Wednesday, September 05, 2007

DayJet's Locked and Loaded

BOCA RATON, Fla.


—September 5, 2007—

DayJet Corporation announced today that its subsidiary, DayJet Services, LLC, received authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use Eclipse 500™ very light jets (VLJs) in its operations. DayJet Services is the holder of an on-demand air carrier certificate from the FAA authorizing operations under Part 135 of the FAA’s regulations. The company is preparing to use its fleet of VLJs to launch the world’s first “Per-Seat, On-Demand” jet service.

“This milestone is the culmination of more than five years of dedicated work to develop the world’s first fully automated fleet operations system,” said Ed Iacobucci, DayJet president and CEO. “We are incredibly grateful to the dedicated FAA teams that have worked alongside DayJet to reach this critical moment in our company’s history.”In the coming weeks, DayJet will begin activating member accounts via its online reservation system, allowing members to book reservations and fly. The company will gradually increase its active member base as it expands its operations and its VLJ fleet. This measured approach enables DayJet to monitor the daily progress of operations and to ensure the highest levels of customer service and fleet availability.

About DayJet

DayJet is the pioneer of a new type of regional travel: “Per-Seat, On-Demand” jet service that is uniquely tailored to accommodate the flight time requested by each customer and priced at a modest premium to full-fare coach airfares. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, DayJet has developed this new industry’s first real-time operations system. Combined with the speed and efficiency of Eclipse 500 very light jet (VLJ) aircraft, DayJet has created the next major advance in corporate productivity and regional economic development. For more information, visit www.dayjet.com.

DayJet’s “Per-Seat, On-Demand” business jet service is operated by DayJet Corporation’s wholly owned subsidiary, DayJet Services, LLC, an air carrier registered with the Department of Transportation and the holder of an on-demand air carrier certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorizing operations under Part 135 of the FAA’s regulations under Title 49, Subtitle VII, of the United States Code.

Thanks AlexA for the heads up on this one.

281 comments:

1 – 200 of 281   Newer›   Newest»
Stan Blankenship said...

eclipseblogger made an important point at the end of the last thread that should not get left behind:

...not all money raised were spent directly in development and manufacturing aspects of the program. There have been several rounds of DEBT financing, bridge loans, etc, that were repaid from followup rounds raised. The actual numbers spent are obviously not that clear to the outsider. Sorry, but you cannot simply add up all of the announcements. I agree the amount spent is obscene, but the numbers are less than those tossed about here.

WhyTech said...

eb said:

" the numbers are less than those tossed about here. "

So, is anyone taking into account the "soft" dollars committed to the E-clips program - like the buildings paid for by NM, tax relief, the R&D dollars spent by vendors to meet unique E-clips specs, etc, etc. Bet the total E-clips progam, with all things considered, rounds up or down to $2 billion in economic commitments. Prove it isnt so.

WT

WhyTech said...

eb said:

"When was the last time a company that didn't exist or wasn't a part of a larger corporation "

Try Robinson Helicopter. Largest helo manuf. in the world (unit volume), with total units per year greater than all the others COMBINED.

WT

WhyTech said...

CJ3 said:

"300 miles in a King Air … $2,500"

In a King Air you would require no more than 15-20 additional minutes on a 300nm trip, and you could actually take a few people and lots of baggage. Is 15 minutes worth an additional $1000? I dont think so.

WT

ExEclipser said...

Brought over from previous thread:

So, let's look a bit closer at Embraer's finances and really compare it to Vern's.

Embraer has been in operation since 1969. Eclipse, 1998.

For 25 years, the company was backed by the Brazillian government which owned 51%. Eclipse gets a few tax subsidies and some miniscule amount of government investment.

Embraer almost completely folded when the government had to pull out because the WTO said the subsidies were illegal.

Embraer now has the third largest order book in the industry behind Boeing and Airbus.

And you want to compare their development costs with a startup? Never mind that their labor rate is probably 1/3 of Eclipse's. Never mind that most of their engineering is already on staff. Never mind that they have an established set of processes.

That all being said, Embraer is a great company. I have no complaints about their success. So is Cessna, and you can bet they spent probably less than a 1/4 of what Eclipse did to develope the Mustang for many of the same reasons. Yes, Embraer also did it in a time frame closer to Cessna than Eclipse - the benefit of being established.

It's damn hard for a start up to make it in this industry. When was the last time a company that didn't exist or wasn't a part of a larger corporation delivered 42 aircraft in 9 months after being in existence for 9 years? Adam? Not yet. Saffire? HA! Sino? Phbbt. Cirrus? Maybe close... Diamond? Possible... But a Jet? Maybe would have to go all the way back to ... BILL LEAR?

EB: I've speculated that a lot of the money raised was to finance (eg: close) previous debt. I didn't have any evidence so I didn't post, but I am happy to know that even if we don't know for sure, that is a great possibility of what's happened.

WT: Great example with Robinson. 7 years to develope. They also delivered 100 helicopters in 15 months (7 per month, average - doubt they had that rate in month 1). Very impressive. We'll see if Eclipse can match that delivery schedule. So far, they seem to be ramping up to that pace. Robinson also had their fair share of set backs, AD's, accidents, and yes - critics. They even required a special type rating in a category that didn't otherwise need one. But they've prevailed. They've competed head on with the big dog Bell and they could be pulling ahead.

Go Eclipse, GO!

WhyTech said...

EB said:

" I've speculated that a lot of the money raised was to finance (eg: close) previous debt"

Could be, but not the most common scenario where bridge loans and other debt are often required by the next round equity investors to be converted to equity, or at least to have the terms of the debt modified to be more favorable to the company. New investors do not want to see their cash going to bail out previous lenders or investors, and usualy include term in the new finanancing witich prevent this. (The common exception to this is short term working capital bank loans.)

WT

ExEclipser said...

A blast from the past - Another "critic" blog from 1999. Aircraft? Mini-500 kit plane. Very fun read (except for the lives that were lost because of this helicopter):

http://yarchive.net/air/mini500.html

WhyTech said...

EB said:

"They (Robinson) even required a special type rating in a category that didn't otherwise need one"

Not sure that this is correct. If you mean SFAR 73, this is some Robinson specific ground training that can be completed in about an hour. Not technically a type rating, but an endorsement similar to a complex or high performance endorsement for airplanes. I am not suggesting that this training is not important - the R22/R44 have some unique characteristic which make them more challenging to fly safely. As you say, a great business success nevertheless.

WT

sparky said...

ex-e,

Did the CEO's of robinson, cirrus, embraer, adam, diamond or any other start up company ever claim they would produce hundreds of aircraft, revise that schedule numerous times, and miss that goal month after month after month?

Did their CEO's at any time, publicly refer to the leaders of a financial institiution as "assholes" and threaten retribution?

Did any of these companies CEO's publicly call the rest of the industry "dinasaurs" and take pleasure in the delays or problems of any of the other companies products?

Did they cook their order books? Demand progress payments when they knew they couldn't deliver? Deliver an un-finished product?

Any of these things? didn't think so.

Take a look at Robinson, you'll see that their delivery schedule was a lot more linear than eclipses.

10 in july and after more promises and outside, high-production cosnultants, 5 in august.

WhyTech said...

EB said:

"Robinson also had their fair share of set backs, AD's, accidents, and yes - critics."

The AD's and accidents have pretty much been brought uncer control. The R22/R44 are actually quite amazing in their mechanical reilability - only a small per centage of accidenst due to mechanical causes. Accident rate has been brought into an acceptable range with relentless efforts by Robinson to educate pilots on the unique characteristics of the helos. Frank Robinson says they "are safe when flown within the approved envelope." What he doest say so clearly is that this envelope doesnt allow much room for error.

The best news is that the critics still abound some 30 years later. Stan, we will have full employment for at least another 20 years if E-clips lasts that long!

WT

sparky said...

Did I read the post correctly....after untold hours of "simulation" that has already proven your business plan works...after how many delayed starts....after how many proving runs....after pubicly announcing the amount of members they had signed...they're going to purposefuly start slowly.

Could the latest problem be a total lack of customer base?

I see a total melt down in less than six months, of both programs.

Ken, good luck.

rcflyer said...

sparky said,

"RC,

something's wrong with the Blog. Can't post."

The blog (http://eclipse500.blogspot.com) is currently moderated, which means I have to review all comments before they are published. Your comment is up there now.

Moderation is turned on as an experiment. I may remove it later.

R.C.

airtaximan said...

execlipser,

I like your comparison of Embraer to e-clips...

please explain eclips's competencies that allow them to be in this business successfully competing in a market where the deck is apparently so stacked against them...

can you think of anytihing they can do that no other established company could not do, that ads value?

Please do not say:
- build a really, really, small jet plane.... anyone can do this, but why?

Please do not say:
- build the plane that costs much less to build - the priceing is forward pricing, based on a market that no one else agrees is there, backed mostly by one HUGE "order" from a computer industry friend...

You bring up some serious competitive market issues, regarding the dinosaurs and E-clips...shed some sunlight on how e-clips will compete, and how their market position makes any sense, given the business model has been summarily rejected by all the dinosaurs.

Black Tulip said...

The discussion about Robinson is enlightening. Anyone interested in a first-class aviation operation should attend the three-day school in Torrance. How many companies show new customers videos of people killing themselves in their product?

The factory tour is marvelous. It is vertically integrated and all key processes are tightly controlled. They delivered 749 helicopters last year.* Engineers are taught to ‘add lightness’ to their designs.

Frank Robinson speaks with quiet authority and modesty about his accomplishments. By comparison, Eclipse Aviation is a NATO organization (No Action Talk Only).

Black Tulip

*My fact checker confirmed the number of machines delivered by viewing the Robinson Spring 2007 Newsletter.

Gunner said...

Ken-
Back to the question that was asked, tit-for-tat, after I answered yours:

Tell us, how much money do you estimate Eclipse has burned to get to the point that it is today? ie: still not certified in final form

Some of us are interested in knowing. After all, you're able to predict the Eclipse NM/Lb fuel burn to two decimal places and 2010 Mustang prices to three! This should be an easy calculation for a guy like you.

Gunner

ExEclipser said...

Aha. So we see that a production rate of 700+ in a year indeed IS possible.

Guys, the assesment that I have of Eclipse really hasn't changed. I don't think they're going away. I think that Eclipse has experienced a lot of the same problems that other companies have.

But I think that many of those setbacks have been amplified by Vern's big mouth. I don't endorse the way this little computer geek acts in public. It's a disgrace to the company.

But I do agree with the whole dinosaur analysis. You know that aircraft today are being manufactured with very little technological advances over the last 60 years. Oh, there are some process tweaks and some better alloys, but for the most part, metal is being perforated and filled with a bunch of rivets.

There is a lot of room for technological improvements and they don't all have to start with composites.

It's a mindset that's staggering. Japan has had a highspeed railroad for 40 years and our best attempt barely breaks 100 MPH for a few minutes in New England. But we're talking about maglev which no one has perfected, yet we can't even get the basic steel rail technology down.

The correlation is this - Eclipse is introducing a very strong, very new technology in FSW that is (despite the critics) holding up. I personally would prefer to be in an aircraft that's welded than one that's glued or made out of plastic.

I don't think they were undeserving of the Collier. Their business plan may suck. Their CEO may have a bunch of idiot VPs lying to him, and he may continue to cuss the hell out of his solitare game. But the technologies ARE disruptive. They ARE new. They ARE succeeding.

EclipseBlogger said...

WhyTech said... EB said: " I've speculated that a lot of the money raised was to finance (eg: close) previous debt" Could be, but not the most common scenario where bridge loans and other debt are often required by the next round equity investors to be converted to equity

First, I didn't say that that. You're placing other peoples comments under my name.

Second, I know the difference between terms of "mandatory conversion" of debt to stock, and repayment of a bridge loan. The most recent debt terms do have a requirement for mandatory conversion to stock at the time of successful IPO. Many previous debt offerings and bridge loans were offered warrants and interest as incentives and were repaid upon completion of successive financial rounds.

Gunner said...

Exe-
Congratulations.

For my money, you have just joined EO-387 in the ranks of reasonable Eclipse defenders. I give you high marks for the last post.

While I don't agree that FSW is a proven success, I most heartily agree that Vern is 80% of Eclipse's problems. There is no requirement that we agree as to the company's viability; these are matters of opinion and the discussions are healthy.

Note, however, how sober and measured this Blog proceeds when a handful of The Faithful refrain for a day from posting the usual billboard advertisements of .7938 nm/Lb or the fact that Thurmon Munson would have survived had he been in an Eclipse. (This weekend was a good example.)

It's only when you see these outrageous attempts to lure in new Deposit money, usually embedded in personal attacks and hand-wringing over the "lies and personal attacks" of The Critics, that the Blog becomes polarized.

For my own part, I value input from guys like you and EO. I think it helps us all to learn, and I take no personal issue with your defense of Eclipse.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

execlipser,

thanks for the srtaight and narrow.

Is FSW enough to preculde the competition? What value does FSW competency enable that translates into customer benefits?

A business needs competencies to succeed... not just a technology. You cite Embraer gov't involvement and subsidies, and lower cost labor, engineering, and rich history. A start up needs a compelling set of competencies...one that translate into value.

E-clips is doing lower cost - achieved through higher rate, that is not there.

- are they able to crank out planes?
- can they design good high rate planes?
- can they support them?
- can they manage a supply chain?

You claim management sucks... Vern sucks...OK... what are they good at?

I am not being sarcastic... I'd like to know what you believe the formula for success is over there.

For starters, I'd say "Vern/e-clip can raise money." This is no small feat. This is a big deal. And give the guy some credit - this is Vern, all Vern.

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"Tell us, how much money do you estimate Eclipse has burned to get to the point that it is today? ie: still not certified in final form"

I would take exception to your description of the plane as "not in final form."

Company officials maintain that while the improvements afforded by Avio NG provide substantial benefits, it is being treated as a change in supplier by the FAA, not a re-design. The equipment, of course, must be TSO'd (and reportedly every single piece already is). The user interface is substantially the same as the existing Avio interface. The FSB has stated that only minimal differences training will be necessary.

Bottom line: the plane already is in final form. All basic performance figures are locked-in. Any improvement from here forward are incremental improvements in equipment, not substantial modifications. Incremental improvements occur in all aircraft during the production run; the major difference is that Eclipse is willing to retrofit the improvements into existing aircraft.

That said, to answer your question:

I don't have the faintest clue how much they've actually spent. I'm confident you don't either.

And I'll bet there isn't anybody on this blog who has a real clue. I don't think it makes a bit of difference anyway--how much of the investors' dollars they've spent is an issue between the company and its investors that plays little or no role in the viability of the company moving forward.

Ken

WhyTech said...

BT said:

" How many companies show new customers videos of people killing themselves in their product? "

Amazing isnt it? I have this course on DVD and run it periodically. When I get to this part, I always shake my head and ask myself why I even get in these things? - but I keep coming back. What a sobering experience! I also believe that this is Frank at his innovative, crafty best, defelecting liability claims before they happen.

WT

Gunner said...

Ken-
Thanks much for trying.

We'll leave it at this:
You have no opinion on how much Eclipse has squandered trying to get this bird certified. Yet you have perfect knowledge of range, fuel burn and safety (at least for Thurmon Munson), not only of the EA-50X but of everything else from the Baron to the CJ3.

Savant Syndrome is brought to mind by narrow banded expertise like that.
Gunner

WhyTech said...

EB said:

"First, I didn't say that that. You're placing other peoples comments under my name."

Sorry - the names of the Faithful all sound the same. :-)

I didnt say that whoever I quoted was wrong, just that debt repayment for a emerging, cash starved company is not the typical scenario. It is whatever its is, and I do not claim to know the details.

WT

Turboprop_pilot said...

Exe

I'll jump in on FSW: it is partly to blame for Eclipse problems: when the plane was designed around the Williams engines, it had to be made very small. Vern mistakenly used production tooling for his prototypes. FSW tooling is very expensive, so the very small design had to be carried over to the Pratt engines with their higher weight and fuel consumption. If he had used dinosaur (riveted) construction for his early units, the wing would have been redesigned to have more area, bigger internal fuel tanks, larger wheels and tires and so on.

Just think: he locked in a design before flight testing- the poor climb rates, poor hot and high performance could have more easily been fixed with flexible, low cost, easily changed tooling.

I, like others on this blog, am a successful entrepreneur but, unlike most others, my career has been in building things, from America’s Cup masts and rigging, to medical instruments to opto/electronic precision measuring devices (the encoders that make the Faro Arm so precise are my company’s development). My perspective is like Stan’s and Gadfly’s but with this time tested rule:

Make many cheap, easily changed prototypes until a design’s performance is known and optimized and the actual customer driven volume is also known. Only commit to volume production tooling when REAL demand justifies (and then understand the tradeoffs between reduced production cost and the reduction in flexibility the tooling requires).

If Vern understood anything about development, the E500 would be performing a lot better, would have been delivered sooner and the development costs would have been lower.

TP

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"I don't have the faintest clue how much they've actually spent. I'm confident you don't either. "

Ken,

I am highly confident of the first part of your statement. As to the second part, I think that there are a number of folks on the blog who can estimate this number with a useful degree of accuracy (but not to your usual 2 decimal point requirement). There is, IMHO, a 50/50 chance that we are all on the LOW side!

WT

WhyTech said...

TP said:

"My perspective is like Stan’s and Gadfly’s but with this time tested rule:"

TP,

Words to live by (in more ways than one!).

WT

Ken Meyer said...

CharterX has some good words on DayJet today...

DayJet Flies Eclipse VLJs Certified For Commercial Travel

On Aug. 28 at approximately 3:45 p.m. EDT, Boca Raton, Fla.-based DayJet Corp. obtained Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly all 12 of its Eclipse 500 very light jets under FAR Part 135 on-demand air charter operations. The company is approved to fly passengers commercially under its certificated name, DayJet Services, LLC. In the last seven days, since the air-taxi operator received FAA approval to fly commercially, 77 flights have been tracked--all over the state of Florida, as of this writing. All 12 of DayJets EA500s are certified for reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace, with a maximum flight ceiling of 41,000 feet.

Out of DayJet's 12 VLJs, tail number N135DJ shows 17 commercial flights; N126DJ shows 13 flights and tail numbers N109DJ, N134DJ and N131DJ respectively highlight 12, 10 and nine flights, as of this writing. DayJet's seven other EA500 aircraft have also been flying, however the aforementioned jets show the most activity. This certainly is a clear indication that DayJet's per-seat charter operation is off to a good start, especially given the fact that the airframer has only delivered 12 aircraft to the operator. DayJet is Eclipse Aviation Corp.'s largest commercial customer, with orders for a total of 1,400 Eclipse 500s.

Today, DayJet told CharterX it hopes to have a total of 28 Eclipse 500s by year's end. And despite media reports, DayJet confirmed to CharterX that it is "not purchasing other VLJ models at this time." The company has always maintained that it would look at other VLJs in the future, but it is completely focused on its point-to-point, per-seat commercial taxi operation.

Ken

ExEclipser said...

TP: I appreciate you background in manufacturing and the enlightenment you provide with regards to prototyping and executing.

Granted, FSW tooling is expensive, but so is NON-FSW tooling. The point is, you need a tool, a jig, something. The difference in the cost can be substantiated by volume. The gantries themselves are advertised to be $1 Mil per. There are two - one in ABQ and one in Japan at FHI. Maybe ABQ got a 2nd one, but I don't know. Still - the $1 Mil for one gantry is nothing compared to what their montly outlay in just a small (*burp* executive *unburp*) payroll.

The advantage of FSW is the time, weight savings, defect prevention, and stock of standard parts.

The time it takes to weld is approximately 1/6 of conventional riveting by TWO experienced riveters. There are no rivet heads or tails to add weight. There are no perforated skins to propogate fractures. There is no filler material used in the weld to add weight. There are no gasses expelled like in traditional aluminum welding. And it's robotic. Once you get the programming right, every part comes out the same.

redtail said...

Whytech said... Sorry - the names of the Faithful all sound the same. :-)

so do the words of the misbegotten.

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cj3driver said...

Ken quoted Charter X article:

“This certainly is a clear indication that DayJet's per-seat charter operation is off to a good start, especially given the fact that the airframer has only delivered 12 aircraft to the operator.”

A quick call to DayJet will reveal that the company has not yet begun operations and plans to begin in the next few weeks. The flights reffered to, were still proving runs, not commercial operations.

NZ, I do agree with your analysis, especially for people that have already ante'd up the membership fee.

Hey, ... at $1 per mile, why not?

BTW – DayJet just quoted me $1,500 plus 10% tax for a "whole plane charter” LAL-BCT (140nm) one way.

Black Tulip said...

Ken said,

“I don't think it makes a bit of difference anyway--how much of the investors' dollars they've spent is an issue between the company and its investors that plays little or no role in the viability of the company moving forward.”

Did you mean that? Let the Devil take the investors as long as me, a customer, get my hands on the product? The best companies see three groups succeeding, in no particular order:

Employees
Customers
Investors

Black Tulip

gadfly said...

ExE said "Once you get the programming right, every part comes out the same."

Please hold that thought, and think it through, because that is precisely one of the major problems of joining irregular parts in an uncontrolled environment.

'Sorry to rain on your parade, but to consider your logic in the full would take far more room than is acceptable on this blogsite. And would reveal why an inexperienced labor force cannot compete with true "craftsmen", which is critical to manufacturing (excuse me) . . . assembling a precision aircraft.

gadfly

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

Now now, Gadfly...

The FSW process alone is automated. It takes one to two folks to bolt the metal down in the tool and roll it over to the gantry. A datum is established, operator plugs in the part number, and away it goes.

I didn't say anything about the asssembly of FSW'd parts together. Yes, that does takes skill and time and there is room for error.

WhyTech said...

exe said:

"They've competed head on with the big dog Bell and they could be pulling ahead."

Although we are not focused here on the helicopter markets, since things are slow on the blog today, and there is some carryover by example, I'd like to comment further on this point. One of many things Robinson did right was to choose NOT to compete with Bell. They studied the market carefully, and found a segment where there was little/no established competition in terms of price / performanance / application, and concentrated on this segment to the exclusion of everything else. Bell had left the piston helicopter market in the mid 70's and their "lowest" offering was the 206 Jet Ranger, well above the R22 in performance, capabilities, and price. Initially, Robinson conceived the R22 as a "personal: helicopter, not a training machine, because it requires some finesse to fly. However, the low acquisition and operating cost resulted in wholesale adoption by the training market, almost to the exclusion of anything else today.
A few other entrepreneurs saw this opportunity but all of these failed to bring a product to market.

In some ways, E-clips has pursued a similar strategy. When originally conceived, there was no twin jet in the market at the E-clips price/performance point. In this sense, E-clips probably got it right. However, their bungling in terms of time to market and their trumpeting of the opportunity to the world caused others to take notice and to make a competitive response, with the result that E-clips has squandered their time to market lead on the competition, and will likely be a back marker in this segment if they survive at all.

WT

gadfly said...

ExE

In your short answer, you revealed five obvious variables. I commend you for saying much with few words . . . and you have elegantly verified my earlier statement.

Thank you!

gadfly

ExEclipser said...

NZ said: CJ3 - It is difficult to see how Dayjet can save much time over renting a car for a 140nm trip.

Well, driving is 198 miles each way and according to google maps takes 3 1/2 hours. If you only have two hours of business to attend to and the other 7 hours of your day isn't real important, then for cryin out loud, drive.

Now comes DayJet. Three people for $500 each (which you'll see folks in the NE pay all the time for last minute day trips), you're on the plane for less than an hour and a half, you get 3 hours of work in, and you make it home before lunch. Or you could take advantage and spend some real quality time with your client and be home in bed that same night.

120 NM is not driving miles. Never confuse them.

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“ … I don't think it makes a bit of difference anyway--how much of the investors' dollars they've spent is an issue between the company and its investors that plays little or no role in the viability of the company moving forward… “

Ken,

IMO, nothing could be further from the truth. Every Eclipse buyer is an unsecured creditor. A new Eclipse buyer is required to risk over $1,000,000.00 six months prior to delivery of their aircraft. The buyers are required to make these “loans” to Eclipse in order to build their aircraft. Hundreds of them.

I believe that the creditworthiness, financial condition and viability of the Company would be an imperative question to be answered before making such a loan, especially one with no collateral or guarantee. And even more suspect for a company with a track record such as Eclipse.

Assuming I am already sold on the product and I am comfortable with the offering, then;

Knowing the existing debt the company currently has, along with the cost to manufacture the product, the backlog of orders, the prospect of future sales, the experience of management, … and on and on … is all information imperative in understanding the financial viability of the company I would be making such a loan to.

ExEclipser said...

Gadfly - elaborate, please. What are the variables I so 'eloquently' introduced? It's a jig for crying out loud.

If you're gonna bomb FSW, then you can't rely on ANY CNC programming or automated process in any industry. This is, of course, ridiculous.

Show me where my understanding (and experience) lacks credibility. Explain in detail (through your knowledge of Eclipse's process and equipment) what the true deviation of those five variables are.

cj3driver said...

Exe said;

“… Now comes DayJet. Three people for $500 each (which you'll see folks in the NE pay all the time for last minute day trips), you're on the plane for less than an hour and a half, you get 3 hours of work in, and you make it home before lunch…”

Don’t forget EX, this was one-way. DayJet’s “whole plane” charter is $3,300.00 round trip. 140nm.

Nothing new here. This service is available now, and has been for years. In a King air, Citation and numerous other legacy aircraft. Larger, more comfortable, proven ... and 6 people or more, ... same price.

Now comes DayJet? …

If they are banking on charter trips …

… Now goes DayJet.

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"Knowing the existing debt the company currently has..."

Oh, you know how much debt the company has??

Please tell us. I've been told the company has a large number of dollars from investors and a much smaller number of dollars in the form of debt. Am I wrong?

Ken

gadfly said...

ExE

This is not a swipe at Eclipse, nor the use of “FSW” (which has its place in some things), but any company that uses the methods expressed in your statement.

Here’s your statement . . . one thing at a time:

1. “The FSW process alone is automated” . . . reveals right off that the “supposed” controls are limited to the FSW, alone, which depends upon the proper setup of the “tool” by a human operator.

2. “It takes one to two folks” . . . introducing to possibility of human error into the process, variable strengths, variable judgement, variable care, attitudes, time of week (Mondays and Fridays are typical days when people tend to get careless . . . consider Detroit before the Japanese entered the car market), etc.

3. “. . . to bolt the metal down in the tool” . . . no two people on the planet “bolt down” anything the same, or twice in a row.

4. “. . . and roll it over to the gantry” . . . a “trip” from point A to C, with who knows what along the way . . . a rag on the floor, a Snap-on tool box in the path, any number of variations in the trip . . . not to mention temperature changes along the way.

5. “. . . datum is established” . . . datum is the first thing established when the part is first fabricated, not something “established” in the future.

6. “. . . operator plugs in the part number” . . . reveals the machine is not dedicated for that particular operation, and possibility that said “operator” might plug in the wrong number, to discover the mistake after beginning the operation (and possibly damaging a multi-thousand dollar part).

“ . . . and away it goes.”

This does not go into the other many problems of FSW . . . impurities that “may” get caught in the region of the “weld” between point A and C. And the uncontrolled environment concerning moisture/temperature/etc. . . . and the need for absolute cleanliness in joining two pieces of aluminum in a high-heat environment. Even Eclipse recognized early on this serious problem, attempting to provide a protective coating (filing for a patent) to avoid long term intergranular corrosion.

So, even under ideal conditions, FSW would need far greater controls in equipment, methods, skilled personnel, preparation, environment, etc., than what has been revealed by people “in the know”, like yourself.

gadfly

“If you're gonna bomb FSW, then you can't rely on ANY CNC programming or automated process in any industry.”
No, but the proper use of CNC equipment must be properly understood and applied. CNC is not “just another set of tools”.

Please understand: This is meant as constructive criticism . . . and is based on a lifetime of dealing with similar problems . . . and applied to everything I design and manufacture.

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“ … Oh, you know how much debt the company has?? … “

I have no idea Ken. Never said I did. But, I did say:

Every Eclipse buyer is an unsecured creditor. A new Eclipse buyer is required to risk over $1,000,000.00 six months prior to delivery of their aircraft. The buyers are required to make these “loans” to Eclipse in order to build their aircraft. Hundreds of them.

I believe that the creditworthiness, financial condition and viability of the Company would be an imperative question to be answered before making such a loan, especially one with no collateral or guarantee. And even more suspect for a company with a track record such as Eclipse.

Therefore, since you are an investor / creditor / depositor, invested in Eclipse, … do you know the debt ratio? … IMO you should, …. or at least have a pretty darn good idea.

Its $1,000,000.00 of hard earned money at risk. If it was my money, you can bet that these are the calculations I would be making, … BEFORE writing the check.

Gaining information from as many other sources would be imperative in the "due diligence" process. Take the last round of funding for example. I lot of useful information can be derived from the offering. Will Eclipse show it to you?

You are after all, an investor / creditor / depositor. You, along with the other customers have the most to lose.

Do I know how much debt the company has? … No.

I do know that Cessna made over $500,000,000 dollars in profit last year. Their financials are pretty much public knowledge, the order book is reliable, they are backed by a 11 billion dollar a year publicly traded company, they have an excellent track record, and a 5% deposit with them seems a lot less risky than a $1,000,000.00 one with Eclipse.

Ken Meyer said...

CJ wrote,

"“ … Oh, you know how much debt the company has?? … “

I have no idea Ken. Never said I did."


Looked like you did. I re-read it, and I see you're merely suggesting that someone should know that when they deposit their money; not that you actually know it.

That's good, really. There have been an awful lot of ridiculous claims on this blog about how much the company has spent and how much they owe. I figured you were adding to that. My apologies.

As to whether or not one should deposit money with Eclipse--that's up to the individual investors. 2700 orders suggest that people don't have the same misgivings you do.

Those who distrust the company's financial future should wait until it becomes crystal clear. Of course, by then they'll be paying a whole lot more!

Ken

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

CJ3: DayJet isn't banking on charter ops - they're banking on DayPort trips, averaging two passengers per flight.

Gadfly: Thank you very much for your perspective and your detailed analysis. Though you make a very interesting argument, you must recognize that these factors are much less variable in the Eclipse process than any other aircraft manufacturer. The auto industry has Eclipse beat, for sure, but aviation isn't there yet. Not Eclipse, not any OEM.

I will be happy to address each point, though.

1. The controller has very little if any input to the execution of a weld. If the weld doesn't produce an airworth part, the program is adjusted.

2. One to two folks - I don't know of any company, including auto manufacturers that don't rely on humans for some portion of the process.

3. The tools are such that variations in the clamping down of the metal to the jig doesn't rely on the strength of the individual. If it doesn't bolt in just right, it ain't ready for the stir fry.

4. This trip is typically 20 to 50 feet. If you hit a rag, you back up and roll around it.

5. I stand corrected. Datum is "identified".

6. Wrong part number and the machine recognizes that before the dowel starts to spin.

Finally, believe it or not, there IS a QA process involved and if it doesn't conform, then it doesn't fly. It does, after all, have to be airworthy to fly. And despite all the claims of many, there are good QA folk there.

airtaximan said...

9erZ,

and I can just see it now...

lips flaping furiously and spit going all over the inside of the mock up windscreen -
hysterical!!!!

airtaximan said...

Ken,

"As to whether or not one should deposit money with Eclipse--that's up to the individual investors. 2700 orders suggest that people don't have the same misgivings you do."

how many required the deposit you made?

how many required no deposit?

how many are options,not orders?

how many are from one friendly customer?

Funnsy, you know most of these answers, but you fail to characterize them accurately because they make you sick.

we HAVE 2700 order, we have 2700 orders.. keep repeating it as if it will make it true.

1430 "orders and options from one guy" you know THIS is true, right?

But it paints a pretty bleak picture.

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

"lips flaping furiously and spit going all over the inside of the mock up windscreen -
hysterical!!!! "

I am inclined to sympathize with Ken on this one. Been there, done that, just not in an Eclipse!

WT

cj3driver said...

Exe said:

“CJ3: DayJet isn't banking on charter ops - they're banking on DayPort trips, averaging two passengers per flight…”

Exe,

Given the fact that a typical charter trip quoted to me by DayJet is roughly the same rate as a traditional charter, it appears the revenue required to keep DayJet in the black is about $2000 per occupied hour. With an average of two people on board, this equates to $1000 per occupied hour, per person. This equates to an average $7.00 per mile total or $3.50 per mile per person at 270 block speed.

This is the fare they quote for specific demand time. Matching two different people, same city pairs .. same time? … appears unlikely. The fares for flexible times are more realistic (sellable) at $1.00 per mile, but with only three seats to sell, it’s a loss on each flight, ... even at $2.00 per mile.

Bottom line, with two customers average, the fares appear to be 50% of traditional charter rates with one person traveling. With two people, the same as traditional.

If this is true, the DayJet plan fails, because with the restriction to DayPorts (with per seat pricing) IMO the market is too small for a fare this high, when traditional charter is available to any airport you choose (with two people traveling) at a similar cost.

Why is this important to the faithful? Because DayJet is Eclipse's largest customer with 1,400 orders. Since pricing for the E500 is based on volume and production is geared up to fill these orders and DayJet fails, the faithful depositors will be left holding the bag.

bill e. goat said...

Came across this today, and busted out laughing from what I've heard posted here. Especially when I read the "14 points". Maybe Eclipse's management team could use a little school'n :)

(Perhaps ExE, Mouse, or AAE could commment?)

Deming

airtaximan said...

CJ3,

really?

"DayJet just quoted me $1,500 plus 10% tax"

10% tax... hmm...perhaps they are doing something tha authorities will have a problem with afterall....

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

A BEDTIME STORY

Granpa, I’m glad you’re here. Would you tell me a bedtime story?

Sure Sweetie, what would you like to hear?

Tell me the fairytale about the Prince again.

“Well it happened way out west in a strange and wonderful land. There are roving bands of little animals called jackalopes there. The natives roast green chilies, then peel them and eat them. It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.

There arose a powerful Prince amongst the inhabitants. When the Prince spoke, the people listened and his band of Followers grew. One day he called the Elders and Followers together and he spoke from a high rock, “Behold, I have a Value Proposition for you…”

Granpa, is that like a marriage proposal?

Well, Dear, its similar… same general idea.

Then the Prince called on many warriors and evoked a powerful god called Disruptive Technology. He set out to conquer the Competing Tribes and lo… he produced a machine that gets one nautical mile per pound of fuel burned.

But Granpa, the last time you told me this story it was zero point nine six nautical miles per pound.

Yes, Dear, that’s what I meant to say… point nine six.

Okay, Papa, just don’t mess up the story.

Sorry.

Granpa, how does the story end? Does the Prince rescue the Princess and do they live happily after?

Dear, you’re sleepy and I’ll tuck you in. We’ll finish the story next time.

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...

Ken,

from your last post, I really do not think you have a handle on the risks here, despite your contention that you do in fact see the risks.

I think your last post shows you have no clue. This explains a lot, and you are forever forgiven for your posts from now on.

It's not your fault - you obviously really do not understand.

Ken Meyer said...

Pricing for DayJet looks considerably lower than conventional charter to me, CJ. This from a recent AIN article summarizes pricing from Boca Raton to Gainesville (229 nm by air, over 5 hours by car according to MS Streets & Trips):

"In DayJet’s system, a member who has a meeting in Gainesville at, say, 10:30 a.m., might pick a two-hour window for the departure because the member would rather pay more and spend less time away from home and arrive closer to the meeting time. This DayJet seat costs $858.07, including all taxes. If the member is willing to select a four-hour departure window, the price drops to $452.52. A six-hour window cuts the price further, to $334.88. The lower price is lower because the flexibility makes it easier for DayJet’s complex computer system to optimize the use of the fleet, the pilots and other necessary resources."

One way pricing on CharterX came out a lot higher:

Piston multiengine: $2485 to $3253
Turboprop: $3504 to $6084
Light Jet: $4648 to 12623

Is CharterX unreasonably high because they're a middleman? Maybe, but even if you could find prices half as high, the DayJet price is still a steal of a deal by comparison.

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

From my morning mail:

From an insider's perspective, e-clips manufacturing is burdened by many things.

First and foremost is the "old school" aerospace/aviation mentality.

There's a reason why it takes thousands of man-hours to build each e500 - the design is NOT optimized for manufacturability.

This plane was designed by aerospace engineers using old school lessons and old school experiences - not the Ford production line mentality (which is flawed, but I digress).

There are quite a few parallel processes, but not nearly enough - the floors are constrained with way too many serial processes and inspection steps. Couple that with certain circles playing the FAA card "just because they can", and bottlenecks multiply.

The transition from e500 development company to full on e500 manufacturer will not happen overnight, and it cannot happen with "old school" thinking, or the current management style. e-clips needs a cohesive blend of aviation and manufacturing talent to be successful.

This is an interesting ride.

Turboprop_pilot said...

FSW:

I had to go work a little today but I’d like to address the issues sent back by Exe this morning.

Exe- you completely missed the big point: The high cost of the tooling (not the gantries) meant that they felt compelled to keep the wing design with a heavier, thirstier engine. Look at the costs incurred by the two tip tank iterations, flight testing, recertification and, most importantly, lost time. If the program was delayed two months with a burn rate of $20 million/month and they save even $10,000 per plane, then it takes four thousand planes to make up for the lost time!

If they are saving 6 oz. of rivets and $2,000 of labor on 5 planes per month (or 30 or 100 planes per month), it just wasn’t worth it because the plane will forever more have:

Too small a main gear
Poor climb performance at high and/or hot altitudes
Poorer cruise performance high and/or hot
Draggy tip tanks

A bigger wing with all the fuel inside, bigger wheels and tires should have been designed and built.

The other issues: “perforated skins to propagate fractures” did you get this from Vern? Have the DC3s (and nearly all other aircraft) been fracturing at high rates from the 1930s?

TP

Gunner said...

A Gunner's Retraction:
Yesterday I opined that Eclipse had burned thru 2.5 Billion. Hardly a typo as I later allowed that it might be as low as 2.1 Billion.

Obviously, this doesn't square with what we know or surmise. Nor does it square with what I have previously stated. Those numbers should have been 1.5 and 1.1 Billion, respectively.

Won't bore the Blog with the cause of my having 2.5 Billion in my head at the time. I'll simply offer this correction of the record....which is as it should be.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Ken, find a friend who has any charter experience whatsoever... someone you trust... and ask them to explain why your last post shows you know nothing about this business.

cj3driver said...

ATM said;

“… 10% tax... hmm...perhaps they are doing something the authorities will have a problem with afterall....”

ATM,

Don’t shoot the messenger, that’s what she quoted me. I’ve never chartered before. I must say the customer service (reservations) was very knowledgeable and answered all my questions.

An interesting note. If you want to be guaranteed to travel 2-3 people together, you must charter the entire plane. The low cost fares (six hour window) she explained may well be not be on the same aircraft or at the same time. She explained that their target market was a single business traveler, not couples or business associates traveling together.

Also, the per seat fares are only available at DayPorts. And the whole plane quote I got was DayPort to DayPort, not DayStops.

airtaximan said...

cj3,

Thanks for the info - no way I'm shooting the messenger, that's for sure...

Great info on the realities of Dayjet. Surprised that they would quote a 10% tax. To my knowledge, this is new.

Customers will make of Dayjet what they will. I hope it has a positive and no negative effect on the industry, instead of being confusing and turning folks away from private aviation.

There are many new alternatives and more coming. Its an exciting place to be. I'm sure Dayjet will tweak their offering if they have to. Seems a little silly to force parties who want to travel together to take different planes at different times, though - are you sure about this?

airtaximan said...

CJ3,

any clue how you obtain a 2, 4 or 6 hour window price if you have a meeting at around 9AM, two hours away includng a stop? They begin at 7AM.

Some question if you need to be back in the office in the afternoon, and you want to pay a lower fare, but your meeting ends at noon?

Thanks

cj3driver said...

“… Seems a little silly to force parties who want to travel together to take different planes at different times, though - are you sure about this?...”

ATM,

That what she said.
And, it kinda makes sense. If the revenue required on each flight is $7.00 per mile (as quoted on charter rate), then how can they do two or three $1 seats for a total of $3.00 per mile if they guarantee travel together. They need to fit the $1 or $2 guys in with the $3 or $4 guys on each flight in order to make a profit. Thus the six hour window… just my guess.

It would appear the schedule revolves around the $3-4.00 seats. And it makes sense, because if three people pay $4.00 for a guaranteed time, then on the quoted charter, 140nm it comes to $1,680.00. You can charter the whole plane for $1,500 so with three people you might as well charter.

airtaximan said...

cj3, do the math...

based on the total number of flights...

who cares if you lose money on one flight and make money on another? Its the net revenue at the end of the day, or even month, perhaps year...

Some seats lose money and some make money - some flight lose and some make...

in the end cost for the flightS = cost and revnue = reveue

Who cares about per aircraft economics, unless they are individually owned.

PS. the group of three arriving in different planes at different times maybe off by an hour or two or three is a non-starter, if the intention was to all be at the meeting, and or (very often the case) have an hour or two to prepare inflight, together. These guys'll do a kingair.

Are you serious about the pairs as well?

I like the discussion though...

cj3driver said...

“…based on the total number of flights...
who cares if you lose money on one flight and make money on another? Its the net revenue at the end of the day, or even month, perhaps year...”

ATM

I agree, but if the service is not that popular, there is also the dead legs to consider. DayJet hopes to minimize these thru DayPorts. This remains to be seen.

I honestly think the $1 per seat mile is a short lived gimmick to attract attention. No way is it there in six months. IMO of course.

“Are you serious about the pairs as well?”

Yes, I specifically asked about this. There is no guarantee unless you charter. Even on the highest per seat fare.

To be fair, its probably very likely you would get the same plane for two at the highest fare if you are departing from a city at the far ends on the system, such as Boca and you are traveling to a city at the opposite end of the service area. However, if you are at a city in the middle of the service area, like LAL, you would be more likely to end up on a plane with passenger(s) making a stop enroute. In this case there would be a higher likelihood of two different planes for two passengers going to the same place.

As I see it anyhow ….

Robb said...

Hey, how about some happy Cessna news too ??

http://happydaysforjets.blogspot.com/

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

cj3,

ask about a scenario where you put in a 4 hour window, yet you have to make a 9AM meeting 2 hour away, including a possible stop. They begin service at 7AM - how can this work. Seems like any meeting in the morning has a restriction on the window, defacto.

Also, regarding a meeting with a same day return in time for dinner... how do you accomplish this with a 4 hour window, and 2 hour travel if your meeting ends at 4?

I remember they also impose 1/2 possible wait at the airport, is this in addition to the travel time? Or do you need to show up 1/2 hour earlier than the scheduled departure? If its tagged onto the window, and you really need to make a meeting, you can forget the window for 9 or 10 am meetings, period... especially if you need to rent and drive some distance, plus the half hour.

I'm not sure, but it SEEMS like the window thing is impractical...especially since you cannot really plan your schedule until the night before, when they provide you with the itinerary. You cannot call the night before and say OK... lets move it to noon...is everyone still available...

I dunno. Do they have explanations for all this?

Thanks

airtaximan said...

(erZ,

these guys are smart guys, but somehow, I don't think anyone really understands what they are doing.

This does not mean it won't work, and it won't morph into something else.

Perhaps they already know, and they are not telling.

ut,I cannot see how they can compete with the Satsair's of the world at $500/occupied hour for the plane - 2 or 3 pax, same mission, a little longer flying time, no window, no stops, no splitting travel parties, trips, not $4/mile.

I dunno...

cj3driver said...

“ask about a scenario where you put in a 4 hour window, yet you have to make a 9AM meeting 2 hour away, including a possible stop. They begin service at 7AM - how can this work.”

It cant. … The only way you can be guaranteed the arrival/departure times, is to pay the highest fare. The ONLY way to get the low fare is to give the longer window for departure. You might get the times you need, or you might not. This is how they add incremental revenue to each flight. The goal is to minimize dead legs, and combine passengers on each flight. That’s the only way to make a profit. They cannot make a profit with just one passenger, at the current rates.

It appears the $4 per mile passenger sets the schedule, and the lower fares tag along. If there is no $4 guy going the same way, you could get lucky and get the trip you need $1, but you won’t know until the night before. The $4 guy gets priority.

Its definetly a long shot. An expensive long shot.

I will say. Next time I vacation in FL, I’ll do a short hop and try it out. Hey …. it’s a bargain at $1 per mile. $140 Boca to Lakeland. … about that $250 membership fee? …… we’ll see.

bill e. goat said...

Okay, I gave up.

Faro Arm

Nice device. TP, I think we'd like to know more about your company.
--------------------------

Regarding Stan's inbox:

"From an insider's perspective, e-clips manufacturing is burdened by many things...First and foremost is the "old school" aerospace/aviation mentality.

Goat:
IMHO, Eclipse screwed the pooch by NOT using old school methods.

"This plane was designed by aerospace engineers using old school lessons and old school experiences"

Goat:
Okay, is this to suggest using UNPROVEN new school methods and inexperience???

"There are quite a few parallel processes, but not nearly enough - the floors are constrained with way too many serial processes and inspection steps".

Goat:
Welcome to the world of aircraft manufacturing.

"Couple that with certain circles playing the FAA card "just because they can", and bottlenecks multiply".

Goat:
...Ah, yeah. (Does this guy even know what F.A.A. stands for?)

Sorry, it sounds like it was posted by someone more familiar with making toasters rather than airplanes.

FlightCenter said...

All this talk about DayJet's 2 hour, 4 hour, and 6 hour windows just shows how incredibly confusing (and potentially embarrassing) it is to be a DayJet customer.

You just won't know when you are going to arrive at your destination until "the last possible minute" (as Ed said at NBAA last year.)

And that is the kiss of death for a new (and supposedly premium) product.

Imagine this conversation with someone you are meeting for an important meeting tomorrow.

DayJet customer: "I'm flying to Boca tomorrow morning on DayJet."

Client: "That sounds great! I'd love to do that sometime. When are you going to land?"

Dayjet customer: "We'll, I'm not sure. They'll let me know around 7PM tonight when they want to leave."

Client: "But roughly when will you arrive? I need to plan my day."

DayJet Customer: "Well it's an hour flight, but they have this four hour window thing. So I'll probably leave between 7 and 11. So I should be in between 8 and noon, if they don't have to stop along the way."

Client: "You're kidding, right? My schedule is pretty tight tomorrow. I'll pencil you in at 11. Hope you make it by then."

DayJet Customer: "Maybe we better schedule for 1PM just to be on the safe side."

Client: "Ok, 1PM it is, but that's too bad, I thought we might have time for lunch..."

Email from DayJet at 7PM: "Dear DayJet customer, Great news, we've decided that your departure time will be 7AM tomorrow, so we need you to checkin at 6:30AM.

DayJet Pilot: "Welcome to Boca, the local time is 9AM. Sorry that stop along the way was a little longer than 20 minutes."

DayJet customer - talking to client's secretary: "I got into town a little earlier than expected. I was wondering if Mr. Client could get together with me earlier."

Client's secretary: "I'm sorry but Mr. Client is completely booked until 1. I'll meet you in the lobby at 1. I just hope his lunch meeting doesn't run over."

DayJet customer - mumbles something under his breath....

EA50 said...

"All this talk about DayJet's 2 hour, 4 hour, and 6 hour windows just shows how incredibly confusing (and potentially embarrassing) it is to be a DayJet customer."

DayJet is intended for people with more brains than you have. You should fly Southwest.

EA50 said...

DayJet plans European air taxi service

DayJet is preparing to launch its per-seat on-demand air taxi service in Europe. A fleet of Eclipse 500 very light jets will link towns and cities across the continent that are poorly served by other forms of transport.

The move comes as the Boca Raton, Florida-based company takes delivery of its 12th Eclipse 500, paving the way for DayJet to start services "in the coming weeks".

Operations will begin "once DayJet has successfully completed its FAA proving runs", says the company's Kevin Carter.

A launch date for the European programme has not been disclosed and DayJet is tight-lipped on detail until later in September. The venture will, however, be based on its US business model, which is structured to radically alter "the time and cost equation for business travellers" by setting bases at a network of under-used local airports, called DayPorts, from where it will try to match travellers who want to go from one to the other at roughly the same time.

In the USA, DayJet plans to serve the south-eastern region with the 310 Eclipse 500s it has on order and other VLJs. Initial service will be based out of the five Florida DayPorts of Pensacola, Tallahassee, Lakeland, Gainesville and Boca Raton.

mouse said...

Ken,

If the plane is 100% done, and money is no issue, why are you still here typing instead of at the airport polishing your Eclipse?

Thought so...

mouse said...

Ken,

you wrote the following: "As to whether or not one should deposit money with Eclipse--that's up to the individual investors. 2700 orders suggest that people don't have the same misgivings you do.

Those who distrust the company's financial future should wait until it becomes crystal clear. Of course, by then they'll be paying a whole lot more!"

And now tell us why you don't have an Eclipse yet? Do you distrust the company, the plane, waiting for a crystal clear future? The design is done, the plane is 100% and still you sit at your computer and don't own the greatest airplane ever built?

Better roll up your pant legs, before you step in the stuff you have been shoveling...

FlightCenter said...

EA50 said - "DayJet is intended for people with more brains than you have."

Well, that is certainly an intelligent and well reasoned response. If what you are saying is true, then it seems that DayJet is aiming for a very small market indeed. ;->

FlightCenter said...

The latest update to the FAA database shows 7 Eclipse 500s delivered in August for a cumulative total of 33 aircraft delivered.

The FAA database has no record of any E500 certificates of airworthiness issued in August.

mouse said...

I'm going to guess that what some think was a 10% tax was in fact the fuel surcharge that is now a common every day/every trip event thanks to the the variation of fuel prices by the minute...

EA50 said...

"The FAA database has no record of any E500 certificates of airworthiness issued in August."

And you believe that indicates they have not delivered any aircraft in August, right?

You have just confirmed my assessment of you--you belong on Southwest!

mouse said...

And while you are waiting for your 2-3-4-5-6 hour window to appear, are you sitting in some FBO waiting for your phone to ring? What a great improvement over sitting in a terminal with the majors...

Can't stay at home and cut the grass, or do something constructive, you might have to be at the airport in a matter of minutes to make your flight...

Or do they give you 2-3 hours notice of your 4 hour window? At least there is no traffic to contend with in Florida, no weather to deviate around, Etc....

Maybe Ken can get a job flying for DayJet and really save a ton of money, heck he can fly an Eclipse and get paid to do it! That's not just cheap, for Ken it's like making money...

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"Maybe Ken can get a job flying for DayJet and really save a ton of money, heck he can fly an Eclipse and get paid to do it! That's not just cheap, for Ken it's like making money..."

Actually, I'd love to work for DayJet. Plenty of pilots would. They've been inundated with applications from some really good pilots because they're flying first-rate, brand new jets and pilots get home every single night when they're done flying for the day. It's a pretty good deal; way better than many airlines offer.

Regrettably, I can't fly for DayJet. I'm a little too busy making enough money so I can fly for my own purposes--where I want, when I want and for whom I want.

But if I needed a pilot job, DayJet is one I'd definitely be interested in.

Ken

FlightCenter said...

EA50,

I guess you didn't read the post.

I said quite clearly that the latest FAA database shows 7 Eclipse aircraft delivered in August. This is two more aircraft than the FAA database showed as delivered in August last week.

And yes, I believe that Eclipse delivered at least 7 aircraft in August.

For example, it looks like serial #39 and #40 were delivered in August, but the FAA registry database doesn't list them as delivered at this time.

There is an FAA website, the FAA pending registry website which shows, for example, that Eclipse submitted paperwork to transfer serial #40 (N444RL) to A-Ron Resources on 8/15. The Eclipse Owners forum also has an article about the acceptance process of serial #40 on 8/13.

The FAA database currently shows 33 aircraft delivered and 36 certificates of airworthiness issued.

The reason I mention the rate at which aircraft certificates of airworthiness are being issued is that this is a leading indicator of future deliveries as shown in the table below.


Month - Monthly -- Monthly
Ending - Deliveries -- CofA's
Dec-06 - 0 -- 1
Jan-07 - 1 -- 0
Feb-07 - 0 -- 0
Mar-07 - 0 -- 4
Apr-07 - 1 -- 6
May-07 - 8 -- 10
Jun-07 - 6 -- 10
Jul-07 - 10 -- 5


What ever the reason for the slowdown, the data shows that Eclipse now has only three aircraft with CofAs that haven't been delivered to customers. This is the lowest that number has been since March. My guess is that isn't a very good sign for September deliveries.

gadfly said...

mouse and FlightCenter

'Just walk away, and don't stoop to their new low . . . it's not worth it.

gadfly

paul said...

Gee Ken tell us more about how much money you have.

Speaking of polishing, when I worked at Eclipse and someone passing by asked what you were working on the most common reply was "oh, just polishing the turd".

bill e. goat said...

More reflective (and polite, I hope) response to Stan’s in-box contributor...

ALL the aircraft manufacturers have manufacturing and industrial engineers to optimize processes, so I think the "Dinosaurs" (and Eclipse) have looked at how to build things the most efficiently.

It is true, that aircraft are designed by aerodynamicists more than manufacturing engineers. BUT, "Old School" aero and structural engineers HAVE been around the block, and HAVE over the decades been exposed to manufacturing complications.

I can see how an industrial engineer might be frustrated when he sees the manufacturing complexity demanded by something the "Old School" boys in aero and structures designed.

But what the industrial engineer doesn’t see in his normal duties, is WHY it is designed that way: Weight and Strength.

When manufacturing automobiles (or toasters :), emphasis is on volume production, and hence a good deal of concentration on manufacturing costs.

When designing aircraft (or spacecraft), emphasis is on performance, and hence a good deal of concentration is on weight and strength.

The Structures guys groan "why did the aero guys make it like that" (because they don’t know the aero guys constraints). The Manufacturing guys groan "why did the structures guys make it like that" (because they don’t know the structures guys constraints). And the assembly guys "why did the manufacturing guys make it like that" (because they don't know the man. engr's constraints). Everyone does make valuable contributions though, and these observations filter up; indeed, the more "old school" types have had more time to listen and assimilate to these inputs. (and certainly, a good integrated design team, or whatever buzz word is used, can make valuable inputs to the product's producability).

While my earlier response was less accommodating and inclusive than I strive for, I must admit the term "Old School" smites of smug ignorance of the lessons learned. Truly, there is NOTHING revolutionary about the Eclipse- other than price/performance point ("value"). Vern has sought to improve this "value" (well, minimizing sales price to improve profits by capturing market share and minimizing manufacturing costs through design novelties and volume production).

Indeed (once again) I am pleased with myself, and think "novelty" is a better word than "revolutionary". But callous disregard of "lessons learned" is blatantly foolish- Vern spins that contempt as "disruptive", others would consider it vanity, stupidity, or foolishness.

To be fair, well, okay, sort of fair, Vern comes from the IT/dot.com world. The normal business venture there is high risk, high payoff. (But not high probability of success). Aircraft ventures are generally implemented with "conservative" ("old school" by some) practices, because the consequence of a "novel" approach failing is loss of life. But this is NOT the same as saying the old-school boys refuse to innovate: indeed, they have the advantage of having seen decades of "innovation", and bring forward the best of these, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel with "disruptive", "non-dinosaur" concoctions.

Anyway, I appreciate the contributor’s input to Stan, and Stan’s relaying it. I would encourage the contributor to join the blog, and share more of his observations with us- there are some "disruptive" types here too! (Ah, as well as "old school" types, I suppose :). Anyway, welcome, and jump in.

Black Tulip said...

A constructive suggestion should always be welcome here. The spreadsheet released on the Eclipse 500 Club website confirmed what some suspected. Many would consider the aircraft to have a very limited combination of range and payload. Its performance suffers at high altitudes and high temperatures.

While not an issue for short range flights, these issues could hamper acceptance and marketability for a larger aviation audience. The limitations could be eliminated if the Eclipse 500 were flown up to altitude and then released by a mother ship. This approach worked well with the X-1, X-15 and SpaceShipOne.

Released at 41,000 feet with engines started, the Eclipse with a full load of passengers could drift down to its absolute ceiling in coordination with ATC. After sufficient fuel is consumed, the Eclipse can climb back to FL410 and complete an uneventful long-range flight high above the weather.

The pilot and passengers will have the same thrill as Scott Crossfield as they anticipate countdown and release. Flights west of the Mississippi could depart from Edwards Air Force Base and east from Kennedy Space Center.

Black Tulip

redtail said...

Paul said... Speaking of polishing, when I worked at Eclipse and someone passing by asked what you were working on the most common reply was "oh, just polishing the turd".

With an attitude like that, it's obvious as to why they fired you, and why you are here.

airsafetyman said...

Well, people are looking for an alternative to filthy crowded terminals, filthy crowded planes, and being abused by the TSA. Unfortunately DayJet isn't the answer for many reasons. The obvious one is that a jet is not needed to run around the state of Florida and is inefficient when put to that task; this particular jet has no payload to speak of anyway. The second is the DayJet model is hopelessly complicated. You could argue a case for one flat fee for anywhere in the state and simplify a lot. As for the three-tier pricing system-forgetaboutit. And, what happens to the schedule when the return passenger's meeting is delayed two hours and the airplane is already enroute to pick him up for the return trip? Many corporate flight departments "charge" whatever division of their company "charters" the company plane, and it is real money out of real budgets. If different divisions want to combine their trips it is usually up to whoever scheduled the airplane in the first place to agree, not to impose a change on them without asking or even knowing the consequences of the schedule change. As usual with Vern and company, this road has been gone down many times before and looked at from every conceivable angle.

bill e. goat said...

Eclipse offered "teaser" prices to stimulate sales/gain "buzz".

I wonder if DayJet has the same access to deep pocket friends to do the same thing for a few months.

I suspect the prices bantered and quoted are not going to be in effect six months from now.

(whether Dayjet is in effect six months from now also remains to be seen...)

ExEclipser said...

I don't get what people don't understand about the DayJet model. If you need to be at a place by a certain time, then you pay a premium. If you have a 6-hour window, you pay a discount.

ATM said: Some question if you need to be back in the office in the afternoon, and you want to pay a lower fare, but your meeting ends at noon?

Better drive or fly commercial. DayJet isn't for you. Of course everyone wants the best service for the lowest price, but commerce doesn't always work that way. Pay the premium to get to work on time. Pay the discount and get back within a 6 hour window, but STILL the same day.

Or to specifically address your question, pay the premium both directions.

The business model isn't designed to let you have it both ways.

WhyTech said...

exe said:

"DayJet isn't for you. "

That begs the question: Who is it for? Air travel is about saving time. Who wants to wait around six hours? Think about specifically what customers this model might fit and get back to us. Its certainly not most business travelers.

WT

Gunner said...

Exe inadvertently put his finger on the Achilles Heel of DayJet:
"Pay the premium to get to work on time."

In order to believe the DayJet model, one's focus must be on DayJet and Eclipse; not on the DayJet customers. Most customers don't consider"getting to work on time" something that they should pay a "premium" for. They fly, not to fly, but to get business done.

Just what are those customers priorities? In order of importance:

- Arriving at a certain place at a prescribed time
- Being able to schedule that time in advance, so as to schedule other activities around it.
- To travel as efficiently as possibly

Recognize that "efficient" includes the terms "cost effective", "quickly" AND comfortably. As such, DayJet just doesn't fit the bill. You can satisfy the first two priorities, but only at costs that will afford you greater comfort in alternative aircraft. Or you can get [comparatively] cheap by absolutely disregarding the first two (most important) priorities.

For me, DayJet is like AvioNG. It's a "novelty" (great word, Bill E.). It's geared toward people who can't justify a charter, yet who want to brag at lunch that their charter jet is waiting.

The brag only goes so far toward overcoming the reality. The same holds true for Depositor mindsets like some of those here. They'll sit around a hangar expounding on the virtues of "my jet" over the CJ3. Unfortunately, they'll be the only pilot in that hangar; for obvious reasons.

Gunner

ExEclipser said...

BEG: If DayJet fails in the first year (which they've already announced that they anticipate an operating loss), then you'll see a bunch of used Eclipses on the market, EAC goes belly up, and the Beech Starship phenomenom reoccurs but without a company to buy back the planes.

DayJet's been working on their business model for years. I really have to believe that they know how this will play out.

Flightaware.com now has a feature so that if you want to see all the EA50's in the air at any given time, not only is a list provided, but a map, too:

DayJet Flights on FlightAware.com

Pretty neat when a bunch of "paperclips" are flying about the country.

WhyTech said...

BT said:

"Released at 41,000 feet with engines started, "

With Ken's obsession for efficiency, consider a possible refinement to your idea: release WITHOUT the engines started, glide down to optimum altitude, then start the engines and continue as you suggest. Should make at least a 0.12743% improvement in total fuel burn. Ken would love this.

WT

ExEclipser said...

WT said That begs the question: Who is it for?

Forbes Article: "A total of 800 travelers have signed up to become members of DayJet, agreeing to pay a $250 fee to "join" the carrier."

GungHo said: In order to believe the DayJet model, one's focus must be on DayJet and Eclipse; not on the DayJet customers. Most customers don't consider"getting to work on time" something that they should pay a "premium" for. They fly, not to fly, but to get business done.


AIN Online Article: Of the people who have paid $250 each to sign up as DayJet members thus far, 90 percent would drive their planned trips but not fly on the airlines, Iacobucci said.

WhyTech said...

exe said:

"agreeing to pay a $250 fee to "join" the carrier.""

You think this is significant? One tenth the price of a single trip - means virtually nothing, IMHO. And what about the reported reduction in this fee to $99?

WT

WhyTech said...

"You think this is significant? "

I should also have said: A cheap way to impress your friends with a "jet card." You can flash this around and be BMWJ (big man with a jet, not to be confused with BMOB)

WT

airsafetyman said...

The airline system is broken, which is why the production of mid-sized and large corporate aircraft is sold out far into the future. I think the next growth area will be for small companies to band together and form their own flight departments if they are too small to support one by themselves. The DayJet concept is so flawed from a customer convenience and safety viewpoint is it hardly worth discussing.

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

exe said:

"Pretty neat when a bunch of "paperclips" are flying about the country."

I see that a grand total of three EA50's are on FA right now during one of the busy hours. Is three a "bunch?"

WT

bill e. goat said...

Exe,
Thanks for the nice link on flightaware.

One observation regarding joining the Dayjet club for $250 (or $99 or $X); as long as it allows a traveller to take advantage of loss-producing teaser rates, it's a no-brainer- I'd suspect just one flight would pay for the membership fee.

I'm sure Dayjet has done a lot of market research, but it just seems like there's not much new under the sun...I hope they succeed, and promote E-500 sales and general awareness in the business traveller community of the viability of charter and air taxi, but it sure seems like a lot of twin-prop Cessnas and Pipers have been trying it for years- advantage Eclipse for glass cockpit and twin-fan reliability, but still, a lot of water has flowed (?flown?:) under the bridge...

ExEclipser said...

WT: I think the narrow scope of your vision is what plagues a lot of the arguments that are presented by the critics.

You can click on that link now and see three planes. Wait 10 minutes and there are two. Wait a couple of hours and there could be 5 or more.

Vision, my friend, cannot be had in a tunnel.

airtaximan said...

IMHO, Dayjet's European adventure is just another excuse to raise more money and prolong....

Like the con-jet...

PS. I read somewhere (can't wait until someoe says "PROVE it"..."proof is not good'nuff for me...proove it better"....) that Dayjet has cut its estimate to only 30-35 e-clips planes estimated for operation in 2007.

From the history, this looks really, really bad for the individual "position-holders"...

Dayjet gets 1/2 the production of the forst hundred planes... seems like..

I SAID seems like they are thnking there will be around 70 planes total delivered this year...

WhyTech said...

exe said:

"Vision, my friend, cannot be had in a tunnel."

Vision, my friend, can be a wonderful thing when appropriately tempered by reality.

WT

bill e. goat said...

Re: Dayjet deliveries...

In the "nothing new under the sun" catagory, I would be impressed if Dayjet acquires more than two dozen jets this year. Certainly feasible, but I don't know if their business/cash flow will support it...

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

Someone from CharterX corrected an inaccuracy in one of my postings yesterday:

CharterX is not a broker; they do not charge a commission for their service.

According to the CharterX person, the prices quoted are actual prices from operators for the particular charter in question.

If that's true, then the price advantage of the DayJet approach is obvious. Some reasons for the lower price come to mind:

1. DayJet sells seats, not the whole plane

2. DayJet doesn't charge repositioning fees (on their per-seat service anyway)

3. The Eclipse 500 is not subject to Federal Excise Tax

4. The Eclipse 500 costs a lot less to operate than other jets

I suspect there are other reasons, too--probably a big one is operational efficiency from their size and the investment they've made in computerization to maximize efficiency.

Ken

paul said...

Baboon Arse Said:

"With an attitude like that, it's obvious as to why they fired you, and why you are here."


With over 30 years in aviation I calls them like I sees them.
I was hardly fired, I left to protect my certificate. I don't consider pre-loading structure during construction a safe procedure.

Gunner said...

Paul-
To the extent possible, ignore him. He has yet to post anything but drive-by personal attack here and has never engaged in actual discussion.

Tell, me this, in your personal opinion....not asking for any documentation, just your own sense of things based on your expertise and experience:

Do you believe the design and manufacture of this jet inherently includes a higher degree of in-flight safety risk than its competitors?
Gunner

paul said...

Do you believe the design and manufacture of this jet inherently includes a higher degree of in-flight safety risk than its competitors?
Gunner

Yes. I was offered a flight when they needed ballast to conduct foward CG stall testing and I refused.
I am not adverse to risk being an avid skydiver, however I have my limits.

airtaximan said...

Ken:
Here are some real charter prices for the trip you clamed were in the thousands...

Boca to Gainesville...

UNIVERSAL JET AVIATION, INC. BE-55 (BARON) Piston-Multi seats 5 @ $350/hr...

COMPANION AIR PA-28RT-201 (ARROW IV) Piston-Single seats 3 @ $150/hr

Really on-demand. Entire plane.

For a savvy buyer like you who always looks for the cheapest avaiable...try the Piston single... you and your lovely wife can pay $300 for both of you, and get there in two hours... on YOUR schedule, no waiting, and no stops. Heck, you can even bring your pet along!

Welcome to the competition. Enjoy.

Gunner said...

Thanks, Paul.

The Faithful like to ask for "proof". This is a selfish and self-indulgent demand, as "proof" is a very subjective thing; one man's "proof" is another's "poppycock".

Rather they should ask for "source" of information. Source is objective, allowing each individual to evaluate in accordance with his own experience.

As a "source" your information squares with a half dozen other present and former vendors and employees. It is not "proof" enough for me, but it's enough data for me to know I won't step (duck?) into one of these aircraft until the fleet has flown a few tens of thousands of air miles in the capable hands of Test Pilots......err, Depositors.
Gunner

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"UNIVERSAL JET AVIATION, INC. BE-55 (BARON) Piston-Multi seats 5 @ $350/hr..."

I just submitted a charter request to Universal Jet. BCT to GNV on 9/12 at 10 AM, returning the same afternoon.

The least expensive rate they offered was $6978 for the trip.

Anybody can cherry pick cheap rates, but to see what a flight really costs, all you have to do is book it.

Ken

redtail said...

AirSafetyGuy said... And, what happens to the schedule when the return passenger's meeting is delayed two hours and the airplane is already enroute to pick him up for the return trip?

Gee, I wonder what we've been doing in the past when we have a full fair airline reservation that we just missed because of a late meeting. Life didn't change because of DayJet. The same rules still apply. You get a later plane, and often eat the airfare.

airsafetyman said...

"Gee, I wonder what we've been doing in the past when we have a full fair airline reservation that we just missed because of a late meeting. Life didn't change because of DayJet. The same rules still apply. You get a later plane, and often eat the airfare."

Gee, Redtail, I thought life was SUPPOSE to change because of DayJet. Silly me! In any case I just call up Southwest and change to a later flight at no charge.

airtaximan said...

Funny, I did the same thing...and they provided me with the rate I posted.

Maybe they know who you are, Ken?

Also, did you disqualify they $150 flight, yet?

Ken, there are many, many prop planes in Florida that provide this type of service for the rates I posted...

...stop kidding yourself.

A reporter from the Miami Herald already dispelled the myth that the airlines charge expensive fares and do not fly the example trips provided by Dayjet, direct.

Stick with the revolutionary teeny-jet performance numbers you keep repeating. Air Charter seems to be out of your league.

airtaximan said...

redtail is correct on the Dayjet thing-

they will be no worse than the airlines...

they will be no worse than car trips, either for some folks...

BUT for folks like Ken, who cannot find an inexpensive charter aircraft in a prop plane in Florida for less than half of what Dayjet charges, and they have a trememndous an mount of flexibility in their schedule but they cannot drive, and they want to travel alone, to one of five airports, and make a stop along the way, ina very, very small plane......

Dayjet's the way to go!

gadfly said...

Taximan

You would fly Southwest because you’re too stupid to fly in a “Paperclips”. And aboard Southwest, you would have to sit for a couple hours next to the low-life PhD’s of Sandia National Labs, and all those other undesirables that actually “prefer” to fly on the most successful jet company in recent history. ‘Just how brainless can one be, and without any sense of “prestige” . . . and where are your bragging rights?

You silly person!

gadfly

(Warn me next time you fly on Southwest . . . give me time to warn my family to avoid standing in the same line with you at the Southwest counter . . . what would people think?)

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"UNIVERSAL JET AVIATION, INC. BE-55 (BARON) Piston-Multi seats 5 @ $350/hr..."

"I just submitted a charter request to Universal Jet. BCT to GNV on 9/12 at 10 AM, returning the same afternoon.The least expensive rate they offered was $6978 for the trip."

Ken,

$6978 for a Baron? Either you are not telling us the whole story, or you just got your chain yanked big time. Perhaps they found out you are a doctor who flys and priced accordingly?

Some folks here love data points, so here is one:

I recently chartered a medical transport flight for an elderly family member. The acft was a Citation II outfitted for this application with a wide door, stretcher, and patient monitoring equipment. The acft is based in VA. The crew consited of two mature (40-50 something) pilots and an EMT. The acft flew from a VA base to meet us in Cleveland, OH, flew the patient to Rockland, ME, dropped me off in Manchester, NH, and returned to VA. Flight went without a hitch within minutes of proposed schedule. Total tab right at $6800. And I selected the operator on their safety record and customer recommendations, not on price.

So, Ken, come on and fess up - this rate was for a G550, right?

WT

airsafetyman said...

I know, gadfly, it's horrible. I usually fly on Southwest with a bag over my head to disguise myself (kinda like being a Michigan football fan).

gadfly said...

Taximan

Up until now, I thought you were OK. But with one of our daughters with a couple engineering degrees from USC I am totally ashamed of you . . . you have gone too far. (Michigan, indeed!)

gadfly

(USC: “University of Spoiled Children” . . . I think we must own a couple buildings out there. What was the subject? . . . oh yeh, “Paper Clips”, the little jet that wants to be the “real thing”, but forgot to take its vitamins and “floss”!)

Black Tulip said...

If DayJet succeeds may we expect NightJet to follow? Their motto could only be, "We fly...."

Norman Hsu could be trying to book a flight right now.

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...

Gad,

check who you are razzing... it aint me brother!

I think you are after the "safetyman!"

ExEclipser said...

Anyone remember the three buyers in the ad campaign that featured #xx the Dentist, #xx the professional in the airport, etc?

I'd like to see if they are still depositors and/or if they have their airplanes yet. I can't find the ads anywhere and I don't remember their numbers.

airtaximan said...

execlipser...

THAT WAS MY FAVORITE AD...

"The Die Hards"

Amazing.

gadfly said...

Taximan

My deepest apologies. That's the second mistake I ever made . . . I once thought I was wrong but found out later that I was right.

Yes, "Safety Man", I was aiming at the taximan instead of you.

Sorry, I'll try not to let it happen again.

Now I'll work on a comment about "rivets", "welds", and "cracks" . . . from last night when I was shutting down the computer.

gadfly

gadfly said...

Last night, the subject began to go toward “FSW”, and the advantages over rivets. Someone parroted the advantages of “Stir Fried” over rivets . . . something about reducing the dangers of “cracks”. And someone else made a comment about “cracks” around rivets, going back to the DC-3.

So, in fairness to both sides, let’s look, briefly, at those issues.

The DC-3 was built from aluminum of a moderate strength, and had virtually no issues of stress cracking. In fact, to this date, over seventy years later, there is not (to my knowledge) a single failure of any structural member of a DC-3 . . . yet, DC-3's are still in service, somewhere in the world . . . a most remarkable design. The best aluminum alloy we had then was 24ST . . . the 24xx series, as it later came to be called. It was not weldable, so was only used in rivet construction.

It was the Japanese (for the Mitsubishi A6M “Zero”, and others) that developed the original version of the alloy that we all have come to love . . . the 70xx series of alloys. It’s great, extremely strong (“yield” and “ultimate tensile” . . . wonderful stuff), but not normally “weldable”. So someone developed a method of “fusing” (welding, in essence) a version of a 70xx series aluminum. It is still in its “infancy” as a “fusible” material . . . not well received for such applications, except by Eclipse. The problems of future “longevity” are for the moment, “un-known”. The early forms of 70xx series of alloys must be carefully protected from moisture and impurities, that can quickly degrade the alloy, causing it to fail. Methods include “conductive” (Alodine) and non-conductive (“Anodizing”) systems.

Both methods are normally completed before assembly of components, as access to every possible feature, no matter how small, must be “treated”, to prevent the slightest possibility of attack of the base metal by moisture, as in “humid air”, etc. That is a whole ‘nother subject, and I don’t think anyone wishes to go there just now . . . going down to the crystal structure of aluminum alloys containing copper, zinc, magnesium, lithium, and the many problems that must be addressed by anyone who builds “flying machines” from these materials.

Heating the base metal, after surface treatment, upsets the surface protection. Eclipse recognized this problem, and made efforts to come up with a surface treatment . . . and applied for a patent on that process (although in the past five or six months, I have not heard the “slightest mention” of that issue).

Heating, as in “welding”, can set up a series of conditions that promote “cracking” of the base metal. ‘Nothing new here . . . it’s a constant problem for anyone welding any material . . . aluminum, steel, iron . . . you name it, any time a material is brought to the melting point for any period of time, cracking is a danger. And extensive methods are used in the aircraft industry to discover “if” and “where” these cracks may appear. “Magnaflux”, “DyeCheck” (sp? . . . it’s been many years), X-Ray (as in when our submarine hull was welded), . . . many methods, many concerns about “welding”, regardless about which metal. For those who care, the problem has to do, partly, with the “sudden cooling”, or “quenching”, as the metal cools immediately after the molten metal solidifies. In “FSW”, this same event occurs, even though on a much reduced scale.

Without carrying on this discussion further, the bottom line is that heating a high-strength alloy puts certain stresses into the “joint” that has a tendency to induce “cracks”. Eclipse did not change this simple fact of life in the joining of metal by “heating”. It’s there. It is a problem. It must be of ultimate concern, no matter who attempts to join metal with “heat”.

Riveting, on the other hand, is a long understood method of joining metal . . . not perfect, but with a history going back, “literally”, to the time of Moses . . . and even back to Job . . . even back to Abram (Abraham) in "Ur of the Chaldees" (we're fighting a war over there just now, in case you hadn't noticed). . . that’s over four thousand years. It’s not a “perfect” method, but rivet construction is fairly well understood, and although “Aluminum” is the “new kid on the block”, the stresses are almost nothing compared to welding.

Well, between the short and long explanation, let’s say that this is the “medium” version. Riveting is relatively “safe”, and welding this relatively new metal is in its “infancy”, and subject to cracking, far exceeding “riveting”. Bottom line: Cracking is rare with rivets construction . . . Cracking is “number one” danger with welding.

(Just for “yucks”, do a search and study of the problems incurred by the “Liberty Ships” of WWII . . . when Henry J. Kaiser began “welding” these revolutionary ships together, when most ships had been riveted. It was a “great idea”, but it was “steel”, and had little in common with a highly corrosive alloy, such as aluminum. The “fix”, was a literal “band-aid” welded down each side of the hull.)

These issues are extremely important . . . passing over them lightly, assuming that Eclipse has addressed the issues, is not good enough for me. But I’m not a potential customer.

gadfly

(And, quite frankly, I know too much to ever be a passenger on a "Paper Clips".)

gadfly said...

You're out there . . . I can hear you breathing, and fiddling with your programs.

gadfly

(Give that lady a cough drop . . . I heard her clear her throat.)

gadfly said...

"Helloooooo . . . anyone here?"

Check with the cashier . . . maybe you'll get a refund!

gadfly

Good Night.

Tomorrow, we'll be showing a new performance . . . Vern and the trained "Singing Parrots" . . . enjoy! They don't fly much, but have much to say!

Shane Price said...

ea50,

And the deluded people at DelayedJet.

Read my earlier posts on their chances in Europe.

In simple terms, there is no hope. None. Zip. De nada.

1. Too much competition. Trains (faster, more fequent and state supported) roads (same thing) and yes, Ryanair.

2. Too few airports. Land values in your Mid West are measured in 100's, hereabouts thousands per acre.

3. Congested airspace with national differences on how to handle the growth. If you think New York is crowded, try London or the Low Countries.

Forget it...

Shane

gadfly said...

Shane

By "chance", I ran into a "past pilot" of KLM . . . DC-9's . . . that sort of thing . . . speaks at least four languages, fluently, etc., . . . after our discussion of German humor (zilch) . . . Dutch humor (most interesting and hilarious) . . . Polish (truly great) . . . our conversation turned to thing's aeronautical . . . and discussed the "absence" of "steam gauges", etc., on the Eclipse . . . and he told me of conditions that would scare the socks off any pilot. (We had a great discussion about German, Dutch, Danish, Polish humor . . . as well as Russian, and Norwegian . . . strange . . . as I recall, Swedish was not mentioned! . . . maybe he was being “polite” as he detected early on that I had married a”Swede”.)

(For those who know “Albuquerque, we were at Paul’s Monterrey Inn, and this “Norwegian’ asked me how to get to the “Tram” . . . it had been a few years since he lived in Albuquerque . . . that’s the setting. He was celebrating his 50th birthday, and riding a “Harley” . . . spotless clean. The next day he came by the shop, “towing” his newly acquired “hot air balloon”, and working on his new business as a crop duster, with a Grumman Ag . . . “something”, powered by a P&W 450, etc..)

For instance, concerning the absence of “steam gauges” on the Eclipse:

Flying a DC-9 between two cloud layers . . . a fully lit city below, a full moon above . . . each cloud layer giving a similar light, and here he is, carrying a full load of passengers, and instantly disoriented. Had he not fully trusted his “instruments”, he might have flipped that DC-9 over on its back.

He could not believe that “Eclipse” would not include a complete set of “steam gauges” . . . and proceeded to tell me some “real life” experiences, as a paid commercial pilot, with twenty-five years of experience. Presently, he is exploring the possibilities of being a “glider instructor” in Moriarty, NM, and continuing his business as a crop duster.

Well, there you have an “insight” into the mind of a commercial pilot . . . and what you do with that information is your own responsibility.

For me, I am a coward . . . and if someone says, “That’s dangerous to go there”, . . . I turn and run. Life, for me, is too precious to play games just to prove some stupid point in an argument. And now, approaching seventy years, I have no desire to waste that time. My intent is to help anyone on this blogsite to get their act together, and understand the “true” value of their decisions.

gadfly

(Oh, you people should buy the DVD, “Fargo”, if only to understand the Scandinavians. And interview any airline pilot, at every opportunity . . . before deciding to “purchase” a “Paperclips”.

And Shane, I’m a “Scot” from 1300 . . . sorry ‘bout that . . . Bruce is the name.)

rcflyer said...

gadfly said,

"...any time a material is brought to the melting point for any period of time, cracking is a danger. And extensive methods are used in the aircraft industry to discover “if” and “where” these cracks may appear. “Magnaflux”, “DyeCheck” (sp? . . . it’s been many years), X-Ray (as in when our submarine hull was welded), . . . many methods, many concerns about “welding”, regardless about which metal. For those who care, the problem has to do, partly, with the “sudden cooling”, or “quenching”, as the metal cools immediately after the molten metal solidifies. In “FSW”, this same event occurs, even though on a much reduced scale."

Very interesting, except that one of your premises is incorrect. Friction-Stir Welding does not heat the aluminum to its melting point.

R.C.

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

rcflyer

Sorry, friend, if you believe that, you have been fully deceived. At the molecular level, "melting" has occured. Otherwise, there would be no bond, whatsoever. That is the basic premise of the "Friction Stir Welding" . . . by friction, the two pieces of metal to be joined are brought to the temperature of "liquid", and "mixed" between the two pieces.

Remember: There are four states of any element . . . Solid, Liquid, Gas, and Plasma. In our shop, we make precision parts using an electrical discharge method using that final form of an element, called a "plasma", and are able to cut solids, such as 70% tungsten/30% copper, to shapes that are plus or minus a couple ten-thousands of an inch of a programmed size.

(In our case, we "remove" the metal at the molecular level with a method called "Wirecut-EDM" . . . a method that we brought to New Mexico many years ago.)

The bond between two pieces of metal, whether by "friction" or electrical input, brings the two pieces to a level that "mixes" the two pieces at or above the melting point of the two pieces.

We could play games with "terms" from now on, but the basics come right back down to two pieces, reaching the temperature needed for melting, joining, and then cooling to a solid form.

It is that simple, regardless of how it's explained.

gadfly

Black Tulip said...

Shane,

Think of DayJet Europe as an extension of the Marshall Plan.

Step 1: DayJet sends an armada of Eclipse 500s to Europe to liberate ‘everyman’ and allow him to travel in the manner he deserves.

Step 2: Sales are slow but the limited numbers of customers pronounce their gratitude and satisfaction.

Step 3: DayJet declares victory and withdraws from the European Theater.

Step 4: Dozens of aircraft are left in place, scattered at aerodromes, much like 1945.

Step 5: Riverboat operators scoop these up, and tie them on the back of their barges alongside the bicycles.

Black Tulip

WhyTech said...

9Z said:

"Just another reason I think Dayjet is going to crater. "

Agree. Site reminds me of the high end car direct mail pieces I get: all fluff, no substance.

WT

Ringtail said...

Gunner...where you at? You are being quiet.

EO - How about that Pirep?

Ken - Thanks for keeping it real the last few days while i have been out...Good Job! Where's Alex and Mirage?

Ringtail said...

Whytech and Zulu -

No disrespect but you guys are very pessimistic about other people's business cases! Why is that?

FlightCenter said...

9Z,

I have exactly the same impression of the DayJet website.

I didn't see a link that allowed me to book a flight, or even price a flight, but I decided, maybe, they don't have those pages up yet, because they aren't booking flights yet.

I'll check back once they officially start hiring passengers to see whether their site provides any meaningful data.

Does anyone know if there is a way to book a DayJet seat (not the entire plane) for a specific departure time? For example, if I want to be wheels up at 7:15AM, can I get that departure time if I pay the highest per seat fee?

Or do I still have the 2 hour window of somewhere between 7AM and 9AM at the highest per seat fare?

cj3driver said...

“People expect instant gratification from travel websites. I know I do.”

Me too. Check the Satsair or linear sites. Both have pricing not exact, but at least approximate. I called DayJet today at 10am and got voicemail. They promise a call back within 24 hours…. Are you kidding?

ringT,

If DayJet was my company ... this is all great useful information that would cost thousands of dollars to extract and collect. Maybe someone at DayJet reads this blog. You can bet many at Eclipse do.

I hope DayJet and Eclipse is a success, it may bring a whole new market to GA. But if a negative reputation develops, it could hurt in more ways than one.

Black Tulip said...

Ringtail,

They're working up a business plan just for you. It's going to put another ring around your tail.

Black Tulip

Ringtail said...

CJ3 - I agree constructive criticism is good. But, some on the blog are making very wild predictions that in my opinion seems almost hateful

cj3driver said...

“… Does anyone know if there is a way to book a DayJet seat (not the entire plane) for a specific departure time? For example, if I want to be wheels up at 7:15AM, can I get that departure time if I pay the highest per seat fee?...”

No, but they will give you the requested arrival time at the highest fare. Since they do not guarantee the flight will be non-stop, they tell you the night before, what time to be at the airport. At least this is how it was explained to me. They also guarantee there will be no more than one 20 min stop,

gadfly said...

Someone correct me if I missed something here:

“Forbes” magazine arrived today (along with “Forbes Life”) and I scanned through to see what was important. “The Enlightened Business Traveler” . . . so I looked for our favorite little jet. Somewhere in there, I’m sure I saw the word “Eclipse”, but can’t find it a second time. ‘Great picture and article about the “Honda Jet” . . . and I think I counted twenty-eight pictures of other business jets. But no pictures of the “Paper Clips”. ‘Guess Forbes doesn’t give anything away for “free”.

If I were a depositor, I would be more than a little concerned . . . Forbes usually has a good handle on what’s going on.

But being a person that can’t afford much above “Southwest Airlines”, and only owning one company . . . and some other stuff (that “royalty check” came today . . . my wife will be happy), I’ll sit this one out, and hope you all find your dreams fulfilled.

gadfly

(I’m sure I saw the word, “Eclipse”, somewhere in there . . . or maybe the distraction of the beautiful picture of the Hondajet.)

421Jockey said...

Gadfly,

Apparently you have just moved up to your subscription of Forbes magazine. If you were a subscriber when the June 2007 edition came out you would have seen that there was an entire aricle dedicated to the Eclipse 500.

An excerpt follows:

"Forbes


Flying The World's Smallest Business Jet


by Rich Karlgaard

Visit the factory of Eclipse Aviation, as I did in May, and you'll see how large a bet founder and CEO Vern Raburn has made on very light jets.

At the time of my visit, Eclipse's Albuquerque, N.M., factory had 57 airplanes in various phases of construction. Raburn says that he'll ship 250 or more this year, and that Eclipse will be ''the world's volume jet leader'' in 2008. The company claims 1,000-plus cash deposits from owner-pilots and 1,500 or so orders from air taxi operators such as DayJet. On this particular day, some investment bankers from New York were prowling the factory floor.

Raburn has a reputation for making boastful statements, but delivering numbers like that would be a feat unprecedented in the high-capital-cost, highly regulated business aircraft industry.

Can he do it? An afternoon at the controls makes me think he can."

Apparently the September article satisfies the journalistic obligation to give equal time to all the "also rans"

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

Thanks CJ3. That is helpful.

So my understanding is, if I pay the $4 a mile fare, I can specify that I want to arrive at 9AM for a one hour flight and they'll let me know whether the departure time will be closer to 7:30 or 8:00, depending on whether they need to stop along the way.

airsafetyman said...

Gadfly,

There has been at least one structural failure on a C-47. The USAF Tactical Air Command had an ancient model for years. Sometimes in the 70s it lost a horizontal stabilizer and crashed. I remember the report well because I had some stick time in the same aircraft going from Eglin AFB to Langley AFB a few years earlier. The exception proves the rule however.

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,
Thanks for the material info.
Do you remember what alloy the early B-52's and KC-135's (maybe C-5's too) were skinned with?
I remember it had severe cracking problems (too brittle)- I thought it was a 7000-series aluminum, but can't remember for sure (and can't google it- going on 45+ years of google-able stuff for those airplanes!).

But, I did find this interesting post on aging aircraft...

Aging Airplanes

cj3driver said...

From the Forbes article;

“At the time of my visit (May), Eclipse's Albuquerque, N.M., factory had 57 airplanes in various phases of construction. Raburn says that he'll ship 250 or more this year, and that Eclipse will be ''the world's volume jet leader'' in 2008. The company claims 1,000-plus cash deposits from owner-pilots and 1,500 or so orders from air taxi operators such as DayJet. On this particular day, some investment bankers from New York were prowling the factory floor.”

One paragraph with so much info. … and the critics reponse…

“At the time of my visit, Eclipse's Albuquerque, N.M., factory had 57 airplanes in various phases of construction.”

Its now September and only 40 or so of those have been delivered. On August 13th # 71 was just started. In three months, they only started 14 planes?

“Raburn says that he'll ship 250 or more this year”

So far … 40 , only 210 to go. There are only 115 days left this year… including weekends and holidays. Can they realisticly deliver two per day?

“and that Eclipse will be ''the world's volume jet leader'' in 2008. “

Really?

“The company claims 1,000-plus cash deposits from owner-pilots”

How many are on the market, multiple orders, speculators and investors?

“1,500 or so orders from air taxi operators such as DayJet.”

Or should we say nearly all DayJet.

“On this particular day, some investment bankers from New York were prowling the factory floor.”

Must have been Highland?, … just before the brink of bankruptcy.

AlexA said...

Stan Blankenship said...
“If the plans hold, I will have access to the new AFM later today. Expect a new post tomorrow. 8:40 AM, August 31, 2007” So Stan couldn’t you find anything in the new AFM to trash Eclipse?

rcflyer said...

gadfly,

Disclaimers: I know a little about metalworking. If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, I must be the most dangerous man on the planet.

However, I don't think you have all of the information about friction stir welding. The inventors of the technology, TWI, state that it is a solid-phase process, and that no molten metal is formed. The maximum temperature reached during the process is 80% of the melting point.

The heat of the friction does cause the metal to become plasticized (just as you can heat metal to a temperature below its melting point to make it easier to bend). It is then extruded and forged together by the FSW tool.

By the way, EDM is way cool. I first encountered it as a co-op student at a bearing plant. They were using it to make carbide form tools for machining bearing inner and outer races.

"Home Shop Machinist" magazine has had some articles on homemade EDM machines. Apparently, they are very useful for removing broken taps without affecting the threads in the hole.

R.C.

bill e. goat said...

re: FSW

there are a lot of more knowledgable people out in blog-land that know more about FSW than me (okay, know more about everything else than me...)

But, it seems to me I read some posting a while back, that the "temperature" of FSW is about 80% of the melting point, and the aluminum turns plastic, but doesn't melt, and the fusing process also depends on pressure from the rotating tool, not just to generate the heat, but also the pressure itself to "smear" the parts together.
Sounds kind of wierd.

In the "nothing new under the sun" department, it would seem that if society has been working with aluminum airplanes for 60+ years, somebody along the way would have discovered this process a long time ago...but maybe not...(read: maybe something is a little screwy with it? Guess it's worked out okey-dokey so far for our friends at Eclipse.

Although...I think the B-52/KC-135 guys thought they were on to something fantastic too, back in the early 1960's, something too good to be true (stiff, light aluminum alloy xxxx). But time and embrittlement caught up with them- and in the mid-1960's had to resort to some "old school" "dinosaur" alloy, at great re-skinning expense.

Nothing new under the sun.

(HEY! If M00 can do it, so can I!! :)

Ringtail said...

Alexa,

I was thinking the same thing. The way Stan's post read, I thought he found the golden BB that the naysayers believe is out there somewhere!

Stan - lets get the blog back on track with E500 discussion. I'm tired of people ripping Dayjet when they should be happy that all of the money DJ is spending is going into the economy.

bill e. goat said...

Thanks R.C.,
(you beat me to it by a minute!)

gadfly said...

Sorry, 421 Jockey, but I did see the earlier "ads", and articles about Eclipse. That's why I was surprised by the lack of content in "today's" issue.

(Of course, it was an extensive avertising supplement featuring business aviation.)

gadfly

Koolaid-drinker1 said...

gadfly said...

"Well, there you have an “insight” into the mind of a commercial pilot . . . and what you do with that information is your own responsibility."
-------------------------------------------
To expand on this concept, I once had the opportunity to fly jump seat on a 747 whilst crossing the big pond from London to Montréal when I asked the crew what they thought of the new 777 to which the response was "it would be a great plane if it had 2 more engines"!
-------------------------------------------
Well, as gadfly said.....

"Well, there you have an “insight” into the mind of a commercial pilot . . . and what you do with that information is your own responsibility."

Koolaid-drinker1 (aka CAD1)

rcflyer said...

bill e.goat,

I guess it's true that great minds think alike. :)

Next, people will be asking if we've ever been photographed together.

R.C.

bill e. goat said...

"lets get the blog back on track with E500 discussion. I'm tired of people ripping Dayjet"

Goat:
I think air taxi is an integral part of Eclipse's business model, whether it's DayJet or some other company. Since DJ accounts for 60% of Elcipse's "orders", they are very much a part of the E-500 story...

"...when they should be happy that all of the money DJ is spending is going into the economy".

Goat:
I think Vern would be especially happy...

"I thought he found the golden BB that the naysayers believe is out there somewhere!"

Goat:
I keep the golden BB in my head, thank you very much. (Although I'd be happy to loan it to Vern).

:)

WhyTech said...

RT said:

"No disrespect but you guys are very pessimistic about other people's business cases! Why is that? "

For the last 20 years, I made my living evaluating and investing in "business cases" I have read at least 5000 business plans and have participated with my partners in investing in more than 200 of these. Over time, one hopefully develops a degree of judgment about what will work or not, and why or why not. I come no where close to having all the answers and have been both very right and very wrong. Some of the business cases I turned down went on the fabulous success, and some in which I invested tanked quickly. One pattern that is evident in most of those that worked was a realistic, ethical management team which met most (but not all) of their milestones.

It takes much more than "innovation" and "disruptive technology" to bring a startup company to the point of being a viable business. I simply dont see the required ingredients for success in E-clips.

So, I can get excited and enthusiastic about some business ideas, but not this one.

WT

bill e. goat said...

R.C.,
Shoosh- the next thing you know, our spy missions on the E500 club will be compromised!!!
:)

cj3driver said...

Ringtail said;

“…I'm tired of people ripping Dayjet when they should be happy that all of the money DJ is spending is going into the economy…”

RT

So did the “Billion dollars” Vern spent. But the investors knew, or should have known, from due diligence, proforma material what they were getting into, and evaluated the risks.

As far a depositors not privy to the information, there is additonal risk. They are big boys too, … but, if they were (are) being lied to or mislead, that’s a different story.

BTW – with 50% of Eclipse’s order book tied to DayJet and “air-taxi” volume, I’ll bet DayJet is at the top of the list when it comes to investors/deposit holders concerns.

If I am a potential buyer for an Eclipse, DayJet’s future has significant impact on my decision when risking over $1,000,000 in an unsecured loan (60%) to the company for the construction of my Jet.

Speculation on DayJet’s success or failure is not “ripping” in my book.

Ringtail said...

Whytech,

I am ok with your position on Eclipse. But I don't think it is appropriate to shoot holes in Dayjet's business model just because they are using a new type of plane that you do not like.

It just appears to me that the naysayers take issue and try to trash any person or company that has faith in the Eclipse. That's just my observation.

bill e. goat said...

...?!? No Mirage this thread (so far.

Oh well, I'll go ahead and practice:

"Nothing New Under The Sun"

:)

Ringtail said...

CJ - But the truth to the matter is that if Dayjet were using a Mustang, Caravan, CJ, etc., most of you all would be endorsing it big time

Ringtail said...

Mirage - Come on out. Lets see if we can get the ball rolling.

Ringtail said...

Where's Gunner?

Hey Gunner...that was the best piece of Google I ever had the other day

WhyTech said...

RT said:

"It just appears to me that the naysayers take issue and try to trash any person or company that has faith in the Eclipse"

Maybe, but not in my case. I have acccumulated more than 4 million miles of business travel by air over the years and when I think about the Day Jet model using this perspective and my investing experience, I cant identify where the market is - in other words, who will pay the stated prices for the terms of (non)service offered.

It has nothing directly to do with the fact that DayJet is uning E-clips; It could be King Air C90's or Mustangs and I'd have the same opinion. Its the customer facing side of the concept that is flawed, IMO, not the service delivery technology. YMMV.

WT

Ringtail said...

"It has nothing directly to do with the fact that DayJet is uning E-clips; It could be King Air C90's or Mustangs and I'd have the same opinion. Its the customer facing side of the concept that is flawed, IMO, not the service delivery technology."

OK, if that's the case I'm OK with your position. We will just have to wait and let the market decide.

paul said...

"Do you remember what alloy the early B-52's and KC-135's (maybe C-5's too) were skinned with?"


Boeing seems to like 2024, Douglas likes to build with 7075.
I'm speaking of the civilian aircraft.
Boeing attempted a lithium alloy in the 80's to save weight but it was too brittle and they gave up on it.

Ringtail said...

Paul,

I can't remember...whats the alloying agent in 70XX - Magnesium?

Gunner said...

Ringtail asked several times where I've been. Answer: Flying. I keep up by iPhone and computer and have had my say, thus far on this particular topic.

More important, Ringtal asks:
"Stan, lets get the blog back on track with E500 discussion. I'm tired of people ripping Dayjet"

Let's see. Alexa found it important enough to post a long winded PR Puff Piece for DayJet. Stan saw fit to give her top billing.

Now that the piece is evaluated and commented on, you'd prefer to change the subject? Why ask Stan and not Alexa. She chose the Topic, not Stan.

Someone else asked about Mirage. I have it on good authority that he's moved on to more productive pursuits. That, I think, is his right and I wish him every success.
Gunner

Lloyd said...

Nothing new here as far as unsecured deposits. Look at Tesla Motors selling an all electric sports car. As a new company they require a $50,000.00 unsecured deposit for a $100,000.00 car to be delivered sometime in 2008. BTW their manufacturing facility is next to Eclipse in ABQ!!

gadfly said...

RC

How did we get this far into this discussion? Well, here goes . . . because we’re now into “theory” of what really happens at that “fusion” temperature. You may be familiar with the term, “eutectic” as applied to “silver soldering”, etc. My first encounter was in making anodes and cathodes of pure copper, “soldered” together at close to 1,800 degrees F. We used both gold, and 1801 Eutectic silver solder (the end product was used to test the ablative heat shield material for the Apollo reentry vehicle . . . we had a Plasma generator that would produce 2.4 million watts of power, continuous, in a huge high vacuum system, using nitrogen and oxygen at hypersonic velocities . . . very scary stuff, and I was the Senior Research Technician on the project, besides being the model maker machinist, that built the stuff. If things blew up . . . and that happened sometimes . . . I could not blame someone else. I learned that a “solder” could melt at a lower temperature than either of the two or three major alloys in the solder . . . called a “eutectic” principle. You have used this same thing when you have soldered something with, say, “60-40” lead/tin solder. The melting point of each element is higher than the “combined” melting point. But in combination, you can solder things together with an electric iron, although you could not do the same with either pure lead, or pure tin. And I suspect (though cannot prove) that the fusion point of the aluminum in the FSW process is below the melting point of any single alloy in the “mix” . . . allowing the “fusion” of various elements that otherwise by themselves would never combine.

Regardless of the “theory”, high-strength aluminum alloys lose their strength at high temperatures. For instance, if you wish to form a piece of aluminum into some strange shape, first “blacken” it with an acetylene rich flame with your oxy-acetylene torch. Then carefully heat the same piece with a “neutral” flame, being careful to just heat the aluminum enough to burn-off the “soot”. The process is not important, but burning off the soot is a simple indicator that you are a safe level below the melting point of aluminum (somewhere above 1,100 degrees F). The aluminum is now “soft”, or “annealed”, and you may shape it by hammer and shot-bag, or whatever, until it again “work hardens”. Again, soften it as above, and continue the process until you achieve the shape you wish. Many of those beautiful cars back in the early 1900’s were made of aluminum in just this way. The point here is that by “heating” (as in “FSW”) the strength of the base material is changed . . . reduced, even though the metal has not fully melted. By the way, reducing the “strength” in the heated zone is not necessarily a bad thing . . . the localized stresses are reduced, and the likelihood of “stress cracks” are also reduced.

Having said that, the aluminum (depending on the alloy) may/might regain it’s strength by a process of “re-heat-treating” or “work hardening”, etc. But with the FSW process, I seriously doubt that such is the case. (By the way, after the four numeral code . . . such as 7075, there is a letter and more numbers, indicating the hardness/strength of the material, and what method was used to achieve that condition. H indicates “work hardening” . . . T indicates heat-treating . . . H-O is dead soft . . . H2 is ¼ hard, H4 is ½ hard, etc., achieved by “work hardening”, . . . T6 or T651 tells the method and strength of the final alloy and the method of heat-treating used to achieve it. 1100 is commercially pure aluminum, 20xx series is similar to 70xx series . . . and is not normally weldable, but achieves its strength by heat treating. Other common numbers are 30xx . . . similar to 1100, weldable . . . 40xx is weldable, as is the most common, 6061-T6 . . . a common “do everything” aluminum alloy. Most people are familiar with the 60xx series . . . not very strong, but very friendly . . . about half the strength of 70xx series.

Someone will read this and think it’s a “put-down” of the process. It is not! But with any method of joining two pieces of metal, there is no simple conclusion to the matter. There are many trade-offs, and no simple final answers. Understanding the fine points may be the difference between success and failure . . . between life and death.

Sorry, folks, but this is not a simple “one sentence type answer”.

gadfly

(You showed interest in “Wirecut-EDM” . . . we brought that technology to New Mexico in the early 1980’s . . . before either Sandia or Los Alamos . . . a wonderful and little appreciated method of machining.)

Ringtail . . . the major alloy in 70xx series, I believe, is zinc. There are many other lesser elements. It's hard to remember . . . we all have to look it up.

cherokee driver said...

Gadfly

matweb.com will give you many of the properties of just about any material you can imagine.

gadfly said...

cherokee

Thanks . . . I'll bookmark the reference . . . better than my memory, I'm sure.

gadfly

mouse said...

My favorite smirk about DayJet is how they claim the pilot will be home every night, and they will never exceed duty days or duty time... Guess there is no such thing as weather delays, mechanical delays, late passengers, etc. in their computer model.

The key value in aircraft charter revolves around time... Time to get there (Speed), departure time (when the customer wants to go, not the schedule), arrival time (when the customer wants to get there), Etc.

If a meeting runs long, or short you just call dispatch and move up or push back the times.. How will DayJet deal with this? Strand someone overnight because he or she is late to the airport and they are in for trouble.. wait for the delayed passenger and piss off the others onboard already...

And so it goes...

The only way the new charter market will work is if the planes are in abundance, waiting for whoever, just like taxi cabs at an airport stand. They don't know when or where they are going until the get a customer. If the low cost planes really were low cost, this would work.

Any other scenario is doomed to repeat the same problems we have for the past 30 years... IMHO

mouse said...

AirSafetyMan,

You hit the subject I have been pushing for a couple of years now to VLJ charter parties (People interested in VLJ fleets) and that is to pre-sell a packaged flight department to small companies. The investment is so much smaller when the airplane is around $2M, but straight charter... Nope, except as a loss-leader to get a new customer in the door...Yep

mouse said...

WhyTech,

Actually I think 3 EA-500's in the air would qualify as a bunch, it's nearly 10% of the fleet.

The ironic thing is, I think 30+ planes delivered in the first year is amazing, in a positive light.

The thing that ruins it all is Vern's ability to overload his butt with his mouth. Instead of being proud of the accomplishment, he gets berated because he makes such ludicrous claims, bad mouths the other OEMs, and lies to his investors, customers, and employees...

He is destroying his vision and the company all by himslef.

mouse said...

Ken,

I finally see with great clairity why you irratate so many with such precision. You show no sign of having an opinion or thought of your own.

You report everything you read as fact, and like it was your idea.

How about telling us something based on your gut feelings, intuition or how you feel, and not just repeat someone elses tag lines, advertising, or website?

We might actually be interested in something you have to say...

bill e. goat said...

"Look at Tesla Motors selling an all electric sports car...their manufacturing facility is next to Eclipse in ABQ!!"

The truth comes out!

The electric Moller flying car, made with revolutionary, disruptive FSW'd subassemblies farmed out to Eclipse. All you nay-sayers that thought Vern wasting time switching engines, switching avionics, delaying FIKI, WXR, etc.!! This E-500 stuff has all been a cover story for the REAL thing Vern has been working on! Developing lightweight FSW subassemblies! And everyone poo-poo'd Vern bringing in a Ford manufacturing exec! We've been such fools!

(Guess I'll keep my golden BB afterall).

mouse said...

WhyTech,

Ken just calculated to the decimal point, and then put it in the wrong place.. the real price was $69.78

cj3driver said...

RT said;

“ …CJ - But the truth to the matter is that if DayJet were using a Mustang, Caravan, CJ, etc., most of you all would be endorsing it big time…”

RT, Not true. You must not have read many of my previous posts on the DayJet subject. IMO the market too small and the price too high for this kind of service.

I don’t see the DayJet “per seat on demand” model working with any type of airplane. Even 172’s. Ed has made it very clear his business does not depend on the E500, and is not limiting the success to this type. On the flip side, Eclipse is banking on DayJet and air taxi’s to prove the volume.

The fact that DayJet is utilizing the Eclipse makes a questionable venture an even greater chance of failure for the simple reason that there are only three revenue seats. The DayJet (per seat) business plan only provides profit if two or more seats are filled at the higher fare. Since they are limited to three seats, that’s the most they can make on every flight, … even if there are more passengers willing to pay.

DayJet could have tested this model years and years ago with turboprops.

Think about it. Do you think if DayJet is an overwhelming success, they will be the only game in town? No. … that’s not the American way.

If DayJet sells every seat on most legs, you can bet other operators will jump in. And I bet its with larger planes. Even DayJet will not want to lose the incremental revenue, and the dinosaurs “big VLJ’s” and turboprops will benefit.

A larger plane would be a better choice for this type of service, simply because there is more potential for incremental revenue when there are more seats available…. The plane is going there for the first customer anyway. For short/low hauls, turboprops are more efficient, larger, more luxurious, have potty’s and other amenities, and have a known service record.

That being said, I still think the DayJet business model is suspect, even with turboprops, Eclipse’s or Mustangs. The operating costs / ticket prices are just too high, and the convenience and benefits to low, to serve such a small market, IMO of course.

ExEclipser said...

I think a lot of folks here are missing some elements of the DayJet business model.

First, with regards to pilots getting home on time, paassenger delays, etc., remember that there are 12 planes and 5 cities. Probably 11 will be used for DayPort service and 1 for whole plane charter. That's just a guess. But it's been stated that the plane you go home on will most likely not be the same plane you arrived on. Pax 1 gets on DayJet 1 at BCT, Pax 2 gets on at LAL, Pax 2 gets off at GNV, Pax 1 gets off at TLH. DayJet 2 meanwhile leaves GNV with Pax 2 at noonish and flies to LAL. Both planes return to their home base by 7 PM. And model is supposed to get pilots home every night, but everyone knows, DayJet acknowledges, and pilots are aware that things can go wrong. This doesen't mean that the whole business model needs to be tanked. I'm sure that their algorythms are flexible to account for such. The programming allows for fleet optimization, not perfection.

There are over 1200 customers from 250 companies that have paid up and are going to be the first offered for flights next week. You probably won't be able to get a price until you're a member, and even then not until they are in full swing.

Just my opinions, not based on hard core facts or anything.

Black Tulip said...

cj3driver,

That’s a nice summary of your prior analyses. If DayJet is trying so hard to be different, could we expect the following?

With great fanfare Eclipse and DayJet will announce the Eclipse Concept Jet is no longer just a concept. It will be certified and the launch customer is DayJet with an order for one thousand aircraft.

DayJet will deliver the ultimate in customized air charter service by selling a seat to one individual per flight, right alongside the pilot. No other operator offers the personalized attention made possible by the Eclipse two-seat single-engine jet. In this case, the question of whether the customer buys the ‘seat’ or the ‘aircraft’ is irrelevant.

The company’s team of Russian scientists ran thousands of hours of computer simulations to arrive at this configuration. They ran air charter models up to the size of the Boeing 787.

Finally they focused on the very real economics of a single-seat aircraft. This concept was nearly introduced to the market until someone pointed out that this would leave no room for the charter passenger. The Eclipse two-seat model is expected to see service soon.

Black Tulip

WhyTech said...

exe said:

"I think a lot of folks here are missing some elements of the DayJet business model."

Possible - sometime great ideas are only obviously great in hindsight.

My issues with the DayJet model are with the demand side of the business, not the service delivery side. I have little doubt that with enough time and money, the service delivery concept can be made to work (ignoring the economics). I am not convinced that the E-clips is the optimum acft due to size, delivery delays, potentialy reliablility issues, etc, but this is smaller issue, IMO.

My chief concern with the model is whether there is a sufficient market demand for the service at the announced pricing. Also, it would appear that a certain scale of operations may be necessary to make the eeconomics work, and if this scale is not achieved, DayJet may not be a viable business.

Because the customer commitment ($99/$250) to become a member of DayJet is so small (less that 10% of the cost of a single typical flight) I dont think that the number of signups is a useful proxy for ongoing demand. We'll see.

WT

WhyTech said...

"Because the customer commitment ($99/$250) to become a member of DayJet is so small (less that 10% of the cost of a single typical flight) I dont think that the number of signups is a useful proxy for ongoing demand"

When you buy a jet card such as Marquis, you are essentially paying for travel in advance, and at around $125,000 a pop, your are COMMITTED.

WT

EclipseOwner387 said...

N941NC on FlightAware again. Doing 390 Kts ground speed at FL310.

WhyTech said...

EO said:

"Doing 390 Kts ground speed at FL310. "

Tailwind component = 100 kts?

Gunner said...

WT-
No, about 70Kts.

EO-
Tell us about your recent trip on the EA-50X. Or did I miss the report?
Gunner

EclipseOwner387 said...

WT,

Don't know. Didn't look it up. You can read my write up on my flight to New York on the e5c website. It was posted last nite.

ExEclipser said...

WT Said:

"Tailwind component = 100 kts?"

No, only 70. That's still 320 in the air.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gunner,

It is in the articles as a guest journal entry for Mike Press.

Enjoy!

ExEclipser said...

Four EA50's in the air, only one is DayJet.

Pretty neat on FA.

mirage00 said...

Someone else asked about Mirage. I have it on good authority that he's moved on to more productive pursuits. That, I think, is his right and I wish him every success.

I'm still here boys... Was out of town for a few.

Alexa, I too am awaiting Stan's review of the AFM. Surely there must be a typo somewhere.

I remain amused

double 00

redtail said...

Dick H said... Someone else asked about Mirage. I have it on good authority that he's moved on to more productive pursuits.

I see Dick's information is as good as ever...

redtail said...

Five Eclipse in the air. In comparison, only one Mustang.

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