Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Recapitulation

From black tulip:

1. There was a natural appeal when the Eclipse was introduced. For many pilots, this was their only shot at owning a jet. Priced at less than the cost of a new Baron, the Eclipse was going to be the airplane for the masses. Value proposition entered our vocabulary.

2. Not only was the new jet going to be inexpensive, it promised performance previously not matched. It was going to use new concepts in propulsion, avionics and assembly methods to accomplish this. Disruptive technology entered our vocabulary.

3. Orders for the Eclipse poured in. This was every man's plane.

4. These factors drew comparison to aircraft manufacturers who’ve been in business for decades. If Eclipse could do it why hadn’t they? They were labeled dinosaurs by the chief mammal and founder of Eclipse.

5. Human nature played a role. There is a natural tendency to root for the underdog and hope he can beat the big guys at the game. America loves the charismatic entrepreneur. Charisma draws dedicated followers - those who want a new jet for an unheard-of-price. They rise to defend any slight against the company.

6. Another company emerges, aiming to provide air charter service at a price never before seen. Dayjet places a large ‘order’ for Eclipse aircraft, also being sold a very low price. Wags call this the two stone theory of business – if one stone will not float, tie another stone to it, and see if two will float.

7. Time passes and deadlines are missed. Bit by bit, disruptive technologies are found wanting and are replaced by conventional equipment. The aircraft, designed with little margin for error, comes in much heavier than anticipated. Performance becomes an issue and the design is modified even as deliveries begin.

8. Luckily this occurs during a period when capital is more plentiful that ever. Hundreds of millions are poured into the company. “We don’t have time to do it right, but we have time to do it over.”

9. Skeptics began to emerge. A faint call went out through cyberspace and drew them to this website. Most contributors are usually upbeat about aviation and not used to being critical of a field they love. Some, like this writer, have not previously posted on a blog.

10. And now the story plays out. An old-line manufacturer started their little jet later and finished sooner. Upstarts abound, some more credible than others. Eclipse struggles on to deliver the dream jet. Early adopters pray this will happen. Order one now and it costs you more than a Baron.

Black Tulip

The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.

Then jetaburner added:

Black Tulip-Well said. The real question at the end of the day is can they survive to become a profitable and sustainable aviation company that can provide the necessary support and services? If they do succeed, what will the demand be for a more expensive plane that doesn't meet the original performance numbers? Once the lack of demand is realized, what will the price be? The original forecast demand of 5k jets was based on a 1450nm jet that cost less than $1 million. If they produced that I would probably buy 2 of them!!


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Ken Meyer said...

JetA brought up the comparison between the TBM 700 and the Eclipse. It's a useful one that explains why there are so many Eclipse orders. Let's look at a typical flight to compare them:

We're on a hypothetical flight from KEYW to KILM, direct (you wouldn't actually fly direct, of course, but it makes the calculations easy).

617 nm trip, FL270 for the TBM, FL350 for the Eclipse, max power for each.

According to Flitesoft Commercial figures for the TBM 700 and the spreadsheet for the Eclipse, the jet would do the trip 22 minutes faster than the turboprop and burn just 11.6 gallons more.

Or you could power the Eclipse back to LRC, use just 1.6 gallons more than the TBM and still beat it there by a couple of minutes!

The Eclipse has versatility. You can power it back to TBM speeds and pretty close to TBM fuel burn if you want. You can make it like a turboprop if you want. Or you can fly it like a jet, beat the TBM by about 20% of the flight time while only burning a few gallons more.

But whether you operate the Eclipse fast or slow, the upfront cost is much lower for the Eclipse than the TBM. And it's a jet with twin engine redundancy.

That's why people are buying it.


Gunner said...

Comparing a TurboProp to a TwinJet? Fair Game, I think.

Comparing a TwinJet to a TurboProp? Revealing, if not downright apologetic.

Tell us again about the Q-Routes that don't exist from Boca to Pensie, Ken. I think you're on a roll.

mouse said...

Everyone is buying one except for you Ken. Why is that?

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"Everyone is buying one except for you Ken. Why is that?"

Mouse, your comment makes no sense. I don't know what you're talking about.

Do you?


421Jockey said...

What happens when you lose an engine on a TBM?

jetaburner said...


It has only happened once and it ended with an uneventful landing. What happens when you lose an engine in a 421 on takeoff fully loaded at a hot and high airport (which is much more likely with 2 much less reliable power plants)? There is a reason used 421s sell for pennies compared to a TBM.

jetaburner said...


Thanks for pointing me to the flight of N875NA from ABQ to PWK. It took 3hrs 45 minutes and was 994nm depending on routing.

I ran my TBM through FltPan.com to see what it would take me. 3hrs 31minutes at FL290 and 185gallons. I have found that it is a little conservative both in time and fuel. That being said there is 28kt tail wind forecasted for the flight when I did it (tomorrow morning at 10AM). That means I could carry 4 people, luggage, and still arrive with 96 gallons (it's close to Chicago so I would want some extra fuel).

jetaburner said...


First of all you can buy a nice used A model TBM for $1.6M today. It is a proven, safe and rugged airplane. You will have to spend $2.2 to $2.4M to get a used C2, but it carries more and goes further (using manufacturer's and/or real world #s) than the e-clips. My TBM can carry 2,732lbs total. With full fuel (281 gallons) it can carry 850lbs. It also is bigger and more versatile than the e-clips because you can remove the seats and it has a large door (thanks to the popularity of the Pilatus).

I agree that the avionics need updating but a C2 comes with a proven (bendix King) EFIS system and 2 garmin 530s. I also added a GMX 200. I bought a 2003 because I am waiting on the glass solution (rumor is Garmin 1000) for the 850. But I won't buy the 850 unless it is a proven system. I've been told by Socata that the reason it has taken so long is that they want to make sure that they install a reliable, proven, quality system. That is a conservative philosophy I respect.

After my experience with the Piper Meridian, which I bought new in 2001 and had 11 AOG issues in 4 years and 800 hours, I won't touch a new airplane until it is proven in the field. I've been flying the TBM for over 2 years and have had zero AOG issues. Many of my issues with the Meridian was with the Meggitt glass cockpit.

I asked Cessna for some numbers on the Mustang and they compared it directly to the 850. I often fly out of Aspen, CO so hot and high is a big issue for me. If it is warmer than 50F you cannot takeoff at full gross. I fly ASE to SBA a lot so they compared it to the 850 on that flight. The Mustang was 4 minutes faster than the 850 but burned 60 gallons more fuel. The 850 also goes further than the Mustang (1100nm) and carries about the same load with full fuel depending on configuration. I told them I was interested in the 850 and that I often fly a CJ2 and they directed me to the CJ1+ salesman!!

I know you're stuck on 2 engines vs. 1 engine and I will agree 2 engines are nice, especially turbofans. But it is interesting to note that when I bought my TBM I was qouted 1.07% hull coverage and 1.2% for a CJ. At the time I had a type rating in a CJ2 and 125hrs and 0 time in the TBM. Still, the insurance company thought I was safer in a single turboprop than a twin jet. We all know those boys do their homework.

A lot of things can go wrong in an airplane (I had personally had smoke in my Meridian cockpit at FL280 while dodging t-storms), not just engine failure. When you take a brand new product from a brand new company there are a lot of unkowns and risks. IMO you, or anyone for that matter, would be safer in a proven single turboprop than an unproven new turbofan from an unkown company.

jetaburner said...


Here's another point. The Pilatus outsells the TBM 2 to 1 eventhough It costs 20 to 25% more and slower is slower than the TBM. But, it is larger and carries a whole lot more. Clearly the market values size and payload over speed to the point where it will pay a hefty opinion. A fellow local pilot just sold his share in a Challenger for a new Pilatus. Why? He wanted the size and efficiency of the Pilatus and was willing to give up the cache of the twin jet.

jetaburner said...


Here's another point. The Pilatus outsells the TBM 2 to 1 eventhough It costs 20 to 25% more and slower is slower than the TBM. But, it is larger and carries a whole lot more. Clearly the market values size and payload over speed to the point where it will pay a hefty opinion. A fellow local pilot just sold his share in a Challenger for a new Pilatus. Why? He wanted the size and efficiency of the Pilatus and was willing to give up the cache of the twin jet.

421Jockey said...


Why do yo think I am moving to the Eclipse?

Two turbine engines, safer than the 421 or TBM.

Ken Meyer said...

JetA wrote,

"you can buy a nice used A model TBM for $1.6M today. It is a proven, safe and rugged airplane."

There is a nice TBM for $1.6 million on Controller right now.
10 years old. 2100 hours.

If you really think that's a reasonable comparison with a brand new twin-engine jet, my recommendation is go for it. The Eclipse is not right for you.


Niner Zulu said...


You've made some good points, especially about relying on new avionics sysems. There are bugs in AvioNG that Eclipse hasn't even experienced yet, much less have learned how to correct. Every Eclipse owner is going to be a test pilot.

At least with the G1000 you have thousands of them out on the market and already the factory has had hundreds of thousands of hours of usage to prove the reliability. There won't be enough AvioNG's in existence, EVER, for Eclipse to get to the level of experience that Garmin has already achieved with their G1000.

To me, this is much more important than seeing my weight and balance on the screen before I fly. Ho hum.

If Eclipse were smart, they'd offer a G1000 option NOW. Some pilots (me, for example) will NEVER be comfortable with a limited-production avionics system that has only been tested over a few hours, and has limited support in the field.

jetaburner said...


I agree completely.


I already own a TBM and have access to a CJ2. Why would I buy an airplane that carries less, doesn't go as far, and is unproven? There is a reason used TBMs hold their value: they are proven, safe, reliable, and very good machines.


See my comment above about my personal experience regarding insurance premiums on a CJ vs. TBM. They do their research. The TBM is a very safe, proven aircraft. There will likely be many issues with the e-clips that only you, the test pilot, will discover.

jetaburner said...


If you think flying a 20+ year old twin piston is safer than flying a 4 year old TBM than you need to re-examine your assumptions and statistics.

421Jockey said...

I wasn't comparing the 421 to your precious TBM. The point is that neither aircraft has the safety of the EA50.

mouse said...


my comment makes perfect sense.. Where is your Eclipse jet? Is it in your hangar? Have you flown it anywhere yet?

Oh Wait, you don't have one.. perhaps that is why you love it so..

Put your money where your mouth is and buy one, then tell us all about it...

Until you pay your money and own one, you are just a waste of oxygen...

well not a total waste, you make a good repeater for Vern...

mouse said...


The EA50 has no safety record yet... give it a year or two and then check out its safety record.

jetaburner said...


You beat me to the punch!!


There is no significant record for the e-clips so what you say is complete conjecture.

Remember when the Cirrus came out everybody thought it would be much safer because of the parachute and advanced avionics? It wasn't. To qoute Flight Safety: "The best safety in any aircraft is a well trained pilot."

Turbine equipment is great whether it is a single or twin (I fly a CJ2 as well) and the statistics show that by far most accidents are do to pilot error. I don't see that big of an upsell to a twin turbine and the market clearly agrees as single turboprops out sell twins more than 2 to 1 (in 2006 199 turboprop sold of which 150 were singles).

I do agree that the market, myself included, prefers jets over turboprops but not at the expense of range and payload. Every New TBM owner and Pilatus owner could afford to buy a used CJ or new Mustang, if not a new one, but every year they still buy TBMs and Pilatuses. Why? Range, payload, size (for the Pilatus), efficiency, simplicity and their outstanding safety record.

The last time I bought an airplane in 2003 I narrowed my search down to 2 planes: the TBM and CJ/CJ1. When I compared the time saved in a CJ to the increase cost of operatation it wasn't worth it to me. I could also carry, under some conditions (hot and high), more in the TBM and go further. I also like the big door and the ability to remove seats.

EA50 said...

Jetaburner: "I don't see that big of an upsell to a twin turbine and the market clearly agrees as single turboprops out sell twins more than 2 to 1 (in 2006 199 turboprop sold of which 150 were singles)."

It is difficult to reconcile that statement with GAMA records showing that Beech delivered 140 twin turboprops in 2006. That's more than Pilatus and Socata combined.

Regardless, 2006 saw the sale of more than twice as many GA jets as turboprops: 886 vs 407. By that measure, the market clearly thinks jets are superior to turboprops.

"Friends don't let friends fly turboprops"

ExEclipser said...

Looks like NAJC is on their 5th round trip charter run... (3rd in the past week)

airsafetyman said...

"Friends don't let friends fly turboprops"

Most people have learned to use the appropriate tools for the job at hand. A turboprop is the exact tool many people and corporations need. The aid of reversing propellers on snow and ice-covered runways as well as enough power to run the anti and deice equipment put all manufacturers' turboprops, single or twin, in a class well ahead of Eclipse.

Black Tulip said...

The crew of SFH875 should be careful. There's a 250 KIAS speed limit below 10,000 feet. 325 knots ground speed at 8,700 feet is pretty hot. On a standard day with no wind, 250 KIAS at 8,700 feet would be about 293 knots TAS and ground speed.

Pull the power back before lowering the nose.

(However, FlightAware data bounces around at times and not too much should be made of a single radar hit.)

Black Tulip

Black Tulip said...

ea50 said,

"Friends don't let friends fly turboprops"

You should look into the operating restrictions for turbofan aircraft. Suppose you are returning on a cold snowy evening and your home airport has a contaminated runway.

You might well discover that your turboprop can land safely and legally but the turbofan may not.

There are other restrictions as well.

Black Tulip

ExEclipser said...

BT: I thought about that, too. I've seen MANY MANY aircraft of all flavors reported to be faster than 250 kts below 10K. Remember, that's airspeed, not groundspeed, so again, FA -like you mentioned- is good for general tracking and watching, but should NEVER be construed as enforceable evidence.

ASM said: "Most people have learned to use the appropriate tools for the job at hand. A turboprop is the exact tool many people and corporations need."

That's exactly what many people and corporations are saying about the Eclipse 500.

ExEclipser said...

Looks like the owner of N858GS (SN000039) has been enjoying his airplane to the tune of 9 flights in the last 3 days... Probably mentoring flights as they all seem to be local to LA area.

airsafetyman said...

"That's exactly what many people and corporations are saying about the Eclipse 500."

Especially corporations composed of dwarfs who do not need to fly outside of Florida where icing is known to occur - sometimes as early as mid-September.

Gunner said...

Exe said:
"That's exactly what many people and corporations are saying about the Eclipse 500."

Source, please? This is utter nonsense when compared to the empirical evidence.

The Order Book Scam has been busted more often than Sammy Gravano. No growth there, only admissions of "option" orders and reports of accelerated deliveries.

The new Eclipse Shill Forum, designed to answer all the burning questions of these anxious individuals and corporations is quieter than Church. Two Forums set up to offer discussions similar to this one remain inactive.

So where are all these interested "people and corporations". The evidence suggests (if they exist at all), they're looking at alternative and more appropriate air vehicles.

Gunner said...

Exe said:
"Looks like the owner of N858GS (SN000039) has been enjoying his airplane to the tune of 9 flights in the last 3 days"

If he were enjoying it so much, you think is average flight would last longer than 68.25 minutes. (Double Digit trailing decimal numbers in tribute to Ken.)

Just keepin' it real.

Niner Zulu said...

My guess is that the Eclipse order book is actually shrinking, not expanding. I talk to a lot of pilots every day - in the past year I have not talked to even one person who has recently placed an order for an Eclipse.

Granted, this is just anecdotal evidence, but the only people I know that have placed orders for an Eclipse did so a LONG time ago. There is no longer the buzz about buying an Eclipse that there used to be.

ExEclipser said...

9Z - I totally agree. In fact, I would figure that a lot of folks are starting to see Vern like a Howard Hughes - at least the essentric part of HH. Vern is yelling and preaching and preaching and yelling, but the congregation is thinning out and the once-packed pews are getting empty. Sans, of course, the ECJ. That revival brought everyone back for once more chorus of We Are Eclipse.

What we all need to realize here is that without Eclipse, there would most likely not be a Mustang, a Phenom, an Adam700, a DJet, a PiperJet, a CirrusJet, an EpicJet, et al.

Vern brought the VLJ to the masses. Eclipse will survive in spite of Vern. It's strength will be in future products, though - not the 500.

Gunner said...

How will the company's strength be in "future products"? Specifically what core competencies do you see that guarantee this company a place at the table with legitimate, trusted, viable aircraft manufacturers?

That's not a loaded question. I'm honestly interested in your thoughts on it.

Black Tulip said...


Me too.

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...


"What we all need to realize here is that without Eclipse, there would most likely not be a Mustang, a Phenom, an Adam700, a DJet, a PiperJet, a CirrusJet, an EpicJet, et al."

Perhaps he's the reason some other products did not make it to market? Or these manufacturers left the lowest end to Vern, since he claimed a very, very lowball price everyone else knew was impossible.

Perhaps Cessna's Mustang would have been priced below Centryjet? at $1.8 or 2million? Perhaps Century jet would have made it to market at $2.5 million?

Perhaps Embraer would be making a lower priced product, if Vern left the door open to a reasonable priced offering of $2 million?

Vern hyped the market with fantastic claims...lowball prices, bus-side billboards... but the engines were in development years before he came into the market. The FJ33 powers many of the programs you refer to, and the PW600 family was being worked as well...

I personally think he screwed up the market, by low balling the price.

I asked the same question as Gunner...how will Vern/e-clips compete? What is their strength? How will they sustain any advantage? So far, all they have is a really, really small, lowballed priced jet... that is costing 2x or more to make than the selling price.

What is sustainable in a competitive environment?

ExEclipser said...

I really think that they can reach a production rate of 4-6 per day. Maybe not in the current facility, but sometime in the future they will be able to do that.

I think that FSW and just in time deliveries are keys in getting production rates up. I think that as the current ramp up continues, it will give the suppliers more respect for Eclipse and in turn will encourage them to be more reliable with on-time quality deliveries. I think this will be a win-win for both Eclipse and the supply chain.

(Supplier delays recently also has plagued Boeing's 787 to the tune of a 2 month delay.)

To see Eclipse stay on the cutting edge of being a disruptive company, I think they need to try and design a jet and REALLY sell it for under $1 Mil. If that means a 4-seat single engine, so be it. Maybe if there were no options to keep the price point low, that would help, too.

The other thing I need to see from Eclipse is the marketing of PhotrEx to the masses. I think this is the real money maker and I've said so to Peg herself. If they could have marketed and sold PhostrEx to the masses before TC they could probably have avoided any subsequent financing rounds.

There's something about PhotrEx that isn't being told. Perhaps it's so lucrative, it's being used to hedge the company for their latest financing rounds. That'd really suck if Eclipse failed and they lost PhostrEx because of it.

Finally, I think that things are getting better. I know that from the time I left until now, better processes are in place, procedures are being standardized and the young workforce is gaining experience.

Gunner said...

Your response, as usual, is measured and fair. I simply don't agree with the premises or conclusion. (No offense there).

When you talk of ramp up to 4-6 per day, you run smack into the wall of Demand. It is not unlimited and, based on the order book, hardly "disruptive".

When you talk of a single engine jet for under a Million, you run smack into the company's cost structure and technology, not to mention the competition. There's nothing visible that supports a profit on the EA-50X at $1.8MM let alone a profit on the ConJet at <$1MM. Simply assigning a price doesn't make it viable. Eclipse has demonstrated zero REAL advancements that would allow them to build jets for 60% the cost of their competition. None.

When you talk of "disruptive", there's nothing in evidence that fits, except Vern's mouth. Just in time inventory and vendor partnering is not a revolutionary concept; Cessna's own partnering strategy, which offers in-house consultants to help vendors be more profitable across ALL lines of business is far more advanced.

I agree, there's something we're not being told. This product would require nearly zero budget to market by a handful of trained sales people. Probably less that the investment in the non-revenue producing Con-Jet, IF the claims for PhostreX were true. Yet Vern would prefer to run back to the financial markets every quarter, last time on the verge of bankruptcy?

Do you really believe they're running a company in this hand-to-mouth, crisis fashion when the Golden Goose is sitting under their roof?

I don't...because it'd be sheer lunacy.

airtaximan said...


"I really think that they can reach a production rate of 4-6 per day."

Really? I guess its a nice thing to think... but so far, the evidence is that they cannot produce 4-6 planes a week, or 4-6 planes a month...let alone 4-6 planes a day.

and to what end? they do not have the orders to do 6 planes a day for more than 8 or 9 months - then they run out of orders.. and thisis IF you believe half the orderbook is real.

If the sustainable advantage is high rate production, I think its a nice claim, there's a lot of learning cirvel to climb to get to these sorts of rates, and there's zero demonstrated history...

and what will they build at that rate next?

...and what makes you think they will get the next one right, as far as meeting a huge market demand? There's NO evidence here in their favor, either...

AlexA said...

9Z said “My guess is that the Eclipse order book is actually shrinking, not expanding.”

Bad guess 9Z. Many folks on the fence put down deposits last month before the price increase. Eclipse received more orders (not options) from owner/operators in August than any other month this year.

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


It was a $75k increase, right?

This is a funny statement you are making about the $75K triggering a lot of fence sitters. These guys were so cautious about placing a deposit with e-clips, that they jumped at a "savings" of $75K...


Perhaps you are both right...

e-clips took in more orders in August than any other month... and took in 3 orders.


Overall, the orderbook is shrinking... people are not ponying up progress payments and there's compression...or options are being pushed to the end of the line at the will of fleet customers...

I just do not buy the $75k increase being a big trigger... maybe the value proposition dries up at $1.65 million?


airtaximan said...


I hear a public offering is being announced soon... for an air taxi hopeful.... using e-500s...

Stay Tuned... this stock could jump!

Ken Meyer said...

Four Eclipse 500's flying right now, demonstrating a range of flight profiles:

Eclipse Flight Profiles

One is an air taxi flight.

Another is a short haul.

Another is clipping along at over 340 knots true airspeed

Another is making a 788 nm flight at low altitude--at FL270, the pre-aeromod planes have an IFR range of about 710 nm; it rises to 1030 nm at FL350 and 1100 at FL400 with the aeromods.

Face it guys; this train has left the station and is now unstoppable.


cj3driver said...

Alexa said;
"... Eclipse received more orders (not options) from owner/operators in August than any other month this year..."


One is more than zero. Can you give us an idea of what "more" means? Why would it be a secret? A sale is a sale. Eclipse prominently touted them before.

I still dont understand why anyone would go to the back of the line and order from the factory, when you can get a position transfed to you at $200,000 LESS than factory.
Some postitions CPI based on a lower number or no CPI at all, ... potentially several hundred thousand less, and, ... with a lower 60% deposit risk.

I don't doubt Eclipse took new orders, but it was to people "cutting in line" to lower S/N's like 31,91,92 ... at a much higher price ... imo.

Ken Meyer said...

...an who knows how many more are flying that are blocked from flightaware? :)


bill e. goat said...

I admire and appreciate your many contributions, but regarding production rates, time to hit the retro-rockets and drop back into the atmosphere :)
"Aha. So we see that a production rate of 700+ in a year indeed IS possible".

Um, well, ah, I sort of doubt it.

(And even if they could, if Vern wants to exhaust the demand in 14 months, that would be a good goal. Otherwise bad move. I think 200+ is the sustainable demand).
"I really think that they can reach a production rate of 4-6 per day".

Same as above.
"...without Eclipse, there would most likely not be a Mustang..."

No. Without PWC-61x, there would be no VLJ's.

Eclipse is NOT revolutionary. There are novel. Even the PWC-61x is not revolutionary, merely novel. And Vern knows it- that's why he tried so hard to "the first", because that is the only exlusive marketing point (other than being the least expensive twin VLJ, which admittedly is a big marketing plus). The push to volume production is an attempt to maintain the cost advantage, but I don't think there will sufficient demand to result in the production efficiencies Vern hoped for. The marginal volume efficiencies gained by lower price are being offset by the start-up costs (although these are partly being borne by tax payers to create jobs; and $1B players, as a hobby, apparently).

IMHO, there simply is NOT a demand for 700 to 2400 Eclipse's per year, and I would say even at $1M each, the -sustainable- demand would still be limited to around 300+ per year.

If the air taxi concept takes off, maybe that will change. But I don't see revolutionary service afforded by the E-500, so I am skeptical.

But, just my opinion.

ExEclipser said...

Now, which would make more sense? To invest in the IPO of a business using a product that is waiting for its own IPO or investing in the product's IPO first?

ExEclipser said...

Note to both gunner and BEG: I didn't say when they could reach 4-6 or where. I don't speculate it will be by the end of this year at Sunport. But perhaps by the end of next year at Double Eagle? Sure seems to be plausible (a nice word that I've seen most used on the TV show Mythbusters).

Gunner said...

Nor did I take issue with the timing. Only with the Demand. It just doesn't appear to be there. Nothing we've seen supports the premise, and much argues against it.

cj3driver said...

Exe… IPO for Eclipse or DayJet;

IMO… both tank. But, for argument sake:
DayJet should have plenty of equity in the equipment. With 50 (hopeful) planes this year, and at a value of $1.7 and a cost of $995… that gives them $35 mil in profit. ...That should cover them for several months of operation.

jetaburner said...

EA50, Black Tulip, & airtaximan-

Reminds me of a flight were the wx cleared in ASE after 30min hold (in the clear at FL210) and I was first in on a snow covered runway. After I pulled off at A4 (less than 50%) tower asked: "how was the breaking action?" I couldn't answer them because I didn't need to use my breaks. The regional jet behind me on final didn't like that but at least he has anti lock break and reversers.

jetaburner said...


You said: "My guess is that the Eclipse order book is actually shrinking, not expanding. I talk to a lot of pilots every day - in the past year I have not talked to even one person who has recently placed an order for an Eclipse."

I have come across the same thing. The 3 pilots I know who had a contract or were very interested all cancelled. Why? Concern with performance, reliability, size, and the company. They also don't want to have to wear helium underwear everytime they fly.

mirage00 said...

Face it guys; this train has left the station and is now unstoppable.

But it's a "paper" train. Right Ken?

I remain amused

double 00

AlexA said...

CJ3Driver said “One is more than zero. Can you give us an idea of what "more" means? Why would it be a secret?”

Fair question. I don’t know how to answer your question without compromising my source. Eclipse being a private concern is not required to report sales numbers. If you are willing to read between the lines..”if Eclipse was able to deliver the projected output in August the order book would have not shrunk due to deliveries.” Hope that helps.

jetaburner said...


If this is true how come e-clips in August offered sn# 91 & 92 to my friend who was considering an e-clips?

Gunner said...

Your "sources" at Diamond have not proven too reliable.

And other "sources" at Eclipse tell us their SN in the 1400 range was suddenly accelerated to the 800 range.

Sources? Everyone has a "source". Yet the Eclipse "Enthusiast" Forum shows zero activity, despite a couple dozen registrants. Can you confirm what my "source" tells me: That the Eclipse Owner's Forum has not increased in numbers by anything of significance in months? (Back out the "Enthusiast" registrants and have a look.)

Seems a bit funny, if true. After all, if these new Depositors were so plugged in that a $75K price hike caused them to jump on "the train", one would expect they'd have found their way to the Private Club Car by now.


AlexA said...

Jetburner said “If this is true how come e-clips in August offered sn# 91 & 92 to my friend who was considering an e-clips?”

JB it’s a well know fact that there are available slots in the order book. These slots are going for premiums (over list price) and were put in line to offset the cost of the Platinum Positions. If you are willing to pay $300,000 over list to get an early slot they are available.

jetaburner said...


Good to see the plane flying as you point out:
"Another is making a 788 nm flight at low altitude--at FL270, the pre-aeromod planes have an IFR range of about 710 nm; it rises to 1030 nm at FL350 and 1100 at FL400 with the aeromods."

The 788nm flight took 2hrs 33min and burned approximately (according to the spreadsheet) 1100lbs of fuel. It also had a 22kt tailwind.

I ran the TBM700 through fltplan for comparison:
2hrs 45min and 1000lbs of fuel. Pretty close and the TBM can carry more.

My point is that the e-clips isn't doing anything new. Yes, it is a twin jet and costs less than a new 850 (which is faster than my 700) but it is all a trade off. We don't know what the final price of the plane will be to keep e-clips affloat.

We've heard that they don't make money at 1.85M per plane. They originally were going to sell the plane for less than $1M and it would go 1450nm carry 4 adults. At those numbers they predicted a market of 5K+ jets. Now they are producing a plane that doesn't do much better than what's out there so where is the demand coming from? Dayjet is questionable at best and there is a lot of competition in the owner market with both new VLJs and used planes. So... the question remains, what will the plane cost to make it profitable for e-clips if they only sell 200 hundred a year?

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Core Competancies - For Eclipse this seems to be hornswaggling investors (Ken's 'smarter than you and I' people), hoodwinking the FAA and changing disruptive technology to simple disrupted schedules and failed promises.

Let the games begin!

jetaburner said...

alexa said:

"JB it’s a well know fact that there are available slots in the order book. These slots are going for premiums (over list price) and were put in line to offset the cost of the Platinum Positions. If you are willing to pay $300,000 over list to get an early slot they are available."

I don't know what price #s 91 and 92 were offered at and he's no longer interested in the e-clips but he was offered #31 for $1.65M in July.

How does this fit with the $300k premium when he was also told that a new position delivered in 2009 would cost $1.85M? Sounds like he could have saved $200k and taken delivery of the plane in July.

Usually it works the other way around. If you want a CJ today, assuming you can find someone willing to sell their position, you will pay a premium over the new contract price.

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


... from a company that has missed every milestone and has delivered a "jet" that cost more than 2x than originally promised and isn't fully certified (fiki)!!

Ken Meyer said...

jetaburner wrote,

"The 788nm flight took 2hrs 33min and burned approximately (according to the spreadsheet) 1100lbs of fuel. It also had a 22kt tailwind.

I ran the TBM700 through fltplan for comparison:
2hrs 45min and 1000lbs of fuel. Pretty close and the TBM can carry more."

That's exactly the point.

The Eclipse, when forced to stay low (this one presumably doesn't have RVSM), can be operated like a TBM-700--low and slow by selecting longrange cruise power settings. Its longrange cruise is about as fast as a TBM's recommended cruise, and uses almost the same fuel.

But an Eclipse can also go a lot higher than a TBM 700 can. That same flight today, if flown at highspeed cruise and FL 350, would use less than the 1000 lbs you said your TBM would use and get there 35 minutes faster than your TBM. It does it in twin jet comfort and twin jet safety, with the ability to top most weather.

And all of that while saving the owner $1.2 million and giving him modern avionics instead of steam gauges.

I'd take the Eclipse any day. You'd take the TBM; I understand that. Aren't choices nice? :)

What I don't understand is why you feel the need to convince yourself that you've already got the best plane. I'm getting the feeling you're really not all that sure.


airtaximan said...


yup - -I sat on that fence for years, 'cause I wanted to wait and see how the plane would turn out, really.... and how the price turned out really...and how the company perofmed, really, and how the market developed, really.... but they offerd me an opportunity to AVOID a $75k increase, so I strapped on that floatation device, activated the little red tabs, and POOF! I took the plunge and BOUGHT one of them suckkers, finally!

no way...

airtaximan said...

mirror, mirror on the wall....

"What I don't understand is why you feel the need to convince yourself that you've already got the best plane. I'm getting the feeling you're really not all that sure."


jetaburner said...


My point is that I don't believe with performance #s similiar to the TBM that there is a huge market out there for a twin jet. Which means without the huge demand forecasted by e-clips the companies viability is a major concern.

Your cost comparison, less than $1.2M is wrong and irrelevant because we all know that e-clips is going to have to sell their planes for more than $1.6M; they are selling new positions for $1.85M now. In addition, $2.8M buys you a fully certified, proven TBM850, not a 700.

I would choose a TBM over an e-clips every day because: it has a bigger cabin, carries more, goes further, and most important it is a proven product from a reputable company.

There is no comparison until the e-clips has been around for a couple of years and all of the unkowns have been answered and the company has established itself as a reputable aviation company that can properly support the fleet. Only then can you compare them.

jetaburner said...


You said:

"What I don't understand is why you feel the need to convince yourself that you've already got the best plane. I'm getting the feeling you're really not all that sure."

IMO the best plane out there is the CJ2 or CJ3.

The best plane out there today for $2.25M for me is the TBM C2. It is proven, has an excellent track record with great support and is fully certified.

I wouldn't touch an e-clips for 2 years until all these valid concerns and questions are flushed out. Even then, the plane is too small and doesn't carry enough far enough for my needs.

jetaburner said...


I forgot to add:

I wouldn't touch an e-clips for 2 years until all these valid concerns and questions are flushed out. Even then, the plane is too small and doesn't carry enough far enough for my needs. And in 2 years it is anybody's quess how much the plane will really cost. Might be as much as a new 850 once e-clips comes to terms with the reality of manufacturing a Jet.

airtaximan said...


Remember, Ken can identify NO risk with the e-clips.

The state of mind of "die-Hard" buyer.

cj3driver said...

Alexa said;

“… it’s a well know fact that there are available slots in the order book. These slots are going for premiums (over list price) and were put in line to offset the cost of the Platinum Positions. If you are willing to pay $300,000 over list to get an early slot they are available…”


I was offered several early positions from the factory also. ... at list price with NO premium over the factory list price.

... in fact, so was the entire market, last month, serial # 38. And it sold exactly $114,002.40 over list. However, the “premium” over list was more than likely influenced by “eclipse dollars”. In addition, there are several “on the ground” Eclipses available right now at little or no premium.

I haven’t seen ANY asking prices anywhere near $300K over current factory pricing. I have seen premiums of $300K over sellers older contract prices.

I do not believe the statement (above) you wrote is true … it makes no sense.

Ken Meyer said...

With today's winds (and ISA), the trip from KTEX to KUIN:

CJ1--2:03, 1789 lbs
EA50--2:08, 1024 lbs
Citation I SP--2:11, 2220 lbs
(those three at FL350)

TBM--2:45, 1000 lbs
(your numbers)

You see no benefit to the jets over the turboprop? OK. If that's the case, you've already go the best plane for you. So why worry about it?


airsafetyman said...

Yes, and three of the four can carry a payload over a distance and fly into known icing. One can't, which may be why it's so cheap?

Gunner said...

Three of the four also have their promised avionics certified, don't require absurd windshield replacement intervals and weren't on the brink of bankruptcy within the past 90 days.

What was it that someone here posted about "denial"?

bill e. goat said...

I agree with gunner, the production rate is not a question of when or where- it's a question of why.

I don't think there is a reason (no "why") to build more than 300+ E-500's per year. To do otherwise would saturate the market and depress prices, and the low costs derived from high volume for 15 months would be offset by higher costs when the line dwindles to 150 per year two years later.

The ONLY reason for high volume now is to create the impression of profitability so Vern can dump the company.

(as in: "Never mind the cash flow problem! Look at all the airplanes we're building!").


bill e. goat said...

Looks like ATM nailed the production rate situation well with the order book inflow...

(I think Vern is going to get nailed with the cashbox outflow...)

jetaburner said...


N561EA is flying to KTEB so KUIN was probably a fuel stop. I put the TBM through FltPlan to see if it could make it at FL310. It can in 5hrs 20min with reserves equivelant to what the e-clips uses 250lbs!! I would never do the flight personally with such low reserves but e-clips would.

bill e. goat said...

"The other thing I need to see from Eclipse is the marketing of PhotrEx to the masses...

So would Vern...

"There's something about PhotrEx that isn't being told".

I think there is a LOT that we're not being told. I also think there is a reason nobody else has used it, and a reason Eclipse has not been actively marketing it. And I don't think it's related to patent research.

"Perhaps it's so lucrative, it's being used to hedge the company for their latest financing rounds".

Fire those retro's quickly!!! :)
(Maybe..? think more along the lines of Phostrex being kept in reserve for a Jonestown-style return to reality party???

Hmmmm, I agree: there's something we're not being told about Phostrex...).

AlexA said...


Time to change the name of the Blog. There are more Eads employees and TBM owners here than anything else.

FlightCenter said...

Can anyone provide a URL to an Eclipse statement regarding their order book size that they've made since May of 2007?

In May they were saying that they had "just under" 2,700 orders.

I've seen a number of statements on this blog quoting Vern saying that he now has more than 1,000 individual orders, but I haven't been able to find these interviews on the web.

airtaximan said...

a long long time ago, PhosterX was offered up here as the salvation, by the faithful.

The idea that it could be marketed and sold and $millions in revenues were just around the corner, becasue the Montreal Protocal required that once a "viable alternative to halon was found", Halon would no longer be used ...

Others opinied that one cannot know exactly how they would determine what constitutes a "viable alternative" and when and how they would decide.

I guess the jury is still out - $600 million later...

PS. I'm beginning to get a little worried about a fleet of owners who apparently cannot assess risk very well.

anonymous avionics engineer said...


Actually there are only 40 or so actual owners. More than that have put up the cash. the fleet you refer to is wannabe owners. Whether they ever will be or not remains to be determined.

Yes, PhosterX should be on the market by now.

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

With today's winds (and ISA), the trip from KTEX to KUIN:

CJ1--2:03, 1789 lbs
EA50--2:08, 1024 lbs
Citation I SP--2:11, 2220 lbs
(those three at FL350)

Mustang -- 2:12, 1345 lbs
CJ3 –- 3:48, 3,092 lbs TEX-TEB with 1,400 lbs payload. non-stop.

jetaburner said...

What is PhosterX?

Gunner said...

PhostreX is a non-halon engine fire extinguisher invented by a chap and sold to Eclipse after all the "majors" turned him down. He later sued the company, but the details are unknown to me.

Far lighter than Halon, Eclipse has variously announced that they invented it or licensed it. In any case, they claim it'll replace all extinguishers on the market due to a an International commitment to replace ozone harming substitutes. If so, it truly IS a multi billion dollar revenue source.

Just two one issues:
1) Why weren't the Dinosaurs interested?
2) Why hasn't Eclipse marketed it?. Seems like an easy sale, if you ask me; why continue to let the company spiral toward bankruptcy with the solution to all your financial woes right in hand?

The only practical demonstration we've seen of PhostreX was an unintentional discharge on the production floor recently which sent a handful of employees to the hospital. Reportedly, nobody was seriously injured; but, then, neither are we certain how many were on fire at the time.

jetaburner said...


I love those CJ3 #s. That's because it is a real jet.

mouse said...

The train left the station alright, and Ken is still standing on the platform... No ticket, no plane, no sense?

Come on Ken, I thought you were a supporter of the EA-500? How can you brag so much about the plane, yet not be a believer yourself? Everyone who believes has bought one... and you...

Oh well... Guess not, huh?

mouse said...


ask Ken what the orderbook is, and then subtract by 1 since he cannot afford to buy one, or he is not a believer... He likes to quote numbers like an owner, but the fact of the matter is, he is clueless. He just repeats what he hears because he does not have a plane...

At least he has his 340 to sit in and make jet sounds... Woosh, woosh... the same sound that the toilet makes when you pull the chain Ken.... Go ahead, get your feet wet!

mouse said...

Phostrex... Why would you think this is any saving grace? Eclipse does not make it, package it, design systems for it.. they just own the rights to it.. Not a high margin business for them at all. But then anything they do with it would be a positive cash flow.

Perhaps they can fund their next round internally with t-shirts, key fobs, and Phostrex squirt guns..

Ken Meyer said...


You keep saying the same silly and incorrect thing over and over again about my Eclipse order as if somehow repeating it will make it so.

Chanting is one of the naysayers' best tools, I guess. Like AT's chant:

"There aren't 2700 orders.
There aren't 2700 orders.
Please, Lord, there aren't 2700 orders.

Now it's your turn:

"Ken didn't order one; he can't afford it.
Ken didn't order one; he can't afford it.
Ken didn't order one; he can't afford it."



Black Tulip said...

I’m looking at the Eclipse 500 Production Milestone contest which closed out the end of June. I’m down for 99 aircraft and I’m worried that I’m too high. (A pessimist is an optimist who’s had more experience.)

We knew at the outset these would not be complete aircraft with known icing approval and the new avionics suite. But we figured some birds would be pushed out of the nest, even if they were runts and couldn’t fly very well. What happened to the ‘one-a-day’ run rate in August that was mentioned around the time of Oshkosh?

I’d like to raise a different subject. Is it too early to speculate on the total production run of the Eclipse 500? Credit is tightening and a long economic expansion appears to be slowing.

Suppose the air taxi market evaporates like the dew under the morning sun? Suppose the non-refundable deposits are not forthcoming, either due to concerns about real aircraft performance and/or viability of the company? Suppose a price increase sufficient to assure profitability doesn’t fly?

Can anyone else envision a production run in the hundreds, not thousands?

Black Tulip

sparky said...


That depends. when eclipse goes down, what happens to the licensing they use for the FSW?

I can't see a real company picking up the tab for this. It only makes sense for high rate production, and that has been shown to be a sham.

The suppliers are also wishing they had never heard of eclipse by now, so there goes any type of pricing breaks for the next guy that picks up the program.

avio ng is also another brick wall you'd run into with a new manufacturer. you'd have to scrap all the progress made so far and re-wire/re-spec the aircraft for a new system and retrofit the existing fleet.

FIKI would still have to be finished also.

Add the increase in price to provide for any type of profit and your well into the mustang neighborhood.

That means that the only aircraft likely to be produced are the ones done under the current management.

So if they stay in business another 5 years, i put the total number at around 250.

airtaximan said...


anyone reading this blog knows one thing for sure - YOU are the only one chanting anything over and over here.

True, I pointed out that the orderbook was a sham - and it has been reported as such - Dayjet havng 1430 orders and options, 210 of which are orders for delivery withing the next 3 or 4 years, per the initial production rates... this could be 10 years at the going rate -we all know what that MEANS. A Dayjet executive stated "we do not know when or if we will ever take delivery of the planes beyone the 210 (plus perhaps 70 options)..."

You can keep trying to cover up the FACT that e-clips misinformed you and everyone else regarding their orders. This does not make me a chanter -it makes me right and you wrong. Glad you keep bringing it up. MAybe you are happy you backed out of the wager you offered on this, whereby you would have lost $10,000 if you had the balls to put your money where your mouth is.
.. but I can see why it bothers you sooo much - you stand to lose a progress payment and deposit, OR is mouse right?

Do you actually HAVE a position backed by a deposit and progress payment? Or is Mouse just making fun of you becasue you shoulda, woulda, coulda HAD your plane by now, except for the fact that instead, you BEEN HAD! YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED A PLUG NICKLES WORTH OF VALUE FOR THE DEPOSIT AND PROGRESS PAYMENT (if you made it) and youwere promised a plane already or shortly. Either way, YOU'LL be promoting e-clips planes for a lot longer, trying to obtaoin SOMETHING... anything for your money. And, we all know, this depends primarily on your ability to attract another patsy to put up his hard earned cash and pay for parts and non-manufacturing so YOU can get your plane. You money was already spent on ads, European tours, con-jet development, re-designs, cert, etc... and of course Dayjet's planes.

You do not mind this one bit.


Which is it?
Do you or don't you have a progress payment flushed?

airtaximan said...

BT, I'm in for 105 - and WE ARE SKEPTICS!


Dayjet says they HOPE to get 35 planes this year... reportedly 71 just started production...

I'd say, the right number, albeit unfinishd planes... will be around 60.

Find the guy who said 60-70 and start paying attention - he's on the ball.

cj3driver said...

Hey ... if they start delivering 1 per day by the end of the month, ... my 130 could be right on! Anyone want to buy my position?

bill e. goat said...

Right now I'd say Ken's 340 is a LOT faster than 2650 Eclipse "owners" E-500's (and I think they are the ones "sitting around making jet sounds...").

And besides, I think he has one on order.

I would expect that during the next 12 years, there will be around 2500 delivered. A lot will depend on final pricing- particularly if the price can be brought down to single-engine VLJ territory (where ever that winds up). Not goofy-wild-fantastic (Verntastic) numbers, but still impressive.

"Yes, PhosterX should be on the market by now".

Please elaborate: COULD be marketed by now? Yes. There must be some reason why it is not. Any ideas?

gadfly said...


"There must be some reason why it is not. Any ideas?"

Could it be the "kiss of death"?


DayJetStudent said...

Could anyone speculate as to the possibility DayJet may cut bait on Eclipse, switch manufacturers, and remain as a viable entity?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

It's like a turboprop, it's like a jet, it's like a yellow cab, it's popular among the 'in' crowd and it's cheap.

It's like a cult, it's like a religion, it's like a scam.

The longer this discussion goes on where Ken tries to suggest that folks who actually own and regularly operate high-performance technically advanced turbine aircraft are somehow insecure about THEIR decision, which has already been executed, for the aircraft they OWN, POSSES and FLY, while he sits on the sidelines as Mouse points out, and REFUSES to put his money where his mouth is, the more and harder I laugh.

After all, Cardinal Ken and the Drive-By-Deacons tell us daily how the plane is fantastic, the train has left the station, the ship has sailed - it's a taxi, it's a turboprop, it's a jet, it's fast, it's slow, it's efficient - I am waiting for Ron Popeil to jump out and start telling us 'it slices, it dices, it even cuts julian fries....'

Yes folks you heard the spin here first, THE GUYS WHO OWN AND FLY THEIR OWN TURBINE AIRCRAFT are desparate to prove to THEMSELVES that their Citations and TBM's and Pilatii are OK in comparison to the wonder that is the Eclipse (well, the one that has yet to be certified and delivered to anyone yet).

This is a textbook example of what Psychologists call 'projection' for Cardinal Ken, who has yet to take delivery of his alleged position (even though a well-to-do guy like himself could pickup a sterling example of the WunderJet tomorrow if he were a true-believer), a man who flies a crashed 30-year old twin, who according to his own bio has a history of buying aircraft that exceed his apparent qualification\experience level, and who brags about being able to purchase an Eclipse for himself AND a Mustang for 'the wife' if only he 'wanted' to.

Were it not so sad it would be funny.

And then there are the Drive-by-Brothers who contribute nothing to the blog beyond comic relief by amusing themselves.

Yes, step right up all you potential Eclipse jet-jockey's, look into the clique of your potential future and despair. A company recently on the brink of bankruptcy and failure according to it's own CEO and backed up by a primary cheerleader; a boastful, unstable and vengeful CEO; a comatose BoD; and a gaggle of giggling goofballs as supporters.

Read these posts carefully, see the experience level and qualifications of the Faithful and the Critics, compare the specifics of the Critics' arguments to the the 'if's', 'when's', 'maybe's', 'soon-to-be's', pontificating parses, and double-top-secret suggestions of the faithful.

This company took a 2 year headstart and the largest financial investment in a start-up in the history of aviation and turned it into a marginally useful, crippled also-ran that is a day late and a dollar shot (if by day-late you mean 8 years and by 'dollar' you mean $1.X Beeeeeeeeeeeeeelion dollars).

The core competency at this clown college appears to be management incompetency IMO, followed closely by cult indoctrination, with a healthy dose of change-for-change's-sake and a strong case of alienating aviation talent in favor of FOV's and sycophants.

As always, YMMV, especially with aero-mods and RNAV, and Avio NfG, and FIKI, and AutoPilot, and...and...and...

bill e. goat said...

Regarding Phostrex, I suspect it becomes unstable and explodes (sort of like Vern).

I'm not sure, but I think "the truth is out there."

bill e. goat said...

Be grateful for the free fun !! (well, free for most of us :).

Consider the entertaining possibilites:

1) Vern shoots Peg.
2) Peg shoots Vern.
3) BoD shoots both of 'em.

Other entertaining possibilites:
1) Avio-NxG certifies
2) Vern resigns (or "resigns")
3) Eclipse makes a profit.

Well, I didn't mean to drift off into fantasy land. I guess we'd better just contemplate the more likely scenerios (the first set :).

WhyTech said...

beg said:

"Be grateful for the free fun "

Makes "The Young & The Restless" seem like a childs bedtime story.


mouse said...

Ken, you keep telling us about all of the planes available, yet you don't have one yet, what else would anyone think?

You're obsessed with the airplane yet you still don't have one. Have you sent in your interim payment? Will your wife not let you get it? Are you confused because the options are starting to look better?

I don't need to wish or chant my way into you changing your mind, you have done it on your own. And rather than tell us why, or when, you get all defensive... It's staring you in the face Ken...

Wave bye bye... the train left the station and you have been left behind...


Are you so full of it, that you won't buy the Eclipse? It does not perform as advertised, does it? If it did, you have told us thousands of times how much you'll buy one. Are we being A)Hypocritical, B) scared, C) got caught in a lie and now you're embarrassed?

Hmmm, must be some reason why you won't buy the plane... I'm going tell Vern on you...

Oh the shame...

EclipseOwner387 said...


You are embarrassing yourself. Ken is a position holder. Please move on. I want to keep my belief that you have some credibility and unfortunately you are making a fool of yourself to me.

Stick to what you are good at. You have some great Eclipse insights and obvious technical expertise. Don't drag yourself into this crap.

You have the wrong opinion of Ken. Fine - It is your opinion. But this line of "torture" is just plain stupid.

mouse said...


It is nothing more than a dose of the same old crap Ken has been dishing out for months... He repeats himself, over and over and over nad over and then all over again, again.. Kind of sickening, isn't it?

I amde my point, and exposed him for what he is... and he knows it.

If Ken would have the guts to express his own opinions and not just repeat some droll form a website, book, or whatever happens to waft out of Vern's rear end we might have a little respect of compassion for him...

When I pass along the good information so many our hungry for Ken and his band of Merry Morons like to throw out piles of poop, hoping they can't change the scent trail...

Guess you'll have to ask Ken for yourself why he's not an owner of an Eclipse...

EclipseOwner387 said...


You only solidified my opinion with that hasty and typo ridden rant.

Are you saying Ken gave up his position? Please provide more clarity.

Your lastest post sounds like me after a bottle of Darioush 2004 Cabernet.

(Very good vino by the way...)

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse has delivered about 45 airplanes so far and they have demonstrated the ability to deliver 10 aircraft in the month of July. If they deliver 10 a month for the remainder of the year, then they will have shipped between 75 and 85 aircraft.

That would mean mouse or coldwetmackeralofreality would be the ones who called it correctly.

But let's be as optimistic as possible. During Q2 Eclipse delivered 15 aircraft. Q3 looks like they may deliver 30. Let's say they get to 60 aircraft delivered in Q4 (a rate of 1 aircraft / business day), then they will have delivered 105 aircraft for the year and airtaximan will have called it correctly.

Looks like my estimate of 131 was way too high.

Vern's latest public comment on this subject was that they would deliver over 200 aircraft this year.

Eclipse's official communication to the owners as of June was that Avio NG would cut in on serial number 100.

Eclipse's official communication to the owners as of Oshkosh was that Avio NG might not cut in until serial number 134, but that Avio NG would be certified no later than October.

EclipseOwner387 said...


I have been traveling and a bit busy. I have been on the site only spotty. Did you ever get an AFM? I was wondering if we would see something Earth shattering from you.

mouse said...


I have no idea if Ken gave up his position, ever had one, or maybe he has 1429 of them on order or optioned, and I don't care.

What I do care about is how he continues to spout the same old crap without any brain engagement.

He talks about jet aircraft operations like he knows what he is talking about... He does not.

He read a book and thinks he's a fighter pilot.

He talks about a failed engine program, yet the airplane failed the engine, not the other way around.

His response to anything is: The Eclipse Website says.... Vern says....

He was born with a brain I can only assume, yet he has failed to use it once here on this site.

If he really wants an Eclipse he could own one thhis weekend, but he won't.

I have a great deal of respect for 99% of the people on this blog, and have tried to provide accurate and factual information.

Ken is doing more harm for his cause, because people who visit the site and read his statements and defenses only laugh when they see how blind and ill advised they are...

But, thats his right, and he can continue to plod along... He just needs to think about coming clean and being honest with himself and those of us who are on this site too.

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

I'm not sure "Ken" is really a pilot at all or is not just a collection of PR hacks in a room at ABQ stuffed with everyone's else's flight manuals. His complete lack of knowledge of the flight characteristics of a heavily-loaded Cessna twin when you lose an engine between rotation and best single-engine climb speed is frightening. Also blowing off concerns about stand-by flight instruments and safety gear, and on and on, makes me wonder if he ever should be allowed out of his little room. I hope not. If he does exist and does own a Cessna 340 someone should change the locks on his hangar and throw the keys away - for the sake of his family.

bill e. goat said...

I'm tired of the personal attacks.

Challenge someone's statements regarding E-500 or Eclipse, fine.

Challenge their:
1) Pilot Skill
2) Bank Roll
3) Personal ethics

Appropriate, in respective order:

1) Only if you are going to hire them to fly you around.

2) Only if you are going to give them a loan.

3) Only if they are going to marry your sister.

EclipseBlogger said...

I guess we should just rename the blog to the "Ken Critics Blog". Seems like Mouse and AirsafetyMan are running out of steam and have nothing else to concern themselves about. This place is losing credibility fast, and is no longer of much value, even for entertainment's sake. At least Mackerel has stopped the ad-nauseum listing of the same IOUs in every post, although recently picked up by Cabbie. Gunner's got nothing new to say except for the continued personal attacks and sarcasm, that is no longer even creative. Stan is MIA and has no further insight of value.

I'm no longer amused. At least blog access is free.

bill e. goat said...

Everyone has made valuable contributions- and I hope everyone continues to do so.

It just seems ingracious to beat each other up here.

Stan Blankenship said...


The blog responds to events in ABQ...not much happening down there other than missed milestones and those get tiresome.

Perhaps NBAA will provide some fresh material.

sparky said...

I know it's unrelated to eclipse, but here it is anyway. from the web:

Marion Blakey made her last speech as FAA administrator on Tuesday, before the Washington, D.C., Aero Club. And it held at least one surprise -- she put the blame for airline delays squarely on airline scheduling practices that are "out of line with reality." The airline industry has waged a campaign trying to blame general aviation aircraft for congestion and delays. "If the airlines don't address this [scheduling issue] voluntarily, don't be surprised when the government steps in,"

This comes from the one person that has been the single largest threat to general aviation (besides eclipse pilots) in recent history. It's said that everyone has their price, I guess we know what hers is.

Black Tulip said...


Will you be at NBAA?

Black Tulip

Stan Blankenship said...

No. Used to go on a regular basis. It was a great place to see old friends. But all my old friends have moved on and so have I.

Gunner said...

I don't wish to sidetrack, but you need to be called on your last. You cry about personal attacks and then launch this one:
"Gunner's got nothing new to say except for the continued personal attacks"

I've been the target of more personal attacks here than you could probably bear; and I've seldom risen to the bait. You made the claim. Now quote my last personal attack and date it. Otherwise, tend to your own house and colleagues. I'm tired of the double standard.

bill e. goat said...

A little off topic, but here goes:

The airlines are the worst industry in the USA.
What is needed to force them to reform is competition. Due to price fixing (“Sabre”), the only possibility of competition is from startups.

But when a new startup is created, the dinosaur/legacy airlines engage in predatory pricing to kill off that competition (or buy them and cut service and jack rates).

If the government were to do anything constructive, it would be to enforce anti-trust laws.
That hasn’t happened, and isn’t going to happen.

In fact, just the opposite. After 9/11 how many BILLIONS of dollars did congress GIVE to the legacy dinosaurs, while starving the startups that needed the loans the most.

And what happened? United, Delta USAir, and Northwest went bankrupt anyway- see ya taxpayer dollars. American didn’t go bankrupt (almost) but bought TWA, and gutted it (less competition).

So without ANY (AT ALL) anti-trust enforcement and NO competition, the airlines are going to continue to be debt-ridden and offer horrible service.

The inefficient legacy carriers should just die off, replaced by efficient startups. Sorry, no sympathy from me.

GA’s impact on airline operations is negligible, and I expect the impact of VLJ’s to be equally minimal- possibly siphon off a couple of percent of business travelers.

Good to have SOME alternatives anyway.

Ken Meyer said...

airsafety man wrote,

"[Ken's] lack of knowledge of the flight characteristics of a heavily-loaded Cessna twin when you lose an engine between rotation and best single-engine climb speed is frightening."

Actually, I've flown and survived that scenario dozens of times in the Simcom twin Cessna simulator. I think you're FOS.

But you did us all a favor--

Your comment is a great opportunity to describe three reasons, each associated with engine loss, why a piston twin pilot is much better off in an Eclipse than his piston twin:

1. Climb rate--my 340 at MGTOW (6390 lbs), sea level and ISA conditions gets just 197 fpm climbrate if you lose an engine. The Eclipse gets 826 fpm--more than 4 times a much and plenty to clear the 152 ft/nm OCS if you lose an engine departing in bad weather.

2. Controllability--my 340 has a Vmc of 72 KIAS. The Eclipse has no Vmc! In the Eclipse, Vmc is below stall for all configurations (not so, by the way, for most jets). There will be no Vmc rolls in this aircraft.

3. Continuability--In a piston twin, there is a period of time between Vr and Vyse when loss of an engine is extremely dicey. In most pistons twins, the plane is unflyable if an engine is lost before the gear is raised (i.e. you're best off crash landing). There is no such danger period in the Eclipse--the plane can continue flight for any engine loss after V1.

Some on this blog think the idea of putting piston twin pilots in jets is a bad one. But I say there is lots of evidence that tells us that piston twin pilots are going to be safer in an Eclipse than in their current plane. Engine loss on rotation is just one example; there are many others.


Plumer said...

Hi, does anybody know for how much Eclipse was sold on Ebay?

Gunner said...

Great PR soliloquy, Ken. Let's not forget your claim that Thurmon Munson would be alive today, had he been flying an EA-50X.

The abilities of the aircraft are clearly magical; rivaling only [you guessed it], the Moller SkyCar. ;-)

Ken Meyer said...

" Let's not forget your claim that Thurmon Munson would be alive today"

Let's not.

The odds are Mr. Munson would be alive today, if he'd been flying the Eclipse instead of an early generation Citation.

Don't make fun of old Thurman Munson. He inadvertantly did a lot to improve safety for many new jet pilots that followed him.


Gunner said...

Wasn't making fun of Thurman, Ken. Was simply marveling at your powers of clairvoyance.

While we're on the subject of safety, tell me: Will all of those twin pilots be praising Vern when Hal takes a Holiday in hard IMC and they realize they have no mechanical backups?

Think old Thurman would have opted for a half finished, then promised-to-be-rebuilt Le Petit, knowing that the FAA inspectors had filed a grievance about the certification process, citing safely concerns?

Think there might be a chance that Thurman's flight would have been canceled while he waited for Joe-the-Eclipse-Mechanic to fly out and fix his stuck parking brake, because nobody on field was certified to help him? Might it have been canceled for window replacement or wing strut inspection?

I'm beginning to see the safety advantages of Le Petit. You can't crash if you don't fly. ;-)

Shane Price said...


Good handle by the way...

Just north of US$1.8 million.

There were only 6 active bidders, if I recall correctly.


421Jockey said...

Different topic while we are waiting for the next arguement:

What is the reason for, and the effect of, reaming holes on mating fuselage components before riveting?
What is the long term effect, if any, of this practice?
I am asking this seriously, because I know that there is tremendous expertice in this blog.


bill e. goat said...

I think a good A&P can answer that Q.

Until then, I'll speculate :)

If the parts are reamed together (while aligned), I'd say it would provide:

1) Better (tigher) fit of the rivet due to smoother fit in the hole- resulting in more "clamping" action and less sliding motion of the two parts.

2) The "smooth bore" (as opposed to "dog-leg") hole would reduce the shear-stress concentration on the rivet at the mate-plane.

I hadn't thought about it, but perhaps also: ? the parts are made with deliberately undersized holes with anticipation of needing to ream out the holes to provide proper alignment? (e.g., even if properly aligned initially, the holes are too small until reamed ? Maybe some assembly or manuf. engr types can help here).

gadfly said...


Speculation on my part, as to the direction of your question:

If holes do not match, a rivet needs a round hole and near perfect fit in the two (or more) joined pieces. The rivet (a device designed to be used in “shear”) must closely match the diameter of the hole . . . so, a “larger diameter” rivet must be selected. In the reaming process, “shavings” are produced, which are a problem, as they get trapped in the “sandwich” of the parts being joined. Also, a “burr” may be raised on the back-side of the drilled and reamed hole, again causing a slight “gap” between the joined surfaces. If these problems are not closely addressed, there is a setup for future failure as the rivet goes into a tension mode, rather than “shear” (for which it is designed). And a slight gap is an opportunity for moisture and corrosion, hidden from normal view by the “A&P”, until it is too late.

This is an example of the need for well trained personnel, who not only know “how”, but also have an understanding of the “why” of what they are trained to do, and the need for careful control of the tools used . . . proper tips on the drills, ground for sheet-aluminum, well maintained drill-motor and “chuck”, proper type reamer, proper lubricant, and steady control to maintain a perpendicular hole, etc., etc.. Once a rivet is “set”, a bad hole, and damage is easily hidden.


(Goat mentioned the possibility of deliberately pre-drilling “undersize” . . . could be! But in that case, there is the same tendency of the resulting hole to go “egg shaped” and/or end up at an angle, and tipping the rivet, which is a bad thing.)

paul said...

Usually reamed holes are for hi-loks and are close tolerance.
If you look closely at a drilled hole you will find that often they are not round. As far as rivets are concerned they will swell during the upset process and fill the hole, hi-loks however will not, hence the need for a precise hole.

EclipseBlogger said...

Gunner said... I've been the target of more personal attacks here than you could probably bear; and I've seldom risen to the bait. You made the claim. Now quote my last personal attack and date it. Otherwise, tend to your own house and colleagues. I'm tired of the double standard.

Double standard? You've invented that one here. If you dish it out, you've got to expect to receive some too. You continue to call AlexA "she", you continue to be aggressive with Ken (although that is more tit-for-tat). Maybe it's just your personality and you just don't realize you are doing it. But, those of us here can hardly deny you don't play into it as well. Targets usually draw fire for a reason.

gadfly said...


Yes, the rivet will swell slightly. But the tendency among unskilled workers is to assume that the rivet will swell to fill an oversized hole. The rivet joint will "feel" tight at first, but over time, as a shear load is applied, the rivet will begin to pull slightly, and go toward failure. There are stringent rules governing the "thickness" of the "upset end", (50 to 65% of the diameter of the rivet, if memory serves), and the diameter of the upset end is also held to stringent limits. For instance, a rivet should never be expected to fill a bad hole, and the difference between rivet diameter and hole diameter should not be more than two or three thousandths of an inch, before "setting". Most people cannot control a hand-drilled hole that close, without careful training and excellent tools.


Shane Price said...

While we are off topic and all...

Anyone familar with the 787 'fastener' problem?

As in, the delay in first flight due to Alcoa being unable to meet post 9/11 demand upswing for (what I undertand to be) rivets. Or so says Boeing....

I thought the Dreamliner was mostly advanced carbon fibre. Are the sections being held together with rivets? If so, is it at the same spacing (distance apart) as is currently used on aluminium (yeah, I know you guys spell it wrongly) aircraft?

Just asking, as it seems to be causing delays in a aircraft I was looking forward to using.


421Jockey said...

Thank you all for the "Riveting" discussion

bill e. goat said...

I think the cowpokes at the Lazy B Ranch (Boeing) is emulating Eclipse (or vice versa).

Boeing's blaming everything and everyone, flying months late, yet still going to deliver "on time", somehow. Flight test program in 6 or 7 months. Hmmmm. (I think 777 did it in around 12 or so, and it was "clean sheet", but 6 seems "Verntastic"!)

paul said...

I wasn't speaking of oversize holes.
Generally AD (most commonly used)rivets are not used in shear applications.
The bucktail size should be 1.5x the diam and should be 1.5 dia high. However when working on a Metroliner I found that they liked their rivets much flatter (pancakes).
Regarding the 787 I've heard they have a fastener shortage also. Who knows what they're using? There are always new fasteners being developed. I am certain that the 787 is not 100% plastic.

vcreporter said...

agroth said...

"Just for reference, B&CA lists total variable costs at $544.95 for the Eclipse and $599.40 for the Mustang."


1:57 PM, August 17, 2007

ANDY I know it helps to pick a source that shows anti-Eclipse data and use it willy nilly, but Cessna themselves say:

$ 585.60 for Mustang and
$464.52 for Eclipse

"Estimated Operating Cost
For a Typical 500 Nautical Mile Trip
Citation Mustang Eclipse 500
Average Speed (knots) 309 319
Average Fuel Flow (gallons/hour) 89 65
Labor Hours (per flight hour) 0.65 0.55
Operating Cost per Flight Hour
Fuel ($4.00 per gallon) $ 356.00 $ 260.00
- Labor ($84.00 per hour) $ 54.60 $ 46.20
- Parts $ 50.00 $ 44.60
Engine Reserves $ 125.00 $ 113.72
APU Reserves $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Total Cost per Flight Hour $ 585.60 $464.52
Cost per Nautical Mile $ 1.90 $ 1.46

Aircraft Comparison
Cessna Citation Mustang
Eclipse 500
Sales Engineering, Citation Marketing
Cessna Aircraft Company
May, 2007)

vcreporter said...

Stan, Gunnar, BlackTulip, Mouse, JetABurner, airtaximan, etc etc.:

I admit up front that I have not gone back to each of your comments from the beginning of this blog, but I have a curious question:

I believe various of you (and/or others on this blog) have previously predicted:

-they would never get a (non provisional) Type Certificate,

-never get a Production Certificate,

-never deliver any significant qty of planes (they are at about #50 so far as of this week),

-they would fly like shit (pro pilots, not owners, are raving about the plane),

-weight and balance was flawed and unworkable,

-aircraft mods won't improve performance,

-extended tip tanks will screw up aerodynamics,

-plane won't get above FL25,

-plane won't be able to climb to 41K feet,

-it's too slow (mustang is slower and you say it's great),

-eclipse will run out of money way before they raise $1B(haven't yet);

-FSW won't work,

-Phosphorex won't work,

-Dayjet would fail (FAA has approved their 135, they have raised money to buy the planes); etc. etc. etc.

Clearly all of their milestones are very late, and WAY over budget, but so is Airbus and Boeing and Raytheon and Lockheed and Northrup Grumman with EVERY from the ground up commercial and military jet program (not new series such as 737).

To what do you attribute their accomplishments if they are just incompetent, crooked, snake oil salesmen?

Respectively submitted.

gadfly said...


The following is not to begin an argument, but to help clarify some principles of using rivets. Structurally, when properly used, virtually all rivets are used in “shear”. The relatively small area under the “head” and “tail” of a rivet makes is almost always unacceptable for “tension” type attachment. In applications of tensile stresses, a threaded fastener is used . . . often with a large area head/nut and/or a flat washer, providing the necessary force (compressive) to be spread out over a large area. And, of course, “bolts”/screws/etc., are also used in “shear”. But seldom are rivets used in “tension”. . . especially in basic airframe construction. You will no doubt mention the “lift” of the upper skin on a wing, but a careful analysis will show the forces are primarily “shear”.

The letters “AD” signify the alloy, “2117", which can be severely formed without cracking. Other rivets have been used when the heat-treating could be accomplished “after” driving the rivet . . . such as 2017 and 2024, in which case, they had to be kept refrigerated up until use to prevent premature “aging” and hardening. (The old name was “ice box rivets”.

Your number of 1.5 diameters in length (longer than the thickness of the material being joined) is “before” bucking . . . “after” it is usually between .5 to .65 high.

For a good study, look into the differences between the various head-shapes of rivets, and the methods of making “flush” rivets . . . why lower strength alloys may be “hot dimpled”, while such a method would crack the higher strength alloys such as 2024 and 7075, etc., and must have the holes counter-sunk prior to riveting, or use a raised head rivet. And the old AN code. For instance “AN456AD3-4" identifies “ArmyNavy (standard) . . . 456(brazier head) . . . AD (2117 alloy) . . . 3 (3/32" diameter) . . . 4 (4/16" long, under the head). By now, some who read this will be laughing . . . at my “age”. But the bottom line is that riveting is “high science” and is not to be taken lightly, as lives depend on a complete knowledge of application.

And such things are a concern (or should be) by anyone who puts airplanes together, whether Eclipse or Boeing.


(That said, I'll drop the subject.)

Plumer said...


See the reason they went on Ebay to begin with is PR. Vern brags in his video that they have a special section on Ebay, (meaning they signed with Ebay, it is not just like some guy like me, who put it on Ebay. Expected PR outcome would have been “the unseen event on Ebay, the real prove of the Eclipse 500value which is generated by the market is 2.2mil and the number of bidders is unexpectedly high.” That would gave been a news worth Newsweek feature story. And the safe reason for Vern to announce the price increase

mirage00 said...

To what do you attribute their accomplishments if they are just incompetent, crooked, snake oil salesmen?

Let the games begin...

I remain amused

double 00

a37pilot said...

For those of you who are still interested in riveting, try Mil-HDBK-5 Metallic materials &elements for flight vehicle structures.

Riveting is part science and part art, not hard to do but hard to do really well. The hole shape is critical; it needs to be round and alot of drilled holes are not, although you don't necessarily need a tight fit. For example a 1/8" rivet can be driven in a hole up to .1285" in diameter

sparky said...

VCreporter stated:

"I admit up front that I have not gone back to each of your comments from the beginning of this blog"

Maybe you should have vc, because with the exception of questioning the gains made by the aero-mods I don't believe any of that was ever said.

The main contention has been, and will continue to be, the viability of the business model upon which vern has built this company. The demand for the aircraft just doesn’t exist without the air-taxi market. This has been proven by the fact that over close to 60% of the order book is held by just one company that has already stated that it won’t make a profit for quite some time.

The same stands for dayjet’s business model. Just about all of the critics have expressed their doubts. It just doesn’t make sense that people will show up in droves to use a non-proven aircraft at astronomical prices to avoid a 4-5 hour car-trip when there is a more economical alternative already available.

BTW ken, if a train can't be stopped, doesn't that indicate that it's out of control?

421Jockey said...

Your statement is quite a revelation! It seems that the critics are acknowledging that Eclipse (the Jet) is no longer the subject of criticism.
We have now shifted to criticism of Eclipse (the Company).
This is great news to me because I no longer have to worry about the quality, safety and perfomance of my aircraft (a great relief). I now only have to listen to the ramblings of a lot of Vern critics.
Thank you for narrowing this down.

Gunner said...

I wouldn't know how to begin to respond to your accusations, as you've attributed some pretty outlandish claims to a number of different bloggers. Perhaps, if you provided a bit more specificity and backup?

Thanks much for your last response. I didn't think you'd be able to attribute a personal attack to me in recent history. You didn't disappoint.

Now, if you'd like to continue your lecture on Blogging Etiquette, I suggest you go back thru the last few threads and keep a scorecard on personal attacks. The sources will, no doubt, surprise you since you saw fit to single out The Critics first time 'round.

Here's a hint for you:
You and I have had fairly cordial exchanges here; same can be said of EO and Execlipser. Show me ANY Critic with whom Ken or Alexa (or redtail or mirage) have managed to maintain such relationship.


BD5 Believer said...


Just to make sure I am still calibrated, when you say 45 delivered, do you mean 45 C of A's or 45 a/c in the hands of customers and in the process of being registered (if not already) with the FAA.

Not being picky, just wondering.

Seemed like there were some "whitetails" being built in June and July. In either case not a bad number for a new company with lots of growing pains.

sparky said...


Sorry, but part of vern's criticism comes from releasing an half-finished non-tested aircraft.

just keeping it real

paul said...

You are correct about the height of the bucked rivet, but the diameter should be 1.5x.
You are showing your age as D & DD rivets are a thing of the past at least in my experience. The E rivet is used in their place and are used as supplied.
I recently asked someone at a FBO where they kept the Ds and they looked at me like I was nuts.

paul said...

"This is great news to me because I no longer have to worry about the quality, safety and perfomance of my aircraft (a great relief). I now only have to listen to the ramblings of a lot of Vern critics.
Thank you for narrowing this down.

It's still a POS, not only will I not ride on one, but will also duck if one flys overhead.

jetaburner said...


I've only been contributing to this blog for the last 2 weeks and have never suggested many of the things that have happened (certification, etc.) wouldn't happen precisely b/c they already have.

I've always said that e-clips has a neat little jet but that there are several serious concerns with company, business model and plane:

1st: Range, payload, and perhaps most important, size. I've suggested many times that the market puts a premium on these characteristics over speed and efficiency. An excellent example is that the Pilatus outsells the TBM (faster and more efficient but smaller with less payload and range) 2 to 1 despite being more than 20% more expensive. I still think there is an owner flown market for the e-clips just not as robust as e-clips believes.

2nd: Range and payload numbers are questionable. E-clips' numbers are not that great to begin with, IMHO, but from my experience flying jets and turboprops their stated IFR and VFR reserves and taxi fuel burn seem ridiculously low especially for congested airspace. There is no new technological breakthrough other than being really small so I am skeptical of their #s. Considering the companies history of missing their #s and Vern's wild speculation, I think it is conservative and well advised to be skeptical. IMHO, I believe the plane will be an 800 to 1000nm plane with 3 people. Those numbers will be sufficient for some buyers but it is not revolutionary. Piper's Meridian, which sells for 1.9M, goes 800nm-1000nm with 3 people. Not much different and I think they sell 30 to 40 per year. They did sell at a much higher rate during their first 2 years while there was a lot of hype (sound familiar?).

3. Concern about the reliability and avionics. Both the plane and avionics are unproven and will be prone to failures, IMHO.

4. Concern for the longevity of the pressure vessel and other aircraft components. I'm not an A/P but I know weight has been a huge issue for the plane and therefore I am skeptical of how robust the airframe and systems are on the plane.

5. Market size and therefore viability of the company. I don't believe there is a market for 5,000 VLJs that cost around $2M. I know the e-clips cost less if you have a previous contract but they are now qouting $1.85M for a new contract. So what happens if Dayjet doesn't succeed, and they can't sell several thousand of these because it is already 80% more than what they originally forecasted? The market was originally forecasted at 5k VLJs when they cost less than $1m and carried 4 people 1450nm. How big is the market with the new pricing and lower performance? What about competition from the other VLJs from established companies? All these are real concerns that could be big issues for the long term viability of e-clips.

As an avid pilot and aircraft owner I hope they succeed. I'm just skeptical about how the company has gone about it bashing the "dinasaurs" and making huge predictions which may leave us with user fees (which will really hurt GA).
The plane isn't right for me because of lack of performance but it will add competition and allow all of us to fly better airplanes for less. We are already seeing this with the Mustang, Phenom 100 and 300, TBM850, Epic LT, Epic Jet, Honda Jet, etc..

IMHO my final prediction: The plane will be 800-1000nm IFR bird that can carry 3 people. They will sell 400-800 of them over the next 5 years. They will have to price it between 2.2M to 2.5M. Dayjet will fail. E-clips will survive but will not make any money. They will be bought buy a big player and the original investors will not make any $$.

sparky said...

jet a,

well said.

gadfly said...


You made my day . . . well, sorta!

Using your suggestion, I nailed down a good website:


It’s a wealth of information. ‘Not for most people, for sure.

For instance, “rivet” is actually a “Deformable Shank Fastener”. And right there was the limit for a 1/8" diameter rivet . . . er, “deformable shank fastener”, .1285" (In other words, a #30 size drill). In fact, everything you ever wanted to know about everything . . . even “fusion welding”, etc., from the authority of the very top (No, not Moses!).

Seriously, for us “geek” types who desire to understand what we’re doing, you led me to a great wealth of information. And it gives me assurance that the things learned so long ago, still apply.

Thank ye, kindly!


(paul . . . no argument about the diameter of the upset end. I agree with 150% diameter. A long time ago, I made a set of “quick gages” for different size rivets, and saw them recently in one of my Gerstner tool boxes. In fact, I hold the one for 1/8" rivets in my hand, as we speak . . . just as it was as it came off the “Mayflower”.)

Ringtail said...

Over the last three or four days, every time I look up Mustangs on FlightAware, I only see the Cessna factory plane flying. On the other hand, when I look up Eclipse, I see Dayjet and several other operators using them regularly. I don't know what to conclude from this but I just wonder why the mustang owners aren't flying more? Don't get me wrong, I am not bashin the Mustang, I think it is a great plane just thought we would be seeing more of them being used.

Gunner said...

FWIW, N24YY is in the air as I type. SFO to CMA. Owned by N654EA LLC (HOUSTON TX)


Gunner said...

Also, there's a lot of activity in Eclipse's due to DayJet training and Mentoring requirements.

gadfly said...


“They will be bought (by) a big player and the original investors will not make any $$.”

Serious question:

Should this actually take place, what, in your opinion, would the big player (buyer) get for their money? Please be specific, as to “design”, organization, personnel, etc.,. For some of us, it is beyond our imagination . . . or at least it appears to be a “stretch” to envision such a thing.


(The rest of your comments seem to be on target.)

Ringtail said...

Show me ANY Critic with whom Ken or Alexa (or redtail or mirage) have managed to maintain such relationship.

Gunner, I wager that if we were all at a dinner banquet, you would choose to sit at the table with Ken, Alexa and Mirage. I believe you get satisfaction out of sparring with them.

FlightCenter said...


I'm using the following definition of deliveries.

Deliveries = Transfer of registration as recorded in the FAA Registry Database

Whether those "delivered" aircraft are actually in the hands of customers or not is hard to tell because a number of customers are leasing the aircraft back to Eclipse until Eclipse catches up with the training backlog.

So if the aircraft has had the title transferred in the eyes of the FAA, then I'm counting it as delivered.

As of Monday, the FAA registry database showed 34 E500 aircraft delivered and the FAA "in process" website showed another 10 as having the paperwork submitted.

You asked about certificates of airworthiness. As of Monday the FAA database showed 38 E500s with normal category CofAs.

Ringtail said...


Maybe we will see you at the Sunriver fly in?

FlightCenter said...

It would be a lot of fun to be at a dinner table where the seating was critic, believer, critic, believer...

mouse said...


You are incoorect in your statement about VLJ's and GA not affecting the airlines. The reason they are in a panic over us is because they are such poor business managers that on may of their routes thier profit could be wiped out if they lost as few as 2 first class passengers. This is information straight out of the mouths of the JPDO's mouth at a meeting earlier this year in DC.

They are scared that any increase in charter that takes away ANY of their full fare passengers will cost them dearly.

I was surprised to learn they were this bad off myself.

Gunner said...

Sorry for my ignorance. Never heard of it.

Agree with FlightCenter that a meeting of individuals from this Blog would be interesting and entertaining; an evening suitable for framing!

mouse said...


Your post at: 9:48 AM, September 13, 2007 is why you are dangerous. You think that your simulator training and what you read is 100% accurate. Actual conditions are never as good as in the sim or by the book. If you honestly believe this crap you spew, you had better hope you never experience a real event.

Is medical science this exact too?

mirage00 said...

Something to talk about

I remain amused

double 00

jetaburner said...


My guess is that it would be a big company who buys e-clips at a bargain who already is or wants to be in aviation. But that far out, who knows. I question an IPO because of cash flow problems do to pricing and lack of demand.

mouse said...


The reaming assures a precise fit for the close tolerance fasteners. The fasteneres are only effective and meet their designed strength and gip in a very precise/critical hole size.

The reaming process also serves to eliminate burrs (stress risers), chips, Etc. as well as alignment of the two or more pieces being joined. Try putting a 1/4" bolt in a 1/2" hole and the fit is obvious.. same difference, just closer margins...

The tight fit also becomes critical in the fastener not spinning in the grip area when torque is applied to the nut or other capturing device (Hi-Loc, Hi-Torq, Etc.)

mouse said...

BillEGoat, you are right on the money!

Gunner said...

The Mirage, Formerly known as Anthony Infranco:

That's what I call progress. Except, why is all of it couched in the future tense?

"Eclipse 500 customers will receive"

"The 41,500 square foot two-story facility will accommodate"

"it will be used to train Eclipse 500 pilots shortly"

"An additional full motion simulator is expected to be certified and operational in the coming months"

"the goal of four full motion simulators operational by the end of 2008"

"Once the full complement of full motion sims is operational, Eclipse 500 pilot training will transition from the current in-aircraft training to full motion simulator training."

Rereading it, I realize the ONLY part of this latest Press Release that's in the present is the date on the Press Release.

Did you know that Moller expects to have the SkyCar certified in '08?

mouse said...

The major problem I had with the engineering at Eclipse was they were calling out full size/final size holes on the drawings. Had these engineers listened to people who knjew better, or had any real experience prior to working at Eclipse they would have known how unsafe, stupid, and impossible this callout was.

Nearly every full size hole on every single part that went in and on the first airplane we built was oversized due to this fact, had piss-poor alignment, and did not meet the requirements for the close tolerence fasteners being used.

I know that some of the drawings stil callout full size dimensions, and are being corrected by reaming and installing the next oversized fastener. This is legal, however if a repair were required to be performed on any of these holes or structure they will require a DER or factory drawing or Service Bulletin to correct. The hole is only allowed to go oversized once before it is rendered unairworthy.

The issue I have with Eclipse management is that they do not care about this fact, and the owner is going to take it up the tailpipe and this is not right. (except of course Ken, because he loves it this way... Ask him)(of course this also assumes he decides to go ahead and actually own an Eclipse someday)

mouse said...


the 787 is joining with close tolerence fasteners made of stainless and other rare materials (non-standard or common typically) due to the corrosion effects between carbon fiber and ferrus metal.

Lead times are well over a year on these fasteners and they are in precise grip lengths, so determining how many and what size is critical.

They are not using a swlling type rivet...

Niner Zulu said...


Thanks for the link.

More milestones for Eclipse to miss, if past performance is any indication.

It would be nice to see Eclipse reach their past goals before they establish new ones for themselves. Avionics that work would be a good start.

Gunner said...

Niner Z-
May I remind you of this:

"If the Eclipse did not have so many new and revolutionary ideas in it, it would have been delivered a year ago and looked and felt like a sized-down Mustang. It is precisely because of the new and groundbreaking ideas in the plane that it has been delayed."
Ken Meyer
March 22, 2007


EA50 said...

Eclipse Aviation Opens Customer Training Center at Double Eagle II Airport

Company delivers on commitments to invest in Albuquerque’s west side, and to provide a superior pilot training facility

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — September 13, 2007 — Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today held a grand opening ceremony for its Customer Training Center, the company’s first facility at Double Eagle II Airport (KAEG). Eclipse Aviation has committed to an extensive pilot training curriculum that will prepare customers for real world operations of their Eclipse 500, and this building will help the company to deliver this superior training program.

Eclipse 500 customers will receive all of their classroom and simulator training in this building including the type rating course and recurrent training. The 41,500 square foot two-story facility will accommodate four simulators, four classrooms and eight briefing rooms. The first Flight Training Device (FTD) has already been installed in the Center and will be used to train Eclipse 500 pilots shortly. An additional full motion simulator will be certified and operational in the coming months, with four full motion simulators operational by the end of 2008. Eclipse 500 pilot training will transition from the current in-aircraft training to full motion simulator training.

“Since arriving in Albuquerque seven years ago, we have always planned to grow at the Double Eagle II airport. This Customer Training Center is the first step in our commitment to create an Eclipse Aviation campus and help grow the city’s planned Aerospace Technology Park at this airport,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “This new facility also shows our dedication to providing our customers with the ultimate training experience. We have an excellent flight training program, and we are extremely excited to start training our customers using the flight training device and the full motion simulators in this new state-of-the-art facility.”

The Center is located on 3.5 acres of Eclipse Aviation’s 150-acre tract, which borders the northern boundary of Albuquerque’s Aerospace Technology Park at Double Eagle II airport. In the coming weeks, training personnel will start moving their offices to the facility. The company plans to employ approximately 100 people at the Center when it is in full operation.

Several local companies were involved in the development of the Center including Reid & Associates (design builder), Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (architect), Yearout Mechanical (mechanical engineers) and Chaparral Electric (electrical engineers).

bill e. goat said...

"To what do you attribute their accomplishments if they are just incompetent, crooked, snake oil salesmen?"

...Well, they are snappy dressers, and Vern takes a good picture...
Great discussion on rivets! I love this blog!
M00, thanks for the (amusing:) link to the PR about the training facility.

Gunner- good catch on the "fine print" (gotta admit- Eclipse is "forward leaning" ? -hope they don't fall on their face though :)
Mouse, thanks for the info on the 787 fastener problems. Maybe they can get by with a lot of Non-confomrities to get flight test going? It would be a write-off plane with all the re-work required I suppose...

mirage00 said...

More amusement for everyone...

First Flight Of The Eclipse ECJ Prototype

I remain amused

double 00

airtaximan said...

VC reporter,

You should go back and read the posts. I have never disputed the plane (I do not see anything that difficult about building a very very small jet plane, really), except for quality concerns, their statements regarding fixes and NGs which I consider to really be "designs not finished" or stuff that went in the garbage just after they raised more deposit money (and they knew they were being dishonest WHEN they took the deposits without talking about scrapped systems and delays that were coming soon). Regarding the aero work still being accomplished - my question was "what are they doing NOW that they couldn't do during the years of waiting for the new engine, while they burnt hundreds of millions of dollars?" I guess the "after thought" of meeting "revised" performance guarantees is OK with you? To me, it means they did not care, until they had to ask for more deposit money, and the guarantees were clearly MISSED. Which brings me to my answer:

"Respectively" (as you put it) submitted answer, as it relates to me.

"To what do you attribute their accomplishments if they are just incompetent, crooked, snake oil salesmen?"

A lot of time and money. A LOT of TIME and Tons and Tons of burnt cash. I think their rush to get something out the door will result in quality problems still to be revealed, and of course the ol bait and switch regarding performance guarantees, delivery promises, and a lot of hard working people trying as hard as they can, of course. Your stated "accomplishements" are the result of this.

What is your point? Most of what you listed as accomplishments have been revised are still not finished, or your numbers are just wrong.

IS delivering 30 or so planes in over a year (Crowes plane was started in Q1 or Q2-06...) and they have used direct and indirect labor of 1400 or so employees for over a year to build 30 planes that were designed for facile assembly and high rate production? Are you joking with us?

What cannot be "accomplished" over ten years and $1.x billion as far as building a small jet plane goes, when you are 2x the advertised price, minus your game-changing engine and avionics, still not finished the design but shipping planes anyway, and have revised the performance guarantees?

No need to state that we do not believe the plane will fly, will eventually be finished, or will perform according to the revised guarantees... time, money -that's all they need -this is not rocket science.

But, there's also no evidence of any real demand for many, many of these planes - so why bother?

Perhaps your forgot one important one: the plane WAS NOT designed as an "Air taxi", was not designed for high rate production, was not designed for durability and high cycle commercial passenger service.


There are also some that think the company does not care one bit about quality and planes will be falling apart - I have no clue, but given the problems so far...I would not rely on this company for honesty or high standards of anything.

** they are terrific at raising money - that's unquestionable.

What's your point?

EA50 said...

Airtaximan: " planes will be falling apart"

Actually, according to the AIN interview with DayJet's CEO, Ed Iacobucci, the planes are standing up very well to the high usage they've been getting. They're needing less maintenance than forecast. Some of his planes are on track for 1500 hours annual utilization.

Hear it yourself here:


AlexA said...

FlightCenter said... “It would be a lot of fun to be at a dinner table where the seating was critic, believer, critic, believer...”

FC problem. As more aircraft get delivered and Avio NG certified it would have to be believer, believer, believe, believer, believer, believer believer, believer, believer believer, believer, believer, Stan, believer, believer, believer believer, believer, believer, Gunner, believer, believer, believer believer, believer, believer, ATM and so on

Ringtail said...

the plane WAS NOT designed as an "Air taxi", was not designed for high rate production, was not designed for durability and high cycle commercial passenger service.

The plane is certified IAW part 23, isn't it?

In your opinion, what light planes are designed with what you describe above?

Anonymous said...

airtaximan said,

"Perhaps your forgot one important one: the plane WAS NOT designed as an "Air taxi", was not designed for high rate production, was not designed for durability and high cycle commercial passenger service."

The Eclipse white paper, "Reliability and Maintainability Design
of the Eclipse 500 Jet
for High Utilization Applications"
clearly shows that the Eclipse 500 WAS designed for durability and high cycle usage. Whether Eclipse met those design goals or not is another debate, but that white paper is evidence of their design intent.


agroth said...


“ANDY I know it helps to pick a source that shows anti-Eclipse data and use it willy nilly, but Cessna themselves say:”


I don’t get a chance to read all of the posts on this blog, but I’m glad I saw yours.

First, thank you for showing the date of my post because otherwise it would have been a pain in the butt to find. :-)

Second, how about a bit of context, please! Cj3driver posted right before me, “I dont think the BC&A figures are fuel only, but total variable…I'll check when I get home.” I happened to have B&CA’s 2007 Operations Planning Guide on my desk in front of me (for reasons having nothing to do with Eclipse), so I simply answered CJ3’s question with the following:

“Just for reference, B&CA lists total variable costs at $544.95 for the Eclipse and $599.40 for the Mustang. Hourly fuel expense is listed as $344.17 for the Eclipse and $409.86 for the Mustang. This is based on a fuel cost of $4.69 per-gallon.”

In other words, I didn’t “pick a source that shows anti-Eclipse data and use it willy nilly.” I was just responding to a question. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that the data was “anti-Eclipse.” You might want to write a letter to B&CA (and ARG/US where they get the data) about their anti-Eclipse data so that they can set the record straight.


planet-ex said...

ken said:
Let's not.

The odds are Mr. Munson would be alive today, if he'd been flying the Eclipse instead of an early generation Citation.

Don't make fun of old Thurman Munson. He inadvertantly did a lot to improve safety for many new jet pilots that followed him.


That's got to be one of the most absurd things you've said.

Have you ever read the NTSB report on his crash?


bill e. goat said...

Mouse said:
“on some routes their (airlines) profit could be wiped out if they lost as few as 2 first class passengers”.

Thanks- I've heard that too- sort of makes you wonder why they bother: I think it can be summed up with their lame-brained market strategy: “We (airline X) aren't going to make any money on it, but we can keep them (airline Y) from making money” (e.g., if X pulls out of that route market, then Y can turn a profit).

The airlines are a lot about trying to screw each other, and the passengers. Sorry to the airline folks out there- but I think Eclipse has more credibility and better customer service. (Although the airlines are only a few hours late, and lose only your luggage; as opposed to a few years late and loosing your deposit:).
Okay, here's an odd one for consideration:

Given the predatory practices the airlines engage in to crush competition (some might equally accuse Vern of attempting this with early sn E-500 pricing).
Given the fact they might depend upon two first-class passengers to make a profit on a route.
Consider how they drove feeder airlines out of business by introducing their own “blah blah express with RJ's.

THEN: Will the airlines start their own Air Taxi subsidiary (sort of like XXX Express, but XXX Direct, or Expresso, or something like that...).
The E-500 is probably a bit too cramped to draw the first-class pax's, but maybe business-class guys. I think it's small outside dimensions also do not contribute to an air of “first classiness” either, although aviation folk can appreciate the efficient design.

On the ortherhand, maybe something like a Beech Premier, with -almost- stand up room, potty, small galley, more range, more speed, room for a stewardess, golf clubs, etc etc etc.

(Hmmm, a larger Eclipse down the road? I still don't entirely buy the single-VLJ thing, other than it being an extension of the screw-your-competition philosophy mentioned above...seems like the more profitable aircraft are in the $5M range. On the other hand, they were able to reuse a lot from the E-500, so there is some manufacturing common sense in play).

ANYWAY, think the airlines will do an air taxi? (Seems like one of the majors was yacking about it a while back, can't remember the carrier or airplane they were contemplating, or where the idea went).
Further observation:
I heard that the main draw of the Concorde wasn't it's speed, it was the privacy it offered. With only 100 pax, and being too expensive for common folk (on a regular basis anyway), it offered celebrities a refuge from the public not available even in first class on larger airplanes.

Seems like the same philosophy, on a more modest scale, might apply to a Premier-size airplane. (Big draw is the same: privacy and convenience).

bill e. goat said...

WHY is the only poster on the wall of the video M00 posted (thanks) of the single engine whatchamacallit

...A Boeing 737NG ???

(Maybe Vern's thinking bigger than I thought :)

(check 00:49 into the video)

Stan Blankenship said...


You brought up a lot of points, I will try to be brief but cover them all.

The blog started 18 months ago. At the time, the Eclipse propaganda machine had the world convinced the airplane:

1) Could climb direct to FL 410, cruise 375 kts and had 1,280 nm NBAA range carrying 4 adults with 30 lbs of baggage.

2)Empty weight would be 3,390 lbs.

3)The company's use of friction stir welding was the great enabler that would allow Eclipse to produce airplanes at a faster rate and at a lower cost than anyone else.

4) The operating costs were 50 cents per mile which would allow air taxi operators to sell seats at nearly the cost of a full coach fare.

These myths were all questioned as well as the claim of a 2,400-2,700 unit order book.

I don't recall me or any other critic ever saying they couldn't get a TC or a PC though I would certainly question whether either as awarded was deserved.

The December 3, 2006 post discussed the difficulty of obtaining both the TC and PC.

My prediction for 2007 deliveries -120, looks to be a bit optimistic.

I shared an e-mail from an early pilot who said the airplane flew great and that he had yet to make a bad landing.

The weight and balance is marginal at best.

I have mixed reactions to the aero mod improvements. It is extremely hard to get the kinds of performance improvements Ken is reporting.

It either means the original configuration was extremely bad or the company is stretching the truth on the post aero-mod numbers.

The airplane would be a whole lot better off with a larger wing and no tips. Vern admitted they redesigned most of the airplane during the hiatus for the engine change...he should have enlarged the wing to carry more fuel and provide better performance at altitude.

High altitude climb and cruise performance is unimpressive and as many have pointed out. It may be hard to get the higher altitudes in the more congested areas of the country.

PhostrEx is certified for use in the Eclipse. Everyone wonders why, if the fire suppression system is as great as Vern claims, others are not using the chemical.

Even many of the faithful on the blog have their doubts on the DayJet business model.

And to what do I attribute their accomplishments? That's an easy question, Vern's ability to raise money. There is a litany of missed budgets, missed milestones, missed performance goals. But as long as there is money in the cash drawer, he can keep plugging away.

Black Tulip said...


In your long list of Eclipse accomplishments you forgot to mention the Collier Trophy. It was first granted in 1929 as a national award honoring those who had made significant achievements in the advancement of aviation. The Eclipse name now resonates with Curtiss, Wright, Sperry, Martin, Douglas, Bell, Lear, Boeing, McDonnell, Williams, and other legendary people and companies.

I have on good authority that a special incentive awaits those who place an order for an Eclipse 500 before midnight Friday. Each aircraft will be outfitted with an 18 karat gold scaled-down replica of the Collier Trophy.

It will be installed on the copilot’s glare shield. Don’t’ confuse this with a dashboard ornament. This is no plastic Jesus or bobble-headed hula doll; this is the real thing. It tastefully balances the standby gyro horizon on the pilot’s side. Now each crew member has about the same view forward. Act now, this offer will not be repeated. Operators are standing by.

Black Tulip

Stan Blankenship said...

The rivet issue has been covered by others but I would like to add, when two parts are joined together like a wing rib to the skin, the rib would typically have pilot holes pre-drilled in the flanges. Once in the assembly fixture, the pilot holes get drilled out. This ensures even rivet spacing, avoids low edge margins (holes too close to the edge of the part) and of course the correct number of fasteners.

As someone pointed out earlier, for a driven rivet the hole can be slightly larger. For Huck bolts (reported to be used quite frequently in the Eclipse), these holes are drilled under sized then reamed for a more precision fit.

Ringtail said...

Since we are on fasteners today: Are Huck Bolts the same as Hi- Loks? (uses a allen and ordinary wrench to install?)

bill e. goat said...

Okay M00!

Regarding the ECJ video- during the interview a line comes out to the effect:

"Of course as a prototype, it's heavier than the production model will be".


mouse said...


I thought you were sharper than this... Ed says they are less than forecasted maintenance... You are baseing your statement on a marketing piece, on a fleet of planes that have seen no service to speak of for their supposed use, they have no history other than a few weeks or months...

Come on..

mouse said...


the white paper was written as a marketing piece, and well before the current design, yet years after the claimed current design...

Would you design a plane to have critical components being inspected and replaced at such short intervals? How complete can the design be if the engine change was a surprise? The AVIO was changed by surprise, the aero mods were required, by surprise, the fuel tanks were stretched by surprise, by design...

Right, the white paper you are referring to is toilet paper... The plane can't read, and it does not understand what is supposed to break or not break, and when...

mouse said...

Bill E Goat,

Go google Robert Crandall and get back to us.....

The RJ airplanes were brought on line for only one reason... The can hire CHEAP pilots to fly them. Embraer had to actually go back and cut out two sections of the fuselage from the ERJ-145 to make the ERJ-135 so they could only seat 37, because any more seats than this and their pilots union would win the right to put their higher priced pilots in them...

The airlines would gladly cut off any appendage, yours or theirs to keep the gates, slots, terminal positions, Etc...

Why do you think they removed seats for awhile? Hint - it was not to give you more leg room...

bill e. goat said...

Thanks for the reference to Robert Crandall.
I'm not sure of your take on him, but to me, he sounds like an ass.

1) Opposes increasing CAFE auto fuel efficiency) standards. (And is on the GM payroll for doing so).

2) Opposes "net neutrality"

3) Opposes airline anti-trust enforcement.

4) Introduced SABRE

5) Introduced "super saver" fares (I think detrimental to the airline industry).

While at American, he seems to have been a general ass, from what I read.
Impressive resume, and he's still a player: CEO of Pogo, and sits on AirCell board.

The Real Frank Castle said...

Don't forget that a steel Hilok is also heavier than an aluminium rivet.

Just trying to help......

EA50 said...

mouse: "I thought you were sharper than this... Ed says they are less than forecasted maintenance"

Right. The Eclipse 500, subjected to heavy utilization, is needing less than forecast maintenance.

That's straightforward enough.

I thought you were sharp enough to grasp it. What part is eluding you?

Gunner said...

Moller says their plane gets more than 20 MPG at 300+ knots. Do we believe them? Why are they less credible than Ed?

After all, they recently landed an important DoD Propulsion contract. Vern hasn't done that.

Point: Evaluate the claim based on the source; not based on what you wish to believe.

gadfly said...


There is little crossover in the use of rivets as compared to Hi-Lock and High Torque fasteners. Each has special application(s)and it's apples and oranges, although all come under the general category of "fasteners". For now, let's just say that for simple shear loads in thin sheets of material that are "permanently joined", rivets are generally the preferred method.


bill e. goat said...

I think the verdict is still out on reliability. Sounds like Ed was soft pedalling a lot during the audio, regarding availability of service, for whatever reason...
Regarding the Munson crash,
(Planet-ex, thanks for the interesting read on the link):

Obviously pilot error.
The timidity in advancing the throttles is odd- maybe he didn't want to look ruffled in front of his former flight instructor. (Or, maybe there was some quirky restrictions on throttle with early Citations?).

On the other hand, the Eclipse engines are reported to spool up "instantly", and maybe an E-500 would have recovered from such pilot error. And the stall speed is pretty low, so the crash speed would probably have been lower (and more survivable).

Ken Meyer said...

Goat wrote,

"Regarding the Munson crash,
(Planet-ex, thanks for the interesting read on the link):

Obviously pilot error."

Indeed it was. But the fact is that pilot error is the root cause of about three-quarters of all crashes. We pilots benefit from airplanes like the Eclipse that minimize the fallout from pilot error.

The Thurman Munson crash is an interesting one that illustrates the problems of pilots transitioning to complex, turbine equipment with inadequate experience. This accident would most likely never have happened if Thurman Munson had been flying an EA500.

Mr. Munson silenced the gear horn on downwind instead of lowering the gear--you can do that in an Eclipse, but you cannot silence the gear warning if airspeed is less than 120 KEAS with throttles less than 30%--you have to lower the gear or the system will keep screaming at you.

The excessive sink rate in this crash would have generated an aural warning to the pilot if he'd been flying an Eclipse.

And the approach to stall would have triggered multiple visual and aural warnings.

Although this crash was caused by pilot error, the pilot actually corrected his error--he added full power to arrest the high sink rate. But the JT15D-1A engines had a slow spool up and he never got the power he needed. The Eclipse PW610F engines have an almost instantaneous spool-up and would have given Mr. Munson the power he needed when he so desperately needed it.

But perhaps the most important thing is this: Mr. Munson wouldn't have been flying an Eclipse alone at that early stage in his career in the first place--he wouldn't have graduated the mentoring program until he consistently demonstrated proper technique to the satisfaction of his mentor. Say what you will of the mentoring program, but it will save lives.

A lot was learned because of the Thurman Munson crash, and I think the very rigorous Eclipse training program is, in part, because of the lessons learned from that crash.

Mr. Munson unwittingly helped a whole lot of pilots to be safer by encouraging development of safer airplanes like the Eclipse that minimize the ramifications of pilot error and by causing everyone to re-think the training of jet pilots.


Gunner said...

Just how many pilots' lives has the EA-50X saved thus far?

Too hard a question?
OK, just name one.

I'm sorry, but it's YOU who are now making fun of the Munson tragedy. Nobody who purchases an In-Flight crashed Cessna 340 (because it's "such a deal") has any standing lecturing others on aircraft safety. My Twit Filter just went off-scale.

Stop, please.

mouse said...

Billy E Goat,

He is an ass, and he hates General Aviation, always did, still does.

He is trying to get into the arena with the charter market beginning with VLJ's and bring the airline mentality to the air taxi markey, and wait until you see how is thinking influences the market, the FAA, and the airlines...

It won't be good...

mouse said...

Ken being the ignorant sole that he is does not have a clue about much, and the gear warning system is another weakness for him I see.

A pilot will find away the issue Ken like pulling the breaker, or in the case of the plane you don't own, page through screens to locate the electronic virtual breaker and disable.. Why, because somewhere in another system the signal has screwed up and the airplane thinks it airspeed is low, or the pitot is iced up and the heat doesn't work. The throttle switch may be screwed up and the system thinks its at a lower power setting/position.

In the case of ice, the last thing you want to odo is drop the gear just to silience a horn that is blaring for the wrong reason.

HAL will create all sorts of error paths to make something happen that shouldn't.

Then add a moron like you who knows how to fly a book, but not a plane, pulls a Munson trying to resolve issue that could have been resolved if the systems were designed using common sense and aviation historical design.

Why do you think every single retract airplane has a gear horn silencer?

The most dangerous thing about any new designed airplane by new emgineers and "Distruptive" assholes is that they all fail to learn from past lessons, and are trying to design a "better" airplane from scratch.

Everything we learned from the beginning of manned flight has been thrown out the window and we start from scratch...

What a sham and a shame to trade all the experience and knowledge for a quick profit and a sharp marketing campaign.

Lets hope not too many more Ken's are out there promoting their ignorance and fueling the Eclipse theme.

BY the way Ken, bought an Eclipse yet? You could be on Flight Aware this weekend... Thought so...

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