Sunday, August 26, 2007

Random Thoughts From Niner Zulu

Random thoughts were going through my head as I was reading through the blog tonight. I thought I'd just write them down for fun, in no particular order.

One was that I really don't know exactly WHAT the "disruptive technology" is that Eclipse is supposed to have. What does it have that other planes don't that is really going to make my life as a pilot more enjoyable?

I couldn't find anything in the AvioNG that was particularly great. The weight & balance feature is interesting but I know how my plane performs at maximum gross weight and I know what I carry so it's just fluff and one more thing to break as far as I'm concerned. I can ballpark my W&B faster than inputting the data to any computer. It's not 100% accurate, but 90% so who cares? My plane doesn't.

The PFD on the AvioNG doesn't appear to do any more than the Avidyne Entegra in my Mirage. And climate control? More fluff - just give me hot or or cold and let me control fan speed.

Given the choice, I would prefer that Eclipse install a Garmin 1000 panel in my plane. Having a reliable product backed by a solid company would give me more comfort than anything Eclipse is going to invent. And talk about reinventing the wheel - Eclipse thinks that not only can they build a better jet than anyone else, they can also build better avionics than anyone else. Autopilot, transponders, radar, stormscope, GPS, traffic - all brought to you by the same company that screwed up so bad they had to add tip tanks, and it took them a few tries to get the tip tanks right. Yikes!!

I'd give up the nifty little breakable keyboard on the Eclipse for a nice traditional yoke. I like to fly by hand, and I like to use my right hand. Maybe my right knee. (Try doing that in an Eclipse! ) I like traditional flap handles with indicators, and 3 nice bright green lights showing me that my gear are down. Where is the progress, when some of the items so critical to safety and can be operated by feel are taken away and replaced by pictures on a computer screen?

Someone made some great points about lack of FIKI certification earlier. The only thing I can add is that not having it is absurd! What - it will be available next year? I'd be calling my lawyer if I were one of the faithful. For me and where I fly the Eclipse would be useless without it.

Last thing is I wonder how much Eclipse is spending on advertising. They are advertising everywhere, and for what? Jets that won't be available for 3-4 years at best? One more reason that the faithful should be pissed off, IMHO. That money could be spent finishing the aircraft for current customers.

Thanks 9Z, happy to see the blog talking about the airplane again.

369 comments:

1 – 200 of 369   Newer›   Newest»
Black Tulip said...

Niner Zulu,

You put to words what many of us are thinking. Well done.

Black Tulip

mouse said...

I second that emotion...!

airsafetyman said...

Ken,

Where does it say the Mustang has to be flown single pilot? Lets say I have to get my family up to JFK airport on a Friday afternoon. I can chose between a Cessna Mustang flown by two professional pilots who are used to flying together and have done the route many times. The aircraft is maintained by a corporate flight department. Both the pilots and mechanics attend factory schools regularly. Or, I can put them in an Eclipse to be flown up by a single, part-time, pilot who doesn't fly that much annually and who has blind faith in Vern. The aircraft is maintained by "Robert" and his tool bag. Who do I chose? Let me think about it and I will get back to you.

RJ said...

While I generally think this site is far too critical and catty, I agree that Eclipse should have gone with a standard avionics suite like the G1000. They created unnecessary project risk by reinventing a wheelthat already had millions of man hours of R&D invested within it. I'm in the computer industry, and the primary way we reduce project risk is to use off the shelf components like chips and operating systems from specialist vendors. Had they selected the G1000 we'd already be hearing hundreds of Eclipse jet's on the approach frequencies, and the site would be searching for a new name.

Shane Price said...

9Z,

Well done, for 'random thoughts' which were very much in focus.

And talking about Eclipse, anyone else notice that the Con jet is now just a footnote on the home page?

Lots and LOTS of people must be relieved to see this 'thing' relegated.

Also, on the name thing. The Faithful are, well, the Faithful. The rest are, as the title of this blog says....

Critics.

Simple, easy to understand and to the point.

Just like your posts. Most of the time!

Shane

421Jockey said...

rj,

Remember that 7 years ago when the supplier decisions were made, the Garmin 1000 did not exist.

When the decision to switch from Avidyne was made, Garmin was no longer an option due to design commitments.

rcflyer said...

bill e. goat said,

"ExE,
What is the story on no, ah, 'rub strips' on the belly? Seems like this would be a significant concern to an insurer...and owner."

I hope Exe doesn't mind my answering, but according to the Eclipse web site, carbon-steel lower fuselage skid pads are available as an extra-cost option.

R.C.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Tour of Eclipse on You Tube

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nynZ3mIzkEM

Ken Meyer said...

Eclipse set out from the very beginning to do much more with its avionics package than a G1000 system can do.

Everything in the Eclipse is monitored by Avio, and the system presents the pilot with only those pieces of information he can actually do something with, rather than flooding him with information overload.

One good example: at takeoff, if everything is set properly (flaps, pressuriation, doors sealed, pitch trim ok, and APR armed), the system tells you, "Takeoff Config OK." You don't check a half dozen separate things for takeoff; you look for one message telling you the system has checked everything. That's what a good virtual (or real) copilot can do for you.

Here are a few more examples of how the groundbreaking technology helps pilot be safer:

--If you lose an engine at rotation, the system automatically boosts the power on the remaining engine, quite probably before you even know something has gone wrong.

--The system puts your speed bugs up automatically for you. The system knows what stall speed is for all configurations, and it won't let you stall the plane.

--If you exceed a redline limit, the autothrottle will automatically power back.

--You cannot lower the flaps unless they're going down symmetrically.

--The system automatically re-rigs the landing gear every time you use it--no more costly and time-consuming manual gear rigging every year.

--The system walks you through a quick W&B calculation every flight (so quick, it actually gets done each flight ).

--It intelligently manages the pressurization by knowing departure, destination and cruise altitudes.

--It automatically balances fuel load, performs the pre-landing check for you and much more.

--If you lose a generator, the system automatically and intelligently sheds load for you--no need to work through circuit breakers while dealing with the emergency; it's done for you.

--If you perform a precautionary engine shutdown, the system is smart enough NOT to pester you with warnings about low oil and fuel pressure.

--In icing? One switch and the system will manage all the deicing gear automatically. You don't have to remember to cycle the boots; it's done for you.

--The system communicates with ground stations via an Iridium telecom setup to notify the company of any major malfunction during flight, spot maintenance snags and fleetwide premature wear.

--Something goes wrong and the correct emergency checklist pops up automatically. From that very page, the pilot is presented the controls to activate or deactivate any system related to the emergency. Intelligent synoptic display with directly-linked systems controls. I think it's a brilliant idea.

The list goes on and on; there is not enough space to describe all the advanced features Avio NG offers. But Business & Commercial Aviation looked pretty carefully into it, and they concluded:

"It's virtually certain that the Eclipse 500 will have a virtual copilot capability that's second to none in a single-pilot aircraft...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. Such long-term costs savings may be the most persuasive argument for fitting future aircraft with virtual copilots."

Virtual copilot, in a nutshell, is why Eclipse didn't just settle for an off-the-shelf avionics package.

Ken

airtaximan said...

someone needs to explain to Ken what an "upgrade is".

an upgrade for Cessna is a new model, offered for sale, with some new value added beyond the older product - it's a product of good conservative planning - many possible "upgrades" might be based on systems in development when a plane is designed, but not ready for prime time until later. Having these available, is often based on having design margin built in - its planned, up front. Sometimes this happens later on as an after thought, like new avionics, for a plane that's been in servic for years and years.

E-clips did the exact opposite. They over sold the plane... in order to coax deposits from "position holders" they have to "fix up" the plane to meet revised performance guarantees. In the case of the engine and avionics, they are going with less revolutionary and generally more conventional and older designs.

So, we can forget the term "upgrade" for e-clips. This resulted from them not planing or understanding how to plan for engines and avionics in development. The replacement of them casues them to have to redesign the whole plane, or fix up a cluge job.

E-clips has used up all of its design margin - admitted by Vern a long time ago, already - so you should wonder if there's even room for real upgrades. Pushing the plane to its design limits for a new company, is not necessarily a great idea - that's for sure.

The plane is being fixed up, not upgraded.

And , there's nothing "free" about it. It was the only way to get the depositors to "assume the position" and pony up 60% progress payments. Promise that it will, one day, meet the revised performance promises.

Why no FIKI yet?

I imagine, unless there is a major issue with FIKI, the progress money spent on the con-jet could have been spent on FIKI... or something of value to the owners who paid for it... and the weather story holding things up, is well...BS. They could fly the plane to Europe for a marketing stunt... but they cannot find ice?They can spend money and time building a new plane, but they cannot FIKI the old one?

c'mon... I guess this will be a "free up grade", too?

Gunner said...

Ken-
When you provide unabashed marketing pitches like that the least you might do is replace words like "does" with "should" & "will". Tense is important to veracity.

Overlooking that piece of intentional dis-ingenuity, let's go to substance:

"at takeoff, if everything is set properly (flaps, pressuriation, doors sealed, pitch trim ok, and APR armed), the system tells you, "Takeoff Config OK." You don't check a half dozen separate things for takeoff"

Shame on the pilot who doesn't independently verify those half dozen critical items. Anybody wanna buy a boob-job for their prize bull?

Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

"Shame on the pilot who doesn't independently verify those half dozen critical items. Anybody wanna buy a boob-job for their prize bull?"

You're as delicate as always, gunner.

But perhaps you'd benefit from a visit to this website:

NTSB Aviation Accident Page

You can look up for yourself how often pilots make the mistake of taking off with something set wrong.

I myself departed once into icing without the pitot heat on and discovered the hard way why you don't want to do that.

Many have departed with the flaps set wrong.

Only gunner could decry the advanced life-saving avionics of the Eclipse by suggesting "a good pilot doesn't need that help."

You sound a lot like the guys who told us a decade or so ago that we don't need GPS and "good pilots don't need moving maps to know where they are."

Probably you think good pilots don't need a gear horn, either. After all, nobody has ever forgotten to lower the landing gear, have they?

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And what is a neophyte jet-jockey going to do when HAL decides to open the pod bay doors at 410?

Or if HAL decides to put the flaps down just because?

Or if HAL decides to raise them just because (on short final)?

What if HAL decides to take an electron nap due to a lightning strike, or something undiscovered under the floor panels?

I know, the pilot can just open or close circuit breakers to regain some control right? - nope, most of the CB's are electronic and are controlled through multiple pages and soft keys on the MFD.

What if the same company that did not understand the challenges of designing a complicated airplane, that blew vendor selection on avionics twice, on the engines, and is having serious quality issues both internally as well as from major structural vendors (yes, plural) also missed position switch hysteriss and there are 'disagreements' that HAL cannot resolve? Guess the gear and flaps just stay up no matter how bad you need them.

Who designed the phase of flight logic for what HAL decides to present to the pilot? The would-be blonde-haired wunderkind running Avio - the kid whose major qualification is surviving 1000 hrs as a CFI and freight dog who got a Challenger type rating is an FOV (Friend of Vern - read asskisser)?

"Put the landing gear and flaps down HAL."

"I am afraid I can't do that Dave."

Makes me feel safer already.

EA50 said...

What airplane do you fly, Mr. coldwet?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And before the faithful get their panties in a bunch, yes, I know there is an emergency gear release to drop the gear, so save the faux-indignation for 'maligning' the great design features of the wonder jet.

The point is that a non-emergency situation may result in emergency procedures being necessary BECAUSE of the 'advanced design features', not avoided.

Given how many things Eclipse has failed to get right the first or second attempt so far (like oh, everything), I would be very concerned about the quality of thought that went into the 'virtual' copilot - it could be a real problem.

Also, how much of the 'virtual' copilot is coming with each of the phases of development for Avio NfG? Like so manyt other things, is it due 'Tuesday'?

Ringtail said...

Airsafetyman

Get off your kick trying to compare flying the eclipse single pilot to the procedures and policies a corporate flight department employs. You are comparing apples to oranges. Flying is a calculated risk. There are tradeoffs that people are willing to take. We are discussing on this site for the mostpart single pilot operations. I work for a flight department and fly as a crew, but I will also not hesitate to fly single pilot as long as I am proficient.

Sorry, but I just get tired of the single pilot VS crew argument. Times of changed.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ea50,

I could choose the Ken, Alexa, Mirage and Ringworm amendment and just choose to ignore you.

What I fly is unrelated to the discussion, as is who I am.

That said, I have posted my general qualifications many times but am happy to brief them again. I have worked many Part 23 and Part 25 Cert programs in technical and management positions, I hold a Commercial license, and I have flown TAA and turbine equipment.

OK?

Shane Price said...

Ken,

You are at it AGAIN...

Avio NG is NOT CERTIFIED. You can't fly with it. Not now, not in the near future.

It can predict the lottery numbers for all I care, it's VAPORWARE.

And Dan's video was real sweet, especially the short bit about the Con Jet.

I liked Vern doing M.C. claiming 'more than 20' aircraft in primary assembly. Looked like 8 or 10 to me (and Dan, who is an eye witness) but Vern knows best.

Your continuous parroting of all things 'future' coming out of Eclipse is THE wonder of the age.

Truly, you are the Head Alterboy of the Faithful.

Shane

Ringtail said...

Just a general comment -

Out of all of the statements I read on this blog, I enjoy Mirage's the most. What he says is generally short and sweet and it disturbs the heck out of the naysayers

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Wow Ken, that was a new low even for you, by my reckoning you ought to be closing in on the surface on the other side of the planet soon with the holes you keep digging - how is your Mandarin?

I know I know, you were 'just kidding', it was 'just a joke',you 'didn't mean anything by it'. You just called another poster a slut because they don't agree with your version of reality and it is there for all to see unless you delete the proof.

How's about posting a functional matrix for the current Avio and the full-feature Avio NfG so's we can verify the veracity of your VERNacular pontification?

Don't worry, I won't be holding my breath.

Gunner said...

Gotta call 'em as I see 'em. "Jane [Shane], you ignorant slut" IS funny to all who recall the source. Probably more appropriate in atmospheres less contentious, but funny. Onward.

Ken said:
"advanced life-saving avionics of the Eclipse"

Not only is Eclipse a maven of aircraft design and manufacture, but they have clearly "eclipsed" companies like Garmin that have been actually PRODUCING "advanced life-saving avionics" since before this company was a pipe dream in Vern's ego-starved psyche.

This rates as the single most breathtaking claim ever made about this company.

Gunner

mirage00 said...

Shame on the pilot who doesn't independently verify those half dozen critical items. Anybody wanna buy a boob-job for their prize bull?

Ok, so when you confirm your gear is down and locked, how do you do it now? Let me answer for you... you look at your three green gear lights. How do you think those three green gear lights know to glow that pretty shade of green? Yes, that's right... a sensor sends the signal.

It's all the same, just easier.

Ken, thanks for that list of Avio features! I would imagine, you won't get much criticism since it truly is "revolutionary" as far as personal airplanes go.

Special thanks to ringtail :)

I remain amused

double 00

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

Mirage-
Indicator problems- perzactly; that's why we do a preflight walk-around. If I recall, you're not a pilot, are you?

I've also seen indicator lights for cabin and baggage doors malf, showing secure when they were not. That's why I check 'em independently. Put me in a plane that says, "Welcome, Dave. All systems are go." and I'll STILL check these items. YMMV.
Gunner

airsafetyman said...

Ringtail,

I did not bring it up, Ken did after I suggested you might want to add Mustang engines to the overweight, underperforming Eclipse, then slide a Mustang airframe under the just changed engines. As for this "virtual copilot" nonsense it will be part of the problem when bits and pieces of the hardware and software start taking a vacation and our part-time amateur single pilot has to try and figure it out by himself.

jetaburner said...

I'm new to your site and have enjoyed reading your postings about the Eclipse not the personal attacks. I thought I would add some limited personal insight. I've never flown the plane but have had a chance to see it in person. I have owned and/or flown a Meridian, TBM700, CJ and CJ2. I fly the CJ2 single pilot. I have 2 friends who were very interested in the plane both of which have lots of turbine time. One of them has personally flown it. Some observations/predictions:
- Eclipse will produce a very small jet with limited capabilities.
- The charter/air taxi market will not be dramatically changed as predicted by Vern. Instead there will be limited use maybe 50 or so across the country because customers will not like the plane because of the size, limited payload and range, and no toilet. I agree that most non-aviation types are scared of prop planes but they also tend to think anything smaller than a 737 is risky.
- Owners pilots will realize that jets require a lot more fuel reserves than Eclipse is using (I spoke to one of their pilots who said they are using 200 to 300lbs for reserves) especially when flying into congested airspace such as SoCal or the Northeast. They will also realize that for short hops less than 400nm ATC will keep them down and they will burn a lot more fuel. In any turbine powered plane, but especially a jet, you have to add a lot more fuel if flying into SoCal or the Northeast. 200 to 300 lbs of fuel is really thin even for the smallest of jets. Just to compare light IFR reserves in the Meridian is 300lbs, in the TBM is 400lbs, and in the CJ2 it is 800lbs. At the end of the day using more conservative real life reserves I think the Eclipse will be a 3 person, 800nm IFR airplane.
- Because of these realities the owner market will not buy 1000s of Eclipses but instead will by a couple of hundred over the next 5 years.
-What happens to the price and service structure when they are not selling several 1000 planes a year? I predict the price will climb to at least $2.2M (it is at $1.8M now). The company may also fail because the aircraft will have to be priced to closely to the Mustang and TBM850. But this will take some time because they are well funded.
- Insurance will be a huge factor for the owner pilot. The most common CJ series accident for the owner pilot is running the plane off of the runway. The CJ series has great anti-lock brakes. The Eclipse does not. The insurance companies are scared to death of the Eclipse and most will not write it. One of my friends who has 2K hours in a KA90 sold his Eclipse position because he could only get one qoute for $40k per year for a $1.2M hull, ouch!! It will take time for the insurance companies to be comfortable with the airplane and that will hurt sales for the owner pilot.
- So.... in 5 years I predict there will be 200 to 500 Eclipses flying and new planes will be selling for $2.2M+ (in today's $$) and it will be a 3 person, 800nm IFR bird. It will not revolutionalize air travel or be the ultimate personal jet.

airsafetyman said...

"Groundbreaking technology"? You do have a way with words, Ken, but I sincerely hope not!

airtaximan said...

Kentification:

"Everybody ought to watch it to get an idea just how big this operation has actually become."

Kenny - we all know there are more than 1400 folks working there, and they've spent more than $1.x BILLION... why do we need a video to "show us"?

I would like an explanation of why they have only delivered 40 planes in around 18 months?

- before you start moaning and pissing - Crowes plane was started in March of 2006...

How big...is easy to understand - how slow is another. How far off the mark is another.

Why?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

FWIW, I loved the old SNL and the line from Point-Counterpoint was among the funniest lines ever created - just don't think it is appopriate here.

On second thought.....

Typically after uttering it, Akroyd would say something that made no sense and made him out to look like a moron as you may recall, Curtin was the straightman so-to-speak in those exchanges.

The Point-Counterpoint parodies always degraded into ad-hominem attacks that had nothing to do with the subject being discussed.

Maybe it makes sense you would choose to do that after all.

Carry on - now I am amused.

airtaximan said...

Ken: a bit of friendly advice after reading you for more than a year now.

LEARN TO USE THE FUTURE and THE CONDITIONAL TENSE IN YOUR POSTS.

mirage00 said...

If I recall, you're not a pilot, are you?

I am a pilot. I was referring to when your flying not doing a walk around. How do you check the gear while flying? Let's keep it real.

I remain amused

double 00

hummer said...

Ken
Who is doing the retrofitting of aircraft that come back in for areo
mod work, etc? Where is the second line? Will one aircraft per day translate into 30 per month at the present expectations?
Appreciate your answers and input.

flightguy said...

When will the virtual co-pilot actually handle certifying the autothrottle and FIKI? That may be a feat for the unused and coded logic that has been loaded with no apparent use. After all its placarded permanently "INOP"

On the subject of gear lights,when the E500 was bellied in was Avio working then?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Mirage,

Would you trust a sensor signal that travels directly over a wire to an independent light more than say a signal that travels through one or more digital data busses, is processed, normalized, compared, etc., then rendered, according to a series of lines of code, on a display - all designed by a company that has never done it before?

Would you prefer a switch that directly activates a motor to lower the gear or flaps or a control that communicates with HAL over one or more data busses and then HAL decides whether or not to fulfill your request based on unknown lines of code written by a company that, yup you guessed it, has never done it before.

Which method follows the KISS design principle and which one introduces unnecessary complexity and failure methods?

For a graphical representation of what happens when the miscompare happens between what you want the plane to do and what HAL decides to do, check out the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eQpUgHkBcg

Ultimately traced to a control law conflict (read that software mistake), Airbus originally determined 'pilot error' before the fire was out. And this by the company that has more FBW and control law\code development experience than any other non-military aircraft OEM on the planet.

mouse said...

RJ,

Pricely the point we are making here. Vern's way has destroyed if not severlyhampered the dream of the VLJ program.

His downfall was wanting to rule the world, taking credit for being the first or bringing it to public attention wasn't enough. Then he had to make everyone else look inferior.

Building mountains take team work, but Vern thinks he can take all the credit, and hide behind a poor designed airplane with lots of broken promises and dreams.

If the program gets saved, it won't be because of Vern, but rather depsite him.

paul said...

Every Boeing or McD airplane I've ever seen has a visual or mechanical method of checking if the gear is down and locked. Some small aircraft use mirrors.
Do small jets incorporate such a system?
Forget about the tower fly-by method, it has been proven to be useless and dangerous.
Don't count on your buddy with a pick-up truck either.

mouse said...

421 Jockey,

The G1000 was in our sites in June of 2002 when 9 of us met to name our Avioncs Suite (we chose AVIO that day). It takes years to develop and although the general public was not aware of what was to come, industry was.

Garmin made pitches and Vern asked them for exclusivity which they would not accept, nor would they commit to our rediculous delvery time/date or schedule. They said the would wait until they had been through testing and design first, and then sell the units... imagine that?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Word on the street is that Garmin has no-bid Eclipse since then as well.

Vern apparently graduated summa-cum-laude from the Atilla the Hun School of Bridge Burning.

WhyTech said...

jetaburner said:

"Owners pilots will realize that jets require a lot more fuel reserves than Eclipse is using (I spoke to one of their pilots who said they are using 200 to 300lbs for reserves) especially when flying into congested airspace such as SoCal or the Northeast."

Excellent observation, and one which has not received enough consideration here. Even NBAA reserves are inadequate in busy airspace unless eveything goes mostly right, which happens often, but not all the time. I think your "800 nm and 3 people" will prove to be right on.

WT

Ken Meyer said...

hummer wrote,

"Who is doing the retrofitting of aircraft that come back in for areo
mod work, etc? Where is the second line? Will one aircraft per day translate into 30 per month at the present expectations?"


The retrofits are being done at the service centers. I'm told that they will mainly be at Gainesville--it's huge, designed to handle a large workload as the fleet grows--and the workload is low for its size right now.

One aircraft per day adding up to 30 per month--that's how Peg Billson explained it to us when she told us it was her responsibility to get the line to that rate and she believed she would get it to that rate by the end of August.

Ken

cj3driver said...

Aloha all!

Interesting reading over the last few days. This IS better than TV!

JetAburner … welcome,

I agree with most of your post. However, regarding Eclipse pricing and volumes, I see one big problem. Eclipse has already sold to the market being referring to. Many years ago, and at a much lower price than $2.2 million. Eclipse will be working thru these contracts over the next few years. The question is, can they increase the price to $2.2 and still have a market to sell to? Will they even be able to sell any additional planes at $1,595,000 for that matter?

IMO, Not very many. Why? There are numerous Eclipse positions less than $1.5mil. There are many “on the ground” Eclipses at $1.8 mil. There are hundreds (thousands) of orders at below existing list price. There are potentially hundreds of fleet aircraft to hit the market (DayJet) with a very low cost basis.

Eclipse must fight for sales with these competitors for many years to come.

Can Eclipse survive long enough to finish the aircraft, retrofit the fleet, fill the back orders (at a loss) and then begin selling the EA50 at a profit?

Tall order

mouse said...

Ken,

Nice cut & Paste on what AVIO NfG is supossed to do, care to share with everyone what it currently provides?

Some day, and today are not the same thing...

cherokee driver said...

Ken, EO

I watched the video, thanks. On April 23 EB said:

"The latest report was that S/N 51 had just emerged from FSW of panel assemblies."

According to the video, S/N 51 still doesn't have a tail or door installed on Aug 13. Who knows how long that will take or how long deliver the airplane.

Also according to the video, it looks like S/N 71 just emerged from FSW. Looks like their production line has moved 20 airplanes since April 23. It's going to be quite a jump to 1 airplane a day.

cj3driver said...

“Eclipse will be working thru these contracts over the next few years. The question is, can they increase the price to $2.2 and still have a market to sell to?”

In addition, I would bet, the entire current, owner flown turbine market, is LESS than the total number of the claimed 2,700 Eclipse orders.

airtaximan said...

According to the video, S/N 51 still doesn't have a tail or door installed on Aug 13. Who knows how long that will take or how long deliver the airplane.

How many people working for how long, made how many planes?

They've started 20 more planes in the last how many months?

This doesn't even smell like a serious attempt at fulfilling the promise, any more. Where did all the money go?

airtaximan said...

cherokee,

"On April 23 EB said: The latest report was that S/N 51 had just emerged from FSW of panel assemblies."

Imagine when it was started!

mouse said...

Mirage,

Actually in most planes its a positive contact switch, and yes they have lots of problems and limitation.

The Eclipse uses proximity sensors, just like your RadioShack window & door alarm system. We proved in the shop that these sensors while less likely to fail to dirt, ice, and misadjustment, they could be fooled by magnetic or electrical interference.

In fact one of my bigger concerns was a lightning strike which could magnatize the steel in the gear area and give false positives to the indication system. Of course it was pointed out that this was "pretty rare". Hm, static eletricity buildup and lightning is pretty rare, thats why I guess bonding was not considered during the first 3 years of engineering, or in the first 6 months of manufacturing...

Even in the prototype of the first airplane we (the mechanics) installed our own bonds and ground straps, because they were not on the drawings or build plans...

Everytime anything is changed in our industry it has to be well understood, tested and proven. Our environment is not the same as a lab. Many things cannot be simulated or antipated, especially if you doo not even know what to expect or encounter.

As I stated over a year ago, the original program for the landing gear was flawed. unless the air speed indicator was indicating <75 KTS the gear would not retract.

The bigger issue was, it would not extend either.

In an icing encounter you might not be able to get the gear cleaned up or extended if the pitot iced up.. Can't happen?

See the first AD issued for the EA-500...

Gunner said...

Yawn.

Does the Eclipse $2.3 Million per day Burn Rate that Mike Press alluded to include Sundays? My calcs say, "Yes".

September is almost here and the financial markets make "bearish" look like attractive dream.

Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken,

for someone representing a revolutionary company on the verge of tremendous success...

you seem aufuly angry, and rude.

at leat your last post was honest. More than I can say for all the cleap billboards you post here.

I guess you ave a long way to go around here - you'll be promoting for years the way things seem to be not going in production over at your favorite non-manufacturing company.

enjoy - and thanks for the honesty for a change. My record stands for itself, and your compatriots have alreay accused me for being a mole or having a really good on inside e-clips... sorry to say its just common sense resulting in accurancey and honesty.

jetaburner said...

CJ3 Drive said...

The question is, can they increase the price to $2.2 and still have a market to sell to? Will they even be able to sell any additional planes at $1,595,000 for that matter?

In addition, I would bet, the entire current, owner flown turbine market, is LESS than the total number of the claimed 2,700 Eclipse orders.

Both great points!!

mouse said...

Hummer,

all the mod work will be completed in the service centers, or at least it better be! There is no manpower to spare nor space at ABQ and you never mix mods and production in the same line/building. The FAA will have a lot tosay about that. The deliniation is a huge issue with them.

On second thought, that would be very disruptive...

Change of plan! All mods will be performed on the producution line! Cut-in now makes perfect sense! Cut in line, lets put 1 production in between every modification job, then we can swap parts and start the total time clock all over again!

Cool, our planes are brand new, zero-time with "experienced" parts installed. Some even have 50 or 100 hours of experience already on them...

WoW, Ken can you run this up the flag pole to Vern? This might get you an actual hug or kiss from Vern-all-might himself.

jetaburner said...

There is a reason Cessna, the most succesful business aircraft manufacturer, is happy if they sell 100 Mustangs per year. They understand the owner flown and business turbine market.

mouse said...

Flight Guy,

at the time of the gear-up incident there was no warning system installed. No time to install it and the primary system was not working yet...

Makes you wonder what else is hiding behind those inop markings, doesn't it?

I would give one of these planes to a monkey and let him ring it out for a while... Hey Ken, want to be a beta test pilot?

mouse said...

Paul,

Owners and not Eclipse will most likely firgure out they can put blind spot mirrors on the tip tanks, if they have tip tanks, and then if someone will take the time to have their mechainc go through the process of having a mount approved...

hummer said...

Ok so now the company is shooting for 1 aircraft a day, 30 per month. Mod are done at JetComplete. Service is done at JetComplete. This is quanitatively speaking.
Now my question is "qualitatively" speaking. Where are the Quality Control People? What authority do they have? (anything like Toyota where anyone can shut down the line?)
Who has final say when it comes to quality? Is the FAA inspecting anything?
In other words, how do we (the potential buying public know that we have a quality product built to quality specs) along with the 30 quantity per month?

mouse said...

S/N 54 is next in line for an empange join... Should happen this week if the parts come in and clear the production quality checks (they check them again because lately the parts have been poor and do not fit good). They already cleared the real QA check which has proven to be a disappointment.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Mouse gets the award for most said with the least words today.

Owners, not Eclipse will be figuring out a lot of things I fear (at least if they approach the re-re-re-re-revised delivery numbers). Which is fine I guess, except not too many of the general pilot population have graduated from NTPS and I somehow doubt a 10 day type course from a new OEM and a new trianing program simply cannot be equivalent.

Not only do you get a jet on the cheap, it comes with all the excitement of being a developmental test pilot too boot.

Now THAT is revolutionary.

mouse said...

Hummer... hummer...

They are currently build at one a day.. Tuesday! Not 30 per month!

Shheeesh! LOL!

hummer said...

Mouse
Then that is at 5 x 4 weeks at 20/mth. Love to see them get to
that number.

hummer said...

Hey Mouse. .
Guess what. I am ignorant when it
comes to manufacturing. Don't mind
admitting it; that's just the way it
is. So have some consideration and don't make fun of me. I am looking for information so that I don't remain ignorant!

EclipseOwner387 said...

JetABurner,

Your info on the insurance is not accurate. Eclipse owners are getting quotes with serious hull and liability coverage in the $21k-$25K range according to recent posts from owners on the Eclipse500Club. Competition is heating up in Eclipse carrier coverage.

Since the you were incorrect in the insurance statement I will also take all your other predictions with a virtual grain of salt.

bill e. goat said...

R.C.,

Thank you for the info on the belly skid. Seems like a nice option, given all this talk about "3 greens". From years of seeing the consequences, I think it should NOT be optional, but rather standard. Thanks for the tip about the web site, it is indeed nice, although "proceed to step 4 by clicking on the second tab" is a little counter-intuitive. (No more said). At less than 10 lb, and about $2K, cheap insurance, I think. Glad to see a RADALT is available too. Um, have all those options been integrated already? If so, jolly good show.

Noted the "price with options" is CPI adjusted to 2009Q3. Not quite sure of what to make of that. 2500 delivered between now and then? 1200? 800? 500? Ken notes Peg is striving towards 1 per day, by August 2007? Please pass the brownies. (I appreciate Ken passing the info along, but it seems like a rather "Verntastic" goal. In other words, ludicrous).

Did I understand correctly that the service center(s) are going to be doing the aeromod rework, and also Avio-NG installation?

The blog has noted the substantial appreciation (well, price appreciation, if not appreciation for the aircraft:). I'm curious how the market is going to handle speculators cashing in (selling in the near future), and how this affects demand, not so much impact on price, but rather, the affect of extra availability on production rate. I think the non-speculative acquisitions will be a source of pride and joy (okay, that sounds gushy, but true, I think, eventuall, particularly after Avio-NG is dialed in). I suppose the substantial gain by speculators will also be a source of pride and joy. Just hope it doesn't saturate the market (doubt if it will be a large percentage, but still, a tangible percentage, I should think).

bill e. goat said...

R.C.,

Thank you for the info on the belly skid. Seems like a nice option, given all this talk about "3 greens". From years of seeing the consequences, I think it should NOT be optional, but rather standard. Thanks for the tip about the web site, it is indeed nice, although "proceed to step 4 by clicking on the second tab" is a little counter-intuitive. (No more said). At less than 10 lb, and about $2K, cheap insurance, I think. Glad to see a RADALT is available too. Um, have all those options been integrated already? If so, jolly good show.

Noted the "price with options" is CPI adjusted to 2009Q3. Not quite sure of what to make of that. 2500 delivered between now and then? 1200? 800? 500? Ken notes Peg is striving towards 1 per day, by August 2007? Please pass the brownies. (I appreciate Ken passing the info along, but it seems like a rather "Verntastic" goal. In other words, ludicrous).

Did I understand correctly that the service center(s) are going to be doing the aeromod rework, and also Avio-NG installation?

The blog has noted the substantial appreciation (well, price appreciation, if not appreciation for the aircraft:). I'm curious how the market is going to handle speculators cashing in (selling in the near future), and how this affects demand, not so much impact on price, but rather, the affect of extra availability on production rate. I think the non-speculative acquisitions will be a source of pride and joy (okay, that sounds gushy, but true, I think, eventuall, particularly after Avio-NG is dialed in). I suppose the substantial gain by speculators will also be a source of pride and joy. Just hope it doesn't saturate the market (doubt if it will be a large percentage, but still, a tangible percentage, I should think).

mouse said...

Hummer,

sorry for theh confusion... I meant Tuesday, as in that ficticious day that only comes once in a blue moon, and at Eclipse that blue moon gets hidden (hence the name Eclipse) quite a bit.

1 a day is not possible for a long, long time.

1 a week would be a great goal, and maybe even achievable before the end of the year, if they apply lessons learned (which is not likely with Vern at the helm) and they get their QA department staffed with fewer good resources instead of masses of inexperienced resources.

The tail and flight control troubles I find very interesting, and might be related to a huge drawing concern I expressed back in 2001. Every single drawing calls for all parts to be built, inspected, assembled, Etc. at 70 degress F +/- 4 degrees.

This is nuts since nobody can control those temps in a factory making the parts, maybe in medical or food, but not sheet metal mfg, and never in ABQ in a hangar.

The parts are built by different vendors, on tooling, so the fit should be exact, however the parts are coming up pre-loaded upon installation. So something is wrong: Tooling? Parts? Drawings? Mfg? Temperatures?

Hope they figure it out before they have to drill off several more empanage sections, or they find a work-around like changing washer sizes or spacers instead of researching what is not right or changed...

airtaximan said...

cj3,

his market was the bonanza pilot market, not the turbine owners market.

VErn will change all this...

Yeah, right.

The Plummer said...

I was just to send my deposit another day for Eclipse, as I thought crossed my mind.
What about the maintenance facilities, can any one share some light on the matter. I’m operating fractional ownership, and expecting a 600 hrs of use a year. Not in Al obviously. By the way, did any of you noticed a mistake in Eclipse price per flight hour estimations. Look at interactive and Economic comp. charts.

Interactive Economics Comparison 390.75

Economics Comparison Chart 423.75

HotDog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gunner said...

Hotdog-
Welcome back and speaking just for me (and everyone else here looking for reliable information), I sure do hope you don't let them run you off again. Believe me, they'll try. Just ignore it.
Gunner

hummer said...

Gunner
I second that.
Good information is hard to
come by.

mirage00 said...

Mouse?

Why did you quit or were you fired from Eclipse? Just trying to keep it real ya know.

I remain amused

double 00

JetA1 said...

Ken said: One good example: at takeoff, if everything is set properly (flaps, pressuriation, doors sealed, pitch trim ok, and APR armed), the system tells you, "Takeoff Config OK." You don't check a half dozen separate things for takeoff; you look for one message telling you the system has checked everything. That's what a good virtual (or real) copilot can do for you.

Here are a few more examples of how the groundbreaking technology helps pilot be safer


No-Takeoff Warning Systems (NTWS) have been used in dinosaur biz-jets for years. Try again Ken.

Also, if you want to talk about what's in the future, try looking a little closer into what the G1000 will offer within the next year or two (probably before Avio NfG is fully up). Your supposed "groundbreaking technology" is nothing but empty hype for the uniformed.

airsafetyman said...

As for subassemblies not fitting together, Airbus puts together assemblies that were manufactured throughout Europe at the same time. It's not perfect but at least they are not trying to bolt together a subassembly made in Germany in the winter with one made in Spain in the summer. But Vern knew all this already, I'm sure, or was this commonsense procedure overlooked in the zeal to have "groundbreaking technologies"? I guess if you run each airframe down the line once a season you will eventually get a match?

gadfly said...

Sir Mouse

It seems that you said you "quit". However, it is sometimes a much higher honor to have been "fired"! Squeak on, Sir Mouse, we enjoy hearing from "El Boca Raton".

gadfly

(Tell us tales of ghoulies ‘n ghosties ‘n long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night . . . The stories about rivets and the methods of assembly, and re-assembly. are much too scary!)

airtaximan said...

mirage,

ever been fired?
I have. After I was fired, my boss got fired and I got re-hired.

many time, getting fired is not a bad thing, not a sign of your problem, except youhave conviction, knowledge and balls to give up a paycheck when there is more at stake.

What's your point... if he was fired, it reflects poorly on him?

Just plain silly. READ his posts and understand that he has real knowledge and terrific inisight. Also, if he was trying to just write stuff that could just harm the company with no basis... he coudl invent much better and less specific stuff.

He's for real. Deal with the specifics, and give up the silly personal comments.

GoodTimes said...

Jet A Burner,

I just receieved quote for an Eclipse which has already been delivered. Quote is from a large underwriter.

Professionally flown avg. total time 3,500 hrs.

Hull Value $1.90M

Liability $10M

Annual Prem. $26,900

Maybe you should ask around before you cast your ignorance.

Later,
Goodtimes

bill e. goat said...

Mouse's departure from Eclipse, no matter what the circumstances, was obviously a loss for Eclipse.

(And his participation on the blog is obviously a boon for all of us, proponents and nay-sayers alike).

It's obvious neither of the following apply to Mouse, but to address Moo's inquiry, ponder the following rhetorical question:

"Does Eclipse retain idiots with a bad attitude?"

Hint: check the CEO office.

Gunner said...

Mouse-
Judging from the corporate culture at Eclipse, if you were fired you should consider it a testimony to your integrity.

That said, it matters not why you left; just what you know. And you clearly know a great deal.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

plummer asked,

"What about the maintenance facilities, can any one share some light on the matter."

Eclipse Product Support

The engines can be serviced by any P&WC dealer.

For the airframe and avionics, there are 3 Eclipse service centers right now. A 4th is opening imminently. By sometime next year, there should be a service center within 60 minutes flying time of nearly all customers in the lower 48 states.

There is also an AOG service that will get you back in the air within 24 hours of your call anywhere in the contiguous U.S.

Finally, you can have your own mechanic certified as an Eclipse mechanic.

First inspection is at 300 hours or 24 months (i.e. you don't do an annual inspection).

Ken

sparky said...

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my post yesterday, in hindsight it was in poor taste to air my personal feelings for a fellow blogger in the context in which I posted.

I realize that a great many individuals read the blog for informational purposes, and in seeing what I posted would conclude that the “Critics” can be written off as “haters” and guilty of posting miss-information to justify their dislike of the company and product. For that I am truly sorry.

Thank you.

Stan Blankenship said...

Sparky,

On behalf of the other readers, your apology is accepted. You have helped to preserve the integrity of the blog.

Nerdy Engineer said...

The logical leaps of the faithful never cease to amaze me. First we have Ken asserting that near bankruptcy is a sign of financial strength. Now he claims that delivering incomplete aircraft shows how much better Eclipse is than everyone else.


Ken, please play your broken record for me.


fabricate, exaggerate, and prevaricate......

fabricate, exaggerate, and prevaricate......

fabricate, exaggerate, and prevaricate......

I remain amused......

I remain amused......

I remain amused......

Nerdy Engineer said...

This was written about Apple and Steve Jobs but you could easily substitute Eclipse and Vern. The text is legible when viewed actual size.

Apple iProduct

jetaburner said...

Goodtimes and Eclipseowner387,

My insurance info is several months old and not first hand as I mentioned in my originally posting. Although I had 2 seperate scources tell me that it was difficult to get a qoute and that they were in the $40k range. The first was my insurance broker and the second was my friend who I originally referenced. This was several months ago but seemed pretty solid to me since it was from 2 seperate sources.

I don't have any first hand knowledge on what they are qouting today because I don't have a delivery position nor am I personally interested in owning an eclipse for 2 reasons.
- 1st reason is I wouldn't buy an early sn from any company especially a new one. I already learned my lesson: I bought an early SN# (in the 80s)Piper Meridian and had a lot of problems with it (mostly with the avionics- sound familiar). I thought it would be fine since it was a proven engine and airframe. I also had issues with insurance. I had a qoute from a major underwriter and then they pulled it because there was a crash between the time I got the qoute and the time I took delivery. It was very difficult to get a competitive qoute but not impossible.
- 2nd reason is that it doesn't meet my needs in range, payload, or size.

As for the rest of my information regarding the Eclipse and what I predict it will really do comes from real world experience of flying turbine aircraft in our busy airspace. I wouldn't trust Eclipse's numbers until they remove the line "all data is subject to change." If you ask Cessna, or any other jet manufacturer for that matter, for their #s they will provide charts and tables outlining at all altitudes and weights: TAS and fuel flows, time to climb, fuel to climb, distance in climb, descent profiles, etc. You don't see that kind of detail from Eclipse and that makes me a skeptic.

EclipseOwner387 said...

JetAburner,

Again you are mistaken, the AFM draft I have is very comprehensive in time to climb, fuel to climb, etc. Where do you get this poor information?

Rant on:

One think that bugs me about this blog is guys with a "lot" of experience flying jets or turbines or what have you come storming on the blog acting like they know what is going on. You repeat false info heard here or elsewhere and speak it like an old wiseman. We truly have enough of these chaps on the board. You are trying to provide insight from twenty thousand feet. To have more insight than the guys who have flown in them/owned them and interacted directly with Eclipse is just superficial noise. Now if you have a mole inside Eclipse with juicy info - cool. If you are in the business of building airplanes - cool. Spurned ex-customer - almost cool. (Just kidding Gunner ;-D) But just being a pilot with a friend that knows someone with a position. Who cares. Sorry, I am sure you are a great guy but you are outside of your league here. Leave it up to the other jet jocks who have at least spent months on the blog. Hell, most of the things you have tried to talk about have been discussed in great detail for months on this blog.

Again, I am sure you are great guy but you should do more homework before hand. Here is an analogy: I have a buddy who could probably fly circles around all you jet jocks on this board (F15, F16, 727, 747, dc8, etc, etc), but he would sound just as silly trying to enter this discussion (and he knows more about the Eclipse than you do.)

Rant off.

mouse said...

Hummer,

Reference to your quality control issue at the service centers, I would tell you it should be much better. It should be condcuted by A&P mechanic type.

Now the next scary question is, will the factory service centers use factory people (move off the floor) or will it hire lower cost, fresh-out-of-school new A&P's to satisfy their local governments for footing the bill for the locations and buildings?

I know the remaining part of my team still at Eclipse won't be moving because it is a pay cut.

This is an indication of how little they already feel the support network is to the success of the program... Big mistake! The service centers are the primary interface between the owners and Eclipse...

"es sir or ma'am, step right up and lay down your money on a bottle of EA-500 snake oil!"

Just don't expect to wake up the next morning and find Vern and his buckboard (wagon for those city folks) still parked on the edge of your town... Yep, he'll be in the next town hawking his charm...

mouse said...

The Plummer said...
I was just to send my deposit another day for Eclipse, as I thought crossed my mind.
What about the maintenance facilities, can any one share some light on the matter.

BETTER LET THEM GET A YEAR OR TWO UNDER THEIR BELTS BEFORE YOU CAN A) GET INTO LINE IN BETWEEN THE REWORK/MOD WORK, AND B) LET'EM GET SOME REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE.

I’m operating fractional ownership, and expecting a 600 hrs of use a year.

PLUMBER, I THINK 600 HOURS IS TOO MUCH USAGE ON THE LITTLE JET, ESPECIALLY AN EARLY ONE. IF YOU TAKE DELIVERY IN 2009 (IF THEY ARE STILL IN BUSINESS) YOU MIGHT MAKE THAT A LITTLE EASIER. RELIABILITY I WOULD EXPECT TO BE AN ISSUE FOR A WHILE.

Not in Al obviously. By the way, did any of you noticed a mistake in Eclipse price per flight hour estimations. Look at interactive and Economic comp. charts.

Interactive Economics Comparison 390.75

Economics Comparison Chart 423.75

KEEP IN MIND VERN (AND SOME OTHER MFG'S) DON'T GIVE YOU ALL THE D.O.C.'S AND VARIABLES.. THEY CALL IT SMALL PRINT OR MATTERS NOT OF THEIR BUSINESS... BETTER ADD ABOUT $400-$500 TO EACH OF THOSE NUMBERS IF YOU WANT TO BREAK EVEN

a37pilot said...

Anyone care to share the chapter 5 maintenance requirements? 300 hours or 24 months to the first inspection, surely there must be more.

mouse said...

Thanks HotDog,

too bad you have to stay hidden, but I don't blame you.

My only reason for being here is to protect the innocent and make the dream of all VLJ's come to fruition. If Eclipse fails, the rest are in deep trouble too, except Cessna who has a proven track record.

Cessna is not perfect, however they are the best in light GA planes from the piston singles to the biggest jets.

bill e. goat said...

JetAburner,
Welcome to the blog!!!
:)

mouse said...

Mirage,

I left because I did not believe in the dream any more. It changed dramatically when the plane grew too heavy for the EJ22. We knew in the fall/winter of 2001, before we moved from Walled Lake to ABQ that the engine would have to be replaced.

Vern wanted this kept under cover or we would run out of money and not be able to last until a replacement engine could be run.

Also, the plane besides being heavy, grew way out of balance. Rather than listen to my comments about moving components forward to the nose, which would have solved many issues and made maintenance & reliability much better, it was decided to move the wing.

Dumb, dumb, dumb... there were much better ways to give the elevators more effectiveness and the CG in the correct place. Of course I did not realize at the time the engines were changing, and this may have been a part of that. The wing shifted in the late spring of 2001...

Let me make it very clear. I want the Eclipse to succeed, its the piss-poor management and liars I want to see fail.

mouse said...

AirSafetyMan,

The issue is in the design. The parts should have been designed with enough margin, and/or variable shimming (different size washers/spacers as an example) to allow for mis-fits.

The tolerances are way to tight where they do not need to be, which is typical of an inexperienced engineer who will not listen to others who have been there, ME's who can't get them to listen or comprehend, Etc.

You only have to go back to WWII to see how planes were built with much less parts tolerance, and much more shimming to achive the correct fit. And don't whine that the planes were only built for 90 days (which most of them were) because they have all lasted 40-50+ years of those that survived the war.

Vern thinks that planes are the identical thing to produce as a car... Not even in the same ballpark! Cars are disposable, only the appearance matters, look under the hood and behind the sheet metal, plastic or composite and see how things really are.

Granted the cars of today are amazing compared to the 70's and 80's (ouch!) but they do not fly into weather changes and extremes in a matter of seconds, or deal with pressurization, the required accuracy of motion, airflows, turbulence, Etc....

Go look at a boat and tell me it's the same as a plane or car.. it's not. Same difference, but they might appear similiar...

mouse said...

Gadfly,

Well if it makes you feel better there was a lot of pressure to get me to leave. A mouse and a wheel have one thing in common, they both squeak at times, and it's annoying.

>^..^<

I was not one to remain quiet or let BS not get flagged.

So perhaps I can still claim a little extra honor in some eyes... LOL!

Thanks GF

mouse said...

Good times,

Your quote is about right, however if you are in business (using the plane for transportation) you better price out $50 - $100 Million.

Would you care to check and report back on that number? Go ahead and up the PIC to 2500 Hrs of Jet and 5000 hrs or more Total it might help a little bit. Te ONLY saving grace is the number of pax seats and smaller impact divit on the planet

mouse said...

Sparky,

Most people are not that "Big"! Way to go!

We can't learn until we make a mistake, and then correct it! On your way to a PhD, which in this case (only perhaps) does not mean Pile if Higher and Deeper!

Stan Blankenship said...

Frank, you probably need to find another place to play, you are not welcome here any longer.

mouse said...

Thank you Gunner.

As a prior Paramedic many, many years ago, I keep trying to save people... Sometimes the best you can do is throw'em a ring and wait for them to tire out before you can haul them out of the water.

Ken comes to mind. Let him almost drown, or punch him in the nose until you can safely drag him out of the water or fire...

And then again, some people can't be or won't let you save them...

And so it goes...

EclipseOwner387 said...

House of Mouse!

Aero Engineer, insurance specialist, guidance counselor, and medic! Are you a pilot too?

How did Eclipse ever let that much talent slip away? I am serious.

I want one.

All kidding aside I like your insights. They seem sincere.

EA50 said...

Mouse, have you tried pitching your "song of salvation" to Ed Iacobucci?

Or are you afraid he's smart enough to see right through the BS of an disgruntled, egocentric ex-Eclipse employee?

bill e. goat said...

EO387,
Your comment about taste in women got me curious to do my homework.

Sorry I hadn't done it earlier.

I see we have had the same reaction.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Bill E. Goat,

;-)

mouse said...

Been a pilot since 1972...

I have over 65 different types of airplanes in my logbook, however I am proudest of my Mechanic credentials. A&P, IA (AI for you old timers LOL!) and NO, IA does not stand for Ignorant A-hole (OK, not all the time!) Invited by the FAA as a DME, did the training, but my current employment at the time did not allow me the time nor the acessability to a working hangar with consistancy. DMIR with 2 Mfgs, and many years as DOM and QC.

All that aside, it's those that I work with, and those who have taught and guided me in business over the years that provided the best education. A little common sense didn't hurt either!

Black Tulip said...

I’ve been away from the blog today and catching up on posts tonight. (I am grateful that part of the day was spent in the front left seat in the flight levels. Flying in cirrus clouds, the snow zipped by, illuminated by landing lights and strobes. A big moon dimly reflected off the ocean to the left and the very last of a salmon-colored sunset glowed to the West. The strip of ice on the boots melted predictably as we descended. I hope all who wanted, got to fly today. It is the tie that binds on the blog.)

The discussion has been productive and informative. I’d like to point out a disturbing recurrence however. The term ‘groundbreaking’ showed up early on today and has been repeated. In the construction industry, ‘groundbreaking’ might signal the happy occasion of the first dip of a chrome-plated shovel or Caterpillar blade into the fertile earth at an exciting new project.

In aviation, ‘groundbreaking’ might imply the last few seconds of screams recorded with a background of, “Whoop, whoop, mach overspeed, pull up, pull up, terrain, terrain…” Am I being overly sensitive?

Black Tulip

Metal Guy said...

After the long list from Ken on all of the things that AVIO doesn’t do, it reminded me, does anyone have any updates on the windscreens? Yes yes, I know, it’s “fixed”, but is it certified and pushed into production???

I suspect not, but certainly by next Tuesday??

mouse said...

EA50,

I have met with Ed many times and he is not interested in hearing about Vern. He knows the plane is a crapshoot, and is hoping the air taxi concept works. He's like most of those on the airplane ownership side of aviation... Lots of Dollars, and little sense.

Of course I am joking, thankfully we have a lot of aircraft owners or I'd be out of a job too, it really takes a lot of vision, chutzpah, and money to venture into the air. I try and do my part to keep those people safe, happy, and flying...

There's a lot of money in Aviation.. I know, I put it there! My satisfaction comes from keeping the planes Safe, Solid and Airworthy and my thanks comes from seeing each (plane & pilot) perform at there best.

I have dispatched a lot of pilots over my career, and besides their training, you have to give them a good mount or it's like pushing them over a cliff.

I can assure you Stan started this blog for the exact same reasons.

gadfly said...

Mouse

For our mutual benefit, and maybe some things that would benefit those who meet here on this blogsite, I invite you to come by the shop . . . over lunch, or whatever. We have some experience in common. You can reach me through Stan.

The underlying purpose is to keep flying fun and safe, and maybe something good will come of it.

gadfly

(A person is most serious, when he appears to be joking.)

sparky said...

With regards to the aeromods, i believe i heard that in order to help off-set the weight gain some of the soundproofing had to be removed.

I mentioned this earlier and was spanked by ken for spreading dis-information.

Funny thing is, I think the information came from ken in the first place. Checking now.

Another question i'd like to ask is about the inspection intervals. there is an initial 300hr inspection followed by(I think) a two year inspaection. I always thought the annual was a FAA mandatory inspection. Does anybody believe that you can fly any aircraft for a year and 9 months without an airwothiness inspection? Especially when it's going ot be flying the elevated hours required by the airtaxi market?

ps. Stan, Mouse, thanks. won't happen again.

mirage00 said...

I would give one of these planes to a monkey and let him ring it out for a while... Hey Ken, want to be a beta test pilot?
Mouse,


Thanks for your honesty. I have to tell you I am still amazed how the FAA, the investors, the owners not to mention the 100's of employees seem to keep all of these issues a secret. If I were you, I would definitely (in the interest of safety) notify someone who can make a difference. Ground the fleet. Do something. I mean if these planes are dangerous, you have an obligation to come forward with your detailed information. IMHO

I remain amused

double 00

Gunner said...

Sparky-
You get the August "Class Act Award" for a simple and unvarnished apology.

Funny, a far more personal and vicious attack was launched by The Faithful just a couple nights ago. It fell flat due to simple lack of interest. Ken pretended it never happened; Alexa disappeared from the Blog, though only temporarily, I'm sure. Alexa believes Bloggers, like Eclipse Depositors, have short memories.

The point: they never saw fit to apologize to this gathering for the intentional lowering of standards and attempted derailment of discussion. That, combined with your actions today, says volumes about the difference in the standards to which we each hold ourselves.

Did I mention you get the Class Act Award for August? I should have mentioned that.
Gunner

Gunner said...

Mirage said:
"I mean if these planes are dangerous, you have an obligation to come forward with your detailed information."

These planes will certainly gain a maintenance history and an accident history. That's a plain and simple fact. Whether they're safe or not remains to be seen. I know only that I'm thankful this history will be written on someone else's dime and at someone else's risk. You simply couldn't pay me to fly in one.

When I see a bunch computer guys get together to open a Holistic Cancer Treatment Clinic; when I hear them declare they're gonna show the crusty AMA how "the big boys do it"; when I hear their proclamations of the breakthroughs they've made with rare Rainforest herbs.....

Well, I guess there's nobody I could report them to. But I can be pretty sure I'll not be delivering my lady's ovaries into their care.

"At Eclipse we're doing for modern aviation what Herbalife did for modern medicine."

Step right up folks.
Gunner

sparky said...

thanks gunner, 'night all.

Ken Meyer said...

sparky wrote,

"I always thought the annual was a FAA mandatory inspection. Does anybody believe that you can fly any aircraft for a year and 9 months without an airwothiness inspection?"

Sure. Happens all the time. Check out FAR 91.409.

Eclipse inspection occurs each 300 hours or 24 months, whichever occurs first because that's what the FAA-approved AMM calls for. There are also 1,200 hour and 10,000 hour inspections.

Ken

mouse said...

Sparky,

Turbojets (and fanjets) do not require annual inspections. The do however require a more rigorous and thorough inspection regime. The background behind this is due in part to their typical mission which is flying.

Most light GA airplanes do not fly all that often, and their operations are not usually by professionals as much as the larger, faster or more complex airplanes.

The VLJ may indeed change all this if maintenance issues become a problem. Sitting on the ground is the worst thing an airplane can endure, besides a bad pilot.

mouse said...

Sparky,

One more point on the maintenance. Any life-limited parts must be replaced at the specified time or cycles or date or the plane is considered unairworthy. Better make sure you replace those side transparencies and windshields (or inspect them) at the specified interval or you're in deep doo doo.

It would not surprise me to see the FAA (with a little NTSB suggestion) change the required inspection intervals if many of these planes don't fly all that much.

Also, all applicable AD's must be complied with at their designated intervals or your plane is unairworthy.

Perhaps Ken can define "Airworthy" for us...? I'll give him a clue, it only appears in one place, and it's not the regs...

mouse said...

Sparky,

I had to come back again. It dawned on me that those not in the aviation business, espcially the maintenance side of things may not understand all the pertinent details and little things that make up the plane (or keep it) "airworthy".

Any part, component, or system may have its own maintenance requirement, and all of these must be maintained I/A/W (in accordance with) thier individual maintenance requirements. Even if you elect to maintain your airplane on the Mfg program, they may not include everything, especially if you add something after production, hence the STC (supplemental Type Certificate) process.

If your compass card is out of date, unreadable, missing, or if the equipment or electrical system has changed the compass must be reswung and a new card completed, AND a log book entry made.

Any work performed on the aircraft must be recorded in the logbooks, even preventative maintenance by the pilot if he is the owner. The pilot of a airplane that does not own it may not perform preventative maintenance on that airplane.

If your fire extiguisher is not recharged, or past its service date or hydrostatic date (same for the oxygen bottle, nitrogen or any pressurized cylinder) the plane is unairworthy.

Ignotors worn beyond serviceable limits, yep, unairworthy. Wrong type of fuel, or exceeding the operating limitations without following the appropriate instructions... unairworthy. Example, if P&WC and Eclipse allow you to run on AVGAS 100LL as emergency fuel for up to 10 hours in between each HSI/GBI (Hot Section Inspection/GearBox Inspection)and you fly 10.1 hours, or you forget to enter the times in the logbook, unairworthy.

Use ground power to start a dead battery, the plane is unairworthy if the ships storage battery is not at its rated capacity for its 30 minute rating...unairworthy.

Tire pressure low, unairworthy.

Light bulb burned out behind that INOP button, unairworthy.

The only reprive is if you are authorized to operate with an approved MEL (Minimum Equipment List) for your airplane, and the item is identified or otherwise exempted by the MEL (i.e. a identified passenger convienience item).

And everything that is required must be entered into the logbooks (or paperwork acceptable to the FAA Administrator).

So you see, keeping a plane airworthy is not all that easy or clear. Insurance companies sometimes exclude unairworthy airplanes from coverage, and the lawyers love to dig deep in this regard.

Unless something has changed significantly, the nose gear wheel (and perhaps the mains now too) must be dye-penetrant inspected at each tire change or wheel separation or guess what, unairworthy. And I dot believe JetInComplete covers tires and wheel inspections, but perhaps Ken can find out for us. I'd estimate this little operation would set an owner back about 2-3 hours of labor at least if it were accomplished and signed off (documented) properly. And better find out from Eclipse or Cleveland/Parker or the wheel Mfg (if it changed too) to see what the rating of the NDT (Non Destructive Testing) technician must be. Most A&P's are not suitably rated.

The FAA takes a much more indepth look at Turbojet powered airplanes (yes, turboprops are included because they are turbojets with gearboxes). The regs specify Multi-engine turbine power if any Mirage owners are worried.

ExEclipser said...

rcflyer and hummer:

With regards to the rub strips, there have ALWAYS been rub strips on the wing tips, theory being that they will save the tip tanks with a single gear failure.

In addition, ever since an unfortunate incident with a sales boob and a flight test pilot where they decided to test the landing integrity of the hull, carbon steel strips have been offered as a 'free' option. No proof they do anything, but they make people feel warm and fuzzy.

(incidently, the NTSB report on this incident was FULL of inconsitencies and errors - even SN and tail number were wrong!)

If you take a look at an EA50, look at the wingtip and check it out. Rub strip screwed on, tie down sticking below and HI-Lok'd.

Brilliant.

mouse said...

ExEclipser,

Not to defend a salesman, but who was the PIC at the time? Not wanting a name (I know), but who was the acting and Actual Pilot in Command for that flight?

What was really unfortunate was that there was no warning system installed, and the cockpit procedures were lacking or not in a ergonomic location (or screen) for the flight.

"3 GREEN" verbally while pointing or touching is common procedure, follwoed by an acknowlegment from the 2nd pilot is the norm. Even a private pilot or student pilot should be doing it this way...

WhyTech said...

EO387 said:

"Rant on"

EO387,

rant on:

I know that you are BMOB (big man on the blog) because you have actually owned a E-clips for a few minutes. However, beyond this, jetaburner would appear to have as much or more aviation experience as you. Why not leave to Stan the decison of who is welcome here? If this were a private club, access would be restricted. Remember that there was a time when you had much less E-clips knowledge and experience.

rant off

WT

EclipseBlogger said...

Stan Blankenship said...
Frank, you probably need to find another place to play, you are not welcome here any longer.

Stan, you're haven't been around much, or at least been "visible". But, thanks for that contribution. I can only imagine what was deleted.

airsafetyman said...

I agree with what Mouse said. A continuous maintenance program required for turbine poweered aircraft precisely because so many were racking up a lot of time between the traditional annual inspections. The program has to be approved by the FAA and can be changed through your local FAA Flight Standards District Office. If it does not have calandar limits as well as hourly limits the document should be changed. Sparky was exactly right, it would be bats*&t insane to let an aircraft go for a year and nine months without an inspection. The inspection should also be carried out by trained, experienced mechanics with an FAA Airframe and Powerplant liscense working out of a reputable FAA approved repair station.

bill e. goat said...

"3 green..."

"Gear up" events are going to happen. They should be avoidable, and generally are, and procedures are correctly mentioned. But history shows it does happen with the best pilots, as well as the rest of us, for a variety of reasons, and will continue to be a fact of life.

What is also a fact of life, it takes months to design an airplane, as opposed to seconds to land it.

To have the steel strips be optional, particularly with a flakey (?inop in this case?) warning system, is lamentable, and seems to somewhat arrogantly dismiss hard lessons learned.

I find such a decision-making philosophy troubling. I hope such misplaced confidence in "how things ought to work" and "oh, that can't/won't happen" is not manifest in other aspects of the design.

ExEclipser said...

Mouse:
Don't know when you got onboard, but the ATP rated FT pilot was sacked and the commercial rated sales guy (and chief flight instructor of the flying club AND Cirrus-endorsed instructor) was given a tap on the cheek.

Both were equally at fault, though in the defense of the sales guy, he was the one being trained.

ExEclipser said...

And, yes, it was a flight test airplane and all systems were not yet functional.

There was a saying I heard once. There are two kinds of pilots - those who have landed gear up and those who will. I prefer to stay in the group with those who will.

And 98.6% of pilots say the same thing when the airplane is just a bit too low before scraping the asphalt - OH S&$%!

ExEclipser said...

Hummer - the CS Strips are very heavy. Some operators may choose to mitigate the loss of performance against an unlikely costly repair.

ExEclipser said...

And the accident proved that FSW fuselage panels could be repaired using conventional methods. Also showed that the wing lug wasn't touched and that the damage was limited to the belly.

Oh, it wasn't cheap and if you do it to your own plane, you'll carry around a lot more weight with a repair than you will with the CS strips. But, so long as you stay in "group 2"...

mouse said...

Bill E. Goat,

Right with you on the strips, and wait until the lawyers pickup on this too...

"You mean you knew you had an issue and you didn't incorporate it in the airplane... Is that a safety issue Mr. Mfg.?

WhyTech said...

Mouse,

You are a national treasure! Keep "talking!"

WT

mouse said...

ExEclipser,

Let me check on that repair. I believe they replaced the lower skins, and there were no repairs through any portion of FSW panels.

I wish they did repair through the FSW, however I am not too sure they did.

Give me a day of two..

bill e. goat said...

According to the Eclipse web site, build-ur-own-E500, the center skid plate option adds less than 10 lbs.

airtaximan said...

Goat,
They finally did something smart!

Build-your’s-own-e-500

The e-500 homebuilt... if you ever want to take delivery!
If you want real QC! See for yourself what’s under those floor boards.
If you want parts and systems as collateral for your progress-money

I like it!

(Kidding of course...
they didn't buy systems and parts with your progress-money. Sorry Charlie.

WhyTech said...

Brief but related digression:

A friend stopped by my airport yesterday with his Epic LT kit built turboprop single. (N468TT, the one that appeared recently in AOPA Pilot.) Over lunch, we had a discussion of his experience with the airplane over the 8-10 months he has been flying it. He has put quite a few hours on the airplane in a relatively short time and reports no significant reliability or support issues so far. I had a chance to look the airplane over fairly carefully. Overall, my impressions were favorable. On the less positive side, it looks like a kit built airplane in terms of fit and finish - not in the same league with most factory built acft. But, this is mostly an issue of how many man hours one wants to put into building and maintaining the airplane. Some kit built acft I have seen put factory built acft to shame in terms of fit and finish.

The owner reports superb performance, with no handling issues. He also reports fairly high cabin noise levels. Not sure to what extent that this may be typical of composite type construction. I havent flown in the Epic yet, but in both the Cirrus and Columbia 400 I have flown, there was a sort of "buzziness" to the cabin noise which seems to be due to the rigidity of the composite structure - probably more evident in a piston acft than in a turbine.

WT

Gunner said...

WT-
Would be real interested to know what the insurance market was like for him on the LT. Agreed as to fit and finish; it's not an issue of the kit itself, but the assembly.

As to the noise in composites, all I can relate it to is rifle stocks. I've seen gorgeous examples of lightweight tactical sniper rifles (Blaser) fail miserably because they used a hollow composite stock. Tap it and it sounds like you're tapping the outside of a guitar. Doesn't play out too well in "operator" circles.

I have to believe this is the same issue with composite aircraft. The composite shell transmits and reverberates noise without some sort of dampening system. Hopefully, Stan or Mouse can provide more on that.

As soon as I can break some time free it is my absolute intent to head out to Bend to check Epic out more closely. They really seem to have a lot of interesting stuff going on out there.

Living proof that The Doubtful do not criticize products simply because they're "new" or even because they're no certified. Epic's a player.
Gunner

WhyTech said...

Gunner said:

"Would be real interested to know what the insurance market was like for him on the LT."

and,

"Epic's a player"

We did not discuss this, but I will find out. He had quite a bit of JetProp experience prior to the LT, so I am guessing that insurance wasnt too big a deal.

Epic really seems to be a player. We'll have to wait and see if they fall victim to the same problems that E-clips has. I do think that their claims for certification are on the ambitious side.

WT

Gunner said...

WT said:
"their claims for certification are on the ambitious side"

As are Diamond's. However, I doubt that either will be 4-6 years off on their estimates. There's a difference between optimism and hucksterism.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

"I doubt that either will be 4-6 years off on their estimates [for certification]."

Foul ball! Eclipse was never any 4-6 years late.

The very earliest they projected certification was mid 2003. Changing the engines set that back to Q1 2006. They signed contracts promising certification by 9/30/06, and they delivered that.

Let's keep it real, folks. Your axe is showing again.

Ken

EclipseOwner387 said...

WT,

Let's be clear. I didn't say JetABurner was not welcome. I expressed that not doing his homework bugged me. I will freely admit he knows more about flying airplanes than I. I have been very clear that I will not attempt to discuss things I don't have serious experience in. I am here because I am a stakeholder (not stockholder) in the program, dealing directly with Eclipse and owned five positions or the actual aircraft. Actually SN28 is still registered to me as the buyers figure out how to export it. I have real experience in the buying and selling of positions, LLC's, and the airplane. I am also a vendor in that I leased SN28 back. I have a financial stake in the enterprise. Once I get paid for the leaseback and SN28 transfers my stake drops to an interest in the program unless I buy back in.

JetABurner thus far is just another WhyTech that really has no stake in Eclipse either way as you have previously asserted on your self. At least you come across as a brilliant businessman and keep your assertions generally to areas of expertise. JAB just came out spouting info that was clearly wrong. If he wants to talk about why he doesn't want to own an Eclipse - great. But to add data from a position of really no hands on knowledge bugs me and ruins his credibility.


PS,

No response or apology needed. I know that I won - again. Inside joke for those who haven't paid close attention.

;-)

WhyTech said...

Epic LT insurance:

Gunner inquired about insurance for the LT. Below is the owner's complete, unedited response. More than some want to know, but I understand how highly "facts" and thoroughness are valued here. These numbers are higher than I would have expected. Coverage on my PC-12 for $3.3mm hull and $5mm CSL liability is only about $10K more per year. But then, there is little relevant history for the LT and it is "experimental."

LT owner says:

"I got Insurance (annual cost of about $25,000) for $1.3 Million hull value coverage ($1.75 per $100 of hull value). We were surprised that it was effective during test flight period (Initial 40 hours in vicinity of Bend, Oregon) - we had expected the test flight period to be excluded; especially since I was one of first planes to be covered. Liability limits were offered at $2 Million, $200,000 per seat and $1 Million, $200,000 per seat. I don't like the limited liability coverage (and considering the limited coverage per seat, I selected $1 Million cap - at a lower price).

My insurance broker .. Joel Heining, at Wings Agency here in Minneapolis (contact information, below) ... was very proactive with underwriters & EPIC company during my build process (in response to my prodding); he has now become the focal point in working with EPIC (the company) on communicating factory training and transition training to underwriters and helping EPIC explain their process to underwriters (although it is "experimental/Amateur build" it is really done in a controlled "factory setting" with Quality controls). He is working with several other EPIC owners, as well. If your friend gets serious about EPIC, Joel can give him more of an update on current underwriter markets.

I understand from Joel that I can anticipate better coverage and lower rates upon renewal .. Underwriters are more informed & comfortable with EPIC program .. and I will have a year of flying experience in plane."


WT

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"Foul ball! Eclipse was never any 4-6 years late."


Sorry, Ken, more like a solid double. They promised certification in 2003. It's now 2007 and the "aeromods" are finally certified. That's four years. They promised it certified with FIKI and Avio. Still not done.

Tick-Tock
Gunner

jetaburner said...

WT-

As a fan and owner of single engine turboprops I think the Epic LT is an exciting airplane with what appears to be great and achievable #s. Raytheon had issues with noise in the Premier because of the composite airframe. I has been an issue they have worked since its inception.

Gunner said...

WT-
Thanks much for the insurance info. It squares directly with what I was told by Epic. How refreshing is that?!!!

I like this company more by the day.
Gunner

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
Regarding build-ur-own and skid strip/plate, I wonder if they are using the plate in Vern's head as a model.

Probably not- it's too pointy.

Although it certainly seems to be dense enough.

:)

bill e. goat said...

Gunner,

Are doubting Eclipse's word?

I'm still betting on 402 this year.

EclipseOwner387 said...

JetAburner,

Welcome to the party! I have a jetprop PT6-35. Drool over the TBM850 and wish we could buy a certified Dynasty right now. As far as noise goes, my Cirrus is much louder in the cabin and I believe it the composite nature of the plane. Bose X are a big help.

Gunner said...

WT (or anyone else)-
Any idea on how one goes about selling a homebuilt when the time comes?
Gunner

jetaburner said...

EO387-

I do have a vested interest in Eclipse's success because it could directly effect the value of my TBM700. I have also been reading this blog for the last 6 months. That being said if Vern succeeds at the grand scale he has predicted it will change the way we all fly. As far as my business acumen there is a reason I'm flying a jet now. Are you even a pilot?
If so, what do you fly?

My point about "real world" experience flying jets (I also fly a CJ2) is that stated range #s are in the ideal world of unrestricted climbs and descents and ISA conditions. Busy airspace and warm temps can reduce your range dramatically.

You stated that you have real #s for the Eclipse. I would love to see them because my experience is that they will not release any #s that don't have "all data subject to flight testing" or some other disclaimer. I believe this is primarily due to the fact that they are still working on the larger tip tanks modification but you probably could shed some light on that.

My experience with the Eclipse: A good friend of mine who has been in the aviation business for 35+ years, owned 2 FBOs and a charter company, has 6k+ hours and multiple type ratings, was and maybe still is interested in the Eclipse. So... Eclipse happed to put a big show on at my local airport (Vern even showed up), brought the plane up and let him test fly it. He was impressed with its flying characteristics but had several concerns: no anti-lock brakes or thrust attenuators/reversers, no certified avionics, windshield issues, pitot static problems, and was concerned about the range and payload numbers because they only came with disclaimers. He was told that he wouldn't be able to get one until sometime in 2011. Then, about 2 weeks later, Eclipse contact him and told him sn #31 was available now. He asked for detailed performance #s and all he got was a 4 page pdf (which I have a copy of) with page 4 stated very simple range, payload and speed #s. Of course, at the bottom of the page it sais : "data is subject to change." If you are serious about buying a jet from Cessna they will provide you with 100+ pages of real performance #s. I haven't seen anything come close to that detail from Eclipse. I also joined him for a dinner put on by Eclipse in the hangar at the airport. I spent several hours talking with the factory pilots and discussing performance data. A couple of their observations and comments led me to state that at the end of the day it will be a 3 person, 800nm real world bird. First was that they stated they were using 200 to 300 lbs of reserves. That is way too thin based on the fuel flows they spoke about. Second was that they stated the Eclipse doesn't climb very well above FL350. If you go to Eclipse website you will see that based on their graphs the plane needs to go to FL410 to realize its full range. Because the plane will not climb well and will be slow relative to the other jet traffic,
ATC will only allow this in uncongested airspace which today is rare. This all impacts range and payload #s in the real world.
FYI... you may not appreciate my input but my experience comes from flying these airplanes as an owner and as a single pilot which I think is relevant to this blog.

EclipseOwner387 said...

JetAburner,

I appreciate as accurate as possible up to date input.

Answers: Pilot yes. I also have a pro pilot that flys with me on most flights. I have a JetProp that I converted and an SR20. I have owned a Cessna 172 and Malibu prior to that. The Eclipses I have owned have turned out to be for investment only. (Not how I started but thats where it went.)

If you have stale info ask questions. That looks better than saying I don't like this becuase it is such and such.

Something like, "is insurance still non-competitive? I heard a quote in the 40's." That would have helped me understand where you are coming from.

As far as Eclipse hurting your TBM value. I very early on said that a lot of critics were in this camp (High Dollar TBM owners.) The blog chatised me for that comment. My personal opinion is that TurboProps are a different value proposition and will retain their value.

For the record, your latest posts are the kind I find valuable and was sincere in welcoming you to the blog in my previous post.

Ken Meyer said...

jetAburner wrote,

"they stated they were using 200 to 300 lbs of reserves."

I believe you were given incorrect information (or maybe someone misunderstood what was said).

The NBAA profile is very clear what is required. You must fly to your destination, perform an instrument approach, fly the missed approach, climb to 5000 feet and hold for 5 minutes, then proceed at economy cruise and optimum altitude to an alternate 100 nm away where you land.

In the Eclipse, in order to perform all those steps beyond the initial airport, it requires 384 lbs of fuel, according to Eclipse's Matt Brown.

Using the required 384 lbs reserve, the aircraft has a range that exceeds 1125 nm at LRC.

If you wish only to have legal IFR reserves, the amount required obviously depends upon the cruise power settings. It could be as low as 210 lbs if you were cruising at LRC at high altitude. At LRC and FL410, a 45-minute reserve results in a 1300 nm range. Obviously the range is less down lower or at higher power settings.

Ken

jetaburner said...

EO387-

Thank you for welcoming me to your blog. My intent is not to bash the Eclipse but rather learn more and offer any relevant insight I might have from my flying experience. I agree the "high dollar" TBM owners (I'm one of them as I own a 2003 C2) tend to be critics. What is even more interesting, and a benfit to all of us as owner pilots, is what the Eclipse has done to the industry regardless if they are succesful. We wouldn't have the TBM850, Mustang, and all of the other VLJs that are coming. Clearly, if my C2 takes a hit, then I will be able to get into a better plane for less. So far my plane has held its value and the Socata has done very well with the 850.

I'm a big fan of the single turboprop because of its efficiency and load carry ability. I'm also a big fan of Jets because of their wonderful rides and capabilities for longer trips.

I'm skeptical of the VLJs based on my personal experience with the original CJ which was not a great performer (compared to the CJ2). The CJ2 and CJ3 (and now maybe the CJ1+ but I haven't flown that) are where size and the ability to carry a lot of fuel (3950 pounds or more in the CJ3) really start to make sense. Because jets need to get so high to be efficient they really only make sense for 500nm+ trips (for me). That's why I think the Eclipse will be very limited because it only holds 249 gallons (I think they are increasing this?) and fuel burn, at least in th CJs, is 2x down low with lower airspeeds which kills your range.

FYI... on the CJ2 my takeoff burn is 1300bs per hour (approx. due temp and airport altitude) and is 650 to 700lbs per hour at FL450 with a TAS of 385 to 400kts depending on temps. Even on short hops of 400nm I asked to climb to FL450 for efficiency but almost never get it and I live in Colorado where the airspace is relatively uncongested. If I'm held at even FL370 my efficiency and therefore range is changed dramatically. Another quick story... I was coming out of SFO in the CJ2 last month and they asked me to climb at 250kts IAS to intergrate with traffic (read airlines). Climbing at 250IAS reduced my climb rate to approx. 1200-1500 fpm instead of 3k+ fpm. They kept me fast all the way to FL310. This caused a me to burn a couple of hundred more pounds of fuel(I didn't do specific calculations) but it wasn't an issue because I carried extra fuel for this specific reason. My point is that the bigger jets have the ability to offset such considerations on most trips because they have a bigger payload/fuel envelope.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

--The system automatically re-rigs the landing gear every time you use it--no more costly and time-consuming manual gear rigging every year.


Good joke. If the landing gear powers on in mid-stroke, it doesn't know where it is. So much for re-rigging.

WhyTech said...

Gunner said:

"Any idea on how one goes about selling a homebuilt when the time comes?"

Never sold a homebuilt, but have sold a number of certified acft. The process would seem to be much the same. Controller has a section for homebuilts, IIRC.

One issue with selling a homebuilt may be the liability trail that leads back to the "builder." I recall reading quite a bit about this a few years ago. Again, IIRC, if you are the "builder" you may be held liable for an accident long after the acft is out of your hands. Others may have a more accurate, up to date fix on this.

WT

Gunner said...

WT-
Liability and FAA issues were exactly what I was looking for. It would seem the liability can be handled relatively easily thru ownership structure of the aircraft; especially if the aircraft remains with is sold along with the LLC.

One of the things I don't understand is how the FAA allows for transfer of a homebuilt aircraft, since the owner has to be the one to do the build. Again, this is resolved thru ownership by and transfer of an LLC. But very few people want to take on the stock of a corporation in a purchase.

That factor alone would seem to decrease the resale value.
Gunner

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I was referring to a conversation I had with one of the manufacter's pilots who said they are using "200 to 300lbs of reserve". That would fit in your analysis of IFR and VFR reserves.

My point is that as pilots start to fly the plane in congested airspace with SIDs and Stars they will need to plan on greater reserves which will effect the range significantly. For example, if I'm landing somewhere in the midwest for a fuel stop in the CJ2, and it is VFR, I might plan on 600lbs of reserve. If I'm flying into SoCal or the Northeast (especially Teterboro) I might plan on 1000 to 1200lbs, depending on the weather, but will actually land with 800lbs because New York or SoCal brought me down early.

I have never flown an Eclipse and risk upsetting EO387 with this comment but I think Eclipse's reserves are low. Maybe I'm too conservative as Socata suggests a 40 gallon reserve (268lbs) in the TBM and I use 60 to 80. They also say the plane will go 1400nm but I typically see 1200nm because of my higher reserves. I used 300lbs as a reserve for my Meridian and I have a hard time believing (no facts here) that you can use similia reserves for a twin jet as you can for the Meridian with only one PT6 -42 to feed. If I remember correctly, and please comment here because I am curious, the Eclipse pilot said that takeoff burn was about 107 lbs per hour total, does this sound correct? If so, a 384 lbs. of reserve is 17 minutes of fuel at takeoff thrust at sea level.

EclipseOwner387 said...

JetABurner,

You are getting better. Caveats protect you.

Personal minimums are personal minimums. The question is this. Does the CJ2 minimums recommended equate to Eclipse minimum when you compare fuel burn and endurance. I don't have the answer so maybe you jet jocks can cipher that one up.

JetProp Jockey said...

EO - I have the information you asked about about a week ago. I have enabled my email in my profile. Send me an email with your phone number and I will give you a call.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Article on selling a kitplane:

www.kitplanes.com/magazine/pdfs/0200p22.pdf


I was hoping it would make me feel better about an Epic LT. It didn't. Curious if others see it the same way. What concerned me most was the talk about many A&P's shying away from helping you if you need maintenance.

jetaburner said...

EO387-

Good question about reserves. In my experience the CJ2 meets or exceeds Cessna's range numbers with using my reserves. The Meridian (Piper claims 1000+nm but I typically saw and planned for 800nm no wind) and the TBM (Socata states 1315nm high speed cruise but I plan on 1200nm) both fell short of their stated range. That being said I rarely pull the power back.

Gunner said...

EO said:
"I was hoping it would make me feel better about an Epic LT."

Agreed and thanks for the article. Looks like certified is the way to go, unless you're intending to hold onto it for a good long time. Alternate....buy one someone else built! ;-)
Gunner

cherokee driver said...

Gunner

The problem with selling a homebuilt has always been liability. If you have a lot to lose, you are better off not selling a homebuilt.

There are a number of experimental catagories available but the one with the fewest restrictions is Experimental-Amateur built, the key word being amateur. There must be an individual listed as the manufacturer on the 8130-12 Eligibility Statement, Amateur-Built Aircraft.

The following paragraph is from section 21.191 - Experimental certificates.

(g) Operating amateur-built aircraft. Operating an aircraft the major portion of which has been fabricated and assembled by persons who undertook the construction project solely for their own education or recreation.

It doesn't say so you can sell at a later date. You could try to list an LLC on the form but they would probably kick it back. The FAA is funny that way as I'm sure many here are aware.

The only way I know to limit your liability is to sell the airplane after you get the C of A and wait the 18 years any other aircraft manufacturer has to wait for the liability to end. You can sell it to an LLC that you own. The key is, the clock doesn't start until the aircraft has been sold. This has never been tested in court.

Ken Meyer said...

jetaburner wrote,

"I think Eclipse's reserves are low."

To my knowledge, Eclipse does not recommend or require any particular reserve for the aircraft that it manufactures. The company merely states their maximum range using legal or NBAA reserves. I think that's probably true of every airplane company in the world.

As with everything in Aviation, it is up to the pilot to adjust his legal reserve up as his judgment tells him.

This is not a situation at all unique to Eclipse. Actual ranges are frequently less than the company's stated range (as you discovered in the Meridian) due to step climbs, lousy routing, unforeseen winds and any number of other factors. That's the real world of aviation.

All that said, an honest 1000 nm with reserves is plenty for most pilots' purposes. If it isn't, then none of the VLJs are appropriate; look elsewhere.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

JetAburner wrote,

"I'm skeptical of the VLJs based on my personal experience with the original CJ which was not a great performer (compared to the CJ2). The CJ2 and CJ3 (and now maybe the CJ1+ but I haven't flown that) are where size and the ability to carry a lot of fuel (3950 pounds or more in the CJ3) really start to make sense."

I think you've brought up an excellent point, and I'm going to take a moment to address it.

The Eclipse is not for people like you. You shouldn't be looking at one. Anybody flying a CJ2 is not a good candidate for an Eclipse unless they want to spend a lot less money on airplanes.

The Eclipse will not fly a guy like you as fast, as far, as high or with as many friends as your CJ2. I think it would be a big mistake for you to get one.

The only thing the Eclipse would do for you is save you $4+ million (guessing a bit on that one), and lower your DOCs by about 50%. If you're not concerned about the money, for Heaven's sake, don't even think about an Eclipse.

The Eclipse is not about rich guys buying jets. They can already do that. There are plenty of CJ1s, CJ2s, and Lears around for guys with bucks to buy and enjoy better speed, range, comfort, and payload capability than the Eclipse offers.

The Eclipse is about the masses being able to afford jet transportation. The masses of piston and turboprop pilots can own an Eclipse for less than what it costs to own a new Meridian and only a bit more than what it costs to own a new Baron. For that, they get faster, higher, safer, smoother jet transportation. They can fly most of the trips you can do in your CJ2--a little lower and slower--but they'll get there, and they'll do it for a lot less money upfront and a lot less money every time they fly.

But it's not just the masses of piston and turbine aircraft owners that are interested in the Eclipse. The masses of airline passengers (some of them anyway) can now enjoy private jet transport at the very time when people are really starting to get fed up with the indignation and delays of airline service. The Eclipse opens up private jet transport via charter and air taxi operators who "trickle down" their lower operating expenses to their passengers.

It's a great plane for the right buyer, but from what you've written, I'm pretty sure it would be a bad choice for you.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"All that said, an honest 1000 nm with reserves is plenty for most pilots' purposes. If it isn't, then none of the VLJs are appropriate; look elsewhere."

Guess you haven't been keeping up with the Epic Elite. Hardly a pipe dream, that one. And it'll probably obtain full certification with a year of the EA-50X.

As to the gushing over dollars saved on paper, it's getting old, Ken. You need to have the plane manufactured and delivered before you save money; you need to demonstrate maintenance and depreciation costs before you can claim to save money; and you need to live thru the "experience" before you can buy anything with the money saved.

Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

So, you're not happy believing Eclipse numbers because there aren't enough Eclipse aircraft in the field yet.

But it's okay to believe Epic Elite numbers even though there isn't a single one delivered to a customer while Eclipse has 40-something in customers' hands.

Makes sense to me :)

Ken

airtaximan said...

Fomr Billboard-Ken:

"The Eclipse is not about rich guys buying jets. They can already do that."

...funny, I guess your wife would rather fly in her own plane and you ARE one of these rich guys who can afford the expensive jets, but has to buy two mini-jets instead of one real one?. Is this your point?

Considering you are buying 2 of them... shejust doesn't want to be in the seat next to you?

I thought you were planning to be a 2 jet family, Ken... seriously considering a Mustang.... Mr. Rich guy! So the e-clips is NOT FOR you either, except your wife wants to fly with her own mentor pilot!!!

You make me laugh... in a bad way.

mirage00 said...

Guess you haven't been keeping up with the Epic Elite. Hardly a pipe dream, that one. And it'll probably obtain full certification with a year of the EA-50X.

Epic has never certified an aircraft before. Lessons learned from Diamond, Columbia, Cirrus, Adam and Eclipse should remind you not to expect too much.

I remain amused

double 00

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I agree with your statement: "All that said, an honest 1000 nm with reserves is plenty for most pilots' purposes. If it isn't, then none of the VLJs are appropriate; look elsewhere." I'm just not convinced the Eclipse will deliver that in the real world.

I also agree with your comment: "This is not a situation at all unique to Eclipse. Actual ranges are frequently less than the company's stated range (as you discovered in the Meridian) due to step climbs, lousy routing, unforeseen winds and any number of other factors. That's the real world of aviation."

I view Eclipse's numbers with a large dose of skepticism since they have missed a lot of their promises most notably on delivery times and cost. The aviation community can't judge the airplane's real world perfomance because of the lack of published data and real flights. When I look at Eclipses on Flight Aware they are filing and flying in the mid to low 30s, 325kts., and I haven't seen a flight over 700nm. Granted this is a very limited observation.

a37pilot said...

Gunner:

A homebuilt can be sold just like any other aircraft, it has an FAA registration that can be transferred. The problem is with the transfer of liability. Several people I know have disassembled or partially disassembled their home builts and then sold them as a group of parts rather than a flyable aircraft in order to try and provide some measure of protection. In those cases the purchaser doesn't get the airworthiness certificate and has to convince his or her's local FSDO that they have met the 51% rule and get a new airworthiness certificate.

airsafetyman said...

Ken,

You are the one always comparing the real attributes of the Cessna Citations with the imagined performance of the Eclipse. It would be very informative to have JetAburner fly the Eclipse and give us all real unbiased comparison? Instead, you seeem to be shooing him away. I wonder why?

ExEclipser said...

N941NC had a nice flight over Nebraska at FL310, with close to a mild 15 kt crosswind at a modest 341 kts.

Gunner said...

A37-
Thanks much. The Experimental route just isn't for me. Don't need the headaches or the risk.

Ken-
Yes, Epic's word is worth far more than Eclipse's. To anyone who is not blinded by the lure of a free lunch.
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

"The Eclipse is about the masses being able to afford jet transportation."

Ken, much of your last post should be set to music using 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' as melody. It is a stirring tribute to disruptive technology and value proposition bringing aviation to every man.

Black Tulip

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I agree that the Eclipse is not about "rich guys buying jets." First of all anybody in this world who can buy a jet or any aiplane for that matter regardless whether it costs $1.2M or $1.8M is rich. It is just a matter of scale. Which is exactly my point about the Eclipse. There is no paradigm shifting technology in the Eclipse such as a new type of power plant. It is just an entry level jet that brings down the "entry level". And as such, it won't go as far or carry as much as more expensive jets or turboprops. The market has a wonderful way of pricing such things.

That being said you have to give up something for all that efficiency which is going to be cabin size, range, and payload. Vern's initial statements about the Eclipse, before he started manufacturing them, was that he was going to produce a jet for less than $1m and it will carry 4 people and go 1k miles. Bloggers feel free to correct me on this one but I'm pretty sure I'm in the ballpark. Today, a new Eclipse delivered in 2011 is $1.8M if you don't have a previous contract. I think s/n 31 was being offered to my friend today from the factory for $1.65M. Anyway, that is a lot more expensive than $1M as originally suggested. We all know that Vern has missed his certification deadlines so do we trust the range and cruise numbers?

The cold hard truth about turbojets or turbofans is that they burn more fuel than turboprops or pistons and need to fly higher. Therefore, they need to carry more fuel as a percentage of payload which is what makes a small jet tough to produce.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

Another point. Speed (above a certain threshold) does not sell as well as Cabin size or payload and range. Example is the PC12 vs. TBM700/850. The TBM is faster and typically flies higher than the PC12 but the PC12 has a much larger cabin, carries a lot more, and goes further. The PC12 is also 15 to 20% more expensive yet out sells the TBM 2 to 1.

Everyone I've ever spoken to who works in aviation or is a pilot who has seen the Eclipse is shocked at how small it is. Will this be a factor when the price is $1.8M+ for the owner pilot. I think so.

jetaburner said...

Execlipser-

About: "N941NC had a nice flight over Nebraska at FL310, with close to a mild 15 kt crosswind at a modest 341 kts."

I checked it out on FlightAware and it showed a top gs of 344. Nice. But why did he file for 325kts and FL300 if the plane goes 370kts? I also think he had a tail wind because later in his flight his gs drops to below 300kts at FL300. By the way I've seen a GS of 410kts in level flight in my TBM at FL310 and I covered 1450nm in 4hs 15min non-stop.

Ken Meyer said...

execlipser wrote,

"N941NC had a nice flight over Nebraska at FL310, with close to a mild 15 kt crosswind at a modest 341 kts."

Yep, if you factor in forecast winds, the aircraft was making 333 KTAS or so--and that's at book or slightly better for the ISA + 11 forecast temp in a pre-aeromod Eclipse.

At book fuel burns, they'd be getting .72 nm per pound of fuel. The aero-mods increase the speed to 352 KTAS and boost the efficiency to .73 nm per pound (for reference, a CJ1 under similar circumstances would get 372 KTAS but only get .43 nm per pound).

Ken

Gunner said...

Gents-
You really need to understand where Ken is coming from when he talks about a "Value Proposition" and counts his saved coins like a bad remake of a scene from DW Griffith's "Greed".

This is a man who bought a 1980 vintage Cessna 340 that had been crashed on takeoff in it's first year of life. He obviously bought that particular plane because he thought he was getting a great deal. Perhaps he did.

But it explains a bit about Ken's priorities and risk-aversion when it comes to stuff that flies miles above the ground. All Bloggers who would choose to save money on their next aircraft purchase by buying a plane with in-flight crash history, please raise your hands.

Anybody?
Gunner

jetaburner said...

Black Tulip-

I agree a the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" would be very fitting for Ken's last e-mail.

jetaburner said...

Gunner-

Excellent point. I wouldn't put my family in the Eclipse until it had some history.

Ken Meyer said...

jetaburner wrote,

"Everyone I've ever spoken to who works in aviation or is a pilot who has seen the Eclipse is shocked at how small it is."

Have you flown in it? The cabin, it turns out, is wider and taller than that of my Cessna 340. It is also larger than your Meridian was. I found it very comfortable for my purposes. DayJet studied it in focus groups to make sure the traveling public would accept it.

It's not a CJ2; you gotta stop thinking in terms of that. You get a bigger cabin with a CJ2. You get bigger bills with it, too :)

Ken

rcflyer said...

Some comments on Experimental Amateur-built ("Homebuilt") airplanes:

1. According to a panel of Aviation Attorneys, in a presentation at the most recent Airventure, nobody has ever been successfully sued for liability over the sale of a homebuilt airplane.

2. You don't need to find an A & P to work on your homebuilt! Anybody, pilot or non-pilot, A & P or grocery store bagboy can work on a homebuilt aircraft. Of course, the work has to be done in accordance with AC43 and properly logged. If you're buying a homebuilt from someone else, you might want to read those logs VERY carefully.

No more than one of the builders for each aircraft may apply for a repairman's certificate for that aircraft. This certificate entitles that person to do the required annual condition inspection. Any A & P can also do the inspection. An IA is not required.

3. There are some restrictions on the operation of homebuilts. For example, they generally may not be used for hire.

4. The 51% rule does NOT mean that the builder has to do 51% of the work. It means that the builder has to do 51% of a list of tasks approved by the FAA. For instance, if the task list included "Build wing rib", then building one rib would count as one task towards the 51%. The builder could have someone else build the rest of the ribs.

Some tasks, such as painting and upholstery, do not count for or against the 51%.

5. I believe it was Epic that caused a lot of trouble for homebuilt manufacturers. It seems that the FAA doubted that their "factory assist" program met the 51% rule. This caused the FAA to start scrutinizing the rule and investigate other, completely legal, factory assist programs.

I understand that one of the early builders was delayed in getting his C of A because of this. I also understand that Epic has since then satisfied the FAA that their program is now legal.

And that's about all I have to say about that.

R.C.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Amazing that a VLJ looks small. Shocking actually.

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"You get a bigger cabin with a CJ2. You get bigger bills with it, too :)"

Ken,

You get a bigger cabin and bigger bills with a G550 or Falcon 7X, and the factories cant keep up with demand. G550's are bringing more in the used market than new ones, and the 7x has an order backlog of around 175 units at about $40 million a pop. Go figure!

JetABurner: you are quite right - anyone who can afford a $1.8 million toy jet is rich - likely in the top 0.2% of net worh category.

WT

jetaburner said...

Ken-

They teach you a few shortcuts for simple flight planning on the CJ2 at Flight Safety. Your first hour is 1200lbs and every hour after (at FL450) is 700lbs. These ratios should hold true within a reasonable margin for the Eclipse.

Based on the info you just provided: "At book fuel burns, they'd be getting .72 nm per pound of fuel. The aero-mods increase the speed to 352 KTAS and boost the efficiency to .73 nm per pound (for reference, a CJ1 under similar circumstances would get 372 KTAS but only get .43 nm per pound).

So... at 352 ktas and .73nm per pound would equal 482lbs per hour. So using the same ratio Flight Safety uses for the CJ2 (which includes taxi and climb fuel) for the first hour of flight the Eclipse should burn 819lbs in its first hour. Lets be generous to Eclipse and say 600lbs. Now use a 350lbs not "real world reserves" and you have 736lbs of fuel left out of 1686lbs (stated on Eclipse's site) for cruise. Now, 736lbs * .73nm (your #) which doesn't account for descent (your fuel burn will go up on descent unless you get the rare 3k+ unrestricted descent) equals 537nm plus the first hour which I will give you 300nm which is the first hour in the CJ2 (410ktas airplane). So that equals 837nm with some generous assumptions....

Gunner said...

Oops, better correct the record before someone accuses me of being a liar. Greed was that classic 1924 silent film by Erich von Stroheim, not DW Griffith.

So there!
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken:

You've repeated this again and again... as if it means something... so Ken, what does it mean?

"DayJet studied it in focus groups to make sure the traveling public would accept it."

What have they said about the study, Ken?

The plane works for 1,2, or 3 occupants for up to 45 minutes?

I caution your good judgement, and remind you they placed a huge order for e-clips planes in 2002... remember this when you consider they "did the study"?

Common sense would dictate you are just a cheap parrot, trying to save your deposit money, again.

EclipseOwner387 said...

JetAburner said,

"I checked it out on FlightAware and it showed a top gs of 344. Nice. But why did he file for 325kts and FL300 if the plane goes 370kts? I also think he had a tail wind because later in his flight his gs drops to below 300kts at FL300. By the way I've seen a GS of 410kts in level flight in my TBM at FL310 and I covered 1450nm in 4hs 15min non-stop."


The reason 370 KTAS not filed in N941NC would firstly be because pre-AeroMod airplanes don't have 370 KTAS as part of the plan. Secondly even if it was post Aero-Mod, ISA +11 would reduce max speed.

I have done 375 KTS over the ground level at FL270 in my JetProp. What's your point? Big tailwinds happen. Amazing expertise being demonstrated! Thanks. Sounds more like your just trying to nitpick with lack of data again. By the way, max GS was 349 on said flight not 344.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

No question that the CJ2 and Eclipse are not in the same league. I only compare to show what I've learned about the effects of temp. and altitude on fuel burns flying jets.

About the cabin. I just compared the Meridian and Eclipse cabins and you are correct. But numbers can be deceiving. I cannot prove this as I have sold my Meridian and I don't have a Eclipse to fill with water but it would be interesting to see which one has more volume. The Eclipse fuselage tapers very aggresively towards the tail. My TBM's numbers are very close to the Meridian but I've found that I can put a lot more in the TBM because it does not taper in like the Meridian. In other words, the luggage compartment behind the 5th and 6th seat is much taller and wider in the TBM than the Meridian even though there published numbers are almost identical. From the 10 minutes I've spent in the Eclipse it seemed very narrow in the rear. Come to think of it, I don't remember an area for the luggage without removing one of the seats.

Gunner said...

jeta-
But the Eclipse offers luggage space in the aisle between the seats. It was proudly reported here that SN1 owner, David Crowe, bragged about taking his friends on a ski trip with the skis in the center aisle.

Needless to say, David Crowe's exploits haven't been mentioned since.
Gunner

jetaburner said...

EO387-

Bravo, you are right the plane hit a whopping 349kts gs. My point is they are filing for 325kts and probably flying close to that which isn't real jet speeds.

I didn't have a point on my TBM story just sharing a fun flight with fellow pilots. Big tail winds are always great no matter what you are flying.

EclipseOwner387 said...

JetAburner,

Do you have a beef with the Mustang too then? Speeds demonstrated on that bird are in the same ballpark. Just want to know if it is the Eclipse that you don't like or the slower VLJ's.

Ken Meyer said...

jetaburner wrote,

"My point is they are filing for 325kts and probably flying close to that which isn't real jet speeds."

Which, of course, is one very good reason why Eclipse elected to upgrade all the aircraft to the aeromod configuration--the aeromod-equipped Eclipse gets, according to the AFM, 352 KTAS under the warm conditions in question.

Any idea what a CE500 does at ISA +11 at 31,000 feet? A Mustang? I believe they're both slower under similar circumstances. Some may say that all of those planes are not "real jets," but they serve a useful role for many pilots despite the jokes--"Slowtation," "Crustacean," and the like.

The Eclipse surpasses CE500 performance in practically every regard (and costs a bunch less to operate), but the CE500 is still a decent plane.

For reference, the TBM 700 POH tells me that the fastest that plane will do when operated at Recommended Cruise settings and ISA +10 is 289 KTAS at FL240. Under those conditions, it gets a fuel efficiency of .80--just 10% better than the Eclipse at FL 310 despite going 60 knots slower.

The TBM 700 is IMHO a great plane, but that comparison illustrates one strong point of the Eclipse: it achieves respectable speeds with very good fuel efficiency, much better than any other jet out there and approaching the fuel efficiency of a turboprop despite flying faster.

Ken

airtaximan said...

"Come to think of it, I don't remember an area for the luggage..."

do like Ken:
By a Mustang for your wife, and YOU fly the bags around in the e-clips solo... no issue with payload range with the e-clips, if you limit your wife's bags and she let's Ken take along a change of panties for himself!

These VLJs - a rich man's game, really!

FlyboyArt said...

Just a couple of thoughts to toss in after reading all the above:

Real World Range
================
Cessna and the other jet manufacturers always use the Jet NBAA 200nm alternate reserve figures. Eclipse and the other VLJ guys are using the TurboProp NBAA range of 100nm (sheesh, I wonder why???). As a PC-12 owner, I find this strange as I know how much more fuel I burn being vectored around for an approach than while I'm at cruise flight. Without wanting to pinch my cheeks on each hard IFR flight I always allow a good 1.5 hours of reserve (about 75 gallons). Anything less just adds to the stress factor. With the small amount of fuel in the Eclipse to begin with and two engines burning it, I can't imagine feeling better somehow at flying with less reserves in this airplane than I do in the PC-12. Maybe I'm too conservative but fuel in the tank is a comfort to me when dealing with real weather (your milage may vary). We'll all have to wait and see what the Eclipse turns in for real world performance but I bet it'll be way less than the phantom POH, Ken or other bloggers insist it is (ever hear about this thing called winds at altitude?). I also would love to see some of these Eclipse proponents take a flight to the LA basin from 1000nm away against the wind in real IFR. I'll even though in a clean pair of underwear to the first person to do it!

Avionics
========
When I was considering which turboprop to buy a huge factor for me was the stability of the company, the length of time the airplane had been in production and the reliability of the avionics. Pilatus turned out on top for me and I've been very pleased in the time I've owned the airplane. I've circumnavigated South America in it, crossed the North Atlantic three times and next year will take it on an around-the-world flight. It's an airplane I trust (literally) with my life. However, Pilatus is about to introduce the Next Generation PC-12 with the Honeywell Apex avionics suite and I wouldn't touch one for all the tea in China. Why? Well, first off it's a new avionics design, without any time in any fleet anywhere. It's years behind schedule already and Pilatus is the launch customer. Second, there are no service centers or technicians anywhere except the factory authorized service centers that can work on it. Third, no one has any experience with it so you'll have to learn as you go in flight or play with it with a GPU hooked up to the airplane. After 35 years in the software business, I can assure you there isn't (and will never be) a piece of code written that doesn't have bugs in it out of the box. The larger the project, the more complex the code, the more bugs. It's a fact of life. I find great comfort in the Garmin 1000 even though I have never flown one. The fact that thousands of other pilots have 'beta tested' it for me and Garmin is on the umpteenth revision of it means that if I flew an airplane with it, chances are it would work just fine (at least the big bugs are probably fixed by now). Contrast that to the new Honeywell Apex or (gasp!) the new and improved Avio NG and I gotta tell you, I'd pass until a large number of other people pay the price and test it for me. Life is way too short to be a beta tester especially with airplanes.

Vern's Legacy
=============
Looking back in five years I think the biggest thing Vern will be remembered for is getting us all to pay user fees. Without his chest thumping and his 'vision' of the skies being darkened with thousands of Eclipse jets the FAA wouldn't have had a position to stand on for pushing user fees on us. Vern may well be remembered for killing of GA as we know it in the country. What a legacy, eh? Way to go Vern!

jetaburner said...

EO387-

I looked at the Mustang. Interesting airplane but because I live in the Colorado (where it is high and often hot), it is very limited. Because Cessna certified it under the more stringent 14 CFR Part 23 it is more limited than the Eclipse at hot and high airports and with its required performance criteria for the 2nd segment climb profile.

My point about jet speed is that a lot of guys are really excited about the prospect of buying an inexpensive jet but they aren't really getting true jet performance. Same holds true with the Mustang. The lear pilots use to call them slow-tations until Cessna came out with the Citation 10 and fixed that problem. Even the CJ series is a little slow when it comes to true jet experience.

jetaburner said...

Flyboyart-

All very well said from someone who has been around the block (or world for that matter)!!

As for reserves:

This is the point I've been trying to make. For people who haven't flown turbines, let alone jets, they just don't understand the consequences of getting vectored around at low altitudes. I use 60g as a minimum but usually plan on 80 to 100 in my TBM. I use 800 to 1200lbs in the CJ2 depending on airspace and weather. It is the last thing you want to be worried about in a busy environment with weather.

About Vern:

Very well said!!

jetaburner said...

Flybyart-

About Avionics:

Great point. I wish I had spoken to you before buying my Meridian with the Meggitt system which had multiple failures of both the screens, ADAHRS, and autopilot. The A/P failed on me 2x while be vectored in IMC over the rockies for an approach!!

Ken Meyer said...

flyboy wrote,

"Cessna and the other jet manufacturers always use the Jet NBAA 200nm alternate reserve figures."

That's just wrong. Cessna uses the 100nm NBAA profile for the CJ1+, the CJ2+, the CJ3 and of course the Mustang.

I notice we've got a couple of turboprop drivers today telling how much better a turboprop is. Well, it is--if you're talking range.

It isn't if you're talking speed (what's the max speed of a Pilatus--270 KTAS or so, right?), or if you want a twin jet for reliability, higher altitude capability, and many other reasons.

Planes are like RVs--there is no one plane that is right for everybody. It all depends what you want to do.

The funny thing is that Socata appears doggone afraid that the VLJs will turn out right for its customers. I don't happen to think they've got that much to fear, but their advertising campaigns, their rapid push to get the 850 out the door and the inaccurate things they tell prospective customers about the VLJs all suggest to me that they're worried about losing market share.

Ken

jetaburner said...

Ken-

No question the TBM700 is slower than the Eclipse but it is proven, has a great safety record, and is fully certified. In my plane, I can carry 865lbs and go 1250nm no wind. I regularly carry 4 people and luggage comfortably and go 1000nm with huge reserves. I know the Eclipse claims to be able to do that but I'm not convinced until I see the POH. By the way, did you notice that you can download the 600+ page POH from Socata's website?

WhyTech said...

flyboyart said:

"I always allow a good 1.5 hours of reserve (about 75 gallons)."

I do much the same in my PC-12 - 600 lbs. As Ken would say, "silly" to run out of fuel when forced to deal with the unexpected.

Ken keeps harping on safety aspects of two engines. In theory, there is no doubt some statictical correctness to this argument. However, in 2 million fleet hours accumulated over almost 15 years, there have been exactly zero fatal PC-12 accidents due to engine failures. And, Ken doesnt seem to understand that there are failure modes in the E-clips that can take out both engines.

I too have a computer/software engineering background and concur in principle with your thoughts about bugs. However, I understand that Apex runs much of the code from the Honeywell Epic system, proven in air carrier and larger corporate acft for a number of yaers. Apex will no doubt require some patience on the part of early users, but should mature at a faster rate than a fresh start design. Another concern for Apex is that as far as I can determine, the system has only two design wins to date: Pilatus and Grob - neither "high volume" manufacturers. Doesnt bode will for a long and happy life, especially given the high degree of integration with the airframe. I have put to Pilatus management the question "What were you thinking?" and didnt receive a rational answer. I urged them repeatedly to adopt the Collins ProLine 21 system for the 47/E but this fell on apparently deaf ears. Selection of Apex by Pilatus may prove to be a horrible mistake, IMHO.

WT

airtaximan said...

funny comparing the "jet" to props...

ask yourself, why?

Gadfly's kinda "ask your self, why?"

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Here's a turboprop that is faster, more efficient, carries more, farther, and only costs a few times more than the Eclipse and about the same as most of the REAL jets the faithful constantly try to eek out comparisons to.

Piaggio P-180

398 KTAS baby - and dead sexy to boot.

Who needs stir fry welding when you can have Ferrari bond your skins.

WhyTech said...

Coldwet said:

"when you can have Ferrari bond your skins. "

Yep, neat airplane in many ways, and also like a Ferrari in terms of support; even less adequate than E-clips from what I hear.

WT

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 369   Newer› Newest»