Monday, October 08, 2007

The blog's a year and a half old

With 165 posts and over 14,000 comments, there is really not much new to cover that has not been hashed and re-hashed on this board.

Yet questions certainly remain. What's going on in ABQ? How many airplanes are getting their C of A's? How many are being delivered? Why is there such a lag in getting deliveries and C of A information posted to the FAA site? How many pilots are being trained? How many units are on lease back to the company? How many units are in the hands of owners and being used in a practical manner? What are the post aero-mod empty weights and CG locations? What is the plan for the next round of financing which most admit will surely be needed? Excluding the DayJet options, what is the true picture of the order backlog? When will AvioNG be certified?

My expectations were that a clearer picture would emerge after NBAA. In fact, the picture seems cloudier. Since July, Eclipse has only issued two press releases, one in August on the auction and one in September on the opening of the Double Eagle Training facility. And other than telling the world he has a 'green' airplane, Vern did not say much else at NBAA, even refused to make any future predictions.

In the Eclipse glory days, nearly everything written about the program would get re-posted on the Eclipse web site. Now that the press has caught on, and more critical articles are being written, Eclipse is no longer quick to repeat what is being said. The latest article Eclipse wanted to preserve for posterity has an August dateline.

Even Mike Press has found a way to avoid writing about questionable issues in ABQ, find an impressionable owner-pilot, give him a ride in the left seat and presto, his monthly column is written by a surrogate.

78 comments:

Ken Meyer said...

Mike Press is busy giving demo rides and selling airplanes, and he doesn't need to spread sunshine--the plane speaks for itself.

I just did a speed check on yesterday's flight of one of the extended tip tank Eclipse 500's from Westchester to Atlanta. They flew right by a sounding station shortly after the winds aloft were recorded, so we can calculate actual performance of the plane.

No surprises--the plane is getting exactly book numbers--just over 350 KTAS at FL320 despite warm temps. And, by the book, it is doing it with a fuel efficiency of 0.77 nm/lb--that's an impressively good fuel efficiency for a jet at that altitude (over 5 nm/gal and 75% better fuel efficiency than a CJ1 under similar circumstances).

A year and a half after starting the blog, there are preciously few issues left open for debate. Those that remain are getting checked off the list day by day.

Ken

mirage00 said...

A year and a half after starting the blog, there are preciously few issues left open for debate. Those that remain are getting checked off the list day by day.

Yep, now we have Stan himself blogging about someone else not blogging. Strange times indeed.

zzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZ zzzzzZZZZZZZZ

My prediction stands... This blogs days are numbered. Was it year end?

I remain amused

double 00

airsafetyman said...

Only two EA 500s flying now. It has been very slow all morning for the fleet. One is inbound to ABQ from Arkansas and one is a DayJet going to Gainesville from Boca. Guess the rest of the eleventy-million are "blacked-out" for "security" reasons.

Ken Meyer said...

Actually, there are three right now, not counting the blocked ones. 50% more than the number of Mustangs in the air.

You're just being a sore loser :)

Ken

airsafetyman said...

And the name of the Cessna Mustang air taxi fleet is....?

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“… I just did a speed check on yesterday's flight of one of the extended tip tank Eclipse 500's from Westchester to Atlanta … over 5 nm/gal and 75% better fuel efficiency than a CJ1 under similar circumstances…”

Ken,

The CJ1 gets over 4 nm/gal. at altitude. 75% better? …. Wierd math.

BTW - after the flight to Atlanta, the same Eclipse flew to ABQ. An 1,100 mile flight. It took 4:40 and approx 2241 lbs of fuel (includes 45 min fuel stop). With a 30 kt headwind, a CJ1 could do that same trip in 3:20 min and 2550 lbs non-stop, and a Mustang 3:47 and 1950 lbs, non-stop.

Just for reference, a CJ3 does this trip (30kts wind) in 3:04 and 2570 lbs.

The point is … no matter how many times you post it, there is nothing revolutionary about the Eclipse. Its just a tiny plane that burns proportionally less fuel for its size.

bill e. goat said...

Question for M00,

Which is going to last longer:

1) Eclipse Corp as presently incarnated

-or-

2) This blog.

(I think maybe this could be rephrased into: How long are the sugar daddies (not the depositors) going to keep floating Eclipse?)

I'd pick the blog.

Stan Blankenship said...

Ken,

Press may not need to spread the sunshine nor does he talk about cold weather starting issues or brake/tire life or several other inconvienient subjects.

And you continue to bring up safety issues of the Eclipse vs the Mustang but invariably forget to mention the absence of windshield bird proof testing for the Eclipse.

Also, you have frequently brought up the safety aspect concerning the loss of an engine. Cessna anticipates the problem and only publishes loss-of-an-engine balanced field lengths for the Mustang. Eclipse has went to great lengths to keep the airplane below 6,000 lbs to avoid having to publish engine-out BFL's.

With regards to your debates with the single engine owners, don't forget, you are twice as apt to lose an engine in a twin as in a single.

And the blog has heard you thump-the-tub over a dozen times that the airplane is making the "book numbers". It may be making the recently revised "book numbers" but not those advertised when most of the Eclipse order book was filled. Remember the good old days when Vern was claiming 375 kts at FL 410.

Much of the debate on the blog concerns whether the glass is half-full or half-empty. My conclusion is that a half-full glass of water is looking mighty good to that poor guy crawling across the desert outside Wikenburg

JetProp Jockey said...

This information may have been published earlier. I am unable to read 100% of what is posted when I am away for a few days.

According to the latest edition to Twin and Turbine, the following is some information about Morten Wagner who was the winning bidder for the E-500 sold on E-bay:

"The 35 year old internet entrepreneur said he was determined to win the auction and was prepared to make another bid if he had to. He plans to use the airplane for business travel throughout Europe and to travel among his homes in London, Spain and Denmark. He started flying about a year and a half ago, having logged just more than 450 hours, and owns a Cirrus SR22"

I wonder if he has his type rating yet and how he intends to register the plane in Europe?

cj3driver said...

Bill E said;

Which is going to last longer:
1) Eclipse Corp as presently incarnated
-or-
2) This blog.

Goat;

Eclipse apparently has cash at this point. When/if the cash runs out, there will be digruntled sugar daddies and unhappy (jilted) depositors chiming in.

The fat lady is still in her dressing room, warming up her voice.

…. I vote … This blog.

FlightCenter said...

Several folks on this blog have made the point that aircraft utilization is the critical success factor for an air taxi or charter company.

According to flightaware records, the DayJet fleet did make any flights at all yesterday (Sunday 10/7). On Saturday only one plane in the DayJet fleet flew, making 2 flights for a total of 2 hours flight time.

According to flightaware records, the entire DayJet fleet of 12 aircraft flew 96 flights and 84.9 flight hours over the period of 10/1/2007 to 10/7/2007.

That works out to an average of 1.1 flights per day per aircraft.

A couple thoughts on why DayJet wasn't flying over the weekend.

DayJet seems to be primarily marketing their service to corporate customers.

Their website requires a company name, company title and other company information that wouldn't be relevent for a customer making a leisure flight.

Or may be DayJet is scheduling aircraft maintenance for weekends.

Flights seem to be resuming today.

Three aircraft have flown so far today, one aircraft making 3 flights, another making 1 flight and another making a training flight.

Ken Meyer said...

Stan, after reading owners' recent statements about tire life, I'm not impressed that there actually is (or ever was) a tire life issue. It looks to me like it was always just blogosphere baloney.

The starting limitation is an interesting one--no battery starts below 41F unless the battery (and/or aircraft) has been stored above 41F. Naturally that doesn't preclude starts; just battery starts in very cold weather when you haven't hangared the plane.

Every turbine has a battery start limitation; the Eclipse one is higher than many. I think that is probably in order to meet the 30 minute requirement to run key avionics (including both the left PFD and the MFD) in the unlikely event of dual generator failure. The CJ series, by comparison, gives you zero, zip, none of the main displays in the event of dual generator failure, so I'm guessing they don't need to preserve battery strength so vigorously.

It might well be that battery starts are indeed possible below 41F, but you would compromise the 30-minute reserve.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Dayjet openly said the will not be flying on weekends.

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

Does DayJet ever intend to fly on weekends or is the plan to be idle on the weekends just during their initial ramp up?

Updating DayJet flight data for the period Monday - Friday 10/1 - 10/5, the entire DayJet fleet flew 94 flights (83 hours) or 1.6 flights per aircraft per day.

What do you think about that level of aircraft utilization?

jetaburner said...

Ken-

Just as an FYI: a dual gen failure in a CJ2 gives you 2 choices:
- Keep the battery on the main bus and you have a minimum of 10 minutes and full avionics.
- Go to the Emergency Bus and you you lose your PFD and MFD but you have a nice set of back up instuments including an HSI, AI, airspeed, and altitude. If you have the Garmin530 package (we do) you also have your #1 Garmin which of course has a moving map. You still have flaps, gear, gear lights, pitot and static #1, audio panels 1 and 2, ELT, and standby N1 gauges. You have a minimum of 30mins on the Emergency Battery setting. I've flown the sim many times to minimums with the back-up and it is easy. Minimum battery start temp is -18C which is very nice. I've never had to use a power cart with either the TBM or CJ2 and I live in Aspen. With the Meridian, I had to use a powercart for almost every start. Another example of "value engineering." Sound familiar???

jetaburner said...

Stan-

You said:
"With regards to your debates with the single engine owners, don't forget, you are twice as apt to lose an engine in a twin as in a single."

Actually I would put it at more than 2x during the takeoff segment (the most critical) becuase the jets use Max takeoff power and the single turboprops (except the Pilatus) use standard cruise power. As we all know the harder you push a powerplant the more likely it will fail which is why most jets that lose an engine do so on the takeoff as opposed to the cruise segment of flight. FYI... The CJ2 is limited to 5 minutes at TO thrust for 2 engines and 10 minutes at TO thrust for 1 engine. On the TBM and Meridian you don't pull the power back after takeoff until you begin to get temp limited typically in the mid 20s.

AeroObserver said...

I second airtaximan's comment that DayJet has openly (and repeatedly) said it won't provide service on weekends. There are three reasons for this: (1) DayJet is intended for business use, not pleasure/vacation use; (2) the weekend can be use to do maintenance; and (3) DayJet wants its pilots to have a good work-life balance.

I'll also point out that DayJet will not be flying between 11 pm and 7 am. The reasons are similar to why it won't fly on the weekends.

My guess is that the flights on Saturday were post-maintenance check flights.

Flightcenter, it's too early to comment on DayJet's aircraft utilization. It really only opened up the reservation system on Wednesday to all of its 1,500 or so customers. Sorry to sound like a magic eight ball, but "ask again later" -- like in about a month or so.

FlightCenter said...

aeroobserver,

Thanks for the clarification on DayJet.

I agree we should check back later for a better picture on aircraft utilization.

I'm not sure I understand the logic of focusing only on corporate customers to the exclusion of leisure travelers. There are plenty of high net worth individuals in Florida who don't work for companies.

Is the thought that corporate customers would be more likely pay for the higher priced seats?

Black Tulip said...

Ken said of a flying Eclipse, “… better fuel efficiency than a CJ1 under similar circumstances.”

The Cessna CJ1 has 75% higher takeoff weight than the Eclipse 500 and thus burns more at cruise. Your fuel efficiency comparisons would be even more impressive if you include products made by Boeing and Airbus.

I’ll bet you can point to 99% lower fuel burn by choosing an Eclipse. Plus these companies will know the fuel specifics for their aircraft to two decimal places, maybe three.

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

black tulip wrote,

"Your fuel efficiency comparisons would be even more impressive if you include products made by Boeing and Airbus."

Absolutely.

But guys like me aren't really contemplating buying an Airbus for our personal transportation.

A CJ1 has 7 seats (plus a potty). It has a typically-equipped full-fuel zero-option payload of 855 lbs (720 lbs as typically-equipped). The Eclipse has 5 seats and a full-fuel zero-option payload of 714 lbs. It's pertinent to compare those two planes; either one might be a good choice for many of us.

For most of us, it's just not pertinent to compare a 5-seat aircraft to a 200-seater.

For a guy like me, 75% more fuel efficiency is an important consideration in a jet. There's probably plenty of folks here for whom it's not. Ditto the upfront cost. I'll bet there are plenty of guys on this blog for whom spending millions more wouldn't give them a minute's thought.

But for the rest of us, saving a few million is a decent idea ("a million here, a million there, pretty soon you have real money").

Much lower upfront cost and much lower ongoing expense combined with very impressive performance are the reasons there are 2700 orders for the Eclipse.

Ken

cj3driver said...

FC said;

“… I'm not sure I understand the logic of focusing only on corporate customers to the exclusion of leisure travelers. There are plenty of high net worth individuals in Florida who don't work for companies…”

FC;

With respect to leisure/personal travel, DayJet does not guarantee that two people traveling together will be on the same flight. For example, if two people purchase tickets from LAL to BCT, with the same travel window, there is a very good likelihood that they will not be on the same plane. DayJet’s business model depends on utilization of more than one seat per flight. Therefore, if there is a plane with one (or two) passengers already departing GNV for BCT, it will probably stop in LAL and pick up the passenger(s) going to BCT. The DayJet agent I talked to last month made it very clear that if you want to travel as a pair, you have to book the entire plane (charter). For this reason, they are currently targeting the business traveler. There are just too many other options (traditional charter) when traveling together.

Cj3

Black Tulip said...

Ken,

Good point but there is more. The CJ1 weighs 4,500 pounds more on takeoff than the Eclipse but carries only about a hundred pounds more in full-fuel payload. The dinosaur, Cessna, just couldn’t get it right.

Eclipse, using disruptive technology, found a way to leave two plus tons of useless stuff on the ground. Thank goodness for that because 1,500 pounds of the difference is kerosene and that stuff is flammable.

Black Tulip

Ken Meyer said...

black tulip wrote,

" The CJ1 weighs 4,500 pounds more on takeoff than the Eclipse but carries only about a hundred pounds more in full-fuel payload."

Yes; that's exactly right. The CJ1 doesn't carry a whole lot more than the Eclipse in terms of full-fuel payload.

But, it does have a pretty nice potty, complete with privacy curtain. It has a nice refreshment center, executive tables with leather table top inserts. It has a lot more cabin volume, and feels much more luxurious.

That stuff is all nice, and some people are willing to pay for it. The trouble is you don't just pay for all that stuff upfront. It's a gift that keeps on giving--you have to pay for it every single time you fly, in the form of higher expenses and more fuel burn.

If you really need that extra space and those nice amenities, then you order them and you pay for them (over and over and over again).

The Eclipse offers pilots the ability to omit stuff like that they may not actually need yet still get jet performance without as high a pricetag. I like that.

Ken

gadfly said...

A long time ago, I would often work as a consultant. I would take a flight at my convenience, the evening before my appointment. I would check in at the local Marriott . . . and get a good night’s sleep. Next morning, I would show up on time, give my customer my best thinking . . . and all the time required to do a good job. Then I would return (at whatever hour to my hotel) and get a good night’s sleep, and return home the following day. Then I would invoice the customer, and go on to the next project. The customer was pleased, my family was pleased . . . and I was able to continue a well-ordered life, . . . able to think clearly running my own business.

To argue over a few minutes of time, just for the excuse of flying an unproven “flying machine” that happens to have “two jet engines” as opposed to some other means of propulsion . . . the story gets more and more ridiculous.

The truly “rich” don’t care one bit about the cost . . . some will fire up the jet to go get “Pizza” for the family . . . “big whoop!” and more power to them. Yes, I know some, and the Eclipse, to them, is a “joke” (and that’s not all they say). Others, who must account for their expenses to superiors, again, cannot consider the “Eclipse” and its “claims” in a serious manner . . . again, a “non-entity”.

But this “blogsite” has attempted to save “some” from themselves. And these last folks are making it clear that regardless of sound reasoning, they will grasp at each and every straw to convince themselves that the “Eclipse” is a viable form of transportation. So be it! We who have put our lives and very souls into keeping aviation safe, rational, and above reproach have given the warnings. So, if at times this “blogsite” seems to be somewhat quiet, maybe it’s because enough has been said to warn folks of the problems of the company behind the little jet. It’s a little like watching a “re-run” of a train wreck . . . there are no surprises, but human nature is fascinated at watching the final scene, again and again. And telling someone else, “I told you so!” Hitchcock used this method in his films. The end was “known” by the audience . . . the suspense was watching the characters find out what the audience already knew.

gadfly

(Ah, Norman Bates, . . . you have taught us so much! . . . and you wouldn’t hurt a fly!)

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“… For a guy like me, 75% more fuel efficiency is an important consideration in a jet. There's probably plenty of folks here for whom it's not. Ditto the upfront cost. I'll bet there are plenty of guys on this blog for whom spending millions more wouldn't give them a minute's thought.
But for the rest of us, saving a few million is a decent idea ("a million here, a million there, pretty soon you have real money") …”

Ken,

Do you really think that a guy who buys a G550 thinks he is throwing away $50 million dollars. A new CJ3 cost six million dollars in ’05. Today they are 8 million. Anticipated depreciation (or appreciation) is a major factor in determining cost of aircraft ownership. That’s why some people buy used cars instead of new ones. Resale value is a concept most new aircraft owners think of. The downside risk for the E500 program is very real, and significantly greater, especially when considering the other choices.

As for your repeated fuel burn issue, I do not think anyone here believes that the Eclipse burns more fuel than the competition. It burns less because its smaller. I just don’t agree the number is 75% less.

Again, check out yesterday’s Eclipse (N168TT) flights from PDK to ABQ. An 1,100 mile flight. It took the Eclipse 4:40 and approx 2240 lbs of fuel (including a 45 min fuel stop). With a 30 kt headwind, a CJ1 could do that same trip in 3:20 min and 2550 lbs non-stop, and a Mustang 3:47 and 1950 lbs, non-stop.

Just for reference, a CJ3 does this trip (30kts wind) in 3:04 and 2570 lbs.
I also have the TBM non-stop 1,600 lbs in 4 hrs, the Pilatus, 2,180 and a little over 5 hrs… non-stop. Where is the huge 75% savings?

There are some people here (such as me) that believe that the difference in fuel burn is not that big an issue, especially when contemplating an annual jet budget for an Eclipse, of about $350,000.

bill e. goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bill e. goat said...

CJ3:
"When/if the cash runs out, there will be disgruntled sugar daddies and unhappy (jilted) depositors chiming in.

The fat lady is still in her dressing room, warming up her voice".

Goat:
Maybe a Christmas concert, of sorts? (Timing would be about right, I think- trying to raise money for the next quarter, and the next year. BoD is gonna be expecting a LOT of planes on "Tuesday").

Then again, Santa might leave something besides a lump of coal in Vern's stocking- XXX $M. (Maybe lumps on his head though).

But I don't think Santy is going to be leaving Avio-NxG...

Speaking of stockings ... maybe stocks and an IPO are the next trick.
-----------------------
I suspect the adults are getting tired of underwriting Vern, and cash flow from deliveries is probably a wash at best right now, between underpriced and "market-value" deliveries.

Venture capitalists behaving unbecomingly when they see Vern coming? Well, IPO'm baby! (Hey, it'll work for a while!).

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“… Yes; that's exactly right. The CJ1 doesn't carry a whole lot more than the Eclipse in terms of full-fuel payload…”

Ken,

The CJ3 (after two 200lb pilots) doesn’t either. But, if you fill the tanks, you can take that 1,150 lbs of payload nearly two thousand NM.

The point is, the Eclipse is NOT revolutionary. It’s a $2 million dollar little jet that burns slightly less fuel, shorter distances, with less amenities and a payload penalty.

BTW – as I have stated here before, the price of fuel has such a delta, from place to place, ...way more than the fuel burn difference between aircraft.

In the last 60 days I have paid as much as $6.25 per gallon and as low as $3.10. That’s 200% using Kens math. The ability to ferry fuel can impact the operating cost greater than the difference in fuel burn for most single pilot jets, … or turboprops.

FlightCenter said...

DayJet is significantly underestimating how much the vast majority of people want / need to travel together when they are heading to the same meeting. Those folks will find alternatives.

All the alternatives to flying the Dayport to Dayport system pretty much guarantee that you can travel together to your meeting.

Charter or Driving - pretty much guaranteed that 2 to 4 people can travel together.

Flying commercial - It is almost always possible to book a flight (even last minute) that has enough seats for 2 to 4 people to travel together.

Hey, but let's look at how to make this disadvantage into a differentiator.

I guess the time for DayJet is when you've been assigned to travel with that guy who just won't take the hint that you want a few moments of quiet...

I can see the commercial now.

Smith and Jones are in a meeting with their boss. The boss says - "Smith & Jones, I want you out at Acme Chemical tomorrow morning."

Smith walks out silently, while Jones is talking non-stop like the fast talking guy from those old FedEx commercials.

Fade out to the airport - Smith & Jones are walking to the counter and Jones is still talking non-stop until a DayJet employee says to Smith and Jones. "Oh you'll be traveling on two different aircraft today..."

Cut to Smith getting on the plane, leaving Jones on the tarmac. Jones can be seen through the window - and he is still talking. As Smith settles into his seat the voice over says "DayJet - the quiet way to travel."

jetaburner said...

CJ3-

Well said. The e-clips is nothing revolutionary. It just trades size, payload, and range for efficiency. In addition, every small jet and now turboprop has a glass cockpit so it really isn't cutting edge.

If the consumer wants efficiency then he can choose between the Meridian, TBM, Mustang, CJ1, or E-clips. Each has a distinct offering of capabilities. If the consumer wants true jet performance then they can chose the CJ2, CJ3 or anything bigger.

What would concern me most if I were a depositor is that the e-clips is the cheapest twin jet on the market. They have achieved this through a combination of value engineering and volume. Now that a new one costs close to $2M I don't see how they are going to maintain their volumes. So that means that they will have to raise prices in order to become profitable. If the Mustang, TBM850, and e-clips were the same price, I wonder how many people who buy the e-clips?

jetaburner said...

flightcenter-

That's great!! .... and then he looks over at the complete stranger 6 inches away from him who smells bad and isn't wearing any shoes.

airtaximan said...

FC,

"Updating DayJet flight data for the period Monday - Friday 10/1 - 10/5, the entire DayJet fleet flew 94 flights (83 hours) or 1.6 flights per aircraft per day.

What do you think about that level of aircraft utilization?"

I think its damn impressive... except for a couple of things:

1- no one has any clue of the prices paid, or the number of occupants (if any on these flights). If half are repositioning flights, this is terrible.

2- the company continues training flights, and flying their own... so who knows which are revenue and which are not.

Q?- if as Ed says, "the plane is MORE reliable than expected" - why keep 2 planes for every 10 on the sidelines as "spares". This is the only charter company that needs to do this. Its completely insane, and also completely contradictory to the claim the plane IS reliable.
- HUMMER take note - in an air taxi environment, you better calculate about 20% extra into the price, just for spare planes.

But, I'd say, based on the shennanigans at Dayjet and e-clips for years, the real numbers are probably around half of what is being revealed - so, it looks OK.

Dayjet is advertising on NPR... all day, every day. I think they know they need members... and the 1500 number is Bogus. Look back in time, and "misprints" revealed 1000 members, back over a year ago.... only to be corrected as 500 members plus 250 corporate members... or something...

A freind received a mailing (postcard, like carwash and dry cleaning offers) offering 99$ memberships to Dayjet. I think they know the need to do something to get more members...

Someone needs to do the math, and figure based on 4 trips per year, how many members they need to make the thing work. I would imagine its an order of magnitude greater than what they are even claiming, which is probably 50% exaggerated. Remember, they are buying 1430 planes according to KEn's rendition of the 2700 orderbook - BIG JOKE. How many trips is this? How many members?

Enjoy -- its not a funny joke, just a big one.

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"check out yesterday’s Eclipse (N168TT) flights from PDK to ABQ. An 1,100 mile flight. It took the Eclipse 4:40 and approx 2240 lbs of fuel (including a 45 min fuel stop). With a 30 kt headwind, a CJ1 could do that same trip in 3:20 min and 2550 lbs non-stop, and a Mustang 3:47 and 1950 lbs, non-stop."

Those look like bad numbers, CJ.

The Mustang, with a 30-knot headwind, cannot do an 1100 nm trip with NBAA IFR reserves.

The Eclipse, by the book, would burn 1704 pounds including the second climbout, not 2240.

A CJ1, according to my AFM, would burn about 2765 lbs at FL 360 for this flight. That's 62% more block fuel!

"There are some people here (such as me) that believe that the difference in fuel burn is not that big an issue, especially when contemplating an annual jet budget for an Eclipse, of about $350,000."

The Eclipse is not a $350K per year plane. For a guy like me who flies maybe 50,000 miles per year, the direct operating cost of the Eclipse is under $85K (calculating fuel at $4.25/gal). Total annual budget without cost of capital (we don't borrow to buy our toys) comes out under $135K. Fuel is 1/3rd the total cost of operating this plane; don't tell me it's not a factor--if Jet-A hits 8 bucks a gallon; I'll bet you'll feel differently :)

A jet with an annual budget under $135,000. That's revolutionary. And that's why there are 2700 orders for the Eclipse.

Ken

airtaximan said...

from the e-clips BIllBOARD:

"And that's why there are 2700 orders for the Eclipse."

Ken, you need to be a little more carefeul with the construct of your arguments - see, when people who know that Dayjet accounts for most of the orders, and almost all of their "orders" are really "options" that will be exercised or not at their whim in 3 years, your entire argument fall apart.

To them, your argument reads, "since there are nowhere near the advertised 2,700 REAL orders, the plane (even at Dayjet's low price of $1.1 million, plus the low intro price of around $1 million paid by the intial intial buyers)... must be a piece of junk".

Couple this with the fact that except for the fleet buyers, who are using the hype to raise money from investors, almost half the buyers have sold off their e-500s, plus there are 47 listings (all time high) on controller for e-500 for sale, and you get the picture.

The e-500 is perfect for Ken Meyer, except even he won't buy one for the list price, or any price except his LOW LOW price, saving him a few bucks. THAT's the value of the plane, even Ken can own it, if its discounted....

The plane, according to fair market value, is worth around $1 .1 million, and at that, it has around 1,000 orders, plus some options from fleet buyers, at around $1.1 million, going years and years into the future. Thos who paid for theor planes recently, at any price, are selling.

Welcome to the Billboard -2700 orders. rrriight!

airtaximan said...

OH, yeah, HUMMER, I forgot, 2 days out of every week, need to be reserved for mainteance, even at around 1 hour per day flying time. This according to Dayjet.

So, leave two E-500s aside for every 10 planes as spares... plus, 2 days a week for the entire fleet to be down for maintenance.

- sound good to you? Sound like airline type utilization to you? Sorry, this is now a disclosre item for your prospectus to investors. Its known to you as a reality operationg e-500 as a taxi.

PS, this is the e-500 BEST preferred customer who accounts for more than 1/2 the orders and options... think about how you will fare being a lonely operator in the midwest somewhere?

Perhaps you should account for 33% spare planes and 3 days on 2 days off scheduling for the planes?

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

A jet with an annual budget under $135,000. That's revolutionary.

Ken,

I agree with your “borrowing for toys” philosophy, however, there is a cost (value) to capital, toys or not. You have made this point numerous times before when comparing the Eclipse with other higher priced alternatives.

Therefore,

Given capital cost on $2 mil (at 6.5%) of $130K, a conservative depreciation on the Eclipse of $75K per year, hangar and misc. of $15K, insurance $35K and fuel and maint of $55K ($4.00 fuel) on 200hrs per year, and you have an annual budget of $355K.

Using the same formula;

The Mustang comes in at $366K with no depreciation. ($3 mil)

The TBM 850 comes in at $361K with $50K depreciation ($2.8 mil)

The Pilatus comes in at 377K with 50K appreciation ($3.6 mil)

A used CJ1 comes in at 376K with no depreciation ($3 mil)

A used CJ3 comes in at 383K with 260K appreciation (6.8 mil)

A used Citation I comes in at $372 with 25K depreciation (850K)

All the above are based on fuel at $4.00 and referenced off the E500 at 200 hrs per year, 500 block miles, and adjusted for fuel/time/maintenance costs accordingly.

There you have it Ken, you too can have a CJ3 for about the same annual price as an Eclipse. When Jet A hits $8.00 per gallon, you can pick up fuel anywhere along the way in a CJ3 at $4.00. It will be the jet of choice for all those lear, hawker, “big citation” and falcon owners!

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"Given capital cost on $2 mil (at 6.5%) of $130K, a conservative depreciation on the Eclipse of $75K per year, hangar and misc. of $15K, insurance $35K and fuel and maint of $55K ($4.00 fuel) on 200hrs per year, and you have an annual budget of $355K."

That's the new math, right?

$130K + $75K + $15K + $35K + $55K equals $355K? Only in the blogosphere! Your numbers are bogus.

I don't assume the Eclipse will depreciate $75K annually. By market-value, my aircraft have appreciated already. I suspect they'll keep doing that as fuel keeps rising.

You sound like the Cessna rep who told me at NBAA that I could fly the CJ2 for the same price as my 340. Sure. But what can he say? That I should buy an Eclipse and get jet performance for one third the price?

Hey, keep patting yourself on the back that you didn't get one of these turkey Eclipses. All the bloggers do it; you might as well too. Meanwhile, those of us that were gutsy enough to take a chance on the new upstart are getting a jet that costs what a piston plane should.

Anybody can spend a lot to get a jet. The Eclipse is all about spending a little and getting a lot. That's why there are 2700 orders for it.

Ken

cj3driver said...

"Given capital cost on $2 mil (at 6.5%) of $130K, a conservative depreciation on the Eclipse of $75K per year, hangar and misc. of $15K, insurance $35K and fuel and maint of $55K ($4.00 fuel) on 200hrs per year, and you have an annual budget of $355K."

That's the new math, right?

Ken,

Sorry ... fuel alone was $55K and Maintenance of $45K ($225/hr.) that comes to the $355K.

Old Troll said...

Ken,
I have a simple question. Why do you keep stating there are 2700 orders? An option is not the same thing as a deposit-backed order.

I'm just wondering.


The Crusty Troll

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“… The Mustang, with a 30-knot headwind, cannot do an 1100 nm trip with NBAA IFR reserves…
…The Eclipse, by the book, would burn 1704 pounds including the second climbout, not 2240….
A CJ1, according to my AFM, would burn about 2765 lbs at FL 360 for this flight. That's 62% more block fuel!...”


Ken,

I have owned and operated a CJ and CJ1 in the past. I would not fly 360 this distance in a CJ, unless there were unusual winds. I will tell you that on this trip I would have requested FL410 (an usually will get it). 2550 is a real number for this flight in a CJ, unless there were routing issues out of PDK. Going into ABQ is usually no problem. I have noticed that the fuel penalty very rarely outweighs the altitude wind penalty. For sure this is the case at FL450 in the CJ2/3 as the winds usually decrease above FL400.

As for the Mustang, my calculator says it will make it at HSC, but its close. You could always pull the power back a little. All the Mustang operators I have talked to (and every third party published article) says that the Mustang does better than book, speed and fuel burn.

On Eclipse fuel burns… I’m not saying NO, but given the track record of the company making the claims, I’m doubtfull. The numbers published by Mike Press don’t support your claim.

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"On Eclipse fuel burns… I’m not saying NO, but given the track record of the company making the claims, I’m doubtfull. The numbers published by Mike Press don’t support your claim."

Hogwash! Let's keep it real.

Mike Press has a pre-aeromod airplane.

The aeromods were certified, at considerable expense, for a very good reason--they work!

We've now verified the book numbers on the aeromods on several planes. Trust me (or don't if you prefer)--the plane gets its numbers.

I seem to recall somebody complaining every time I posted proof that the aeromod planes are getting book performance. You seem to want more proof.

Hard to please you guys :)

Ken

mouse said...

Stan,

You missed a most importatn point with Ken.

It does not matter whether the glass is 1/2 full or 1/2 empty... the point is the Eclipse is just 1/2 a glass of water, and in the desert water evaporates at a very fast rate.

Vern is pretty amazing though, you have to admit. Only he could soak so many people with just a 1/2 a glass of water...

Ken, have you stopped blowing bubbles in the tub and bought one yet? Thought so...

mouse said...

No Ken, you do not compromise the start... If you fly the plane with a cold-soaked battery you are in violation of the regs and subject to losing your license at the hand of the FAA and possibly your life at your own hand.

The CJ's don't need to worry about dark displays, they have backups...

cj3driver said...

OK Ken,

What do you come up with for a 500 NM trip block fuel and time? In a aero-modded airplane.

mouse said...

Majority of aircraft owners who lease back their airplanes fly on the weekend... One might imagine that Ed was smart enough to plan and sell his fleet to lease-back clients and let them have their planes for their own use then...

The busiest time on the road in Florida is the weekend, so I hope they have a better reason than pilots time off and maintenance...

Besides, Ken will tell you the Eclipse was designed for very little maintenance so allowing 28% of the available time for maintenance must be a nice sign of the real cost of operations...

mouse said...

Ken,

you have not spent a dime! You may have given away some money, but to call it spent is a misnomer. If you spent it, you'd have something to show for it besides a redtail (Hey, maybe that's where his name came from...?)

Or you money was deposited in the First National Bank of Mirage, and false sight or illusion...

mouse said...

CJ3,

Don't cloud Ken's brain with facts. He knows nothing about kerosene burning airplanes, other than what Vern has blown up his tailpipe...

Guess that's where the bubbles come from in his tub... His body relaxes and the accumulator of air finally discharges...

Tiny bubbles....

mouse said...

Flight center,

Better yet, Smith overhears Jones and beats him to the customer, steals his business and Jones cries into his sleeve...

OR

But boss, each of the 3 of us needed to rent cars because DayJet sent us all on different planes and we did not know when the others would arrive. They must have stopped somewhere for :20 minutes, but it may have taken longer, I saw a cloud in the sky and they may have needed to divert, or even fly far away from that freak rain that appears like clock work every afternoon in Florida... and you would not want us all to be late would you?

mouse said...

JetBurner, don't pick on the the pilot! He needs the work so he can afford shoes and a shower! He just wishes he could get a job that employs him over the weekend so he can payback his student loan and afford to buy shoes...

Ken Meyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 driver asked,

"What do you come up with for a 500 NM trip block fuel and time? In a aero-modded airplane."

By the book, an aeromod Eclipse gets these numbers for a 500 nm trip, ISA, including taxi burn:

FL 410 -- 675 lbs; 1:37
FL 380 -- 714 lbs; 1:33
FL 330 -- 796 lbs; 1:30

For comparison, at FL330:

CJ1 -- 1367 lbs; 1:23 (72% more fuel)

CJ2 -- 1564 lbs; 1:18 (96% more fuel)

C510 -- 1096 lbs; 1:33 (38% more fuel)

For trips of 1000nm or less, the Eclipse is a spectacularly efficient travelling machine. That's why there are 2700 orders for them.

Ken

Old Troll said...

Hi Ken,
I see you mentioned 2700 orders again.


Regards,
The Crusty Troll

Jake Pliskin said...

ken said: "...Meanwhile, those of us that were gutsy enough to take a chance on the new upstart..."

easy now captain, might hurt yourself if you keep patting your own back like that

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

Just to keep it real, are you stating unequivocally that there are 2,700 firm orders for the Eclipse 500? Not options, not mirages, but orders, actual orders, backed by deposits?

I know how confusing words like 'certified', 'fully functioning', 'order', 'delivery' and the like have become in the new VERNacular. But let's try to maintain some level of reality.

How much of the total 'claimed' order book is held by DayJet Ken? You may recall that not too long ago you used to swear it was only 300 or so total orders and options - which was the official party line until Ed went and got slipped up in that interview.

But by all means, please keep up with the battle hymn of the Church of Flyantology.

"That is why there are 2700 orders" (please please please oh great galactic god Vernu let there be 2700 orders).

"That is why so many people have ordered one" (please please please oh great galactic god Vernu let ther be 2700 other suckers, I mean orders out there).

"That is the value proposition!"

That is why it is such a great blah blah blah.

So Ken, in what year since 2000 has Eclipse sold 500 or more aircraft as Eclipse's own CEO states is the breakeven point for the high volume pricing you harp on (currently about $1.9M with common options)?

Since there are only approximately 1300 actual orders, in total, taken since 1999 - that works out to what 162 per year on average - or about 32% of the needed sales volume. Wonder where the other 340 aircraft, or 68% of sales needed, will come from?

FWIW, Cessna was originally claiming they would deliver over 1000 aircraft per year out of the Independence facility back in the '90-92 timeframe. Since then, they have delivered a little over 7500 aircraft (or about 500 per year).

cj3driver said...

Ken,

You will be happy to know I used the numbers directly from the Eclipse website, 761 lbs and 1:42, ... for the cost of ownership comparison in my previous post.

$355,000 per year.

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"You will be happy to know I used the numbers directly from the Eclipse website, 761 lbs and 1:42"

You don't have a post that says 761 lbs and 1:42.

What are you talking about?

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BTW, I am feeling pretty good about my SWAG of 84 partial Eclipses by year's end.

How far off the mark is Eclipse from the revised, refired, we-sure-know-what-we-are-doing-now re-made updated schedule now anyway?

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I will 2nd CJ3 Driver's comment about flying a CJ or CJ2. When I used to fly a CJ I always asked for FL410. In that plane it was frustrating b/c it was a dog above FL370. You will find out about that in the e-clips soon enough. I haven't flown the CJ1+ but I hear it is a much better climber. In the CJ2 I always climb to FL450. I even ask for it going westbound for as short of legs as 400nm. It has no problem getting there.

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“… You don't have a post that says 761 lbs and 1:42.
What are you talking about?...”

Here it is again Ken,

Given capital cost on $2 mil (at 6.5%) of $130K, a conservative depreciation on the Eclipse of $75K per year, hangar and misc. of $15K, insurance $35K, fuel of $55K ($4.00 fuel) on 200hrs per year - and maintenance of $45K - , and you have an annual budget of $355K.

Using the same formula;

The Mustang comes in at $366K with no depreciation. ($3 mil)

The TBM 850 comes in at $361K with $50K depreciation ($2.8 mil)

The Pilatus comes in at 377K with 50K appreciation ($3.6 mil)

A used CJ1 comes in at 376K with no depreciation ($3 mil)

A used CJ3 comes in at 383K with 260K appreciation (6.8 mil)

A used Citation I comes in at $372 with 25K depreciation (850K)

All the above are based on fuel at $4.00 and referenced off the E500 at 200 hrs per year, 500 block miles, and adjusted for fuel/time/maintenance costs accordingly.

Ken

I used the 761 lbs and 1:42 … in order to calculate the differences in the aircraft, as expressed in the final paragraph.

Ken Meyer said...

CJ3 wrote,

"Given capital cost on $2 mil (at 6.5%) of $130K, a conservative depreciation on the Eclipse of $75K per year, hangar and misc. of $15K, insurance $35K, fuel of $55K ($4.00 fuel) on 200hrs per year - and maintenance of $45K - , and you have an annual budget of $355K."

Well if you want to pick numbers out of thin air, let me try a crack:

Eclipse:

Capital: zero
Insurance: $24K (an actual recent quote)
Hangar etc: $15K
Fuel: $45K (for 50,000 miles)
Appreciation: $100K
Maintenance: $16K (per Conklin & de Decker)

Net: FREE!

The Eclipse can be operated 50,000 miles per year for FREE!!

Can any of the others?

:)

Ken

FlightCenter said...

Ken says,

"That's why there are 2,700 orders."

First, Eclipse has never said that they have 2,700 orders. They've only said that they have "just under 2,700 orders." Maybe that's just a technicality, but since EBACE, the last time that they've publically commented on orders, there have been numerous indications that the order book is actually decreasing rather than increasing.

But let's look at the rate folks are placing those orders.... solely based on Eclipse's own press releases.

If you look at this press release Eclipse 500 Order Book Tops 2,350 Jets
from Nov 2005, combined with your comment that Eclipse has 2,700 orders.

This would seem to indicate that Eclipse has taken something less than 350 orders in two years.

This should raise some concern for a company that needs to be delivering 600 aircraft a year to breakeven.

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

“… I don't assume the Eclipse will depreciate $75K annually. By market-value, my aircraft have appreciated already. I suspect they'll keep doing that as fuel keeps rising ... “

Ken;

There are many reasons why I think the Eclipse will continue to depreciate in a big way.

1. It was a huge mistake to pre-sell Eclipse’s at way, way below factory pricing, way too far out in the future.

The appeal of a sub-one million dollar jet, produced unheard of orders when re-announced, fueled by the dot-com boom and potential air-taxi operators. Eclipse committed to build hundred(s) of planes fixed at $995K. and many hundreds (thousands) more, at slightly higher price. Eclipse still to this day has a long way to go just to fill these orders. Even the most faithful of the faithful diehards would agree that Eclipse is losing money on these aircraft. Eclipse must make up this shortfall eventually, if it is to remain a viable business.

2. Production rates far exceed new orders.

It is usual and ordinary for new aircraft (similar to new cars) to pre-sell a number of units to purchasers anxious to get a new product. The problem with Eclipse, is that the number of units pre-sold far exceeds the normal market by more than ten fold. This is why there are a magnitude of position re-sales compared to new company orders. The company is competing for new orders with a very fierce competitor, …. their own customers. At the current rate of resale’s, and the number of slots available, this phenomenon will continue well into the future, and probably extend past the point of profitability for the company.

Contrast this with the Mustang. Since the ramp-up of production, Cessna has been selling realistic delivery slots FASTER than the scheduled production rate for the next 3 years. Since Cessna sold very few positions to “speculators” they do not have to compete with but a few slots which resell very quickly at a premium.

3. The owner-flown market at over $2 million is not even close to Eclipse’s proposed production rates.

Since the ramp-up of production at Eclipse, there have been 4 major aviation trade shows. EBACE, Oshkosh, NBAA and AOPA. If the market for Eclipse’s was 500 per year, … or even half that at 250, certainly there would have been hundreds of buyers making deposits prior the announced base price increase at Oshkosh. Given the fact Eclipse has a history of announcing sales achievements (ala Ken 2,700 orders) where are the new order announcements? There aren’t many (if any at all) because of the reasons above. Too much competition from their own customers, and does anyone think there would be an Eclipse “speculator” at this point? …. At least not a speculator of factory positions. The owner flown market has to many choices in the $350K per year arena.

4. Used Eclipses will be plentiful upon the demise of DayJet ETAL.

If DayJet fails, there will be dozens if not hundreds of used Eclipses on the market. These aircraft have a very low cost basis and can be dumped on the market by a lender, or by DayJet themselves at a price way below factory. These planes will compete with other used “owner planes” and unfilled factory positions.

5. New Eclipses positions will be plentiful as orders are cancelled.

Anyone who bought an Eclipse at $1,295,000 (00 dollars) would be better off to write off the original deposit and purchase a resale today. Same goes for the $1,520K slots. Even with complete loss of the original deposit, you can have an Eclipse sooner for less money (from a resale position) than risking any more money and taking delivery year(s) later.


6. In the next several months, the true cost of ownership will be realized and there will be many used planes up for sale.
7. The shaky financials will cause existing position holders to continue to drop the premiums.
8. Due to increased costs the price of the E500 will continue to force the price higher, further reducing demand, and accelerating the demise of the company due to competition.
9. The weak dollar may further hurt Eclipse as may of the components are outsourced to foreign companies.

Ken,

Do you really think fuel cost will be the driving factor for appreciation in Eclipse sales? I can tell you, in 2002, when I got my first turbine aircraft, I could get Jet-A for $1.50 per gallon. Today it averages $4.00, yet in the same period Jet sales and GA have seen a tremendous boom. The price of fuel in Europe has been $8.00 per gallon and more for several years now. I still say, while fuel is definitely a driving factor, there are too many other market dynamics when considering such a wonderful luxury as a private jet.

cj3driver said...

... The Eclipse can be operated 50,000 miles per year for FREE!!


Ken... I'm in ... sign me up!

Now I see the 2,700 orders.

hummer said...

ATM
"20% extra into the price just for spare planes"
In your dreams!
Part 135 is for ROI
not for core business.

I've seen a shark feeding frenzy that was mild compared to what you all are doing to Ken.
What's interesting is the only way to keep this from happening is to criticize the critics.
But it takes too much time and effort.

And it aint going to change anyone's mind or position.
So it become and exercise in futility.

FlightCenter said...

JetA and Mouse,

Maybe we're not ready for prime time, yet, but I think we could have some fun writing the DayJet and Eclipse commercials.

How about getting together to write some VLJ commercials?

Friend don't let friends fly an Eclipse.

How about a series of Mustang commercials along the lines of the Hertz "not exactly commercials".

or since Ken thinks that primary reason to buy an Eclipse is the fuel efficiency - you could come up with a whole series of commercials with the tag line - "but I saved on fuel".

cj3driver said...

Ken said;

” … Net: FREE!
The Eclipse can be operated 50,000 miles per year for FREE!!
Can any of the others? …”

Why yes Ken … and then some!

CJ3

Capital: zero
Insurance: $40K (actual)
Hangar etc: $15K
Fuel: $59K (for 50,000 miles) at $3.00
Appreciation: $500K actual over the last 4 years
Maintenance: $2K at most due to warranty

Net: the CJ3 earns $378K per year.

Add some very attractive tax consequences for business use and it’s a no-brainer. Put it in a charter program for 51% if you want it for personal use… and get a pretty nice write-off, … and it will probably pay the costs above.

But, … you better hurry before Hillary gets in!

FlightCenter said...

The post about the guy who bought the Eclipse on auction keeps running through my mind.

It explains a lot about the dynamics regarding the market for Eclipse 500s.

There have been a lot of posts from TBM drivers, PC12 Drivers and numerous CJ drivers saying that they (and their buddies) can't see any reason to buy an Eclipse.

Nothing to be surprised about there. That's sort of like interviewing Porsche owners and asking them to switch to a Hyundai. Ain't going to happen.

The guy who bought the Eclipse on auction was a 450 hour Cirrus SR22 pilot who has probably never flown above 18,000 feet.

The target market demographic for Eclipse 500s is made up of lots and lots of folks like this guy. Low time piston pilots who see the Eclipse as their only chance to fly jets in the near term.

Realistically, the Cirrus jet isn't going to be available until 2010 or 2011, the D-Jet probably won't be available until 2009 or 2010...

So the Eclipse is the lowest entry point jet, right now... and for lots of guys who have never been in the jet world before, this is very attractive.

The problem for Eclipse is going to come when Cirrus and Diamond start delivering their jet products at lower price points than Eclipse, then they will be the ones to capture the lions share of the folks stepping up from the piston world.

Eclipse is the middle of a sandwich, getting squeezed from above and squeezed from below.

They've got two or three years to make hay while the sun shines.

cj3driver said...

FC said;

" ... The problem for Eclipse is going to come when Cirrus and Diamond start delivering their jet products at lower price points than Eclipse, then they will be the ones to capture the lions share of the folks stepping up from the piston world..."

FC;

Good point... add that as number 10. to my "Forcasted Depreciation" reasons above.

Black Tulip said...

ColdWetMack said,

“I am feeling pretty good about my SWAG of 84 partial Eclipses by year's end.”

I’m feeling pretty good about my estimate of 99 planes. However, I intend to get there by evoking two new mathematical rules:

“One is equal to two for large values of one.”

“Pi is equal to exactly three for very small circles.”

Black Tulip

Black Tulip said...

I was just looking over my logbook. So far this year, I’ve burned about 15,000 gallons of Jet-A to cover 46,000nm as pilot-in-command. Why, oh why couldn’t I have done this in an Eclipse? According to the Faithful, I could have gone much farther and flown for free. I’ll get smarter soon.

Black Tulip

ExEclipser said...

Here's an interesting press release on vljforums.com. (Yes, it's a shameful plug, but I try to keep all VLJ press releases in one easy-to-access location)

Basically, it's the first announcement that the plane would fly 375 kts (a boost from 355, the previous commitment). It's post-Williams and pre-Pratt announcement.

No where in that article does it say 375 @ FL410.

In fact, if you really look at the record, the diminished range from 1300 NM to 1280 is still within the tolerance of the original range. In fact, it was the Herculean effort on the part of Eclipse to go through the drag clean up and extended tip tanks to deliver a plane that will still meet with the original guarantees from 2001.

But the most interesting portion of this article is that in February of 2003, BEFORE the announcement of Pratt and AFTER the ugly divorce from Williams, the TC was predicted to be in Q1 of 2006. They missed it by 6 months. Not bad compared to the predictions and outcomes of other companies - startup and established.

On a sad note, this same article still says that 2,200 orders would be sold at sub-$1mil. This was still before Katrina hit and sent energy prices (and thus aluminum) sky high.

But, Stan, I point this out because the ORIGINAL guarantees that people signed on to were for 355 kts. At that time, a ceiling hadn't even been established. People STILL fought over positions.

Now, a 355 kt airplane for $875K is still a better deal than a 375 kt plane for $1.6M.

But, $1.6M is still the best value for a new, certified twinjet.

Black Tulip said...

'Certified' has a different meaning to Eclipse. For several other companies it means the ability to deliver a fully operational aircraft with functional systems.

Black Tulip

bill e. goat said...

FC said:
"This would seem to indicate that Eclipse has taken something less than 350 orders in two years.

This should raise some concern for a company that needs to be delivering 600 aircraft a year to breakeven".

Goat:
Precisely.
That is the nature of my skepticism regarding Eclipse production rates.
I think they really ARE approaching the infrastructure to build say 500 per year, probably will have that capability (not just equipment, but processes refined, and people trained and experienced enough to make it feasible) established by mid to late 2008.

But the problem with that is, why?
I will grant there are 2700 somethings on the books, orders options, handshakes, wink of the eyes, etc. Firm orders with 10 percent down (not 1% or some other concession for volume "orders"), maybe 750-1250. And eventually, I think Ecllipse (or whatever the reorganized company is called) will build 2700 E-500's, in maybe, 10 to 12 years.

It just doesn't make sense to ramp up production to burn out backlog in two years, and then have idle capacity. The overhead associated with this excess capacity is probably what is driving the required volume to 500-600 per year to "break even".

I think that model will have such overhead burden, that the company will be forced to reorganize, either with or without court involvement.

(Hopefully, deliveries will continue with minimal interruption, as will employment levels, should this happen).

airsafetyman said...

"That's why there are 2700 orders for it."

Ah, the mantra for the day! Kind of like the White House saying we are winning in Iraq. Here it is at 08:00 on a Tue morning and zippo EA 500s flying.

Stan Blankenship said...

exe,

Brochures printed for the P&W powered version had a flight profile portraying 375 kts at FL 410.

But Ken has mentioned before, the performance guarantees in the early purchase agreements reflected a lower number and not necessarily at FL 410.

jetaburner said...

DJS122 is the only e-clips currently flying. It's doing 222kts at FL200. Boy that's jet like performance!!!

jetaburner said...

Does anyone know why I can't find N218JT on FlightAware? Did John Trovalta block it? Or is it not flying yet?

jetaburner said...

Flightcenter-

You said:
"There have been a lot of posts from TBM drivers, PC12 Drivers and numerous CJ drivers saying that they (and their buddies) can't see any reason to buy an Eclipse."

Absolutely agree. The e-clips and other VLJs are really marketed to the piston drivers who don't have any turbine experience and haven't been able to afford to upgrade until now. That is one of the fundemental problems with their model and is a considerable risk to the future of Eclipse (the company) and the value of the aircraft. Clearly this segment of consumer is very price sensitive to both the purchase and running costs. I don't think they really understand, nor do I think e-clips is being realistic, about what it will cost to own and operate the airplane. Add to the fact that the company's volume production model will drastically hurt re-sale ofthe airplne and these price sensitive consumers, their only customers, will re-calculate their cost of ownership. Couple this with all of the other excellent reasons CJ3 Driver has presented and you have a really ugly resale market for the e-clips. My prediction is that if, and that's a big if, e-clips is succesful in becoming a sustainable, profitable company, you will be able to buy a used e-clips in 3 years for $750K. If e-clips fails you won't be able to sell your e-clips. Sounds like a risk profile I want to buy into.

I spoke with the Cessna rep who handles the Mustang, CJ1,2,3, and 4 for Colorado. Nice guy. Spoke to him about the Mustang training requirements that have recently been published and he explained that they were taken out of context. Basically, they were discussing how a pilot with no turbine time and limited twin time can transition to the Mustang. If you have a significant (probably 500hrs) of previous turbine time (even in a single) then they will let get your crew type immediately and after 50 to 100hrs you can go for your SP.

CJ3Driver-

Question for you on the SP type rating for the CJ3:
I have the CE-525S type for the CJ2 whichi I believe is the same for the CJ3? Do you have to re-type every year because the TO weight of the CJ3 is above 12,500lbs? I believe this is true if you have a SP type for a Bravo and I originally thought it was b/c of the TO weight but now I'm told it is because of the way the plane is certified. Can you clarify?