Troglodyte 's brief thoughts from NBAA:
Very busy show with lots of action but relatively little in the way of unexpected news or announcements in the light / very light jet segments.
The eclipse booth was large and, from what I could see, modestly attended. Eclipse employees that I spoke with seemed honest and forthcoming about the challenges that the company faces, the fact that they would need more money, and that producing airplanes was very hard. Gone was the “we can do anything and do it better than anyone else” attitude in evidence last year, replaced by we need to get the basic stuff working and produce a lot of airplanes. I did not see Vern. Agree with Progresso that the overall energy was low.
I asked if they had made any sales at the convention and, while the answer was appropriately obtuse, I think not. Cessna sold a number of Mustangs. Got different answers about when Avio NG would be ready including end of November, and January. FIKI maybe January, depending on if they find ice. Found out that they sacked another vendor who was doing the EFB, Seattle Avionics. (The rest of of you probably knew that already.)
Look of the Avio still best of any of the displays (much slicker than G1000), but good graphic design and good ideas are way different than reliable underlying functionality, wherein lies their challenge.
In past years there had been a reasonable amount of talk about Eclipse at the show -- good, bad, and indifferent. This year there seemed to be little or no discussion of Eclipse. Almost as though they were irrelevant or already gone.
The energy level at the e-pos stand was low, they still have the avio model of the w&b up showing the empty weight of the e-pos as 3550 lbs, and this is not being lost on the lookee lous that were milling around the stand when I was there. Their sales people were spending more time swapping war stories with each other than talking to the prospects, but then again I did not see many prospects.
What struck me about the VLJ's; Adam and e-pos are out of the race, this is the sentiment of the industry sources that I spoke to, the juggernaut at Cessna is unstoppable, and Embraer is gaining momentum. Honda is building steam and this is going to be the one to watch.
I went and had a look at the TBM booth, when I found it in the corner of the building, it was tiny, understated, but the information I received on their product was professionally offered, there is no hype, they would not engage in e-pos bashing, their high confidence level was palpable. I had the same sense at the PC-XII stand which was much bigger and nicer than the TBM stand.
"It was fun to watch Vern and Ed state emphatically that cabin size (small) was not an issue in all the market studies that they conducted, while Embraer, Diamond, Cessna ets als stated their research proved otherwise. Dayjet dismissed the concern for the e-500 cramped quarters as a "myth", and use the following logic as back up: "We asked folks in a focus group if they would pay MORE for a larger cabin... and they all said NO" - I wondered, given the price already at $3 or $4 per mile, why would anyone would say "yes" to paying MORE? (I wonder if Dayjet asked their focus group how they felt about perhaps paying "MORE" when they were advertising the price at $1-$3 per mile?
In reality, a SINGLE ENGINE PROP plane with 4 places flown single pilot is perfectly acceptable to thousands of passengers already -doing the same mission as many of Dayjets planned routes.
From the 'Faithful' starting with ExEclipser,
So I was at NBAA. I wasn't wooed by the DJet. I was slightly more impressed with the PiperJet. CirrusJet could be cool, but looks too much like the ECJ, but with lost performance because of the S-Duct.
There is still NO TWIN JET that offers the value of the E500.Period.
OH - and I GOTTA throw this in... The sales staff at Eclipse is still as arrogant as ever. Amazing that any intelligent millionare would give any of these punk kids a nickel.
And Ken Meyer provided this from yesterday's Atlanta Journal Constitution:"
The little guys became the big show-stoppers this year at the 60th annual National Business Aviation Association convention in downtown Atlanta.
So-called VLJs--very light jets--and their itsy-bitsy cousins, the personal jets, drew huge crowds at the three-day event..."