The Post Mortem
It may be premature, but the critics have already started the draft:
Bonanza Pilot wrote - I really wish they would have done a more conventional plane and kept the cost closer to the original estimate. Even if the performance had sunk to say 300 knots or even 280 knots...there would be many of us interested in a sub 1 million dollar jet with excellent fuel burn. I wish they would have ditched Avio..gone with Garmin and certified and shipped completed products a long time ago.
I think the attraction of the "new" single is the price..the only thing that was really revolutionary about the Eclipse was the price...and the reason the order book is suspect is that price increase. I really do believe that if they could have delivered this thing below 1 million they would have been able to meet their sales numbers.
Gunner added, BP-The original dream was a good one. For the same reasons as Ken, I liked it enough to put down a $130K deposit. I've learned a LOT from this Blog in the past year. The most important thing I've learned is that there's a reason why none of the respected manufacturers are offering a twin-jet for under a million (or even under $2 million):
The technology revolution that's fueling the VLJ craze simply has not materialized. Sure, we've seen some evolutionary changes in materials, powerplant size and efficiency; but the Million Dollar twin jet still awaits the technology to make it happen (or a company willing to slap together a disposable).
sparky drew further conclusions - Gunner and BP,well said. I think the hype is starting to die down to a low rumble with the other manufacturers feeling the pressure of the original claims and pricepoints.
It's easy to make a really small jet, It's hard to make a really small jet compete on every level the way eclipse it trying; speed, weight, range, utilization...they're all tied together and their are trade-offs that must be made. I think this is the one thing that the e-boys missed and it's been an extrememly expesive lesson.
Look for the VLJ craze to start to cool off in the next 8-12 months as people and companies come to realize this. I think once everything gets sorted out they're going to be great little aircraft for the owner/operator, but not much more. That could be a healthy little market if not for the 6+ companies competing for it. The ones to survive are going to be the ones that planned for this type of production.