Thursday, May 24, 2007

From EBACE today

Eclipse reveals plans for new aircraft

Eclipse Aviation plans to build another aircraft beyond its archetypal very light jet,
the Eclipse 500. But its product will have to be as much of a marketplace revolution as the -500, or it would not fit the Eclipse model, explains the company's vice-president marketing and sales Michael McConnell.

He says candidly: "All I can tell you is that the new aeroplane will either be bigger or smaller (quote of the century!!) than the Eclipse 500. We want to build other airplanes. We have done a lot of talking; we have a lot of plans, a lot of people and have spent some time on it, but not a lot of time.

"We have to prove we can deliver the Eclipse 500 in the way we told the world five years ago we would deliver it. The markets today are exciting. In some ways Eclipse will take the credit for creating this VLJ market when, in 2000, people said there is no market for it. Now other companies have decided this is a good idea. We think we have a competitive advantage over them in many regards. So the market is crowded."

McConnell concludes: "Slogging your way through a bunch of other manufacturers trying to sell a $2 million-3 million jet, that's not the Eclipse model. The Eclipse model is go find an area where you have a massive, massive competitive advantage, both in product, and in price, which means value; you get more for less. If we can find markets where we believe we can deliver an unbelievable value proposition, then we'll go into those markets."

226 comments:

1 – 200 of 226   Newer›   Newest»
Ken Meyer said...

Anybody notice that some people seem very threatened by the Eclipse?

Why is that?

I think they're worried. And with good reason. There's a storm brewing in aviation; a big change on the horizon, and some are afraid they're going to be left out.

Here's a message from the Eclipse Owner's Forum that summarizes it very, very well:

When people started building personal computers, most of the experienced computer people said they would never amount to much:

1. There wasn't that big a market for computers. They only sold a few thousand per year.

2. Computers required a lot of expertise to operate and keep running. Small businesses couldn't afford to hire a staff just to tend to the computer.

3. The new small computers weren't very fast and had little capacity compared to the mainframes and minicomputers that already existed. Who would want to use those dinky little PCs?

4. There was no software available for PCs. Computers are no good without software.

I don't have to relate the success story of the PC. When IBM legitimized the market, it was already taking off.

How could the computer industry experts be so wrong? They were right in that the PC brought no real new technology to the table. In fact, as they pointed out repeatedly, a PC's capabilities was inferior to existing computers.

What they failed to take into account was the economics. Suddenly a computer was priced so that a small business could afford to buy one or more. It didn't require a room with a raised floor or a dedicated airconditioning system or special power. It was simple enough that the user could also be the operator. Because these machines were so cheap, relatively speaking, people started using them for things that they would never dream of using a larger, more expensive computer for. As new markets were created, sales volume went up, and prices went down. Which created even more new markets. And so on and so forth.

Does this sound like another story you've heard? The Eclipse 500 will be put to uses that haven't even been dreamed of yet, because it costs less to buy and operate than any comparable jet in history. Yeah, it's got some cool technology, but that's not the part that will make it a success. It's all about the money.

It's quite likely that we don't know yet what the "killer app" will be for the Eclipse 500. It might be air taxis, it might be something else. But, because of good old American enterprise, you can bet that someone will figure out a new way to make money using this jet.

The naysayers that extrapolate existing markets fail to take into account the new markets that disruptive technology, like the personal computer, or the VLJ, create from scratch. How many overnight delivery services were there before Fred Smith started FedEx? What's the market for overnight delivery now?

Speaking of air taxis, the market that DayJet is targeting is not current Part 135 customers. They're targeting people who have to drive, because many of the places where people do business are poorly served by airlines. In most parts of the country, a place that's 300 miles away is a six-hour drive. That's 45 minutes in an E500. Suddenly, you're seeing multiple customers in one day and you're home for dinner. If you're an entrepeneur, you value your time highly, because it's hard to make money while you're driving for six hours.



Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
I don't think anybody doubts that the advances in Small Jet Engines will have a profound effect on aviation; and naturally, that will be seen mostly in the small jet market.

The issue on the table is whether Eclipse is the only game in town, areal player in the mix or even a viable business model. Thus far, we've seen magnanimous promises and precious little finished product.

Congrats to AirTaxiMan for calling the shot on this new offering from Eclipse. He was spot on. For personal financial reasons, I hope it's a single engine jet.
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

For every success story you can point to there are hundreds of failures. Each business venture has to be judged on its own merit.

BTW, hasn't airtaximan been trying to tell us about this new airplane for weeks?

andy said...

Gun Man
So it's 201X and you finally got your D-jet it's been a long wait (I can relate)
As you line up on the runway you see birds on the runway no big deal they will fly away. You start your takeoff roll and just as you break ground you hear a bang and all of a sudden you hear really ugly noises behind you and the power goes away what do you do?

PS What is the SE climb rate of the Eclipse?

PPs Didn't hurt the prop one bit and the blood cleaned off the cowl easy.

FlightCenter said...

In other news from the show, Eclipse announced a new European order at EBACE.

"Eclipse Aviation, ... today announced ... that Eastern European distributor ETIRC Aviation Europe (ETIRC Aviation) has placed an order for 180 Eclipse 500 aircraft, including 120 firm and 60 options.

This expands the Eclipse 500 order book to just under 2,700 units, including orders and options."

This appears to be an order from a European distributor. At first glance, it doesn't look like a fleet order from an end customer.

Eclipse Aviation Lands Largest European VLJ Order

Gunner said...

Andy-
Right back at you.

So it's 201X and you finally got your Eclipse it's been a long wait (I can relate)
As you line up on the runway your screens go blank and tower informs you that your right wing is fluttering like about as much as the windsock.

You taxi back to the hangar and call Eclipse, because nobody on field can work on Le Petit. You're greeted by a Pakistani accented woman's voice who pleasantly informs you that Tech Support is not available on weekends and provides you a website address for email assistance.

You walk down the ramp to the Cessna dealer and start looking at their latests offerings.

We all have our little crosses to bear, you know?
Gunner

andy said...

Gun Man
Simple Question
Dumb answer
Eclipse is Cert and they have PC
What do you do?

EclipseBlogger said...

There's nothing new in this post. The same comments were made two years ago at Oshkosh. They have always said there will be follow-on aircraft, and they still have not made any statement as to the size or configuration of any new models. They confirm that is will be bigger or smaller. Big deal.

Gunner said...

Andy-
The Eclipse that's been promised and is being sold has yet to be certified; they've delivered a handful of somewhat functional, certified Beta Models, though. They do get credit for that.

Now to your question:
You first. What do YOU do? (This is like deja vu, all over again).
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken:

your comments as they relate to the computer industry are very interesting. The first PC did not make it, neither did the cheapest. Keep this in mind.

Whytech:

For good reason, you doubted that E-clips would announce a new plane, soon. Remember, this is the only way they can make any case for higher rate production and thus qualtity purchase of parts. They can exhaust the e-500 demand quickly and order parts in higher quantity to get the price down and perhaps make a case for profitability, and then switch to produce the smaller single engine in the family, which will most-likely make the claim for common engine, wings, avionics, etc..

The e-500 failed at delivering on high rate in and of itself, so now they need another "rationale" for this...or its clear they are sunk.

You are right, it is insane, really. But they need more money, and its the only avenue left, I believe.

FWIW, Ed has been know to say they would go with a smaller plane before a larger one. Flying one passenger or two who have booked together, seems to indicate a weakness with dayjets model. Its only charter.

Back to Ken: See SLATE for an example of your kinda thinking, and the resulting business success. "My old partner from Slate Corporation, Vern Raburn, told us about his new venture, Eclipse, that was just announced to build a new type of airplane. He showed how he was using techniques of the PC industry to shake up the aviation industry. Just as the microprocessor made PCs possible, his new plane uses a new, extremely efficient and powerful jet engine. It's only 85 pounds, so the can do maintenance by Fedex, he claims."

From the founder of Slate, which Vern also founded, and which went out of business in 4 years...

There are successes and failures from all industries, even your computer industry. This blog is as much about this as anything else. What will work, and what won't.

airtaximan said...

EB,

you are correct - 100% correct. But, I still believe the only way ot of this mess is to announce another plane, soon..with commonality...

what do you think?

New single announced at Osh Kosh? Or is that insane?

EclipseBlogger said...

I don't think there is enough credibility to make such an announcement at this time. They need to start the rollout of the previous model first.

Stan Blankenship said...

eb,

In my opinion there is a major difference!

Two years ago, management at Eclipse envisioned themselves in tall cotton...get the TC, a PC would almost be automatic, deliveries would quickly ramp to 2-4 per day. It was fine to talk about a new airplane.

Things didn't quite work out that way. Today the company is mired in the swamp with a large number of major problems. Rather than address these issues, Eclipse management is talking about a pie in the sky.

FlightCenter said...

As I've said before on this blog - 12:00 PM, April 12, 2007

"... the highest probability is that Eclipse unveils the Eclipse 600 which {Eclipse will claim} fixes all the problems of the Eclipse 500, just costs a bit more. I'd put the probability at 70%.

Look at Lancair (now Columbia Aircraft) and Cirrus as models. Both introduced a ground breaking newly certified aircraft. Both significantly underestimated their manufacturing costs for the Columbia 300 and the SR20. Both introduced new aircraft at significantly higher prices and capability (Columbia 350 and SR22). Both switched the majority of their backlog and new customers to the new model aircraft.

Vern has spent a lot of time studying how both Cirrus and Columbia made this transition."

Gunner said...

eb-
You could be right, certainly. But this company is legend for biting off more than it can chew; especially when people notice that it's gagging on the last swallow.

Best guess, though, if you would: Assume AT's right and a new product is announced soon; what do you believe the existing Depositors will have to say? (Honest question as I think it could go either way).
Gunner

mirage00 said...

Things didn't quite work out that way. Today the company is mired in the swamp with a large number of major problems. Rather than address these issues, Eclipse management is talking about a pie in the sky.

Stan, arent these issues being addressed and havnt most been resolved?

Also, you never answered my question on an earlier thread. You say that a "Major airframe assembly" issue has been uncovered. If this is so, why would the birds still be flying?

Oh yeah, it's the connections in washington again.

EclipseBlogger said...

My bet for the next aircraft would be a confortable four-place with a swept thinner wing, capable of higher speeds. More suited for a small corporate flight department. It would not be for the single-engine owner transition. I don't think a single engine owner-flown market will provide enough incentive unless Eclipse can beat all prices - D-Jet and Cirrus have that market covered.

Based on both of these scenarios, I don't think the current owner-flown customer base will have much to say about either aircraft.

Bonanza Pilot said...

So lets think this through for a second..they announce a new jet at Oshkosh (either the 600 which is a stretched cabin with a lav, or the 250 which is a single jet) and they start to take deposits on "Diamond" guaranteed price positions. 150 idiots..I mean people...sent 100K non-escrowed to Cirrus for a single engine jet without any knowledge of what the product will look like or even cost except for a vague statement of wanting to keep it under 1 million. So Eclipse does the same thing - demands non escrowed "deposits" like Cirrus did and then now have enough extra money to finish the Eclipse 500.

People will look at all the money that was made on the early deposits for the 500 and will want in....there are many true believers out there. How many deposits at 100K each do you think Eclipse can get?

FlightCenter said...

Gunner,

I think a large number (say about two thirds) of the depositors will migrate to the new aircraft. This of course assumes that the new aircraft will be an Eclipse 600, an enhanced version of the Eclipse 500. My understanding is that they are looking at adding more room in the cabin.

I could imagine depositors saying to themselves...

1) I've got a delivery position in 2007 or 2008, I've been waiting this long, what's a couple more years?

2) I've got a delivery position in 2009 or beyond, and Eclipse is promising that I'll be able to get the new aircraft in the same timeframe.

3) The new plane is going to be even better than the Eclipse 500.

4) Eclipse says that they are going to incorporate the "entry to service" lessons learned from the Eclipse 500 into the Eclipse 600 design, customer support, service plans, etc...

5) Eclipse is offering me this incredible trade-in offer on my Eclipse 500 deposit.

6) The Eclipse 600 will have an integrated flight deck from one supplier instead of 13. I gotta wonder what the future holds for all of those guys flying around with Avio.

7) It looks like I need to build a lot more time than I thought before the insurance company will let me fly a twin jet (or before I can afford the insurance).

I'll leave it as an excercise to the rest of the readers to add additional reasons why (or why not) the faithful will (or will not) switch to the Eclipse 600.

Gunner said...

EB-
Thanks much.

Not certain I'd guess they'll move up to the Corporate Jet market as opposed down to the SE Jet, but flight_center certainly agrees with your view. nd it might make sense to develop the EA-501, basically a redesigned EA-500, and try to trade current depositors up. Unfortunately, that would put them right on top of Cessna, Embraer and HondaJet. That's a tough league to play in.

Other than raising money, I'm not certain what Eclipse's specific competencies are; but they seem to feel these exist in high volume offerings.

Gentleman's bet: I think it'll be a single, if anything.
Gunner

ExEclipser said...

I've always felt that Eclipse would be good to keep the 500 line going strong and develop an even lower cost entry level twinjet. When the concept of the Eclipse was first tossed about, it was to be one design, one configuration, no options, everyone gets the same thing.

Then enters Dottie Hall. Everyone is going to have different needs. Everyone is going to want different colors and different options.

Go back to a keep-it-simple-stupid design and trying to get back to the $1Mil price point for a twin jet would be a great achievement. Bare basics, baby.

Of course, a 6-seat standard with club seating would be really nice, too. Keep it under $2 Mil... in 2015 dollars.

ExEclipser said...

How many depositors would transfer their purchase to a new airframe if it were larger? If it were cheaper?

cj3driver said...

How many SR-V's (or even SR20's) does Cirrus sell to SR22 fully loaded models.
Since Diamond and Cirrus and Piper have SE, the new Eclipse 600 competes with..... Mustang and Phenom. Very tough.
They wont take very many non-refundable deposits on a 2.495 (in '07 dollars) on an Eclipse 600
Too many other choices....they might get a lot of options though!

Gunner said...

A smaller twin jet? I just don't think the technology is there yet. Stan said something early on in the Blog about it being much more difficult to design a small jet than a big one. And this is so true.

Any twin jet is going to have to carry it's engines and a fuselage large enough for at least one person plus luggage. Eclipse is currently powered by some of the lightest weight engines available, so that means the only way they can make it smaller/lighter/faster is by eliminating an already thin payload of passengers or fuel.

Offer a 600 mile plane or a 2 seater? Possible. But how do you shave $800k off the current price, when you downsize the fuselage and rip out some seats? Answer: It can't be done with today's technology.

Gunner

cj3driver said...

Its kind of interesting, but if you divide the sales price of the citation CJ1,CJ2,CJ3 and CJ4 line, by the thrust per model, it comes out to $1,250 per Lb of thrust.
Comparing the Mustang and Eclipse (loaded) come out to exactly the same, $1,000 per LB of thrust

More thrust, more weight, more capablilty, more cost.

airtaximan said...

CJ3-er,

man how true is THIS! Folks will slam you for rasing the price of the e-clips to include options, etc... but I'd say the "value" you indicate is right smack on. Conventional value, nothing revolutionary.

Now, consider the e-500 (better get used to using the "500" 'cause there's a little brother coming! cannot just say e-clips anymore) at the price at the rate production (curve bought into by suppliers depends on high rate costs coming true... not seen yet) and you likely have a plane that needs to sell for $2.2? A higher price, anyways...figure that, and you get pretty crappy value for your dollar.

The initial specs made the plane a good value..with the engine failure, this value went out with the bath water.

Just one ATMan's opinion.

cj3driver said...

More thrust numbers

Adams $925
Phenom $1010
Piper $1051
Honda $1063

Eclipse $972
Mustang $996

Could not find diamond

airtaximan said...

OK, sow we suspect a larger plane, or a smaller plane.

How much commonality will there be for a larger plane? Not much.

How much commonality can be promoted for a smaller plane? A lot. I'm not saying it will happen, just promoted as such.

This is important to get the parts, systems and sub assemblies down in price on the old plane. Very important.

And...how big is the conventional market for a larger plane? Smaller than for a smaller plane.

There are 200,000 propellar planes in the US...a few thousand jets.

They need to insulate the company from the dayjet risk - afterall, why did they downplay the dayket order from 1400 to 300? Its a huge risk. They'll go smaller, and forego the air taxi market - but of course, the e-500 was designed for the air taxi market - but today's reality is single engine props are growing in air taxi... Linearair, Satsair, etc... so even the single engine e-250 with 4 seats, can be an air taxi, too.

The larger plane does not solve any of the problems e-clips has, and makes them admit they flubbed the e-500, really.

The smaller plane provides an argument (we'll see if any of it plays out, like the Avio, FSW, and Ej22 debacles) for higher rate production and commonality of parts getting the price down for the e-500, which missed the volume market itself.

With one creatively crafted Press Release, they are back in business!

I expect a single PW powered 4-place, using as many common parts, assemblies and systems as possible...even possible on paper). I expect a very low price, say $600k, and guaranteed performance that is way better than D-jet, The-jet, etc.. Certification will be very, very quick...of course due to commonality of parts, government connections and their bulletproof development and certification processes and track record. Look for the new jet at OshKosh..

I believe the could (read could) receive 2500 orders within 3 months of launch... By the time the IPO hits, they will have 2500 orders, and by the time first flight hit, they will have 2500 orders. Their largest customer will always have 300 orders.

Stay tuned. This blog is going to become a more crowded place, very soon.

Just one air taxi man's intuition. Might be a larger plane...we'll see.

WhyTech said...

Someone said:

"See SLATE for an example of your kinda thinking, and the resulting business success"

Also see Go and the whole pen computing movement; the next big thing - NOT.

Ken,

Who could possibly be threatened by Eclipse at this point? Perhaps threatened by the VLJ concept, but certainly not by Eclipse!

WT

Gunner said...

CJ# said:
"Could not find diamond"
Diamond: $998
Though one might expect a single engine jet to have a lower cost per thrust pound than a twin.

AFAIC, Diamond is at the outside power edge of the FJ-33-4 capabilities and the inside weight/range limit for a plane at it's stage in development. Expect them to move up to the FJ33-4A-19 when it's certified. May be that they've already factored that into the pricing; or perhaps they'll offer it as an upgrade and retain the approximate $1,000 per pound of thrust. (Doubt they'd get it though).

AT-
I don't see how you can possibly pull 18 inches of fuselage and $200K of engine off the Eclipse and suddenly have a SE Jet at a $600K price...that'd be even more Verntastic that the Paper Plane at $1.6mm

They still need every bit of avionics, flight controls and development in a single as a twin. But I agree on the single; Eclipse is a "fast nickels" player rather than a "slow dollars" type. Time will tell.

Gunner

airtaximan said...

whytech,

he's refering to ATMan...

But, I susect he's really afraid he won't get his plane, cause his delivery slot is rubber, moving in the wrong direction, and off in the future some time... moving more into the future, we suspect. The company holding his money is looking more and more rediculous every week.

I'm pointing out problems, and I've been pretty good (others here also) at interpreting the e-clips reality, and anticipating from FL410 what shenanigans they will pull next.

recently:
Orderbook BS
-perhaps correct on eclipse-250 launch at OshKosh... we'll see.

Funny that this blog begins talking about "another plane" being the next thing e-clips will throw into the mix...and poof! a few days later, they announce a new plane. Actually, EB is right, they have said this before. But what terrible timing - they are in such a mess... as you point out, its insane to talk about another plane at this point.

But then again, some have said the whole things been insane since 2000, right.

Most of the insanity has made it to the garbage (engine/avio/FSW relegated to also-ran).... heck, perhaps if they receive enough orders for the new plane, they'll throw the whole 500 in the garbage instead of finishing/fixing/ng-ing it.


Let's all see what transpires at OshKosh...

Stan Blankenship said...

Credit where credit is due:

Both Lumar and flightcenter predicted a new airplane April 12 (flightcenter suggested the 600.

ATM's recent comments seemed to reflect inside information that the company may announce a single engine airplane.

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,

"ATM's recent comments seemed to reflect inside information that the company may announce a single engine airplane."

...or maybe he just read the March Money Magazine article which first initiated the speculation about a smaller Eclipse follow-on model.

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

Interesting article, hadn't read it.

This caught my eye:

"He (Vern)thinks he can sell 750 planes next year, which would give Eclipse more than $1 billion in revenue and make it profitable. Raburn's ace in the hole is the air-taxi industry, and for that he's counting on Iacobucci."

This seems to be contrary to some of your statements that suggested the company can survive without the air taxi component.

airtaximan said...

So, Ken:

what do you make of this:

"Iacobucci expects the air-taxi industry to end up a lot bigger than just DayJet and Eclipse. As he grows his network, he knows that he'll eventually have to start adding larger planes to his fleet. He should have plenty to choose from: Adam Aircraft, Embraer's Phenom, and Honda (Charts) all plan to make six- to eight-passenger air taxis."

So...e-clips is making a bigger plane? The e-500 was not the perfect air taxi plane? What's up with this?

also..
"When asked whether Eclipse has begun designing a second plane, he lets slip, "Yup, only four people in the company know about it." (Well, not anymore.)

Pressed for details, he hems and haws, finally saying, "The ultimate personification of an airline is one person, one aircraft. So maybe the best air taxi is a two-person plane." After all, you do need a pilot. With the current Eclipse 500, Iacobucci calculates that he will lose money with one passenger and make money with two or three. But a two-person air taxi should make money on every flight."

...so Ken...which is it... biger or smaller? When? How much? Why now?

I've offered my opinion, not garnered from this article at all, despite your insistence I read it here - what's the statement that led you to believe I got my info from this article?

PS. I think the "ultimate personification of an airline..." statement is pure BS. If they make a two seater, as reflected in the article and by this comment, I will be amazed. Anyone who can use computers to optimize aircraft yield can kick the pants off a system with one-to-one pilot ratio. If you fly three folks in a plane on a per seat basis, all costs are shared, and if single pilot works for one, it works for three just as well. Its nonesense.

One passenger airline service as the epitome of air service is, well, charter. Vive la revolutione!

airtaximan said...

OK, now I'm afraid...

from Ken's article:

"Of the 2,200 original customers who put down deposits before the Williams fiasco, only 60 asked for their money back"

So, they had 2200 orders in what year? 2002??? and in 2007 they have how many more? Including the order to themselves announced yesterday at EBACE, they have 2700 orders/options?

That's 500 (at most if you believe the BS about the self-inflicted order for 180 planes in Europe by Ed-NG-the-distibutor) in 5 more years, including the major milestones of first flight of the PW powered plane, prov-TC (sorry), real TC, and PC, plus a european Vacation Tour with the plane, and a hole bunch (not really, but seriously) deliveries of e-500s out the door?????

YA think perhaps they know they have to admit the e-500 revolution is over?

YA THINK?

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

OK, now I'm afraid...

You do sound from time to time like one worried guy, AT. Maybe all is not lost; maybe DayJet will hire you :)

Ken

P.S. I didn't insist that your read the article. I haven't a clue what you read (Superman Magazine? There's flying in it). I was merely pointing out that the speculation about a follow-on Eclipse aircraft has existed for a while.

Besides, one wouldn't need to read the speculation in Money Magazine. Eclipse has said for years that the EA500 would not be their only model. There's nothing new in that, and we still don't know whether they're thinking larger or smaller for the next model; just that they want to provide extraordinary value as they do with the current model.

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

Do like Ken...shut off reason and accountability. Look at the IPO of the situation.

- we need more rate, or the pieces cost too much.
- we need more deposits
- we need an IPO

WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE PRCTICALITIES OF DEVELOPING AN AIRPLANE - proven fact...we do NOT have to deliver on time, we do not have to explain any of this...and best of all, we will increase the price by around 100% from the initial CY2007 economics.

So, $600k ec-dollars equals...? when the palen is delivered?

Lastly, remember, they need a case for lower cost, and they have NONE, at this point. Stan picked up the minimum 500 units required for BE, 750 to make money... they are not even close. There's around 1000 planes which can be delivered in the next year or so, then the "future" Dayjet orders kick in...

The require commonality of parts, for added rate.

A two place with this wing would be nonesense...a 4-place could pass the rediculous test for a while. Avionics are plug and play ans are engines, seats, ECS, etc...M-O-U-S-E.

You'll see (maybe)

Ken Meyer said...

Stan wrote,

"This seems to be contrary to some of your statements that suggested the company can survive without the air taxi component."

The company has stated for several years that their production line has a very large scalability factor built into it. They can scale down or up according to demand.

I'm confident Eclipse would like to see the air taxi industry prosper, but Vern Raburn has stated on multiple occasions that success of the air taxi industry is not an essential for the success of Eclipse Aviation, Inc. because they intend to scale production to match demand.

I would think if they wind up scaling production below 500 units per year, they would need to raise the price pretty substantially because the announced breakeven point is 500 units per year.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Kenny:

I congratulated EB for pointing out that Vern's be saying they are going to build many planes.

You must admit, the timing of the current info offered by Mcconnel at EBACE is curious.

So, Ken, what do you think it will be, bigger or smaller.

Perhaps a 747 for under $10 million - -this should shake things up in air transport!

Seriously, with all the problems, and only a few of the 57 planes they've been trying to deliver for over a year, why would they do what I suggested they would - begin to announce another plane?

commonality of parts will bring the cost of the e-500 in line so they can make money?

the market for the e-500 (except fot highly speculative air taxi startup orders (BTW, where's you wife's new revolutionary market in all this?) is much smaller than expected or required for a high rate profitable production run?

What's your take? (please don;t try, its all normal, in the plan for years, you just don't know about it... this will be very weak. There must be a rationale (not rational, mind you) reason for Vern to launch another plane, now?

It's sorta replacing the planned IPO, no? Why, Ken?

airtaximan said...

"They can scale down or up according to demand."

comical...the supplied parts and systems were procured according to a volume curve. No volume, no advantageous pricing. We've had this confirmed here, from guys on the inside at e-clips, and its industry common knowledge. Also, the price is cost (projected based on the rate Stan refers to, not some scaled down rate you are refering to)... so low cost which rsulted in high rate will be gone, if they "scale back" production... and the value you so dearly refer to, which equals a cheap jet purchase price based on high rate is NOT scalable.

I'm beginning to wonder about your statements. Regurgitation works only to a point, here. THINK about what you are being sold.

Scale back, systems, assemblies, parts, etc... all go up.

Gunner said...

In this business, "scalable" relates to being able to EXPAND manufacturing and service seamlessly; not to be able to downsize, by half, your manufacturing processes, purchasing power, labor force and service. That's called "missing the numbers" and translates as "disaster".

Scaleable's a "good" word, just like "LRU" and "The beauty of"; but these are too often used by The Faithful as a salve to cover a potential hemorrhage.

Anyone who believes that Eclipse can easily survive, producing 300, 400 or 500 planes per year needs to check his meds...those are numbers that make Dinosaurs successful; Eclipse planned for and invested for far more than that. The overhead doesn't simply disappear.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

Gunner, you're disputing the company's version of it's own business plan:

"Scalability, both upward and downward, is of primary concern, since the company has no truly accurate way to predict what long-term, year-after-year demand will be after it fills the initial orders. Having a financial plan to sustain the company during times of low production rates is as important as having the capability to increase output to meet high demand." (stated in 2004)

You're entitled to an opinion that differs from the stated position of the company, but you're offering it as a fact, not opinion. It seems to me when you do that you're pontificating.

Ken

Gunner said...

"Having a financial plan to sustain the company during times of low production rates is as important as having the capability to increase output to meet high demand."

And that would be...what?
Phostrex?
Deliver unfinished planes?
Announce and start taking deposits on a new model before finishing the old one?
Throw a couple more vendors under the bus?

I'm sorry Ken, but if I was "pontificating", making a statement that it's important to survive in the lean years is positively Vern-ificating.

The only thing more insulting to my intelligence is your smug statement that the company is "scalable", as though that somehow answers the question; all companies are "scalable", Ken; right down to Chapter 7.
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

Why would anyone give serious consideration to Eclipse producing a second aircraft? Would wide-eyed investors and depositors line up again even though the first plane hasn't been finished?

Let's see, was the Eclipse motto...

Tommorow's Jet, Today, At Yesterday's Price.

or was it...

Yesterday's Jet, Tommorow, At Tommorow's Price.

On a serious note - I had lunch today with two aviation writers from a top national aviation magazine. They are accomplished pilots and write flight reviews.

They marveled at the frequency of inconsequential press releases from Eclipse and the lack of critical review of the Eclipse situation by the aviation press including their publication. The prevailing view was that Eclipse spends lavishly on advertising and magazines are reluctant to bite the hand that feeds.

Neither was enthusiatic about the product or the concept of an airtaxi business built around it. Of course, they could be wrong just like most everybody else.

Black Tulip

BD5 Believer said...

Ken quoted the Owners forum with

"I don't have to relate the success story of the PC. When IBM legitimized the market, it was already taking off."

Does this imply that someone other then Eclipse will have to legitimize the VLJ market....jee, who is the "IBM" of aviation?

Also of interest, it looks like it will also take Cessna to legitimize the Light Sport Market as well.

mouse said...

Ken, computer were new. The airplane has been around for awhile, and nothing on the EA-500 is new other than the methods. Only Eclipse would take 13 off the shelf vendors try and join their products through yet another system.

Stir-frying has been used on missiles for years, now Vern is using the process on a manned missile I guess.

Sometimes different is better, but in the case of the EA-500 different is just different and the customer is going to pay for years to come for being different.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BT,

There has been no critical review of the Eclipse because it would not withstand the whithering criticism that would result from letting AOPA, Flying, or anyone else fly a half-assed, half-designed, half-finished, half-functional (being generous), half-priced, half-baked preemie of a would-be baby jet.

Tom Haines, Mac McClellan and Richard Collins simply will not accept a series of IOU's reminescent of the comedy routine on Up Pericscope, where everything is schedule to arrive "Tuesday".

The 'sneak preview' flights from a couple years ago were a different story. Before 'certification' the occasional glitch, system failure or incomplete system are to be expected - after all, the airplane isn't 'done' yet. A couple IOU's or waves of the magic wand and all is OK.

Now, POST-certification, and you say, NO IMC, no FIKI, no GPS Nav, no FMS, limited Auto-pilot functionality, no moving map, and the whac-a-problem du jour, and no amount of advertising dollars are getting to get a self-respecting aviation journalist to sit in the plane, fly it with such limitations, and expect them to write anything other than the equivalent of a 'you're kidding right?'.

Haines' recent article in AOPA on the Mustang is chock-full of swipes at the wunderjet, well placed jabs for which the incomplete baby-jet and equally immature company simply have no defense for.

Vern is smart to not let any of the press fly his wunderjet, any more direct examination and the house of cards will collapse in a spectacular implosion even Enron would be amazed at.

mouse said...

I worked on the larger airplane design back in the winter of 2001. It was just a new fuselage and more thrust.

The EA-500 is already a smaller plane. If it were any smaller it could not be used. The diameter of the cabin can't shrink or your shoulders are in each others chins.

If the fuselage were any shorter the tail would be too close to the wing and the landing gear would be in the wrong location wwhen you shift the wing.

Anything smaller could not use any of the exisiting components. The plane is already a blivet.

The basic problem with the EA-500 is that the cost of each system and component is not less as a percentage from a larger airplane.

If an $4M plane spends X on a component, than the $2M plane has to pay 1/2X for the same component or system or it does not scale the price enough to work. If you pay as much for the avionics, landing gear, throttle quadrant, seats, Etc. as the more expensive airplane then where is the savings coming from? The cost of the engines are all nearly identical per pound of thrust.

Everything has to fit the sliding scale or the thinking is flawed.

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"Ken, computers were new. The airplane has been around for awhile"

Huh?

You need a history review. Computers have been around for two thousand years, if you count the abacus. If you want honest-to-goodness computers, you need to go back 350+ years to Wilhelm Schikard's machine.

Not impressed yet? First punch-card machines were in the 19th century. The Hollerith tabulator was used in the 1890 census. IBM built the Mark I in the 1930's. EDVAC and ENIAC date back to 1946.

What on earth do you mean computers were new when the PC came out? They weren't. There were lots of big, expensive mainframe computers in the world. I remember it well. I used to save up my computing work for the few hours a week they'd give me on the mainframe 35 years ago. That's the whole point! What was new about the PC is that it made computer technology available to the masses on demand.

And that really is a very good analogy with the Eclipse. Airplanes have been around forever, but the only way most people get to utilize them is in the cattle-car section of an airliner. Eclipse promises to dramatically increase the number of people who can enjoy the benefits of small airplanes.

Many people just don't see that. Do you?

Ken

cj3driver said...

Eclipse can NOT go slightly larger if they are still going after the “volume market”. Larger means more thrust, More thrust, more money, more money, no volume. There too many other reputable competitors in the “more thrust” category. Cessna, Phenom, Adam and Honda have that market solid. Diamond, Piper and Cirrus will have the SE market.

To throw their hat in a NEW ring, a smaller twin-jet must be the thought. But… (per Diamond) it will still take at least 1400 lbs to take 4 people, fuel and the aircraft to FL250. So at 1.4million (assumes $1000/lb) in 07 dollars, can they do a “volume” business?..... why not just buy the 500?

Either that or go “dinosaur” and compete with the CJ3, Grob, Pheonom 300. There’s a lot more potential profit in that size plane and you don’t need volume. They have a lot of “Die-hard” customers, 2700 of them for “step-up”.

I can just see a cardboard lifesize picture of John Travolta standing in front of my dream Jet at Oshkosh ‘08 ….. 2,500 NM range, 5,000 lbs of fuel, 450Kts, eight people, stand-up cabin, private lav….all for 5 million. (Hey…. Its possible with vendor volume discounts, FSW, and other disruptive technology, we’ve done it before, the Eclipse 500) OK……Now your talking….. Where do I sign…. Wait a minute, it says here that I have to give you a 60% payment ….. (three million) 9 months before delivery?........ Maybe I better check your reputation. Lets see. 1998, $837K, $995K, $1,175K, $1,295K …. $1.8 million. Man, ….that 5 million dollar dream jet is gonna be like $12 million, 8 years from now. I think I’ll wait and see. …….Where’s the Brietling booth.

Black Tulip said...

ColdWetMack,

That's a nice piece of writing. Probably won't be published in a flying magazine soon. Too bad.

Black Tulip

cj3driver said...

Ken,
.... Your not serious are you?
Eclipse didnt invent the airplane, they just made a tiny one.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Thanks BT, calls 'em like I sees 'em.

There is NO scalability to the Eclipse, NONE.

There is no scalability in the airframe, no scalability in the aerodynamics, no scalability in the avionics.

Perhaps they are referring to being able to scale the F'up factor back from somewhere near Warp Factor 10, but that would require the ability and maturity to recognize the mistakes made and lessons learned during the first 8 years and $1B.

When you have everybody moving assholes and elbows to try and get the design done, I will guarantee you that shy of a lip-service 'lessons-learned' debrief, which probably already took place, NOTHING has been learned by the culprits in this failure, that is, the leadership of the company. For proof of this look to McConnell's statement at EBACE.

Here is a guy (McConnell) who was an also-ran at Dell, a would-be Mooney dealer, who sat in a VP chair at Mooney during their descent to near destruction, talking about Eclipse having a 'major, major competitive advantage'. It is laughable.

This is the caliber of much of the executive team at Eclipse, also-rans with shadow envy for the big men they worked for (can you say Bill Gates or Paul Allen), and a record of exaggeration and failure in their own endeavors.

If BS is a competitive advantage, if baseless exaggeration is scalable, they may be on to something.

Otherwise, Eclipse should just shut the hell up and finish the plane they started, nearly a decade and Billion dollars ago.

There are about a thousand loyal customers waiting and they DESERVE Eclipse's full attention and constant thanks for giving them so much time to get themselves ship-shape.

Try actually delivering on existing promises before making any new ones.

airtaximan said...

more Vernacular from Ken:

"Eclipse promises to dramatically increase the number of people who can enjoy the benefits of small airplanes."

Oh, really Ken...how?

- door number one, promoted by the new tech czar at Dayjet Holmes - "flyer's ed with drivers ed in high school"?

-doore number 2- as passengers aboard your beloved bonanza-jet turned tiny taxi-plane via Pogo and Linear Air in branded charter at $2000 per hour (you can fly many jets in charter for this price, but you already knew that, right Ken... see Dayjet's per-jet pricing for the same revolution as the Lear & CJ on this. Same cost, faster so less occupied time on the dinos...where's the BEEF?) or Dayjet at well, lets see, you want to belive $1 or $4 per mile. Let's just say I can charter at $2k per hour for the whole 6 seat plane -when I want, aboard a real jet at real jet speed - so say its...$3/mile for less than perfect Dayjet service. How many new customers are brought into your buddies revolutionary market at around $1000 per seat for a 300 mile trip? With a stop, not really when I want to go, but some other time confirmed the night before?

Vive la revolutione!

Any wonder why there's only around 1,000 k-500's sold (maybe) plus 2 of Vern's buddies fleet options, and no real large established operators?

Some things make sense, some don't.

Which one of these operating models enables a large new market like the PC, Ken?

Please enlighten us.

Gunner said...

Great analysis, CJ3.

I disagree as to one conclusion:
"Diamond, Piper and Cirrus will have the SE market."

Not by a long shot, I think. That market is, as yet, uncertified and undeveloped. Vern always thinks he can work much faster than the Old Guard. His entire business plan is based on "disruptive technology"; spell that "fast nickels vs slow dollars". The guys with $5 million to buy a plane won't give an advance deposit a second glance, until the model is out there and flying.

There's nothing "revolutionary", in terms of technology Vern can promise the CJ3 owner. But an SE Jet at just under a million? Marketed to every Twin Engine owner, every Cirrus, Diamond, Mirage and Malibu potential customer? A "revolutionary" jet with "airline quality avionics"? He can get away with that hype for at least a couple of years. $90k secures your position in line today.

Fast Nickels and Jet Jock Fever. It got him this far; he sees the way the Depositors fawn over him and must certainly believe he's found the right market for what he's peddling.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken asked if anybody noticed that some people seem very threatened by the Eclipse.

Ummmmm, no.

Comparing the Eclipse 500 to PC's, early PC's specifically, is actually a pretty accurate comparison IMO.

Compared to the REAL computers of the day, the PC had no real utility, was poorly supported, and was being manufactured by every Tom, Dick or Harry who thought he might get in on the action.

There was an appaling lack of standards, a lack of software, a lack of training, and a lack of functionality when compared to REAL computers being delivered by REAL companies.

A couple flash in the pans did OK until the REAL companies applied their REAL experience and created the first usable PC's.

Where Eclipse and early PC's differ, is that even the early PC's actually did what the manufacturers said they would do, right out of the box.

Eclipse is not Apple, or Microsoft.

CWMOR predicts the Eclipse is the Timex Sinclair - wildly successful for a very brief period of time. Rapidly and soundly defeated in the market as better designed, better supported, and far more useful machines were made available by the dinosaurs of the day (IBM).

airtaximan said...

CJ3 is the king. Brilliant, again.

Gunner, you have pegged the insanity dead nuts on. Just my opinion, based on the BS story Vern will spin on:

- common engine (supplier) maybe PW 615 or 617 or NG (who knows?)
- common wing
- common systems
- common avionics
- common seats, interior supplier
etc.. leading to further economies of scale, and a low selling price/cost for BOTH jets.

Also, commonality makes certification easier, or so the BS will flow.

Smaller. Its the way to a large conventional owner flown market. The professional market has shied away from e-clips like cancer. Why? You kow - the pros don;'t fall for the BS, and they need to see safe, proven operating history plus traiing, maintenance, residual values, etc... before they make an "investment" in equipment.

Private pilots looking for jets: see Ken Meyer for the OTHER side of the coin.

Vern knows he's blown it with the pros... he's go for the unsophisticated private pilots, like Angelina Jolie and JOhn Q private pilot. They'll WANT to own a jet. They'll want to become a die-hard. They'll fall for the same old BS.

Or at least the early dot-com flavored speculators will know that eventually they will.

ExEclipser said...

Hmmm... I owned a Timex Sinclair. Had the expensive 16K RAM module, too.

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"That's the whole point! What was new about the PC is that it made computer technology available to the masses on demand.

And that really is a very good analogy with the Eclipse."

It seems to be if you recall that PC's first became available around 1978. It was not until the arrival of Windows XP in around 2003 that PC's were ready for prime time i.e. where ordinary mortals could use them without spending a high fraction of their time dealing with bugs. Remember DOS? Remember Win 3.0? Total agony! Some would argue that even Win XP isnt there yet, and I can tell you from personal experience that Vista is still Beta software.

So it seems that Eclipse owners should brace themselves for a long, hard slog.

WT

WhyTech said...

coldfish said:

"This is the caliber of much of the executive team at Eclipse, also-rans with shadow envy for the big men they worked for (can you say Bill Gates or Paul Allen), and a record of exaggeration and failure in their own endeavors."

Bullseye! This explains almost eveything about what has happened at Eclipse. If you flesh this theme out a bit with some the histroical details of the principals, its like the sun came up! Brilliant insight!

WT

airtaximan said...

mack:

how do they get more money in the door by living up to the promise of completing the plane when;

the plane costs more than they sold it for?

when the plane needs to be nged, fixed and constantly inspected?

The production capacity needed to impress anyone is in the 500-750 per year range, which means they have nothing to make in a year and everyone goes home?

When the supplied parts are 2x the volume prices at the realistic rate production based on the orderbook and the capability to produce planes?

The e-500 is dead.

Long live the new revolutionary aircraft soon to be the saviour od E-clips aviation, the model-250.

Any other path?

I have notice hints of truth buried in the pr from E-clips...its never the actual message, just some fluff. McConnel said the space is now crowded... this is an admission that their e-500 POC is NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN AS THEY FULLY EXPECTED.

..I hear him saying, Its not a monopoly, we need to compete, the e-500 failed becasue there are other good choices for our customers (see the Phenoms for 2-4x the price and 400 orders, plus the rest of the market that chose to pass on the e-500).. we need to make a plane that competes better...we've lost it with the 500.

Just what I hear... I expect a smaller, lower priced plane will be announced at Osh Kosh.

If at first you don't succeed while blowing $1 billion, try, try again.

The remarkable thing is, they'll probably raise the money to get another shot at it! GO VERN!

airtaximan said...

execlipser:

"I KNEW IT!"





Kidding.. ;)

airtaximan said...

mouse,

all good points.

Can you envision a new single engne plane, with the same wing on a totally new FSW/home-baked fuselage from e-clips in a 4 place config?

one engine saves $200k or more.
more of the same or similar parts fro the same suppliers could increase the volume and decrease the cost for both planes.

BTW, I'm not saying this upcoming BS story will be any differnt than AVIO or EJ22 or FSW... all BS for the investors and unsophisticated depositors.

Its just as story... with some pretty pictures and a deposit program to be released at OshKosh.

Do you have insight that what I'm seeing is NOT going to happen? Perhaps you really know what's going on - I only have my intuition...like on the BS orderbook.

ExEclipser said...

I really hope Eclipse is saved by PhostrEx. Now that the production line is slow and they've taken in about $17 mil or so in deliveries, they need to spin off PhostrEx before someone else takes something similar to Phosphorus Tribromide to market. They've put TC as top priority before doing anything with PhostrEx. Now that is 'out of the way', and they are getting a bit of income (enough to run the company for about 3 weeks), start selling the fire extinguisher!

Unfortunately, again a great product, but managed by the same bunch of yahoos...

airtaximan said...

ken,

you need help...

your friend,
ATMan

ExEclipser said...

Ummm... folks - look at the profiles. The gunner profile and the ken meyer profile are different.

Lots of BSing going on out here.

ExEclipser said...

Freakin' babies in here.

FlightCenter said...

I found the comments comparing the Eclipse 500 with its competitors using dollars per pound of thrust to be quite intersting, especially given that Eclipse is announcing a new aircraft soon.

I believe there is a lot of value in those types of comparisons.

However, it reminded me of another method of measuring relative value, which is to compare the aircraft cost to a performance measure consisting of (speed x range x cabin volume).

I dug around in my files and found an article written by Roy Norris in January of 1999 and published in Pro Pilot that outlines this method of comparing aircraft. Most of the old timers know Roy, but for those readers who haven't been in the aviation industry their whole lives, Roy was president of Raytheon and head of marketing and sales for both Cessna and Gulfstream.

Here are a couple snippets from his article.

"Years ago I became familiar with a simple relationship that accurately predicts the success or failure of a new business aircraft design. Furthermore, it accurately predicts how two competing aircraft will perform against each other in the market place.

The future resale value performance of an aircraft will, to large extent, determine the overall cost of ownership of a particular aircraft, and this too can be predicted by the model.

Why do people buy aircraft? Basically for three reasons:
1) to travel someplace, which can be quantified by range;
2) to travel quickly, which can be quantified by speed; and
3) to travel in comfort, which can be quantified by cabin volume.

That is really the whole ball of wax. Aircraft that have a lower cost for a given product of these three variables are higher in value than aircraft that have a higher cost for a given product of these three variables. It's as simple as that."

He then goes on to suggest that the best way to compare aircraft is to graph their performance (y axis) vs. Price (x axis).

I'll be happy to put together a chart / spreadsheet showing the Eclipse 500 and its competitors if you folks can point me to the correct numbers for cabin volume in cubic feet, speed in knots, and range in nm for Eclipse and its competitors.

The Eclipse numbers I have from July 2002 are
Max Cruise = 355 kts (+/- 2.5%)
Range = 1,300 (+ /- 5%)
Price = $837,500

Oct 2003 are
Cabin volume = 160 cubic feet.
Max cruise = 375 kts (+/- 2.5%)
Range = 1,280 (+/- 5%)
Price = $950,000

May 2005
Max Cruise = 370 kts (+/- 2%)
Range = 1,125 (+/- 2%)
Price = $1,295,000

Oct 2006
Max Cruise = 370 kts (+/- 2%)
Range = 1,125 (+/- 2%)
Price = $1,520,000

Let me know if these are the correct numbers.

Does anyone know if the cabin volume is still 160 cubic feet?

FlightCenter said...

The most recent posts by "Ken Meyer" were not made by Ken.

Check Ken's profile by clicking on his name in the first comment on this post versus his profile when clicking on the most recent comment labeled "Ken Meyer".

They don't have the same profile.

Same thing for the last post by execlipser.

Gunner, that just ain't right. Own up and tell us we won't have to put up with anymore BS posts.

Gunner said...

It would appear that the Troll Teenies have discovered our little meeting spot. When in doubt, click on the Blogger's name and compare the ID in your address window to a post you know to be genuine.

Maybe if we ignore them, they'll go back to Rosie O’Donnell’s place.
Gunner

Gunner said...

FlightCenter-
Recheck the posts. "Gunner" was the first one impersonated. Look for "Gunner's" post about canceling the D-Jet contracts.

If you're gonna start finger-pointing, at least research it first.
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

Sorry Gunner,

I checked your profile and saw that the post saying you had asked for a refund actually had a profile, while the Ken Meyer and Execlipser posts didn't even have a profile unlike their actual posts.

I didn't notice that the gunner profile associated with that post was dated May 2007.

It also seemed that all three posts were written by the same guy. My apologies for jumping to conclusions.

So all three of you have been impersonated. Identity theft on a blog. Who would have thought?

flyger said...

"With the benefit of hindsight, we underestimated the difficulty of this." Thus the always honest Vern Raburn, founder of pioneering very light jet manufacturer Eclipse Aviation, reflected yesterday at EBACE on the almost decade-long battle to make a reality of his vision of an affordable personal jet aircraft.

Wow, that's pretty funny. Instead of listening to the people in the industry telling you how misguided you were, you made little buttons to mock them. Apparently, your dream team of designers didn't know what they were doing either since you are only now realizing how hard to project is. Why did it take 8 years to figure this out?

As to you being "always honest", was that what you were doing when you knew Williams was a failure but didn't say anything, when you knew Avidyne was a failure but didn't say anything, or when you keep telling people AvioNG will be here in a few months?

It is a little late to start faking humility, Vern. Go hug your Collier trophy before they take it back.

cj3driver said...

Flyger,
RE: Vern

......As to you being "always honest", was that what you were doing when you knew Williams was a failure but didn't say anything, when you knew Avidyne was a failure but didn't say anything, or when you keep telling people AvioNG will be here in a few months?

.... or taking 60% deposits on incomplete, non-performing yet to be completely certified aircraft, and ....knowing the planes wont be delivered for a year...

Sad

cj3driver said...

FlightCenter said:

The Eclipse numbers I have from July 2002 are
Max Cruise = 355 kts (+/- 2.5%)
Range = 1,300 (+ /- 5%)
Price = $837,500

Oct 2003 are
Cabin volume = 160 cubic feet.
Max cruise = 375 kts (+/- 2.5%)
Range = 1,280 (+/- 5%)
Price = $950,000

May 2005
Max Cruise = 370 kts (+/- 2%)
Range = 1,125 (+/- 2%)
Price = $1,295,000


FlightCenter,

You missed one!

Nov 2004
Max Cruise = 370 kts (+/- 2%)
Range = 1,125 (+/- 2%)
Price = $1,175,000

cherokee driver said...

What happened to Eclipse's magazine advertising budget? I noticed they stopped advertising in Flying and AOPA Pilot. Wouldn't they want to target the readers of these magazines? Their competitors are all represented.

FlightCenter said...

CJ3 Driver,

Thanks!

What are the numbers for a CJ3?

Here's what I've got for a CJ1
(these are old)
Range = 1275
Speed = 378
Cabin Volume = 195

CJ2
Range = 1440
Speed = 400
Cabin Volume = 278

flyger said...

As to the "DME" question, looks like we got a problem...

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/FAA_Policy_Change_Voids_Many_IFR_GPS_Units_195277-1.html

Many previously IFR-certified GPS receivers might now be unapproved for flying many instrument procedures due to recent FAA policy changes, according to AOPA. On Thursday, the association said the FAA's Advisory Circular 90-100A, issued in March, indicates that only three GPS models -- the Garmin 400, 500 and G1000 series -- are now legal. Other models made by Garmin, including the new GNS 480 WAAS receiver, as well as receivers manufactured by Chelton, Honeywell, Northstar, and Trimble are listed as "noncompliant," AOPA said. The action means up to 26,000 GPS users no longer comply with a 1996 FAA policy that allows GPS to be used in lieu of ADF or DME.

Well, that kills the pseudo DME GPS thingy.

I'm having a hard time believing this. What changed? There has to be more to this story.

cj3driver said...

FlightCenter

CJ1+
Range = 1300
Speed = 389
Cabin Volume = 198

CJ2+
Range = 1600
Speed = 405
Cabin Volume = 248

CJ3
Range = 1900
Speed = 415
Cabin Volume = 283

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I saw that announcement too Flyger.

I cannot believe that the Feds would find in a way that favors a single GPS vendor, and only 3 models specifically - but if that letter stands as official policy then yes, the synthetic DME as currently executed on the Eclipse would be no longer legal and we would be back to square one re: RVSM and FL240 AND DME approaches, etc.

cj3driver said...

CherokeeDriver said;

What happened to Eclipse's magazine advertising budget? I noticed they stopped advertising in Flying and AOPA Pilot. Wouldn't they want to target the readers of these magazines? Their competitors are all represented.

CherokeeDriver,

Eclipse has not stopped marketing. Pilots and aviators who wanted one, got one (that is, made a deposit). Most of the owner/operators have either hung in there with Eclipse because they have an early position with a lower base price, or they have already purchased an early position from someone else and are already “committed” by paying a premium to someone else and now have a non-refundable deposit with Eclipse. The first 200 or so aircraft position holders should have already put up 60% of the purchase price.

Eclipse needs to feed the machine if it is to succeed as a high volume aircraft manufacturer (assuming they get their act together). There just is not enough pilots in GA to full the volume in order to keep the price low. Eclipse is in need of more deposits/orders to fulfill the volume goals and bolster the backlog for a future IPO. So, with the GA market “tapped”, they are targeting the "other" market. The non-operator. The guy who sits in back. This it the guy who will be very upset when:
1. the plane does not perform as advertised (and maybe never will).
2. He can't take 3 friends and golf clubs from Denver to Santa Barbara for the weekend, without a stop in Farmington NM.
3. He must send the plane to Albuquerque (and pay crew expenses and fuel) for service and upgrades more often than his own trips.
4. He realizes the plane really wasn’t that "revolutionary" after all, and his bank account 1.85 million lighter. .....And I thought the add said 1.52?

Read some of the past posts by Stan, Gunner, AirTaximan, BlackTulip, CWMR, WT, FC and others over the past year and you what I mean. Some, most of the predictions are bleak. Heck, just look at the press releases on the Eclipse website over the years, its all really very interesting.

As for Flying, and Aopa, see CWMR’s post at 7:15p

cj3driver said...

Oh yea..., I forgot to the mention the AirTaxi’s

The Eclipse/DayJet Revolution?:

If the airlines are the greyhound busses of the sky, moving many people hub to hub, station to station, on a schedule, then taxicabs and limos are the light airplanes and business jet charters of the sky. They take you point to point, and will even wait for you at your destination. You can hire a limo by the hour, or you can pay a taxi by the mile. The correlation to Eclipse, is that the E500’s are the Yugo taxis to Ford Crown Victoria taxis. They both are available for private ownership, you could hire a driver or drive it yourself. They both have four seats, four wheels, seating for five, and, as a taxi version, interesting exterior stripes. Both taxis come with a driver. They both get you there in a similar time frame, If you spend a little more money, you can rent (charter) a stretched version with a bar, and bring along a few friends. There is nothing revolutionary about the Yugo. Sure, its smaller and cuter and gets better gas mileage. Service and parts are a little harder to come by for the Yugo, but the manufacturer insists that is temporary. The Yugo costs about half as much as the Ford, and burns half the fuel, so it should make the operator a little more money if they can charge the same rate...... But they can’t charge the same rate. Why hail a Yugo when you can ride a Crown Vic? The problem is that it turns out that there isn’t much difference in profit for the company that operates a fleet of Yugo’s verses a fleet of Crown Vics. Take a look a New York. I don’t see a bunch of mini-cars running around but I sure do see plenty of Crown Vics with those gas guzzling V8’s on every corner.

While DayJet’s system of computerized scheduling may be considered “revolutionary” (I don’t consider sharing a taxi with a stranger “revolutionary”), the equipment and the operation of that equipment is certainly not.

FlightCenter said...

The FAA AC compliance document doesn't mention the Free Flight Systems GPS at all. So we're in limbo when it comes to the Eclipse 500.

The AC talks about RNAV procedures and Departure Procedures and STARS.

DME is mentioned, but I didn't see where it specifically says that those GPS receivers are not valid as DME substitutes.

That said, it seems from reading the AOPA website that the folks at AOPA are concerned that might be the case.

FlightCenter said...

Does anyone have a number for the Mustang cabin volume?
CJ3 driver?

cj3driver said...

FC
Mustang cabin volume is 144

FlightCenter said...

CJ3 driver,

If the Mustang cabin volume is 144, then the Eclipse cabin can't be 160 as Eclipse published in October 2003.

Or else Cessna uses a more conservative method for calculating cabin volume than Eclipse.

cj3driver said...

I believe Cessna calculates the cabin volume from behind the cockpit bulkhead. They also do not include the nose and tailcone baggage area in the calculation. Eclipse's baggage area is within the cabin volume also.
I got the figures from the respective flight planning guides.

cj3driver said...

FC
From the Mustang FPGuide:

Cabin dimensions
Length-overall 14' 9"
Length-excluding cockpit 9' 9"
Height 54"
Width 55"
Passenger cabin volume 144 ft3

cj3driver said...

FC
If you take out the cockpit and the rear baggage area on the eclipse, the cabin length of the eclipse is 5'7" 57% of the mustangs 9'9" cabin

Assuming equal cabin diameter this makes the Eclipse volume 82.5 ft
I got this info from mustang comparison guide on stans website eclipescritic.net

AlexA said...

Stan said (May 19th),

“Will re-check to see if the quality escapes Alex identified regarding the wing electrical bonding and horizontal tail problems are the same as those described in my earlier comment. It may take a few days.”

Well Stan?

Are you and Vern using the same calendar?

Also what’s up with all the deleted post? Foul language or good news from Eclipse?

I was also able to get a little more information yesterday but why bother posting if you are going to erase it?

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3Driver wrote,

"If you take out the cockpit and the rear baggage area on the eclipse, the cabin length of the eclipse is 5'7" 57% of the mustangs 9'9" cabin"

If you look at the actual seating area, both the floor footprint (square footage per passenger) and cabin volume per passenger are greater for the Eclipse than the Mustang.

How could that be when the Mustang is obviously bigger? Mustang wastes a lot of its cabin space for the toilet, and Mustang divides its cabin space 4 ways instead of just 3. (If you need a toilet, of course it is not "wasted," but it's a pretty small plane to try to squeeze a toilet into, and I don't think you need one for 3 hour hops.)

The cabin layout of the Mustang is one of the few things I really dislike in its design. The rear seats do not recline; that's a big disadvantage because it means I would have to face backwards when I'm stretching out in the back with my wife flying. I don't like that. The other thing is that when you carry multiple people, generally they do not wish to have their legs intertwined with those of the person opposite them. To be comfortable, club seating needs more space than Cessna was able to allocate in the Mustang. The plane would be fine for two people in the back, but then they have to face backwards in order to recline.

Also, it's not real easy to remove the passenger seats from the Mustang, which is unfortunate. If it were up to me, I'd have designed the Mustang with all forward-facing removable seats like the Eclipse has so customers could optimize the layout to their particular needs.

There are many very nice features about the Mustang, but rather than score their interior better than Eclipse, I think it's not as practical a design and layout. It does look nicer though.

Ken

airtaximan said...

CJ3 driver,

I'd agree with Ken...Roy Norris' method of evaluating airplanes is antiquated now that the e-clips 500 has changed everything. The old way of looking at "value" from a market perspective can just be thrown in the garbage...like AVIO, EJ22, etc...

I'm glad Ken's so happy with his decision...but something tells me its really just about a low acquisition price, and this is based in fantasy, not economic reality at this point.

Ken, you are getting a good deal on your e-clips (if you ever get it) becasue its been priced as a low intro price based on very high volume that does not exist. Just admit it, and move along.

At least don't try in advance to dismiss the results of a "value" analysis used by reputable industry veterans for years, out of the box.

Perhaps we'll learn something about "value" as opposed to "low purchase price".. you may find you are getting less for less, not more for less... let's see.

airtaximan said...

alexa:

what are you talking about here?

"Also what’s up with all the deleted post? Foul language or good news from Eclipse?"

What good news?

Are you refering to the string of posts deleted above? Someone was sppofing bloggers and writing nonesense... just FYI.

Stan Blankenship said...

alexa,

1. Sorry, I am waiting for more info myself on the structural problem.

2. The deleted posts relate to the fact that blogspot will apparently allow me or anyone else to set up a google account with the name alexa and post comments which is what somebody has been doing for the past few days.

So some of the obvious bogus comments have been deleted, when I get a few minutes, will check some of the others.

Read flightcenter's 10:19 pm post last nite.

Will deal with this later, have a busy morning. Gotta get a tool out for the world's second largest general aviation mfg or risk shutting down a production line.

Gunner said...

Alexa-
Since you seem so interested in the personal side of things. I seem to remember you dropping on us that "info was still coming in" regarding your investigation of Stan's relationship with Eclipse. You dropped that on us, promising to "expose" him.

What ever happened to that?
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Do you need to derail a critical discussion of your revolutionary product?

Are you tired of people with specialized industry knowledge and decades of experience calling attention to the multiple failures of your revolutionary product?

Do you need to prevent your loyal customers from being exposed to the facts about your revolutionary product?

No need to hire a high-fallutin' Public Relations firm, just call us, the Drive-By Brothers.

Yes, the Drive-By Brothers.

We know that not everyone will be convinced by your slick marketing materials and flashy website, so here at the Drive-By Brothers we offer blind adherence and restatement of your very own press release materials with the added benefit of our own stellar reputations.

Why spend your much need capital questioning the motives or identities of a pesky blog community, when we'll do it for free? That way, you can send your revolutionary product on a worldwide barnstorming tour while restricting color copies back home.

Need a hatchet job to attempt to discredit former customers who had bad experiences with your company? Don't bother with the Mafia or CBS, just call us, the Drive-By Brothers, and we'll do it for you.

Nitpicking, hyper-critical grammar review, and math checks to the 6th decimal place are just a few of the benefits you'll receive from hiring the Drive-By Brothers. Did your critic mistate a date by a week, we will use that mistake to question the critics motive, identity, sexual preference AND legitimate criticism.

Have some goods news, or at least a lack of bad news? We will congratulate each other for 'keeping it real' on the blog of your choice, even if we have to create additional alter-ego's to make it appear there is a groundswell of support for your revolutionary product.

And when that is not enough we offer our industry-leading, soon to be patented, substanceless dismissal with condescension, Drive-By Next Generation (Drive-By NG).

Call us today, and we will throw in our competitive products trashing service, for FREE.

So call us today and let us get started right away. Your virtual product is virtually assured to be well respected, thanks to the Drive-By Brothers.

FlightCenter said...

Reading an article from Aviation Week dated January 2007 (Thank you for the link Gunner)

I find some additional support for ATM's contention that Eclipse is going to introduce a single engine aircraft.

"The concept of the personal light jet makes sense. I believe there could be a very large market for the right single-engine jet, but not if it's dumbed down. It would have to cruise at least 300 KTAS and fly as high as 35,000 feet occasionally to escape the weather. And it will have to be priced close to a $1million or lower to be viable," proclaimed Vern Raburn, founder, chairman and CEO of Eclipse Aviation in Albuquerque, N.M. The Eclipse 500 is the aircraft that started the VLJ movement.

I still think that Eclipse will have to go up market with their new aircraft because they won't be able to afford to deliver the E500 to their current depositors and the current depositors won't switch from a twin to single.

Here's the link -

A New Class of Aircraft Debuts: The PLJ

AlexA said...

Gunner,

You are 100% correct, I retract my statement. Documentation provided to me anonymously with all sorts of confidential labels makes me uncomfortable. I had no way to substantiate the info or verify it from a third party. The last thing I need is litigation, my statement is retracted.

As we all know one of the great things about this country is freedom of speech. Stan has the right to say almost anything he wants. We all know (I think) that Stan owns an aircraft tool manufacturing shop. I don’t know if Stan is willing to answer, but is there any truth that his shop approached Eclipse to manufacture some of the tooling? Did he provide any tooling to Eclipse? None of my business I know, just curious.

airtaximan said...

FC,

there have been statements regarding a "family of jets" since the beginning. There have been many references to bigger and smaller "variants"... just ask Ken.

I am only looking at the issues I see plaguing e-clips now.

- not enough sales to justify ordering parts in sufficient quantity to lower the cost
- already too many manufacturing employees for the realistic rate required over a normal production cycle, for the e-500
- too heavy reliance on one customer for the "orders" they claim to have
- the propensity to go down a path that most intelligent industry insiders deem to be practically "insane"

so, I imagine they will launch another plane. claim it will take half or less the normal time to brng it to market (perhaps just when the 500 runs out of customers in around 18 months from now...maybe 2 years. It will have high commonality so that the suppliers for systems and sub assemblies remain somewhat enthusiastic about sticking with e-clips. Words like "platform", "family" and "commonality" will be very prominent.

Like Whytech said - its insane. They cannot even deliver 57 planes that have been in production since almost a year already... there are obvious quality issues, NGs, fixes, training, mods, etc... that require a lot of attention.

But the reality is, the market for the e-500 has proven to be pretty small compared to the claims, wishes and I'm sure prayors.

Look for e-250 at OshKosh is my bet. Then again, I have no clue what they will do, just looking at the trackrecord, and the situation as I see it.

AlexA said...

Update on the aero mods- Eclipse is implementing the aero modifications on serial number 39 and above. Serial number 39 which is currently traveling down the assembly line already has already received the new components.

Window inspection cycle- There has been no window cracking issues after the install procedure was changed. Expect Eclipse to increase the number of cycles between inspections dramatically in incremental steps as the fleet gets more hours. Once the fleet gets to a number of specified hours (don’t know that number) the inspection cycle will be removed.

FlightCenter said...

From the same article -

"Diamond's PLJ has a 27.9-cubic-foot forward external baggage compartment that will hold four bags of golf clubs, an 18.4- cubic-foot luggage compartment in the cabin behind the rear seat and a seven-foot long, 16.6-cubic-foot external baggage compartment that will hold skis, among other outsize items."

That is a total of 62.9 cubic feet of baggage area compared to 16 cubic feet for the Eclipse.

That's almost 4 times the baggage capacity!

Personally I really like the idea of being able to bring some skis or sticks along with me on a trip.

I guess I'd have to rent skis or clubs or send my own stuff via FedEx if I flew using the Eclipse.

Ken Meyer said...

flightcenter wrote,

"I guess I'd have to rent skis or clubs or send my own stuff via FedEx if I flew using the Eclipse."

Not at all. You may have missed David Crowe's nice writeup about the ski trip he and his friends took in his Eclipse. The skis go down the center aisle just fine.

It would be nice to have some external storage in the Eclipse, but given the choice of one or the other, I'd rather have internal storage any day.

Ken

Black Tulip said...

The Drive-By Brothers

Our Motto:

"We'll help you drink your own bath water and breath your own exhaust."

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...

Alexa,

great news on the cracking inspection issue. Also, pretty cool the aero mods are coming along on A/C 39..

Have the mods been tested, proven and certified? What are the performance results?

Great work. Makes the upcoming news about the e-250 even more believable! "see how fast we can modify aircraft"...

Again, are the mods STC'ed

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

New Eclipse Feature - Skis in the center aisle, especially helpful for those emergency egress situations where you find yourself crashed on top of a snow-capped mountain.

You are kidding right?

Loose skis, in the center aisle?

That is unsafe - the smallest unsecured thing I allow in any plane I fly are pens and paper and the very occasional laptop or camera (other than TO or landing when I require it is all put away).

Did his mentor pilot say it was OK to have skis crowding up the center aisle?

Does his mentor pilot ski?

Did they even consider emergency egress with the skis in the way?

Unbelievable.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Aero-Mod certification is Tuesday ATM.

FlightCenter said...

All good comments ATM.

The fact is that Eclipse won't be able to afford to deliver the E500 to their current depositors (initial manufacturing cost is going to be higher than the selling price, the support costs are going to be much, much higher than they expect).

The survival of the company will depend on switching as many depositors as possible to the new aircraft. Most of the depositors that signed up for a twin jet will not switch to a single. For example, the air taxi guys will find out very quickly that they aren't going to be able to get their customers in a single engine aircraft.

Here's a story for you -

About 5 years ago I was really, really pumped about the Eclipse and spent a lot of time telling a buddy of mine who is a partner in an M&A firm about it. He liked the concept and took the idea to his other partners that they needed to start using a small plane for some of their travel. They looked around and committed to a bunch of hours in a PC-12 with a very professional organization.

However, no one ever flew in the PC-12 after their first business trip. They just couldn't get over the fact that there was only one engine. They liked the idea of personal travel, so they stepped up to NetJets.

I do agree with your earlier post, a more expensive aircraft won't be a high volume seller, so something will have to give at Eclipse.

FlightCenter said...

BT,

ROLTFL!

Made my day.

airtaximan said...

FC,

the goal is not to switch the buyers, its to appeal to new buyers, and buy more parts to get the price down. I would say that the market for a $600k plane is much larger than a $1.5 million plane.

-single engine props are being used now as taxis...many of them. In fact there is a much larger prop charter fleet than jets, many, many singles.

Anyhow, we'll just have to wait and see...

look for commonality, platform, and certification...

Mack: you serious about the mod cert? how does one "schedule" this?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM,

Everything is Tuesday. Don't know which Tuesday, but Tuesday.

My schedule prognostication has proven more accurate than Eclipse to-date, so I feel confident saying Tuesday.

Not next Tuesday, not last Tuesday, but Tuesday. Specifically, some Tuesday, some week, some month, some year starting with 20_ _.

This message brought to you by the J. Wellington Wimpy Aircraft Company, where the motto is "We'll gladly deliver someday, the plane you pay for today."

FlightCenter said...

The October 2003 product specification says that the baggage area is 26 cubic feet.

The comparison spec on the website dated 4/2/2007 says that the baggage area is 16 cubic feet.

I believe that Eclipse had to eat into the baggage area to accomodate the additional avionics LRUs required after they replaced BAE Systems integrated products with products from a number of other companies.

Are we sure that this isn't happening again with Avio NG? There are a bunch of new LRUs. Where are the new LRUs getting mounted?

Bonanza Pilot said...

I am only half joking with this...it does make sense...

I think the new Eclipse jet will be a military jet...it makes so much sense..they can use their contacts in Washington to get the contract, military stuff is very expensive - and they could provide a lot of value to that market. So the new Eclipse T-500 tandem seat trainer...and F-500 light attack aircraft. They will be perfect for Iraq!

gadfly said...

You skiers just need the “ski rack option”. But check the local game laws about skewering high-flying pigeons, and low flying seagulls.

gadfly

FlightCenter said...

There is no chance that anyone can build a jet and make a profitable business out of it at $600K. (or even $800K)

So if Eclipse wants to start out promising $600K for a single and end up at $1.2M and see how many depositors they can keep hooked along the way.... that's one possibility that Vern has some experience with.

If Eclipse starts out at $1M, Cirrus will eat their lunch, because Cirrus will have 4 or 5 thousand very happy customers ready to step up when the new jet arrives, who will be interested in staying with the Cirrus family.

At that price, they do take many of Diamond's customers, but according to Diamond there were only 140 DJet orders as of January. Not enough to meet Vern's high volume requirements.

Black Tulip said...

Bonanza Pilot...

A military jet; what an excellent idea. Many governments including ours would like to reduce the cost of training pilots. The Eclipse 500 has room for four complete instrument panels and controls. The instructor has one and three students simultaneously fly the other three. This cuts training costs by a factor of three.

The aircraft pitch, roll, yaw, rudder and power are the resultant of the control pressures applied by the all four pilots. That many, even students, shouldn't get it wrong so not to worry.

Black Tulip

WhyTech said...

flightcenter said:

"However, no one ever flew in the PC-12 after their first business trip. They just couldn't get over the fact that there was only one engine"

Agree that this is an issue for the uninitiated. For the informed, thinking man/woman, not so big a deal. The PC-12 has a superb safety record - just 3 fatal accidents since inception and 2 million fleet hours - all pilot error, none engine related. The large PT6A engines have an in- flight shut down rate of 6 per million flight hours (used on a number of other acft besides PC-12).

I know of a 91(k) operator flying 25 PC-12's exclusively, and challenged to keep up with demand. Flying 800 hours per year per acft and adding acft at a good clip.

An issue for the Pjet: to use any capable acft as a traveling machine (instead of an expensive "look at me" toy) requires eithr a professional acft management team (crew/dispatcher/maintenence) or an owner/pilot who has the competence and diligence to perform these eseential tasks himself. (And I dont mean turn wrenches, but rather assure that it is done in compliance with FARs and manuf recommendations). I believe that this is by far the largest market limiting factor. It takes quite a bit of time/$ to do these things to a level that assures adequate proficiency/currency/safety.

WT

ExEclipser said...

A C500 could replace the fleet of short haul contractor FedEx/UPS routes....

FlightCenter said...

Bonanza Pilot,

That's been done already.

Take a look at the Javelin. They've signed a partnership with IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) to make a trainer aircraft variant of their VLJ! IAI has invested in the company and put a guy on their board of directors.


http://www.avtechgroup.com/

mirage00 said...

they can use their contacts in Washington to get the contract, military stuff is very expensive - and they could provide a lot of value to that market.

"Contacts in washington"

Oh yeah... that again...

FlightCenter said...

WT,

I agree with all your "rational" arguments. In fact I made those same very same arguments to my buddy.

He didn't buy it, the issue was an emotional one for him. He agreed with me on all the "rational" points you've made. The rational argument was pretty strong at that time. If I remember correctly the PC-12 hadn't had any fatal accidents at that point. But he couldn't convince his "uninitiated" wife that he should be flying in a single engine aircraft. At the end of the day, there are always going to be a whole lot more "uninitiated" and emotional folks out there than initiated and rational folks.

And at the end of the day, the success of the DayJet model is getting the "uninitiated" to give up driving for flying.

A business model that counts on using rational arguments to overcome an emotional objection will be able to appeal to a small segment of the available market.

BTW, my buddy was actually flying with the very same 91(k) operator you refer to. I do understand that George can't get Pilatus to sell him enough planes to meet his demand.

I think the PC-12 is a great airplane. Outstanding cabin volume and baggage space, Plenty of room for all the skis and sticks anyone might want to bring on any trip.

WhyTech said...

flightcenter said:

"A business model that counts on using rational arguments to overcome an emotional objection will be able to appeal to a small segment of the available market. "

Agree. This is the point I was trying to make, but was not as articulate as you are. This pretty much restricts Pjet market size to committed owner/pilots - not a high volume opportunity.

More PC-12 trivia: others have suggested a mil version of the EA500. My sources tell me that the USAF has purchased around 30 PC-12s on the used market (couldnt get them fast enough from Pilatus due to manuf capacity limitations) and has outfitted them as special ops acft and are flying them off the streets/roads of Iraq. Even have a mil number/name.

WT

airtaximan said...

Whytech..

"This pretty much restricts Pjet market size to committed owner/pilots - not a high volume opportunity."


er, umm...what do you have to say about the e-500, then. Remove Dayjet, and what do you have, really?

I think the jigs up... and the single below $1 million market (private, that is) is much bigger than the $1.5 million and above twin.

Sooo... the only real market Vern has now is the private pilot market, really. Why not offer thenm a single, too. There's more of them that can afford a sub$1 million single.

Use the same parts, get the volume up from the suppliers, get the price down from the suppliers...and raise some more goddam MONEY! Fast!

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

"There's more of them that can afford a sub$1 million single."

Yes, but not enough to save E-clips, especially divided up among several manufacturers.

WT

cj3driver said...

Ken said, RE Baggage space;


FC......or send my own stuff via FedEx if I flew using the Eclipse."

Ken said; Not at all. You may have missed David Crowe's nice writeup about the ski trip he and his friends took in his Eclipse. The skis go down the center aisle just fine.

Ken,

I want to read that article. Did he seriously lay skis down the center isle? Does the Eclipse have tie downs for this purpose? 1 or 2 skis a pretty flat, but golf bags may be an issue. When I have had to fly on an airline, It seems to me you have to put your stuff in the over head bin or under the seat.... something about FAA regs.

DayJet captain: "Welcome aboard, If we have an emergency, please throw the skis, golf bags and rifles out first... then make way for me, then exit in an orderly fashion.... In the event of turbulance (its usually so calm here at 270) place your foot on the luggage in the isles in order to keep it from moving about the cabin. Thank you, and feel free to introduce yourself to the customer with his knees in your back. Thanks for choosing DayJet.... we know you did'nt have a choice."(We're the only ones doing this!)

airtaximan said...

whytech,


I think they would settle for "buying some time".... another 1,000 individual owners would buy them a few more years of production at 500 units a year... and they could make a case for lower cost parts, etc...

and maybe Dayjet will work out by then... it buys them a few years.

Just speculating...but you are right, it really does not solve the problem.

What will?

cj3driver said...

Gadfly said:

You skiers just need the “ski rack option”. But check the local game laws about skewering high-flying pigeons, and low flying seagulls.

gadfly,

I like..... can I mount a shotgun on the bottom?
What S/N is it cut in at?

JetProp Jockey said...

Relative to the comment for a market for a single engine jet for under $1MM.

I don't believe there will ever be a company able to manufacture a pressurized single engine jet for under $2MM. I don't believe Eclipse can sell the E500 for under $2.5MM and make any money, even at high volumes. Assume that the investors that put up $1MMM expect an ultimate return of 10%. that's $10MM per year. divide that over 500 aircraft and you need to generate $200,000 per aircraft before any R&D or replacement of capital equipment.

Piper has sucessfully sold Single Turboprops for just under $2MM and I really don't think they are getting rich.

I used to be involved in a valve manufacturing company that made Level I valves for the Navy. It required 2 indirect employees for every 1 direct to meet all of the govenment requirements. I really don't think making safe airplanes to government standards will allow alot better ratio that that.

Relative to Training the Public relative to AirTaxi.

I make the relatively short hop from eastern PA to western PA quire often as that's where 2 of my grandchildren live. If DayJet were offering these 2 airports as dayports, a round trip conld cost me one of the following amounts:

145 NM @ $1 X 2 = $290
180 driving statute miles @$1 X2 = $360
up to 180 SM @ $4 X 2 = $1440.
The trip takes 3 1/2 hours to drive.

For $290 you might be able to convince a good number of travelers to do it, even single engine, but you are loosing money even with 2 passangers.

At nearly $1500, it is a pocketbood issue, especially since it will take about 2+ hours portal to portal + a rental car to save 1 1/2 hours.

Most Americans don't place that kind of value on their time and those who do are already flying.

See you guys next week. Off to fly my dinosour (one the one's that I can actually fly) to Florida for the weekend.

Gunner said...

CWMoR-
The Drive-By Brothers bit.

Damn, that should be enshrined. Classic.

Alexa-
Speaking of "classic", you get the Gunner's Class Act Award for the week for the direct and honest response to the query about the shadow over Stan's past. Well done. Seriously.

'Nother question, if you can answer. The aero mods are being "cut in" as of SN 39? That's only weeks away, according to the Production Schedule. Have these mods even been Certified or is Eclipse going to start delivering Experimental Aircraft?

Finally, you and Ken should start talking to the same people at Eclipse. You admit that the windows are still under an onerous inspection schedule; Ken has assured us for weeks that this problem is resolved.

kinda makes us wonder who's zoomin' who.
Gunner

cj3driver said...

JPJ said;

Piper has sucessfully sold Single Turboprops for just under $2MM and I really don't think they are getting rich.

JPJ;
I agree,
They average less than 50 aircraft sales a year since 2000, bigger cabin, nearly half the fuel burn than Eclipse, similar range, Practcaly the same avionics (Avidyne) No need for a type rating or "mentor" (usually), easily insurable, proven company. I dont think they would sell that many more if they dropped the price 200K, or even 300K.

Black Tulip said...

Has the factory considered an external ski rack for the Eclipse 500? Don't be too quick to discount this idea. It would add a rugged 'out-back' look to the little jet and probably wouldn't extract more than a ten knot penalty.

This could be certificated by Tuesday and cut-in on serial number 39.

Black Tulip

cj3driver said...

Ken,
Heads up.... Cessna recently increased the price on the 09 CJ3's, CJ4's and others. They haven’t change the price of the Mustang for a few years. Now that they are sold-out past 300 units and 3 years, I'm sure they will post a price increase soon (see Phenom 100). Especially if Eclipse continues to struggle and Cessna is pumping out "sqwak-free" aircraft (two per week) and "typing pilots" 20 per month. There may me a "stampede" over to Cessna soon. Jet fever and all.

gadfly said...

CJ & BT

It’s a retrofit beginning at “Double Oh Seven”. . . The shotgun is OK, but not yet approved for a “410" . . . (now don’t “Get Smart”!).

gadfly

cj3driver said...

BT RE:ski rack,

You may be on to something, If Eclipse does make 2,700 units, the STC for a external locker is a must. Seems like someone has one for the LearJet. Of course the kit would have to sell for $595K..... never mind.

JetA1 said...

Gunner said:
'Nother question, if you can answer. The aero mods are being "cut in" as of SN 39? That's only weeks away, according to the Production Schedule. Have these mods even been Certified or is Eclipse going to start delivering Experimental Aircraft?


Here's a repost of mine from 8:39 on 5/18.

Just heard from the "inside" that they finished up the speed & range mods certification. Just tying up final paperwork now. Congrats on that milestone.
Anyone hear what the s/n cut-in is now?


Not sure about the exact s/n, but alexa's info jives with mine from last week. I am, however, suprised at the lack of press hype over it.

ATM: It is a TC ammendment (not STC).

Gunner said...

jeta1-
Sorry, I forgot that post. Thanks

Lessee if this is another "On Tuesday" promise.
Gunner

AlexA said...

Gunner said,

“Have these mods even been Certified or is Eclipse going to start delivering Experimental Aircraft?

With Eclipse’s influence in Washington they are shipping the parts as a kit to owners with paperwork on obtaining a Part 145 repair stations(automatic approval). Installation is only supposed to take two hours and even magazine editors/writers should be able to accomplish the install.


Pretty silly question, eh? What to do think? Never mind….. but you are going to tell us anyway.

mirage00 said...

Just heard from the "inside" that they finished up the speed & range mods certification. Just tying up final paperwork now. Congrats on that milestone.


Stan,

I look forward to your comments once the mods are certified and in production. I wonder if the mods were certified with or without the "Design manufacturing flaw" that Stan pointed out to us last week.


“Will re-check to see if the quality escapes Alex identified regarding the wing electrical bonding and horizontal tail problems are the same as those described in my earlier comment. It may take a few days.”


Any progress Stan?

mouse said...

Airtaxi,

The issue with making a smaller plane is the rest of their systems are way to expensive, and unless you reuse all of those systems and components you are starting from scratch.

The design changes to build the engine into a fuselage with absolutely not one sq/in of space, not to mention the ducting and airflowing of the inlets would be another 5 years of engineering and tooling, Etc.

Anything short of just replacing the fuselage and more thrust would be insane (which is exactly why you might be right LOL!)

The landing gear and wing will have to be reinforced because they do not have any growth for the added weight, and the brakes are already marginal. The wing has to grow for more fuel.

The whole public announcement of another model is simply slight-of-hand. Look over here while we hide something over there.

I demonstrated to Vern that there is no way to stretch the EA-500. Start all over is about the best plan, and they don't have the first plane done yet.

mouse said...

Ken, so in your world you consider an abacus a computer. Now I understand how you can defend an airplane that is backed by empty promises instead of actual results.

How proud all of the previous Collier trophy winners must feel.

My reference to computers was in the context of the PC's which is where Vern came in, and where the discussion was going.

Hope your abacus is still working, so you can use it to navigate in your Eclipse.

AlexA said...

Gunner,

The communist party has openings for folks like you. You are master of putting words in people’s mouth and misquoting. Please point to where Ken, I or anyone else mentioned that the window inspection has been changed. The information coming out of ABQ is that the problem has been identified, the change made in the installation of the windows and Eclipse is now collecting data before easing up on the inspection requirements based on in field usage.

mouse said...

Ken,

Anyone who puts skis down their center aisle is in violation of the regs, and must be a moron.

Unsecured baggage, blocking cabin egress.

Are you really that stupid?

highfloat said...

David Crowe's FSDO was quite interested to hear that he's been loading his airplane completely illegally in violation of multiple FAR's. i.e. baggage not secured in approved station, baggage blocking means of egress-isles/exits,etc.., baggage loaded in a way that prevents performing accurate W&B calculations, etc. etc. etc.

Wonder if a ramp check is in his future?

What a jackass/rookie. No clue.

mouse said...

CJ Driver,

Sorry, no guns. The FAA requires the guns to be carried in external baggae, not accessible to the cabin for Part 135.

Black Tulip said...

There has been much discussion on reducing the cost of the Eclipse 500 or future models. A loaner program could alleviate these concerns. Suppose five Eclipse jets are based at the same airport. Why tie up so much money in expensive components when the average owner's utilization is low?

A corner of one hangar could be allocated to a stockroom containing the airport's set of starter/generators, FADECs, weather radars, avionics packages, ailerons, wheels and so on. These components could be moved to the 'active' aircraft will a little advance notive. This new program is a subset of JetComplete and is known as JetInComplete.

Black Tulip

Gunner said...

Alexa-
That's the second time I've paid you a civil, honest compliment, only to receive a smarmy, pseudo-intelligent response.

The question was obvious. ARE THE PROMISED MODS CERTIFIED? This is hardly a stoopid question for anyone who has ever read one of Eclipse's Press Releases; or one of your posts...but, then, I repeat myself ;-)

The answer has, in the meantime, been civilly provided by jeta:
"NO".

Thank you for your contribution. I suggest Midol for your condition. ;-)
Gunner

gadfly said...

mouse

Let it go. Ken is sort of a self-appointed “lab experiment” . . . and shaking the specimen upsets the test results. The rest of us know about “loose objects” in the cabin, etc., and so does Ken. He may have made the comments to “push your buttons”. Keep you hands in your pockets, keep a safe distance, look through the cage, and “watch”.

He dug the hole, let’s see how he climbs out on his own.

(And don’t ask him to define his own character . . . it’s both impolite, and frankly not necessary.)

And a “gun up on the rack” is usually considered “external baggage”.

gadfly

(AlexA, me thinks you don’t really want to start using the communist party as ammunition . . . you’re stepping into an area where you may not come out well. Let’s not go there. Instead, let’s focus on the little jet and all of us will benefit.)

(Gunner . . . it ain’t worth it. They’re “out of season” . . . so for the time being, let’s just watch and take pictures.)

Bonanza Pilot said...

Talk about working for a communist government! We can focus on individual minuscule mistakes, or we can just look at the big picture. The big picture is this...the plane is certified with a type certificate and being "delivered" yet day after day goes by without any of these things being truly in owners hands. I just looked at Flight Aware and there are two Mustangs up in the air right now - taking their owners around and having fun....zero Eclipse jets. Will the Eclipse jet be really delivered - yes I believe at some point it will...has that happened yet - NO!! To steal from a supreme court decision...I don't have to define delivery, I know it when I see it!

I think an honest assessment of the program so far is that they have not delivered a single aircraft...they have issues which they are addressing and when (Tuesday I know) they are fixed we can discuss what the aircraft is like....what are it's strengths and weaknesses.

I think the big question is when will we see the first real delivery? When will the plane get a full review in a major aviation publication. When will the empty weights of actual planes be a known fact? I am thinking that will happen by Oshkosh this year, along with the hardpoint equipped military model and the price increase to 1.99 million.

Ken Meyer said...

cj3driver wrote,
"It seems to me you have to put your stuff in the over head bin or under the seat.... something about FAA regs."

Storing items in the Eclipse, one must comply with FAR 135.87 or 91.525 as applicable. I imagine Dave did that.

I carry skis quite commonly in my aircraft; I think some of you are making an issue that doesn't exist in real life. And I believe there is no place for skis in many aircraft, including the Mustang, other than the center aisle.

Perhaps all skiers should buy only big, expensive jets :)

The complaint some are making seems to center around the possibility that the Eclipse may be too small for them. I would submit one shouldn't buy a plane that is too small for his or her purposes.

The Eclipse is a smaller jet than most others. So is the cost of operating it. That's why DayJet, Pogo, Linear Air and others selected it over the Mustang, Adam, Embraer and CJ series aircraft. Operating cost is very important to those of us who actually pay it.

Ken

AlexA said...

Gunner,
Please point to where Ken, I or anyone else mentioned that the window inspection has been changed. 2nd request

FlightCenter said...

Mouse,

So if I understand your comments correctly, the engineers won't be able to shrink the E500 and they won't be able to stretch the E500.

Any new airplane would have to be a completely new clean sheet design. Do I have that right?

I have a funny feeling that management won't accept that analysis of the situation.

They'll be saying "Don't give me any of your - We couldn't, so you can't - crap. Where is my button when I need it?"

Place your bets now what the new Eclipse will look like.

Pick one or more changes from each column. Make sure you go with enough risk or your answers won't be credible.

Engines
a) 1 Engine
b) 2 Engines
c) 3 Engines
d) none of the above

Wing
a) same wing
b) longer wing (with or without winglets)
c) swept wing (with or without hard points)
d) forward swept wing

Avionics
a) Avio NG++ (really new and improved, 20 vendors)
b) G1000 (probably too conservative)
c) Op Tech (lowest cost and highest risk)
d) Avidyne (once Vern is gone)

Fuselage
a) stretched - same cross section
b) shrunk - non pressurized
c) Rivets all around - No FSW
d) composite


Performance
a) Range - 1900nm (+/- 50%)
b) Speed - Mach .92 (+/- 50%)
c) Cabin Size - 170 cubic ft (+/- 50%)
d) none of the above

Primary customer
a) the same folks who placed the first 2500 orders
b) All the pilots that haven't heard of Eclipse yet
c) NetJets
d) All those Web 2.0 VCs and CEOs
e) All of the above

Black Tulip said...

Ken,

In case the Eclipse story were to end badly, do you have a backup plan? Having nibbled the forbidden fruit I presume you are intent on moving up and out of your pressurized piston twin.

What's Plan B if the Eclipse 500 remains a 'virtual' aircraft? I'm sure you have analyzed the alternatives carefully.

Black Tulip

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

Just a friendly reminder that the whole topic of transporting skis in the airplane came up as a result of reviewing the D-Jet baggage capacity, which has close to 4 times the baggage capacity of the Eclipse 500 and claims plenty of room for skis.

So perhaps the people who want to fly with their skis should consider buying a smaller aircraft, not a larger aircraft as you suggest.

gadfly said...

Everyone

Please leave Ken alone. He’s in a corner, trying his best to support something that should never have happened. All the corrections of which you speak should have taken place many years ago . . . and kept a secret from the public until “they” got them all ironed out. Abortion is absolutely wrong and totally immoral, with humans, but in the case of some businesses . . . I have second thoughts.

The mistakes made in this fiasco would fill volumes. The root causes were “pride” and “greed”, coupled with ignorance of those who put this all together (no rocket science here). It’s great to have someone like Ken on your side when you’re down . . . waiting for the count (which will certainly happen, and happen soon). ‘Give the man credit!

In the mean time, discuss the little jet until the cows come home. But stop attacking the persons who had nothing to do with the decisions made. They are not the “guilty”.

Have you heard of a “living will”? . . . I’m sure almost everyone on this blog has been confronted with a “loved one”, who had to make a “living will”. I wonder if Eclipse has considered making out a “living will” . . . to be kept on artificial life support?, or to be allowed to “pass away” as peacefully as possible, and save many people a lot of grief.

gadfly

(My! . . . you’re all looking natural! . . . on Memorial Day!)

Black Tulip said...

Gadfly,

Your post has reminded me of another development. Many have objected to capital punishment on moral, religious and social grounds. As a result some states have changed this harsh term to the acronym - RBC. This stands for Retroactive Birth Control and has been met with broader acceptance. So... you can add another TLA (Three Letter Acronym) to your collection.

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...

Ken:

just a point of clarification.

you claim the air taxi guys are chosing the e-clips 500 becasue of low operating cost.

At least one admitted, it was becasue of the low acquasition cost - Cameron Burr of Pogo. Check out the Avweb interview.

In any case, the operating costs are not a foregone conclusion with this plane - everyone knows this.
example:

- little engines performance degrades quickly
- the plane has not been through ANY high cycle utilization in the field - check out the problems with "conventional" bizjets under Netjets at 1000 hrs/yr. imagine what these puppies will really cost to support in a revenue environment.

So, low initial cost, plus the hype, plus the only game in town makes all the newbies chose e-clips. This IS VErn's plan, and it is working. Give him at least this.

By the way, first to market is not a sustainable advantage for a service business, or a long lifecycle capital intensive product.......... so it should be fun to watch the fury as everyone tries to convinve passengers to climb aboard Just when their efforts are producing fruit, my bet is someone will produce a real air taxi plane, and the pioneers will become, well the pioneers.

Just one taximan's thoughts.

Black Tulip said...

AirTaxiMan,

Or as a wise man once said,

"Revolutionaries seldom sit on the throne."

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...

MOUSE,

they will re-design the fuselage. No question They will claim that there will be commonality to the ngth-degree.... I'm sure. Its a computer-guys version of "low risk" approach.

Comical, but hey, where's the money coming from?

The wings, engine (there will be 1, but it will be from PW - plug and play with the eclipse FADEC, you'll see) avionics (perhaps they'll even admit to 2 screens instead of 3 in the announcement?) seats, 4, not 5.etc

New tail, new fuselage (produced and designed by e-clips so it will be "seemless, I swear".

BS, upon, BS.......

Gotta get the cost down, gotta buy more parts, gotta overcome the low rate of the perfect air taxi plane, the e-500.

Mouse, maybe you are right... but I expect some real insanity at Osh Kosh.

airtaximan said...

jetA,

thanks

"ATM: It is a TC ammendment (not STC)"

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"you claim the air taxi guys are chosing the e-clips 500 becasue of low operating cost.

At least one admitted, it was becasue of the low acquasition cost - Cameron Burr of Pogo"


Actually, what he said was regarding their choice of Eclipse is very demonstrative of why the plane will succeed; I'm glad you brought it up:

"Capital cost is lowest in category and corresponding operating costs low as well. Also Eclipse has demonstrated a real commitment to supporting a fleet operator with the characteristics of high utilization"

Ed Iacobucci spoke in very similar terms in his April interview:

"What you really want is an aircraft that has the lowest cost per mile to operate. That gives the highest probability of making money when you get a second or third passenger. The Eclipse being a small airplane is the most cost effective."

So there you have it. Both Pogo and DayJet want the plane because it is less costly to acquire, less costly to operate. Both companies have also made it clear that a big draw of the Eclipse is that it is designed for high-utilization and high reliability. They could have ordered Mustangs, Phenoms or A-700s if they wanted (indeed Pogo did order A-700's before cancelling that order and switching to Eclipse).

Ken

gadfly said...

Dark Flower of the Nederlands

Thy scalpel cuts deep . . . as you already know, since my initials are "RBC" . . . and my thoughts drift away to persons of ill repute, like “Al of the Global Warming”, and others . . . etc., etc.

But being that it's Friday, we'll pick this up again . . . (soon, I promise) . . .

And play with words and other things,

Of cabbages, and kings . . .

And Raburn's wings.

gadfly

(By the way, I believe in a combination of life imprisonment and/or capital punishment . . . whichever happens first. Take a look at Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, and Luke 17:2 . . . you figure it out.)

Black Tulip said...

Ken,

Regarding all the economic reasons for choosing Eclipse over the others...

There used to be a sign in the Post Office regarding mail fraud. It read, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Aviation, particularly light jets, has gotten to be a mature business. A step increase in productivity would require advances not yet demonstrated.

Black Tulip

Black Tulip said...

Gadfly,

How thoughtless of me to throw out an acronym that matched your initials. Please let me apologize.

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...

BT,

the e-clips promise is NOT impossible, it just didn't happen. Why?

Not enough Kens...
Not enough air taxi operators...

It is not impossible (I do not think) to produce (in volume) a twin jet for $1.5 million......

But there's no model for passenger service that is inexpensive enough to attract sufficient passenger to justify hogh rate and low cost.

and

You cannot take flier's ed with driver's ed anytime soon...

So, SOL.

Ken's wife thinks there's a large new market for unsuspecting just-made-it-to-millionaires who will hire pilots and operate the planes for their own purposes.

I suspect the recent cessation of the Fortune/Forbes magazine ads put an end to that (rediculous) theory. Sorry Ken's wife - he said, you said it..........

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"Ed Iacobucci spoke in very similar terms in his April interview:

"What you really want is an aircraft that has the lowest cost per mile to operate. The Eclipse being a small airplane is the most cost effective.""

Now the answer is clear - a single seat acft., with a 15 min how to fly course immediately before T.O.

WT

airtaximan said...

sometimes I revisit the posts, and some of them jump out at me. They are so silly - -most of them try so hard to make apoint in favor of e-clips, or justify some e-clips position:

example:
"When people started building personal computers, most of the experienced computer people said they would never amount to much:

1. There wasn't that big a market for computers. They only sold a few thousand per year."

this from the same guy who later used the ABACUS to refute the contention that aircraft are nothing new. He later uses the ABACUS to point out that computers are really nothing new - when it fits his argument.

I guess aircraft = shoes, in his mind?

Just shows to go ya, what iot takes to buy one of them there newfangled (not really) e-500 aeroplanes......

gadfly said...

Black Tulip

Don't give it a second thought! I find it humorous. You can't hurt my feelers . . . I ain't got none.

gadfly

airtaximan said...

whytech.

how about a "paper plane".....almost zero DOC..

I uess all that ant farmng and russian rocket science cannot figure out how to put more than one or two passengers on a plane, right? Otherwise he'd be spewing cost per available seat mile, like the other mass air transport industries.

I would think the Dayjet model could in fact fins enough passengers to make load factor reasonably high, so that a few passengers could find their way onto a plane.otherwise you have stops. Oh yeah, they impose stops..... er, uh.. maybe its really just charter? I mean, sorry per-jet.

Whytech, you know anything about ed's program from the inside. It seems MORE insane than e-clips.

Any insight?

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"this from the same guy who later used the ABACUS to refute the contention that aircraft are nothing new. He later uses the ABACUS to point out that computers are really nothing new - when it fits his argument.

I guess aircraft = shoes, in his mind?"


I think you need to reread all those posts. Or maybe check this out; I think it will help with your problem.

Ken

airtaximan said...

remedial reading.

NOW THAT'S FUNNY, Ken.

Perhaps you should apply it to the FARs regarding how to safely operate you new jet!

You are the best die-hard there is.use the ABACU to calculate your W/B withh your wife, skis, mentor pilot and yourself aboard.

Range = 500 miles. Good lick on your trip from Arizona to California.

Just be thankful you don't play golf!

good luck, smile and wave, slap on the back - buddy. Enjoy.

airtaximan said...

flightcenter,

nice job on the order history spreadsheet. acouple of questions:

1- where's the 1,000 order from Nimbus that showed up on the scene and then evaporated a few months later?

2- where's the 112 aircraft order from Aviace that was there for years, then evaporated?

3- where's the recent revelation that 1400 orders are really some combination of orders and options from Dayjet? I'd say 720 orders plus 720 options or so..... perhaps you should include "revisions" in a different color, showing that 720 of 1400 Dayjet Orders are really options - whch have been book lept since around 2002 as orders...this could illustrate the truth which is that the orderbook claims are inaccurate for amny many years

just a thought.

Black Tulip said...

Ken,

Have you had any thoughts on religiosity versus preservation of capital?

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"Range = 500 miles. Good lick on your trip from Arizona to California."

See, that's just what I'm talking about. Where on earth did you get the 500 nm range figure?

I just received the B&CA 2007 Purchase Planning Handbook and compared the Eclipse to the Mustang using it. According to B&CA, the Eclipse can do a 1000 nm flight with a pilot plus 3 passengers in 3:15 using just 1140 lbs of fuel. Mustang does it in 3:19 and uses 1715 lbs of fuel (50% more).

Maybe you figure the skis weigh more than a passenger, eh?

Ken

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

"Whytech, you know anything about ed's program from the inside. It seems MORE insane than e-clips.

Any insight? "

I dont have any special knowledge re this project. Others here seem to be closer to it. However, based on what I understand so far, success seems even less likely than at E-clips.

WT

Black Tulip said...

Ken wrote -

"I just received the B&CA 2007 Purchase Planning Handbook and compared the Eclipse to the Mustang using it. According to B&CA, the Eclipse can do a 1000 nm flight with a pilot plus 3 passengers in 3:15 using just 1140 lbs of fuel. Mustang does it in 3:19 and uses 1715 lbs of fuel (50% more)."

You are touting a difference of 575 lbs, 86 gal and $300 based on 'book' performance. Millions are at stake here. This is sad.

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

black tulip wrote,

"You are touting a difference of 575 lbs, 86 gal and $300 based on 'book' performance. Millions are at stake here. This is sad."

Could be.

Paying 50% more for fuel and flying slower are not my goals. If you like paying 50% more in fuel for every mile you fly, perhaps you do not pay your own way. I do.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken said :
"If you like paying 50% more in fuel for every mile you fly, perhaps you do not pay your own way. I do."

Change that "I do" to "I will" and you place yourself in the proper time warp.

And, by the way, we're agreeing...you definitely WILL pay your own way:
For Maintenance
For Returns to ABQ
For Jet-Incomplete
For AOG problems
For Missed Flights
For Resale


It ain't just fuel, Ken.
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

Ken wrote -

"Paying 50% more for fuel and flying slower are not my goals. If you like paying 50% more in fuel for every mile you fly, perhaps you do not pay your own way. I do."

I've always paid my own way. Reimbursement for company or board travel has seldom covered expenses, by design. The aircraft I am currently operating runs about 0.6 nm/lb at low flight levels and 0.7 nm/lb at the ceiling, running Jet-A. It has a bunch of seats and a very big cabin. It is supported very well with many maintenance centers.

Speed? As the experienced pilots here have noted... It's not about speed it's about stops. Range with payload is more important than anything else.

I hope things turn out okay for you but I'm worried. Also I have come to realize that I am wasting my time debating the Eclipse with Ken.

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

BT wrote,

"The aircraft I am currently operating runs about 0.6 nm/lb at low flight levels and 0.7 nm/lb at the ceiling, running Jet-A"

Pilatus?

Those are good numbers. Nothing wrong with them. Since Eclipse is the topic of the blog, I probably should add that it achieves 0.79 nm/lb when it is going fast (370 KTAS at FL350--your plane do that?) and 1.03 nm/lb when it is going slow (if you can call 303 KTAS "slow").

Every plane has a purpose. A turboprop fulfills a different role than the Eclipse, so it's not really that great of a comparison. I'm sure I'd be satisfied with a plane like yours, but my purposes are better served by a very fuel-efficient jet.

Ken

cj3driver said...

Ken,
Jets are not fuel efficient, period.

A Yugo is fuel efficient.

andy said...

CJ3
No that's not right
A CJ3 single pilot in not fuel efficent
A E500 is.
A E500 is small light which means less thrust = less fuel
You pick your airplane for your mission.
As I don't like to waste money and I like to go high and fast IF the E500 turns out as Cessna reports I will be pleased

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"Jets are not fuel efficient, period."

Well somebody flying a CJ3 no doubt thinks jets are not fuel efficient, period.

But that's the revolution. It doesn't have to be that way.

According to B&CA's 2007 Purchase Planning Handbook, a CJ3 costs over $7 million and does a 1000 nm in a very respectable 2hr 37 min, but burns 341.7 gallons doing it. It gets 2.9 nm per gallon.

The Eclipse costs $1.52 million and takes longer to fly the 1000 nm trip (3 hrs 15 min). But it only uses 168.4 gallons doing it, which is less than my twin Cessna uses for the same trip. That yields just under 6 nm per gallon.

So there you have it. The CJ3 costs more than 4 times as much upfront and uses twice as much fuel.

Does that make the CJ3 bad? No, of course not. It points out that the CJ3 fulfills a different mission than the Eclipse. It will carry a lot more people and stuff, and it will take them further and faster. But it's not nearly as efficient because you're paying for all that extra hauling capacity upront and every mile you fly it.

And it's not just Jet-A we're talking about. Anybody can do the math--the extra per-hour cost for insurance and capital on a plane that costs $5.5 million more is an enormous burden. It will add about $5700 additional cost to that 1000 mile flight (assuming 200 hours annual usage, 6% cost of capital and 2% hull rate).

If you need a lot of hauling capacity, the CJ3 is a great plane. But if you don't need to carry all that stuff, you're paying a lot for unused capacity every single time you fly the plane.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what the Eclipse has always been about--cost effective jet transportation.

Ken

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

Thank you for your comments on the Eclipse 500 Order History Chart

Here are your questions, with my responses.

1- where's the 1,000 order from Nimbus that showed up on the scene and then evaporated a few months later?

I’ve added Nimbus history to the spreadsheet.

It appears the Nimbus order was 10 firm orders + 990 options according to this article in Inc. magazine. The article is a very interesting read by the way.

I recommend it highly to anyone interested in the links between Eclipse’s announcements of orders from the air taxi market and closing financing rounds. The Plane Truth

2- where's the 112 aircraft order from Aviace that was there for years, then evaporated?

Aviace order and cancellation has now been added.

3- where's the recent revelation that 1400 orders are really some combination of orders and options from Dayjet? I'd say 720 orders plus 720 options or so..... perhaps you should include "revisions" in a different color, showing that 720 of 1400 Dayjet Orders are really options - whch have been book lept since around 2002 as orders...this could illustrate the truth which is that the orderbook claims are inaccurate for amny many years

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone the background data on the orders placed by Jetson / DayJet.

The best data I have is that following the cancellation of the Nimbus order, Vern cut a sweetheart deal with Ed’s company, which was named Jetson at the time. The deal required a deposit from Ed and his partner. Ed made his deposit, but Ed’s partner who was supposed to put up close to 90% of the deposit money didn’t come through. So now Eclipse had a commitment from Jetson to buy 715 aircraft and options on 715 more, which was secured by something on the order of $1M in deposits.

The suggestion that Jetson and Eclipse cut a deal in Sept 2002 when Vern needed it after the Nimbus fiasco, is supported by the following article posted on DayJet’s website talking about how Vern and Ed were discussing the air taxi market together in 2001 and 2002.

“In 2001, Iacobucci listened as an old technology friend and compadre Vern Raburn gave an impassioned talk on the future of aviation.”

“The Iacobuccis dropped $2 million of their own money in a new project called Jetson Systems Corporation, and to date have solicited some $30 million from private investors to launch what is now known as DayJet Corporation.”
Top Gun Meets Top Geek

airtaximan said...

Ken:

I guess you are probably right, the plane should go more than 500 miles with skis and stuff, plus you, your wife and your mentor. Just for reference, which plane is listed on the e-clips website, the one being delivered nowadays, or the one with the mods that are "coming soon"?

I would provide the following caution, as well, which appears at the bottom of the E500 performance page on their website:

"data subject to change"

- there is no such disclaimer on the Cessna Mustang page, just FYI.

Gotta admit, this is a strange disclaimer for a fully certified aircraft from a company with a PC... should cause pause.

BCA uses company provided data... this should tell you something. *** Data bubject to change.

Skis, ski clothes, and normal bags for a ski trip for three could weigh a few hundred pounds.

But, I agree you will probably get more than 500 miles range. I am not sure you will make your 1,000 mile trip, with reserves, though.

Last thought on this: why is Dayjet restricting their operation to less than 700 mile trips?

Perhaps you should ask yourself this - plus, I'm pretty sure no one will be bringing skis, ski clothes etc, onboard Dayjet. Why restrict service to less than 700 miles?

Pretty strange...

airtaximan said...

FC,

thanks for the Gekk article..

my favorite quote:

"Another huge partner with DayJet is Eclipse Aviation. Iacobucci and Eclipse jointly announced, as
reported here in April, DayJet's firm order of 239 Eclipse 500s with options for an additional 70."

But, what they REALLY meant to say was "1430 orders and options..."

Right?

These guys are pretty tricky.

airtaximan said...

FC,

nice chart.

how can you add data showing the orderbook with dayjet at 229 + 70, then 1430?

perhaps two more lines:

the dayjet orders growing from 229 + 70 to 1430 (when its revealed

and, the e-clips order book line without Dayjet

this plus the line you show for the total e-clips orderbook, depicts the whole story, really.

cj3driver said...

cj3driver said...
Ken,
Jets are not fuel efficient, period.

A Yugo is fuel efficient.


andy said...
CJ3
No that's not right
A CJ3 single pilot in not fuel efficent
A E500 is.

I was comparing Jets as a Whole to cars..... nevermind.

airtaximan said...

Anyone see this article in Flight International?

"Eclipse Produces Impressive Excuses"

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/05/23/214193/eclipse-produces-impressive-excuses.html

** 11 "deliveries"
** not going to deliver 402 planes in 2007
** condensation problem was the cause of the pitot issue, being fixed with greater heat AND a drain

** Dayjet has 6 pilots type rated... anyone have any questions on this?

*** MY FAVORITE: McConnell says "the Eclipse 500 had won more than 2,500 orders with $3 billion secured deposits" NOW THAT'S IMPRESSIVE. Anyone want to take a stab at this math?..remember half the orderbook is Dayjet, as are half the first hundred planes. Accounting for every single plane including all orders and deposits (all 2,500) that's what $1,200,000 per plane. This MUST be wrong.

Seems like FI is being pretty hard on E-clips..."Impressive Excuses" -must be some of that dry British humor!

Ken Meyer said...

...that sentence probably was written poorly. It should have said:

"the Eclipse 500 had won more than 2,500 orders worth over $3 billion, all secured with deposits, and its production certificate had been awarded.

It's been previously reported that the total value of orders is just under $4 billion.

Ken

cj3driver said...

Ken said;
...Well somebody flying a CJ3 no doubt thinks jets are not fuel efficient, period.
But that's the revolution. It doesn't have to be that way….. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what the Eclipse has always been about--cost effective jet transportation.

Ken,
Park an Eclipse, Mustang and Citation II on the ramp. An Executive walks up and is given the choice;
Eclipse $1,500/ hr
Mustang $1,600/ hr
Citation II $1,700/hr
Numerous other Light jets $2,000/hr
or, if your Ok with propellers
King Air or Pilatus $1000/hr

All choices besides Eclipse give you room for more than three passengers with plenty of baggage space, refreshment center, and potty, ...and greater range.

Is that “revolutionary”??…

Or, for fuel efficiency…
Yugo $35 per day
Limo $75 per hour

airtaximan said...

Ken:

care to clarify this one too?

"all secured with deposits"

- any clue as to what the deposit is for 1400 Dayjet orders?

- any idea how many 60% progress payments they've made?

Thanks

airtaximan said...

cj3,

you've missed the revolution..it's NOT executives, it's, er...um... other high paid folks... well, not so well paid.

maybe they'll go Dayjet... on the shorter trips, under 700 miles, and make a stop along the way, and share the ride, and go an average door-to-door speed of maybe 150 mph, and leave withn 6 hours of their preferred time, and pay $2/mile which is $2800, or pay even more.

Ken: I don't think this revolution is the one you are thinking of - please provide your wife's new revolutionary market for the e-500 -

thanks

cj3driver said...

Ken,
Your right, the CJ3 and Eclipse are different markets for the owner/operator. (BMW vs. Yugo) No comparison.
But as far as fuel efficiency, and fuel efficiency only
(per seat mile that is), the CJ3 beats the Eclipse by over 30%.... seven people in a CJ3 burns the same cost of fuel per seat as 5 in the Eclipse. (I can have 9 comfortable and up to 10 with one on the belted lav) The 30% less cost is based on 9.……and I got alotta of friends, or at least two extra per trip.

"Viva la Revolicion"

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

Thanks for the comments. Interesting idea to track air taxi orders on the chart.

Another possibility is to track firm orders on one line and options on another line.

What do folks think? Any other suggestions?

But it is the weekend. The Chart is unlikely to have any mods completed until Tuesday.

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"Eclipse $1,500/ hr
Mustang $1,600/ hr
Citation II $1,700/hr
Numerous other Light jets $2,000/hr"


I don't think those are quite right. I looked up the Conklin and deDecker cost analysis for the CJ1 (not the 2, sorry), Mustang and Eclipse. Here's what Conklin and deDecker says are the relative costs to operate each per hour:

CJ1:
$2470 w/ book depreciation
$1730 w/o depreciation

Mustang:
$1653 w/ book depreciation
$1193 w/o depreciation

Eclipse:
$1213 w/ book depreciation
$950 w/o depreciation

Those figures are higher than an owner/operator would encounter because each includes pilot salary and benefits, commercial insurance, consummables, maintenance, reserves, upgrades, catering, parking etc. Each is based on 175,000 miles flown annually. Book depreciation is 10% and is listed in lieu of cost of capital (which would probably be 6 or 7%).

You can see that the Mustang will cost about a third more to operate than the Eclipse. The CJ1 is about twice as much. The pricing to the end user will no doubt reflect those ratios. I really don't think you'll see the Eclipse chartered for 200 bucks an hour less than a CJ2; that's not going to happen.

Ken

Black Tulip said...

FlightCenter,

It is the long weekend and you deserve some time off.

It's okay and quite fitting that you say the changes in the Chart will be accomplished on Tuesday.

But at what point in the Chart are you going to 'cut in' the changes?

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3driver wrote,

"But as far as fuel efficiency, and fuel efficiency only
(per seat mile that is), the CJ3 beats the Eclipse by over 30%.... seven people in a CJ3 burns the same cost of fuel per seat as 5 in the Eclipse."


You probably should buy a 747 then if per seat fuel efficiency is what you're after. I'm not after that. I never fly with 10 other people.

DayJet's not after that. They made it crystal clear their goal in selecting an aircraft is efficiency of the total aircraft, not per-seat efficiency. That's what permits their model to work.

But I completely agree that if you always fly with 10 people, you'd be better off putting them all in one bigger plane than 2 smaller planes.

"seven people in a CJ3 burns the same cost of fuel per seat as 5 in the Eclipse."

The principle is sound, but I think your numbers are a little off. B&CA says a CJ3 burns 1569 lbs (block) on a 600 nm trip. They say the Eclipse burns 885 lbs on the same trip. Therefore, you'd need to have 9 people on board your CJ3 to exceed the Eclipse per-seat fuel efficiency with 5 on board.

You carry 9 people very much? :)

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

In the asbsence of real world, historical fleet experience, C&D has no choice but to accept the manufacturer's own prognostications about operating expense.

In the case of Cessna, their prognostication for the Mustang for example is based on what they have learned over 3 decades, having built, fielded and supported 5000 airframes, and many millions of hours of flight time from the previous Citations.

For the CJ1, 2 and 3, the C&D numbers are based on ACTUAL, REPORTED, REAL WORLD numbers.

For Eclipse, C&D has to rely on numbers provided by their subscribers? No. From fleet operators? No. From individual owner\operators? No. They HAVE to rely on guesses from Eclipse.

That is, the information necessary for C&D to provide operating expense numbers MUST come from the same Eclipse that was off on the price by ~$1M, off on the weight by 1400 lbs, off on the range by 20%, the same Eclipse that has failed to provide an FMS, failed to proivide GPS Nav, failed to provide a fully funtioning autopilot, failed to be able to fly IMC, failed to provide moving map, failed to provide adequate training and support, and failed to deliver even a fraction of the 407 aircraft it pledges to deliver this year, after revising all of those things down at least once already.

Yeah, I'll bet those operating costs numbers are good, they just couldn't get the airplane, the schedule, the budget or the certification right.

I feel safer already.

This message brought to you by the J. Wellington Wimpy Aircraft Company where our motto is "We'll gladly deliver someday, the plane you pay for today."

Black Tulip said...

May I repeat...

Learning a new definiton everyday keeps us smart and conversational. Today's definition is:

AUTO THROTTLE (aw-tow-thra-tel) noun 1. A feature in advanced aircraft whereby the power levers controlling the engines are adjusted by the autopilot. Depending on the phase of flight, the power levers, or throttles, are adusted to maintain a preset mach number, airspeed and/or descent rate. Due to the risks of over or underspeed, the system requires careful design and redundancy. 2. A psychological disorder in which a small group of people, Eclipse position holders, have attempted self strangulation. It is most commonly seen among those who have recently placed a non-refundable deposit. The condition is provoked by the victim viewing the image of a Cessna Mustang on the cover of a current flying magazine. Onset is certain if the person opens the magazine to a favorable editorial review. It is seldom fatal as the depositor's hands typically relax after they pass out.

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,
"For Eclipse, C&D has to rely on numbers provided by their subscribers? No. From fleet operators? No. From individual owner\operators? No. They HAVE to rely on guesses from Eclipse."

You oversimplify, and therefore render incorrect, your statements.

The fact is that the bulk of the costs are not from Eclipse. Engine reserves for instance. They're from JSSI. Insurance, fuel costs, price of pilot, landing fees, depreciation, etc etc etc. All of that stuff is pretty easy for an experienced company like Conklin and deDecker to estimate.

Maintenance--that's what you ought to be worried about. Nobody knows for sure what the maintenance will be on any new airplane. But they know what other small jets need in maintenance, and it's not very hard to find out what Eclipse is selling maintenance protection for, so they can make a decent estimate.

But your point is not without merit--we don't know to the nickel what the operating cost of an Eclipse or a Mustang will be. But Conklin and deDecker estimates are a lot better than you suggest, even with a new airplane. If they weren't, nobody would ever buy a new model plane--there is no new plane with 10 years of operating experience to poll in order to gauge the costs; we have to rely on estimates from companies experienced at making such estimates.

Ken

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 226   Newer› Newest»