as an end game for a serious investor.

gadfly said...

Maybe my point was lost. Boeing introduced the “247" . . . it was the first all metal modern airliner . . . with limited cramped seating, a wing-spar that took up cabin space . . . and they sold the first sixty (of a total of 75 aircraft) to their own company, “BAT” (Boeing Air Transport . . . to someday become UAL). Douglas, in the mean time, improved the DC-1 (only “one” was built) to the DC-2, and shortly to the DC-3 . . . almost twice the capacity, and truly revolutionizing the airline industry . . . selling about 400 immediately, being careful to spread sales over the entire industry and building about 10,000 of them overall. Boeing paid dearly for this “preferential treatment” to one “big” customer, and learned a hard lesson. But a war intervened, and both companies were able to recover.

Eclipse, to my knowledge, has nothing (much) besides their little jet . . . with all the disadvantages being listed, and few of the advantages of the dinosaurs.

gadfly

sparky said...

Gadfly,

Looked up the Boeing 247 on wikipedia. It was listed as "revolutionary".

Maybe having "revolutionary" attached to you aircraft is the the same as having Ted McGinley join your cast.

gadfly said...

Sparky

The Boeing 247 was truly a good aircraft, and really was “revolutionary”. But it offered “too little”, except as an “entry level” airliner. And instead of making the most of a brief window of opportunity, they proceeded to make enemies of the very people whose support they needed. By the time they got it all figured out, it was too late. And the skies were darkened, literally, by their competition . . . the DC-3 (C47).

My Dad’s older “half-brother” worked for Boeing back then . . . and in a few years gave me a cast aluminum scale model of the “247", which sits next to my cast aluminum “P80" from Lockheed . . . about the only two toys of mine that survive from those early days. “Uncle Dayton”, aeronautical engineer, retired from United Airlines main plant south of San Francisco.

So many of Eclipse’ problems could have been avoided by a good understanding, and application of the lessons, of early aviation history. This in no way is meant to distract from those features of the “little jet” that may have merit. But it appears that the “window of opportunity” has already closed . . . at least, for the foreseeable future. We’ll see!

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

All this talk regarding the prodigiously produced DC-3 made me think of the E-500, with the prodigiously produced PR's (ha). Seriously, an interesting comparions, of sorts:

From Wiki:

DC-3:
10,655 DC-3s were built at Santa Monica, California and Long Beach, California in both civil and military versions.

E-500:
Hmmm. Numbers Vern would be proud of.

DC-3:
Some of the more common uses of the DC3 have been aerial spraying, freight transport, passenger service...

E-500:
Well, if air taxi dosen't work out, maybe crop dusting will. (...wonder if it will be single pilot :)

DC-3:
Douglas had developed an improved version, with a greater cargo capacity (Super DC-3)...

E-500:
Hmmm, E-500B/C/X, or SUPER E-500?

DC-3:
These fleets paved the way for the modern American air travel industry, quickly replacing trains as the favored means of long-distance travel across the United States.

E-500:
These fleets paved the way for modern American air taxi industry, quickly replacing airlines (and trains and cars) as the favored means of short-distance tavel across the United States.

Well, maybe trains...Although if Bombardier ever gets into the VLJ fray, and brings their corporate light rail expertise in- all bets are off! :)

DC-3:
The amenities of the DC-3 (including sleeping berths on early models and an in-flight kitchen)...

E-500:
Well, I think Vern is still working on this one. (Maybe he'll give away a toast or blender with each E-500 delivery. That would be a start).

gadfly said...

Goat

You are a genius . . . take it another step, the “E500 Tow” version . . . with the kitchen, and/or spray equipment in a Waco type glider . . . now to develop a “cat walk”. The jet is so quiet, anyway, in military applications the “enemy” wouldn’t know which is which.

Now take a break and go chew on a can.

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

Hello Gadfly,

Great minds think alike!
(well, at least you and I do anyway :)

I was just getting ready to post something, and you bleat me too it. (Has my "window of opportunity" closed? No, but usually I wish my mouth had been :)

So, I'll goat ahead an post it anyway:

Gadfly,

Thanks for the interesting perspective on the B247 vs DC3. Many recent posts regarding Eclipse E-500 wantabes' (and probably, don't wantabe's- ha). It makes me wonder if a similar scenario might play out, being first isn't as important as, being adaptive. Being first usually involves more cost, resulting in more institutional inertia (um, about $1B of inertia so far).

In fact, there seems to be somewhat of a disadvantage of being first; it makes you a target. Competitors can evaluate how the market responds, and adopt the positive features, and also more easily incorporate design alterations to address product weaknesses.

It seems like the only advantage to being first would be to
1) sew up the market through "sweet heart" contracts.
2) crush the competition with volume.

Re: 1) I think the "sweat heart" deals might be a disadvantage to Eclipse, if the prices were too low (especially, given the costs involved with the significant delays).

Re 2) I think Vern HAS been concentrating on trying to "crush the competition" through volume, which probably explains his inordinate preoccupation with production, rather than development. There is a common sentiment (and not untrue) that "You don't make money by designing airplanes, you make money by selling airplanes (so why not concentrate on production and sales?)”.

Vern was admittedly naive in aircraft building business, he felt that was an advantage (not bridled with “dinosaur thinking”. Maybe Vern even self-schooled himself in aircraft manufacturing (and, I would say, given his intelligence and perseverance, will turn out to be an apt pupil in that arena). But, perseverance isn't the same thing as perceptive, and he overlooked and grossly discounted the significance of the airplane design/test/certification process (after all, you don't make money on that stuff, so why waste resources there). I think Vern is getting another schooling, but this time the lessons aren't private, but rather public.

(Vern's currently enrolled in Certification 101. His previous class was remedial Certifcation 99 (or “Certification-Lite”) for those with a defficent* background. (*I think my spelling is a little deficient too).

He didn't do so well in the first class; it was expected to take one year, but turned out to take eight. I guess he liked the teacher a lot.

Hey, maybe he'll enroll in Cert 201 next semester, or decade; I can see the Eclipse E-500 SUPER SUPER DUPER coming out soon!

(akin to the ill-recieved Super DC-3; being merely "Super X" would not be nearly Verntastic enough).

bill e. goat said...

Verns "schooling":

Gotta give him an A for effort, but for results...

Vern, "you get an F!"

:)))

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJgtg1YMj44

...Didn't Eclipse start in '98 also?

...With a VLJ Vatchyamacallit? :)

gadfly said...

Goat

Seems that goats and flies work over the same pile of . . . stuff, but in different parts of the process. Your droppings . . . er, comments are “food for thought”.

Being first can be a tremendous advantage, provided the greater cost is recognized “right up front”, and you don’t make the customer pay a penalty . . . one of our best accounts, I began at a loss over twenty years ago . . . and created a loyal relationship that continues today. The prices were “honored”, and not increased to cover our learning curve. We just learned, over time, to “do it better” . . . and that is how we “crushed” the competition. Volume had nothing to do with it. Keeping our word, and being on time with a product that exceeded our promises made the difference.

And we did whatever it took, to keep our word . . . to make sure that our customers were never penalized, if we had problems. If we have problems that cause delays, we tell the customer . . . and don’t make excuses. “An excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” . . . Wish I had thought of that one!

If Vern goes back to Micro Soft, they could add “Aircraft Manufacturing” to “Flight Simulator” . . . although there would be a long series of “updates” and “bug fixes”. There would be “two” versions . . . the Conventional, and the Eclipse . . . in English and Chinese (for those that prefer “stir fry”).

Well, Goat, the more I buzz around this pile of . . . stuff, the more confused I become. So in the words of “Digger O’Dell” (the friendly undertaker, and close friend of the WWII aircraft riveter, Chester A. Riley) . . . “You’re looking fine (Goat), very natural” . . . “Well, guess I’ll be shoveling off.”

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BEG,

I luv those commercials - thanks for the laugh.

History was most certainly lost on Vern and the bulk of the senior management team, as with the exception of Dr. Masefield, none had any aviation experience (or appreciation of the lessons that could have been learned) - a trend which has essentially continued with the exception of Ms. Bilson.

Time to unpimp your VLJ, yah?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Correction, I meant executive management, not senior management.

bill e. goat said...

And...Regarding the competion from other VLJ startups,

It's harder to hit a moving target.

(Eclipse has experience in moving price targets, I suppose).

But for some reason, our favorite VLJ isn't doing much moving lately. Neither have the assembly lines.

Just Vern's mouth :)

(How do you tell when ____ is lying?..., well, you know the rest...)

Regarding moving targets and competition, some have suggested Eclipse IS maneuvering in the marketplace; doing a nosedive, or rolling upside down (something about belly up).

I think not, with Vern at the controls! The ride might involve some financial acrobatics, but no aerobatics.

(Moonbat-ics, perhaps...)

From Wiki, acrobatics is:

"one of the performing arts, and is also practiced as a sport.

"involves difficult feats of balance, agility..

"involves short, highly controlled bursts of activity

"substantial overlap with dance, ..and even religious practices.

Hmmmm...
Also from Wiki, a Moonbat is :

"a human whose cerebral cortex has turned to silly putty causing him or her to mentally slide down the evolutionary ladder to the level of a winged rat who is influenced by the moon and who wants to eat your brain. These creatures have broken brains and since the brain is the organ that tells us all when we're broken, their broken detection mechanism is unable to tell them that they are barking mad".

Our favorite CEO; acrobat, or moonbat, (or just plain batty)- take your pick :)

Well, for now, Goat signing off.
Woof Woof.

gadfly said...

That is mind boggling . . . barking mad Moonbats . . . winged rats . . . goats saying “woof, woof” . . . probably something to do with the “Eclipse” of the moon! At least you got the part correct about “evolution” . . . sliding down the evolutionary ladder . . . it’s called “entropy” (2nd Law, and all that sort of thing) . . . helped along with your “organic ball bearings” . . . at least they smell like organic ball bearings.

Goat, we need to stop meeting like this . . . people are going to talk.

gadfly

(Fact: the bat is not related to rodents . . . actually more closely related to monkeys. And before you get excited about that, heart-valve transplants use “pigs” . . . for all you Darwin types.)

Green-or-Red said...

RUMOR
Can Ken or EO387 verify that 9 of the first 12 currently have C of A.
Note: C of A does not mean that the aircraft is delivered or accepted by a customer.

airtaximan said...

Bill-e:

The moving target you refer to, to a great extent, has been planned, until recently.

1- lowball pricing to exclude competitors and perpetuate the myth of "revolutionary approaches" to building the plane
2- unrealistic performance to discourage competition, perpetuate the myth again, and attract unsuspecting customers

more recently, reduced expectations have been due to failed systems suppliers, failed engineering, etc. Prior to this, it was adjustment due to expected shortfalls in performance, etc...due to intentional ovr-promising as a strategy. Also, upgrades are promised as a band-aid.

Sound familiar?
This is a prevelent in your friendly neighborhood software industry.

Black Tulip said...

I would like to advance a new theory about the origins and current state of Eclipse Aircraft. Perhaps it is not really an aircraft development and manufacturing company, but rather a full-motion simulator of an aircraft company.

In most simulator sessions, the new pilot is given a trouble-free departure and a little time to get used to the aircraft during normal operations, then a steep turn in each direction. After the operator is comfortable, then emergencies are introduced.

Perhaps Eclipse is a very realistic Level D simulation of an aircraft company that has run amuck - and presents only emergency situations. Consider the engine failure (Williams) just after rotation. Consider the massive avionics failure (Avidyne) under trying conditions. Consider the training failure (United) that is an example of failed Crew Resource Management (CRM). Consider the current low fuel (cash) situation.

Someone should check the instructor's console in Albuquerque. It could be as simple as fixing a stuck key on the keyboard.

Black Tulip

gadfly said...

Tulip

You is a funny man. Are you into music? If it is a “stuck key”, it must be “C sharp” or “B flat” . . . think about it! To some, as you will “note”, it is a “major” issue, to others it is “minor”.

gadfly

EclipseOwner387 said...

G or R,

I have no color on that rumor.

flyger said...

E-500:
Well, if air taxi dosen't work out, maybe crop dusting will.


Funny that you should say that. I looked up the registration for N600DE, serial #5 Mustang (next to be delivered) and under airworthiness Category, it said:

"Agriculture and Pest Control"

Hmm, seems Cessna has beat Eclipse to this market! :-)

[Surely this is a paperwork snafu.]

sparky said...

I’ve been going over the numbers and there are things here that just don’t add up, I don’t care what kind of computer modeling, complexity science, or quantum physics you use.

The entire business model for eclipse aviation is built on the cornerstone of high demand/high production. I believe we can all agree on this. If you take that away you knock the underpinnings out from under the entire house of cards.

Looking at Day Jet’s business plan would lead you to believe the same thing. They have to fill every aircraft or they’re losing money. In the report written by Greg Lindsay, Ed Iacobucci goes to great lengths to explain the software modeling and how this will enable his company to schedule aircraft in the most cost effective way to cover their territory and fill their aircraft.

Ed claims that Day Jet isn’t in competition with the airlines, but cars. He uses the numbers of regional trips of 100-500 miles, what has been called the “sweet spot” for VLJ’s. This is where I have trouble understanding the plan.

I don’t care what business you’re in, the bottom line is the bottom line. There is always a trade off between cost and convenience. I think I would draw the line for driving at about 200-250 miles. At @ three dollars per mile, this 400-500 mile trip would cost between $1,200 and $1,500 to fly, and I would still be required to rent a car at the other end. They claim that one of their strengths is being able to utilize the thousands of small, regional airports across the country. Maybe somebody failed to notice but very few of these have a Hertz or Alamo on sight. Granted we’re looking at @ an 8 hour drive time, but you’re saving $800-$900 less. There’s just no way I could justify spending that much money to save about 4-5 hours.

Right off the bat, half his market DOES NOT EXIST

And where are the time savings? If they have to fill the plane, which Ed said they do, your schedule is going to have to exactly match that of any number of other random business travelers in order for you to actually save time. Otherwise you have to compromise to match all schedules and the savings are gone.

Now let’s look at any sizable amount of baggage. With two pilots and three passengers if you can’t fit all three travelers’ belongings in the limited baggage compartment, you’re not getting on the bird. There’s only 16 cubic feet of internal storage space, maybe enough for three laptop bags and an overnight bag or two. Anything else, you don’t fly.

And the thing I found really hard to swallow was when Ed stated that his company would be profitable at 25% of the market he hopes to draw.

He’s going to have in excess of 300 aircraft. That’s 600 pilots. Now let’s be extremely charitable and say he can get pilots for $40,000 a year. Total. That’s salary, taxes, insurance benefits…..everything. This alone is 24 MILLION DOLLARS. Keep in mind that we haven’t included support personnel, maintenance, fuel, facilities, insurance OR THE ORIGINAL 300+ MILLION TO PURCHASE AIRCRAFT. And he can recover this with 25% of the market. Satsair in DC is charging about $600/hour and still hasn’t turned a profit.

I’m sorry, but I don’t care what kind of program you’re running, the only people turning those kinds of profit margins is OPEC.

Metal Guy said...

I also just don’t get the underlying philosophy of being able to gain access to all of those small “remote” airports where commercial airlines don’t serve. In general, if a company is spending top dollar to save “executives” time, they would have to be a fairly well established and profitable company. How many executives from said company need to fly into Indianola Mississippi? There is just not much there. What’s going on – a top level strategic meeting between IBM and the manager of the local Circuit City? Not likely.

It seems to me that any company that fits the profile as an air-taxi customer would need quick access to customers and suppliers. These are typically in far off lands such as downtown Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and the like. Places where it’s going to be hard as hell to compete with Southwest and company, and the easy access to associated services such as rental cars and reliable hotels. If money is no object, sure, take the VLJ. But this mindset and profitable companies don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. Not for long at least.

The business model seems to rely on large cash-flinging companies needing to quickly get to major customers / suppliers in small remote locations. I just can’t believe that there is a huge pent-up demand for IBM to get to Indianola, but I guess I could be wrong…

Common sense says there is not much market and not much demand, but hey, it is disruptive technology in the cockpit so perhaps this will make the market materialize…

airtaximan said...

doubters:

Here is the kind of logic being used to justify the air taxi market:

"In Florida and the southeast United States there is a pent-up demand. There are almost 52
million trips made each year by business professionals traveling 100 to 700 miles (one-way)
between the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina
and Tennessee? 40 million of these trips are driven and 12 million of these trips are flown on
scheduled airlines. If only 1% of these trips were diverted to air taxi, that would translate to
more than 2000 air taxi trips per day."

Aplly some critical thinking, and you might get:

issue 1 - "100-700 miles"... how many are 300-700 miles which might be the market...100-300 miles will probably drive...what's the real number? 20%, 30%, 40% of the large numbers being presented? why not show the real number?

issue 2- there are 12 million trips that are foown...how many of these are 100-300 miles? not many, most are probably 300-700 miles, right? So, if you subtract 12 million from this 300-700 mile market, what's left? Why not show the real number? Is it really small compared to 52 million or 40 million? Probably.

Just some simple reasoning applied to the numbers being used to justify a large market. Its really not so large, I guess, since they do not show:

-how many trips are 300-700 miles, that are driven?

Another simple fact: most folks who have been asked to go somewhere a few hours away by car, even 4 hours, are expected to drive...they wake up at 4:30 AM and drive for 4 hours and have a meeting at 10AM. If they finish at 3 or 4 PM, they drive back home. If they are well-paid, mid-level manager types, as in the Dayjet target market, they are expected to do this as part of their job.

They can fly the airlines, if its cheap. Otherwise, they drive.

It costs the companies nothing, and the well-paid folks know its expected.

I'm not saying this is every case, just many.

I suspect $1 per mile is the real threshold for most of the market. At this price, there could be some advantages and acceptability for the service. Above this, the market is probably pretty small.

JetProp Jockey said...

AirTaxi

Great points

Consider my cash flow estimate to fly an Eclipse 2000 hours per year:

Interest on 1.25MM - $94,000
Principal (15 YR) - 83,000
2 Pilots + Benefits- 110,000
Insurance - 20,000
Engine reserve - 50,000
Fuel
2000x80x3.75 - 600,000
Maintenance - 30,000

Total - 987,000

Cash Per hour $493.50

This assumes that you can get 2000 billable hour annually with only 2 pilots. I really believe it would take 3 to 3.5 pilots per aircraft to achieve 2000 billable hours.

Then you must start adding overhead and administration.

Based on my numbers, IF you keep all of the planes in the air generating $900 per hour revenue (one person at $3.00 per mile, or 3 at $1.00 per mile you are running at about break even. (after adding the other costs of doing business with about a 50% gross profit)

Based on 1 hour average legs, you need to have 5.5 cycles per day, 365 days per year to reach what I think would be break even.

I am not calling Ed to see if I can still put some money into the business.

airtaximan said...

jpj:

pls add to your calculations:

- empty legs for some repositioning...even 10%-20% makes a difference and reflects tremendous efficiency compared with the market today.

- you will need an extra plane or two, loaded into your calculation for downtime...even ed admits having 2 "spares" in the intial 12 plane fleet.

- you will have to add pilot recurrant training...

- you will have to add more pilots - Dayjet plans 5 pilots per plane.

- full time salaried employee per dayport

- your engine reserve looks way too low... $50k for 2000 hrs? Its more like $200/engine hr...we can call it $200,000/year for both engines, and its still nice'n low.

- do you think an interior/paint reserve is a good idea? Figure $20,000 per aircraft/year? Even this seems low...

it all adds up. I'm sure ed's smart enough to have prety good cost numbers, unless he's relying on Vern for this.

The numbers seem to add up pretty fast...

One more thing on the revenue side. Its going to be tough to have an average load of 2 pax with 3 seats... in my opinion. If there was another seat, perhaps just over 2 could be achievable...but with only 3 seats, an average of 2 mens a lot of 2s and 3s compared to ones.

He's probably better off just finding a way to rent out the plane..
...hmmm....

airtaximan said...

Anyone know the range of the plane with 3 pax, pilot co-pilot and some bags?

JetProp Jockey said...

AirTaxi

I was attempting to be the very very best case senario. I don't believe you can achieve an average of 2000 billable hour per aircraft per year, but even if you can, at $900 /hour revenue, it just barely works.

By the way, it seems like a job requirement for pilots will have to be under 150 pounds. Big overweight guys like me will use up the payload too fast.

Also, can you immagine having a scale to weigh each passanger and luggage prior to boarding. It's not like a King or Pilatus that halls weight around like crazy.
(I would just love to see the lady show up for a scheduled flight who had told the booking person that her total wight would be 135 pounds and is forced to step on the scale . . .)

JetProp Jockey said...

I forgot. I also don't think the plane will average anywhere near 300 NM / flight hour.

Off to fly my dinosour on a 190 mile trip and burn 31 gph.

Bye

Black Tulip said...

Extracted from a future article in Flying Magazine:

"A new job market has arisen for over-the-hill jockeys. After completing their career on the racetrack, many are seeking employment in the burgeoning air charter market using the Eclipse Jet.

"After years in the saddle, it was pretty easy to pass the ATP and get type rated in the Eclipse," said Jose Gonzales, 48, a retired jockey from Santa Barbara. "The charter companies like us 'little guys' because with the right combination of diuretics and enemas we are able to extend the range of the aircraft by fifty nautical miles. Plus, we can get behind the back seats to ferret out the luggage in the rear.

Our competition uses the Cessna Mustang with the dreaded un-pressurized forward baggage compartment. I can't tell you how many women fear the horror of 'cold cosmetics." We have a clear competitive advantage in the Eclipse and as long as our passengers stick to the TSA carry-on standards for Eclipse checked-luggage we are okay."

Black Tulip

Lloyd said...

The Eclipse 500 Lands in Europe
Eclipse Aviation takes its very light jet overseas for the very first time
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY - April 19, 2007 - Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced its European debut for the Eclipse 500. This is the first time Eclipse Aviation has taken its twin-engine jet outside of North America. The aircraft left its headquarters in Albuquerque, NM on April 14, 2007, flew the North Atlantic route through Canada, Greenland, Iceland, United Kingdom, and landed in Friedrichshafen, Germany for the AERO 2007 show.
"Europe is such a great market for the Eclipse 500 because of its superior performance and efficiency to anything else offered today," said Andrew Broom, director of public relations at Eclipse Aviation. "The Eclipse 500 offers a quicker and more convenient way to travel. We already have more than 100 orders throughout this market, and we believe that once people in Europe and the UK see it and fly it, we can change the way they travel."
In April and May, the Eclipse 500 will travel to several countries while attending trade shows and completing sales demo flights. Many potential customers in Europe will be able to experience the Eclipse 500 capabilities firsthand. The aircraft will be on display at the AERO show in Friedrichshafen, Germany for the remainder of the week before flying to Cannes, France for EUR-AVIA on April 27, and then to Geneva, Switzerland on May 22, for the European Business Aviation Conference and Exposition (EBACE).
With a range of 1,125 nautical miles, the Eclipse 500 very light jet can easily make trips from London to Warsaw, Oslo to Milan, and Madrid to Moscow. The aircraft’s performance combined with low direct operating costs make it economical for European business and leisure travelers to visit multiple other cities and countries in a single-day. In addition to benefiting from jet performance at an unprecedented cost, the European customer will also appreciate that the Eclipse 500 is the quietest turbine powered aircraft and exceeds ICAO’s most stringent Stage 4 noise standard by more than 40 decibels (dB).
The noise testing proves that the Eclipse 500 is quieter than all multi engine and most single engine piston powered aircraft. Additional testing by Pratt & Whitney Canada shows that the Eclipse 500’s PW610F engines are setting a green engine benchmark by registering a smoke number (SN) of less than five, while the regulatory limit for engine smoke emissions is a SN of 50.
The Eclipse 500 received its full Type Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration on September 30, 2006. Eclipse Aviation is on a parallel track to receive its EASA certification, and expects to achieve full certification by the end of 2007.

About Eclipse Aviation
Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet, is in the business of designing, certifying and producing modern, affordable jet aircraft that will revolutionize the transportation market. The company is applying advanced electronics systems, manufacturing and business practices to produce aircraft that cost half that of today’s small jet aircraft, will be significantly safer and easier to operate than those of today, and have the lowest cost of ownership ever achieved in a jet aircraft.
The goal of Eclipse is to bring the word "personal" into aviation, making it possible for business travelers to move directly between cities on a quick, affordable and convenient basis. It will also allow pilot owners to enter the world of jet-powered aviation. Contact Eclipse at http://www.eclipseaviation.com.

sparky said...

how 'bout midgets

Lloyd said...

Air Taxi Said:

Interest on 1.25MM - $94,000
Principal (15 YR) - 83,000
2 Pilots + Benefits- 110,000
Insurance - 20,000
Engine reserve - 50,000
Fuel
2000x80x3.75 - 600,000
Maintenance - 30,000

Total - 987,000

Cash Per hour $493.50

This assumes that you can get 2000 billable hour annually with only 2 pilots. I really believe it would take 3 to 3.5 pilots per aircraft to achieve 2000 billable hours.

Insurance will be likely 40 K for 135 service

Engine reserve 200,000 overhaul each @ 3500 hours should be $115 / hour = 230,000

You will need two complete flight crews plus a standby to fly 2000 hours per year. = 250,000

Lloyd said...

From Eclipse:

Enrolled in Not Enrolled
JetComplete (Estimated)
JetComplete Hourly Rate $115.00 N/A
Variable Costs per Flight Hour
Fuel ($3.52 enrolled / $3.92 not enrolled) $193.60 $215.60
Scheduled & Unscheduled Maintenance (airframe, avionics and engines)
Parts (including shipping) Included $52.87
Labor Included $61.17
Tires and Brakes $4.25 $6.07
Engine HSI and Overhaul Coverage - Optional $94.00* $130.00**
Total Variable Costs per Flight Hour $291.85 $465.71
Annual Fixed Costs
Insurance (with substantial discount if enrolled)*** $32,000.00 $40,000.00
Hangar $16,000.00 $16,000.00
Jeppesen Electronic NavData and Approach Charts Included $1,548.00
XM WX Satellite Weather Aviator Edition Included $600.00
Recurrent Training Included $4,495.00
OneCall AOG Service* Included
Eclipse Flight Support* Included
Automated Aircraft Systems Trending and Monitoring* Included
Rental Engine Liability Insurance ($10M coverage) Included
Safety-of-Flight Service Bulletins Included
Enhanced Operator's Web Site Functionality* Included
Total Fixed Costs per Year $48,000.00 $83,143.00
Total Fixed Costs per Hour $48.00 $83.14
TOTAL OPERATING COSTS PER HOUR $454.85 $548.85
* These offerings are exclusive to JetComplete customers
*** Insurance premium estimated for a 1000 hour total time pilot and $1M liability (actual discount will vary)
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
2503 CLARK CARR LOOP SE
ALBUQUERQUE, NM 87106
TEL 505 245-7555
FAX 505 245-7888
WWW.ECLIPSEAVIATION.COM Rev 3.0 6-26-06
The values shown for those “Not Enrolled” in JetComplete are estimated and subject to change.
Prices are valid only for enrollment of new aircraft at the time of initial delivery.
17% Savings
Terms & Conditions:
The JetComplete program offerings and prices contained herein are subject to change at any time without notice until signing of the JetComplete agreement, at which time prices are
fixed for the program term. Prices do not include applicable taxes.
**Cost is a pre-production estimate that covers only projected engine hot section and overhaul costs for both engines, and ranges from $120 per flight hour to
$140 per flight hour. It excludes Life Cycle Fatigue (LCF) components as well as other items normally included in an engine “by-the-hour” maintenance program.
Actual cost for engine hot section and overhaul inspection varies based on utilization, environmental factors, and maintenance practices.
A three (3) year commitment is required. A minimum of 300 flight hours during the three year program is required. The program is limited to a maximum of 3,000 flight hours for
three years.
Program is valid for “N” numbered aircraft operated in the continental (48) states.
$20,500.00
Eclipse Aviation Proprietary and Confidential Information
All information and data contained herein are the property of Eclipse Aviation Corporation and are not to be duplicated or disclosed to others for any purpose without the consent of Eclipse Aviation Corporation, Albuquerque, NM.

Stan Blankenship said...

Madrid to Moscow = 1,861 nm

airtaximan said...

lloyd:

JPjock said most of this not me...

what's the point, are we wrong? way off?

what do you make of this?

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR mentioned the Eclipse Exec Management team, got me curious. I checked out the Eclipse website in this regard. Seems like in general there are some folks who like airplanes, but as he points out, only Oliver Masefield seems to have any small aircraft manufacturing experience (COO Peg Billson has some "heavy iron" experience).

Readers Digest version:

Vern Raburn (Pres and CEO): Software and Investments

Peg Billson (COO): Douglas, Honeywell

Dr. Oliver Masefield (Sr VP): Pilatus

Don Burtis (Sr VP): Led the Eclipse development team of Avio...Apple computer, “high tech product development”

Bill Bonder (VP, Purchasing): Dell Computer, Gerber Scientific

Michael Brown (VP, IT dept) Home Depot, “e-business”

Perry Denker (VP, Investor Relations): VP of Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc., a private, non-profit economic development corporation. As such, he was instrumental in attracting Eclipse Aviation to Albuquerque.

Todd Fierro (VP, Manufacturing): Ford Motor Co. Implemented lean processes at the Cleveland engine plant.

Ken Harness (VP, Engineering): Army helo pilot; Sikorsky, P&W, Williams.

Jack Harrington (VP, Business Affairs): aviation law

Mike McConnell (VP, Sales): Mooney, Dell computer

Kenneth McNamara (VP, Customer and Product Support): Aviation operations management, engine components, Rockwell-Collins, Hughes Electornics, ex-Navy aviator, Pilot for Continental.

Saul Pacheco (VP Quality): Medtronic, Motorola

Tina Rulo (VP HR): Multiplex, Hyperion, VLSI (electronics)

Don Taylor (VP, Safety Training, Flt Ops): ex-USAF, United 747 captain, MIT/Lincoln, MITRE, FAA (Member of the FAA Free Flight sterring committee).

Given the ongoing debacle at Eclipse, I have to admit the exec team had more aviation experience than I expected, but I notice a conspicuous lack of ANYONE with light aircraft experience, except Masefield.

The Eclipse web site also has bio's on the BoD:

Harold A. Poling: retired Ford Mo co CEO "cost cutter", came up through financial controller ranks, Automotive Hall of Fame, Albert Shweitzer Leadership award. Ex-Navy pilot).

Vern Raburn: Microsoft, software, investments, Eclipse

Alfred Mann (CEO of MannKind Corp) Physicist, heart pacemakers, hearing implants for children.

Kent Kresa (Chairman Emeritus, Northgop Grumman) Sleazy Shrill Defrauder of Taxpayer Dollars.

Brandon Jones (Plygon Investment Partners) Investment banking, law.

Seems like a pretty impressive group.

I was looking for a list of investors, and only came across:

"...his former boss at Microsoft--is one of the many equity investors in the company. Gates holds the second-largest stake, behind another Fortune 500 individual."

Does anyone know who this "other F500 individual" is ?

Lloyd said...

Good point and catch Stan. It won't do that without a fuel stop!

Lloyd said...

I believe that is Al Mann

Lloyd

bill e. goat said...

For comparison, I also checked out the Adam Aircraft exec team. It looks pretty impressive too, enough so that I would have expected Adam to "eclipse" Eclipse, if they had the financial backing Vern did. (This isn't to compare the aircraft, just the companies).

www.adamaircraft.com/OurTeam.asp

In reading up on some Adam nes, I came across:

"In conjunction with other partners, the company also recently won a major contract from DARPA for the development of a next-generation rotorcraft..."

This sounded similar to the fabulous, almost Verntastic, Groen Bro's. checking out their website, one comes across pictures of vaporware, that look surprisingly similar to an Adam converted to a gyrocopter. Don't know if they are going in cohoots with Adam ?

www.groenbros.com/gyrodyne_tech.php

Checking up on those Groen boys,

HALF FULL:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has given Groen Brothers Aviation the green light (and $6.4 million) to continue its efforts to develop a militarily-capable aircraft that lands and takes off like a helicopter but flies as fast and as far as a conventional airplane.

HALF EMPTY:
Flight testing of the Hawk 4 for FAA certification has been halted because of a lack of money, however, and the company's auditors have questioned whether Groen Brothers Aviation can stay in business.

Also came across an article on the SJ-30, another struggling sort-of startup:

"Sino Swearingen, has announced that 50 employees at its SJ30 fuselage and wing plant in the West Virginia plant are being laid off, along with 100 at the main assembly plant in San Antonio. The announcement came about six weeks after the company said it would build a huge new plant and hire another 850 workers in San Antonio. The company's CFO Kelly Simmons said the layoffs are "a bump in the road" and Sino Swearingen remains committed to building the 300 jets it has on order. "It just looks bad more than anything," Simmons told the San Antonio Express-News. "What this is, frankly, it's the life of a startup business and the beginning of a mass production process. These are issues that are typical of setting that up."

I hope Eclipse has enough cash to carry them through the production rampup without any layoffs.

gadfly said...

Note: Eclipse is assuring that the 3,500 hours on the engines in not approached. So whatever you expect to do, you better do it in 3,000 hours . . . then dump the thing on the “used” market . . . and let someone else get stuck with the complete overhauls.

Are we talking about a car? . . . or a plane? . . . confusing some times!

gadfly

Lloyd said...

Airtaxi:

Sorry if I misquoted. My point was that costs are much higher than JPjock indicated, even by eclipse standards which I posted also.

JetProp Jockey said...

My point was that evenat those numbers I don't think it works - increase the costs and the program looks worse.

Lloyd said...

Gadfly,

Used values on turbine aircraft always take into consideration the engine hours remaining before overhaul. You will pay in your sales price, or to Pratt. Your choice.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Lloyd,
Thank you for the info regarding Al Mann (a.k.a. Deep Pockets, ala Deep Throat?)

Came across this press release from Eclipse- undated, but appears to be around 2001:

Eclipse's board of directors includes Harold "Red" Poling, a retired chairman of Ford Motor Co.; Williams International CEO Dr. Sam Williams; Northrop Grumman CEO Kent Kresa; and Al Mann, chairman and CEO of MiniMed, a medical technology firm.

Guess they don't send Christmas cards to Sam anymore.

Since Al Mann is on the BoD, I guess he wants to stay close to where his money is; concievably the same thing for fellow BoD member Brandon Jones.

I wonder about the other two BoD guys, Harold A. Poling (FoMoCo) and Kent Kresa (Northrop)- is Vern courting the same investors that Ford and Northrop had?

From the same press release:
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewarticle&id=27&Itemid=347

"Raburn says he can stay in business producing fewer than 200 aircraft per year, but predicts stronger demand considering the number of aging piston and turboprop aircraft of similar price that change hands each year. Eclipse is targeting Raytheon Bonanza owners, including cabin-class piston twin and turboprop loyalists".

GOAT:
So, where did this air taxi stuff come from? I had assumed it was part of the formula from day one.

It's refreshing to see Vern had a spot-on target, at least back then. (when the engines were reputed to cost around $50K each, and go 7500 hr TBO).

I don't know that the Williams engine was intrinsically unworkable; perhaps if Vern had given Williams more time, it would have viable. But the cost, tbo, weight, and efficiency numbers probably never would have been met, so Eclipse went with P&W.

But, going with the P&W motors, with the added cost and weight forced a repositioning in the market, away from the Bonanza guys to a sort of market void area, with performance above the piston twins, and cost below the turbine twins (and singles). This would seem to be potentially an explosive market segment, (although, in GA, "explosive" is a few hundred per year).

It is interesting to note, that the single engine VLJ's, with one large engine, instead of two small engines, seem to be going after just the market Vern had originally invisioned.

Anyway, then this air taxi stuff comes along- does anyone know from where?

I'm not accusing Vern of "creating" this market, but it would be interesting to know where it came from, the "who, what, when, why" of this scheme, from apparently the 2000-2002 timeframe.

Perhaps perpetrated / fabricated / promoted by the FAA or NASA?, or some industry survey?

(same link as above, in pieces);
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/
index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=
viewarticle&id=27&Itemid=347

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly said "Are we talking about a car? . . . or a plane? . . . confusing some times!

Look, up in the air, it's "Super-Vern" !!!

:)

bill e. goat said...

Regarding operating costs, FWIW, the Adam website says around $1/seat-mile.

www.adamaircraft.com/AirTaxiCosts.asp

airtaximan said...

goat:

like I've been saying... it went like this:

1- start business to produce jet powered bonanza replacement in 1998

2- begin selling in 2000

3- recognize there's not enough sales from owner-pilots to justify low cost (even today after all this time, money and "progress" they have only sold around 600-800 aircraft to the owner-pilot market..imagine how sparse it was back then.

4- begin looking for other markets for the plane....passenger service = 600,000,000 million trips a year in the US - Hmm...lets begin looking at this market, and sell the plane to provide a "new" service... air taxi.

NOTE: the added benefits of the "new" air taxi market... its revolutionary and disruptive, so no one can predict the market size, except that its big. Impossible to refute, becasue its new. This is a big advantage when you are promising low cost because of high rate -the inability to refute the new market requiring many low cost jets.

That's not what they want you to think, and that's not how they tell the story, but it SI what happend if you piece things together as you are now doing.

The "new" air taxi market was invented to justify what Vern was doing. The airplane was not invensted to satisfy this market need.

Its obvious.

bill e. goat said...

Hi ATM,
I got to thinking about the Ecipse market shift timing, sometime between 2000-2002. Looking up Dayjet's history tab on their web page:

"DayJet™ Corporation was co-founded by Ed and Nancy Iacobucci in 2002 (under the research & development codename Jetson Systems) to fill a market void for commercial-scale, on-demand air transportation.

"In 1999, while serving as chairman of publicly traded Citrix Systems (which he co-founded a decade earlier), Ed and Nancy purchased a Bombardier Learjet 60 aircraft to help meet Ed's heavy job-related travel demands, while maintaining their personal commitments. Since then, things have never been quite the same.

"After retiring from Citrix Systems in 2000, Ed quickly turned their first aircraft into a business passion by making it available to a traditional on-demand operator for charter through Wingedfoot Services LLC, a company they co-founded. It is here they experienced first-hand the significant value and pent-up demand for on-demand jet services as well as the systemic scale and cost limitations inherent in the traditional air taxi business model.

"In 2001, Ed and Nancy reconnected with business acquaintance Vern Raburn, a former Microsoft executive and founder of Eclipse Aviation Corporation. They liked Vern's vision for mass producing operationally efficient and affordable aircraft, or what Vern calls the "Model T" of aviation.

"The company quickly assembled a highly skilled team of specialists to study, model and implement real-time aviation systems. They recognized the landscape of air transportation could be transformed by combining a more operationally efficient aircraft platform with system software designed specifically to operate a large-scale "Per-Seat, On-Demand" service.

"In January 2002, DayJet was formed with the mission of bringing affordable and accessible "Per-Seat, On-Demand" jet travel to a market ready for a new option in regional business travel.

"In July 2002, DayJet Corporation signed a significant long-term agreement with Eclipse Aviation for the purchase of Eclipse 500 jets. The first 24 months of the five-year agreement includes firm orders for 239 Eclipse 500 jets and options to purchase 70 additional aircraft. Deliveries will begin after the Eclipse 500 receives FAA Part 135 certification. The Eclipse aircraft represents the necessary "hardware" for DayJet's software solution to make affordable, on-demand jet travel a commercial reality.

"For the past five years, DayJet has been engaged in pioneering research in a new field of logistics to real-time optimization. During the same period, the company has been implementing these logistics breakthroughs in an operational infrastructure necessary to run a large-scale on-demand jet service on a "per-seat" basis without publishing schedules — something often promised but never realized in commercial aviation.

"DayJet's real-time operations system has been tested for more than a year, running thousands of simulated flights, and will be ready for operation when the first aircraft roll off Eclipse's production line.

GOAT:
So, instead of Vern taking folks to the cleaners, it seems maybe Vern was the one who got taken ...?

Jim said...

A second Oshkosh memory has come to mind.

In the year when the Eclipse was announced I went to the Burt Rutan and John Roncz 'tent talk'. Roncz is of course the well known autodidact aerodynamicist.

Asked about the Eclipse, Mr. Roncz said words to the effect "The Williams engine is pretty small for that application, on one engine it will have almost the performance of a Cessna 150 on a hot day". The curious person could probably find this presentation in the EAA audio archives.

A couple of years latter, after the engine change had been announced, I happened to see Mr. Roncz sitting at one of the picnic tables. I approached him, introduced myself, and asked him how he had known that the Williams engine was unsuitable for the Eclipse application so early on.

He reacted with surprising passion. His words were along the line of "I made the calculations! I explained it all to them! They didn't believe me!"

I found that an interesting conversation.

gadfly said...

Goat

“Look, up in the air, it's "Super-Vern" !!!”

Vern, in “tights” with a cape? . . . flying over Albuquerque?

Now that’s scary! I hope they go IFR real soon . . . the public is not ready for that kind of VFR.

gadfly

EclipseOwner387 said...

I am hearing through the grapevine that Eclipse is quietly delivering more jets with coa's. Also, I have heard PC is near.

FWIW

bill e. goat said...

Hi Jim,

I wonder if anyone has sat down with Vern and had a similar financial conversation.

"I made the calculations! I explained it all to them! They didn't believe me!"

:)

Seriously, for all involved, let's hope the new business plan works out as well as the new engines.

I think Vern could reassure everyone if he came clean on performance, cost, schedule.

Unless he realizes he was taken to the cleaners already.

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,
At least Night VFR!!!

(perhaps aided by a full moon)

Look, up in the sky!
It's absurd (No, I mean a bird),
It's a plane,
NO, it's a MOONBAT!!!

gadfly said...

Goat

'Barking good show! Who's your writer? Pay him a bonus!

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,
In the Eclipse soap opera, no writing or script necessary, sort of like reality TV

(or is that Un-reality TV? :)

Things just sort of naturally happen

(Well, for those waitiing 5+ years, let's just say, "eventually happen" :)

airtaximan said...

EO,

this would be terrific news.
Why no press?

Usually bi to-do about ay little progress...

You said the same thing a few days ago, right?

Where's the announcement? What's up?

Are they afraid to let everyone know?

bill e. goat said...

Hmmmm,
No writing or script required.
But maybe a business plan would have been nice...
:)

EclipseOwner387 said...

AIRJORDAN,

I am guessing they are going to send out an update at end of the month with progress report similar to what they did last month. Just a guess.

airtaximan said...

EO387,

makes snese...

I guess you are getting closer to your delivery!

This is good news.

How many planes do you think have been delivered? Will we see any of them flying? I'm not being sarcstc, just curious. I keep asking if anyone has seen any of them flying, and no one replies "yes"...

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
I don't think you are going to see any until there are some grads from the training program.

EO387,
Any speculation on how many grads there will be by the end of 2007Q2 (I'd guess it is possible there could be a few dozen, but doubt actual no.'s will be that high, and airplanes will probably be around 15 or so?)

EclipseOwner387 said...

I have sold position 387 and have signed a deal to purchase an early delivery. If all goes as planned I could see a delivery in May or June (it is currently on the assembly line.) Until I get the deal 100% done I am not going to reveal the SN.

I have no "real" guess at numbers to be delivered by end of q2. Wild guess would be between 35-40.

JetProp Jockey said...

Back to the AirTaxi discussion. According to the plan, DayJet will have 239 aircraft during the next two years. If it takes 5 pilots to fly the trips that their model says they have demand for, there is a need for about 5 x 200 (39 grounded for maintenance at any time) or 1000 pilots qualified to meet part 135 and DayJet requirements. I would assume that the PIC will need to have over 1000 hours and an ATP.

How many such pilots are the in the USA right now? What % of the total will need to be hired away by DayJet and how many are currently not at the needed level but will be within the next 2 years.

Last time I checked, supply and demand still works in the US, and if the demand for these qualified pilots exceeds demand, the price will go up fast. It's alot easier to spread the $100,000 salary of a Senior 474 pilot over the hundreds of passangers on each flight than to absorb it over the average of 2 passangers on a DayJet flight.

The number of employeed and unemployed qualified pilots must be around somewhere on the internet - anyone know where?

bill e. goat said...

Thanks EO387,
Oops, make that EX387.
Good luck on the move up, hope you are flying it by July!

EclipseOwner387 said...

JPJ,

Funny you mention that. I was talking to someone today that had placed a posting for Eclipse pilots on the internet and DOZENS of high time (6000+ hours) resumes flooded his inbox in a matter of hours. I think we still have a host of pilots available. In my own quest for a persoanl pilot I was able to hire a C130 captain aged mid-30's with approximately 2000 TT. It took me about 2 weeks and it was a word of mouth recruitment.

sparky said...

Any word on the Pitot heat problem?

sparky said...

Goat,

Did a little research on the origins of the air taxi market, Kinda' hard to pin down as there wasn't any one moment or entity that this can be attributed to.

Seems that from 2000-2005 a Joint study between NASA, the FAA and and Virginia Tech. called SATS (Small Aircraft Transportation System) was performed in order to aleviate the burden on the Air Traffic Control system.

What's really interesting about the study is that only the FAA and NASA see the air taxi as a viable business(figures, they're not accostomed to turning a profit). Virginia Tech. stated that unless per seat costs could get down to about 50-75 cents per seat mile, the concept doesn't work.

I'm working on a post now that covers this more in-depth, but it going to take some time. Should have it tomorrow afternoon.

gadfly said...

Lloyd

Earlier you spoke of the “hour meter” reading on engine time, implying an indication of what it will cost for an overhaul. But I venture the people that fly small jets for a few tens of thousands of dollars each year have the same tendencies as those that drive taxicabs for a living. They just might not care about treating the engines with respect . . . since they are not the owner. And even owners are not all that careful. So, “actual time” on an engine is not a reliable indication of “what’s inside”. If major components must be replaced, rather than just “cleaning them up”, overhauls are not all created equal.

Since I make my living fabricating “perishable tooling” for the largest manufacturer of jet engines in the world, I would caution anyone about buying aircraft with “high hours” on the meter. All those little parts in there come at a very high price. . It doesn’t take very many to make a big difference in keeping an engine “healthy”.

Of course, for “me”, the more abuse, the more I make on tooling to make replacement engines. But that’s not the best for all of us in the long run. These are not Lycoming’s or Continental’s. (Don’t worry . . . the engines that use our tooling are the “big babies” . . . nothing related to Eclipse by light-years.)

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

EX387,

Would you care to share your decision making process for moving forward in the grand scheme of things?

I am genuinely curious why you would elect to move forward and if you don't mind, share how the overall transaction worked out for you re: premiums for the early position or for your later position.

Thanks in advance if you agree to share.

JetProp Jockey said...

Relative to EX387, if it were me, I would rather be hold hold the title to an aircraft the still needs upgrades than have a 60% depositor as an unsecured creditor if the plug gets pulled.

The big question at that point is what would the aircraft be worth in a post bankruptcy world and will you need to pay for the upgrades to get full performance.