“And the days dwindle down
To a precious few
From the outside things appear quiet at Eclipse. The public relations machine is on mute and a few airplanes are rolling out to the ramp. On the inside I envision a futuristic scene. Remember the James Bond movie in which the hero defuses the hydrogen bomb with 007 seconds left to go?
The threat to Eclipse is a different nuclear device. The neutron bomb was developed during the Cold War to minimize damage to property but maximize destruction of people. During a previous recession certain real estate investments were known as neutron bombs because they destroyed investors but left buildings standing.
If there is a neutron bomb at Eclipse, it is probably connected to the balance sheet and the bank account. It is counting down in dollars, not seconds. The hangars, unfinished aircraft, airframe components, engines and friction stir welding jig are not in jeopardy. Employees and their families, investors, depositors, vendors, trade creditors and government officials could be.
I see this infernal engine ticking away in an Eclipse laboratory. The big red display is clicking off dollars at a furious rate. The instructions on the device read, “This neutron bomb can only be deactivated by connection to a fully functioning Avio NG system via the USB port below. Begin functional test by pressing red button.”
The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.