Saturday, June 02, 2007


More than you probably wanna read from black tulip

June 1, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (EAC) -- Eclipse Aviation announced today a new aircraft, the second in its family of Very Light Jets (VLJs). The company’s first offering, the Eclipse 500, has been renamed the Partial Eclipse. Vern Raeburn, President and CEO, commented, “I want all of our depositors and shareholders to know that this was a carefully laid out plan. We knew the pilots most attracted to this little jet would be stepping up from their Skyhawks. We purposely gave the Partial Eclipse limited capability because we didn’t want our customers to get hurt flying too high or up into a cloud, especially a frozen one. Remember Icarus who flew too close to the sun? Well, we know how that turned out. Also we didn’t want our customers going too fast and getting scared, carrying too much weight or being confused by new-fangled avionics. When you think of the Partial Eclipse, think training wheels.”

Mr. Raeburn continued, “Now our next model is going to be the answer to a maiden’s prayer - a wonder to behold and a joy forever. It is naturally called the Total Eclipse. This airplane has everything, and we are comfortable with our customers migrating from their Skyhawk through the Partial Eclipse to the big burrito… the Total Eclipse. This airplane is going to be as revolutionary as the heliocentric theory. I’m a modest man but I am waiting to hear the names Copernicus and Raeburn in the same sentence. The saints were venerated; maybe I could be vernerated.

Lordy, this little jet is gonna go. Just do a quick preflight, load you family, close the door and tell the lineman to light the fuse. The Total Eclipse will have all the features we knowingly left out of the Eclipse 500, er Partial Eclipse. It’ll go way up high where the clouds are frozen and where you can’t keep the windows open. A whole new air taxi industry could spring up and these little jets could be as common as VWs in Rio.”

Vern shifted in his chair and continued, “Some have been concerned over the cost of this program and our delivery schedule. I want everyone to know that not only have our dreams been fulfilled but the technology spinouts from this project are second only to the Apollo program. Now we have found a way to combine these technologies in the tradition of an Asian Fusion Restaurant. For instance, we’ve combined Friction Stir Welding with the Phostrex fire inhibitor. Should a fire break out on the factory floor in the course of welding an assembly, it is put out using Phostrex.”

“I could continue but I gotta go. Next week has a Tuesday in it and Serial Number 39 is moving down the line. We’re going to cut in the Total Eclipse,” closed Mr. Raeburn. “Keep those cards, letters and deposits coming”

For questions contact:

Mr. Vern Raeburn
Eclipse Aviation


June 2, 2007

ECLIPSE AVIATION SHIPS FIRST VIRTUAL REALITY SYSTEM

Albuquerque, NM – Today marked the first shipment of Eclipse Aviation’s widely anticipated virtual reality system. This complex product offering consists of a powerful personal computer, wide-angle high-resolution LCD goggles, tactile body suit and gloves and a six-axis motion seat. The Virtual Eclipse Reality Navigator (VERN) system was received and set up by the first customer, ‘Ralph’. Ralph is not his real name for reasons that may become evident.

“My familiarization flights in the virtual Eclipse 500 were great,” enthused Ralph. “But it got tougher on the virtual type rating. I got the steep turns down okay but had trouble with the vee one cuts, even though it’s a centerline thrust aircraft. I felt bad about the runway lights, taxiway lights, not to mention the two people in the T-6, until I got up and took the goggles off. I also learned not to turn the gain up too high on the tactile suit and motion seat – boy, it was a rough ride.”

Ralph continued, “The avionics suite works really well including the auto throttles. I learned the hard way you should engage them on descent. I was watching ‘Fargo’ on the DVD player and not paying attention. I guess they established the maximum operating mach number for good reason. The ailerons set up a helluva buzz… that is until they departed. No problem, just a simple reboot.”

“I like the flexibility of the system because it probably won’t be found in the actual aircraft. I didn’t like my time of useful consciousness at forty-one thousand feet – fifteen seconds – so I dialed it up to five minutes”

“I’ve ordered goggles, suit and seat for my girlfriend, ‘Marge’,” stated Ralph. “There ain’t no tellin’ what two consenting adults might do in that little virtual ship at FL410 after hearing, …hold northwest of Duluth , as published, twenty mile legs, expect further clearance on the hour.” I’ve also ordered the Havana, Cuba module with the olfactory and gustatory add-ons. I want to have dinner and a cigar with Fidel before he reaches his expiration date… and with no hassles from Customs and Immigration.”

“I’ll tell ya, with Jet-A going up, I’m getting more attached to virtual reality. In fact,” concluded Ralph, “I’ve just run a blind ad offering my delivery position. Know anybody that might be interested?”



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.

241 comments:

1 – 200 of 241   Newer›   Newest»
Shane Price said...

It is often said that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Clearly, Black Tulip has demonstrated his skills once again. In such exalted company it will be hard to 'top' his put down of the leading (failing?) ABQ based VLJ company.

Bravo, and let the games begin.

Shane

gadfly said...

The “Ace of Aces”, Col. Erich Hartmann, (1922-1993) of the Luftwaffe shot down 352 enemy aircraft (Russian) in WWII. After ten years in a Russian prison camp, he was released (1955) and soon joined the West German Air Force in 1959. Whether flying the Me-109, or the F-86 Saber Jet, the nose of his aircraft was painted with the “Black Tulip”.

www.virtualpilots.fi/hist/pdf/ErichHartmann.pdf

gadfly

airtaximan said...

whytech

"The mind of the consumer does not work in mostly rational ways in making decision about what car to buy, what airplane to buy, what house to buy, what partner to take as a husband or wife, etc."

These are "rational" eventhough you may not agree with the rationale.

The ego boost someone gets with a Porsche IS value. And it is rational - to them.

Like Gunner says, EO is in a different category from the die-hards. EO has explained what he has done, all along this tremendously rediculous deposit process/order process/position process - and he's made money. He's a smart guy, and to your credit, YUP, he does want one of these planes, BUT, if it gets too risky, he is smart enough and expereinced enough to know that he could sell his PLANE rather than a position number, for a premium. There WILL be someone who will take a plane over a position and pay a premium, almost no matter how bad things become. To an extent he's saying, I'd rather have some hardware than a deposit-number, given the state of affairs over there.

so, I guess there are some folks that want a jet, no matter what, and all they can really afford is a $1.5 million one - no matter how crappy the company is, how many problems there have been already with quality and no matter what unknown risks are involved. Heck, some people apparently get their jollies off being associated with "Gate's friend Raburn's plane" - how moronic is this - BUT to them, it is worth something!

There have already been 100 or more sales of positions - so the early guys are out. They made money and are laughing.

There are still an abundance of positions "for sale". This IS extraordinary for GA - one should ask, if there is so much value, why are the depositors selling. Yup, there is a buyer for every seller, but I suspect, since there is still around 40 listings on controller, the market is still a speculator market.

What value is there in this very small, un-cool looking, computer driven plane, that is way late, way more expensive than promised, underperforms, is incomplete and is backed by a schmuck who is an unreliable exaggerator huckster?

Every Bozo has his Delilah...and who are we to judge?

mirage00 said...

Stan... Pathetic and desperate

Gunner said...

Mirage-
You give whole new meaning to the term "Ineffective Drive-By".

But, for the lack of substance, you get the Vern Award for June 2007. Congrats; you're in Great Company.
Gunner

ExEclipser said...

It really does seem that every time there are substantial postings in favor of Eclipse, Stan posts a completely irrelevant, meaningless post that is already in a previous post's comments - presumably to distract readers of the blog by starting a new string of comments.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Ed Zachery

ExEclipser said...

ROFLOL!!

Gunner said...

Mouse-
In answer to your question, No, the Progress Payment on Serial-Number, Hull-Number, Wish-for-a-Better-Number 1,104 has not yet been called.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

execlipser,

why the personal attack against Stan? Why not just stick with the discussion?

while you note that Stan posts something he finds intersting, written by a fellow blogger, you included "every time there are substantial postings in favor of Eclipse" - I fail to see anything of the sort here.

Mostly just silly repetition of Vern's PR, or personal attacks, or rehashing of the same old "paper" vs. "delivered" plane. "Substantial posting" - nothing new, SOS.


Gunner,

is it true that Ken's "deposit number" is 1,104?

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"since there is still around 40 listings on controller, the market is still a speculator market"

That's not exactly right. Oh there are 39 listings all right. But there are duplicates and fractionals included. There are actually 28 positions listed on Controller.

It's 28 out of about 900 orders to individual operators (there are of course a lot of air taxi orders, but we won't count them). That's a little over 3%.

10% of fleet size is generally considered the magic number for a "buyer's market." Available Eclipse positions represent well under that number, which is actually a bit surprising considering how many people may have purchased a position back in 2000 and can't take delivery now (maybe they lost their medical or their needs changed over the ensuing years).

The resale market is a non-issue.

By the way, Did you know Cessna does not permit resale of a position? Adam doesn't either. I give Eclipse credit for permitting resale of positions so customers have a way of handling loss of medical or other change in their plans.

No doubt Cessna doesn't want to compete against itself in the secondary market, so it forbids resale of positions. But that doesn't help the customer; that's to protect Cessna from the perceived competitive disadvantage of selling against it's own customers. You can get around that limitation, but it is very awkward. That is one reason why you only see a handful of Mustang positions and A-700 positions for resale. Another is that there aren't nearly as many positions for either that have been sold in the first place.

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

eclipser/mirage,

As others have stated, not everybody reads the comments. What black tulip wrote deserves to be read by everybody.

While the two of you may not like the added attention given to these two delightful parodies, when I see you both whining and crying, I know I made the right decision.

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"By the way, Did you know Cessna does not permit resale of a position?"

Ken,

Thats not exactly right.

A position can be sold with Cessna's authorization. Or (and this is the way most do it)the acft can be purchased by an LLC (typically the only asset) and then the LLC can be sold without violating the agreement with Cessna. So, if you really want to sell the position, there are multiple ways. Just check the number of Cessna positions for sale on Controller.

WT

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"but it is very awkward"

Not really. The LLC route is simple, and a high per centage of purchases by individuals are via an LLC for other reasons, so its no additional hassle.

WT

airtaximan said...

Ken:

You've been told many times how to have a transferrable deposit with Adam and Cessna...so you already know how weak that statement is. PLus the rationale for why they do it is flat out wrong...but hey, you believe the e-clips deposit scheme is good, so why bother trying to explain.

Regarding Controller, I alway plut that the number of listings on Controller are indicative, not definative - I guess you just thought everyone had to hear it again, and again. Sorry, I forgot.

But, it is indicative, and you forgot to mention there have already been over 100 sales in the secondary market. Based on around 1,100 individual owners (Verns own words...who knows if these are really non-refundable deposits not options...but who really cares at this point, right?) that's 10% already re-sold. PLus a consistent number of around 40 listings plus the other places one can look for these things, and you get the picture.

I'm frankly surprised there are so many listings. By the way, the fractions ARE sales, as well.

Glad you are happy to see some magic buyer's market number, along with your magic jet deposit... not everybody choses to see things this way.

Stan Blankenship said...

Flightcenter has added a very interesting chart to his Eclipse Order History site.

Go to the link is on the blog's home page below the Archieve index, then click on the Order/Option Summary Chart.

If you are not seeing a Blue/Orange/Gold 3-D chart, you are not on the right page.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p6sMZZhQxJ6NZ8fpN0TycSg&gid=4

airtaximan said...

nice chart,

Im curious about why we do not see a huge shift in the orders/options/airtaxi in APril of 2007 when it was finally admitted that Dayjet has 1400 orders/options instaed of 300?

The entire chart is based on reported info, and until then, the world was led to believe:

Dayjet had only 229 orders plus 70 options, while the orderbook was 2500 or more.

Why not show the shift in "reality" at that point. It will be a dramatic difference...I'm sure on that deserves to be memorialized.

PS. there needs to be a disclaimer stating this is from company statements and reports to the press. You really have no clue as to the real makeup of the orderbook. It has never been publicly disclosed.

That's why I call it "rubber".

EclipseOwner387 said...

Whytech,

Have you ever bought an LLC that held an airplane position as its sole asset?

Black Tulip said...

In order to maintain a level of civil discourse on the blog, may we turn to an old master? John Dryden (1631-1700) wrote on the English Civil War and The Restoration. Many harsh words had been traded and Dryden wrote on the difference between Invective and Satire:

"How easie it is to call a Rogue and Villain, and that wittily! But how hard to make a Man appear a Fool, a Blockhead or a Knave, without using any of those opprobrious terms! ... There is still a vast difference betwixt the slovenly Butchering of a Man, and the fineness of a stroak that separates the Head from the Body, and leaves it standing in its place." 'Discourse Concerning Satire' (1693)

What we are all suffering from is EIDD (Eclipse Information Deficit Disorder). There is little real data to work with; few flights on FlightAware, radio silence by early owners on the contents of their Pilot Operating Handbook and not much visibility into deliveries and training.

Nature abhors a vacuum and the blog attracts useless parody and satire by Black Tulip... oops, that's me.

WhyTech said...

EO387 said:

"Have you ever bought an LLC that held an airplane position as its sole asset? "

I have not. I did explore this in some detail when I was considering a CJ1+ and looked at both the buy and sell sides of the issue.

WT

WhyTech said...

BT said:

"the blog attracts useless parody and satire by Black Tulip"

Useless? Perhaps. Entertaining? Absolutely!

WT

EclipseOwner387 said...

Whytech,

I have bought an LLC (SN24). It is considerably more paperwork and your risk is magnified as you have to have more warranties and reps. You also end up owning an LLC domiciled where the original articles were filed. Eclipse transfers are MUCH easier than the LLC process. However, Eclipse locks down transfers within 180 days of delivery. They did honor the LLC transfer with no issue.

Ken was accurate in his assesment and even the brokers will tell you LLC's are more difficult to transact. Not insurmountable but you have to really want to get it done.

WhyTech said...

EO387 said:

"I have bought an LLC (SN24)."

Since you have actually done it, you are the voice of authority on this topic. When I looked at this, yes, there were some additional steps, but in the overall context of buying the airplane, it did not seem to be a significant process issue.

There are also some FAA related issues I am told. Apparently the FAA does not recognize a "sole purpose" LLC is a legitimate owner. I am guessing that the LLC must sell to an individual or non "sole purpose" LLC before registering the acft with the FAA. Any insight into this issue?


WT

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

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

To your question regarding the order history chart.

I created the order history chart based on the information that was publicly available a couple weeks ago. That data included the public disclosure from CharterX that DayJet (Jetson) had placed ~1,400 orders/options with Eclipse. So (as you point out) the chart doesn't show the previously reported information, which has now been proven to be incorrect.

The chart reflects my best judgement as to when those Jetson orders & options were placed with Eclipse, consistent with the total order numbers publicly announced by Eclipse around the Q4 2002/Q1 2003 timeframe.

While I haven't found a public reference to the large Jetson orders in the press at that time, Vern told many folks in the Q4 2002 / Q1 2003 timeframe (myself included) that he had secured another air taxi order that was larger than the Nimbus deal and that the air taxi market was going to happen regardless of the success or failure of any one particular air taxi operator.

The story sounds very familiar today. "Our first partner in the air taxi market turned out to be flakey, but not to worry, we've got a bigger order now and a much better partner now."


I've added the disclaimer you requested to the spreadsheet and chart pages.

FlightCenter said...

Ed’s comments from the May 21st podcast on AvWeb include:

1) DayJet has taken delivery of 3 aircraft, 2 of which remain in ABQ with Eclipse and one of which is in now based in Florida.
2) DayJet will take delivery of their first 12 aircraft without the performance modifications.
3) DayJet will take delivery of their first 28 aircraft with the existing Avio avionics.
4) DayJet needs 10 aircraft to launch their service. Their launch date has slipped as they wait for aircraft deliveries. They expect to be able to launch their service the first week of July.
5) DayJet expects to take delivery of 50 aircraft +/- 10 aircraft in 2007.
6) DayJet expects to have 200 to 240 pilots on staff by the end of the year.
7) Ed said that they will need to have “North of” 4 pilots per aircraft.

Ed’s plan to take delivery of their first 12 aircraft without the performance mods is consistent with the data on the FAA website and with Vern’s stated plan to cut the performance mods in on serial #39. DayJet’s 12th aircraft will be serial #37. The next DayJet airplane after that will be serial #54.

Ed’s plan to launch service with 10 aircraft the first week of July means that Eclipse will need to delivery 7 DayJet aircraft in June. DayJet aircraft #10 is serial # 35.


Here are a couple of Cameron Burr’s comments from the May 18th podcast on AvWeb:

1) They are in the final stages of negotiations with Eclipse.
2) They expect to be taking delivery of 18 aircraft over 12 months.
3) They will not be selling seats. They will be chartering aircraft.
4) Their biggest concern is that demand will outstrip supply.
5) They expect to charter the aircraft at $2K per occupied flight hour.
6) All flights will occur within 500nm of Westover, MA, Pogo’s HQ.
7) They expect to launch their service in July 2008.

cj3driver said...

Ken said: RE Eclipse resales

“10% of fleet size is generally considered the magic number for a "buyer's market."

I agree Ken, but these are “positions” and not actual aircraft. You don’t see 40 Phenom positions, or 30 Mustang positions or 25 honda positions on the market.

Eclipse intentionally attracted “speculators” and investors by enticing the “low price and transferability. The transferability option is somewhat necessary when placing an order for “revolutionary” and unproven product as a tool to entice a potential depositor. Eclipse salesman says: “Look how much money the first 200 depositors have made… the price will very likely continue to go up…. It only has to go up 130K any you have doubled your money…. Where’s the risk?”. Other manufactures specifically and candidly discourage speculators, and even try to prohibit them.

According to Mike Press’s web site, Eclipse even accommodates the holder with a fee of 25K to perfect the transfer. (This is a profit center in itself). I have spoken with several brokers and sellers of positions, and many of these “investors” have multiple positions. This is why I believe there are not ultimately 1,000 owner operators out there for this aircraft (in the near term). This practice will ultimately “back-fire” on Eclipse, the same way it did in with “flippers”, CA, AZ and FL in the residential real estate markets. It creates artificial demand and will ultimately cause the manufacture to compete with its own customers. It is very evident that this is happening today. Eclipse is not posting ads in aviation magazines, or on Controller. At airshows, they promote “earlier slots” at premiums. They obviously must compete with their own customers with earlier positions.

Since the profit is not being made by Eclipse on early planes, the only saving grace for Eclipse will be to increase the price on parts, service and support. I’m sure this will come. You can purchase a printer for $69, but the ink cartages run $49 a pop. Inevitably, Eclipse will raise the price on its products to market value, and lower volume to try to maintain profitability.


There are only handfuls of new Owner/operators each year entering the market and the move-up market is very crowded. There are many choices when considering a 2 million dollar investment in a “toy”.

Eclipse is on a slippery slide, and its being oiled by their own customers.

mirage00 said...

While the two of you may not like the added attention given to these two delightful parodies, when I see you both whining and crying, I know I made the right decision.

Like I said Stan, your posts are becoming more pathetic and desperate all the time.

4th request... Anything on that "Major manufacturing design flaw" you hinted about weeks ago? Just trying to keep it honest.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The Drive-By Brothers are proud to bring you our latest method for blog distraction, the faux-disinterested 'yawn'.

Are the facts just to much to take?

Is your paper airplane getting wet from the tears you cry when no-one is looking?

Are the continued failures of your favorite would-be airplane manufacturer (wait, they don;t manaufacture anything, Comrade Vern said so), coupled with your blind adherence to the party line taking a toll on your limited online credibility?

No need to sell your position and get while the getting is good, just come to us, the Drive-By Brothers.

With our new Total Eclipse Tour combo' pack, you can get the faux-disinterested yawn and then the ever popular 'pathetic and desparate' line, all aimed to make it about personalities and to take the focus off those pesky facts and accurate track records from the mean and nasty bloggers.

The Drive-By Brothers, your blog back-up since before the first 'delivery'.

airtaximan said...

mirage,

perhaps you would like to provide an explanation as to why there has only been around a dozen "deliveries" in about a year of manufacturing?

I certainly hope Stan is right... otherwise, the alternative explanations really suck.

Just keeping it real:

- first plane for delivery began manufacturing around a year ago.
- there were around 20 planes already in production in September 2006 (9-10 months ago)
- there were around 50 planes in production on the February/March 2007 (5 months ago)
- the BIG delay was removed in April - PC... still no major deliveries... and 57 planes reportedly in production at that time.

** your favorite aircraft company planned and promised over 400 deliveries this year... to daye around a dozen.

Care to provide some clarity on what minor issues have casued this massive MISS, massive delay, and I dare say MASSIVE problem for your favorite A/C company?

Like I said, I sure hope its a manufacturing issue...otherwise... Ken can kiss his delivery deposit Bye-Bye.

All ills will bbe cured by OshKosh - a new plane, MORE revolutionary than the E-500. Same parts, and same systems, in order to encourage the suppliers to Keep up the bad work...

on paper, it will all smell so nice, I'm sure you'll all forget that they have not even produced 10% of the promised planes by that time.

gadfly said...

There is no room for debate on the following:

“The Man”, hisself said,

“As a company, we don’t manufacture things . . . we depend on our vendors to manufacture things . . .” . . . Vern at 12:50 to 12:55 Quoted precisely from:

http://www.avweb.com/podcast/files/2007-06-01.mp3

In other words, any and all criticism should be directed to “vendors” from now on. And from this day forward, “Eclipse” must simply be a sales organization. Hey, I’m just reporting the official word from the “top”.

gadfly

(Don't ask . . . the "fleet" is safely on the ground . . . there's thunderstorms in the area here at ABQ! . . . the little jet is deathly afraid of lightning and thunder.)

flyger said...

FlightCenter said...

DayJet needs 10 aircraft to launch their service. Their launch date has slipped as they wait for aircraft deliveries. They expect to be able to launch their service the first week of July.


But are any of their airplanes fitted with all the equipment they need, like the 3rd AI?

I've seen no news that the "3rd AI STC" has been done and flying. Ed even said the first planes didn't have it and that they were for "training".

DayJet expects to have 200 to 240 pilots on staff by the end of the year.

Can Eclipse even train 240 pilots in the remaining 6 months?

Stan Blankenship said...

mirage00 said...

4th request... Anything on that "Major manufacturing design flaw" you hinted about weeks ago? Just trying to keep it honest.

Mirage - Fair question.

Have made several requests for more information and am not receiving any response. Like others, I am wondering if the lull in deliveries and Mike Press's need for a 2-3 week return to the factory for mods, is related.

Ken Meyer said...

flyger wrote,

"I've seen no news that the "3rd AI STC" has been done and flying. Ed even said the first planes didn't have it and that they were for 'training.'"

I dunno; that seems a little egocentrically illogical to me: "I didn't hear about it so it couldn't have happened."

But a picture is worth a thousand words. It may not be the prettiest solution, but there you have it.

The third attitude source is available on the fulltime standby backup AI in Avio NG, so the extra box will be removed later this year.

Ken

JetProp Jockey said...

The chart of order history broken down by owner type is very interesting.

If you only look at the owner operator column after the price went up, you see the following numbers:

1/03 to 10/04 - Net 100 orders
10/04 to 11/05 - Net 150 orders
11/05 to 10/06 - net 150 orders
10/06 to Now - Net 120 ordedrs

If you believe that the air-taxi revolution is unproven, at best, and a bust at worst, there will not be anywhere near 500 orders per year to sustain the company, and possibly hundreds of aircraft from the air-taxi industry re-entering the market sucking up the 100 to 150 owner operator sales available to Eclipse.

I've said before, and now again, I think there is a 10X better chance of the E500 being the plane it was promised to be than the company being able to produce enough money to stay is in business.

Gunner said...

Looks like N126DJ may be heading back to the nest, or at least was scheduled to. FlightAware shows it scheduled GNV to SHV and a second leg SHV to AMA yesterday. It apparently just got off the ground in Gainesville before either aborting or canceling IFR.

Might have been another "proving run", though.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken:

with all your pretty pictures and insde scoop...perhaps you know why there have been so few deliveries?

e-clips promised 400 this year, and they've missed by a VERY LONG margin...begs the question "why?"...begs for an explanation from the company..no?

Is it no money so no parts?
Is it a screwed up manufacturing process?
A quality problem?
Is it the S word again?

What gives? The FAA is out of their way, and that WAS the hold up, right? What now?

mouse said...

Stan/Mirage, I believe the major flaw was the lack of proper bonding in the wings which casued all of the planes to be reworked. The fix is now complete.

mouse said...

Ken, nice photo but I doubt it's a useable solution. It will not pass the FAA for restricting the pilots vision in a critical area of the windshield or cockpit transparency.

Gunner said...

Mouse-
That makes sense, but are you certain? I mean, why on earth would they have installed it, if it won't pass muster? They certainly don't need it for their "proving runs".
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

Lots of new delivery data this morning.

The FAA website has been down for maintenance for the past three days.

Quick summary of the FAA data:

14 Aircraft delivered to date, with 9 delivered in Q2.

13 with Standard Certificates of Airworthiness

3 new owners registered.

Eclipse 500 Delivery Data

Black Tulip said...

Mouse said:

"It will not pass the FAA for restricting the pilots vision in a critical area of the windshield or cockpit transparency."

It appears the third horizon does restrict the pilot's field of view as the photograph apparently shows the aircraft rushing headlong into the hangar door, perhaps from the inside.

Black Tulip

Gunner said...

FC-
You're obviously picking up info on registrations that I can't locate.

Example:
SN 17, N17AE:
The June 1 Master DB download does not show an AW Cert, though the online search obviously agrees with your spreadsheet; but neither shows the ownership transfer paperwork you note.

Where are you finding the most up-to-date info?
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

Gunner,

I'm combining data from the following two pages:

FAA REGISTRY
N-Number Inquiry


FAA REGISTRY
Document Index Inquiry


After clicking on this link, you have to type in Eclipse in the "Party Name" Field. Then you get a list of about 150 date coded records that pertain in some way shape or form to Eclipse. Then if you click on the most recently changed links contained in those 150 records... You get the data on what paperwork has been recently submitted to the FAA.

Not very simple... or elegant... or automated...

Gunner said...

Ouch!

That's a LOT of work. Thanks much.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"nice photo but I doubt it's a useable solution. It will not pass the FAA for restricting the pilots vision in a critical area of the windshield or cockpit transparency."

Lucky for them the FAA decides that kinda thing and not you :)

Company personnel report the 3rd attitude indicator was indeed approved.

I do agree it looks pretty awful, however it is only an interim solution until Avio NG is released.

And along those lines, the company is reportedly committing in writing to customers of recently-delivered aircraft that FIKI, the Aeromod upgrade, and the Avio NG upgrade will all be added to their planes later this year. Nothing new there--that was the promised timeline--what's new is that they're willing to contractually commit to the timeline now.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"with all your pretty pictures and insde scoop...perhaps you know why there have been so few deliveries?"

Your glass is half empty, AT :)

From where I sit, 20 airplanes recently delivered is a pretty good accomplishment.

The company is telling customers that a revised delivery schedule will be available in a few weeks reflecting the lessons learned from the production process to date. Speculation is that there will be perhaps 200 deliveries this year.

The ramp-up is certainly slower than initially anticipated. However they have delivered quite a few airplanes. The aeromods are going to appear on S/N 39 and above (as promised), and Avio NG is going to appear around S/N 100 as promised.

Personally, I think they're doing alright. Many of the bloggers here keep saying that Eclipse is not Cessna, and that's true. Cessna has ramped up production on new models many times; this is the first time for Eclipse. Why not cut them a little slack as they figure out how to manage the ramp-up?

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
"Contractually commit"?

The operative parts of a contract are the promise AND the consequence of non-performance. What is the concession/payment that Eclipse makes if it fails to install in the required time-frame?

Thanks for any info on this.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

"The operative parts of a contract are the promise AND the consequence of non-performance."

I'm no lawyer, Rich, but I do not believe an explicit remedy for non-performance is one of the elements of a valid contract.

If I recall correctly, the essential elements of a valid contract are

1. Identification of parties
2. Offer
3. Acceptance
4. Consideration
5. Lawful subject

There need not be any particular remedy specified in order for a contract to be valid. The law has many remedies for breach of contract, and those remedies are available to Eclipse customers as well.

That said, I happen to favor inclusion of a financial holdback and a penalty clause in future delivery agreements because those would forestall the necessity of seeking legal redress if the company doesn't deliver the items in the timeline promised. I'm going to recommend that the owner's group pursue those objectives. Thanks for reminding me about them.

Ken

Gunner said...

We're on the same page, then, Ken. If Eclipse has no downside to non-performance, the "contract" is a worthless written promise, backed up only by the integrity and track record of the party making such promise (and I won't go there).

Similarly, their willingness to "contractually commit" under such toothless conditions runs just short of insult to one's intelligence....hardly an issue praise them over.
Gunner

Bonanza Pilot said...

Ken
I think one of the issues people on the board have is the definition of a delivery. For me delivery is a transfer of ownership...it is mine to do with as I please. How many of the 20 planes that have been "delivered" can be flown away from ABQ by their owners...can they take them for a burger run with the wife? That is probably the main issue...we wonder why that hasn't happened already. Surely some of the early position holders must have had a lot of jet qualifications and be ready to go...why are they not?

I expect that will happen eventually..and maybe that would make a good betting pool...first owner flight without an Eclipse employee onboard.

FlightCenter said...

Ken & Gunner,

Ken says that the company is reportedly "committing in writing to customers of recently-delivered aircraft that FIKI, the Aeromod upgrade, and the Avio NG upgrade will all be added to their planes later this year."

You both seem to think that committing in writing means that there will be some sort of contract signed between Eclipse and the depositor.

I'd be very surprised if that happened. It would be much more likely that any commitment in writing made by Eclipse will be in the form of a letter from Eclipse to the customer / depositor.

I'd also be surprised if that letter had a meaningful remedy for lack of performance.

airtaximan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Airtaximan

You are a genius. You said, “Why not refer to Airbus?” So, I says to myself, “Myself, (I says) Why not?” And right there on today’s news (4 June 2007) was the following:
TULOUSE, France — Airbus, the ailing European planemaker, will be producing its delayed A350 XWB plane at a rate of 13 per month by 2016, making it the fastest made wide-bodied plane at Airbus, Chief Engineer Gordon McConnell said Monday.
1. The revamped plane enters into service in 2013 _ five years after U.S. rival Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, expected to be a top competitor along with the 777. Delivery would be at 13 per month in 2017.
Airbus has been losing customers for mid-sized planes to Boeing and was forced last year to launch a costly redesign of the planned A350.
Boeing has not disclosed monthly production rates it is projecting for the 787, but has said it would deliver 112 planes for the first two years.
Alan Pardoe, Airbus director of product marketing, said that despite the delay, Airbus hoped to grab a "good 50 percent" of the market for wide-bodied planes up to 400 seats, and estimated that would amount to 5,300 planes over 20 years.
The two officials spoke with a small group of reporters.
Airbus claims its A350 XWD, made from carbon fiber wings and composites, will be lighter per seat and more economical than existing aircraft.
McConnell, the chief engineer, strongly denied media reports that carriers including Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines Ltd., Emirates and the International Lease Finance Corp. were pressing Airbus for changes to the A350's fuselage design.
Airbus' decision to use four long panels "allows us to optimize our design of the fuselage," he said. "It gives us a better trade-off of weight versus cost."
Airbus got a much-needed boost last week from Qatar Airways, which ordered an extra 20 A350 XWD.
The European planemaker has 155 pledges on its books for the new model, of which 13 are firm commitments. Including orders for the old model, which Airbus is having to renegotiate with customers, there are 268 pledges. That's still far behind the 584 orders Boeing has for its equivalent 787 Dreamliner, due to enter commercial service next May.

**********************************

Well, as you can easily see, the parallels are obvious. Airbus could “team” with Eclipse, and offer one . . . or even two Eclipse jets with each and every order of the mighty A350.

By the time Airbus actually “delivers” their jet, Eclipse may actually deliver “their jet” . . . and the aviation industry will be, once again, one big happy family.

gadfly

airtaximan said...

Ken:

"Your glass is half empty, AT :)
From where I sit, 20 airplanes recently delivered is a pretty good accomplishment."

Really? It might be, if the company just said they'd build a realistic number of planes this year - but this is not what happend.

When you bring up Cessna, you make a fool of yourself. The ramp for Cessna is on plan, for e-clips (and their story of 400 planes in 2007) they are way off base. Why not refer to Airbus?

My glass is not even half full...its got a few drop in it. By now, if the glass represents 400 planes promised, and there's been 15 or so (your 20, funny) "delivered" (equally funny) then I'd say 15 or so out of promised 400, which should be at least 100 by mid-2007 is a relistic assessment of the situation.

- while you may be comfy (I strongly doubt this, but you have no choice, your deposit money is GONE) with a few planes instead of a hundred delivered by now... I guess that explains how low your expectations of this company are. Fugures, this IS what it takes to maintain a positive post about them, at this point.

So while you may say your are comfy...I would ask some very pointed questions, and expect some realistic answers:

- why only 15 deliveries since mid 2006?
- dislcose all (all) the issues that resulted in recasting and substantially reducing the projected deliveries for 2007, (quality, supplier, finacial) so I can make an intelligent decision regarding my deposit?

I suspect your position is sufficiently far off in the future for you to just be concerned with getting anything at all for your money. I would be too. If you are int he 1000 range, it might be a few years before you actually see anything for your money. Can you say 2010-12? at 200 planes per year, that's what it will be - and there ain't much in the orderbook to make them move any faster on your plane - that's clear.

And, 2010 is far off, and will certainly raise another half empty question - how in hell are they going to make it to 2010?

Sounds like your glass is full - full of what? I'm pretty clear on this.

Carry on!

airtaximan said...

independent view of Dayjet, from their open house -

http://holstein13.vox.com/library/post/dayjets-coming-out-party.html

enjoy!

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"We're on the same page, then, Ken. If Eclipse has no downside to non-performance, the "contract" is a worthless written promise"

That's pretty typical for you, Rich.

The contract doesn't specify a particular remedy, so you proclaim (as if you actually know something about this kind of thing) that "the contract is a worthless written promise."

But all you're doing is demonstrating that you don't actually know what you're talking about. A contract is a written promise; that part we agree on. But worthless? Nope. As in any contract, there are all sorts of remedies available if one party does not fulfill his end of the bargain.

You're making it pretty obvious that you're biased against the company when you suggest that they should have a special set of contract rules that don't apply to anybody else. Why not just treat them like anybody else that contracts to provide a service? People contract all the time without specifying a remedy in the event of default. Do you think every contract to purchase something specifies exactly what you can do if the vendor doesn't deliver on time? No, it doesn't have to; you can sue for damages or for specific performance. But somehow you think the Eclipse contract must go beyond what appears in every other contract we make.

I think that is very telling actually--it simultaneously tells us that you don't know much about contracts and you are pretty biased against Eclipse Aviation, Inc. I guess that shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anybody.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

bonanza said,

"For me delivery is a transfer of ownership...it is mine to do with as I please."

All the 20 owners who have taken delivery are doing exactly what they please with their aircraft. Several have decided to lease it back to Eclipse Aviation. Others have flown off into the wild blue yonder.

What's the point? Are you suggesting that nobody has actually taken an Eclipse delivery, free and clear? If so, that's just wrong.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken said:
The contract doesn't specify a particular remedy, so you proclaim (as if you actually know something about this kind of thing) that "the contract is a worthless written promise."

Thanks, once again, for underscoring my point, Ken. ANY contract, absent remedy, is little more than a written promise to "respect you in the morning".

Enjoy your "night out" with Vern. ;-)
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"Thanks, once again, for underscoring my point, Ken. ANY contract, absent remedy, is little more than a written promise to 'respect you in the morning.'"

Rich, that demonstrates an appalling lack of contract knowledge. Don't you guys every write contracts at the magazine?

Ken

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

I dunno; that seems a little egocentrically illogical to me: "I didn't hear about it so it couldn't have happened."


Sorry, I should have realized there's no room for any other ego here other than Vern's.

The third attitude source is available on the fulltime standby backup AI in Avio NG, so the extra box will be removed later this year.

That's too bad. It would be nice to have an AI that didn't depend on a thousand electrical connections, a hundred million transistors, or a million lines of code.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So I finally looked at the picture of the panel Ken provided and the one from the DayJet party article that ATM posted.

I too find it hard to believe the FAA has signed off on that FUGLY 3rd AI installation, but I dare not suggest that EAC has exerted undue influence with the FAA lest the faithful brand me a conspiracy theorist.

Question for those in the know - What are all those yellow placards on the keyboard, autopilot control panel, throttle and such?

I can't make them out from those little photos, but yellow is usually cautionary like INOP.

I would guess that with so much of the promised capability still on IOU for 'Tuesday' with the release of Avio NfG, there must be a need for a bunch of INOP placards - but WOW, sure looksd like a lot of them.

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

Rich, that demonstrates an appalling lack of contract knowledge.


Standard Ken type response. "You are wrong, you idiot, but I'm not going to tell you the answer." The implication is that explaining it to someone is beneath him. The other implication is that personal insults are more important than discussing the issue.

In general terms, a contract with no specified contingencies is a valid contract that can be held up in a court of law. Under those conditions, the legal metric is "made whole". That is, if the defendant didn't perform, then the plaintiff is entitled to seek damages of a sufficient amount to compensate for the lost performance. This is, of course, subject to interpretation by the judge.

The vast majority of contracts do not specify significant contigencies. It is simple too difficult to predict all the possible issues to be resolved. Furthermore, it takes *forever* to negotiate a contract that not only covers the expected performance, but then delves into all the possible ways it can go wrong. It also sets up a bad relationship to discuss those possible problems before you even start on the work.

Over the years, my philosophy on contracts is to specify the terms clearly, detail the expected performance, and then not to worry about the rest. So far, no contract has ended up in court and my clients are happy. I still believe in good old fashioned personal trust and that goes a long way in my business.

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

And along those lines, the company is reportedly committing in writing to customers of recently-delivered aircraft that FIKI, the Aeromod upgrade, and the Avio NG upgrade will all be added to their planes later this year. Nothing new there--that was the promised timeline--what's new is that they're willing to contractually commit to the timeline now.


My understanding is that there is a Sept 30th 2007 deadline for FIKI or there are contract issues. Since that is a Sunday, *and* the last day of a quarter, FIKI should be announced *that day*. Eclipse seems to get the most done on days like that...

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

Personally, I think they're doing alright. ... Why not cut them a little slack as they figure out how to manage the ramp-up?


Hey, that's what you get when they go around dissing the entire industry and now they want some "slack"? Maybe they should have shut the frack up and spent time learning what the frack they were doing. Then I'd be the first to give them slack.

I have rarely seen such an ego maniac as Vern. We've spent years hearing how he knew this or that and that all the critics were stupid. Well, guess what, just about everything the critics have predicted has come true and there is more to come.

How can you not laugh when the egotistical, know-it-all greenhorn falls on his face?

And we all know that the spectre of thousands of air taxis buzzing around is something the airlines don't like. Never mind if it is practical or not, the idea was a contributing factor to the user fee debate. Gee, thanks Vern, for helping to ruin general aviation for the rest of us.

Ken Meyer said...

flyger wrote,

"Standard Ken type response. 'You are wrong, you idiot, but I'm not going to tell you the answer.'"

Now, now. We can do without the personal attacks here.

I did not call him an idiot. I suggested he didn't know enough about contracting to be belittling the Eclipse contract.

Your comments seem to indicate you agree with me. Do you not?

BTW, what's your interest in the Eclipse, Flyger?

Ken

Metal Guy said...

Gunner said:

We're on the same page, then, Ken. If Eclipse has no downside to non-performance, the "contract" is a worthless written promise, backed up only by the integrity and track record of the party making such promise (and I won't go there).

According to Wikipedia, Gunner is correct. Look up “Consideration under American law”

For there to be a valid contract, “consideration” must be met. This requires that a valid contract fulfill three elements. “First, there must be a bargain regarding terms of an exchange. Second, there must be a mutual exchange. In other words, both parties must get something out of the contract. Third, the exchange must be something of value.”

If there is no downside to Eclipse if they fall through, then there has been nothing of value exchanged with the depositors.

Thus there is no consideration and no valid contract.

Ken said to Gunner:

I think that is very telling actually--it simultaneously tells us that you don't know much about contracts and you are pretty biased against Eclipse Aviation, Inc. I guess that shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anybody.


Sorry Ken – Gunner is correct yet again.

airtaximan said...

"Ken Meyer said...

And along those lines, the company is reportedly committing in writing to customers of recently-delivered aircraft that FIKI, the Aeromod upgrade, and the Avio NG upgrade will all be added to their planes later this year."

Simple question, Ken:

"Or what?"

JetProp Jockey said...

I agree that there are many contracts that do not specify a remedy in the case of breach. This is mostly true because the the person or company making a committment to produce a product or service writes the contract and many unweary customers just sign the document.

If the customer takes the contract to their lawyer and payes to have it reviewed, he will get a laundry list of reasons as to why the document is totally one sided. If the party offering a service or product is in a strong enough position to do so, they will say take it or leave it. If not, they are willing to negotiate a more balanced contact.

Unfortunately, most consumers are too cheap to pay for a legal opinion before agreeing to a contract, but run there at top speed if they feel they are not getting what they contracted for. Determining a remedy at that point is alot tougher and expensive.

This being said, each depositor of an E500 has already signed a one sided contract that allowed deposits to be used for development.

I think what gunner and other, myself included, are asking is why bother with a written committment to do the upgrades by the end of the year without a specific remedy offered. If they would say, "You pay for and take delivery of an aircraft that does not meet specification, we will make all of the upgrades needed to meet spcifications by 12/31/07 or you will be entitled to $1000 per day for each day the commitment is not met. This would be a contract of real value and show a total committment to "Make it happen" by Eclipse.

In effect, the written promise to provide the upgrades by the end of the year does not improve a customers remedy in the event of a decision to fight the lack of performance.

Ironically, what this document will do is prevent any owner who has taken delivery from persuing a legal remedy before 2008 because they have accepted this written committment.

Gunner said...

JPJ-
Spot on.

Despite the nature of the "business" that Ken and Sherry run, I'd not believe for a second that he is totally ignorant of best practices in contract law.

Of course, there is a remedy for a contract without consideration. It's called a court proceeding, after the fact. That is, the owner of the aircraft will have to sue the very cult-mentality manufacturer upon which he is dependent for rebuild of his aircraft, reconstruction of his avionics suite and maintenance for the life of the plane (or company). Fat chance and Vern knows it.

So does Ken. That's why he'll attempt to belittle the comment, on the one hand, while admittedly running off to the Owner's Group to demand that Vern incorporate those very comments in the "contract".

But, then, I could be wrong. Perhaps, like Ken, we should wait for Vern to tell us what our opinion is. Don't forget the "value proposition".

In any case, Ken's not worried. At SN 11XX he knows he's only got his deposit at risk. If he ever gets his plane, it'll be the early depositors that took the real risks for him. Meantime he can tout a non-contract as a sign of Eclipse's good faith here, while telling the other Depositors, "That's not good enough".
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Gunna,

Ken's MO - must keep things looking at least "half full" for as long as it takes for my non-refundable deposit to turn into a piece of metal.

If they begin to look to much like "half empty" (or almost dry), I'll never see sh&! from shinola for my deposit that's been given to Vern for years now.

'splains a lot...

sparky said...

Ken,

Nice picture, is it certified?

if so, what is the STC number and who holds it. Did a quick search on the FAA data base and can't find any STC's registered to either eclipse or dayjet.

no certification means it's as worthless as the rest of the jet.

Gunner said...

Wow.
Four Mustangs in the air as I write:

N510KS: KBFI-KCYS, FL390, Slant Q
N396DM: KGUC-KADS, FL390, Slant L
N425MU: KSAT-MGGT at FL410, Jet Routes, Slant L
N403CM: KCRQ-KSUS at FL410, Slant Q

Meantime, Eclipse N229BW beat feet out of KSUS at FL270, VOR to VOR, Slant (you guessed it) A

Wonder which of these are most likely to have skis (or golf clubs) in the aisle? No matter, they'll all indistinguishable come "Tuesday". ;-)
Gunner

Gunner said...

Hey, look, EA-500, N229BW, is doing some fancy maneuvers to avoid that pesky white stuff!

Clump, Clump.
Gunner

cj3driver said...

Regarding contractual promises made by Eclipse

Does an early depositor really have a choice but to accept the Eclipses’ promise no matter how its written? The first 200 (or so) deliveries are at a fixed price of $995K. Because of substantial equity these customers are at the mercy of Eclipse. Eclipse says: “we have not met our performance goals, here’s your money back… plus interest, no problem, come back in a couple of years and you can have a completed plane then…. Oh, the price is 1.9…. your choice, take delivery and wait for the mods, (we promise to do them at no charge…) or cancel the order.

In this instance I don’t see a case of leverage for early customers….. not a wing to stand on

airtaximan said...

Cj3-er

"Does an early depositor really have a choice but to accept the Eclipses’ promise no matter how its written?"

I imagine they are making these promises, in order to avoid a refund event.

If not, man are they ever just the nicest aircraft company, ever.

Imagine giving away all this free mod and upgrade work, just like that! Great stuff.

Promises = a way to avoid closing the doors, today. Many (almost everyone, except perhaps Ken and a few aviation museums) would demand a refund.

- Why not isist on a hold back? Otherwise, you have a loose grip on a very empty, wet and soggy bag.

- The promise of 400 planes delivered this year, lets just say "encouraged" the depositors to pony up 60% more, and have a passive attitude regarding the mods - 'cause lets face it, once you ramp from zero to 400 planes a year, a few dozen mods are a piece of cake, right?

smile and wave....

Bonanza Pilot said...

Ken Said:
"What's the point? Are you suggesting that nobody has actually taken an Eclipse delivery, free and clear? If so, that's just wrong."

Suggesting...implying...asking..not sure which. Are there are owners who have taken delivery and moved the plane to their own home hangar...and are flying these great planes around? If so why are they not showing up on Flight Aware. I guess I am trying to find out exactly what you are saying...how many owners took their planes home from ABQ...and are flying them around the country. I do not consider it a delivery to pay for a plane and then immediately lease it back to Eclipse with an agreement that it can only be flown by Eclipse pilots. I would call that an interest bearing loan at best.....so out of the 20, how many are real deliveries? Are they all blocking their N numbers on Flight Aware? Are any of the 20 (besides the Dayjet ones in Florida) based outside of ABQ? I don't know how you have the info...but if this was a normal straightforward company this would be an easy question for anyone to answer...instead we are supposed to depend on your brief..that is wrong comment....so if that is wrong...tell me how many and where are they?

On a side not there is an open house today with the Eclipse in Pontiac MI...one June 9th in Chicago and one June 11th in St. Paul...so should see something moving around.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Bonanza Pilot said,

I expect that will happen eventually..and maybe that would make a good betting pool...first owner flight without an Eclipse employee onboard.



I guess you missed the announcement but Mike Press is typed and flying the airplane without Eclipse employees on board. He spent Memorial Day flying all around Florida. Thought I would save you the trouble of starting a betting pool.

N229BW is his registration if you want to check it on FlightAware. We have also covered this pretty extensively on the blog that he is the first owner/pilot to take delivery and get typed.

Bonanza Pilot said...

thanks EO387...I appreciate the clear and precise answer. That is indeed good news! Are there any other typed pilots besides Mike? Anyone else flying around so I can track N numbers?

Has the training resumed...I had heard the first class did not go well and they ended it early to correct issues...do you know if people are in training now?

thanks for the information.

Stan Blankenship said...

From a letter to the editor in the May 28, 2007 Av Week regarding the low speed of the Cessna Mustang:

"It might be time for minimum performance speeds for high-altitude operations - maybe Mach 0.70 at or above FL300, Mach 0.75 for FL350 and above. It must be a controllers worst dream to organize and work the system when you stir in an aircraft whose Mmo speeds are 75% of those of most other aircraft. But there is a lot of extra sky up there, I think."

Another letter predicted:

"...future Cessna Mustang owners should not be surprised if their newfound pride in "jet performance" will be met by insults and yells to "get out of the way" by airline pilots and controllers."

Then added the final insult:

"What are the speed brakes for?"

Gunner said...

"What are the speed brakes for?"

Now THAT'S funny!
Gunner

gadfly said...

The answer is simple:

"To get a good look at that little white jet down below!"

gadfly

Gunner said...

Cold, Gad. That's really cold!
Gunner

BD5 Believer said...

Bonanza Pilot,

no one has offered up any other "true deliveries" except for Mike's.

I asked your same questiosn last week, and got the same answer...so it seems to me that only one a/c has left the nest for private hands...not counting Dayjets one a/c.

But I have to believe at some point this summner a few more a/c will leave the nest. That's when the fun will begin...real aiplanes with real customers and real perforamnce data. It will end a lot of the discussion on this blog one way or another....and of course will start some new discussions!!

By the way still looking for a reason why the wieght and balance data for delievered a/c would be so confidential?

Gunner said...

BD5-
DayJat has at least two in Florida. However, as I reported yesterday, N126DJ disappeared off FlightAware immediately after takeoff from GNV to AMA, which I'll be chastised for assuming to be a return to the MotherShip in ABQ.

Meantime, Mustang N403CM seems to be on a loopy 1 hour joy ride from St. Louis to St. Louis. Hmmmm, they're at FL310, /Q. Wonder if they got the word from Ed yet that, for flights < 2 hours, <28K feet and /A makes much more sense?

Gunner

cj3driver said...

Stan,

Interesting comments regarding Mustang speeds.

However, the redeeming thing regarding the Mustang is the quick climb rate to 410. N600DE appears to fly above 380 on every flight over 1.5 hrs. In my experience, there very, very few aircraft above FL380, and rarely an airline. At lower altitudes and especially in the approach environment, the VLJ’s will keep up with even the fastest if needed. I agree at 350 there will be a speed issue, mixing with airlines. But, with the fast climb and direct routing to the relatively quiet flight levels, the slower speed should not be a problem, unless, of course, Eclipse starts building and selling 1,000 planes per year.

cj3driver said...

Regarding speed,

....“It must be a controllers worst dream to organize and work the system when you stir in an aircraft whose Mmo speeds are 75% of those of most other aircraft.”


...These types of comments, are what creates the so-called "air-traffic crisis" and thus the need for more funding. Did the author forget about the thousands of “other” Turboprops and legacy citations currently operating in the system?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

CJ3,

One could opt for a Piaggio P-180 and smoke almost everybody (including the airliners) on less fuel.

THAT thing is F-A-S-T and dead sexy.

cj3driver said...

CWMOR,
Piaggio is FAST and efficient, but sexy is in the eye of the beholder!...my guess for the lackluster sales...

cj3driver said...

CWMOR,
... after all, you could buy 4 E500's for the price of one of those "sexy" P-180 beasts...

of course you need four to carry the same payload!

gadfly said...

Piaggio P-180 . . . sorta looks like it's scooping up parts falling off something else (not to mention which VLJ I had in mind). And make's ya' think the "Wright Brothers" were on to something, with the "canard".

But sexy? . . . like a squid!

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

CJ3,

I feel the issue with the P-180 has been lack of familiarity with the brand here in the US, and the unconventional design.

Business\Corporate Aviation departments are fairly conservative\conventional in their tastes and look to the history\industry buzz when identifying platforms that meet the mission profile.

Piaggio has its relative 'newness' (for 20 years now) to the US market, the perceived distance\difficulty for service in the US, and the unconventional look\design of the plane workig against it IMO.

FWIW, I see some parallels with Piaggio's first run at the US market 15 years or so ago, and the challenges the wunderJet has had and will continue to have with corporate aviation departments.

Like the Piaggio, Eclipse has NO support structure and no history in the market, but where Piaggio has made tremendous adjustments in its' support concept for the US, Eclipse is still stuck starting from zero.

Like the Piaggio, Eclipse has a good looking plane, but it has design features that are unconventional (overall size and avionics complexity for the Eclipse vs. 3-surface turbo-prop pusher for the Piaggio). Unconventional design features are not looked on with glee by corporate aviation departments - witness the issues for Starship, Avanti in the 80's and 90's.

With a major cash infusion from Ferrari, Piaggio is making some strides here now but it will never replace the King-Air 350 or the CE-560.

Gunner said...

For my money. The P180 s absolutely sexy, though I agree with the squid comment. It's sexy, no so much in form, as in function..way sexy.
Gunner

gadfly said...

On a serious note:

A canard, such as the "Piaggio P-180", uses much less power to keep the beast flying, since the "pitch" control adds to the total lift, rather than detract from it. 'Had a certain "egotist" thought it through, the little jet could have used this simple fact to "truly" make it a revolutionary aircraft. And maybe the "Williams" engines would have been adequate . . . although barely.

It would have been much safer, almost "stall proof" . . . but that's a scenario for another day.

It's funny what "pride" will do to a man, or a venture into the unknown.

gadfly

Gunner said...

Gad-
Gimme a soapbox with that kind of performance, comfort, quiet and efficiency and I'd call it sexier than Angelina Jolie on Rufinol!

Talk about a "value proposition"!
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

Somebody mentioned the Piaggo, reminds me of a story. May have written about it before, but it's worth re-telling.

New Orleans NBAA, 1983(?) and the public unveiling of the Beech Starship and Learjet's Piaggio 180. The opening morning, just before the doors open.

Beech president Linden Blue is standing on a balcony with Brainard Holmes, Raytheon's corporate CEO, admiring the Starship on the convention floor below.

Bib Stillwell, Learjet's president is walking around the Piaggio 180 and admiring Lear's offering. He looks up at his good friend Linden and in his very thick Australian accent says, "I say Linden, your airplane looks like an insect."

Without cracking a smile, Linden shoots back, "Yes, and it eats guppies."

mouse said...

Guys,

Eclipse needs to deliver planes to show something for the piles of money they have burned through, however they can surely keep them from flying by limiting training... Pretty clever, huh?

Thanks to Vern's big mouth and all of his over-promises, dino bad-mouthing, and vendor bashing, nothing he does from here on out means anything... He blew it for the whole company...

mouse said...

The P-180 has only one reason for it's low numbers... The Italians (their unions and their excessive holidays) only allow 30 to be built per year, tops. They want to produce more, but can't...

gadfly said...

Gunner

Even the big boys like Boeing sell what "looks good", rather what's the "best" . . . that's a given. "Tradition" is a heavy burden for an inventor (and inventing is how I make a living). Almost no-one wants what is best . . . but what is comfortable to their "mind" . . . and should we ever meet in person, I'll be glad to show you some things that have revolutionized certain methods of manufacturing.

At least a major aircraft engine manufacturer (the "biggest"), and a medical/surgical company have opened their minds to certain new methods . . . and we reap the benefits. But most, including the various aircraft manufacturers are not open to new methods, regardless of all the "hype".

Once in a while, someone is forced out of desperation to listen to reason, rather than public acclaim, and will take the risk . . . and go in a new direction. But most think they know best . . . especially those with connections and/or degrees.

Most modern technology takes place in the machine shop out back . . . very little happens in the front office.

gadfly, . . . operating the "front office" and the "machine shop out back".

(My grandpa, with many successful inventions, said he went through the University of Nebraska . . . in the front door, and out the back.)

mouse said...

Gadfly, the EJ22 had planety of power, for the original design weight of the Eclipse. The plane is what caused the demise, and Vern's insistance on owning/controlling the FADEC hindered the enine until Williams decided they had enough.

A secret boardmeeting (Vern was not included) was held in July of '00 and Dr. Williams told the board that he would sell Eclipse the FJ33 for the same price (per pound of thrust) as the EJ22.
Vern turned it down. Not because it was a bad deal, but because the plane was so behind schedule they could not take the FJ33's and still come up with an excuse why they were not building and certifying. The Teledyne engine was a diversion to keep the only plane Eclipse would build for a l-o-n-g time..

There was never another plane, or planes sitting around waiting for engines.. Now you know the rest of the story..

gadfly said...

Thank you, mouse:

It was the opinion of a couple of us, that the "22" had just enough power to get the thing off the ground, with little reserve (for all the auxiliary tasks). And the profile of the fuselage would prevent it from doing what was claimed.

Williams did a wise thing in annulling the marriage. If they had “doubled” the thrust, they would have still been tainted by the relationship.

Thanks for “the rest of the story”.

gadfly

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"Thanks to Vern's big mouth and all of his over-promises, dino bad-mouthing, and vendor bashing, nothing he does from here on out means anything... He blew it for the whole company..."

Oh good grief.

Can you possibly be any more transparent than that? Your conclusion is obviously wrong--orders are rolling in and planes are rolling out.

You prejudice every word you write when you express such obvious venom toward the company's president.

Some of you bloggers are just dying that the company is delivering airplanes in pretty good quantities. I actually feel sorry for you as you cringe in the corner watching the company gradually succeed.

That said, it's certainly true that the company has left a wake of angry guys like mouse and needs better people skills. But it's a non sequitur to conclude that the existence of some unhappy guys means that Vern Raburn "blew it for the whole company." The evidence is just contrary to that conclusion.

Ken

Black Tulip said...

Mouse,

The Board Room,

This is an interesting story and could open a chapter when the book is written on Eclipse Aircraft. I hope you are 'keeping track'.

Somebody will pick through the wreckage and write this up...at best it will be a popular book...at worst, a business magazine article or an MBA case study.

Black Tulip

Gunner said...

Well, we all KNOW that mouse is one of them, thar "disgruntled, fired employees". That's obvious, because he's not singing Vern's praises. Stan's a "disgruntled, jilted vendor". That's obvious because he doesn't build parts for the Eclipse. I'm a "disgruntled defector". That's apparent because I decided to take my money back and laughed all the way to the bank.

And you, Ken. Well, you're Ken Myer. That pretty much says it all.
Gunner

sparky said...

Ken,

second time to ask: Is the third AI certified? who holds the STC and what is the STC number

Metal Guy said...

Some of you bloggers are just dying that the company is delivering airplanes in pretty good quantities. I actually feel sorry for you as you cringe in the corner watching the company gradually succeed.

What they are delivering is nothing near what Vern promised, nowhere near when Vern promised it, nowhere near the rate Vern promised it at.

Other than that, yes the company is hobbling along due to massive influx of cash, but that’s about all that can be said.

Vern is an idiot and everyone knows it now because he could not deliver on anything he promised. Not even close.

airtaximan said...

there goes Ken again, trying to do whatever he can to avoid getting nothing at all for his non-refundable deposit...

It's going to be a long, long, long time, if ever, Ken. Get used to it.

a37pilot said...

It's possible that the third AI was done under a field approval. An STC would be alot of extra work for something that it supposed to be temporary.

EclipseBlogger said...

mouse said... Gadfly, the EJ22 had plenty of power, for the original design weight of the Eclipse. The plane is what caused the demise, and Vern's insistence on owning/controlling the FADEC hindered the engine until Williams decided they had enough.

A secret board meeting (Vern was not included) was held in July of '00 and Dr. Williams told the board that he would sell Eclipse the FJ33 for the same price (per pound of thrust) as the EJ22.
Vern turned it down. Not because it was a bad deal, but because the plane was so behind schedule they could not take the FJ33's and still come up with an excuse why they were not building and certifying. The Teledyne engine was a diversion to keep the only plane Eclipse would build for a l-o-n-g time..

There was never another plane, or planes sitting around waiting for engines.. Now you know the rest of the story...


Oh, please. This couldn't be more wrong. But, Gadfly the inventor, son of inventor, grandson of inventor fell for it hook, line and fallacy. Gunner the tabloid publisher tagged right alone too.

Perhaps the EJ22 may have had the power originally spec'ed, but that wasn't the problem. The engines wouldn't start reliably, were prone to all kinds of damage, and simply burned themselves up. It was a great idea, with not enough sound implementation.

As far as the "secret meeting" and the deal that mouse proposes, in July 2000 the program was barely off the ground, and nobody, even the mighty Sam Williams could foresee the problems to come. Williams wanted to build the EJ22 for this aircraft, not the FJ33. This was to be a whole new sector that was totally untapped - not just an offshoot of the FJ44.

Nice story, but it is a fairy tale.

BD5 Believer said...

A37 Driver

REF third AI

If it was a field approval, would that not mean more paperwork for each a/c verses an STC?

Also, you mentioned a few weeks back that you had done a few RVSM certs...I hope those where for other a/c and not your Dragonfly!!! LOL

I cannot imagine the nightmare for the controllers having to route Mustangs around your pokey old A37 at RVSM flight levels!

Just yanking your chain....just jealous of your juiced up Tweet!!

If I could afford the fuel, I would take one over any of the VLJ's in a heart beat.

- Great noise to fuel ratio
- Great ramp appeal
- Lots of wing racks for stuff
- you could convert a drop tank or two into lockers for ski's and gold clubs, no reason to carry them in the aisle...oops you have no aisle :-)

Ken Meyer said...

EB wrote,

"As far as the "secret meeting" and the deal that mouse proposes, in July 2000 the program was barely off the ground, and nobody, even the mighty Sam Williams could foresee the problems to come."

That's an interesting point that I missed when I read mouse's sad tale. The very first test flight of N500EA with the EJ22 engines was, I believe, in August 2002. The timeline mouse describes looks to be incompatible with known history.

Ken

gadfly said...

EB

The “fairy tale” was obvious long ago, long before I found this blogsite. It was so “far fetched” it was difficult to believe that anyone could fall for it . . . and actually invest in it. But this is the state of “Roswell”, “Smokey Bear”, “Trinity Site”, “Billy the Kid”, and “space aliens” . . . so nothing here is truly a surprise.

Part of the problem is that our governor has invested our tax money in the thing, without our permission. And the general manufacturing community, a somewhat fragile thing, is also affected by it.

We read and wonder . . . the end of the tale is predictable, but we are amazed how adults actually believe the story line. What do you have to lose . . . ‘just a few hundred grand? . . . Hopefully, nothing more! Many of us have lost that kind of money on “new ventures” a few times over, but there comes a time when we decide to just quietly “walk away” and get on with life.

The wonder of this thing is the “emotions” that it triggers. Whether that is “funny” or “sad” . . . you can decide. But I’ll continue to “look in” and offer comments from time to time . . . and stir it up to see what happens. Now and then, I learn something worthwhile.

gadfly

(Oh, by the way, I’m secure in what I am, and what I’ve accomplished in life. Thank you!)

Gunner said...

Pay no attention to the kid hanging out the window of the onrushing El Camino, people. That's just one of the Drive-By Brothers, historically known to be shooting blanks.

You need be careful only when the ride stops and they get out. Watch your ankles, I think they're slowing down! Expect visits from Redtail and Lloyd anytime now....and be certain not to step on the Chihuahua; it just might not be a Chihuahua.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Gunner

There's a report out that one of the "Drive By Brothers" was arrested for using a "45" in a "38" zone.

gadfly

Gunner said...

Gad-
if you say so. Personally, I think it must have been a Mirage.

Ba Dump Bump.
Goodnight all.
Gunner

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BD5 Believer said...

Gunner,

Thanks for the clarification.

Boy two with Dayjets and one with Mike Press...so three have left the nest so far.

Does anybody have a good count on how many are still tied to the mother nest?

EclipseBlogger said...

Gunner said... Pay no attention to the kid hanging out the window of the onrushing El Camino, people. That's just one of the Drive-By Brothers, historically known to be shooting blanks.

Who's doing the drive-by now. Mouse's fiction is obviously flawed, but you choose to ignore that fact. You were happy to jump on board when it supported your theories. But you didn't pay attention to what he actually stated. It's just plain wrong. It's obvious. And you fell for it. Pretty sad for a journalist.

WhyTech said...

eclipseblogger said re the EJ22:

"It was a great idea, with not enough sound implementation:

You mean like the EA500?

WT

Stan Blankenship said...

Posted below the horizon, brought forward for better visibility:

Six Coconuts said...

Been lurking for a while, now just cannot resist.

Wish my wife loved me as much as you guys love Avidyne.

Somebody should ask Cirrus about their PFD/MFD failure rates on the production line and in service. Numbers in excess of 25% were/are not uncommon.

How many Entegra equipped DA-40's did Diamond sell after announcing the G1000? One!

How many Entegra equipped 350's and 400's did Lancair sell after announcing the G1000? A small handfull.

They got booted from Javelin (for OP Technologies ... yikes), are likely to get booted from Piper, receive lukewarm support from Spectrum, and on and on.

Avidyne makes a nice looking piece of gear, just wish mine would last more than a few hundred hours at a pop. I am getting my money out of the Warranty ... for a few more months.

The last system that Avidyne certified was their PFD in 2003. Four years with nothing new, lots of angry OEMs ... now that shows the ability to get new technology to market.

Remember that Garmin's best customers are former Avidyne owners.

10:08 PM, June 05, 2007

Gunner said...

EB-
I never jumped on Mouse's "bandwagon". I simply chimed in that his report (accurate or not) would be followed by the usual personal ankle biting, rather than refutation. And I was pretty accurate; you fulfilled the personal attack prophecy in spades. For Mouse's part, he has more credibility regarding the internal working and history of Eclipse than any other Blogger here.

Six Coconuts:
Avidyne may well be a second rate avionics manufacturer. I wouldn't know as I don't happen to fly their products. Of course, if they are, we might also question who's next to be exposed? The Japanese wing manufacturers? The American assemblers? (they've already taken hits for wings and windshields). The FSW patent holders. Who's gonna be at fault the first (next?) time Avio NextGrift goes Tango Uniform in IMC, without backup instrumentation?

After all, Vern has made it abundantly clear that he can't be blamed for any shortfalls or defects in the EA-50X. See, Eclipse doesn't manufacture anything, according to him. They're dependent on their suppliers, all of whom are "First Class", until they quit or get fired, at which point they're Third Rate.

That may be why the Deposit Agreement holds Eclipse harmless, even for Product Liability of its own creation. "Depositor group, Two O'clock; Come right 60 degrees."

Clump, Clump go the bus wheels. Driver Vern at the helm, don'tcha know.
Gunner

JetProp Jockey said...

Here is an excerpt for an recent article relative to the Kodiak:

The Kodiak, a rugged, single-propeller bush plane, will hit the market this summer at $1.3 million. With pre-orders approaching 100, Voetmann is scrambling to double his manufacturing plant's current production capacity of one per week.

The whole article is at:

http://www.worldmag.com/articles/13035

I write this to compare to Ken's assertion that Eclipse can sell the E500 for $1.5 because it puts customers ahead of profits.

Quest really does put customers (Missionaries) ahead of profits because it is run as a non-profit company and there is no return to be paid to investors or banks (interest) because the development costs were provided by donations to a trust fund (mine included).

This being said, this is a single engine turboprop (exact engine as I have in my JetProp) which is not pressurized and has a fixed gear and will be sold basically at cost at $1.3. It's a little hard to fathom that Eclipse will stay in business with a twin fanjet and $1B of development costs selling the little bird at $1.5.

I know we are talking about 50 to 100 per year vs. whatever Eclipse will produce and Quest has not invested in FSW, but still - $200,000 difference between a non profit, large scale C172 (or maybe a Muhl) with a turboprop and a full blown business jet???

JetProp Jockey said...

Sorry - I didn't realize that the link I provided only provided a small part of the article along with an opportunity to suscribe to read the rest.

I have the entire article and would be glad to e-mail it to anyone interested in the rest of the article.

rlmiller@ppcpinc.com

Ken Meyer said...

jetprop wrote,
"I write this to compare to Ken's assertion that Eclipse can sell the E500 for $1.5 because it puts customers ahead of profits."

I don't think I ever said whether Eclipse can or cannot continue to sell at $1.5 million. I recall making three these points on the issue:

1. Eclipse Aviation, Inc. has a stated philosophy of pricing according to cost rather than pricing as high as the market will bear.

2. The current pricing seems likely to go up especially if volume does not materialize as well or as rapidly as hoped.

3. The company can and will adjust the current price according to demand in order to allow profitability.

Did the article say that Quest is selling every Kodiak at cost? That would be a major change from what they've previously announced. Previously, they announced that they intend to provide one Kodiak to missionary or humanitarian groups at cost for every 10 Kodiaks they sell at a profit. The current price of $1.3 million therefore includes a profit.

At $1.3 million, the Kodiak bests the Caravan in several important categories despite costing hundreds of thousands of dollars less. Therefore, it helps to illustrate how the comparable Cessna product is priced much higher just as it is in the VLJ category.

Ken

JetProp Jockey said...

Actually the system Quest used was for every Mission orgination that was able to secure a specific amount in contributions toward the development - I recall it being $800,000 - they would receive a Kodiak free, but the free airplanes would be available as every tenth aircraft.

The eitire operation is being done as a not for profit. In effect if all 10 out of 10 were being sold at the price point to keep the bottom line the same, the price would be about 1.2 instead of 1.3

I have personally met some of the folks involved in this project and there really will never be a profit for anyone involved in the organization.

Ken Meyer said...

jetprop wrote,

"The eitire operation is being done as a not for profit."

...but 90% of the aircraft are being sold at a profit; that's my point. At $1.3 million, they're making a profit on a 10-seat airplane that weighs just about as much empty as the Eclipse does, has an expensive Garmin system, and as much aluminum as the Eclipse. They're making it in dramatically smaller quantities, and non-profit or not, they still have to pay all their employees and suppliers.

What they're doing is noble, but it really doesn't stick out to me as an example of why the Eclipse is priced too low. It may well be, but I think the message of the Kodiak is that many other planes like the Meridian and the Caravan are priced higher than costs alone dictate--and that's what Eclipse has been saying from the start.

Ken

HotDog said...

CWMOR Said...

Question for those in the know - What are all those yellow placards on the keyboard, autopilot control panel, throttle and such?

Answer: Function INOP

Bonanza Pilot said...

Ken
I do agree with what you are saying on pricing for some of the turboprops. The price differential between the Meridian and the Mirage is about 750K. The engine in the Mirage isn't cheap...so add that into the 750K difference and it mean that the PT6 costs what 800 or 850K??? Same thing with the TBM - it costs an extra 1 million over the Meridian...so I agree that many of these aircraft are not priced based on cost - but they are based on what the market will bear. If you only have the capability to sell a small quantity of something you might as well set the price as high as you can so that you don't have excess demand.

That said...Piper hasn't exactly been getting rich selling planes and thus it is just impossible to believe that an Eclipse with 2 jet engines can be cheaper than a Meridian - it never has made any sense. The problem for Eclipse is the huge volume they want exists at their original selling price of 900K or so....it evaporates once you are much above 1 million...as it approaches 2 million or 2.5 million then I think it is reasonable to assume volumes to be equal to or less than what Cessna is having for the Mustang. If they could sell at the original 900K price I would believe the order book was much larger than 2500 units.

The problem I have always seen with Eclipse is not the airplane...but the finances. Without super cheap jet engines the thing doesn't work...I give them credit for trying to figure out an air taxi market...and the friction stir welding...but it just doesn't get you there. Eclipse will be using the famous business model of loosing on every unit, but making it up in the volume!

Stan Blankenship said...

For more information on DayJet, you can view their June 23, 2006 slide presentation to the Florida Transportation Commision online at:


http://www.ftc.state.fl.us/Presentations/DayJet_20%20minute.pps

JetProp Jockey said...

Those of you who are trying to compare the price of a Mirage to a Meridian and assume the difference is all extra profit obviously have little accounting experience.

The PA46 aircraft was Type Certified in 1984. I train with one of the engineers who was on the development team.

Over the next 20 years those development costs have been written off.

When Piper decided to enter the single turboprop market, they sought and recieved a whole new TC for a P46T. It has a different tail section, different wing roots, and a higher gross weight.

I have no idea what it cost to get the TC, but I know it required the full approval of the FAA. It could have been $50,000,000 or $150,000,000, but whatever that amount was, it has to be recouped over what was projected as the market over the next 10 years.

This is a major portion of, if not all of the difference in price of a PA46 vs a P46T.

Rumor has it that Eclipse has a $1 Billion development cost to recoup. Up to now the accountants have had the ability to capitalize almost every dollar spent as a long tern asset.

Now the fun begins - the company must call expenditures expenses and payments for airplanes revenue. One of the costs is the amitorization of development costs.

Black Tulip said...

Jetprop jockey,

I'll bet you train with John, he is very sharp isn't he?

Your review of development cost amortization is a good one. I would suggest that there is little chance of recovering the Eclipse 'investment' and that, "Every dollar spent is a hostage that has been shot. Where do we go from here."

Also I don't think the comparison to the Kodiak is useful...single turbine engine, fixed gear unpressurized, little deice or anti-ice equipment and so on. The Eclipse is going to be a much more expensive aircraft to certify and build.

Black Tulip

ExEclipser said...

Interesting DayJet presentation, Stan. I find it funny that they actually call out 'flight attendants' in their roster of 60 employees (a year ago, 2Q 2006). Funny indeed.

ExEclipser said...

With regards to the comments about deliveries, I believe SN0000001 has been flown by its owner to his delight. Vancouver to Tahoe isn't really a part of Eclipse's training or mentoring program so far as I'm aware.

N500VK has been flying fairly regulary, too. With the stops in ABQ, training, I'm sure.

As for production rate, this is a great time to slow production. In the AvWeb interview with Vern:
http://tinyurl.com/2m7q63 he talks about the slowdown. There'll be more deliveries than the critics want and fewer deliveries than the customers want. With the aero, range and AVIO mods getting finished up, and the fact that there aren't enough pilots trained to be mentors, there is no real need to deliver any faster than they are.

It wouldn't suprise me to see DayJet get some of their aircraft before some earlier serial numbers.

airtaximan said...

xeclipser,

did you actually say "slow production"?

from what?

JetProp Jockey said...

BT said:

Jetprop jockey,

I'll bet you train with John, he is very sharp isn't he?

Yep - it's John. I did my initial and my first few recurrents at FSI, but got discouraged with the lack of new information and the deteriation of the Sim.

My last two years have been with John and it's amazing what the man knows about aircrafts in general and the PA46 in particular. I actually look forward to recurrent now.

There was a new Mirage owner on the MMOPA website who needs some help, but John is booked for the next 12 months solid. I'm glad I got into his schedule and can re-up a year in advance.

My reference to the Kodiak was that in reality the E500 needs to be priced much higher than this impressive but simple aircraft.

Only time will tell, but I don't think a position holder with a 1000+ number will ever see an E500 in their hanger for $1.5 in 2002 dollars.

Bonanza Pilot said...

Jetprop
I talked to the guys at Piper a while ago, and they are figuring on about 60 million to certify their new jet...so I am sure the tail change etc. for the Meridian was not anywhere near that amount...plus it is my understanding that they use that new tail in the Mirage as well as the Meridian so there are more units to amortize over...however they sell so few units that it still matters.

That is the big issue with Eclipse...they now have an absolutely enormous number to amortize - and questionable volume to do it over. Your Kodiak example is a good one...they don't have the huge development cost to amortize and they are using one cheaper engine and don't have to make a pressure cell.

One question I have for the group as we seem to have some real experts. How much does a PT6 cost? How about the PW610F's?? I really don't have a good handle on how much the engines themselves cost.

Gunner said...

execlipser said:
"With the aero, range and AVIO mods getting finished up, and the fact that there aren't enough pilots trained to be mentors, there is no real need to deliver any faster than they are."

This is the exact reason why so many here think Vern Raburn is an amateur, at best, or a scam artist at worst. When they announced 1,000 aircraft in 2007, were they not taking into account avionics changes, training and aeromods? How about when the announced 400 for 2007? 200?

Either the man understands how to create and manage a simple PERT chart (in which case he's been lying, monthly, to the world) or he does not (in which case you couldn't trust a burger that he flipped at the local Greasy Spoon).

You don't ask for 300+ Progress Payments only to follow up with, "we're intentionally slowing production". At least, not without expecting charges that you're incompetent, a grifter or both.

For any of the Faithful to trot this "news" out as something that points to Eclipse's new found business savvy is beyond WJPI (Wannabe Jet Pilot Intoxication).
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

One of the main factors that has historically limited Piper's Meridian production rate has been Piper's ability to secure enough PT6 engines to meet demand.

It seems that PT6 availability is a very long lead item.

I wonder if this is the main factor limiting production rates of the PC12 and TBM as well.

The business folks at all three companies will tell you that customer demand is quite a bit higher than the production rates.

JetProp Jockey said...

Cost of PT6's

According the PW website the PT6 family runs between 580 and 2000 hp, so there will be a great difference in prices.

JetProps started will a -34 and now are selling a -21 or a -35 version. My -34 is rated at 750 hp flat rated at 560hp for a single engine application.

My best educated guess is that a manufacturer buying directly from PW can buy new small version ie 550 hp for between $200,000 and $250,000.

I will be interested in any more educated numbers than mine.

mouse said...

EB, if ignorance is bliss, you must be in euphoria.

As to the starting, the problem was Eclipses control (lack thereof) on the FADEC starting sequence and the computer controlled interstage bypass during the start sequence.

Keep waving that flag though, Ken needs something to smile about.

mouse said...

Ken, good catch.. It was July of '02... my mistake...

WhyTech said...

fc said:

"I wonder if this is the main factor limiting production rates of the PC12 and TBM as well. "

Pilatus execs have told me that the limitation currently is assembly capacity at their Stans, Switzerland factory. No doubt that at some point engine availability becomes the bottleneck.

WT

sparky said...

Ken,

I find it interesting that you will pounce on mouse, yet ignore my question.

3rd time: Is it certified?

flightguy said...

"As far as the "secret meeting" and the deal that mouse proposes, in July 2000 the program was barely off the ground, and nobody, even the mighty Sam Williams could foresee the problems to come."

-If Williams could not foresee things to come, then why did they decide not to fund the EJ22 development. Here is a clue, think("E"clipse "J"et)with exclusive design and specification rights that did not meet the requirements. - IMHO

cj3driver said...

FC,
re: demand for SE turbine aircraft

There has been no problem getting PT6's for Piper or JetProp for the last several years. In fact, other than initial backlogs and ramp-up for both products (both airframe and engine supply), aircraft have been available since then, even with discounts over the years. I believe the current sales volume for all SE turbine aircraft are relatively stable…. Supply meets demand, and are priced accordingly. You don’t see Meridian “positions’ for sale. I guarantee Piper, TBM and JetProp could step-up production if needed. I took a tour of the Piper plant a few years ago, and the guide made it a point that all planes produced were already sold. Piper sells aircraft to dealers, not to the public. The dealers have minimum quantities per year of each model. They can certainly order more, but the dealers take the risk of unsold product at year end. Factory production is scheduled and based on those orders. Similar with Pilatus and TBM. The factory production rates are based on dealer orders, dealer orders are based on demand. If the dealer's under estimate demand, product will be harder to get and prices will firm. This is why you don’t see very many “positions” for sale on SE products. I’m sure they would all love to increase volume, there just aren’t that many qualified buyers in the market.

When the Eclipse backlog is filled, they will soon see this to be true. Unfortunately, it may be the hard way, and without the “cushion” of a dealer network.

cj3driver said...

Whytech,
How far out are Pilatus orders?

Shane Price said...

Cj3 asked,

'How far out are Pilatus orders?'

A lot further than they were before the Bears ordered 40...

Translation, for those born after the Cold War ended.

Bears = Russians.

BTW, the 'games' have kept me amused for a few days. Congrats to all.

Shane

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"You don’t see Meridian “positions’ for sale."

That's cause there ain't nobody that has to buy a "position" to get a Meridian.

Last year, Piper delivered 49 Meridians; fully 1/4th of them are listed for sale on Controller as I write this!

If they're making 2007 Meridians at the same clip as they did in 2006 (20 in the first half), then 35% of 2007 Meridians are still for sale.

Not much reason for them to up production, if you ask me.

Ken

cj3driver said...

Ken,
Precisely my point...
demand less... supply more... price soft... production volume,low.

Ken Meyer said...

sparky wrote,

"3rd time: Is it certified?"

Beats me. The company said it was on the verge of approval many weeks ago, and the instrument is obviously flying in their planes.

You could try info@dayjet.com; they've answered questions for me before.

Ken

cj3driver said...

Ken,
re: Meridian volume

This low volume is why there is not a market for 500-800 Eclipse's per year in the owner flown arena. Piper can't sell 45 Meridians per year. The Meridian is the lowest cost new pressurized turbine in the market. The Meridian is lower cost per mile to operate than Eclipse, with very little needed in the way of ratings and training (relativly speaking).

How can Eclipse think there is a "volume market" for a smaller, more complex twin-jet at the same (similar) price?

Not going to happen. no way. Maybe, 150 to 250 per year (after stalbilization) if they are lucky, and they can keep the price below $2.5M, and they make performance numbers, and quality service and parts are available, and there is no other competition (highly unlikely).

airtaximan said...

Ken, so you are the self appointed class clown now?

"Not much reason for them to up production, if you ask me."

Why not? They could predict production volume of 1,000 planes per year, and sell them for $800k.

Imagine the demand!

All they need to do is suspend reason and accountability... siund familiar?

airtaximan said...

cj3,

"When the Eclipse backlog is filled, they will soon see this to be true. Unfortunately, it may be the hard way, and without the “cushion” of a dealer network."

well, they have replaced this phenominon with the "speculator network"...

Just imagine the fallout...

airtaximan said...

mouse,

f I understand you correctly, E-clips envcouraged PWC to finish the engine development for them on a PW-600 variant for the e-500, based on e-clips paying for the FADEC? This makes sense...and given the expensive development of cost of the FADEC being carrid by Vern, I imagine it was an acceptable risk. In otherwords, unlike Cessna, where the FADEC and the engine had to be tailored... Vern bit the bullet again for most of the cost. High risk requirs some development mitigation, I imagine. Cessna is NOT high risk, E-vern is.

Also, if someone want's an PW610F, I guess they need to convinve PWC to develop the FADEC - -I guess they would have to make a business case (like Cessna) that is realistic, before PWC spends their money to talor a FADEC for another platform. This must make VErn rest easy - he has an "exclusive" for the PW610F... (I can only imagine what F stands for at PWC...really, as it related to all the money Vern spent on this FADEC). Anyhow... I'd worry if somehow PW did not want to spend this money - it means the risk was too high...

... and as Vern recently espoused -a less integrated avionics is in many way better than the more integrated system. Same must go for the engine...except, here. he's MORE integrated.

Can you say MTBF?
Can you say NFF?
OK, what about finger pointing?

Smile and wave...

cj3driver said...

ATM,

I see... not speculators... thousands of instant Eclipse dealers...

I like it....Amway.... Mulit-level marketing... royalties on parts.... now we have volume....
Advertizing can be reduced to zero.

Hey Vern...

AlexA said...

ATM,

You are so knowledgeable on engine development, airframes, business plans, marketing, market forecast oh and lets not forget Wal-Mart that I am surprised you have to time to contribute to this blog;) Face it Pratt and Whitney conducted extensive due diligence on Eclipse before committing to the PW610. Obviously, the numbers made sense for them and them thore boyz upthere aint dumb.

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"Ken, so you are the self appointed class clown now?"

No. You?

What practical purpose do you figure you're accomplishing with the continual ad hominem attacks?

Ken

airtaximan said...

"Face it Pratt and Whitney conducted extensive due diligence on Eclipse before committing to the PW610. Obviously, the numbers made sense for them and them thore boyz upthere aint dumb."

nope, you are correct. Engine price increased dramatically, AND Vern kep the bill for the FADEC.

unlike a real deal, a la Cessna...seems like they ain't dumb.

What do you think the engine price difference is for e-clips vs Mustang? Add Vern paying for the FADEC and you get a real joke on aviation, now, don't you.

Welcome to the engine technology revolution, where Cessna and E-clips pay the same for engines per pound of thrust.

Smile and wave... Alexa.... smile and wave

airtaximan said...

Ken:

You plane is based on higher rate and lower cost. They sold planes at a low price based on high volume.

Vern admits, he did not price the plane based on what the market will bear, he priced in on volume production rates plus a margin.

So when you say "why should Piper produce more planes" I laugh in your face - its a clown show now Ken. Why should Vern produce more plane?

... to get the cost down and the volume up.

... at least Piper has a trackrecord of producing a plane a day... Vern's produced 15 planes in a year...and NOW HE's SLOWING DOWN PRODUCTION...

Come on, Ken - -its a farce.

What's he going down to now, less than 15 planes a year? that would leave him with around 20 plnes in production since January that won't be finished until 2008.

Please tell us you don't buy Vern's BS any longer, please. ust admit you are trying as hard as you can to end up with something for your non-refundable deposit...please.

airtaximan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlexA said...

ATM,

“Engine price increased dramatically, AND Vern kep the bill for the FADEC.” The wealth of inside information you have is fantastic;) Now we can narrow down your identity you are either Alain Bellemare or Vern himself.

Signed
Proud Member of the Drive-By

PS ATM please keep posting. The more ridiculous your comments the more the blog losses credibility.

airtaximan said...

Ken:

I'll make it very easy on you...


Why should Vern make the argument he can increase production of a plane to get the price down, and Piper cannot just do the same? Heck, offer the plane at $1million off, and increase production. Just increase projected production and demand price concessions from suppliers to justfy the whole thing.

- save the avionics revolution argument - its in the garbage
- save the engine revolution argument - its in the garbage
-save FSW - its been relegated to saving next to nothing

So, why not just increase production volume (and soon thereafter claim its better to cut back volume - good luck getting your plane number 1XXX anytime soon, Ken, or even at all) and reduce the price...

How many Pipers would you "sell" (or better, just take non-refundable deposits) at 1/2 the "real" price? a lot Ken... Just ask VErn..

Uh, well... um...seems like the value of HIS plane may not really bethhere even at the dramatically reduced price -

Clown show...

Welcome to the Vern aviation revolution...where you need to invent a customer to create a customer to buy over half your orderbook for you for your revolutionary plane, that's been artificially low-ball priced based on high volume...

Its a circus, Ken...and I would think you could spare us the clown show at this point.

airtaximan said...

Alexa:

restr assured, I'm not Vern and I'm not Bellmare, either.

But you are a fool if you think these are the only folks that know:

1- the PW engine price was much higher than Williams
2- the FADEC is paid for by Vern

I know, some things seems really secretive... even you friend Ken always knows more than us all here... but this is a common knowldege to many folks.

Sorry if you did not read the PR, or follow the story... no internal memo required on this one.

AlexA said...

ATM,

“1- the PW engine price was much higher than Williams” Really ATM, oh wise man please share with us the details. How much higher?

airtaximan said...

Alexa,

depends on volume... but around 50% more, in general.

Like I said, conventional dollars/lbst compared with Cessna. Welcome to your new aviation revolution, Alexa.

Smile and wave...

AlexA said...

ATM,

Every time you make up “facts” we all smile and wave. Hey tell me about Wal-Mart again.

airtaximan said...

OK, Alexa. So what was the Williams price, and what is the PW610F price, if you know better.

You'll have to remove your thumb from your mouth to smile and wave, of course...

airtaximan said...

apparently the ugly thing stuck to the glare shield has been there a long, long time....

http://www.reprintbuyer.com/mags/buscomav/1-10788404-eprint.pdf

airtaximan said...

Alexa,

you may want to read this article, which prices the PW610F at $150k each.

do you recall the price of the ej-22?

Would you like to apologize now?

ExEclipser said...

Anyone notice the HondaJet ad on the ice in the Stanly Cup Finals?

Gunner said...

Anyone notice the Eclipse Jet ad at WrestleMania?

;-)
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

CJ3,

You say that neither Piper nor JetProp has had difficulty getting PT6s.

Well I can't comment on JetProp, but I do know that Piper has had difficulty getting as many PT6s as they would like over the last few years. Senior managers from Piper have traveled to PW on numerous occasions to try to bump up their allocation.

I believe that there has been no problem getting engines based on the forecasts made within leadtime. The problem is that Piper builds aircraft based on dealer demand and as pointed out, the dealers are pretty conservative when ordering a couple million dollars of inventory. But when the market heats up, they ask for more Meridians in the short term (where short term is defined as less time than PW's leadtime for PT6s) and Piper can't meet that demand.

So I think we can both have correct data here. Piper has no problem getting PT6s if the aircraft manufacturer orders them far enough in advance, but if your dealers have a short term spike in demand, it is awfully hard to fulfill when the engine has such a long lead time.

This brings me back to Eclipse. If Eclipse is forecasting 600 aircraft in 2007, then 525 aircraft in 2007, then 400, then 250...

There are a lot of Eclipse vendors with long-lead times.

There are a number of possible scenarios.

The vendors might have believed Eclipse and ramped production to support 600 shipsets. Those guys have hurt themselves badly.

They could have told Eclipse what they want to hear... "Yes, we are ramping to 600 unit capacity a year", but then really ramped to some judged number based on internal estimates and hoped they guessed right. The guys who guessed a number north of 200 per year have hurt themselves badly.

They can argue with Eclipse. "I don't believe you have the ability to ship that many airplanes. Give me a realistic forecast." Of course, if Eclipse did that, the next conversation would be a negotiation - "Our new price is X% higher."

They can tell Eclipse that Eclipse needs to pay them NRE to make all those changes required for the mods... "If you won't accept a price increase, then we have no way to fund the R&D required to {fill in the blank on the things that still need to be done...}"

They can tell Eclipse that they would rather not be a vendor anymore.

I believe everyone of these situations has occurred over the last year.

All of these situations are problematic for Eclipse.

Vendors need predictability.

AlexA said...

ATM,

Maybe you should consider taking your thumb out of your orifice and washing it;) Face it neither you nor I have any idea what the contract with Williams of the existing contract with P&W call for. Trying to extrapolate without having the base data is foolish at best, but you are the expert.

Here is a little piece of information for you to ponder: Even if you eliminate all the options and the orders from the “Air Taxi” market Eclipse will be Pratt’s biggest volume customer. Sweet dreams.

Signed
Drive By…


PS Please keep posting.

cj3driver said...

FC,

I agree on your analysis of vendor production quantities and the requirement for predictability.
If DayJet is short lived (and I believe it will be), this will be disastrous for Eclipse…. And mostly because of the vendor issues of which you speak. I’m sure all eyes are on the “air taxi” segment. Its success or failure will be key to meaningful volume.
All eye’s are on DayJet, the Vendors, the Charter Operators, the Airlines, the Manufacturers and other would-be air taxi’s, ….but I don’t think they are scared, everyone except the vendors, that is.

cj3driver said...

Alexa,

As mentioned before, I seriously doubt there are over 1,000 actual owner/operators waiting for an Eclipse. Many depositors are multiple position holders and speculators with perceived “equity”. Many ordered their aircraft years ago and have already moved on or are out of the market, but hold the position due to equity, and have no intention of taking delivery. This will shake out over the next few hundred units (assuming they are delivered) and the market will stabilize very close to the Mustang, TBM, Meridian, Phenom, Adam type numbers in the low 100’s. The overall dollar volume and profitability will probably come from Pratt’s legacy products and the higher end engines. This assuming, as you say “air-taxi” markets are eliminated. Pratt will not get rich on the PW610F. They cant cost that much less to build than a 615.

FlightCenter said...

Adam Aircraft announced an air taxi order for 50 A700s yesterday.

The air taxi operator is based in China.

The reason the A700 was selected (according to the press release) was because the A700 had the biggest cabin of all the VLJs.

A700 VLJ Order Formalized During EBACE

AlexA said...

CJ3 Driver

I respectfully disagree with your opinion. Cirrus Aircraft delivered 721 airplanes last year with an average sticker price of around $500,000. Add another 185 Columbia Aircraft variants and the number of used Cessna twins selling. The numbers would appear to support there is an economic model for 1000-1200 entry level jets a year.

The big question is can Eclipse quickly recover to capture a large share of this marketplace. I have to believe that the price differential between D-Jet and Eclipse E500 is so small many consumers would choose the Eclipse due to the twin engine advantages. How many consumers are willing to wait 3-4 additional years with no idea what the final purchase price is going to be for The-Jet or D-Jet (look at the purchase agreements)?

Eclipse has been the subject of much criticism in the past and a great deal it well deserved. Many of the problems that Eclipse encountered and overcame will undoubtedly hit the other airframe makers.

If my memory serves me correct Diamond missed the performance specs and schedule of the DA42 Twin Star by a mile. Cirrus was 2 years late in the delivery of their first aircraft. Hey building and certifying planes is no easy task and those “dinosaur” companies have it down to a science.

Gunner makes a very good point the proof will be 4-5 airborne Eclipses at any given time track-able on Flightware in the upper flight levels. Let’s see what happens in the next 90 days;)

airtaximan said...

Alexa:

"Trying to extrapolate without having the base data is foolish at best..."

Trying not to, is foolish at best - this wpould mean you take Vern at his word, which has been proven to be very, very foolish.

There is nothing wrong with using some common sense and extrapolating, as you put it. Its resulted in some pretty good "conclusions"...

Many smart folks on this blog have anticipated the BS, and come up with conclusions that have later been proven correct.

Like I said, as for the powerplant, the PW610F is around 50% more expensive than the EJ-22. But, it depends on volume. At the current annual production, I suspect the PW615 is even more expensive than the EJ-22 that "enabled" the sub-$900k Eclipse-500, calendar year whatever dollars...

Alexa...there's a lot of data out there...like the BCA article I posted for you. A lot of this is just paying attention to what's written, what's said and what's likely.

It is almost all opinion, which I stated and re-stated. Some of it is so clear, I'm willing to wager - and then, low and behold, the Dayjet order goes from 300 planes to 1400 planes, and I look like I had a lot of inside knowledge. How else could I have known?

Pay attention, use your brain a little. You seem like a smart enough person. You'll catch on.

airtaximan said...

"The numbers would appear to support there is an economic model for 1000-1200 entry level jets a year."

Please explain - no one has ever said this before..except perhaps Vern.

Also, please remember, the number of years is critical. Normal production runs are over 10-20 years.

Thanks

airtaximan said...

There's a number floating around the industry..

$275 million...

this was the budget for embraer to develop and certify the 2 new Phenom models.

Makes you wonder a little about the numbers.

Gunner said...

"How many consumers are willing to wait 3-4 additional years with no idea what the final purchase price is going to be for The-Jet or D-Jet (look at the purchase agreements)?"

Using Eclipse numbers: At current production, the next available Eclipse position will be delivered approximately 2097. At 500/year, it'll be in your hands 2012. At 1,000 per year, you'll go into training on it in 2010. (Yes, you could buy an existing position, but this hardly helps the Eclipse bottom line).

So, why does everyone consider 2-3 years for a Diamond or a Cirrus to be the End of Time? Answer: Because when talking about Le Petit, it's required that we drop all tense in our statements. Everything about Le Petit, including new positions, are available "Tuesday".
Gunner

JetProp Jockey said...

Alexa said:

"respectfully disagree with your opinion. Cirrus Aircraft delivered 721 airplanes last year with an average sticker price of around $500,000. Add another 185 Columbia Aircraft variants and the number of used Cessna twins selling. The numbers would appear to support there is an economic model for 1000-1200 entry level jets a year."

We all operate on the the basis of alot of opinions, but my opinion is that this 1000-1200 transactions at most represents 250 VLJ sales. Alot of the guys who are buying a Cirrus are not and never will be a VLJ candidate due to:

1. Price - they are strectched at $500,000
2. They are not even IFR rated
3. Operating costs.
4. Normal Mission - Alot of these planes are flying 100 to 200 NM missions and many only fly 50 to 80 hours per year.

I will not disagree that there is a non-taxi basis for 1000 per year VLJ sales but I think 75% will come from Corporate Aviation departments adding an efficient plane that can and will be operated single pilot when only 1 or 2 employees have a shorter trip and a lower entry price for the shared ownership industry. I relate the fractionals to some of my friends who could not afford to own a vacation home, but think a time share is a great deal.

Again, I freely admit that this is my opinion and there are not statistics to back it up.

airtaximan said...

JPJ,

the market is completely different for an entry prop than for a jet.

the market is xcompletely different for a jet at $1.5 million plus, than a sub $500k plane.

while corporate flight departments CAN buy an e-clips... not many have. There are many companies that operate corporate flight departments, and many planes in them. You would think the e-500 is a natural, easy sell. Begs the question why many sales have not been made into these, so far?

Do you think there's a reason?

Gunner said...

"The numbers would appear to support there is an economic model for 1000-1200 entry level jets a year."

This from a Blogger who chides, "Trying to extrapolate without having the base data is foolish at best".

But let's look at some of the companies that DO have "Base Data":
Cessna is a giant in GA circles, with a loyal customer base ranging from Skyhawk to Citation. Yet they left the entire Eclipse market purse on the table. Surely the Mustang could have been cheapened and downsized, or even subsidized, for a direct hit on Eclipse's Target Market. And Cessna is masterful at effecting trade-ups. But they didn't do this. Why?

Embraer may have the lowest production costs for quality jets in the industry. Certainly, they could have tapped into this market of "1,000 Petits per year" without raising a sweat. But they didn't. Why?

HondaJet's parent is a company with proven track record and MO of placing a foothold in the low end of a given mechanized market and taking over from there. (Witness their auto, motorcycle, marine, power equipment and ATV histories for proof). Yet, what they evidently consider the "low end" of the jet market coincides pretty much with Embraer and Cessna: $3-4 million per unit. Why?

Why would the most successful GA Aircraft company, a low cost jet producer and the King of the Entry Level Vehicle all pass on the possibility of "darkening the skies" with $1.5MM jets? The only answers are as follows:
- They're stoopid
- They haven't discovered the Eclipse secret to cutting their jet costs in half or a third
- Their decades of "Base Data" leads to the conclusion that the market is just not that robust and/or the buyers who can only afford $1.5 mill for a twin simply don't realize that their op-costs will be far closer to the $3MM jet than to the single turboprop.
or
- You simply cannot build a quality twin jet of any size at a $1.6MM price tag.

Gunner

airtaximan said...

Gunner, you are an idiot -- you forgot... they don't have Dayjet...

This just out today: airportbusiness.com

Thursday, June 7, 2007

VLJs -- Pain or Blessing? Too Early to Tell

by
Thomas Smith

ORLANDO – As the industry awaits the initial rollout of the very light jets (VLJs), the jury is still out as to how these micro-size, twin-engine jets will impact FBOs and general aviation airports.

One prospective VLJ operator, DayJet, insists that it is developing a “bi-directional” relationship with Florida FBOs.

While the FAA projects that there may be 5,000 VLJs in the next several years, Michael Hodges, of Airport Business Solutions and the author of The Airport Management Paradigm on AirportBusiness.com, thinks the estimate is too high. In a presentation at the 2007 Aviation Industry Expo, Hodges predicted that the impact of VLJs will not be as great. The aircraft will be purchased as replacement craft flown by existing pilots. With the number of licensed pilots declining, Hodges says it is unlikely that these new planes will be inspiring a new generation of pilots.

The fuel-stingy VLJs will not be big customers when flying into an FBO, Hodges says. In addition, the mix of large business jets and the microjets will create challenges for an FBO just as it juggles the movement of business jets and piston aircraft in the hangars and on the ramp. A side-effect of these orchestrated ballets will be potential liability issues, Hodges relates.

In order to maximize the opportunities that VLJs may present, FBOs may have to consider establishing additional fees for handling the aircraft. Fuel sales will not cover an operators’ expenses of handling the plane, he predicts. In addition, an FBO should consider “unbundling” its services and fee schedules in order to have greater flexibility to generate additional revenue, Hodges explains.

DayJet has been seeking FBOs willing to partner with the air taxi operation, says Bill Brown, the DayJet executive who has been recruiting FBO locations. DayJet hopes to have a fleet of 300 Eclipse 500 VLJs within the next two years. Brown explains DayJet’s business plan in a presentation to the NATA’s FBO Leadership Program that was also part of the Expo.

DayJet estimates it will purchase $25 million in jet fuel from network FBOs in the first year. While DayJet is not seeking discounts on fuel, it is seeking adequate parking, good directional signs, and accommodating terminals. Brown says FBOs will be provided monthly scorecards designed to help each provide a better customer experience.

Brown explains that DayJet crunched the numbers from 100 different databases to determine what would be the best markets. The first five destinations -- or in DayJet lingo, DayPorts -- are the Florida cities of Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola, and Tallahassee. The company has developed projections as to the traffic in each market for the first ten quarters of operation, Brown adds.

DayJet will also be selecting one market to serve as a night base, or DayBase, where 100 to 150 employees will be based.

In the course of selecting airports and FBOs, Brown says that some FBOs decided not to participate in the DayJet network because their growth plans and expectations did not mesh.

He notes that DayJet is looking for those operators willing to give the VLJs treatment equal to that given Gulfstream Vs. The VLJs are small sippers when it comes to buying fuel, adds Brown.

mirage00 said...

You simply cannot build a quality twin jet of any size at a $1.6MM price tag.

That's what Mercedes thought before Lexus kicked there a$$. Open your mind.

Sincerely
Proud member of the Drive-By club.

WhyTech said...

alexa said:

"Cirrus Aircraft delivered 721 airplanes last year with an average sticker price of around $500,000."

I continue to pick up rumors that Cirrus is struggling to keep their order rate up and is discounting significantly in an effort to do so. If true, it may be that they have exhausted the easy part of the market for this product. There are at least two tricks in 1000 airplanes per year: getting to this initial order rate, and sustaining it. If the market is 1000 planes and it is satisfied in one year, then what?

WT

AlexA said...

Gunner,

I realize it’s probably beyond your comprehension but the GAMA historical tracking numbers is “base data.”

“- You simply cannot build a quality twin jet of any size at a $1.6MM price tag.” But Diamond can build you a quality single jet at $1.3M? Logic does not compute, try again gunner.

WhyTech said...

mirage00 said:

"That's what Mercedes thought before Lexus kicked there a$$. Open your mind."

Some of us are getting confused by the difference between cost and price. Nowhere is it written that there must be some direct relationship between the two. Price is is a marketing variable which can be changed in less than 1 second. Costs are dictated by many considerations and often take considerable time to change.

Cessna has "priced" the Mustang at around $2.6mm FOR NOW. This is a wait and see price which is likely breakeven or better for Cessna. When they get a better picture of the competitive threat from Eclipse, they will adjust the price - UP or DOWN. If they can get a higher price, they will. If they need a more defensive posture, the Mustang price could be $995K by the end of the day, and they could hold this price long enough tp run Eclipse out of business. Happens all the time in many different industries in the battle for market share.

WT

Gunner said...

Alexa said:
"“-You simply cannot build a quality twin jet of any size at a $1.6MM price tag.” But Diamond can build you a quality single jet at $1.3M? Logic does not compute, try again gunner."

Nope they can build me Three. Single engine, Alexa. Single Engine systems. Known manufacturer with facilities, distribution, sales and maintenance already in place. No Billion Dollar investment to recoup.

Mirage said:
"That's what Mercedes thought before Lexus kicked there a$$."

Once again, the Drive By Brothers come by carrying my water for me. ;-) And who is Lexus? Toyota. And how did they take over that market? By starting with Everyman's Cheap Corolla. Toyota actually understands the concept of "value proposition", as does Honda. Vern, unfortunately, thinks it's a code word for "nothing in my hand, nothing up my sleeve".
Gunner

AlexA said...

Gunner,

You are a comedian. Let’s look at the DA42 track record:

10/2004 “Flyers awaiting the first deliveries of the Diesel-powered Diamond DA42 seem a little miffed to find that the airplane delivery schedule is falling back a bit as Diamond tries to head off potential problems that may occur as deliveries commence.” Source Aero-news.net

12/2004- Earlier this year, Diamond announced it was delaying introduction of its Thielert-powered DA42 TwinStar and speeding up development of a Lycoming-powered ...

4/2005 “Diamond is experiencing delays and the obligatory learning curve..” Source Aero-news.net

5/2007 “However, delays in the FAA's certification of the Diamond DA42 for air carrier operations and for flight into known icing conditions…” Source AVWEB.

Sounds familiar, huh? Great track record. You expect your D-jets when? Gunner any idea of what your cost will be? I’m guessing you read this contract? Right?

Gunner said...

Alexa-
Are you comparing a 1 year delay to an 8 year delay?

I chastise myself over that fact that I get some fleeting, yet perverse pleasure in your discomfort that an Eclipse "defector" went Diamond (in a big way). But there is a cure for your malady:

Dr. Gunner recommends that you "get over it or die with it on your mind".

Suggest you start a D-Jet Critics Blog. I'll be happy to stop buy; and I'll leave my El Camino and my "Nine" at home, OK?
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

" chastise myself over that fact that I get some fleeting, yet perverse pleasure in your discomfort that an Eclipse "defector" went Diamond"

Oh, I don't think there's any discomfort. I think it's more a head-scratching amazement.

You've been singing and dancing for months how the Eclipse is a "paper airplane" that doesn't yet quite meet everything promised for it. It doesn't yet have FIKI (still scheduled this year by the way). It doesn't yet have full avionics (this year too). It doesn't yet have full speed (but it still goes 350 knots). And the list goes on. It isn't quite finished.

So you fix that problem by selecting the D-Jet. Now that may be a nice plane one day, but nobody knows 'cause it still lives in a paper world. Oh there's a prototype, but there was an Eclipse prototype 5 years ago. You didn't like that the Eclipse is late and still missing a few things, and the final version won't be released for a few more months. So you got a plane that won't be in the hands of any customers for years, if ever, for which there is no type certificate and no idea when, if ever there will be one.

It's not discomfort. I think Alexa is just scratching his head at your bizarrely incongruous words and actions. I know I am.

Ken

airtaximan said...

does this number strike anyone as being a little strange?

"DayJet estimates it will purchase $25 million in jet fuel from network FBOs in the first year"

Ken Meyer said...

whytech wrote,

"Cessna has "priced" the Mustang at around $2.6mm FOR NOW. This is a wait and see price which is likely breakeven or better for Cessna. When they get a better picture of the competitive threat from Eclipse, they will adjust the price - UP or DOWN."

You know it isn't actually $2.6 million, right? And they already have raised the price. It started out in 2002 at $2.295M and was increased to $2.395M. Cessna says they're about to announce another $100K increase.

That will bring the price to $2.495M in 2002 dollars, or just under $3 million at the very first available delivery.

$3 million really puts the Mustang in a whole different category than the Eclipse. It is a very nice plane, but its price puts it out of direct competition with the Eclipse.

Ken

Bonanza Pilot said...

alexa said:

"Cirrus Aircraft delivered 721 airplanes last year with an average sticker price of around $500,000."

Alexa I hate to pick on you....but come on! There is over 1 million dollars in difference in price between the two....1 millon dollars before even getting into the insurance, fuel burn and maintenance costs. Your analogy would be like saying that BMW sold 35,000 3 series autos last year so there is obviously a market for that number of Bugatti Veyrons!

You miss the volume price relationship from Econ 101...Eclipse had a huge order book because the plane was 800K. A lot more people could afford the plane at 800K than can at 1.6 million. If the Meridian were 800K they would have a dramatic increase in volume as well.

Besides houses, I am having a hard time thinking of any 2 million dollar products that sell in the thousands per year??

airtaximan said...

Ken:

you CAN stop scratching...

Diamond = reputable company with integrity and long aviation history

E-clips... e)none of the above

Some paper is worth something, some paper is NOT worth anything. It usually depends on who's backing the paper.

Its a relatively old concept... I'm sure you understand.

Gunner said...

Ken-
If you and Alexa would stop scratching, I'll be happy to explain in one word:
"Integrity"

Some companies have it; some companies talk about it.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

"It started out in 2002 at $2.295M and was increased to $2.395M. Cessna says they're about to announce another $100K increase.... going to $3Mil"

Ken, this should tell you something, while the positions for E-clips are being discounted from the factory price. OK, they have some fleet sales (sales?) to sister companies (I'm being nice, here Ken) at the factory price (I have no reason to believe they discounted them...) but other than that, not much action...

So, I like the price increase from Cessna - it shows they have the market position they want, and the confidence in that position and the value of their product to raise prices. BTW, this drives sales for a product in demand. You get a bump before the price increase goes into effect.

Profit is a wonderful thing...

How are deliveries/production coming at e-clips? Slowing down from 1/month? Or ramping up to 500 a year?

AlexA said...

Dr. Gunner,

Luv your new math, 8 year delay? Ken, the reason I’m scratching my head is lice please don’t let anyone know. Gunner did you read your contract with Diamond.

“3. List Price- In July 2006 US dollars as posted on DDJs web site from time to time and subject to change without notice.” In other words you have no idea what your cost will be on your elfin D-jet eah?

Gunner said...

Alexa-
Yes, I read my contract with Diamond. Have you?

AT-
Thanks. We were cross posting the same response, obviously.

Within the "value proposition" some buyers care nothing about integrity. They don't understand the difference between the price of an Eclipse delivered today and the price of a Mustang delivered 2 years hence. They don't understand the difference between a company that admits to being in the development stage and one that considers FIKI, Avionics, RVSM and Inspections to be a short term :IOU".

All that really matters to them is price and promise. They make great Marks.
Gunner

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