Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Expectations

Every time one of the delightful parodies or satires gets highlighted here, the Eclipse "faithful" cite this as evidence the blog is running out of steam because there is nothing else to write about.

What the "faithful" fail to recognize is that this blog responds to news relating to the program and there just isn't much news coming out of Eclipse. Let's face it, the plants growing in my wife's flower garden provide more action than what we are seeing from ABQ.

Certification of the "B" aeromods were scheduled by now. Let's see some performance numbers and there will be lots to write about.



Mike Press's long awaited May newsletter was a disappointment. He stuck to the party line and certainly did not share any insights as to what was going on within the company. He was down in ABQ long enough to have surely picked up far more information than what he reported. Neither has he shared with the world the empty weight/CG location for N229BW. No material here.


Even before the recent AD, the blanket black-out of all Eclipse aircraft on http://www.flightaware.com/ dried up material for discussion.

Rumor has it that new owners are encouraged to take an oath of secrecy upon taking delivery, another dry hole.

There were high hopes a fellow blogger who just took deliver of serial 024 could tell us how it felt to be a member of the exclusive Eclipse Owner's Club. Didn't happen, he promptly sold it upon delivery.



Andrew Broom's pen seems to have ran out of ink.


With 24 airplanes delivered there should be some story lines here...except the lack of crew training plus all the other limitations on the aircraft makes it expedient for the new owners to lea$e back their airplanes to Eclipse. As far as we know, the hangar queens aren't talking.


All-in-all, quite interesting from the company that invented aeronautical transparency.

The good news, Oshkosh is but a full moon away. What surprises will Vern spring on the aviation community? Will his newest cash infusion provide the funds to launch a new model... or will it just be used to subsidize delivery of the hundreds sold below cost as well as covering the cost to retrofit the dozens delivered that will require extensive retrofit...or did he even secure the latest component of financing?

29 comments:

airtaximan said...

Stan, an accurate weather report - thanks.

I was just wondering... what can 1200 e-clips employees be doing?

If they delivered 24 planes in a year, at 600 employees in direct "non-manufacturing" activity producing planes... that's $1,500,000 or so per plane, for just the labor portion.

Folks will debate my rough numbers, I'm sure - but these rough numbers will be more accurate than Vern's have been, for sure.

Heck, why measure with a micrometer, when they are cutting with a chain saw over there, anyway.

Since Dayjet has half the fleet, any clue as to a realistic ETA on their service in Florida?

Ken Meyer said...

"The Big Picture"

You guys seem to like to forget the big picture.

The Big Picture here is that the Eclipse is being delivered in quantity (S/N 25 reportedly today), the company is ironing out all the little glitches. Avio NG is on track. Speed and range improvements are already heading down the line on S/N 39.

Customers are getting $3 million Mustang performance ("Champagne"), but at $1.6 million (the "beer budget"). Champagne on a beer budget. What more could you want? :)

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken:

I thought we were going to stay away from parody and satire?

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"1100-520 = ...600 lbs"

Heck, why didn't you say that in the first place? It's the new math right? 1100 minus 520 equals 600! I get it now. How silly of me to think Mike actually wrote somewhere that he used 600 lbs. No wonder I couldn't find it; he never wrote it!

You do realize he was estimating all that stuff. He said he was stuck low for a while; we don't know what the winds were; we don't know what the routing was; we don't about the temps, the cabin load, or anything else about the flight.

But you think you know enough to become bent out of shape about a missing 20 lbs, even after it turns out you rounded the 20 lbs out of your calculation!

OK. I get it now. I think we all do.

:)

Ken

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

"...But you think you know enough to become bent out of shape about a missing 20 lbs.."

Ken,

You came up with the 580, not me. I never got bent over 20 lbs. I haven’t disputed your 580 lbs …yet. All I asked you is if your number was a LRC or MCT, and what weights. I just wanted to compare your book numbers to Mikes actual. That's all.

I'm just assuming you are still avoiding the question because the answer is not in your favor. I really don't know. I dont have the book. You apparently do.

All I wanted was a strait answer to a strait question. I still don’t have it. How about it.

BTW - Anybody can cut and paste Ken, Here is what I wrote;

“1,100-520 = 580, I rounded to 600 lbs, since Press said “about”. Usually a pilot will read a fuel gauge and estimate (round) low. I do. On fuel burn I round High.”

Mike was very precise (as you are), on fuel at landing, he said “about’ on take off. … you may have the 3 gallons over, ... Or should I say 2.9850746 gallons!

Now, will you answer my questions?

300 mi, max cruise FL270
300 mi, LRC FL270
100 mi, 7,000 max cruise.

plug in 4 people at 175 lbs each, and 80 lbs of baggage.

Gunner said...

Ken Meyer said:
"You guys seem to like to forget the big picture."

Here's the "Big Picture", Brother "Ken:
On Jan 1 the company announced that it was in full gear to produce 1,000 fully certified aircraft in 2007. The only thing lacking was FIKI. They then went about picking the pockets of about 300 Donors, errrr "Depositors", for a known lie they called "Progress Payments".

Six months later, they had not produced 5% of their projection for the period; they admitted, against their timing, that the certified flight deck they'd worked on for years had been dead for months; the planes they did deliver started out unable to fly above FL280 and quickly devolved into VFR flight only at <18k feet, and then only with a Mentor Pilot; they're MONTHS behind in training owners to actually FLY their little treasures.

Likin' the "Big Picture" so far? I've done reverse 180's in a 911 Porsche that were not as spectacular in their backward progress.

"the company is ironing out all the little glitches."

Is that right? Name two.

"Avio NG is on track. Speed and range improvements are already heading down the line on S/N 39."

Yep, and the Moller will get 20+ miles per gallon. Promises are indeed cheap, Ken. You've not yet spent 16 cents on this Blog.

"Customers are getting $3 million Mustang performance ("Champagne"), but at $1.6 million (the "beer budget")."

Wrong again. Customers are getting the performance of a piston twin, at about 4X the acquisition and operating cost; plus the added pleasure of replacing windscreens and windows every 100 hours. As a bonus, they get regular window and wing inspections/replacements and fly /A with a handheld GPS. For "solace" I'm certain they get an autographed picture of Vern Raburn for their desks. Comparing this aircraft to the Mustang is equivalent to comparing a Cessna 152 (plus a LOT of IOUs) to a King Air. Get over it; it's not a Mustang. It'll never be a Mustang. Besides, the Mustang is hardly "revolutionary" or "disruptive"....except, perhaps, to your digestion and marital bliss.

I'll give you this, Ken. You ARE consistent.
Gunner

cj3driver said...

"Champagne on a beer budget. What more could you want?"

Ken, FYI... they popped the cork a year ago…. I’m quite sure the Champagne is flat by now…

Gunner said...

"Champagne on a beer budget."

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, sums up Wannabe Jet Jock Fever far better than I could do in 1,000 words.

Should have been:
"Champagne on a beer budget. What's not to like?"
Gunner

cj3driver said...

This is from Press’s Journal regarding sevice at Gainesville.
“… I decided to go early at 98 cycles…They replaced all the windshields in less than 24 hours, put new tires on, serviced the airplane…”

Do you think he meant “inspect” or REPLACED?

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"Now, will you answer my questions?

300 mi, max cruise FL270
300 mi, LRC FL270
100 mi, 7,000 max cruise."


No, but that information is all available in the AFM. The performance numbers in the AFM are, by several customer reports, pretty accurate and should give you the answer for any scenario you wish to consider.

Ken

Gunner said...

CJ-
I told you he wouldn't engage. Once again, first to fight, first to the pavement.

Ken Said:
"The performance numbers in the AFM are, by several customer reports, pretty accurate"

It's not that we look forward to picking on you, Ken. It's just that you continue to present cow droppings as pearls of wisdom.

If the answers for the fully certified jet (the one that exists only in your flight bag) are too difficult to provide, how about a couple REAL easy ones? Who were these "several customers" that you speak of? Where are their statements to be found? What did those statements say?
Gunner

cj3driver said...

Gunner, you crack me up!


Thank you for your answer Ken.

At least its a flat out "NO" this time. Thanks for not beating around the bush. Says loads.

...There you go ladies and gentlemen. Direct from Mr Champaign bublby himself.

"I'm not going to tell you what the AFM says, you must extrapolate it yourself."

"Please get your Mis-information from flightaware, Mike Press or the July '05 issue of BC&A."

"If you publicly talk about this mis-information, I will correct you."

"after all, I took an oath... this plane is super dooper secret. Only other faithful can have this info. If you want this info, your gonna have to make a deposit and become faithful."

or ... "NO SOUP FOR YOU"

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"Does Sherri know you post this stuff?"

Sheri Coons, right? She's the Eclipse flightplanning specialist. Mike Press speaks very highly of her. The company has an impressive flightplanning service for customers that is free with JetComplete. They do all the usual flightplanning stuff--your own personal dispatcher, as it were. But reportedly they'll also arrange your hotel, rental car, catering service, pretty much anything you need. They call it their "enroute concierge." Cool.

But why would she be interested in what I post here? :)

Ken

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

"There was a low cloud deck from 3000-7000 feet over most all of Virgina on the morning we left St. Loius. I was in constant contact with Sheri Coons, Eclipse dispatcher discussing the weather and the flight plan. We finally decided that it may be best to stop and refuel short of the cloud deck in Lexington, KY and then wait to see if the cloud deck burned off later in the morning."


I agree, that is comical. It's like some student pilot fly his first cross country with his instructor and putting the plane down because there was a few clouds. My, what capability this plane has! And remember, this was *before* the AD came out!

cj3driver said...

A faithful man said;

“…This, too, will pass. Nobody gives a moment's thought to that oppressive Cessna AD from 1980, and a few years from now, no one will know what you're talking about if you mention the Eclipse pitot AD.”

My bet is this AD will be talked about a lot in three years. That’s about how long it will take for the trial lawyers to finally get their day in court. You see, I think there will be lawsuits filed in the near future. I’m not talking about the inevitable liability claims that plague the entire industry, I’m referring to the hundreds of people that have put up 10% and as high as 60% non-refundable deposits expecting a plane Eclipse cannot deliver.

Stan posted an article regarding a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled LearJet customer earlier. They actually HAD an aircraft. These people don’t even have an aircraft.

Even the faithful have a breaking point. Granted, their breaking point appears to be at a much higher tolerance level, but, even a slight shift in the market, when their perceived equity is gone, it will get ugly.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Actually Ken, according to Vern's recent missive, Avio NfG is NOT on track, and is actually running 'a bit behind schedule'.

But hey, what's a bit behind schedule after 8 years and $1.3B.

Just wait till the floodgates from disgruntled current customers open up, it will only take one or two braves souls to really complain about misfitting between interior and airplane, total lack of operational utility, and significantly higher than represented operating costs - I give it between Oshkosh and Thanksgiving, once people actually start to operate the airplane away from the nest.

How do you feel Ken that Eclipse demanded progress payments from hundreds of customers knowing full well that they were $#itcanning Avio Original?

How do you feel Ken that Eclipse said they were not at AOPA because the plane was 'too busy in flight test' when the plane was in fact GROUNDED?

How do you feel Ken that Eclipse has been wrong on price, wrong on development cost, wrong on empty weight, wrong on useful load, wrong on performance, wrong on fuel flow, wrong on range, wrong on high-cycle reliability, wrong on production plans, wrong on basically everything AND they have lied about it?

Eclipse - just plane wrong.

FlightCenter said...

There has been one new Eclipse 500 delivery since the last delivery update according to the FAA website.

Paperwork was submitted to register Serial #18 to new owners.

The Eclipse 500 Delivery Data has been updated to reflect the registration of serial #18 as well as serial #24 which was reported as delivered on this blog. Based on this data, Eclipse has delivered 20 aircraft, of which 8 have been delivered in June, double the May delivery rate.

There has been two new Mustang deliveries according to the FAA website since the last update.

Eclipse has also taken delivery of an airplane themselves this week.

They purchased a 2005 model year Cirrus SR20, serial #1540.

cj3driver said...

I see what you mean Gunner,

Ken,
Regarding Sherri (not your wife);

“…They do all the usual flightplanning stuff--your own personal dispatcher, as it were. But reportedly they'll also arrange your hotel, rental car, catering service, pretty much anything you need. They call it their "enroute concierge." Cool…”

What a great idea Ken, how “revolutionary”… just like the jet. Is it free? Sorta like the service at almost every FBO on the planet? Oh yea… its part of JetComplete. Another “secret”? or, Is it priced yet? Seems like it would be nice to know just how much this service is going to cost prior to plunking down my $2 mil. Lets see, 10 jets in service (besides DayJet), most leased back to Eclipse, I guess it she IS a “personal” dispatcher for Mike.

cj3driver said...

Flightcenter,

Thanks for the update.

There is probably a push at Eclipse for deliveries. The end of month, end of quarter and first half of 07 is near, only a few days away. Looks like Cessna delivered another Mustang today s/n 14. Since Eclipse can’t file IFR you cant tell when they are delivered like the Mustang. Cessna said they will deliver 4 this month, and they still have one to go. I think it’s the Sporty’s plane, #13. I’m sure its completed, I just haven’t seen it on Flightaware.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

No doubt the Cirrus is for their flying club - you know, because they are 'just like' Cessna or Beech.

Then again, they might need to fly somewhere at night or IMC.

Nevermind they are years away from profitability, they need to have a couple planes for their flying club and of course Eclipse can't possibly have better use for depositor monies, say like finishing the design or delivering airplanes.

Wonder how all the unsecured investors, I mean depositor\position holders feel about Eclipse blowing the money YOU ponied up for parts for YOUR planes, on a couple prop planes? Especially since they supposedly need to cut back on color copies, free pop, overnight shipping and travel costs.

You just can't make stiff like this up.

cj3driver said...

FC said;

"...Eclipse has also taken delivery of an airplane themselves this week. They purchased a 2005 model year Cirrus SR20, serial #1540...."

This was needed in case some of those pesky clouds form over ABQ, ...they can rescue customers out on training flights.

FlightCenter said...

For those of you looking for the tail number - The Cirrus SR20 Serial #1540 tail number is N499SF.

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

ECLIPSE AVIATION INTRODUCES PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCT

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, June 28, 2007 – Vern Raeburn, President of Eclipse Aviation, announced today the introduction of Eclipsidrin, a new pharmaceutical product. “We have disrupted the aviation industry,” said Mr. Raeburn, “and now we intend to do the same thing with prescription drugs.”

“We recognize that many of our depositors have been sitting around waiting for delivery and this has led to localized itching and discomfort,” continued Raeburn. “We studied this condition and found that it exists in other cultures. For instance, when Eskimos sit on the ice too long they develop Polaroids. One of our depositors, a physician, reported that several of his cohorts were developing Vernaroids. I’ve never really cared for the name but we’ve recognized this as an opportunity,” said Raeburn.

“Eclipsidrin brings quick relief, and we’ve introduced it in record time. We’ve had enough experience with federal agencies to know they are all about the same… FAA… FDA… just one silly letter is different. We intend to get around to clinical trials but our depositors have begged us to get the product out there. Besides we’ve had considerable experience with the placebo effect in our aviation products,” concluded Raeburn.

See your physician to determine whether Eclipsidrin is right for you. Not to be used while operating machinery such as aircraft. Sufferers who have made non-refundable deposits may require more frequent dosage.

mirage00 said...

Rumor has it that new owners are encouraged to take an oath of secrecy upon taking delivery, another dry hole.

Yeah I heard this too. Apparently they had the CIA brief all new owners. Ya know, his Washington connections?. Keep up the good work Stan.

And yes Stan, it's true, this blog IS running out of steam.

Ken, another thanks for keeping it real.

I remain amused.

double 00

airtaximan said...

mirage00,

I forget, do you have a history with e-clips, any info from the inside?

Can you provide any insight as to why production is so slow, when it was expected that many planes a week would be produced?

What are hundreds of production people doing, and what are 1200 total people doing over there?

Thanks

Stan Blankenship said...

Double zero (as in nothing of substance),

The underlying question is not whether the blog is running out of steam but rather did Eclipse get another round of financing or are they running out of money?

mirage00 said...

Production ramp up will occur more significantly towards the end of the 3rd quarter.

Why?

1. pitot tube fix approval and installation
2. Avio NG certification and installation

The plane is moving along, in spite of all its teething issues.

I remain amused.

double 00

mirage00 said...

The underlying question is not whether the blog is running out of steam but rather did Eclipse get another round of financing or are they running out of money?

Tell me Stan, have you seen EclipseAviation's books? How can you even possibly comment on their financial stability without having access? Please end the retoric.

Piper Aircraft is a private company, so is Cirrus Design. Are we to assume they are both near Bankruptcy?

Everything you know regarding finance was probably learned from Quickbooks. Some friendly advice, you should stick with what you know.

I remain amused.

double 00