No News is Good News
Well maybe not.
What happened to the monthly newsletter from Mike Press. While his reports were certainly slanted towards the favorable aspects of the Eclipse program, he didn't hesitate in adding a cautionary note here and there. His last was on April 4, the eighth in a series. Around April 20. Mike took delivery of Eclipse serial 004, went to ground school, got his type rating and as we heard, took his dog Bear for a ride.
During the delivery and training process, he spent a lot of time in ABQ. One would expect that he would have gained some insight into the program and would have lots to write about for a May report. Didn't happen. Perhaps it was a case of, if you can't write anything good, maybe better to not write anything.
One thing I was hoping Mike would address was an issue I commented on back on May 19th:
"I have also heard that within the last couple of weeks, a manufacturing defect has been found in a major airframe ass'y which may result in removal and replacement of the ass'y. I was not able to learn how many units will be affected."
The first source described an error in assembling the horizontal stabilizer that caused some minor (though unacceptable) internal damage in some number of units and that these assemblies would need to be replaced. According to this source, the FAA was considering whether an AD was necessary since only a few airplanes had been delivered and that most were in control of the company anyway.
Later, two other independent sources confirmed quality problems with the horizontal and a fourth, mentioned an earlier problem that he thought had been corrected by a design change.
If Mike's airplane was affected by this problem, or knew about the situation, he might tell us more. He may yet, we wait for newsletter # 9. One of Mike's favorite topics was reporting the prices he was seeing in the re-sale market. Typically, up in the $1.7 to 1.8m for early positions. In absence of Mike's report, here is one I recently received:
"A position in the first 100 serial numbers recently sold for $1,55m INCLUSIVE of CPI and fully spec'd. At that price the plane took 7 months to sell. The market for these little shit boxes is very soft. IF the market is recognizing the value of the plane as $1,55m WITH CPI and fully spec'd, then Eclipse is on a ride for a beating second to none."