Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Flight Un-Aware

Albuquerque, NM -- June 13, 2007

Eclipse Aviation Corporation, non-manufacturer of the first and revolutionary Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet (VLJ) announced today what has long been suspected in aviation circles, admitting that the high-tech jet is actually a stealth biz-jet built using proprietary 'low observable' technology.

"We knew that our dinosaur competition and a very small and insignificant group of bloggers that absolutely nobody is paying any attention to, would be watching a certain website to track the revolutionary performance of our incredible jet, which I would like to say features line replaceable units, or as we like to call them at Eclipse, LRU's, yeah, it has lots of LRU's" said Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn during a recent weekend release from Saint Luke's Behavioral Health Center in Phoenix.

Continued Raburn "In order to prevent our dinosaur competition from learning any of our super double-top secret airplane ideas, we have made our plane so small that it will not actually give a primary radar return, and we paint them with a special stealthy paint that Kent (Board Member Kent Kresa) 'borrowed' for us."

"Now we no longer have to worry about anybody, our competition, those pesky bloggers, or even our faithful customers, being able to see the lack of, err, I mean, revolutionary, yeah revolutionay performance of our amazing little jet. Did I say it features what we call line replaceable units, LRU's, lots of LRU's - really cool."

A quick review of public records and flight tracks does inded suggest that Raburn was being his normal honest forthright and gracious self, as this reporter was unable to find any flight tracks for Eclipse 500 model aircraft, especially in the higher flight levels with RVSM requirements.

About Eclipse

Eclipse Aviation, non-manufacturer of the world's second or third very light jet, is in the business of sort-of designing, kind-of certifying and occasionally producing almost modern, somewhat affordable jet aircraft that will, someday, revolutionize the transportation market. The company is mis-applying advanced electronics systems, and mis-managing manufacturing and business practices to try to produce aircraft that cost half that of today's small jet aircraft (from many years ago), we really hope but have no actual clue if they will be significantly safer and easier to operate than those of today, and we keep telling people that they will have the lowest cost of ownership ever achieved in a jet aircraft, so it must be true, right?

Coldwetmakarelofreality - need we say more?

178 comments:

Stan Blankenship said...

Quoting an e-mail from a 'bronco buster' (Mustang driver) today:

"Not to do a direct comparison but I am very proud of the pure amount of legs we have done verses you know who's units out there."

His every leg is up on flightaware for the world to see.

redtail said...

I think this blog has "jumped the shark." All we ever get from Stan these days is a reprint of other bloggers' posts. There seems to be nothing of greater importance than a fictional news item - Stan has just got nothing left to say... Lame!

redtail said...

...and, oh yes, Gadly, the new post from Stan is a joke, lest you get confused. And, please tell us once again about the reunion.

mirage00 said...

I think this blog has "jumped the shark." All we ever get from Stan these days is a reprint of other bloggers' posts. There seems to be nothing of greater importance than a fictional news item - Stan has just got nothing left to say... Lame!

Agreed. Like I said, this blog will disappear in a few months. Stan will take his ball and go home.

double 00

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Stan,

Thanks for the props, it was fun to write and it is nice to be appreciated - thanks.

As for the WonderJet Twins and their near daily claims that there is nothing to see here, I would paraphrase the great Mark Twain and say that the 'reports of the demise of this blog are greatly exaggerated.'

Stan Blankenship said...

Coldfish,

More than anything else written here, satire seems to ruffle the feathers of our feathered friend and the visible nothing.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"'reports of the demise of this blog are greatly exaggerated.'"

Not to me.

I think reports that the blog is still alive are greatly exaggerated. I can't remember the last time anybody reported something interesting here.

It's always the same story--"It's an awful plane...and they're selling them...how can the buyers be so dumb as to buy it...ohmygod, the sky is falling, Eclipse didn't die...OH HEAVEN!"

You guys don't get it, do you? It's game over. Put another quarter in and play a new game with the next plane if you want; you already lost this game. They're making it; it's certified, it's got a production certificate, and a whole lot of customers. Sorry, but Game Over, guys.

Ken

gadfly said...

Red Feather and Double Ought,

Thanks for the confirmation.

gadfly

(Bullseye!)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, why do you insist on deliberatly misrepresenting the nature of this blog?

Earlier today in fact I told you directly and specifically that I have no problems with real, verifiable good news - my concern is over bogus PR flights held up as proof of range guarantees, or Clintonesque doublespeak intended to separate unsophisticated marks (Eclipse calls them 'Position Holders') from their hard-earned cash.

But I have no issue with good news for Eclipse, after all, Eclipse reportedly employs some 1200 people, some of whom I have previously been clear are friends and professional acquaintances of mine. I want to see them succeed.

You seem to have no problem, along with the WonderJet Twins, of mindlessly regurgitating the latest party line from Comrade Vernski; but someone here suggests, based on decades of experience, that the proposed production rate for example is unattainable, and you and your drive-by associates cry foul, accuse them of 'hating' Eclipse, question their motives, insult them personally, and then congratulate each other for 'keeping it real'.

Never mind the public record that Vern made two revised production schedules, separated by say only 3 months, that reflect a reduction of say 41% (was 407 is 240 now for example). How can he be wrong by almost half, in less than a quarter, and you happily repeat the new, revised, improved, upgraded, you-can-trust-us-this-time schedule as if the previous schedule had never been issued?

Worse yet, you have been repeatedly caught singing the praises of the WonderJet here and lambasting the 'haters', while asking the same questions brought up here under your account at the Eclipse Owners' board. That is the height of hypocrisy at best, and is duplicitous and manipulative at worst.

You are the one who does not get it.

We want Eclipse to succeed even if it means that the arrogant nekkid emperor gets to take unearned credit for it.

There is far too much at stake here.

Aviation safety, the credibility of the FAA, the ability of other promising aviation ideas to gain access to capital, the image of the aviation media, and literally thousands of people directly and indirectly employed, not to mention the several hundred individual unsecured investors\position holders like yourself - all will be negatively effected if Eclipse craters.

We hope that Eclipse succeeds in spite of itself.

We appreciate and respect the efforts and sacrifices of the people who work there or have worked there, moreso than the egomaniac running the company who pays lip service to them when he thinks it is expected and then backhands them in print without hesitation (not to mention what he calls them in meetings).

We hope that the plane is SAFE first, SAFE second, and SAFE third.

We do not care whether it is as cheap or as reliable as Vern says it should be (already proven to not be so).

We do not care if it encourages a new development of the air taxi concept, so long as people don't get hurt.

We believe that an airplane, especially one costing over a million and a half dollars, should actually do all the things they said it would do, at the time it is originally delivered.

We believe that no company should demand progress payments while deliberately withholding critical information in regards to say one of the three major design concepts the company itself claims set it apart. Especially if this is the second time this has happened.

We believe it is unconscionable for a company to treat its' customers, its' vendors, its' employees and the media with such disdain and such arrogance when it has yet to successfully deliver on any of the promises made, after almost nine years and nearly $1B.

If I were to identify one character who accurately sums up the Eclipse project to date it would probably be Secret Agent Maxwell Smart. His heart was usually in the right place, but he always 'missed it by that much."

You and your comrades are certainly free to lower your own standards and expectaions and to change your own definitions of terms like 'certified', 'proven', 'verified', 'delivered', 'imminent', 'fully-functional' and so on.

Just don't expect the rest of us to be swayed by the Zvengali gaze from Albuquerque, simply because you fell for it.

That sound you hear might not be the jet noise your ego craves, it could be the whirlpool of Charybdis or the waves crashing against Scylla.

We want to be wrong about this company, wrong about this plane, and even wrong about you Ken. But the odds and history are against that being the case.

gadfly said...

Stan and Gunner

And to quote Yogi Berra:

"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."

gad-zooks

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"We hope that Eclipse succeeds in spite of itself."

"We hate the company, but we sure hope they succeed."

You can keep saying that until you're blue in the face, but there ain't nobody gonna believe it.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Does it hurt being that obtuse Ken?

'In spite of itself' means we hope they succeed even though it seems the company is taking every possible action (read that making poor decisions) to ensure its' own failure.

Da Vinci's Mona Lisa has nothing on you, you are a real piece of work.

This repetitive and childish tactic of yours of taking tiny little things and (I hope) deliberatly mis-stating them is really helping me to see that the motive probably is duplicitous and manipulative. Nobody could actually be that dumb except on purpose, not even Paris Hilton.

INOP

gadfly said...

Headline:

Man takes bait,
Hooked by Fish

gadfly

mouse said...

Stan,

Keep up the good work. If this blog were actually lame and of no benefit then why are Ken, RedTail, Mirage00, Alexa, Etc. still logging in every day, and continuing to beat their drum of success. If they are so happy and proud of their little jet, then great! Guys, we will continue to point out the failures, lies, and inconsistancies with your "Lord Vern" and the great EA-500, so unless you really aren't too sure about the words you speak/type/blog, then just go away and fagettaboutit...

Of course if you all continue to hang around, then I guess the rest of us know the real truth... You are nervous as hell, and scard that we might be correct. Of course what would people in the aviation business for 25-35+ years know about anything...

Don't go away as mad doubters, just go away and prove your words...

Bye Y'all!

(some how I'll bet they're not going anywhere, huh?

cj3driver said...

Ken said;
"….It's game over. Put another quarter in and play a new game...."

Ken,

If you are an Eclipse position holder the “game” hasn’t even started yet. Unfortunately, the screen says please “insert another quarter”.…. And I hope you have a whole bag of quarters. ... After all, the company must produce over 1,000 units to satisfy those who have already deposited the first quarter(s) and are waiting for the “start game” light.

I just hope there is no power failure, because your credits will be lost, the coin return is empty, and you haven’t even started playing yet.

If I was an Eclipse customer, and Vern is really out there looking for another round of financing, (as WT predicted last month) I would be pretty worried about my deposit right now. You don’t need “Wall Street” to finance line production that is already sold. There are numerous lending institutions that wouldn’t bat an eye to finance sold inventory, especially when the customer has already fronted 60% of the cost.

I hope the next round of financing is for new product development, because if they need the money for the E500 redevelopment, it will be “game over” for hundreds of depositors.

cj3driver said...

Mirage00 said;
“….this blog will disappear in a few months. Stan will take his ball and go home.”

Mirage00,

I don’t really think this blog will die for a long time, for the following reasons:

1. Eclipse is way more than “a few months” away from producing 3 aircraft per day.
2. The plane is not yet fully functional and highly unlikely it will be in a few months.
3. E500 owners (who have taken delivery) are not disgruntled enough to post… there just aren’t enough of them yet, and not enough time has passed.
4. Deposit holders are not yet disgruntled enough yet to post.
5. Investors are not yet disgruntled enough yet to post.
6. If you google “eclipse aviation” this blog is # 3 on the list, appearing before most of the companies own links.
7. If you yahoo Eclipse aviation, the very first line says “try also Eclipse aviation critic.
8. All the aviation publications talk about Eclipse in every issue, good or bad, advertisements or not, and they haven’t yet become very critical
9. Eclipse and Vern are just “too public”, unlike Linden Blue, or Sino Swearengen
10. If Eclipse is successful, and I hope they are, there will always be critics. This is American, its what were good at, constructive criticism makes us great.
11. The B model has not been flight tested by any of the major magazines yet, so there will be more criticisms to come, good and bad.
12. Vern will undoubtedly make an empty promise at least once a month, or at least announce some more orders and options.
13. Eclipse will attempt to go public, creating even more skepticism.
14. We all want to see if Ken actually takes delivery of a VLJ.
15. I’ll bet this blog is read by most of the Eclipse depositors and potential depositors. I know I would if I was buying or owned a position. Most people want to know both sides of the story, good and bad, especially if your life depends on it. Not everything is gospel, but it might raise an eyebrow.
16. Some of the posts are funnier than Leno, and there are more twists to the story than an episode of “24”.

fred said...

after reading lots of stuff about VLJ , i don't know what to think anymore ....
it's seems that e500 is a great idea , but is there anybody willing to fly aboard an idea ?? the company state they are understaffed ?? what ?? if they are understaffed with so small production = how can they reach full production ?? if you look at the order placed by an european "firm" , it's seems that depositors are going to wait for ever their toys .... (who's gonna be first served ??)
except if most depositors made it as a kind of opportunity to make cash .....
if delivery is that slow , early position may become completely out of price very soon , or it can collapse to just no value ....
it's a gamble !
beside since E.A. is such a new company are they going to be in the bizz long enough to fulfill the promises ??? if you look at mustang , cessna make no secret to deliver planes in +/- 2009 , they have the backing not to lie to much to potentials owners , as for eclipse , they need to produce a lot to maintain the cash-flow high enough ... and if no production ?? they may have to rely on promises to keep peoples risking their deposits ....

but when you understand who's behind the biggest order , some concerns may arise ....

as the guy has lots of greys and shadows in his personality and is not really known as a succesful entrepreneur on european market ...

and his company is incorporated in Luxembourg , which is about the same as the "firms" made in delaware = half a day to create it , 10 minutes to have lots of brillant ideas , all your life to regret to have met them .....!!!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I like the satire from Coldwet and Black Tulip. They write well.

Ken and the true believers, please make up some positive satire.

It is true that there has not been much news to report here lately, so everyone is just rehashing the known stuff. Be patient, the news will come.

Since the true believers are critical to this blog, how about you guys give us some satire also, to carry us over to the next big issue.

ExEclipser said...

N229BW no longer wishes to be tracked on FlightAware.

ExEclipser said...

From: AvWeb.com:
Eclipse VLJ Production, Improvements And Training Update

Eclipse Aircraft says its Avio NG avionics package for the Eclipse 500 very light jet is progressing through testing at a pace that is slightly behind schedule, but the system has been flown on one jet.

A second Avio NG-equipped 500 will fly later this month.

The company believes it has identified and resolved a pitot/AOA system icing problem discovered in testing that resulted in loss of pitot pressure in both the left and right primary flight displays.

A new system design has been submitted to the FAA for certification this month.

Affected customers can seek retrofits in July.

A new design intended to address fatigue cracks found in the outer layer of the windshield and side window has led to increased inspection and replacement intervals (inspection every 300 flights and replacement at 1,500 and 600 flights for windshield and side windows, respectively).

The certification for the new window designs begins this month. Physical modifications to the aircraft for enhanced performance continue and certification for those is expected "soon."

The first aircraft to incorporate all enhanced performance packages (S/N 39) is still in the production phase.

Retrofits of previously completed aircraft will be scheduled beginning in July.

Following an announcement at EBACE of a European order for 180 aircraft (120 firm and 60 options), Eclipse Aviation now says its single certified flight training device will soon be installed at Albuquerque, N.M.

Training sessions are expected to begin this July, when the company's new training facility at Albuquerque Double Eagle II airport is slated to open.

The company aims to wipe out the training backlog "by the end of summer."

FreedomsJamtarts said...

It's going to be a long summer in ABQ

redtail said...

ColdWetAndUnreal said... Stan, Thanks for the props, it was fun to write and it is nice to be appreciated - thanks.

Gee, you get a gold star from the teacher. It's time recess now, go out and play.

redtail said...

Stan Blankenship said... Coldfish, More than anything else written here, satire seems to ruffle the feathers of our feathered friend and the visible nothing.

How far from the truth. I make a one line statement on how the blog has "jumped the shark" and Codfish gets so upset with Ken's response that he finds the time to make the longest post ever in defense. HEY, LOSER!!!

redtail said...

gadfly said... Headline: Man takes bait, Hooked by Fish - gadfly

Seems to me that the fish was hooked and hauled. Something really ruffled his fins...

redtail said...

mouse said... Stan, Keep up the good work.

What work. Stan reposts other bloggers' comments. He's been pretty much absent and silent. I thought this was HIS blog.

redtail said...

mouse said... If this blog were actually lame and of no benefit then why are Ken, RedTail, Mirage00, Alexa, Etc. still logging in every day, and continuing to beat their drum of success.

We come here because it entertaining, not informative. If we can keep the public informed of your obvious inaccuracies, all the better. If we can show the public your obvious irrelevance, better still.

redtail said...

FreedomsJamtarts said... Since the true believers are critical to this blog, how about you guys give us some satire also, to carry us over to the next big issue.

Sorry, this isn't creative writing 101... Well, judging by the posts here, maybe that's exactly what it really is.

FlightCenter said...

CJ3,

I'm very interested in the DayJet launch.

It goes to the heart of the matter.

Ed said (in the AvWeb podcast) that he was going to launch DayJet service the first week of July once he had a fleet of 10 aircraft.

Can Eclipse deliver airplanes at their promised production rates / on schedule?

Can DayJet operate the aircraft reliably?

Can Eclipse provide adequate service for the aircraft?

Will there be enough customers to justify the model?

Will those customers like the DayJet service enough to become repeat customers?


We don't have long to wait for answers to those questions.

redtail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mirage00 said...

More than anything else written here, satire seems to ruffle the feathers of our feathered friend and the visible nothing.

Actually I LOVE it. It's confirmation that the "Anti-Eclipse" crowd has nothing of interest to discuss anymore.

It's kind of sad Stan, you have nothing of worth to contribute to your own blog. Maybe you need to revisit your FAA/Washington/Eclipse conspiracy theory and post something about that?

Oh and when exactly was it that Eclipse approached you to do work for them? Second request.

I remain amused.

Gunner said...

When The Story is some day written, I think the biggest operational error will be judged to be the fact that Eclipse Aviation jumped the gun, Big Time.

Eclipse knew, long before TC, First "Delivery" or PC, that it didn't have a functional avionics suite. They knew that they still had major design flaws, at least involving wing attachments and failed windows. They knew that the existing design did not meet performance promise. They were well aware that fatigue testing hadn't been begun, let alone completed. They knew they were a full year away from FIKI cert. And they knew that the hardware and systems were simply not in place for training the end users.

In short, the company KNEW that it was at least a year away from going live; the design had not even been completed yet. Real companies "man up" at a time like that and approach investors, depositors and vendors with the news. I don't think any of the three groups would have walked out on Eclipse; probably not even DayJet.

One year. Time to complete and certify design corrections (and discover more); time to complete or purchase functional cockpit intrumentation; time to complete and install sims and work thru the challenges of training numbers; time to certify FIKI and perform fatigue testing; time, perhaps, to raise an additional $200 mill to get the job done right. Even time to work HONEST numbers on JetComplete.

Yes, one EXPENSIVE year. But the alternative of jumping the gun is far MORE expensive. I have to assume it was Vern Raburn who made the call to close the curtain and set the props for the next act, The Charade.

And so Vern finds himself today, having burned thru @300 Progress Payments and needing to "slow down" production and beat the bushes for $400 million just to survive. He's "delivering" a jet that is fast becoming the laughing stock of aviation; glimpses of the flights that are not veiled in secrecy reveal a particularly lackluster capability. Planes are being built, only to be torn down and rebuilt "on Tuesday".

Why? Was the drive to make "default deadlines" really that great? Did investors threaten to collect the scraps of their Billion in spent monies and bail? Was the CEO position on the line? Or was it simple and absurd hubris? The need to "beat the dinosaur in Wichita".

Somebody knows those answers, but they really don't matter for the present. It's time Critics and Faithful alike find some common ground:

Can we all admit that the EA-500, properly DESIGNED AND COMPLETED, might be a viable aircraft for the owner flown market? I think so.

Can we also agree that the EA-500, the one that has been promised, has simply not completed the Design and Certification process yet? The facts already speak to this issue.

Therefore, can we at least agree that the major problem for Critics and Depositors alike is the fact that Eclipse is using precious Depositor capital to build and deliver effective prototypes? At what cost? Answer: Quite possibly the cost of survival.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

flight center,

Dayjet pushed their start again, to August.. just a rumor though.

The initial launch was mid 2006, then late 2006, then 2nd quarter 2007, then June 2007, now August 2007.

Ed says he's in the computer business, and just happends to be flying people... I wonder if the passengers are going to see it that way?

Its not a good thing for a passenger service company to keep posting "delayed".

It was their choice to go with this equipment and this non-manufacturer... and they cannot just point a finger. At some point, reliable service becomes a factor.

DELAYED again...

fred said...

one other thing to argue about :

asking the European Aviation Authorities about e500 , they almost state ( almost = nobody seems to be willing to say in one way or an other) that it is very unlikely this year or next one , any kind of certification step are going to be taken toward E500 , basically because nothing says it will be delivered in europ soon , training and maintenance facilities are still out in the blue , not even talking about the know-how staff at a maintenance facility either in Luxembourg or Holland , and the number of planes already used to assess any kind of reliability ....

sparky said...

it's amazing that being lied to by the perons manufacturing your aircraft doesn't bother these people. I also find it telling that there's no such thing as bad news from ABQ. Lack of delivery's...they're slowing down production to focus on flight training.

The windscreen issue was an install problem. LIE, it's a design issue. Same with the wing bushings. Another lie.

But none of this matters to the faithful. They don't care. Ken points to these and labels them milestones. I'm sorry, but arent milestones usually something you reach in developement, before customer deliveries begin?

But again, it doesn't matter. If a wing fell off in flight we'd hear "Yawn, drag reduction mods"

BTW, they're not all totally blocked, they're just not flying a whole lot. N109DJ currently over southern florida at under 4000 ft. N229BW SUS to LEX at 13K

Gunner said...

Sparky-
Where are you viewing live info on N229BW?
Gunner

fred said...

@ gunner :

if eclipse is burning déposits to try to get back on tracks , it means two things : next planes will have to be built on new déposits ??? (underline : new customers are required , if none = no plane building ...) if that's so , it's quite simple to find out : somebody approach eclipse and make a commitment for an E500 , but instead of déposit have an agreement to block the déposit in a bank , with conditional release eclipse can get the cash as soon as the plane is starting to be build !!

if they do not accept , the financial status of eclipse may be not good .....!!!

sparky said...

Sorry gunner, not at liberty to divulge that information, at least not here.

I think the reason for blocking on flight aware came from what they're not doing, namely flying.

In the last few days there's been almost no eclipse flights, while the mustang's are running all over the place. Not good for PR.

Gunner said...

Fred-
Eclipse does not and will not escrow deposits, at least not for the individual purchaser. They will explain that their "low price" of acquisition factors the use of your funds into the building of your aircraft. In fairness, Cessna, Diamond and Adam operate the same way.

How do I know Vern spent or pledged the Progress Payments? Simple deductive reasoning. He demanded Progress Payments while quoting fictitious production numbers for '07. A matter of weeks later he revised that number way down.

Gunner

Metal Guy said...

Stan,

As far as I am concerned, the moment that Eclipse is bringing in sufficient revenue to offset operating costs, and they have a reliability track record comparable to Cessna, yes, you should shut the blog down.

When will this be do you think? Next Tuesday perhaps?

fred said...

thanks gunner !

my post was a question/statement ...!

if i would be quite confident to do such down-payment with an entity like cessna , it would be in line of their past experience and proven history ...

but with a start-up , it looks like giving a few bills to a bum in LA , asking him to bring some booze to your door , just wonder if it can work !! :-))

i am not from the US , i live in european union , but i have been living for a while in USA ...

american banks are incredibly good at inventing ""creative financing"" so if they don't leave open wallet for a start-up with so many orders , it seems something has changed in USA or the said start-up may have some restrictions on reliability .....

when you confront that with the sudden apparition of an order from a guy in holland and at the same time , even if the said guy get his planes ,he won't be really authorized to use in a commercial way = questions arises ....!

if eclpise need new déposits to build old orders , who's gonna pay for for the new orders ???

Stan Blankenship said...

Double zero (as in nothing of substance),

The score is already 4 to 0. You are so easy I hate to make it 5 to 0, but if it will calm your nerves, here goes.

Remember Vern's statement, Eclipse doesn't manufacture anything. The company uses vendor supplied parts.

My company does not make parts, only tools for other company's to make parts. The companies making the parts are responsible for the tooling.

In 2002, we built tools for Southern Stretch out of Denton, TX. We looked at enough parts to realize the designers were using some pretty thick aluminum (read heavy) for the application.

Further, the dimensional tolerances were much tighter than industry standards and tighter than needed for the application. The cost of parts is proportional to the required accuracy.

I am already begining to get a picture of this program 5 years ago. The airplane is going to be heavy and expensive to produce.

During the next few years, I was aware of two other companies doing Eclipse work, and they confirmed that the part designs continued to have many unrealistic dimensional requirements.

IMO, this comes about from hiring inexperienced design engineers who lack hands-on shop floor experience. Of course they might know SAP and can do a good power-point presentation.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2005, the owner of Cox Machine here in Wichita and 3-4 others from his company came to visit our new facility under construction and talk about building tooling for the Eclipse.

I spent a good 30 minutes explaining why Cox should avoid getting mixed up with Eclipse. My arguments fell on deaf ears. Cox teamed up with Eclipse and we refused to bid on any of this work on principle.

Cox went ahead, the Eclipse promises were just too good to pass up. The company is listed in the Eclipse web site as a partner. It would be interesting to learn just how much Cox has tied up in inventory, waiting for that 1,000 unit per year production rate to kick in.

We did hear from Cox again, they gave us another chance, a big package for Cessna 172 parts. No-bid that one as well. We don't have time to sort through mountains of Drawing Change Notices to find out what the latest configuration might look like.

Then about six months ago, I am delivering some forming tools to a new sheet metal shop here in Wichita called Swift-Cor. The general manager whom I have known for several years sees me and yells "Stan! Brother! Have I got a deal for you, I am going to make you a million dollars!"

Poor Tim Champ had been visited that morning by a senior buyer from Eclipse looking for a supplier for about as many parts as they could get Swift-Cor to take. He showed me the buyer's power-point presentation still on his office TV monitor.

I just said, "S____ Timmy, don't put me through this. What that guy told you this morning is all BS, it ain't gonna happen, and I don't want any part of that flaky program."

It took 2-3 more conversations, but the Wichita Division of Swift-Cor finally backed away from Eclipse.

AlexA said...

According to a salesperson from DayJet which I spoke on the phone with this morning, they have already received 5 aircraft. They are expecting two or three more before months end. They are still on schedule to begin service in July. Here is their number Phone: (561) 454-2655

Gunner said...

Alexa-
Yep, and I heard the A-700 just received TC, PC and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. The FAA pogues have failed to update the DB's again.

Gunner

AlexA said...

Gunner,

I heard that you are very knowledgable in all aspects of aviation and run a great magazine.

Gunner said...

Why, thank you.
Gunner

fred said...

gunner ...

what is the best bet for a vlj flying before year 3000 and not costing my two eyes , legs , arms and what ?? you want my heart as well ....?

cessna ? adam ? diamond ? or eclipse ?

thanks in advance ...

AlexA said...

Publishers' Representatives are going to throw in a couple of bucks so you can order a Mustang.

Gunner said...

Fred-
One semi-educated man's opinion:
Cessna.

But I don't think the acquisition cost is the major hurdle. You have to be willing to rationalize the operating and maintenance cost per hour.

You MIGHT get away with lower op-costs with Cirrus or Diamond. You'll probably pay much higher hourlies with The EA-50X than the Mustang.

Alexa-
Publishers Reps already kicked in. That's how I came to purchase 3 D-Jets.

BTW, have you seen N126DJ around? I think Ed may have misplaced a jet. ;-)
Gunner

Gunner said...

One picture is worth a thousand words:
What's Up Widdat?
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

If the DayJet sales guy has the correct information,

1) DayJet has 5 aircraft today, that means 115DJ and 116DJ have shipped (serial #20 and #21) and

2) they expect to receive 2 or 3 more aircraft before the end of the month and

3) they expect to launch the first week of July when they have received 10 aircraft (per Ed's podcast with Avweb)

Something's got to give.

Either they launch with 7 or 8 aircraft or they delay the launch till they have taken delivery of 10 aircraft.

By the way, DayJet's 7th aircraft will be serial number 23. DayJet's 10th aircraft will be serial number 35.

The FAA database has had no recent updates for serial #20 or #21. The database shows no CofA and the aircraft remain registered to Eclipse.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Fred,

My chouice would be Epic LT Turboprop kit. 340 KTAS, FL280, de-iced, Garmin G900, there are at least ten flying, right now, tetherless, living with their customer\builders. They are visible on FlightAware, can fly in IMC, have real working moving map displays, and none of them are filing /A.

About $1.4M completed I think. Even building it yourself at their facility, you could have one completed before you could get a delivery position on any of the VLJ's right now without paying somebody a three-quarter million dollar premium for an early non-functional IOU-laden Eclipse position.

This kitplane does more, right now, with no modifications, promises, or IOU's, than the 'certified' Eclipse does after 9 years and $1B.

The LT also has a bigger cabin, and you can fill the tanks AND all 6 seats, and go 500nm further than the Eclipse on a tank of gas, with lower operating costs.

But don't tell the WonderJet Twins, they'll just get their panties in a bunch.

fred said...

thanks again gunner ...

to be semi-educated is not a problem , i know lots of guys whom believes to know all (i work in economics) with some collegues we love to trick them on impossible schemes ....!:-)

mustang looks to be ok , i don't need a falcon 900 or so , it is just intended to fly (with much less schedules and airport waiting ) from where i work most of time and where i live = about 2500 Kms twice a month ...

as well as to have the joy of being a flyer myself ...

the costs is not really a problem , but availlabillity of parts , maintenance , service centers and so on a must be !

with eclipse , it looks out of reach ... if each time i need some works done , i got to go back to the USA , better take the train !! ;-)

Gunner said...

CWMoR-
No question Epic is a viable player. I'm looking at their brochures and can't find anything on baggage area. Do you know if they have it, interior or exterior?

BTW, GREAT range and payload!
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gunner,

Baggage stowage is my only question about the LT or the soon-to-be-certified Dynasty. There are some great pictures showing a bunch of luggage to be loaded but I am not clear on baggage.

Might be worth a call to them in an hour or two.

The range and payload numbers are phenomenal, and the HSC is pretty good. I know that the certified Dynasty has optional extended range tanks, a slower stall speed and I think is 10 or 15 kts faster still.

I am curious why they limit the turboprop versions to FL280. Assuming the layup schedule for the pressure vessel is essentially the same as the jet versions, I would prefer to fly higher and get better cruise efficiency. Suppose on the experimental version you can do whatever you want but would be curious to know more about that choice.

Good looking machine too.

FlightCenter said...

It is really apples and oranges to compare an experimental aircraft like the Epic with a certified aircraft.

Take a look at Lancair as an example of the tradeoffs. It was much easier for Lancair to deliver a high performance long range experimental aircraft (Lancair IV P) than to certify and deliver a Columbia 300 (based on the same design).

It took Lancair about 5 or 6 years to go from an experimental Lancair IV design that was shipping in relatively high volume to a certified design, with considerably less performance. They had to take a pass on the retractable gear, the pressurization, etc... They had to add things like redundant electrical systems with enough grounding so it could pass a lightning test...

There are really good reasons for the FAA's certification requirements and there are really good reasons to buy an aircraft that has been designed and produced to meet those requirements.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FC,

I don;t disagree with your base assertion that Certification is hard, and that there are good reasons for certain people to only buy certified aircraft.

For a natural tinkerer, engineer and wrench-turner like myself though, I find the Epic LT (and for that matter the Turbine Legend, ViperJet, Titan T-51 Mustang and others) to be within the realm of possibility to purchase, assemble and enjoy while also being a tremendous value in terms of bang for the buck.

Is building your own pressurized, de-iced six-place 400mph propjet for everybody? Of course not, but I'm thinking about it for when I reach the point that such a plane makes financial sense for me, seriously.

AlexA said...

Flightcenter,

No solid July date on the launch from the salesperson, “we’ll start service sometime in July.” My guess is they won’t until the pitot static system fix is approved by the FAA and retrofitted on their aircraft.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

My point in bringing the LT up FC was that here is a kitplane, an experimental, amateur-built kitplane, that does more than the Eclipse does.

It is almost as fast, burns less fuel, is regularly seen on FlightAware at the same or higher flight levels, and has legs that reach out to 1500 - 1600 miles.

With the Garmin G900, it has moving map, autopilot, and other cockpit features and integration that the Eclipse promises but has yet to deliver.

The de-ice equipment is not placarded INOP as it is on the Eclipse, and can actually be used if you encounter icing when flying in IMC - something the Eclipse is prohibited from doing.

This is a kitplane, and it does more than the Eclipse after 9 years and $1B.

Yes, it is apples and oranges, but so is comparing the WonderJet to any aircraft from a company with a track record like Cessna or Diamond or Embraer or Cirrus.

mouse said...

RedTail, the only thing people are aware of is how foolish you are. Stan doesn't have to post to be busy. Are you not in business? Does everything run itself in your line of work?

If you think anyone who is curious and just looking believes any of the stupid stuff coming out of a blind supporters keyboard you are grossly mistaken. The whole world has a great history of Verns ramblings and promises, and and even better trail of the lies, failures, and discrepancies.

Keep checking back though, maybe someday you'll learn your lesson, or you might get an EA-500 to fly. If not, visit ABQ sometime in the future and there might be a playground with an EA-500 to play around..

mouse said...

Cold/Wet,

The FL280 limit is to avoid RVSM...

FlightCenter said...

CWMR,

Well if you are a natural tinkerer, engineer and wrench turner, and you want to spend at least a couple years of your spare time tinkering, engineering and wrench turning before you start flying, then an experimental aircraft is clearly the way to go. Sounds like a perfect fit and the specs on the EPIC are great.

I've spent some time helping a buddy do some wrench turning on his Lancair kit and have come to the conclusion that I'd rather be flying!

Not saying it isn't fun to build your own airplane, just that I probably wouldn't ever get a project that big completed.

Its not unusual for guys to end up putting 5 or 10 years into projects of this size.

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"The FL280 limit is to avoid RVSM..."

Will the (certified) Dynasty be able to exceed FL250? How will they deal with FAR 23.841?

Ken

FlightCenter said...

CWMR,

The G900 doesn't come with a Garmin autopilot. It supports one certified autopilot, the S-TEC 55X, which isn't really appropriate for an aircraft with the performance specifications of the EPIC.

The G900 also supports some uncertified autopilots....

It would be an interesting question to ask Epic what autopilot they recommend for their aircraft.

From the Garmin manual -

"The G900X is capable of interfacing with the following automatic flight control systems (AFCS):
• S-TEC System Fifty Five X
• TruTrak Sorecerer
• TruTrak DFC-series
• TruTrak DigiFlight I
• TruTrak DigiFlight-II-series
• TruTrak Pictorial Pilot
• TruTrak Digitrak
• TruTrak Altrak
• Trio Avionics EZ Pilot
• Trio Avionics EZ-series Altitude
Hold"

mirage00 said...

Fast forward to the Summer of 2005, the owner of Cox Machine here in Wichita and 3-4 others from his company came to visit our new facility under construction and talk about building tooling for the Eclipse.

I spent a good 30 minutes explaining why Cox should avoid getting mixed up with Eclipse. My arguments fell on deaf ears. Cox teamed up with Eclipse and we refused to bid on any of this work on principle.


Oh, I see now... After reading that, I'm not quite sure how Eclipse did it without you.
Thanks Stan.

“The greatest achievements of the human mind are generally received with distrust.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

double 00

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The to-be certified Epic called the Dynasty is slated for a ceiling of FL310 and will be RVSM group certified, just like the Eclipse (well hopefully not 'just like' - I'll bet the customers would actually like to be able to use it).

As for 23.841, I bet the Dynasty does it like all other aircraft of similar construction and or power - I see nothing new there.

Also, for those not in the know, the Dynasty will be initially certified under Transport Canada certification regulations and is the first program going through the new co-located industry\TC facility.

But back to the actual subject of this blog - how 'bout those IOU's?

Gunner said...

Mirage-
Of course, I'm certain you know most of that story, given your position at Eclipse Aviation.

Wanna share that with the class?
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"As for 23.841, I bet the Dynasty does it like all other aircraft of similar construction and or power - I see nothing new there."

Are there any?

Weren't the TBM, Pilatus, and Meridian all certified before FAR 23 was revised and 23.841 was lowered to 25,000 feet?

Ken

cj3driver said...

Gunner said...
Sparky-
Where are you viewing live info on N229BW?
Gunner


Gunner,
You can view live flight info on Flight Explorer.com
but subsription is required... i think its 10 bucks a month.
Press's plane still shows up there live, ....for now. (there goes another $900!

Stan Blankenship said...

Double zero (as in nothing of substance),

It may have went over your head in reading my previous comment, but did you stop and ask, "why is an Eclipse Senior Buyer out looking for sheet metal suppliers in the late 2006 early 2007 time frame?"

Perhaps some problems with existing suppliers?

Gunner said...

Thanks, CJ.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Redtail

Did you mean to support “Eclipse” with the suggestion of looking at what you thought (erroneously) was a patent on “FSW”? You did, indeed, do us all a favor . . . but, unfortunately, not for Eclipse.

You see, in the “Abstract” (sort of the “forward” for a patent) the major problems of joining by welding, including FSW, are addressed by an attempt to seal the affected area using a “monomer sealant/adhesive” that is activated by the heat of the welding.

It is a clever approach, and in itself, requires some careful controls: as to date there are no monomers that can directly take the elevated temperatures of welding. In the list of “claims”, it becomes apparent that it’s a balancing act, to acquire enough barrier, of “surface sealing”, although some of the monomer/polymer is destroyed by the heat.

And what is not clearly stated in the patent itself, is the concerns that Eclipse has with the entrapment of moisture in the completed weld, over time, and the resultant corrosion that will take place, if the weld is not thoroughly sealed. (A quick “Google” search will give you some other information, including a paper from NASA (2005) dealing with this recognized problem.)

A couple or three conclusions: First, this reveals that some of our discussion on this blogsite was more than relevant, when we discussed “inter-granular-corrosion” of high-strength aircraft aluminum alloys, and the reasons they are not normally “welded”. Second, this reveals that Eclipse had the good sense to address this issue sometime back (the patent was filed August 5, 2003). Third, it gives good reason for you to continue using a “pseudonym” for the immediate future . . . as you just opened a can of worms for Eclipse, at a time when they do not need for the general buying public to be aware of the problems with their “darling” method of aircraft fabrication.

But thank you from all of us, for pointing out this most important patent: “Welded joints with polymer sealant, #7,225,966 June 5, 2007"

gadfly

(Helpful hint: Large companies often keep their patent applications in the “applied for” stage, for as long as possible, to “hide” the actual claims from the competition, and sometimes adding years beyond the normal 17 year life of a patent. It is even better to have a “trade secret”, rather than a “patent” . . . trade secrets have no time limit, such as the secret ingredients for “Coca-Cola”. In this case, it might have been useful for the public to not know that a need existed, to seal the stir-fried welds.)

sparky said...

from AIN

"Yesterday, two reporters and a DayJet employee flew in an Eclipse 500 with DayJet pilots Don Osmondson and Rick Hemphill. The flight was planned from DayJet’s headquarters in Boca Raton to Gainesville, Fla., but diverted to Lakeland because of a broken layer of clouds at Gainesville."

What do you do if that's a customer on board, offer him a greyhound ticket?

redtail said...

Mouse said... If you think anyone who is curious and just looking believes any of the stupid stuff coming out of a blind supporters keyboard you are grossly mistaken.

You mean as opposed to Critics' nonsensical parodies.

gadfly said...

Sparky,

Yes, you do. And as compensation, tell him the bus has a toilet!

gadfly

BD5 Believer said...

Here is teh whoel post from AIN....cannot buy press like this!!

DayJet Expects To Launch Next Month
DayJet invited members of the press to sample the company’s service as it nears next month’s launch of per-seat regional VLJ on-demand charter operations. Yesterday, two reporters and a DayJet employee flew in an Eclipse 500 with DayJet pilots Don Osmondson and Rick Hemphill. The flight was planned from DayJet’s headquarters in Boca Raton to Gainesville, Fla., but diverted to Lakeland because of a broken layer of clouds at Gainesville. All Eclipses are awaiting an upcoming pitot-tube modification that will remove a limitation mandating flight in VMC. The cabin noise level was extremely low, allowing normal conversation without having to bump heads. The BMW-designed interior is functional and attractive (except for poorly attached plastic trim parts). Until the new Avio NG avionics are installed, DayJet’s Eclipses have no GPS or moving-map display, no radar or weather information and no traffic or terrain data. DayJet took delivery of its fourth and fifth Eclipse 500s yesterday and expects to have 50 by year-end.


end quote

redtail said...

Godfly, I was perfectly aware of the substance of the patent. It's been talked about here, and was made public this week. The concern of moisture in the welds has been addressed by this disclosure.

BD5 Believer said...

oh my god...I just made two typo's in my last post!!


Please forgive me, lest it diminish the AIN report

anonymous avionics engineer said...

What do you do if that's a customer on board, offer him a greyhound ticket?
If your name is Vern you simply part the clouds with a hand wave. If you are one of the faithful, you pray to Vern that they part.

Gunner said...

Redtail said:
"The concern of moisture in the welds has been addressed by this disclosure."

You're right. It's addressed, but hardly resolved. It's an admission that their process may allow ABQ based planes to hold together, but not BCT based planes. They have applied for a patent which ADDRESSES the PROBLEM thru a FIRST TIME IN AVIATION process that HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN by fatigue measures or corrosives.

But they ARE admitting to the problem and they ARE addressing it. I hope, for their sakes and the sakes of the incoming Test Pilot Owners, this experimental process works.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

Are you saying that your reaction time is so slow that it would take you more than two minutes to recognize a pressurization issue and descend in an emergency situation?

Of course, the FAR specifically addresses a 'probable' malfunction or failure in the pressurization system reuslting in a PA greater than 15,000. That would actually exclude a loss of pressurization bleed due to engine failure.

Most pressurization system control valves will close in this situation to maintain cabin altitude as long as possible to give the flight crew time to address the failure.

Most systems are designed in such a way, and then analysed and tested to prove, that such failures are not, in fact 'probable'. This is dependant on how the OEM lays out their failure hazard analysis and failure modes effects and criticiality analysis, and the resulting corrective actions that are then included in the flight manual or POH.

If you can show the failure is improbable, like say engine failure of a PT-6, or a runaway Px control valve, you are not effected by that FAR.

BTW, the Meridian was certified 4 years AFTER the last change to FAR 23.841, and it operates all the way to FL300.

But nice try.

How 'bout them IOU's?

gadfly said...

Redtail

You are correct. And I can see your point (although unspoken). It will give the customer something on which to concentrate that is a “long term” concern, and distract them from the other more immanent (as, why is this plastic trim always falling off) and imminent concerns (as, will my bladder make it to the alternate airport . . . or am I wearing my amber colored sunglasses, again?).

Now, that’s what I call “good planning”.

gadfly

(Any pot . . . er, port in a storm.)

cj3driver said...

Why doesnt DayJet just charter some King Airs or older citations and launch service. Add the Eclipses' when they are ready. Prove the system and IPO already.

sheesh.

Then again, the customers might like the larger planes better.... just add another level of service when booking. ...Click here for onboard potty.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Gadfly:

amber colored sunglasses

I thought all E-500's came equipped with magical ROSE colored glasses. The faithful have received theirs in advance, for their deposit, which explains a lot of the rantings here.

mirage00 said...

Perhaps some problems with existing suppliers?

Ahhh... typical blog speculation. Keep up the good work Stan.

I remain amused.

gadfly said...

aae

When you mix "amber" and "rose", you might end up with a variation of "brown", depending on whether you use "RGB" or "CYMK".

gadfly

Jake Pliskin said...

the constant background hum from the faithful "there's nothin gnew on the blog anymore, all that's left are repeats and reposts" is starting to sound like talking points. Maybe from a eclipse memo?

sorry to the 4 shrills who are happy with the current state of affairs and/or can still swallow new promises from this company, I'm out, call me in two years and we'll reconsider then but for now this aircraft and company are a joke.

I guess i'm just one of those leftist part 135 guys who got steamrollered by the eclipse machine so its time to sell our fleet and lay everybody off. maybe we can go weld eclipses together??

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Gadfly:

Was that what I noticed on the Eclipse Management team and wannabes noses?

Geez, and all this time I was wondering ...

gadfly said...

aae

My guess is that the “management team” members are well-meaning people that want it to work. But are in a state of denial . . . refusing to face reality.

Once, I worked for a new company . . . first as “Plant Engineer” then as “General Manager” (a total of 2 ½ years). Finally, even though we had an excellent product (“honeycomb panel” with dome structures up to 137 foot diameter free span), the owners/major stock holders were clearly doing something bad. I resigned, taking a major financial hit . . . and watched my “boss” on TV, a year later, being led off to the ABQ federal building, in hand-cuffs. He spent a couple years in a “gated community”. The product was excellent . . . still waiting proper promotion. But many of us learned, first hand, how difficult it is to separate “bad people” from a “good product”.

Most people in management want to do a good job . . . and are very naive. It takes a long time to finally face the fact that you cannot believe everything from a “charismatic leader”.

So, I would give a lot of slack to those who have been brought into this enterprise, to make it all well. It is most difficult to make people see reality.

Sooner or later, it will all be made clear. The pain is in the waiting for the end.

gadfly

cj3driver said...

From the DayJet website:

Forbes

The Future of Aviation

Flying the world’s smallest business jet

June 4, 2007

By Rich Karlgaard

Visit the factory of Eclipse Aviation, as I did in May, and you'll see how large a bet founder and CEO Vern Raburn has made on very light jets.
At the time of my visit, Eclipse's Albuquerque, N.M., factory had 57 airplanes in various phases of construction. Raburn says that he'll ship 250 or more this year, and that Eclipse will be ''the world's volume jet leader'' in 2008. The company claims 1,000-plus cash deposits from owner-pilots and 1,500 or so orders from air taxi operators such as DayJet. On this particular day, some investment bankers from New York were prowling the factory floor.
Raburn has a reputation for making boastful statements, but delivering numbers like that would be a feat unprecedented in the high-capital-cost, highly regulated business aircraft industry.
Can he do it? An afternoon at the controls makes me think he can….



I guess the capital rumor has merit. Investment banker’s from NY roaming the factory in May!

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Gadfly:

No pain for me, I am free of the nightmare and unending hours of unpaid overtime.

While I agree that there are some on the management team that are good hearted, that cannot be said of all on the management team. From those with inappropriate backgrounds managing the work on critical systems, to those who are simply puppets who give good meetings, complete with powerpoint presentations, all totally lacking substance. There are a great many 'professional meeting attenders' at la petit aircraft company who simply strut and posture in the meeting rooms adding only to the indecision of things. THIS is why there are so many issues, and why vendors are being 'thrown under the bus' years after they should have been.
It is interesting when I bump into someone who was there a year or two before I was and they complain about the same issues, the same vendors and systems. The agreement usually is that Eclipse is a good company to be from, far from.

AlexA said...

MirageOO

Please do not beat up on Stan. Stan admitted that he runs one of dinosaur companies that does not have the expertise to make high tolerance tools for the industry. Another gravy train left the station. Stan missed both the Eclipse and the Boeing gravy train. His MO is simple create a Blog and hope to attract detractors. http://www.boeing787skeptic.blogspot.com/

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Alexa,

You might be interested to learn that none other than Eclipse's very own Dr. Oliver Masefield, VP and Sr Fellow, is one of the many, many people in industry, who, like Stan, openly dispute the weight and strength claims made for composite construction - you might even call him a critic of composite primary structure.

I have heard Dr. Masefield speak on this in the past, he is very passionate about it, and well informed.

Is he a luddite dinosaur too - or are you just looking for excuses to make ad hominem personal attacks?

You are a tool, what folks of a certain political stripe used to refer to as a 'useful idiot'.

How 'bout them IOU's?

This message brought to you by the Maxwell Smart Aircraft Company -where the motto is "Missed it by that much."

Stan Blankenship said...

alexa,

Visit my shop anytime, and on display in my lobby are recent performance awards from two of the three largest GA manufacturers.

Boeing has been my biggest customer for hydraulic forming presses.

Got all the work I want...all the work I need.

AlexA said...

Cold& Wet,

Whose is the useful idiot? You elevate Dr Masefield to Stan’s level and then you trash the aircraft he designed? How often do you report to comrade Blankenship? It’s ok for you to make personal attacks but how dare we question Stan’s motives. Please grow up. I give plenty of credit to Stan, he finally ‘fessed up. I respect him; he has a vendetta and makes not qualms about it.

Ken Meyer said...

alexa wrote,

"Stan missed both the Eclipse and the Boeing gravy train. His MO is simple create a Blog and hope to attract detractors. http://www.boeing787skeptic.blogspot.com/"

Holey moley!

Stan is a serial aviation company critic. The Boeing 787 Critic is a close parallel to the Eclipse Aviation Critic.

That explains a lot. Thanks for stumbling on it.

Ken

AlexA said...

Stan,

I am truly glad for you. I know I speak for everyone in aviation when I congratulate you on your altruistic motives. One man intermixing truths with fiction to single handedly save aviation. Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul and Stan.

Stan Blankenship said...

Stumbled on the link?

The link has been on my profile since day one.

Want to read more about my mudane life? Check:
http://www.aerotalk.com/Lear_Gratitude.cfm

Note the paragraph on Linden Blue.

But the fact is, the faithful with their blind acceptance of every statement coming from Eclipse, would rather the discussion on the blog be anything other than the miseable performance of their favorite ABQ aircraft company.

Gunner said...

Oh, thank God the "shrill level" has finally spiraled up past the frequencies of normal human hearing. That was really starting to give me a migraine.

Gotta run. My pup is going into convulsions.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Alexa,

An ad hominem personal attack is one for which there is no basis, where the attacker attempts to make the argument about the person instead of the facts. It is a logical fallacy, like circular reasoning.

You clearly are a tool or useful idiot (or Eclipse plant), as your statements have demonstrated, so my critique has a basis, it is about your statements and it is accurate (that is also why it hurts).

I like the plane that the TEAM at Eclipse designed under Dr. Masefield's guidance, I really do. I think it looks good and I hope it matures into a safe and reliable plane. That does not mean it is without fault(s), and it does not mean I can not criticize it.

I like many Rutan designs too but they are clearly not meant for production. Burt is a creative genius but has yet to design a commercially successful certified aircraft. Does the fact that I respect him as a designer mean I cannot criticize him either?

Jim Bede is another creative genius and a gifted designer. Like Dr. Masefield, Jim has designed commercially succesful certified aircraft (the entire AA-1 and AA-5 family, not to mention the BD-4 kitplane). Not a good businessman by any stretch (see BD-5, BD-10, BD-12, BD-14 for examples). I like his planes and I like him as a person but I get maximum pucker factor any time I do business with the man.

I think rather highly of Dr. Masefield in fact and I know that many of the problems which are continuously being unearthed at Eclipse stem not so much from his guidance, or the efforts of the design team, as it points to serious disconnects between disciplines (engineering and purchasing for example, or the executive team and the design team).

I know for a fact that the Williams divorce came as a surprise to over 95% of the company, including many managers and Directors. That is just wrong.

Vendor selection and management are not typical engineering functions, so how could Masefield for example, or his team, be held accountable for selection of poor vendors (there have been some)?

If the CEO makes design requirements that are communicated to vendors by supply chain but have no engineering behind them, how is it the vendor's fault, or the design team's fault, when there is confusion between the vendor and Eclipse that leads to schedule slip and program risk?

The issues for Eclipse clearly stem from the very top and the way that the project has been (mis)managed by Vern, some departed VP's, some still present VP's, and certain folks at the Director level. Decision making occurs entirely too high at Eclipse, by people who are too far removed from reality. The signs are everywhere.

While the end result of these failures, incompetencies, communications breakdowns, and blamestorming appears to be the troubled little jet, it is merely a symptom of seriouslt broken systems and poor management and planning.

The real issue is that while it is possible to separate Burt from his designs, and Bede from his designs, it is NOT possible to separate Vern Raburn from the Eclipse. HE has seen to that.

Vern is tired of being an also-ran, he wants to BE Bill Gates, not one of his early Microsoft flunkies.

He wants to BE Paul Allen, not the guy flying his CitationJet looking for things for Paul to invest in.

He wants to BE the Henry Ford of aviation.

Vern has wrapped up his identity into that of the WonderJet, and in so doing he has contaminated it with his unrestrained brogadaccio, arrogance, ad ill temper.

You will notice that most of the criticism here stems around how the company operates, how it treats people, vendors, customers, employees. How it demeans the competition. How it places imagery over substance. How it places money before honesty. How it overpromises and underdelivers.

All of these things, this corporate culture, all flow directly from the corner office on the 2nd floor at Clark Carr Loop.

AlexA said...

Cold & Wet,

Would it make you happy to see Vern go?

AlexA said...

Cold & Wet,

By the way you are so right. You really hurt my feelings……… Maybe I'll go ahead and order 4 D-jets.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Alexa I believe the very best thing that could happen for Eclipse is for Vern to go, to coin a phrase, pronto!

I believe the second best thing that could happen, would be for about half of the executive team to go with him.

I believe the third best thing that could happen would be for the BOD to halt the program, install an experienced aerospace management team, completely review the company and the current plane, and not resume operations until there was a recovery plan in-place to complete the design, certify all necessary changes, and then begin delivery of completed aircraft that actually do all the things they said it would do, at the time of initial delivery. No return trips to ABQ, no IOU's, just the keys, the manuals, a apt on the back and a wish for Blue Skies.

That would be a great start.

AlexA said...

Cold & Wet,

I’ll forward your post to Vern ASAP. But with Vern gone what would you Eclipse Haters do? Never mind.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Since I do not hate Eclipse, as I have repeatedly made clear, Vern's departure would be a reason to celebrate, then the focus would be on fixing the mess he would be leaving behind.

When Eclipse craters and we critics are proven to have been right all along (just like we were right about the wing bushing, the transparencies, the GPS\RVSM issues, FlightAware, new model, need for more cash, and a host of other issues first raised here) what will all you Critic Haters do?

AlexA said...

Stan said…ON MAY 19
“…manufacturing defect has been found in a major airframe ass'y which may result in removal and replacement of the ass'y.” Half-truth? Malicious rumor? Self-serving innuendo? Come on Stan today is the day to come clean. You shouldn’t accuse Vern of doing the same thing you do?

Gunner said...

Alexa-
Question:

Why is it that the Eclipse "Bashers" aren't knocking the Adam startup from pillar to post? Why are the comments about Epic pretty darned positive? Why is the upstart Honda not taking it on the chin around here? Even Jim Bede gets a pass here.

If you can answer those types of questions honestly, I think you'll probably cease the rather weak and inarticulate personal smear campaign(s).

Personally, I'd prefer you continue. Lurkers see these issues, Alexa; they see the blind personal swings by The Faithful. Those lurkers include the potential Depositors you need behind your position to get your aircraft completed. Keep throwing dirt; just recognize that you're digging your own hole in the process.

Gunner

mirage00 said...

Stan admitted that he runs one of dinosaur companies that does not have the expertise to make high tolerance tools for the industry.

I could picture Stan sipping coffee in his office and mumbling, "they just don't build airplanes like the Learjets anymore"... those were the days. you know I was involved in the...ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz

Thanks Alexa to you too for keeping it real.

I remain amused.

double 00

gadfly said...

Stan

This is “One” of “Two”, addressed as open letters to you.

Some comments that the others can read . . . but not many will understand:

Many years ago, I was making some prototype parts for a customer, and remarked that the machine (a Mitsubishi Wirecut-EDM . . . the very first such machine in New Mexico) is producing his parts, to a plus or minus accuracy of about two ten-thousands of an inch. The man said, “I don’t need them that close.” And I responded, “What should I do . . . kick the machine now and then to throw it a little off?”

But I design tooling for the “real world”, and take into consideration “human skills” and “normal conditions” in a factory environment, where few people are highly skilled, or motivated, . . . and for the normal factory floor conditions. Conditions where it is not possible to control what happens, as would be expected in a “tool room” or “model-shop”.

If I am producing the parts, I can hold almost any tolerance I wish, and make a profit. But I have to design parts (and tooling and specialized machines) for the “real world”, where others will be fabricating my design, or using my machines/tooling . . . and I must allow for all the things that I understand, having been through the school of “hard knocks”.

These folks do not understand, at all. Even in “OR”, as in “Operating Room”, during “neurosurgery”, people are people, and surgical tools must be designed and manufactured according to the skill level of the people using the tools, sterilizing the tools, and setting up the equipment. It would be foolish to design/manufacture/supply a “Patek Philippe” watch to someone, when a “Timex” can do the job.

(And that, by the way, is why surgical tools are “cheaper” to the patient, when they are a “throwaway” . . . the user, the “surgeon”, cannot mess them up, too bad, the second time they use them . . . and throw them against a wall in a rage.)

And for the “Eclipse” crowd, the theme has always been “cheap, practical, economical”. Somehow, unless you are building “Toyota’s”, there needs to be a clear understanding of the purpose of the final product, which in this case is a “first of a kind”.

Had Eclipse already gone through the process of refining their product, to the point of producing a precision “ball point pen” for a couple cents (or less), they could now provide everything they are now promising. Unfortunately, they got it all backwards.

Vern stated that Eclipse doesn’t manufacture anything . . . he, and everyone who heard the statement, knows that that is either a total lie, or total ignorance . . . whatever! Eclipse is, at least, “attempting” to manufacture something (yet to be determined).

And in manufacturing . . . machining, they thought a person could “read a book”, or “get an engineering degree” and just walk in and change the industry. If that were the case, we could produce “Rembrandts”, or “Edisons”, or “Kelly Johnson’s” . . . by the truckload.

Well, for you and me, making tooling is as far removed from most of the people that read your blog as can be imagined. But maybe some will get the picture. Maybe.

Carry on, and thank you. Some of us continue to learn.

gadfly

(Part Two, to follow . . . after a conference with my son, as we still run a business.)

AlexA said...

Gunner

Answer
Eclipse as a company has rightfully earned quite a bit of criticism (throwing vendors under the bus, speaking ill of the competition and many more). Many of you haters are using the same tactics that you accuse Eclipse of using. As Barbara Walters once said (paraphrased) “keep it real.”

Once again my feelings are hurt. This is the first time a cheesy magazine publisher has called me inarticulate. By the way the more personal attacks from ATM, C&W, Saint Stan and you, the more this Blog becomes insignificant (keep up the good work;).

Please don’t fret there is news due out tomorrow that should make you jump in joy.

Another Drive By

Gunner said...

Ouch, looks like the Natives are really worked up about something. Couldn't be the shambles in ABQ, could it?
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Insignificant as in 3rd hit result when searching for Eclipse Aviation.

Insignificant as in questions and issue raised here end up begin discussed in the mainstream media and on the Eclipse Owner's site.

Insignificant as in Eclipse has seen fit to assign staff to try and disrupt the blog.

Insignificant enough to result in Eclipse 500's being removed from FlightAware to try and stem the hemorhaging from ridicule about filing /A and flying at FL270.

Yup, there is nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.

I know some folks appreciate predictability but the constant sounding of the death knell for this blog by the faithful smacks of desparation and is growing quite tiresome.

I need one of Zero's 'yawn's.

This message brought to you by the Maxwell Smart Aircraft Company - where the motto is 'Missed it by that much.'

gadfly said...

Stan

This is “Two” of “Two”, addressed as open letters to you.

And, obviously, others are welcome to look in.

If we were located in Wichita, we would be your competitors. Yet not in the sense of “Sam’s Club” and “Costco”. We would be competitors, in the healthy sense that made the United States the healthiest manufacturing nation on earth.

Here in Albuquerque, we have some excellent competition . . . and, unfortunately, we have a few shops that are not good people. But the good ones, are “really good” . . . and in our community of competition, we support each other.

Many years ago, we “shared” a new technique of tooling with the largest manufacturer of jet engines in the world. They actually hired my best tool designer, the very one whom I personally trained, . . . and he became their top manager in certain tool design . . . and machining. In a few years, he was finally able to introduce “our method” of tooling to them . . . and now it is their standard method.

Did we lose something in the process? . . . No (although, to hear it now, they think they thought of it first). We now make the “perishable tooling” that fits into this new high-precision hard tooling. They benefit . . . we benefit . . . and, in truth, some of our competition benefits. And we can sleep nights, knowing what we know.

No, we do not trade “price” information, there is no pleasure in playing stupid games with the law. But when we know that another shop can do a good job, at a reasonable price, we send our customer on to the other shop.

Both the other shop, and our shop gains by treating the customer with respect. At another time, the other shop will send someone to us, knowing that we are better equipped to take care of their needs. Regardless, it is a great way to do business.

You and I know that there is still honor among those of us who supply the tooling for aerospace, even though precious few people know of our existence. Should that common honor and respect ever fail, the cost of flight would greatly increase, and the confidence in safety would drop to the lowest levels.

And so, for the “outsiders”, this “blog” seems to be about trying to destroy competition. But it is far more about protecting an industry, maybe a rare “dinosaur” in today’s economy, that has fought for the benefit of both the customer (the passengers) and the industry as a whole.

When someone, anyone, shows up on the scene, who immediately shows signs of dishonesty, we all react. It is an affront to our own integrity. And very few of us take that lightly. You surely do not. And I do not, recognizing at least two generations of my own family, whose honesty and overall integrity come into question.

Back a couple of centuries, the early workers, the “mechanicians”, the “machinists”, tool designers, would often go from shop to shop, carrying “trade secrets” where-ever they went. And the United States became, for the first time, a nation of people that could take on any new project. No longer were we tied to “Mother England” . . . we shared ideas, and we all benefitted. This current climate seems to be attempting to go in opposition to all that, and refusing to recognize how much we need each other, even to produce the “VLJ”. The “so-called” competition is seen as dinosaurs, as the evil empire . . . not realizing how much is “shared” between good companies, and how we all benefit in the interchange.

There could easily be “two” blogsites: One to criticize the design of the little jet (and some of us would find certain issues to consider, since some of us have at least a basic knowledge, of what does, and does-not, characterize good design; And another blogsite to criticize the “ethics” and “promotional scheme” that seems to be behind the little bird. Frankly, I feel more comfortable discussing the design and manufacturing side. I have already spent enough time working for individuals, that seem to be “mirror images” of the highest level of management in Eclipse . . . and I want no part in that sort of business promotion . . . ever! Like others have said, even yourself, “I know it when I see it.”

Until then, we’ll attempt to sort out the “technical” from the “ethical” . . . and it appears that that enterprise is a full time job.

gadfly

mouse said...

Cold/Wet,

A few comments besides yours. I'm not yelling, just making my comments differential:

I like the plane that the TEAM at Eclipse designed under Dr. Masefield's guidance, I really do. I think it looks good and I hope it matures into a safe and reliable plane. -THE TEAM HAD A VERY GOOD DESIGN, AND THEN THE NUMBERSASSUMPTIONS DID NOT MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE AND VERN BEGAN THE BIG PUSH FOR MASS QUANTITY PRODUCTION EVEN MORE CRITICAL, AND ADDED IN THE AIRTAXI DREAM.

I think rather highly of Dr. Masefield in fact and I know that many of the problems which are continuously being unearthed at Eclipse stem not so much from his guidance, or the efforts of the design team, as it points to serious disconnects between disciplines (engineering and purchasing for example, or the executive team and the design team).

I know for a fact that the Williams divorce came as a surprise to over 95% of the company, including many managers and Directors. That is just wrong. - ONLY THE RANK AND FILE WERE TRULY SURPRISED. THE POINT WAS OBVIOUS TO THOSE OF US WHO SAW THE BIG PICTURE. THE PLANE WAS GETTING WAY TO HEAVY AND NEEDED MORE THRUST THAN THE EJ22 COULD DELIVER.

Vendor selection and management are not typical engineering functions, so how could Masefield for example, or his team, be held accountable for selection of poor vendors (there have been some)? - ACTUALLY ENGINEERING DID ALL OF THE VENDOR RESEARCH FOR THE FIRST 3 YEARS. THIS CREATED ISSUES OF THEIR OWN. THE FIRST VP OF PROCUREMENT WORKED WITH OLIVER AT PILATUS.

If the CEO makes design requirements that are communicated to vendors by supply chain but have no engineering behind them, how is it the vendor's fault, or the design team's fault, when there is confusion between the vendor and Eclipse that leads to schedule slip and program risk? - VERN WANTED ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING NEW AND DISRUPTIVE. HE HATED ANYTHING THAT WAS OFF-THE-SHELF. VERN WANTS TO CONTROL EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THE PLANE, MAINTENANCE, TRAINING, ETC.

The issues for Eclipse clearly stem from the very top and the way that the project has been (mis)managed by Vern, some departed VP's, some still present VP's, and certain folks at the Director level. Decision making occurs entirely too high at Eclipse, by people who are too far removed from reality. The signs are everywhere. YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!

While the end result of these failures, incompetencies, communications breakdowns, and blamestorming appears to be the troubled little jet, it is merely a symptom of seriouslt broken systems and poor management and planning. DITTO

Vern has wrapped up his identity into that of the WonderJet, and in so doing he has contaminated it with his unrestrained brogadaccio, arrogance, ad ill temper. NAILED IT AGAIN!

All of these things, this corporate culture, all flow directly from the corner office on the 2nd floor at Clark Carr Loop. - WALK INTO VERNS OFFICE AND THE ONLY THINK YOU'LL EVER SEE IS THE BACK OF HIS HEAD WHILE HE PLAYS GAMES ON HIS COMPUTER, REALLY!

mouse said...

Mirage00, I can only guess the 00 is your IQ. You have no idea what anyone does, much less Stan. His shop does more cutting edge work than you could only hope to imagine. The future of many new designs from the dinosaurs are being made/assembled in his shop, along with processes and equipment that make FSW look like a water wheel stone grinder.

Too bad you ignorance and closed mind does not have the comprehension to learn or understand the real issues. The more you defend the failures of Eclipse the deeper your hole becomes.

airtaximan said...

Regarding product design and company ethics, they are in this case, closely linked.

- the aircraft should have been designed for a mission and for a market.

- the e-500 is a poor design. It failed to meet a market large enough for high rate production and lower cost. It is a conventional cost airplane, deflated for a ficticious market invented post-design. This IS backwards. There is no evidence that the "sales" are sufficient for the price, so the design failed.
- certain market requirements for an air taxi business are missing, that's why no real established Part 135 companies ordered many planes. The design is a poor design for the air taxi market as it failed to attract sufficient demand, here too - except for Dayjet - a sister company with "special treatment" regarding pricing, deposits, deliveries and payments.

As a slight aside, Dayjet's PR run today, diverted due to weather, should indicate to them, that this plane is not fully baked, and should not be used to try to provide reliable air taxi service in Florida in the Summer time. The weather which caused the diversion occur almost every day.

The plane is wrong, and what's worse, its not ready for prime time part 135. Besides the crappy interior finish (moulding comment) Dayjet NEEDS to provide reliable service. Failing on your first public (PR stunt) ride should tell you something. If you care about your brand, and customer service, you should wait until the plane is at least finished before you dissappoint your customers, and ruin your reputation.

gadfly said...

Cold Wet Mackerel . . . etc.

It’s interesting how certain words or terms instantly create visual pictures.

For instance, a long time ago, (while in the Navy . . . about 1956 . . . visualize “thick fog and bone chilling cold), I went fishing with another classmate, in our Electronics’a class on Treasure Island, and used some 10" to 12" “Sardines” for bait, picked up at “Fisherman’s Wharf” in San Francisco. So, the “mental picture” of sardines, (or mackerel . . . that’s what brought it to mind), takes me back to Stinson Beach, and “Muir Beach”, north of San Francisco Bay, and attempts to fish in the heavy surf, at the base of the cliffs, on those massive rocks, just north of the “Golden Gate”, and south of Stinson Beach. You get the picture? We parked, and hiked south of Stinson Beach, made our way over the massive rocks at the base of the cliff, filleted a few of the sardines (about two inches square and a quarter inch thick) . . . using half-ounce weights, and #6 or #4 hooks, we cast into the heavy surf, that would cover huge rocks in an instant . . . hoping to put that bait right down under the nose of a rock bass, or perch. Alas . . . nothing! And yet, I had done this many times before. We were absolutely “starved”. As the day progressed, we cooked the “bait”, with drift-wood, and ate the charred sardines , the “bait”. . . enjoying the best fish dinner in my life . . . guts, charcoal, fins, scales . . . and all.)

Another picture, looking at the future of Eclipse, and being married to an RN (Registered Nurse), I picture the work of hospice:

“Hospice: A program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end of life and for their families.”

That’s the picture I see of the “little jet” . . . and I wonder. Not “will it end”, but “when”?
Sorry, but that’s the impression . . . I wish it were not so!

gadfly

(Yeh, I know . . . a couple or three will make remarks about my “way back when” stories, but in spite of everything, they never fail to read all that’s printed. Amazing!)

airtaximan said...

freedomjamtarts,

you said "Ken and the true believers, please make up some positive satire"

they HAVE been doing this for over a year now!

airtaximan said...

It would make sense for Eclipse to relegate Vern to the BOD, right about now.

It would make sense for him to step aside now, too. He's accomplished everything he's set out to do, won all the awards, and the real mess is just about to begin.

Take a nice pat on the head, and exit stage left.

redtail said...

Too late taxiguy... Be a little more original.

(reprinted from above)
Sorry, this isn't creative writing 101... Well, judging by the posts here, maybe that's exactly what it really is.

airtaximan said...

redtail..

what is?

gadfly said...

Gunner

Please help me out, as I am confused. (Personally, I have always used “rifled” firearms or air-guns . . . shot guns are not within my normal arsenal.)

There is a “murder of crows’, a “flock of doves”, a “covey of quail”, but what do you call a bunch of “loons”? It seems we have such a situation . . . and I wish to be technically correct when I speak of the “faithful”, but I have exhausted my resources as to what to call them, and yet be “polite” and “politically correct”.

gadfly

(When are they in season? . . . and do you have any recipe’s? Oh, and what is the bag limit?)

Gunner said...

"what do you call a bunch of “loons”
Comic Relief


"When are they in season?"
They're not. They're protected because their life span is short, in Blog Years. It generally ends when they take a mid-level management position with the NEXT clown company; and are noticed by their bosses to have too much free time.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Gunner

Rats, you just ruined my plans for the rest of the summer. Now, with the "Mexican Grey Wolf" removed from the list of ani-mules living in New Mexico, what's left?

gadfly

(With all those "Hatch" green chili's in the freezer, I'll have to eat them plain. If you have to ask, forget it . . . it's a form of "heaven" in the mind of a New Mexican.)

sparky said...

If I were dayjet, getting ready for operations any day now, I'd be doing proving runs, getting the birds out and running them through their paces. Letting the ground crews get familiar with them. verifying reliability, stuff like that.

There's almost no flights going on with the elcipse's in florida. Dave crow flew the heck out of his today, but that's it. N110DJ made some flights in southern Florida, but I couldn't see any flight plan information on it. It took two or three flights and never got above three thousand feet....low cloud cover?

The mustangs were out in force all over the place, as was the Epic LT. Since their delivery though, the eclipse birds seem to take one flight and just sit tight.

Gunner said...

"Since their delivery though, the eclipse birds seem to take one flight and just sit tight."

Window inspections are not accomplished in a few minutes. Anyone seen N126DJ of late?

Paging N126DJ.

Paging Vern Raburn: We have a Clown Award to deliver and it's burnin' a hole in our pocket.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Spark,

perhaps they are "saving the planes for in-service flights" - judging from the description of the new plane's interior trim falling off, in today's PR flight... they might be afraid to fly the planes much!

Seriously, there's a lot of bad unpredictable weather around Florida these days. Without the proper equipment, they really can't fly much.

I'm curious about the Part135 for the plane? Any clue as to when?

sparky said...

tuesday?

airtaximan said...

anybody hear of JumpJet? I was told its a new business out of the NOrtheast, flying "non-revolutionary-non-VLJ" per-seat charter service. You join a club, and they provide flights. You must pay for memberships (different levels) and you are entitled to a few trips per month. The prices end up being incredibly low per flight. Almost unbelievably low.

Anyhow, they did some advertising, and then they received so many bookings the first day or so, they had to regroup and provide refunds...

no NEW plane
low fares
by-the-seat

BIG DEMAND.

sparky said...

It'll never work, not revolutionary enough.

airtaximan said...

spark,

I hear they don't even have an automated reservation system... no russian scientists or ant farmers...not even a VLJ anywhere in sight.

they are toast!

airtaximan said...

gunner... I just go it...why the E-500's are not flying much.

you keep calling them "birds"
you have a nice gun collection
you are a hunter

they are afraid to be mistaken FOR birds... and shot down by accident.

sparky said...

Can anybody think of a good reason why ed's not utilizing some other aircraft until his eclipses are ready.

You've spent all the time and money getting your business ready to go, and your forced to delay time and time again because of eclipse. Yet you refuse to use countless different airframes to at least start making money. Every day they sit idle, they lose money. Ed has already stated that the eclipse isn't the only aircraft out there that will work with his model, just the best for what he plans on doing.

So why not use something else?

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,
"Anyone seen N126DJ of late?"

Maybe they're filing under a callsign. Lot's of multi-plane operators do that. Not thinking of that kind of thing is a lot like the assumption somebody made here that one changes the oil in a turbine at the same time intervals as a piston.

Ken

planet-ex said...

"Eclipse Aviation now says its single certified flight training device will soon be installed at Albuquerque, N.M. Training sessions are expected to begin this July, when the company's new training facility at Albuquerque Double Eagle II airport is slated to open. The company aims to wipe out the training backlog "by the end of summer."

From Flight International - May 23, 2007:

"Meanwhile, in the USA, the first two full motion simulators, manufactured by Florida based Opinicus for type rating training will be delivered to Eclipse’s Albuquerque base in August, and they will be fully “up and running” by the end of the year, says McConnell."

Which is it?

Based on past experience with a company that has 36 simulators in one building, I tend to believe the last quote more than the first. Full motion simulators take time to install and certify - typically, months.

Repost from earlier thread - mea culpa - posted it in the wrong place the first time.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Sparky, that is the $64,000 question.

Actually, it is the $2B question when you figure the cost of 1400 planes.

There are a ridiculous number of potential airframes suitable for testing out the potential viability (or lack thereof) of the DayJet model.

For whatever reason, Ed seems intent that ONLY the WonderJet can make his idear go.

Too bad, he could have learned the idea won't work a long time ago....

Gunner said...

Ken-
"Callsign", huh? That's certainly possible. It's also certainly possible that they've filled a State Department courier role and are flying Al Qaeda detainees to Guantanamo (1 or 2 at a time). Also possible they're not flying at all.

I dunno. But here's a little picture of N126DJ's last flight. Check the airports it was heading to, in tiny, little bunny hops. Look to you like it was heading anywhere we've seen before?
Where in the World Is Carmen Santiago and N126DJ?

Now, I'll admit that I'm not a commercial rated pilot like you; so tell me this...can anybody file under a "Call Sign" or are there special conditions, like Part 135 Flight or something. Not baiting you, Ken. I honestly don't know the answer. But you brought up the "Call Sign" option; so school me on this.

BTW, have you seen N126DJ around? We seem to have misplaced her.
Gunner

mirage00 said...

Mirage00, I can only guess the 00 is your IQ. You have no idea what anyone does, much less Stan. His shop does more cutting edge work than you could only hope to imagine. The future of many new designs from the dinosaurs are being made/assembled in his shop, along with processes and equipment that make FSW look like a water wheel stone grinder.

Too bad you ignorance and closed mind does not have the comprehension to learn or understand the real issues. The more you defend the failures of Eclipse the deeper your hole becomes.


Stan, is that youuuuu?

double 00

gadfly said...

Ken,

Your little jet needs your support, not excuses. Give it the best that you have . . . and don’t worry about the “oil change” intervals . . . nobody really cares. First get the little bird flying on a regular basis . . . I’m sure there will be plenty of volunteers to change the oil, rotate the tires, check the pressure in the airbrakes, make sure the “spoilers” haven’t “gone sour”, trim the tabs, turbulate the turbulators, make sure the airflow is not leaking . . . and empty the pitot tube.

And “double ought”, don’t let Stan get to you. “Poor man”, believes that rivet construction can be used to build airplanes . . . just think, they have to use ancient methods to hold the metal together . . . that’s why the Titanic sank . . . It’s rivets, I tell you! . . . ‘all those “upset” rivets!

Between you, Ken, and Vern, you guys will get the industry straightened out in no time flat! ‘Betcha it won’t take any time at all, once you get rid of all these crickets . . . er, critics.

gadfly

(That’s another thing, the thing needs a good fumigation . . . probably termites. Yep, that’s it, . . . it’s termites, I tell ya!)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Zero should ask his Eclipse buddies about Paul W. Marino Gages if he would like an edumacation in tooling design and requirements definition.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

How much of the money wasted, I mean, invested to-date on the development of the Eclipse is accounted for in the money given to Williams for the EJ-22 (I hear $50M) and to Avidyne for the Avio system (I'll bet an easy $30M), and to United for a training system (heard Eclipse was not paying on this, part of the divorce), or for prototype parts redesigned five or six or more times.

Given the repetitive nature of mistakes made at Eclipse, like repeatedly ramping up for a fantasy production rate, I could see perhaps $150-200M in wasted money, fully 20% of the reputed $1B budget.

There will be a case study about this for sure - how not to run a business in 5 easy steps.

fred said...

hi

i just found some data for eclipse production (marked as being suspect by publisher ...)

Eclipse serial numbers; projected delivery by month 2007

Mar 5
Apr 6-20
May 21-46
Jun 47-69
Jul 70-99
Aug 100-136
Sep 137-182
Oct 183-239
Nov 240-312
Dec 313-402

2008 deliveries at 80-90 per month

is that so ?
anybody has any idea what are the real serial N° already flying nowaday (by owners...) ??
is that going to be a game where the old depositors are going to be asked to put some more money into the jar , not to loose the $ already given ??

is that so , the plane may be not so cheap .... (sounds like old japan cars in europ = cheap to buy in the first go , but expect a heart faillure when asking for spare parts prices ...! :-)) )

i asked an airline's pilot about eclipse published budget for op-cots: he told me " very unlikely to be realistic , but who knows... "

redtail said...

Gunner said... ["the faithful"] are noticed by their bosses to have too much free time.

That's better than the boss having too much free time. What's your excuse.

a37pilot said...

CWMOR

Maybe Dayjet is getting ready to throw Eclipse under the bus. Hey what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Should go something like this: "We came this close, if only the airplane was what they said it would be our modeling would have worked" and to our investors, "sorry about your 50 million."

Gunner said...

Redtail-
My excuse? I don't need an "excuse"; or the Boss' permission to go play on Stan's Blog. I haven't had to work for a living since 1994. Do your homework.
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

AlexA said...

"Please don’t fret there is news due out tomorrow that should make you jump in joy."

Alex, are you suggesting that Eclipse might tell us about another round of financing...from a private investor...perhaps the $400m that was reported here earlier?

flyger said...

ANN is reporting that the FAA will issue an AD on Eclipse preventing it from filing IFR flight plans and flying above FL180 until the pitot static fix is certified and installed on the plane.

Perhaps some operators are already following this advice and thus don't appear on FA.

Eclipse says they will have things fixed by September. One wonders if it takes that long to solve this pretty obvious pitot static problem with feezing, how can we reasonably expect AvioNG to be done in almost the same time? Does not seem reasonable.

It's hard to keep up with all the limitations. No DME limited them to 24K, then no RVSM is 28K, no IFR is soon to be 18K. I fully expect some sort of pressurization problem that limits them to 12.5K!

I bet a Mustang at FL410 uses less fuel per mile than an Eclipse at 17.5K.

Gunner said...

flyger-
We've seen this movie before; but the sequels just keep getting worse. They promised to have this pitot issue solved in weeks; looks like that may have MISSED AGAIN by a few orders of magnitude.

And I agree with you. Jets have been flying reliable Pitot/AOA systems for decades. It's gonna take Eclipse the better part of a year to figure out how they've all accomplished that?

Here's the best part of that story:
"The good news is, we expected to have all our planes retrofitted by early September," Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom told ANN. "For now, it's not affecting very many pilots -- and we wanted to be on the forefront of this issue."

Like someone said, no such thing as "bad news" out of ABQ. The production "slowdown" and training cancellation was clearly a stroke of genius. Look how many pilots Eclipse has saved from the inconvenience of flying VFR only.

How long has this jet been in production? They only just learned that the Pitot system was Tango Uniform in moist air? But AVIO NextGrift will be tested to a failure rate of .000000012595, right? This'll be accomplished in how many months?

Here's to the Freshmen Class of Eclipse Test Pilots. Send us your $600K today and you, too, can be enrolled on Tuesday.
Gunner

HiFlyer said...

Just to change the subject a little. I'm aware of the issues concerning the divorce with Williams and Avidyne, but not sure I've seen any details concerning the breakup with United. Anyone have any insight as to what happened there?

Gunner said...

This from The Bright Side:

Now Ken can announce the Pitot problem as "fixed" a minimum of 46 times between now and the date it's actually certified as fixed; each time giving Eclipse great credit for its ingenuity and dedication.

Is that a Pitot Vendor standing at the ABQ Bus Stop? Hey look, Vern's in the line right behind him.
Gunner

Bonanza Pilot said...

Wow....it is amazing how Captain Zoom tried to spin that one as good news. The headline is that Eclipse has announced a fix for the pitot problem...have to read down into the body to find that it won't happen till September, and that oh by the way until then the plane is VFR only and can't even file IFR in VFR weather. So does this mean that Dayjet is going to fly passengers VFR without a flight plan...or are they going to wait for the fix Tuesday...I mean in September....before starting operations?

Is it really that hard to certify a decent pitot static system...I would figure everyone would just copy what had been done on every other jet in the last 20 years...what makes the Eclipse system so different?

I would add this to the list of unresolved issues which continues to grow...the Eclipse faithful would scratch it off as fixed, because Eclipse said it will be any day now. Even Ken has to be getting tired of this. What do you do if you have already put in your 60% because you were going to get your plane Tuesday?

Ken Meyer said...

bonanza wrote,

"have to read down into the body to find that it won't happen till September, and that oh by the way until then the plane is VFR only and can't even file IFR in VFR weather."

But neither is your version quite right. Early September is the timeframe by which they hope to have all existing aircraft modified; it isn't the timeframe for the fix to be certified (that's 2-3 weeks) or implemented into the line.

Ken

fred said...

i have been looking at the buisness plan of etirc (the company in luxembourg ordering 180 e500)

i might be wrong but it seems to be a bit strange ...

i explain : it's supposed to cater for buisness peoples in europ (both west and eastern) ..

for western europ (european union)

the fact is that distances and quality of transportation make planes not really a good choice : from paris to london it is about exactly the same amount of time to take train or plane ( train is from city center to city center , planes are from center to airport , fly to other airport then go to city center )

it's about the same for a few countries ...

eastern europ :

i work very often in moscow , ther e you can classify 3 types of peoples : the ones for whom taking a plane is close to a dream (even if things evolve quite fast , it remains way to expensive ...); the one which are supposed to be middle-class , too busy to make the pot boiling to bring $$$ ; the other ones (an insistant rumors say there more billionaires in moscow area than in the whole of USA ) whom do not need a jet as they already have an executive one + an héliccopter and a few ferraris

as for turkey ( the other spot for etirc to devellop) well , i don't know about this area , but i doubt they have such a need .....

why am i writting that ?? it looks foreign important order are a little "over the top " is that a way to state that the buisness is ruining smoothly for eclipse ??? is it that etirc has been trapped into a bunch of nice ideas and lots of BS ?? is that to bring some hopes for dépositors ??

just wonder ....

sparky said...

No ken, that's the timeline to submit the fix to the FAA. It then takes time for them to prove the fix works and then for the FAA to actually certify the fix. Look for, at best, mid July.

Gunner said...

But Ken, you're version is not "quite right" either. They haven't even SUBMITTED the certification paperwork to the FAA yet. That's gonna happen on Tuesday; just read the article.

Kinda lackadaisical action for a Fleet AOG problem when the fix was completed weeks ago, no?
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Being right never gets old, but it does get depressing.

Here is an idea, FINISH THE DAMN PLANE and THEN deliver it, you know in the old fashioned, dare I say, dinosaur sense, where you give the proud new owner the keys, a pat on the back, and a wish for Blue Skies and CAVU - no return trips for modifications to allow the plane to, someday, do everything they said it would, no IOU's, just a useful, fully, functioning, airplane.

What a concept, might even call it revolutionary.

Did I mention we have LRU's?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So now there will be an Airworthiness Directive, less than nine months after TC, for all 15 'delivered' aircraft, limiting them to DAY, VFR, 17.5.

Now that IS revolutionary.

Might even be a new world's record.

Guess 'rushing' those 15 premnature babies out over the last 6 months might not have been such a great idea after all.

This is like Deja Vu all over again. I know I heard something like that before, where was it????

Come to think of it, I think some guys on some blog somewhere that absolutely nobody pays attention to, said something about completing the design and not delivering half-baked planes.

Must be jealous, jaded and dejected has-been dinosaurs, what they heck did they know....

Gunner said...

CWMoR-
The actual delivery date for the first EA-50X's would appear to be much closer to D-Jet than Mustang.

You really have to wonder what it's gonna take for the Depositors to wake up and recognized that they've been scammed, pure and simple. Hundreds have paid in Progress Payments for non-delivery of an Aircraft that is clearly still in the Design and Development stage; and company management knew this full well when they sent those letters.

The really sad thing...the FAA was knowingly or unwittingly a party to the scam.

We've just witnessed the end of an era in air flight integrity.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gunner, I hope that the truth ends up being that Eclipse pulled the wool over the ACO's eyes, like they have successfully done with the Faithful Following and the mainstream media.

I know that there is a willing suspension of disbelief on the part of the Faithful Following, but if the AIR office has willingly participated you are correct, and that would be truly sad.

Will be interesting to see what the final result of the FAA Staff Complaint is.

FlightCenter said...

Fred,

The production numbers of 402 aircraft delivered this year that you quoted earlier today were from Eclipse's April production plan.

Vern was later quoted saying to the press that the 2007 production number would be 260 aircraft. Most recently he was quoted in the AvWeb podcast as saying that he is slowing production and isn't going to make any more public production commitments.

If you ask insiders at Eclipse, they will tell you that the production plan for 2007 is now slightly north of 200 and that the production plan for 2008 is slightly less than 750.

Based on past performance of Eclipse and other aircraft manufacturers, you would be very justified in applying a 50% judgment factor to the Eclipse plan. Some would say that isn't conservative enough.


It would be unprecedented for a newly certified aircraft to ship half the Eclipse production amount in the first year of production or to deliver 350 aircraft in the second year of production.

It took Cirrus four years to exceed 350 aircraft per year. Diamond took 7 years to exceed 350 aircraft per year.

cj3driver said...

Historic production rates from GAMA:

Cirrus ramp-up

1999 9
2000 95
2001 183
2002 397
2003 469
2004 553
2005 600
2006 721

Piper Meridian ramp-up from 2000

2000 18
2001 98
2002 25
2003 24
2004 40
2005 40
2006 49

CJ2 ramp-up from 2000

2000 8
2001 41
2002 86
2003 56
2004 27
2005 23
2006 36


CJ3 ramp-up from 2004

2004 6
2005 48
2006 72

fred said...

thanks a lot flightcenter ...

i am out of flying buisness , but seems to me that such a dramatic change in 6 weeks in a billion(s) $ project doesn't look very professional ...

glad i found this before dreaming of flying my own E500 ...!

Gunner said...

The silence from the drive-By Kidz Korner is simply deafening. I'll assume a couple are waiting for "the memo".
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Don't be too hard on the WonderJet Twins and the Drive-By Brothers Gunner, they'll be back once the talking points have been distributed.

Look for praise for Eclipse for getting 'out in front' of the forthcoming FAA Airworthiness Directive, and being so 'open, honest and transparent' about the issue.

Also look for a vairety of totally unrelated mentions of seemingly positive news about other issues, and of course the trashing of the dinosaurs and critics, along with smoeone 'yawning' about how there is nothing new to see here.

As for open, honest and transparent - I am reminded of the time Cessna announced they were 'voluntarily' suspending deliveries out of Independence several years back - an announcment made when the FAA appreantly came out with a padlock and chains to shut the facility down until the obscene quality escapes coming out of inexpereinced Independence facility (chafed fuel lines, tools in empennage, etc.) were handled by the then 'new' quality system.

Wating in bemused anticipation for the forthcoming mental gymnastics - I expect Olympic quality.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

New word on the high-tech low-observable 'stealth' technology used on the Eclipse - this explains why they are not being seen darkening the skies.

1 - Block FlightAware
2 - Don't Fly the plane at night, or in IMC, or in Known Icing, or above 17,500ft
3 - Eclipse Trade Secret - believed to involve a small ground structure consisting of three walls, a roof, and a bifold door, codename is apparently HANGAR

:^P

ExEclipser said...

Eclipse Aviation Corp. opened its first service center outside of Albuquerque on Friday.

The Gainesville, Fla.-based center received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration on May 31, following a site audit performed by the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), based in Albuquerque. Eclipse has FAA approval to obtain certification for all of its repair stations through the Albuquerque-based FSDO, which also is responsible for site surveillance of all centers.

The 61,000-square-foot foot Gainesville facility includes 45,000 square feet of hanger space that can hold up to 12 of Eclipse's very light jets. The center also has a 10,800-square-foot maintenance floor and a 5,400-square-foot customer service area.

There are currently just under 20 employees at the Gainesville center, but total staff will increase to 65 by year-end, including management and technical personnel. Technicians at the facility will be able to perform all Eclipse 500 scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, including work on the jet's Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines. The E500 is a six-seat jet.

The Gainesville center is one of seven service facilities nationwide that Eclipse plans to open. Among its customers are Ed and Nancy Iacobucci, who plan to use the E500s to operate a jet taxi service called DayJet out of Boca Raton, Fla.

The first of the seven service centers already opened at Eclipse's headquarters in Albuquerque. The company expects to open another center in Albany, N.Y., and in Van Nuys, Calif., later this year. The remaining facilities will open in 2008.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

The Eclipse Trade Secret, creating a hanger queen right out of the factory now that is revolutionary. Usually it takes years of use and abuse then repeated shoddy maintenance to create a hanger queen.

That Vern is such a CREATIVE GENUIS!!!

Let’s not forget his support staff of a very compromising (albeit, unknowing) upper management structure. Kudos to the entire team …

Gunner said...

CWMoR said:
"Also look for a variety of totally unrelated mentions of seemingly positive news about other issues"

Hey, look...execlipser just popped in with some great news that's more than 2 weeks old. Third time this has been "announced" as "breaking info".

Honestly, CWMoR, sometimes you frighten me!
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Thanks Gunner.

To paraphrase a certain radio personality - I know these people like every square inch of my glorious naked body.

Interesting that they are going for satellite Mx facilities all based on the ABQ Part 145 Certificate - this is a smart move. One primary Part 145 manual with simple appendices listing personnel and facilility differences for the satellite facilities. Really a good idea.

PubGrubber said...

CWMOR

About Paul W. Marino Gages, I was there at at the tail end of this. What's your take on what happened?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Pub,

The scuttlebutt I heard was that the design was still so fluid that tooling could not be built to a stable spec, but airplanes 'just had' to be built (this is pre-first flight). Lots of rework of both the tools and parts.

End result is Vern and crew blow a gasket (after the first plane finally goes together and they get a contract event based cash infusion) and claim breach of contract then refuse to pay (a common modus operandi with them), and toss PMG under the bus (clump clump).

From what I heard, PMG sued but that was the last I knew. It appears from the total lack of news that like all the other claims against Eclipse so far (Williams, BAe, DeVore to name but a few), it was settled out of court for a good chunk of change - paid BY Eclipse TO dropped-vendor-du-juor.

Just another interesting example of a world-class vendor being (mis)managed directly by Eclipse, then being tossed under the bus because they were not clairvoyant enough to deliver the stuff Eclipse needed and instead delivered the stuff they were contracted to deliver based on the engeering and procurement data they were provided.

Your take different?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Eclipse Aviation Delivers Another First for the Revolutionary VLJ Market

Albuquerque, NM -- June 15, 2007

Eclipse Aviation, non-manufacturer of the world's second or third very light jet announced today that it had achieved yet another first for the emerging Very Light Jet market.

Said Andrew Broom, Director, Public Relations "As you know, Eclipse was the very first, well, second really, Very Light Jet to be fully type certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. In our great haste to first gain our provisional type certificate at Oshkosh of 2006, a scant 8 years after the beginning of our revolutionary aircraft program, it appears that we have a few minor design issues."

"Today we are announcing that we have achieved another first, beating Cessna, Adam, Embraer, even Diamond and Cirrus, by being the first and only VLJ to be the subject of what the FAA calls an Airworthiness Directive or AD. This AD will limit our revolutionary and very popular industry leading VLJ to daytime only operations, to visual flight rules or VFR flight only." continued Broom.

"This means that not only do pay half as much for our jet, you get to use it half as much too. Since most accidents actually occur at night and in bad weather, usually with icing present, we are really helping to keep our customers safe by making a plane that just can't fly in those conditions in the first place, demonstrating our commitment to the safety of our unsecured investors, err, I mean our customers." said Broom, straight-faced.

About Eclipse

Eclipse Aviation, non-manufacturer of the world's second or third very light jet, is in the business of sort-of designing, kind-of certifying and occasionally producing almost modern, somewhat affordable jet aircraft that will, someday, revolutionize the transportation market. The company is mis-applying advanced electronics systems, and mis-managing manufacturing and business practices to try to produce aircraft that cost half that of today's small jet aircraft (from many years ago), we really hope but have no actual clue if they will be significantly safer and easier to operate than those of today, and we keep telling people that they will have the lowest cost of ownership ever achieved in a jet aircraft, so it must be true, right?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gunner, to your earlier question about baggage in the Epic:

On the Epic LT and the to-be-certified Dynasty, there are two baggage compartments, one fore and one aft - apparently not part of the cabin volume.

I don't have dimensions or weight limits yet but nice to know they are there.

I like The LT more and more all the time.

mirage00 said...

Yes my blogger friends, the pitot tube problem and fix is old news. I feel a yawn coming on...

I remain amused.

double 00

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gunner said...

Cold Wet Pesci (Great name for a mackerel, btw)-
I got a pretty detailed email response to my general request from Alice at Epic. If you'd like me to send it along, eclipse@thefiringline.com

I'm not real interested in the X-Models and they're still not far enough along toward cert of the jet for me. But I absolutely intend to monitor the program.

exe-
I hear a report that the guys in GNV are walking around the empty service center wearing Clown noses and badges that say, Y.D.W.C.
You Didn't
We Couldn't

Any truth to that?
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

Gotta keep it clean guys or it will get out of hand.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

But it was funny. ;^)

a37pilot said...

Gentlemen:

The wonder jet was meant to redefine aviation as we know it. The problem we are having is that we are applying dinosaur definitions. The chart below should help clear things up.
Old
PAR - Precision Approach Radar
New
PAR - Prepayments are required
Old
VFR - Visual Flight Rules
New
VFR- Very Frequent Repairs
Old
IFR - Instrument Flight Rules
New
IFR- Inflight Reboot Required
Old
DME - Distance Measuring Equipement
New
DME - Doesn't Mean Everyone (as in doesn't mean everyone will ever get their jet)