Friday, September 28, 2007

NBAA Feedback

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.

Progresso noted:

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.

airtaximan said,

"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..."


jetaburner said...


You are being foolish and picking at Gunner's words instead of being honest and upfront regarding the O2 arguement. I noticed you never responded to my comment I posted earlier:


According to Flight Safety, where I received both of my type ratings, if there is only one pilot in the cockpit he or she must wear the oxygen mask above FL350. If it is a 2 person crew then only one of the pilots must wear the mask above FL410.

Since I spelled it out very clearly, you couldn't argue with me. You could only argue with Gunner since his statement wasn't specific enough because it didn't differentiate between crew and single pilot options.

You said: "above FL350, somebody in the cockpit has got to be 'sucking oxygen.'" And that's not true.

That's pretty lame. Are you an attorney?

jetaburner said...


You are right in the fact that you can fly in a crew configuration with a single pilot type rating. There is one caveat: You must complete crew training under part 61.58. I spoke directly with an instructor at Flight Safety in Orlando this morning. FYI... The SIC has to be "familiar with the aircraft." This includes 3 takeoff and landings in the last 90 days.

airtaximan said...

I just received an email from Wilt Chamberline:

"Hey, Atman...I'm here at exhibit hall C, and I am at the E-clips Con-jet... and I think Ken is right, when he says that with the front seats pushed all the way back, even I couldn't reach the peddles... want to know why? Because I can't even come close to sitting in the damn thing! I am almost 7ft2 and the closest I come to the peddles is around 6 feet away - with my feet on the exhibit hall floor floor, standing as I am next to the plane. PS. I am off to the Sino SJ30... where the salesman says I can fit - lying down!"

Enjoy the show!

EclipseBlogger said...

He would need to be lying down... He's dead.

cherokee driver said...

Ken's the one who brought up Wilt Chamberlain. He has him sitting in the airplane trying to reach the rudder pedals with the seat all the way back in the previous thread.

paul said...

Was Wilt one of Ken's patients?

airtaximan said...


thanks for the laugh. I guess it was a long distance call!!!

I better check Ken's offr of proof against my posts, before I address them...

At least I had him lying daown in the SJ30!! Then again, I had him standing next to the Con-jet at the NBAA... perhaps the juxtaposition of a former great already passed on, standing next to the con-jet is prophetic?

Thanks for the laugh.

gadfly said...

Potential customers in the NBA would include Muggsy Bogues (5 foot 3 inches), Anthony "Spud" Webb (5 feet 7 inches), Earl Boykins (5 foot 5 inches).

'Just think! . . . they could almost stand up! . . . Not really! But maybe the cruise range begins to make sense!


hummer said...

I would bet (small amount) that Vern does indeed read this blog.
A basis for my belief is Ken's dogmatic posts. If not, why then?
Perhaps he is speaking thru Ken?
Further, he would be a fool not to and Vern is no fool.
What's your guess?

Stan Blankenship said...


My guess is that Vern does not use a surrogate to post here and will let you guess who the likely suspect might be.

The blogger I am referring to has exhibited a deep understanding of subjects like Phostrex history, financial issues, production snags and other problems.

mirage00 said...

The blogger I am referring to has exhibited a deep understanding of subjects like Phostrex history, financial issues, production snags and other problems.

Lol, you just can't make this stuff up...

I remain amused

double 00

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And he writes like Vern too.

Shane Price said...


At present, if he got a jet out of it, Ken would wear a mask in church, at the beach, driving his car, while jogging....

You get the drift.


No, Ken is not an attorney, but he should know a lot about breathing.

He's a doctor.

I find that both real AND amusing.

Thanks, Mirage00 for the inspiration...

Oh, and AlexA, what happened to your 'large order from a fractional jet company' at NBAA?

Did they read the blog and decide it was not such a good idea after all?


Shane Price said...

Stan, Hummer, CWMoR,

Vern is not reading this blog.

He is far too busy playing computer games and dreaming up new ways to fire suppliers.

I think Ken is a stand up guy.

He makes up his own 'dream jets'...


Troglodyte said...

JetABurner said: “You are right in the fact that you can fly in a crew configuration with a single pilot type rating. There is one caveat: You must complete crew training under part 61.58...”

I called there as well, on your recommendation, and am awaiting a return call. Sounds like we are in agreement though, that all you need is the 525S type rating as well as current 61.58 endorsement.

Wonder why FlightSafety put you through that? I trust it was through misinterpretation of the regulations and/or a FSDO that was confused and not a way to increase revenue! (More than a few operators, principally of heavy iron, have expressed dissatisfaction with FlightSafety for similar reasons).


gadfly said...

'Not to be left out on the list of speculators/specualations, I offer the following:

Whoever it is, he’ll have to speak with a “golden tongue” . . . they need all the gold they can get.

And speaking of “gold”, when a person has extreme chronic rheumatoid arthritis, one of the remedies is “gold shots” (gold-salts) . . . a delaying action. It doesn’t cure the basic disease, but gives the patient a temporary “reprieve” from the inevitable. The final result is “not pretty” . . . but by this time the patient is going through the final phases of the disease. Then comes the “cortisone” type treatments, etc., to ease the pain . . . and so on!

“Dr. Vern” is administering the “gold shots”, as we speak. And for a time, the patient may, indeed, improve (at least, from all outward appearances). We wish the “patient” well, but in the back of our mind, we know the end result is not good.

Soon, someone will sign the final papers to no longer perform “heroic efforts” on the part of the patient . . . and someone will, then, “pull the plug”. Even the “wonder drug”, PhostrEx™, will no longer be able to save the patient. (Besides, the "wonder drug" has been recently shown to have serious side effects.)


(Except for the reference to “PhostrEx™”, the above simile is all too real. And bottom line concerning the "mole": "I haven't a clue!")

AlexA said...

Shane said “Oh, and AlexA, what happened to your 'large order from a fractional jet company' at NBAA?”

Shane I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. If you would have checked the postings from earlier in the week you would have seen my posting where I stated that my fractional information was wrong.

Shane continued “Did they read the blog and decide it was not such a good idea after all?” I doubt it Shane. It wouldn’t take a company that was purchasing a jet long to figure out the motives (yeah, yeah, not everyone has a motive) of the mostly anonymous bloggers. Don’t give the blog so much credit.

gadfly said...

AlexA and Shane

There's hope for you two . . . you might even become "friends". It's a great relief, sometimes, to be wrong . . . and as a "team" discover something close to the truth. This entire enterprise is a mystery, at times, and most of us wish to discover the true nature of the beast. It's just that, so far, we are not pleased with what we have learned . . . especially as it affects something that many of us have devoted much of our lives to promoting, and improving.

'Carry on, you two . . . the overall picture may improve (even though Eclipse may not be within the "frame").


Ringtail said...

I brought up a few nights ago my preference to a twin jet with a decent sevice ceiling opposed to a single engine jet with a lower service ceiling (FL250ish) and was countered with claims that implied 250 is all you need most of the time. Let me say this, I fly a non-rvsm KA and I maintain what I said. I find myself either in the weather or deviating around it a lot when in the teens and twenties. FL350 to 410 IMO is much better.

Gunner, I really believe you will be happier (and safer) with a twin as opposed to a single of any brand.

Ringtail said...

Regarding Stan's comment "The blogger I am referring to has exhibited a deep understanding of subjects like Phostrex history, financial issues, production snags and other problems."

To be in full disclosure, I would be considered in the "Faithful" category and by no means am taking shots at anyone on the blog, from either Party. However, something I have observed and not that it matters, but a few bloggers with different handles have very similar, almost identical writing and conversation styles. Just an observation.

bill e. goat said...

"Chervonecko also purchased serial number 172 to be delivered in December with AvioNG"

sn 172 in December???
with Avio-NxG ???

I remain amused!!

Jet Fumes lamented:
"I believe I have addressed the water ingestion issue three times on this blog already: the chined nose wheel - which works very nicely on other jets- it has yet to be tested on the d-jet.

"This blog is just like my kids, no one pays any attention to what I am saying ;oP

Goat coyly responds:
I think a lot of jets use a tire with a "flange" on the sidewall to deflect water. Maybe that is what is needed for Diamond.

I got busy and didn't follow this attempt at satire up yesterday. I was a bit surprised / disappointed / relieved it didn't trigger the "flame throwers"...I guess this blog is just like my kids, no one pays any attention to what I am saying.


airtaximan said...

a couple of things:

apparently, aircraft 91 started assembly a few days ago - posted/reported by eb, I think. THIS is big news. No?

&1 a few weeks ago, now 91. Hey, perhaps they are getting their production act together? My personal opinion...I remember back last year at this time, when by some miracle, it was reported that 30 planes or so were in production. Lets do the math. Number 50 was supposedly started sometime like a year ago, and it was delivered a little while ago.
- now we hear amazing news that in a few weeks 20 planes (71-91) were "started".

Subtract the initial run of 57 or so from last year, and I come up with around 7 kinda-year-old planes still in work, plus 20 planes started until around a month ago, plus another 20 planes started in the last few weeks.

That's 47 planes in -based on numero 50 delivered, already. Seems a little like deja vu? no?

Answer from Ken: "F_%k you ATman...liar ...e-clipse hater...

Answer from some others: hmm....

Wilt: still and silent on this one.

I guess the ATman opinion poll might be a nice timely addition:

Q-1: when will e-clips file for chapter-X, or obtain another $200,000,000?

My bet: within 12 weeks, one way or the other.

Q-2: how many planes in work now?
My bet: see above (47)

Q-3: when will a/c 91 (just started) be delivered?
My bet: May 2008 if Q-1 is an infusion, May 2009 or never if its chapter-x.

interesting times
PS, someone posted a remark by Vern that "there's too much value in e-clips for it to go away - or something to that affect... VERY TELLING COMMENT.

I'd say, "prophetic".

AlexA said...

From Aviation Week

Spectrum Is Fired-Up About PhostrEx

When Eclipse developed the PhostrEx aircraft fire-suppression system for its Model 500 light jet, it represented a major step forward in the elimination of harmful Halon gas in aerospace. Now, the word is spreading, and Eclipse is finding customers for its significantly lighter and environmentally friendly system, First of such is Spectrum, whose Linden Blue joined Vern Raburn on the podium at the Monday press conference to declare adoption of PhostEx for the emerging S-33 Independence and the S-40 Freedom twin jets.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Man are they stretching fot some good NBAA news, introduced at OSH 2005 and thery just now are getting their first airframe win?

Airbus has already invented their own variation on the theme.

To paraphrase the Faithful Flock of the Church of Flyantology as they are so fond of saying - this ship has sailed - and Eclipse has, once again, missed the time-to-market advantage, squandered great potential only this time, there is nobody to blame on the outside.

Ken Meyer said...

The latest Mike Press journal...

Mike Press was nice enough to invite me along to take his Eclipse Jet down to Gainesville (GNV) for service on Tuesday, September 11th. We would play golf on Wednesday and then fly back home on Thursday. I am based in Chicago at the Aurora airport (ARR). I flew my turbocharged Bonanza down to Spirit airport (SUS) in St. Louis on Tuesday morning. This was my second flight in an Eclipse. The first was at the certification party in Albuquerque and I was in the back. So, this was my first opportunity to actually fly an Eclipse. Let me begin by publicly thanking Mike Press. He is a gentleman and a genuinely nice guy, not to mention a safe and professional pilot. Thank you Mike I truly enjoyed the experience.

After a short briefing from Mike we settled in. I felt like a brand new pilot back in flight training that began by trying to figure out the five point shoulder harness seat belt. I do like being strapped in. I never felt like the seat belt in the Bonanza was enough to keep me firmly in the seat. I watched Mike go though the pre-start and start sequence. It is amazing how easy it is to start this airplane. I was informed that we were going to make a couple of stops on the way down to Florida to demonstrate the plane to some prospective buyers and our first stop was going to be Birmingham, AL (BHM).

I taxied the plane out and we were cleared for takeoff. Mike had the trim set at 20 degrees down for takeoff with takeoff flaps set. Hold the brakes, bring the throttles up to about 80%, watch the N2 gauges go up, when they begin to decline, full throttle and release the brakes. That is when the fun begins. The little jet accelerates quickly and before you know it you are at VR. Pull back on the side stick, bring the nose up 10 degrees, positive rate of climb, bring the gear up and climb out at 150 to 170 knots with a climb rate of 1,500 to 2,000 ft. per min.

This was my first exposure to the glass panel and a side stick. Both are very intuitive and easy to adjust to. I am a 1600 hour Bonanza pilot and I have to tell you this jet is easier to fly than my Bonanza. I didn’t have to pull the prop back on takeoff, worry about switching tanks, setting the mixture or any of the other things that we piston pilots have to do that distract us from actually flying the airplane. Sorry Jet Jocks, the myth is broken; it is easier to fly jets than pistons. Throttle up and throttle back, I think we can handle that.

I felt very comfortable with the glass panel because your instrument scan is significantly reduced. When you look at the Attitude Indicator the airspeed, vertical speed, and heading are all clearly in view.

I flew the plane for a while to get a good feel and then we switched on the Auto Pilot. We climbed up to FL350. I then was attempting to handle the radios but having flown Bonanzas for the last eight years the first words out of my mouth were always Bonanza. It is like saying my name. After a couple of call signs that sounded like Bonanza Eclipse Jet 229BW Mike just looked at me, like what is wrong with this guy. Fortunately on the way back from Florida on Thursday I only said Bonanza once and really thought that I was going to make it all the way back to St. Louis without a slip. Mike just laughed.

On our approach to BHM we were number two to land behind an MD-80 so Mike gave him a lot of space and stayed high to avoid the bigger jets turbulence. The controller inquired to our type and Mike told him that we were a VLJ. He asked if that was like a Falcon. Mike said, no smaller. Then another pilot on frequency asked if we were smaller than a bread basket. Everyone is very curious about the little jet and it surprised me to learn that very few of the controllers were even aware of the plane. I guess because we have been waiting for the Eclipse for 6 or 7 years and tracked its progress, we assume that everyone already knows about the plane and all of the other VLJ’s as well. Obviously that is not the case.

The group in BHM owns a couple of King Airs and they were all very impressed with the jet. In fact, I think that Mike may have fallen into one of the best jobs in America, flying and selling Eclipse Jets.

Then we were off to Moultrie, GA to show another prospective buyer the plane. There were thunderstorms all around which is fairly typical in the heat of the afternoon in the south. Fortunately we had the Garmin 496 with XM weather. With jet performance for climb, good speed fro deviation and then the ability to descend at 4,500 ft. per min. it made staying clear of the weather a very stress free event. Mike, being a very careful pilot, gave the storms a wide berth.

When we landed at Moultrie we were greeted by 15 to 20 people all there to see the Eclipse 500. There were big smiles, pictures, and plenty of questions as we deplaned. They were very gracious with warm southern hospitality. Mike gave a gentleman and his pilots a quick ride and then we were taxiing out to head for GNV.

We dodged some more thunderstorms as we flew down to GNV were I had my first opportunity to land the Eclipse. Considering that the pattern was less than perfect and I was a little low on final I think that Mike was impressed when the wheels touched just as the stall warning came on.

We taxied up to the Eclipse Service Center and were greeted by some of the nicest and most genuine people in the industry. The service center is a beautiful facility and the people there want to do everything in their power to make your ownership experience as pleasant as possible. Mike had a short list of squawks and the Eclipse personnel worked two straight shifts to get the items taken care of so that we could leave on Thursday morning.

In an effort to keep this from being a Doctoral Thesis I have to tell you that the people that are nit picking this plane have not flown it. I remember Vern saying at the Certification party that you will love flying this plane. He also said at Oshkosh that 25,000 ft. is not high enough to avoid weather. These are two statements that are absolutely true.

On the way back to SUS from Crestview, FL (CEW) we went up to FL360 and were just over the remnants of hurricane Humberto. Mike calculated fuel flow in gallons to 40 gallons an hour. My Turbocharged Bonanza burns 19 gallons an hour. I jotted down a bunch of numbers but I decided that I just wanted to concentrate on enjoying the little jet and the feeling you get. It is like sitting in a commercial airliner. It is quiet and allows you to enjoy flight without all of the vibration and stress of flying pistons down in the bumps and the weather.

Just so Eclipse won’t rest on their laurels; yes there are a couple of negatives. They still have some fit and finish issues. They are working with their suppliers as they get more experience on items that may not be holding up as they should. The top nose panel has to be resealed and the seams painted every time it is removed. Unfortunately, it has to be removed every time the plane is serviced. This will have to be changed. The vertical speed indicator is obviously instantaneous and is a little disconcerting as it is very sensitive and fluctuates a great deal even when on autopilot. It takes full rudder movement with considerable travel to turn the plane. That will take some getting use to. And there are some interior issues that will have to be modified. But Eclipse is not alone there. I bought two new Bonanzas from the factory and they had some fit and finish issues with defective parts and they have been building those planes for over 50 years.

The Eclipse is easy to fly but without the full multi-function display (MFD) for situational awareness, I can see were getting type rated at this point would be very difficult. However, once the full AVIO NG package is in place I don’t think that any competent instrument rated pilot will have any trouble getting their type rating.

This is a terrific airplane and it gives me everything I want in a plane. It is easy to fly, fast, stingy on fuel, pressurized, has deicing equipment, and it is a twin engine jet. Eclipse is the best cost value proposition in the aircraft industry today. You can’t find a better airplane for the money. I can’t wait to get serial number 403. Oh, by the way Mike I will give you another chance to capture the golfing crown.

Fly safe,

Bill Terpstra
Position Holder # 403

Ken Meyer said...

Today we flew from the NBAA meeting to our next destination almost 800 nm away. Low and behold so did an Eclipse 500. We chatted with the pilot when he arrived just a few minutes after we did. It made for an interesting comparison that illustrates why so many pilots have purchased an Eclipse 500:

We left more than an hour and a half before the Eclipse, but the Eclipse arrived minutes after us.

We took 3:40 for the almost 800 nm flight. The Eclipse needed just 2:20.

We slogged it out at FL 210. The Eclipse cruised well above the weather at FL 370.

We used half the runway at the destination; the Eclipse needed less than we did.

And the Eclipse burned just about the same amount of fuel as we did, down to the gallon.

I can't wait to get mine!


Niner Zulu said...

Ken, I wish for all our sakes you'd get your Eclipse tomorrow, because you need a reality check and we need a break from all the cheerleading. The blinders you wear when you look at this company must be permanently cemented onto your forehead by now! ;-)

Seriously though, when do you anticipate delivery? I hope that when you do get it, you'll post flight logs similar to Mike's.

jetaburner said...


I sincerely hope you get your e-clips soon and thoroughly enjoy it. Good luck!!

WhyTech said...

Ken quoted the from the Mike Press Journal:

"The top nose panel has to be resealed and the seams painted every time it is removed. Unfortunately, it has to be removed every time the plane is serviced. "

You're kidding, right?


airtaximan said...

let the PhosterX revolution begin!

-I thought you die-hards said last year it won't be long before every plane in the world is mandated to switch to PhosterX, making e-clips flush with cash... saving the company?

Another example of wishful thinking. Spectrum and E-clips - the fire supression revolution! and Cash infusion!

Pop a cork!

Ken Meyer said...

whytech wrote,

"'The top nose panel has to be resealed and the seams painted every time it is removed. Unfortunately, it has to be removed every time the plane is serviced.'

You're kidding, right?"

Not kidding, but he may have misunderstood what he was told. The AMM has the specific steps for removal and replacement of the panel, known as the 211 CT Nose Access panel. Removal entails taking out the 13 screws that hold it in place. Replacement entails putting the 13 screws back and torquing them to 30-40 lbs.

I've never seen this done, but the AMM certainly doesn't say anything about replacing the seal or repainting the nose panel after R/R.


WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"but the AMM certainly doesn't say anything about replacing the seal or repainting the nose panel after R/R. "

Dont know that I understand fully, but early Mooney's had a panel in this area which allowed servicing of the avionics. AFAIK, it did not need to be removed at each service, but when removed, it was a bear to reseal, and often allowed water to get to the radios with unhappy results.


airtaximan said...


what else may he have misunderstood?

airtaximan said...


I guess Ken forgot the post here a while back stating that someone saw an e-clips out in the rain, being covered with plastic bags in order to stop the water from getting into the panel.

...don;t worry, no problem here...the guy who has attended every e-clips celebration and followed the program for years, and is now advertising how great the pane is here (he has another 400 deliveries to wait for his deposit to be worth something, too) has "misunderstood".


Black Dog said...

Ken Said
Not kidding, but he may have misunderstood what he was told. The AMM has the specific steps for removal and replacement of the panel, known as the 211 CT Nose Access panel. Removal entails taking out the 13 screws that hold it in place. Replacement entails putting the 13 screws back and torquing them to 30-40 lbs.

I've never seen this done, but the AMM certainly doesn't say anything about replacing the seal or repainting the nose panel after R/R.


You mean you don't have an A & P Ken?

Let me inform you of the process of how to reseal a panel.

After installation of the screws mask off the panel and surrounding area leaving the gap to be sealed visible.
Mix aerodynamic sealer as per spec and fill the gap between the panel and structure.
Allow to cure and paint to match the surrounding structure.
The panel may have an extra seal that seats it to the airframe or they may (to save cost) use interfay sealant but you need to apply release agent or you will glue the panel to airframe.
30% of time spent servicing any aeroplane will involve de panel and re panelling.

Wonder how many of the 12 week wonders will forget to seal the panels after service?

bill e. goat said...

(re:Phostrex, a.k.a. Vern's laughing gas):
"Man are they stretching fot some good NBAA news, introduced at OSH 2005 and thery just now are getting their first airframe win?"

There were Verntastic rumors that Phostrex was going to "be as profitable as the E-500".

I suspect that (for once!) Vern was right...

Redtail said...

airtaximan said... I guess Ken forgot the post here a while back stating that someone saw an e-clips out in the rain, being covered with plastic bags in order to stop the water from getting into the panel.

I think you recall incorrectly. I believe it was stated that they were taping over the pitot tube at a time during the AD to keep water out of the system. Your memory is selective, better check with your "mole"

gadfly said...

Black Dog and Ken:

This is to both of you, and on a most serious note.

This is just a guess, but the reference of "30 - 40 pounds" means "30-40 INCH pounds of torque", and not "30-40 FOOT pounds". (30 foot pounds of torque on a “#10-32 . . . or #10-24” screw would either strip the threads, or break off the screw in an instant.) An "unskilled" mechanic might not know the difference. An "A&P" would know (or “should” know), but back in the "factory", the new recruits might not know the difference.

There was a “sick” joke in the “old days”, “Tighten the thing until it begins to strip, then back off a quarter turn.” Unfortunately, I think some mechanics actually followed that rule. The people in Mill Valley VW (California 1967) believed that, and repaired our little VW Bus in that manner. Fortunately, the thing got us back home to Santa Ana, before it came apart. Back then, there was much to compare between the VW “Boxer” engine, and the Continental’s and Lycoming’s, that were part of my life.

You and Ken bringing up the subject of re-sealing critical covers, and "interfay sealant" . . . It is on the level of a neurosurgeon (seriously) completely exhausted after a six or eight hour session in neurosurgery, turning to an "Operating Room Nurse", and saying: "I'm tired, you close." . . . and walking away . . . assuming that all will go well for the patient. (And “Yes”, Ken . . . been there, done that! . . . I was an observer. And, unfortunately, the "next of kin" were not always told the full story . . . although the final results were already a forgone conclusion.)

In either case, lives are at risk.

The "red flag" with the "little jet" was back when the subject was "paint jobs" and the decision at the top was to "paint over" the fastening screws (because they looked better), rather than have them powder coated and oven baked. This told me that any removal of inspection covers would violate the protective paint, . . . something that "seemed (to me)" to be an issue to the integrity of the "little jet". Air velocity of 500 to 600 feet per second, over a “cracked edge” of paint is no minor thing. Sealing is a major issue . . . nothing to be taken lightly.

At this point, we are not necessarily speaking of just the little jet . . . all this applies to every aircraft, especially anything that flies above a couple hundred knots.

Speaking of “A&P”’s, back in ancient times, the requirements included 2,000 hours of both classroom and practical “shop time”, plus about nine FAA exams, that must be passed. In some rare cases, schools could reduce the time to 1,650 hours of class and shop . . . as in the case of my own school, Moody Airport . . . because of the intensive requirements. Every week or two, a new subject was covered. A single failure of an exam, and the student was failed from the entire course . . . no exceptions, no “second chance” . . . just like in the Navy and Submarine School. In other words, the requirements were high . . . because of the possible consequences of mistakes. Having worked with both neurosurgeons (in “OR” . . . Operating Room) and aircraft mechanics, aside from the “prestige” of the former, I think more depends on the skills of the underpaid and under-rated “A&P”.

The joke is that the surgeon is practicing medicine on the "same old model" while the "A&P" must constantly upgrade to a "new model".

Bottom line, here, as applies to the “little jet”, the need for extensive and proper training . . . and experience . . . cannot, must-not, be under rated. This is not to say that the “dinosaurs” are totally without fault . . . I frankly do not know. But to assume that a company can employ over a thousand inexperienced workers “on the fly” (no pun intended) and within a few weeks bring them to an understanding and skill level to produce a safe and reliable jet . . . well, you get the point. (And I didn't even get into the area of "metallurgy', hydraulics, electronics, and electrical systems) and all that that entails . . . and we’ll leave the financial problems to the “experts” . . . and I’m not in that class. (I’m fighting my own dragons with the “big boys” that think that “ISO 9000” is an answer to the world’s problems.)

When the “little jet” first flew, with the Williams engines, and deposits were called in . . . then the first engines were “dumped”, I knew that the “Jig was up!”, to quote a famous pilot from the “WW I” . . . the “War to end all Wars”.


(Things seemed to be quiet, so I decided to “stir the stew”. 'Got other things to do, so someone else make sure the pot doesn't "boil over".)

gadfly said...


Please stop while you are "ahead". To state that the plastic bags (whatever) were to keep water from getting into the "panel" . . . you haven't the slightest idea what you just admitted. A properly designed "pitot tube", of any vintage would not allow water to get to the panel . . . no how, no way . . . ever, never!


airtaximan said...


Nope, you are wrong. The issue was water getting into the panel... the pitot issue was condensation, not rain... so I think your memory is "selective" not mine.

Its always fun to have a person disagree with nothing to back it up... except their memory. I guess when there are a few issues related to water getting into the plane when it is not supposed to, one could easily mistake one for the other...

In this case, lets just say we're both right. There was a posting about someone needing to cover the pitot with plastic, AND someone posted seeing the ec-lips front end being covered in plastic in the rain, in order to prevent rain water from getting inside the compartment.

Anyone else want to add some horror stories as to how plastic was needed used to keep water out of this jet airplane?

gadfly said...


Although this doesn’t directly apply, you may find it of interest.

A few years back, I designed and built a double temperature probe for the Airborne Laser Lab. As I am not a “PhD” nor graduate aeronautical engineer, “others” had to observe and approve my design, before it was mounted under the “chin” of the C135 Airborne Laser Lab aircraft. (They didn’t want the contraption to be ingested into #2 or #3 engines.) As I stood at the back of the group, the “committee” that had been sent over to our shop to examine my design, one of the engineers that was in the group kept saying to a friend, “It will never work!” The “group” that had made the contract had not allowed enough for the unit to be “heated”, so I did the best I could with the design . . . double probe, with tiny opening and closing “shutters” (to protect the “hair” size temp sensing elements), penetrating upper atmosphere at 400 to 500 Kts.

A couple years later, I asked the man, a good friend, that had been in charge of ABL (Argus), how my double probe had worked. He said they had trouble with it “one time”. The rain in Albuquerque was pouring off the nose, draining directly off the double probe and pylon, had “soaked” the probe, so when they climbed to altitude, the thing had frozen solid . . . and would not work. So they dropped to a lower altitude, the ice melted and evaporated, they climbed back to altitude and continued their experiments. I asked “what happened to my double-probe?” . . . He said, they re-mounted the beast on a G2.

The thing should have been heated . . . but for whatever reason, the money was not allocated. In spite of that, the probe earned its keep . . . and I felt rewarded in my design.

When it comes to designing a “pitot tube” or the seal of a nose cone over electronics, all these are major issues, requiring not only “education”, but an understanding and “feel” for the conditions surrounding an aircraft. I have yet to meet someone who learned this “from a book” or “professor” . . . I almost think it is something that is inherent in a persons genetics. The “Eclipse” seems to be born out of a “book”, or borrowed from another technology . . . not all bad, but missing something not quite defined.


ExEclipser said...

You know, I'm a big believer in PhostrEx. I really think that it has the potential of being the product that the Montreal Accord was looking for to commence the complete extinction of Halon.

I don't have the direct information, but if I understand correctly, the Montreal Accord allowed for the recirculation of existing Halon only, banned the creation of new Halon, and requires that Halon be eliminated with the advent of a suitable replacement.

With the number of aircraft out there using Halon, and not to mention all of the other industries that are looking for an effective fire extinguisher, PhostrEx certainly has the potential to be the Coca-Cola, the [ugh] Microsoft, the fire extinguishing monopoly.

You know, when I started flight training in the early 90s, there was talk about this system called GPS that would render ADF and VOR approaches completely obsolete. In fact, NDBs were predicted to be completely eliminated from the system. I laughed. Everyone needs to be able to fly a partial panel NDB approach. Now, they said 10 years. It's not happened yet, but I think I would trust my handy dandy handheld Garmin as much as any ADF today.

Point is, it would take something extraordinary to prevent PhostrEx from succeeding. Unfortunately, the chronically-lying VP that has been in charge of the program since its inception is destined to be its leader. Maybe even CEO if they spin off...

I hope they decide to go ahead and approve another round of funding so they can pay off some of these bozos in upper level management and replace them with people of integrity.

paul said...

When does the Montreal Accord require the elimination of Halon for use as a aircraft engine fire suppressant, and are there any loop holes?
I'm not interested in any industrial applications.
Is this a hard law that must be complied with?
Please educate me. Thanks

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


Unfortunately, whatever market advantage PhostrEx represented (like the tremendous potential of say an advanced twin jet for the cost of a piston twin) has been squandered. Missing out on time-to-market and spoiling otherwise promising might end up being this also-ran's final core competency.

Airbus has already created their own alternative effectively removing nearly half of the commercial market, possibly more given Eclipse's poor record of execution when it comes to good ideas.

Halon will be the de-facto fire extinguisher until a suitable alternative is found. Obviously even the environmental fanatics are apparently not convinced that PhostrEx is a suitable alternative and we all know how quickly they will jump on even unproven technology.

As for the lying VP, the issue of culture as well as expected and acceptable behavior, is one that begins and ends in the corner office, pure and simple.

As for NBAA closing with no big announcements, no big sales, no e-CON jet buzz (beyond that lamely created by Eclipse and its' shills here), and only an eastern-european delivery (that will have to make the ~18,000 mile round trip to be 'upgraded' and modded to the final delivery spec at 'a later date'); with only JT's Flyantology initiation to report; coming in on page 80 of the program, and only being 'news' to the Atlanta Journal is quite a turn of fortune - and too long in coming IMO.

With the wider aviation press starting to take a sceptical view of Eclipse and its' plans and claims, I wonder how long until a downright critical piece is written by the like of Mac at Flying, or Horne, or someone else, followed by yet another outburst from the High Priest and Prophet of the Church of Flyantology.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

For those interested, Airbus, among others, has been looking to replace Halon for years, the following link is to an EPA report in 2004, almost a year before the PhostrEx announcement from Eclipse.

In it, specific progress by Airbus is mentioned, including the potential near-term fielding of halon alternatives.

Redtail said...

I believe this is the reference that ColdWet was reffering to... In July 2001, it was reported that Airbus had conducted several tests and received CAA approval for the use of Lavex equipment containing HFC-236fa.20 In March 2002, it was reported that Airbus was completing the paperwork for use of HFC-236fa and was close to production.

Unfortunately, this reference is in a discussion of "4. Lavatory Trash Receptacle Protection" and not with regard to engine nacells.

Nerdy Engineer said...


I did a little research on this topic and I think the room-temperature properties of phostrex may be one of the stumbling blocks.

Here's the boring technical information. Feel free to skip down to the last paragraph for a summary. The primary method of extinguishing a fire is through the bromine atoms in both Halon and Phostrex. Phostrex has much more bromine per weight/volume than halon. This is why the container is much smaller and lighter. The bromine atoms are also released much easier by phostrex. Halon must be heated to release the bromine while phostrex will break down when it is exposed to heat or water, including humidity in the air. This produces phosphorous and hydrobromic acids. Halon also produces hydrobromic acid but does not do so until it is heated. Finally, the rapid breakdown of phostrex is why it is considered ozone friendly. The bromine does not have time to migrate to the upper atmosphere before reacting with water. The property that make it good for ozone makes it bad for the shop floor. Here's the end of the science lesson

The end result is that if a phostrex cannister is accidently discharged you will have an immediate cloud of highly corrosive vapors. Hydrobromic acid will react with almost everything, even more than hydrochloric (or muriatic) acid. Although halon produces the same compound when it breaks down, it does not do so until exposed to a fire. As a result, an accidental discharge of halon does not pose the same risk to people or equipment. The fire diamonds in the last two links will give you a quick overview. Phostrex has the second-highest health warning as well as an elevated reactivity warning. Halon has no warnings. This may be an acceptable quality but it's not just a "plug-n-play" replacement.

Montreal Protocol
Source 1
Source 2
Source 3
PhostrEx Data Sheet
Halon Data Sheet

bill e. goat said...

Nerdy Engr,
Thanks for your research into Vern's gas.

"Hydrobromic acid will react with almost everything, even more than hydrochloric (or muriatic) acid".

I suspect this is why whatever government agency was funding development of this exact, or some similar, agent back in the 1990's backed away. Having a lineman breath Halon is no big deal, if it's not a confined area (asphixiation), but having anyone breathe this stuff sounds like BAD news- REALLY bad news.
(Nothing new under the sun:
If it's too good to be true, there's probably a reason it's not...)

WhyTech said...

beg said:

"but having anyone breathe this stuff sounds like BAD news- REALLY bad news."

Based on the excellent research by nerdy, I assume that this agent will be unsuitable for a cabin (hand) fire extinguisher which might be discharged in flight?

Also wondering about possible damage to sensitive equipment such as avionics?


Black Dog said...

"Hydrobromic acid will react with almost everything, even more than hydrochloric (or muriatic) acid".

Also wondering about possible damage to sensitive equipment such as avionics?

I would worry about the damage to the airframe!!!!!! sounds like this stuff rots everything!

Its well know among maintainance fitters/A & P people that the 3 best things to rot A- alloy are seawater,Coffee and Urine we can now add phostrex.

Ken will no doubt tell us that as the little plane cannot accomadate a potty or galley and very rarely fly over the sea everythings fine.

Ken and Vern on Kens delivery flight............

Vern we have a fire in no1 engine!!

Its OK Ken don't panic just fire the phostrex!

We lost no1 Vern

I know Ken there was a fire in it!

No Vern I mean we lost it the thing just fell off

paul said...

When a Halon bottle is discharged on a airliner SOP is to wash down the engine/nacell due to the corrosive effects of Halon. Nothing new there.
The Halon bottles were removed from the cabin long ago, however they are still used in the cargo compartments (lower lobe).

Nerdy Engineer said...

I don't think that the results in an actual fire situation would be too different since both phostrex and halon release some of the same products when exposed to heat. Besides, you have a lot of other worries if something caught on fire.

A small portion of any chemical will create a reaction even if the conditions are not ideal. If a halon bottle is accidently discharged, washing should be SOP because some reaction will occur.

I was specifically raising a question about accidental discharge. Even though halon will create some problems at room temp, phostrex appears to create more. It's a matter of degree, and washing may not be sufficient for an accidental phostrex release.

The industry will decide if this is an acceptable trade-off. So far, it looks like it isn't acceptable.

ExEclipser said...

I don't see why you could say that it is unacceptable.

I understand the point that it is less than ideal to breath this stuff in, but according to the article in Source 1, "Even in the case of accidental discharge of the cartridge, localized concentrations of water-soluble acids are produced that are easily and safely cleaned with water."

EAC has had at least two accidental discharges that I'm aware of. The first, sometime in 2005, occurred on the aircraft. Engine required a washdown, but I believe it was returned to service after a thorough inspection. The second was very recent and the information can be found in this article. Basically, 15 people were exposed, 6 were treated and released. No aircraft were harmed in the accidental discharge.

Black Tulip said...

I have on good authority that Eclipse will soon launch a new system to replace Phostrex. This will be the greenest of the green fire suppression systems.

Remember the ‘fire triangle’ from high school chemistry. A conflagration requires each of the three – fuel, ignition and oxygen.

The new Eclipse system removes the latter. An evacuated cylinder is located in the fuselage near each engine. When excess temperature is detected, a valve opens, immediately drawing the air from the nacelle of the affected engine. A high-pressure pump takes over to continue to rob the fire of oxygen. Air is compressed to the point that it liquefies in the filament reinforced cylinder.

After landing the air is released with no harmful consequences. This is disruptive technology at its best. No sick people, no corroded aircraft and no climatic change.

Black Tulip

ExEclipser said...

...or they could just get Santa Clause out there to blow out any fires...

Shane Price said...


Stana Claus would have the advantages of:-

a) FIKI (lots of it around the North Pole) certification
b) Finished and fully functional flight instruments
c) A full order book, independently verfied
d) Better than book flight performance

and, MOST important

e) Satisified customers over many years

I like your thinking though, but I don't agree he would be bothered blowing out fires in the E499.5. Might keep him busy at critical times of the year.


ExEclipser said...

Perhaps Jack Frost then? Until he actually succeeds at succeeding Mr. Claus, I presume he's available for on-site service in a jiffy...

Eric said...

Halon extinguishers have not been fully removed from the cabin. We carry 3 of them on our aircraft and there's also a small bottle for lavatory waste can fires which contains Halon. Of course, each Halon bottle has a PBE (Personal Breathing Equipment) placed next to it but that might not help the other folks in the cabin.

PS There's a water fire extinguisher as well which is the preferable item to use if it's a small paper-fed fire.

planet-ex said...

I seriously doubt that phostrex will replace Halon 1301 as a flooding agent (i.e., used in enclosed spaces like data centers) or replace Halon 1211 in portable fire extinguishers used in aircraft cabins.

As a engine fire suppressant it works but can the delivery system be scaled up to work on an engine like a CF-6 or RB211?

Redtail said...

Capt Planet, PhostrEx exhibits much of the bad properties as Halon, but without the ozone depletion factors. On the raised floor of a data room, halon is used to save the data first, computers second. The air handlers are dedicated for evacuation. But, let me get this straight... You have serious doubts about the use of PhostrEx in larger engines, but don't know anything about the delivery systems or it's scalability. Seems to me that you don't really know enough to HAVE an opinion. I don't have the answers, but at least I know I don't know enough to render a valid opinion. We're you possibly on the OJ jury?

gadfly said...

It should be possible to offer an opinion . . . right or wrong . . . without having being slandered. "planet-ex", your comments were thought provoking, and welcome. It's OK to stimulate "further thought and investigation", without fear of ridicule. Please continue to offer your thoughts, and just ignore the "static".


FlightCenter said...

For the second week in a row, the FAA database reports no change in the number of Eclipse aircraft delivered and the number of Eclipse aircraft with Certificates of Airworthiness. The database shows 44 E500 aircraft delivered and 38 with CofAs issued.

According to the FAA database, the last E500 aircraft to receive a certificate of airworthiness was serial #37 on July 27th.

Serial #31, 48 and 49 show that paperwork has been submitted to transfer registration. That is one incremental aircraft over what was in process as of last week.

The FAA database for in process registrations shows nothing on file for serial #47 or 48 as of this time.

Some folks suggested last week that this may have been due to the FAA not updating their database, but that seems unlikely as the FAA database shows 4 Mustang new deliveries and 2 new certificates of airworthiness issued over the last two weeks.

airtaximan said...

mirror, mirror...

from redass...
"Seems to me that you don't really know enough to HAVE an opinion."

now I'm amused.

FlightCenter said...

7 out of 44 aircraft have been resold, that number is now up to 15.9% of the fleet.

It appears that EO has sold his 2nd aircraft (serial #28) to Sabena Airline Training Center.

Congratulations, EO!

planet-ex said...

I ignore rebutt.

However, based on some research I've done, the byproducts of phostrex use on a fire definitely knock it out of contention for use in aircraft cabin fires.

Also, phosphorus tribromide has the following toxicity effects:

"Extremely destructive to tissue of the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. Inhalation may be fatal as a result of spasm, inflammation and edema of the larynx and bronchi, chemical pneumonitis and pulmonary edema."

Phosphorous tribromide is not a new substance, it's been around for a while and it's health effects are well understood.

ExEclipser said...

Well, so long as it doesn't destroy the ozone layer!

ExEclipser said...

I think that there is a difference between the liquid PBR3 and the atomized PhostrEx.

According to Eclipse's MSDS, "The material is hermetically sealed so that exposure is precluded except when a cartridge is discharged. On contact with moisture in the air or on ambient
surfaces it is rapidly (less than one second) converted to gaseous hydrogen bromide (HBr) and solid phosphonic acid (H3PO3), which are both soluble in water. These acids stick to ambient surfaces where they are diluted or neutralized and pose minimal risk."

In fact, according to its Carcinogenicity, it could very well be the ONLY compound known to the State of California that doesn't cause cancer!

Black Tulip said...

"Well, so long as it doesn't destroy the ozone layer!"

How about dihydrogen monoxide? Has anyone thought of using this chemical to put out a fire? Have the decomposition products been studied? I understand it can be synthesized at reasonable cost.

Dihydrogen Monoxide

Black Tulip

paul said...

Spanked Until It's Red:
What the hell is wrong with you? Is it that time of the month?
It has been my experience that people that use such a offensive tatic are the ones that know not what they speak.
Maybe if you stop talking out of your arse it wouldn't be so red.

ExEclipser said...

BT, that was certainly studied, but we found that it was a better agent to clean up PBR3 after discharge than to use as an actual extinguishing agent.

The problem with Dihydrogen Monoxide is that there is so little of it available in New Mexico.

gadfly said...

Let’s see! Would “phosphonic acid” (phosphoric acid . . . H3PO3) be good? It’s a good choice, but “rots your teeth” . . . and eats aluminum. But since most airlines serve “Coca-Cola”, it’s readily available. (‘Ever store a coke for too long? . . . and the phosphoric acid eat through the aluminum can? . . . not good!)

But “dihydrogen monoxide” . . . now that’s for sure extremely dangerous. Many thousands of people die each year from ingesting this dangerous substance into the lungs . . . over 3,000 people in the U.S., alone . And, not to mention, that in contains an element that is found in certain nuclear reactions.

In New Mexico, the Navajo are famous for their safe handling of this dangerous substance, mixing it with a thickening agent, and constructing fireproof homes.


(Now, if Eclipse could use it in construction, using the Navajo "thickening agent", they would never have to worry about "fire" at "altitude".)

gadfly said...

‘Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s another problem with carrying too much dihydrogen monoxide aboard, in its solid form: The FAA will not certify the “little jet” for FIKI, ever!


FlightCenter said...

A couple of thoughts on training from this month's turbine edition of AOPA Pilot. The article is titled "Raising the bar" by Alton Marsh starting on page 38.

"Some manufacturers such as Eclipse Aviation require a full-motion simulator ride to evaluate your skills. You'll want to do well... The results determine whether you qualify for single-pilot training, or whether you qualify only to be a crew member."

"10 hours of instrument practice prior to the evaluation is a good investment."

"Eclipse officials are finding that training for their jet is taking longer than expected. "It's taking a week or two longer than we thought. It was supposed to be a week," Broom said."

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse expected training to be one week, but now is finding it is taking a week or two longer than expected.

Cessna seems to be taking a very rigourous approach to qualification and training courses for the Mustang according to the article. They have three levels of training. Second in command, crew and single pilot.

The author's experience level was 2,732 total hours, 146 multi, ATP, instrument and multi-engine instructor, G1000 training, Simcom course for the King Air C90.

He qualified for the lowest level of training, second in command.

He was asked to take the following pre-requisites before enrolling in the 10 day Mustang Training Program.

A) 3 day Mustang Instrument refresher course.
B) 1 day High Altitude Course
C) 3 hour Hypoxia Awareness Course
D) 2 day Turbine Transition Course
E) 4 self study online courses on aircraft avionics and operating environment.

After completing the 10 day initial training course, he will be required to fly with a Mustang captain for 75 hours.

After those hours, he is ready to train for a crew rating.

This involves an 8 day Prior Experience Type Rating course.
After passing the checkride, then he must fly with a Mustang Captain on board for another 25 hours before he can act as a Captain on the Mustang with a second in command.

After that he can start training for the single pilot rating. Even after passing the single pilot type rating, they expect that there will be an additional requirement for 3 to 25 hours of mentor flight, before being allowed to fly single pilot.

Now according to the article, YMMV.

There certainly seems to be significantly different training philosophies from Cessna and Eclipse, at least according to this article.

WhyTech said...

flightcenter said:

"There certainly seems to be significantly different training philosophies from Cessna and Eclipse, at least according to this article."

Both are too "intrusive" for me. Seems to me the acft manufacturer should stay out of dictating training requirements. Leave this to pilots, the FAA, and the insurance companies. I am very much an advocate of rigorous, professional grade training, but not force feeding of training.


airtaximan said...


subtract the number "sold" to Dayjet from the total 9perhaps the other fleet customers as well), then apply the number sold, and come up with a more accurate turnover rate.

more like 20-25% sold off, at least.

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

Flightcentre said:-

It appears that EO has sold his 2nd aircraft (serial #28) to Sabena Airline Training Center.
Congratulations, EO!

That couldn't be the good 'ol Belgian state carrier, SABENA, could it?

Such A Bloody Experience, Never Again.

That would be too 'amusing' for me....

And FC, thanks for confiming the solid progress down in ABQ towards the goal of one aircraft per month.

Hang on, I MUST be wrong. The goal is one per day, not the one per week you report.

Say it ain't so. The trend is supposed to be going in the other direction.

Unless they suddenly got sense in Eclipse and decided not to make any more E499.5's until the full fat E500 is ready for primetime?

OK, maybe 'full fat' is the wrong term for a jet which is 'challenged' in the payload department, but you get my drift.

Somehow, I don't think so. Vern getting sense is such a funny idea I can't get even begin to get my head around it.

So it would seem that the 'one per day' production goal is just one more milestone that has become a millstone.

Looks like I might still be in with a shout for my prediction of deliveries in 2007.

42, for those of you new to the blog...

PS, I could still be wrong.

On the high side.

Now that would be really amusing.

gadfly said...

Why Tech

Whether Cessna or Eclipse, it’s probably a problem of litigation. A few years back, it was my impression that lawyers had almost killed general aviation in the US . . . and the survivors had to increase the price of an new aircraft “many-fold”, just to survive. We’re a nation of lawsuits. So, a manufacturer must attempt to cover every contingency.

When I first flew, a brand-new Cessna 150 cost about $5,000 . . . avionics could easily double that price, and then some . . . 1962. Today? . . . I haven’t a clue, but I’m sure it’s a king’s ransom. And it’s not just due to the high price of aluminum and electronics.

“Back then”, flying was truly “fun” . . . even though the worst danger was staying out of the horizontal tornados behind a DC8 or a 707 on final approach.

The cold crisp air, flying at a few thousand feet over the “plowed fields” of Illinois in a J-3 Cub, a morning of practicing “slow-flight and stalls” over an intersection below in October are memories worth keeping . . . no hurry, sitting in the “back seat”, just a little 65hp Continental engine, a few gallons of gasoline, a scattering of white puffs of clouds, a constant lookout for a “golf-course” (just in case), the promise of snow . . . staying over one spot on the ground for thirty minutes while watching a “wire attached to a cork” up through the gas-cap, and the need to stay under the “big guys” coming in from the west, on final approach to ORD. Time to go home (. . . services would begin in just a couple hours) . . . turn east, get down below the two towers, “WGN” and “WBBM” . . . let ORD know I’m landing at Moody “Wood Dale” airport (in their “airspace”) . . . come in on base leg, and turn North on final, and touch down in a couple hundred feet on the turf runway that I had mowed “last summer”. Kill the “mags”, and put the collection of “Irish linen”, “chrome-molly” tubing, and “spruce” into a “Tee” hangar, and go into Chicago to see my fiancĂ© . . . and attend her father’s funeral. Sad times, but good memories . . . when flying was really “flying”. A person could ride on the wings of the wind, literally . . . and have time to “think”.

In all your arguments about the “paperclips”, I hope you don’t miss the fun of just being a part of truly “flying”. Somehow, in all this discussion, the “joy” of flying seems to be missing.


Nerdy Engineer said...

RE: PhostrEx
I'd like to see the Eclipse version of the MSDS if you have a link. Your quote doesn't match the NOAA information.

"These acids stick to ambient surfaces where they are diluted or neutralized and pose minimal risk."

We'd better go tell those six people who went to the ER that the risk is minimal.

RE: Training
I agree that training and competency should be the judgment of the pilot. Unfortunately, several blood-sucking attorneys disagree. These requirements are a way for the mfr to protect themselves from lawsuits (or at least reduce the payout).

airtaximan said...


So, you wonder how they can get AVIONG certified in November, while its unfinished?

History, my friend.

They have a positive track record in this department - they certified the whole unfinished plane. Certifying unfinished avionics should be a piece of cake... no?

welcome to the revolution!

WhyTech said...

Nerdy said:

"I agree that training and competency should be the judgment of the pilot. "

This has been the case for quite some time. What I am surprised at is the substantially more stringent requirements being imposed by Cessna and Eclips than would be the case for a CJ series acft: get a type rating and fly with a mentor pilot for a bit. Not necessarily a good idea, but no requirements imposed by the manufacturer.


FlightCenter said...


12 out of the 44 aircraft on the FAA database have been sold to DayJet.

So 21.9% of the E500s delivered to private owners have been re-sold, or 7 out of 32.


I suspect that both Eclipse and Cessna's product liability insurance companies are also having a strong say in determining the flight training standards for these new aircraft.

gadfly said...

Black Tulip

"It" went right over their heads . . . didn't even get them wet. Amazing!


FlightCenter said...


The insurance industry is clearly nervous about VLJs and maybe more nervous about the experience levels of the folks who are going to be flying them.

An insurance industry or aircraft manufacturer might present (some would say spin) these training programs as raising the standard.

A pilot, as you have pointed out, might say that the aircraft manufacturers are imposing significant barriers to entry into the VLJ world.

Just one more reason why you've made the right choice for yourself with the PC-12.

However, it seems like Cessna might be right on the money with the level of training required before what they view as a relatively inexperienced guy like Alton Marsh - (2,500 hours, no jet time, low multi-time) can really be expected to fly single pilot safely.

I'm not convinced by the Bonanza driver (who flew with Mike Press) who says that the Eclipse is much easier to fly because he doesn't need to adjust the prop and the mixture on departure.

That Bonanza driver doesn't even know what he doesn't know about flying jets. There is going to be a steep learning curve for everyone involved.

That learning curve has already happened for the PC-12, TBM, and Meridians of the world.

gadfly said...

Flight Center:


What is the "average", the "mean" the "maximum", the "minimum" . . . time of "ownership" of an Eclipse?

With all the comments of certain people, it would seem that almost no-one would give up such a bargain in less than a year or two . . . and then only when the "next model" hit the show-room floors.


("Turn-over rate" might make one dizzy . . . or is it the "dizzy" who wish to turn-over their new purchase after they "rate" it?)

Niner Zulu said...

"The joy of flying" as you call it is still around. This isn't the blogsite for that, though. Try - one of my favorites :-)

gadfly said...

Niner Zulu

Every new aircraft should include an element of the joy of flying . . . otherwise all the other arguments soon fall flat. So, even this "blogsite" should show at least a "hint" of that shear joy. Except for some isolated cases (and those with caveats), I find little to convince me that this "jet" is much more that taking bitter medicine, simply to cure "jet fever".


gadfly said...


Thanks . . . it's now "bookmarked" and looks excellent.


planet-ex said...

MSDS for Phostrex:

MSDS for Phosphorous Tribromide:

WhyTech said...

FC said:

"what they view as a relatively inexperienced guy like Alton Marsh - (2,500 hours, no jet time, low multi-time)"

I think someone said he was also King AIr trained at Flight Safety, and held a couple of instructor ratings. Not inexperienced in my book. What is surprizing is that I came within fractions of an inch of a CJ1+ two years ago, with considerably less experience, an nowhere near the mandatory training requirements.

Its the "mandatory" part I have a problem with. I enjoy training and am a training junkie. I would do what is now being required and then some, but because I want to, not be cause I have to.


FlightCenter said...



There is a big difference of opinion between much of the pilot community and the insurance community over the definition of experienced when it comes to VLJs.

The Cessna folks are saying that someone with only 150 hours multi time and no jet time (even though he has 2,500 total and King Air experience) is not qualified to train for single pilot type rating in the Mustang. He needs to get a couple preliminary ratings, train for a year or two, get 100 hours mentor time under his belt before he is safe to fly single pilot.

And they may be right. (I don't think that you are disagreeing with this point if I understand correctly.)

Eclipse seems to be more lenient. At least Ken says that many or most (I can't remember the words he actually used) of the Eclipse folks are flying single pilot today.

If true, this is a big difference between the two companies and potentially the safety record of the two aircraft.

bill e. goat said...

(re: Phostrex...or faux-T-Rex?):
"Missing out on time-to-market and spoiling otherwise promising might end up being this also-ran's final core competency".

I think it WAS agressively hyped and marketed. The fact there were no takers is what arrouses my suspicions.
"On contact with moisture in the air or on ambient surfaces it is rapidly (less than one second) converted to gaseous hydrogen bromide (HBr) and solid phosphonic acid (H3PO3), which are both soluble in water. These acids stick to ambient surfaces"

The problbem is- it is rapidly converted to HBr and acid upon contact with the moisture in your lungs too, and sticks to those "ambient surfaces".
"Spanked Until It's Red:"

Sorry for a good chuckle at a fellow bloggers expense, but I laughed until I was red!
"This article is only about a week old - why do I keep hearing that AvioNG is supposed to be certified in mid-November? According to Vern's estimate, 5 months to iron out the problems would put it into Feb-March 2008".

So, you wonder how they can get AVIONG certified in November, while its unfinished?"

I think Avio-NfG will be "finished" (ahem) whenever the closet of Avio-OfG is exhausted. (Around sn134, I believe?). So, late spring 2008 sounds about right. This would be 15-18 months for Avio-NfG development, which is about right, I think.

Thanks for your reflections on flying back in the 1960's- sure does sound neat. Gen Av is a lot more tightly regulated nowadays, and I suspect the statistics show things are a lot safer now. Not any safer for the sane and mature folks, but I guess society is protecting certain folks from themselves. (I must also observe, it has forced good discipline on manufacturers also, to be benefit of the general public).

BTW, I checked on the Consumer Price Index (albeit somewhat manipulated by various political forces, still- a good benchmark, I think):
C152 circa 1962 $5K-$10K

2007 adjusted price: $35K-$70K.
I think the Cessna 162 is starting out around $110K, with arguably a more complete (given their respective contemporaries) avionics suite (same engine I think!!!).

Thanks to Flightcenter, WhyTech, PlanetEx, Shane Price, BT, Redtail and others- very interesting and informative (and refreshingly neutral :) discussion today!!!

planet-ex said...

Concerning the differences between Cessna's and Eclipse's training...who do you think knows better?

Flight Safety (who created the training program and does the flight training on the Mustang) or Eclipse?

I tend to go with Flight Safety even though I used to work for SimuFlite (pre CAE days).

Lloyd said...

Whytech says
"Both are too "intrusive" for me. Seems to me the acft manufacturer should stay out of dictating training requirements. Leave this to pilots, the FAA, and the insurance companies. I am very much an advocate of rigorous, professional grade training, but not force feeding of training."

The attorneys have dictated this one for us by finding the aircraft manufacturers liable for their product even in accidents were pilots were found to be at fault.

EclipseOwner387 said...


I have put good time in a 172, Malibu, Cirrus, and JetProp turbine. All of my fellow pilots who have flown with me say the JetProp is the easiest engine to manage during flight because the turbine is less complicated to monitor for potential problems. I agree. Pistons have 4-6 CHTs and EGTS and possibly 2 TIT's. They have Mags and Spark Plugs to foul. Pistons sound rougher and give more vibration. You have to lean mixtures and debate ROP vs LOP. Has your experience been different in flying the different power plants?

In my little time flying in the Eclipse I would say it would be an easy transition from a single or twin turbine and a delight for piston owners making the transition.

Thanks for the kudos on selling #28. The deal was complicated and the ultimate owner I believe was documented in the Flight International article discussed previously. My deal was completed back in early August. It is taking a while for the FAA to catch up.

Shane Price said...


I'm sorry. I only saw your post of the 28th just now (must get my eyes checked...) and realise that I was wrong.

You had of course already cleared up the 'fractional order' matter.


Ken Meyer said...

The author of the AOPA article described himself as having over 2700 hours, ATP, instrument and multiengine instructor ratings. I think if I were a 2700-hour ATP with those ratings and Cessna told that they would not permit me to even start the C510 type rating class, I would go buy another plane. Probably an Eclipse :)

If that article is correct, it represents a complete over-reaction on Cessna's part. A few months ago, some of you poo-poo'd Eclipse for requiring mentoring of its new jet pilots. I recall some said Cessna wouldn't do anything silly like that.

Nope. They've gone sillier, if this story is to be believed.

Eclipse is taking a reasoned, balanced view toward training. They test the pilots first (Flight Skills Assessment). Those that don't have the basic skills required get sent for remedial training before they're allowed in the type rating class. And then the company requires all new jet pilots to get supervised operating experience after they successfully pass the type rating checkride.

I'm very amused by this article. Maybe in 2700 hours of flying, the author never experienced flight level flying. And obviously he doesn't have much multiengine time. But the lack of multiengine time just isn't an issue with these near-centerline thrust jets (the Eclipse doesn't even have a Vmc). The lack of flight level experience is remedied by mentoring.

The approach and landing speeds of a VLJ are lower than many piston twins. You can't make the argument that the VLJs are so much faster near the ground. Engine management is easier. Fuel management is non-existent.

Nope; none of that is applicable. If the article is correct, Cessna is just perpetuating the myth that jets are mysteriously difficult to fly :)

I like the Eclipse approach to training a lot better.


Ken Meyer said...

The AOPA article is here, if you missed it.


WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"I think if I were a 2700-hour ATP with those ratings and Cessna told that they would not permit me to even start the C510 type rating class, I would go buy another plane. Probably an Eclipse :)"

Right idea, wrong airplane. How about a CJ1+. When I was in the buying process for one of these 2 years ago, all Cessna cared about was whether I had the cash for the deposit - no training requirements imposed by Cessna at all, IIRC.


Black Tulip said...

Whytech, I agree with you.

Also there is another way to ensure a warm reception at any seller of jets. Walk in the door with a previous jet type rating. The skills gained in training for either the Citation 500 or 525 series are readily transferable to other jets.

I recommend Mitch Ange in Scottsdale with Arizona Type Ratings. He is a superb ground and flight instructor. The checkride is flown to ATP standards so if you have completed the written you finish up with that too. If you can afford the new jet, you can afford a Citation type rating.

Arizona Type Ratings

I would guess that the number of type ratings Mitch has completed is approaching a thousand. As a sidebar, Mitch has trained Chinese and Korean 'airline pilots' in their twenties. They arrive from Florida with a new commercial license and multiengine rating in a Seneca, receive a dozen hours in a Citation, and move back to the Orient and into the right seat of a Boeing 737. I’m glad I haven’t had to ride a domestic carrier over there.

Black Tulip

Black Tulip said...

Ken says of the Eclipse 500:

"Fuel management is non-existent."

With escalating fuel prices, this is the kind of aircraft we need.

Black Tulip

vlad_klz said...

Cessna requirements (minimum) for CJ3 type rating now are:

1000 hrs

Shane Price said...

Dark Flower,

Never mind the oil barons, what about the once mighty Dollar?

Wings from Japan, engines from Canada and big chunks from England.

Hope the forward currency contracts are helping Eclipse.

Otherwise, someone, somewhere is in for a whole world of pain.


airsafetyman said...

"Fuel management is non-existent."

What happens if a tip tank doesn't feed or you lose an engine halfway through a long overwater flight? How much lateral fuel imbalance is permissible? Or isn't this "management"?

planet-ex said...

Why do you keep saying Cessna when it comes to Mustang training?

Who built the simulator? Flight Safety

Who developed the courses? Flight Safety

Who runs the training center? Flight Safety

Who hold the training center certificate? Flight Safety

Stan Blankenship said...


Might get interesting when Eclipse gets ready to go out and purchase components for their Block 2 production run. As you mentioned for off-shore suppliers, the de-valued dollar will hurt in the next round.

Also interesting are the domestic suppliers who will be reminding the Eclipse Buyers of production rates much lower than promised, uncompensated change orders, late payments and bullying.

The company's near term financial viability will be a concern. I would certainly think twice before entering into an agreement with a company that was near bankruptcy in the summer of '06 and is building airplanes where the costs far exceed revenues.

A third hand report from one supplier...the initial Eclipse purchase order was for 200 ship sets.

Shane Price said...


Agreed. Very hard to justify to your CFO (Financial Director to me) going ahead in business with a company who have at best a chance of break even in 3 years.

Then, layer on the excellent chance that Vern will dump you, given half a chance. And he will rubbish you in the press, regardless.

Finally, you are offered payment in a currency that seems to have no backstop.

Difficult to continue doing business, with any company, never mind a start up with only one product and a vague order book.

Any sign of another auction? Its about time, don't you think?


Black Tulip said...


You may wish to research the Payne Stewart accident. The FAA pursued the CFI who signed off on the type ride, the designated examiner who conducted the ride, other pilots who had flown the Learjet and the charter operator. The survivors sued most everybody with deep pockets.

Black Tulip

hummer said...

Does anyone know of a CFI, CFII or FAA examiner being sued personally for their actions as they pertain to the duties of training and signing off flight certificates?
Is the FAA liable for their actions as it pertain to this process?
Are civil cases now being ejudicated in Federal Court? Who pays the attorney fees and/or judgements?
This may shed some light on the professional and personal reponsibility.

Ken Meyer said...

ASM asked,

"What happens if a tip tank doesn't feed or you lose an engine halfway through a long overwater flight?"

Crossfeed is automatic in the Eclipse. It can be initiated or halted manually by the pilot from the fuel synoptic page.

Compare that to the fuel management the pilot of a Cessna piston twin must understand and you'll know why I said the Eclipse fuel management is, relatively speaking, "nonexistent."


HotDog said...

Press Release

DayJet Takes Off, Launching New Era in Regional Transportation
Tuesday October 2, 1:03 pm ET

World's First "Per-Seat, On-Demand" Jet Service to Improve Productivity and Quality of Life for Southeastern Business Travelers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tomorrow DayJet Corporation will formally announce the launch of the world's first "Per-Seat, On-Demand" jet service in Florida. DayJet members - which number more than 1,500 business travelers - can now book just the seat they need aboard DayJet's fleet of Eclipse 500(TM) very light jets (VLJs); customize travel according to their time and budget requirements; fly point-to-point between an initial five Florida DayPort(TM) airports; and return home in a single day. Prices start at a modest premium to equivalent full-fare economy coach airfares and will expand to dozens of additional DayPort locations in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The service inauguration and grand opening of its first DayPort facilities in Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee, Florida, will be marked by a press conference in Tallahassee.

Joining DayJet President and CEO Ed Iacobucci will be Florida Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn, state and local elected officials as well as leaders from the business community.

DayJet Corporation Launches "Per-Seat, On-Demand" Jet Services
October 3, 2007
9 am Press Conference
Flightline at the Tallahassee Regional Airport
3526 Capital Circle S.W.

WhyTech said...

vk said:

"Cessna requirements (minimum) for CJ3 type rating now are:

1000 hrs"

So, apparently much less restrictive for a much higher performance acft.


Jake Pliskin said...

Ken said;

Compare that to the fuel management the pilot of a Cessna piston twin must understand and you'll know why I said the Eclipse fuel management is, relatively speaking, "nonexistent."

No thats wrong ken, what is so hard to manage about an aircraft with two fuel selectors having Left, Right and off respectively? Pretty simple for me

Of course maybe you were referring to only to Cessna twins with tip tanks and or aux tanks in one or both wing lockers? I'd have to agree those aircraft can cause more nervous moments transferring fuel or trying to remember if you transferred fuel from an aux tank.

Now if you'd said some Cessna twins sure, but you implied all Cessa twins have complicated fuel plumbing and thus require more attention. Therefore, I disagree and knowing how you never fail to nit pick another post to death, make room for another prick who calls you on any little inaccuracy :)

Jake Pliskin said...

BT, regarding the list of people involved in the Payne Stewart accident who the FAA pursued, one of the people you listed was found to have falsified the company training records of the accident pilots as well as six other company pilots, he well deserved enforcement action.