Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Gang That Can't Shoot Straight

The faithful claim it's just teething problems...bumps along the road...part of the learning experience, typical for a new company.

Wait a minute, we're not talking about a minor glitch here or there, we're talking major miss-fires, major misrepresentations.

On April 4th, the company forecast the delivery of 46 units by the end of May. As in, here's what we are going to do in the next 57 days. Didn't even come close...delivered about a fourth of that number (12).

With over a thousand employees on board, the most advanced aircraft manufacturing facility in the world, a big name auto exec who ramped up the Taurus line to 74 vehicles per hour, you wouldn't think a company could fail so miserably in achieving tomorrow's production goal set just yesterday.

This is a company can't shoot straight, they are more comfortable telling the world what sounds good rather than paint an honest picture.

The story behind the story is even worse. Consider the reality of the situation. Had the 46 deliveries taken place, unit 039 would have delivered mid-May. Serial 039 is where the "B" mods kick in. These mods have yet to certify. So even if manufacturing could have gotten 039 built, QC would not be able to obtain a C of A since there is no way of showing conformity to a configuration not yet certified. So why did the company even begin to suggest they could deliver 46 units?

It would be easy to go back and list various Eclipse targets and remind everyone just how far off they missed their marks, but that was then and tomorrow is another day. So let's look forward.

Avio NG, a terribly complex system matrix that includes eight different suppliers. In his AvWeb interview, Vern claims the system will be ready in August with a production cut-in scheduled for September plus perhaps a few "single digit weeks" (I guess that means nine weeks at the outside).

A comforting statement for the faithful to be sure, but consider the ramifications. It is a repeat of the aero-mod cut-in. Assume they manage to get the production rate up to 2-3 per week by September and the NG system goes into the nine week delay (or even longer based on their track record). Will they continue to produce airplanes with the Avidyne displays? Do they have sufficient Avidyne units in stock to go to the end of the year if needed? Are more units on order?

You can't run an aircraft production line like Eclipse is proposing and not know exactly what you are going to build 6-8-10 months in advance. It is not just a matter of just having all the physical components in place but also the planning documents and engineering coverage. These aspects are not calender driven, they are unit driven.

As an example, make an engineering change to a wire harness and there will be a call out somewhere for effectivity. Production planners can't work with "everything built after September 15" or "plus a few weeks" or "as soon as the NG system is certified." The company will have to pick a serial number for the cut-in like they did with the aero-mods at unit 039. The supply chain has to be programmed to this number, all the engineering and production documention has to reflect the cut-in number as well.

If past performance is any indicator of future performance, Avio NG won't be ready in September unless Vern was referring to 2008. Look for more finger pointing, more delivery delays and a bumpy ride for the bus driver, as more vendors, under-performing managers and maybe even the airport dog gets tossed under the bus.


mouse said...

Those familiar with manufacturing at any level understand what lead times are. What are the lead times for all of these components? I hope a lot of lead times have been pulled in from where they were in the fall of '02, where the average lead time was 12 months.

3 months would be a very good lead time. Has Eclipse placed sufficient orders to cover the 250-407 shipsets it needs through the end of '07?

Many of the avionics companies need 12 months to get components in their production schedule.

Wire harnesses take about 3 months from final design to proofed-out deliverable bundles. If the AVIO NfG system is not solid they have no harness to develop yet.

I would actually praise Eclipse if they would come clean and admit production is difficult, design/redesign is a struggle, and they will try and get the B mods certified before the end of the year, and then let the owners know when they can give them a revised production schedule.

The automotive industry works on a 5 year lead-in schedule. Vern seems to work on an overnight lead-in schedule and then blames everyone involved in slowing down his advanced company.

In most circles actions speak louder than words. Let's see some action...

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cj3driver said...

I agree,
September deliveries for Avio NG = Not Gonna happen.

Since Vern’s announcement that Eclipse apparently doesn’t build anything, they must be relying on vendors. Wiring harnesses, mounting brackets, Remote boxes and antenna must be coordinated along with the 8 new vendor integrated components for equipment, plus… all the test flights and other approvals? Its practically a whole new panel, and worse yet, different companies (vendors) to point fingers at.

If it is a whole new panel, how can you mass produce something until you have the trial runs and “prove the system”. . You obviously wouldn’t produce harnesses and order configured boxes for hundreds of aircraft until the system is approved? Would you? Not unless they started working on this a year ago. It then begs the question, When did Eclipse know of the Avidyne shortcomings?.

It wouldn’t be very ethical to collect 60% deposits from customers, knowing you will be S canning the panel would you?….Or did the first depositors to front the 60%, know the panel was burnt toast, before they wrote the check? And, based on the projected 400 units per year, Eclipse must have collected at least a couple hundred 60% deposits by the time the announcement was made.

Reminds me of the Williams engines. Make the first flight, deposits go hard, give the bad news months later and then raise the price, and offer refunds. It stinks.

But it goes back to finances, the early depositors have “equity”, so they have no choice but to wait it out. Vern wouldn’t have the gall to raise the price again. Or would he?

WhyTech said...

mouse said:

"Vern seems to work on an overnight lead-in schedule and then blames everyone involved in slowing down his advanced company."

Remember tha his prior expereince is almost 100% software, where lead times are not a major issue.


FreedomsJamtarts said...

How about a little sweepstakes here. Winner gets a free subscription to Eclipseaviationcritic :)

1/ How many planes will be delivered by the end of 2007?

Oops revolutionary product, so lets define a few terms:

"How many" refers to an integer.

"Planes" refers to EA500 Eclipses per TCDS A00002AC.

"Delivered" is defined as having a standard CofA. - We could do an extra competition to see how many are delivered using a more normal definition such as usable by the owner at an airport other than ABQ.

"End of 2007" does include any standard CofA's dated 31.12.2007, which only show up on the FAA DB weeks later.

My guess is ...39! What is yours?

By the way, I believe a delay of single digit weeks means you count any weeks which had less than 10 days.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Whytech wrote:
"Remember that his prior experience is almost 100% software..."

Remember, his prior experience is almost 100% non DO-178 certified software!

Get a few smart programmers, tell them what functionality you want, buy a couple of cases of Red Bull, and you'll have that functionality in a couple of weeks.

Look at the "teams" behind the Dynon or Blue mountain avionics non certified EFIS, and you see it doesn't take much (not dissing them, great products I was very impressed by the Dynon I once flew).

The gulf between the effort to produce a certain functionality and producing DO-178 certified software at level B to prove the reliablity of flight critical functionality is enormous. Obviously they must be relying on the core of software being previously certified by Chelton, but they must be adding/modifying some code.

Stan have you looked at getting a copy of the CRI's listed in the TCDS under the Feedom of Information Act?

airtaximan said...

Part 135?

Stan Blankenship said...


Several months ago I tried getting Flight Manual information from the FAA ACO in Ft. Worth.

Eclipse had stamped "Proprietary Information" all over the document so the ACO refused my request and suggested an appeal to Washington.

I concluded from this experience that it will be difficult to get any information from the FAA regarding the Eclipse so I backed off.

sparky said...

The suppliers have got to be turning up the heat now.

If they believed vern and ramped up production, they got screwed and have a lot of un-shipped parts. expensive.

I wonder if the suppliers have been getting realistic updates or just find out like the rest of us. That's got to screw with the forecasts. How long before they wright vern off?

Gunner said...

Stan [or anyone else in the know]-

Is this type of secrecy around performance numbers typical for production aircraft? I could understand if it was in the design stages and can even understand the veil of secrecy surrounding the performance mods (though that's fair grist for the mill in light of the ABQ-GNV "performance" claims).

It just seems that commonly available stats, like W&B and CG limits remain unavailable for the Little Jet. I don't see how a Government Agency can accept required documents of this kind that are stamped "Eyes Only". If it's common practice, that would certainly be acceptable, though surprising.

No Conspiracy Theory proposed here, but I think these are reasonable process questions.

mirage00 said...

I concluded from this experience that it will be difficult to get any information from the FAA regarding the Eclipse so I backed off.

Yes Stan ... its a big conspiracy... planes were never really delivered and the government is in on it.

Let's call Dan Rather

Drive By Club

Gunner said...

And so it begins.

Gustaf said...

gunner wrote:
"Is this type of secrecy around performance numbers typical for production aircraft?"

Most military aircraft don't relase their performance numbers. But we tend to accept that with a fair amount of understanding.

Bonanza Pilot said...

There is continued discussion of early position holders being "trapped" because they would lose the equity in the aircraft if they asked for a refund...I guess I wonder why more of them don't just sell the position at a profit and put the equity in their pockets. Let things play out and come conclusion would be that these people aren't trapped - but true believers.

Stan Blankenship said...


You picked a good name for yourself.

sparky said...

totaly unrelated:

I'm going to Oshkosh this year, and no doubt will not be the only blogger there. As I take in the sights I'll sooner or later end up at the eclipse display, wondering if any fellow bloggers are there.

The gadfly will be easy to recognize as he will be the one exuding wisdom and calmness, Gunner will be in Camy's and the believers...they'll be the easiest ones to spot.

Just look for people repeatedly walking into walls while denying the wall exists.

Gunner said...

Other than going into battle, camys, 5-11 "Tactical" gear, drop thigh holsters and LBVs are for grunts, sissies, pretty boys and wannabes.

Stan Blankenship said...


I'll be carrying a magnifying glass and have my slide rule in its belt loop carrying case.

Look for Capt. Zoom in the orange and black pleated skirt, a tight orange sweater and carrying orange and black pom-poms.

Ken Meyer said...

Well if Oshkosh this year is anything like last year--and I'll bet it will be--there will be hordes of interested potential customers swarming around the Eclipse aircraft on display. Just take a peek at this picture!


ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


The OEnM (Original Equipment non-Manufacturer) Eclipse does seem to be taking extraordinary steps in protecting performance data from the great unwashed and huddled masses.

Not sure why though, I have heard that performance with the aero-mods really is very good and frankly I would expect that. The last time I saw the plane in person (SNF '06) it seemed obvious to me there were plenty of possible 'low-hanging fruit' kinds of drag reduction.

The real issue is that the aero-mods remain uncertified at this time to the best of my knowledge, just like FIKI, Avio NfG, FMS, IMC Operations, and all the other IOU's.

If I get to OSH this year I'll take a look-see but for my money a Sierra modded Citation I or I-SP is a far better investment.

The only difference between the tech bubble (from which Raburn AND Iacobucci both come from by the way) and the looming Eclipse bubble is that far less people will be hurt when the Eclipse bubble goes bust.

The slow delivery rate could be telling. Parts shortages? Finally going to wait until the plane is DONE before they build them?

Who knows. The only transparency we get with Eclipse are the physical ones requiring obscenely limiting inspection and replacement intervals.

airtaximan said...


no significant bump in orders in the 2006 OshKosh timeframe.

"ooh, is it really that small....???"

"Where's the 6th seat..."

"ouch, my knee..."

"look at the red Xs on the screens..."

gawking is not BUYING.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Spot on critique Stan, spot on.

Vern seems to still not understand that having a drawing released into the configuration management system is but one step in the overall certification effort. Or, he does understand that but he also knows that folks unfamiliar with certification, say his customers for example, don't know that, and they will be placated by him crowing about 'drawings are released' certification is imminent, perhaps 'Tuesday'.

Until it is certified by the Feds it ain't done, PERIOD.

No STC or amended TC for the 3rd AI, it ain't done.

No STC or amended TC for the optional non-freezing pitot-static, it ain't done.

No STC or amended TC for the upgraded Avidyne displays and dataloader, it ain't done.

No STC or amended TC for FIKI, it ain't done.

No STC or amended TC for Avio NfG, it ain't done.

No STC or amended TC for the Aero-Mods, it ain't done.

No STC or amended TC for turning up the wick on the 610's, it ain't done.

No STC or amended TC for the transparencies, it ain't done.

Face it, it AIN'T DONE - put it back in the oven and let it finish, otherwise they are just serving up a half-baked product.

flightguy said...

Is double "00" the one shooting blanks and can't shoot straight?

On a different note, check out this article.

Mini-Jet Revolution, or Dot-Com with Wings?

gadfly said...

"Wonder if I can fit these crutches on the wing!"

"Dear, I don't think we can take both the baby AND the stroller!"

"Hey, these backpacks aren't really luggage . . . we'll use them for 'pillows'."


('Nice picture! . . . two hostesses keeping busy talking to each other.)

Gunner said...

If you're gonna lead the cheer, at least let's include the voice-over.

Here you go


ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

From the Popular Mechanics article-

'It will be “a fun and exciting opportunity to lose money.” '

Man if that doesn't just sum it up precisely. ;p

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

sparky said...


you know i'm just messing with you, right?

WOW!!! a picture of people at a booth!!! amazing!!! I guess we were all wrong. If you look closely, most of those people have a $1.5 bulge in their back pockets. gonna' take delivery on tuesday.

Gunner said...

Yes, I knew. If I thought otherwise, I'd have to don my "Tactical Black" Mal Ninja outfit and sneak out to put an armbar on you. ;-)

sparky said...

Honda Jet is out stretching it's wings. N420HA FL150 144KTS

flightguy said...

I heard the Epic Elite flew yesterday. Why doesn't Eclipse just call themselves experimental and move on?

gadfly said...


Eclipse Jet is just "stretching it".


FreedomsJamtarts said...


Keep an eye on
If the eclipse is now moving ahead with the EASA certification, and they have any new features which have not already been addressed in existing CRI's, then these will published for public comment.

sparky said...

Now THAT would be truly revelutionary. Going from Cert. to expiremental.....

Of course in it's present configuration, the expiremental thing wouldn't be much of a stretch.

Stan Blankenship said...


Do you think Vern/Eclipse can stand that kind of open book scrutiny?

FreedomsJamtarts said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality, I don't think many of the items on the IOU list will result in ammended TC's (if you mean visible to the general public on the TCDS).

You can do major changes to a type design without need to ammend the TCDS

Almost certainly not the windshield (an SB an AMM Revision to Chapter 4), Pitot Static fix (an SB and AFM rev),BR-NAV (SB + AFM), third AI (SB + AFM Rev), or the Avidyne dataloader (likely just an SB).

My guess is the only things on your list which will be visible to the public through a revised TCDS would be the AVIOng, the aero mod package, FIKI, and a change in Thrust.

WhyTech said...

sparky said:

" I'm going to Oshkosh this year, and no doubt will not be the only blogger there"

Seems to me that Stan should take the outrageous membership fees we all paid and distribute baseball caps with the EAC logo to all who have made at least 3 posts. On second thought, going incognito might be safer. Can never be sure what the faithful might do in the safety of numbers.


Stan Blankenship said...

Looking at the featured attractions for AirVenture this year, there is not much in way of any big draws.

To create some buzz, maybe Poberenzy would like to sponsor a debate.

Vern/The Faithful/The Drive By's
Stan and the Boys from the blog.

It would sure be more interesting than the Republican and Democratic debates which both received national news coverage.

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


that's the best idea in the history of blogging.

sparky said...


I'd be surprised if ANYONE ever really owns an eclipse

Gunner said...

Fair is fair:
Alexa has a position in the 200's. That one's due to deliver in March '07 (per 1,000 aircraft promise), errrr June '07 (per 400 aircraft promise), oops Dec '07 (per 200 aircraft promise).

In any case, it's an early position; which may explain why Ken is just hostile while Alexa is downright sanguine whenever anything is said that reflects poorly on Le Petit.

The exception, once again? Our very own EO24. He happens to be the most credible Depositor I've seen yet.

airtaximan said...


"As for production rate, this is a great time to slow production. In the AvWeb interview with Vern: he talks about the slowdown."

Now, if you buy this...I have a delivery deposit I would like to sell you....


ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


Meant to include SB in my list, you are correct. SB's are a very crude and inefficient manner of making design changes when there are less than 2 dozen 'delivered' aircraft in the 'fleet', especially since they are almost all still in ABQ.

A real OEM (not OEnM like Eclipse) would stop the line and incorporate these designs AFTER FAA approval and not place itself at such risk. But then, the dinosaurs typically do not end up in situations like this in the first place.

Remember though that nearly all of the fixes would potentially result in amended Chapter 4 AMM data (FAA Approved), as well as possibly limitations changes in the AFM (FAA Approved), possibly new or amended Normal, Abnormal and Emergency procedures in the AFM (FAA Approved), new or amended Systems Description data in the AFM (not approved).

Also, you need to be very careful with terminology, you can NOT make a 'major' change in design without affecting the type design. The Feds are very specific with minor vs major in terms of design changes and modifications.

Typically, form fit and function are the yardstick.

For Avio NfG for example, Eclipse is replacing 3 displays and a series of digital cards on the MFD with three displays and a series of remote mount boxes. New structure, new wiring harness, new operations, new Mx requirements. Not a minor change, will require an amended TC or STC.

For the aero-mods, in addition to the actual shape and weight of the plane, limitations and performance are also changed. Not a minor change, also requires an amended TC or STC.

The transparencies may be considered interchangable in terms of form fit and function and might end up being a minor change, but Chapter 4 of the AMM will be changed and that requires FAA Approval.

Same for the wing bushing issue IF part numbers were affected. If it was PURELY installation\assembly instrutions, then no change to type design would be necessary but that is NOT how I read comments made by Vern about changing the design.

Certification is VERY difficult and VERY specific in terminology.

AlexA said...


You are great. My personal gift to you will be Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 16th edition due in 2011. This should coincide with the delivery of your first Dimunitive-JET. A person of your caliber (22 or 38) surely could not describe me as confident and optimistic when talking about Eclipse. Try using the thesaurus it works great.

Another easy-drive by!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

.22 or .38?

Gunner is a 105mm smooth-bore for sure.

gadfly said...


'Just don't let the 4.5mm "Luft Pistole" get to you.


AlexA said...

Black Tulip,

Here is an opening for you. There hasn’t been anything interesting in quite a while on this blog. Remember Stan had breaking news about a structural defect weeks ago (I think Stan and Vern use the same time datum). So here we go. You haters pick one and I’ll have button made for you so you can wear them at Oshkosh.

They Won’t Purchase Any Tooling From Me I Hope They Die

I Ordered One But I Changed My Mind Again

I Got Nothing Better To Do Than Bitch About Something.

We Can’t Afford One So We Hate It!

Sorry Ken I know I’m letting the flood gates open but this Blog is going nowhere.

Disclosure: All buttons will be FSW (I know where there are a couple of FSW machines that are not too busy). I’m already working on the NG buttons but they won’t be available until Sun-n-Fun. Even with my influence in Washington I have not been able to get them approved.

NG buttons:

Butter My Bread And I Will Shut Down This Blog

To Hell With Djet I Ordered Four PiperJets

Drive By Expert

gadfly said...


Please add a request:

"WYSIWYJ" (Pronounced "WissyWidge")

"What Yahoo Said I'd Want Your . . . Jet?"

(Apologies to "Microsoft"!)


(On another subject: I once spoke to the "techical editor" at Merriam-Webster, and could not convince the man that the "conning tower" was not the "bridge" on a submarine . . . that the conning tower was enclosed, pressurized, and compartment number "Nine" . . . and here all those many months under water I was standing on the "bridge". Shucks, had I known back then . . . !)

airtaximan said...


good one... very creative!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round....

thump thump

thump thump

Nothing interesting for quite a while, hmmm.

New Model (sort-of) predicted here in advance of 'announcement', further delays predicted here and now being suggested, no certified fixes predicted here and borne out by review of the FAA databases, great explanations of certification and other issues facing the OEnM AND its 'customers' by the august group of experts here, reviews of the economics of production and operation by folks here and (finally) abroad, and the beginnings of doubt starting to surface in the mainstream aero-space and other media.

Yup, nothing to see here folks, move along (please move along quietly - my position deposit is coming due soon and I gotta unload these beans - my identity is itricately tied to my poor decision to place cost ahead of value or to lay down with dogs and now have to defend the indefensible).

This and other transparently pathetic attempts to disingenously derail or otherwise demean this excellent blog brought to you by The Drive-By Brothers and the J. Wellington Wimpy Aircraft Company, where the motto is "We'll gladly deliver someday, the plane you pay for today."

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Try these:


You Could But Didn't We Tried But Failed


What Is This 'Certification' You Speak Of


One Beeeeelion Dollars Eight Years And All I Got Was This Lousy Tee-shirt

Gunner said...

Alexa said:
"A person of your caliber (22 or 38) surely could not describe me as confident and optimistic when talking about Eclipse."

Oh my, that cuts to the quick. Not the poorly crafted caliber analogy, but the very thought that I would have described your posts here as confident OR optimistic. I didn't. I described them, rather succinctly, as shrill bordering on catatonic. You have only you to blame for that, Alexa. You're the one that wrote out that Progress Payment check.

Clump, Clump.

Shane Price said...


It is with considerable regret that I must offer the group a small correction to your recent post.

WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) was first used as an Apple marketing spin, not by the Evil Empire (The Dark Lord = Bill Gates)


When the folks from Richmond turned up with 'Windoze' in the late 80's the wisecrackers from 1 Infinity Loop, Cupertino, CA (Prop. S. Jobs) coined a very appropriate repost.


It is a bullseye for this blog and almost perfectly describes the Partial Eclipse, sorry, E 500.

What You See Is NEARLY What You Get

Keep up the good work, and feel free to ignore this nitpicking.


Gunner said...

It would an interesting insight to poll Critics an Faithful to see what percentage of each group is using Mac vs Windoze. I'm betting the difference would be considerable, for obvious reasons.


gadfly said...

And the "gadfly" was accused of being verbose ("too many words" for the folks of Rio Linda)?!!!


(Oh yes, did I speak over someone's head? . . . sorry 'bout that, but 'must buzz off just now!)

(Fridays are such a "kick"! . . . and us old folks have to wrap it up before sundown,'Don'cha know!" . . . now where did I put those nitroglycerin tablets?)

airtaximan said...


""We'll gladly deliver someday, the plane you pay for today."

you paid for, WHEN?

Gunner said...

Just noticed the 4.5mm LuftPistole quip. Right over his/her head, Gad. GAR-OWN-TEED! ;-)

AlexA said...


The Elements of Style Fourth Edition highly recommended and probably affordable after you cancel for Diminutive-Jet Order just before you order 4 PiperJets. By the way there is no cost to use Merriam Webster’s Dict on line. Here is link just for you

Gunner said...

105mm? Too messy and requires a crew. I lean more toward lever exotics, like the old standby 50 Alaskan; for high-tech, my idea of a party runs to the 300 Whisper with all the trimmins.

Your hormones are showing again. It's not a pretty sight. ;-)

AlexA said...


Once again you are looking at the wrong side;)

WhyTech said...

Boeing vs Airbus

The above is the title of a new book by John Newhouse published earlier this year. While a bit off topic, it is at least tangentially relevant. The main thrust is quite different from the Cessna vs Eclipse story we are helping to write here, but the are definitely recognizable echos from this blog.

Highly recommended for any airplane addict.


Bonanza Pilot said...

Watching Paris Hilton coverage - or rather trying to avoid it - made me think of some of the depositors here. Just like poor Paris what is going to happen to them is pretty harsh, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone...but they have been warned time and time again and refuse to see reality. I think the real pool question is how many "deliveries" before restructuring is announced?

Gunner said...

Your last begs a medical explanation of the condition known as "Zactlies", but I suspect it'd be pearls before...well, it'd be wasted pearls.

Thank you ladies and gentleman. Tell your friends about us. We'll be playing here all week.

AlexA said...


Please quit playing with my black pearls.

gadfly said...


Thank you for your correction:

First, let me tell you to never trust a “fly” to keep his word (about “buzzing off”, that is). This “gadfly” rarely buzzes off before midnight.

And, since I have asked myself the question about “screens going blank” and such, having had just about everything happen that can happen, “what do we call a screen going blank” on the little jet?.

Our first “ten thousand dollar monitor” (part of a “$65K” CAD/CAM system, written in “Rocky Mountain Basic”) simply went up in smoke . . . and flame (fortunately, while I was present. “Conrac” or “HP”, I forget which, rebuilt the beast . . . Sandia and our shop had the only two in the state). Later, when we changed from HP-UX (a form of Unix) to “Windows”, we experienced the long line of “excuses”, etc., of the “black screen of death”, to the “blue screen of death”, the “green screen of death”, and now (with “Windows Vista”), we understand that we may yet experience the “Red Screen of Doom”. (Apple is not in the running . . . our systems will not run on a “MAC”.)

So, the question arises: With the “expert” from Microsoft in charge of the new technology that will revolutionize the “general aviation” industry, what do these new pilots do, when the screen goes “blank” . . . or is there some obvious color to which it defaults, with a message that says: “Control/Alt/Delete”?

Thankfully, we don’t have to reload ten or twenty “diskette’s” . . . we merely need to get a “connection” on the internet, and download a “debugging” file . . . all in time to gently put the main gear on the pavement, holding off the nose gear until we feel that secure “touch” that will get us off at the first, second, third, or last “turn-off”.


(Back in olden times, if we could walk away, it was considered a successful landing.)

(Gunner: I passed up a $30 BSF air rifle in 1970 . . . been kicking myself ever since. But my "BSF" "4.5mm Luft Pistole" kills snakes with "head shots" every time. Any help you can give, you can find me . . . I'm not hard to find.)

AlexA said...


Some commonality have antithetical the appositeness of Big Words. Their antagonism with colloquys of cyclopean apportionments is that Big Words subordinate narcissism and they sanctimoniousness kumtux it.

Thanks Google...

Gunner said...

I don't think these glass cockpits are running on any sort of Windoze platforms (not talking hand-held tablets here). The OS overhead would simply be enormous. I'd guess more likely some flavor of Unix. Anybody know about this? I'd be absolutely blown away if any (including AVIO NextGrift) went in that direction.


Gunner said...

Come to think of it, even more likely in direct machine code, no?

Shane Price said...


Or should that be GunFly?

Just teasing lads.

Gadfly said
"So, the question arises: With the “expert” from Microsoft in charge of the new technology that will revolutionize the “general aviation” industry, what do these new pilots do, when the screen goes “blank”"

Followed by Gunners

"I don't think these glass cockpits are running on any sort of Windoze"

Good question(s). I concur on the OS overhead. And I'd hate to think some malcontent could screw up my avionics by using a $2 USB stick to upload a virus to ANY common or garden readily available OS.

Machine code is just too much work, so you can be sure Vern wouldn't have it.

My vote is a microkernel, probably UNIX based. Airbus have been doing it for years.

Anyone know for sure?


ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

From what I recall from my time in idustry, Windows is not really certificable as Microsft will not share the full code.

Typical EFB tablet installations and other 'display' installations are actually partitioned and only the 'applications' have DO-178 qualifications. The Feds have put together many good AC's on how to do this stuff.

Doubt that IS&S is using Windows to drive their displays but have no direct knowledge.

gadfly said...

Whoa, Baby!

Alexa, let’s just pretend that you did not send the last comments. The last comments went way over your head, I’m sure. At least, I surely hope so!

Back up and try again.

First, call the man “Gunner” . . . it’s safer that way.

Second, don’t meddle in words that you do not fully comprehend, just for the “funny factor”.

Insult “Gunner” at a low level . . . from what little I know about the man, “he can take it”. But the discussion about “gummers” and those who are truly “narcissistic” . . . let’s leave that for somewhere else, at some other time.

Let’s just say I can be your friend, even if I disagree with you. Me thinks that in the “heat” of the argument, many tend to forget simple courtesies . . . and the value of a person.

It might seem that I am somewhat of a “self appointed pastor” . . . and although I do not mean to take that upon myself, sometimes it’s necessary for someone to come to the defense of others, if for no other reason, than to simply apply the “brakes”, and slow down the discussion a little.

The discussion about the little jet should never destroy the character of another person. Alexa, I seem to be picking on “you”, but I’m not! Really, I am not. Should you show up at my door, I would make every effort to be your best friend. Come to my shop, and I will take you to dinner . . . and I guarantee I will become your friend, for sure. We will still have disagreements (I would not expect it otherwise), but we’ll become friends.

Everyone on this “blogsite”, myself included, needs to respect the dignity of each and every other person. It is “fun” to ridicule another person’s ideas . . . and destroy them at every opportunity. But it is never proper, nor excusable to destroy a person’s reputation or character. Yes, it’s a “fine line”. But that is the requirement to participate in this sort of discussion. Alexa, forgive me for using you as an example.


(But thank you for the opportunity of expressing some thoughts, that may “enhance” the overall environment of this excellent website.)

(A few thoughts will follow, but not to delay the expediency of the previous . . . I'll send this on!)

Gunner said...

Looks to me like they're mostly using proprietary OpSystems that are descendants of a couple manufacturers and spinoffs:

Great Article

AlexA said...


Absolutely no offense taken. Gunner has quite a sense of humor (heck he’s buying Canadian or it is Austrian?). He doesn’t even know it but I am indirectly helping him purchase his dream Diminutive-Jet. I have been the subject of many sharp spears and take it all in fun. I have no problem buying him, you and even Stan the man a drink (it’s obvious that we all have a passion for aviation). Heck if I get my toy before Gunner (notice I’m not making any bets) he would be welcomed on board.


Disclaimer…welcome on board only on VFR days with an authorized Eclipse co-pilot. Gunner must provide a minimum of a portable Garmin 496 or equivalent for navigation. If Gunner weighs less than 180lbs he must sit in the third row. Flight will be limited to 27,000 feet since LOA will probably be pending;)

airtaximan said...

Obviously, someone has stolen Alexa's identity.


Very funny post!

Invite me too... I'll take you all to Walmart!

AlexA said...

“Avidyne uses a version of Windows NT operating software..” September 2001 article. Don’t know if this is still the case.

ATM, please dont take it personal I left you off the invite list on purpose.

Just kidding ATM you too are welcomed.

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

Embargoed for release to media outlets until:

June 9, 2007


Albuquerque, New Mexico – Vern Raeburn, President & CEO of Eclipse Aviation, announced that the Eclipse 500 jet has been selected as singular proof of Intelligent Design. Intelligent design is the assertion that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Previously, no scientific evidence had been published in peer-reviewed journals to support the concept. Intelligent design has been viewed by skeptics as a method of subverting the separation of church and state ordered by the United States Supreme Court, and a counter to the widely accepted science of evolution.

An independent panel of top theologians from the world’s leading religions and intelligent design researchers has completed a three-year study commissioned by Eclipse Aviation. The summary of the fifteen-hundred page report concludes, “It is inconceivable that an Aeroplane as timely, elegant and cost effective as the Eclipse 500 could appear on Planet Earth, or elsewhere in the Galaxy, without the intervention of The Divine Hand at Albuquerque, New Mexico.”

The panel compared the Eclipse 500 design to thousands of other aircraft, past and present. It concluded that, “Commonly accepted laws of gravity, engineering, aerodynamics, finance, sales and marketing could not have produced such a heavier-than-air flying machine. The highly intergrated avionics system, on its own, illustrates the touch of Higher-Order Intelligence. In addition, the very phrase, Value Proposition, is not one that ordinary mortals would use in conjunction with a small jet aircraft. Natural selection could never have brought us to the State of Eternal Levitation and Near Constant Bliss represented by the Eclipse 500 Slightly Light Jet (SLJ).”

“Intelligent design is no longer junk science,” proclaimed Raeburn. “The dinosaurs did not go extinct by chance, but by Grand Design. The Eclipse Factory will be the Lourdes of the twenty-first century. We have set aside the wall in our largest hangar to be covered by crutches, discarded by Eclipse Pilgrims as no longer needed. For Blessed Depositors whose medical certification may have come into question during the period required for this Revelation, please come to see me in chambers so I might minister to your individual needs,” added Raeburn.

Raeburn continued, “Wait until you see the new lines of apparel we’re offering to recognize this event – full-length white robes embroideried with the Eclipse Logo, golden incense burners emanating the sweet essence of combusted jet fuel, and the gilded, illuminated, parchment Flight Manual (Limited Edition) of the Ethereal and Eternal Serial Number Thirty Nine.”

“Subject to divine approval we will soon be offering dispensations and anulments. If you have previously ordered a Cessna product, you will be forgiven soon. If Charles Darwin were with us today, he would be flying a Mustang, along with the other infidels, heretics, heathens and idolartors . We will accept a Mustang in trade for an Eclipse position and commit in writing that the Mustang taken in will only be used for a task worthy of its lowly station – hauling cancelled checks, auto parts or poultry products outside the United States.”

Black Tulip

The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.

FlightCenter said...

FAA numbers show one additional Eclipse and one additional Mustang delivered in the last week.

A total of 15 Eclipse 500s have been issued certificates of airworthiness and delivered to owners and a total of 5 Mustangs have been delivered and another 2 have been issued certificates of airworthiness but are not yet delivered. (According to FAA records.)