Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Vern's June Commitment

Dear Customers,

Eclipse Aviation has matured greatly since December 31, 2006 when we delivered our first aircraft. While it has been more challenging than I ever thought it would be, in a peculiar way, it has also been more rewarding because we have overcome so many unexpected hurdles. With the hire of strong executive leaders including Mark Borseth, our EVP/CFO and Todd Fierro, our VP of Manufacturing, we have solidified a leadership team that is well prepared to build the Eclipse 500 at an unprecedented high volume. I communicated to you that we would tell you more about our production ramp in June, after our manufacturing team had conducted a thorough review of our production capacity and more importantly, our capability to produce aircraft in high volume. Well, our team and a group of industrial engineering consultants have completed their analysis and outlined our expected production through the end of 2008.

Due to delays in production, the projected numbers for 2007 are roughly half of what we previously projected in 2007, and 2008 is a bit less than the previous projection of 925. While these are lower than earlier projections, they will nonetheless represent significant production throughput and mark an unprecedented level of accomplishment within our industry.

I want you to know that I have the highest level of confidence in our ability to deliver on these new production projections. Below are some of the key reasons why I am convinced we are well on our way to meeting or exceeding these production numbers:

1. These numbers were derived and agreed upon from the bottom up, not the top down. A large team consisting of plant managers, industrial engineers, and responsible people from quality, human resources, supply chain and engineering built this production plan and the operational leadership team agreed with it.

2. Our plant managers worked closely with external, high volume industrial engineering consultants to determine where each function has improved its efficiency. This assessment was used to logically project how those improvements would continue to increase over the coming months. Below are some specific examples of where production has been improved by up to 300 percent since the beginning of the year, while non-compliance reports are at an all time low:

a. Friction Stir Welding has already demonstrated the ability to weld a complete shipset in one shift per FSW gantry. We now have two gantries online and can expand to two shifts when needed. That alone will get production up to four aircraft per day.

b. Primary assembly has demonstrated an improvement curve of over 200%. Our flexible manufacturing process allows for rapid modifications in the event that any production limiting constraint develops.

c. Final assembly time has been cut in half. Recent aircraft have completed wing attach, engine installation and systems installation in just under one month. Our current production rate is one aircraft every two days.

d. We can now complete a very high quality paint job on an aircraft in 51 hours. Other VLJ manufacturers are proud when they can complete paint in 12 days. That rate is ahead of the required production ramp schedule by 4 months. We have a proven capacity of over two aircraft per day.

e. Our 24/7 production flight test team is now regularly completing interior installation and flight acceptance through certificate of airworthiness in six days.

With our new, data-driven production schedule and this demonstrable learning curve, our entire team is focused with a plan in hand, on delivering the following milestones:

1. one aircraft per day by August 2007

2. two aircraft per day by April 2008

3. three aircraft per day by December 2008

Since earning our Production Certificate in April, we are managing our production teams to a monthly goal before we start managing them to quarterly goals. I am pleased to tell you that we have nailed our April and May production targets, and we are on track to meet our June goal as well. This is what I was referring to in my recent communication when I said I can see the progress we are making.

We certainly realize that you need to know when to prepare to pick up your airplane, finalize your optional equipment selections and send your progress payment six months prior to expected delivery. So we will tell all customers inside of that six-month window what to expect for a delivery date. Outside of that six-month timeframe, we will update all customers on expected deliveries by quarter. In addition, we will continue to report our quarterly deliveries to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA - www.gama.aero) so there will be transparency in our production progress. I know that some of you will now be outside of the six month window and yet you have already paid your deposits up to the six month mark based on our incentive offers. We will contact each of you in this situation to offer something that is fair for you and Eclipse.

Your loyalty to Eclipse and your high expectations for us to deliver on our promise are the fuel that keeps Peg and the ops teams completely motivated. Our proudest moment will be when we can deliver to each and every one of you, your airplane.

Sincerely,

Vern Raburn

President and CEO

Thanks to niner zulu for the heads up on this one.

150 comments:

cherokee driver said...

"a. Friction Stir Welding has already demonstrated the ability to weld a complete shipset in one shift per FSW gantry. We now have two gantries online and can expand to two shifts when needed. That alone will get production up to four aircraft per day."

Looks like FSW is a bottleneck after all. They better hope their machines are maintenance free.

Shane Price said...

Vern says, and this is the critical bit:-

"I know that some of you will now be outside of the six month window and yet you have already paid your deposits up to the six month mark based on our incentive offers. We will contact each of you in this situation to offer something that is fair for you and Eclipse."

My advice, to the unsecured creditors, sorry investors, no I mean 'position holders' (aw heck, insert your own definition here) is

Take your money back and RUN...

Get out of this crazy company while you still can.

Shane

Stan Blankenship said...

Congratulations are in order for Vern and Company, they nailed their April and May production goals!

Now what about your delivery goals for those two months?

ExEclipser said...

Cherokee driver - I don't understand your comment. Without the 2nd gantry, and without a 2nd shift, the FSW was still capable of making 1 shipset per day - or 2 with a 2nd shift. That's much higher than what is going out the door, so I don't see how that was/is the bottleneck.

cj3driver said...

Vern said:
"...Due to delays in production, the projected numbers for 2007 are roughly half of what we previously projected in 2007..."

Which 07 projection he is reffering to? Half of 407 or half of 240? Did the 240 come from vern or Mike Press?

cj3driver said...

In his letter Vern states a production rate of 1 per day by Aug 07 and 2 per day by Apr 08. If one assumes 1.5 average between Aug and end of year, a seven day work week, that makes 225 units, plus 20 delivered equals 240.

This must be the number Vern is estimating... half of the 400 units promised previously. Is this realistic? I dont think so. My guess 130, at most by YE.

Does PWC have 500 engines sitting on a dock somewhere?

Stan Blankenship said...

cj3driver asked:

"Does PWC have 500 engines sitting on a dock somewhere?"

Or even on order...both are due diligence questions for the future investors.

It would be a simple matter, ask to see a copy of the purchase order to Pratt with the prices redacted.

JetProp Jockey said...

I find it interesting that Vern is making all of these positive projections without even mentioning the fact that the FAA still needs to approve the Aero Mods and even more importantly, the new avionics suite.

Even the harshest critic agreed that solving the Pitot Ice problem was a minor item and conceded that Vern's projection of a matter of weeks (although 52 is a number of weeks, it's just that most would call it a year) has now turned into 13 weeks maybe.

Bottom line, if you take the whole series of Vern letters and insert actual date accomplished or revised promise from a later letter, into each letter, it would seem that these letters are almost as big a waste of money as color copies.

AlexA said...

Private message for Mirage00:

Mirage00 aren’t you quite surprised at the lack of exuberance by the haters in reference to the upcoming AD. A cursory look at the FAA database shows why, Stan’s babies have over 250 ADs across the early models (23-29). Yes you read right, over 250 ADs (many appear to be identical over different models). Twenty six ADs on the 23 alone.

One AD would not allow passengers until repairs were made. Another one reduced the certified ceiling by 10,000 feet. The pot calling the kettle black. More amusing antidotes coming.

Let's give him credit he has lots of experience with ADs.

Drive-by Brother

Lloyd said...

Pratt produced 700 610 engines this year. More than enough for the anticipated delivery.

Old Troll said...

I can't wait to hear how Ken will spin this in to yet more positive news from Eclipse. I don't see how flopping on another schedule could possibly be good but I can hear it now...


"This is great news! It just shows that Eclipse knows what they're doing and what the customers want. The dinosaurs could learn a thing or two from this disruptive technology."

mirage00 said...

I will make 3 predictions.

First: Eclipse will deliver as outlined in Verns letter.

Second: The inevitable demise of this blog by year end still stands.

Third: Stan starts a new blog... Epic Aviation Critic

Private message to Alexa:
Yep, I am aware and thanks for helping to keep it real.

Until then, I remain amused.

double 00

flightguy said...

Even PWC did not believe the Eclipse projections. If they did they would have made 1500 engines.

The bigger question is how is Eclipse going to pay the suppliers. They haven't had a good history of paying lately.

Stan Blankenship said...

alexa,

Wow, you nailed me good on that one...250 AD's spread over 43 years, a dozen different models and several thousand deliveries.

flightguy said...

If Eclipse lasts 43 years, then they can compare.

Disruptive Technology by the way is by definition, "introducing products that there is no define market. That includes air taxi. Because to be disruptive yoy don't have any idea on how it will be used.

Gunner said...

Shane-
I wholeheartedly agree.

Vern said, "We will contact each of you in this situation to offer something that is fair for you and Eclipse."

Ummmm, how about refunding their unsecured deposit until such time as they ARE withing the 6 month contract window? "Fair for Eclipse"????? He's insinuating that refund of monies not EARNED by Eclipse would somehow be "unfair" to the company.

Gunner

JetProp Jockey said...

Gunner - Not only would it be fair to refund all deposits outside of the current six months "sorta" promise date, but depositors should receive credit for "Time Served". If a person made their 60% deposit three months ago, and now based on the revised "sorta" delivery sechdule, their new delivery is more that three months out, they should get their money back and be able to wait until they are three months away from delivery to re-deposit their money.

Want to bet that that's not Vern's definition of fair?

cj3driver said...

mirage00 said...

"I will make 3 predictions.

First: Eclipse will deliver as outlined in Verns letter..."

M00,

I’ll take the bet, but first… define a “bit” less than 925 for 2008.

Cj3

Gunner said...

Wondering why so many of The Faithful complain every time Stan posts obvious fiction while giving this latest entry a pass?

Just keepin' it real. ;-)
Gunner

Shane Price said...

Has anyone been in Eclipse in the past week?

Anyone SEEN 20 or 30 more E499.5's in production?

Someone with a line into the suppliers to confirm increased deliveries in the past month, to enable 'one a day' by the end of August?

I mean 2007, of course. Anno Domini, not the Islamic calander, which I sometimes supect ABQ runs on.

In simple terms, evidence that what is in the letter actually MIGHT happen?

ANYONE?

Shane

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I still think this years number will be 39!

When I worked on the 777, , there were eight operators scattered around the world with our engine, and we had some pretty nasty teething troubles, that didn't get AD'd, as the manufacturer was able to show to the FAA that the unsafe conditions were being managed, and that all operators were cooperating and complying with the action plans.

Eclipse only has like 16 planes delivered, of which about 13 or so are still in ABQ, "leased" back to Eclipse, and yet they can not convince the FAA that they have the unsafe condition under control?

421Jockey said...

"Has anyone been in Eclipse in the past week?

Anyone SEEN 20 or 30 more E499.5's in production?"

Shane,
I was at Eclipse the last week in May and yes, I saw sn 42 in prelim assy, and sn 51 fuselage compnents coming off FSW Gantry.

sn 24 thru 31 were in final assy bay. I don't think there has been more than 5 or 6 advance in the past two weeks, but what I saw was much further along than the speculation that I have been hearing on this site.

AlexA said...

Stan, Stan, Stan, are you taking a page from Vern’s book.

Stan said “Wow, you nailed me good on that one...250 AD's spread over 43 years, a dozen different models and several thousand deliveries.”

The FAA says “Learjet indicates that there are approximately 1,333 airplanes in the worldwide fleet, and that 840 of those airplanes are on the U.S. Register(11/2/1995).” And that includes models other than (23-29).

???SEVERAL THOUSAND DELIVERIES???? Come on Stan.

An Easy Drive By

cj3driver said...

M00 predicted;

“…Second: The inevitable demise of this blog by year end still stands…”

M00,
Cj3 prediction:

This blog does not die, however it gets taken over by;

1. disgruntled “position holders” who didn’t get their plane
2. disgruntled owners who got their plane. (partial eclipse’s)
3. disgruntled pilots who fly for disgruntled owners.
4. disgruntled employees or ex-employees of Eclipse.


M00 also predicted;

“…Third: Stan starts a new blog... Epic Aviation Critic”

M00,

Why criticize Epic, have they taken hundreds of millions (read over $300,000,000.00) from depositors on broken promise, after broken promise, after broken promise?

Really…. $300 million from depositors and 20 planes delivered.
...Very easy to criticize, with reason, until (when, if ever) Eclipse delivers.

M00, do you really believe 925 in '08?... or a "bit less"?

Cj3

a37pilot said...

OO

Are you talking about 200+ aircraft delivered, to their owners, by years end 2007, or is just building them and stacking them up like cord wood in ABQ going to count

cherokee driver said...

execlipser said

"Cherokee driver - I don't understand your comment."

In a perfect world, there is no problem with their current FSW capacity. We obviously don't live in a perfect world.

What happens when one machine goes down for a couple of weeks? This is a brand new process with unique equipment that hasn't been proven in a high production environment. It takes 8 hours on one machine to produce one unit. There is no way to bypass these two machines in their production line. There isn't enough excess capacity to overcome the inevitable problems to maintain their promised production rate. It isn’t like they can do it manually. They can’t farm it out. It is a critical process the rest of the line depends on to maintain production. That is the very definition of a bottleneck.

What happens when one of their vendors can't deliver parts on time? Their vendors are spread out all over the globe. I can think of a number of reasons their suppliers would miss delivery schedules. What is the rest of the production line supposed to do if FSW is waiting on parts?

One airplane a day by August is the goal and Eclipse has already had plenty of trouble with Mr. Murphy.

cj3driver said...

Based on the ramp up of other manufactures, there is no way Eclipse comes close to 925 units in 08. The E500 is complex by a "magnitude of order" over the SR22. and Cirrus only built 183 units in the second year, and it took six years to reach 600 units per year.

Vern says 925 for next year now, because, with the 6 month 60% clause in the contract, he can raise over $250,000,000 from depositors in the next 9 months, PRIOR to missing the target. I wonder what Vern means by a “bit less”.

If the real delivery number is 130 this year and doubles to 250 next year, my guess is that Eclipse has collected 60% deposits for realistic production for way over one year from now. This means if the deposit holders stop remitting the 6 month 60% payments, Eclipse will be out of any substantial cash flow for more than 1 year. I’m sure Vern desperately needs the capital infusion.

If I was a position holder, I would sell my position now (to someone willing to take the risk), or use the delay or missed performance clauses to get a refund. Or, have the 60% “escrowed” until delivery.

It would be better to wait for an actual flying, completed aircraft, after s/n 100, that I can see and touch, even if its costs a couple hundred thousand more.

Seem like I heard a rumor that Eclipse "tapped" Cirrus for production process... or was that Adam?

redtail said...

???SEVERAL THOUSAND DELIVERIES???? Come on Stan.

Stan's including all of the ones that crashed.

cj3driver said...

In Mike Press’s October newsletter, he reported,

…They still anticipate producing between 30 to 40 aircraft this year (’06) and between 600-700 next year.

Where did the “925 (a bit less)” come from? A later revision upwards? … need more deposits?

planet-ex said...

"Mirage00 aren’t you quite surprised at the lack of exuberance by the haters in reference to the upcoming AD. A cursory look at the FAA database shows why, Stan’s babies have over 250 ADs across the early models (23-29). Yes you read right, over 250 ADs (many appear to be identical over different models). Twenty six ADs on the 23 alone."

26 ADs on an aircraft that is over 40 years old is not shabby at all. I wonder how many ADs the Eclipse 500 has if it makes it to 40.

As for those 26 ADs, I don't see any that are the result of a design flaw like Eclipse's pitot-static system...most are the result of age-induced fatigue, wrong part (i.e., long screws, wrong fan,etc).

cj3driver said...

The difference between 650 units and 925 units in 2008, is over $160,000,000.00 in up-front deposits.
Telling…

The owners should insist on “escrowing” the 60% money. Assuming Eclipse has a provable, sound business plan, Eclipse could then finance production using the deposits as leverage, with numerous financial intuitions, similar to hundreds of thousands of other production company’s world wide, at very favorable rates. The risk to deposit holders would then be reduced and the entire project would be legitimized by third parties.
...Or is that asking too much?

Ring, Ring,

Iceberg 12 o'clock...

AlexA said...

Redtail,

As much as I disagree with the innuendo here and motivation, I believe your comment is out of line. None of us should make light of the circumstances when planes go down. The only reason I brought up the Lear ADs was to demonstrate that no aircraft manufacturer is immune. It is too easy to be an armchair quarterback and degrade a company and/or product when you have no experience. Stan has a different perspective but as history shows all that great engineering talent still developed an airframe with a multitude of problems.

PlanetEx,

Reducing the certified ceiling by 10,000 feet sure as heck sounds like a major design flaw.

Don & Marg said...

The Boeing 737 has 302 AD's in less time in service than the LearJet series.The Airbus 320 series has 206 AD's in less than half the forty years.So what's stupids point.

FlightCenter said...

The official Eclipse 2008 production plan is 925 aircraft + / - 20%. (Ok, ok - the official plan doesn't provide for a 20% upside).

My money is with CJ3 on his estimates for 2008.

250 + / - 20% in 2008.


By the way if Eclipse did 1 aircraft a day in August and ramped to 2 aircraft a day in Apr 08, that would be 270 aircraft delivered in 9 months (assuming 20 days per month).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The WonderJet Twins obviously don't recognize that the LearJet family has to be searched for as Learjet, Gates-Learjet and Bombardier Learjet to find all aircraft manufactured and delivered. Probably because actual aerospace experience is not required to work at Eclipse.

The numbers previously provided of about 1400 Lear's produced only cover the 20 and 30 Series, there are also 40, 50, and 60 Series aircraft. Lear produced 750 aircraft between '96 and '06.

All told, production tops two thousand, hence 'thousands' of deliveries is factually and grammatically correct.

Still waiting for the Faithful Following to provide a SINGLE commitment from Vern that has been met as promised. Of course that would mean the need to address the factual shortcomings of the WonderJet and the compulsive exaggeration from the Nekkid Emperor - far better to just try to make it about Stan or LearJet.

Sorry boys, the WonderJet is not yet fit to hold the Ol' Lear's jockstrap, let alone be compared to it.

This latest missive is merely "Please Do Not Sue Us Letter" Rev 13.b., in other words, SSDD.

AlexA said...

Stan,

You couldn’t make this stuff up. Here is an AD on your baby. Gosh it sounds awful familiar…..

June 1, 1966 AD 66-14-02

66-14-02
(b) On Model 23 airplanes, the following applies to all Serial Numbers except 003, 011, 016, 020, 024, 026, 033, 035, 039, 043, 044, 047, 050, 051, 062, 065A, 069, 070, 072, 073, 074, 075, 076, 077, 078, 079, 080, 081, 082, 083, 087, 090, 092, 093: further flight is limited to day VFR meteorological conditions and to flight levels below 240 until installation of an attitude indicator (gyro horizon) usable by the pilot and powered by a source separate from the airplane's primary electrical system.

Mirage00 You should really be amused now!

airtaximan said...

how low can the expectations for this 9 year old, $1 billion-plus program get?

I'll show you...

Alexa is comparing the e-clips situation to the "stone ages" of private jets...

"June 1, 1966"

Now we have sunk about as low as it gets. Have you no shame? Have you no higher expectation that 1966 for your revolutionary, advanced computer, hi-tech jet airplane? WHAT A SAD FARCE.

"we're no worse than a jet developed in the 1960's"

Vive la revolutione!

airtaximan said...

421jockey,

"51 fuselage compnents coming off FSW Gantry."

do you know Vern bragged months ago that 57 planes were in production... I believe it was MArch timeframe...

your news of #51 coming off the FSW machine does not impress, except for how long it takes for them to make (I won't say manufacure) these things.

Its been a year since they began "making" planes...

AlexA said...

Don&Marg

It’s got to be Marg posting.

Boeing 737 5000 delivered (302 ADs) (Commercial operations with countless hours of service)
Lears (23-29) 1333 delivered (250+ADs) (Private corporate jet)

Look in the mirror Marg

AlexA said...

More coincidence…..

This article originally appeared in the Eagle on Monday, April 29, 1985.

"To some he was controversial, but to me he was a perfect example of an entrepreneur. He had many ideas. Some worked, some didn't," Jabara said. "He was always optimistic, sometimes unrealistically so, but most of the time he was on target. He was fully committed to his projects."

Bill Lear is best known for designing and building the Learjet - the world's first cheap, fast mass-produced business jet - at a factory he started in Wichita in 1962.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Poor WonderJet Twins, the stress of the mental gymnastics required to keep the spin going appear to have have finally pushed them over the edge, they have gone bonkers. Posting 'private' messages to each other in public, comparing the non-functional Eclipse to the proud heritage of the LearJet, and now trying to suggest that Vern is somehow like Bill Lear.

Alexa, if you would like to compare Vern to someone with a similar track record\business model you should look up Charles Ponzi or do a Google search for Bean Can Trading.

Since there are clearly over two thousand deliveries of LearJet's of all stripes will you be a man and apologize to Stan?

No matter, just enjoy Vern's free pop and stop making color copies.

Gunner said...

Interesting stuff, Alexa. You just drove right by CWMoR's clear explanation that Stan was quite right in his reference to "thousands of Lears". Your personal drive by, once again, hit the hydrant by mistake.

But, I gotta wonder.....Vern comes out with great news for those who Truly Believe; why would you avoid focus on HIS comments, and start dredging up AD's for a completely different (and FAR more complicated) aircraft design of 40 years ago.

Let's talk about how, THIS TIME, Eclipse has REALLY got it's act together and is gonna start cranking out USABLE aircraft by the hundreds.

Vern said it.
You obviously Believe.
Why not support it....rather than changing the subject.

Tell us; were you impressed with Vern's latest? Was he specific enough for you to pin him down on ANY of his statements? Do you believe Eclipse has suddenly become a "bottom up" corporation in terms of operational and strategic planning?

These are the pertinent questions.
Gunner

AlexA said...

Cold&Wet,

It’s nice to see you running over to defend Stan. I re-read my post and there is no mention of Vern anywhere on the post. Is it possible you are inferring something on your own? Reality check?

Luv U guys

airtaximan said...

Does anyone care that all the planes delivered so far were started in Q3 2006?

The prediction relevant (for deposits and delivery expectations at that time) was around 400 planes delivered BY NOW? Hundreds in 2006 and hundreds in 2007.

HOW COMPLETELY SCREWED IS THIS?

AlexA said...

Gunner,
I knew it would not take you long. Maybe you failed to read the post correctly. Maybe you failed to read Stan’s bio. My post was specific Lears Model 23-29 over 250 ADs. I think if you check with Stan these were the models that were produced while he was on the job (under his watch).

Stan is using Vern’s playbook, no question. Or is it Bill Lears’ playbook?

Stan claims “several thousands..” but left way before Eclipse (I mean Lear) even delivered 1300.

Vern claims “2600 orders…” we find out many are option from DayJet.

As to your question, no I wasn’t impressed. I got many questions that certainly were not answered. The communication was too ambiguous for my liking. For example what does two aircraft a day really mean? Is that 60 aircrafts a months or is it 40 or some other number.

Not Even an Attempted Drive By

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Alexa,

Stan does not need defending from me, he is a big boy and quite able to handle your trip-and-fall-by's all on his own.

I just happened to be reviewing GAMA stats for a project I am working on and I knew your assertion was full-o-crap and called you on it.

Lear produced 750 planes JUST BETWEEN '96 and '06 - they delivered 19 in just Q1 of this year.

Lear provides accurate delivery schedules YEARS in advance, just like all other REAL OEM's.

Eclipse on the other hand has halved its' projected '07 delivery schedule in just 3 months - they were off by a factor of 2 (so far, according to the same folks who were wrong about all the other things).

Just like the price looks like production too is half-off.

Gunner is on to something. Enough with the distraction attempts (7 yr old would-be magicians are slicker than that).

What makes you believe that THIS TIME they have it right? Surely can not be their track record.

Why do you continue to believe ANYTHING Eclipse says? Surely can not be their track record.

Why did all this good news completely gloss over the pitot-static fix, the aero-mod fix, and the Avio NfG fix?

All three of those are significant, with Avio NfG being the long pole in the tent - and ALL three require CERTIFICATION, they require approval through the FAA, something Eclipse is not supposed to be able to influence let alone control.

What assumptions were made in this 'revolutionary' new bottom-up plan? Whay are these assumptions any better than the last set of assumptions?

How can they be so certain the fixes will be approved as submitted?

How can they be so certain the parts will be available?

How can they be so certain the service capacity exists?

Simple, they CAN'T.

airtaximan said...

This blog has gone from the sublime to the rediculous...

I can't wait for the faithfull to begin comparing the e-499 to the Wright Flyer.

ALl the missed performace projections, payload range isses, dispatch reliability...

What an embarrassing farce for the faithful and how low has Vern sunk the expectations of aviation enthusiasts and jet buyers.

We're no worse than Lear (1960's), we're no worse the Wright brothers (1903).

Vive la revolutione!

cj3driver said...

...But keep sending in those 60% deposits.... we promise, you will have your plane in six months (if not we will give you a deal that you can't refuse, literally)... After all, we met our production goals for May, that were released in June.

...#39 comes out of avionics on Tuesday.

Stan Blankenship said...

Here is a summary of the delivery predictions thus far for '07:

Tot. blogger
---- --------
039 Freedomsjamtarts

120 Stan

130 cj3driver

240 mirageOO (?)

240 Vern (?)

Let's get the numbers from the rest of you. Changes can be made up until the end of this month, I will put the predictions up as a post for easy reference.

At the end of the year, the blogger closest to the FAA's official record of deliveries for 2007 will be declared the winner. Will scare up a nice prize for the lucky blogger.

Perhaps eclipseblogger can interpret Vern's letter to the position holders for us and confirm the number that is being alluded to.

Gunner said...

57
Gunner

AlexA said...

Cold&Wet

You said.. “Lear produced 750 planes JUST BETWEEN '96 and '06 - they delivered 19 in just Q1 of this year. I knew your assertion was full-o-crap and called you on it.” My friend you are the one that’s full and its not brains.

1. Was Stan at Lear between 1996 and 2006? -Tip read bio on Blog.
2. How many Lears 23-29 were built?-Tip see FAA
3. Is that number “several thousand deliveries”?-Tip NO

Next time you “call” someone on something you need to review the facts and read what was stated. If this is a sample of your work, the project you are working on is doomed.

Well Stan how many Lears 23-29 were actually built?

Stan put me in for 200. Knowing Eclipse’s propensity for publicity 200 seems like an ideal press release.

Don & Marg said...

Alexa,
Surely the actual numbers built don't count for much once a decent production run has been established.After all there are only three or four variations of the same design and an AD is issued against the design regardless of the numbers built.To keep to your concept. the B727 has 205 Ad's against a production run of 1800+,close to the Lear numbers quoted.During the sixties when the VFR AD was issued a lot of jets did not have standby AI's which may be the reason for the AD.Anybody else know about this?
Rgds DON

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

OK I'll play -

2007 Deliveries (to customers) - 84 (why? because it is 2 times 42, which we all should know is the answer to Life, the Univers and Everything, according to the computer Deep Thought - who knoes, bet I am closer than the 'revolutionary', new, never-been-tried-before bottom-up planning method).

Bonus CWMoR Prediction - Avio NfG will be shown at OSH and then explained to have a staggered functionality\certification matrix, just like Avio OnfG, with full functionality not occurring in '07.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Alexa,

Stan addressed the various models and full 43 year history of LearJet replying to your 'comparison', hence the 'thousands' comment - which was and remains factually correct.

Further in a follow-up comment you suggested your number of 1333 "And that includes models other than (23-29).

???SEVERAL THOUSAND DELIVERIES???? Come on Stan."

You then reverted to Vern-mode and started parsing, looking for a way to blame somebody else for your mistake when it became obvious to all but yourself that were full-o-crap.

Game, set, match.

Thank you and good night, you're a wonderful crowd, don't forget to tip your waitstaff.

Gunner said...

Looks like the True Believers suddenly want to talk about ANYTHING but the Eclipse. What with the great news Vern provided today, I simply don't understand this.

Gunner

AlexA said...

Cold&Wet

When the facts don’t fit just make them up and call people names. For someone who is supposed to be in the industry you certainly are badly versed.

Let’s see (models 23, 24, 24A, 24B, 24D, 24E, 24F, 25, 25B, 25C, 25D, 28 and 29). Technically 13 but close enough to a dozen for government work give Stan one point.

First flight October 1963 (June 2007- October 1963= 43 years), give Stan another point.

“Several thousands delivered” fault 738 (http://www.learjetsales.com/article.htm). Credibility Game over!

If under Stan’s watch there were several thousands Lears delivered then DayJet will have no problem ordering and accepting another 4000 E500s.

Good night sweetheart.

cj3driver said...

Are there really 300 people that have sent in $650,000.00 non-refundable, unsecured, non-escrowed funds? Are there still 700 more people who will risk that much money in the next 12 months?

I find this very hard to believe. Either Vern is indeed a master hypnotist, or the faithful want their jet so bad, the blinders are even covering the forward view. One would think there would be a major revolt by now.

But then again, many of the position holders are not the original depositors. They have purchased at a “premium” to a long gone seller, and may have hundreds of thousands already invested. What choice do they have, …a refund from Eclipse only gives them the original deposit back, not the “premium” already paid,. … so, since they have already placed the “ante” to the tune of $500K, they have no choice but to “call” and pony up the additional 500K plus options.

Ring, Ring

Is that an Iceberg... or Iceland?

cj3driver said...

Vern is well aware of the "pickle" the second or third holder of a position is in.. and thus the comment;

"...We will contact each of you in this situation to offer something that is fair for you and Eclipse."

I wonder what the offer will be?

Algernon said...

Stan said....

"alexa,

Wow, you nailed me good on that one...250 AD's spread over 43 years, a dozen different models and several thousand deliveries."

Yea, alexa, that took some real thinking to start that argument ! Good boy ! Woof Woof ! ~eediot~

~I~am not amused.

airtaximan said...

I'm in on the delivery prediction game...

You guys are just GUESSING, though. Why not base your delivery predictions on some DATA.

My number is, emphatically stated:

90 aircraft...

...per paint booth
...and adjusted for GMT to where ever you are judging from.

Here's why:
there are 4678 hours left in 2007.
According to Vern's letter today, it takes 51 hours to paint an e-clips. That means they can paint 90 (or so - I'm allowing for one delayed paint supplier delivery, a spraygun failure, perhaps a sick day/walkout by an employee for a shor while, or just a mistake requiring rework....

THERE YOU HAVE IT. 90 planes delivered, from now until YE 2007, plus the 15 or whatever the number is, that were "delivered" so far.

Count me in.

airtaximan said...

CJ3,

remember, 1/2 the orders (scheduled deliveries) are Dayjets... there's no evidence they sent in their deposits/progress payments. They would have had to have paid about $30 million just for half the first hundred... let alone half the second hundred...

they disn't have this money, and today, it would leave them "low and dry" if you get my drift.

Some customers get "priority" you know.

Old Troll said...

Stan Blankenship said...
Here is a summary of the delivery predictions thus far for '07:...

Let's get the numbers from the rest of you.


How are we counting deliveries??? Vern's publicity tally? Aircraft registered to anyone other than Eclipse? Do we have to subtract those aircraft that are still tethered to ABQ?

I'll go with 50 "official" deliveries and zero fully functional deliveries (e.g. certified mods, new avionics, RVSM, FIKI, IMC, etc.)


Hey Cow (I mean M00),
How's the LearjetCritic.blogspot.com website coming along? Let us know how much traffic you get.


It is interesting that most of this discussion has centered around Lear ADs instead of the utterly abysmal track record of Eclipse schedule projections. The thing I find truly amazing is that the faithful keep the faith in spite of these repeated failures. With Eclipse' record, do they really believe the new avionics will be ready this summer? Or that the aero-mods will be certified any time soon? Surely they must if they're still handing over money. It just boggles the mind.

EclipseBlogger said...

ATM, adjust and recalculate. There are four paintbooths. So I guess you are in for 360.

The plan is for 240 in 2007. Production will build up to 40 in December.

airtaximan said...

EB,

thanks... so, if all four paintbooths are working today...I'm in for 360.

Emphatically sure it will be 360.

Vern said, 51 hours to paint a plane... THAT SHOULD PROVIDE A LOT OF COMFORT REGARDING DELIVERIES, PROGRESS PAYMENTS AND EVERYTHING ELSE THE COMPANY NEEDS TO DO TO DELIVER PLANES.

...there's 4678 hours left in 2007, and at 51 hours per plane, and 4 booths online, that's 360 planes.

See how easy that was?

PS. I'm very impressed with VErn's detailed knowledge regarding all aspects of his non-manufacturing business, and the critical figures involved in delivering planes - 51 hours to paint the plane.

..sounds good to me.

airtaximan said...

PS. someone should tell Vern, they produce a 737 fuselage in 1/10th the time it takes him to paint his dwarf-plane.

mirage00 said...

Alexa... you made me proud tonight. Thanks for keeping it real.

Stan, I will post my production numbers tomorrow. Stay tuned.

I remain amused

double 00

Jim said...

Comment for AlexA from the peanut gallery:

I think its not helpful to EA's case to point out that this new high-tech revolutionary jet has similar teething problems to the very first civil business jet made back in the early 60s.

When you think about it, that is damming by faint phrase at best.

Bill and Stan did something very new and, yes, revolutionary. As far as I know there were no business jets designed for the civil market before the Lear Jet. And those guys had crew cuts, skinny ties, and calculated mostly with slide rules.

For example, the Lear team probably didn't know that the FAA would decide that a third independent attitude indicator would be required.

Yet even a no-nothing redneck like me knew that in ~2002 a third independent AI was required. That's why I asked Vern about it at Oshkosh.

It's really a little disappointing that 40+ years latter EA couldn't do better with modern technology and Bill and Stan's experience to guide them.

flightguy said...

Where is the bottleneck in production? I doubt it is in the FSW, since most of the aircraft is not assembled under the gantry.

The bottleneck will determine production output not the bells and whistles. Certainly not the paint booth, but the faithful will keep trying to stretch for big flashing final numbers. After all the numbers are finally "flowing from the bottom up." This quoted from the man that the numbers came from the top down? - no credibility

Put me down for an even 50 for this year as Eclipse tries to clean their inventory out from last year neat the end of this year. Deliveries thereafter will be delayed until full production hits full scale efficiency.

Plastic_Planes said...

OK I'll play -

2007 Deliveries (to customers) - 84 (why? because it is 2 times 42, which we all should know is the answer to Life, the Univers and Everything, according to the computer Deep Thought - who knoes, bet I am closer than the 'revolutionary', new, never-been-tried-before bottom-up planning method).


Coldwet:

Douglas Adams would be proud.

Any guy with a four book trilogy must know all about numbers. SO:

42 x 4/3 = 56 -- That's my guess.

Sad thing, I've seen lots of those plans (production plans) and have worked with those "Industrial Engineering Experts". They're still chasing that most elusive target:

"It's all about the supply chain". Oh, and about paying your suppliers.

Two things E-Clips has failed to do well.

Larry Bates has done a wonderful job with the paint booth, though. I think any aircraft company would want the setup he has. E-Clips paints a very sharp looking AC. It's a true 5' paint job (looks good even at 5 feet). Many company's are happy with a 30 footer and they take much (much)longer to get there.

PA28/PA32:
From what I remember (which has probably changed since I left), the main bottlenecks are in the Primary assembly area - the lower cabin assembly area and the aft fuse assembly area. It's all about tools, though, and EClips (even at this early stage of production) has all the rate tools they could fit on the shop floor. Hopefully, they are getting better throughput through these tools. FSW is not a constraint. We lost a main power supply on one gantry (the only one at the time) taht took several days to fix. They were ahead enough that it didn't interupt production. Since then, spares have been procured, and now a second gantry is on line. Stuff happens, but I believe they have this one covered. Now, if they run out of surrounds, .....

Stan, no need to hang in there (I'd love to hear some of those old stories - a little "Apollo 13" then, perhaps?), I also know of the problems on the floor that haven't surfaced. All the employees have been warned NOT to talk to the public about any issues. Vern and Andrew (probably) read this blog faithfully (Ken? Alexa? M00?), so they know what gets posted here, and they are adamant about threatening any employee with dismissal if they post anything negative here.

And of course get caught.

M00/Alexa/Ken/ and any other believers, I wish you the best. I truly do. Not for you guys, of course, but for the many employees of EAC that are trying to make an honest living in such a fun industry...

BTW (as I'm sure you'll fire back) I can't tell you specifics about these problems either (Vern wouldn't be too happy with me, you know...) I'm sure the "see, another disgruntled (sorry, I'm full of grun) employee. I can't ever make you believe (even with pictures, I'm sure), but that's OK. I know what I know from my time on the inside...

/s/

flightguy said...

Throuput thru the primary assembly area is what about 5 days? Does it have dedicated technicians to each airframe?

mouse said...

Ooops, Better not count those chickens just yet. Hampson has run out of Empanage assemblies at S/N 41.

Their quality has been lacking badly, and now there is no inventory shipping right now, at all. Wonder if this will affect the deliveries?

Hmm...

flightguy said...

THEY PROBLEM HAVEN'T BEEN PAID.

Plastic_Planes said...

FC:

Primary Assy accounts for about 70% of the labor hours (Cabin Assembly, Aft Fuse Assy, Fuse systems stuff, Aft/Cabin Mate, Horizontal Install). At the current production rate, I'd guess that it's taking several weeks from the intial position to transport to SP2 for final assembly.

/s/

flightguy said...

Enough Said. THanks for being honest in spite of the risk of speaking.

mouse said...

Alexa & Mirage00,

AD's are a fact of life, and now adays the lawyers ask for AD's to be issued.

What is amusing here is that the AD was issued to Eclipse for such a basic detail, and from the most advanced aircraft company ever. Surely Eclipse is much improved over punny little LearJet don't you think?

The Lear was built and designed back when we were still pumping 100% oxygen into space capsules full of astronauts, LED's were not used, digital technology was a lightbrite toy, Etc.

The Lear also had performance, was truly aead of it's time, a miracle in the GA circuit, Etc. Please continue to prove your ignorance, and defend your little toy piece of crap, it gives us great lunch fodder...

Now Vern had many weeks (lots of Tuesdays) to correct the issue, and couldn't, so the AD was issued. "We couldn't, so they can't" is in full play here, huh?

mouse said...

Shane,

No tails for S/N 42 and above for now. Hampson is falling on the sword, again/still

mouse said...

CJ3,

Adam has tapped Cirrus for production knowledge since the process is very similiar and both companies are very friendly with each other.

Do you think Vern would stoop so low as to discuss anything of value with anyone as low or dirty as the competition? He knows more than the whole world, so asking for help would be unimaginable!

mouse said...

Alexa,

An AD from 1966... And this is now 2007. Do you think we have advanced any in 40+ years?

Congratulations, you have now surpassed the rest of your kind in earning you Dope of the Century award...

Niner Zulu said...

Alexa & Mirage00 - I can't wait for the day you have to take delivery of YOUR Eclipses!

That's the day I'll be amused! ;-)

mouse said...

Neat! 51 hours to paint a plane that takes only 7.75 hours to assemble. Seems like vern should have invented (and been awarded the Collier) for rapid painting systems. Obviously paint is the long pole.

Hmm, sure are a lot of long poles such a short tent.

flyforfun said...

Stan, I heard about a new owner who took delivery, well kind of, in the past few days and paid in full his 1.2MM and had to lease the plane back to Eclipse because he is not scheduled to begin training for 8 weeks. Pay in full and leave on Southwest with nothing but a picture. Talk about a hollow feeling.

cj3driver said...

Moo,
Please check with Vern and find out which "previous projection" he meant when he states
"...Due to delays in production, the projected numbers for 2007 are roughly half of what we previously projected in 2007, and 2008 is a bit less than the previous projection of 925..."

Which 07 projection is he referring to 50% of?

cj3driver said...

fffun,
RE: training delay.

I'd be pissed. Can't they type in the aircraft... one of the demo units, ...months ago? After all, the plane has been certified for close to a year now. They should have used Crowe's plane or a couple of the DayJet planes to train early customers.
I hope they are paying a high lease rate for the down time. At least 15K-20K per month. (Aircraft leases generally run 1% of hull value per month, NNN).
Seems like it would be cheaper to hire a mentor full time? At least then the owner could get some experience and fly his new toy. I guess they don't have the Mentors either.

Ring, Ring,

anybody listening in the engine room?

cj3driver said...

mouse,

Thanks for the Adam/Cirrus info.
Makes sense. Composites.

What is your guess for 07 deliveries?

mouse said...

I put the number around 75. I expect none of the pkanes built this year to have the new AVIO NfG systme fully functional, no Flight in Known Icing, and a couple of more AD's related to Stress and Fatigue.

Squeak

Buckerfan said...

Stan, my prediction is 68 deliveries by the end of the year. Soory for the late reply, I get to review all the "blog fun" with 12 hour delay, living in Europe and all.

EclipseBlogger said...

EclipseBlogger said... ATM, adjust and recalculate. There are four paintbooths. So I guess you are in for 360.

The plan is for 240 in 2007. Production will build up to 40 in December.


Sorry, correction, that should be 200 for 2007.

AlexA said...

Mirage00,

I now know how Jeff Dunham feels after manipulating Jalapeno on a stick. It’s way too easy to manipulate the hateful throngs. Throw out a fact that might discredit their all knowing leader and the whole Blog is sidetracked. They took the bait and swallowed the hook. Since they didn’t have a defense they resorted to name calling. Just take a look and see how many postings were about Lear yesterday ;) instead of Eclipse.

Vern you owe me one, any chance you can move me up in the queue?

Another Easy Drive BY

EclipseBlogger said...

Mouse said... What is amusing here is that the AD was issued to Eclipse for such a basic detail

In all fairness to Eclipse, the probe was certified by the manufacturer. I assume that Eclipse followed the manufacturer's application criteria, but who knows.

EclipseBlogger said...

mouse said... Adam has tapped Cirrus for production knowledge since the process is very similiar and both companies are very friendly with each other.

Do you think Vern would stoop so low as to discuss anything of value with anyone as low or dirty as the competition? He knows more than the whole world, so asking for help would be unimaginable!


Not quite true. The Klapmeier boys have taken the Eclipse factory tour, and manufacturing personnel from Eclipse have been to Cirrus as well. You know not what you type.

EclipseBlogger said...

mouse said...
Neat! 51 hours to paint a plane that takes only 7.75 hours to assemble.


Mouse, you miss the point. Painting is measured in days at other manufacturers.

flightguy said...

If I'm not mistaken 51 hours is what? - over 2 days?

EclipseBlogger said...

Other manufactures complete the paint job in double digit number of days.

AlexA said...

EB,

In all fairness while 51 hours is impressive for paint there has been a number of complaints on the quality. The complaints include fasteners painted over and sloppy application of the stencils. Serial number 13 is a great example.

ExEclipser said...

Eclipseblogger said: "Not quite true. The Klapmeier boys have taken the Eclipse factory tour, and manufacturing personnel from Eclipse have been to Cirrus as well. You know not what you type. "

Not to mention that the management team and most of the initial production staff came from Cessna and Raytheon...

Plastic_Planes said...

Alexa said...

EB,

In all fairness while 51 hours is impressive for paint there has been a number of complaints on the quality. The complaints include fasteners painted over and sloppy application of the stencils. Serial number 13 is a great example.


Really? Wow, I always felt one of their best features/selling points was the quality of paint. Having seen a lot of contract paint houses (and some internals), I always ranked E-Clips at or near the top.

Sad that that's happening.

Thx for the update

/s/

Plastic_Planes said...

Alexa:

BTW, Eclipse has always "painted" over fasteners. The fianl plan was to not paint them, but use powedercoated heads. Vern didn't like the look of unpaited fasteners.

Of course, you have to install the powder coated heads after paint.

/s/

JetProp Jockey said...

Based on Vern's statement that they "could" start working a second shift, I assume that they are working a one shift operation now.

Here are some real world calculations:

There are about 130 working days left in 2007.

130 X 8 hours per day (assumes 8 hours per day af actual painting) = 1040 hours per booth

1040 X 4 booths = 4160 painting hours left in 2007

4160 / 51 hours per plane = 81 by year end.

When Bill Clinton was president, we had to struggle with understanding the definition of "is".

If this is tough, defining a deliviery of an E500 is a real task.

I would suggest that if a delivery is either a plane flown away by DayJet or an owner operator who is type rated and leaves the nest to spend time with his mentor, my guess for 2007 is 36.

FlightCenter said...

Alexa,

After mulling it over a bit, it seems that Vern is quoting production in calendar days, not business days.

Eclipseblogger said,

"Production will build up to 40 in December."

Vern's letter said

"2. two aircraft per day by April 2008"

If Vern were quoting calendar days and Eclipseblogger is correct, the letter would have said two aircraft per day by December 2007 instead of two aircraft per day by April 2008.

Another point in favor of this interpretation - you just cannot produce "a bit less than the previous projection of 925" in 2008 without producing something like 60 aircraft or more in April 2008.

Let's look at potential ramp based on these three points which have been provided by Eclipse(and assuming calendar days). 40 in December, 60 in April 08, 84 in Dec 08 (assume 3 days for holidays).

Assuming a linear ramp between 42 aircraft in Jan and 84 in Dec - that works out to 756 aircraft delivered in 2008. I'd be willing to bet that this is within spitting distance of the official Eclipse production plan for 2008.

If all this is true - then Vern's definition of "a bit less than 925" equals 169 aircraft less than 925.

If Vern's projections were based on work days, then the points on the curve would be Jan - Apr = 40 aircraft per month, December = 60 aircraft. That would work out to 570 aircraft produced in 2008. That's 385 aircraft less than the previous projection of 925. Much more than "a bit".

So Vern's projections are based on producing aircraft every day of the year, weekends included.

If I read the letter correctly, it sounds like at some point in 2008 that they will need to go to 2 shifts to hit these numbers.

It would be interesting to see the hiring plan required to accomplish this plan.

It would be interesting to see the projections for total hours per aircraft required to meet this plan.

You may remember that previous data supplied by execlipser and plasticplanes was that it would take 4,000 hours to build each plane during initial production and that the plan was to reduce the labor per aircraft to 400 hours per plane when Eclipse got to 3 aircraft per day rate.

It would be important to understand how much labor per aircraft the new team and outside consultants have assumed in the new plan as production ramps.

EclipseBlogger said...

JetProp Jockey, garbage in, garbage out. I think your assuming the the aircraft occupies the booth the entire 51 hours. Some of that time is prep and such. Therefore throughput will be much greater.

FlightCenter said...

eclipseblogger,

Exchanging factory tours is a long way from setting up a formal program to exchange production know how.

I believe Mouse's point was that it is unlikely that Eclipse would be willing to set up a formal program with Cirrus to exchange production know how.

Has Eclipse set up a formal production exchange program with Cirrus (or another aircraft manufacturer)?

I'm not downplaying how much can be learned in a single factory tour. Factory tours can be very valuable and I give both Eclipse and Cirrus credit for exchanging factory tours. I'm sure both companies gained a lot during those visits.

FlightCenter said...

I think we've established that painting the aircraft will not be the limiting factor in Eclipse achieving their production targets. Let's not spend our time on that topic.

As some have pointed out on this blog, production targets are different from delivery targets.

If I understand correctly from previous Eclipse communications, the limiting factor in meeting the delivery targets will be training the required number of pilots to the point that they can get their type rating and fly the aircraft away from ABQ.

Vern's letter should have included projections for how many pilots a day they can train.

Pilot's shouldn't be agreeing to put their deposit down to take delivery of an airplane, if Eclipse can't also commit to have the training capacity in place to allow them to achieve their type rating and fly the airplane home once the aircraft has finished production.

sparky said...

EB said:

"In all fairness to Eclipse, the probe was certified by the manufacturer. I assume that Eclipse followed the manufacturer's application criteria, but who knows."

It wasn't the probes that were freezing, that was happening in the lines themselves. That's the part that eclipse designed, and certified....Knowing full well that they had a problem with the system.

Also, I like this part in the letter: "Our plant managers worked closely with external, high volume industrial engineering consultants to determine where each function has improved its efficiency."

Why the hell would you hire outside consultants to "determine where each function has improved." Wouldn't it be obvious where the improvements were. If you have a bird at the end of the shift, you've improved. I you have a pile of stir-fried crap, you haven't. Seems pretty simple to me.

What this tells me is that for all the hype about high volume production and the expertise that Todd Fierro supposedly brings to the company, they still don't know how long it takes to build an airplane.

This being said, make my prediction at 73 aircraft delivered.(I'm using the eclipse definition of delivery, meaning it's no longer on the assembly line and more or leess in one piece.)

FlightCenter said...

CJ3 said,

"One would think there would be a major revolt by now."

Why do you think Vern felt compelled to send the letter?

He sent the letter because there is a revolt brewing among the depositors and he needs to head it off at the pass.

He also has a revolt to deal with among his suppliers. I'm sure the suppliers have gotten a very similar letter.

How do you think PW feels about having already produced 700 engines for Eclipse (according to Lloyd) only to hear now that Eclipse is only going to need 400 this year? Based on this plan, Eclipse won't need engine #701 until Mar/Apr 2008. That's a lot of inventory for someone to keep on their books. Who's carrying the inventory? PW or Eclipse?

Vern is out raising money again, so I'm sure there is a similar letter out to his investors. The investors can't be all that pleased about being diluted by another round that is closing right now. I guess it is better than Chapter 11, but if your choice is losing all your investment or being crammed down, I guess you take being crammed down.

JetProp Jockey said...

FlightCenter said:

"Vern is out raising money again, so I'm sure there is a similar letter out to his investors. The investors can't be all that pleased about being diluted by another round that is closing right now."

Do you have reason to believe that next round of capital is nearly collected or are you assuming that Vern can sell anything?

FlightCenter said...

Stan,

Great idea to establish some sort of pool on the number of aircraft produced in 2007.

It would be interesting to establish a betting pool on a number of topics in addition to the number of aircraft produced this year. I'd like to see if we could come up with a way to put some cold hard cash at risk to back up the projections (as a way of keeping it real.) Any ideas?

Here are a couple suggestions for additional betting topics:

Number of pilots issued type ratings in 2007 and 2008.

Certification date for:
EASA certification

Pitot Static Fix
RVSM
FIKI
Part 135 (incl 3rd ADAHRS)
Avio NG

WAAS GPS
WAAS GPS with LPV approaches
FMS
Fully functional autopilot
Autothrottle
Radar (both Honeywell's and Eclipse's)
Stormscope
Skywatch
Rad Alt


Aero mods
Lavatory
Refreshment Center

Finally it would be interesting to bet on when Eclipse will achieve:

1 aircraft per day production rate
2 aircraft per day production rate
3 aircraft per day production rate

mouse said...

Vern has given and taken lots of tours, hired plenty f talented people (and plenty of idiots too) and never once has he listened to any of them. Vern knows more than the lot combined, just ask him.

Vern also does not want to hear anything that is not in lock step with his disruptive technology. He can't have world domination or total rule without everything being his way. Luckily only a few have learned to love the taste of his Kool-Aid, and most of those drinkers are found on this site.

The only reason this blog exists is due to Vern and his maniacal ways. The rest of te planes/companies all have their short-comings too, but none have gone over the edge of sanity like Vern has drug the Eclipse name.

AlexA said...

FC,
FC you said “Assuming a linear ramp between 42 aircraft in Jan and 84 in Dec – that…” I believe points to the problem. Depositors and vendors have to read between the lines and have to “assume.” I would have preferred to get a letter saying based on our best knowledge and no further major technical issues your aircraft is scheduled to be delivered on xxxxx (this date is subject to change by two weeks).

As to paint issues if I were an early delivery position I would have probably sounded like Gunner. Even though the fasteners were painted in place the FAA removed all the panels in order to grant the CofA. Imagine fasteners painted in place and then removed shortly after paint for inspections. Hopefully now that they have their PC this will not be a reoccurring issue.

mouse said...

Of all the crimes committed (and those yet to be discovered) the worst however does not belong to Vern.

The Eclipse board has completely failed to provide any fiduciary guidence or exercise and responsibility.

The most humorus aspect of this whole charade is those who will be hurt the most/worst are those same people who defend Vern the most. Unfortunately, just like raising children, they do not listen to their parents or anyone in the know, and continue to stick paperclips in wall receptacles and look without crossing the street until reality shocks/scares them into learning the lesson.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and there are a few "Believers" here on this sight who clearily have synthetic vision goggles sprouting from their rear-ends.

FlightCenter said...

I have heard from multiple sources that another major round has "closed".

Just like the definition of delivery, we've all heard many definitions of "closed" for funding rounds over the years.

Those definitions range from - "I had a great conversation with a really rich guy who liked my business plan" to actually having signed all the contracts, completed all due diligence, and verified that 100% of the funds have been transferred and are in the bank account with no strings attached.

Eclipse certainly has a core competency of raising money, so I assume that their definition of "closed" is somewhere between all contracts signed and having the money in the bank.

A good way to tell when the money has transferred is by talking to suppliers and seeing where they stand on accounts receivable.

AeroObserver said...

CJ3 said: "Seem like I heard a rumor that Eclipse "tapped" Cirrus for production process... or was that Adam?"

Answer: Adam. See http://www.avweb.com/news/snf/SunNFun2007_AdamAircraftProductionRampUp_194996-1.html

a37pilot said...

Like the idea of the delivery pool. I'm going with 38 "deliveries". That means something that has rolled off the assembly line. Fully functional, certified, flown away by a type rated owner, zero.

airtaximan said...

F Y'als I..

I was just joking about the rediculous calculation of 51 hours divided by the number of hours left this year.

Vern offers sucha mundane detail, AS IF it makes any freaking difference to anyone regarding when they will get their plane.

ANyone who took it seriously, well...has fallen for the Vernster's rediculous shenanigan show...

There is not one detailed fact (even if it would have been misrepresented) that could lead anyone to a conclusive prediction of how many planes could realistically be expected to be completed this year. NONE.

WAG is what you get, and if you are lucky enough to have made an initial deposit, you get a $$900k bill for this WAG.

The WAGS (lies) have been off by so much, that, well...face it - everyone in the story is making WAGS, or demanding payments based on "tops down" cals - "how much money do we need, now?" ... OK, that 400 progress payments... lets "deliver" 400 in the next 6 months. THAT'S tops down.

Bottoms up...well, that better.
-200% imporvement over ???
-51 hours to paint
-throw in a few consultants
-improvement percetages logged, again...

new number.. "how much money do we need?"

painting takes 51 hours, 4568 hors left= 90 planes x 4 booths (EB -thanks)=360 planes. Just ask Vern. 51 hours = 360 planes.

YOU ARE ALL NUTS if you think they will produce any less. SEND PROGRESS MONEY NOW.

Black Tulip said...

Stan, I have a suggestion. We should plan an alumni meeting for the Eclipse Aviation Critic website. This virtual communication is okay but a face-to-face event would be enlightening. Pick a date a year or two in the future – one that has significance such as the tenth anniversary of the announcement of the Eclipse 500. If that date is in 2009, the success or failure of Eclipse Aviation will be known by then.

Let’s have a mini-convention at an Albuquerque hotel. All of us aircraft owners will fly in. Attendees will not wear name badges, but badges with a number. The attendee who correctly identifies the most anonymous bloggers at the end of the meeting wins the door prize. The convention could handle a wide range of Eclipse outcomes:

Scenario A: The aircraft becomes an unqualified success. The Faithful agree to be gracious, not overbearing and commit to seldom use the phrase, “I told you so”. The Naysayers will be contrite, keep a downcast gaze, and will be quick to pick up the bar tab. The Faithful will offer Naysayers a ride in their Eclipses – hundred dollar hamburger rides will be abundant. After an appropriate period of penance and self-flagellation, the Naysayers will be allowed to smile and participate in conversations. An Eclipse Aviation representative will be present to take orders.

Scenario C: The aircraft has not succeeded. The Naysayers agree to be kind, gracious and offer solace to the Faithful. In this case, the convention would assume the model of an Irish wake. There will be a bit of sadness over the departed but humor and optimism about life and aviation will pervade. Naysayers and Faithful will trade aircraft rides in each other’s machines. A seminar will be held on the state-of-the-union in Very Light Jets.

Scenario B: Anything between Scenarios A and C with behaviors modified to suit.

Stan, could you publish a Save-the Date announcement?

Black Tulip

JetProp Jockey said...

Stan - Please corect my quess. I indicated there was a capacity to paint 81 planes but my delivery prediction was 36, based on planes actually flown away,

cj3driver said...

Holy mackerel!… Ye of little confidence.

At 130 planes I guess I’m a believer! What with all the new money and all. Stan a close second …compared to the rest of you naysayers… ;)


Mar .. 5 (includes Crowe)
Apr .. 3
May .. 6
Jun .. 10
Jul .. 15
Aug .. 17
Sep .. 17
Oct .. 18
Nov .. 19
Dec .. 21
Total .. 130

News from Paris Air show -

A Mustang is set to depart Paris tomorrow on a Global circumnavigation.

Cessna also announced they have orders for over 300 Mustangs and will deliver over 40 this year.

Embraer rolled out the first Phenom 100… First deliveries in 2nd half 08.

NetJets placed a 1 billion dollar order with Cessna.

...Doesn’t NetJets know they could have bought over 650 Eclipse's for the money? Really… what does NetJets know about charter business…

Ring, Ring

(Cessna cash register)

Stan Blankenship said...

Plastic_planes prediction is quite interesting. He appears to have recent inside knowledge of the company yet his prediction is lower than most.

Stan Blankenship said...

BT,

A future gathering in ABQ is a grand idea. The most auspicious date I can imagine is the date when Ken takes delivery of his serial 1,014 (or whatever).

cj3driver said...

Cj3 prediction for Mustang production

Mar .. 3
Apr .. 3
May .. 3
Jun .. 4
Jul .. 4
Aug .. 5
Sep .. 5
Oct .. 6
Nov .. 6
Dec .. 7
Total .. 47 includes 1 in 06

JetProp Jockey said...

Stan:

The day of Ken's delivery would be nice, but most of us need to be able to plan a for a trip a little closer than +/- a year.

FlightCenter said...

Stan,

Put me down for 131 Eclipse 500 aircraft delivered in 2007.

None with Avio NG.
None with FIKI.

Jan .. 1 (Crowe's delivery)
Mar .. 4
Apr .. 3
May .. 4
Jun .. 11
Jul .. 13
Aug .. 15
Sep .. 17
Oct .. 19
Nov .. 21
Dec .. 23
Total .. 131


Ok, now let the betting begin on how many pilots will have their type rating by the end of 2007.

Shane Price said...

ColdWet is (part) right.

The Answer IS

42

That's my vote anyway. Feels about right, and since Vern, the Comic Relief Twins (aka the Drive Byes) and the rest of us here have tried eveything to guesstimate the 'production' (whatever that is) number for the rest of this year, a feeling is as likely to be correct.

And since I once had the pleasure of meeting the late (and much lamented) D. Adams at a Mac show (London, I seem to remember) I feel someone should support The Answer in a formal way. As a historical note, the app he was there to promote bombed in the market.

Also, Dutch Tulip has a point about an Irish wake. Good choice, for the following reasons.

1. Everyone turns up. Those who hated the deceased show up to make sure the bugger is dead. Those who loved him/her show up out of respect.

2. Everyone drinks, some to excess. There is singing, story telling, laughter and sadness, often all at once.

AND...

3. At some stage, there is always a good row.

All in all, a pretty good match for this blog.

Count me in for the ABQ Bloggerfest in 2009. Just don't expect me to turn up in an E499.5

Shane
PS It got to 5 books BTW. A proper 'trilogy', for something that started as a radio serial, went to paperback, was made into a TV serial and finished up as a movie. Now where did I leave Marvin...

JetProp Jockey said...

FlightCenter

I am under the impression that Ecipse will be out of the hardware to go beyond SN 100 with AVIO. Without an amended TC for NG, I assume shipments will stop at that point.

If NG is approved, it seems to me that there will be alot of pressure for the previously delivered owners to get their upgrade so that they can actually fly /g or better. All of those planes coming back will be disruptive.

FlightCenter said...

JPJ,

Your assumption that Eclipse runs out of Avio gear at serial number 100 may have been based on communications from Eclipse that they intend to cut Avio NG in around serial number 100.

However, I haven't seen or heard any communications from Eclipse stating how many shipsets of Avio they have purchased. Let me know if you have.

Prudent production and supply chain managers would have been wise to purchase enough Avio shipsets to give them some margin for slippage in the Avio NG certification date.

So let's say that the supply chain guys were able to get a PO approved for 50% more shipsets than the 100 committed in the official plan, on the off chance that Avio NG might be delayed.

That would allow them to ship 131 Avio equipped aircraft in 2007 and still have a few shipsets left for spares and loaners.

It will be a nasty problem to handle having to retrofit an extra 31 aircraft, but that will be a much better problem than stopping the line at serial #100 while they wait for Avio NG to be approved.

Bonanza Pilot said...

On a completely different topic...did anyone else get a survey from a company named Catskill research associates? It was a survey about a new 4 or 6 place single engine turboprop...talked about it being all state of the art...pressurized and cruise of between 280 and 320 knots for the six seater, and 260 and 300 knots for the 4 seater.

My first thought was that this was Epic..but then figured they already have made pricing and production decisions so not sure they would survey now....and started wondering could this be Eclipse? Could the new Eclipse be a turboprop?? It really makes a lot of sense (which means it won't be Eclipse!) for the type of Airtaxi market they have been discussing...Dayjet would be better off with a turboprop for the distances and altitudes that they are flying. Any shot that this could be Eclipse doing the survey??

EclipseBlogger said...

Put me in for an optimistic 176

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I'm sticking with 39 (and rather disappointed to be crowded on both sides, thus lessening my statistical chances of winning by being closest) :)

We don't how many shipsets of Avidyne displays were shipped, but given Avidynes record for customer service and reliability, Eclipse is going to need to hold back a bunch of them to support the slowly growing fleet in ABQ. Since AVIOng is not going to be certified anytime soon - the magic number is 39 partial eclipses darkening the cloudless DAY VFR skies of NM.

If I'm wrong about the AvioNG, it doesn't matter, some other problem will pop up.

How does everyone know about the AD? I have been checking the FAA.GOV each day, but it still hasn't issued.

My unfounded opinions to flight centers list:

Number of pilots issued type ratings in 2007 and 2008.
2007-80
2007-120

Certification date for:
EASA certification
N/A the bankruptcy comes first. Later a type validation will be done on the New Eclipse (which will also fail.)

Pitot Static Fix
Late Sep 2007.

RVSM
MAR 2008

FIKI
Mar 2008

Part 135 (incl 3rd ADAHRS)
Mar 2008

Avio NG
Mar 2008

WAAS GPS
Mar 2008

WAAS GPS with LPV approaches
Mar 2008

FMS
Mar 2008

Fully functional autopilot
Mar 2008

Autothrottle
Mar 2008

Radar (both Honeywell's and Eclipse's)
Mar 2008

Stormscope
Mar 2008

Skywatch
Mar 2008

Rad Alt
Never by Eclipse - A private STC after the bankruptcy.

Aero mods
Sep 07

Lavatory
N/A - The bankruptcy comes first.

Refreshment Center
N/A - The bankruptcy comes first.

Finally it would be interesting to bet on when Eclipse will achieve:

1 aircraft per day production rate
Never for 1/day delivery.

2 aircraft per day production rate
Never

3 aircraft per day production rate
Never

The bankruptcy is scheduled for mid April 2008.

Ken,Mirage00 and the rest of the faithful, you know a lot more about this than me, please let us know your opinions.

mirage00 said...

Stan the correct number is 188.

Also, the demise of this blog will occur on Feb 2, 2008.

I remain amused.

double 00

ExEclipser said...

180.

cj3driver said...

Moo,
You doubt Vern?!

cj3driver said...

mirage00 said...
"I will make 3 predictions.

First: Eclipse will deliver as outlined in Verns letter.

Second: The inevitable demise of this blog by year end still stands.

Third: Stan starts a new blog... Epic Aviation Critic

Private message to Alexa:
Yep, I am aware and thanks for helping to keep it real.

Until then, I remain amused.

double 00

1:05 PM, June 19, 2007 "


Moo,
You revise your projections faster than Vern!.. 29 hours... a record!

...Now thats amusing! : )

planet-ex said...

flightcenter said:

Ok, now let the betting begin on how many pilots will have their type rating by the end of 2007.


All depends on how fast they can get those two supposed full-motion simulators disassembled, shipped from Florida to New Mexico, reassembled, tested, retested, then certified at Level D.

Takes a bit of time to do all that.

Once they switch to Avio NG, pull the simulators off-line, yank out the Avidyne, install the Avio NG, and RE-CERTIFY the simulators. There goes another couple months.

cj3driver said...

There's an EA50 traveling from ADS to CEW (541 mn) at FL270 making 284 Kts... light wind. Tail# is blocked.

Guess the VFR AD has not been issued yet.

Stan Blankenship said...

A picture is emerging. Here is a summary of the delivery predictions thus far for '07:

Tot. blogger
---- --------
036 jetprop jockey

038 a37pilot

039 Freedomsjamtarts

042 shane price

050 flightguy

050 oldtroll

056 plastic_planes

057 gunner

068 buckerfan

073 sparky

075 mouse

084 coldwetmackarelofreality

105 airtaximan

120 stan

130 cj3driver

131 flightcenter

176 eclipseblogger

180 execlipser

188 mirage00

200 alexa

200 Vern

The prediction list is open for changes or new numbers until the end of this month.

FlightCenter said...

Planet-ex,

That raises an interesting question.

Will an Avio type rating be good on an Avio NG equipped aircraft?

Or will all the Avio type rated pilots need to go back to school for an Avio NG rating?

mirage00 said...

cj3,

Vern said "roughly" half and even I know that means plus or minus 10%

I remain amused

double 00

AlexA said...

Mirage00,

Got to give credit where credit is due. The Haters were right. With the overwhelming influence that Eclipse has over the FAA, the FAA was forced to delay the issuance of the AD by five days;) Maybe tomorrow.

planet-ex said...

FlightCenter said...
Planet-ex,

That raises an interesting question.

Will an Avio type rating be good on an Avio NG equipped aircraft?

Or will all the Avio type rated pilots need to go back to school for an Avio NG rating?


Based of past experience at SimuFlite, a type rating is a type rating regardless of the avionics installed.

Although, there might be a needed class or two to familiarize the pilot with the system (if there are any functional/operational diffrences between the Avidyne and Avio NG systems).

andy said...

234

flightfollowing said...

Stan,

I will guess an even 150.

mirage00 said...

Alexa,

Haven’t you heard??? It's a "conspiracy".

I remain amused

double 00

airtaximan said...

see anything strange, here?

"Travelers must pay a $250 membership fee to use the service. Staten said that means security checks can be done in advance, allowing travelers to avoid a lengthy process of getting their bags inspected.

The range of prices is based on the flexibility of travel times and the availability of planes. Staten said travelers who have the flexibility to depart any time in a four-hour period might pay $1 a mile, while those who need to leave within the hour might pay $4.

Planes can make up to one stop to pick up other passengers, he said, but agree to stay no longer than 20 minutes."

from the Ocala news paper in Florida...

http://www.ocala.com/article/20070618/NEWS/206180316&SearchID=73284783017093

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

Stan, put me down for 158 deliveries by year end.

cj3driver said...

mirage00 said...
RE: 180 units

"cj3,
Vern said "roughly" half and even I know that means plus or minus 10%..."


Moo,

I'm still "amused" you picked the minus 10%, instead of the plus 10%.


Cj3 ;)

Eric said...

It's been a while since I've posted anything... and since I shy away from the endless debates over nitpicky details I haven't really been reading too many of the comments. I'll be having a pretty busy summer with my line flying within the company and other internal work I've been picked up to do. I'll still be watching the Blog for major updates. I'm still looking for that ABQ overnight... we'll see.

cj3driver said...

ATM quoted:
RE; DayFRJet rates

“…those who need to leave within the hour might pay $4 per mile…”

At that rate, a 350 mile trip will cost $2,800.00. You might as well charter a King Air or Citation, have the entire plane, for the whole day. The plane will be waiting for you when you get there, both ends, take you there non-stop, in private, in a cabin 3 times the size, in a proven aircraft, plus you can take 5 friends, family or business associates with you at no additional cost. Two People on this trip is a no-brainer, $5,600.00…. Way better off chartering.


A roundtrip ride in a tiny jet across the state of Florida…$2,800.00

Membership fee for the privilege of over paying for a ride in the tiny jet… $450

Cleaning bill for yellow stain on your suit… $22

The Look on a strangers face while you Pee in a bottle … priceless


I give DayFRJets 180 days of operation…. Max.

mouse said...

Currently there are two tail join fixtures. Each airplane join remains in that fixture for 3-4 days.

You can do the math to calculate the production rates possible, but keep in mind any new issues, shortages, design changes, Etc...

JetProp Jockey said...

AirTaxiMan

What security checks??????

Algernon said...

Well, moo, moo, buckaroo.

The only way this blog will go down is when this BS plane and it's BS boss are in mothballs.

And for those of you beating the dead horse about "oh, we care so much about the workers and their families, blah, blah, etc."

Give it a rest. They can, have been, and will relocate. It's not a big deal ! People move all the time ! Most have gone back to Cessna, and Lear. Population in Wichita is picking back up !

So pray for the destruction of the little emperor and his little empire. There's nothing wrong with that. There are more jobs to be had, and like I told the last employer, "I was looking when I found this."

Goodbye to Eclipse in February, 2008.

And good riddance.