Tuesday, April 24, 2007


GIT- R-DONE

No it's not the voice of Larry The Cable Guy trolling for laughs, it's the voice of higher ups with offices at 800 Independence Ave, S.W., Washington, D.C., and it's not so funny. In fact it is quite serious.

Remember the Provisional Type Certificate Marion Blakey presented Vern at Oshkosh, the one where she proclaimed, "What I have in my hand is probably the most significant piece of paper in America today, a piece of paper that will truly change the face of aviation."

It was presented by Executive Order!

Looking back, nobody tried to keep it a secret, Vern admitted there were IOU's to the FAA. Recently though I have learned from one source, the piece of paper was an "Executive Type Certificate" another source called it a "V.I.P. Type Certificate" and while I am not sure what was written on the actual piece of paper, the point is, the award came from the top down.

According to what I have learned, the Administrator has the authority to make such an award though it is seldom used. Ok, it was a legal tactic and may have been needed to trigger the release of the $225 million in pre-IPO convertible debt funding arranged through UBS Investment Bank.

Who cares?

Sources say, the GIT-R-DONE policy remains in place. Washington has put pressure on the field offices to use whatever manpower necessary, work as much overtime as possible, delay requests to support other companies needing FAA support, do what it takes but finish the process in ABQ.

Look at some other key dates where the FAA was involved:

- Award of Type Certificate, September 30, 2006, end of 3Q.

- First customer delivery, December 30, 2006, end of year.

- Issuance of three C of A's to support Day Jet Deliveries, March 31, 2007, end of 1Q.

Are all of these end-of-term dates coincident?

Will the next end-of-term event be the PC, like perhaps by the end of this month? Sources say Washington has a finger in the PC pie as well.

Remember the C of A's for DayJet? Here is what was reported to me verbatim, except I have blanked a specific name and title:

".... the FAA ASI's Inspecting the planes were finding a large number of problems- mostly workmanship issues, when they were looking inside. After several delays, Washington sent in the (title blanked) of Aircraft Certification Service, (name blanked), to take over, and (name) kicked the FAA San Antonio MIDO ASI's out, and signed an agreement with Eclipse that the FAA ASI's would no longer look inside panels or floorboards."

Where is the pressure coming from, Vern's rich and powerful friends, the New Mexico congressional delegation, the governors office, a symbiotic relationship with the FAA to bolster their desire to add user fees?

The end of the story has yet to be written, but suffice to say, FAA's rank and file workers in all the ACO and MIDO offices across the country are aware of the situation and are not happy with Washington's involvement?

54 comments:

airtaximan said...

Stan:

Why?

Lloyd said...

Stan,

You need to substantiate and back up your sources. Sounds very made up to me.

Lloyd

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Sky Is Falling, also known as Chicken Little, Chicken Licken or Henny Penny is an old fable of unknown origin about a chicken who believes the sky is falling. The phrase has also become used to indicate a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.

KAD1 (aka CAD1)

Niner Zulu said...

Stan,
If true, this is pretty serious stuff.
After following this blog for the past 6 months or so, I have little doubt that your source for this information is reliable. It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds over the coming months. This is the kind of meaty reporting this blog needs. Way to go!

Gunner said...

Anyone who believes that the Eclipse Saga is the story of traditional aviation success needs to get a history book. What is going on in ABQ absolutely reeks to the heavens.

If what we're seeing is an FAA going the way of other federal agencies: decisions dictated by political expediency and Big Money interests, it'll be the saddest day in aviation history in my lifetime.

And, yet, there doesn't seem to be any better explanation for the passes that Eclipse has received; the coincidental milestones each day at quarter end; the transfers of aircraft without FAA database reflection; or the continued backward movement of jet capability coincident with continued forward movement of "delivery".

As a pilot and aircraft owner, this is not a pretty sight.
Gunner

Frank Castle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
airtaximan said...

9er,

It's going to take some time for the die-hards to form a rebuttal.

I suspect at least one "new" name from e-clips will be showing up for a few posts. It's amazing how this occurs at just the right time.


I'm hearing rumblings about an IPO right now on Wall street, which explains the timely "push" by the FAA, recently. Deliveries will make all the difference for a successful new round of blood.

I can't wait ntil there are calls for Satn to stop drinking. Accusations of "e-clips-hating"...perhaps even a retropective on Hitler, again.

I personally have monitored the situation and believe there's been underhanded dealings from higher ups pushing the FAA. The industry is fairly small, and so, anyone involved has probably heard this.

If there is an investigation, I wonder how much pressure there could be to close it down - the investigation, I mean?

With the recent fiasco regarding the US attorneys... no one knows what looms in Washington anymore.

I think some ABQ politicians have a lot at state with E-clips... perhaps they are protecting their investment>

Same goes for the govenment initiatives regarding SATS etc..

Then there's the FAA push for GA user fees?

Maybe things we cannot even imagine, like a politician...

Well, I personally believe the IOUs and recent disclosure of issues regarding pitot, avionics, etc...are very, very telling. None of this is new, just perhaps a condition of receiving some "certification" or "CofA"...when they should not have been given.

exciting times, unless you have to fly one... not a big risk, lately though.

Makes you think a little more regarding why United quit?

mirage00 said...

Stan, if I were you, I would crawl back in my hole. Is this why you asked me to stick around? Pathetic!!!!

mirage00 said...

This is the kind of meaty reporting this blog needs. Way to go!

Oh yeah, brilliant stuff. This is Watergate all over again.

mirage00 said...

Ok I just can't stop laughing.

Let me get this straight... Vern has goverment officials in his back pocket who in turn are forcing airplanes through the certification process while all along knowing they are unsafe for flight. Stan, did I get this right?

Oh, now this is rich.

Frank Castle, your an a$$.

thebigriper said...

castle is an ass. no soup for you!!

bill e. goat said...

Really now, does anyone know how many manhours the FAA has expended (so far) at Eclipse?

How many people, how many trips, how many months, how many Saturdays and Sundays, how many long days?

(This ISN'T being done for the taxpayers).

Can anyone comment on the same thing for Cessna?

Did Cessna get a provisional TC?

Does Cessna have plans to gut and replace the avionics in the Mustang?

Has the Mustang had conducted structural testing?

Has the head of the FAA had a photo op session with Cessna lately?

Regarding the FAA, a regulatory agency, has Cessna "been treating the FAA as our partner...instead of as our adversary * "?

Frank, you silly silly boy :)

* ok, old quote- Sept 12, 2000- more separately).

bill e. goat said...

As I prepared to post this, it occurred to me that this was almost exactly one year, before 9/11. Before the dot.com bust. Before Iraq-2. Sort of sobering to reflect that far back, sure doesn't seem like that long ago...

Anyway, (especially after the above reflection), I'm posting the following "Reader's Digest" version, not in a mean-spirited fashion (despite some poke's here and there), but rather for contemplation.

It was a nice interview (I encourage all to read it in the entirety), I think Vern was being honest and optimistic. I think we can all relate, to some degree, on how things don't always quite turn out as we expect- at least not as quickly and easily as hoped for.

(I have to admit, my original intent was less generous, but after all we've been through as a nation and a people, and to a much lesser degree as an industry, I reckon it is worth some quiet reflection (and fun) to consider how our lives and time pass along...)

From an AOPA Pilot interview, Sept 12, 2000.
http://www.aopa.org/pilot/features/eclipse_qna.html

#1)----------
AOPA:
There has been talk of a "paradigm shift"

Raburn:
This "air limo" concept is just one of the numerous new uses the Eclipse 500 will make possible...

Goat:
Guess the air taxi thing was being kicked around back then...

#2)----------
AOPA:
NASA recently lost its funding for the SATS (Small Aircraft Transportation System), for which the Eclipse appears ideally suited. If this funding is not restored, how would SATS's downsizing-or demise-affect Eclipse?

Raburn:
...could affect a program like Eclipse by possibly resulting in the decreased speed to implementation of some of the advanced technology that would be implemented in years after 2007/2008...But it would fundamentally not change the benefits and value of the Eclipse 500.

Goat:
I think Sparky was going to post some SATS history stuff?

#3)----------
AOPA:
When do you expect to have a conforming prototype or a flying prototype of any kind?

Raburn:
The Eclipse development program is unlike other GA development programs....We are not building a proof-of-concept or prototype aircraft. Instead, we are using advanced computational techniques and tools to design, develop, and test the aircraft before first flight...Thus, the first flight in June 2002 will be with a fully conforming preproduction aircraft...

First flight will be in June 2002. The flight test program will entail multiple aircraft, will involve thousands of hours of fleet hours, and will culminate in FAA certification in June 2003 followed by first customer delivery in August 2003.

Goat:
Heady times back then...

#4)----------
AOPA:
We were told the actual price will keep pace with inflation. So assuming that recent inflation trends continue, by the time the actual aircraft is built, it will cost about $1.7 million? Why announce artificially low prices now? Why not just wait?

Raburn:
There's a big error in your arithmetic. The actual level of inflation from 1991 through Q2 2000 has been 2.75 percent per year. That means that if the current rate of inflation continues, our list price would be the following:
2003 - $ 908 K
2004 - $ 933 K
2005 - $ 959 K
2006 - $ 985 K
2007 - $ 1012 K
2008 - $ 1040 K
2009 - $ 1069 K
Using the 2.75 percent rate it will be 2026 before your suggested price of $1.7 million occurs. Even using the last 90-day inflation rate of 3.1 percent (U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, September 15, 2000, Report of CPI-U Change) your $1.7 million would not be reached before 2023!

Goat:
Time flies when you're having fun! (ah, even if the E-500 doesn't -ha).

#5)----------
AOPA:
What marketing efforts are planned? For example, VisionAire sponsored NASCAR races.

Raburn:
As we near certification we will expand the reach of our marketing efforts to markets broader than traditional GA.

Goat:
Did I hear WSJ, maybe Forbes?

#6)----------
AOPA:
Has a scale model of the jet been used in wind tunnel tests? If so, what have the tests revealed?

Raburn:
At present we have more than 1,700 data runs collected in nearly 1,000 hours of wind tunnel testing. All of this data has been programmed into our engineering flight simulator and we are doing development flight-testing now.

Goat:
Tower to Vern, "You are cleared to join Moonbat formation over ABQ!"

(This is NOT flight test, and not even wind tunnel test: it is a simulated wind tunnel test; a simulation of a simulation).

#7)----------
AOPA:
What are you doing with customer deposits and how many have you received?

Raburn:
We are holding the customer deposits in an independent escrow account. Our board has decided not to use deposits for development purposes.

Through our Internet auction sales program, these individuals will have an opportunity to purchase an early delivery position aircraft without making any of the deposits or commitments currently required.

As a policy, we are not disclosing the number of deposits we have collected. This is primarily due to the lack of an industry standard about what constitutes an order.

Goat:
Hmmm, even back then, what does "an order" mean...(Vern makes some good points though).

#8)----------
AOPA:
Are you contracting with an outside company to provide this training?

Raburn:
We are exploring several business approaches to training, including contracting with one of the established training firms, creating a joint venture with those firms, or establishing an "Eclipse Flight Academy" on our own. A decision on which approach to use will be made in late-2001.

Goat:
Excuse me, was this late-2001 or late-2007? :0

#9)----------
AOPA:
Why the big public relations campaign before you even have a flying airplane while potential competitors are remaining relatively low-key?

Raburn:
I'm not sure what you mean by "big" public relations campaign. The total number of press releases we have issued can be counted on two hands.

We ARE committed to open and regular communication about our progress...

Goat:
Well, some "production numbers" are sure up :)

And their old website with timeline/progress was really interesting. It would be nice if there were a similar feature showing deliveries, each sn build status, cummulative flight hours, and "high time" flight hours...

#10)----------
AOPA:
Have you studied other aircraft manufacturers to pinpoint what they may have done right or wrong?

Raburn:
Extensively. The primary causes of failure fall into one of three categories.

1.Undercapitalization/unrealisticly low budgets...

2.Poor execution: The development of a new aircraft requires extensive and competent management...

3.Minimal product innovation.

Goat:
I think 4) unrealistic schedules should be in there...

#11)----------
AOPA:
What sort of ice protection do you plan to offer on the Eclipse?

Raburn:
The engine inlet will use bleed air heat for anti-icing protection. The wing and tail will use new generation pneumatic deicing boots. The windshield and all probes (pilot, TAT, static, AOA/stall) will be electric deice.

Goat:
Guess those are "disruptive technology" pneumatic boots and pitot probes :)

#12)----------
AOPA:
Describe your work to date with the FAA regarding certification. How can you be so confident that you can obtain your certification on such an ambitious schedule, when other manufacturers-even established airframe manufacturers-often encounter certification delays of months or even years?

Raburn:
Although we cannot guarantee our certification schedule, because of our partnership approach with the FAA we believe that the number of "surprises" that typically affect the certification schedules of other manufactures will be minimal.

Goat:
I think the surprise is the FAA isn't going to design the airplane for you.

They might "partner" in granting the X2-Skycycle an "experimental" ticket for development work, but that doesn't mean they will certificate the same thing if it doesn't meet regs.

#13)----------
AOPA:
Will Eclipse be designed for RVSM approval, or will it be easy to obtain later?

Raburn:
The Eclipse avionics CNS suite is architected to be easily upgraded to capabilities such as RVSM. But full details of the CNS suite will not be disclosed until next year.

Goat:
Oops- is that "next year" 2002, or 2008 :)

#14)----------
AOPA:
Would you recognize that this project is a gamble?

Raburn:
We expect to richly reward our investors and customers for supporting our ambitious undertaking.

Goat:
As Vern said (in #4),
"There's a big error in your arithmetic". :)

Good things come to those who wait.

Sometimes.

I think this will be one of those sometimes, sometime. Soon?

EclipseBlogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ExEclipser said...

As a former Eclipser, I can assure you that this is the worst post I've seen Stan come up with - and disappointingly his first after the elated news regarding deliveries the other day.

If the FAA were seriously that much involved in Eclipse's future, then they would have had Full TC, Full PC and first delivery by July 31st of last year.

I know from first hand experience that the end-of-quarter goals are company set - not government set. What incentive does the government have in setting term goals? These goals are set by the company and employees work their hind quarters off to help the company make their goal.

When Marion Blakely gave the provisional TC (I've seen the paper and it's just a typical provisional TC just like the one the Mustang and Adam got) on just about the last day of Oshkosh last year. Vern wanted it on the first day. Even sending all the employees up there was delayed a day so we could get the work done that was required.

Stan, it's like you can't stand to see an Eclipse get delivered. I've been lurking here for over a year and laughed at much of your misinformation, but this one prompted me to have to reply.

As for the friction stir welding process? Sheesh - people are beginning to BOND metal parts and I don't hear reaction about that. I'd much prefer a weld over glue.

Stan Blankenship said...

The Git-R-Done posts deals with two separate issues. The Provisional TC and the recent C of A's.

According to what I have been told, circumstances surrounding the first event are being investigated by the Office of Inspector General.

The second event is very recent. How it plays out remains to be seen.

Obviously, legitimate news organizations with more resources than this blog need to look into both situations.

Stan Blankenship said...

Frank's inappropriate comment was removed.

Eclipseblogger repeated it twice and so his comment was removed as well.

EB did offer the following:

Stan, you've hit an all time low. You actually think presidential candidates would want to get involved in the dirt you claim. As you have said, this is a small aviation community. These accusations couldn't stay hidden for long without leaking to the REAL press. Go back to your soap operas.

Stan Blankenship said...

BTW, I do understand the strong reactions to this post. I have been privy to this information for several days and it has caused me some sleepless nights.

EclipseBlogger said...

I have to say that I disagree with the removal of Uncle Frankie's posts. Everyone here should know where this guy is coming from, and how to interpret his past posts, and future posts. He claims to be a Cessna executive/manager. That doesn't speak very well of Cessna.

airtaximan said...

EB,

I do not agree that it should be left up here.

It was a hateful and disgusting remark. Shameful. Really terrible.

I would not ascribe those remarks to Cessna... they were made by an individual who works there, not even in management, not speaking on behalf of the company. I'm sure he would be fired if those remarks were made in any official capacity.

That said, I do not believe that anyone here feels the same way as FC... no one has ever posted anything like that before.

EclipseBlogger said...

AirJordan, I agree with you regarding Cessna. Cessna is an honorable organization, and I have a lot of respect for all those that I have dealt with in the past, and present. But, Mr Castle's posts should now be taken in context of those remarks. It's quite clear that his intentions are to do harm.

AlexA said...

At one time this Blog served to raise legitimate questions as to progress and technical difficulties that Eclipse was experiencing. It certainly appears that Eclipse is overcoming problems one at a time, albeit slowly. Issues are being resolved, pilots are getting trained. Heck they have even managed to deliver a few aircrafts in the last few weeks. Vern has to be laughing at how low the blog has sunk. Stan did Vern slip some Kool-Aid in your supply?

Niner Zulu said...

Alexa,

If Eclipse is overcoming problems one by one, albeit slowly, then that is great news. The problem is that Eclipse has been slow to acknowledge that there ARE so many problems that have to be overcome. Instead of focusing on delivering functional aircraft, they have been staging one PR stunt after another like the "provisional type certificate" and delivery #1 - for the sole purpose of separating position holders from additional deposit money.

As far as this blog sinking to a "new low", if Stan has information that he believes is important and he wants to mention it, I'm sure there are a lot of people that would like to hear about it whether it is confirmed information or not. I know I would. We're all big boys - we can make up our own minds. No one is selling anything here - it's just a place to meet and discuss.

Where else can you find any balance to the paid PR hype coming from Eclipse? Certainly not in the mainstream media because they are on the Eclipse advertising payroll.

I don't think Vern is laughing at all. My guess is he reads this blog from time to time and has taken at least a little of what he had read here to heart. That can't help but be a good thing.

EclipseBlogger said...

9Z said... Where else can you find any balance to the paid PR hype coming from Eclipse? Certainly not in the mainstream media because they are on the Eclipse advertising payroll.

My God! The Great and Powerful Wizard of Vern. He's able to influence the FAA, government officials, Presidential candidates, depositors, investors, Wall Street, and the mainstream media. Thank God for this blog to keep us all safe and warm.

With all the paranoia on this blog, it wouldn't surprise me to see someone go "postal" or "VA Tech" and blame it on the influence of Eclipse.

EclipseBlogger said...

9Z said... I don't think Vern is laughing at all. My guess is he reads this blog from time to time and has taken at least a little of what he had read here to heart. That can't help but be a good thing.

Don't flatter yourself. Considering the amount of time it takes me to keep up with this blog, I doubt Vern reads it at all. I think he's got better things to do. Perhaps he has someone report back to him though.

AlexA said...

I just spoke to some of my very good sources at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue and got the following info: Stan’s work at Lear was directly responsible for 3 deaths due to inflight breakups. Stan is receiving $12,000 a month from Cessna to damage Eclipse. There is a report that Gadfly had a sexual affair within the bowels of a submarine. Ken Meyer is actually Vern’s son. Airtaximan is the CEO of American Airlines and would like to see air taxi fail. Frank Castle is a professional that has inside information on Eclipse and knows everything going on. Eclipseowner387 is a car salesman that is afraid of flying.

Come on guys in the age of Blogs is too easy to trash someone without facts. Thanks to this Blog I was able to ask tough questions when I visited ABQ. Yesterday, the insinuation was that Vern was gone; today he has the FAA in the back pocket. There are over a 1000 human beings working at Eclipse that deserve better. Try to stick with the facts.

cherokee driver said...

execlipser

All Eclipse ex-employees are supposed to be disgruntled :)

You said: "As for the friction stir welding process? Sheesh - people are beginning to BOND metal parts and I don't hear reaction about that. I'd much prefer a weld over glue."

You may not be aware that aircraft companies have been bonding aluminum parts for years with great success. I wouldn't be surprised if Eclipse "glued" some of their aluminum parts together. Are you familiar with the American, Grumman, Tiger AA-1 and AA-5 series aircraft? They recieved their type certificate in 1967 with bonded wings and fuselage.

One advantage of bonding over welding is you don't modify the molecular structure of the aluminum. With welding, you will have a heat affected zone next to the weld. Have you ever seen a welded structure fail? You don't usually get a break in the weld itself. It is usually right next to the weld. On aluminum, a weld anneals the base metal. If the part is structural, it will require post weld heat treatment to achieve the original strength. Aluminum melts at around 1200 deg. , heat treats at around 900 deg., anneals around 800 deg. The farther away from the weld, the lower the temperature. I'm not sure of the temperature of Friction Stir Welding but from what I've read it is above heat treat temperature and below melting temperature. It is impossible to heat treat the fuselage after welding. Put the welds in the pressure vessel and cycle to 8 psi for a few years and who knows what will happen.

I personally don't have a lot of faith in welded aluminum structures unless the parts have an excessive safety margin (too heavy for aircraft). I think it would be wise to do some fatigue testing. Static testing isn't good enough.

This is from Wikopedia, Friction Stir Welding:

The 'heat affected zone' (HAZ) is common to all welding processes. As indicated by the name, this region is subjected to a thermal cycle but is not deformed during welding. The temperatures are lower than those in the TMAZ but may still have a significant effect if the microstructure is thermally unstable. In fact, in age-hardened aluminium alloys this region commonly exhibits the poorest mechanical properties.

AlexA said...

Cherokee Driver

Your post brings up interesting questions on Friction Stir Welding. Quick research indicates that Eclipse is not the only aviation company utilizing the process. Here is a 2005 link to Airbus (A340):
http://www.aluminum.org/Template.cfm?Section=Home&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=8921

Boeing, Nasa and even Mazda are using the process. I guess only time will tell but there are certainly a number of major players that believe in the process.

Niner Zulu said...

Eclipseblogger,

My point was that none of the mainstream flying media (i.e. Flying, Plane & Pilot, etc.) ever challenge the hype coming from Eclipse. Why do you suppose that is? I don't think I'm going out on a limb to suggest that maybe advertising dollars have something to do with it.

Also, what point are you trying to make by saying "don't flatter yourself"? I was simply responding to what Alexa said about Vern laughing at "how low" this blog has sunk. I suppose Alexa's comment might also imply that Vern reads this blog, yet I noticed you didn't make a rude comment about him because his opinions agree with your own. And FYI, I didn't say or suggest that Vern reads every blog entry posted here.

On the other hand, you said "I doubt Vern reads it at all" (referring to this blogsite). Well, if you're right, then Vern is pretty foolish because many of his customers, his former customers and his competitors obviously DO read it.

In the future, please don't lash out at me - I'm not your enemy. I'm not the one trying to dupe you into depositing hundreds of thousands of non-refundable dollars waiting on a jet that you may not get.

airtaximan said...

Alexa:

nice of you to show up here last week, and confirm that all is well and good at E-clips. Every few weeks, someone new from e-clips shows up here, with the same attitude you have.

when you say: "Vern has to be laughing at how low the blog has sunk."

I sincerely doubt he cares about this blog. Perhaps he takes solice in this, but something tells me he does not care what any critic says about him, his plane or his business...even his character. It would be outside his personality to care... or he would care more about the truth, being open, and taking responsibility.

I would remind you that this blog has successfully predicted many things prior to disclosure from E-clips. MANY.

Sorry if you do not agree with "the other side" of the story.

Nothing (except FCs post) on this blog comes close to the disgusting record of failure, misguidance and dishonesty we've seen from ABQ since 1998.

I believe our goal is to uncover the truth.

I suspect that soon enough there will be an indication of an investigation regarding the CofAs and TC-IOUs...

This has been a pattern for a long time alredy on this blog...all of it received the kinds of remarks you are making as a rebutt.

It's almost always been wrong.

Keep reading and enjoy the show. Its going to get a lot better, before this blog is closed down.

As for your comments regarding Vern laughing - like I said, I doubt he's laughing about anything.

He has major problems to deal with, and this blog is not really one of them.

airtaximan said...

alexa:

I thought Vern had a patent on FSW?
This is what he has said...

Plastic_Planes said...

ATM said:

I thought Vern had a patent on FSW?

TWI (The Welding Institute) in Cambridge England holds the patent to the FSW process. EAC pays a royalty fee (~$150k) annually to allow the use of the technology.

airtaximan said...

9erZ:


look back a year and notice the same pattern...

some BS from E-clips...something brought up as a concern on this blog...then the insults and personal attacks begin.

Its understandable.
Its not smart or right, but we can sympathize a bit.

Most of the e-bloggers have money invested. They are "die-hards" according to Vern. They bought in many years ago at half the price and greater performance - -there are emotional, ego and financial issues at stake for them.

For us, its just an "interest", a passion... we really have nothing to lose.

I personally have been accused of posting my opinion because I am concerned for my job - someohoe it will be replaced by Dayjet. I do not think this is a real concern for me. I identify with the following, as example:

When the elevator was invented,many folks predicted the end of stairs. But the reality was, there are more stairs today than ever before.

If Dayjet is successful, I believe the appreciation for the benefits of private air travel (charter) will be more pervasive, and therefore increase my market. I guess my fear could be described as follows...

- if Dayjet alienates folks because the planes are too small, the prices are too high or the service is not reliable... which I suspect could be the case...or even, if the planes are unsafe... more folks will be alienated from a potential charter/air taxi business. Also, the fear of dayjets blackening the skies has already had the bad result of looming user-fees... something we might all have to live with even after they are long gone.

I do not see a safety culture or customer service culture at Dayjet...or e-clips for that matter. I think the BS regarding this cracking plane, being designed for high cycle air taxi use, is a crock. This results in a tainted market and potential safety issues.

Perhaps that's my concern.

9erZ... you'll see a lot of personal accusations and insults before the die-hards realize you are in fact trying to help.

Denial is a wonderful thing - they've all taken a real gamble with e-clips - this is their character..they are not risk averse...and perhaps this personality trait colors their emotions and decisions.

Type a
Die-hard

like I said, its understandable they will make this personal, becasue for them.. IT IS.

airtaximan said...

PPLanes,

so how come all these other folks are using it?

1- I bet the answer is either:
-non-exclusive arrangement with the institute...NOT described as such by E-clips...again misleading

2- their patent (licensed to eclips, described as "our patented FSW") is different and not really of much value if all these other folks are using another FSW process successfully...

any ideas?

airtaximan said...

Alexa:

nice one on your Pennsylvania avenue post..

careful though...there are a few guys here who will spoof you to shame in a second..

your spoof is amateur hour compared with theirs...I'm sure you'll enjoy one soon...

airtaximan said...

PPLanes,

you are an insider...right?

What do you make of:

-cofa's?
-TC with IOUs?
-dayjets plane with no interior?
-limited deliveries in the last 6 months while claiming many, many more?
-investigation?
-overall quality of the planes?
-wheels and brakes?
-other

BigJim said...

Frank's post was disgusting, and I wish he had never associated himself with Cessna (if he actually works here). We poke some fun at Eclipse around the water cooler but I don't know anyone who goes as far overboard as Frank. Most of the frustration at Cessna is with seemingly preferential treatment they are getting from the FAA, and from Vern's statements and attitude. There's a certain amount of satisfaction in seeing Vern struggle while showing us all how it's supposed to be done.

That being said, I have a number of former coworkers in Albuquerque and we all hope the best for them. An Eclipse implosion harms everyone, so we hope they pull it off.

Most folks at Cessna don't even consider Eclipse as competition. The EA500 and Mustang are in two completely different classes. That's not meant as an insult, either. They're just designed for different people.

Frank Castle said...

You know, I may work for Cessna, like what I do, believe in their products, but I AM an individual, with my own thoughts, ideas, likes, dislikes, etc.

I may not have to like the person I work next to, but I am here to do a job, not be Mr. Personality. Civility is always appreciated in the workplace.

When I venture out into the big bad world, look out. I am mean, pissed-off, and could care less if you like it, me, or my beliefs.

They are mine, and I will exercise my 2nd Amendment rights to defend them.

No apologies, except to those who think everybody should just play nice and get along. My idealogies demand I speak my mind, and be totally honest. I can wish for certain events, and not loose a minute's sleep. For me, your mantra just doesn't work. Not just for me, but for many other human beings.

I once owned more than one Pinto. Greatest school car to have in the 70's. Put 130K on a 75 Wagon. Better than the post office jeeps, rain, sleet or snow.

Do not dirty the name of a fine automobile by comparing it to the Eclipse jet.

AlexA said...

airtaximan said...
Alexa:
nice of you to show up here last week…..
Actually airtaximan I have here a long time lurking in the background. The Blog brought out a lot of valid information initially. Unfortunately, a lot of the valid information was intermixed with innuendo and malicious rumors. Last week I traveled to the “death star.” What I witness were a lot of dedicated hard working individuals trying to build a quality product. The folks I met with were honest and forthright. They are acutely aware that they have challenges in front of them, but the level of dedication was awesome. I was impressed that they answered all my questions.

By the way airtaximan I have been around long enough to realize that I am amateur when it comes to spoofing. I have been here so long that If I read one more submarine story I am going to puke;)

Where is Ken Meyers when I need him, I need to get back to work.

Algernon said...

Frank, perhaps you should not view this blog as "public property".

After all, there are some that think highly of Cessna, but now that you have told us how you really feel, some will not see them the same.

Just another blog-watcher's opinion.

Black Tulip said...

Gee,

I thought I had a patent on the phrase FSW. In the case of Eclipse Aviation, it stands for, 'Following a Software Wannabe.'

Glad I haven't been involved in much of the recent debate on the blog. Happy to lay low as the bullets fly.

One recent comment rang true though. The aviation press has always been poor at exposing hype and predicting failure. Dozens of new airplanes get announced every few years. Most never fly and a handful get certified. Most receive polite mention, if not applause in the flying press.

Jim Bede with his BD-5 made the biggest smoking hole in a very long time and the crater has long since stopped smoking.

The adulation of the aviation press is understandable. It dates back to Orville and Wilbur. Who would have given them any chance? Even their success was ephemeral.

The big publications depend on advertising and hope for the best. They leave investigative reporting to the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Only much later, if at all, would these publications get involved... after all it is only a little airplane and barely a billion bucks.

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...

alexa:

you just showed up above the radar...I do not doubt you've been lurking..

When you write: "I was impressed that they answered all my questions" regarding the terrific folks at e-clips - I have to ask..why?

You've been involved for a long time, and if I understand you correctly, you have a deposit...right? You are probably in the 200-400 batch, so you were very early on, ahead of 2100-2300 other folks. Heck, you probably slept at that hotel in line...

Anyhow, my question is...

..WHY ARE YOU IMPRESSED THAT THEY WOULD ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS?

-A- you have a right to know, no?
-B- why so many unanswered questions until now..you are a depositor?
-C- do you think so many important questions should remain a mystery to everyone, especially the depositors?
-D- do you believe the answers you were given? Did anything seem strange given the questions you have had until you had to ask?
-E- what do you think of the trackrecord at e-clips? Have they met the guarantees, delivery dates, promises? Has the hype amd failure to meet the hype created any doubt in your mind regarding the "answers" you were given?

- funny true story: Donald Trump actually wrote that in obtaining financing for one of his Hotel Casinos in Atlantic City, he was out of money and in dire straits...so he paid a few guys to move dirt from one side of the site to the other, and sold it as construction progress... The lenders bit, and he was given the financing to continue. I always think of this story related to Vern and E-clips...

- I think of first flight with the failed EJ22
- I think of Nimbus
- I think of Avidyne
- I think of the TC-IOUs
- I think of the missed AOPA event and the statement the casue was mods
- I think of the $779,000 price
- I think of United
- I think of the recent extension of the bond financing in ABQ
- I think of the air taxi revolution
- I think of the 6 seats
- I think of the guarantees and the revised guarantees
- I think of the cracking windshield and the bushing, and the statement that the plane was designed for high cycle...yet there was a waiver from the FAA for fatigue testing
- I think of jetIncomplete...now being revised

etc... there's a log list - everything had a good answer/story...but it was all BS.

So, I'd suggest thinking critically about your plane company... they are way behind, way off on many aspects of the performance and program milestones, and way, way off regarding open and honest communication.

**I'd say, they are apt to say and pull anything to get your deposit.

Just my humble opinion...

airtaximan said...

help:

can someone explain why e-clips wanted a provisional type certificate? From what I can find, its of no use. In fact, it looks like they could have been issued one after 100 hours of flight testing, if all was well. I'm not suggesting all was not well.

I'm curious about the Provisional TC, which appears to be usefull for sales and marketing flights and other minor issues...but does not allow for any sales of aircraft and does not mean the planes are TC'ed.

Was this pure hocus-focus-on-E-clips-PR/media stunt? Pure and simple and of no use whatsoever in the TC process?

This is what it looks like from afar - no pun.

Any clues?

Stan Blankenship said...

Buckle your seat belts kiddies and keep checking for the new post.

Just can't wait to read the comments from mirage00, redtailhawk, koolaid-drinker1 and eclipseblogger.

airtaximan said...

Stan:

sounds like PR and advertising to me...

...You learning from Vern?

pehaps you should ask for some deposits before you deliver the news?

you could even provide some guarantees...

;)

sparky said...

Sorry it took this long, but there is an immense amount of data on this.

The original joint study conducted by the FAA, NASA and Virginia Tech was done to see if there was a way to alleviate the congestion in the ATC. The funding was around $100M over five years. As I mentioned earlier, only NASA and the FAA looked at the data and considered this to be a feasible market.

Here’s some of the problems I find with the concept of the “Air Taxi” based on the results;

1.) Cost. The study was conducted under the premise of $1.75/mile passenger service. There’s no way to make a profit at this price. Ed knows this so the price is inflated to somewhere in the range of $3.00/mile. You can’t do statistical modeling and change the variables without re-doing the entire study. Ed’s a software guy and he knows this. Now, before the E-believers bash me with “how do you know he didn’t re-run the model”. In several interviews, Ed is found to quote, almost verbatim, the statistical findings of the study. He talks about capturing a certain percent of the traveling public. These findings are based on a completely different set of input data than what he’s using, but he insists on using the same results to justify the business model.
2.) Locatation, location, location. Ed claims to not be in competition with the airlines. He’s stating that he will serve areas that the Hub and Spoke system doesn’t cover. The main problem is that the study found that the vast majority of business trips are to these exact areas. If you look at business and population concentrations, you find that the majority of businesses are concentrated in the areas already covered by the major airlines. You don’t locate your business in Bugtussle, AK for a reason. Again, we ignore this data and substitute Ed’s.
3.) Convenience. If the aircraft isn’t full, you’re not turning a profit. Part of the study covered the convenience of an “on-demand” service. This means that out of the hundreds of thousands of people traveling on any given day, two-three other people will need to have the EXACT same travel plans and times that I have. If I have to schedule my flight around somebody else’s travel plans, it is no longer convenient. And since I am traveling to and from a point that’s already served by the airlines, as proved by the study, which are less expensive, I’m not going to use the “Air Taxi”.
4.) Distance of travel. By Ed’s own admission, he’s going to cover trips of 100-500 miles. There’s a graph associated with one of the studies that shows the number of trips and distances traveled. This peaks very rapidly at about 150-200 miles and then drops drastically(about 800%) through 300 and 400 mile trips and levels off at 500 miles and pretty much stays constant through 3000 miles. Again, Ed has stated that 80% of trips are in the range of 200-500 miles, what he doesn’t say is that 80% of that 80% is in the 150-250 mile range. Because of the elevated costs involved, there are very few potential customers that will justify his business model.
5.) Purpose of travel. Why am I going where I’m going? When I travel for business it’s to show my company’s products and/or services to potential customers. If the person traveling has any type of sizeable demo equipment or presentation aids, they can’t use the method of travel Ed’s offering. The Eclipse has very limited baggage space and couldn’t transport the materials I need. This is by no means indicative of every business traveler, but I would wager that it is for a sizeable percentage.

You may wonder why so much of this post is directed at the feasibility of the “Air Taxi” business model and question it’s relevance to the Eclipse blog . In one of the reports, there is a quote by Vern stating that 67% of the orders are from companies hoping to profit from the air taxi market. 67%.

No market, no jet. It’s that simple. The entire concept was based on high production levels to keep costs down. The research doesn’t support the business model and facts don’t lie.

AlexA said...

Airtaximan, it looks like you have been thinking way too much;) Eclipse is a private concern, the have no reason or need to share any information with you or me. They offer a product and the consumer (me in this case) decides whether to purchase the product or not. While I’m not an aviation expert I cannot think of other companies that have shared as much information as Eclipse with the general public. Have there been missteps, yeah unfortunately quite a few. But it’s way too easy to sit on the sideline and criticize. Is production going to be trouble free, I would bet not? I decided to move back in the line hoping that the majority of problems would be found and resolved before I got my aircraft (I purchased way too many vehicles the first year of production). Every time Eclipse has failed to meet a date or spec they have offered to refund the deposit.

I guess I share some things with Vern. Every time I get into a home project I think its going to take me 15 minutes. Six hours later and three trips to Home Depot I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

From my perspective Eclipse jumped started a new market in aviation, the sub $2 million jet. They have built an impressive operation with a lot of dedicated individuals. They have even managed to deliver a few planes, albeit with limited functionality, in the past few days. Will Eclipse survive is anyone’s guess. Unfortunately, there seems to be a few folks on this Blog that not only pray for Eclipse’s demise but are willing to spread malicious rumors in order to hurt the company.

From the other side of the fence it is actually funny to watch the haters at work. If Eclipse announces the delivery of two or three aircrafts then it was an end of month PR stunt. If they don’t send out the release there is something shady going on at ABQ. They can’t win.

I simply reported what I saw. Am I naïve, maybe? If you have facts that there is something inherently unsafe with the aircraft, as someone that is naïve, please let me know. I know my wife and my children would be appreciative.

Gunner said...

Point of Order:

Frank Castle said:
[My thoughts] "are mine, and I will exercise my 2nd Amendment rights to defend them."

Ummm, I think wou meant your First Amendment (right to Free Speech), not the Second Amendment (right to Keep and Bear Arms)....leastwise, I hope you did.

In any case, there is no First Amendment in someone else's living room, their place of business or their Blog. Not yours, not mine, not Stan's.

Come to think of it, there's no Second Amendment guarantee on the personal property of others either.
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

alexa,

Sorry I left you out, you too should buckle your seat belt.

AlexA said...

Stan,

I’m once again confused. You left Ken Meyer out. Did you convert him to the dark side?

Oh don’t worry about my seatbelt. To navigate through the turbulence of innuendo, lies and falsehoods that have been posted here my belt is always tight. I looked at your bio and it doesn’t show your stint with The Enquirer;)?

When you are ready to discuss real substantiated issues again please let me know.

sparky said...

There's been a lot of talk lately about lies and "malicious rumors" being spread. I have been accused of spreading lies and REALY don't appreciate it. You can call me many things, but liar is not one of them.


After all the years that Vern's been bashing the aviation industry that I call home as being a dinasaur, the aircraft delivered did not meet the guarenteed numbers. this is a fact.

There were problems with wing bushings. this is a fact.

There was a problem with windscreens and side windows cracking. This is a fact.

There is a problem with the pitot/static system. This is a fact.

Vern stated that there would be information on this in two weeks, and nothing has been released. This is a fact.

For whatever reason you want to believe, the three highly publicized deliveries to DayJet list only one C of A and none of them are registered to Dayjet. This is a fact.

There are only 2 aircraft at the time of this posting registered to anyone other that Eclipse. This is a fact.

The FAA NEVER works on the weekend for anybody else. This is a fact.

The fatigue testing was waived for eclipse, even though their core business absolutely depends on high-cycle use of the aircraft. this is a fact.

They knew that the entire avionics package was going to be scrapped, but asked for deposits anyway. This is a fact.

The cost of R&D for the aircraft is approaching $1 billion, and the guarantee's have yet to be certified. This is a fact.

What has been lied about here? I stand nothing to gain by Eclipse making a smoking hole in a school-yard, and hope to god it doesn't happen. I do however, stand much to lose if the current push for user fees passes.

The prediction of thousands of VLJ's darkening the skies has been a cornerstone of this argument. THIS IS A FACT.

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.

But to save you further embarrassment, I am going to put up the next post as a tease. The link to the full document won't be up until my webmaster can get it on line.

airtaximan said...

Alexa,

you seem like a nice person.

You asked a lot of questions to e-clips...my only point was, why did you have to ask?

They are a private company - but they have rasied money from investors under SEC regulations, and they made guarantees, statements, and projections...not to mention a lot of PR and ads.

All of this is subject to normal legal standards.

They made claims about transparency...yet you have deposit money in their possession, and you had to go and ask questions, which were bothering you, before you forked over more money.

My point is, they should have communicated sufficiently with you, their "Die-Hard" customer, so that these "non-issues" as you would now see them, were never an issue in the first place.

I am an outsider looking in.

All I can see are the lies to the public.

Another thing... I have found that Stan is beyond reproach. Everything he has posted here has been fact based. Sometimes he seems to be privy, and gives a taste before the main course. Sometimes others bring on the scoop. Do not just dismiss what he says as "eclipse hating"... its a cheap shot that makes you look irrational.

I am sure you have some facts... there's been a lot of CofA/Dayjet/quality/delivery/and my favorite the provisional TC-IOU...

dig, uncover, keep eyes and ears engaged...

From a safety perspective, I would not consider e-clips to have a safety culture. Too many lies, exaggerations, and trackrecord of failure to meet their own goals. Too many systems jettisoned, too many suppliers blamed, too many foks in Q/A no longer with the company. I'd worry.

If the prov-TC-IOU was a sham, I'd worry a lot... would you?

airtaximan said...

sparky,

my point for the last year, exactly.

nice concise summary.

My favorite numbers are the 51million trips less than 700 miles in the SE.

Like I said, how many are driven, between 300-600 miles? How many are not to major metro areas?

Its kinda silly...but WAIT - there's per-JET on demand now offered by Daydream... uhh, you mean CHARTER, right?

revolution?