Sunday, September 09, 2007

Secret Societies

In 1977, an expose in Esquire magazine outed
Skull and Bones, the exclusive but secretive Yale University organization whose 15 new members each year often go on to very powerful positions within the government and commerce.


The 175 year old organization can boast of some very powerful members, George Bush Sr., George Bush Jr., Henry Luce, William F. Buckley, Averell Harriman, John Kerry, Linden Blue (Spectrum Aeronautical) and others well connected but with lesser know names.

In the article written long before Al Gore invented the internet, blogs and instant messaging, Ron Rosenbaum wrote:

"In an age in which it seems that all that could possibly be concealed about anything and anybody has been revealed, those blank tombstone walls could be holding the last secrets left in America."

Not so fast Ron, we got a new one, it's called Eclipse Aviation. And the neat thing is you don't have to attend those stuffy Yale classes or have a pedigree on your birth certificate or have to lay in a coffin naked and confess to your sexual proclivities.



All you need is somewhere between $1.5 and $2m to purchase one of their airplanes. And while there's no intimate secret handshakes, they may have you sign a couple of documents, like perhaps a Proprietary Rights and Non-Disclosure Agreement or an agreement not to disclose any information from the on-board Data Storage Unit (records performance data). From that day forward you are a bonafide member of the New Age Royal Order of I Just Got Screwed But Didn't Get Kissed and promise not to tell anybody about anything related to the little jet that can't..

A disturbing way of business from a company whose founder and CEO challenged the aviation industry provide transparency for all new products. He is the ultimate flip-flopper.



The real question is, what is being hidden?

For more reading on the Bones, click here.

For more interesting reading on Eclipse Aviation, stay tuned.

167 comments:

Stan Blankenship said...

From my morning mail:

The wings are just being mated to serial 054. There are 3 or 4 more units ready for wing mate but are/were waiting for delivery of the wings from Japan.

gadfly said...

Maybe (in light of recent discussion) when they get the wings attached to "#054", they will name it "Pegasus" . . . regardless of price or condition.

gadfly

Jim Howard said...

Does any other business jet or manufacturer require a similar NDA?

Does P&W require an NDA if you buy a Mustang?

Bassmaster said...

Stan, was one of the China L35A's sn 427?

EclipseOwner387 said...

This is interesting. It brings back memeories of other issues. Regardless of the sincerity it is very serious because of the individuals provocated to comply. In other words, how do we surmise the appropriate outcome with a convoluded input? I put forth that this may be the most important consideration put forth. If not, then we have crossed a path of return but without a direction.
I am certain we are on to some important unknowns.

Go Cowboys!

redtail said...

Dennis, you been drinking again?

EclipseOwner387 said...

Redtail,

You didn't understand what I was talking about!? Funny, I had the same feeling reading Stan's cover story!

;-)

FlightCenter said...

That is quite an unusual non-disclosure agreement when it comes to termination provisions.

End of Section 7
"...when the Agreement terminates, the obligations not to use and not to disclose Proprietary Information exchanged hereunder shall continue indefinitely."

It seems like you are obligated to take any Eclipse Proprietary Information with you to the grave.

FlightCenter said...

EO387,

Do you recall what materials provided to you when you purchased your aircraft were marked as Proprietary?

Are there any documents marked Proprietary Information required for a pilot to operate the aircraft?

Did Eclipse require the people buying aircraft from you to sign this agreement?

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

"There is nothing so exhilarating as being shot at and missed." . . . Winston Churchill, speaking of his personal experience as a reporter escaping the Dutch during the Second Boer War (1899-1902)

Tonight’s thread may prove exhilarating! . . . especially if one happens to be the target.

gadfly

cj3driver said...

EO said;

“… What route would you file from KLOU (would you even feel comfortable using KLOU in a CJ3?) to TEB. How long would the flight take? How much fuel would you burn? …”

EO,

Sorry for the delayed response …

I’m not sure of the routing for this flight, but on a 575 NM trip, my calcs show 1483 lbs and 1 hr 33 min, no wind.

I have found that any flight over 350 nm, I climb to FL450. This assumes cooperation with ATC. Usually once they give you FL350 … you can get FL450 no problem fairly quickly… either east or wrong way west. There just aren’t that may planes above 380.

The CJ3 burns 750 lbs/hr doing 408 kts (heavy) and 700 lbs doing 408 kts light, in cruise. At FL450, you have to pull the power back to keep from exceeding red line speed, M.737. It will climb at MGTOW to FL450 in 27 minutes.

By contrast, at FL350, it burns 1250 lbs per hour and gives 431 kts. For this reason, I never fly at this altitude unless I am forced too (rare). You can pull the power back at FL350 and achieve 300 kts on 650 lbs, but a jet is made for speed.

As for runway lengths, KLOU is no problem. The CJ3 would need less 2,700 ft of runway (part23 commuter) standard day six people for this trip. It could also depart from KLOU on a 104 degree day at MGTOW and fly 1,900 nm and land with NBAA reserves.

The CJ3 needs 2500 ft of runway (50’ above threshold) to land at typical landing weights and less than 3,000 ft at max landing weight.

Cessna’s FPG says 1,207 lbs and 1hr, 22 min at FL450 for a 500 nm flight. Add about 200 lbs and 15 minutes for each additional 100 miles thereafter.

cj3driver said...

EA50 said:

“ …The price of the Eclipse is actually about 60% of that of the Mustang (or less depending upon how you calculate it)… That's one reason why the Eclipse order book is 8 times as big…. “

EA50,

How would you explain the fact that Cessna sells / delivers 5 times more CJ2 and CJ3’s, … at 40-60% more than CJ1’s? Shouldn’t the lower priced model outsell the high priced ones by an order of magnitude?

It’s not just a factor of price. If it were, Mustangs would not be sold out until 2010. In fact, … if you believe the manufacturers order book, (both Eclipse and Cessna), … and want a new Eclipse or Mustang from the factory, … the Mustangs are sold-out for a year past the Eclipses. Just not as many.

I just don’t think there are that many people (500 per year) that will be willing to part with $2 million dollars for an E500. There are just too many alternatives. As for the guys that paid 995K, that’s a different story, … and the ending hasn’t been written yet.

Yes, there is about a million dollars difference in the Eclipse and Mustang, but there is a three million dollar difference between a CJ1 and a CJ3, and it certainly doesn’t seem to hinder sales. If anything, the higher priced product seems to hurt the sales of the lower priced one. This may end up true in the VLJ race as well.

Stan Blankenship said...

Bassmaster,

S/N 427 does not ring any bells, I left LJ in 1983 and think that must be a later airplane.

ExEclipser said...

Something big must be getting ready to happen at DayJet. FIVE DJS planes are headed to BOCA right now.

DayJet Fleet

ExEclipser said...

That puts 8 EA50's in Boca this morning, 3 in GNV, and 1 in PNS, per FA, though we all know that FlightAware isn't gospel.

airsafetyman said...

In the for what it's worth department, a very reliable source says that the DayJet airplanes will have a stand alone back-up attitude indicator, none of this "look it up on the MFD" nonsense. Apparently someone at the FAA takes their responsibilities seriously. Too bad the same can't be said of Ms. Blakley.

EclipseOwner387 said...

AirSafetyDude,

I think you are talking about old news here. A while back pictures were posted of the "scabbed" on instrument. This is because Eclipse has yet to finish its third AHRS required for part 135. When they do have it then it will be on one of those "silly" MFD screens. Looks pretty cool actually. Eclipse currently has 3 PFDs but the center one uses the number 2 AHRS but does have its own ADC.

Hope this helps.

AeroObserver said...

re: nondisclosre agreements. Yes, you'll need to sign one for the Mustang or any other aircraft with an engine that has a thrust rating of less than 2,000 pounds. This is a government export regulation since these engines could possibly be used for cruise missiles.

If you want to point a finger here, point it at Uncle Sam, not Vern.

Good to see that speculation still rules on this blog. Who really needs facts anyways?

airsafetyman said...

"This is because Eclipse has yet to finish its third AHRS required for part 135."

All I know is that when Momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy, and Momma is definitely not happy.

Black Tulip said...

Reading Stan’s article on secrecy prompted me to look back at the Eclipse record. Three and a half years ago, Eclipse issued a press release touting a new website to track their progress toward certification:

Track Our Progress

“In a time of increased public concern about corporate accountability, Eclipse's goal is to establish a new standard in Transparency that will benefit all stakeholders…” Remember the times. Adelphia, Enron, Tyco and Worldcom had led so many down the primrose path. Eclipse was going to be different: A shining beacon in the dark corporate world.

“The new Track Our Progress feature of our web site reflects our commitment to be thoughtful about what we promise, to back up every one of our claims and to put the interests of our customers first without exception,” said Vern Raeburn. Then he took a poke at the dinosaurs, “We welcome our competitors to provide the same level of information about their development programs…”

Fast forward to 2007, what became of the Eclipse transparency? The timeline announced with great fanfare is a little hard to find. The last entry is a year old.

Timeline

Don’t worry about that new avionics package, standby gyro, known icing and simulators. Boys, I guess the job is done. Either that or Eclipse has gone from being transparent to translucent to opaque. By the way, there’s now another timeline on the Eclipse website. There are many nice pictures of ‘our leader’.

Current Timeline

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

EO387--

Interesting comparisons between three Citations and the EA50:

CJ3
600 nm flight time: 1:34
600 nm block fuel: 1568 lbs
(at FL410 as specified by the Cessna CJ3 analysis document)

CJ1+
600 nm flight time: 1:41
600 nm block fuel: 1369 lbs
(at FL390 as specified by the Cessna CJ1+ analysis document)

Mustang
600 nm flight time: 1:55
600 nm block fuel: 1124 lbs
(at FL390 as specified by the Cessna Citation Mustang analysis document)

Eclipse with aero-mods, FL350:
600 nm flight time: 1:45
600 nm block fuel: 911 lbs

Eclipse with aero-mods, FL400:
600 nm flight time: 1:50
600 nm block fuel: 810 lbs
(both sets of data from the Eclipse aeromod AFM)

Acquisition cost:
CJ3: about $8 million
CJ1+: about $4.7 million
Mustang: about $2.9 million
Eclipse: about $1.7 million

Now, don't get me wrong--I think every one of those Citations is a nice plane for a particular purpose--hauling more stuff or going farther than the Eclipse can. But if it's just you and 2 or 3 friends (like your recent flight to New York), you can get overall performance that is not all that much slower than the CJ3 and CJ1+ (and just a bit faster than the Mustang) while spending millions less upfront and less every single mile you fly.

For the 600 nm flight profile similar to the one you guys recently flew, the Eclipse is a terrific choice that is much more cost effective than larger jets.

Ken

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Unless of course your airspace required a certified Area Nav equipment, or there is known icing forecast, in which case one of the four A/C you are comparing drops out of the running.

Black Tulip said...

Ken,

Why stop there in your analysis of jets? In the rainbow of comparables, please take us from infrared to ultraviolet. At the top end you can lead us through the Gulfstream, Bombardier and Embraer lines all the way to the Boeing Business Jet.

Adding to low cost end will be tough. The old used jets in this price range are obsolete. New ones in the price range are still vaporware. There really isn’t another jet out there that promises so much but is offered at such a low price.

Hmm… Is this a ‘feature’ of this product or a ‘defect’? Time will tell.

Black Tulip

421Jockey said...

BT,

That is precisely the point.
R-O-Y-G-B-I-V
Eclipse is the "V Jet".
Kind of a coincidence isn't it?
421

Shane Price said...

Aero Observer,

I thougth the E499.5 WAS a cruise missile...

You know, 1,000NM range, low cost with a modest payload, Avio NG etc.

Or am I missing something here?

Shane

airtaximan said...

... all this makes me thing of something I saw at the e-clips booth at NBAA a few years back...

The Teeny-weeny compressor with finger nail size blades, on a scale that showed it weighed less than a pound.

Self, I said "do I really want such a small, light, fragile looking componentin an engine my life will be dependant on? Is this a feature, or is it a risk?"

E-clips thought it was a feature...

One might ask why the Mustang and e-500 are similar in performance, but one weighs half the other?

What has been traded, in order to be able to use a smaller engine?

EA50 said...

Airtaximan wrote, "One might ask why the Mustang and e-500 are similar in performance, but one weighs half the other?"

Or one might ask...

Why does Airtaximan still not know the basic numbers for the airplane he is knocking after all these months??"

Mustang max gross weight: 8645 lbs
Mustang Empty weight: 5350 lbs

Eclipse max gross weight: 5995 lbs
Eclipse Empty weight: 3629 lbs

Twice as much? It's the new math :-}

Black Tulip said...

ea50,

Regarding new math, there have been two recent discoveries:

"One is approximately equal to two, for large values of one."

"Pi is exactly equal to three, for very small circles."

Black Tulip

Shane Price said...

Stan,

According to Dan Bricklin's video, recorded on 13th August at Eclipse in ABQ, Vern himself says "Serial Number 71 ... started this morning" and pointing to the three aircraft in the foreground Vern names them as "53, 52 and 51" with 51 heading to get is wing attached.

Thats almost a month ago, and only 3 more wing sets are attached?

Say it ain't so.

Either Vern is 'much mistaken' in his video comments on the 13th of August or your email buddy is mis informed.

I'll go with the 'much mistaken' as during the same video, Dan counts 8 in a hall where Vern states there are "more than 20"

Anyone care to review the video (again), herewith the YouTube link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nynZ3mIzkEM

Shane

Stan Blankenship said...

Shane,

The numbers don't seem to add up, and I'm getting concerned about flightcenter. He is not reporting the C of A's or deliveries that Peg promised at Oshkosh.

Surely her 6 week look ahead could not be that far off the mark.

Stan Blankenship said...

NBAA press conference scheduled for Monday, September 24:

8 am Spectrum Aero - Mark Jones (Hi Mark, did not know you had hooked up with Linden again)

10 am Eclipse - Andrew Broom (Surely Vern won't let Andy take the barbs and bullets from a hostile press wanting to know why last years promises have not been met)

2 pm Swearingen - Keith Little

3 pm Adam Aircraft - Shelly Simi

3 pm Diamond Aircraft - Dale Smith (Don't forget to ask about the compressor stalls and water ingestion problem)

Black Tulip said...

Shane,

Thanks for the link to the video. Whenever the camera panned, all I could think about was $$$... what a lot of money this company has been through.

Black Tulip

bill e. goat said...

AO,
Thanks for your input regarding 2000 lb engine export restrictions.

But, I think that is not the intent of the NDA.

Clause 1:
"Receiving party will use its best efforts to ....not use proprietary information for any other purpose including...designing, creating, developing, reproducing, manufacturing, or deriving any design, part, product, material, process, modification, configuration change or repair, seeking FAA...acceptance for any of the foregoing, or any other commercial activity not expressly authorized..."

There is indeed reference to export concerns in clause 6:

"The receiving party shall make authorized disclosures only in accordance with the export laws of its country and shall not export to any other country any Proprietary information it receives under this Agreement without first obtaining the permission of Eclipse or PWC (for their respective proprietary information) and obtaining any required export licenses".

But I believe any technology transfer constraints would not be:

"Governed by the laws of the State of New Mexico".

--------------------------
Thanks for your input, but I think the federal documentation (re: export license) would address the concerns rather than this NDA.

To wit: it looks like the primary intent of the NDA is to keep competitors (rather than foreign militaries) from gaining access to design specifics.

bill e. goat said...

...???

"Surely her 6 week look ahead could not be that far off the mark".

Please pass the koolaid- and brownies.

Shane Price said...

Stan,

I agree. Have a quite word with Flight Centre and get him to hurry up on those long promised deliveries.

He is clearly the last hope for the Faithful, as Vern (or even the redoubtable Peg) can't seem to get the rate up....

Dark Flower,

Did you like the 'innocent' Dan counting up to 8 (which squares with what the video shows) and then Vern's prompt correction that there were 'more than 20' in the hall at that time?

If it was only dollars it would not be so bad. But to actually hear Vern say something which is so clearly self serving and (at best...)incorrect is scary.

Sorry, the Faithful cannot be scared, least of all by the facts. And you and I don't have much to loose as we are not investors, sorry postition holders, ah forgetaboutit I give up!

And credit where credit is due. EO387 posted this video link last month. It only stuck in my mind as a 'datum' since specific named serial numbers, from Vern's mouth are pointed at by his own hand in his own factory at a date in time independantly verfied.

Facts are important around here, and key to the future of Eclipse is their ability to ramp production.

A month later and virtually nothing has moved.

Go figure.

Shane

cherokee driver said...

ea50

The following is from a May 2000 Flying magazine article off the Eclipse website, named appropriately enough, "I Want to Believe":

"The new Eclipse 500 is to be a twin-engine turbofan with a cruise speed of around 360 to 370 knots, a ceiling of 41,000 feet, and an IFR range of 1,450 nm. Nothing impossible about that. Many business jets have that capability, and a lot more. Here is the so far impossible part of the Eclipse jet: maximum takeoff weight of 4,600 pounds, FAR Part 25 required takeoff runway length of 2,400 feet and, the most incredible of all, an equipped price of less than $800,000...

Even if the engines come through, Eclipse is planning on airframe weight control that no other manufacturer has achieved. Projected empty weight of the Eclipse 500 is only 2,550 pounds."

With all the claims and counter-claims about this airplane it's pretty hard to keep it all straight. As you can see, the original empty weight was less than half the Mustang empty weight. Also, Ken's claim that the original cruise speed was 355 kts is false. And just look at that range. No wonder everyone got excited. Welcome to the land of paper airplanes, where all your dreams come true! Some how, I feel another Eclipse commercial coming from Ken.

Stan

I've noticed there are no advertisements on your website except for Ken's comments. You're not secretly working for Eclipse are you?

Gunner said...

Shane said:
"A month later and virtually nothing has moved."

Except, of course, another boatload of Depositor dollars...right out the door.

The Faithful would prefer to ignore or spin the issue, but the FACTS are that Mike Press himself called September a key month for Eclipse. In that report, Mike stated that, barring significant deliveries allowing the company to hit up the next batch of Depositors, the company would need another investment infusion.

We can expect to hear Eclipse is back in the markets looking to raise capital as soon as NBAA is over, I think.

But, as has been requested, let's not talk about the money issues...it's just so "off topic". ;-)
Gunner

Stan Blankenship said...

cherokee driver said...

...there are no advertisements on your website...

Missed a big opportunity here, Garmin, Diamond, Cessna and Adam in the right column. Eclipse, Avidyne and the other vendors thrown under the bus, on the left.
Then DayJet on the bottom center.

Might have been able to retire by now.

Black Tulip said...

Cherokee Driver quoted,

"The new Eclipse 500 is to be a twin-engine turbofan with a cruise speed of around 360 to 370 knots, a ceiling of 41,000 feet, and an IFR range of 1,450 nm.”

Expect the Faithful to respond by saying no one promised it would do all these things on the same trip. It may be reminiscent of the early Turbo Commanders… the 680 series. It was said that the engines could propel the aircraft and pressurize the cabin, but not at the same time. Garrett introduced the more powerful ‘Century’ engines and things got much better.

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

BT quoted,

"The new Eclipse 500 is to be a twin-engine turbofan with a cruise speed of around 360 to 370 knots, a ceiling of 41,000 feet, and an IFR range of 1,450 nm."

Actually, that's a quote from before the specs were locked in and contracted for. The guaranteed performance specs actually contracted to purchasers were announced in July 2000:

"Max Cruise Speed 355 kts (+/-2.5%)
Stall Speed 62 kts (+/- 4%)
Range, 4 occupants 1,300 nm (+/-5%)
Useful Load 2,000 lbs (+/-2.5%)
Max Cruise Speed is set at 4,100 lbs., ISA conditions."


The aircraft they are delivering today exceed the speed and useful load figures promised in July, 2000 despite the travail of the failed Williams engines. The plane turned out with a 1300 nm range, but it is at the 45-min reserve level and LRC, not the NBAA IFR range level and HSC (the NBAA IFR range dropped to 1125 nm).

I think it is impressive that they were able to exceed the initial promises for speed and useful load. And, I notice that neither Cessna, despite its decades of jet building experience, nor Embraer have been able to produce a VLJ with substantially more range than the Eclipse--range is a tough nut to crack in a very light jet.

Ken

ExEclipser said...

Gunner said: "FACTS are that Mike Press himself called September a key month for Eclipse. In that report, Mike stated that, barring significant deliveries allowing the company to hit up the next batch of Depositors, the company would need another investment infusion."

Warn PETA, another dead horse about to be whooped.

My dear friend, who the hell is Mike Press but an enthusiast and a speculator? He has no more inside information to the actual finances of Eclipse than I do as a former employee and a current stock holder.

Though I respect Mike's opinions, they are nothing more than just that - opinions. Like yours. Like mine.

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse 500 Delivery Data has been updated to reflect the FAA registry database as of today.

The FAA database shows a total of 34 Eclipse 500 aircraft registered and 38 EA500 aircraft which have been issued certificates of airworthiness.

In addition, the FAA "in process" website shows an additional 10 aircraft for which registration paperwork has been submitted to the FAA.

That would indicate that Eclipse has delivered a total of 44 or more EA500 aircraft as of today. The "in process" website indicates that 3 aircraft were delivered last week.

It is looking like Eclipse will have their best delivery month so far in September, almost certainly topping July, when they delivered 10 aircraft.

On a side note, the FAA database also indicates that 3 of those aircraft have been re-sold by their original owners. Serial #3, 16 and 24 have all been transferred to other owners.

That's about 7% of the fleet changing hands in the last 6 months.

Black Tulip said...

Ken said,

"--range is a tough nut to crack in a very light jet."

I agree wholeheartedly, no matter who is trying to build it. I believe scaling is the issue and it’s much tougher for the smaller lighter model(s).

Black Tulip

Black Tulip said...

Stan,

As I was researching the timeline information this morning it occurred to me. Eclipse will celebrate its ten anniversary next year. Will we be invited and will there be a special table for us?

Black Tulip

Gunner said...

Execlipser said:
"My dear friend, who the hell is Mike Press but an enthusiast and a speculator?"

Ahhh, but Mike is far better plugged in than you and I. Besides, The Faithful are quite fond of quoting him (as something of an authority) when he prints stuff that agrees with their world view.

He can't be an Eclipse Authority at one moment and a nobody the next, simply because we don't like what he says.

Finally, Mike was being rather generous to Eclipse compared to Alexa. Mike stated the $210 mill would only last a couple months without new monies coming in. Alexa said $165 Million of it went out the door in past dues the moment it came in.

For my part, I think he's a fairly reasonable source; careful with his words; honorable in his statements. Note that I haven't accepted Alexa's statements, even though they paint a far more bleak picture. I have accepted Mike's more generous projections, partially based on the source and partially based on the fact that they square with what others here (including mouse) knew, know and have projected.

Don't shoot the messenger; and let's not throw Mike Press under the bus. He's been a good friend to Eclipse.
Gunner

ExEclipser said...

That's a fair asessment, Gunner. The similarities are that they both state that Eclipse will go through the money really really fast.

Now, I believe that a lot of that was to pay off old debt. If that is the case - which I don't know if it is or isn't - then both AlexA and Mike could be right.

I don't think anyone would lend Eclipse money if that money was to be burned in three months and require the same infusion again after that money is spent.

I really believe that the burn rate should shrink dramatically and should stabilize at a much lower rater (at least until the next note is due).

There's no doubt that they will eventually have to rely on aircraft deliveries to pay the suppliers, staff, maintenance, etc.

FlightCenter said...

The FAA database shows a total of 16 Mustang deliveries.

Mustang deliveries were 6 in June, 2 in July, and 4 in August.

Gunner said...

Exe said:
"There's no doubt that they will eventually have to rely on aircraft deliveries to pay the suppliers, staff, maintenance, etc."

Exe-
Fair enough. Let's give Eclipse a whole lot of benefit-o-doubt, for the sake of discussion. Let's assume they get thru the couple hundred or so deliveries for which Progress Payments as high as $1mm+ is already gone; let's assume they get thru the $995K priced deliveries, on which they'll take in only about $400K remainder of payment. Let's even assume they can ramp up to 300 jets per year, when they continue to mis 30 day projections by 80%.

I think you'll agree that's a BUNCH of assuming in their favor.

That done, do you honestly believe the next 2,400 deliveries of their claimed order book will each (or, in sum) be delivered at a profit? Including the 1,200 or so promised to DayJet?

The Red Ink for this company will continue for years to come under the current Business Plan. That's NOT a fact; but its a pretty well substantiated opinion.
Gunner

ExEclipser said...

Interesting. DayJet just released an armada (4 planes in 1/2 hour) right into a bunch of thunderstorms - 3 to GNV and one to LAL.

It's interesting to see the course and altitude deviation to avoid said storms.

Now, now.... Don't go about talking to how with a ceiling of 41000 feet is to avoid 98.6% of weather. Been on plenty of airliners that choose to go around storms rather than over them.

AeroObserver said...

Stan, Mark Jones has been with Spectrum Aero for several years (at least three).

EA50 said...

Gunner,

If you're going to quote Mike Press, why don't you quote him correctly?

He never wrote, "barring significant deliveries allowing the company to hit up the next batch of Depositors, the company would need another investment infusion."

You're adding a spin that wasn't in the original message (surprise, surprise). What Mike Press wrote was:

"This additional funding will most likely smooth the cash flow issues for a couple of months, but until Eclipse can get into rate production (September) they will not be cash-flow neutral. Once they get into rate production (30 per month), then they likely will be good on cash flow and will not need to go to the credit markets again."

airtaximan said...

cherokee drive...

Yup, somehow, I always remember the initial promises when it comes to the specs. I guess I just hate to be baited and switched...

Anyhow, these guys love to meausre with amicrometer when it suites them, eventhough their favorite company cannot even come close within a few months of their own projections.... I guess they are OK with using a chain saw over there, for their own purposes.

Thanks for the reference... if I just said, "memory serves poorly, I remember a lighter plane... with better performance advertised again and again to build a customer base..." someone would have said "prove it".

Gunner said...

EA50:
Now who's parsing? You conveniently left out the first and operative portion of that analysis:

"Eclipse seems to have dodged a bullet financially when they secured over $200 million in additional equity funding in July. However, this will only last them a couple of months if Eclipse does not get into rate production. Again, September looks to be the critical month for Eclipse. "

And what does Mike say about their ability to achieve that critical high "rate production"?

"As mentioned before, the realism of this delivery ramp-up and production schedule is still suspect and whether Eclipse can meet it won’t be known until the end of September. So far they have not demonstrated that they can get into high-rate production. September will be the critical month to demonstrate high-rate production."

His statements are hardly ambiguous, unless you squint REAL hard.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

ea50,

forget Gunner. Someohow he's hell bent on wanting to think that e-clips is burning cash like crazy, and they need a high rate of production to stop the dammage...

There is NOTHING in evidence that would suggest such a proposterous lineof thinking.

except for a couple of things:
1- Vern admitted without the last infusion of $220 million, most of which went to pay off old debts, they were toast
2- their plan is to build 500 planes a year or more
3- they have delivered 40 planes in a year (and a half) employing 1,400 folks full time. That's $2.3 million in labor per plane (direct and indirect)...no parts...no overhead...no ads...no European vacation...lad di da...

Gunner, give it up... its obvious they are on the brink of financial health...

Stan Blankenship said...

Black Tulip asked...

Eclipse will celebrate its ten anniversary next year. Will we be invited (to the party)and will there be a special table for us?

Yes, and I hear mirage00 is in charge of our table. He is planning on a grand entrance with his silver tray piled high with crow.

Of course the tray is left over from Oshkosh because he assured the world the critics would be eating crow after Oshkosh.

Black Tulip said...

Airtaximan wrote about the Faithful measuring with a micrometer when it suits them. As a student engineer I remember studying the difference between precision and accuracy. The teacher talked about using a micrometer taped to the end of a wooden yardstick. Could we use one of these here?

Black Tulip

421Jockey said...

5 in the air right in 3 corners of the country. This may be for real after all!!!!!

mirage00 said...

Yes, and I hear mirage00 is in charge of our table. He is planning on a grand entrance with his silver tray piled high with crow.

Yes exactly... I will be the one serving.

The blog seems to have lost its focus.. I think E387 said it best with his recent satirical post that had no meaning... Straw grabbing may resume now.

I remain amused

double 00

airtaximan said...

BTW,

I am probably the only person on this blog who does not see any issue with e-clips meeting or exceeding the revised performance.

Heck, if they had the inclination and time and money, except for the empty weight, they probably could have come close to the initial promises, as well...

There is no magic here - none.

There are issues though. CG, comfort, structural life.... trades are trades, and until anyone demonstrates an applied technology that saved substantial weight, there IS a price to be paid for a very very light plane, and a very small engine.

Where's the magic? If you cannot point (anylonger) to something... then, there have been trades in making a very small, very light plane, here.

They may also be called "risks"...

Some of the faithful do not see these as risks...

Like the teeny-weeny compressor at NBAA from the Williams engine - too much risk... sh&t happends.

Stan Blankenship said...

double zero (as in nothing of substance,

Your msg from March 26, 2007:

"It's happening, the jet is being built, the jet is being delivered, the jet will succeed. One serving of Crow at Oshkosh for you."

Your four month look ahead was about as good as Peg's Oshkosh forecast..

Black Dog said...

I believe double 00 was Dick Dasterlys car in the wacky races he always lost as well

Stan Blankenship said...

Black dog,

If you plan to attend the 10 year Eclipse Anniversary Party, get there early so that you can watch gunner pin the name tag on the guy carrying the silver platter heaped with crow.

Gunner said...

Eclipse Order Book, Part Deux:

I find it fascinating how quickly The Faithful dispense with topics that were once the rage but have proven not to fit their reality. Witness FSW and DayJet as a couple of examples.

When all the flotsam gets boiled off, however, the fate of Le Petit rests on one item only: DEMAND. And that takes us right back to the Order Book.

2,700 Orders fully backed by deposits, becomes 2,700 orders, half of which are to one customer with its own issues of Real World viability. Thousands of individual depositors suddenly becomes about 1,200; and then quietly becomes a "contraction" of the Serial Numbers from 1,400 down to 800 something.

Where's the demand, people? Well, one place we might look to gauge this is the new E500 website Forum, set up specifically to answer the questions of non-Deposit holders.

Launched weeks ago, this Forum has garnered exactly 3 topics and a Grand Total of 6 posts, only ONE of which is from a Non-Depositor. One might expect with Eclipse's problems behind them and aircraft being delivered, that Forum would be all a-buzz with activity. After all, people are still interested in buying a 2 million dollar dream, are they not? What better place to get all your questions answered than from the Owners-in-Waiting, themselves. Yet the site was launched, pretty much stillborn.

Data Point, folks. Lotsa sizzle; can't see much beef, though. Where's all the anxious buyers?
Gunner

EA50 said...

You fellas really are in your own little world.

There were 4-6 Eclipse 500's in the air at any instant in time most of the day today. There are 4 right now and it is late on the east coast. Since many Eclipse aircraft are blocked from Flightaware, the number actually flying is probably double what we can see.

The company is starting to crank them out at a good clip--there are about 50 in the hands of customers already! The aeromods are complete and approved. Avio NG is on track, FIKI testing is underway. Eclipse aircraft will be popping off the assembly line like quarters at the U.S. Mint.

It's a locomotive building up speed. But every step of the way, there are a handful of naysayers standing on the track proclaiming, "it will never get here....right?"

Double 00 isn't eating crow; he's serving it.

Gunner said...

EA-50:
Order Book was at 2,700, 4 months ago. Even at September (promised) production that's 120 new sales that had to be made, just to maintain the Order Book.

I mean, your point is well taken:
"The company is starting to crank them out at a good clip--there are about 50 in the hands of customers already!"

Orders should now be coming in faster than ever as the Wait&See owners and corporate purchasing departments recognize the Dream is Realized. How come Eclipse, famous for touting its popularity with the buying public, isn't talking about the Order Book anymore. (In fact, Vern was talking about the brink of bankruptcy.)

Howe come the Eclipse Website Forum dedicated to answering the questions of all these eager buyers looks kinda like an airport after a bomb scare. What say you about that?
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Dayjet
Posted: 2007-09-06 by Peter B. Nworb [send email]
lies

The horrid company of this new very light plane is a joke. The planes look like a cigar case with no restroom. The company's ceo Ed Iacobucci is like Santa waiting for a another white christmas in stock options in the future. Taxpayers will have to absorb the hit when investors lose the cookies and milk money. I have a membership with day jet and been told lies about when i can use my paid membership. I can't understand why I am not told the truth. The sales or customer service is by far not good with answering questions. I not paying for another year membership or using this service. I am not paying high price to go 100 miles and not know when I leave.
If you are thinking of using this service really think about it and do your homework. I not only walking away I am running as fast as I can.

http://www.complaintsboard.com/
complaints/dayjet-c24004.html

hmm....

Gunner said...

'Nuther question, just 'cuz I insist on doing my math:

With 2700 orders on the books, why is Eclipse stating the next delivery is Q3 of 2009? That would require how many completed aircraft each and every day between now and then?

Oh, the DayJet Orders are not really "orders"; they're options, aren't they? And none of them will be required before Q3 2009? OK, so how many would they have to deliver per day to get to the non-option deliveries? Let's ask Peg. She seems to have a good handle on their ramp-up.

Little wonder continued interest has dried up and the Non-Owners Forum looks like a graveyard.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but with all the virtual High-Five's being passed around in cyberspace, somebody has to work on keepin' it real.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

They are just taking delivery of wings for planes that have been in work for a year, practically...

What does this tell you?
What are the possible reasons?

Question, how do hundreds of folks pay $900k in progress payments, and wings are only delivered months and months later, for a company supposedly paying for parts only after they are delvered?

There's a lot going on, here...

How can you "rearrange" the line, and "add another production line" when you cannot even obtain major structural component parts, for months and months, and months after the planes were already supposed to be delivered?

Any buyer who provides a progress payment at this point is a fool. If he's "promised delivery" at this point, its nothing but fraud, IMHO.

No one over there can make a good faith statement of any number of deliveries, any increase in deliveries, for a long time. They will have to prove they can in fact deliver, from beginning to end, a plane in a shorter period of time than OVER A YEAR, for this to have any credibility.

The way things look like they are going, many of the folks that made a progress payment in 2006 will not see their planes until mid to late 2008.

*** remember folks every plane delivered so far was started in mid to late 2006. Its taking this many people, THAT long to build a plane.

EA50 said...

You're all squirming.

And the Believers are laughing at you!

Gunner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gunner said...

Not hardly squirming, EA50. Simply responding to congratulatory grab-assing about near term production promises missed by 80%.

Try it some time (responding, I mean); it'll do wonders for your analytic skills.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

gunner,

there's no issue here for any believer... the price makes sense, the order book makes sense, the promised volume makes sense... Vern's credible...

what are you trying to prove?

Gunner said...

AT-
You're right, of course. It wouldn't take much to join in this little Celebration of Mediocracy, would it?

Just a temporary suspension of reason and a Progress Payment for about a million bucks. Whatever was I thinking? ;-)
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

Ea50 said,

“It's a locomotive building up speed.” Yup, think so:

Locomotive

Black Tulip

airtaximan said...

right.

The mountain as I see it is higher today than ever before - before they could CLAIM production rates...

Today, they have a years worth of proof that its a disaster over there.

One begins a learning curve "somewhere"... this one going to require a lot of time and money to begin to resemble anything like what Vern has already admitted he needs - 500 units per year to B/E.

You know how to get from 50-70 or so (if they are lucky) a year to 500 or more?

The current cost per plane in labor only is $2.3 million or so.... you know what it takes to get this down to where Vern dreams it needs to be?

Huge hurdles... HUGE.

All the BS about the plane and plan being "Designed for high rate production" is basically proven to be BS at this point. Try to make it right?

And then there's Dayjet with 1/2 the orderbook...

Its going to be fun listening at NBAA... how THEY are going to squirm out of this?

PS. name a major fractional company that would consider buying e-clips planes, and I'll show you one that won't any time soon. No way any one of these will risk their reputation on never getting delivery.

mouse said...

The real story is right before our eyes... Hey Ken, When are you going to pay for your airplane? Why are you not buying one right now? What are you waiting for?

You tell us nearly everyday the plane is done, it performsas promised and advertised, it cost less than anything else in the air (jet), Etc..... So what are you waiting for? If there is any one sign that the program is busted big time, and will most likely not be measured as a success it's that their single biggest supported is scared to buy the plane.

ExEclipser said...

That complaintsboard.com entry was so ambiguous, I doubt that it was written by an actual customer. You would think that someone that plopped down $250 for the priviledge of buying $1000 tickets would be capable of punctuating and writing coherently. The complaint is more like a rant. There is no explanation of what exactly the complainant was lied to about.

100 mile flights? Hmm... (I guess PNS to TLH is about that)

No toilet? Hmmm... Everyone knows that already.

Taxpayers will have to absorb the hit? Hmmmm... Didn't see anywhere that DayJet was subsidized by any government or would require any sort of bailout that is different than any other large business venture.

Sounds like someone from THIS blog wrote that entry to start a flame war.

PubGrubber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PubGrubber said...

Interesting development today, Hampson Aerospace, the supplier for the E-clips Empennage has been awarded the contract to provide the empennage for the Honda Jet.

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

From the ken meyer school of parsing.

What is written:

"This additional funding will most likely smooth the cash flow issues for a couple of months, but until Eclipse can get into rate production (September) they will not be cash-flow neutral. Once they get into rate production (30 per month), then they likely will be good on cash flow and will not need to go to the credit markets again."

what is taken from this:

"This additional funding ......will smooth the cash flow issues ......................, ......... Eclipse can get into rate production (September) they will ... be cash-flow neutral. Once they get into rate production (30 per month), .... they ...... will be good on cash flow and will not need to go to the credit markets again."

See, it's easy to believe once you learn how.

airsafetyman said...

Is DayJet flying paying customers or are they not? Their website says that by the end of the second quarter (this year, I presume) they will be open for business. It would be nice to get a DayJetster customer to tell us how the service is/was not how it "will be".

Black Tulip said...

A day of remembrance.

Black Tulip

bill e. goat said...

“...there are about 50 in the hands of customers already! ...Eclipse aircraft will be popping off the assembly line like quarters at the U.S. Mint”.

Goat:
Good analogy. I think there are about 50 different quarters in circulation, and the design changes every 10 weeks or so.
----------------------
“And the Believers are laughing at you!”

Goat:
I think some folks* serve society best (most harmlessly) by sitting in a corner and giggling and laughing at everything the see (and imagine they see).

(*although not all of the Believers, and not exclusively Believers).
-----------------------
“Avio NG is on track”

Goat:
I REMAIN AMUSED !!!

(Apologies to M00...:)

ExEclipser said...

BT:

True

bill e. goat said...

Thanks for the reminder BT- I forgot it's 9/11

...guess I'm less amused than earlier today.

airtaximan said...

execlipser,

I know you would WANT to believe someone here wrote the complaint... just like you WANT to believe a lot of other stuff...

go back to the complaint link, and you can email the guy directly.

I'm sure he'd be happy to clear up anything you didn't like about his complaint.

Heck, complain directly to him about his post...

Ken Meyer said...

The DayJet launch has made news far and wide. Today's New York Times even had some words on it:

"GREEN LIGHT FOR AIR TAXIS DayJet, the fledgling air-taxi service that will use a fleet of new Eclipse 500 very light jets, got Federal Aviation Administration authorization to begin regular service. The carrier, which plans to begin operations flying between cities in Florida, has not announced a starting date but said it would begin taking bookings within weeks. The start was delayed by a technological snag, now resolved, that prevented the little jets from being cleared for instrument flying."

Airsafetyman--the answer to your question about whether DayJet has actually started carrying customers or not is in the Aviation Week story:

"DayJet expects to quietly begin operations in the next few days with a limited number of customers while it fine-tunes its operations, said John Staten, chief financial officer and vice president, business operations. Staten likened the "prelaunch" to opening a restaurant and testing it with a few customers before having a public debut. DayJet expects to formally launch its per-seat, on-demand air taxi service in October."


Ken

Niner Zulu said...

Ken,

What? Another regurgitated press release, this time courtesy of the New York Times? Notice the article doesn't mention the fact that the jets still aren't cleared for FIKI and there is no GPS on board other than a handheld.

DayJest appears to be following the same pattern as another company I know of -issue press release after press release after press release.

Eclipse and DayJest are two peas in a pod.

airtaximan said...

Thanks for this Ken:

"prelaunch" to opening a restaurant and testing it with a few customers

Hmm... I remember something about running a zillion trips in their virtual operation center...

I suggested this "virtual" thing to a restauranteur I know, and he said "perhpas we'll take virtual reservations, serve virtual food, provide virtual waiter staff, and of course, get virtual feedback - I'm sure this won't provide anything meaningful."

On a brighter note, their pre-launch will probably be flying friends and family - like invited guests to the pre-opening of the restaurant example. They should be able to manage the public reaction better this way!

I have no clue why if they have FAA approval, they have a working fleet, a trained compliment of flight crews, hundreds and hundreds of customer members, and they have a working reservation system that's been put through the paces in virtual testing involving thousands and thousands of trips .... they do not launch in a big way before NBAA and show the world how terrific they are?

Any takers?

airsafetyman said...

It seems like the Eclipse production experience would be a cautionary tale for DayJet. Here computer-oriented owners were going to allocate exactly x dollars for exactly Y time and develop an airplane with precisely Z characteristics, and they failed by a wide margin on all three. Now DayJet thinks it can isolate and quantify all the variables that go into charter and drop them into a program and - "presto" - a practically glitch-free operation. The endless "route-proving", or whatever they are doing, may be a clue that one or more lines of computer code were less than perfect?

airtaximan said...

perhaps they oversold, and they are afraid to under deliver before NBAA?

I thought I heard Ed say something about $2 a mile being the bottom end price now...

- I wonder how their membership works... how someone "agrees to make 4 trips"... what if there is no availability? What if the price they get is too high?

How can someone agree to make trips, at an undetermined service level, and at a undisclosed price?

scratch, scratch...scratch...

ExEclipser said...

ATM: Perhaps because DayJet's demand is greater than their supply. They hope to have 8 more planes by the end of this month and 10 more next month. Don't know if that's going to happen or not, but let's just hypothesize that DayJet isn't going to get their planes on time. GASP.

With 1200 members and 12 planes, I think that they need to be real careful balancing customer demand on their fledgling infrastructure. A 'soft opening' would allow the biggest customers access first without the system being completely bogged down by passengers trying to book the 36 available seats.

I presume that they will then open up to more passengers as they increase the size of their fleet. I would also presume from a customer service stand point that they should credit $151 towards the first flight of the members that paid $250 and allow their membership to be active for one year from their first actual booking. Finally, they could then allow the $99 members in with their membership active for a year from the moment they are allowed to book.

There is a balance act to take place. Customer service is an oft-misunderstood philosophy by companies. But the underlying mission of the company should be to balance company profits and customer satisfaction.

ExEclipser said...

Yes. I know there are no profits in the first year of this game. So let's rephrase that to company revenue.

Niner Zulu said...

Airsafetyman, the longer that Dayjet can put off their launch, the longer they stay solvent.

Had this company launched a few years ago, I might have given them a slightly better chance of survival. But they are late to the party - fuel prices have more than doubled in the past 4 years and consumers wallets are shrinking as the economy contracts. Consumers aren't able to use their home as an ATM machine now that home equity loans are harder and more expensive to get. As in any contracting economy, the first thing to go will be frivolous expenditures - and private jet for most people is certainly a frivolous expenditure.

airtaximan said...

execlipser,

interesting scenario...

I wonder if in anyones membership contract it is stated, service subject to aircraft availability... if it does, they should have no problem opening the flood gates and flying with 2-3 passenges and showing the model works.

If you are correct, and somehow they know how many planes they will need in the "peak" as opposed to the quiet periods and they can identify which customers to turn on... in order to maintain some service level WITH some level of revenue... as you like to think.

By the way, I think the more you noodle on this, the more you'll find that your scenario or explanation for why the soft launch, is not a terrific answer. It might be one you like.

Planning to not dissappoint customers, and have high load factors, and some consistent service level by NOT activating customer accounts is rediculous, if you have 10 planes.

They do not have 1200 sutomers, its reported to be more like 600-800... even Ed has caught himself saying the worng number in public, and corrected himself.

- even 1000 customers, making 4 trips per year... is 4,000 tips. If they all show up next Monday, or half of them, or 10 percent of them, of 5% of them, or 1 percent of them... to go somewhere... they are going to make a lot of them unhappy...by your reasoning.

I guess you would have to propose, how many planes you need per "member" to properly serve the customer...

I'd say, you aint got a clue and neither do they.

PS. no one said the $99 membership was a lower value or you would get a lower priority. It was a discount of the normal membership. Nice try.

This is going to be fun to watch. Fingers crossed.

airsafetyman said...

Thanks Niner Zulu,

Something strange is going on with the DayJet introduction, that's for sure. I wonder if the limited payload is forcing DayJet to try and launch service single-pilot; that way they can take (maybe) three passengers? It does look grim.

ExEclipser said...

Using OLD AFM numbers, lessee....

Empty Weight = 3700 (allows for some Part 135 extras)
Crew (2) = 480
Pax (3) = 720
Baggage = 30
Total No Fuel = 4930 lbs

Estimated Fuel from BCT to PNS (longest possible current leg) = 640 lbs

Add a reserve of 230 lbs and you're right at max ramp. Hardly an ideal loading scenario, but harldy out of line, either.

You have no case.

ExEclipser said...

So it's your turn, ASM. Substantiate your opinion. Baggage? This is DayJet, not Delta. Unreasonable to fly direct? Perhaps, but so is 5-240lb persons onboard. Use FAA standar person, and suddenly we have 350 lbs more fuel we can load on (250 if you use the most recent 190 lb'er).

In any case, not so likely there will be direct flights between BCT and PNS. They stop and load and take on fuel as needed.

Where is your payload crisis?

airsafetyman said...

"Where is your payload crisis?"

Where is DayJet's service?

Stan Blankenship said...

Would it not make sense to pick the two Day Port cities where they expect the most traffic and begin operations between those two city pairs?

Then as the bugs are worked out, add a third, work out the bugs then add a fourth.

airsafetyman said...

So we have an airplane that can't fly non-stop between BCT and PNS with any meaningful payload? Speaking of which, the Boca-Pensacola direct route is mostly over the Gulf of Mexico. Where does the life raft go, or was that left out along with the standby attitude indicator?

Ken Meyer said...

That's not true.

They flew that exact flight yesterday (DJS 115). By my calculations, with generous reserves for bad routing and low altitude assignment, they can right now take two pilots and two passengers on that route. It goes up to two pilots and three passengers with the aeromod aircraft.

Ken

airsafetyman said...

"It goes up to two pilots and three passengers with the aeromod aircraft."

Sure it does. And back down to two passemgers (if that) with the raft, life vests, and survival gear.

cj3driver said...

BCT-PNS (475nm) or BCT-TLH (350nm) are both routes that will not be very popular with DayJet. A quick look on expedia show those city pairs are conveniently served non-stop by Delta out of FLL (15miles from BCT). Departures at 8am and returns at 4pm. $459 round trip (last minute).

Even at $2 per mile a DayJetter is looking at a $1,500 bill rt, “add the stop on the way” and a 4 hour departure window, and the airline is a no-brainer.

jetaburner said...

I don't know if the DayJet model will work but it is interesting. It is clear that the Eclipse doesn't add much value as a traditional charter plane because of limited range, payload, size, etc. The cost savings (if any) aren't significant over a King Air and the time savings isn't significant either because the e-clips has to go high and slows down to realize its full range. I see a limited market for traditional charter.

The real question for DayJet is whether their dayport model will work. I'm not convinced that non-aviation types are going to feel comfortable in such a small plane. You also have to share that small cabin with a complete stranger who may be sick, smell bad, or worse, have bad gas!! We all know from flying small planes how intimate such a small space can be. It would be like sharing a taxi in NYC instead of taking the bus or subway (airlines).

ExEclipser said...

And that suits me fine. I doubt that very many folks will make such a trip. Pair up PNS or TLH with GNV or LAL and DayJet's purpose is much better defined. But even if one chooses to buy BCT to PNS and pay for it, DayJet shouldn't have any problem accomodating.

I'd like to see how their plan expands...

gadfly said...

". . . with the raft, life vests, and survival gear"

Serious question(s): Concerning flight over water, what are the requirements? And details like "egress" from a ditched aircraft, flotation requirements of both aircraft and passengers, etc.?

Does it apply to small jets? 'Not just Eclipse, but all small aircraft. Comments?

gadfly

(It's been too many years for me, and I am not current on this supbject.)

cj3driver said...

Speaking of traditional charter;

Is the tail number for North American's charter Eclipse N875NA?

If it is, Its only made one IFR trip so far this month.

Ken Meyer said...

airsafetyman wrote,

"And back down to two passemgers (if that) with the raft, life vests, and survival gear."

That stuff is not required. FAR 135.167.

Ken

Gunner said...

Exe said:
"I'd like to see how their plan expands..."

At this point, I'd settle just to see them launch. In the words of Eli Wallach, "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk!".

CJ3-
I'm certain it's flying many hours every day. They're just using their call sign. ;-)

Gunner

ThisWillHurt said...

Is the tail number for North American's charter Eclipse N875NA?

YES

airsafetyman said...

That "stuff" IS required - FAR 91.509

jetaburner said...

I think we all can agree that DayJet will be an interesting case study and the jury is still out. True?

I think we can also agree that e-clips needs to do a significant volume (probably 3 to 5k jets over the next 5-7 years) in order to produce the jet for their targeted price: <$1M originally and now $1.8M. True?

If DayJet doesn't succeed, than other charter companies and consumers will have to meet the demand in order to reach production goals. True?

DayJet has about 50% of the orders. True?

The other 50% are owner pilots. True?

So.... seems logical to me that if DayJet does not succeed and/or the owner market is not as strong as e-clips is forecasting, e-clips will have to significantly raise prices (which they have already done so by 80% over their original projetions).

After playing around with the performance spreedsheet from the e-clips owner's site it seems like the plane will do (no wind):
- In good VFR, uncogested airspace: 3 people, 1100nm.
- In either congested or IMC, 3 people, 1000- 900nm.
- In congested airspace w/ IMC: 3 people, 700-800nm.

Ken- Before you start arguing these points, I've been watching flight aware and haven't seen an e-clips do more than 650nm and they all seem to file between FL250 and FL350 at 325kts. This is real world data. 230lbs of VFR reserves to go 1300nm is ridiculously small for a plane that burns 830pph at HSC at 10k.

Other comparable new turbine planes on the market today (#s are approx.):

Meridian: $1.9M, 800-1000nm with 3 people. 250kts

TBM850: $2.8M, 1200-1300nm with 4 people. 320kts

Mustang: $2.8M, 1100nm with 4 people. 340kts

Pilatus: $3.3M, 1700nm with everybody!! 270kts

My point is that the jury is still out on the demand side and therefore the final pricing once the dust settles. The plane will fly but it is not a revolutionary product nor or there any significant technological breakthroughs. It is just another product offering. I don't see a huge demand for it from the owner flown market based on the historical #s of the Meridian, TBM, Pilatus, CJs, etc. The owner flown market has always preferred payload, size, and range over speed, efficiency and cost. The TBM vs. Pilatus proves this point as does the CJ1+ vs. the CJ2/3. What makes you think something has changed?

By the way, my friend who was very serious about buying an e-clips and was offered sn #31 after they told him he couldn't get one until 2009 was just offered sn #91 and #92. He bought a used TBM instead.

cj3driver said...

Exe said;

“ … I doubt that very many folks will make such a trip. Pair up PNS or TLH with GNV or LAL and DayJet's purpose is much better defined… “

Exe

I agree, but if DayJet proves the market exists for the short hops between city pairs such as these, wouldn’t competition just provide schedule service in 10 seat caravans at 50% fare or less? That’s what Linear does.

Or, just run 10 seat caravans up and down the state every two hours. Get on .. get off ... just like the bus. $200 a leg.

Just a thought.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I haven't read part 135.167 but I did charter a jet from SDL to the Bahamas last year and the crew told us it was required to have the massive life rest on board and in the cabin (it was large and heavy and I asked them to put it in the back with the luggage).

Ken Meyer said...

airsafetyman wrote,

"That "stuff" IS required - FAR 91.509"

The 91.500 et seq regulations don't apply to Part 135 operations.

Jetaburner--yes; the raft is heavy. That's why I'm pretty sure DayJet will not be flying "extended overwater operations" as defined in 14 CFR Part 1. Too burdensome for them to comply; much better to just route themselves within 50 miles of shore (or get approval for OpSpecs that say they can go out a little further).

Ken

airsafetyman said...

Part 135.167 is even more restrictive than the Part 91 reference. You must have a life preserver for each occupant, a life raft, a survivor locator light, a pyrotech signaling device, a survival kit, and a survival ELT. If you don't have a "specified" kit, there is a whole laundry list of things you must have including food, as well as water for each occupant, and even oars for the raft.

Ken Meyer said...

jetburner wrote,

"Ken- Before you start arguing these points, I've been watching flight aware and haven't seen an e-clips do more than 650nm and they all seem to file between FL250 and FL350 at 325kts."

Then, by your own admission, you're using the wrong data.

Your range figures are completely valid for the non-aeromod aircraft. But only for the non-aeromod aircraft.

You forgot something important--all the planes are coming out now with higher cruise speeds, lower drag, and bigger tanks than anything you've seen on Flightaware. Those planes you've been tracking are all getting bigger fuel tanks and the other improvements, most of them by the end of the year. Make your point then.

Ken

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I believe you are right in that it you are required to have a raft if you are more than 50 miles off shore for either part 91 or 135. Everytime I've flown to the Bahamas they ask me if I have a raft and life preservers on board.

airsafetyman said...

"(or get approval for OpSpecs that say they can go out a little further)"

They haven't even started business yet and you are takling about exemptions? The FAA are not complete fools.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

Fair enough regarding the aero-mods and larger tip tanks but 650nm at 325kts is far from 1100-1300nm at 360kts. As you should note in my post above comparing the e-clips to other aircraft, I used a range value of 700 to 1100nm for the e-clips depending on wx and airspace. The Flight Aware observation is what the non-mod planes are doing in the real world. Do the aero-mods increase efficiency and range 70%? (The difference between 650nm and 1100nm)

Ken Meyer said...

airsafetyman wrote,

"They haven't even started business yet and you are takling about exemptions? The FAA are not complete fools."

That "expert opinion" from the very man who just told us that DayJet has to carry rafts because of FAR 91.509!

Trust me; they will not be carrying rafts.

Ken

airsafetyman said...

"Trust me; they will not be carrying rafts."

O.K., If that is the case they will not be flying direct from Boca to Pensacola either! So why are they doing it on the "proving" runs? I suggest you read FAR 135.167 which absolutely MANDATES life preservers and life rafts and a host of other equipment for overwater part 135 operations. This is the reference YOU cited for NOT requiring rafts; an implication which was TOTALLY incorrect.

Ken Meyer said...

jetaburner asked,

"Do the aero-mods increase efficiency and range 70%? (The difference between 650nm and 1100nm)"

You proceed from a false premise.

thiswillhurt wrote,

"Is the tail number for North American's charter Eclipse N875NA?"

They're flying it under a callsign. It last flew 9/7/07.

Ken

cj3driver said...

I believe call sign for North American is SFH875.

Its flown 3 missions this month and 2 last month. a total of 11 hours.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

What is the false premise? Is it that the non-aero-mod plane can only go 650nm? I only said that was the longest flight I had seen on Flight Aware which is not an absolute indicator of the planes true range and performance but it does show how they are used in the real world.

ExEclipser said...

North American Jet Charter has 8 flights in the last 19 days in the EA50. Their call sign (winkin' back atcha, Gunner!) is SFH875.

Interesting note about the DJS115 flight that Ken referred to -

It was a 2 hour flight, and followed anything BUT a straight route. At HSC, I figure it burned 1000 lbs of fuel. 5 FAA Certified men, 250 lbs of reserves, and no baggage, no problem.

It did look like they had a pit stop (to use the potty, no doubt) in GNV on their way back.

Ken Meyer said...

airsafetyman wrote,

"If that is the case they will not be flying direct from Boca to Pensacola either!"

Actually, the direct flight only goes 68 miles offshore. If they could get the routing, they'd add only 2 nm to the leg length to comply with FAR 135.167 by staying within 50 nm of the shore.

But that's not the real problem with that route. You need to look at a map to see what the real problem really is.

Ken

ExEclipser said...

CJ3: I don't know how your got your flights, but an unrestricted round trip NON STOP ticket for same day departure and return (tomorrow) from FLL to PNS is $1,515 per travelocity.com. Business class not available.

Cheapest RT non stop I found was $667. Cheapest period was $549, but required a huge layover in Tampa (total trip time 6:49).

Even two stops on DayJet at 20 minutes a pop would be a 2:40 flight. I'm sure that if the airlines post fares as high as $1515 for economy class, there are at least 2-3 people who would prefer to take DayJet.

ExEclipser said...

What credentials do you claim to be "Airsafetyman?" You obviously don't use data to back up your claims, and your knowledge of the FARs is disappointing. I don't claim to be a student of the FARs other than what it took to get my ticket. But FAR 135.167 clearly states "Extended Overwater Operations" which is defined in FAR 1 as "...an operation over water at a horizontal distance of more than 50 NM from the nearest shoreline..."

Therefore, your vitriolic statement: "I suggest you read FAR 135.167 which absolutely MANDATES life preservers and life rafts and a host of other equipment for overwater part 135 operations." is, in fact, incorrect.

Shane Price said...

Ken,

I would be the typical DayJet target customer. Business owner, regular airline traveller over 'typical' 500nm to 750nm distances, many of which I could NOT do by car. Most of the time, two bodies of water get in my way. They are called the Irish Sea and the English Channel....

This blog first attracted my attention when researching my options for a private aircraft, with a view to using a charter service initally. That way, I would see first hand what the benefits actually were.

I've never been inside an E499.5. All I have heard about it makes me doubt, really REALLY doubt, that I would ever be happy to get into one.

And my big problem?

Water.

Lots and lots of water. Whatever direction I want to go from here, I'm going over it. Literally. North, south, east or especially west, I have no choice.

As I get older, I've become one of those guys who reads the safety leaflet in that 'seat pocket in front' of me.

Every time.

So what you are saying, in a casual way, about life saving equipment, concerns me.

And if DayJet are not going to be ABLE to cart this 'stuff' around, they are going to have issues with people like me.

IMHO

Shane

cj3driver said...

Exe,
Try expedia, PNS-FLL
I just did it again and got $708 rt for tomorrow flight Delta fl 6127 8am and 6163 6pm return. $592 with a stop.

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"If they could get the routing, they'd add only 2 nm to the leg length to comply with FAR 135.167 by staying within 50 nm of the shore."

Stick to the AZ/CA hops, Brother Ken. The Gulf Routes are not subject to deviation or directs.

But I do give you high marks for attempted sleight of hand. You started out "promising" they didn't need over-water equipment; and now have added the fine print "If they can get an exemption".

Amazing ability to disregard the FACTS. Really.
Gunner

cj3driver said...

EXE,

Same fare $708 ns FLL-PNS or $519 with a stop. tommorrow

gadfly said...

The more you people "talk", I'm beginning to think the FAA will soon require a "third" crew member aboard, a "Philadephia Lawyer", to discover how to either skirt the clear regulations, or at least come close to violation without actually "going over the line".

One thing is being clearly demonstrated: The margins of error seem to be extremely narrow for an aircraft that should be extremely "user friendly". And that is my opinion, without a shred of evidence to prove it in a court of law.

gadfly

Shane Price said...

Execlipser, Ken,

Your recent posts went up while I was busy typing.

And having dinner.

I should really refine my concerns as WANTING to have (at least) a life vest and some method of exiting the aircraft on water explained to me.

What I read from your posts is that DayJet don't need the 'stuff'.

Well, DayJet may not.

But I do....

Is that reasonable? I think it is. Tell me I'm wrong, and why.

Shane

jetaburner said...

Exe Said:

"It was a 2 hour flight, and followed anything BUT a straight route. At HSC, I figure it burned 1000 lbs of fuel. 5 FAA Certified men, 250 lbs of reserves, and no baggage, no problem."

Don't you think 250lbs is really small reserve for a plane that burns 830pph at 10k?

jetaburner said...

EXE-

I use 400lbs in my TBM which has lower fuel burns.

airsafetyman said...

execlipser,

My, testy aren't we? Tell you what, when/if DayJet begins service go down to Boca and charter the airplane to Pensacola! Maybe when you are 49.9 miles offshore and things get deadly quiet you can look under your seat for the life vest that isn't there. If you are 50.1 miles offshore maybe you will come up with the exemption application from DayJet to the FAA absolving them from the regulations - and common sense as well.

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"Stick to the AZ/CA hops, Brother Ken. The Gulf Routes are not subject to deviation or directs."

I'm well-acquainted with the Q routes, Rich. I wonder if you are--there are no gulf routes that would correspond to the direct route between KBCT and KPNS that we were discussing. Your point is an interesting one that is totally irrelevant.

BTW, you can get RNAV direct offshore when you remain within radar coverage.

You may return to your coma now, Rich.

Ken

Gunner said...

Ken-
A Flight from Boca to Pensacola will likely be filed using Q-104/112 (those were "Q-Routes", last I checked). Like I said, stick to the AZ/CA hops.

One might possibly take J41/43 out of St Pete, but that's a longer way around and further out in the shark infested Gulf; the Gulf that you don't think passengers will mind traveling over without minor comfort items like life rafts and flotation; at 2-3X the price of the airlines.

Just keepin' it real.
Gunner

Niner Zulu said...

Dayjet may fly over water, but their bank account is going to clearly be under water.

I'm not sure why the issue of why Dayjet will or won't survive as a business is split so clearly along the same party lines as exist with the Eclipse - with the diehards on one side and the critics on the other. This would make an interesting social study.

The thing is, I don't think it matters whether they fly a Djet, Eclipse, Mustang, or whatever - the business plan doesn't make sense. I can't find rose colored glasses rosy enough to make this venture look like it has a bright future.

Besides the economics, the Dayjet model doesn't take into account people's inherent fear of riding in small aircraft. My best friend's girlfriend sat in my Mirage this weekend for the first time - I could tell by the look on her face that my plane was a LOT smaller than what she was expecting. She tried to be a good actress and cover up her disappointment but you could just tell that her idea of a "small" plane was something the size of a G4. And the Eclipse is very similar in size to the Mirage.

Now, take a not-so-nice paying passenger who is overweight and try to shoehorn them and their luggage into an Eclipse, and watch the fireworks start. I wonder how an obnoxious, overbearing and pissed-off passenger fits into the Dayjet equation, especially when there are just inches seperating them from the 2 pilots responsible for the safety of everyone on board.

Denial must be a wonderful thing. It makes bad business plans look like great ones, struggling companies look like successful ones. To quote Wikipedia "Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimisation) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility (transference). The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction."

Gunner said...

"insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence."

The Faithful are evidently beyond denial; they seldom even notice "overwhelming evidence"; preferring, instead, the demand for absolute "proof". The Faithful must be mathematicians (in all things but their own financial matters). ;-)
Gunner

ExEclipser said...

ASM: Lifevest? Is that all you said was required in your post? I thought for SURE you said "MANDATES life preservers and life rafts and a host of other equipment".

I'm thinking that the Eclipse does NOT have floatation seats, but it would be nothing but a thing for DayJet to put in a few life vests.

DayJet hasn't demonstrated on FlightAware that they spend much more than gliding distance from land over water. But this discussion stems from the fact that you did quite clearly say that any 135 operation over any water (that would include rivers, streams, and Lake Okechobee) would require RAFTS.

Shane Price said...

9Z,

Good post. Makes a series of valid points that are difficult for the Faithful to address.

Especially the denial bit.

What part of the video Dan Bricklin shot in ABQ on August 13th do they insist on avoiding?

SN 51 was waiting for the 'NASCAR transporter' to move it to wing mate. Vern himself said so.

Did that transporter do the NASCAR bit and crash into a wall?

It's a month later and no sign of a CoA or any other indication of progress on SN 51. Stan's post the day before yesterday mentions SN 54 as 'wings just being mated'.

That makes 3, (as in one, two, three) units in almost an ENTIRE month....

Any comment from the Faithful?

That great movie about the difference between reality and perception, "All the Presidents' Men" has Deep Throat telling Robert Redford to 'follow the money'.

In the the linked case of DayJet and Eclipse, I would submit that a similar effort will tell the whole sorry story.

The only difference is, no one can impeach Vern Raburn.

Shane
PS I got stuck in Chicago 6 years ago today. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who suffered on that sad, sad day.

ExEclipser said...

9Z: "The thing is, I don't think it matters whether they fly a Djet, Eclipse, Mustang, or whatever - the business plan doesn't make sense. I can't find rose colored glasses rosy enough to make this venture look like it has a bright future."

So that's what makes DayJet a perfect match with Eclipse. Double negatives are a positive, right?

gadfly said...

It’s a good thing that Vern is designing aeroplanes and not submarines. We had a fuel efficiency of fifteen gallons per nautical mile (120,000 gallons . . . 8,000 miles) . . . and a test depth of about 409 feet. But we knew that we could get about seven gallons of diesel fuel per mile (17,000 miles), and go maybe 800 feet down, before we reached “crush depth”. But for everything to work on the “Paper Clips”, a person has to cut everything to the absolute limit . . . and hope for the best of last minute “meteorological conditions” (I added those terms, so that you would know I actually studied the subject, in depth). Sure, every aircraft is in a similar situation, but if Eclipse is moving into disruptive technology, my impression is that the “engines” and all systems have “read the manual”, and wouldn’t dare exceed the limits proclaimed back in Albuquerque. Maybe that’s why the Eclipse is built in New Mexico, “The Land of Enchantment” (the state motto). Hey, don’t laugh! Bill Richardson believes that . . . and he’s your next president. What? . . . You don’t believe it? ‘Just ask him, and he is the biggest supporter of Eclipse in the state. (No pun intended.)

Oh, by the way, don’t hold the flight for me . . . I’ve made other accommodations for my travel plans .

gadfly

(Posted for your afternoon entertainment! . . . and to “stir the pot”. I will now retire to the bleachers and watch from the sidelines. Carry on!)

airtaximan said...

From AIN, just in....

DayJet president and CEO Ed Iacobucci told AIN today that a customer has booked the first flight for its “on-demand, per-seat” service. The Gainesville to Pensacola, Fla. flight is to take place next week using one of DayJet’s 12 Eclipse 500s. DayJet’s reservation system is currently open only to 24 select customer accounts.

"24 select customer accounts"
already 1 passenger, next week.

Just think - had they opened up all 1000 accounts, they would now have 41 bookings for next week. How cool would that have been!

... rrriiiigghttt!

airtaximan said...

Ken: here's a story on how MODs really are an acceptable strategy for improving business jets...

"Clifford Development has expanded certification efforts for its Cessna Citation II re-engining and airframe modification program to include the S/II (CE-S550). Like the company’s Citation II program, the modification will include replacing the S/II’s Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D turbofans with Williams FJ44-3 turbofans, as well as adding winglets and more than 30 other systems enhancements. Clifford expects the re-engined CE-S550 will have significant performance improvements, including a 75-percent reduction in time to climb to FL 430, a 40-percent NBAA range increase (with four passengers), a 28-percent reduction in fuel costs and shorter takeoff field lengths. “The gains in fuel efficiency and speed, combined with reduced engine maintenance costs, can allow recovery of this investment in three to five years of typical operation,” the company claims. Work on the certification airplane will begin later this month, with first flight scheduled for November. STC approval for the $2.185 million conversion is expected early next year."

- Imagin if they would have done these mode within the first year of delivery - man, what a value proposition this would have been!

ahhhhahhaaa!

ExEclipser said...

It's probably an Eclipse tech flying to PNS to install a widget on a grounded DayJet...

Ken Meyer said...

gunner wrote,

"A Flight from Boca to Pensacola will likely be filed using Q-104/112"

Not on DayJet, it won't. Not til Avio NG anyway. Those are RNAV routes.

But thanks for making my point for me. The routing you suggested doesn't pass more than 50 miles offshore. A Part 135 operator does not need to carry a raft to fly it.

Ken

jetaburner said...

Here's how these planes will really be flown as shown on FlightAware N858GS.

- Henderson, NV (KHND) to Santa Monica (KSMO)
- Filed for FL280 an 275kts. FYI... Exactly what I would have filed in my TBM.
- Highest altitude was FL220 and speed was 302gs speed.
- ETE: 1hr 15min (had to estimate since they are still flying)
- Program says that the plane will burn 437lbs. Probably more since th programs assumes 3k ft descents and only one level off on the climb and descent. Also, since the program only allocates 30lbs for taxi which seems only possible in the "Vern" world, lets round up to 500lbs for total trip.

So... Fuel burn = 500lbs, for 1hr 15min trip in which you should plan on at least 400lbs. reserve for that busy airspace. Which means you can add 787lbs to your useful load. You can actually fill the seats!! Oh yeah, you only went 200miles.

The TBM will do the same trip for less and in the same time. It is proven, easily insurable, and has been doing it for 15 years. Where's the revolution??

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I haven't seen a cross country flight of an EA50 on FlightAware that is longer than 2hrs. Can you show me one?

Gunner said...

Ken-
You slay me with your facility to move from real to paper aircraft and back again, depending on the needs of your argument.

Yep, Q-104/112 are RNAV routes; but AVIOng is right around the corner, according to you. RNAV routes are GOOD. They save precious fuel, Ken. You more than anyone knows the value of a gallon of JetA....you lecture us on it ad nauseum.

Yep, Q-104/112 are not 50 miles offshore. Ask a typical traveler (like Shane) if that makes him more comfortable when paying more than First Class rates and learning that Le Petit CANNOT carry a couple passengers PLUS a Life Raft.

Yep, they're Q-Routes, Ken. Q-104 and Q-112; the PREFERRED routes for REAL jets with REAL avionics to get from Boca to Pensie.

Glad to see you admit they exist. Kinda puts the LIE to your previous bluff,
"I'm well-acquainted with the Q routes, Rich. I wonder if you are--there are no gulf routes that would correspond to the direct route between KBCT and KPNS"

Why do you regularly need to prevaricate in this way, Ken? You inevitably get B-U-S-T-E-D.....again.
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

Niner Zulu raises interesting points about the Eclipse phenomenon. Today in a contemplative spirit may I add a few others?

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 everyman’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

jetaburner said...

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!!

gadfly said...

Dark Blossom

You asked a question a couple nights ago . . . I ignored you for the moment, to make a point on something else. But you now have their attention, in spite of all that has been said.

Well done! Excellent review!

gadfly

Gunner said...

Add my voice to that, BT.
That is one hell of a summary of 10 years in Avionics History.

I, too, would LOVE a Free Lunch, offered up by new technologies. This one simply didn't make the menu.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Stan

"Hint, hint?!" BT gave a beautiful review . . . I vote for a new thread.

gadfly

Ken Meyer said...

jeta wrote,

"The TBM will do the same trip for less and in the same time. It is proven, easily insurable, and has been doing it for 15 years. Where's the revolution??"

The TBM is a single-engine, propeller-driven plane that costs $2.8 million.

What you just observed was that the Eclipse can perform a typical mission that your TBM performs. That, of course, is why Socata is worried.

But the Eclipse can do a number of flights faster than your TBM. It offers a lot of avionics capability that Socata is only now contemplating (Heaven only knows why Socata decided to stick with a steam gauge system so long). It has substantially better performance in the event of engine failure. It can climb over weather that you'd be slugging through. It's not made in France. And it costs over a million bucks less.

The TBM is a great plane. At $1.5 million, it would certainly interest me. At $2.8 million, I think it's overpriced. For my $2.8 million, I'd take the Mustang in a flash over the TBM.

"I haven't seen a cross country flight of an EA50 on FlightAware that is longer than 2hrs. Can you show me one?"

I don't follow them that closely, and many Eclipse flights are blocked. Why don't you post your question at the Eclipse 500 Club? It will be seen by a broader number of owners, some of whom have probably done the exact sort of flight you're asking about.

Ken

hummer said...

jetaburner
Try N875NA on August 11, 2007

jetaburner said...

Ken,

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...

Ken-

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...

Ken-

Last point on this. Markets have a funny way of correcting perception. The CJ2 and CJ3 have retained their values better than the CJs and CJ1s. Common belief is that the CJs and CJ1s don't offer enough payload and range compared to the CJ2 and CJ3s. They just aren't "jet enough."

The TBMs have done well but the Pilatus have done even better while I lost a lot of money on my Meridian. See a trend? The market values payload, range, and quality above all else. We'll see what happens to the e-clips. I know 3 pilots who were interested and/or had a deposit on the e-clips and all of them have given up on the e-clips (2 bought TBMs and one upgraded his KA90).

jetaburner said...

Hummer-

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).