Sunday, July 29, 2007



Happy Days Are Here Again...

The skies above are blue again...

Vern's got coins in his jeans again...

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Just as the emerging crocus in our yards become the harbinger of spring, the new billboard looking for warm bodies up on the West side of Wichita tells us Vern is once more flush with cash.

During the past month or so, various sources have reported a new financing component, all in the $400m range. Don't know if that is a separate issue or if the company is stretching the truth again. But there has been a recent SEC filing. A full copy of the Form D document is available at
http://www.eclipsecritic.net/.

The key numbers are on pages 5-6:

- Sold $272m out of $320m
- Netted $260m after fees
- Paid off $50m of debt
- Put $210m in working capital.

$210m won't get this company very far considering their current burn rate and the task ahead:

- Completing the long certification "to do list" including Avio NG, FIKI, "B" mods, fatigue testing, and who knows what other mod programs are on the docket to be fixed since the company is still looking for a number of engineers in a wide variety of disciplines.


- For some time to come, delivering airplanes that will cost far more to build than what will be collected on delivery. This is especially true for those in waiting who have completed their 60% down payment obligations. Delivering these airplanes will not generate much cash.

- The mod cost associated with updating to Avio NG (100 plus units)


- The mod cost for the "B" mod updates (38 units).

- The removal and replacement of the Aerazur di-ice systems (total units affected unknown).

- Bringing new service centers on line


- Buying simulators and establishing a training facility.

The $210m won't last near as long as the $225m that was raised last year at this time when Eclipse concluded a $225m pre-IPO convertible debt funding package from UBS. In addition, the $225m was supplemented by the 60% advance payments extorted out of - was it dozens or hundreds who were promised delivery in 2007?

One has to wonder where the next financing component will come from. Unlike previous recruiting ads in the Wichita paper, the latest a couple of weeks ago did not mention stock options.


Special thanks to the reader who forwarded the Form D filing and interpretation of the key elements on pages 5-6.

247 comments:

1 – 200 of 247   Newer›   Newest»
Stan Blankenship said...

BTW, HondaJet has a big ad in today's Wichita paper looking for a wide variety of engineers.

There are a lot of new aviation programs in work and not enough experienced engineers to work them all (at least not in the time frames set for most projects).

By starting one new project just as an existing one winds down, Cessna has managed to retain the technical staff they need to support their various new airplanes.

This avoids a chronic cycle experienced by most aviation companies...hire everyone available one week and lay them off the next week.

And one last thought. Visit the aero engineering labs at Wichita State and there are few gringos in sight. Most students are from Asia or India.

agroth said...

From airtaximan:

"I hear a BIG anouncement from one of our favorite new kit-to-cert companies is coming soon... stay tuned. Your going to love it!"

Hi Guys,

I'm new here (I guess I don't need to state that :-)). I have an SR22 that I base in Madison, WI, and I do a lot of flying for business so I'm looking at more capable aircraft.

Airtaximan,

Was your above comment in refernece to something that was announced at AirVenture, or still under wraps?

Thanks,

Andy

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

Let me clarify, I can see how I should have put a few more sentences in my previous comment.

I'm aware that there are two databuses in the aircraft. They just happen to be identically designed databuses. As such they are susceptible to common mode failures.

I meant all three displays use the same databus in the same sense that I meant that all three displays use the same operating system.

The point I was making was that both databuses use the same underlying software. A software bug in one databus would also be in the second databus.

That means it is possible for the failure cause of one databus, to cause the same failure in the second databus, at the same time.

Yes, there are two databuses installed in the aircraft, but they are identical. By installing two identical databuses Eclipse is protected from a mechanical problems, like a connection issues or a cut cable, but not issues fundamental to the databus design.

Read the AD on Gulfstream and you will see that the display blanking problem was attributed to the databus.

My point, if a databus problem can cause all of the aircraft's Primus displays to blank out on a Gulfstream or Embraer aircraft, then the same thing is possible with an Eclipse.

The only problem is that Eclipse does not have a completely independent backup ADI, like both Gulfstream and Embraer had when they experienced all of their Primus displays simultaneously turning dark.

Ken Meyer said...

FC wrote,

"Let me clarify, I can see how I should have put a few more sentences in my previous comment...I meant..."

OK, what you wrote about the displays all receiving data from the same bus was incorrect; thanks for the clarification.

The fact is the single bus failure you described just isn't applicable to the Eclipse.

I've looked at the system pretty carefully, and I think it's got pretty good redundancy, much better than what I'm flying now. I think you would be hardpressed to find any single malfunction that would seriously upset a pilot flying this plane, and that's a pretty good compliment.

Some of you seem to want to focus on the possibility of some rare and bizarre hardware failure bringing the plane down. The fact is that only 22% of GA accidents are caused by a failure of the aircraft's systems. The rest are caused by the environment or by pilot error.

All this automation in the Eclipse is designed to reduce the chance that the 78% of things that actually cause crashes will cause a crash in the Eclipse. The plane is designed to free up the pilot's workload so he can think more about the big picture of what he is actually doing and where he is doing it. It is designed to prevent simple goofs from becoming "pilot error" crashes.

I've been flying long enough that I can certainly appreciate the benefit of doing that.

Ken

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“ … The fact is that the Eclipse has had more hours of flight testing than most any new design...
… I'll bet you that the safety record of the Eclipse turns out to be far better than that of the D-Jet, the Cirrus Jet and even the Mustang…. “

Ken;

How many hours did the test fleet have on it before the AD for the Pitot? … The most tested fleet in the sky? … It’s a good thing Eclipse had NOT delivered 400 of these faulty planes last year (or this year), … most being flown single pilot in IMC… many in humid climates. Due to the multiple delays both in certification and in production, the fleet was limited the to a handful of planes in the sky at the time of the AD. Most still tethered to ABQ.

VFR only?, two pilot operations only? The pitot AD sounds like a serious safety issue to me. Don’t forget, this AD materialized AFTER 9 months, ... 9 months AFTER certification. Only the “teething pains” of a startup company prevented hundreds defective planes from being produced and delivered, and thereby avoiding numerous potential disasters.

When Cessna found potential “glitches” in Garmin software, they delayed delivering product until the problem was solved. Eclipse continued to deliver known defective products the entire time the AD was issued.

Even during the initial stages of the AD, Eclipse allowed pilots to fly in the flight levels as long as they remained in VMC. It took complaints from ATC before the FAA said VFR only. For weeks (months) E500’s were flying around in very dangerous conditions.

How about the transparency issue? You will be flying with your loved ones at FL410. On windshields that need to be inspected and/or replaced at ridiculous intervals (as few as 100 landings), just a couple months/serial numbers ago? On a product costing millions of dollars that has very little proven history?

If past performance has any bearing on future delivery, I’m very leery.

This is one instance where I believe the dinosaurs have the upper hand. While safety must be THE most important issue in aircraft design and manufacturing, It seems that delivering aircraft is edging closer to the top at Eclipse. This is very evident from the laundry list of fixes and IOU’s, and “accomplishments” touted at OSH. All these things should have been installed and delivered on the first airplane. Most (if not all) related directly to the safety “revolution” that you proclaim and are not installed on currently flying aircraft.

Vern has, more than once, said, "we have learned a lot about ___ and now...", or "it was much more difficult than we anticipated... " and "... due to unanticipated increase in cost ..."

Tread very carefully when comparing safety records of a startup company to a time proven “dinosaur” like Cessna. While accidents do happen, I don’t recall any belly landing’s on the Mustang test fleet. I’m quite sure Eclipse’s was unintentional and, Yes, we all have much to learn.

I think, when you say there will be a “far better” safety record in the Eclipse, you may be stretching just a little! :)

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"I've looked at the system pretty carefully, and I think it's got pretty good redundancy"

Ken,

Are you an experienced systems reliability engineer?

WT

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"underlying hatred for the company and its CEO."

Ken,

You are on the right track here, but "hatred" is a bit strong. Disgust with the sleazy business practices of both is more like it.

WT

airsafetyman said...

I think Vern has gotten an idea from his Virtual Copilot concept. Just take Real Deposits for Virtual Airplanes! No need for actual working hardware. No need for even a mock-up; maybe a 3-D hologram at the next aviation show. Just bank the deposits and unplug the machine and on to the next show! Only Virtual Crashes, too, so something else positive! And they said Vern wasn't a genius.

WhyTech said...

I have looked at the SEC document and it appears that this is a "desparation" type financing. While the full terms of the notes are not contained in the document, the fact that this is senior secured convertible debt with warrants means that the investors have seen fit to put themselves first in line in the event the the co. crashes, but with the option to participate in the upside should there be any. The real story is to be found in the detailed terms of the financing.

WT

Ken Meyer said...

CJ--

AD's and SB's are nothing new in aircraft (new or old). Sometime when you have a moment, peruse the FAA AD database--I think it will surprise you how many ADs there actually are (and many of them on Cessna aircraft notwithstanding your comparison).

Take this one on the Meridian for instance. The aircraft got its Type Certificate in September 2000, and had an AD on it in June the following year. Notice the parallel with Eclipse--September type certificate and AD issued June the following year.

The Meridian AD was for a flap problem that could lead to loss of control of the aircraft. In the case of the Eclipse, the malfunction was extremely rare (it never once happened in a delivered aircraft) and even when it did occur, the pilot still had the information he needed because of the plane's backup systems.

The point? I think the suggestion that the Eclipse AD somehow indicates the company and the plane are flawed makes no sense. Indeed, the speed with which the AD was resolved (just 18 days after it was issued) suggests that the opposite conclusion of the one you reached is the correct one--this company has the ability to identify and swiftly correct its problems.

Since no airplane is without problems, how the manufacturer deals with its problems is an important measure. Personally, I think Eclipse has done very well in overcoming its problems.

Ken

fred said...

whytech ...

yes definitely , it doesn't sounds very good ...

what would be quite interesting would be to know what is behind the curtain ...

this SEC paper is only legal stuff , so what has been the conditions of deal remain unclear and unknown , but this is not really smelling like fresh breeze ...!!


ken ...

only 22% of issue in G.A are about technical faillure ???

but to me 22% sounds really like a lot ..

put in a different way , it means more than 1 accident out of 5 are related to failling equipment ...

i would feel much safer if that could be reduced to less than a per cent ...

in western europ (on statistics) car accident involving faulty vehicule account for 2 to 3 % , planes are supposed to be much saffer than cars ( on number of Kms/miles made)

so your figures would mean : there is 10 times more technical problems in plane accident than there is in car accident ??

fred said...

ken ...

"All this automation in the Eclipse is designed to reduce the chance that the 78% of things that actually cause crashes will cause a crash in the Eclipse."

sorry ken , i have been in the Navy ... , where they taught me how to find out where i am on earth using nothing as technology ...

at the begining once i asked our professor " why don't we use just a GPS ? , it's easier , faster and modern!"

he said : " what are you going to do when you do not have battery anymore or if the damn thing refuse to work ??"

maybe it's not such a good idea to let believe some peoples flying on a specific type of plane is "easy" or the workload "is reduced to the minimum "....

as far as i am concerned , i think it's much better to know exactly EVERYTHING you're supposed to be doing ...

then may be to feel at comfort enough (or experienced) to have some hardware doing a few things on your workload ....

don't you think so ???

airtaximan said...

ask yourself "why?"

safer?
weight?
cost?

- you have your answer.

No one in their right mind would think this system is safer than one with a truly independent and redundant system.

Its being hocked as something it is not - -for the same reason this company has made thousands of decisions... weight/cost.

Ken Meyer said...

fred wrote,

"so your figures would mean : there is 10 times more technical problems in plane accident than there is in car accident ??"

Probably it simply reflects the reality that technical problems seldom lead to automobile crashes. The majority of aircraft crashes caused by mechanical failure are due to loss of power. Loss of power in an airplane not uncommonly results in an accident. How often do people crash their car because of loss of power?

Take fuel pump malfunction--if you get one in your car, you pull off the road and wait for a tow truck. The outcome may be entirely different in your plane.

I doubt you'll ever get the mechanical causes of aircraft crashes down to the proportionate level they are in automobile crashes because of the differences in the environment the two types of vehicles operate in and the differences in the ramifications of a mechanical failure.

Ken

Gunner said...

NG and Single Point Failures:

New software is funny stuff. It gets tested and fixed and alpha tested and fixed and beta tested and fixed. Then it gets released en masse and the REAL problems begin to pop up.

JetA points up a great example from a company with more in-service units for XM weather depiction installed last year alone, than Eclipse will EVER have in units of NG deployed:
"if there are more than 400 thunderstorm "cells" (as defined by the XM system), then the Garmin just quits updating."

Remember, this is GARMIN, a company with more expertise and experience in aircraft systems than Vern Raburn could buy in a hundred lifetimes. Does anyone believe there was a line of code in that program that read:
- if TX(b) > 400 then STOP

I highly doubt it. Nope, these problems come from code conflict rather than hard-coded constraint. UNFORSEEN code conflict. Just like unforseen window cracks and pitot freezing.

That's why "dinosaurs" provide redundant, INDEPENDENT back-up avionics: because they know they may need them. Not so, Eclipse...Eclipse considers itself infallible. When it says something is "done", rest assured, it's DONE! Just look at their track record.

Safe flying, everyone.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"That's why "dinosaurs" provide redundant, INDEPENDENT back-up avionics: because they know they may need them."

What's the exact failure mode you're proposing and how often does it happen? Does anyone here actually know enough about the architecture of the Avio NG fulltime backup ADI to answer those?

Bear in mind, the FAA approved this system. In fact, I submit the FAA prefers this system over the mechanical backups you like.

Huh? Take a look at AC 23.1311-1B, "Installation of Electronic Display in Part 23 Airplanes" from June, 2005. It outlines the FAA position clearly:


"Electronic display systems with dual PFDs should incorporate dual, independently powered sensors that provide primary flight parameters such as Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) with comparators and dual Air Data Computer (ADC). Dual PFDs with dual AHRSs and ADCs, which include checking and are powered by multiple power sources and distribution systems, are significantly more reliable than presently certified mechanical systems. For systems with these characteristics, dedicated standby instruments are not required." That paragraph describes exactly what the Eclipse design utilizes.

"Reversionary configurations are significantly more reliable than presently certified mechanical systems, and the skills required while flying in reversionary mode are identical with those used when flying in primary mode. Traditional external standby flight instruments (either electronic or mechanical) offer potential safety problems associated with delay in pilot reaction. The pilot may delay a decision to transition to standby instruments and to transition to partial panel techniques, as opposed to the simple action the pilot would take to switch displays. A nearly identical display of all flight information in the same format as normally shown on the PFD provides a significant safety enhancement over reversion to external standby instruments. This is especially true when the size, location, arrangement, and information provided by the standby instruments is significantly different from that on the PFD."

Sound familiar? The Eclipse provides full-time standby instrumentation in a "nearly-identical" display as the circular recommends rather than small backup instruments in a separate location that the FAA says have "potential safety problems."

Now I realize that people are used to seeing conventional standby instruments, and Eclipse didn't set up their backup flight instrumentation that way. But it is obvious from this circular that the FAA not only accepts the Eclipse backup methodology, it actually prefers it.

Ken

airtaximan said...

I hear Dayjet's membership has been reduced to $99 from $250.

I wonder how come?

Gunner said...

"What's the exact failure mode you're proposing and how often does it happen?"

S-O-F-T-W-A-R-E C-O-D-E E-R-R-O-R as in:
- Reboot
- Spinning wheel of death
- Code Crash
- Blank Screens
- Frozen Screens

It happens often enough that ANYONE who has ever used a software product from Windoze to Stormscope to GPS has witnessed a failure.

Causes:
- Practical inconceivability of "testing" every possible permutation of situations in a few aircraft test fleet
- Kernel or OpSystem bug
- Product rushed to market
- Product spec'd by an overachieving twit with who demands what he wants because he wants it

Have you not heard of such failures, Ken, or do you simply refuse to allow facts to cloud your judgment?
Gunner

hummer said...

Airtaximan
By virtue of your name, you above most on this forum should have some kind of an idea what's delaying the 135 certification.
The pilots are in place and trained
The aircraft should be ready with the pitot AD complied with. .
What's the hold up?

airtaximan said...

Hummer,

I have no clue.
I find it curious.

Someone at Dayjet would know.

It could really be anything.

airsafetyman said...

Ken,

Would this be the same FAA that says it's quite OK to fly the MU-2 single pilot and said the early Lears were perfectly safe to fly? That FAA? or would it be the FAA whose personnel lodged a grievance over the way Eclipse got special certification treatment. Which FAA?

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“…The point? I think the suggestion that the Eclipse AD somehow indicates the company and the plane are flawed makes no sense…”

Ken,

Again you missed the point. AD’s and SB’s exist as a safety mechanism to enforce compliance with problems and enact procedures for correction. It is true that most, if not all aircraft have AD’s and SB’s, and Eclipse is no different. My response was merely a rebuttal to your assertion that Eclipse IS different and in fact would prove to be “far better” than the dinosaurs. So far this is not the case, as you point out in your comparison to the Meridian.

The fact that Eclipse caught this particular problem (pitot issue) prior to hundreds of planes being produced, was just lucky. As you know, they intended to produce 200 planes in ’06 and 700 planes in ’07, long before the pitot issue was (supposedly) discovered.

Does this indicate the company and plane are flawed? Not necessarily, but it does make them just like any other manufacturer with early design and delivery problems, not “far better”.

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"ANYONE who has ever used a software product from Windoze to Stormscope to GPS has witnessed a failure."

Are you familiar with RTCA/DO-178B? When you lump Windows in with avionics software packages, I'm thinking you may not be aware of the certification process and the extensive testing required to certify avionics software these days.

All the IS&S software is already certified to level A (the highest level). The reason Avio NG is slated for certification in October is NOT because it isn't done--the initial release code was wrapped up before Oshkosh. It is because it must be subjected to extensive verification and validation testing before it can be approved.

A while back I did a search of the FAA Service Difficulty Report database looking for just this kind of problem--software glitch bringing down a whole certified avionics system. It turns out that kind of thing is a rare bird indeed. Oh, unexpected failures like that happen, but they are few and far between, not at all common like you're implying.

I agree with the FAA on this one--the Eclipse system offers better safety reliability than the mechanical systems of yesterday you are promoting.

Personally, I think you're having trouble finding something to complain about, so you're fixating on a failure scenario with an extemely low likelihood of occurrence instead of looking at the big picture--the Eclipse will provide guys like you (non-professional pilots transitioning to their first jet) a greater safety margin than they could get in most any other jet.

But heck, those who don't see it that way can buy something else :)

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"it does make them just like any other manufacturer with early design and delivery problems, not “far better”."

I believe you have misquoted me. I did not say Eclipse was a "far better" company than other manufacturers in any regard. What I said was:

"I'll bet you that the safety record of the Eclipse turns out to be far better than that of the D-Jet, the Cirrus Jet and even the Mustang."

I stand by that.

Ken

cj3driver said...

ATM said;

“… I hear Dayjet's membership has been reduced to $99 from $250….”

ATM,

Membership was apparently used to “limit” the number of customers during the ramp-up to insure highest reliability and customer service. … I guess that number hasn’t been met yet.

It appears DayJet is operating proving runs under the following call signs;

DJS109
DJS110
DJS115
DJS116
DJS119
DJS126
DJS130

It is interesting to note, I have not found one flight with a 20 minute turnaround yet, and the on-time dispatch rate is virtually non-existant. Of course, they are new at this, and one would hope for improvement, but look for an announcement that the 20 minute stop goes to 40.

I always thought the 20 minutes was unrealistic. The fastest turn I could find was 33 minutes.

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"When you lump Windows in with avionics software packages"
Don't pretend to be dense, Ken. I specifically pointed to Stormscopes and aviation GPS units. Code is code; some is more highly tested than others; ALL contain glitches. Fact of life.

"It turns out that kind of thing is a rare bird indeed. Oh, unexpected failures like that happen, but they are few and far between, not at all common like you're implying."

If it's not "common", Ken, why is every single pilot on this board with more than 1,000 hours guaranteed to have witnessed the phenomenon in one instrument or another?

"Few and Far Between"?!!!!! Is that the revolutionary, disruptive Eclipse redefinition of "safe"? "Few and far between" takes lives regularly, Ken. Ask the families of former Pinto owners.
Gunner

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

"... I believe you have misquoted me. I did not say Eclipse was a "far better" company than other manufacturers in any regard...."

Sorry Ken, but the overall tone of your comments regarding Eclipse, projects an image that you feel Eclipse is “far better” at not only safety issues, but problem identification and resolution, back-up instrumentation, manufacturing processes, market identification, vendor selection, aircraft performance, quality, value, price and on, and on, and on.

Pardon me for the unintended “misquote” : )

airtaximan said...

Ken said:
"so you're fixating on a failure scenario with an extemely low likelihood of occurrence instead of looking at the big picture"

- pls tell us all the likelihood of a tested and certified aircraft producing pitot concensation and freezing problems...

airtaximan said...

Cj3,

you say:

"As you know, they intended to produce 200 planes in ’06 and 700 planes in ’07, long before the pitot issue was (supposedly) discovered."

CORRECTION: the problem occured 3 times during flight test. It was known by E-clips before the FAA made an issue out of it.

Scary stuff.

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

From Flight International:

"The ECJ shares a number of design elements with the Eclipse 500 - the wing assembly minus the tip tanks, which includes the ailerons, the fuel system, main landing gear and actuators, flaps and flap actuators, wheels and brakes.

The nose assembly is also common to both aircraft and includes the nose landing-gear assembly, landing-gear doors, forward pressure bulkhead, air conditioning and oxygen supply.

The ECJ also features Eclipse's Avio NG cockpit."

- C-O-M-M-O-N-A-L-I-T-Y

Ken Meyer said...

niner zulu wrote,

"I have the Avidyne Entegra sytem installed in my aircraft. The MFD has failed me several times on startup. I couldn't see any of my engine instruments i.e. temperatures, oil temp, oil pressure, fuel remaining, etc.

The moving map has also failed on one occasion, along with a few other glitches."


Yes, exactly! That's precisely my point.

Components of your system, like the displays, fail from time to time. How many times has your entire Entegra system been non-functional in flight? Somewhere between zero and none, right? I couldn't find a single example of an entire Entegra system going down. Nor could I find a documented case of a G1000 system entirely failing. Between the two, there must be thousands of those systems in the field. It's a rare bird indeed for the whole avionics suite to crash.

Everybody knows a complex avionics package will have various components fail from time to time--heck, that's why Eclipse is big into line replaceable units. Surely the displays will fail periodically--if the PFD goes down, the plane provides a big, easy-to-read backup ADI; if it's the MFD that fails, the plane has a very nice composite mode that shows all the critical MFD information on the PFD.

Or maybe it will be one of the ACS units that fails at some point. That's why there are two and they share critical functions. Or a bad bus--once again, redundant. Maybe one of the ADC's quits or an AHRS. The system is designed to seamlessly handle all of these failures.

Folks who instinctively don't trust computerized airplanes because their home computer with Windows crashes periodically shouldn't fly in computerized planes. Imagine how a guy like gunner would feel in a fly-by-wire plane like the A320 or 777--he'd probably spend the whole flight wondering when some software glitch will bring the plane down!

Ken

flightguy said...

How can the ECJ, a concept demonstrator, share Avio NFG? It had the standard Avio at Osh Kosh. What's it matter if they are not going to produce one?

The marketing stunts continue.

agroth said...

Airtaximan,

Sorry if I missed your response to my question (second post from the top), but regarding the following…

"I hear a BIG anouncement from one of our favorite new kit-to-cert companies is coming soon... stay tuned. Your going to love it!"

…I was just wondering if this is a reference to something that was announced at AirVenture, or if it is still under wraps?

I’m in the process right now of looking at upgrade options from an SR22.

Thanks,

Andy

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"Imagine how a guy like gunner would feel in a fly-by-wire plane like the A320 or 777--he'd probably spend the whole flight wondering when some software glitch will bring the plane down!

Not at all true, Ken. These systems were developed by REAL aircraft companies, not pyramid marketing firms.

OTOH if those systems were developed, integrated and installed by a company incapable of producing functional windows, pitot or brakes, I'd be more than a bit hesitant.

A company that doesn't know an engine won't work until after it has taken deposits; that doesn't know its avionics suite won't work until after it has called up progress payments; a company that takes "solace" in problems of its competitors; a company that has thrown so many vendors, depositors, investors and employees under the bus that they'd need the Vietnam Memorial to inscribe all the names.

Have a safe Beta Test Flight.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Andy,

I do not believe it was announced yet... its regarding a financial partner for Epic.

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"These systems were developed by REAL aircraft companies, not pyramid marketing firms."

Gunner, do you actually have any legitimate complaint about the architecture of the aircraft's systems or are you just ranting against the company? I think we already knew you don't like them.

Like Mirage00, I remain amused :)

Ken

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Ken Wrote:
"Indeed, the speed with which the AD was resolved (just 18 days after it was issued) suggests that the opposite conclusion of the one you reached is the correct one--this company has the ability to identify and swiftly correct its problems. "

Pretty impressive company, finally trying to fix a known non-compliance once they were forced to by AD, rather than proactively fixing it during the certification flight test program, which is specifically performed to identify and address such issues!

agroth said...

From Airtaximan:

"Andy,

I do not believe it was announced yet... its regarding a financial partner for Epic."

Thanks, Airtaximan! That's exciting to hear. I spent a bunch of time yesterday at Epic's display in OSH. One of the reps said they were going to be breaking ground on a production facility in Canada pretty soon. Kits would still be built in Bend, although they might expand this to the Canada facility, as well.

Andy

gadfly said...

Although our “lives” did not depend on it, our business (to a great extent) did depend on computer reliability. So, we bought the “best” . . . a UNIX system (HP-UX, to be precise), and based our operation on it.

One night, the entire system went “south”, and wiped out everything on our computers. Fortunately, a “third” hard-drive backup was “missed” in the self-induced crash. Yes, we had a double redundant backup . . . but it took much time and many phone calls to resolve. It is my impression that aboard the “Paper Clips”, during an emergency, there will not be enough time to call the manufacturer and resolve all the problems . . . and download a “backup” from a remote hard-drive.

The crash (our “computer crash”, that is) was the result of a “Hewlett-Packard” bug, which they never acknowledged. Regardless, we learned that even the “best” can go wrong.

We stepped down to a “Windows” system, saving us well over $100K, just the first time around. But we learned a hard lesson. And donated the “Unix” system to a university . . . and maybe future “geeks” will learn some lessons before graduation.

Regardless of the system, all computer systems are subject to failure . . . usually at the worst possible moment. We have saved about a third of a million dollars since 2001, by stepping down to “Windows”, but have gone through the usual “blue screen of death”, and many others . . . but spent far less money in the crashes. Fortunately, all crashes have occurred “on the ground”.

Anyone who puts the lives of themselves, and their loved ones, into the reliability of a computer is approaching the status of a first class fool. We all depend upon computers for most of our activities, but like owning a “pit bull”, don’t assume anything. Your worst nightmare may be just around the corner.

gadfly

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
421Jockey said...

Gadfly,

You guys crack me up! I think that you guys take yourselves waaay too seriously. Don't you think that every time our servicemen and women go up in a modern jet like a F117, F22, Osprey, etc. that their very lives are controlled by the interaction of the flight control systems and computer systems.

You should think about what Ken has been saying (and countless industry experts) that the systems on the Eclipse are a quantum leap forward in the safety of general aviation.

Lighten up and look at the big picture.

Gunner said...

Ken Said:
"Gunner, do you actually have any legitimate complaint about the architecture of the aircraft's systems or are you just ranting against the company?"

Legitimate complaint? Yup. I've stated it repeatedly. Your magic system is subject to single source failure of the software code. Didn't you read that the last 11 times I was forced to mention it in response to your unsolicited sales pitch?

Additionally, Ken, I'm predicting the company failure in providing you with what you claim to be getting. I'm doing it based on the company's track record with other key systems; it's been abysmal.

How 'bout you, Ken? Are you predicting total success based on your experience as a avionics systems designer or based on the way Eclipse has told you NG will work? Have you checked under the floorboards to see how the wiring harness is run (the FAA evidently didn't)?

Don't get too high on your own amateur expertise, Ken. It'll certainly be your downfall (no pun intended, though an appropriate word).
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

whytech,

You took the time to read the SEC filing, if you have a minute, can you take a look at the hot jobs listing on the Eclipse website.

Specifically, on page 8, job code FIN041:

Sarbanes - Oxley & Business Process Mgr. posted 07-25.

Also on page 8, COO005:

VP General Counsel & Corporate Secretary posted 07-24.

Based on these two job descriptions, the company still must be considering a public offering.

What do you think?

redtail said...

Gunner said... Legitimate complaint? Yup. I've stated it repeatedly. Your magic system is subject to single source failure of the software code.

I guess just about anything has a single point of failure, no matter how good it is. It could get hit by a meteor and take out the entire system.

Gunner said... Have you checked under the floorboards to see how the wiring harness is run (the FAA evidently didn't)?

Why don't you enlighten us on this? Or are you just running amok based on one of Mouse's adventures? Have you checked under the floorboards?

Niner Zulu said...

Agroth,
So is it Epic you are talking about, and is Vijay Mallya their new financial backer?

He seems to have plenty of money ($1.5 billion), likes airplanes, he just happened to be at Oshkosh with Rick Shrameck. Here's an article about him Click Here

gadfly said...

Jockey

When I went out on patrol for sixty days, staying submerged for a month at a time, we depended on a crew of shipmates who were each an “expert” in their chosen field. We also knew enough about each other’s duties to save the sub in an emergency. And in addition, we went out knowing the many risks . . . and the highly likelihood that we might not return.

Flying in a little jet, with “trusting” and non-technical people aboard, with no “real-world” backup systems is an entirely different situation.

‘Just as I would never expect, nor allow my wife and extended family, to experience a patrol in foreign hostile waters in a diesel-electric submarine . . . by the same token I would not allow my loved ones to fly in an unproven aircraft such as the one in question.

Should you question my support of aviation, most of my life has been spent in the industry . . . manufacturing, pilot, licensed A&P mechanic, designer, inventor, etc.

The present discussion is about an enterprise of questionable credentials. They have yet to fulfill their promises. When they do, we will be able to look at the “big picture”.

gadfly

“Lighten up and look at the big picture.”

These past few days, two pilots and two passengers lost their lives in Phoenix. A “P-51 Mustang” pilot lost his life, while landing during a show at Oshkosh. A pilot lost his life while starting an attempt to break a world speed record to Oshkosh in under thirty hours, from Switzerland. An experienced engineer/stunt pilot lost his life during an air show in Dayton. Two people lost their lives in an explosion in California, related to experimental aircraft/spacecraft experiments. All these accidents will probably be shown as “pilot error”, or “technician error” . . . whatever. But in light of these reminders, there is food for thought as to the responsibility of proper design/manufacturing/testing procedures. And, YES, some of us take aircraft safety most seriously.

WhyTech said...

Stan said:

"Based on these two job descriptions, the company still must be considering a public offering.

What do you think? "

I agree. However, in today's world, it is often the case that companies begin getting such preparation in place years before the IPO so that there is some "history" of doing things in a responsible way. In days gone by, a year was often enough; now three years or more is considered good form. This said, as near as I can tell, E-clips needs to raise a pile of money soon, so may try to pull off an IPO sooner than would be typical. Top investment banking firms like to see several quarters of profitability as one of the criteria for an IPO, but E-clips cant wait this long - best guess is profitability is at least 2 years away, more likely 3-5 if ever.

I looked for you at OSH, but it seems that there were a few others with sun glasses!

WT

421Jockey said...

Gadfly,

I could not agree with you more! Safety is paramount. My point is that the posibility of the events that you propose on the failure of multiple redundant systems is almost nonexistent when compared with the types of unfortunate occurances you described in recent accidents. These were all examples of pilots with more experience that most of us will ever have, coming to their demise through no issues relative to what you have been wasting your time describing for teh Eclipse backup systems.

Perhaps we should be spending time on the Eclipse training program and how it adds to the safety of the "little jet" rather then a contrived event that is far more unlikely than lightning kinocking one of us out of the sky.

Fly Safe,
Jockey

WhyTech said...

The latest issue of Business & Commercial Aviation has an article by Fred George on the E-clips ECJ (concept jet). The information in the article confirms that this acft was pretty much a stunt for Air Venture to "one up" Cirrus. The flying qualities, as described by the test pilot, are not great due to the short coupled design and V tail, and it appears that at least a full time yaw damper and a ruddervator bias system will be required to obtain pilot friendly flying qualities if the acft goes beyond the concept stage - which we all know will be the case - if E-clips survives long enough.

Another mostly flash, little substance marketing show.

WT

gadfly said...

Jockey

Thanks for your response. I, personally, am out of the loop as a pilot, not having flown (except as a passenger) for many years. And I am not going to attempt to come up with statistics as to the likelihood of a family of computerized systems going down “all at once”. But the carelessness I observe in much of this discussion, and relegating human lives to “statistics”, to “prove” someone as being smarter or wiser, bothers me most greatly.

“If” there appears to be a flaw hidden under a bad paint job, I want to know it before I trust my life to the aircraft. “If” a computer system does not have a reasonable backup, I want to know beforehand every method of recovering from a total “blackout” of the electronic system.

“Back when” (and I won’t go there just now), testing was performed on a level that I do not even begin to observe in the present aircraft under discussion. We tested components to destruction . . . and “knew” beforehand how many “cycles”, at what “temperatures”, at what “vibration”, at what “load”, at what “altitude” a component might ultimately fail.

There is much talk and “amusement” by some, but life and death can quickly cut through the “amusement”, and suddenly the picture is no longer entertaining. And all the “words”, discussions, claims, and “hype” fail to fix a sudden problem.

But maybe they’ll pull it off . . . and squeak by.

gadfly

(Let's hope that the full time yaw dampener on the "conjet" is 100% full proof.)

FlyboyArt said...

I'm a new guy on this blog but have been lurking for months following the frothing (and sometime finding tidbits worth reading).

Just an outside opinion but it seems that it is everyone else against Ken on this board. Now, I'm not sticking up for Ken myself but it's a pretty dreary conversation when all I see is what Ken says versus everyone's retort to Ken. Why give him any time to respond at all? He's obviously either a shill for Eclipse or a fanatical Eclipse cult groupie. Either way, all he does it light your fire (which he's good at...).

Why can't you guys talk about the subject at hand instead of giving in to the point counter-point ramblings I've seen. There's a lot of good information and discussion here but it's hard to find among the daily personal attacks.

My two cents...

BTW, I've got a deposit on the PiperJet which I think will be a real success story for a personal jet aircaraft versus fly-by-night Vern and the E-clips air-taxi nonsense. If the air-taxi business was real, they'd be validating the concept using real aircraft like the PC-12 (47 gph with 8 on board) where you can make a profit rather than the DayJet dream (hey! I live in Florida and know DayJet will never get past 13000' even on the longest leg in this state).

mirage00 said...

The information in the article confirms that this acft was pretty much a stunt for Air Venture to "one up" Cirrus.

Now where exactly did the article mention that? Just trying to keep it real.

For those of you who would like to read the article for yourself... here it is Eclipse Concept Jet Makes Surprise Appearance at AirVenture 2007

I'm back from Oshkosh and...... I remain amused.

double 00

gadfly said...

Arty

Hang in there, kid. Your two cents has already appreciated beyond a nickel . . . and we want to hear from you.

gadfly

WhyTech said...

Moo said:

"Now where exactly did the article mention that? Just trying to keep it real."

See page 33, second full paragraph:

"His (Vern's) goal was to fly the ECJ to Air Venture in July, 2007, thereby upstaging Cirrus because it had only a mockup of its personal jet."

Verns is also quoted: "I want to emphazize over and over again that this is just a concept," and the article later says that "Raburn believes that the personal jet could begin deliveries 36 months after Board approval," and that the development costs will be in the $100 million to $200 million range. Just a concept?

Here is a classic Vern quote: "People in this industry get all hung up over cabin size." Hasnt he learned that size matters?

WT

airtaximan said...

Stan:

the SarbOx and Gen Cousel positions are a real hoot!

Imagine dressing up your 10 year old, 1200 employee, $1.5 billion (raised, used, burnt, whatever) company and you only care to hire for these important corporate governance positions, because they are important to raise more money?

You would think with all the resources, someone would have cared about this, before.

It's so typical of e-clips and consistant. I imagine this kind of thinking goes into virtually every aspect of the company.

Stan Blankenship said...

atm,

You might be right and we might be giving these people too much credit for knowing what they are doing vs. knowing what they want to do.

It's like their predictions last year at this time regarding the number of airplanes they would deliver by the end of the year.

Even though they had spent a half-billion plus, won the Collier Trophy and proclaimed themselves to be the world's greatest aviation company, they did not have a clue what they were doing or even how to achieve their goals. Specifically, understanding QC requirements required for the PC.

Had they made even a fraction of the deliveries, the training program was not in place. Even a year later, the training program can't even keep up deliveries which are but a mere trickle of what was predicted.

And the amazing thing is, the company had a two year hiatus during the time Pratt was developing and certifying a clean sheet engine. Programs like Avidyne and training could have been fully developed and ready to support the 500.

What were these people doing during that period?


flyboy,

Welcome aboard.

I think Ken is OK with the debate. It's give and take...he holds his own ground to the consternation of my fellow critics.

His profile is on the Eclipse 500 club site:

www.eclipse500club.org/index.php/profiles/

WhyTech said...

Stan said:

"His profile is on the Eclipse 500 club site:

www.eclipse500club.org/index.php/profiles/ "

Now I understand.

WT

airtaximan said...

Stan:

" they did not have a clue what they were doing or even how to achieve their goals"

I beg to differ - my Version is they lied.

- did they know the ej22 was a no-go when the took non-refundable deposits...then a few weeks later, threw it in the garbage?
- did they know Avidyne was headed for the trash, to be replaced with 13 vendors, a short while after they declared victory regarding the TC/PC and demanded progress payments based on hundreds and hundreds of projected deliveries?

I think the answer is, they are NOT THAT stupid. After all the money, time, employee effort, there's no way these were surprises.

Perhaps you are correct... they were off by such a huge margin regarding production, that they had to have NO CLUE.

I think they bully-on and ask forgiveness (or blame everyone they can in their wake) later.

I think this is the rule, not the exception. Its been the case with virtually every aspect of the program, and I suspect its not over.

LAtest chapter - the Conjet. Build first, ask foregiveness (make up a bunch of BS, actually) later....

Ken Meyer said...

And for those who are interested in buying an Eclipse, you have a shot at getting S/N 38 at a discount price by bidding here.

But beware--the bidding opened only a few hours ago and someone has already met the required opening bid of $1,633,945.00.

Ken

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

"LAtest chapter - the Conjet. Build first, ask foregiveness (make up a bunch of BS, actually) later.... "

They knew.

After reading the B&CA article, if I were a depositor, I would be bullshit that E-clips used my deposit dollars and at least some management time to pull off such a stunt. Using all those outside "quick turn" resources got er done, but at enormous expense relative to a more measured program, and to what useful end?

WT

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"the bidding opened only a few hours ago and someone has already met the required opening bid of $1,633,945.00."

P.T. Barnum is proven right once again.

WT

airtaximan said...

Ken:

perhaps some of those freshly minted e-cliped-ya-dollars at work...

perhaps some bidder using YOUR progress payment dollars...

who knows?

Right?

airtaximan said...

whytech,

just remember, "no one worked full time on the con-jet"

somehow, THIS is supposed to provide a comfort level. Kinda like LRUs... kinda like "we needed outside aero expertise for the con-jet"

...actually, kinda like Ken's recent promotion - "someone's already met the bid on the e-clips auction".

- how many open spots do YOU think there are in the order book? 50? 100? 200?

Who knows?

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

"just remember, "no one worked full time on the con-jet"

Yeah, sure.

WT

airtaximan said...

WT,

I defy you to define:

"full time"

JetA1 said...

421Jockey said:
You guys crack me up! I think that you guys take yourselves waaay too seriously. Don't you think that every time our servicemen and women go up in a modern jet like a F117, F22, Osprey, etc. that their very lives are controlled by the interaction of the flight control systems and computer systems.
You should think about what Ken has been saying (and countless industry experts) that the systems on the Eclipse are a quantum leap forward in the safety of general aviation.


Did you miss the F-22 complete display and radio system dump event over the Pacific a couple months ago. And the lack of response to flightcenter's citing the Primus EPIC taking a dump on such primitive platforms as Gulfstream & Embraer, is telling.

Eclipse must be so much better than the USAF, Gulfstream, Embraer, etc.

What a wonderful word it must be for all of you believers.

JetA1

airtaximan said...

I think we have another e-clips redefinition on our hands...

"better"

now means means

"independent redundancy no longer required".

"Our cars are so safe, we don't need seatbelts" circa 1950.

dinosaur thinking at its best.

fred said...

ken ...

i can't agree more with gunner on subject of software faillure and REAL plane maker ....

don't forget Airbus had (in the beginning of fly-by-wire) all the pain to make it safe ....

they spent hundreds of millions euros , had absolutely an endless supply of cash and hundreds of ingieers working on it ...

it didn't prevent the thing to go wrong on some occasions ..

so how come a bunch of newbees would make better results knowing the facts , they are always short of time,money,trained staff but not of stunts,marketing ,promises and buzz ???

fred said...

this is where EA is wrong in marketing policies : it may be a deficiency in my knowledge of english , but it seems to me the marketing buzz is aimed at saying E500 is safer than others , more reliable and "somewhere" easier to fly (thru reduced workload ?it used to be in the little movies presenting how wonderful E500 is(was) , not on website anymore ...wonder why?)

this is where i'm not really at ease with the buzz ...

how many peoples , not being in speculators positions (nothing wrong with that , if they win = fine for them ; if they loose = f**k them)
or in the experienced pilot position , are (or were) attracted by the sounds of easiness and reliability ??

or to be more precise , why EA buzz does not emphasize " This is for experienced , ONLY !"

so whatever is the backup redundant , it's of no importance as what is the most important is the reaction someone can have facing a blank screen or a "blue" screenn (something like : "access violation at fe1254f584 , programm terminated , reboot if you can ")

something that can be learned in ONLY one manner = the old (dinosaurs?) way , starting from nothing all the way up to multi-millions jets , but that's precisely old dinosaur's thinking !!!

Jim Howard said...

"Don't you think that every time our servicemen and women go up in a modern jet like a F117, F22, Osprey, etc. that their very lives are controlled by the interaction of the flight control systems and computer systems."

Yet these jets all have backup attitude displays that are truly independent of the primary display systems.

In the F-22 the backup attitude instrument is just above the right hand MFD.

In the F-117 its right below the right hand MFD.

In the Osprey there is a cluster of backup steam gages (adi, dg, altimeter) just to the right of the center of the panel, making me think the aircraft commander sits on the right, rotor wing style.

Jim Howard said...

Let me revise and extend my remarks. The F-117 has two backup ADIs, a mechanical ADI on the left side of the panel, and a 'peanut gage' ADI on the lower right panel. I think the peanut gage is the same as we had in the F-4, it runs on inertia for about 12 minutes after complete electrical failure.

WhyTech said...

Moo said:

"For those of you who would like to read the article for yourself... here it is Eclipse Concept Jet Makes Surprise Appearance at AirVenture 2007"

Another failed attempt at keeping it real, Moo. Your link points to a much condensed version of the print article; the print version contains considerably more detail, and some telling Vernisms.

Vern is quoted as saying "This is one sweet flying airplane," while the test pilot reports that the flying qualities suck (my word, not his - he was more tactful).

WT

WhyTech said...

Oshkosh observations:

I have not seen an EA 5xx up close since OSH 2005. I had forgotten just how tiny this acft is. Tiny little wheels and brakes - no wonder the tires dont last long. The gear doors appear to come within four inches of the ground - any runway excursions, intentional or otherwise, could be expensive. I observed an E-clips sales type in the left front seat and her knees were virtually touching the panel.

I walked back and forth between the E-clips exhibit and the Cessna exhibit several times, comparing the Mustang to the EA-5xx. While not quite literally a "side by side" comparison, pretty close. I was struck by how much the the E-clips look like a toy comparedto the Mustang. While not exactly a fresh, new observation, I believe that size will greatly limit the E-clips in all but the owner/pilot market.

WT

mirage00 said...

I observed an E-clips sales type in the left front seat and her knees were virtually touching the panel.

Well that's just wrong...

My brother, who is 6'4", sits comfortably in the front seat.

Please think before you post. I would imagine her seat was moved to the full forward position.

I remain amused

double 00

WhyTech said...

Moo said:

"Please think before you post."

You too.

WT

airtaximan said...

Wt,

al the images of the 500 lack points of reference for size. In fact, a few of the earlier images showed a shadow of a man who looked quite small compared with the plane, which was depicted at dusk.

They've made every attempt to not show points of reference regarding this plane, for a simple reason.

Its really, really small.

Anyone saying you CAN fit this or that in the plane, or someone who is 6ft4 can fit in the plane... well... perhaps, but a tall pilot with a tallish passenger will certainly be squished. There is as little room as possible - -that's for sure.

airtaximan said...

NOW THIS IS FUNNY!

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/


you say goodbye, and I say hello!

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"But beware--the bidding opened only a few hours ago and someone has already met the required opening bid of $1,633,945.00."

Ken,

A day later and just 1 bid at the reserve price. Not exactly a bidding frenzy - maybe that comes later.

Do you think that this bid is legitimate, or done by E-clips (or their representatives) to prop up the deal?

WT

Gunner said...

AT-
I think I predicted 60 days until Vern "reluctantly" agrees to take deposits on the "much demanded" ECJ. Looks like it'll be much closer to 30.

And why not? The EA-50X is "pretty much finished now. That's the beauty of the Eclipse business model.
Gunner

JetProp Jockey said...

There is an accounting explanation for the new little 4 seater.

Up until a few months ago, all the money that was being spent could be "Capitalized" - shown on the balance sheet as the developement costs of a new product to be written off over future years.

Now that Eclipse is a production company, the monthly expenses have to be accounted as operating expenses, either being added to Work in Process or a monthly operating expense. Assuming that billing is not greater than expenses, they now are reporting to the board and shareholders monthly LOSSES.

By starting a new development program, operating costs can again be reclassified as Capital expenses and be put on the balance sheet as an asset.

The whole house of cards will collapse when the cash runs out.

fred said...

what ?? the most future-proof hi-tech flying sauce pan using obsolete hardware ???

you must be kidding !! ;-))

whytech : you're probably wrong ...;-))

that's the beauty of this bid-auction , not far from now , EA is going to claim the bib was wild , they 'll regret not to have had a few more "(EA)thousands" (means one or two) to offer ....

after trying to convince E500 was priceless , they will starts soon bid on E-bay ( meanning : any kind of junk at any prices) and proclame it's a wonderful "value offer" anybody is willing to buy at a XXX price range .... ! :-))

then EA C.E.O will release that they don't need anymore to worry = each time they put an E500 on Auction , the whole internet go into a spin ....!!!

Gustaf said...

Eclipse is using 2 Byteflight databuses. Byteflight is obsolete and should have been abandoned long before their first cert. There are virtually no new chips to interface with this bus. There are almost no tools to interface with this bus.

For further information, just Google Byteflight

Shane Price said...

WT,

Greetings from the (not frozen) North.

See my earlier posts about this eBay auction stunt.

Don't worry, there WILL be a bidding 'war' at the end. Too much riding on the marketing value of a 'success' for there not to be.

Interesting comments by your goodself on the SEC filings. I think you were being more than fair in describing them as 'desperation financing'.

ATman,

Agreed. It had to happen. Distract the Faithful by putting the con jet (much better than Batplane, BTW) on the home page. I stick to my earlier opinion. By the end of August, Mr. Raburn will have 'responed' to public 'pressure' to give it the go for 'production'. All these terms are as defined by the company that didn't build the con jet in the first place. Truly breathtaking arrogance, which is especially galling by its predictablity.

Ken,

Be careful, son. Some of your recents posts say things like "The operating philosophy here is to build the plane pilots "should" want..." These same series of posts display a depth of technical knowledge of the E499.5 that is uncanny for a retired medical man.

People (like Real Planes) might begin to suspect you were now formally working for the Great Raburn.

As opposide to your current position....

Shane "Just keeping half a eye on Ken..." Price

Stan Blankenship said...

Eclipse Aviation Appoints John Ricciardelli, Vice President, Customer Experience and Support Services

Experienced executive to head customer support organization for VLJ leader

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — July 31, 2007 — Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced that John Ricciardelli is joining the executive team as vice president, customer experience and support services.

Ricciardelli brings Eclipse 23 years of customer support and program management experience at Honeywell and Bell Helicopter-Textron, and will be responsible for enhancing the existing Eclipse 500 ownership experience. This includes aircraft delivery, pilot and maintenance training, Eclipse Service Center operation, and the
delivery of JetComplete, Eclipse’s unprecedented customer ownership program.

“We are very pleased that John is joining our team to lead the advancement of the Eclipse 500 ownership experience,” said Peg Billson, COO of Eclipse Aviation. "John has a proven track record of delivering results while satisfying customers, and is well positioned to help us realize our vision of setting a new experience standard for aircraft ownership.”

Replacing Ken McNamara, Ricciardelli joins Eclipse Aviation following a long and
successful career at both Bell Helicopter and Honeywell. Under his leadership at Bell
Helicopter as executive director of commercial development programs, Ricciardelli’s cross-functional team won the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Program. They delivered a flying development aircraft in less than nine months, paving the way for a
successful certification program and future deployment using the Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) Bell 407 platform.

At Honeywell, Ricciardelli was responsible for establishing a support network for multiple turbofan engines used in business aircraft. This included a successful entry into service launch of the TF7000 in 2003. Ricciardelli ascended the management ranks quickly while spending time in engineering, operations, product line management and customer support.

John received his Six Sigma Black Belt certification, enabling him to successfully deploy numerous process improvements and develop an innovative worldwide support team that delivered a proactive approach to preventing defects in products and services.

Ricciardelli held a variety of
leadership roles at Honeywell, including: director of business aviation customer support, manager customer support programs, and product support engineer.

Ricciardelli earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1983, and an Executive MBA in general management from Texas
Christian University in 2006.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Eclipse doesn't need another person in an overpaid underworked position. That is the last thing they need, another professional meeting attender to grandstand at the meetings.

Doesn't Vern realize that he now needs to build airplanes? Hopefully airplanes that can fly as advertised, without major limitations.

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

avionics engineer,

What is your opinion on the Byteflight data bus, obsolete or ahead of its time?

anonymous avionics engineer said...

ByteFlight would not be my first choice. For one or two nodes without a lot of message traffic it is fine. For this application, inadequate.

airtaximan said...

for all of the faithful die-hards that defended ad nauseum the revolutionary technologies know as Avio(ng) and the powerplant (EJ22, PW610F) see:

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/about/innovations/

all that's left as far as "innovation" goes, according to your favorite aircraft non-manufacturing company is FSW. They needed three, 'cause I guess three revolutionary technologies is some sort of magic number? It was what was promoted...to the tune of $1.x billion.... so they added Manufacturing and PhosterX.

I imagine the 10lbs of rivits saved by FSW is innovative. The high rate manufacturing techniques are impressive- but why should it ever take +/-500 "non-manufacturing" direct laborers to produce 20-30 teeny-weenie jets in a year, anyway? And, the PhosterX revolution, that is based on changing fire suppression to save impact to the environment caused by halon in jet fire suppression systems. Big impact.

OK - I like PhosterX. Its pretty cool.

Anyone else think the way the competitive advantages of e-clips has changed, is a wee bit fanciful at this late stage of the game.

All the initial stated/promoted/sold advantages are officially in the garbage. All they have is small jet, and the "self declared and never demonstrated" ability to produce many planes, which is apparenlty NOT required due to the lack of demand. Oh yeah, they'll save the environment the impact of halon fire supression in a few jet engines.

Carry on. This IS amusing!

AlexA said...

Vern = Brilliant

You might not like the guy but you have to give him credit for his marketing prowess and ability to raise capital. Vern had no easy task, take away media/sales from Cirrus and at the same time don’t get the depositors in an uproar. He managed to pull the stunt superbly. I spoke to a number of individuals that were going to place deposits on Cirrus at Oshkosh and they have decided to wait it out a bit. The perception of a flying prototype versus just a cabin mock up is overwhelming to a potential buyer.

For once I agree with Gunner. My guess is Eclipse will start taking deposits on October 4, 2007. “Due to the overwhelming response…..we have decided to move forward…”

I spent sometime speaking with x-eclipse employees and will share the information when I have time to organize it. Just when the Blog was getting boring a new angle……

More amusement is on the way.

Ken Meyer said...

alexa wrote,

"The perception of a flying prototype versus just a cabin mock up..."

...especially since Cirrus somehow forgot to bring their mockup to the biggest meeting of the year!

What a faux pas!

Go figure.

I think Eclipse pulled off a pretty amazing accomplishment--take an exciting new design from concept to prototype in just 6 months, right in time for Oshkosh. And do it without anybody knowing about it.

If they proceed, I'll bet the ECJ will be certified months before the Cirrus Jet. And some people wouldn't be blown away if the ECJ even beats the D-Jet to certification.

The critical issue is pricing. There is no point producing this plane unless the company can get the pricepoint far enough below that of the EA500. At, say, $1.2 million, the plane easily outperforms the D-Jet and becomes the fast "sports car" of the single engine VLJ class vs the D-Jet's status as the slower, lower, but bigger SUV. Where does that leave the Cirrus jet? I dunno, and maybe that's the whole point :)

Exciting times to be flying; that's for sure.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Alexa:

"Vern had no easy task, take away media/sales from Cirrus and at the same time don’t get the depositors in an uproar."

IS THIS REALLY YOUR IMPRESSION OF WHAT Vern's TASK WAS?

- I imagine unless one is susceptible to complete BS-ing the world, his taks was to convince the world he might actually succeed at the 500? It seems to be in doubt now more than ever. Finally the con-jet is considered a joke, a stunt and a dumb plane.

I imagine he'll price it so low that he generates buzz with this con-jet, and he'll sial to delive that promise, too.

Cirrus is way ahead of e-clips on all fronts. The company is respected, they have a sister company that's a successful fleet operator of air taxis, and are generally trusted. They have huge production capacity for a plane that sells very well.

Vern has an outsourced the con-jet which followed $1.x billion in burnt cash on a plane that is not finished and which is so far a non-starter from a market/business plan perspective. The con-jet will be the same.

airtaximan said...

Ken:

"And do it without anybody knowing about it."

Just becasue you were not on the distribution list, does not mean no one knew about it!

;0

cj3driver said...

Auction amusement,

Well, over 24 hours has gone by since the opening bid on s/n 38. Not exacty a frenzy at this point. And, there is no real reason for the bidders to wait untill the last minute either, ... because there is no defined cut-off at the end, untill a ten minute span goes by with no bid. 38 will sell for the highest possible price.

Does anyone know what the buy-in to be a member of the bidders club was in ’00-02? Will there be more units auctioned? When do “Eclipse dollars” expire?

Eclipse claims bidders have accumulated “Eclipse dollars” ranging from $60,000 to $87,000 and over 100 members.

My guess is, majority of the people who became Club members are speculators. There is not enough equity, … even at the minimum bid, for a reseller to risk under speculation, unless a person wanted the Jet anyway and didn’t care if there is a profit motive.

Asking prices for “on the ground” E500’s close to factory pricing and I’m sure there is wiggle room on these.

I predict 38 sells for no more than 30K over list using “Eclipse dollars”, especially if there is only one unit to auction. If there will be multiple units auctioned in the near future, then #38 will probably sell for less than list price, even with “Eclipse dollars”.

The other thing that could change the outcome, is, if Eclipse allows the other depositors (those who have made 10% non-refundable deposits) the right to bid and apply their deposits. In this instance, the bids will go higher than current list by at least the CPI for later depositors.

The whole auction thing was really a dumb idea. I’m sure Eclipse regrets it. Why purchase a position when you can just bid on one, and get it in a few weeks? Definitely a market “disruption”.

You won’t hear Vern proclaiming multiple new orders taken at Oshkosh, … I’m quite certain.

airtaximan said...

"The perception of a flying prototype versus just a cabin mock up..."

Its funny that Epic wins the award on all fronts regarding this apparently importnat measure of success in aviation today -

Schrameck is a bigger threat to Vern's ego at this pointthan Cirrus... for many reasons. You obviously missed the memo on this one, too...

paul said...

Alexa:

Now that e-cuse has a single are you no longer cocerned about FOD?
What about the restriction on the Pratt that it cannot be used in a single engine installation?

airtaximan said...

if they admit to 100 members of the bidders club, I'm sure there's at least 100 open positions in the order book...

Its only $155 million or so - no big deal.

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“... The critical issue is pricing. There is no point producing this plane unless the company can get the pricepoint far enough below that of the EA500. At, say, $1.2 million…”

Ken,

I actually agree with you 100% on this. I believe this is why Vern did not take orders for it at Oshkosh. I don’t think the market is great enough to produce this product, at that pricepoint ($1.2) for a reasonable profit. Not enough volume.

I think Vern knows this. I do not think that is what he intended last year, but it is today’s reality. That’s why it’s a concept and not a product.

IMO the only way this becomes an actual product, is if the price of the E500 goes to 2mil or more, (even on existing orders) and Vern gives preference (discounts) to the existing depositors who transfer to the ECJ at $1.2 and offers the ECJ to the public at $1.4 million, … or something like that.

AlexA said...

Paul,

Have you been taking lessons from Gunner? Due to the location of the inlets on the D-Jet the aircraft will be subject to a higher likelihood of FOD and water ingestion. The CirrusJet and ECJ will not have the same problem due to engine inlet placement. If you are asking if I would fly a single engine jet (D-Jet, ECJ or CirrusJet) the answer is NO. By the way Stan needs to double check his sources; there are more rumblings as to compressor stalls on the D-Jet.

cj3driver said...

Ken,

I dont think Cirrus will produce thier jet aircraft for less than 1 million either. Thats probably why there is not much push or hulaballoo about "The Jet" at thier display either. The LSA's were up front. The mockup (model) of the jet was way in the back when I went by the booth. The full size mockup was absent. The reps really didnt seem to know much about it either. Not much fanfare for a seemingly "revolutionary" new annoucement to the world.

Cirrus will take deposits that are fully refundable untill a very short window before delivery. No progress payments, no "first flight" hard money clauses, just a spot in line.

Cirrus knows which side their bread is buttered on.

mouse said...

Anyone want to take bets on the ConJet isn't a Cirrus joint effort???

cj3driver said...

ATM said;

“ … if they admit to 100 members of the bidders club, I'm sure there's at least 100 open positions in the order book...”

ATM,

If you are right, and the other units are coming up for auction soon, 38 will probably not sell for much more than the opening bid, and Eclipse will not be taking many new orders any time soon.

Maybe this is the reason for the announced price increase to $1,595,000.

cj3driver said...

Mouse,

Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Vern to buy Cirrus, or Piper for that matter. He could use some of the $250 million he just closed on, .. and have an instant volume for Aviong. Tap the volume production techniques of a dinosaur, double or triple the parts volume, trim some marketing and executive overhead … who knows. E-cirrus, E-piper, E-diamond … and Piper is on the block. So is Sino/Swearengen.

AASI did it with Mooney.

cj3driver said...

If you cant beat-um, join um

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"I think Eclipse pulled off a pretty amazing accomplishment--take an exciting new design from concept to prototype in just 6 months,"

Did you read the B&CA article? E-clips didnt do it - their highly paid contract developers did it.

And, while your mileage may vary, to me, to call it a prototpye is a real stretch - concept demonstrator is likely closer to reality, as I would guess that very few of the physical parts other than the parts borrowed from the EA-5xx parts bin will carry over to the final design. This was a hand built one-of-a-kind "stunt" plane.

WT

Ken Meyer said...

whytech wrote,

"This was a hand built one-of-a-kind...plane."

...of the very sort Cirrus wishes right now it could produce in 6 months.

Come on guys; even you "haters" have to admit it was pretty cool that they could produce a flying prototype this fast. If you won't admit that in the face of overwhelming facts, the only possible explanation is that you're so tied up in your hatred for the company that you won't credit them even where credit is obviously due.

Ken

Gunner said...

Oshkosh is over. The employees and poorly paid shills are back on station. Gotta love the spin.

What spin? Well, the spin that Eclipse never really wanted to be and Aircraft Manufacturing Company; it's finally being touted by The Faithful for what it is...it's a pure, 100%, Double-D, Marketing Enterprise.

I salute the enterprise for its accomplishments on the marketing front. Lotsa Walter Mitty pilot types are more than a bit impressed. When they price it down to a "just fell off the truck" stereo system, they'll really be cookin' with gas.

Anyone wanna start talking again about Aircraft Manufacturing Companies? You know, the kind that produce usable, flying aircraft rather than demos and hot air? Those guys really are The Bomb where pilots are concerned.
Gunner

paul said...

Alexa:

I don't care what type of aircraft you're willing to fly in. The point was that the Pratt is not certified for a single engine installation. What are they going to use? A Williams?
I doubt that Pratt is willing to go through the certification process to please Vern.

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"Come on guys; even you "haters" have to admit it was pretty cool that they could produce a flying prototype this fast."

Nah, I'd rather admit Epic is pretty cool for accomplishing the exact same feat with a real production model; something that owner/pilots will purchase. Now THAT'S pretty cool.

I expect the ECJ will garner every bit as much REAL sales interest as the apparently failed EA-50X.
Gunner

AlexA said...

Paul,

Paul said “The point was that the Pratt is not certified for a single engine installation” Really Paul? Give P&W a quick ring since they are going to certify a version of the PW600 family (a variant of the PW615) for single engine ops. As a matter of fact P&W announced support for Epic.

Check http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=753828. Gunner will tell you verify your “facts” before you post.

paul said...

A certified variebt won't cut it.
THAT engine model needs certification.
Check your facts.

mouse said...

The Adam A700 prototype was built in 37 days and then arrived on the 4th day of Oshkosh in '03... It was built for well under $700K including labor. It then flew for almost 5 years. No where near what the finished model will need to be, however it did achive FL410, burning 643 Lbs/Hr (96 gph) and a true airspeed 338 KTS. Too bad the rest of the program is not moving at any speed worthy of a mention right now.

You are far better off throwing talent and hard work at a project as opposed to money.

Again, if I were betting the ConJet came first and then along came Vern... fueled by the need to buy P&WC engines at a rate to insure he can meet his obligations he promised... That and the PW610F is a one-of-kind engine with very little commonality with the rest of the PW600 family

mouse said...

The PW610F is not certified currently to fly as a single engine, I suspect because it has little flat-rating/margin remaining, however paperwork can change that fact. The Williams FJ33 will not be sold toanyone as a single-engine powerplant either, unless the airframe has a ballistic parachute.... imagine that! Some companies do care about their customers safety, and their corporate investment.

Niner Zulu said...

What's really amazing is that Vern was able to secure the additional $250 million in financing for his unprofitable venture, when the entire Piper factory could probably be purchased for a fraction of that. Piper sold for only $54 million in 2003. What is it worth now? Who knows but I'd guess $100 - $150 million at most, probably a lot less.

In my wildest dreams, I can't foresee a time when Eclipse is going to make enough money to give it's investors their principal back, much less a decent return on their money.

AlexA said...

Paul,

Having a tough time admitting that you are wrong? Both the PW610F-A and PW615F-A have a single engine limitation on the TCDS. P&W announced that they will providing engines to Epic (the single engine Epic) which means that they will amend the TCDS(a relative simple paperwork filing). It also seems Mouse is stuck on the PW610, if you read the press releases the ECJ was built around the 615 not the 610.

AlexA said...

9Z,

My understanding is that Piper does not have enough resources to bring the PiperJet to completion. I am hearing that an announcement with a new equity firm is imminent.

WhyTech said...

alexa said:

"My understanding is that Piper does not have enough resources to bring the PiperJet to completion"

What's your point? E-clips, after raising well over a billion in hard and soft dollars, still doesnt have the resources to bring the EA-5xx and /or con-jet to completion.

WT

redtail said...

airtaximan said... for all of the faithful die-hards that defended ad nauseum the revolutionary technologies know as Avio(ng) and the powerplant (EJ22, PW610F) see: http://www.eclipseaviation.com/about/innovations/ all that's left as far is "innovation" goes, according to your favorite aircraft non-manufacturing company is FSW.

As is typical, it seems that you see what you want to see. Try going to the link you provided. At the top of the page you can select FSW, PhostrEx, or Manufacturing. They're all there.

Keep yourself amused.

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"even you "haters" have to admit it was pretty cool that they could produce a flying prototype this fast"

Ken,

What I am willing to admit is that the Con Jet is a triumph - one of form over substance. Very much consistent with the E-clips way.

WT

flightguy said...

Swift Engineering should be congratulated for there tremendous efforts in completing the ECJ. ECLIPSE SHOULD BE COMMENDED FOR HAVING THE MONEY FOR PAYING THEM OR ATLEAST THE DEPOSIT HOLDERS.

Yes, Piper potentially is for sale. Wouldn't it be ironic that a company looking toward Albuquerque FOR production gets bought out by Eclipse for their SEJ? They don't make anything don't ya know.

PhostrEX. How's that corrosion thing coming along? WAsn't that the reason Halon is commonly used to prevent.

AlexA,

Do you know what a compressor stall actually is? Sounds like your fishing and being hopefull there are inlet issues. No such word on the flight test street that I heard. The initial A/C early on had buffeting issues caused by the inlet fairings. That had been resolved with aero mods.

AlexA said...

Whytech,

I really wasn’t trying to make a point, just passing on information. But it’s interesting that the VLJ marketplace is in definite turmoil. Let’s see: Eclipse is struggling to complete the aircraft. Cirrus project is still years away. Diamond is having design issues and lack of market appeal. Piper is having money issues. Adam is having all sorts of issues. Javelin program is stalled. Epic has a tough road trying to go from experimental to certified. The Mustang is backed ordered for 2 and half years. First position available on the Phenom 100 is 2011. Who did I miss?

AlexA said...

Flightguy said “Do you know what a compressor stall actually is?’ Sure do boss.

flightguy said...

Alexa,

Don't forget the SportJet guys. Good luck gettting to production with one of those. Yes, the VLJ arena is heating up. Don't ya love it?

flightguy said...

Speaking of VLJs,

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/graham-warwick/2007/07/no-blackening-of-skies-yet.html

WhyTech said...

alexa said:

"The Mustang is backed ordered for 2 and half years. First position available on the Phenom 100 is 2011."

Unlike the others, this is a high class problem!

WT

planet-ex said...

Both the PW610F-A and PW615F-A have a single engine limitation on the TCDS. P&W announced that they will providing engines to Epic (the single engine Epic) which means that they will amend the TCDS(a relative simple paperwork filing). It also seems Mouse is stuck on the PW610, if you read the press releases the ECJ was built around the 615 not the 610.

You've never dealt with the FAA, have you? It's not just a simple paperwork change to amend the TCDS to remove the multiple engine only limitation. PWC will have to provide sufficient data to the FAA to prove an acceptable level of safety and reliability before that limitation is removed. Pratt, in fact, has the same limitation on more than just the 600 series. That limitation is also on the PWC 300 series and 200 series engines.

airtaximan said...

Dog Food for Thought...

Forbes
Companies, People, Ideas
A Bus In The Clouds
Mark Tatge 08.13.07

"Ed Iacobucci's DayJet wants to push private jet service beyond fat cats to serve the middle class. Flights on demand and fewer hassles, at the price of full-fare coach or less.
Edward Iacobucci is a renegade. In the 1990s the ex-IBM software engineer created software to let many computers share a single application, founding Citrix Systems (nasdaq: CTXS - news - people ) and sparking a new generation of client-server apps. Seven years ago he quit Citrix and went into seclusion. Since then he has spent five years sequestered inside a dingy bank building in Delray Beach, Fla., eating bad takeout and plotting his next challenge.

Iacobucci, 53, wants to rock the world of private jets and commercial air travel. His new company, DayJet, is set to start flights in late August, offering an affordable, on-demand airborne shuttle service to white-collar professionals weary of the airlines' overnight-stay requirements, incessant delays and security hassles. "I like shaking things up. DayJet is a constructive form of rebelliousness," he says. "You might think I am crazy, but I Iike doing things that seem impossible."

He vows to have 30 to 40 aircraft and 170 pilots serving up to 10 stops in Florida and Georgia by year-end. DayJet aims to have 60 planes, 275 pilots and 15 destinations across the Southeast 12 months after it starts flying. Two years out Iacobucci hopes to have 300 jets ferrying 2,700 people daily among 70 cities across the Southeast.

To bankroll this expansionism, he has raised $68 million, much of it from hedge funds, private equity firms and individuals; $10 million of it came from his own bank account. He is lining up more than $100 million in debt to start the fleet. He and his wife, Nancy Lee Iacobucci, own just over 20%.

Some detractors, however, question the rosy forecast Iacobucci is peddling and say DayJet will run up huge losses. "He is greatly underestimating the risks," says Vaughn Cordle of AirlineForecasts, a consulting firm. "It's going to take a lot of money, and even when he gets to a very large scale, he may not have a viable business model." Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with Teal Group, adds: "There's an awful lot here that doesn't make sense. The one thing that is certain is that this is going to lose a lot of money."

For years upstarts have tried to launch short-hop air taxis, but they have found little success. American Airlines (nyse: AMR - news - people )' retired chief, Robert Crandall, formed Pogo Jet three years ago (see " Sky Kings," FORBES, Aug. 16, 2004) with Donald Burr, who had run now defunct People Express in the 1980s. That effort remains embryonic. So far no one comes close to what Iacobucci proposes.

DayJet isn't an airline outright--it has no regularly scheduled flights, and you can order up a trip as late as four hours before takeoff. But DayJet isn't really a charter, either: Individual seats are sold, and renting an entire plane will be a rarity. A dozen Eclipse Aviation planes--lightweight, five-seat turbofan jets--soon will begin ferrying passengers in short hops among five backwater cities in Florida, including Tallahassee, Gainesville and Pensacola. The trips, taking an hour or less to cover 350 to 600 miles, will cost $700 to $1,200 a seat, on par with full-fare coach but sans long lines and crowded terminals. DayJet will use sleepy airfields outside major cities.

A total of 800 travelers have signed up to become members of DayJet, agreeing to pay a $250 fee to "join" the carrier. Only members can order DayJet flights once the site opens for business. In addition to wooing weary commercial fliers, Iacobucci will target drivers--business travelers who make frequent trips of several hundred miles in their cars. Getting from Boca Raton to Pensacola requires a backbreaking nine hours behind the wheel (635 miles), while most flights require a change of plane in Atlanta. DayJet could cut that to two hours tops.

Iacobucci counts 52 million business trips in the Southeast and says only 15% of these trips are made by plane. His target customers spend $500 to $1,000 for one day of travel, without an overnight stay. The rest are car trips, and the drivers are college-educated salesmen, accountants, consultants and managers, whose average age is 42 and whose average income is $100,000 a year. He argues he can turn a profit if he can fly 30 jets carrying 150 passengers daily. On a 300-mile flight he'll need to collect $780 in revenues to break even.

DayJet has ordered 700 planes, $1 billion worth, with an option for 700 more, in a new class of aircraft manufactured by Eclipse Aviation, called very light jets, or VLJs. He plans to marry the technical advances of Eclipse with complex logistical software that will manage DayJet's passenger flow, moving empty jets to where they are needed most.

The Eclipse jet is the first VLJ to be certified by the FAA. It costs $1.5 million and $425 an hour to run, burning 55 gallons of fuel per hour; by contrast, an eight-passenger Learjet costs $11.5 million plus $1,424 per hour to fly, burning 180 gallons an hour.

That is because the Eclipse weighs only 3 tons, roughly the scale of a sport utility vehicle; several adults can push it into a hangar. It seats three passengers and two pilots, with room for luggage (but no toilet). Its ability to land on and take off from shorter airstrips makes it ideal for secondary, uncongested airfields. "Florida is filled with these airports," Iacobucci says. So is much of the U.S. The FAA counts 5,000 small general aviation airports, and most see a handful of flights a day.

A short drive from Iacobucci's office in Delray Beach, an Eclipse, newly painted with the DayJet logo's blue-and-yellow stripes, purrs on the tarmac, awaiting passengers. Pratt & Whitney engines not much bigger than a pair of toaster ovens hang on the back of the fuselage. Iacobucci lumbers up the tiny stairs and ducks inside, his curly salt-and-pepper hair poking out from under a dusty Eclipse Aviation cap.

"If you normally fly a Gulfstream, you won't like this," he says, hunching beneath low headroom. Inside, the cabin is roomy and comfortable--so long as you stay seated. The door closes and moments later Iacobucci surfs the clouds 5,000 feet above Florida's Atlantic coastline (top altitude is 41,000 feet).

Back at DayJet mission control in Delray Beach, programmers feed thousands of simulations into a bank of computers that search for any holes in millions of interlocking flight plans, aiming to plug them before they occur. As customers book flights online, the system forwards electronic flight plans to DayJet pilots, who will carry tablet PCs.

Iacobucci spent years developing the software, hiring programmers who'd worked for the Soviet Union's space program in the Cold War. "The reasons the Russians are so good at algorithms is because their computers were so crummy," he says. "We have some very smart people working here."

But will their math work? DayJet expects revenue of $111 million after its first full year and an operating loss of $15 million, it says in a June 2006 prospectus. The average fare would be $859 for a 291-mile trip. Iacobucci says DayJet needs 1.3 passengers generating revenues of $2 per mile flown to break even.

But consultants who have seen Eclipse's business plan say DayJet's costs will likely be three times as high--more like $2,400 per flight, given labor and pilot costs. "People say a lot of stuff--I don't know where they get their data," Iacobucci counters. DayJet also must minimize empty return trips (deadheading). Most small operators fly up to half of their trips without revenue to position aircraft; DayJet aims for 10% to 20%.

The bigger question is whether the air taxi market is big enough. "Once we launch we will know if the dogs are going to eat the dog food. I am just as skeptical as anyone else," he says. "Just about everyone is watching us and wondering if we are going to make it."

airtaximan said...

Redtail, it is you who reads what he wants.
I see nothing at the links you suggest for the revolutionary engine and the Avionics, which used to be the basis for the entire e-500 program and marketplace advantage.

Since I guess the need 3 revolutionary innovations, I guess the have FSW (the lone holdover), plus PhosterX (newly added to replace the engine revolution...) and manufacturing (newly added to replace the avion(ng) BS.

Perhaps my point was missed... the point was they seem to have shifted their story as of late as to how revolutionary the powerplant and avionics are. Strange, since most here have defended those.

Carry on... retail between legs...

airtaximan said...

Ken

"...of the very sort Cirrus wishes right now it could produce in 6 months."

Cirrus is ore like Cessna than E-clips. Rightfully so. any one of these companies can shoot a prototype out the door. What for?
- market research... OK, if you are new at this, perhaps. But what market research would you need beyond a mockup really? You can always state the performance ( overstate it and miss it if you like, too

Take the Cessna wide body mock up. They used that for feedback. Something tells me it cost way less than Vern spent on his prototype.

BTW, check your records. He produced a "fully-conforming" prototype (first aircraft) as the buzz for speed to market, certification and development cost reduction by AVOIDING a costly one-off non-conforming plane with the 500.

Why?

Stan Blankenship said...

AlexA said...

By the way Stan needs to double check his sources; there are more rumblings as to compressor stalls on the D-Jet.

Alex - I did check with my source who is certainly in a position to know, and his response was,

"Completely false!"

And Alex, there is no reason to suspect these inlets will be prone to a compressor stall. At high angles of attack the air will coming off the bottom of the fuselage and feeding the inlets.

In a yaw condition, one inlet might see some blanking from the fuselage, but the upstream inlet will be looking at increased airflow.

Several military trainers share this same basic design and are designed for some pretty severe maneuvering conditions.

Niner Zulu said...

Alexa has a point on the VLJ market. I don't think it is in turmoil - yet - but the difficulties of bringing cheap jets to market were underestimated by a lot of companies, many of whom are now defunct.

There is so much optimism about the VLJ market that I can't help but think a lot of manufacturers are going to be disappointed. So are the spec buyers that think they are going to make money on their positions (whether it be Eclipse or any other jet). My opinion, worth what you pay for it, is that the rising fuel prices, insurance, falling US dollar and overall sagging economy we're going to see in 2009-2011 is going to put a huge damper on the general aviation market. VLJ's will be in abundant supply - buyers won't be. I think the best deals will be had by people who wait.

I don't think the manufacturer's have given much thought to the rising fuel prices. The world is changing. Cheap oil is a thing of the past. Vern made a comment about the single-engine ECJ being the answer to $6.00/gallon Jet A prices. I don't know about the ECJ, but I think he is spot on about the fuel prices. Our US$ is fast becoming worthless and the Fed is helpless to do anything about it. Oil is priced in US$ now, but when Opec gets smart and prices their oil in Euros instead of the falling US$, there will go cheap oil as we've known it and we'll join China, India and the rest of the world in competing for for dwindling supplies.

As far as the air taxi business goes, I don't just think it will be a failure, I think it will be a complete flop. Partially because of fuel prices and the economy, and partially just because it was a bad idea.

Stan Blankenship said...

9Z,

Well said and couldn't agree more.

In my case, I am backing away from capital expenditures even in the face of emerging new programs.

Today's market conditions for business aviation just don't look as good as what they did at the beginning of the year.

WhyTech said...

9Z said:

"There is so much optimism about the VLJ market that I can't help but think a lot of manufacturers are going to be disappointed."

Great strategic insights - I'd be willing to bet that you are just about exactly right on these calls!

WT

Ken Meyer said...

niner zulu wrote,

"My opinion, worth what you pay for it, is that the rising fuel prices, insurance, falling US dollar and overall sagging economy we're going to see in 2009-2011 is going to put a huge damper on the general aviation market. VLJ's will be in abundant supply - buyers won't be."

Could be, but I think a lot of people are ignoring the shift left that will occur as fuel prices rise. Put simply, as fuel goes higher and higher, VLJs look a lot more attractive than the more expensive jets in widespread use today.

I shared the dinner table last week with the Chairman and CEO of a corporation with over $2 billion in annual sales and 18,000 employees. Know what? He's got two Eclipse 500's on order, and if they work out, he's planning more.

How come? Don't they have a corporate jet? Indeed they do. But it can only go to one place at a time, and it's expensive to operate it. So, it's only for upper management, and even for them it's wasteful. Middle management goes by airliner or car and that's wasteful too--it wastes a tremendous amount of his employees' productive time.

This is a real smart guy who has built his company up to what it is today. That he sees the tremendous value in the Eclipse for middle-echelon business transport suggests it's a bonafide and viable niche. I'll bet there are lots of VLJ niches that all hinge on the fact that you can get people fast from Point A to Point B in an Eclipse without spending a bunch of money.

Can't you get people fast from Point A to Point B in a bigger, fuel-guzzling jet? Of course you can, but it costs multiples more. And the differential only rises as fuel prices climb.

Bottom line: the rising price of fuel will inevitably shift utilization toward the VLJs and aware from big, fuel-guzzling luxo-jets.

Ken

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"Bottom line: the rising price of fuel will inevitably shift utilization toward the VLJs and aware from big, fuel-guzzling luxo-jets. "


Ken,

All of this from an unscientific survey with a sample size of one?

As usual, you oversimplify. The market is segmented. There are individuals and corportaions for whom $100 per gallon fuel wouldnt curtail there flying activities. These are the folks operating G550's (cant build em fast enough), Falcon 7x (backlog of 177) etc. Remember that jet aircraft are mostly an ego trip with feeble attempts to justify the cost based on "time savings." Egos will trump fuel prices any day of the week, and in this arena, bigger is always better (the "old mine is bigger than yours" syndrome). Yes, there will be an economy class of jet owners, but these will be the group that cant afford anything bigger. They'd really rather be flying a G550.

WT

sparky said...

From the web today, with regards to the new weather radar:

Eclipse will not retrofit the JRC units into the airplanes already built.

I thought that eclipse wanted one configuration for all aircraft, the Honeywell system will remain as an option.

This would mean different code for the ng integration and a different wiring harness for models with the Honeywell system installed.

If I were a company supplying avionics equipment to this company, I would be very wary of them dumping my product for one thay have started to produce themselves.

Look for eclipse to start replacing, one by one, the remaining vendors.

redtail said...

airtaximan crudly said... Perhaps my point was missed...

I guess it was. Maybe there is something to be said for spell checking, proper grammer, and some basic writing skills.

airtaximan said...

redtail...

I was being charitable with you... no one else seemed to miss the point.

Nothing you have written has been of any value to anyone here - yu just repeat Vernisms and the drivel BS coming from ABQ.

My content has been fresh meat... a lot of relevant and predictive insight.

-sorry I type fast and misspelll. BUtt Most intelllliggent/thinking folks seeeem to understand and appreciate my insight and point of view.

redtail back between legs...
hobble along.

redtail said...

sparky-boy said... This would mean different code for the ng integration and a different wiring harness for models with the Honeywell system installed.

Have you seen the JRC specs? How do you know they are different? This unit was spec'd by Eclipse. How do you know they didn't use the same, or compatible, interface to that of the Honeywell?

Ken Meyer said...

whytech wrote,

"All of this from an unscientific survey with a sample size of one?"

Not at all (although I will note, in passing, that your opinions almost invariably lack any substantiation, generally not even a single anecdote, so it's a little disingenuous for you to decry the lack of detailed data).

In point of fact, it's a story many of the Eclipse owners relay--the rising cost of operating luxo-jets drives individuals and companies alike to the cost-effective alternative.

Remember what Ed Iacobucci said? It's very telling:

"What you really want is an aircraft that has the lowest cost per mile to operate; that gives the highest probability of making money...The Eclipse being a small airplane is the most cost effective."

One doesn't need a crystal ball to make this prediction: rising costs will drive customers to more cost-effective aircraft.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"One doesn't need a crystal ball to make this prediction: rising costs will drive customers to more cost-effective aircraft."

Hasn't happened so far. The Eclipse counter remains stuck at around 2,500. And we know that one's as much fiction as Vern believes the world can swallow.
Gunner

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"Remember what Ed Iacobucci said?"

Yes, I definitely regard Ed as the ultimate authority on aviation matters.

WT

flightguy said...

Redtail said,

Have you seen the JRC specs? How do you know they are different? This unit was spec'd by Eclipse. How do you know they didn't use the same, or compatible, interface to that of the Honeywell?

If Eclipse is giving away competitor information, even though they are not labeling it as such in specs, beware of litigation. This will increasingly become an issue as Eclipse made volume promises that were never realized. The result is that suppliers are and have been increasing prices for Eclipse. Eclipse's alternative has been to get rid of them or make the components themselves. Very shaky business.

sparky said...

Redtail,

what you suggest would be reverse engineering by eclipse and JRC to match the proprietary design of Honeywell.

If this were happen in the way you suggest, I would look for the rest of the avionics suppliers to get very nervous, very quickly.

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"Hasn't happened so far."

Of course it has. 2700 orders, no availability for 2+ years despite the high scheduled production rate, sales 7 or 8 times that of the nearest competitors.

Those 2700 orders are from people and firms seeking a cost-effective jet. Duh!

Ken

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"rising costs will drive customers to more cost-effective aircraft."

Hard to diagree with this - history clearly shows this to be the case, but this does not necessarily mean VLJ's/smaller acft. For example, GII to G550, Citation II to CJ3, etc., etc.

For the most part, VLJ's will pull budget minded individuals "up" from older generation piston acft.

WT

EclipseOwner387 said...

Whytech,

For the most part I agree with your assumption BUT Eclipse SN24 that I sold was to a group "downgrading" from a Citation.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Radar systems, both by Eclipse and Honeywell follow ARINC specifications. It should be fairly easy to re-wire from one configuration to the other just by swapping out a few pin assignments.

airtaximan said...

"What you really want is an aircraft that has the lowest cost per mile to operate; that gives the highest probability of making money...The Eclipse being a small airplane is the most cost effective."

If he believes there's demand, he means "per seat mile"... if he's just doing charter, or does not think despite all the money spent on computer systems and his established route system plus his dynamic pricing model that rewards itinerary felxibility plus the imposed stop, he can get more than one or two people on a flight, he's probably right.

And, he's probably just doing some inconvenient form of relatively cramped, expensive and slow charter.

Perhaps he needs another plane/plan? the Plan designed around this plane does not seem to make sense.

Read the article in Fortune, and look at his stated 600 customers, and begin to think about the realities.

WhyTech said...

EO said:

"BUT Eclipse SN24 that I sold was to a group "downgrading" from a Citation"

Hard to draw any conclusion from the data presented. Are they are "downgrading" from a 1976 beater 10,000 hr Citation I, or from an 800 hour 2005 XLS?

In any event, we are talking about trends, which necessarily require looking at many data points to discern.

WT

cj3driver said...

From the Forbes article above:

“ … DayJet has ordered 700 planes, $1 billion worth, with an option for 700 more,… “

What happened to 239+70?

cj3driver said...

Eclipse Aviation Corporation Launches Innovative Purchase Programs for the Eclipse 500 Jet

Eclipse will offer 40 of first 200 aircraft via online auction

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — May 26, 2000 — Eclipse Aviation today announced the launch of its Eclipse 500 purchase programs and its intention to become the first aircraft manufacturer to offer its aircraft via online auctions. This announcement signifies another milestone in Eclipse Aviation's commitment to deliver modern, affordable jet aircraft.

The next-generation Eclipse 500 jet is available for purchase immediately through any one of the company's three purchase programs. Together the Platinum, Gold and Bidders' Club programs meet the needs of a wide range of customers.

"The Eclipse 500 purchase programs reinforce Eclipse Aviation's commitment to deliver next-generation aircraft through the use of high-tech business management practices," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse. "The Internet is an integral part of business today and we expect to leverage it throughout our company. We will offer aircraft both through online auctions as well as through traditional purchase programs."

The auction program - named the Bidders' Club - will enable participants to bid in Internet auctions for the Eclipse 500. Eclipse will auction off 40 of the first 200 delivery positions and a total of at least 100 of the first 1,000 delivery positions to members of the Bidders' Club. A Bidders' Club membership can be purchased for $5,000.

The first customer deliveries of the Eclipse 500 are scheduled to take place in August 2003. Auctions will be held 120 days prior to the date of aircraft delivery.

The Platinum and Gold Level programs are more traditional purchase programs. The Platinum Level program is designed for customers who want a guaranteed early delivery position. Eclipse is offering a limited number of delivery positions in the first two years of production to Platinum Level customers. It requires a deposit of $155,000 and is fully transferable.

The Gold Level program assures a specific delivery position in 2005 or after and requires a deposit of $37,500. The first Gold Level delivery is scheduled to occur in January 2005.

Purchase agreement forms and full details of the programs may be requested at the company's web site, www.eclipseaviation.com. The anticipated list price for the Eclipse 500 is $775,000.

The final list price, performance specifications and standard equipment will be announced in July 2000 at the EAA AirVenture Show in Oshkosh, WI.

cj3driver said...

“ … Eclipse will auction off 40 of the first 200 delivery positions and a total of at least 100 of the first 1,000 delivery positions to members of the Bidders' Club… “

If these terms are still valid, I predict 38 will sell for the minimum bid, or not much more. Definitely not over list price.

I also predict they will NOT sell 100 units using the auction process, unless they allow existing depositors to transfer their funds to “Eclipse dollars”.

Stan Blankenship said...

eo387,

Does the fine print in the Bidder's Club agreement:

- allow Eclipse to set a minimum bid price?

- allow Eclipse to change the quantities to be sold, 40 out of the first 200, 100 out of the first 1,000?

flightguy said...

Now I know why the faithful are turning to fuel.It's an alternative to user fees in the low end of the economy jet market.

http://www.abqtrib.com/news/2007/jul/20/sen-jeff-bingaman-eclipse-aviation-oppose-private-/

EclipseOwner387 said...

Stan,

Yes it has a minimum bid (95% of list is what I remember reading.) Not sure on the second part of your question.

cj3driver said...

... 95% of list.

Interesting timing on the announced increased list price to $1,595,000. 95% of 1.595 = $1,512,250. (about the same as current list)

What would be the other reason to increase the price now? They are sold out 2700 units. They arent making any significant number of new sales over the last few years at the old price. Resales are going for LESS than new orders. Price increase now just forces up the minimum bid for the bidders club. Sad.

cj3driver said...

The base price increase is $82,750. This amount is just about the same number as the Bidders club "Eclipse dollars" the company gave them ... will be taken away.

There may be a bidders club revolt soon.

cj3driver said...

Base price increase is 75K.

flightguy said...

The history of bidding on SN 38 is astronomical, not really. (1) at the initial base price. I hope the bargain hunters are waiting for the last minute on the ValueJet.

cj3driver said...

FG,

Since a jet isnt normally an impuse item, there is no need to wait till the end. The E500 is not a "one of a kind" piece of art with an unknown value.

Since there is an automatic 10 minute extention of the auction past the last bid, there will not be any value in waiting to the last minute. Bidders might as well post the max bid now.

That being said, human nature at auctions is to wait untill the end to bid your limit.

We'll see. but I still think close to minimum on this plane. Especially with a 10K minimum bid increment.

Actually I am suprised there hasnt been at least one bid higher yet. It would be interesting to know if the bidder has "Eclipse dollars" or if it is a new bidder with no Eclipse money.

airtaximan said...

folks,

I hear e-clips is offering a new service.

For $250 you can join "snatch-that-jet-auction"

It places a bid that is one penny higher than the last bid, at the last possible second of the auction.

airtaximan said...

Oh yeah... almost forgot:

for an extra $150 they'' place it for you in e-clip'd-y'again-dollars

nice...

EclipseOwner387 said...

Whytech,

I am being told it was a Bravo.

agroth said...

From niner zulu:

"Agroth,
So is it Epic you are talking about, and is Vijay Mallya their new financial backer?

He seems to have plenty of money ($1.5 billion), likes airplanes, he just happened to be at Oshkosh with Rick Shrameck. Here's an article about him"

Hi niner zulu,

Airtaximan is the one who gave me a heads-up on financing earlier in the thread. I don't know details, though.

Thanks for the link. :-) Mr. Mallya is certainly an interesting guy.

Andy

Ken Meyer said...

paul wrote,

"Alex:

You are truley a dumbass if you think single engine certification is 'simple paperwork'"


I have trouble imagining what on earth bloggers here think they gain by all the ad hominem attacks we're seeing. I'm not picking on you, Paul--yours is only the latest in the series. People only use ad hominem attacks when they cannot make their point without them.

The plain fact is that PWC just contracted with Epic to provide PW600 series engines for use in single engine aircraft, both experimental and certified.

The issue is moot. Alex may not know what precisely is involved in single engine turbofan certification. I do not know. I'll bet you do not know. But none of that matters because PWC knows and they've contracted to do it! The company has contracted to do precisely what some here have said will not be practical for them to do.

Ken

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

In the second quarter of 2007 Hawker Beech delivered 30 business jets and 34 King Air turboprops. With the King Air you get a lot of room for passengers and baggage, an excellent range, good speed, usable wx radar, and it can carry a ton of ice. Put two highly trained pilots up front and you are as safe as you can get with your feet off the ground. Well-maintained, it will last forever and then some. Tell me again why ANYONE would put themselves or their family or their employees in an Eclipse?

Niner Zulu said...

My comments on Mike Press Journal #7:

I thought it was honest and well written.

Glad to hear the side stick is a non-issue.

The autopilot rolling 2 degrees left & right would drive me crazy.

Quality of the fit and finish of the interior is as expected i.e. disappointing. Same as the exterior.

Bottom line - the jet, like the company, are not ready for the market. "You get what you pay for" doesn't even apply here, because you don't get what you pay for. No GPS, no RVSM, no FIKI, no AvioNG, cracking windows, company inexperience, lack of service centers, company willingness to misrepresent its progress so that 60% progress payments will be released, etc.

If I ever get "jet fever" so bad I am willing to overlook the important stuff then someone, please, shoot me ;-).

Stan Blankenship said...

AlexA said...

Yes I know what is involved in ETOPs cert. If you think ETOPs and amending a TCDS has any relationship you have your head up your tailpipe. Instead of throwing insults do a little bit of homework. Fact P&W announced they are supporting the single engine EPIC with the PW600 series. P&W will amend the TCDS to achieve this.

As a side note I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Sam Williams many moons ago. Dr. William’s philosophy was that Williams International would not allow any airframe maker to use one engine until the fleet of engines had accumulated 100,000 hours of service. I don’t know if this is still the policy of Williams or if P&W has a similar standing policy.

Stan Blankenship said...

Please keep the discussion civil.

WhyTech said...

9Z said:

""You get what you pay for" doesn't even apply here, because you don't get what you pay for. No GPS, no RVSM, no FIKI, no AvioNG, cracking windows, company inexperience, lack of service centers, company willingness to misrepresent its progress so that 60% progress payments will be released, etc."

Someone tell me again why people are actually taking delivery of these things? Oh yeah, they're cheap.

WT

Ken Meyer said...

niner zulu wrote, regarding Dave Green's nice firsthand account of flying the Eclipse,

"Quality of the fit and finish of the interior is as expected i.e. disappointing. Same as the exterior."

Gosh, I read a different story than you. The one I read said,

"After hearing all the issues about fit and finish of the exterior of the Eclipse, I was very impressed with Mike’s steed. The paint finish was excellent, and everything looked just as “professional” as any exec-jet."

Dave Green did comment, as many have, that the interior fit and finish is not 100% up to snuff, and they're working on that.

His conclusion:

"If you really want the feel, capacity, volume, Mercedes look of a big jet, with all the inherent quality and substance then look somewhere else like a Citation. But of course be prepared to spend 2 or 3 or even 4 million dollars more. For your million-six with Eclipse, you get a great handling (more on that later), sexy looking, fast, high flying, 4/5 place JET!! But it is not a baby G-4 and you need to make sure your expectations are calibrated.

"I think the Eclipse 500 really DELIVERS on the value equation better than any other jet aircraft available now or in the near future."


Ken

airsafetyman said...

There was the head of a corporate flight department who when asked about his job, said "We don't fly airplanes, we fly people". It is really time to get serious here. With the Eclipse you are talking about an unproven airframe, matched up haphazardly with God-knows-who avionics, with a weather radar not even in existance yet, supported by a company who may or may not be in business tomorrow. A buyer would be much better off getting a good used airplane with a clean maintenance history and no damage than sink money into this....thing.

Ken Meyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Meyer said...

airsafetyman wrote,

"With the King Air you get a lot of room for passengers and baggage, an excellent range, good speed, usable wx radar, and it can carry a ton of ice...Tell me again why ANYONE would put themselves or their family or their employees in an Eclipse?"

You bet; let's compare the C90 to the Eclipse:

1. A new C90 costs almost twice as much as an Eclipse. An old one requires a lot of maintenance and is, ahem, "old" :)

2. A C90 has less range than an Eclipse

3. A C90 is considerably slower than an Eclipse. C90B normal cruise is about 235 KTAS. The Eclipse normal cruise is 320-370 KTAS depending upon altitude.

4. A C90 burns, on average, 25% more fuel per hour; it burns 80% more fuel per mile!

5. A C90 has funny spinning things on the engines

6. A C90 costs about twice as much every mile you fly it

7. A C90 has a service ceiling of about 29,000 feet. It will be slugging it out in weather the Eclipse easily tops.

8. A C90 climbs at less than 2/3 the rate of the Eclipse with both engines operating. With an engine out, has half the OEI climbrate of the Eclipse. How safe is it when you cannot meet the required departure gradient in bad weather?

9. A C90 isn't a jet; it cruises just 10% faster than my 340 for all the extra expense entailed.

If you want a lot of cabin space (but not that much useful load), a C90 is a great choice provided you don't want to go very fast. Otherwise, there are a lot of good reasons for picking an Eclipse over it.

And by the way, C90's are not accident-free by any stretch. I quickly found 14 accidents they were involved in since the year 2000. That's a fair amount for the number on the registry.

Ken

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"You bet; let's compare the C90 to the Eclipse:"

Ken,

How is your knowledge of aviation history? The King Air 90 series went into production in the mid sixties (that 40 years ago, Ken) and is still in production, with about 2000 manufactured so far. The new C90 GTi with Collins ProLine 21 avionics just recently introduced will likely extend the useful life of this airframe a decade or more longer. People like this airplane and continue to consider it a good value. Other jets and turboprops have come and gone, but the King Air series motors on successfully. Lets see where the E-clips EA-5xx is in 40 years.

Someone as expert as yourself on aviation matters should also know that accident *rates* are the relevant measure of airframe safety. Even a low rate will produce more accidents with a large fleet. E-clips seems to be preserving its safety record by having virtually no fleet.

WT

twinpilot said...

Nice warm and fuzzy article from David Green. The true airspeed was conspicuously absent from the pilot report at 17,500. The preliminary performance chart says about 260 knots on 500 lbs/hr.but it would be nice to see what they were getting. I also thought it was nice that the 496 only blocked the view for one of the pilots flying VFR.
During the AD which says two pilots, and vfr only, I think, what are the pilot requirements for the second pilot? Is he required to have a type rating, or is a multi engine private pilot OK? At the very least I would think he should be current in the airplane meaning three take-offs and landings etc. For that matter how is that done in a Lear if the co-pilot is not typed. Maybe there is an exemption for training with an instructor etc. I would guess that no single engine only rated pilot could take a demo ride with Mike Press.

Old Troll said...

Ken Meyer said...

I have trouble imagining what on earth bloggers here think they gain by all the ad hominem attacks... People only use ad hominem attacks when they cannot make their point without them."


If your repeated harping on screen names isn't an ad hominem attack, what is?!?!?

I like you Kenny. You make me laugh. And you amuse me too.

I think the fact that you're at the top of the list on the club website answer the previous questions regarding affiliation.

airtaximan said...

I figger'd there was something funny about the Mike Press report...

http://www.eclipse500club.org/index.php/profiles/more/432/

Founding member of the E-500 fan club.

BTW, Ken is this guy you?

http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Kenneth_Myers

I know the spelling is different, but he sure sounds like you... many promo articles on the e-500...same tone, POV as you...and a self-declared expert on everything from jets to mini-storage to eye surgery.

Not one spelling mistake to be seen, either.

Your little fan club seems to be prettttttty hard at work, there Kenny. Maybe you got some of them there e-clips-dollars...?

I for one am not surprised Mike PRess is not writing about the aftermarket or how e-clips is really doing anymore... not one bit.

airtaximan said...

david green link:

http://www.eclipse500club.org/
index.php/profiles/more/432

ken myers link:

http://ezinearticles.com/
?expert=Kenneth_Myers

Ken Meyer said...

planet-ex wrote,

"Neither of you have noticed that PWC is providing the 600 series engine for the Victory which is an EXPERIMENTAL aircraft."

No; that's wrong.

Epic has announced the Victory will be certified. The PWC press release quotes Rich Schrameck:

"We have selected a PW615 variant to power the current Victory VLJ, with the goal of developing a PW617-powered, fully certified version of the Victory."

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken,

I agree that if Pratt says they will provide an engine for a single application, they WILL do whatever it takes (and they know better than any of us what it will take) to get it done.

Its a silly point, at this point.

You are correct.

AlexA said...

PlanetEx,

No argument from me but let’s not quote just part of the release…

“P&WC’s market-leading PW600 engine family is the perfect choice for the Victory VLJ,” said Rick Schrameck, chairman and CEO of Epic. “We have selected a PW615 variant to power the current Victory VLJ, with the goal of developing a PW617-powered, fully certified version of the Victory.” By the way there is no TCDS for the PW617 yet. It should make very interesting ready once it's done.

It’s nice to see that this Blog is so far off topic.

Old Troll said...

Kenny,

I forgot to mention that you're free to ignore my comments because you "don't like my attitude". I'll try to be more respectful of your wisdom and breadth of expertise in the future.

Sincerely,
Mr. Troll

Old Troll said...

Alexa has a point, back to the blog topic. Why did McNamara leave Eclipse? Was it time for another scapegoat or did he have a real reason?

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

alexa said:

"but will make profit on everything else going out the door"

Not intended as a "blast" but as an observation:

I can see how each unit after Platinum *could* have a positive contribution margin (sales price less variable costs), but "profitable" requires fixed expenses to be more than covered, and this depends on production rate. If E-clips production rate continues to be low, no units will be profitable.

WT

The Real Frank Castle said...

Kenny sez.....

"5. A C90 has funny spinning things on the engines"

Haa ha ha ah hahaha ! That's great ! That has to be the funniest non-tech redneck remark you've made this year !

Mouth-breathing comics beware ! Ken is on a roll !

AlexA said...

Whytech, Of course you are right. My long standing belief was that DayJet was an instrumental part of Eclipse’s long term success(I along with ATM and many questioned the business model and survivability of DayJet). I was taken back by the information that at this juncture Eclipse would be better off without them if it wasn’t for the bad press. I was always under the impression that in order for Eclipse to “make money” they had to deliver 500+ aircrafts a year.

EclipseOwner387 said...

My pro pilot (C130 Captain for Air National Guard) flew in Mike Press's plane recently. He had a similar review as David Green. Was blown away at how quiet and responsive it is. Commented on how solid the suspension felt on takeoff roll.

The secondary market is very active. Oshkosh has upped the level of interest even more. For some reason, a good amount of the interest is international.

My plane was used to provide at least 20 demo flights in Appleton and performed flawlessly according to Eclipse. I am aware of at least one of the individuals that took a demo ride is now scouring the secondary market to buy one. So at least one prospect was impressed with my bird!

;-)

airsafetyman said...

Ken,

You have absolutely no idea what the total costs to operate the Eclipse is because there is no established market value. A low purchase price up front and zero resell value does not add up to a cheap airplane or low total costs. It is highly doubtful that your toy airplane will be routinely cleared by ATC for the high flight levels where your imaginary fuel savings are supposed to occur. The total costs for a King Air is a known factor; for the Eclipse it is Sammy Davis Jr. doing a vaudville soft-shoe. I have seen plenty of King Airs with paint and interiors done by quality shops that were better than Beech put in originally, and Beech's original quality has always been exceptionally high. There seems to be plenty of discrepancies on the Eclipse judging from this site. How can you not even PAINT a new airplane with care? Any of the King Air models are quality airplanes; they are a wonderful choice for anyone buying safe and reliable air transportation. "Safe" and "reliable" might be two words you want to whisper in Vern's ear.

airtaximan said...

Alexa:

"Mr. X shared that if wasn’t for the bad press that DayJet would cause by going away Eclipse would prefer for DayJet not to exist at this juncture."

So soon, they will have their wish. What's the problem? The solution seems to be deliver the planes as fast as you can, and blame them for not taking them fast enough. Ed admits he is searching for debt financing for the fleet - without it, Vern could easily throw them under the bus.

Instead he diverts and build the con-jet?

I doubt every statement in your post regarding Dayjet and e-clips' preference.

It makes more sense for e-clips to wish for Dayjet's success, and have their mutual success linked...if E-clips should have to insist on rasing Dayjets price by a few hundred thousand dollars to make money, remain in business and continue to supply Dayjet with planes, it will make zero difference to Dayjet. The initial capital cost is dogcrap compared with ongoing operating costs.

None of what you've posted makes sense. In fact if Dayjet were to be gone a little while ago, so would e-clips. There would be no excuse for any sizeable order book. The order book would be so small after all this time and money, no one would have invested. They needed Dayjet - and they continue to really need Dayjet.

-many here have argued that investors etc... HAVE ejoyed transparency into the Dayjet order (the real number, not the 229+70 BS number they and e-clips promoted for years) - if this is so, how could anyone not see that e-clips would go out of business supplying Dayjet at a low-low price?

BTW, the suppliers bought into a curve... their parts/assemblies/systems are priced according to volume. Even Vern states that they could break even at 500 units per year. Why do you now say this is not true?

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see anything in what you wrote that makes sense - given the history.

- I can see one point... if somehow the e-clips IPO does not come before the demise of Dayjet, or a replacement product (con-jet) with a fat non-air-taxi order book (private pilots, single, under $700k should create such an order book) e-clips is sunk.

AlexA said...

ATM said “I doubt every statement in your post regarding Dayjet and e-clips' preference.” ATM you have every right to doubt it. I too was taken back. Mr. X has no reason or motive to lie to me he has moved on to greener pastures and I don’t think he holds any grudges.

As we should have all learned by now, at least in my book, Vern gives you the part of the information he wants you to have. If you have time maybe you can try to find Vern’s actual quote. I’m paraphrasing but I believe you are correct when you state Vern stated they can break even at 500. Notice he did not say that 500 was the break even point.

I think even you would agree that I too don’t believe in the DayJet model. Only time will tell.

AlexA said...

ATM,

One more thought. You must admit that Eclipse will be Pratt and Whitney’s largest customer even if they only deliver 200 aircrafts in the next 6-8 months. By my book Eclipse has delivered 80 PW 600 engines to date versus 32 for Cessna.

airtaximan said...

Alexa:

Pratt & Whitney or Pratt & Whitney Canada?

There's a big difference.

Also, units or dollar volume?

Also, contribution to net earnings, or sales?

The parent UT = $47 billion sales
Pratt & Whitney = $11 billion sales
PW Canada = $790 million sales

I can't imagine P&W cares about that much about E-clips... 80 engines at $150k = $12 million - perhaps losing money on every one so far, maybe making a small contribution to EBITDA.

I think your statement regarding Dayjet being gone helping E-clips might actually be more relevant to PWCanada - if e-clips would vanish....

Who knows? I think Vern forward priced his plane based on a huge market, invented the air taxi story and Numbus, then Dayjet to create the mystique of a market and reason for volume. Without the volume, none of his business makes sense... its a small plane, designed to be as light as possible, not durable, and its only cheap becasue of a pricing scheme based in fantasy.

Its bad for everyone if he tries to produce a few hundred, and then ball game over.

Ken Meyer said...

airsafetyman wrote,

"It is highly doubtful that your toy airplane will be routinely cleared by ATC for the high flight levels where your imaginary fuel savings are supposed to occur."

It could be you are not totally familiar with the fuel economy of the Eclipse 500 down low. At FL300 and longrange cruise, the Eclipse achieves better than 5 nm/gal, which is perhaps 60 or 70% better fuel efficiency than a King Air C90. And the C90 flies 50 knots slower than the Eclipse at those settings!

Unless a guy needed all that extra cabin volume, why would anybody choose the C90?

Ken

AlexA said...

ATM,

I need your accounting acumen for my company. Are you available? Sorry Bub but if Eclipse manages to deliver anywhere close to two hundred Eclipses they will eclipse (sorry) every other airframe builder.

Mirage00 might be right about this blog. Every day it appears that Eclipse is making slow but sure progress on the iou list. Haters pay attention please check Pitot Static AD, RVSM and FAA approved aero-mods off the list. Dinosaurs please pay attention now we need to focus on FIKI and NG.

AlexA said...

Ken said “It could be you are not totally familiar with the fuel economy of the Eclipse 500 down low.”

Ken I hate to disagree with you, the dinosaurs are familiar they just refuse to accept it. Same thing happen during the ice age, the dinosaurs refused to accept the reality that it was getting cold around them and you know the rest of the story;)

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