The reason this blog exists is because Eclipse has historically set very high expectations for themselves, but continues to miss the expectations they've set for themselves by wide margins.
AeroObserver says that while 46 deliveries isn't the fairy tale promised by Vern a couple years ago, it is pretty good. And he is right, it is pretty good.
But a couple of years ago, the official Eclipse plan was to deliver 354 aircraft by the end of Sept 2007. We are more than 300 aircraft behind the plan from two years ago. But let’s look at what Vern promised even a couple months ago. The last public statement from Vern on deliveries (around Oshkosh 2007) was that Eclipse would deliver over 200 aircraft in 2007. In order to meet that expectation, Eclipse would have to make 154 deliveries in the next three months. I'd be surprised if anyone at Eclipse or even AlexA (the most optimistic of the faithful) believe there is any chance of that happening.
Now let's look at the expectations Eclipse set for serial #46. In May of 2000, when Eclipse accepted deposits for the first 160 aircraft, serial #46 was scheduled for delivery sometime in Q2/Q3 of 2004 at $837,500.
In February 2003, Eclipse sent a letter resetting expectations after the Williams engine change. At that time, customers were informed that the price of the aircraft would go from $837,500 to $950,000 for Platinum depositors and to $1,175,000 for others.
The aircraft specifications as detailed in that letter included: 375 kts, 1,280nm range, 2,250 lb. useful load, 26 cubic ft baggage space, full IFR, FMS, Dual GPS, IFR enroute and approach certified, FIKI, 3 axis autopilot and autothrottle.
In September 2003, Eclipse sent a letter resetting expectations that the E500 would now be certified "in first quarter of 2006, with customer deliveries commencing immediately thereafter." Serial #46 was now expected to be delivered in Q3 2006.
In May of 2005, 15 months prior to delivery, the price of the aircraft was changed from $950,000 to $995,000 for platinum depositors and to $1,295,000 in June 2000 dollars for new customers.
In June of 2006, customers received another letter. At that time, Vern promised that Type Certification was only a few weeks away and that “the jet we deliver will be certified for day/night, IFR/VFR flight with the full envelope available. In addition, the aircraft will be certified for single pilot and RVSM operations.”
In that letter, Vern stated that some changes had been made to the production schedule but, “the maximum delivery change to any customer will be three months.” Max cruise was lowered to 370kts, stall speed raised to 69 kts, range lowered to 1,125nm. Useful load improved to 2,400 lbs, while the baggage space was reduced to 16 cubic ft.
Vern closed the letter by saying that “the Eclipse 500 still maintains its lead as the best value proposition in the history of general aviation.”
Mike McConnell sent a letter at the same time stating that the delivery schedule of the aircraft had changed to Q4 2006. Mike closed his letter by stating that “the Eclipse 500 is the best jet the world has ever seen”.
That letter included an Eclipse 500 Equipment Availability addendum that set expectations that aircraft delivered after Nov 2006 would be certified with full IFR, FMS, Dual GPS, IFR enroute and approach certified, FIKI, 3 axis autopilot, color radar, and Part 135 Package. Expectations were set that autothrottle, Int’l package, Stormscope, Skywatch, TAWS Class B and radar altimeter would all be retrofittable and available starting March of 2007.
Eclipse serial #46 was delivered in Sept 2007 without an FMS, without GPS, without FIKI, with a pitch hold autopilot, without a Part 135 package, without autothrottle, Stormscope, Skywatch, TAWS Class B, or radar altimeter.
The current expectations are that the pitot static fix will cut in around aircraft #65. That the windshield mods will cut in around serial #74. Avio NG is expected to cut in between serial #100 and serial #134, but will not have full functionality at initial deployment. Initial production effectivity of Avio NG is likely to be four to six months from now based that plan and on current production ramp rate.
Thanks to flightcenter for the recap.