Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Die-Hards? Perhaps Not!

Comments Posted Today on the Eclipse Owners Forum

"I could understand their continual delays with the FAA, but I am amazed to read that they can't even get their act together to train pilots.If it is true that they can't train us to fly the plane when it is delivered, or at least provide enough trained mentor pilots, then we will be buying $1,500,000 of metal that can't be used, but have to carry. I say we should band together and at certain point we can't be forced to give them the 60% if there is no way they can deliver us a plane that can actually be flown..."



"Please tell me this is not true and what the current (as of right now) training resources and plans are.

A no reply will be taken as a confirmation of the posting, and if true I can pretty much assure Eclipse of a customer revolt, likely followed by same from the investors.

Hopefully, this is an error or some misunderstanding.I look forward to your prompt reply."



THERE HAS BEEN NO REPLY!



"I made my second factory tour last week, my first was in February. In the two and a half months, very little has changed. At most only 5 or 6 serial numbers have been added in primary assembly and there were 2 or 3 empty stations there. There were 4 empty stations in final assembly and not a lot of workers around. In the test hangar there were 2-3 aircraft there all day (the same ones) and I was told the rest were out flying, but none ever returned during the entire day.

The touted “maintenance facility” is a joke. It is a small, community hangar with 5 or 6 aircraft in it (2 were DayJet) with almost no technicians and no tool chests or test equipment or other normally appearing equipment seen in “operational” maintenance facilities. The only work going on was a couple of guys on a ladder trying to remove a drill bit left in the tail section of one of the planes."



Another owner writes:

"Just confirmed it, if you were taking delivery in 2 weeks (#20 or so) you can't get a slot in training for about 60 days after delivery, and even that assumes everything goes smoothly between now and then (no fleet groundings, pilot's own planes are 100% reliable for training and check rides, etc.)

Quoting Eclipse, "the focus was on getting manufacturing ramped up and getting the PC, so not enough attention was paid to ramping up pilot training so the planes could actually be flown, until after the PC was received. We are trying to ramp up as fast as possible but it is going slow. The next customer training is in early June. Then only 2 pilots will be trained every 2 weeks until we can expand capacity (date TBD)."



"It seems to me that the backlog will grow, not shrink, (as I hope they are delivering more than 2 planes per month.) I guess Eclipses are piling up in the hangers.

Wonder when they will turn their attention towards service and support for the fleet, such as staff and parts at field service facilities, so you aren't stuck flying to ABQ at your own expense anytime anything needs service? If they weren't thinking about training ramp-up, I am guessing there are other aspects of their program in similar shape. What about aero mod retrofitting, avionics retrofitting, etc., etc., etc?"

"I'm beginning to think they will be lucky to ship 100 planes this year, especially if ship means with trained pilots so they can be flown, not just delivered. I would concur with pete’s ending comments. I, too, wonder where Eclipse and all of us are heading.

By the way; Where is the follow up regarding the pitot/AOA problem promised by 10 days after 4.23.07?"



Thanks to Niner Zulu for sharing this information.

119 comments:

Ken Meyer said...

Well, it's true there is a problem with the training.

Eclipse says they have completed training or are in the process of training more than 50 pilots.

In February, Eclipse announced that it had a staff dedicated to the type rating course consisting of 2 supervisors and 11 instructors. But now they're saying that for the time being they can only handle 2 pilots in each session.

Which of course begs the question, "Why does it require 11 instructors to teach 2 pilots?"

I do not know the answer to that. I'm working on it.

Ken

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

……BTW, what year CJ1 do you think you can buy used for $1.6 million?

Ken,

I don’t think you could buy a used CJ1 (‘00-04) for much less than 3 mil, but I have seen strait CJ’s (‘93-99) advertised for just under 2mil.

Do you think you can buy an actual “flying” Eclipse for 1.6 million? ...I mean…. could I write a check for 1.6 million and fly away in an aircraft tomorrow the same way I could paying two mill for a CJ? No position, no promise of delivery, no promise of performance, no promise of service and parts,….. sometime in the future? I’ll bet not.

Even the lowest priced early delivery (<100) eclipse is 1.8 mil. for a plane that doesnt even exist yet.

Maybe there will be a resale of a “flying” Eclipse in the coming months, but, I think if Eclipse makes good on its promises, and the plane eventually performs as you say, even the resale prices will be more than 1.6 million. If the company goes TangoUniform, you may be right. I could probably pick one up for less than 1.6M.

Ken Meyer said...

Stan worked through the last post so fast, I think I might not get the help I was looking for unless I repeat it.

I started by observing comparative performance between the 3 jets I'm considering. Here are the numbers for a typical 800 nm trip for the Eclipse vs the CJ1 and Mustang, all at 35000 feet.

CJ1: 2:14, 1958 lbs
Mustang: 2:28, 1605 lbs
Eclipse: 2:21, 1122 lbs

(generated on Flitesoft Commercial)

From there, I went on and agreed with those who say the plane is not done yet and probably shouldn't have been released until it is done. The training of course is a perfect example, but the GPS is another very good, and there are others (I don't think the FIKI is fair though--many planes are first delivered without FIKI).

So I asked with sincerity, show me what would be a better application of $1.6 million and I'll listen.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken Myer-
Good Lord, sir, I respect you more by the post, this day. You needn't badmouth the EA-500 or tell tales out of school. Just keep doing EXACTLY what you're doing...I'll gladly settle for that.

The honesty is greatly appreciated.
Gunner

Gunner said...

ps: Ken-
I'm in the EXACT position as you in terms of Mission Profile (and I think you know that).

Yes, like you, I can afford a Mustang. But I can't rationalize one, given my typical mission. OTOH, I KNOW I can't afford the EA-500, given its track record.
Gunner

cj3driver said...

I guess my question to you Ken is.... do you have to have an "new" airplane or will you settle for used? Because there is not a new plane available today... and I mean "today" that will do what Eclipse claims. Not even the Eclipse 500.

If you will "settle for used" then the next question is what is your typical mission, payload and range. If its more than 1000nm and five people with luggage than the CJ is in the running. If its 400nm... stick with the Eclipse (if your a gambler). Or, buy a CJ now, fly it for a couple years and upgrade to an Eclipse in two years.

Lloyd said...

From what I understand Eclipse is in a situation where they have to get their pilots type rated, all of the instructors type rated, the FAA personel type rated, so then the owners can be type rated and then signed off.

Owners going through training will increase drastically once everyone else is done.

gadfly said...

Just imagine “Antiques Road Show”, in about fifty years:

First contributor walks up to consultant: “I have this old “DVD” of a Pixar movie called ‘Jets’ . . . sort of like that early movie called “Cars” . . . it features this little airplane that lives in New Mexico (back when it was still part of the United States) . . .”
“Yes, that’s worth about ten Euro’s . . . if you can get it to play”.

Second contributor: “Here’s a picture of an early jet airplane that I recently found in Grandpa’s barn . . . has these swirling stripes on the side . . . was once painted mostly white, with a strange symbol on the tail . . .”

“We checked the Al Gore Internet Encyclopedia and determined it to be a petroleum burning flying contraption . . . the serial number is above fifty, so it isn’t worth much . . . but had you not removed the original varnish, you could have been in possession of a most rare piece of history . . . the ‘Space Alien Museum’ in Roswell will pay top Euro for one in mint condition. You say it has less than a thousand hours on it? . . . No, sorry, but they’re all like that. You said your Grandpa was Ken “who”?

gadfly

(Apologies to "Ken" . . . a sudden attack of scarcasm overtook me, and I couldn't escape.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Once the mark figures out he IS a mark, it is all over 'cept the crying, and perhaps the lawsuits.

'Bout time the owners show some moxy, if anybody has anybody by the short and curlies, the owners are the holders, and Vern is the holdee - IF they can hold together as a unified group.

The BOD isn't gonna do it, so somebody has to.

The 'lack' of training is a red herring to take the focus off the delivery issue.

Yes, I will guarantee they invested time and resources elsewhere in a shortsighted band-aid of the day, but think about the benefits - take the money, 'deliver' the planes, bask in the glory of 'success', and then scapegoat the training as to why the skies are not darkened with an aluminum overcast, 3 tons at a time.

Look for another head to roll or another 'promotion' to Senior Fellow or some other such nonsense - followed by some nasty talk about how United failed, it is 'their' fault.

I have known 5 year olds better able to take responsibility for their mistakes.

cj3driver said...

BTW Ken,

If fuel burn is the most important issue (since maintanance on any light jet will be similar, you could always pull the power back on the CJ to LRC. In addition, as I have posted before, with the extra range and payload on the CJ, you can ferry fuel (and save as much as twice the cost on fuel). The larger roomier cabin is available as a bonus if you want to take friends and family... You wont regret it and you can be flying in 20 days.

Otherwise, for a larger cabin than Eclipse, half the fuel burn and reasonable speed, The JetProp is a great choice.

P.S. most used CJ's are on Power by the Hour or TAP, and ProParts, so maintanence and service are predictable with no suprises.

Black Tulip said...

A PARABLE

Some years ago our company founder was selected Inventor of the Year by the Museum of Science. Several of us took turns manning a booth at the Inventor's Fair held at the Museum.

A nearby booth contained an interesting but unfinished machine. It was a four-foot diameter wheel festooned with capacitors, inductors and switches around the rim. Magnets were mounted on a stationary frame. It was attended by an elderly gentlemen who was proud of his soon-to-be-completed Perpetual Motion Machine.

A young engineer examined the gentleman's invention and began to ask penetrating questions about the laws of thermodynamics. As the hotshot bored in, the old man began to get uncomfortable. Just then another man stepped over and asked to young engineer to step away for a minute.

I followed them and heard the man give the 'kid' this advice, "Don't be too hard on him and his Perpetual Motion Machine. What would an Inventor's Fair be without such a machine? He can dream. We want the old gentlemen to come back to the next Fair." The chastened young man moved on.

With this in mind, I suggest we be nice to Eclipse Aircraft supporters, depositors or investors who contribute to this blog.

Black Tulip

Black Tulip said...

The blog has moved quickly... to repeat:

Ken,

If your going to get typed in the Citation or CitationJet go to Mitch Ange of Arizona Type Ratings of Scottsdale. He's tops and uses both the aircraft and SimCom's Citation II simulator next door.

Black Tulip

highfloat said...

airtaximan,

I am a 'member' of DayJet in that I signed up, for free, on the website to keep myself educated about what they're doing.

I thought I might receive email updates or a 'welcome' email but to date (two weeks) have not received anything.

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3driver wrote,
"I guess my question to you Ken is.... do you have to have an "new" airplane or will you settle for used?"

Good question.

I'm okay with slightly used (maybe 5 years old). But having had a 10-year-old Cessna twin (now 27 years old), and living where there is no maintenance, I'd have to say new or nearly-new is important for us. A new plane designed for air taxi use (i.e. designed for high utilization and low downtime) would be a big plus.

Ongoing cost is very important to us, probably more important than upfront cost. When you look at the Conklin & deDecker reports for the Eclipse and CJ1, both the DOC and the total operating costs are 50-60% more per mile for the CJ1 than the Eclipse. That fact, plus the fact that it would have to be old to come in at even the price of a Mustang, make it a hard sell for me.

There are some interesting numbers in the Conklin & deDecker report on the CJ1:

NBAA IFR range: 1161 nm
Max cruise: 381 KTAS
OEI climbrate: 850 ft/m
Full fuel payload: 430 lbs (pilots included in BOW).

Those numbers are pretty close to the Eclipse (the speed, payload and range numbers are a bit better, the OEI climb isn't quite as good). I thought there would be more range advantage to the CJ1 than the C & D report shows, and the full-fuel payload surprised me a bit.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

Black Tulip wrote,

"If your going to get typed in the Citation or CitationJet go to Mitch Ange of Arizona Type Ratings of Scottsdale. He's tops and uses both the aircraft and SimCom's Citation II simulator next door."

I did actually talk to Simcom in Scottsdale last year about getting a Citation type rating (thought it might be fun and good preparation whatever jet I wound up getting). They run a nice facility; we go there every year for recurrent training in our present plane.

I hadn't heard about Mitch Ange and Arizona Type Ratings, but I'll catalog that info in case the need arises; thanks a lot.

Ken

gadfly said...

Now, I ask you all . . . isn’t it better to be one big happy family again? . . . ripping the little jet to shreds, but without tearing out each other’s guts? Ah yes, it’s great to be a big congenial fraternity once again! May peace be on you all!

gadfly

(The secret is in the timing, and avoiding the “personal attacks”, which tend to get ugly.)

And a few “post thoughts”:

Aside from all that has gone before, Eclipse should be required to “put up or shut up”. And, unless someone has an unlimited amount of money to “burn”, it would be wise to back off and allow Eclipse to prove themselves, before anyone advances them another cent.

If they can produce what they have promised, wonderful. If they cannot, no-one should invest another penney in the enterprise. Somehow, that seems a simple, logical, conclusion to the matter.

And, I ask, what is so difficult about that approach to any new venture? Eclipse may be the greatest thing that ever came down the “pike” . . . and maybe not.

Get the emotions out of the picture, and use the “grey matter” that God put into your skull. It’s not that difficult, although “rare” these days.

And that’s the thoughts of the “gadfly”.

Black Tulip said...

Ken,

More on Citation training at Scottsdale. I've been doing Citation recurrency there for several years. The SimCom Citation II simulator started off poorly, especially since they are supposed to have spent over ten million on it. Last month it was greatly improved with very nice visuals including circling approaches. Also the flight models have improved to the point that it lands nicely.

Mitch Ange of Arizona Type Ratings instructs for them in the simulator and leases his Citation I to SimCom. I recommend him because no one knows the airplane better and the price is reasonable. A friend of mine with no previous jet experience but the yearning for a VLJ was just typed by Mitch. Plus they flew around for a dozen hours or so and he really learned what light jets are about.

The initial or recurrent graduation excercise is you flying the Citation into the Sedona airport... not to be missed.

Black Tulip

gadfly said...

Here's something to use for your "desktop" background (it looks great on a "Dell" flat screen, at 1920 x 1200):

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0703/horizonmoon_nasa_big.jpg

It's the closest thing I have found to resemble the scene that you "Learjet" jockeys see, from time to time. Clip it to your screen size, and "enjoy".

And, by the way, the "Astronomy Picture of the Day" is something for which you have all paid with your taxes . . . start each day taking a look at God's creation. It might even change some of your thoughts about the "little jet", and what it can, and cannot do.

gadfly

WhyTech said...

BT said:

" the price is reasonable"

Dont keep us in suspense! What is reasonable?

Been thinking about a CJ-3 type rating at Flight Safety and I believe that the tab is around $19K - all sim.

WT

cj3driver said...

Ken, Mirage,

Why do you keep saying 1.6 Million?
There is no 1.6 million available "today". Unless you already hold a position, and you dont order any options, there is NO 1.6 million dollar airplane. dont forget, you have to put up 60% of the price 6 months (you hope) before delivery. thats another 30K+. (6% on deposit assuming it really is 6 months, based on record I'd say 1 year if lucky!) Again, add options and you are way over 1.8Million.
(sorry.. posted in the wrong spot)

Ken,

The market has determined what the value of a completed or soon to be completed Eclipse is. Its about 1.8 million today (well equipped, check Mike Press's site) Even with the "threat" of VLJ's a nice used CJ is 2.4 million. If the VLJ threat was real, the used CJ market would be in the toilet by now. In fact the opposite has happened. The used market for CJ’s is better than its ever been. Less inventory, higher prices.

That gives you a base value that could be carried forward. I believe that difference ($600K) will remain relatively constant over the years. (assuming Eclipse is viable) Basically the old adage "you get what you pay for" will ring true in the long run. The Eclipse is not revolutionary, it just fills the “Smaller, lighter, less capable and lower price market” that wasn’t being filled before. The basic Eclipse technology has been, and is still used today, with the larger more capable (and more costly) CJ, so the ratio between a 3 year old Eclipse and a 13 year old CJ... will be similar, three years from now. And… if its true and Eclipse delivers over 1,000 planes, there will be a lot of owner looking to move-up. GM and Ford stay in business that way.

The Mustang will similarly fit in the same formula.

The two planes are a different class. It’s not like comparing the Cirrus, Columbia or Saratoga, 206. All about the same price, similar performance. However, When comparing bang for the buck on light jets, I’d put the 600K on the used dinosaur.

BTW- If Eclipse goes TU or raises the price of the 500, I think the CJ, Mustang market get real hot, real fast. After all, there’s over 1100 owners waiting for their $837K jet (in June 2000 dollars!)… I mean $995K jet…. Make that $1,175…. no, $1,295…….. ok 1.8 final answer……

Black Tulip said...

Whytech,

From memory recurrent training was about $5K with checkride in the aircraft. Additional time in the plane is $1,600 per hour. If your doing the initial 'just for grins' then Arizona Type Ratings is the way to go as there is maximum time in the airplane.

I'm guessing Mitch has typed close to a thousand people in the Citation including dozens of Koreans, Chinese and a few luminaries including Frank Borman.

Black Tulip

WhyTech said...

BT said:

"I'm guessing Mitch has typed close to a thousand people in the Citation "

So maybe there is hope for me. I do my PC-12 recurrent at SimCom SDL so this would be a good fit.

Thanks.

WT

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

....Conklin & deDecker reports for the Eclipse and CJ1, both the DOC and the total operating costs are 50-60% more per mile for the CJ1 than the Eclipse.

Those numbers remain to be seen. I wouldn't put my 60% up untill then. the Mustang and the CJ arent that far apart. I bet the Eclipse wont be either. They just isn't that much differance .... FWIW

EclipseOwner387 said...

I am being told to expect training in August. My pilots are gearing up and studying the material to be ready. I would assume the plane (SN24) will be ready in June or July at the latest. Luckily I am not in a huge hurry. More time will equate to more "fixes" to Eclipse's IOU list.

FWIW

EO24

cj3driver said...

EO387,

Congradulations on your slot.
If I could be so bold, How long ago did you put up your 60%? In your opinion has the company treated you fairly, Also, I'm sure your position is not for sale, but if it was, What would you be willing to sell it for?

g.smith said...

after reading many comments I can't keep from commenting. I have 25,000 hrs of flight time 15,000 in corperate jets. Mostly Lears and Hawkers. I have owned over 30 jets used in 135 charters. I stood in line to listen to Tony Fox in the 1970's sold j85's to Jim Bede for his BD10. and was one of the first SJ30 dealers. Eclipes has made the same mistakes that all start ups make. That can be fixed given enough money. The pilots will be able to transition to a jet, very little time will be spent at 41,000 ft in an eclipes. The main concern is the fact that this plane is too small to be a success in the 135 biz. Day jets either has no idea or is just there to support the order books for investors. If day jets was real they would have started a pilot program with existing aircraft to prove their biz plan. If they go the way side will eclipes keep going selling 150 to 250 planes a year and at what price? I hope for aviation in general that they make it but having put up deposits on paper airplanes before I would not bet on this one from this point in time.

cj3driver said...

Ken,
Here's what I think you should do. I assume you do not use your aircraft for business (or you probably would have a turboprop or jet by now). So.... next month, Sporty's is auctioning off Mustang #13. Minimum bid is 2.67 million. The balance goes to Aviation charities (hopefully good causes). This "premium" should be tax deductable this year (check with CPA) With the tax savings this brings the cost down by a fair number, since Cessna is backloged on the mustang three years, your exit stratigey is to sell the 07 Mustang (probably for more than you paid, or at least as much) and take delivery of a later model Eclipse. You could probably sell your position (Eclipse) for more than you paid today and apply that to the Mustang. In the worst case, I'm sure there will be an Eclipse owner 3 years from now that would be willing to upgrade to the Mustang on a trade plus cash.

airtaximan said...

Imagine you are Vern, and all this crap was hapenning around you at e-clips aviation. What would you do?

I dispelled with honesty, reason and practicality, and came up with the following scenario, which if I were Vern, I'd probably consider.

Here goes:

There are many problems, but the biggest problem is that there is no real inidcation that the economics of the e-500 program makes any sense. There are not enough orders, and thus not enough production volume to justify any of the economies of scale to provide lower cost. The rate reportedly required to even come close to the $1.5 million e-500 is around 500 units per year. This volume is extinguished next year, if we believe any of the reports on the order book and delivery plans. So...

While facing a financial disaster, and after a European tour to bolster the order book which didn't make a dent compared to the volume required for lower cost from suppliers (or there's no possibility of making money on the e-500...) I'd (Vern'd) make the following press release:

OshKosh 2007
E-clips Aviation Announces their New $680,000 (CY2007 dollars) E250

- we are using as many parts, systems and assemblies in "common" with the e-500 (NGs, Wings, Avionics, Seats - I bet Vern would say its 85% common, or more)

- we always said we are building an aviation company, not just one plane (living up to the promise...)

- FAA certification, due to commonality of parts, systems and process (the key), of the E250 will only take 18 months or less.

- market surveys were done and we have received 1,000 orders for the e-250 already

- The e-250 is a single engine 4- place, with better performance by 25% GUARANTEED than Djet or THEJet.

- maybe an air taxi launch customer, as well...

*** new product is a nice distraction from the realities of today's problems at e-clips. More parts, systems and sub assemblies could be purchased making the volume for these go up, and the price for these go down. The new model can be priced in line with the larger GA customer base's affordability and thus make a good case for higher volume. Its also insurance against Dayjet failing because it does not rely on the taxi market, which BTW is doing fairly well with a single engine prop right now in SATSair etc...

thoughts?

Stan Blankenship said...

Here are three things to watch for:

1. A letter to the customers from Vern or other company rep that will provide a status on all of the open issues.

2. A report from the E5C that will provide a status on all of the open issues.

3. A report from Mike Press detailing his experience on taking delivery, training and a status of all of the open issues.

Hopefully Mike will provide the actual empty weight and CG location of his bird along with a list of options he selected.

While Mike likes to paint a happy face on everything related to the program, IMHO the guy has tried to be honest to preserve his integrity and since he is acting as a broker/sales guy for the airplanes, I would think he has some fiduciary responsibility as well.

thebigriper said...

Read a story in the latest issue of PrivatAir today about John Travolta. Nice story about a guy that has always had a passion for flying. But what people on this blog might find interesting is that he is an Eclipse customer and apparently already has his bird as it was shown in a picture in front of his house. No tail number though. The story also said that he is close to finalizing a deal to be a spokesman for Eclipse.

airtaximan said...

griper,

and I her Angelina Jolie loves her SR22, too.

I like the tone of the post "Travolata's finalizing a deal to become spokesman...."

Now that's a good use of investors'/depositors'/taxpayers' money

PS. just 'cause theres an image of a plane in front of his home, does not mean he's taken delivery... remember, its Vernland plus Hollywoodland we're dealing with here, not the aviation world.

k?

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

Did everyone hear about the upcoming explosion in New York City Taxi business?

The city has approved the use of hybrid taxicabs, instead of the gas guzzling Ford Crown Victoria (which is the most common automobile used for this market).

(brace yourselves for a slide into sarcasm)

Operational costs are expected to be a fraction of current levels, given the significantly better fuel efficiency of this disruptive technology that has never been applied to the ground based air taxi model.

“Based on virtually doubling the miles per gallon, we expect a 2000 fold increase in corresponding business”, stated John Schenkaman, assistant commissioner for safety and emissions. “Now people will be able to afford those 3.4 to 4.5 mile trips that were previously just too cost prohibitive.”

There are currently 12,760 taxis in use in New York City, which is expected to increase to 25,520,000 within five years based on this new and novel approach.

“This move clearly represents an incremental billion dollar business opportunity that is virtually un-tapped given the current state of technology applied to the ground based air taxi business.” quoted Fred Zuninski. “They're out there driving Ford Crown Victoria’s for Christ sakes.”

Etc. etc. (you get the drift)

cj3driver said...

A spokesperson for Eclipse? .... Travolta?..... are they nuts?..... Is he nuts?

Well, It seems like Johnny Carson backed DeLorean..... Hmmmmmm

cj3driver said...

I think Johnny got a car out of the deal.... Lets see John, GV, 707, Eclipse...... I wonder how many trips Carson made in his DeLorean?

cj3driver said...

Travolta might be good for a few deposits from the Hollywood crowd.... Now, if we could just get Oprah........ Better yet.....Trump.... yea... he'll do it .... his name, our plane .... yes... yes...

cj3driver said...

Eclipse,
Finish the Plane...
Enough with marketing,
Finish tho Plane...
You are already backlogged 2500 units,
Finish the Plane...
Sales will come if you
Finish the Plane...
oh yea I almost forgot (thanks gunner)
Take more deposits so you can
Finish the Plane

cj3driver said...

Stan,
I just read your opening post again..... I think you are right, Eclipse better get the PhostrEx out real quick. I've seen many a Planning Commission Hearing turn into a mob scene over a couple of mis-informed neighbors within hours. You dip into someone’s pocket book for a 60% deposit…. what ….. close to a million dollars….. wow.

I wonder how long these comments have been going on?

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

And the Eclipse (final version) is demonstrated to fly 1125 nm in no wind with NBAA IFR reserves using 1302 lbs of fuel.


Demonstrated to who? Surely we're not talking about the ABQ-GNV flight with all the mathematical inconsistencies, are we?

When the Eclipse does this on an FA track, let us know. Until then, it's just another press release with low credibility.

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

In February, Eclipse announced that it had a staff dedicated to the type rating course consisting of 2 supervisors and 11 instructors. But now they're saying that for the time being they can only handle 2 pilots in each session.

Which of course begs the question, "Why does it require 11 instructors to teach 2 pilots?"


Brilliant! Manufacturing can't keep up, so slow down the customers in training.

This is ridiculous. It makes it plain that the "500 airplanes this year" promise was a bald face lie. Or, Eclipse is absolutely incompetent at planning. Or both.

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

So I asked with sincerity, show me what would be a better application of $1.6 million and I'll listen.


When (not if) Eclipse goes belly up, that $1.6M will be worth a quarter of that if you are lucky.

Meanwhile, you could sell your Mustang for probably more than you paid for it in 5 years.

Which costs more now?

The Eclipse comes at a much higher risk.

But to answer your question, a Conquest II with -10 engines has nearly Eclipse speed (>300 KTAS) and range (>2,300nm) that would put Eclipse to shame. You can find them at about $1.6M.

They go from inspection to inspection without problems. Don't translate your "used piston twin" feelings to the "used" part, it goes with the "piston" part. The turbine machines are very reliable.

cj3driver said...

Flyger,
RE; 1125 NM using 1302 lbs

1125 NM with a 100kt tailwind at 325 kts TAS is equivalent to 831 NM thru the air.
And then land with 326 lbs?... scarier than "Face-Off".... sorry Travolta

JetProp Jockey said...

Here a couple facts to consider.

1. The information provided by Eclipse is that they are able to provide training for 2 pilots every two weeks. (would have been easier to say 1 per week). Increase in this rate is TBD

2. There is about a 2 month delay between the plane being delivered and a training spot.

3. EO387 is expecting a delivery around June/July with training in August. - Still about a 2 month wait for training.

This being true, the projected delivery rate for the next couple of months is 1 per week, assuming only one pilot is trained per aircraft.

Mention was made of 1 sim being delivered in June. I don't see this making alot of difference as it takes a certified trainer to operate the training in the sim, and it is only one seat for training.

The other issure relative to training is how do DayJet pilots get up to speed without using the limited training resources and even more important, how will mentor pilots be provided so that a type rated owner can have a buddy to take along on all of his trips for a while.

I think Eclipse needes to borrow DayJets Russian guys to do a model for how to train pilots and service airplanes

Gunner said...

Personally, I think this latest revelation (training) follows a cadence we see of Eclipse lowering expectations after a flurry of activity to raise them (and more money, deposits, orders). Combine that with the fact that they have NEVER, EVER met a promised goal, and I doubt we're gonna see 1 pilot per week actually graduate training.

Eclipse has some VERY big problems; to admit that "hadn't been focused" on training is simply mind-blowing. "Hadn't been focused"? I am now questioning even the size of the claimed workforce.
Gunner

HiFlyer said...

It appears the trip to Europe paid off. Eclipse announced a 180 plane order from ETIRC Aviation this morning. 120 firm and 60 options, brings total to 2700. Wonder when they were promised delivery.

Gunner said...

ETIRC Aviation, huh? Another startup venture.

Generally companies don't order capital equipment in advance of completing a Business Plan. Invariably, startups with a completed Business Plan can't wait two-three years for that equipment.

Anybody think ETIRC's deal with Eclipse calls for their deliveries to come at the end of the current order book?

Clump, Clump.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Seems like ETIRC was formed in 2006 or so as E-clips' distributor.

Another computer buddy promoting the air taxi business to create (the impression?) of sales. These "sales" did not result from the European Vacation... that's clear. Its been cooking for a,og time already.

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewpr&id=1042&Itemid=52

or google ETIRC

Nice try.

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

"Imagine you are Vern, and all this crap was hapenning around you at e-clips aviation. What would you do?"

I'd be thinking about heading for Brazil with whats left of the money!

WT

ExEclipser said...

He's the Ed Iaccobucci of Europe:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roel_Pieper

JetProp Jockey said...

Ironically, I was just thinking yesterday about the European tour and the lack of press in Vern's absense.

I would have been alot more inpressed with a report that 25 individual owners had made a deposit than 180 from a single air taxi operator.

Most likely these are low price low or no deposit orders that continue to support the need for a high volume operation.

The hole just keeps getting deeper.

WhyTech said...

jpj said:

"are able to provide training for 2 pilots every two weeks. (would have been easier to say 1 per week)"

Pure speculation on my part, but a CJ type rating at FSI takes close to two weeks, and in a sim course, the class size is often two, so that the instructor gets spread around, and the PNF get to learn by watching the PF. SO, I would guess that EAC is doing this two pilots at a time for about two weeks in anticipation of cutting in the sim "shortly."

WT

JetProp Jockey said...

Flight Safety only has one sim for the JetProp program in Lakeland and JetProp requires that every owner take the 5 day course before they will deliver an airplane. It is provided free as part of the conversion cost and there are no exceptions.

We did the training 4 in the classroom and 2 in the sim each day for 4 hours. They scheduled the sim for 3 sessions per day, morning afternoon and evening.

This schedule basically required 2 trainers. It certainly was not as intensive as a type rating and most of us already were flying a PA46 and only really needed to learn the turboprop applications.

Bottom line, one sim will not be the answer to the training shortfall, especially since in my experience sims have alot more down time than actual airplanes.

Another interesting aspect will be recurrent. If a six month requirement is imposed by the insurance company, by the end of the year there will be a group of owners trying get into the same line as new owners. Can you imagine what will happen if a bunch of guys are grounded waiting for their recurrent?

Plastic_Planes said...

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20050614/40518589.html

Don't have a lot of time to play (must do work), but check out the above.

It's old, but still funny and timely in the context of the current discussion.

/s/

JetProp Jockey said...

In addition to what I posted above, if you consider the scope of the training operation to support the training of pilots for delivery of 500 aircraft a year, the numbers become staggering.

Assume 250 planes for air taxi at 5 pilots per plane and 150 planes that require or desire 2 trained pilots and 100 that only need 1 pilot trained.

This adds up to 1650 new pilots trained per year. That's 32 per week or 64 in training at any time (assuming 2 weeks per). Assuming you can schedule 3 pairs of pilots per sim per day, that requires 10 sims to carry the load (actually 12 to account for downtime). This does not account for recurrent training.

It seems that there will be alot of training in aircraft or alot less planes delivered.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

JPJ has hit the nail on the head, again.

The numbers simply do not add up.

If it will take two weeks for a type and say 3 days for recurrent, the training requirements become geometric and UNATTAINABLE.

1650 initial trainees, then approx 1600 recurrents per year, per year (yes, squared). Year 2 sees 3,300 man weeks of training for initial, and 960 weeks for recurrent. With a 5-day work week and some vacation, and a generous 4 student per trainer ratio, that requires nearly 90 trainers. If only 2 students per trainer, it is over 170. How many classrooms? How many Sims? How much time in your own plane? Even with three shifts (like FSI in ICT does), this will require a massive amount of space.

Essentially, there will be a need for 82 classroom sessions PER DAY (27 sessions for each of 3 shifts).

Eclipse says they are planning for what, 4 sims eventually? That would not seem to provide much access. Assuming 100% reliability, zero down time, zero prep time, crews are teleported in and out exactly on schedule, and 24/7 scheduling, 4 sims only supports 7 hours of training per trainee. In the real world, with occasional equipment and software failures and upgrades, scheduling SNAFU's, and other aspects of the real world poking it's unwanted head into the mix, I suspect somewhere south of 5 hours per trainee.

Would be interesting to know how many initial type ratings and recurrent signoffs the FSI Beechcraft or Citation centers in ICT give out.

cj3driver said...

In addition, Most 135 and fractionals require sim recurrent every 6 months. Six pilots per plane.......

WhyTech said...

jpj said:

"if you consider the scope of the training operation to support the training of pilots for delivery of 500 aircraft a year, the numbers become staggering."

Agree fully with this and your other points re training, however, my guess is that at some point (SWAG: less than 100 planes) it becomes economic for an air taxi operator to own their own sim(S) and run their own FAA approved training program, which should make the task somewhat less daunting for EAC.

WT

cj3driver said...

There are 7 level D sims for the 525 series (that I know of) to support a fleet of approx 1,000 CJ's... initial typed pilots have been spread over the last 15 years. Many pilots are trained without sim. time as mentioned earlier. I agree, the issue is the timing. Growing the fleet over a few years... or growing the fleet over 15.... makes a big difference.

airtaximan said...

folks,

"if you consider the scope of the training operation to support the training of pilots for delivery of 500 aircraft a year, the numbers become staggering."

this should be their BIGGEST problem! (sarcasm)

I would not mind owning this business, if there was anywhere near these numbers involved.

I suspect the problem is a lot smaller than e-clips would have anyone believe.

the phrase "slight of hand" comes to mind.

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

airtaximan wrote,

"the phrase "slight of hand" comes to mind."

That would be sleight of hand.

And it came to mind to me yesterday that the phrase might equally-well be applied to you when you evaded eclipser's question:

"ATM: Which airtaxi are you the man of?"

Of course, you may have just missed it. So, have a go at it now.

Ken

Gunner said...

Here we go again, just when people were playing nice. Ken, you're again demanding answers to the types of questions you ignore when posed in the opposite direction. In ex-eclipser's case he refuse to confirm even his approximate dates with the Company.

So, tell us, Ken. What's your delivery order number on the Eclipse? 1,104 ring a bell? Sounds like you have plenty of time to review your options while guys like EO fund the company.
Gunner

cj3driver said...

Flight safety reports that they have "typed" thirty Mustang (customer) pilots to date. They currently have the ablility to type 12 pilots per month. That should increase as more instructors are trained. But for now, there are currently training slots available next month. They currently have one simulator in ICT and one to be in service soon in the UK. Open slots can be viewed at FlightSafety.com

airtaximan said...

Ken:

of what use is my personal information to you? I suspect I know...but it would be nice to hear your BS first hand...come up with an answer.

I explained my interest here, a few times, when you tried to discredit me by asking that question, again and again.

I am not using my name, becasue I do not wish for anyone to know who I am. Check my record, here, I've provided a lot of insight. I have a lot of information.

If you do not like what I write, just debate. My expereince will not provide you with any ammo. My identity is private - get over it!

Anyone have any opinions on my "ficticious" post anticipating the forthcoming further mockery of aviation and the intelligence of the aviation community by E-clips announcing a new single engine plane at OshKosh?

AJ said...

Eclipse Order Update:

Eclipse lands 120-plane order

Source: AP

ALBUQUERQUE -- An Eastern European distributor has ordered 120 Eclipse 500 very light jet airplanes.
And Albuquerque-based Eclipse Aviation said today that ETIRC Aviation Europe has options to buy another 60 of the twin-engine airplanes.

ETIRC handles Eclipse 500 sales in Eastern Europe and Russia and earlier had ordered 40 of the aircraft.

Eclipse says there are about 2,700 orders and options for its airplane.

The Federal Aviation Administration granted Eclipse a production certificate on April 26.

http://www.krqe.com/expanded.asp?ID=21548

Gunner said...

Te only company I know for whom 2,500 + 120 = "More than 2,700 planes on order".

No need to correct me as to what others orders they might have received, absent Press Release. The general trend is what I find so humorous.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

"Te only company I know for whom 2,500 + 120 = 'More than 2,700 planes on order.'"

Come on, Rich. There are enough legitimate things to knock without making up stuff.

Your words were not the ones released by the company; you got it wrong. Here is what they said:

"Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced at the European Business Aviation Conference and Exposition (EBACE) that Eastern European distributor ETIRC Aviation Europe (ETIRC Aviation) has placed an order for 180 Eclipse 500 aircraft, including 120 firm and 60 options. Founded by high-tech executive, Roel Pieper, ETIRC provides Eclipse 500 sales in Eastern Europe. This expands the Eclipse 500 order book to just under 2,700 units, including orders and options."

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Like I said, there was no need to correct my position; it's indefensible from a unknown "facts" standpoint and I clearly pointed that out.

Still, this is the only company I know for whom a fleet purchase with (God knows how little for deposit) equals an option equals a fully funded individual purchase.

Eclipse Accounting 101.
Gunner

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

Yep, I heard that some private investor named Andrew Broom has put in an order for 1 EA50X with 320 options.....
Congrats to Eclipse; they now have over 3,000 Le Petits on order.
Gunner

ExEclipser said...

You see, Ken, what is good for the goose isn't good for the gander.

As you were, I was hounded for my reasons for participation in this blog. "What am I the EX of?"

So I answered. Couldn't get the same in return.

As for the training schedule: I'm not saying there isn't a problem here. There definitely is. But the order of magnitude is perhaps not as bad as everyone is proclaiming. For instance, if 50 of this years' deliveries are to DayJet, they will most likely do their training and mentoring in house. Remember, their newhires are all going to be qualified as Captains. Most have qualifications enough to meet or exceed what the airliners are going for.

Of course, there will need to be more DayJet deliveries - which they'll get to when more owner/operators get their planes that they can't train in because of the lack of mentors.

As has been eluded in this column, there is a slowdown. There's not a vested interest in speeding up production if the owners can't be trained. This is an awesome time to get the tip tanks and other mods incorporated further upstream. The more completed modded aircraft, the better.

mirage00 said...

I'm loving the spin on this news... keep it coming boys.

Gunner said...

Spin?
Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Did an Eclipse Faithful just complain about "spin"?
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

mirage,

Do you even have the vaguest idea of what it will take to get the Eclipse JAA certified in Europe for air taxi operations? Or how long this little task might take?

And the company's political influence in Washington won't do them much good in Europe.

ExEclipser said...

Oh, but Dr. Oliver Masefield's experience at Pilatus should make it a piece of cake for the E-Team.

Stan Blankenship said...

Sure, just like Type Certification and the Production Certificate, a real piece of cake...on time and on budget...with a little help from well placed officials in Washington.

mirage00 said...

with a little help from well placed officials in Washington.

Oh yeah, that again.

Buckerfan said...

I promised you all any insights I could gather from this weeks EBACE bus aviation show in Geneva.
Firstly, this may be a first, there is an Eclipse and a Mustang parked within 50meters of each other, so you can walk betweem them and get a very real sense of the comparison. I dont want to hash over the performance comparison, which has been discussed to death. However the difference in "feel", comfort and fit and finish between the two is very real. The Mustang truly feels like a scaled down corporate jet, the club seating is extremely comfortable and provides both real legroom and a feeling of space for the passengers. The Eclipse is really cramped, and feels like, well, a very scaled down coach class. The Mustang is truly a lot bigger in the ways that count. From the perspective of the pilot The Mustang is totally ready to go. EVERYTHING works, all the avionics, deice, etc etc. The Eclipse cockpit at this point is a mish mash of failed avidyne, plus a bunch of garmin ADF's DME's GPS etc literally screwed under the screens.
Until I had seen the two planes in the flesh I really thought Cessna was asking for trouble with their price structure, but when you see and feel the product from the perspective of both a passenger and a pilot you start to understand. Its like the difference beween a Mercedes S 500 Long Cabin, and a slightly used econobox. But then for twice the price, the Mustang had better feel that way.
In the presentation the company indicated that they have decided to slow production way down so as to cut in the mods and avionics sooner in the prodcution run. They are no longer making a prediction of numbers to be produced this year, only saying thata it "will be in the hundreds". EASA cert will not be started until the mods are all installed later this year. They sem to have a handle on the pitot problem, is not the pitot itslef but freezing of condensation in the pressure lines, to be fixed with improved drainage.
An interesting stat. Said they were on track to demonstrate that their would be less than 1 maintenance hour per flight hour (excluding the known tempo probs like windshield). This means nothing to me, but might to some of you.
Was a fun show, especially seeing what how Boeing Business Jets are proposing to pimp out their new 787 for personal transport of certain middle eastern families. Now that it a ride!!

WhyTech said...

In an earlier post, I said:

"my guess is that at some point (SWAG: less than 100 planes) it becomes economic for an air taxi operator to own their own sim(s) and run their own FAA approved training program,"

After thinking about this a bit, I believe that the number is way less than 100 planes. Assuming the DayJet model of 5 pilots per airplane, and what I would guess will be moderate to high turnover of pilots, the breakover point is probably nearer to 25 - 30 planes (125-150 pilots). A level D sim might be $10-$12mm for the Eclipse, and an advanced Flight Training Device (FTD) might serve the purpose for around $2mm. In any event, these would very likely be leased ( or some more creative form of finncing) along with the planes.

I am familiar with a 91(k) operation that has 25 planes and 75 pilots, is running their own FAA approved program in house and is looking at acquiring a sim; they now buy block time at SimCom and staff the training with their own instructors.

WT

Ken Meyer said...

It doesn't sound to me like a phony sale based on two articles I just read.

It turns out ETIRC is purchasing the aircraft at $1.52 million (7/06 dollars) and using them, according to Business Wire, in a partnership just inked with a company named Atasay, a leading luxury goods company. The joint effort will provide a jet taxi service for Turkey’s business travelers.

Business Wire continues: The two companies will establish a joint venture which will see the purchase of 120 Eclipse 500 Very Light Jets (VLJs), with options for a further 60. The new joint venture company will be responsible for every aspect of the VLJ service business including plane management and maintenance, plane sales, scheduling, pilot recruitment and training, and customer reservations. The agreement covers Turkey, the Turkish Republics and a broad region around Turkey. All the regional operations will be managed from Turkey.

"The new VLJ service will provide Turkey’s business travelers with a radical travel alternative where flights from any local airport can be booked to any other local airport in the region at costs in line with current business class travel, but at times and locations of their choosing. By avoiding the existing travel frustrations of having to travel through hub airports at scheduled times, the new service will deliver a huge productivity benefit to both individuals and the businesses they represent.

The service is expected to be operational by the end of the year with an initial small number of jets and will scale to deployment of a fleet of 120 jets or more by 2009. Passengers will be transported in VLJ planes including or similar to the Eclipse 500 that feature a high standard of comfort while benefiting from very low cost per mile through efficient fuel usage. Financing for the plane purchase and joint venture setup is confirmed but not announced at this time.

“The VLJ service is a revolution in productivity for business and Turkey has been the first to seize the opportunity that this represents,” explained Roel Pieper, Chairman of ETIRC Aviation. “The growth and ambition of this country is matched by its innovation, and the decision by Atasay to lead Europe in deploying VLJ services is proof of that.”

“For the first time in Turkish history, the economy is resilient enough and the nation is ready for a far-reaching initiative such as this,” said Cihan Kamer, “I believe that the introduction of on-demand jet taxi service in Turkey will be as revolutionary for business as the introduction of the cellphone, creating whole new micro-economies and benefiting multiple industries with new jobs and new opportunities. We’re working with ETIRC Aviation to achieve this because we have a shared vision as well as the infrastructure and the willpower to make this a reality in Turkey and a first in Europe.”


Ken

airtaximan said...

You guys are very funny...

"As you were, I was hounded for my reasons for participation in this blog. "What am I the EX of?"

So I answered. Couldn't get the same in return."

I asked what you are "ex" of, because your moniker did not match your attitude... if you are truly ex-eclipse. So I asked. I thought you were using the name to give the appearance you left e-clips and this would make everyone think you were impartial, when I did not believe you were.

We are to believe you left e-clips, and you are here (using more than one moniker, from time to time, we discovered later) because you... are just interested in the industry? I forget, but you are certainly ery, very pro-eclipse.

No one asked you to provide any info which could lead anyone to understand your name, the company you presently work for, or anything of the sort.

You are asking this of me, why? I can only imagine...it should be of no consequence to you, really, Mr. EX-eclipser.

I've explained what I do in the industry and my interest here... really to explain my moniker "airtaximan"... you were asked to explain yours, Ken Meyer requires no further explanantion, and none was asked for, by me.

So, I have provided exactly the same disclosure as you...and I will provide no more. None is required, nor should be desired. We are equal among bloggers as far as our personal info is concerned.

Thanks.

Debate the points, stop the misdirection.

airtaximan said...

Ken:

you act as if you have a disease which eliminates your sense of time.

You refer to PR, as if it were so, just like the paper airplane, as if it were so. Just becasue you read it somewhere, as part of a promotion campaign by your favorite pathological aviation exaggerator and mine, you seem to believe it.

Look at the PR from over a year ago regarding this new company which obtained the distribution rights for eastern europe. Did they do anything in a year?

"The two companies will establish a joint venture which will see the purchase of 120 Eclipse 500 Very Light Jets (VLJs), with options for a further 60. The new joint venture company will be responsible for every aspect of the VLJ service business..."

Will be...
Will establish...
etc..
comprendo?

Of interestet, apparently, there are open delivery positions available for this year, as these guys are slated "to be operational by the end of the year with an initial small number of jets and will scale to deployment of a fleet of 120 jets or more by 2009."

I guess this rubber orderbook is really rubbery, even at the beginning. They will obtain more "early slots" before 2009...

THIS IS FUNNY.
How much money and risk did it take to obtain the early delivery positions? Die-hards WILL eat any crap from e-clips, if they take this...that's for sure.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEPOSIT. Your plane is late, unfinished, and oh yeah, by the way, we're letting someon take your place... thanks -see ya!

airtaximan said...

ex-eclipser, Joe, whatever your names are...

Nice PR here from you for e-clips...

"As has been eluded in this column, there is a slowdown. There's not a vested interest in speeding up production if the owners can't be trained. This is an awesome time to get the tip tanks and other mods incorporated further upstream. The more completed modded aircraft, the better."

Yup, "we figured out" the trickle off the line means they are s lowing down. Heck, Stan even inquired as to the real number of employees of there... where are they, sweeping the tarmac?

Anyhow, I think it would have been nice if your favorite mini-jet company TOLD the depositors that they were slowing down the production, and probably would not make 400 planes this years, while they were demanding the $900,000 progress payment, no?

Its an opportune time to stick it to the depositors, again.

"Die-hard" is looking more and more like Vern knows he can play with you all, and it a way to make fun of you.

Thanks for your money...oooopps! did I say 2007 delivery? Ooops, my buds get priority, Dayjet and the Turkish Taxi COmpany, too...sorry...wait at the back of the line - and thanks for your die-hard support! We truly LOVE you.

ExEclipser said...

ATM: You're being to sound like the conspiracy theorist popularized by Gunner. "From time-to-time" = once, and immediately explained that I don't know how it happened. It would have been nothing but a thang to delete the post and put it up again. This is the ONLY moniker I have ever used on this board. Even the flub up (which I swear I don't understand how it happened) doesn't count, because I immediately (without being pressed to do so) made it clear who I was.

But the point is, you asked why. The only real reason you wanted to ask was because you're curious. There's no other value in the question.

I am pro-Eclipse. Very pro-Eclipse. I'm not too keen on management there, and I'm not too keen on a lot of the cloak and dagger game being played.

I was happy at Eclipse and I'm happier now. I want to see the bugger succeed. I think that a lot of the criticism of the company that goes on here is nonsense because Eclipse is going through what a lot of other companies have gone through. Eclipse ain't that unique.

I may even be more of a critic than Ken, but I think that I'm a heckuva lot more fair than many who post here.

ExEclipser said...

I hope that I've demonstrated that your childish behavior really doesn't phase me. Can you leave some of the hate back on the playground? Really, if you have anything worthwhile saying, it's easier to just read your point and go on.

Substance is always more productive than spewing. By the way, the way I understand it, many progress payments aren't being required because of the delays. I could be wrong. Prove me wrong? I can't prove I'm right.

airtaximan said...

ex-clipser,
you say:
"I am pro-Eclipse. Very pro-Eclipse. I'm not too keen on management there, and I'm not too keen on a lot of the cloak and dagger game being played."

Please explain the difference between eclipse (you are pro) and the management (you have issues)

"I think that a lot of the criticism of the company that goes on here is nonsense because Eclipse is going through what a lot of other companies have gone through. Eclipse ain't that unique."

criticism is nonesense - pretty strong statement considering the trackrecord of unveiling the truth your foe management covers up.

As for the problems that "aint unique"... this is a very bizarre statement. E-clips was built on being better, not suffering the samol dinosaur problems, etc. They make fun of your beloved industry...and this is different. As is the fake orderbook, impossible rate production, low cost claims, and the missed performance guarantees. Their inability to select a viable powerplant, avionics and training partner shows they are unique - normally aviation companies HAVE these competencies... these guys have spent $1 billion, raised mostly from the capital markets, unlike the dinosaures... they have many unique characteristics...mostly of the bad kind...

keep lookng, I'm sure you'll see them, unless you own some e-clips stock..which could explain a lot.

HiFlyer said...

Just saw that Mike Press has completed his type certification and is flying home tomorrow. Said he will be completing his mentoring during the trip.

Maybe someone will be able to get some real world numbers from him.

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,
"I have provided exactly the same disclosure as you...and I will provide no more. None is required, nor should be desired...Debate the points, stop the misdirection."

AT, that's the reason we're wondering who you are--you don't just debate the points. You make up stuff that's not right in order to mislead the reader.

For example, your comment, "As is the fake orderbook, impossible rate production, low cost claims, and the missed performance guarantees" has several things flatout wrong in it:

1. Fake orderbook--that's hogwash. The orderbook exists; it is not fake. It has a lot of orders from one company and it counts a number of options (but they disclose that), but there is no evidence it is fake.

2. Impossible rate production--impossible for whom? Lots of companies have produced aircraft faster than Eclipse is projecting. It may well be that they cannot produce the aircraft as fast as they think, but it is decidedly not impossible for it to be done.

3. Low Cost Claims--Huh? Is the plane not the least expensive twin engine jet in the world and less expensive than single-engine turboprops? Does it not use less fuel than other jets? Is its operating cost not less than other jets?

4. Missed performance guarantees--The fact is that the aircraft beat the promised cruise speed, climbrate, OEI climbrate, and useful load. The company did revise the range downward; that's the only spec I know of that they missed (and at 1125 nm NBAA IFR range, it is still pretty good for such a small plane). What specs were you thinking of?

I agree with your statement that the misdirection needs to stop. I'm not so sure you agree with it :)

Ken

WhyTech said...

I thought that I read somewhere that the E-clips training program included upset training in an Aero L-39. If so, is that happening?

WT

Gunner said...

WhyTech-
Just read (between the lines of) Ken's and execlipser's responses. "Way ahead of their promises";
"Normal growing pains that all the other companies go thru";
"Lots of companies deliver the revised, revised, failed and revised again numbers that Eclipse is now NOT committing to";
"Who cares who they sell jets out of line to? there'll be plenty to go around"
"Best Paper Airplane in its class"

In other words, "It's in there". Sometimes this stuff gets so deep, I have to wonder if they believe people reading such bald nonsense have IQ's that rise above their shoelaces.
Gunner

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"Fake orderbook--that's hogwash."

You are perhaps correct in this statement in a technical sense. To the best of my knowledge, there are no generally accepted accounting principles for what constitutes an "order," such as there are for a "sale" (a shipment/delivery for which revenue can be recognized on the accounts of the company). So, the words "I'll take 500" written on the back of a napkin, or even just spoken can be considered a bona fide order, especially in a private company where disclosure requirements are minimal.

However, most companies hold themselves to a much higher standard even though there may not be applicable accounting rules. Such companies typically define an order as a contractual (written) commitment between the the company and a buyer under which the buyer agrees to accept and pay for a DEFINITE quantity of product according to a DEFINITE delivery schedule; orders for capital equipment, especially products customized to buyer requirements, are usually secured with a meaningful deposit, say 10% or more.

So, the questions about the order book are more about how E-clips accounts for orders and whether this is consistent with industry practice and the spirit of generally accepted accounting principles. In my business experience as both a buyer and seller of capital goods, most companies adopt a conservative definition of "orders" so as not to mislead themselves, their shareholders, and other stakeholders.

WT

Ken Meyer said...

Whytech wrote,
"I thought that I read somewhere that the E-clips training program included upset training in an Aero L-39. If so, is that happening?"

Yep; that's been going on for months. I took it in January. It is 2 days of Emergency Situation training--upset training and hypoxia awareness. Very useful and the aerobatics were a lot of fun.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Is that required for an EA-50X delivery?
Is it included in the Training Program costs?
Can it be booked by anyone, regardless of Eclipse Deposit?

Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken:

I'm glad you posted your opinion regarding my post. Everyone has a simple point of reference from which to judge your input on most of the important basic issues regarding e-clips.

It's obvious where your opinion comes from. Mine is assembled using the promises, trackrecord fulfilling those promises, the numbers tauted for production and the orderbook, and then the revisions or revelation regarding the misleading nature of the Vernacular.

In order for you to feel good about your deposit you MUST see thigs the way you do, and feel about them the way you do. We all understand. IN order for you to ensure you actually receive anything for the money you've put up, you probably need to keep defending the faith as long and as hard as you can, or your position is earlier than suspected (never divulged by you...why? I dunno) by the foks who try to understand your undying faith for E-clips.

Enjoy the buzz, and please come down before flying above my family - there used to be laws against flying while impared. Remember, no reasonable person agrees with your BS, or that of your beloved aircraft manufacturing company. By manufacturing, I mean Manufacturing a vision of the world designed to substitute for reality as the rest of us know it.

Sorry you cannot see...but the last time we disagreed, I offered you a wager of $10k to back you open arrogant condescending and insulting mouth - which you rejected.

Tells us a lot about what you and your opinions are made of.

You will soon see a snowstorm of BS regarding a new plane from E-clips, I'm sure. Its designed to distract from the grim reality of one simple fact - there's no buinsess left.

The company is establishing distributors from the computer industry, and selling themselves planes with no money and making bold press releases about receiving new 180 orders.

Er, Ken. I think it's over. No?

Green-or-Red said...

ABQ 770 AM radio station today quoted Andrew Broom as saying Eclipse had delivered 17 planes and had another 50 in work. Tried to find it at the station's web site but could not verify. Has anyone else heard this?

airtaximan said...

gunner,

somethings been bothering me for a while, regarding the BS operating costs comparison offered by the faithful here for so long.

- mentor pilot costs?
- fuel burn and mission profile for a plane that cannot fly above FL270 for more than a month? (or in the Dayjet case, no planning to ever fly above Fl270?)
- flight plan distance for VFR?
- JetIncomplete
- the cost of the plane with imputed interst since when the deposit(s) were made
- the cost associated with depreciated residual value imputed at a reasonable amount considering the high productin rate promoted by e-clips and thus glut on the market

etc...

The real operating cost of this plane is MUCH higher than any info promoted by e-clips. Anyone in aviation knows this, that's why almost no existing professional charter companies or fractional ownership companies have purchased the plane. In a word, it makes zero economic sense, except as an ego trip for someone who cannot afford a real jet.

It makes for a nice toy, with the same real appeal as a pleasure boat, or can of beans...take your pick.

There are available positions on Controller at a discount for delivery oin 2008 (in the 1000's) - I guess the speculation continues...

airtaximan said...

g or r,

it means no new planes have been started for a few months...they promoted 57 in works a few months ago..curious.

Also, what does :

"delivered" mean?
"17" mean?
"planes" mean?

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

"Also, what does :

"delivered" mean?
"17" mean?
"planes" mean? "

Reminds me of Bill Clinton's infamous line: "It depends on what the definition of "it" is."

WT

airtaximan said...

Ken:

some food for thought..

" Missed performance guarantees--The fact is that the aircraft beat the promised cruise speed, climbrate, OEI climbrate, and useful load. The company did revise the range downward; that's the only spec I know of that they missed ..."

do you realize that aircraft are design trades, involving basic trades or payload, range and speed.

Missing one spec is tantamount to missing them all, in the real world.

Do you realize this, or has the BS totally overtaken you at this point?

You can accept any revised guarantees you want, any missed guarantees you want, BUT please do not try to pull this BS on us.

Crap, Ken, why not just remove two seats and say "they met 5 out of 6 promises? - the only thing missing is the payload?"

It's OK, we know you will accept any POC they provide. You are in...its OK.

airtaximan said...

whytech,

we've often used: "I did not have sexual relations with that wonen" on this blog, for the same affect.

What do you make of the new single engine solution to high rate at low cost for e-clips?

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

"What do you make of the new single engine solution to high rate at low cost for e-clips? "

Its already "been" done: Cirrus, Piper, Djet, etc. Crowded space, not likly to be a suitable "air taxi" machine, so the market is going to be mostly owner/pilots, i.e. small.

More significant: E-clips cant get even one plane finished in 9 years/$1 billion - how are they going to manage two or more? Costs relatively little to announce, however. The E-clips website already talks about a "familiy" of acft, so you know something like this is going to happen.

WT

Gunner said...

Eclipse went head to head with Cessna; look at the result. An inop jet that you can buy at approximately 60% of the price of an operational one.

Eclipse going head to head with Diamond? I LOVE it....it's like money in the bank. Eclipse pays the ad dollars to draw in the crowd; Diamond reaps the actual flying customers. (Wonder how many Mustang customers started out by visualizing themselves in a "new class" of jet, Le Petit?)

Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching.
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

RAEBURN'S LAW

The number of aircraft delivered is inversely proportional to the number of aircraft orders. As the number of orders for Eclipse aircraft approaches infinity, the number of functional aircraft ultimately delivered approaches zero. See Bede's Law.

Black Tulip

Gunner said...

Gunner's Corollary:
When you have picked a market clean for deposits on a product that you've found too hard to deliver....why try?
Gunner

cj3driver said...

NZ,
Any more disgruntled posts on the EO forum? Curious to see if Management responded.

cj3driver said...

From Cessna's website today;

....Cessna Receives $280 Million Order from Europe’s JetAlliance for 25 Citation Business Jets....
JetAlliance, based in Vienna, Austria, is the third largest charter operator in Europe....

Doesn't JetAlliance realize they could have bought 186 Eclipses'.... Guess they didnt make it to Vern's booth.

Gunner said...

CJ3-
Any doubt in you mind that it was 25 firm orders vs 5 orders with an "option" for 20 more?

"Guess they didn't make it to Vern's booth.
Then again, probably they did.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan, why are so worried?

If the Eclipse is half as bad as you're trying to convince us, it won't threaten you a bit.

See, I think you're worried because you don't believe a word of the baloney you write. I think you know this is going to be the biggest change to Part 135 operations in 50 years, and it's got you scared stiff.

I actually feel sorry for you. I'll bet half the people here do, too.

Ken

Gunner said...

Personal attack noted. Seems to be the rhythm of The Faithful when the news is bad.

What was it Alexa said? Oh that's right, "If I can't play in Stan's sandbox I'll sure as hell %#@^ in it."

Really bad form, Ken.
Let's see if the "sleight" of hand is successful.
Gunner

Kieran said...

Vern's latest thoughts: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flight-international/2007/05/eclipse-vern-raburn-yearns-for.html

Gunner said...

Big G-
That's funny, thanks. Actually, I backed out when I found out they were selling us a direct copy of Wonder Woman's Jet. Here's a picture:








Like it? ;-)
Gunner

sparky said...

Gunner,

Very few posts here have elicited a good belly laugh. That was one of them. good work.

Gunner said...

Thank you, sir. But sometimes stills simply don't do a revolutionary product justice. So we've developed this little promotional video to help you better understand the "Wonder" of Le Petit. Stay all the way to the end for a full in-flight demo:

Le Petit Loiseau
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

gunner asked about the upset training,

"Is that required for an EA-50X delivery?"

No. You can take delivery without taking the upset training. You don't need to be a pilot at all to buy the aircraft.

"Is it included in the Training Program costs?"

Nope; it's extra.

"Can it be booked by anyone, regardless of Eclipse Deposit?"

I don't know but I doubt it.

In order to operate the Eclipse 500, you must complete an approved training program. At present, there is only one approved training program (that's likely to change in the coming months). The approved training program offered by Eclipse Aviation requires that you take the Emergency Situations Training unless you are exempt by previous experience (very few pilots are).

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

"gunner" wrote,

"Time to confess. I did my research and purchased an Eclipse 500. There was simply no other product on the market with the performance, at anywhere near the price. I sat in the aircraft and loved the layout. This was the perfect aircraft for my needs.

I wired Eclipse my deposit with no concerns. Remember I am self centered egotistical individual that is never wrong. I know everything. Since I’m never wrong I failed to read my deposit agreement. The deposit agreement mysteriously changed over night from a “serial number” to a “position number.” I called Eclipse and hollered, screamed, cursed, called them names and let them know who they were dealing with. How dare they?"


Rich, do you dispute that's the essence of what happened?

Ken

Gunner said...

It's all true

;-)

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"It's all true"

OK. It does match closely to what you told me at the time the events unfolded. I think it took longer than 24 hours for your refund to arrive though.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Thanks for the honest response. I'm not putting words in YOUR mouth here, but I want to put this "Upset Training" in proper perspective:

One of the features of features of Eclipse Training is a program that is not required, not covered under the training and not exclusive to the training; anyone can enroll.

Well, gosh, that's not so extraordinary. Moller also offers, non-required, optional-at-your-own-expense, anybody-can-take-it, NextGen training with every purchase also.

Click Here For Details

The upset training is certainly valuable ad I credit you for taking it; but, according to your description, it has about as much to do with Eclipse Training as providing you the telephone number for FlightSafety.
Gunner

ken meyer said...

Gunner-
Touche. Point well taken.
Ken