Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oshkosh 2007

The year of the One Engine Jet.

Single engine turbo-props have been around for years; most offering impressive performance numbers, good economy and good safety records. And in spite of the fact most turbo-props can carry bigger loads out of shorter runways and with greater range, they are still prop driven and just don't have the panache that comes with owning a "jet".

Piper, Cirrus, Epic, Diamond and Eclipse all have new SEJ's in various stages of development and all were being promoted at Oshkosh. What accounts for the emergence of the one-holers? The answer is quite simple, economics.

In the early days of commercial jet aviation, 4-engine jets such as the 707, 720, DC-8, and 880 reigned supreme. Then along came the 3-holers, the 727, DC-10 and 1011 all of which offered better economy and replaced their predecessors for many routes. Eventually, nearly all of these aircraft were sent to the bone-yard by more economic twin engine transports, the 737, 757, 767, 777 and now the 787.

Here are some reasons why fewer is better:

Ceteris paribis - one large engine producing twice the thrust as a small engine will cost less than a pair...pylons/nacelles for a big engine along with systems for one large engine will cost less than the same for two half-size engines.

Again ceteris paribus - bigger engines have better fuel specifics than smaller engines and the cost to overhaul one big engine is far less than the cost to overhaul two engines half the size.

Likewise, one large engine will weigh less than two half-size engines.

Yet nothing is free, and the price is safety; fly a single engine airplane with an engine out and you better figure out where you are going to land - quick. But obviously a significant number of buyers discount the risk and willingly fly everyday in pistons and turboprop singles, so why not a SEJ? At least five companies are betting there is a market.

What is interesting in the five offerings is the manner in which the designers have chosen to deal with the engine installation. While the thrust needs to be on centerline, the choice is pretty much limited to on top of the tailcone or buried in the tailcone.

Each configuration has its advantages and disadvantages. Bury it in the fuselage, then worry about ducting and getting sufficient airflow. Mount it on top of the tailcone, then deal with the pitch down moment with the application of thrust, and manipulating the tail feathers so that they are not in the jet wash. There is no perfect solution.

Piper's configuration elicits the most questions. Not only does it have the highest thrust line, it is going to take some pretty heavy and expensive machined beams to carry the vertical tail loads around the engine. The situation will repeat itself at the attachment of the stub vertical tail to the fuselage since this will also be carrying engine loads into the fuselage. Though the arrangement looks good, my view is they are paying an unnecessary aerodynamic and weight penalty with the engine located at the present location.

Epic and Diamond have elected to bury the engine in fuselage. This gives them the option of doing whatever they want with the horizontal/vertical tail configuration. Their challenge, ducting the inlet air.

Both Cirrus and Eclipse decided to locate the engine on top of the tailcone. The Cirrus engine/nacelle combination is semi-buried in the fuselage and more conformal to the fuselage contours. Cirrus will also need to provide ducting for the inlet air.

Eclipse opted for a nacelle on a pylon. To keep the thrust line low, they severely necked down the fuselage aft of the cabin section. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what Eclipse came up with IMHO is not real pretty.

The high centerline thrust on both the Eclipse and Cirrus designs drives the need for a V-tail. In theory, a V-tail can result in less drag and less weight than that of a conventional tail. In the case of the Eclipse, the tail surfaces are quite large given the short coupling of the wing to tail location. There is nothing wrong with this compromise...better too large than too small.

Here is another area to watch with the single engine jets, a couple of quirks in the FAR's. Unless the FAA changes the rules, single engine airplanes need to stall at 61 kts (or less) or face higher crash worthiness standards for the seats (FAR 23.49, FAR 23.565(d)). Also, single engine airplanes are required to be tested for spin recovery (FAR 23.221).

A clinical definition of a non-recoverable spin is when the inertia forces in a spin can not be overcome by aerodynamic recovery forces. With full fuel in the wings, all of these designs will develop quite a bit of inertia in a spin and it is problematic whether any could recover using conventional aero controls. While I am not 100% sure, I seem to recall that the FAA concluded that in the case of Cirrus, the ballistic parachute provided an equivalent level of safety in the event of a spin which eliminated the spin testing requirements.

So perhaps all of these designs may end up with parachutes.

On a more general view of Oshkosh 2007, attendance appeared to be down and a pilot friend remarked he did not think there were near as many airplanes on the infield as previous years. I suspect high fuel prices are beginning to bite which tends to make the case for a single engine jet.

212 comments:

1 – 200 of 212   Newer›   Newest»
airtaximan said...

Ken:

You should not tell someone how silly they might look... in the event they are wrong... and in this case, I'm not sure anyone's opinion regarding how retarded the bidders/auction club is, could be called wrong.

How about your claim we'll all be eating crow when a fully functioning Aviong system is on display installed in a flying e-500 aircraft at Oshkosh?

Were you right, or wrong?

EclipseOwner387 said...

Stan,

The early POH's for the Cirrus had standard spin recovery techniques and the parachute as the backup. IIRC Cirrus changed to the parachute ONLY approved method becuase they felt it was safer to have one method during a crisis and valuable time could be wasted trying to recover.

airtaximan said...

Stan:

I love the e-clips spin machine... they've given us such great names for their shennanigans:

eclipse = e-clips
the customers = die-hards
Avio-NG = Aviong or AvioNfG

and now...

the conceptjet = conjet

wonderful stuff!

EclipseOwner387 said...

ATMAN,

Ken is right. Eclipse established the Bidder's Club between 2000-2002. They have over 100 members. The top members have near 6 figures banked to use toward an auctioned Eclipse. This isn't just a newly thought of stunt. That is Ken's point in response to Shane's backlash.

Basicaly this was another way for Eclipse to raise capital for those not willing to take a position but would like the right to bid on one at a later date.

Gunner said...

EO-
I think AT's issue related to lecturing others regarding knowing what they're talking about.

That record will simply have to speak for itself.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?

ContentBlockID=c32cdc4b-ca24-4f73-

bae3-f777ed0b9184&

nice bedtime reading... its got everything. A once upon a time... some scary stuff to keep you interested, a little tap dancing here, a couple of songs... and of course... they lived happily ever after.

OH YEAH, don't forget an auction AND a price increase, to compensate for material and supplier cost increases! Another $75k should cover it!

YEAH, Rrriiigghhht.

airtaximan said...

EO, yup, see my initial post on it...

I called it a failed scheme from a long time ago.

I admit, I lost the bubble on the point Ken was trying to make, but I thought Shane was basically claiming the auction thing is a smelly mess.

Hey, last thing I want to do is insult Ken... eventhough he's the last person here who should be calling anyone silly-looking.

EO, how are sales going? I figure with the price increase, Controller listings at 42 and holding, and the "auction", plus the scut regarding the littler-jet... you could probably be in the market for another, to be sold in a month or two at $100k profit.

Someone out there's got doo-doo dribbling down their pantlegs, I'm sure...

buy low, sell high... just don't hold on until the music stops, the auction ends, or the littler-jet goes on sale for $600,000.

EclipseOwner387 said...

ATMAN,

You can still buy at the lower price until he end of August! Better hurry!

;-)

airsafetyman said...

Stan's comment on engine location for SE jets was interesting. Seems the L-39 Albatros has it right with the engine in the tail and shoulder-mounted fuselage intakes that stop well before the leading edge of the wing for FOD protection. It looks nice and works well enough for aerobatic teams to use the L-39.

To me the most significant news was the Cirrus announcement that they will market the European Fk 14 as a LSA. It puts the Cessna entry to shame; its something that actually looks like it would be a blast to fly.

JetA1 said...

EO387:

Cirrus could NOT demonstrate spin characteristics per the regs. They had to get an ELOS (equivalent level of safety) exemption to get TC. Google "Cirrus ELOS" and you'll find this type of stuff detailing it:

From CAA Type Acceptance Report
TAR 3/21B/17
The Cirrus is the first type certificated aircraft equipped with a ballistic recovery parachute (called Cirrus Airframe Parachute System CAPS) as basic equipment, and a Special Condition was applied by the FAA to this feature. In addition, an equivalent level of safety finding was required by Cirrus to allow the provision of CAPS to be used in lieu of meeting stall recovery criteria.


Look for the same type of thing with TheJet.

andy said...

Lets see they are auctioning off number 39
Looks like we have the first round of losers in the delivery prediction contest.

airtaximan said...

Andy,

all that means for sure is that no one ever bought number 39...

should tell you something about the delivery positions, their numbers, and the order book.

Psst... if I remember correctly, since the early days, there were "many" open positions "reserved" for the bidders club (and what a club it must be!). Afterall, they need something to bid on, right?

How many of these BS "orders" backed with $5k "non-refundable" "deposits" do you think they've counted in their order book number of 2700?

- the hits just keep on coming!

airtaximan said...

the "e-clips dollars" are a wonderful way to encourage folks to bid...

Some say there's $80k or so of "credits" associated with some of these e-clips-dollars...

So the planes can be auctioned off for $1.48 million, and someone will only pay around $1.4 for the plane.

Nice way to destroy the aftermarket and encourage new factory discounted sales, that you really can't show have been discounted.

Oh yeah - since you've been so great at waiting around and accumulating the e-clips-bucks, we'll throw in a price INCREASE to wipe out your e-clips-cash.

Nice.

Better jump in now. They might increase JetInComplete for you valued customers too... OH yeah, they already did this.

EclipseOwner387 said...

jeta1,

I went back to my original source on this and I did have my history wrong. I have sent Stan a copy of the old POH page and he can decide whether to make available or not. What it said was the Chute is the only approved method. It went on to give instructions on how to try and recover using basic spin recovery techniques IF you feel you have enough time to give it a try. Furthermore, on a cirrus forum, mutiple pilots have claimed to enter spins and recover using pretty standard spin techniques. One of the pilots is an industry reporter and claims to have spun the Cirrus aggressively. Said he would report on it to put to rest misinformation but I am not sure if he ever did. Sorry for making the mistake and thanks for pointing it out.

EO

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"no one ever bought number 39..."

That's just wrong, AT. I know the owner of S/N 39.

Ken

sparky said...

Good day at Osh, despite the showers....

Made it by the eclipse booth today. Really neat stickers on that bird. Very impressive. Was told by the sales rep that with all seats filled, the eclipse has an effective range of about 650nm. Interiors look like crap. and that's beeing nice.

There was talk about dayjet switching orders from the -500 to the new jet. Trust me, that's NOT gonna' happen. The cabin is MAYBE 5 1/2 feet in length, from the aft bulkhead to the control panel...MAX. The only thing your gonna fit in the back is a couple of small children. The interior on the new aircraft was really nice. Makes sense, as it was done by a company that specializes in interior modifications.

Of all the new jets coming on-line soon, the best would have to be Epic's line. Really impressive line up. Dieter was on to answer any and all questions. Plan on spending some time at Cirrus and Piper tomorrow.

EclipseOwner387 said...

ATMAN,

It is SN38 that is being Auctioned. SN39 is the first with the AeroMods.

EclipseOwner387 said...

And the Opening Bid is:

$1,633,945.47 USD (95%) of list.

Stan Blankenship said...

EO,

Blogspot won't let me add a jpg here.

I would guess that under most conditions, normal spin recovery techniques would work fine for the Cirrus. Full gross and an aft CG might be a different story or perhaps the recovery would take longer than what is allowed by the reg's.

If there is an error in your statement it was assuming the chute was a back up device when in eyes of the FAA it is primary.

Ken Meyer said...

sparky wrote,

"Was told by the sales rep that with all seats filled, the eclipse has an effective range of about 650nm."

Can't imagine why anyone would tell you that. The specs released by Eclipse Aviation call for a range of 1250 nm with 45 minute reserve while carrying 739 pounds.

Maybe you heard them wrong.

Ken

P.S. I sat in the back of the ECJ this morning. I thought it had plenty of room once the pilot and co-pilot put their seats in normal position. It seemed about as roomy as a standard automobile rear seat.

The pilot and co-pilot seats slide pretty far back to ensure good access. If you judge the rear seating area of the ECJ with the front seats all the way back, you don't get an honest feel for the actual space available.

FlightCenter said...

Vern Raburn - "The Eclipse 500 is essentially future-proof," Raburn said. "Avio NG is software-driven. The hardware is already there; this translates to infinite capability."

Eclipse Updates Status Of 500 Mods, Pitot/AOA Issue At AirVenture 2007

Surgeon General's warning to CEOs. Claiming any product is "future-proof" is fraught with peril and has been shown to be dangerous to both company and CEO's health.

Folks should ask Eclipse if the WAAS GPS hardware is really 'already there' in the aircraft certified to date. What Serial number aircraft will able to fly a WAAS LPV approach?

How about the radar? Are the current aircraft being certified and delivered with Honeywell's radar?

What serial number aircraft will come equipped with a JRC radar?

BTW, the switch from Honeywell to JRC radar was predicted on this blog back in April.

"JRC is a leading manufacturer of aviation and communication equipment, and we are pleased to partner with them to continue Eclipse's guiding principle of innovation and ensuring the Eclipse 500 value proposition."

Translation - The Honeywell radar is better, but we pay a lot less for the JRC radar.

BTW - Here is a link to JRC's website. It makes no mention of being a leading manufacturer of aviation equipment.

The website says - "Japan Radio Co., Ltd has several divisions that manufacture a variety of products for Medical, Semiconductor, Microwave technologies, Vessel and Land Communications and Telecommunications applications, Military, as well as OEM contracts with other manufacturers and distributors worldwide."

http://www.jrcamerica.com/about.asp
http://www.jrc.co.jp/eng/index.html

Has JRC ever developed a certified avionics product? I don't see any evidence of it on their website. Who is getting the TSO for the radar? I'd be surprised if the plan is for JRC to secure the TSO.

"The Honeywell unit standard in the Eclipse thus far will be available an extra-cost option, Raburn said."

Translation - This allows us to raise the price of the aircraft without having to change the base price of the aircraft.

EclipseOwner387 said...

I usually keep my radar turned off and use stormscope and XM nexrad. I am considering removing the radar and radar pod to speed up my jetprop and increase useful load. RDR2000 doesn't cut it for me or any of my ATP pilot friends that have tried to use it. I think we have better tools for GA today - at least with the last two on board radar units I have tinkered with. If others think I am wrong I would welcome the opinion. I don't want to reduce safety but I don't trust what comes back on radar.

EclipseOwner387 said...

FLightCenter,

I think Aero-News may have a typo. My understanding is that Peg flew my plane (SN28) to Appleton at 41K FT (at least on the first leg.) I think 41 is still being built and it would have the AeroMods. My plane has been in Appleton doing demo flights this week and not physically at Osh. I thought it would be on-site.

Ken Meyer said...

EO387 wrote,

"My plane has been in Appleton doing demo flights this week and not physically at Osh. I thought it would be on-site."

I was hoping to see your plane, so I was disappointed that it isn't actually at Oshkosh. But I was told I could take a ride in it if I wanted to go to Appleton--in addition to your plane's very busy schedule with prospective customers, Eclipse has been squeezing in a few rides for existing customers too.

As you know, the Eclipse performs very well and is a lot of fun to fly. I think the company has discovered that a test ride can be a great tonic for whatever might ail a customer :)

Ken

EclipseOwner387 said...

Ken,

I am hearing that SN28 has been very busy which means dollars for EO!!

:-D

Ken Meyer said...

FC wrote,

"This allows us to raise the price of the aircraft without having to change the base price of the aircraft."

In fairness, you might recall that, from the start, the company promised "color weather radar"--the contracts never promised that it would come from any particular manufacturer.

The new radar will be Eclipse-branded--designed and spec'd by Eclipse--though the hardware is provided by JRC.

The company has been testing the new system side-by-side with the RDR-2000 unit it will replace to make sure it performs as promised. Reports are that the JRC units meet or exceed performance figures of the RDR-2000 radar.

Some customers may (legimately) view the change as a downgrade, but if the new unit performs as well or better and also holds the cost of the Eclipse 500 down, I see it is a reasonable move.

Ken

EclipseOwner387 said...

A good read on GA radar...

http://www.nwas.org/committees/avnwxcourse
/radar_realities.htm

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"no one ever bought number 39..."That's just wrong, AT. I know the owner of S/N 39."
Typical Ken misdirection. Someone made a valid point about Serial Number 38 and you seize on the typo of 39 vs 38. That's substantive.


Ken said:
"Can't imagine why anyone would tell you that. The specs released by Eclipse Aviation call for a range of 1250 nm with 45 minute reserve while carrying 739 pounds.
Maybe you heard them wrong."

After what you just reported about the availability of D-Jet #50 something, I see a bit MORE of double standard, impacted by credibility gap here. Wonder why?

EO387 said:
"If others think I am wrong I would welcome the opinion. "
I'm gonna have to disagree. I've only done about 40 hours in Nexrad; but it was an ACTIVE 40 hours. It is absolutely a quantum leap for on-board flight planning. BUT, when "shooting the gap", take-off or landing, I'll stick with my color radar. Weather just changes too quick when you're moving 3 (or 10) miles per minute and Nexrad is just not bomb-proof as to its update rate.
Gunner

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"I sat in the back of the ECJ this morning. I thought it had plenty of room once the pilot and co-pilot put their seats in normal position.

No doubt. I mean, no doubt that you find it roomy, comfy and capable. After all, it's an Eclipse. You're a major unsecured creditor. 'Nuff said.

Ken said:
"The company has been testing the new system side-by-side with the RDR-2000 unit it will replace to make sure it performs as promised."
And this would be the same company that monitored Williams on the original Engine and Avidyne on AVIO? The same company that has given us E-50X Autothrottle, IFR flight, RVSM flight, FIKI and 1600 miles of range?

I feel safer already. Screw the Old Guard. There's a new Sheriff in town!

Gunner

fred said...

am i reading something wrong ??

if you look at EA website , they still claim a 1300 Nm Max IFR ....

and on auction spec's , it became only a 1124 Nm !!!

is that why they sell it thru an auction (downward?!)

or is that a typo ?? (if they makes mistakes on such details , what next ?? )


E-clips $ ...

remind me of poland at the end of the soviet era ...

the official money was (and is ) zlotys , but lots of polish had relatives in USA sending them $bills in letters ...

so the soviet-polish had to invent the "polish-dollars" (it was real banknote ) like that anybody getting real US$ thru the mail could put an add in newspaper "Dollars for sale" (foreign currencies did allow peoples to buy mostly anything in special shop where everything had to be paid in hard-currency ..) without having the police obliged to arrest everybody getting thoses dollars ...;-)) and to the benefit of polish eco just by not acknoledging this sting ....

just hope E-clips $ are not meant as "not -to-see-reality" as it was in poland ....

fred said...

by the way ...

what a wonderful world , we are living in ....

a firm devellop a concept with the help of others firms , without spending any money or working hours , everthing is taken by others firms ....

the only task the group of companies left for the first one = to get the glory and the benfits .....

what a wonderfull world ....

airsafetyman said...

There have been several recent fatal accidents attributed to pilots trying to pick their way through TRW lines using the XM feature. The information XM provides is several minutes old and cells can generate in your path very quickly. I would suggest getting a GOOD Wx radar and toss out the stormscope and the XM. Whatever you do, DON'T try to go through a line using the XM.

sparky said...

no ken, I wasn't mistaken. And no, the rep wasn't wrong. and Once more, NO ken, eclipse never claimed that range at fulol load. Nice mis-direction though.

I believe the range claim was based on one-two hundred pound pilot and two(or maybe three) one hundred and seventy pound pax. they never said anything about with all seats loaded.

Now I don't know about the rest of you, but i haven't weighed 170 since my early twenties. And i'm not that big a guy.

One of the nice really impressive things I like about the Epic line is that ALL of the range numbers come at MTOW, meaning that no matter what you do, your going to get the range out of the aircraft.

Very un-eclipse like. very transparent, very true.

Off to see Piper and Cirrus.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gunner,

Just to make it clear I use the stormscope as my active indicator with the nexrad as confirmation of th picture. I understand storms shift and move more quickly than nexrad can be kept up to date but I will say that the stormscope has never led me astray and if I can't find sizable gaps then we would divert. Did you read the webpage I posted on GA radar?

airtaximan said...

from AvWeb.. I guess it didn't take too long for the hype to begin....

ECLIPSE 500 UPDATE: OH YEAH, THAT OTHER AIRPLANE
Eclipse held its second press conference of the week at EAA AirVenture on Wednesday morning to talk about the Eclipse 500 very light jet program, but CEO Vern Raburn is clearly still enamored of his brand-new single-engine Eclipse Concept Jet. "The response to the ECJ has just been spectacular," he said, in opening the conference. "It has far, far, far exceeded our expectations." The most common reaction from pilots who climb into the cockpit of the mockup, he said, is, "They say, 'This is the airplane I always wanted.' It elicits a very emotional response. It's staggering." Raburn then went on to update the progress on the Eclipse 500 twinjet. New copies of the 500 now on the assembly line will be delivered with a new color weather radar system made by Japan Radio Company, instead of the now-former Honeywell system. The JRC system will be more accurate and more reliable, he said. Also, Raburn said S/N 00038 will be auctioned off online via eBay, and whoever places the winning bid can take the jet home the next week, as soon as they deliver the check. Bidders must place a refundable deposit of $5,000. The auction opens at July 30 at 11 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. on August 10 (Eastern Time)


Ken, I meant the SN of the plane being auctioned off... you know...whatever number that was.

BTW... WHERE ARE THE FULLY FUNCTIONAL AVIONG EQUIPT E-500'S YOU CLAIMED WE'D SEE IN A FLYING E-500 AT THE SHOW, KEN?
(SECOND TIME ASKED... NO ANSWER)

airtaximan said...

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!

EclipseOwner387 said...

ATMAN,

Aero-News excerpt on Avio NG and Oshkosh:

"The big question on many people's minds concerned the status of the Avio NG avionics system. Billson reports two aircraft have the new system installed -- one just flew for the first time this week, and is due to arrive at AirVenture Thursday -- and pilots report no major problems with the system in under three hours of flight testing. Eclipse hopes for certification for Avio NG by the end of October."

So we will see if anyone reports seeing a plane WITH AVIO NG installed.

Ken,

If you are still in Oshkosh go get a demo ride in my plane and make me some more money! ;-)

Ken Meyer said...

sparky wrote,

"I believe the range claim was based on one-two hundred pound pilot and two(or maybe three) one hundred and seventy pound pax. they never said anything about with all seats loaded."

Oh, you're talking about the EA500. I thought you were referring to the Concept Jet that the rest of us were talking about at the time. My apologies.

Here's the poop on the EA500 range--

The specs call for 1300 nm IFR 45-minute reserve range carrying 714 lbs (full fuel payload). If you want to carry five 170 lb passengers, you'd have a cabin load of 850 lbs, so you'd have to offload 136 lbs of fuel. That will bring the 45-minute IFR range down to about 1150 nm.

If you carried five 200 lb people, the 45 minute IFR range would drop to about 1000 nm.

Ken

Gunner said...

Airsafety-
I think "tossing out" the Nexrad is a bit extreme. On recent flights from WY, TX and MS down to Florida, it proved invaluable. The ability to time lapse weather build-ups and patterns enables a generalized flight planning strategy that is simply not possible with any other weather avoidance system.

Agreed that once you get in close, color radar and storm scope are far more useful. But they each have their place. If I could only have one, I'm not certain which I'd choose, but it would probably be NexRad and a healthy dose of wider margin avoidance.

EO-
Missed the GA Radar link. Please repost. I flew a WX-1000 for years and it never let me down. But even with that, you really had to avoid certain areas of active systems by a very wide margin. My current Baron has a BFG WX-950 but, for some reason, I just don't think it's as "discriminating" as my previous unit.

Gunner

Gunner said...

AT quoted Vern:
"The response to the ECJ has just been spectacular," he said, in opening the conference. "It has far, far, far exceeded our expectations." The most common reaction from pilots who climb into the cockpit of the mockup, he said, is, "They say, 'This is the airplane I always wanted.' It elicits a very emotional response. It's staggering.

Once again, I've underestimated the man's ability to underestimate human intelligence. I suspected it would take him months to "reluctantly" focus on the LessJet due to "enormous demand". Looks like it's only gonna take days. Keep those progress payments coming!
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

airsafetyman wrote,

"There have been several recent fatal accidents attributed to pilots trying to pick their way through TRW lines using the XM feature."

I'm very interested in that as I've generated some thoughts on the issue from my own experience flying with Nexrad, stormscope and onboard weather radar. Can you point me to the NTSB reports so I can review them?

Thanks.

Ken

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gunner,

Basically the report says resolution on small GA radar is very limited. Only expect reasonable results on 10-40nm range. For me, flying at 250+ KTAS, I need a longer range picture and Stormscope and Nexrad give me so much info. I am very conservative and if I am looking only 20-40nm out for my TS circumvention then I would stay on the ground. I am usually making my deviation decisions (when not visual) at 50+ miles away from storm cells. Frankly, because of preplanning I rarely find myself IMC when deviating around cells. I greatly dislike cruising in IMC. Luckily the JetProp has a FL270 ceiling and typically we only have to climb or descend though IMC and nexrad is our best tool for determining possible weather conditions at our destination.

Gunner said...

Got it, thanks. I agree with the report and virtually never set my Bendix RDS 81 to further than 80 miles, dialing it in as I get close.

In terms of enroute planning, I've conceded that I far prefer NexRad to anything else. But, especially in summer, it's not at all unusual to have to land in the vicinity of scattered and isolated cells. The close range depiction available from radar is exactly what I want at those times and it's not unusual for me to terminate with the Radar dialed in to 10 miles. I just don't think airspeed would change that fact or strategy.
Gunner

Gunner said...

EO-
BTW, it was you who convinced me that XM Weather's time has come in the first place. I thank you for that. Best accessory dollars I've expended since my first C-210!
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Hmm..

so, you are saying that NG which is finished and flying in a -500 WILL be at the show, soon?

I wonder what has casued them to miss the first few days of excitement? I would have thought that they would be showing this off on day one, or two?

Does Oshkosh smell like Palm Springs Ca this time of year?

EclipseOwner387 said...

ATMAN,

I would assume it means it wasn't ready for the beginning of the show. If it is there at all I would be tickled.

airsafetyman said...

No Ken, I can't tell you which ones as the investigations are still continuing. All indications to date are that they tried to use the XM as a tactical means of picking their way through advancing lines of storms. XM is fine to have; I am just saying that a good WX radar would be the last thing I would want to depart without.

airtaximan said...

EO,

I'm sorry, I just think all of Ken's BS is rediculous. He actually believes all the Ver-crap and tries to unload it here... its terrible.

EO, you gotta admit, after all the promises, and the missed dates, etc...

and Ken's statements regarding Aviong showing at Oshkosh in a fully functioning e-500, becasue he misread something IS&S wrote...and he argued about how sure he was... if they finally show it at the show... on the last day... its pretty piss-poor.

Made it...by THAT much! Nothing in aviation should be that marginal!

EclipseOwner387 said...

ATMAN,

I agree with all the negativity BUT if AVIO NG becomes reality (meaning solid) and is scaleable then Eclipse may have something that truly could make an EA500, ECJ or a turbo prop different from the rest of the crowd so I am watching with great interest.

Gunner said...

EO-
I've never quite understood what Avio or NG does that isn't available in COTS units. It seems to be a "different" (prettier?) user interface, but what's so special about the functionality? I've always assumed Avio was simply a way for the company to control post-delivery service, and I've no problem with that part of it.

Note to Ken: I'm asking EO; no need to jump in with the regurgitated marketing hype.
Gunner

Shane Price said...

Ken,

My point about putting S/N38 up for auction at this time was that I see it (in my experience) as a crude attempt to prop up a market.

The incident I saw was a new house being offered by Public Auction, which at the time it happened here was very unusual. Most house building companies operated a 'cost plus' method of arriving at a final price, then asked prospecitve purchasers for that amount. If they were right, a queue formed, if they were wrong they had to reduce the price to that which the market would pay.

Simple, effective and fair.

The auction I saw was a blatent attempt to set a higher price for the rest of that housing development. It was, in effect, rigged to produce the higher price.

Now, how many times have e-Bay auctions produced inflated numbers, which are often not actually followed through?

This auction is a STUNT to support the secondary market in E499.5 positions. People who have 'Eclipse Dollars' to spend are probably right to get shot of them via this method. That way, at least one of them will end up with two P&W engines to sell off....

Oh, and shortly after his release from prison, the fraudster died of a heart attack.

Unmourned by those he had taken money from.

Shane

Shane Price said...

Can we have a book on the number of days before the BatPlane is converted from a 'concept' to a 'product'?

I'll kick off and say 45. I expect the Great Raburn will need another bunny out of the hat before the end of August...

The words 'concept' and 'product' are from the Vernachular, not the Oxford English Dictionary. So, the current thing (for want of a better word) made by everyone else EXCEPT those good people in ABQ, will be 'produced' somewhere (to ABQ or not to ABQ, that is the question) on Tuesday.

If that looks confused, don't worry. It is a model of clarity in comparison to what Eclipse are doing right now.

Lets agree that if the ECJ even gets RENAMED in 45 days, then they are going to try and 'make' loads of them. Which we will agree counts as 'production'.

Shane

Gunner said...

Don't understand why Vern needed to go out of house in the first place. He claims Eclipse is the best of the best and is handing out 12 week training like it's the Job Corps. Oh, sure, Cirrus and others have done the same; but they're Dinosaur companies who make none of the claims that Vern does.

It couldn't have been for secrecy purposes. I mean look how well he hid the impending demise of Williams and Avidyne, not to mention the "months of work in a secret hangar" on AvioNextGrift. I don't imagine the morale at the Eclipse Engineering department is soaring these days.
Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gunner,

If it is truly integrated and software driven then the updating would be much easier as things inherently change. It doesn't just control avionics it will manage and control virtually every system on the aircraft. If as reliable as they claim it will be impressive. The amount of integration in a system like this opens up lots of possibilities for automation and workload reduction. Having ALL of your systems managed by the computers would be taking us to a different level.

But:

ONLY IF IT IS TRULY RELIABLE AND DOES WHAT IT CLAIMS.

Once built it should be easy to move to other new airplane projects that fit differnt mission requirements. That could be very valuable if executed properly.

airtaximan said...

EO, the claims being made here for Avio-NG are the same ones made before for Avio-BS as I'll call it.

The idea that anything if future- proof due to software upgradability etc... is stupid.

See SLATE for the same sort of BS.

I just happen to think that the whole thing has gotten dumb and dumber.

Imagine that anyone claims a replacement system for something that was the heart and sole of an integrated piece of hardware/software for aviation is "future proof"... due to upgrades. This is Next Gen Avionics, right? What happend to the 9 year old never-fully-functional avionics that was the product of over $1 billion dollars wotrth of aviation expertise/effort and forsight? THAT system was touted as the same game changing competitive advantage, worthy of millions of dollars invested. COTS was dismissed as not a competitive advantage, not revolutionary enough.
- it's in the garbage today - which is where you'll eventually find the "future-proof" NG... Next-Garbage"... eventually it all ends up being obsolete. All of it.

windows 95, 98, NT, XP...M-O-U-S-E..

The closest thing you have to a future-proof product is a Bonanza... there are thousands still flying.

EO, I call Vern on BS on this whole thing.

..especially the idea that the fully functioning AVIONG system was supposed to be shown in a fully functioning e-500 at the show, and it may not show, or it may be so marginal at this point, despite claims of hours flown in a real plane (not flown around I hope, but used to fly and control) BUT is a few days late to the show... is well... dumb.

As AvWeb pointed out, the 500 is already an "also ran" - everyone at e-clips is talking up the littler-jet.

By the way - explain to me the competitive advantages to AVIONG that outweigh the risks, time, delays, shame, or unproven reliability and safety issues...

Anyone seen the new inexpensive fly-by-wire systems coming out. I trust the future will be as a big a surprise to Vern the fortune-teller than he expected from the "perfect air taxi plane" known as the ... what was it called again?

I do not agree Vern is a good judge of what makes sense in aviation, anymore. Forget trust issues. His statements are amateur hour. See EJ-22, Avio-BS and FSW for the misguided statements and expectations.

AVIONG as "future-proof" goes in the same category.

PS. did Andrew Broom leave, or is he just too embarassed to make these sorts of statements?

Gunner said...

EO-
I still don't understand what it's "controlling"?
Throttles? Levers, buttons or Touchscreen, where's the big efficiency of one over the other?
Flaps? Same question
Gear? Same question
Circuit breakers? Same question

The concept of removing all those knobs and levers from the cockpit space and placing them on a two dimensional screen has VERY real appeal, aesthetically. I just don't see how they reduce workload.

And we BOTH see how a software "glitch" could quickly spiral into a catastrophic event. Seems to me, you'd still want backup mechanicals for essential flight systems, just as you'd want them for essential instruments.
Gunner

twinpilot said...

I don't know about the rest of you guys but I really don't want to "have a computer manage and control virtually every system on the aircraft," especially if that computer is developed by Vern and company. I fly pressurized piston twins and turboprops now and I have plenty of time to manage every system on the aircraft. Jets are supposed to be easier right? Only one thrust lever instead of throttles, props, and mixtures. What is all this crap about making it easy? And, don't tell me it is because jets (this one in particular) is faster etc. This one is slower on approach and should give you more time to manage everything. I can turn up my own rheostat for the overhead lights, than you very much. This AVIO is just a bunch of Vern World garbage. By the way when I spell checked this post, for AVIO it suggested AVOID.

airtaximan said...

Life is funny, sometimes... from Vern's freinds at CharterX...

"Eclipse said its concept jet isn't for sale--yet. Within the next year, the company said its small jet would be used solely for market research, and it would announce at a later date whether it intends to produce the plane. Presently, the Albuquerque, N.M.-based airframer is catching up on late deliveries of its twin-engine Eclipse 500 jet. Which the company reports having nearly 2,600 orders with firm deposits.

People are still questioning the 2002 order for 1,400 Eclipse 500s by Boca Raton, Fla.-based DayJet Corp., as CharterX first reported on May 2. Does DayJet's 1,400 orders make up for more than half of Eclipse's order book? Eclipse has refused to comment.

Richard Aboulafia, vice president, analysis, of the Fairfax, Va.-based Teal Group Corp., shared his opinion with CharterX on Eclipse's concept jet, saying the announcement was "bizarre."


"E-CLIPS HAS REFUSED TO COMMENT"
"E-CLIPS HAS REFUSED TO COMMENT"
"E-CLIPS HAS REFUSED TO COMMENT"
"E-CLIPS HAS REFUSED TO COMMENT"

hummer said...

Can anyone speculate realistically the earliest time that it would take Eclipse (if they really wanted to) to take the Concept Jet to Type Certification, Production PC and sale? And does anyone have an idea on intial selling price considering the competition? Like could it be done in a year at an offering say of 1 million? There is no question in my mind that it will be rushed to market, anyone disagree?

Gunner said...

Hummer-
Can't say how long it'd take for Type Certification or Production PC....but sales? Surely you don't need to question when that would happen.
Gunner

Shane Price said...

Hummer,

45 days (end August) announcement from Mr Raburn will read something like this:-

"The overwhelming response to the ECJ from the market has encouraged me to bring forward the introduction of the BatPlane to early 2008. We expect full certification by January 1st, and will make initial deliveries thereafter. For the first 500 orders, the price will be $799,000, 70% progress payment with order. Our new production plant in China will knock these out at the rate of 7 a day, to meet demand"

Then the usual cycle will begin. They will drop the engine, the stir frying, the training partners and finally Avio NG.

But before the whole pattern is played out, the company will go the Chapter 11 route, and be absorbed by Cessna.

Shane

hummer said...

Thanks Shane
A couple of points:
$799,000 is too low compared to the competition (ask Gunner about that)
You may be right with assembly in China and inspection and software done in ABQ.
I look for composite aircraft (except of course for common components - wing, landing gear, etc).
But Vern is showing this concept aircraft as either a diversion or a marketing effort (investors or buyers?) right now like there was no Eclipse 500. Strange

Gunner said...

Hummer-
Dunno that $799k is too low in VernWorld. He doesn't seem to price stuff the way the rest of the world does (based on cost, profit and long term survival). Then again, by my count, he's taken in enough money from Depositors to complete about the first 400 EA-50X's and has only partially delivered a handful.

He could certainly do the same with the LessJet, especially if the company is desperate. And, let's face it, anyone who could describe the reaction of pilots to the ECJ as, "This is the airplane I always wanted" is either desperate or two sandwiches short of a picnic.

Gunner

planet-ex said...

If E-clips wanted to certify the ECJ, they'd have to get Pratt to spend a little more money certifying the engine.

From the TCDS' for the 610 and 615:

"NOTE 10. The engine is approved for multiple engine installations only."

FlightCenter said...

EO,

The performance of onboard weather radar is strongly linked to the size of the antenna. The RDR-2000 antenna in your Jet Prop is most probably the smallest antenna available and smaller than the antenna in the Eclipse 500.

So the RDR-2000 in the Eclipse will most likely outperform the RDR-2000 in your JetProp.

I agree with you that Nexrad is critical for strategic planning purposes and that your onboard radar probably doesn't show much info beyond 40 nm.

But I agree with Gunner and airsafety that you really do want an on board weather detection system for instantaeous weather depiction within those 40 miles. That is what is needed to ensure you avoid pop up cells that are less than 5 or 7 minutes old.

Stormscope (developed 30 years ago) has its advantages and limitations as well. On the positive side it is onboard and instantaneous, but it is well known that it has range and bearing accuracy issues within 25nm. Your radar is the best source of complementary information to accuarately show where the cells really are right now.

Shane Price said...

Hummer,

Of course it's too low. So was the initial price of the E499.5....

Remember, it's not about profit or loss.

It's about raking in progress payments!

The bit about China was a joke. I wanted to get stir frying and the wok into the mix! I've seen Chinese quality control, which is notable by its absence. The FAA would have a fit if Vern tried that one on.

The whole BatPlane thing is The Great Raburn doing his mis-direction thing.

Again.

The LAST thing they want to talk about at Eclipse now is the E499.5. The BatPlane is a sham. Just proof positive that the company has lost whatever plot was there in the first place.

Words begin to fail me. Just as well I'm off on holiday for 3 weeks. To your side of the pond, but a bit north.

I'll keep an eye on Ken from time to time.

Just to help him keep it real....

Shane

hummer said...

Shane you have a good three weeks
and a great vacation. Tell them Canucks to keep building great jet
engines. Vern may need some more.

sparky said...

one of the biggest drawbacks to the NFG system is parts obsolescence. My company just had to re-certify units and re-STC aircraft due to a chip maker no longer making a chip. This is something that can't be controlled. It happens, and you deal with it.

How you deal with this when it threatens the airworthiness of the aircraft is a whole new headache.

FlightCenter said...

In answer to the question - How is Avio different than the COTS avionics available in D-Jet, Mustang or Phenom?

The simple answer is that Avio is being specified, designed and certified by Eclipse. Last Oshkosh Eclipse was telling show attendees that they had 80 software engineers on staff. This number can only have gone up since then with the announcement of Avio NG.

Eclipse has become an avionics manufacturer.

That's both good and bad.

Its good from a sales and marketing perspective because Avio is clearly not available on any other aircraft and Vern will certainly use that to his advantage. He's the master.

Its bad from a financial perspective because the cost of developing, certifying and supporting an integrated suite of avionics is astronomically expensive and that cost really needs to be amortized over multiple aircraft manufacturers.

The investment required to develop a fully integrated avionics suite significantly exceeds the cost of certifying a new aircraft like the Mustang or Phenom. Read Garmin's 10Ks and listen to their quarterly reports. Talk to Cessna, Embraer, Piper, Cirrus or Diamond about how much they've budgeted for their jet programs.

Its bad from an engineering focus standpoint as the engineering team needs to design both airplanes and avionics.

The last aircraft company that tried to develop avionics and aircraft simultaneously was Cessna with ARC.

Now in terms of functionality - Avio is simulataneously significantly less integrated and more integrated than current COTS systems.

It is more integrated in the sense that almost every system on the aircraft with the exception of controls for the throttle, gear, and flaps are controlled through the 3 displays. (Or it seems two displays in the case of the ECJ.)

This includes electronic circuit breakers and the backup attitude display.

It is less integrated in the sense that Avio is the combination of systems from 13 or more different avionics manufacturers. This raises significant concerns regarding maintainence. This architecture adds complexity when it comes to determining which system is at fault and coordinating fixes from various interdependent avionics manufacturers, none of whom have overall ownership of the system.

The integration promise is that significantly enhanced functionality is possible if all the systems are communicating. This promise will be hard to deliver when implementation is dependent on the cooperation of 13 vendors.

The additional avionics systems from the additional vendors ate up 10 cubic feet of baggage space. It added weight and many additional wiring harness connections.

From a pilot's perspective - I don't really think you are going to see a lot of difference. If Eclipse had delivered its first aircraft in 2004 as originally promised with the FMS originally promised, it would have been a significant advance over anything available in the market.

The fact is that any aircraft equipped with a 430W or G1000W today has most of the advanced FMS features Vern was promising for initial deliveries in 2004 but will now deliver in 2008.

Now Vern has a lot of ideas regarding what an avionics system should do that are not currently part of COTS avionics in this class of aircraft.

Some of those ideas are pretty good, like autothrottle and an FMS that can do performance management.

But autothrottle and full FMS capabilities will not be available till 2008 if I understand Peg's update correctly. In Vern's latest update Vern is talking about additional future capabilities such as RNP and ADS-B. He's selling the vision of how great it is going to be.

The fact is that if you buy an Eclipse aircraft - Eclipse is going to be your avionics vendor.

And that can be good or bad.

If you trust Eclipse and believe that Eclipse is truly the only company driving the future of aviation - then Eclipse with Avio is the way to go.

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse Phenom 100 Takes to the Sky


The Phenom 100, Embraer’s four-place, $2.98 million entry into the very light jet market, flew for the first time this morning from São Jose dos Campos, Brazil. According to the company, the one hour, thirty-six minute flight was successful.

Test pilot captain Antonio Bragança Silva said, “We had a successful first flight. All maneuvers and tests were performed as planned.” Company president and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado said, “This is a key milestone for Embraer and a very special and rewarding moment for the entire Embraer team. To see our new baby bird taking off is highly satisfying.”

Additional flight testing, as well as static and fatigue testing, will lead to the jet’s scheduled certification in Brazil and the U.S. Embraer is planning for that to happen in the middle of next year, followed by EASA certification by the spring of 2009.

airtaximan said...

Flightcenter:

Where did you learn the weight and baggage space creep on the NG?

After years of working Avidyne and $million... I am surprised anyone thinks Aviong is a good idea, at this point.

Yup, the non-aircraft-manufacturer is also an Avionics manufacturer...

I'm sure when sh_t begins to fail, go wrong, blank or RED-X (which has already been the case) the suppliers will be blamed, and of course some NG/COTS or other NEw solution will be found for the future-proof avionics.

Basically, there are more advanced aspects to avionics systems already in development - I'm sure Vern already knows this - that's why he's hyping _NG.

I do not see any real benefit for the system, from a cost, risk, function, safety or other perspective.

It's just BS salesmanship - like FSW, like E-J22. For the pilot, it amounts to nothing - unless of course you love computers and flat panels. Thena agin, you can get flat panels with other systems - these exact flat panels, soon...

airtaximan said...

planetX;

nice catch:

""NOTE 10. The engine is approved for multiple engine installations only."

I can see it now:

FAA: "multiple engines..."

Vern: "there's one on that plane, and one on that plane, and one on that plane - multiple engines... good to go!"

airtaximan said...

Hummer,

"There is no question in my mind that it will be rushed to market, anyone disagree?"

the e-clips con-jet is an excuse for more parts and systems... an atempt to achieve a lower cost for the 500.

the timing will likely correspond to when they run out of e-500 orders. At the curent rate, its 10 years or so... but if they ever show that can make more than one plane a day... it could be 18 months to cert. and of course, 18 months and 1 day to first delivery.

This schedule will slip. But they could try to sell it.

I thnk that with the exception of Dayjet and the other air taxi hopefulls, and the traders, and the open position numbers for the auction... there's around 2 years of sales in the orderbook, based on of half of what Vern says he can/will produce per year.

Of course, its all BS.

airtaximan said...

anyone notice Vern comment regarding the cracking windows in the Avweb interview - brought to you (appropriately) by ExxonMobile LUBRICANTS.

he stated the cracking windows are the result of fatigue.

- wonder why they did not do an FAA fatigue test?
- what else might crack?

Just a hunch.

Lets see:
10 years,
a >$Billion,
1200 employees,
2700 orders,
BUT NO FATIGUE TEST.

Curious.

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

The baggage space is in the specification documents sent to depositors. It used to be 26 cubic feet. Now the spec is 16 cubic feet. I was also told about this on a factory tour. The explanation was that there are now more boxes, those boxes are less integrated (i.e. take more physical space).

I don't have numbers on the weight change, but when you add additional boxes and those boxes have additional cables and mounting brackets, there will be a weight penalty. The avionics weight change was likely quite minor compared to other weight changes related to engine changes, tip tanks, etc...

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EclipseOwner387 said...

Flight Center

IIRC the weight change is ~30 lbs.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Thanks to everyone for the radar input.

9Z,

Do you have stormscope?

EclipseOwner387 said...

Does anyone know if Eclipse flew an AVIO NG plane into Osh today?

mirage00 said...

EO - I was there today admiring the 4 place jet. I will check for you tomorrow regarding avio NG.

I remain amused

double 00

Gunner said...

Niner-
Most substantive comment I've seen here since Oshkosh started. Thanks much.

It takes so many hours and so much dedication to become a competent pilot (let alone jet pilot), this is simply not an area in which you can "create" a market. It's limited and will always be limited.

Just as Eclipse depositor dollars do more to raise awareness of VJ's in general, VLJ hype raises awareness of alternatives to VLJs. Please give us a report on Epic, one case in point.
Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

Thanks Mirage! Let me know!

EclipseOwner387 said...

Nice Article by Shari Meyer and HER perspective on Oshkosh (remember gentlemen we are ALL entitled to a perspective.)

http://www.eclipse500club.org/index.php/articles
/more/803/

Ken Meyer said...

EO387 wrote,

"Does anyone know if Eclipse flew an AVIO NG plane into Osh today?"

Right on schedule. And there is some other good news embargoed until the customer meeting.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

flightcenter wrote,

"The additional avionics systems from the additional vendors ate up 10 cubic feet of baggage space. It added weight and many additional wiring harness connections."

One small correction/amplification--there has been no change in baggage space as a result of the switch from Avidyne Avio to Avio NG. There are indeed extra boxes, but they are not consuming any baggage space (the new stuff is mostly going in the large space vacated by replacing the Avidyne boxes with the IS&S flat panel displays).

There are indeed more boxes and a bit more weight in Avio NG than in Avidyne Avio. Those are the downsides, but there are many advantages to the new system. The most visibly obvious is that the new displays are much brighter and clearer than the Avidyne units they replace. Maintenance is less cumbersome, and NG offers a number of features that were never going to be available in the old system.

Ken

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

You are correct that the baggage space reduction didn't change with Avio to Avio NG.

The baggage space reduction occurred 2 or 3 years ago. The change in baggage space occurred after BAE was removed as the avionics vendor for the E500 shortly after Williams was removed as engine manufacturer.

BAE was originally supplying the GPS, autopilot, AHRS, ADC and the APC. BAE was replaced by Free Flight Systems (GPS), S-Tec/Meggitt (Autopilot), Crossbow (AHRS), Harco (ADC) and Autronics / Eclipse (APC).

FlightCenter said...

From Aero-News this morning.


"Embraer has already boasted 450 firm orders for its Phenom family. Of those firm orders Embraer says a mere 20% of those orders are owner/operators."

WhyTech said...

9Z said:

"EO387, don't give up on the RDR2000 yet"

Strongly agree. I have RDR2000, WX500 and WSI NEXRAD in my PC-12. Each provides related but different information, and has a role in wx management.

It is true that the RDR2000 is a bit of an antiqe by now, but there is nothing newer/better in the way of wx radar for light GA acft so far. Transmitter power and antenna size are key factors in range and resolution. Most light GA acft cannot accomodate and antenns larger than 10in or 12 in. Even with larger antennas and higher power, signal attenuation limits the practical range of airborne wx radar.
Few GA pilots seem to understand how to use wx radar. IT is highly technique sensitive. It takes some effort to understand the technical limitations and learn to interpret what one sees on the screen. Unfortunately, there is limited training available to GA pilots on radar operation and interpretation, and one of the two courses I know of (Archie Trammel) is dated and user unfriendly. King Schools has a useful course, but it is pretty elementary.

WT

Gunner said...

Whytech (or others):
Does anyone know the schedule on which XM broadcasts its weather updates? As has been point up here, I've seen it refresh as quick as every 3 minutes and as slow as every 33.

Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

Thanks WT. Does WSI update more quickly than XM?

airtaximan said...

FC,

So one could say that AVIO is on its third generation, really.

Gen 1-
Gen 2- after sh_t canning BAE
Gen 3- after sh_t canning Avidyne

I can now see how Gen-3 is "future-proof".

airtaximan said...

http://www.flightglobal.com/
articles/2007/07/23/215622/
eclipse-readies-host-of-
fixes-for-eclipse-500.html

- nice comment on IS&S showing a "priototype" of Aviong at Oshkosh... and the implied Dayjet delay for a few more months.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Ken,

Can you give me an update on AVIO NG? Did you get to see it in action at all?

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

Gunner said:

"Does anyone know the schedule on which XM broadcasts its weather updates?"

I dont know off hand as I have not yet used XM. Will be switching from WSI to XM in the next few months due to WSI's forced change of wx receiver.

EO387 said:
"Does WSI update more quickly than XM? "

See above.

WT

FreedomsJamtarts said...

"Life limits on windscreens due to fatigue cracks in the outer layer of glass in the cockpit windows will also add maintenance hours and costs in the near term."

Is glass even susceptable to fatique?

EclipseOwner387 said...

I heard second hand that the AeroMods have been certified by the FAA and was announced at the customer meeting. This is just in time for the delivery of the airplanes coming off the assembly line with them installed. As predicted on this blog, the boot supplier has been changed. AVIO NG still does not have a moving map and will be shipped later than expected but no later than SN134 (that is when they run out of Avidyne product.)

This is all second hand info but I believe to be reliable.

Gunner said...

Makes sense, EO. Especially the part about an FAA Certification announcement at Osh. Eclipse is singularly "lucky like that". ;-)
Gunner

airtaximan said...

EO:

Is THIS the BIG announcement we were told of above?

Wow! I'm impressed after $1.X billion and 20 or so planes "delivered" the modifications have been approved by the FAA, bringing the plane upto the "revised" performance guarantees. OH YEAH, add 9 years to this "accomplishment".

I cannot believe how low the expectation have become.

Also, I find it curious that Vern did not mention replacing the boots supplier in his interview about aero mods. He did a once over of the plane pointing to the aero clean up - too bad these were not accomlished in due course during the 9 year development program. Was the replacement fo the boots manufacturer due to a more aerodynamic solution? Or did the old company just fail like the other major systems supplier.

LAstly, someone needs to BANG Ken on the head - "fully-functioning Aviong will show up in a flying e-500 aircraft at Oshkosh". These things seem to just roll off his tongue without a care in the world.

Ken: were you right or wrong about Aviong at the show?

** quick question: any clue as to when the obsolete boots get replaced on the delivered aircraft?

WELCOME TO VERNS WORLD OF A FUTURE-PROOF SYSTEM.

- well, if its never really finished, who can say when the "future" really is, right?

Pssst: almost all planes are modified and upgraded... to reflect enhancements and new technologies. There's nothing new here. Well, usually they are finished before the receive a TC and before they are modified, and modified again...

I feel another mod/NG/Upgrade coming on... can anyone say "wheels and brakes"?

FlightCenter said...

EO387,

Thanks for the revised serial number effectivity plan for Avio NG, moving from serial #100 (June's plan) to serial #134.

My prediction in Stan's contest for shipments in 2007 was 131, none of which will incorporate Avio NG.

From my comment on June 20, 2007 -

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

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

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

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

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

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

2:02 PM, June 20, 2007 "

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

9Z,

Check out photos of the e-CON-jet keyboard, it too looks like it is mostly INOP.

And a rheostat throttle, WTF?

Gonna be interesting when the first retired Boeing driver gets in his e-CON-jet and mistakes that wheel for the tiller.

"I was just trying to turn right and the plane just goes faster, what the hell?"

EO, thanks for the update. I saw the photos of S/N 38 with the aero-mods, definitely looks more like a 'normal' jet and Eclipse is to be congratulated for wrapping up that aspect of post-certification certification work.

I will take credit for the boot call, being right never gets old but I am sure it is annoying for some others out there.

Still waiting in the wings (ha ha) are the replacement of FHI, Hampson and a certain south-of-the-border nose supplier.

Carry on.

Stan Blankenship said...

When I sat in the cockpit mock-up for the ECJ, the E-gal sitting in the right seat was most interested in what I thought of the rheostat throttle control and the two tabs sticking out of the pedestal for the gear and flaps.

She was especially enamored by the little panels that lit up as she turned the throttle control clockwise (as in more power), then counter-clockwise, (as in throttling back for landing).

They just needed a sound track, would have loved to hear her engine spooling up. Oh, I forgot, this airplane is really really quiet.

Anyway after I twisted her knob, and watched her lights illuminate, I told her my opinion did not matter, but the FAA regs did. FAR 23.777 and 23.781 are very specific as to the location and shape of each of these controls.

The engine control should look like a cylinder, the flap control like a short span flap and the gear like tire and wheel.

hummer said...

ATM
This may shed some light on your order calculations.
This has been a very eventful week for Eclipse information as it relates to EA500 and the Concept Jet. When I look at the total registered members on Eclipse Site, I find 281. The total topics are 126. Don't you find it interesting that purchasers, those that put non-refundable money aren't really interested in the very important changes occurring to their future aircraft.
I wouldn't miss a thing happening on this site.
Am I missing something?

hummer said...

Stan
What did you think of the concept Jet overall?

EclipseOwner387 said...

COLDWET,

S/N 38 doesn't have the aero-mods.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Stan,

Cirrus's flap control looks nothing like a short span flap.
At least to me it doesn't!

gadfly said...

Stan

Even when I was dating my “wife-to-be” (many decades ago), I would explain to her the various parts of an aircraft, and their function. So when I recently explained to her the things that would make a “jet” more stable, like a longer fuselage, slightly swept back wings, and a tail with straight leading edges, even she understood the “logic”. So with the “shortened” fuselage, the long tapered “ruddivators”, and an effectively “forward” sweep of the wings, we both understood the inherently unstable design of the “Conjet”.

Anyone piloting this aircraft better know how to stay wide awake at every second of the flight. It may be “cute” to some, and be an excellent theme for a “cap” to wear at “Oshkosh”, but hopefully better judgement will prevail. When I turned on my laptop to get “email” on a trip this week, it said I had over two hours of battery charge left . . . within seconds, the message changed to tell me that I had better back up all data and plug in the power supply, as the battery was “pooped”. Thankfully, I was safe on the ground, and didn’t need to look for a smooth level field, without trees. Maybe on the “Conjet”, there will be an automatic dialing feature for “www.dell.com”, and overnight delivery for a new power supply.

If it (the “Conjet”) were designed for combat, it would be great. Highly maneuverable, dependent on constant attention, and/or complete computer control. But for a “user friendly jet” . . . “No way, Jose”. The so-called “ECJ” is a deathtrap waiting for it’s first victim. And it demonstrates more than anything yet, that the people behind this “enterprise” do not have a “feel” for what makes for a safe and friendly aircraft. It’s beyond a “joke” . . . it’s down right scary.

Your explanation was “dead on” (pardon the dark pun) . . . “short-coupled”, etc. . . . I’ve made model airplanes like that . . . they look great, but flying is another story. And anyone with an ounce of sense should already know these basic truths. Groan!!!

gadfly

(Come 31 December 2007, no deliveries of the E500, meeting all promises.)

Gunner said...

So, now we're back to definitions of "delivery" in the Critics Lottery, are we?

I thought we defined it as customer acceptance of whatever they accept, as reflected in FAA records. If that's been redefined as deliveries with cert'd aeromods as promised, cert'd NextGrift as promised and demonstrated performance as promised, I, too, recast my vote:

Zero
Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

I think we will not see NG nor FIKI "on a delivered plane this year" but I am willing to believe that they hit or exceed performance expectations.

Did anyone see the cool stuff out of Aspen Avionics? I am going to get it for my JetProp!!!!

gadfly said...

Gunner

"Parts is parts", "Promises is promises", and "Delivery is delivery, when parts and promises all come together."

'At least for all of our own customers! (Or we don't get paid.)

gadfly

Stan Blankenship said...

hummer,

IMHO, there is a market for a single engine jet. However, with the exception of the air taxi market, the same buyers in queue for a 500 are the most likely buyers for the ECJ...guys (and gals) looking for the lowest cost (initial/operating).

Eclipse is competing with itself rather that creating a new market.

Technically, I would want to do some extensive wind tunnel testing to optimize the design. Areas of interest would be the airflow behind the cabin area and airflow into the engine. Tunnel tests would also provide the stability derivatives that will be important to the design.

My biggest surprise was the engine. I had the gross weight pegged at 4,500 lbs since the Eclipse wing was originally designed for a 4,700 lb airplane.

And had they used the PW610F engine, I was guessing the max altitude would be around 30,000 ft., plenty high enough for most pilots and most missions. Instead, they opted for a de-rated PW615F and are shooting for FL 410 and 1,250 nm range.

One would think the 610F would be a lower cost engine, and ensure the best volume discounts from Pratt.

Supporting one engine would be a whole lot easier (and less expensive) than supporting two different types.

En route to Oshkosh, I visited my college roommate who reminded me that my senior aero-design concept airplane was a 4-place, V-tail jet powered by a Continental J-69 engine. There is some resemblance.

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

If you look at the landing of the ECJ at OSH available on the ECJ website it is apparent that the short coupling between the wing and the elevators created a little difficulty with fine evevator control on the landing. The pilot tended to overcorrect slightly. It looks like there is a little refinement in the elevator actuators needed here.

Stan Blankenship said...

eo387,

FAR Part 23.781 says:

(a) Flap and landing gear control knobs must conform to the general shapes (but not necessarily the exact sizes or specific proportions) in the following figure:

And the figure shows pretty much the cross section of a flap airfoil. Thick at the leading edge, thin at the trailing edge.

Diagram available on the FAA site:

www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/faa_regulations/

Click on the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

gadfly said...

Thank you, 9Z, for the “heads up”. But my concern wouldn’t be so much during landing (when the pilot is usually fully awake and on top of everything), but when he’s going along “half asleep”, and suddenly realizes he’s in trouble. Back in “olden times”, the air traffic controller would tell the pilot to take his hands off the control and allow the plane to come back to a level, stable condition (assuming the pilot had earlier trimmed out the plane “straight and level”). And since the “Conjet” is not designed for “aerobatics”, I would expect it to have a tendency to be inherently stable. But it seems to have been designed with opposite intentions.

Every design is based on a family of compromises, with one consideration ruling all compromises. In the case of a small jet, or even the VLJ, I would have considered the passengers and pilot the priorities, in that order. But with the E500 and now the “Conjet”, the passengers and pilot are far down on the list. To me, these seem to violate everything I attempt to do as a designer and inventor.

And that’s my take on the thing.

gadfly

EclipseOwner387 said...

Thanks Stan but I will pass. I have better things to do but I think you are being nitpicky when you want to confront the concept of a non-certified mock up. But hey, thats par for the course here. Just my opinion.

mouse said...

The radar is probably the most misunderstood piece of equipment on the flight deck by non-professional pilots (and many pro's too!).

For starters nobody has mentioned this but a Part 135 flight cannot dispatch in potential convective activity anywhere alone their flight path without weather avoidance acceptable to the administrator. Due to it's lag in refresh rate XM does not qualify, only radar or in many cases (FSDO dependant) a Stormscope.

Most people don't tilt and pan properly to use radar to it's full benefit.

The real problem with XM (and I admit it is very nice) is that we are so used to watching TV and believing waht we see that we believe what XM is telling us as if it were real time... Get between a cell and the threshold and try and deviate using XM and you might not live to warn the next guy/gal. That's why the FAA does not accept it yet for Part 135 convective activity weather avoidance. Threading the needle takes 100% real time data.

Glad to see the new E-single is such a hit. It's amazing, it seems to do everything the original EA-500 was supposed to do. It even looks like the V-Jet Dr, Williams designed.. and the original 4 place V-Jet would have had two engines providing a safety margin, and each engine using so much less fuel and thrust...

Dr. Williams designed his plane to be a twin-engine jet Bonanza replacement... Guess history does repeat itself, huh?

mouse said...

All of the weather updates at the same rate. It all comes from the same goverment source. The refresh rates vary, and the time between refresh varies between companies, but the weather feed will always be the same, in a worst case every 4 minutes and 59 seconds. Don't be fooled between "refresh" and "feed"

mouse said...

The weather satellite relay and integration to the ground stations and rebroadcast is the time delay of 5 minutes... refresh just rebroadcasts the same "old" data in between the broadcasts..

Gunner said...

Thanks, mouse.

In the case of XM, explain the difference between "refresh" and "feed", please. For my GNS530/GMX200 setup (dunno if the displayed info is different from unit to unit), I read a data line that tells me how long since the last onboard "update" and it matches both the screen changes and the ability to do the historical (since power-on) dynamic weather prediction.

As I said, I've seen this "refresh" rate lag as long as 33 minutes.

BTW, one pretty effective way to understand the mystery of Color Radar is to have satellite weather on board for X-Check. Doesn't compare to formal training, I'm certain, but as said here, GOOD formal training on radar is hard to come by.
Gunner

mouse said...

Stan, Looks like my warning about AERAZUR was right after all... Imagine that. The real interesting point is how the lie continued in print and verbal even though it was a known fact over a year ago...

Stan Blankenship said...

eo387,

Eclipse put the whiz-bang throttle control in the mock-up to create a buzz.

It's what the E-gal in the right seat wanted to talk about.

The design is clearly not per some very specific requirements in the regs.

It fits the pattern of this company.

They make their own rules...write their own definitions...and the gullible just can't get enough of it.

Jim Howard said...

I was really surprised when I saw the NG cockpit mockup that there is still no independent backup ADI.

As I mentioned before,I asked Vern about this back five or six years ago, and he said that with three screens and two or three AHRS boxes they didn't need a separate backup instrument.

The Eclipse people gave me that same answer this week.

I just don't buy it. Those three screens are controlled by an integrated system, aka 'single point of failure'. And of course they depend on there never, ever, being an total electrical failure.

If those three screens go blank in IMC then everyone on board just dies.

I don't think I've ever seen another jet airplane without some sort of separate backup ADI. Even the C-172 with the Garmin 1000 has one.

All the other issues I've heard about the Eclipse seem like things that in the fullness of time can be fixed. I believe them when they say they have fixes in the pipeline for the FIKI, aero-mods, autopilot, etc.

But Eclipse seems uninterested in installing a real backup attitude display.

This attitude that backup attitude isn't needed by their airplane just seems crazy to me.

Gunner said...

Jim-
Agreed.

The answer, I think, is one man's hubris. Once he takes a position, he will never admit that he was wrong, without somehow blaming someone else.

The mechanical backups are a very contentious issue for Eclipse. It would appear to some that Vern couldn't care less whose lives he jeopardizes as long as he doesn't have admit how foolhardy this omission is.

Kinda like buying twin computers to run every workstation and mission-critical function in your business and arguing that "the backup is built in".

World Class Stupid Idea.
Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

The 172 does not have the independant electrical computers and buses. The system was designed not to have a single point of failure. I also am concerned about murphys law and see your point but let's face it... the Cirrus has LESS integrity in its all electric airplane and it is the hottest selling single piston airplane. So figure something else to gripe about. The simple solution for the paranoid, like the three of us, is to keep a well charged 496 ready to go if the Great Murphy takes out the independant and redundant electical and backup systems.

Black Tulip said...

Any thoughts on the auction of Eclipse serial number 38? What if there is a bidding war and a high selling price? What if it fails to draw any real bids and an Eclipse shill has to bid on the machine?

Black Tulip

Gunner said...

EO-
Haven't worked with the 496 but, unless it provides attitude information, it'll probably only assist in allowing you to choose the general compass direction of your final flight.

In the event of a computer wide blackout in IMC, the least of my worries is going to be situational awareness. My greater concern is going to be with keeping the plane straight and level, climbing or descending steadily. Gimme that and a handheld radio, and I'd be lots more comfortable than with a moving map.

If I've missed something about the 496, I'd like to hear it.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

future-proofing question number 1:

When do the obsolete boots get replaced on the delivered aircraft? Who pays for this, how much down time...etc...

sparky said...

with regards to the rheostat/throttle control on the dcj, did anybody notice any type of throttle lock mechanism? I didn't, but didn't think to ask. Ken?

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gunner,

I had posted this a while back, but it is worth repeating. The Formr president of COPA (with a safety pilot) put a blanket over his head and flew his cirrus using the 496. It does not have an artificial horizon but on the "panel page" it has a turn coordinator, hsi, altitude, vsi and ground speed.

He determined he could fly the airplane in control with the 496 if it was a last resort. He also did these same tests with the 296 and 396 before. He said the 296 was too slow in response and was virtually unusable. The 396 was better but he was very impressed with how responsive the 496 is. From the excerpt on Garmin's webpage you can see why the 496 is faster than the others:


"Enjoy Faster Update Rate
For added realism and safety, the 496 updates map data and "Panel" page instruments at 5 Hz, a significantly faster update rate that gives you a smoother, near “real-time” presentation of your aircraft’s analog indicators, such as the HSI and turn coordinator."

Gunner said...

Thanks EO:
Guess it beats a sharp stick in the eye.

Question: How long does it take to power up?
Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

Never timed it but it usually has my position before my 530. Mine is always on because it has a lot of features (aopa info, taxiways with your position on field, weather, music, terrain,etc.) I still think the 496 is the best aviation tool dollar for dollar you can buy.

sparky said...

Ken wrote:
"If you want to carry five 170 lb passengers, you'd have a cabin load of 850 lbs, so you'd have to offload 136 lbs of fuel. That will bring the 45-minute IFR range down to about 1150 nm."

Again, how many of us weigh 170 LBS. My laptop bag weighs 15 Lbs. I come in at just a hair under 190. That's 35 Lbs of unusable fuel, just for myself. Add in two pilots with Flight bags (ever weigh a fully loaded flight bag, there's a reason they have wheels. And Realistic pilots, not the 170 pound ones found in the eclipse manual) and we're pretty much offloading fuel just to get off the ground. With just three people on board.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Here is a good example of the 496 in use less than two weeks ago (not just as a map.) I was flying to NYC area and my transponder failed at FL230. ATC was cool. Said they could see me as metal in the air but could not get alt info. So we had to call out reaching assigned altitudes. I knew the airfield I was flying to had very little services on the field and didn't want to land for fear I would be stuck on the ground since I would be in NYC airspace. I have an Iridium satphone and used the AOPA airport services info (complete with phone numbers) on the 496 and started calling avionics shops at nearby airports. I contacted Duncan Aviation at KHPN and they said we could get a 24 hour turn around on my transponder (after making calls to others with no such luck.) I landed in White Plains and sure enough he met me at the plane in minutes and had my transponder out moments later. I was able to take care of my business as usual and left on schedule a couple days later. I never saw him again but it was flawless. The 496 is just a great piece of equipment and it is cheap.

twinpilot said...

EO 387,
Why didn't you just switch to #2 transponder? In today's environment I think having two makes for a lot less stress. I was once flying an antique piston twin with only one transponder and center said they lost it and would no longer let me fly direct! I had to fly VOR to VOR like an E-clips 500! Thankfully I was able to move it around in the rack and get it working again. In a modern airplane I guess I could have hit reboot. Does the 500 have dual transponders?

EclipseOwner387 said...

Twinpilot! I wish I had thought of that. Duh! Now I feel so stupid.

:-o

I decided against a second transponder (would have been $5k+ when I did my conversion) since it is so easy to get a new one ($1950 to fix.) I might just carry a backup one with an avionics screwdriver and hotswitch 'em if it happens again. I will tell ATC to standby while I, er, cycle the box!

;-)

EclipseOwner387 said...

"The standard equipped Eclipse 500 cockpit features dual primary flight displays (PFD), a multi-function display (MFD), flight management system, three-axis autopilot, color weather radar, dual VHF nav/comm radios, dual localizer and glideslope, dual mode S transponders, dual WAAS-enabled GPS receivers, dual attitude heading reference systems (AHRS) with air data computers, dual pitot-static systems and autothrottle."

From Eclipse website.

airtaximan said...

EO,

I like it...

"future-proofing" your curent aircraft, all you need is a screwdriver and some money...

See how easy that was.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The loss yesterday of two P-51's and one pilot at OSH, the midair collision of two news choppers over PHX resulting in the loss of 4, and the tragic loss of 3 Scaled employees during a cold-test of SpaceShip Two's new rocket motor at Mojave should serve as a stark reminder to all of us that this thing we love, that brings us together here and elsewhere, this thing called aviation, may be an incredible freedom but it is also deadly serious business.

Each and every one of us simply must remember that at the end of the day it is up to us, as pilot-in-command to ensure the safe outcome of any flight we initiate.

Use your checklists, use your brains and best judgement, and get home safely.

Best wishes to all travelling to and from OSH and prayers to the families of the 8 men lost in the past 48 hours.

CWMOR

twinpilot said...

EO 387,
I think I would just go ahead, bite the bullet and have that second transponder installed with a selector switch. ;-) If you had to stop for fuel after the failure and not at your destination, you would have been down for 24 hrs. all because of a $ 2K black box. It does seem silly doesn't it, having a 1.3 million dollar turboprop and not being able to go when you want because of a 2K box. On second thought, what with avionics being so reliable these days, it is highly unlikely that this would ever happen again in our lifetimes right? Kind of like turbine engines, they are so reliable why would you ever need more than one. I like the concept of the 500 with two engines, two transponders etc. It is a personal transportation option for owner/pilots who could spend 1.2 million for a new Baron but see much more value in a pressurized twin fanjet. The concept is good. It is just the design/assembly company that screws up the execution.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Twinpilot,

Now I got you. I did have a mid-air refueling boom added at conversion for just such an occaision. It was less than the $5k for a redundant transponder.

JetA1 said...

Gunner said:
As I said, I've seen this "refresh" rate lag as long as 33 minutes.

Several months ago I became aware of an issue on another Garmin XM platform that was causing very long update lags. Basically what I was told, is that due to a software limitation (due to be fixed "soon"), if there are more than 400 thunderstorm "cells" (as defined by the XM system), then the Garmin just quits updating.
Bottom line to me was that when you needed it most, it wasn't working very good.

Even still, to me XM is great for low and slow aircraft (i.e. E-499.5 or C-172) for strategic weather avoidance, but if you are going high and fast (i.e. C-510 or G-V) and wanting to "pick thru it" onboard radar and stormscope are a must!

Gunner said...

EO-
No doubt the 496 was a great convenience item in this case and MIGHT be a great survival tool, IF it's turned on.

But let's get to the point. The E-50X has no independent backup avionics by design. Yes, if I owned one I'd have a 496 hardwired in and mounted. What about the poor soul that believes the Eclipse hype, though? The guy with the 496 in his flight bag? He's not gonna lose his instruments in straight and level VMC; it's gonna happen on IMC approach or IMC climb and turn...at least the ones you read about will. There simply is no time to start managing the plane, fumbling for a backup and waiting for it to power up.

"Shame on him", one might add. I disagree...this is not an experimental, where the onus is on the home-builder to make certain everything he needs is built in. This is an FAA Certified, twin engine jet. And the manufacturer is telling its customers that there is complete redundancy and the aircraft is perfectly safe with standard equipment.

Certainly not safe enough for me; evidently not safe enough for you. The question on the floor: what other "good enough" decisions did they make on your behalf? Items you and I don't have knowledge of and/or experience enough to judge.

My concern about the lack of backup systems in the E-50X is the attitude that it points up: "Forget the old ways; the chances of our systems blanking out are less than 1^-102359876". I mean, really....where's that come from? Simulations that assume perfect coding?
Gunner

Gunner said...

TP-
There's a big difference between convenience item redundancy and essential item redundancy. I think a second transponder is a great convenience item; hardly high on my list of must-haves. The fact that we differ in opinion on that is fine; it shows that different pilots have different priorities.

Same with single, vs twin engine jets. No doubt the twin is safer; but, then, a train is safer than the GA twin jet. And so it is that we each take (hopefully) calculated risks, by looking at the facts. For instance, how many single engine jets and turbo-props have augered in over recent years due to loss of an engine? How many twins?

I think the single limits safe flying conditions more than the twin, for certain. I also think it's not as bomb-proof as a twin. By the same token, SP flight is not as safe as crew flight; yet many of us fly single pilot, when a qualified co-pilot would cost far less than a second engine.

Like I said...calculated risks. One size does not fit all.
Gunner

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

NinerZ-
I believe it does have a mech-compass; but no independent AI. That's the concern. I agree with your comment about the 496; I simply add to that a flight-bag handheld radio.
Gunner

WhyTech said...

Gunner said:

"I simply add to that a flight-bag handheld radio."

Gunner,

I am in your camp on this. However, after doing some experimentation with this, I found that the flight bag is not the right place. Assuming Murphy works as advertised, you are going to need this at the worst possible moment - not the time to be fumbling around in the flight bag, getting thisngs set up, turned on, etc.

I found a RAM mount thst fits in the cup holder of my left arm rest that hold the standby GPS at the ready all the time, with the antenna already connected and on the glareshield.

This, together with a vertical card compass ("poor mam's" DG), and handheld transceiver (also at the ready) makes a lot of sense to me.

WT

WhyTech said...

EO387 said:

"I might just carry a backup one with an avionics screwdriver and hotswitch 'em if it happens again. I will tell ATC to standby while I, er, cycle the box!"

In case you werent joking: not legal - must be done by a certified avionics technician. I considered the same approach some years ago and was told this by my shop.

WT

WhyTech said...

Gunner,

Sorry, I see you noted in an earlier post that this stuff should not be in the flight bag.

Also, I should have mentioned that a battery powered 2" standby ADI completes my standby equipment.

I have found that its important to practice with this stuff if you really intend to use it. Its challenging enough to fly an approach to minimums when practicing, let alone when the chips are down.

Finally, while I have two transponders, in 40 years of flying, I have experienced just one transponder failure - that more than 3 decades ago in a high time rental with Cessna/ARC avionics.

WT

Gunner said...

WT-
Not a problem. We're talking nuance of personal preference here anyway.

The "old way" may be history, but traditional instruments were set up so that we could fy "partial panel". They also used terms like "primary flight instruments". I think, perhaps, Vern has never heard these terms; or he believes, Post-Microsoft, they're an anachronism.

What does "partial panel" in an IMC enveloped Eclipse look like, anyway? Flight by the mechanical compass and whatever the user has installed in contravention to his warranty?

This is not a "calculated risk". This is a company trying to prove (once again) that they've developed a better mousetrap; no matter the risk to the owner. Like I said earlier: World Class Stupid.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

"But let's get to the point. The E-50X has no independent backup avionics by design."

Gunner, that's just completely false.

I'll bet the Eclipse 500 avionics system has more redundancy than anything you have ever flown. All essential avionics have 4 separate power sources through 2 separate busses. There is redundancy in data source--3 separate air data systems and 3 separate attitude and heading reference systems. There is redundancy in the display of that information--the MFD has a dedicated backup display of attitude, speed, altitude, and vertical speed information. But if somehow both the pilot's PFD and the backup display both failed (what's the chance of that, anyway?), there is a fully-functional display of all the same information at the co-pilot's PFD.

I think some of the dinosaurs are not just aircraft manufacturers--they're pilots like you!! You cannot grasp that the MFD in the the Eclipse is the backup display, but the company cleverly designed it to display other useful information when it is not being used as an emergency instrument.

Take a peek here--this is the Avio NG on display at the IS&S booth at Oshkosh. Notice that the backup ADI is always in the upper left corner of the MFD, ready for use if ever an emergency occurs. And the backup ADI is supplied with information from the 3rd AHRS and the 3rd air data computer.

With 3 air data sources, 3 attitude sources, 4 power sources, and 3 displays, an Eclipse pilot does not worry about any lack of backup. The argument that he should is silly.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"Ken: were you right or wrong about Aviong at the show?"

I'll leave it up to the reader...

Here it is--N506EA,complete with working Avio NG, working aero-mods and flown in from Albuquerque to display all that stuff at Oshkosh. Notice the square buttons and additional rotary knob that differentiates Avio NG from Avidyne Avio. Did it show up? You bet--why did you think it wouldn't? :)

It's a shame you missed it; it looked nice. And there was lots of other good news from Eclipse at Oshkosh--

--Aero mods approved

--Avio Ng initial release code completed

--Pitot fix approved; retrofit to all existing aircraft is underway

--The production ramp is on track to delivery over 200 aircraft this year

--66 pilots have completed the type rating course 15 customers in the training right now

--Training backlog on track for elimination in a couple of months

--FTD approved; will start training pilots in late August

--Full motion sim to be delivered in September; 2 more sims early in 2008

--FIKI on track for completion in Q4 2007

--EASA certification on track for completion in Q4 2007

--Eclipse aircraft will be equipped with Garmin GTX-33ES (extended squitter) transponders to enable ADS-B compliance

Good reports all around; I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but that's where things really are :)

Ken

gadfly said...

Great photo!

The two strips of “Duck Tape” sure look good. It would even look better holding the three covers in place that are coming loose. It’s an amazing public demonstration of quality . . . “attention to detail” (as it were).

gadfly

Ken Meyer said...

gadfly wrote,

"Great photo!

The two strips of “Duck Tape” sure look good."


It's a test plane, not a production one. Perhaps you've never seen a test plane before, but that's what they look like.

This one had a lot of measuring equipment in it. Here is what the cabin looked like--you can see the test equipment and the extensive insulation used in the EA500 that results in the cabin noise level being so low. The plane has an interior noise level comparable to a Challenger 604--it's quiet enough that you can rather easily chat inside the cabin without a headset.

Ken

FlightCenter said...

Ken said,

"--Aero mods approved"

Peg Billson said on July 25th, as quoted in ANN

-"FAA certification for a series of modifications for the Eclipse 500 -- including larger tip tanks, a new tail bullet fairing, and other enhancements to improve speed and range -- is "imminent."

Did the approval happen after July 25th? When do they expect to deliver SN39?


"--The production ramp is on track to delivery over 200 aircraft this year"

That means Eclipse is saying that they are going to ramp from ~20 aircraft delivered in the first half to ~180 aircraft delivered in the second half. Pretty tall order.

"--66 pilots have completed the type rating course 15 customers in the training right now"

Sounds great!

Ken Meyer said...

flightcenter wrote,

"Did the approval happen after July 25th?"

I believe approval occurred the following day, 7/26.

I was a little worried about whether they'd get the approval for the aero-mods on time. The company incorporated the mods into S/N 39 and above; S/N 38 was obviously completed (it was on display at Oshkosh and is the auction plane). So without timely approval of the aero-mods, deliveries would presumably have ground to a halt.

Ken

gadfly said...

The statement read: ". . . N506EA,complete with working Avio NG, working aero-mods and flown in from Albuquerque to display all that stuff at Oshkosh."

The explanations somehow don't seem to parallel the statement. However, we'll consider the source and come away with our own conclusions.

The "mockup" of the panel is interesting, to say the least. I would have thought that since it's only a "paper" display, for the "paper clips", the left screen and right screens would at least agree as to the angle of the "plane" to the horizon. But maybe the center display is meant to be correct. Who knows!

gadfly

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EclipseOwner387 said...

WT,

What if I am a certified avionics tech? What if my plane is experimental? What if by chance I was joking? But anyway, it is simpler to in stall than a DVD in your home theater. And yes, I was joking. I would never spend the money on a back up!

;-)

Jim Howard said...

I've been looking at cockpit photos on airliners.net ( http://tinyurl.com/2pvh8j ) .

I can't find a single IFR certified airplane that does not have some kind of independent attitude instrument. Not the Cessna, Cirrus, Columbia, Mooney, or Beechcraft airplanes.

Not any bizjet. Not the A380 or B777.

It is my opinion that every single IFR certified airplane except the Eclipse has an independent attitude backup display.

Am I mistaken? Is there another IFR certified airplane of any type that relies entirely on the primary glass displays for backup attitude?

I am no expert on certification rules, but I don't see how the Eclipse was ever certified in its present cockpit configuration.

WhyTech said...

EO387 said:

"it is simpler to in stall than a DVD in your home theater. "

Yes and no. Its not just the sliding of the transponder box into the rack. Even the brain dead can do this. Its the recertification of the transponders/altitude reporting thats the issue. The entire system must be recertified when the xponder is changed, IIRC.

WT

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"With 3 air data sources, 3 attitude sources, 4 power sources, and 3 displays, an Eclipse pilot does not worry about any lack of backup"

Finally something from Ken that I can agree with. *IF* the system is designed properly, there is no reason that the standby indicators must be packaged separately from the other components.

WT

421Jockey said...

Jim,

You guys just don't seem to get it. The AI on the MFD is a completely independent instrument. It is much more reliable than the outdated instrument that you and others seem to want as your security blanket.

airsafetyman said...

Not sure what the geometry of the Eclipse attitude back-up on the MFD is, but it doesn't sound at all foolproof to me. Avidyne, for instance, has a warning out that says their PFD can give false pitch and roll information that will be reinforced by changes in the heading info and the moving map display for up to 45 seconds before a warning will occur. A reliable electromechanical attitude indicator with a battery back-up seems essential to me. I don't know Eclipse got their present system past certification, either, but then I don't understand how the airplane ever got awarded a Type Certificate in the first place, or how Eclipse got a Production Certificate. Politics? Noooooooooooo.

airsafetyman said...

Reminds me of an accident several years ago involving a Bellanca. The engine quit on take-off and the airplane went into a field; there were no injuries. What happened? The fuel was clean and dry and the tank properly selected. The spark plugs were servicable, the air filer was clean and unobstructed, the fuel and air filters were clean. The engine was fitted with two servicable, completely independent magnetos. What happened was that both "P" leads were routed into the same wire bundle and attached to the engine mount structure before being routed to the cabin. An exhaust leak burned through both "P" leads and shorted both magnetos to ground.
With all the integrated wiring in the Eclipse, it seems that a similar "gotcha" is just waiting.

airtaximan said...

Finally, I can agree with something Ken says, too:

"an Eclipse pilot does not worry about any lack of _____________ "

You fill in the blank...I can think of about 100 things...

airtaximan said...

from Ken:

"Good reports all around; I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but that's where things really are :)"

1- you can choose to believe anything you want - the truth is, you have no clue whether its finished, Ken. I suspect that the extra few days it took to have this plane even at the show should give you reason to be skeptical. The duct tape should give you more reason - it's obvious they don't care about being very meticulous when it comes to showing "finished".

2- your proclamation of "all good news" is pretty funny. They claim they will deliver 200 planes in 2007... I remember when, at the same time and place they provide you with the same BS - 200 planes in 2006.

..I'm happy you enjoy being fed good news over and over and over again. When does it become "suspect", Ken. It's the same news year after year at this point. The exact same news.

... well, not exactly, some of it is fixes are scheduled, NGs are scheduled, more pilots will be trained... Sims are coming, again... etc... pretty sad/old news.

I guess not when your expectations are so low.

paul said...

"What if I am a certified avionics tech? What if my plane is experimental? What if by chance I was joking? But anyway, it is simpler to in stall than a DVD in your home theater. And yes, I was joking. I would never spend the money on a back up"

And make sure you carry your test box with you at all times to certify the installation.
You can't just slap it in and go flying IFR.

Ken Meyer said...

jim howard wrote,

"It is my opinion that every single IFR certified airplane except the Eclipse has an independent attitude backup display.

Am I mistaken?"


Yes. You may be forgetting that there are thousands of IFR-certified aircraft with only a single vacuum-driven attitude gyro. And, worse still, a vacuum AI has a short MTBF and is very often powered by a single source that also has a very short MTBF. So those thousands of GA planes with just one attitude gyro are constantly ticking down toward the failure of the attitude display or the AI's power source.

I think what many people do not understand is that the Eclipse employs a full-time, dedicated backup ADI that also gives speed, altitude, slip/skid and compass rose (unlike having just a backup mechanical AI). It is always on; you cannot remove it from the center display.

The backup ADI's primary data sources are ADC 3 and AHRS 3. The display is redundantly powered--multiple electric supplies through multiple busses, so that the failure of any single bus or any 2 power sources will not cause it to fail.

What confuses many people is that the Eclipse backup ADI sits in a nice big multifunction display (take a peek at it here). Many jets have a separate backup flatscreen ADI, but that's all that instrument does. It performs no useful function most of the time.

What Eclipse elected to do was incorporate a dedicated backup ADI, and put it in a display that could provide something useful to the pilot when you don't have an emergency. That center display is the dedicated backup, but it performs some very useful functions in between the once in a blue moon when you need a backup ADI :)

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
Good explanation. One question, though:

Can you name one certified jet, other than the EA-50X, that DOES NOT come with a mechanical backup AI? I'm not looking for explanations as to how backward all those other companies are; it's just a thumb-nail surrogate for polling the best minds in aviation engineering.
Gunner

mouse said...

Keep believing what you want about an independant backup ADI...

Eclipse has lost 100% of their displays 3 times now... 100% as in the entire cockpit went dark, twice in IFR flight, and one of those was enroute to MCO for the NBAA show.

A flyby the tower was the only way to indicate that the landing gear was still in the well too... There are no independant backups if you are using the electronic displays, none...

Now Ken has the ability to project his own backups on the insides of his eyelids, so he may be the only investor to have a backup system...

Keep clicking those ruby slippers Ken...

hummer said...

ken meyer
can you make available to those of us who care, links to the high quality jpeg of 502EA instruments, inside, outside, etc. such as in your previous post?
Thank you.

WhyTech said...

Gunner said:

"Can you name one certified jet, other than the EA-50X, that DOES NOT come with a mechanical backup AI? "

Yes - there are many. I cant name them all, but for example, the recent Cessna CJ's utilize the L3 GH3000 ESIS (Electronic Standby Instrument System). This incorporates an LCD screen and solid state ADAHRS, and a battery to provide pitch, altitude, airspeed,heading/compass, ILS, etc, etc in a single 3ATI package. There are similar products from Thales, Meggitt, and others, and these are now standard in a great many jets and turboprops.

I had a GH3000 in my Baron and it was far better than any electromechanical solution if have seen.

The key word in your comment is "mechanical." None of these are mecahnical, but they are separate, self contained and powered systems.

WT

airtaximan said...

More pearls from Ken:

"a vacuum AI has a short MTBF"

Perhaps a better question would be "does it work like they say?"

When is the MTBR? So far your company is replacing a system they worked on for 9 years, because it failed to work properly.

- you know nothing about the current (replacement) system, except it took a few extra days for it to make it in any way shape or form to a scheduled appearance at a show.

- I'd be concerned that it works at all before I trash older conventional backups. If nothing else, perhaps a conventional back up is a good idea, considering the history.

I'm sure the Next One will be great, too!

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"Can you name one certified jet, other than the EA-50X, that DOES NOT come with a mechanical backup AI?"

Sure. There are many. I found these 3 in no time--each has a flat-panel electronic backup with redundant power supply just like the Eclipse does--



CJ2+

Sovereign

Falcon

Ken

redtail said...

airsafetyman said... Not sure what the geometry of the Eclipse attitude back-up on the MFD is, but it doesn't sound at all foolproof to me.

Intelligent statement - NOT. What you're saying is, "I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I don't like it." How typical.

redtail said...

mouse said... Keep believing what you want about an independant backup ADI... Eclipse has lost 100% of their displays 3 times now... 100% as in the entire cockpit went dark, twice in IFR flight, and one of those was enroute to MCO for the NBAA show.

Total blackout in IFR. It looks like they survived without mishap. I guess it does work. Thanks for the info.

Ken Meyer said...

Hummer--

Sure, but I'm not crystal clear what you're looking for--506EA, not 502EA, right? I think I only have two shots of it--the panel shot and one not-so-great exterior shot that omitted the tip tanks.

There are some nice exterior shots of the aeromod-equipped Eclipse available here, and this is a beautiful video they shot recently of an aeromod-equipped Eclipse over the California coast.

Let me know what you're looking for and I'll see what I can do.

Ken

redtail said...

WhyTech said... There are many. I cant name them all, but for example, the recent Cessna CJ's utilize the L3 GH3000 ESIS (Electronic Standby Instrument System). This incorporates an LCD screen and solid state ADAHRS, and a battery to provide pitch, altitude, irspeed,heading/compass, ILS, etc, etc in a single 3ATI package.

Very much the same as the Eclipse package. What you keep forgetting is that the Eclipse backup does have it's own battery source for power in addition to the busses. I think what makes the critic uncomfortable is that it is displayed on the MFD. As long as the MFD does not have a hardware failure at the same time the rest of the aircraft has an total electrical failure, the backup should conceivably work as designed.

redtail said...

airtaximan said... you know nothing about the current (replacement) system, except it took a few extra days for it to make it in any way shape or form to a scheduled appearance at a show.

It did arrive on time and was only scheduled to be on display through the next day. It does have development/certification work to do, and can't just sit arround at OSH.

hummer said...

ken meyer
Thanks Ken, I have those links. Specifically the AVIO NG displays
an the functions. Don't know every-
thing. . . . Just interested
in learning, not criticizing.

WhyTech said...

ASM said:

"With all the integrated wiring in the Eclipse, it seems that a similar "gotcha" is just waiting. "

Almost certainly right. To some extent it depends on whether the system is designed to function with a single failure, or multiple failures. You show me the system and I can fail enough things to make you helpless. Its mostly statistics: the odds are against multiple failures, but they do happen - remember Al Haynes's DC-10 flight where an uncontained turbine failure wiped out all three channels of a triple redundant hydraulic control system? Wonder what systems on the E-clips are vulnerable to such a failure?


WT

hummer said...

And if you know or can find out:
Will the application provide real
time satellite broadband level 1 &
2 support?

hummer said...

Cause guess who will be the high bidder for the 700 & emergency
spectrum?

Ken Meyer said...

Hummer--

A few more pictures--

Here is an Avio NG PFD shot that goes along with the 502EA MFD I linked earlier.

Here is the W&B pre-flight synoptic.

Here is what the takeoff performance page looks like.

Here is the electrical synoptic.

There are a bunch of similar pages that handle all the various systems. The various synoptic pages are presented in two large tiles in the bottom of the MFD. They're available on the PFD in the event of MFD failure. In time Avio NG will link CAS messages to synoptics (e.g. an electrical CAS message will cause the electrical synoptic page to also appear) along with the appropriate emergency checklist and soft buttons for the pilot to adjust the affected system.

To my knowledge, the Eclipse includes a WiFi connection and an Iridium 9522A L-band transceiver for realtime transmission of system status reports, out-of-gate reports, engine trending and the like. The system is entirely transparent to the pilot, but there is a rumor that the included iridium system will be made available for onboard use by occupants for voice and lowspeed data as an option. You can probably tell me more about the data capabilities of Iridium--I think it is pretty low, isn't it?

I know of no other plans for data transmission capability in the plane at this time. What's this about the high bidder???

Ken

hummer said...

Thanks Ken
And the software developed by Eclipse will control not only the avionics but virtually all systems of
the aircraft and be proprietary
in nature. So nothing can be added or deleted without source code and Eclipe's approval including communications, stc, etc. All maintenance and features will be the under the exclusive control of Eclipse? Am I right in assuming this?

Ken Meyer said...

hummer wrote,

"All maintenance and features will be the under the exclusive control of Eclipse? Am I right in assuming this?"

I wouldn't say all maintenance must be under Eclipse's control--that's not really true. But I agree that it doesn't look like it would be very easy to add anything to the airplane that needs to be interfaced by Avio unless you had help from Eclipse. I'm told that there are a couple of available circuits that you could tie into if you wanted to add something that needed power, but it would have to be something that could be managed without Avio.

The operating philosophy here is to build the plane pilots "should" want, and do it in large enough quantity to keep the price down. There isn't a whole lot of customization allowed. There is of course some optional equipment you can select from, but if what you want isn't something a thousand other guys would also want, I think the odds are that you're out of luck and need to buy something else.

Ken

Metal Guy said...

What day did the AVIO NG equipped 499.5 make it to the show? I know it left on Saturday – did it arrive on Thursday? If so, where was it on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? Just curious.

Old Troll said...

redtail said...
"Total blackout in IFR. It looks like they survived without mishap. I guess it does work."


This is the most amazing bit of Sophistry I've seen today. A complete failure is proof that it works!?!?!?

What's next? Is the abysmal failure to deliver on schedule proof that they're ramping up production? I'll bet the lack of fatigue testing also shows that they got the design right on the first try. And the merry-go-round of vendors just shows how much better Eclipse is than everyone else. The fossilized dinosaurs can't keep up with Vern.

Can I get a job at Eclipse too? I can write crap like this all day.

Gunner said...

Whytech said:
"The key word in your comment is "mechanical." None of these are mecahnical, but they are separate, self contained and powered systems."

Well, as someone else here suggested, so is the EA-50X (though I do understand the nuance of your point).

I guess we'll just have to see whether an AD or accident history develops as a result. No sarcasm intended there. The company has chosen its path; the flight hours will tell the rest of the story, once the Jet is completed and untethered.

Still, I hope that Eclipse is one hell of a better avionics integrator than it is aircraft manufacturer. Hebrew and Yiddish languages provide some of the very best and most earthy statements for strange human behavior.

The attempt by a struggling, stumbling aircraft manufacturer to act as integrator for this many different avionics companies, systems and boxes would be referred to as classic "meshugas".

Gunner

hummer said...

Ken. . .
You seem to have an abundance of knowledge about this plane and its future. What do you project the residual value of the Eclipse 500 out 3 to 5 years, considering the "fact" of 1000 owners or so. CJ3driver says his aircraft is currently worth 1 or 2 mil more than he paid for it. Do you think that the Eclipse 500 will appreciate in value?

airsafetyman said...

I just don't see how you can have standby info on a MFD and expect it to be reliable considering how integrated the systems are. A dedicated standby electromechanical unit back-up would seem to be common sense. What do you gain by not having one?

planet-ex said...

Ken Meyer said...
gunner wrote,

Sure. There are many. I found these 3 in no time--each has a flat-panel electronic backup with redundant power supply just like the Eclipse does--

CJ2+
Sovereign
Falcon


Ken, obviously you don't know the difference between what the CJ, Sovereign, and Falcon have installed in them versus the method that Eclipse is using.

The units installed in those aircraft are COMPLETELY independent of the aircraft avionics. Not like Eclipse where it is part of the AvioNG installation. Is the MFD a completely independent device or is it part of AvioNG?

I daresay you have no experience with aircraft avionic installations.

WhyTech said...

Planet-ex said:

"The units installed in those aircraft are COMPLETELY independent of the aircraft avionics"

Yes and no. The attitude, altitude, airspeed and heading parts are typically independent, however, in the systems I am familiar with, there is an interface to a nav and com radio (which is also on the battery) so that you can navigate and communicate.

The setup I had im my Braon was quite effective. The GH3000 ESIS was interfaced to the no. 2 Garmin 530, which with the audio panel was run off the backup battery, providing about 40-60 minutes of emergency use, depending on how much transmitting you do.

The setup in my PC-12 is primitive by comparison: a 2" JET AI with a standby battery. Thats it. No nav, com, heading (other than a wet compass). When the juice goes completely out, you can keep the shiny side up, but thats about it.

Admittedly, the PC-12 has several layers of protection that have to fail to get to this point, unless you have an engine failure and dont get it down before the main battery drops off line - about 30-40 minutes. Seems like a long time, but if you are crusing at FL300, it takes some time to get down.

WT

FlightCenter said...

For those of you considering flying an aircraft without an independent backup ADI. Both Embraer and Gulfstream have experienced simulataneous loss of all Primus displays in their aircraft.

AD for Display Blanking Problem

"This AD is prompted by a report indicating that all four cockpit flight panel displays went blank simultaneously."

"We are issuing this AD to prevent a software error from blanking the cockpit display units, which will result in a reduction of the
flightcrew's situational awareness, and possible loss of control of the airplane."

"This AD also requires revisions of the airplane flight manual (AFM) to prohibit dispatch of any flight with the integrated standby flight display (SFD) inoperative; to add procedures to facilitate recovery of the cockpit display units in the event that the cockpit displays go blank; and to add flightcrew briefings on the use of standby instruments in case the cockpit display units go blank and do not recover."

airtaximan said...

ASM and planetX,

I've been trying politely to remind Ken that if he pulls his tomato for a head out of his darkest spot, he'd begin to understand the difference between real and BS.

In the case of redundancy and independence regarding systems, he seems to eat bullshit and think its filet mignon.

I imagine his ilk has swallowed mass quantities, and is enjoying the flavor, despite the reality that it is completely harmful for their health.

- Marketing is a wonderful thing - the surgeon general has warned of many things, unfortunately stupidity and ignorance is not one of them. Sorry Gunner, I know how much you love the democratic process, but sometimes seatbelts become mandatory. I can't even imagine what it will take in this case...

No calculated risk here... calculations would need to be done on a system with no transparency and from a company with no integrity. In the past, the system did not work (they got it TC and PC'd though???) and yet it was thrown in the garbage - in the future... well there’s an e-clips currently happening, so no one can see a damn thing!

Believing is seeing. Just ask Ken.


BTW, the piss poor track record of e-clips speaks or itself. I imagine the insurance community has taken solace in the FACT that this company has screwed up more and over-promised more than so many other companies, they can now BLAME the owners/pilots for almost every possible FU from now on. I can see it: "what did you EXPECT Ms. Smith from a company that was so late, replaced so many systems, promised so much and failed to deliver so many times? Did you ACTUALLY BELIEVE the plane was safe?? Did you or your husband ever even think to question quality – the company was openly screwing up left and right? Did anyone in your family think the plane would come close to performing as hyped? Come on...come on... everyone knew there was no real back up, no independent redundancy – everything was in the hands of Vern’s unproven and previously thrown in the trash avionics systems… right? You knew this…right?

I guess Ken might be trying to front load the insurance community by preparing them for the level of ignorance involved in actually buying one of these things. "Sorry, my husband really didn't understand the difference between independent and redundant systems... look here at his insistent posts right here on the blog"....

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

I believe that the 3rd AHRS is only available when you purchase the Part 135 option package. The aircraft baseline package comes with two AHRS.

The two AHRS that are in the aircraft baseline package are identical units made by Crossbow.

The original intention for the third AHRS was that Eclipse intended to select a different vendor for the third AHRS than Crossbow. This would have resulted in an independent source of AHRS information. Does anyone know if this happened? Or does the Part 135 package include three identical AHRS from Crossbow?

All three displays use the same operating system.

All three displays use the same databus to get their information.

What that means is that there are failure modes that can take out both AHRS simultaneously, or all three displays simultaneously.

The FAA uses a term for this. They call it common mode failure.

Ken Meyer said...

flightcenter wrote,

"All three displays use the same databus to get their information."

Sorry, FC, that's not right. Each PFD receives its information from a different bus. The MFD gets its information in yet a different way. I think you may want to review the Systems Manual because what you described is not how the Avio NG is designed.

The system is architected to prevent any single bus or hardware failure from causing catastrophic consequences.

It is actually laid out very cleverly. It does not simply provide multiple AHRS, GPS, AOA and air data sources, it monitors them. That way Avio NG can and will automatically correct for most failures without the pilot having to identify the failure and react to it. The system will take the appropriate action and notify the pilot what was done.

It all ties into the concept of pilot workload reduction that is at the heart of Avio NG. Just one example--at takeoff, instead of remembering a dozen different settings that have to be right, the pilot merely checks to make sure he's got a CAS message, "Takeoff config OK." If he doesn't the system will tell him what's wrong--maybe the flaps aren't set right or the trim isn't set right, or the door is loose. Whatever it is, the system will keep him from making a catastrophic goof.

But don't take my word for it. Business and Commercial Aviation recently ran a detailed story (June 2007) about the benefits of the Eclipse system:

"It's virtually certain that the Eclipse 500 will have a virtual copilot capability that's second to none in single-pilot aircraft...other general aviation manufacturers are likely to follow. The potential for saving lives is sufficiently compelling justification. But the investment in virtual copilot technology also is bound to reduce insurance costs and liability risks as a by-product of lower accident rates."

Ken

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