Sunday, May 13, 2007

Boenning & Scattergood Equity Research on IS&S

INVESTMENT CONCLUSION — Based on recent research we have reason to believe that our F2008 revenue assumptions may be too aggressive. However, despite these findings, the recent orders from Eclipse and American Airlines have provided IS&S’s flat panel cockpit display with significant market recognition and the expected 757/767 commercial orders should provide additional positive momentum.

The market is beginning to realize the strong competitive advantages IS&S’s flat panel cockpit display holds over the competition and now appears to be willing to accept this product as a more than viable avionics upgrade or OEM solution.

The long term financial outlook for IS&S has greatly improved and the table is currently being set for a return to profitability, but we want to make certain we are not creating a state of heightened expectations and that investors exercise caution.


We believe the latest orders, including the expected commercial deals are largely baked in to the current stock price. But as the revenue run rates and margin structures associated with these programs materialize we may see potential upside to our current estimates and potentially see reason to lift numbers. We arrive at our $29 price target by applying a 35x multiple to our C2008 non-GAAP EPS estimate of $0.84.

Conversations with Eclipse Aviation and DayJet raise yellow flags.

Recent discussions with key personnel at DayJet — Eclipse’s largest customer accounting for 1,400 of the 2,400 plane backlog — lead us to believe DayJet will take delivery of Eclipse 500's at a slower than expected pace. DayJet anticipates taking delivery of 50 aircraft in C2007 and 150 in C2008. It expects to receive roughly 10 planes per month towards the end of C2007 into C2008.

Additionally, DayJet has financing of $100m which only covers the first 80 planes.


Finally, we should point out that DayJet has not yet proven the long term viability or earnings potential of its revolutionary air taxi model and we are unsure if it will ever be able to generate enough cash to take delivery of the full 1,400 plane order ($2.1b).

Recent discussions with key personnel at Eclispe lead us to believe that producing 400 planes in C2007 and 1,000 planes in C2008 may prove to be too aggressive.


Based on previously published data, it appears that CEO Vern Raburn has a propensity to over promise and under deliver, and while we appreciate his enthusiasm and lofty goals, we need to take a more realistic view of what Eclipse can accomplish over the next year. The company’s goal is to eventually manufacture four planes per day, but to date the company is still not even manufacturing one plane per day.

Furthermore, we learned that Eclipse would not manufacture all 2,400 planes in its backlog, rather it will take a more measured approach and gauge customer and market demand. We are now estimating that Eclipse will deliver 170 planes in C2007, 500 planes in C2008, and 700 planes in C2009. We believe Eclipse will make every effort to reach the 500 plane per year mark since that is its break-even point.


www.boenninginc.com

176 comments:

mouse said...

What a breath of fresh air, the truth. Now you know you're going to make Ken call Vern again.

I think even these numbers are aggressive for Eclipse, but I hope they can do it. If they go away it only hurts the entire market for everyone else.

Ken Meyer said...

"We are now estimating that Eclipse will deliver 170 planes in C2007, 500 planes in C2008, and 700 planes in C2009."

...which is of course more favorable than that self-proclaimed "expert" Richard Abracadabra (or was it Aboulafia?) sees in his crystal ball.

All of which goes to show that nobody knows where the air taxi market is headed. And if you don't know that, you don't know what the longterm demand for the Eclipse 500 is.

Lots of unknowns. But here are the facts we do know:

$1.5 million buys a twin-engine jet certified to FL410 when nobody else can come close to that performance at anything like that price. In a nutshell, that is why there are 2500+ orders for the Eclipse waiting to be filled, with owners and companies alike standing in line waiting to get them.

More value for your dollar. That's always been the Eclipse proposition.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
I think you dropped a couple operative terms in your future-talk, pep-talk. I've reworded with the appropriate additions bracketed, in bold:

"$1.5 million buys [a promise for] a twin-engine jet certified to FL410 [complete with the Founder's personal assurance of design flaw corrections, FIKI, RVSM, Certified Modifications, etc] when nobody else can come close to that, [as yet unverified ], performance at anything like that price."

Speaking just for me, I appreciate your input. It's always so, well, future-focused. ;-)
Gunner

cj3driver said...

1.52 is the base price. A fully loaded plane will cost just under 1.9M in 09 dollars and probably closer to 2mil in 2010 or 11 assuming this slip in deliveries and the current backlog. A much better equipped Mustang can be purchased for 2.8 in 09. My guess is, the 800 to 900K delta is enough to make a difference in some of the cases, but, if Eclipse raises the price as some expect to 2.2 the difference becomes 20% or less, I think Eclipse will have a hard time making sales in the owner flown market.

.... from previous post ...

I think that making the commitment to get a "type rating" in any jet, and keeping up recurrent training and proficiency for the typical owner is a greater obstacle than the price. The thinking might be, “For all that work, you might as well go for the Mustang”.

After spending 2 or 3 million on a "new" plane, plus maintenance and overhead, the fuel burn doesn’t make that much of a difference considering the size of the cabin and amenities. Most of the time the "owner" will want to show off his/her toy, take family or friends with, and the comfortable large cabin of the Mustang is a major plus.

Another point on fuel burn, most of the time your cheapest fuel is at your home base. Since the majority of the operating cost is fuel, The ability to ferry fuel from your home base can save over 50% of total cost of operation. Round trips using home fuel may be possible if your trips are 400 to 500 miles. This more than outweighs the higer fuel burn if you have the capablity to ferry.

Also, from personal experience, when I sold the CJ1, believe it or not, the most negative comments (possibly even lost sales) was that my plane did not have a ‘flushing” potty. I had ordered the non-flushing version. The guy that ended up buying my plane…….. his wife made him have the flushing version installed. Cost over 20K to convert at the Service center. The point is, even on a plane designed for less than 1000 miles, the toilet (especially flushing) makes a difference.


By the way, if I had the choice between a new mustang or a used CJ1……… CJ1 all day!

gadfly said...

Sometimes 'midst all the serious talk, humorous expressions jump right off the page. For instance, I suspect that "cj3driver" is either of German or Scandanavian heritege. Twice he has said "take family or friends with" . . . and being married to a Swede, I want to complete the sentence, "with whom?". My mother-in-law, who died at 56, three days before Mother's Day back in 1964 used the expression, "go with". This lady, the Mother of my beloved wife, had far more problems than you can possibly imagine, but I loved her, and her great sense of humor. And I miss her . . . yet will see her again. And someday I may find out why immigrant Swede's and German's say, "go with".

While you guys are offering your comments about Eclipse, both "pro" and "con", don't forget to smell the roses. Sometimes the most remarkable things grown in manure (and some of the comments, frankly "stink" like manure) . . . but now and then, a "flower blooms". And sometimes, an innocent comment has me in stitches.

Secure from "battle stations, torpedo".

gadfly

mouse said...

Ken, it's none of our business, however I will ask in hopes that your openess and honesty will come shining through. Have you made your progress payment yet?

Do you have any idea (facts) how many position holds have yet?

If your plane were offered to you in the next 90 days would you accept delivery of it?

gadfly said...

Brother Rat

Go to bed and get some sleep. None of these "Eclipse Drivers" live west of Catalina Island . . . and us old folks can give it up for the weekend . . . another work week starts in about seven hours.

gadfly

(Imagine, an "Eclipse 500" flying between islands in Hawaii . . . they might be able to do it. And if not, it's a great place to go for a swim.)

mirage00 said...

Thank again Ken for keeping it real.

Stan started this blog because he didnt beleive the airplane could perform or be built as designed.
He was wrong on both counts...

Stan let's get back to the basics... does the Eclipse 500 perform better than any other jet produced in this category for the money? Just a simple YES or NO will do.

Let the bashing begin...

Black Tulip said...

Mirage00,

We have a singular and elegant method of determining the success of the Eclipse 500, available to all with an Internet connection.

FlightAware will tell the tale, and it remains the litmus test... number of aircraft, owners, flight level, groundspeed, rate of climb, rate of descent, endurance, range and flight plans filed versus flown.

Black Tulip

Gunner said...

N126DJ flew again this morning, Slant Alpha. Filed at 28K ft and flew at 20k.

Of course, that doesn't matter. "It's only training". Still, the bird should start to soar, soon. Ed has promised operations by end of this quarter. Besides, shouldn't some of the training flights be RVSM?

I'd be happy to answer mirage's question, if he could explain this repeated low level flight anomaly.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

mouse,

That's great info on the manufacturing cost, etc.. good to know (from previous string).

I wonder how the e-clips interest payment plan is affected by the revelation that production is being slowed? Weren't they going to pay 6% interest to the position holders if their delivery date slipped more than two months beginning this August?

How is this going to work?

Back to the $64 million dollar question: HAS DAYJET MADE THEIR DEPOSIT/PROGRESS PAYMENT FOR THEIR FIRST 50 PLANES, yet? ITS AT LEAST $35 MILLION - It was due a long time ago... If they have not, how is e-clips keeping up with the cashflow requirements to buy parts and build planes if it has taken more than 6 months to build a plane?

It would appear that the overall higher cost from suppliers due to e-clips not reaching 500 planes (or even close) this year, the much higher labor per plane given the amount of time its taking to complete them (many, many months), the retrofit NG/aeromods/fixes costs after delivery which will be paid for by e-clips...PLUS the discounted first hundred (perhaps all the Dayjet planes)...

...should be a tremendous hurdle to overcome from a cashflow standpoint (forget profit, just give it up, not even close). The e-business model was to use the suppliers money and procure, assemble and deliver the planes BEFORE they had to be paid for...

I wonder how they are doing? It seems like they will need $500M just to get back to square one...

IPO? - very risky...
Deposits/progress payments? - Very risky

Black Tulip said...

cj3driver,

You've made a good point. Let us assume many Eclipse depositors are operating high-performance piston aircraft. Let us further assume many have not been previously type rated.

It would be easy to underestimate the cost, time and hassles in getting type rated, annual recurrency and insurance.

These costs could be significant compared to cost-of-money differences between the Eclipse and other little jets.

Black Tulip

ExEclipser said...

Gunner:
Pray tell, why does DayJet need to fly in RVSM space for 50-minute flights (and presumably making an enroute stop at Lakeland)?

The E500 TC clearly states that aircraft is RVSM is approved.

Mike Press said he's flown at FL330.

You say FlightAware is the litmus test, but that presumes that all flight plans are going to be filed using their tail numbers. Press stated specifically that he's flying using the Eclipse flight test handle.

Hardly a litmus test or any other test at all for that matter.

Gunner said...

eclipser-
Well, lessee. Are you telling me that DayJet will never have occasion to fly above FL270? If so, why are they purchasing jets vs turboprops? If not, doncha think they'd want their pilots to train an hour or two at those upper levels? They ARE going operational in less than 45 days, you know.

I note that, on April 29th, the plane shuttled from ABQ to BCT with two fuel stops; the legs were 2+ hours long. It never rose above FL270.

Was that because the pilot they sent out to pick it up was not RVSM qualified, because they were enjoying the scenery, or simply because they were trying to support the oil companies?

And it wasn't me who called FlightAware the "litmus test", though I do agree, it gives a pretty good idea of the aircrafts range, speed and altitude capabilities. Unless, of course, the Fleet is blocked from FlightAware...which would beg an entirely different question, now wouldn't it? ;-)
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"1.52 is the base price. A fully loaded plane will cost just under 1.9M in 09 dollars ...A much better equipped Mustang can be purchased for 2.8 in 09."

Let's see if that's right.

You've compared a fully-loaded Eclipse to a base-model Mustang. It is true that a Mustang with no options costs a little over $2.8 million for delivery in 2009. But if you "fully-load" a Mustang, you add well over $100K to the pricetag.

So a fully-loaded Mustang costs $1 million more than a full-loaded Eclipse delivered at the same point in time.

But that's deceptive, too, because Eclipse offers $250K in options, and nobody gets all of them. Most people pick up about $125K worth of options. So, the true price of a well-equipped 2009 Eclipse is about $1.8 million including CPI adjustment and options. That's over a million dollars less than a base model Mustang delivered in 2009.

The point? No matter how you cut it, there's about a million bucks difference between these two planes. Now whether that's important to a given buyer or not is between him and his wallet. But I can certainly think of some interesting things to do by saving a million bucks on a plane. Like maybe buy 4000 hours worth of Jet-A for it!

And I happen to like the idea of spending a whole lot less in fuel every time I fly. Probably others aren't as environmentally sensitive as I am :)

Or maybe I just don't like burning more dollars up than I have to.

Mustang is a great plane. So are its bigger brothers the CJ1-3 planes. But they all cost much more up front and a lot more every single hour you fly them.

Those who need the size and carrying capacity of a CJ3 certainly ought to buy it. Those who don't can save a whole bunch and still get jet performance by spending their money more wisely and not buying more airplane than they actually need.

And that's what the Eclipse is all about.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

gunner ridiculously wrote,

"Was that because the pilot they sent out to pick it up was not RVSM qualified, because they were enjoying the scenery, or simply because they were trying to support the oil companies?"

What's the difference? Who cares?

How, why and where DayJet chooses to fly their airplanes are up to them.

What we know is that multiple purchasers have taken their Eclipse straight up to FL410 and said that there simply is no restriction on the plane against doing that.

That you keep harping on this issue is bizarre. Almost as bizarre as your repeated cries that the Eclipse isn't yet done, so a paper D-jet is better.

Too transparent, Rich; try harder.

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Mirage, you are really too easy.

When this blog started, Eclipse claimed their airplane could carry 4 people and 30 lbs of baggage, make a direct climb to FL 410, fly from Phoenix to Chicago, and land with NBAA reserves.

Would you care to answer yes or no, does the airplane perform as designed?

I have been clear from the beginning, the Eclipse numbers were a stretch and find their latest numbers suspect and unproven.

Your question regarding the Eclipse being the best in its category is meaningless. It is the only offering in the 6,000 weight class.

Gunner said...

Parsing so soon in the week, Ken?

Eclipse and The Faithful are very proud of the plane's capabilities. Yet, we've never seen these demonstrated, except after-the-fact of an unannounced "performance flight" from ABQ to GNV and by undocumented word of mouth attestations about flights not tracked by FlightAware. If I recall, you yourself vociferously criticized the GNV flight out of earshot of this Board. Remember? So that leaves us with, "I flew under my call sign" anecdotes about Le Petit Avion,

How totally un-Vern-like to have these birds regularly zipping about at FL41K without taking advantage of the enormous PR advantage that FlightAware offers. Why on earth would he not have them in full view, just like wee see Mustangs?

It's only logical that if the planes are regularly flying at the upper FL's Eclipse would wish to demonstrate that to the world. I know you would, wouldn't you?

I see you've still got that Diamond wearing a burr in your saddle. I have not stated it's "better" than the Eclipse. Just that the company is more reputable and trustworthy...by a LONG shot. If you consider that "better", that'd be your own little cross to bear, not mine.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Mirage, Ken...

"The goal of Eclipse is to bring the word "personal" into aviation"

Is THIS what they meant?

...because it seems to have worked!

Bonanza Pilot said...

"$1.5 million buys a twin-engine jet certified to FL410 when nobody else can come close to that performance at anything like that price."


No, 1.5 million is not right. Just using your own techniques Ken.

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,

"Eclipse claimed their airplane could carry 4 people and 30 lbs of baggage, make a direct climb to FL 410, fly from Phoenix to Chicago, and land with NBAA reserves.

Would you care to answer yes or no, does the airplane perform as designed?"


The Eclipse has always been tight on payload; everybody knows that. The Mustang isn't much better--it can only carry about 100 lbs more with full fuel (i.e. most of its extra useful load goes to all the extra fuel it needs because it burns so much more). Still, four 170 lb adults plus 30 lbs of luggage can go in a fully-fueled Eclipse.

I just fightplanned your route from Phoenix to Chicago with today's winds and the published FAA-approved A-model AFM performance numbers. Long haul--1248 nm, but the plane can make it with over 45 minute reserve due to the tailwind. Not quite NBAA reserve, but close.

Is the plane as good as they originally envisioned? Nope. But it is damn close :)

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

I can't believe you are going to hang on to the claim of 2,500 orders.

An option is not an order. They are two different words with two different meanings.

With DayJet alone, that would change the order book to 1,800 orders plus 700 options.

Then consider the so-called 700 DayJet orders. It is reported they only have funding for the first 80 units.

At best, I would consider the total orders to be less than 1,200. And if real, a huge number that would not need to be pumped up unless you were also predicting a 1,000 unit per year production rate.

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

What fantasy empty weight are you using for your fantasy flight?

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,

" I would consider the total orders to be less than 1,200."

Well there have it. Stan Blankenship would consider the orders to be less than 1200.

I wonder what Magic Johnson thinks?

Neil Armstrong?

Perhaps we should hold a poll? I can see it now. "Knock, knock, knock. Madam, would you please give us your estimate of the number of orders Eclipse has in their order book?"

Or perhaps you can get us some official numbers from the company rather than blindly speculate. That would be refreshing--facts, instead of blind opinion.

Ken

Bonanza Pilot said...

wow..maybe Vern is listening...right now N229BW is on Flight Aware...flying from St. Louis to Colorado...they are currently at FL320 and went as high as FL360. Right now they are showing 324 knots over the ground (with some headwind component I assume)

Being fair - which I am - those are great numbers and the first proof I have seen of an Eclipse moving around the country outside of ABQ. I look forward to seeing more examples like that. Also this aircraft filed as /W?? This is shown as serial number #4 - I haven't kept track of whose plane that is.

Black Tulip said...

Let's try to put a value on Eclipse appearances on FlightAware. I figure word of successful un-blocked flights at 41,000 feet would get around at somewhere between the speed of sound and the speed of light.

For every five flights - on speed, at altitude, to advertised range - I estimate one more position holder will make his $600,000 deposit. So it's worth $120,000 per flight to get Le Petit Avion up at the real flight levels.

Does the 'factory' recognize this?

Black Tulip

looking-to-be-enlightened said...

Stan Said... Then consider the so-called 700 DayJet orders. It is reported they only have funding for the first 80 units.

Stan, sometimes you make very little sense. Explain to me why DayJet would need funding now for aircraft with a planned delivery well over a year away. They just proved that they have some backers with their recent announcement of $50M. If the plan works anywhere near as they expect, there is no reason at this time to expect that you will not see additional funds in the future.

airtaximan said...

Ken:

"Or perhaps you can get us some official numbers from the company rather than blindly speculate."

..I'm still laughing, buddy! THAT'S a good one! MAN, that's funny.

Ken Meyer said...

Stan asked,

"What fantasy empty weight are you using for your fantasy flight?"

I subtracted the fuel load from the guaranteed useful load in order to get full-fuel payload.

And as Bonanza Pilot reported, Mike Press is right now flying from KSUS to KFTG at FL340 with a groundspeed of 333 knots against a bit of a headwind.

The little plane indeed can.

Ken

looking-to-be-enlightened said...

By the way... N229BW is currently at FL340 at 333 knots into a 20 knot headwind. Not bad for a non-aeromod example of the aircraft.

Stan Blankenship said...

looking-

You make a valid point that DayJet might be able to raise additional capital if their business model works.

Many, including myself, question the viability of the DayJet plan.

Many, including myself, question the viability of the Eclipse airplane in a high-utilization role.

Black Tulip said...

N229BW...an impressive peformance. Worth $120,000 I'd say.

Black Tulip

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

With over a dozen airplanes delivered, do you have any actual empty weights/C.G. locations?

Gunner said...

Congrats to N229BW

Looking forward to seeing more of that. See, Vern, a little transparency is a Good Thing!
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

execlipser,

You said - "I know when I left, there were close to 1000 employees. They've frozen hiring for all but production and added about 250 of those folks."

Do you have an estimate for how many of those folks are production employees?

airtaximan said...

looking-2-be...

they need $35 million today (actually mid last year, which they did NOT have) just for the 60% progress payment for their first 50 planes... which they are supposed to have in the next few months..

You gotta admit, its a bit of a stretch?

But, I agree, they do not need all their money today, or any time soon... especially since both dayjet and e-clips seem to be backing off their rate claims.

ExEclipser said...

Well knowing what I know about the hiring freeze except for production, I'd guess that about 95% of the new hires are production and quality.

Gunner - RE: ABQ to BCT
It wouldn't suprise me that they are continuing to collect data at low altitudes for their algorythms. The majority of their revenue flights are going to be short hauls under an hour. It also wouldn't suprise me that a) it was inop on the aircraft for that flight or b) the pilot wasn't rated for RVSM.

Fact: E500 is certified for RVSM and is being flown /W at this moment.

ExEclipser said...

Oh, and I can't confirm this, but I believe that the aero mods have been completed for some time now. I believe that the fuel mods are the big ticket item at the moment - and that's just a range thing, not a drag fix.

Stan Blankenship said...

eclipser,

Can you confirm when it is certified and when the TCDS is revised to the "B" mods.

mirage00 said...


wow..maybe Vern is listening...right now N229BW is on Flight Aware...flying from St. Louis to Colorado...they are currently at FL320 and went as high as FL360. Right now they are showing 324 knots over the ground (with some headwind component I assume)

Being fair - which I am - those are great numbers


Stan...care to comment? Do you feel these are great numbers?

ExEclipser said...

Nope. All my former colleagues have become quite tight-lipped.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Since it was only 'delivered' 3 weeks ago, N229BW's GPS database has not yet expired, so THAT is probably why it can go into RVSM airspace, watch for it on FlightAware in another week or two when the database goes TangoUniform and see how high it flies then.

UNLESS Mike's ship has already had the first of many mod's, by replacing the displays and adding the USB dataloader, it will again be relegated to the lower flight levels, probably by the end of this week.

ALL Eclipse aircraft on the date of delivery SHOULD go to FL410 as part of customer acceptance, AND they can do it because the originally installed GPS database will have not yet expired.

How long are you guys going to cling to this obvious bravosierra?

From the original date of delivery UNTIL the database expires (no more than 28 days later) OR the airplane gets new displays and a new dataloader installed, they CAN fly in RVSM airspace - after the database expires and without the new displays and new dataloader, NO GPS, NO DME, NO RVSM.

Of course, the display and dataloader mod does nothing for:

NO FMS

Limited Autopilot

Cracking Windshields and Windows

Loose Wing Attach Bushings

Tire and Brake wear

No FIKI

No IMC

Eric said...

Gunner mentioned DayJet's airplane flying low...

I'm assuming that many of these flights are proving runs. Training in this thing should be pretty easy for the ex-airline high jet time pilots they've hired. Part of the Eclipse advertising was that it was easy for a GA pilot to transition to... so it would be incredibly easy for an airline guy to make that jump.

I would think someone with previous jet/airline experience could complete training in 15 to 20 hours flight time. Just my opinion...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

Since when are premature failures and the inability to fly FIKI, IMC or with FMS 'value-added'? Are the ridiculous inspection and replacement intervals for windows, windshields and wing bushings value-added? I hear they are LRU's.

Wow just like a mini-737, except for the ridiculous inspection and replacmenent intervals, oh and the NO FIKI, NO FMS, and NO IMC.

Or is that from the 'new' lexicon that counts unfunded (for the customer, not Eclipse) options by the hundreds as 'solid'?

Do you suppose Embraer includes questionable options in their 400 solid order book for the Phenom series?

I have to hand it you though, you just roll with each new revelation and continue to demonstrate an incredible amount of faith in a company that thinks it can fool you and others with fancy press releases, flash animations, whitepapers and improperly used airline terminology.

Any word yet on field reliability and actual cost of operations from the dozen or so owners who have reportedly taken 'delivery' of their wonderjets and flown them home?

Ooops, of course not, that has not happened yet - how silly of me.

Put the kool-aid down and step away.

Friends don't let friends suffer from ED (Eclipse Deposit).

Ken Meyer said...

"Since it was only 'delivered' 3 weeks ago, N229BW's GPS database has not yet expired, so THAT is probably why it can go into RVSM airspace, watch for it on FlightAware in another week or two when the database goes TangoUniform and see how high it flies then."

Oh, give it a rest Coldwet. You are all wet on this one.

That plane had the GPS dataloader installed 2 days after delivery.

You're really reaching now. It's kind of sad to see you writhing in so much pain.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"Are the ridiculous inspection and replacement intervals for windows, windshields and wing bushings value-added?"

And what, pray tell, are the precise inspection and replacement intervals for the wing bushings? That's right--there aren't any! You made it up.

Are you familiar with the revised intervals for the windshields?

Are you familiar with enough about the plane to be pontificating against it? Methinks not.

Ken

Bonanza Pilot said...

I think it is important to focus on real flaws..I probably don't understand it, because to me fixing the data update of the GPS database seems like a very very easy thing to do. It just isn't that difficult to get new data onto a memory card - and I would be shocked if that is actually a continuing problem for them...after all they are getting the data in when they assemble the plane...so it is just a matter of certifying whatever solution they choose to go with.

Window issues, wing bushings...useful load, and the reality of the air taxi market strike me as real problems..but it weakens the criticism to focus on silly things. Of course, I figured the pitot tube fix would be another silly thing - yet haven't read the press release about that fix.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Your Clintonesque parsing of my posts is as entertaining as it is telling Ken. I specifically said 'UNLESS it had the displays and dataloader installed'. No way for me to know wether it had already happened or not. Good for Mike. Is the plane still living in ABQ?

Nice way to specifically ignore the obvious BS about FL410 on delivery days BTW, you are a pro at letting the truth run off your back like water off a duck's back.

Nice too to ignore the OBVIOUS failures of the company to deliver an airplane that does what they said it would do and instead, try and fail, again, to make it about me rather than the scam from ABQ.

Has Chapter 4 of the AMM changed AND been FAA approved?

Has EAC issued an FAA Approved SB or other communication that lifts the inspection and replacement intervals?

I have asked this a dozen or so times and each time you ignore it, must be that old ED induced cognitive dissonance kicking in. They say memory is the 2nd thing to go.

DayJet is about $1,395,000,000.00 short in terms of being able to make good on its commitment for 62% of that vaporware order book that YOU are counting on for your cheap purchase price, AND for your cheap maintenance costs.

Eclipse has had at least two other 'fleet' order go TangoUniform, but this one is different right?

You blindly accept that even after their repated LIES to you, after they treat you like some easily impressed neophyte moron, that what they say they are 'going to do' will somehow be done.

Would that be like having a functioning FMS in your highly-integrated, high-cycle reliable and easy to maintain wonderjet?

Would that be like being able to fly in known-icing in your highly-integrated, high-cycle reliable and easy to maintain wonderjet?

Would that be like having a fully-functioning autopilot in your highly-integrated, high-cycle reliable and easy to maintain wonderjet?

Would that be like being able to fly IMC in your highly-integrated, high-cycle reliable and easy to maintain wonderjet?

Score on those is 0 for 4 big guy.

You test fly the Mustang yet? Better let the wife make that decision, she will have a fully-functioning FL410 twinjet before you do, maybe she will lend you the keys.

mouse said...

AT,

The agreement between Eclipse and their vendors is/was: The vendor had to provide a 30 day parts inventory at no cost to Eclipse. Eclipse would pay for each shipset of parts to the vendor(s) 20 days after the plane delivers.

One of the reasons the parts cost is so high is due to this requirement, and the guaranteed MTBF $ holdback.

You can see why Eclipse has very little value to a buyer. The vendors have little incentive to keep their rotten deal, especially since the high quantity production dream is a myth. And now that myth is public.

The design is still so flexible that vendors who make details that get changed have to eat the now incorrect parts.

Great Deal, Huh?

Stan Blankenship said...

mirage/ken,

A year ago the wonder jet numbers were 375 kts @ FL 410.

And now we are supposed to get excited and hug ourselves when the airplane makes 330 kts @ FL 360.

mouse said...

Ken,

Purchase your EA-500 and your wife will buy her Mustang. At the end of 2,3 or 5 years go and sell them. Want to bet the value held by the Mustang is about 50% better than the EA-500? Now what's that $1M difference worth? A whole lot more!

mouse said...

Ken, if Eclipse only delivers 170 planes in C2007, 500 planes in C2008, and 700 planes in C2009 then they never meet their quantity discount prices from their vendors.

Ooops, better figure out what that cost adds to each plane.

mouse said...

looking-to-be-enlightened, DayJet needs to have their funding in place, 6 months out for the typical progess payment. Plus, nothing has officailly come out of Vern's lips that they are delayed so the original delivery schedule is the game plan. DayJet better be ready to belly up to the bank or be in default.

mouse said...

Ken, the FAA does not accept guarantees for WT & BAL calculations. The guarantee does not include the a) options, b) magazines, snacks, pilot flightcase, dirt, seat covers, Etc. Go look at your AFM and actual "as built" weights.

By the way, a :45 minute fuel reserve at landing is not even close to the NBAA reserves. Better hope you don't have to shoot the approach, fly 100 miles to your alternate, and then have another :45 minutes of fuel. Is that how you would risk YOUR family and friends? I'm sure it's NOT, so why would even suggest anything so stupid?

mouse said...

Don't get too tied up on altitude with these new engines. The P&WC and FJ33 burn less fuel at FL180 than a PT6.

Altitude was critical for a turbojet. Even the big turbfans are a big improvement. Look at the airlines. In the 60's/70's the DC-9's, 737/727-100's/200's would climb to FL350 for :30 minutes. Now the 737 NG's, 757's, rarely cross the country higher than the 30's unless weather is an issue.

These new small fans are amazingly fuel stingy

mouse said...

Hey Cold wet... do the auto-throttles work yet?

ExEclipser said...

Stan: "mirage/ken,

A year ago the wonder jet numbers were 375 kts @ FL 410.

And now we are supposed to get excited and hug ourselves when the airplane makes 330 kts @ FL 360."


There was a 20 kt headwind. That bumps it to 350 and 5,000' below FL410.

FYI, There's a G550 out there on Flight Aware (N282Q), half way into his flight, and he's only going 501 kts at FL410.

According to Gulfstream, the G550 has a long range cruise speed of M0.80 with a max cruise speed of M0.885. Max cruise altitude is FL510.

I guess Gulfstream can't live up to their numbers on their Collier awarded aircraft either because there's a plane out there going M0.73 at FL410.

Sheesh.

mouse said...

Cold wet,

I think we all know Ken is full of BS. He's never made his progress payment, have you Ken? If you were a believer you would put your money where it belongs, in Vern's hands.

If you have paid, my appolgies, and yes, I would accept your answer to be honest.

Ken Meyer said...

stan wrote,

"A year ago the wonder jet numbers were 375 kts @ FL 410."

The plane was never supposed to do 375 knots at FL 410. You were misinformed.

Ken

mouse said...

Execlipser, there's a great example and comparison, not!

Go look at most of the high-powered, high-priced big corporate jets and you'll see they operate their speeds/fuel burns and altitude based on their trip, and winds. The Citation X can go Mach .92 but at a 40% increase in fuel burn. It can do it, but rarely are they pushed to the limits.

Besides, who cares about any other aircraft, except for the EA-500 on this site. It is the reason for this blog. Nothing else is fair to compare to it. It is in a class by itself. The urinating contest will stop when the EA-500 does what it is advertized to do, period.

If it does, Great for all of you supporters/believers. If it does not, than all of us get hurt.

Stan and the rest of the doubters are upset because we understand how the entire industry is hurt when Vern lies his butt off.

Put up, or shut up is the means to stop the doubting.

mouse said...

Ken, with nearly every post you prove how bad your memory is, or how dumb you think everyone else is. 375Kts @ FL410 was always the promise, even back in 2000.

RedTailHawk said...

WetAndLame: How long are you guys going to cling to this obvious bravosierra? Of course, the display and dataloader mod does nothing for:

NO FMS
Limited Autopilot
Cracking Windshields and Windows
Loose Wing Attach Bushings
Tire and Brake wear
No FIKI
No IMC


Lame, you make the exact same post about every two weeks. How long are YOU going to cling to this obvious bravosierra? These items are all being worked on, and will be eliminated in time. In the meantime, why don't you post it once more in case anyone here missed it any one of the last forty times, and to get it out of your lame system. Find something new to post.

By the way, the tire and brake thingy has never been confirmed by any insider here, and is only speculation by this blog. The USB dataloader was installed in Mike's plane the weekend following his delivery.

RedTailHawk said...

WetAndLame, please disregard the re-post comment from my last post. I read donw further and see that you already did it, AGAIN...

LAME-and-JUST-LAME said... Since when are premature failures and the inability to fly FIKI, IMC or with FMS 'value-added'? Are the ridiculous inspection and replacement intervals for windows, windshields and wing bushings value-added? I hear they are LRU's. Wow just like a mini-737, except for the ridiculous inspection and replacmenent intervals, oh and the NO FIKI, NO FMS, and NO IMC.

RedTailHawk said...

ColdAnFrail said... Nice way to specifically ignore the obvious BS about FL410 on delivery days BTW, you are a pro at letting the truth run off your back like water off a duck's back.

Mike already reported that he went to 410 on his proving flight, as did all delivered aircraft. I wouldn't expect you to know that though, you seem to be behind the curve with all your comments.

RedTailHawk said...

ColdAndFrail said... Nice too to ignore the OBVIOUS failures of the company to deliver an airplane that does what they said it would do and instead, try and fail, again, to make it about me rather than the scam from ABQ.

Nobody has ignored the obvious failures of the company. We only choose to ignore your bringing up the same catch phrases with each post. It gets VERY OLD.

FlightCenter said...

execlipser,

Thank you for your response on the 250 recently hired workers.

I was actually trying to find out how many total production workers Eclipse has on staff. Do you have a rough estimate for that?

Gunner said...

RedTailHawk said:
"These items are all being worked on, and will be eliminated in time."

Just got off the phone with Moller. They assure my the SkyCar is poised for success with the exact same minor disclaimer as you just used. Given that Moller's industry credibility is right about on par with Eclipse's, we should have another "revolutionary aircraft" to chose from..."shortly".

When are you guys gonna get it? You don't confuse future promises with present capabilities in professional aviation circles. And you don't get to have it both ways, claiming a certified, "revolutionary" aircraft while ignoring the fact that most of the "revolutionary" parts are not even certified as yet.

Teething pains are fine and I've granted that on items like the Pitot Failure. But, I'm sorry, an uncertified avionics suite is not "teething pains"; nor are wing and window problems that NOT ONE OF YOU has asserted have been certified as corrected by the FAA.

Do y'all have any idea how silly these kinds of comments make you look in serious aviation circles?

Gunner

RedTailHawk said...

Just another dumb ColdAndFrail comment:

DayJet is about $1,395,000,000.00 short in terms of being able to make good on its commitment for 62% of that vaporware order book.


See the discussion above...

RedTailHawk said...

Here he goes AGAIN...

ColdAndRepetitive said... You blindly accept that even after their repated LIES to you, after they treat you like some easily impressed neophyte moron, that what they say they are 'going to do' will somehow be done.

Would that be like having a functioning FMS in your highly-integrated, high-cycle reliable and easy to maintain wonderjet?

Would that be like being able to fly in known-icing in your highly-integrated, high-cycle reliable and easy to maintain wonderjet?

Would that be like having a fully-functioning autopilot in your highly-integrated, high-cycle reliable and easy to maintain wonderjet?

Would that be like being able to fly IMC in your highly-integrated, high-cycle reliable and easy to maintain wonderjet?

cherokee driver said...

Ken

I went to the trouble of writing a new draft AFM for my airplane today. I’ve got to tell you, I’m pretty darn excited how this thing came out. My airplane now cruises at 400 kts. The service ceiling is 41000 ft and my useful load increased 1000 lbs. I am completely ecstatic. I can’t believe it took me this long to do this. This has got to be the most capable 140 on the planet.

Because you’re my friend, I’m willing to do you a big favor today. I’m willing to sell my pride and joy to you for the low low bargain basement price of $500,000.00. Now that might seem kind of high for a 40-year-old Cherokee, but just look at those numbers! How can you go wrong? As a matter of fact, I’d be willing to write any modifications in the new draft AFM you might feel necessary for your new airplane.

An opportunity like this doesn’t come around every day. She’s a real beauty. I just had the engine overhauled. She recently had her avionics upgraded and everything works. The database is current. She’s IFR certified. I don’t know how you could say no, but to sweeten the deal, I’m willing to guarantee those numbers. I’m just working on a few aero mods to meet those projections. I’ve run the simulations on my computer and everything works perfectly. I’m not sure how long it will take to get them approved, but you can fly it away today. I’ll even throw in a copy of the draft AFM so you can prove to your friends what a great deal you got. What do you say Ken, do we have a deal?

RedTailHawk said...

Stan Blankenship said...
mirage/ken,

A year ago the wonder jet numbers were 375 kts @ FL 410.

And now we are supposed to get excited and hug ourselves when the airplane makes 330 kts @ FL 360.


That was 330 knots into a 25 knot headwind. And yes it is a big deal since those here said it wouldn't/couldn't happen.

mirage00 said...

A year ago the wonder jet numbers were 375 kts @ FL 410.

And now we are supposed to get excited and hug ourselves when the airplane makes 330 kts @ FL 360.


Stick around Stan... 370kts @ FL410 is right around the corner. I anxiously await your reaction then.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Redtail,

Nice to see you back and in such great form.

'Working on' is not the same as working, that is basic logic.

I make the same list because the same systems are still INOP, a little pilot lingo for you there.

INOP is short for inoperative, as in, not functional, as in does not work, as in cannot be used, as in does not do what Eclipse said it would do.

As to the tire and brake wear, trust me, it is only a matter of time.

It was before your time but for a while Eclipse had also not admitted why they actually were not at AOPA, they did not admit the wing bushing issue, they did not admit to the window and windshield issue, they did not admit to the freezing pitot issue, they did not admit to the failed avionics concept issue or the divorce with Avidyne. Each and every one of those issues was broached here first, and later verified by the press or confirmed by late in coming customer communique's.

You can try and rewrite history all you want, it is a transparent attempt.

You can also keep making fun of my moniker but it does not take away the FACT that this company has a record of lying to its' customers, would be customers, and the press.

It will not change the FACT that this company has a history of overexaggeration and dangerous stunts.

It will not change the FACT that this company has yet to make the airplane originally promised.

It will not change the FACT that this company has yet to deliver for the price originally promised.

It will not change the FACT that this company has yet to deliver with the functions originally promised.

It will not change the FACT that this company has yet to deliver with the performance originally promised.

It will not change the FACT that this company has yet to deliver with the the systems originally promised.

It will not change the FACT that this company has yet to deliver for the price originally promised.

It will not change the FACT that this company has yet to deliver on the schedule originally promised.

It will not change the FACT that this company has yet to deliver for the budget originally promised.

And yes, it will not change the FACT that the wonderjet currently has:

NO FIKI

NO FMS

Limited Autopilot

NO IMC

No GPS\DME\RVSM without equipment modifications

A restrictive Window and Windshield inspection and replacement interval

BTW, what is your position # or employment position at Eclipse?

mirage00 said...

That was 330 knots into a 25 knot headwind. And yes it is a big deal since those here said it wouldn't/couldn't happen

Especially Stan!

airtaximan said...

folks,

I thought the point has been that e-clips has over promised, and under deliverd.

No one here disagrees (I do not think) that with enough time, money and effort everything that was promised CAN be delivered.

E-clips is just way beyond the schedule, and after promising all this for many years..I must say, it IS nice to see some evidence of it coming to fruition.

** That's not to say they will be delivering many planes soon, as promised either.

- gotta wait and see on the fixes, mods and NGs... reliability, dependability and air taxi passenger service, plus high rate production, and the overall demand (order book) that seems to be mostly Dayjet and mostly pushing further out into the future - making overall viability highly dependant on MORE CASH coming in, soon...

Great to see some planes flying high, and fast - -that's what they are supposed to do.

Nice one.

airtaximan said...

coldfishyman,

I think FIKI will be a real trick. I'm hearing that condensation is a big problem, and this screws with all kinds of things (beyond Pitot) - I believe (just my poor intuition at work again) that they "left this for later" because of the problems that were creeping up already.

We'll see.
Anyone have any insight?

airtaximan said...

Mirage,

"Stick around Stan... 370kts @ FL410 is right around the corner. I anxiously await your reaction then."

This is pretty lame for a company with a TC and PC... wait around for the plane to demonstrate promised (revised) performance..

They should be routinely producing and delivering planes that can travel at the guaranteed speed and altitude right out of the hangar.

Is there a break in period we need to know about?

kidding...

No matter what, it is great to see the planes performing closer to the promise, afterall, what should be expected from the only twin engine high cycle airline reliable jet for $1.5M? Give it some time...

RedTailHawk said...

WetAndRepetitive said... I make the same list because the same systems are still INOP, a little pilot lingo for you there.

Did you get that for all your vast pilot experience. How about a "Roger, Will-co".

My fault, you are right of course. Eclipse didn't get it working during THE FOUR TIMES YOU POSTED IT TODAY!

ExEclipser said...

Mouse, RE: E-500 v G-550 comparison.

The point of my post is that what an aircraft is capable of and what the best performance is for any given mission can be very different, indeed. In fact, you made my point for me again with the Gulfstream. No one is complaining out there that it's advertised speed and range isn't being flown by an operator.

No one said that FL410 and 375 kts would be the flight profile for every Eclipse flight either.

You don't hear about the G-550's performance at FL330 or FL410 out of marketing. You hear FL510 at M0.885.

We all know that the Eclipse 500 can get to and maintain FL410. Speed - close. Range - coming.

Of course you can't compare the performance of an Eclipse to a Gulfstream. But you sure can compare marketing to practical application.

ExEclipser said...

Oh my goodness! N229BW is level at FL280 and only going 294 kts over the Rocky Mountains! The plane must be defective. The database must have been wiped out since arriving at FTG. The aeromods must have fallen off. I mean, if the plane can fly at F410, it would every time, right???

RedTailHawk said...

ColdAndFrail, you were right. N229BW is flying right now at 295 knots groundspeed into a 45 knot headwind - but only FL280. His database must have expired enroute. You are such a prognosticator.

Stan Blankenship said...

mirage,

Actually back when Eclipse was doing the 300 hr F&R, there was a flight doing 370 kts (with a tailwind) @ FL 410. It is probably in the flightaware data base.

Otherwise, I challenge you to find any statement I have made saying the A/C won't make FL 410.

In terms of my reaction if and when it ever makes 370 kts @ 410, it will be with a shrug of my shoulders.

Forty-two years ago, I logged my first hours in the Lear Jet, the delivery flight of 23-012, ICT-PHX.

After a direct climb to 41,000, power was reduced so as not to exceed the M .81 redline, 464 kts.

The airplane was priced at under a half mil, there was $13m invested in the program.

Well, you can say, that was years ago and prices have increased.

True but the ratio of the program costs to A/C selling price was 26:1.

Compare that with Eclipse...$750m in development cost for an airplane selling for $1.5m.

The ratio here, 500:1.

So other than the amount of money that has been p_____d away, what is here that should impress me?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Redtail,

I would be glad to engage you in a conversation of the FACTS or in a battle of wits, but I have this aversion to picking on an unarmed man on principle.

Since you lose on both counts perhaps you can instead answer what your 'delivery position' for an aircraft is or what your 'employment position' at Eclipse is?

RedTailHawk said...

Neither

RedTailHawk said...

As Gunner would say, "when you've only got one bullet left, make the best use of it." You've only got one line, and you stick with what you know best - foolish as it is.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Redtail,

You seem like the kind who would bring a knife to a gunfight, walking with your chest all puffed out, I would be happy to forego my usual kindness if you really wish to tango.

Gunner knows the difference between my L1A1 Sporter and my breach loading .22LR varmint rifle, do you? Care to guess which I would bring to a gun fight?

Same with the intellectual endeavor of trying to keep the focus on the repeated and significant failures of Eclipse and the wonderjet.

There is so much more than a single shot of ammo re: this BS company and the wonderjet, and your failed attempt to group ALL of the various failures as a single inconsequential and meaningless issue, easy to dismiss by resorting to 4th grade -playground tactics such as name-calling (stop it, you will hurt my feeling) rather than deal with any of the FACTS presented would be humorous of there were not billions of dollars and potentially hundreds or thousands of lives on the line.

Your attempt at a firearms analogy is as flawed as your logic accepting what 'will be' in the 'someday' because Vern said so as what 'is'.

So, if you want a new set of questions to answer I'll try simple ones that do not require much knowledge or even Vern's permission to speak.

Do you work for Eclipse or a vendor?

or

Do you have a delivery position?

mirage00 said...

So other than the amount of money that has been p_____d away, what is here that should impress me?


The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied win applause. ~Baltasar Gracian

It's a great little jet Stan, "plane" and simple :)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Here is another set of questions for the faithful.

Which world class vendors with great track records have been fired by Cessna on the Mustang project?

Which world class vendors with great track records have been fired by Diamond on the D-Jet project?

Which world class vendors with great track records have been fired by Embraer on the Phenom project?

Which world class vendors with great track records have been fired by Adam on the A-700 project?

The list of otherwise excellent companies left in the wake of the Verntastic Express would be awe inspiring as a vendor base for any aviation company, let alone an upstart. Companies like BAe Systems, General Dynamics, Williams International, DeVore, Avidyne and many more.

So why, when these companies are able to perform and excel, and have track records of success dating back years, if not DECADES, when working with any other company, do you suppose they suddenly just could not make it happen?

Because Eclipse is a 'demanding' customer?

That is one way of putting it. It is because they were mismanaged, misled and abused by Eclipse, that is why.

It is because Eclipse failed to provide defined ending points, constantly changed feature sets and requirements, and blamed the vendors for their own (Eclipse's) failures.

Coming up next, the flaws in the Eclipse business model, the flaws in the Eclipse support model, and the flaws in the air-taxi (as 'enabled' by Eclipse) model.

cherokee driver said...

Stan

I found a CPI calculator and plugged in your numbers. $500,000 purchase price in 1965 would be $3,225,500 today. $13m developement cost would be $83,863,000 today. Not bad for a bunch of dinosaurs. How many mods did you have to make after delivery to meet those performance numbers?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Redtail,

Does neither mean you have no facts or wits with which to engage or that your are neither an employee or an 'owner'?

If neither an employee or 'owner', why are you here?

If it is fair for Ken to ask this of critics (and I think it is, to a point anyway given Eclipse's penchant for litigation), then I think it is reasonable to ask it of you.

Why the religious fervor FOR the wonderjet and its' bombastic nekkid emperor?

JetProp Jockey said...

Maybe I read too many mystery stories!

What if the real business plan for DayJet is not to operate an AirTaxi business, but to sell and maintain Eclipse 500's.

Let's they could acquire 50 jets fully upgraded for say $1,000,000 average price based on a special deal with Eclipse.

They pull the plug on the AirTaxi bussiness because there just is not market.

This is early 2008 and the 500's are performing pretty good and customers are ready to get one.

All of a sudden there are 50 copies on the market for say $1,750,000 each including training.

That's $37,500,000 gross profit on the aircraft less some expenses. Send the Russians home and laugh all the way to the bank.

I would be a matter of timing to sell the right number of planes at the point that a bunch of customers are convinced it is the real deal and they don't want to wait 2 to 4 years to get a new one.

Actually, this business plan makes more sense the the AirTaxi business.

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

Jetprop...that was exactly what Aviace was going to do..and it has led to a lawsuit between them and Eclipse...initially an air taxi business...then Jet sales.

you can find tons of details on the net..but basically:

Aviace's lawsuit said it entered into an agreement with Eclipse for 112 Eclipse 500 aircraft. It said it has not canceled its order and contends there are no circumstances that entitle Eclipse to cancel the deliveries.

Aviace, which said it is paying $1,045,000 per plane, noted the list price of the Eclipse 500, according to the Eclipse Web site, is $1.52 million.

Eclipse's motion, however, said Aviace plans to re-sell the aircraft to other customers, "thus directly competing with Eclipse's sales efforts." According to the Eclipse motion, Aviace's Web site boasted of an inventory of more than 20 "early delivery positions" of the Eclipse aircraft at a sales price of $1.65 million.

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

HotDryTunaofFantasy: "If neither an employee or 'owner', why are you here?"

Ummm... Stan is neither an employee, ex-employee, owner, or potential owner.

Thank goodness he allows people to post disagreements to his thoughts about the program.

ExEclipser said...

N109DJ, N110DJ, and N126DJ (S/N#000006, 000007, 000002 respectively) are now on the FAA Registry with the owner's name "DAYJET LEASING, LLC".

So now that they are in the FAA Database, can they be considered delivered to everyone's standards?

ExEclipser said...

Also, according to the database, N#'s 508JA, 500VK, 504RS, 941NC, 816KD, and of course 229BW representing S/N's 000001 through 000010 (excepting 000009) are registered and accounted for as delivered. I'm sure the other 4 are in the FAA registration queue...

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"Which world class vendors with great track records have been fired by Cessna on the Mustang project?"

How would anybody know? Cessna isn't very open about that kind of thing.

In fact, I think it is fair to say that much of the bad publicity about Eclipse came about precisely because they've been very open about their problems.

Cessna went several months with the Garmin problem in the Mustang before reporting it. There is no way to know what other issues may be there that are unreported or under-reported.

You're faulting Eclipse because they very publicy ditch underperforming vendors. Do you work for one? That would tie in very nicely to your otherwise incomprehensible attitude toward the plane and the company.

It would explain why you keep saying silly things that are just simply wrong like the plane's database cannot be updated or the wing spar bushings need to be inspected very frequently. You keep saying those things over and over again as if constant repetition will make them true. You must think the readers of this blog are pretty stupid if you think they'll fall for that one.

Ken

ExEclipser said...

Considering that Cessna already had a supply chain in place with proven relationships makes this really an unfair comparison.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I have told you before Ken, I am not in industry now - I work for myself in an unrelated field - and when in industry I was not with any vendor or 'competitor'.

Nice try to, again, make it about me instead of the obvious failures of your wonderjet and the company that claims to make it.

Ken, answer the question, why have these suppliers, who perform very well, day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year, on program after program, for OEM after OEM, suddenly have such difficulty with the Eclipse? It is NOT because the Eclipse is so different a plane - with the exception of FSW for structural parts (which has been used on non-structural parts for over a decade), NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING the Eclipse is 'supposed to do', including the simple things it will currently NOT do like FIKI, IMC, FMS, fully functioning Autopilot, Flight Director, etc., none of these things are earthshattering, they have ALL been done before. The technology, the algorithms, the suppliers, the concepts, they ALL already exist.

So why such problems with one, single, solitary program, from one, single, solitary OEM?

Either Vern is right and the rest of the industry does not know what the F they are doing (ignoring the hundreds of thousands of airframes and billions of miles flown since planes were invented a scant 104 years ago)....

OR

Vern and Eclipse are creating these problems themselves through poor vendor management, poor vendor specification, poor requirements definition, poor design practice, etc.

Execlipser - you missed the point, I was asking why Redtail is here - many of us, Stan, Gunner, ATM, EO387\24, Ken, me, yourself included (if the same execlipser), have explained why we are here, just curious what Redtail's reasons are for being here.

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

……….…. there's about a million bucks difference between these two planes…..But I can certainly think of some interesting things to do by saving a million bucks on a plane. Like maybe buy 4000 hours worth of Jet-A for it!

Ken,
Are you assuming the value of the Mustang will be worth 1 million dollars less the day it flies off the showroom floor? Lately Cessna products have been selling for 10% or greater than the original sales price the day they leave the nest. I would think the residual value lost over time would be a better comparison.

Ken said;

…………….You've compared a fully-loaded Eclipse to a base-model Mustang. It is true that a Mustang with no options costs a little over $2.8 million for delivery in 2009. But if you "fully-load" a Mustang, you add well over $100K to the pricetag.

Ken,
According to Cessna, even if you add all options, such as HF pre-wire and Satellite phone prep, ADF, NiCad battery and the upgraded TAS Honeywell for 28K, the TOTAL available options is less than 60K. I’ll bet standard Mustangs are the most prevalent.

Why do you keep saying 1.5M for the Eclipse? The next regular available 500, based on the revised production projections will be a 2010 model with fully loaded price of about $1.95M. It seems (on Controller) even the early positions are 1.8 plus options?

To make the aircraft as close to comparable as possible, one must add nearly all the options on the Eclipse. Which options would you leave out and still make it remotely comparable? Copilot instruments?… standard on the Mustang. LX interior standard on the Mustang. The sixth seat, refreshment center and potty are all standard on the Mustang, so I added them on the eclipse, even though you can only have one of these items onboard at a time. BTW, I did say the difference in price is 800-900K.

Not too many people in this price range are purchasing a “jet” for economy. The purchase price is just the ante. Lets face it, travel by private jet is the ultimate luxury……. Why buy a BMW over a Ford. Both have “4 wheels and a seat”, ample service centers, and a decent warranty. Little more room in the big BMW, but it does burn more fuel than a Focus. The point is, there is a 4 times difference in price between a 20K loaded Focus and a 80K 745. There’s only a 30% difference between a Mustang and Eclipse. If the consensus is true, (Eclipse volume doesn’t happen) and Eclipse has to raise the price even 250K in order to eek out a profit, the 500 will be a hard sell in my opinion. It will always be worth a million less than a comparably equipped Mustang….. or Phenom….or used CJ.

Another interesting point on value. In the last 5 years Piper has produced something like 25 Malibu Mirage’s per year at about 1 million per copy. There have been 100 Meridians (including Jetprop conversions) produced per year…. Four times the volume in production. Same cabin, same avionics, similar range, but nearly double the fuel burn…. And nearly twice the price! My opinion, buyers will pay extra if there is a value attached.

The deliveries being made now by Eclipse are supposedly going to early deposit holders which paid 995K….. that’s a different story. For these buyers I can see the Focus-745 argument, but not if the planes are ultimately $500K apart or less.

Gunner said...

Did someone mention the L1A1?
Now THAT, son, is a Battle Rifle.

On to some quotable Quotes for the Day:
Mirage said:
"The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied win applause. ~Baltasar Gracian"

So true, as is this:
"Argument with one who has rejected reason is like administering medicine to the dead. ~Thomas Paine"

Ken Meyer said (out of earshot of this Blog: "By my calendar, we're overdue by more than a week on that commitment. I, too, hope that Eclipse will affirm or revamp the production schedule very soon."
Ken, please don't tell us that you're one of those guys who's gonna defend this company, tooth and nail, so long as it's other Depositors who are being called on for progress payment. Please don't let us question whether you're getting a bit concerned because the Cash Monster is coming up to your turn? Please don't remind us of that High School Kid who was always "First to Fight; First to the Pavement".

C'mon, Ken. You asked me the delivery order of my three Diamond Jets. I promptly and courteously responded. Fair is fair: what's your approximate delivery number for the EA-50X?

Ken Meyer said: "In fact, I think it is fair to say that much of the bad publicity about Eclipse came about precisely because they've been very open about their problems."
Please tell us you were kidding here. I mean, you really didn't meant to post that line for all of posterity to judge you on, did you?

Ken Meyer said, "You're faulting Eclipse because they very publicy ditch underperforming vendors."
Three words for you, Brother Ken: Av-I-Dyne. Broom was visibly dismayed when that company went public with the divorce news, which Eclipse knew for months. And why wouldn't he be? It came in the midst of Vern's attempt to grab those first 300 Progress Payments.

And last, but by no means least, NinerZulu said:
Mike Press reported this morning:
"Flight director inop. Raw data approaches."

Pay no attention, folks. Probably Pilot Error.


This is truly better than TV!
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"According to Cessna, even if you add all options, such as HF pre-wire and Satellite phone prep, ADF, NiCad battery and the upgraded TAS Honeywell for 28K, the TOTAL available options is less than 60K."

Sorry CJ3, that's just wrong. Why is it we have so much incorrect information posted here??

I'm looking at the options list for the Mustang right now. If you buy all the options, you run up a tab of $111,345 and a weight penalty of 93.5 lbs.

"Why do you keep saying 1.5M for the Eclipse?"

That's the price of the plane as stated in July 2006 dollars. You really need to compare prices between the two aircraft in time-specific dollars. Done that way, the base price of the Eclipse is $1.52 million; the base price of the Mustang is $2.70 million ($2.395 million in August 2002 dollars adjusted by CPIW to July 2006). By my calculator, that's well over a million dollars difference; it's actually close to $1.2 million difference. You agree with that, don't you?

"To make the aircraft as close to comparable as possible, one must add nearly all the options on the Eclipse."

You can certainly do that if you want, and the Eclipse still comes out a million bucks less, but personally I think that's kinda silly. The Eclipse is a smaller, lighter aircraft (which of course is why it burns so much less than the Mustang)--people buying it know they aren't going to be able to use the 6th seat, lavatory and refreshment center at the same time.

"Not too many people in this price range are purchasing a “jet” for economy. The purchase price is just the ante."

I think you're wrong there. At the Mustang price, Cessna will sell a modest number of Mustangs. At the Eclipse price, Eclipse will probably sell an order of magnitude more. IMHO they'll do it because price does matter. It matters upfront, and it matters ongoing. The Eclipse burns a lot less fuel than the Mustang, but that's not the only savings--the extra $1 million or so in upfront costs for the Mustang are a gift that keeps on giving--higher cost of capital and higher insurance year after year.

Look, I'm not saying the Mustang is a bad plane. Not at all. I think it is a great plane. I'm pointing out that it is not nearly as cost-effective as the Eclipse.

Ken

Eric said...

If the FD is INOP how's the Autopilot doing? I'm assuming it is just operating is basic modes. I remember the Eclipse MEL being posted on here way back when... anybody know if the airplane takes hits for that? Like maybe requiring two pilots

cj3driver said...

Ken,
What is the date on your optional equipment selection guide for the Mustang.
I just got mine today. Its 3 pages.
Only 8 items for serial # 20 and on. ADF, Chartview, TAS, HF wiring, XMradio, Iridim ant., 40 cu.ox, and Nicad are the only options.

Most of the options are not needed.

I've put a call to my salesman.

Total of all options is $60,450 and 44.9 lbs

Gunner said...

How many hours does Mike's jet have on it? Anyone know?

Still, not to worry, eric. Eclipse is using this new-fangled, 30 year old technology called LRU's. Yep, if my memory's correct, Vern actually invented the LRU. Nothing to see here, folks.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

LRU in the Eclipse VERNacular stands for Lies Regularly Used.

Sparkling examples are:

"We are working on that, will have it done in two weeks."

"We have the best suppliers in the world, except for the formerly best suppliers in the world who just couldn't hack it on our demanding program that we publicly tossed under the bus."

"Just look in the DRAFT AFM for the plane we have yet to certify or deliver and you will clearly see we are the superior value."

"Because Vern said so, that's why..."

"Because Vern said so, that's how..."

"Because Vern said so, that's when..."

"This airplane was designed with monosodium glutamate in mind, just lookee here at this reel-em-in-ability whitepaper and don't forget to write that progress payment check."

Green-or-Red said...

229BW must have a strong tail wind!!!

Eric said...

Years ago, at a company where I worked as a ramp agent, we had a brand new 737 taxi in with the #2 thrust reverser still deployed. The airplane was on its 2nd or 3rd revenue flight. The cargo bins were still perfectly white with only a few scuffs!

Brand new airplanes will always have squawks that come up and I suspect Eclipse will be no different. What will be telling is how fast and how easily they are fixed. In the case of the Boeing is was a couple of hours to fly mechanics and AOG parts out to do the work. We'll see how Eclipse does over the next 6-12 months. As I've maintained before, time and the market will be the real teller of the Eclipse story.

Gunner, we'll see if this is an LRU issue or what... hopefully Mike Press announces how quickly it was fixed since he mentioned that it was INOP.

cj3driver said...

Ken said;
...........Cessna will sell a modest number of Mustangs. At the Eclipse price, Eclipse will probably sell an order of magnitude more.

Ken,

An "order of Magnatude more?"
Maybe with taxi's but not with owner operators.
What is your guess in the owner flown market?
I'll bet it would be even or less.
Check the Malibu vs. Meridian comparison. "magnitude is reverse for the more expensive (and capable) plane"
For that matter, Meridian, TBM comparison. TBM burns 40% more fuel, runs faster, slightly larger cabin, but over one million dollars differance in price. Where's the "magnitude of order" differance on orders for Meridian??. Sales similar per unit

Lets say the million dollars made the differance in Eclipse's case(I don't think so based on the previous comments). But for the "magnitude" to happen you must have volume. To have volume you must have taxis. There just is not enough market owner flown. No taxis, no volume, no volume no magnitude, .....no million dollar differance. :)

cj3driver said...

Ken,

I think its going to hurt when all the DayJet planes hit the market in a couple of years or less. Maybe there will be the "million dollar difference" (or more) after all!

Eclipse needs to start on another model NOW.... I dont think they survive another 8 years unless they do. .....Think low volume higher price to subsidize the 500. The 600 should be a SJ30 with 4" larger diameter cabin.

Ken Meyer said...

eric wrote,

"If the FD is INOP how's the Autopilot doing? I'm assuming it is just operating is basic modes. I remember the Eclipse MEL being posted on here way back when... anybody know if the airplane takes hits for that? Like maybe requiring two pilots"

Eric, I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the flight director may be among the items never finished by Avidyne in the original Avio implementation. That is probably why the autopilot has just basic altitude and heading hold. I'm a big fan of Avidyne (I love the EX500 in my current plane), but anybody can see they really flubbed up on the Eclipse Avio and just didn't get the work done.

The initial release of Avio NG is supposed to fix that omission and many others. If it hits the line as scheduled around S/N 100, Eclipse will be a really nice plane pretty soon.

Of course it is not bad now--Someone (Stan, I think) asked me earlier if I would accept delivery of an Eclipse in its present state. My answer is "You bet; absolutely." I managed to fly just fine for over a decade without GPS and I currently only use the basic heading/altitude hold functions of my autopilot, so it wouldn't be a big hardship. And it would be more fun to ride out the wait for Avio NG in a jet than in my piston twin :)

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"I think its going to hurt when all the DayJet planes hit the market in a couple of years or less."

If I recall correctly, all fleet purchasers have substantial constraints on their ability to resell their aircraft within x years of purchase in order to avoid the scenario you describe.

Ken

FlightCenter said...

CJ3Driver,

While I think that your argument that people will pay more (and buy more aircraft) for a higher quality / higher capability product can be made successfully, the Malibu / Meridian comparison isn't really a valid proof point.

There are much better cases you could choose from the biz jet market. For example, Raytheon sold 117 Hawkers last year and 23 Premiers.

However, there are many reasons why the Meridian outsold the Malibu over the time period you are tracking. There are also some potential lessons learned for Eclipse.

Malibu sales were significantly impacted by the Lycoming engine problems. I don't know if you remember, but a large percent of the Malibu fleet was grounded while Lycoming worked through the crankshaft issue.

Piper didn't really want to sell an aircraft that wouldn't meet basic reliability / safety standards. So they stopped selling the Mirage during this period. Even after the issues were resolved customers were reluctant to buy an aircraft that had a cloud associated with it.


Another reason that the Meridian outsold the Malibu during this time period was that after the Lycoming issue was sorted out, Piper was hit by a couple hurricanes which reduced thier production capacity.

As you point out, the Meridian sells for close to twice the price of the Mirage and the company makes a lot more profit per Meridian. So that was another reason that they consciously decided that they were going to produce Meridians over Mirages.

airtaximan said...

Ken:

You ARE having a great day man...this stuff cracks me up!
Nice one, way to go - I'm still laughing! Funny stuff -terrific really.

"but anybody can see they really flubbed up on the Eclipse Avio and just didn't get the work done"

I can just see it now...Vern twiddling his thumbs, paying all the way - the semi-annual phone calls "Hello, uh, is it ready yet...OH, no, OK, sorry to bother you guys...I'll call back soon..."

"Hello...yes, Avidyne...er ah, yes, I'm looking for anyone who can discuss a system you are supposedly developing for my E-clips plane over here in ABQ..you know, the revolutionary air taxi jet...mmm, is the program manager there... Oh, I see..lunch..hmm..OK, I'll call back another day.."
"Hello, er, ah, yes, OH its you! terrific, the avionics, your AVIO, the highly integrated system you are working on in a dark room somewhere all by yourselves since 8 years ago - the one I'm paying for... is it finished? NO...OK. Sure 6 more months..OK, no problem, whew! I was getting worried..."

"Hi: you its Mr. Raburn, sure, I'd LOVE to talk to him...OK, sure. COmpleted, TErrific, not functional, and that too not working...OK, WHat about...oh not that either...Hmm...How much longer? OK..."
VErn calls Ken: " Ken, you think everyone will be OK if some of the Avio system is not working???"
"Are you serious?"

"Ken, is going to be
U P G R A D E D...SHHH, only you know this...is it OK, now? Will you send the 60% progress payment? The plane will have a TC and PC WAY before the avio is finished, so...were going to...

Click....

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"Maybe with taxi's but not with owner operators. What is your guess in the owner flown market?
I'll bet it would be even or less."


You're suggesting a dichotomy that I used to assume, too--that either sales went to air taxi companies or they went to owner/operators.

But it turns out that a fair number of sales are going to yet a third category--owner/non-pilots, i.e. people who are not pilots but buy the plane because it is the most cost-effective way for them to get by private jet from point A to point B. Two of the earliest deliveries went to guys who are not qualified to fly an Eclipse (in fairness, Dave Crowe--a really nice guy by the way--is a pilot, but he knows he's not far enough along in his piloting to be flying a jet on his own; the other purchaser doesn't fly at all).

I think there may be a substantial market for owner/non-pilots. Eclipse probably thinks so too--I see they've been advertising to folks in publications like Forbes Magazine where the target appears to be guys with a moderate amount of money (really rich guys buy a Gulfstream or CJ3) who just want decent, reliable transportation.

Sad but true, the cost of the pilot is far from the most significant cost in owning a jet, so a guy could buy an Eclipse and hire a pilot to be available whenever he wants.

And then there are fractional operators sprouting up all over the place for those who don't want to own a whole Eclipse, but still like the economics of the plane.

To answer your question, I really just don't know what the owner/operator market is for this very cost-effective jet. Time alone will tell how many Baron, 414, 340 and TBM drivers wind up flying it. But I think you'd be missing a major portion of the Eclipse market if you think it is just air taxi and owner/operators.

Ken

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

When Mike Press reports that the flight director failed, that would imply that the flight director was working on previous flights, and probably was working at the beginning of the flight.

So I think it is extremely unlikely that this report has anything to do with whether the flight director function has been completed or not by Avidyne.

I'm certain we would have heard of it before if the aircraft didn't have flight director function as part of the TC.

I'd also bet that the flight director function was working when the aircraft was delivered to Mike. I'd be interested in hearing.

By the way, the flight director is a function that is normally performed by the autopilot, not the displays.

It is more likely that when Mike reports that the flight director failed that:

1) there was a wiring issue between the S-TEC autopilot and the rest of the Avio avionics systems to which it connects.

or,
2) I suppose it could also be a problem with the autopilot itself, but it seems unlikely that the flight director would fail while the autopilot itself continued to work. I believe it is the same physical flight computer running the autopilot and flight computer.

or,

3) There could also be a bug that Mike discovered in turning on flight directors or turning off flight directors or some error checking routine that determined that the flight director wasn't performing to spec. These type of issues would need to be resolved in the specification between the displays and the autopilot.

It will be interesting to see how this issue is resolved.

airtaximan said...

hahaha! MAN, it just like "who's on first, what's on second" with you today Ken...good one...

"owner/non-pilots" are another market...

Hmmm.... guy's who have never owned a plane before? Is this what you are saying, Ken?
'Casue if they've owned a plane before (even if they are not a pilot) they show up in the conventional market, already.

If you have many folks who have not ever owned a plane, fraction etc... BUT they just NEED an E-clips for transportation - well this IS a wonderful new market.

How many so far Ken? I would be interested to know how many orders and options these folks have...'cause everyone else missed this induced demand generated by E-clips.

That's some powerful stuff, there Ken... the twin engine jet for under $2 million creates a mad rush for jets from non-pilot first time aircraft owners!

Fabulous stuff...

Ken Meyer said...

Flightcenter wrote,

"When Mike Press reports that the flight director failed,"

Did he actually say that? :)

Ken

passinthru said...

Hey all,
Take a look at FlightAware and the numbers that N229BW (production aircraft #4)is doing right now. It looks like it's coming back to NM from CA...

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"Fabulous stuff... "

We agree! I think it is a surprising new market. I have to tell you that my wife predicted this market a year ago and I poo-poo'd it back then. But it turns out she was right; there are people buying the airplane that are, in every respect, like owner/operators except that they do not know how to fly.

Ken

airtaximan said...

flightcenter,

Ken's logic is alittle screwy, no?
Imagine a pilot saying something went inoperative, and a third party came up with excuses that the system was never fiinished in the first place.


What kind of thinking/logic is this?

What could motivate someone to overlook such simple, honest reasoning? and make such silly remarks, excuses and blame?


"buyer's remorse?"


It IS a good plane, it IS finished, It works just fine, and I LOVE her... she's all mine!

airtaximan said...

Ken:
try to be reasonable for a second, here...

dayjet has at least 1400 of the orders and options

that leaves 1,100 or so...

- you claim a majority of these have never owned a plane before?
really?

Ken Meyer said...

"you claim a majority of these have never owned a plane before?"

Is that what you think I wrote, AT? OK; here is a link for you:

Rocky Mountain Learning Systems Remedial Reading Program

They can help you :)

Ken

Eric said...

FlightCenter,

The plane I fly fits in the #2 slot. If the FD function is totally INOP then the autopilot doesn't work (to my knowledge). I've so far only flown it with the Yaw Damper MEL'd (which also makes the autopilot unusable but FD function remains).

airtaximan said...

Ken:
look at the squiggly thing at the end of the sentence... it looks like this - ?

If this is not what you are saying, please explain yourself a little better...

The hole might be getting a lot deeper, though...

Please explain who this new market is? You refer to them, so I guess you might be able to educate the rest of us as to who they are?

Thanks

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

Ken-
Been a lot of back and forth today, but I'd really like you to answer a question which you posed to me and I answered honestly. What's your delivery position for the EA-50X? If you wish anonymity on that, a range of +/-25 would be fine.

If you refuse to answer the question, at least say so.
Thanks much-
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

I'm addressing what was reported on this blog earlier today at 3:04 PM, May 14, 2007.

'Mike Press reported this morning:

"Flight director inop."'

The fact that "flight director inop" was the lead item on his report implies that the flight director was working on previous flights and the rest of my post regarding flight director stands.

I apologize for using the word "failed" instead of "inop" in my response to your post.

I will attempt to be more precise in the future.



Eric,

You are right, if the flight director function fails, that means the flight computer has failed and for most autopilots that means the autopilot function will be disengaged as well.

However as you point out, and you are right, the reverse is not necessarily true. For example, if a servo fails, in most autopilots this would disengage the autopilot function but in most cases the flight director would remain engaged.

The FD bars are telling the pilot what the autopilot would be doing if it were engaged.


Are you flying an Eclipse?

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

Has Eclipse provided you with an AVIO Pilot's Guide yet?

Have you had a chance to read one?

That should answer the question as to whether the aircraft is certified with or without a flight director.

If you haven't read the Pilot's Guide, can you talk to someone who has and report back to us?

Ken Meyer said...

Flightcenter wrote,

"I'm addressing what was reported on this blog earlier today at 3:04 PM, May 14, 2007.

'Mike Press reported this morning:

"Flight director inop."'"


...but that was taken out of context. He didn't just post that as a Eureka moment, he posted it in response to this question:

"Mike or Dave, is the flight director currently operative on your aircraft with the Avidyne system? Are you able to use the flight director for your check ride, or are you flying totally raw data approaches?"

In response to that, he wrote, "Flight director inop. Raw data approaches."

I haven't seen an AFM for an actually-delivered aircraft. The PIM (i.e. generic non-serialized AFM) discusses the flight director as if it works (but it also discussed the DME as if it worked even before the data loader was approved).

Ken

Don & Marg said...

Someone put a comment about a Gulfstream doing 501kts at FL410.
Gentlemen that is about Mach.862 at -50C,ISA plus6.Don't think it would be much hotter at41k.
Regards to all and Happy Flying.

mouse said...

Has everyone forgot when the EA-500 was supposed to be certified? I wonder how Avidyne could be such a surprise problem child if the plane was going to deliver back in 2003?

Avidyne did eveything they were asked, and it was all working about 90% back in 2002. The design kept changing, and items were asked for that had not yet been developed or even thought of.

It's hard and expensive to hit a moving target, and Vern dances like the governor (Charles Durning) in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". One way Eclipse keeps from being hit, is by changing everything all the time. Vern calls it Diruptive Technology, when it's really just a kick the can manuever to throw customers, investors, Etc. off the scent.

cj3driver said...

"I think its going to hurt when all the DayJet planes hit the market in a couple of years or less."

Ken said:
If I recall correctly, all fleet purchasers have substantial constraints on their ability to resell their aircraft within x years of purchase in order to avoid the scenario you describe.

Ken,
When the company goes BK that agreement goes with it, I doubt the bankruptcy court or the lender will park the planes for X years.

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

In fact, I think it is fair to say that much of the bad publicity about Eclipse came about precisely because they've been very open about their problems.


I guess they were four years late (and counting) because they spent too much time on PR. Interesting theory.

Did it ever occur to you that Cessna just knew what they were doing? They said they would do something, and then they did it. Your vague implications that they had as many problems but covered them up is ridiculous.

Cessna went several months with the Garmin problem in the Mustang before reporting it. There is no way to know what other issues may be there that are unreported or under-reported.

Ken, you so chastise people spreading false information but you are just as guilty of that here. You know this isn't true, but I guess you need your "solace" where you can find it.

The "Garmin bug" for Mustang was known shortly after it happened and a service note was published by Garmin 17 days after it was discovered. It was fixed and flying in 4 weeks, certified in 9 weeks. This is how a professional aircraft company handles it.

The Mustang is done, the Eclipse is not, it is that simple. Every Mustang delivered meets the specifications, no Eclipse delivered does. They are selling prototypes, welcome to jet beta testing!

Ken Meyer said...

"The "Garmin bug" for Mustang was known shortly after it happened and a service note was published by Garmin 17 days after it was discovered."

You are revising history to suit your vision of the world. That's fine with me, but for those that prefer fact to fancy, here are the facts as Avweb reported them:

"Cessna spokeswoman Pia Bergqvist told The Wichita Eagle
(http://www.kansas.com/101/story/37885.html) the problem was discovered shortly after the first delivery of a Mustang (a company
demo plane) last November and there haven't been any [additional] customer deliveries."


That version jibes with the emails I myself received from Cessna saying they would deliver S/N 4 and S/N 5 in January. As we all know, they did not do that, and now we know why.

Your version is that they developed a glitch in February and halted deliveries in January because of it.

It seems to me that's an Alice-in-Wonderland mixed-up view of the world where cause follows effect, but if it makes you happy, that's fine by me.

In the end, it doesn't make any difference. The thrust of your argument is that Cessna has been around longer and has more experience developing jets.

Is that a revelation to you?

The majority of the $1.2 million additional price tag for the Mustang over the Eclipse reflects that reality. Is their experience worth an extra $1.2 million? That's between the buyer and his wallet, but it seems from the order books that most people don't think so.

Ken

ExEclipser said...

cj3: "An "order of Magnatude more?"
Maybe with taxi's but not with owner operators.
What is your guess in the owner flown market?
I'll bet it would be even or less."


According to the September 9, 2002 press release, 530 of the 2000 orders were by owner/operators. The remaining were fleet/fractional. That's 1/4 of all sales. The total Mustang order book as of 4/30/07 (per Aviation Week) is 250 aircraft, then, yes, the owner/operator purchases of the Eclipe are indeed an order of magnitude above the Mustangs.

That's based on publically released information. Never mind about order books being cooked or phantom. I agree that there are a lot of things in Eclipse's numbers that don't make sense. I don't necessarily believe Eclipse's fleet numbers, but I don't have any reason to doubt the owner/operator numbers.

ExEclipser said...

Besides, the price point of the E500 is the best choice for owner operators. If, for the most part, an owner is going to be just flying himself around or a couple of buddies, it's the most economical (and now certifiably 'green') way for millionaires to go about it.

airtaximan said...

A few weeks ago, there were 42 listings for e-clips on Controller, now there are 36. Before anyone gets all huffy, we've all accepted the fact that this is not definitive regarding the secondary of the market, just indicative.

Anyhow, it would appear, as predicted, this is becoming a Sellers market. One strange thing though...

"Late 2007 Eclipse--Below factory"

"October 2007... Discounted $30,000 below factory price."

" PRICE REDUCED! FINANCING AVAILABLE! Offers welcome! Below Company price!"

"June 2007 Delivery; Owner anxious to sell--make offer"

"Early 08' DELIVERY-- Priced $50,000 BELOW factory price."

"Earliest Gold S/N273, New Date: November 07. PRICE REDUCED! FINANCING AVAILABLE! Offers welcome! Below Company price!"

I'm wondering WHY would anyone continue to try to sel these advantageous early delivery positions for BELOW FACTORY?

Strange...

airtaximan said...

execlipser,

Just remember one thing, Mike Pres wrote that as of early this year, 100 early delivery positions were traded...that would indicate a heavier than normal weighting on "speculators" as opposed to purchaser looking to own & operate the plane.

According to your numbers, it could be a very high percentage...and we're not through the "speculator" orderbook either...folks are still selling.

Stan Blankenship said...

eclipser,

By definition:

Order of Magnitude = Ten times bigger

ExEclipser said...

Stan - IF 1/5 of Mustang sales are owner/operator, that would be 50 of the Mustang Sales. That's just about 1/10 of the number going to Eclipse owner operators.

airtaximan said...

"European certification and first delivery of its Citation Mustang earmarked for this quarter"

very interesting FI article...


http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/05/15/213803/europes-promise-very-light-jets.html

Stan Blankenship said...

eclipser,

Overlooked the fact you were quoting cj3 and his use of the term. I am not sure he intended to say there was a ten times difference.

airtaximan said...

"IF 1/5 of Mustang sales are owner/operator,"


what if its 1/10th... kidding, but I think you are offf by a long shot. Also, there are fewere speculators, and Cessna is not targeting the air taxi market.

I'd say 80% of their order book is "traditional" operators, and they are real orders, not fancy "options".

E-clips, well... who know's really? I'd give you "one airtaximan's opinion" but I'd just get slammed, like Ken slammed Stan yesterday...

For e-clips consider...
- 229 real orders from Dayjet, the rest are "options" in one way-shape-or-form
- the rest of the orderbook includes some fleet "orders" with "options"
- some of the 100 aftermarket sales were from "speculators" and there could be some of them still in the book...

so, how many real individual owner-operators are there?

I'm sure Ken will say he knows, but he won't be right, and he won't put anything behind his wrong opinion, either..

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gunner,

Not sure if mentioned yet on this blog but on FlightAware Mike Press N229BW flew at FL350 on his way back from California to ABQ. Can we now check off that the Eclipse is RVSM and focus on the other issues on your checklist? :-)

FlightCenter said...

All the talk of performance numbers got me looking through news reports on that topic. I found this in AvWeb dated 12/5/2006.

'According to a second announcement, Monday, the promised goal of 370 knots (TAS) and 1,125-nm range has been met through that program. Eclipse expects "to have this configuration certified sometime between mid-March and mid-April 2007."

The changes include modification to tip tanks, a horizontal/vertical "bullet" fairing, covers for control surface hinges, extended rudder and elevator surfaces, modified engine pylons and nacelles, improved aerodynamic wheel covers and gear fairings, and a FADEC adjustment to allow more thrust at typical cruise altitudes.'

Does anyone have an update from Eclipse as to when they expect to have the performance mods certified?

Eclipse Addresses Delays And Performance Guarantees

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

Vern says that he has 750 owner / operator orders in this interview from Feb 28, 2006.

Flight International Interview

WhyTech said...

Bloggers,

You are wearing me out with your "how many angels on the head of a pin" arguing. Focus on the forest, not the trees. Here are the big picture issues:

1. Can Eclipse continue to raise the capital necessary to buy the time necessary to get the airplane right, ramp production, and get the service centers stocked and staffed to a level to support the fleet? My experience as a private equity investor says maybe but probably not. Eclipse investors and Board are very near the limit of their patience with this project. Savvy new investors putting in substantial capital at this point are going to write the rules, and they wont be kind to current investors and management, IMHO. My back of the envelope calculations indicate that another $500 million minimum will be required to see this through, allowing for the kind of uncertainties which have surfaced to date, especially delays, which are the primary driver of cash burn at this time. Capital (time) will sovle the technical/certification issues eventually.

2. Is the market there to sustain the business model? IMO, no, but I have been wrong on such issues as many at least as may time as I have been right. When the owner/non-pilot comes to understand the limited utility of the EA500, and the time and dollar investment required to use a private aircraft as a routine traveling machine, this market will be gone. "Millionaires" will not want to ride around squeezed into this little airplane if they can afford anything more comfortable and status enhancing.

WT

airtaximan said...

Flight center:

Should we just go with that number and cut in in half accounting for the V factor?

- how many "orders" are "options"
- what's the real numberm if Vern says 750?
- how many are speculators?

** BTW, I agree whole-heartedly with Whytech... but the details of this "order book" facinate me. In the end, after $1 billion and 8 years...all the ads, PR, convention booths, and even the bus-boards at NBAA...how many real orders are there for this plane? If its not many, many orders, in the thousands, the program is shot, and a failure. All the hype should have attracted many more orders. Since TC and PC, a flood should have come in... but their hype was successful at attracting many of the prospective buyers, upfront. There has not been a big bump in the order book in a long time.

- it is central to the issue of sustainability of the high-rate-low-cost business mdel, that WAS touted as a "technological" advancement in aviation. Without the rate, there's no low cost.

Without the air taxi market, there's no rate. From "the bonanza fo the future" perspective, so far its a failure.

Pray for Dayjet. I'm sure Vern is...

Eric said...

FlightCenter,

No Eclipse fun for me. I fly Embraer 135/145s for a Regional Airline. I'm a "systems guy" so I'm pretty familiar with how everything works on the aircraft (though some information is not available to pilots). Our aircraft has Honeywell avionics and they work pretty well.

If Ken said the Flight Director was always INOP per Avidyne's failure to deliver I have to assume the autopilot has a basic altitude hold that is still operable. Let me give you my logic for that statement:

~RVSM rules state you have to have an "operable" autopilot with altitude hold to operate in RVSM airspace. As far as I know this rule applies to 91, 135, and 121 operations.

~If your autopilot dies while in RVSM you must tell ATC but you may not necessarily have to leave RVSM (kind of like the DME above FL240 rules), however, if your autopilot is inop before you enter RVSM then you are prohibited from entering.

~Interestingly, as far as I know the rules state that you have to use the A/P, just that it has to be "operable". I've hand-flown and leveled off in RVSM and that's perfectly legal since the autopilot worked. By the way, if the "Autopilot Engage" button is MEL'd, the autopilot is said to be "inoperable".

Conclusion... if Mr. Press is operating at FL350 with the FD INOP then he must have an altitude hold mode that's operating off the ADC's altitude output. If not, well... I would have to assume that he's a smart enough guy not to announce hand-flying his airplane with an inoperable autopilot in RVSM.

Shalom

Eric said...

Correcting an error...

...as far as I know the rules state that you don'thave to use the A/P...

airtaximan said...

eric,

knowing everything you know, would you fly for Dayjet?

Eric said...

If I didn't have my current job and I lived in Florida... maybe. I would definitely not be one of the first ones lined up at the door to work for them. As I mentioned a few months back, it wouldn't be too fun sitting in that airplane with no APU to run the PACKs for air-conditioning. If their uniform was khakis and a polo the heat may be a little more bearable. I know some Part 91 corporate guys who do the khakis and polo thing and they don't mind the heat. I've talked to other guys about DayJet and haven't received a very positive response.

I know a few people who have applied for Skybus (new startup out of Columbus, OH) and interviewed. No one I knew took it because they were not given very much information about how things would run as far as pay and work rules. Getting only vague answers doesn't make most guys too excited. Skybus is starting up with Airbus A319s or 320s (can't remember which) which is a known airplane.

Ken mentioned the owner/non-pilot guys hiring a pilot for relatively cheap. Ken, you're right, but the question is "how cheap can you get a qualified and insurable pilot?" If I was going to be somebody's personal pilot and be on-call 365 days a year I don't think I'd accept anything less than $60,000 plus bennies for a CA position on a two-pilot crew. If we operating single pilot all the time and you still had the right to call me away from my family at Thanksgiving then it'd be $120,000. Maybe I'm greedy (probably) but if you want the right to take me away from my family you'll have to pay for it.

I know there's guys out there willing to work for very little just to fly a shiny new jet (called SJS or Shiny Jet Syndrome) but these dudes aren't usually insurable for Part 91 ops.

Okay, that was pretty long-winded and I know there's probably typographical errors, please excuse them.

~Eric

ExEclipser said...

I think that DayJet should go polo/khaki as opposed to airliner polyester. I don't think that in the current business climate that would be inexcusable.

airtaximan said...

flightcenter:

from the FI article you posted:

"Around 1,300 of its orders are from six air taxi companies, some of which are scarcely more than paper companies"

- Hmm...6 air taxi companies have orderd around 1300 of Vern's planes...really?...Dayjet had ordered more than 1400 themselves... if we ADD the other 5 air taxi companies' planes perhaps the number will go down to 1300? I wonder what the real "orders and options" from the 6 taxi-wishfulls really are...

more from the article:
"Raburn is also quick to point out that almost half of Eclipse’s orders come from what might be called traditional customers"

- really? so half the order book (Dayjet plus 6 other air taxi companies have more than 1400 really - maybe 1600, 1700 ?) is from traditional customers - this would be another 1400-1700...that would be around 3300 orders, right? I think they were claiming around 2200 at the time. Vern being very conservative I guess..

plus from the article:
"750 orders are from owner-pilots, many of them owners of ageing piston aircraft"

Is this the THIRD half? OK, its part of the second half - or is it part of the total 2200 or so?

...and, where's Ken's new market he's been talking about lately - the surprise market his wife anticipated, when even HE did not think it would pan out? when pressed for some details to better understand this new market...he ran and hid... maybe he had to ask his wife what the market was? I wish he'd tell us - he brought it up...

** seems like a lot of BS to me...then account for 4 years later, the order book is only a few hundred more (by some mathematical cogetation, I guess) and you have your "recipe for disaster".

Whytech, what do you think?

They make it?
They are toast?

when?

FWIW, I think he can rasie more money! I love a track record... this guy's been phenominal (no offence embraer) at raising money.

airtaximan said...

Eric:

A few thigns to consider on the uniforms:

1- Day-Ed hates ties, so I could imagine on this basis alone, the polo and khakis could make it for dayjet uniforms

2- dry cleaning uniforms is expensive, compared to washing your own polos and khakis - since dayjet is lowering the cost of charter..another tick for casual, 'cause its cost effective

3- Polyester will be kinda hot and sweaty...and witht he passengers and pilots squished into this little plane, I'm sure the overall customer experience will be far better if less sweaty uniforms are involved.

I guess your idea of polos and khakis makes terrific sense all around. We can only hope the passengers dress cool and casual as well!

Thanks

ExEclipser said...

The numbers as I see it (not saying they're real, paper, false, vapor or anything like that):

2500 Total=

1400 Dayjet
+750 Owner Operators
+ 30 Linear Air
+ 3 Dole Foods

leaves
+317 to Other Companies

That number has GOTTA include everyone's options.

Eric said...

ATMan,

My thoughts exactly. After two legs in the hot July/August Florida sun these crews will be looking pretty bad. Can you imagine how much bleach they'd use getting the yellow pit stains out of white pilot shirts every week? :)

Good times...

Gunner said...

EO24 asked:
"Gunner,
Not sure if mentioned yet on this blog but on FlightAware Mike Press N229BW flew at FL350 on his way back from California to ABQ. Can we now check off that the Eclipse is RVSM and focus on the other issues on your checklist? :-)


Actually, no, though I'll take The Faithful's word for it for now. We know that Eclipse was not RVSM capable as of a matter of weeks ago; we know that DayJet 126DJ has yet to fly above FL270. We know that the database would have expired on May 10. And we know that Mike Press's aircraft is based at ABQ where database updates can easily be performed even if it means pulling the "LRU".

This, like so many of the claims of fixes has never been documented. Eclipse's last public word on many of the problem systems was that they were working on fixes. I think it's disingenuous of some to demand "proof" for every bit of opposing analysis while offering responses that too often include, "it's working; I just can't tell you how I know".

If the KNOWN DME, RVSM, Wing Attach, Window Failure, Pitot Icing problems are resolved in a manner consistent with usual and customary documentation and certification, Eclipse should (and, I think WOULD) make that public information.

As it stands, even their most trusted Depositor, Ken Meyer, admits he has yet to see an actual AFM for the currently delivered configuration.

In short, I accept the fact that Mike's jet has a current database and grant benefit of the doubt that this is a permanent fix. But there still IS some doubt.

Fair enough?
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

I'd bet that they really do have 750 owner / pilot orders.

That's a pretty good number for a twin turbofan aircraft.

Cessna sold 433 CJ1 aircraft over the last 10 years.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gunner,

Didn't the limitation of the database put the ceiling at FL240? The DJ's are obviously above that right? This would conclude database not an issue right? Becoming an approved RVSM operator is the problem. I posted the links to that documentation some time ago. Everyone points out that the mustang flies at FL410 but no one has yet to prove that is by the owner of the plane. If being "demo'd" by Cessna then they would be the operator and would certainly be an approved RVSM operator. So, again I will ask you: If DJ and other EA500's are flying above FL240 doesn't that suggest the database issue for the synthetic DME has been fixed? Am I missing something here?

EO24

Ken Meyer said...

eric wrote,

"As I mentioned a few months back, it wouldn't be too fun sitting in that airplane with no APU to run the PACKs for air-conditioning."

Eric, don't you think DayJet will just pre-position APU's at each of their Dayports? The Eclipse has a really nice electric vapor cycle system that keeps the plane comfy cool with just ground electric power. And it works--even in really hot weather--unlike a lot of aviation air conditioners.

Take a look at this picture:

Eclipse and APU

When it's hot in Albuquerque, they just run a guy out with this thing to keep the AC running for the turnover. My guess is DayJet will do exactly the same thing. Odds are, they'll want to save the batteries by doing APU starts anyway, so why not use it to run the AC, too?

Ken

JetProp Jockey said...

RVSM limit is above 28,000. I fly at FL270 all the time without it. Meridians lost FL280 to their certified ceiling of FL290.

If there is something else that limits at FL240, I don't know what it is.

airtaximan said...

Kenny...

That'd be a GPU - APUs are normally installed in the tailcone, but whose counting.

and... what about all those "per-jet" flights to non-Dayports... are they going to position these around all the GA airports, so that when someone charters, or when someone goes to a Day-stop (as opposed to a Day-port) they can remain fresh and clean smelling, as well?

I think you are onto something here, thogh. Have you called Ed about this plan?

Gunner said...

What JetProp said.

I had thought the FL240 limit is based on DME inop, but I could well be wrong. Regardless, that is obviously no longer an issue.

Coincidentally, N126DJ continues to file at the very top of the Non-RVSM limit; not at 19K, 22K, 31K or 38K, but always at 26/27K.

Thus, as I said, I take y'all's word for it that the RVSM issue has been permanently fixed; but reserve some reasonable doubt. After all, this is Eclipse we're dealing with.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

F-center,

no doubt 750 is an impressive number compared with conventional order books.

but it doesn't jive with their business plan... they need more orders to get the price down low.

with no recent big bump post TC and Cert, I'd worry if I were them. And, it appears as if they ARE worried - they cut back on color copies, and took out full page ads in business magazines, and went on a european tour.

They are trying to build the order book now. Probably just to get it to resemble what they've been telling people is 2500 orders with Dayjet accounting for 229 +70 options.

Eric said...

Ken,

As ATMan pointed out, the GPU provides electric power to the aircraft through a generator driven by a gas/diesel engine. An APU is installed in the aircraft and runs on JetA and can provide Bleed Air, Electric Power, and sometimes Hydraulic (I think there's a couple of older airplanes that have a hydraulic pump on them... could be wrong).

So the Eclipse's A/C is all-electric? Is there no Air Cycle Machine like many other small jets? Most jets use bleed air for the ACM and then bring that air into the cabin for pressurization. However, if the A/C in the EA500 is electric and not receiving bleed air, where does the source of pressurization air come from? Is there a pump on the engines?

I'm not trying to attack you with questions, just curious about how the air conditioning, pneumatic, and pressurization systems is set up. Your extensive knowledge of the airplane is far better than my extremely limited knowledge.

ExEclipser said...

The EA500 is all electric. Only thing that isn't are the brakes. Bleed air is provided by the engines for heat and pressure.

A/C is provided by a [very poorly designed] VCS system (much like what is in a car). There's a huge condensor but its installed at such a poor angle that airflow over it is very inefficient, thus requiring an additional fan. Really don't know what benefits the VCS doors provide...

EclipseOwner387 said...

JJ,

I know RVSM doesn't start at FL240. I fly 270 quite often. But the Eclipse USED to be limited to FL240 because the GPS was inop and you must have DME or GPS providing synthetic DME to fly above FL240. It is a little known rule but if you had followed this blog closely it has been discussed by the critics in great and exhaustive detail. But somehow the critics are now confusing GPS database with the RVSM discussion. Eclipse is RVSM. Let's focus on AVIO NG, FIKI, etc. RVSM goes as a win in the Eclipse column as hard as it is swallow for the critics. Just keeping it real.

JetA1 said...

Ken said:

At 5:52 PM, February 16, 2007
By the way, I just heard that Cessna had to cancel the Mustang's appearance at KFTW today because the G1000 dumped and couldn't be fixed. Mustang's a nice plane, but this report suggests it is not immune to teething pains.

and then Ken says:
At 12:09 AM, May 15, 2007
Your version is that they developed a glitch in February and halted deliveries in January because of it.


Starting to lose track of which story you are posting Kenny?

From the 1st customer delivery press release: Goode currently operates a Cessna 310 twin-engine piston aircraft. He completed his single-pilot Citation Mustang type rating on March 1, becoming the first customer to be rated in the aircraft.

Doesn't make a lot of sense to deliver airplanes in January if you don't have any customers to fly them. Oops, I guess Vern's been doing that from day 1!

Unfortunately, Ken, you were correct...on your Feb 16 post, even the location, I'd stick with that source.

JetA1

Gunner said...

EO-
Fact: The EA500 was not capable of flight above FL240 due to the database update problem.

Fact: This was discussed (if not broken) on this Board, which discussion was appropriate.

Fact: RVSM is not DME dependent.

Fact: RVSM regards flights above FL280, not FL240

Fact: Only aircraft with specially certified altimeters and autopilots may fly in RVSM airspace, otherwise the aircraft must fly lower, or seek special exemption from the requirements.

Fact: N127DJ has yet to fly or file above FL270, despite a very long, three day trip home.

Fact: Mike Press HAS flown twice above FL270.

Therefore, I say for the THIRD time: I take the Faithful at their word that the RVSM issue is resolved. I retain my right to a bit of skepticism in this regard, as we are dealing with a company notorious for twisting and redefining aviation terminology and Legend for secrecy and misleading statements around existing problems and current certifications.

I don't think I could possibly be more fair than that.
Gunner

ExEclipser said...

Gunner, RE: Fact: N127DJ has yet to fly or file above FL270, despite a very long, three day trip home.

...That we know of, based on information gathered from FlightAware.

Fact: Eclipse has 5 Flight Test aircraft, of which FlightAware has no data for three of. Doesn't mean they're not flying, but does mean that they're likly not filing with their N-Number.

Fact: DayJet has taken delivery of three aircraft, yet only one is shown on the radar scopes. Doesn't mean they're not flying, but does mean that they're likly not filing with their N-Number.

ExEclipser said...

According to today's Aviation International News:

Although Pogo CEO Robert Crandall had indicated in the past that the Eclipse 500 might be suitable for its pending air-taxi service, the company had not publicly stated that it plans to buy the Eclipse VLJ. At a VLJ forum held in West Palm Beach today, however, Pogo executive v-p of operations Mike Stuart revealed, “We intend to be in [that] platform.” Stuart did not indicate how many Eclipse 500s it had ordered, or intends to order, other than to say “We are in the process right now.”

Gunner said...

Eclipser said:
"Doesn't mean they're not flying, but does mean that they're likly not filing with their N-Number."
No kidding. Of course that does beg the obvious question, "Why?".

Wanna take a stab at the answer?
Gunner