Saturday, October 20, 2007

Eclipse Stumbling...

Or worse cratering at this point, while a welcome vindication for some, WOULD be bad for everyone as you (flightcenter) point out.

Bad for the employees who have no doubt sacrificed so much (their health, time with their families, career advancement elsewhere, putting up with childish tantrums and obscenity laden outbursts from the CEO); bad for suppliers who have tooled and staffed up and invested their own resources to support the outlandish production predictions; the taxpayers of New Mexico who have been conned into funnelling millions in hard investment and tens of millions in softer subsidies into the scheme; even more established and reliable companies like Cessna, Embraer, Diamond and Cirrus will be effected - because Eclipse has, through its' amazingly effective manipulation of the media, become 'THE' VLJ - despite the reality of a very crowded marketplace with some far more experienced and capable and reliable companies. Every time someone does something stupid in aviation (land 340 on highway - disappear in a Decathalon) all of us suffer - we are labelled as cavalier playboys with more money than sense. Only this time we are not dealing with an avoidable crash of a single plane, we are facing the avoidable crash of an entire company that will effect thousands of lives all around the world directly, and put a black eye on our industry when we can ill afford it.

I for one have deliberately used terms such as Ponzi scheme because I think that is what Eclipse has been for the past 2 or 3 years. I believe that Eclipse's senior management has been aware of the inability to deliver on the promises for some time and they have been working to create a situation (or at least drag the current situation out long enough) for a white knight to step in and save them from themselves (and still allow their options to be worth something). I believe they intended to build a company and a a plane to be proud of when they started out - but ego got in the way, and they have been unable to face up to the situation they are in for so long now that only a wholesale restructuring of the BoD (who continue to demonstrate they are not going to do anything) and the Executive team (incompetent does not even begin to describe) might allow for Eclipse to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The hard reality is that they have burned a Billion plus to design, redesign, and design again, a small airplane that is not the cutting edge technological tour-de-force it was supposed to be, and they have struggled to manufacture and deliver even 5 dozen planes - having had a 12-18 month head start on many of them according to the company's own statements.

No one in their right mind would want to take on the liabilities of 1000 defrauded depositors, let alone a sister-company of sorts with a billion dollar business plan and no way to make it happen (in their minds anyway). There is simply not enough real value in the tools, methods, infrastructure or IP at Eclipse to justify that IMO.

To his credit, Vern has pulled more rabbits out of his, ummmm, hat, than I would have believed possible before his appearance on the scene so it is always dangerous to count him out - but you have to wonder if they have already picked the pockets, I mean low hanging fruit in terms of aircraft sales, surely they have done the same in the financial world (to the point they almost went TU just a couple months ago.

Gunner pointed out that Mike Press suggested in a recent post that September or October were make or break time and that deliveries needed to ramp up - that did not happen, now the VP Engineering has left, and 10% of the workforce got laid off.

Taken in context with the drastic measure announced earlier this year (come on, color copies and FedEx were too expensive?), the near bankruptcy a couple months ago, and the obvious failure to sell anywhere near enough aircraft in any given year to even approach their breakeven point - how long before Eclipse's announces signficiant restructuring?

A Saturday morning reality check from ColdWetMackarelofReality.

275 comments:

1 – 200 of 275   Newer›   Newest»
Ken Meyer said...

I think the layoffs are great. You haters need something to keep you going.

But here's a reality check for you:

According to media reports, the company did not dismiss 10% of its workforce (that was incorrect). Indeed, it currently employs over 1500 workers and is hiring new employees as it cranks out completed airplanes at the rate of nearly one per calendar day and rising.

Ken

Garty said...

DayJet Has Too Few Customers/Means Eclipse Has Little Real Backlog/Means AvioNG Better Be Ready for Prime Time ASAP

You can track DayJet passenger flights on FlightAware because, by regulation, they must be flown IFR. For last two weeks, Saturday 10-06-07 through Friday 10-19-07 DayJet has utilized on average just 2.7 of its 12 aircraft per day (the rest have sat on the ground gathering dust) and averaged only 6.6 possible revenue flights per day (some of which in reality could have been dead-heads without passengers). And it's getting worse not better -- for the last week average utilization was down to only 2.1 aircraft per day making only 5.7 possible revenue flights per day. You don't need a "complexity" optimized dispatch system when optimum financial result is achieved by simply not flying at all.

Without a successful DayJet, other air-taxi start-ups will not be able to obtain funding and Eclipse's "backlog" pretty much disappears.

TU time is approaching fast. For Eclipse to be reorganized successfully, AvioNG needs to work as advertized right away because AvioNG, assuming it works, is the only thing of real value at Eclipse. Without it, the E500 airframe is not worth re-engineering to carry the Garmin 1000 system, especially without a backlog anymore, loads of PO'd ex-customers that never got planes (and they were the "lucky" customers)and need to raise prices substantially just to breakeven.

Odds are "Sayonara".

rcflyer said...

airtaximan said,

"'The DayJet per-seat on-demand concept would not have worked with any other jet.' Brother Ken"

Ken could have been quoting Ed Iacobucci, word-for-word.

There's an aspect of Dayjet that I don't believe has been mentioned: fleet size. Is there another small jet that Dayjet could purchase in such quantity? Ed talked to Cessna, they weren't interested.

The Dayjet plan is to have hundreds, perhaps eventually thousands of jets flying. If they were to use different planes (and they'd have to use several different types), their training, maintenance, and logistical costs would soar. By purchasing new planes, they can take advantage of the warranty, and offer their customers a better experience than some clapped-out King Air.

Richard Aboulafia started the nonsense of how Dayjet should have proved their concept with other types of planes before buying E500's, and it's been parroted many times on this board. Did Southwest Airlines, the only consistently profitable major, start out with a 727 here, a DC-9 there? No, they started with 737's, the same planes they fly today.

Time will tell whether Dayjet's business plan is viable, but it either works with the E500, or it doesn't work at all.

R.C.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, that same article you quoted says "Eclipse has received orders for 2,600 of its airplanes".

Is that 100% accurate as well?

Or could it be that once again you are intentionally avoiding the primary issue at hand and using any scrap you can, out of context or misrepresenting it?

Eclipse told KOB it was laying off 100-150 of its ~1500 employees - which is about 10%.

If you go read the thrice updated article at Aero-News you see Eclipse state that first that they let people go who were unneeded once the plane was ready for production, then they state that the production ramp up is too slow to support the numbers the had, and then they state that they will staff up again when production ramps up. Which is it Ken?

I am reminded of John Kerry proudly proclaming he actually voted 'for' the $87 B before he voted against it.

Only the Faithful Following in the Church of Flyantology could think that disrupting the lives of 100-150 familes is great.

Even Andrew Broom does not have the juevos to suggest that they are hiring at the SAME TIME they are walking people out the door by the dozens.

Nearly one per calendar day Ken? How far short of the needed breakeven rate of 500-600 per year is that? Didn't Peg promise one-per-day well before now based on the new, revised, updated, surely they-know-what-they-are-doing-now, helped with the best-consultants-money-can-buy schedule?

The only party disputing the report from Eclipse that it is laying off 10% of its work force is Eclipse itself Ken, the very folks who gave the numbers to KOB in the first place - now they will not confirm numbers. Had they effectively communicated the first time there would not be such confusion now would there?

Eclipse continues to be their own worst enemy - and the Faithful continue to help.

Here is a hint for L Vern Raburn and the rest of the Church of Flyantology - when you realize you are in a hole - stop digging.

ItsJustSad said...

KEN: "I think the layoffs are great. You haters need something to keep you going."

Now, THAT's cold. Yeah, I'd also want 150 people to lose their jobs in order to give people something to write about.

Eclipse's furious backpedalling yesterday, combined with its reluctance to share the actual figures, speaks volumes about the company...

CWMOR: "The only party disputing the report from Eclipse that it is laying off 10% of its work force is Eclipse itself Ken, the very folks who gave the numbers to KOB in the first place - now they will not confirm numbers. Had they effectively communicated the first time there would not be such confusion now would there?"

If Eclipse stands for anything, it is NOT "effective communication." But hey, so glad to hear about the NAA speed record, really. That makes it all better... will that plaque be included, too, when the Collier Trophy goes on eBay?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

RCF,

I believe we were questioning the reasoning behind DayJet not proving the basic tools and concept with ANY alternate platform since before Mr. Aboulafia penned his article - but criticism that is well founded does not really matter where it comes from or who said it first. It IS a valid question, especially given the fact that the plane Eclipse promised and which DayJet was presumably expecting, has yet to be certified and/or built.

FWIW, Richard is a very well respected analyst, working for a very well respected analyst group. Can you point to any major market trend or prediction he has made in his storied career that did not turn out basically as expected?

Similarly, you could try and point to any major prediction made here that has not come to pass (GPS, RVSM, wing bushing, transparencies, premature wear and tear, poor fit and finish, failure to meet production schedule, failure to meet FIKI schedule, failure to meet Avio NfG schedule, failure to sell enough planes to breakeven, the CONjet, financial woes, etc.).

I still predict that FHI, Hampson or the outfit from South America will be the next major vendor to get tossed under the bus and within the next 2 to 6 months we will see major criticism of ISS (the 'new' world class vendor that replaced Avidyne and BAe Systems) from Eclipse re: schedule slips on Avio NfG.

We can come back to this in a month or two and see how I did.

SWA did not have to wait for the 737 to be designed and certified to your analogy. SWA would work with any homogenous fleet as can be seen by looking at other similar business models - and could have used Mad Dogs if they wanted - the 37 makes sense for their operation but others have seen similar success using Airbus and other Boeing products. Besides, there is way more to SWA's success than the homegenous fleet, such as employee benefits and ownership, and the single most important contributor to their success over the past 5 or 6 years, fuel hedging.

If right now, when the concept is 'brand new' and hyped, if right now DayJet is not at capacity with the few jets it has, then I suggest it worse than we thought.

cj3driver said...

RC said

“…Did Southwest Airlines, the only consistently profitable major, start out with a 727 here, a DC-9 there? No, they started with 737's, the same planes they fly today… Time will tell whether DayJet's business plan is viable, but it either works with the E500, or it doesn't work at all. …”

RC,

Your comparison of DayJet to Southwest is simply ridiculous in this case.
There is nothing revolutionary about a no frills airline that fly’s similar routes, at similar times, on a proven airframe as the rest of the majors. Hardly a revolution, just cheaper airfares, no frills and less overhead as the dinosaurs.

In DayJet’s case, given the years of marketing and notable hype, and, … if the If two weeks of operation is any indication, its fairly clear the business model is not going to be viable. People are clearly not lining up in rows like the opening of a new Hooters.

If it weren’t for the production delays at Eclipse, DayJet would have had 24 planes in the fleet during the last two weeks of operation, instead of 12. Its pretty clear that they really only needed four at most. Assuming an average of $2 per mile and 2 passengers per flight and 100% occupied, even those four aircraft would have only produced $34,000 in total revenue last week. Take out fuel, and you cant even make payroll. Add in some dead legs, and some 1 passenger flights, …. You can see my point.

DayJet also offers “charter” flights, it’s very clear that this service is not popular in the Eclipse. There were none this week and a short $5,400, 25 minute 100 mile hop last week (likely a demo). Certainly not “revolutionary” and certainly not popular given 12 planes on the ground.

The flight data shows average flights of less than 1 hour, at average speeds of less than 300 kts. There is no reason these flights could not have been accomplished in several other types of aircraft, Caravan, TBM, Pilatus, Kingair and even CJ’s could have proven the business model.

I am quite sure all eye’s (management) at Eclipse, have been on DayJet’s operations in last two weeks. If DayJet was turning down passengers with 12 planes operational, I’ll bet there would not have been 150 people out of work in ABQ.

airtaximan said...

RC,

I posted Brother Ken's remark, just as a reminder, that if e-clips is havng a problem, here, chances are any business that "cannot work without e-clip" as you put it...is going to have a problem.

There's a company in Europe run by airline finance and executives that chose the Phenom as their fleet... I guess E-clips is not the only option for air taxi - just a risky one? One passed over by JetBird... for some reason or other?

Psst - Cessna was encouraged by Fedex to do a cargo variant of the Caravan, based on some minimal number - and they ended up selling ten times the number projected by Fedex, or more.

Southwest is a good example of why a common fleet could be important -especially for a LCC, (Dayjet?) - but I think had they chosen the wrong plane, by the wrong manufacturer, they would have gone by the wayside, just like 100 other "no frills carries" post de-reg. One example is Burr's (Pogo) People Express...

RC, if everything works out as planned for e-clips, (their plan) I guess Ed will be considered a genius for chosing them, if HIS plan works out as well.

I would agree that perhaps he could have mitigated some risk by using other equipment, amybe even the Kingair you referred to. I think the guys in the Northeast have been doing this for a few years (Linearair)...

The reports on this site regarding utilization for Dayjet do not really seem to substantiate the need for a fleet beyond a few planes... but heck, let's give it some time... perhaps you are right.

airtaximan said...

CJ3's response is much smarter than mine!!!

rcflyer said...

cj3driver said,

"The flight data shows average flights of less than 1 hour, at average speeds of less than 300 kts. There is no reason these flights could not have been accomplished in several other types of aircraft, Caravan, TBM, Pilatus, Kingair and even CJ’s could have proven the business model."

Why should Dayjet go to the tremendous expense of: acquiring aircraft other than E500's, tailoring their ops manuals to those planes, getting the MEL's approved by the FSDO, finding pilots qualified to fly those planes, training them to their ops manuals, changing their computer models to accommodate the different performance, training their logistics people in the different seating configurations, and so forth, just to confuse the customers with a different airplane each time they fly?

Seems like a lot of trouble to go to in order to shoot yourself in the foot. Based on the suggestions on how they should run their business, I think Dayjet can scratch this board off their list as a recruiting venue.

R.C.

airtaximan said...

RC,

I think the point is, they could have done "this" with 5-10 planes 4 years ago, and discovered a lot about the business... perhaps even that a single engine prop would work fine at $500/hour.

They could have saved a bunch of time, strted slower, and perhaps discovered a formula that wroks.

But, perhaps you are right, we are all stupid, and Ed knows more about this business than us, Aboulafia, and the Linear guys, Jetbird guys and all the charter operators that said "no" to e-clips.

I personally think he's going to have to re-think big time. Just like Vern went with another engine, other avionics, another training partner, another price, another schedule... Ed's going to have to revisit the basic foundation of his plan.

- I wonder if his simulation models, and thousands of "runs" of his operating system in simulated operations, foretold of THIS?

Scratch, scratch...

One basic decision was chosing the "right" equipment. I think they do not undertand the risks...and this is very scary.

Just my opinion.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

RCF,

How many MEL's, OPSpecs, or other Certificated Operator programs have you personally been involved in? You know, writing, getting them certified - how many have you done?

Ed and Nancy had already been down this route with their other aircraft (setting up companies and 135 certificates, etc.). That they elected to trust simulations rather than real-world experience which they could have garnered in abundance in the past 2 or 3 years is their choice - they are big people (really big in Ed's case) and can make their own choices.

Many folks in-the-know, with industry experience measured in DECADES find it curious that they did not test the waters in the real world, that is all.

Adding or removing hardware from an OPSpec or training program or Mx program or CIP is only a matter of making the change - and nobody is suggesting they should have gone out and tried a bunch of different aircraft, just pick an aircraft of similar capability/size - e.g., TBM 700/750, earlier Citation (my favorite for this comparison) and fly several of any one of those to see how the flying public responds in real life vs. whatever Astro spits out. They could have even priced it based on the expected Eclipse DOC's - afterall, they don't expect to profit right away but wouldn't it make sense to have some validation of your business model before you invest $30-50M?

Given the obscenely low load factor so far, I think all I hear Astro saying is "Ruh Roh Reorge!"

Metal Guy said...

For last two weeks, Saturday 10-06-07 through Friday 10-19-07 DayJet has utilized on average just 2.7 of its 12 aircraft per day (the rest have sat on the ground gathering dust) and averaged only 6.6 possible revenue flights per day (some of which in reality could have been dead-heads without passengers). And it's getting worse not better -- for the last week average utilization was down to only 2.1 aircraft per day making only 5.7 possible revenue flights per day.

Thanks Garty - Unless there is a huge up-tic in Dayjets performance, expect it to be very very difficult for Eclipse to get another round of funding. One can argue the “value” proposed by the EAC500 all day long, but it’s hard to argue with the slope of a line directly derived from real world ticket sales. If that line does not vaguely match or out-perform the Dayjet business plan, watch out.

For the first time, we are seeing REAL Vern/Ken B.S./spin proof data that will directly correlate to the future of Eclipse.

airtaximan said...

"whatever Astro spits out."

I think ASTRO's output came out the OTHER end...

John said...

Complete flight listing for Dayjet, week of 10-14 to 10-19
Fields are seperated by the • character for import to a spreadsheet

Date•depart•Destination•Depart•Arrive•Time•Plane
10/15•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •14:03 EDT •15:07 EDT •1:04•DJS132
10/15•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •09:15 EDT •10:16 EDT •1:01•DJS119
10/15•Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •07:50 EDT •08:30 EDT •0:40•DJS119
10/15•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •06:28 EDT •06:58 EDT •0:30•DJS119
10/16•Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •22:13 EDT •23:04 EDT •0:51•DJS116
10/16•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •20:38 EDT •21:12 EDT •0:34•DJS116
10/16•Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •22:43 EDT •23:12 EDT •0:29•DJS131
10/16•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •17:42 EDT •18:23 EDT •0:41•DJS131
10/16•Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •15:24 EDT •16:59 EDT •1:35•DJS131
10/16•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •14:06 EDT •14:41 EDT •0:35•DJS131
10/16•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •10:26 EDT •11:18 EDT •0:52•DJS132
10/16•Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •22:18 EDT •22:45 EDT •0:27•DJS136
10/16•Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •20:57 EDT •21:45 EDT •0:48•DJS136
10/16•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •19:46 EDT •20:08 EDT •0:22•DJS136
10/17•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •12:30 EDT •13:34 EDT •1:04•DJS110
10/17•Pensacola Rgnl (KPNS) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •09:03 CDT •11:07 EDT •1:04•DJS110
10/17•Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •Pensacola Rgnl (KPNS) •08:01 EDT •08:30 CDT •1:29•DJS110
10/17•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •06:45 EDT •07:27 EDT •0:42•DJS110
10/17•Executive (KORL) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •20:17 EDT •21:02 EDT •0:45•DJS135
10/17•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Executive (KORL) •18:35 EDT •19:05 EDT •0:30•DJS135
10/17•Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •16:02 EDT •17:24 EDT •1:22•DJS135
10/17•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •13:59 EDT •15:18 EDT •1:19•DJS135
10/18•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •10:50 EDT •11:48 EDT •0:58•DJS110
10/18•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •12:30 EDT •12:38 CDT •1:09•DJS135
10/18•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Pensacola Rgnl (KPNS) •10:18 EDT •10:26 CDT •Scheduled•DJS135
10/18•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •08:38 EDT •09:37 EDT •0:59•DJS135
10/18•Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •10:49 EDT •11:32 EDT •0:43•DJS136
10/18•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •06:42 EDT •07:20 EDT •0:38•DJS136
10/18•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •12:37 EDT •13:31 EDT •1:06•DJS126
10/18•Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •15:51 EDT •16:27 EDT •0:36•DJS131
10/18•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Tallahassee Rgnl (KTLH) •14:36 EDT •15:12 EDT •0:36•DJS131
10/19•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •10:52 EDT •11:30 EDT •0:38•DJS119
10/19•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •08:54 EDT •09:49 EDT •0:55•DJS119
10/19•Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •10:00 EDT •11:07 EDT •1:07•DJS115
10/19•Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV) •07:53 EDT •08:14 EDT •0:21•DJS115
10/19•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •06:33 EDT •07:10 EDT •0:37•DJS115
10/19•Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •11:27 EDT •12:04 EDT •Scheduled•DJS134
10/19•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •10:04 EDT •10:42 EDT •0:38•DJS134
10/19•Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •Boca Raton (KBCT) •08:31 EDT •09:12 EDT •0:41•DJS126
10/19•Boca Raton (KBCT) •Lakeland Linder Rgnl (KLAL) •07:13 EDT •07:51 EDT •0:38•DJS126

airtaximan said...

from Aviation Week, Oct 8 (this year)

"This high-rate production is hard, very hard," Eclipse President and CEO Vern Raburn told reporters during a press conference. Historically in aircraft manufacturing, there is "huge variation" from one airframe to another, Raburn said, requiring tweaking of doors, control surfaces and other assemblies to achieve a deliverable airplane. But even the most popular business jet models are usually produced at rates of only three to six aircraft per month. Eclipse needs to build two to three aircraft per day to meet its goal of delivering 600 airplanes per year.

Nearing the end of September, Raburn said the company had received FAA Certificates of Airworthiness for 50 Eclipse 500s. "I'm fairly confident that we've turned the corner," Raburn said, adding "we think we're going to prove that over the next couple quarters."

Despite that optimistic assessment, Raburn initially declined to estimate how many airplanes Eclipse will deliver during the last quarter of 2007 and in 2008, saying that he was out of the prediction business after seeing production fall short of earlier forecasts. But unable to resist drawing another line in the sand, Raburn then said he expects the company will build "a couple hundred" airplanes by the end of this year and "hundreds" more in 2008.

In addition to dealing with production line challenges, Eclipse also is trying to finish up certification of additional aircraft systems. Raburn said the company hopes to begin flight tests late this year or early in 2008 aimed at winning FAA approval for Eclipse 500 flights into known icing conditions. Ice shape testing has been done, Raburn said, revealing the need to modify the de-icing boot installation on the airplane. The boots were inflating properly, he said, but were not deflating as they were supposed to. Eclipse also hopes to win FAA approval for the autothrottle system on the airplane by spring.


"Historically in aircraft manufacturing, there is "huge variation" from one airframe to another"... REALLY?

"the company will build "a couple hundred" airplanes by the end of this year and "hundreds" more in 2008... REALLY?

"Raburn said the company hopes to begin flight tests late this year or early in 2008 aimed at winning FAA approval for Eclipse 500 flights into known icing conditions."... REALLY

"Raburn said, revealing the need to modify the de-icing boot installation on the airplane. The boots were inflating properly, he said, but were not deflating as they were supposed to."... REALLY

This together with the recently admitted actuator problems, no mention of AVIONG and the lay-offs...

airsafetyman said...

"The boots were inflating properly, he said, but were not deflating as they were supposed to."

Speaking of Bangladesh, how's the weather radar coming?

gadfly said...

"The boots were inflating properly, he said, but were not deflating as they were supposed to."

"Boots"? . . . or "egos"?

gadfly

airtaximan said...

... and the boot problem is solved by modifying the "installation"...

Really

Niner Zulu said...

Redtail said: "Oh, the melodrama of this blog... You people have no idea what the circumstances were that these people were laid off. They could have been under-performers, malcontents, or just incompetent. ".

Or, perhaps the 150 people that were just laid off were HIRED by under-performers, malcontents and the incompetent.

;-)

airtaximan said...

9Z,

never mind... its like all the other faithful comments...nonesense.

They were HIRED (just like United, Avidyne, Williams, etc...) by e-clips... and when they were onboard, they were the best. You could invest your money in them, you could place your deposit and progress payment on them... now, they suck.

The truth is, this is the start of a whole new e-clips.... or the end of an old e-clips. Time and money will tell.

Jackie Sue We Love You said...

Eclipse 500 PIREP
From COPA, the Cirrus Owner's Site:

Today I flew an Eclipse 500. I also closed on the sale of my beloved SR 22 (N*****). One of he local FBOs sponsored an invitation only open house for local pilots and business people that might have an interest in an Eclipse. I went to the Eclipse event early and spoke with the FBO owner about taking a test flight. He spoke with the Chief Pilot and arranged the flight along with several others throughout the day. The Eclipse Concept Jet made a surprise visit. I was able to snap an inside photo.

I flew approximately one hour and was pilot-in-command. I performed all takeoffs and landings with taxi to and from runways. We flew to 16K feet and saw a max speed of about 280 knots true. To be fair, ATC kept vectoring us all over the place and we never could really level out and get a true speed trial. We had 5 souls on board and partial fuel (don’t recall how many pounds). The computer said we could take on another 260 pounds of payload given today’s temps.

I guess I’ll start with what is wrong with the Eclipse – as I see things. I don’t recall the exact serial number of this plane, but it was very new. I think the serial number was in the late 30s. I was told they delivered number 46 this week. To begin, the fit and finish is not good. The exterior of the plane has serious and significant depressions in the fiberglass. The caulk-like seal between some of the fiberglass (metal?) joints on the nose is rough and obviously not correct. Rivets are not well done. The exterior of the plane appears to be built by a first-time Lancaire builder. No car body shop in the world would be happy with the exterior sheet metal/fiberglass work.

The interior looks like the interior of a 80s model Chrysler K-Car. Cheap vinyl (leather?) with cloth-sided seats don’t provide even a hint of “wow” factor. If I were Eclipse I would buy some quality cow hide from Ferrari and get a good interior guy to put in something that would knock your socks off! The pilot’s seat is very tough to enter. Think Piper Meridian. Of course I’ve been looking at Pilatus PC12s and they are also tough to enter. We should appreciate the Cirrus ease of entry and exit.

The avionics at this point are a disaster! They provide you with a Garmin 496 when you take delivery. Nothing works. No weather, no charts, minimal autopilot. I flew an ILS approach by hand. I think it was the first ILS hand-fly since my IFR checkride. It was a good thing it was CAVU today The avionics do have some very good features which I will cover below.

The Eclipse sales force is a disaster!!!!!! The Chief Pilot was a GREAT guy! That said, their salesman pissed me off so bad I gave him a cussing he won’t soon forget. I told him: A.) I sold my plane today. B.) I had a Cirrus Jet on order. C.) I had been looking at TBMs and PC12s (hint: I could afford an Eclipse 500). The salesman stated that a 2-year wait existed for new 500s. I stated if I got serious I would simply buy someone’s early delivery position at a premium price. At this point he knew: A.) He wouldn’t be getting a commission from this sale. B.) He would not be delivering any badly needed “new” money to the company. C.) That Vern and the Investors wouldn’t be happy unless I was a new customer willing to put up a non refundable deposit so more investors could be duped into dumping more money into the company. At this point the sales rep promptly cancelled my planned test flight. Referencing the cussing above I less-than-politely told him how his company differed from Cirrus. My tirade (yes, it was a full-fledged, make-an-ass-of-yourself-in-front-of-dozens-of-others tirade) drew the attention of the FBO owner and Chief Pilot. Together they soothed my greatly ruffled feathers, dismissed the sales rep to FBO Siberia, and promised me a great ride for today. During the ride the Chief Pilot again apologized and told me if I wanted an early position I should contact Eclipse instead of some 3rd party guy in St. Louis who seems to control the market for early delivery positions. He informed me the Eclipse premium price would be lower than the other guy. So we have Eclipse out in the marketplace playing “Let’s screw the guys who originally supported us” game. Very poor marketing! Their desperation says to me they are in serious need for cash. You could almost smell the need!

So, what did they do right. Well, in spite of the above remarks I was impressed with a lot of things.

It is actually bigger than I thought it would be. Yes, it is cramped, but not really all THAT bad. The seats, while cheap looking, were comfortable. They are easily removable for more gross weight and room. This is a very nice 4 place jet with enough room for 5 on short to medium trips.

This aircraft still has the original Avidyne Avio system installed. If everything were to work as advertised it would be a great system. The fully integrated systems model is probably the way of the future. The start sequence is insanely simple. Turn the right engine knob to “start”. Monitor the startup on the MFD and see the starter switch to generator mode. Turn left engine knob to “Start” and do same. The Eclipe is far easier to start than a Cirrus or Cessna 172. The dual power levers act exactly as expected. We flew the plane at near gross weight with one engine at idle. The plane continued to climb and performed fine. I was impressed with single engine performance. On takeoff you hold the brakes and advance the throttles to maximum continuous thrust (MCT). The computer knows you are in takeoff mode and will automatically assign 10% additional power to an engine should the other fail on takeoff.

Speaking of the computer…the first thing done upon startup is enter the weights of pilots, passengers, etc. The computer generates the takeoff speeds, stall speeds, approach speeds, etc. Pressurization control is also simple and a non-event. Because it is an Avidyne system it will be very familiar to any Cirrus pilot. The computer also displays systems status. There seem to be a lot of menus and sub menus that will take some getting used to. It seems to be more akin to the Garmin 1000. Oh yes, there is a pullout keyboard that we never used. I understand it would be handy when entering flight plans, etc.

How did it fly? Not as good as a Cirrus! The stick is VERY heavy. It requires a LOT of physical force to move the plane around when operating at high speeds. At lower speeds it isn’t so bad. The force required to perform a few minutes of slow turns at high speeds actually made my wrist and arm hurt. The 500 is not nearly as precise as a Cirrus. A Cirrus gives very finite, precise roll movements when the stick is moved. The 500 tends to be more like a Piper or Cessna and rooolllll into a turn. No precision feel. Landings are very Cirrus-like. The speeds are very similar. The sight picture is very similar. I had a 15-18 knot 90 degree crosswind. The trailing link landing gear did a great job of handling two less-than-perfect landings. The plane tended to have the same level of ground effect float you find in a Cirrus. Any Cirrus driver will be right at home when landing this plane!

So, would I buy this plane? No, not at this time. If the company is able to complete the avionics and fix some of the obvious (and serious) exterior defects they have a winner. They will also need to reshuffle their sales staff. You can just sense that this is not a well-oiled machine and that things are in turmoil. My advice? Wait until about serial number 500 to take a serious look. If Eclipse were Cirrus they would have things fixed within that time frame. But of course this isn’t Cirrus.

Lastly, the fact that this plane is currently flying on an FAA approved type certificate is criminal! This aircraft (at this point) is an experimental aircraft not worthy of an FAA type certificate. Doesn’t say much for our beloved FAA does it? Of course a healthy dose of user fees will probably take care of this problem as well.

rcflyer said...

A straightforward and honest report of a test ride, whether you agree with all of his conclusions or not.

However, the Cirus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) site says: "Please do not copy, reproduce, or post members' discussion posts in other public areas (either on the COPA site or elsewhere). These discussions are intended to be private among COPA members only."

Unless "jackie sue we love you" is the original COPA poster, this should be deleted. IMHO, posting a summary of the COPA post here would not violate the COPA guidelines.

Stan, are you listening?

R.C.

hummer said...

rcflyer
Pretty well lays it out.
These business practices can not be
hidden forever. They will come out.
Makes me sick at my stomach. I've read and read this post and frankly am at a loss for words.

rcflyer said...

Hummer,

I have to agree that the salesman's behavior was reprehensible. The original poster is a reasonable fellow, and I suspect he told it like it was.

R.C.

Troglodyte said...

Agree. Reprehensible behavior on the part of the sales person but, I think, this was a man struggling for his job and to put bread on the table who understands that he is on a deck listing hard left and on a boat that’s going down. Time for him to move on.

The most interesting and damning observation, IMO, was the comment that “...the fact that this plane is currently flying on an FAA approved type certificate is criminal! This aircraft (at this point) is an experimental aircraft not worthy of an FAA type certificate.” This is a very heavy statement, and from what sounds like a reasonable observer who actually touched and flew the aircraft. I have touched one, found it lacking in fit and finish on the exterior, but have not been inside a production Eclipse.

Heavy sidestick is unfortunate and, as far as I know, difficult to address at high speeds in a jet without hydraulics. Yet, owners want to “play” with their planes -- it gives us pleasure. To say nothing of the fact that as this reporter pointed out, if you’re doing an ILS you are doing it by hand. Not a good time to have arm and wrist fatigue. I wonder if this might affect accuracy while flying the ILS, especially if kept at relatively high speeds until the OM by ATC?

--Trog

cj3driver said...

Good(?) news for DayJet SN55 N141DJ is enroute to FL.

Turboprop_pilot said...

"Lastly, the fact that this plane is currently flying on an FAA approved type certificate is criminal! This aircraft (at this point) is an experimental aircraft not worthy of an FAA type certificate."

I've wondered, with such a minimalist autopilot, how can anyone fly single pilot IFR? Type rated pilots- is it possible to have a SP authorization with a wing leveler?

TP

Jackie Sue We Love You said...

You may keep the Eclipe PIREP posted on this site. I am the owner of the copyright and original poster on COPA.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

TPP,

Legally, the TCDS and FSB Report only allow single-pilot operation with a functional autopilot (and a mic and a remote ID switch).

Of course, the reg's also require a pilot to be on O2 above certain altitudes and according to at least one of the Vehement Faithful that is not happening among the few pilots who are flying their planes.

So who knows what rules the early adopters are actually following.

Lemmus said...

Maybe ColdWetMackerel should swim upstream following his assertion that Ken Harness, former VP-Engineering, has left the company.

Word has been for nearly 6 months now that Ken will become the VP, New Business Development ... charged with the commercialization of PhostrEx and other Eclipse IP.

Ken is slated to speak at the FAA Aircraft Fire symposium later this month. Maybe we should call the FAA and tell them Ken is not coming.

Next prediction?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

lemmus, I did not originally report or predict Harness was leaving, someone else did - and it was one of the Faithful (semi-Faithful, execlipser) as I recall - he then stated he had independent verification, I believe Mouse and ATM (critics) also suggested they had verification. This bandwagon was later jumped on by Redtail (bona fide Faithful).

Maybe you should read more carefully before making such a statement.

I did address the suggestion he is or has departed as a fraction of my overall post but I am not even remotely the origin on that one and it is but a very small part of my post.

Personally, I doubt Harness has the chops to make it outside of Eclipse but stranger things have happened.

Review the posts and you will find that it was not me who began it - with several Faithful chiming in I did take it as possible.

If NOT true, I think D-Jet depositors will be breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Commercialization of PHostrex, Business Development and IP - now THAT is amusing.

airtaximan said...

Funny,

I wrote Harness was "technically challenged" and fired a persona month to remain in authority - and also rumored to be in charge of PhosterX...
But..

I cannot find where I heard the PhosterX thing, and he's still listed on the e-clips website as VP Engineering.

Perhaps they let the guy who was updating the webiste go?

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"the reg's also require a pilot to be on O2 above certain altitudes and according to at least one of the Vehement Faithful that is not happening among the few pilots who are flying their planes."

First off, the current Eclipse 500 autopilot meets the requirement for single pilot operations.

Second, I don't recall anyone saying that Eclipse pilots were not following the O2 rules. You got a source for that?

Third, there are more than "a few" pilots flying the Eclipse 500. They've delivered 60-something planes already, you know. Last I heard, they're right at S/N 66. Perhaps you're substituting wishful thinking for reality?

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

jswlu,

Thanks for the insight. As hummer noted, it is grim picture that does not bode well for anyone.

Your comment last evening exposed a wide range of serious problems that will be hard for this company to correct.

gadfly said...

Since there’s white stuff falling from the sky and sticking on the ground at 7,000 feet just fifteen miles northeast of ABQ main runway, does that mean that tests for FIKI may begin?

gadfly

(It’s nice to be able to work on problems so close to “the nest”.)

DayJetStudent said...

Redtail alluded to a Mouse posting re: Ken Harness employment. I could not find the original post. Can anyone point it out? -1 for RC trying to "protect" COPA's "intellectual property".
DayJet talk

airtaximan said...

Gadfly,

they will not formally start FIKI, until the "boot instalation problem" that is creating a deflation problem, is modified, I mean NG'ed...aw shucks - we'll just say redesigned and fixed.

On a brighter note: any clue when EASA certi is going to happen?

If their order book is like Cessna, there are many "real" individual orders from Europeans...and if they do not accomplish this, they cannot deliver planes to many customers.

Highlights another issue:

Dayjet is most of the orderbook - more than half. Almost all but 229 of their orders are options and plans scheduled for delivery in 3 years from now and beyond.

If many of the "individual" buyers are European (30%-40%), and they do not have EASA, this limits their ability to deliver planes, beyond perhaps 500-700 in total....

I know on light of the "real" production/delivery record this seems trivial, BUT, it might also explain some of the writing on the wall... even IF they could deliver a plane or two a day, let alone three as they planned.

DayJetStudent said...

Off topic - I just noticed from a 2006 powerpoint that DayJet has a Challenger 604, as well......

airtaximan said...

DJS,

these are wingfoot's (Ed and Nancy's charter company) from before...

what is the big deal?

DayJetStudent said...

ATM,
No big deal at all. I am trying to learn from someone why the Lear and 604 were transferred to DayJet's actual certificate. Most operators I am familiar with don't fly support aircraft on a co flight #.
I am guessing Ed was able to "sell" his own planes to the investors....? Maybe he won't be hurt too bad if the co folds after all.

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,

"they will not formally start FIKI, until the "boot instalation problem" that is creating a deflation problem, is modified"

I think you would be better served by not commenting on things when you don't know what you're talking about. It turns out that the formal FIKI testing has been going on for months.

Ken

pgaplayer said...

as for ken meyer saying that he thinks that the layoffs are great........well i think he is full if it. eclipse is letting go of 150+ employees (contract and direct) that have years of experience!!!!!!!!!! and in return getting people from this CNM classes that have "0" years of experience in aviation. these people are the ones that are creating all these NCR's that are costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. Eclipse even has inspectors that DO NOT have any experience in AIRCRAFT inspections. so how can they inspect something that they have NEVER seen before. WOW........TELL THE TRUTH PEOPLE!!!

airtaximan said...

Ken:

So, Ken, I guess their excuse of not being able to find ice, for FIKI is untrue? They've been at it for years...hmmm..


Also, I guess its taken them years to find out the boots are installed improperly, and have deflation problems.

Yes, Ken, they've been working a lot of things for years, and all I was saying was, its going to be a long time before E-clips actually decides to certify FIKI in earnest.

Sorry, if you do not agree...but this should be a bright side for you - otherwise there must be a major problem with obtaining FIKI... you see, normally, it does not take "years" as you put it.

Thanks for reminding us how screwed up your favorite non-manufacurer is.

airtaximan said...

DJS,

I just think that Dayjet has business outside of the E-500 range...so they have their older larger planes on the books, for travel.

I'm not sure Ed can use the 500, and if he did, it wouldn't go very far. He's rather large.

As the story goes, Wingfoot was a Lear/Challenger charter company, which flew charter when it was not flying Ed. Its encouraging to know that he had expereince (a few years) with charter before Dayjet - unlike Vern at e-clips.

ExEclipser said...

Mouse reported Ken's departure. I independently confirmed it. From the grapevine, I have heard that Ken was to head PhostrEx, including becoming CEO of any spinoff PhostrEx company.

The layoff is devastating, though it predominately included mostly contractors who live pretty much paycheck to paycheck. This is reminicient of a non-publicized layoff the same weekend last year where 30 folks were let go.

I'm guessing that most of the folks were taken from the engineering rank and file - probably a lot of avionics folks. They are, after all, transitioning from a development company to a production company.

I won't go as far as Ken and say that the layoffs are "great". But I would have preferred to see a couple more VPs let go. Each VP is worth about 4 production workers putting in 80 hour weeks.

For those folks following DayJet flights on FlightAware, keep in mind that they don't fly on weekends. So take your calcs and divide by 5, not 7.

RE JSWLY's PiRep: Thanks for the objective report. I wouldn't necessarily call the plane in its current configuration 'criminal'. Certainly incomplete. FIKI has been going on. But they have to do some of the testing in REAL natural icing conditions. Your comments about the sales staff is pretty funny. They're pretty damn arrogant fresh-outta-college pretty boys hand picked by Vern. I'm so glad that you gave 'em a toungue lashing. None of them have the first iota of knowledge when it comes to customer service. I'd bet none of them were ever spanked.... I digress....

By the way, so far as I know, no one gets commissions on aircraft sales. I could be wrong, but that's how I understand the job description. Maybe a bounus if you land DayJet (which is paid out in 2002 dollars).

I'm sort of suprised that the Chief Pilot was the same way. If it was Tomney, then I'd understand. They have a plethora of new pilots, none of whom I know. It's kinda funny watching Terry Tomney and Vern fight for the most attention at shows. Same cloth... Arrogant as hell, but just as desparate. He's a good pilot, don't get me wrong. But there are bold pilots and old pilots. He's not old, and there are no old bold pilots.

Glad you got a ride. You're one up on me, even after two years of dedicated work.

Was Winged Feet Ed & Nancy's? Well that'd explain a lot. Especially since there's a Challenger on WF's registry, too. I think they've changed that N-number to N***DJ as well.

Can't wait to see what this week brings!

airtaximan said...

I wonder if the layoffs will hit the WSJ and the NYTimes, MSNBC (not likely) and the rest of the financial media?... they've been pretty staunch supporters of the PR machine.

I wonder if Kaarlgard at Fortune/Forbes will pick up on this. It would make for a terrific story about how tough aviation is, and how it might actually be somewhat different than computers.

We'll see.

pgaplayer said...

i do agree with execlipser saying that some VP's should have been let go too. starting with todd fiero. GO BACK TO FORD!! that goes the same with his friend Scott (new plant manager for 11). GO BACK TO FORD TOO!!

DayJetStudent said...

I think Karlgaard and Fallows are far too emotionally invested to turn back now. Esther Dyson seems to move on to the next new thing quickly as well.

Ken Meyer said...

airtaximan wrote,

"So, Ken, I guess their excuse of not being able to find ice, for FIKI is untrue? They've been at it for years...hmmm.."

Once again, you don't know what you're talking about, and it shows.

Check out the FIKI requirements, and then come back, and we'll talk. Execlipser is right; some of the testing has to be performed in natural icing conditions.

There is little room in my heart for guys like you who spew venom but can't spell it.

Ken

Ken Meyer said...

execlipser wrote,

"I won't go as far as Ken and say that the layoffs are 'great'."

Lest I leave the wrong impression--I think the layoffs are GREAT for the bloggers as it provides them with some much-needed fodder with which to muddle on through as they attempt to attack the plane. After all, the line is cranking up. The company has delivered, by one report anyway, 66 airplanes. And the plane has turned out to fly very, very well. They need something, so this is GREAT for them.

Of course any layoffs are unfortunate for those involved, and we're all sorry to see people lose their jobs. But if the company doesn't actually need those 100 workers, I think it is a good sign that they're will to take the flak and bad PR in order to do what's best for the company and the customers.

Ken

rcflyer said...

execlipser said,

"I'm sort of suprised that the Chief Pilot was the same way."

I'm confused. jswly said,

"The Chief Pilot was a GREAT guy!"

and

"My tirade (yes, it was a full-fledged, make-an-ass-of-yourself-in-front-of-dozens-of-others tirade) drew the attention of the FBO owner and Chief Pilot. Together they soothed my greatly ruffled feathers, dismissed the sales rep to FBO Siberia, and promised me a great ride for today."

The salesman was a jerk. The pilot (and the FBO owner) made the demo ride happen anyway.

R.C.

ExEclipser said...

RCFlyer: During the ride the Chief Pilot again apologized and told me if I wanted an early position I should contact Eclipse instead of some 3rd party guy in St. Louis who seems to control the market for early delivery positions. He informed me the Eclipse premium price would be lower than the other guy. So we have Eclipse out in the marketplace playing “Let’s screw the guys who originally supported us” game. Very poor marketing! Their desperation says to me they are in serious need for cash. You could almost smell the need!

I was really just referring to the constant sales pressure. Of course, that's what they're there to do. I'm glad they gave him a ride, but my comment was with regards to the fact that the Chief Pilot apologized and then tried to sell off early positions (through the entirely legit position holder forum).

Perhaps I was a bit too cruel on the Chief Pilot. Thanks for keeping it real. Sometimes I get too passionate and lump many emotions and thoughts together.

rcflyer said...

execlipser,

Thanks for clearing that up. I understand what you were saying now.

R.C.

Niner Zulu said...

Unhappy Eclipse employees.
10% of workforce being laid off.
No more free sodas.
No Fed Ex.
No color copies.
No FIKI.
No AvioNG.
No weather.
No real autopilot.
Autopilot & actuator problems.
Window problems.
Poor quality control.
Poor exterior fit & finish.
Company teetering on bankruptcy 3 months ago.
Postionholders getting screwed.
Eclipse lying about missing AOPA.
Poor relationships with vendors.
Dayjet planes sitting idle.
Eclipse hiring employees with no experience.
66 planes that need retrofitted.
Breakeven volume no where near being attained.
Production of 1 aircraft per day missed.
Nearly every other milestone missed.
Higher purchase price than promised.
High company overhead.
Huge cash burn rate.
Higher DOC than promised.

The Eclipse Titanic is up-ending and going down. The faithful had better pray for a miracle.

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

For the record, I wouldn't blame Ken Harness for leaving. Too many bad decisions by and all around him might make now the last opportunity for a decent exit.

It is amazing, however, that the Peg is still there.

Even with engineering, supply, and production VPs downstream of her, the COO is responsible for making it work.

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

Chief Pilot on the production and marketing side is Kent Ewing.

He's a retired Navy Captain, former CO of the USS America ... and a non-selected finalist in the first Shuttle astronaut class.

Kent is an adept politician who knows how to defuse difficult situations.

While the Chief Pilot may have tossed in a free ride, the salesman's tasking is to weed out non-qualified leads.

The first rule of getting an aircraft demo ride is don't say anything negative until the gear is up and locked.

ExEclipser said...

Ken - I understand what you mean, now. Thanks for the clarification.

All that being said about the layoffs meaning doomsday - They went through a similar excercise last year in the exact same week. True, it was about 1/4 of what this years is, but presumably the engineering on AvioNG is complete.

(yeah, I'm with everyone else out there chuckling)

I've been at other companies that have had 10-15% layoffs and those companies remain profitable and successful to this day.

But, like Ken says, this is great for the blog. It will keep things busy here for at least another week.

ExEclipser said...

Lemmus: Interesting take on Kent. Thing is, it's entirely possible that JSWLY is totally qualified. A good sales person should be quite adept at handing tough situations. Most of them at Eclipse (the younger crowd; I wouldn't lump the corporate sales guys in with these kids) only know how to deal with conflict by taking their toy home with them and not letting anyone else play with it.

airsafetyman said...

Assuming Vern can find a 1940's era timer that works in deflating the deice boots, I don't think Eclipse is out of the woods. I think the problem may be that there is just not enough power available to run all the existing systems, plus the anti-ice load in the event on an engine failure. The answer is obvious: add another engine. The Trijet Eclipse (aka the mod mod Eclipse)

ExEclipser said...

Ha! If they went to a Tri-Jet, they could talk to Williams again about their 80 lb EJ22. LOL

airtaximan said...

Ken Meyer strikes again...

Hey Ken, it was very quiet on the blog all weekend, so you reference to fodder for the blog, is well...wrong.

From Ken:
"I think the layoffs are GREAT for the bloggers as it provides them with some much-needed fodder..."

You are becoming a beacon for the company - a good indication of what is NOT happening - by watching what you write,a nd seeing the reality is pretty close to the opposite.

Valuable insight.

airtaximan said...

execlipser, they also went through the same exercise in 2003 or so, laying off a bunch of folks.

If they get an infusion, they'll be OK, again for a while.

I'minterested to see FCs delivery numbers again this week. See if there's a trend...

ExEclipser said...

You're right - In 2003 they laid off ALL but a couple of contractors. From a percentage of work force stand point, it was the biggest in the company's history.

airtaximan said...

another Ken Meyer gem:

"some of the testing has to be performed in natural icing conditions."

PLUS, they've been working FIKI for years...

I guess they could not find natural ice for yeras, and they could not find out the boots "have an installation issue" which cause them to not deflate "for years"... nice to know.

what's no to love.

rcflyer said...

ATM,

I suspect that as soon as Eclipse knew they were doing the aeromods, they stopped working on FIKI. It would be pointless to certify it on the pre-mod design, since most of the formal certification testing would have had to be re-done with the aeromod airframe.

As to boot deflation time (which, as I understand it, has nothing to do with timers), they could have fixed that earlier, but they have finite resources and higher priority tasks.

The downside to not fixing the boots sooner is the liability they have to carry for retrofitting. I don't know if they just screwed up, or made a conscious decision to wait. Do you have inside information as to which it was?

The latest report I have is that they have finished the ice shape testing and are about to start certification flights.

R.C.

airsafetyman said...

"It would be pointless to certify it on the pre-mod design, since most of the formal certification testing would have had to be re-done with the aeromod airframe."

Why?

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

airsafetyman: Why ?

Even a slight change in airflow will change the way ice accretes, and the resultant stability and control impacts.

The mods to the ETT, wheel wells, root fairings, bullet fairing, and rudder (size and config) all have influences that would require at least partial retesting.

rcflyer said...

Not only could ice accumulate differently with the different aerodynamics of the aeromod airplane (different airflow changes how the supercooled water droplets run back), but once the ice has accumulated, the aeromod airframe could react to the disrupted airflows differently.

That's my guess anyway, not being an authority on aerodynamics or airframe icing. Eclipse did tell me that the testing would have to be done on the aeromod airframe, though.

R.C.

DayJetStudent said...

Wondering if anyone has a likely icing timeframe for Northern FL in winter.

airsafetyman said...

"The mods to the ETT, wheel wells, root fairings, bullet fairing, and rudder (size and config) all have influences that would require at least partial retesting."

Sounds good, but in the meantime you have a lot of airplanes that are essentially useless north of Jacksonville, FL, starting about now. Apparently when the airplanes are brought back for mods they are going to change the ETT, wheel wells, root fairings, bullet fairings, and rudder? If not, they will have to do additional testing on the airplanes that are not completely changed over? Quite a little upgrade! By the way, what is an ETT?

ExEclipser said...

ATM: That isn't necessary true. Known icing doesn't form over the entire US in October and stay until late March. I did a lot of flight training in a Piper Cherokee Archer in the dead of winter and never accumulated an iota of ice.

DJS: That's the problem. Sometimes it's pretty hard to find good, solid icing that can be used for testing.

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

ETT stands for Extended Range Tip Tank, but you may also see other permutations.

DayJetStudent said...

EX,
Was speaking more to operational difficulties for DayJet rather than testing opportunities.

airsafetyman said...

All I can say is that I used to fly corporate out of Greensboro, NC, and it was quite common to pick up small amounts of ice on approaches to our regular destinations in the southeast and midwest starting each year about now.

rcflyer said...

airsafetyman,

If I recall correctly, the aeromods comprise about 30 changes to the airframe, plus a change in the FADEC software.

As far as I know, the certificate would not allow for a partial conversion. All of the aeromods will have to be accomplished at the same time.

The last I heard, they are planning on the mods being done in Gainesville, and they estimate two weeks of downtime per plane.

R.C.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

The last I heard is that the Weather Radar is a month or two from certification. That program at least is on the revised track.

airsafetyman said...

Thanks for the reply. All these thirty changes will have to be done as service bulletins and signed off by the Gainesville repair station whose ink is hardly dry on their certificate? Not to be sceptical but glad it's not my airplane.

ExEclipser said...

I can tell you that the guy in charge down there at Gainesville is top notch and his capability is only limited by the bozos in ABQ.

Ken Meyer said...

Layoffs?

Check this out:

Aviation Manufacturer dumps 1200 workers

Ken

DayJetStudent said...

At least Cessna gave some definitive numbers to the media to decrease speculation.

airtaximan said...

Ken:
Nice reference regarding the 2003 Cessna lay off of 1200 employees.

I hope it makes you feel wonderful about your choice of airplane(s)... you have two deposits and 1 or 2 progress payments, flushed, right?

To my knowledge, even with 1200 people gone, at that time, Cessna did not miss a beat with deliveries - how is your delivery coming?

airtaximan said...

"That's the problem. Sometimes it's pretty hard to find good, solid icing that can be used for testing."

Really?

Funny how the other dinosaurs compaines can get fiki, on schedule, without YEARS of dedicated searching for ice.

'comon boys, get serious.

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"Funny how the other dinosaurs compaines can get fiki, on schedule, without YEARS of dedicated searching for ice."

They haven't been searching for ice for years, fella. You need to quit making stuff up.

This is the first winter that the ETT design was even completed, therefore it is the first opportunity they could possibly have done the natural icing tests without leaving the continental U.S. As was noted earlier, they've been working on the preliminary tests (using ice forms), and that testing reportedly has gone very well.

Are you familiar with the timetable Mustang had for FIKI? It wasn't ready when the plane was. And the D-Jet contract tells buyers FIKI will be sometime after initial certification. Your comment about the dinosaurs not having FIKI delays was flatout wrong.

Ken

airtaximan said...

"This is the first winter that the ETT design was even completed, therefore it is the first opportunity they could possibly have done the natural icing tests"

so, Ken... please tell us, WHEN did they find out the boots didn't work? WHEN were these boots designed and spec'd? How many MONTHS has the formal FIKI Cert program been underway?

Stop telling people they are stupid/uniformed without providing some facts... OH I forgot this is KEn MEyer...all knowing, yet mostly wrong and never able to back up his FACTS....

You make anyone who knows about airplanes laugh, Ken, and not in a good way. You claim E-clips has been at this FIKI thing for months, many months, in order to refute a simple comment that they will have to fix the boots BEFORE they are really able to "begin".

Explain how you know better, and what the reason is for months and months of FIKIF has resulted in not noticing the problem with the boots?

airtaximan said...

Add this to your retarded comment about Cessna laying off 1200 people - I hope you feel good about yourself, and not listening to your wife about why she wanted a Mustang!


Wichita, Kan., November 9, 2006 – Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, reported today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared the Citation Mustang for flight into known icing (FIKI). Full FAA type certification for the Citation Mustang was awarded Sept. 8, making it the first of a new category of entry level jets to win type certification from the FAA.

“While approval for flight into icing is not required for certification of the airplane, we wanted to have this in place prior to delivering our first Mustang and in advance of this year’s major icing season,” said Cessna Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jack J. Pelton. “Our team strives to get our airplanes into the hands of our customers with all major flight capabilities in place because we know that’s what our customers expect and deserve.”

“The Citation Mustang has met or exceeded every performance objective established when we announced the program in 2002, and we beat the schedule doing it,” Pelton said. “We achieved all FAR requirements for the Mustang’s weight class, and tested the aircraft in many categories to commercial airliner standards, including cyclic testing to five airframe lifetimes – well past the two-lifetime requirement. During flight testing, we successfully achieved more than 2,200 certification test conditions, meeting or exceeding all our program performance goals, including range and speed. There is no question the Mustang represents a first-class Cessna Citation business jet in every way and sets new standards for what this new generation of aircraft will be.”

The six-place Citation Mustang has a top speed of 340 ktas (nearly 400 miles per hour), a range of 1,150 nautical miles (1,323 statute miles/2,130 km – NBAA IFR Reserves) and a service ceiling of 41,000 feet (12,500 m) – well suited for getting above most weather and commercial traffic for more efficient operations.

Based on unit sales, Cessna Aircraft Company is the world's largest manufacturer of general aviation airplanes. In 2005, Cessna delivered 1,157 aircraft and reported revenues of about $3.5 billion. Since the company was originally established in 1927, more than 187,000 Cessna airplanes have been delivered to nearly every country in the world. The global fleet of more than 4,500 Citations is the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at www.cessna.com.

Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company operating in 33 countries with approximately 37,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others. More information is available at www.textron.com

Keep posting Kenisms (inaccurate, distractive, insulting, arrogant statements) - they reveal what mentality it takes for someone to place one or two (you are my hero) deposits on e-clips planes.

PS. your lack of intelligence is only surpassed by your arrogant and insulting comments. Keep up the good work - KING OF ALL E-Clips BUYERS.

Ken Meyer said...

That's a lot of words AT, but none of them said you were sorry for misrepresenting the status and timetable of the FIKI testing at Eclipse.

Ken

airtaximan said...

You are the one misrepresenting things here, and you are not doing yourself any favors by accusing anyone of the same.

Many folks have accused you of "projecting" onto others, and I suggest you look into the mirror long and hard. It’s becoming obvious that you are irrational, and are not helping yourself with these nonsensical posts, Ken.

You've been asked specific questions regarding your statements, and cannot address one issue. This does not bode well for you, and I suspect you just are grasping at straws, insulting, posting silly nonsense, as a way to continue the denial.

If you can, address the questions, like I did with a factual recount about Cessna's FIKI, because you called me on it. I cam up with the facts, you have nothing but insults, and your misinformed opinion, and insulting and arrogant tone. They add up to nothing, except perhaps a way to make yourself feel OK about your silly decision to place two deposits on e-clips.

Do the same. Post some facts. Back up your remarks with something other than silly insults with no basis.

gadfly said...

Yesterday, someone likened the famous little VLJ to the Titanic . . . and I was greatly tempted to expand the similarities . . . but the hour was late, the snow was falling (providing conditions for FIKI testing), . . . and I decided to “sleep on it”. But the temptation has won the day, and I offer the following:

Breaking News: 14 April 1912 . . . turbine* powered HMS Titanic (VLJ**) tests “SIKI” (Sailing Into Known Iceberg)! Test declared successful. “Der Boot” deflated in normal manner.

gadfly

(*center screw powered by 16,000 hp turbine; **VLJ: Very Large Juggernaut)

(Apologies to the faithful: The Titanic was actually a combination “piston” and “turbo-prop”.)

gadfly said...

It just occurred to me . . . the combination of “piston” and “turbine” in the HMS Titanic was the concern by the engineers that a “turbine” could not be reversed, and therefore could not produce “reverse thrust”. And in a sense, they were correct. In 1958, our sister sub, the USS Stickleback, SS415 was rammed by the USS Silverstein, (one of those cursed destroyers) because their turbine could not be reversed fast enough, before ramming through the saddle tanks, and pressure hull, during a “war exercise” off Oahu. (The “Tin Can” slowed from 15 knots to 13 knots, before impact.) The sub sank, but no-one was lost.

But here we are . . . another fifty years, and a little jet depends on “brakes?” and undersized landing gear, to come to a stop in less than ideal conditions.

Hey, folks, I thought this VLJ was a breakthrough in technology! . . . I’m still waiting to be “amazed”. Come on, folks, at least give me a clue! Something! Anything! Hello! ? . . . anyone out there?

gadfly

(Someone . . . turn out the lights when you leave . . . and please lock the door!)

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

Wow ... with this kind of heat we might never get natural icing conditions.

The only items required for FIKI testing and demo is the final aero config, final flight control rig, and final anti-ice/de-ice systems.

Mustang is an almost proportionally smaller (mini)member of the CJ family, shares all of that experience and systems, and as was “rumored”, flew much of the icing tests in green configuration before the summer of 2006.

Me wonders how many Cessna employees are contributors to this blog.

FlightCenter said...

The Eclipse 500 Delivery Data has been updated to reflect the latest registration data from the FAA database.

The summary is that the FAA database shows that only one additional Eclipse 500 was registered in the past week for a total of 50 Eclipse 500s registered.

The "in process" website shows 3 additional aircraft for which Eclipse has submitted registration information in the last week. Paperwork has been submitted to transfer registration to DayJet for serial #54, 55, and 57.

There are now a total of 5 Eclipse 500 aircraft for which Eclipse has submitted registration paperwork which have not been listed in the FAA registry database.

There were no certificates of airworthiness listed as issued in the past week, with serial #38 still the highest serial number listed as having a certificate of airworthiness.

There has been a busy week at Eclipse on starting new aircraft. The FAA website shows that Eclipse has submitted paperwork on 10/18/20 that it has started work on 11 new Eclipse 500s.(Serial #75 through Serial #85).

DayJet is slated to receive 16 of the next 30 aircraft from serial #52 through serial #81.

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

gadfly ... [thank you for your service] Remember, when too close to that air/water interface, bubble-heads will always loose out to the black-shoes in a smack down. That's why they invented torpedoes ... and airplanes.

Take some time to sit in the lower end of the Citation CJ family, then a Mustang ... then ask yourself, why did it take them that long to build an 80% scale CJ1+ ... and how come everyone is making such a fuss over it.

Then start counting all of the knobs and switches on the instrument panel, sidewalls, and G1000 and see if the word innovation comes to mind. Didn't think so.

Cessna executed a plain vanilla program very well, investing way more money than they will recoup.

Eclipse is executing an innovative program poorly, maybe investing way more money than they will recoup. Time will tell.

FlightCenter said...

Ken's post on the Cessna layoff in 2003 was actually quite interesting.

Cessna's stated reason for the layoff was "a reduction in an order placed by one of its two major business-jet customers".

Cessna layoff was the result of one of its largest fleet customers reducing their orders.

That shoe hasn't dropped at Eclipse yet.

It will be quite interesting what happens, if and when DayJet decides that they really don't need half of Eclipse's aircraft production.

golfer said...

Ken said:
"....Indeed, it currently employs over 1500 workers and is hiring new employees as it cranks out completed airplanes at the rate of nearly one per calendar day and rising."

But, this is interesting.
I know a friend who was hired into Eclipse to hire new employees, was doing very well, suddenly got laid off just NOW, during the recent layoffs.

If Eclipse is hiring, how come an experienced HR person, hired into eclipse to hire new employees is laid off.

This makes me question Ken's postings. I do not like most of the postings here as it is little extreme. But, Ken is not credible either.

Jim Howard said...

Cessna executed a plain vanilla program very well, investing way more money than they will recoup.

Do you seriously think that Textron is taking a loss on each Mustang Cessna sells?

Ken Meyer said...

golfer wrote,

"Ken is not credible either."

Your beef isn't with me. If you have a beef, it would be with the news reports, this one in particular, from KOAT News, Albuquerque, that provided the information I posted:

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Eclipse Aviation has laid off a batch of mostly temporary workers who are no longer needed to produce the company's very light jet airplane...

Broom said it's much less than 150, but the company isn't releasing the number.

He said the company has more than 1,500 workers, after the layoffs.

Broom said the company is hiring in other areas.

Broom said the company is producing almost one airplane a day."


Ken

FlightCenter said...

For the week of 10/15/07 through 10/22/07 - DayJet flew a total of 37 flights for a total of 28.7 flight hours.

That works out to .6 flights per aircraft per day and .5 flight hours per aircraft per day.

The DayJet fleet flew 97 flights their first week of operation, 60 flights the second week of operation and 37 flights the third week of operation.



DayJet's 13th aircraft (N141DJ) arrived in GNV yesterday.

FlightCenter said...

"Broom said the company is producing almost one airplane a day."

Definition of "almost" in Eclipse PR offices must mean divide by 3.

Eclipse has delivered 17 aircraft in the 52 days of September and October.

Eclipse has delivered 6 aircraft in the 22 days of October.

gadfly said...

Mr. Lemming

“In your dreams!” . . . the “boats” have more tricks up their sleeves than you can imagine. First, you have to find us. And, should you actually hit the target, we have less distance to fall to the bottom . . . so there! But enough of friendly rivalry!

Our friendly supporter of the “Paper Clips” lives in a make-believe world, based on theoretical promises, and amateurish arguments that would have earned him failing grades in college in “English Rhetoric”.

Yes, he’s a bit tiresome, but seems to be the best spokesman that Eclipse has to offer . . . so we’ll continue to humor him.

gadfly

(Oh, a few years back, his “source” was reporting on the paving of highways in the East Mountains, and I had to walk over to tell the crew from KOAT News, or maybe KKOB . . . all about the same, they seem to share “news events” . . . that the “road” was a private driveway, and not the “highway” . . . great authorities, these TV crews . . . some have even graduated from high-school.)

airtaximan said...

FC,

Thanks for this data.

Do we see a trend?

Somebody said deliveries will probably slow after the first 55 or so, because they were "started" a long, long, long time ago. By some accounts, the intial production run of 55 or so planes was started in Q-2 06. Then again, we're never really sure what "started" means now, or meant back then.

Anyhow, we have a pretty good idea when plane 70 or so was "started"... so this is a big one to watch. After that, it will be intersting to see how fast e-clips can produce planes.

With "more than 1500 employees, even after laying off 100-150 last week, one could begin to calculate the labor cost (total company) per plane.

At 6 a week, its around $250,000 just to "non-manufacture" the plane, in company labor, alone. That's 6 planes per week, every week for an entire year.

Of course, at 3 planes a week, its double, and 2 planes a week, every week, for an entire year, that's $750,000 in labor alone.

-I know, direct versus indirect... but everyone must get paid, so this is not a bad way to benchmark.

airtaximan said...

BTW, if we agree the planes that have been delivered so far, were started some time last year, its around one per week. Giving e-clips some credit for not having all 1650-1700 employees around the entire time... we can calculate that 1500 employees produced a total of around 50 planes in 50 weeks.

That's around 30 man years per plane, or $1.5 million in company payroll per plane. Just company payroll.

The plan was to deliver 500 planes during just 2006... I think they were shooting for around $25,000 - $50,000 in direct plus perhaps equivalent indirect labor, per plane (6-8 months to produce 500 planes, 1700 or so employees...)

- missed it by how much?

Anyone have direct experience with learning ccurves or recovery plans?

Didn't Vern recently claim "nothing we set out to do was proven impossible(your honor)" or something to this affect???

Shane Price said...

ATman,

Serial Number 71 was started on the 13th of August.

The Great Raburn said so.

That very morning.

In person.

Recorded on that charming video by Mr. Bricklin.

Mind you, neither Dan (or anyone else who watched that video) quite understood how, if s/n 50 was waiting for the NASCAR transporter to take it to wing mate, a simple countback of the visible hulls in that hall got you to about serial number 60.

BUT...

VERN HAS SPOKEN

So, when you say we have a pretty good idea when 70 was started, I think it might require some digging to get to the truth.

If there is any truth anywhere near Eclipse Aviation.

Shane
PS Apologies to Gadfly and other honourable residents in that area.

The Real Frank Castle said...

ak

The Real Frank Castle said...

Lemmus/Kennus;

Don't go banging the Mustang.

You'll hurt your head.

Then you'll wind up with delusions like Ken, though I am suspecting you and Kennus might be the samus.

Hi, Ya'll !

gadfly said...

airtaximan

In our little corner of manufacturing of proprietary products (2/3rds directly related to aerospace), which might parallel the subject in discussion, labor accounts for approximately 20% of final retail price. At forty percent, we’re getting into serious trouble. Above that, we might as well shut down and find another line of work. And even then, gross profits rarely exceed 20 %, in the best of times. Sure, that’s “a rough thumbnail look”, but to think of labor above . . . say, 30%, is a no-go in anyone’s book. And I’m talking about “manufacturing”, certainly not a “non-manufacturing, assembly operation” (Vern’s definition of Eclipse).

And you folks keep referring to the planes delivered as if they are “complete”. It is my understanding that not a single complete aircraft has been delivered, to anyone, ever.

If Eclipse has delivered even “one” aircraft, complete, as originally promised, could someone please identify that aircraft, and give us an update as to its present status? And location? And maybe supply a photograph? (That has got to be one rare bird!)

gadfly

(Shane . . . we ship the wings down the Rio Grande on adobe barges, then haul the fuzilagee’s up the hill by mule cart from “Old 66", and glue them together, right there at ABQ . . . it’s all so simple! Don’t laugh . . . I figure my explanation is as good as the rest of the story I’ve been hearin’ lately. ‘Just you wait and see . . . next Tuesday! . . . OK, at least “Mañana!”)

The Real Frank Castle said...

By the way, Kenny, when ~WILL~ you ~EVER~ take delivery ?

What's your position number(s) ?

Are you skeered ?!?

WHY won't you take delivery and prove to us all what a wonderful, partially-completed airplane flys like ?

Do us all a favor and be sure the media is there for this event !!

The "Big Three" Networks surely wouldn't pass the chance up !

The only thing I can hope for rhymes with "dorksflew".

The Real Frank Castle said...

Senor Fly said:

"If Eclipse has delivered even “one” aircraft, complete, as originally promised, could someone please identify that aircraft, and give us an update as to its present status? And location? And maybe supply a photograph? (That has got to be one rare bird!)"

I'll second that emotion.

Ken ?!?!? KENNY?? KENSTER?!? Good Ol' Kenny !! Kensarooskie !!!

YOU of ALL people should have the answer !!!

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

Mr. Real,

I have no issues with the Mustang as a solid 8700 pound midget-Citation. Bigger airplane, decent though debatable numbers.

In many ways the Mustang obviates the CJ1+, which I wouldn’t be (overly) surprised to see Cessna eliminate.

Their low end could easily be the CJ0.8 (Mustang) then the CJ2+.

The contentious issue is whether Cessna's low end is low enough and efficient enough for the air-taxi market (which, like the BetaMax market of yore, the public just doesn't yet recognize that it is a good thing).

gadfly said...

“¡Mañana!”

That’s it! That is the answer. And it had eluded us all this time. New Mexico is the land of Mañana.

Back in college, we were taught that “mañana” means “tomorrow”. But that’s not right at all, not in New Mexico. It means “some other time, but not just now”.

The problem is solved. The Eclipse will be complete “Mañana”!

“¡Hasta Mañana!”

gadfly

(‘Time for a siesta! . . . ¡tengo sueño!)

planet-ex said...

Kenny needs to do a little research before he makes comments about Cessna laying off 1,200 employees in 2003. I suggest he check to see who else was laying off employees in that time frame - Boeing, Raytheon, Nordam (who supplies Cessna, Raytheon, Gulfstream, and Bombardier)...spring 2003 was a lousy time for aviation.

rcflyer said...

Stan,

Thanks for bringing some real humor to the blog. Anyone who is familiar with Dr. Zoom's history will see the hilarity in his threats.

R.C.

Redtail said...

planet-ex said...
Kenny needs to do a little research before he makes comments about Cessna laying off 1,200 employees in 2003. I suggest he check to see who else was laying off employees in that time frame - Boeing, Raytheon, Nordam (who supplies Cessna, Raytheon, Gulfstream, and Bombardier)

HOW DARE THEY. Don't they have any consideration for their employees! Shame, shame, shame.

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

Maybe the community can compensate him by granting 10,000 shares of Eclipse Futures, Series Z(oom) ...

Given the collective prowess at speculation, his shares might actually be worth something the day after the Rocket Racing League actually lets him fly one of their airplanes.

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

Vern-a-Gram
Dateline ABQ, 22 Oct 07

For those who have not read the full text of Vern's latest all y'all letter, it is available at: http://www.eclipse500club.org/news/more/1021/

Ooops, lest I forget today's lesson ...

To: Dan & Dave <> E5C Co-Captains

Please 'o please may I post a link from the E5C website in a blogger.com discussion.

DayJetStudent said...

From the EFF FAQ on Fair Use:

Questions About Copyright
I found something interesting on someone else's blog. May I quote it?

Yes. Short quotations will usually be fair use, not copyright infringement. The Copyright Act says that "fair use...for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright." So if you are commenting on or criticizing an item someone else has posted, you have a fair use right to quote. The law favors "transformative" uses — commentary, either praise or criticism, is better than straight copying — but courts have said that even putting a piece of an existing work into a new context (such as a thumbnail in an image search engine) counts as "transformative." The blog's author might also have granted you even more generous rights through a Creative Commons license, so you should check for that as well.


Link

airtaximan said...

Redtail,

I'm glad you brought up the point about all the manufacturers in the industry laying off in 2003... Ken's point about Cessna laying off 1,200 folks at that time is well taken - I can see the relevance -

THERE WAS A REAL DOWNTURN IN AVIATION INDUSTRY LAST WEEK PROMPTING E-CLIPS' LAYOFF.

You boys are funny.

PS. Vern seems to confirm that after they have a new boot design, FIKI natural ice testing will begin only in November.

airtaximan said...

Shane,

thanks for the post on SN70.

"So, when you say we have a pretty good idea when 70 was started, I think it might require some digging to get to the truth."

I noticed that "started" sometimes means they are frying pieces together, and "started" sometimes means on the assembly line.

-the former, to give the impression that they are starting a lot of planes, hence, producing a lot of planes, and probably related to "one-a-day" claims and providing solace to position-holders and "progress-payment-makers".
-the latter, to provide a comfort level regarding how long it takes to not-manufacture one of these things.

Its taken so long, that even if the "started" plane number 70 was only pieces being welded, and not on the assembly line, it won't matter much. Heck, if he wants to declare a plane "started" I think we can agree, and use that timeframe to see how long "from start to finish (I know, non are finished)" it takes.

August 13. So far its been 2 months plus a week or so.

Stan Blankenship said...

redtail,

I'm am deleting your comment since an ANN FAQ is likely to be protected as well and Capt. Zoom will want another $2,500 for your use of his intellectual property.

mirage00 said...

Ken,

How many "paper" planes have been delivered to date?

Once again, thanks for keeping it real! This blog seems to be on life support.

I remain amused

double 00

Ken Meyer said...

Mirage wrote,

"How many "paper" planes have been delivered to date?"

66 was the latest number I heard.

Four of them in the air as I write this, not counting the blocked ones. They sure fly nicely for paper planes :)

Ken

airtaximan said...

mirage,

If you can, please riddle us this:

How come E-clips is only now discovering a serious problem with the de-ice boots? These boots apparently never worked properly, THEY ARE BEING REDESIGNED, like the avionics, for example.

How could e-clips not know this a long, long time ago?

I can imagine the "plan" to deliver 500 planes by Y/E 2006 would have considered non-FIKI'ed planes sitting idel for a long winter?Them a year later, would need re-designed boots replaced...

This smell like the e-j22 engine used to gain deposits out of escrow, then switched, Avidyne and United used for progress payments then switched, now the boots.

Seems like somone probably knew about this problem requiring a re-design a long time ago. Plus, if no one really knew, what does that say?

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

Re: Started

At NBAA a well placed Eclipsoid stated that [paraphrased] ... SN 71 has started production ... with assembly of the rudder airfoil ...

I will search the grey matter for the specific conversation, however, it was clear from this executive's language that his use of "started" did not mean that production line Station 1 was populated with that aircraft.

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"How come E-clips is only now discovering a serious problem with the de-ice boots?"

That's just wrong. The problem and its fix were both announced months ago. You keep digging yourself deeper into a hole with more and more incorrect statements.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken: 66 delivered, WOW!

Eclipse has delivered 6 aircraft in the 22 days of October.

Serial Number 71 was started on the 13th of August.

The FAA website shows that Eclipse has submitted paperwork on 10/18/20 that it has started work on 11 new Eclipse 500s.(Serial #75 through Serial #85).

If all of this is accurate, especially Ken's number of 66 already delivered, there's a BIG problem.

SN71 was started on August 15, and there were only 4 planes started between then and Oct 18th. Plane s/n 71 is only 5 planes away from delivery. There's a few more, until the ones started LAST WEEK need to be delivered.

Its going to be fun tracking this, becasue IF they can deliver 20 or so planes in the next few weeks, it will really mean that the cycle time from beginning to end of producing a plane has been dramatically reduced.

- it may take a little longer than the next 2 -3 weeks, if they have not "delivered" 66 planes yet (50 or so on the FAA registry, which lags)but I suspect we will know one thing soon:
1-e-clips can produce planes very quickly
2-e-clips is in deep doo-doo.

Interesting times.

airtaximan said...

The problem and its fix were both announced months ago - source please.

airtaximan said...

"Raburn said, revealing the need to modify the de-icing boot installation on the airplane. The boots were inflating properly, he said, but were not deflating as they were supposed to."

R-E-V-E-A-L-E-D: Oct 8th 2007 (year to be clear)

ExEclipser said...

Is the captain of N139DJ a wee off course?

rcflyer said...

airtaximan,

At EAA Airventure (Oshkosh) this year, Eclipse announced that the current boots were not deflating properly, and that they had found replacements. They also announced the planned cut in serial number for the new boots, but I don't remember what it was.

R.C.

Jim Howard said...

"Is the captain of N139DJ a wee off course?"

Probably dispatch called an have a fare for him to pick up.

ExEclipser said...

I've heard of being vectored around Dallas' Class B airspace, but that's just plumb silly.

ExEclipser said...

I just can't help myself....

It flew right over Wichita. Wonder if they wanted to show off their EA500?

While I was at Eclipse, Adam AND Cessna flew their prototype VLJs into ABQ and taxi'd conspicuously in front of the Eclipse plant.

mirage00 said...

Seems like somone probably knew about this problem requiring a re-design a long time ago. Plus, if no one really knew, what does that say?

Yes, it's all part of the "Conspiracy"... But they can't fool the 5 or so "naysayers" on this board. Oh and Stan too. It's really quite amusing...

I remain amused!

mirage00
double 00

airtaximan said...

RC,
great to know...

I guess this is MONTHS and MONTHS ago, which Ken took solace in, but somehow failed to report here with all the sunshine he blows up everyones ass.

Do you think its practical to think that they found this out only around OshKosh? Perhaps, they kept it quiet, like the avioncis and engine replacement reality - until they received the positon-holder's money?

My point is simple - they know the systems do not work, even though they demand payments. Its unthinkable that they had a TC for around a year and a PC for many months, and were workig FIKI as Ken said for "months" and did not know the boots did not deflate properly, requiring a re-design.

Think hard about the answer, and thanks for the clarification back to OSH. In my book, for a company at it for 10 years and $1.x billions, this does not constitute a high compfort level for safety, quality, or even FIKI or reasonable transparency regarding reporting.

Ken brought up Cessna, and they somehow were able to deliver all planes with FIKI... how is this possible? I guess they know what they are doing? They are open and honest about issues, and they are straight about what's really going on?

Simple as that? explains why Ken's wife wants a Mustang, and why you should be very worried about buying an e-clips-unfinished-dishonest-plane.

Back at you....

airtaximan said...

GREAT NEWS FOR DAYJET!!!!

"DayJet has flown more than 100 commercial flights between its five initial Florida DayPorts, company vice president of strategic operations Traver Gruen-Kennedy said yesterday. He added that many of the flights were flown with the maximum three passengers aboard DayJet’s Eclipse 500 very light jets. Gruen-Kennedy also noted that flight quotes continue to increase each week by a factor of two."

Nice one... the company and the plane are a raving success....move along old air taxi services, the records provided by FC on this blog regarding lackluster Dayjet performance/flights are completely FOS!!

Pop a cork!!!

airtaximan said...

Mirage, either they know about the qquality of their plane or not. Its not a matter of conspiracy - compentency is at issue, especially if they did not know - thanks.

Thanks for the insight.

ExEclipser said...

Note RE: ATM's Report. It was issued in an AINalert by email. This story isn't available on their website for clicking, but I got it, too.

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

Read the press release from DayJet carefully.

DayJet said,

"Gruen-Kennedy also noted that flight quotes continue to increase each week by a factor of two."

He is saying that flight quotes continue to double each week, not flights...

This means that their marketing group is successfully driving twice as many folks each week to the DayJet website for a quote, but that a much lower percentage of those quotes are being converted into flights each week.

Just for a quick way of quantifying this issue, (no need for Russian scientists) let's normalize the quote to flight ratio for the first week and use a starting value of 10 for the quote to flight ratio.

A quote to flight ratio of 10 for the first week would mean that DayJet had 10 quotes for every flight. That would say that there were a total of 940 quotes which generated a total of 94 flights that week.

According to DayJet, they had twice as many quotes the second week, but only 60 flights. That results in quote to flight ratio for the second week of 31.3.

The flight ratio itself isn't what we want to look at here, it is the trend of that ratio that matters.

The trend is that it took 3.1 times as many quotes the second week to generate a flight, as it took the first week.

According to DayJet, they had twice as many quotes again the third week, but only 37 flights. That makes for a quote to flight ratio of 101.6 or a 10 times lower conversion ratio the third week when compared to the first week.

It seems that the DayJet prospects must be having some difficulty in accepting the DayJet value proposition.

Perhaps Ed ought to re-read his copy of Crossing the Chasm.

EclipseOwner387 said...

ATMAN,

I reported it back on July 27th that Eclipse announced a supplier change in the boots. You even commented on my post. CWMOR also commented that he had predicited this (which he did.) The announcement was made at the customer meeting at OSH (you asked why didn't Vern announce it to the press.)

cj3driver said...

FC,
Thanks for the info. This week (at DayJet) isn't off to a good start either. 20 hours of flight time logged for 25 flights, but six hours of maintenance so far.

According to Ken, Eclipse has delivered thru s/n 66, ... So, with a DayJet fleet of 20 planes, and an average 7 hours of revenue per day, the prognosis is bleak.

Turbine Power said...

CJ3driver said "the prognosis is bleak."

Maybe in the twisted mind of petty and unthinking anti-Eclipse-ites. But for the rest of us, both the prognosis for the plane and the prognosis for the company are starting to look amazingly good. I look at the large and growing number of deliveries, the impressive performance of the plane combined with its great fuel economy (a factor that grows daily in importance), and the ever-increasing signs that DayJet will be a big success.

What do you look at? I'm thinking maybe it's the remnants in your toilet after you flush.

Redtail said...

TP, much of what is speculated here is crap from the toilet. Great to have TP to clean it up.

By now, with 100-150 unemployed and disgruntled ex-Eclipsers out on the streets I would have suspected that there would have been a tidal wave of Eclipse monster stories posted here. As is obvious, not a single one has surfaced. If I had a real story to tell about the company that is so in the shitter, and management had warned me to stay away from this blog, then this is the first place I would have gone to spill my guts the second I walked out that door. It didn't happen. But don't fret. By now ATM, ColdAndWet, Mousie and AirSafetyGuy are probably on their second drafts of some bogus tale to be posted shortly under a new lurker's ID starting out with, "I been monitoring this blog for some time, and now I feel I must come forward..."

bill e. goat said...

"ATM, ColdAndWet, Mousie and AirSafetyGuy"

Ummmm, yeah. I guess it's all part of a "conspiracy".

I remain amused.

:)

Troglodyte said...

Turbine Power

Actually, I consider myself a disappointed eclipse enthusiast. Could you please detail what you think the “...ever-increasing signs that Day-Jet will be a big success” are? I don’t see them. As far as I can tell the story is either too early to tell (glass half full) or very bleak (glass half empty).

The comment that there have been a “Large and growing number of deliveries” seems a bit bizarre in the face of 66 deliveries (see post immediately above yours) by an aircraft company that’s 10 years old and has spent more than a billion dollars and was supposed to have delivered hundreds of planes by now.

Lastly, the product which is being delivered is a severely crippled version of the original concept. I remain skeptical as to whether single-pilot operations should be permitted in the current aircraft except in day VFR conditions.

I’m interested to hear the logic behind your statements.

--Trog

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

FlightCenter,

You assume that DayJet used the word “quotes” to mean non-committed fare inquiries.

If we toss you a bone and stipulate that you are correct, then there are actually two metrics of import ... the quote to reservation ratio (a marketing issue) and a reservations to flights ratio (an operations issue).

However, if quotes means something else to them, then your glycol chugging Russian scientist must be using RPN (you remember good 'ole Reverse Polish Notation) because your assumptions are whacked.

While we are at it, let us explore your dream world for a while …

Image with us a whimsical story about YOU actually starting a business from scratch, while simultaneously establishing a new marketplace, let’s call it Ahead of Its Time, Inc. for simplicity.

Every night you go home and your significant other, let’s call him say … CJ3Driver, has the same litany of questions … how many people walked by the store today, how many actually came into the store, how many people said “just browsing”, how many said “how much is that one”, and honey … how much did you sell … ‘cuz sweetie, you know for a fact that I am high maintenance??? yada, yada

But you say, “SeeJay” dear, you took me to see that movie Airfield of Dreams … where once the word got out, people came from miles around. Honey, I know this business will work … just give it time.

And so it will be … give it time … it will work.

NOW …

Back to your REAL avocation … looking at DayJet minute-by-minute experiential data through a soda straw, while attempting to draw cogent conclusions to thrill your Jet-A lovin’ posse.

The staring cow analogy is apropos.

The cow stares myopically at car after car, day after day … and sadly will never understand that it’s the highway not the individual car that really matters.

At the same time, every driver looks out his/her window and thinks two things: (1) stupid cow, and (2) hmm, I could go for a burger right about now.

FC … find a better pastime … don’t wind up being dinner.

cj3driver said...

T.P. said;

“ …the prognosis for the company are starting to look amazingly good … and the ever-increasing signs that DayJet will be a big success…”

Have you been tracking the DayJet flights in the last three weeks?

1. The number of flights/hours have been decreasing.
2. The average daily fleet utilization is ½ hour per plane, per day, and soon to be fifteen minutes per day, when the next 10 aircraft arrive.
3. DayJet has flown TWO (2) charter flights since the service announcement, …. TWO! and those two… were less than 30 min. flights.
4. Today, over 25% of DayJet hours were for maintenance.
5. DayJet releases a statement regarding its first few weeks of operation, and the “best” news is that despite a consistent reduction of flight/hour count, the website is becoming very popular for quotes.
6. All this after a media blitz that would make Delta, American and United pale.

Do you realize the implications of the failure of DayJet? DayJet has over 50% of Eclipse’s order book.

I also find it very interesting that Vern’s latest letter explaining the recent layoffs at Eclipse is now “missing” from the E5C website.

Now you see it, … now you don’t.

I suppose that since Eclipse delivered 4 partly functional planes in the first quarter, 14 in the second quarter, … then, if Eclipse delivers 25 in the third quarter, this will look “amazingly good to you”.

Unless, of course, you are position holder number 225 and you sent your 6 month - 60% unsecured progress payment to Eclipse, … over 1 year ago, … and they still haven’t even started your plane yet…. And the company was practically bankrupt a few months ago, and they just laid-off 10% of the workforce, and they are shipping planes that need to be retrofitted, and still no FIKI and you can purchase a position in the secondary market for hundreds of thousands less than your contract price, and the factory order book is shrinking, and you have concerns over the viability of the largest customer … “DayJet” and Eclipse is not currently selling anywhere near the production volume to sustain the company, …and the last thing you heard… Eclipse was going to deliver 500, no 400, no 200 planes this year.

….. other than that, your right. …”a big success”.

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

FC and CJ3,

You're making this too easy.

Together, you guys could be THE BACONATOR.

flyforfun said...

Airtaximan, when I was out there they had just started number 100 and they said that #150 would be ready, well actually not ready but ready for delivery end of Feb or in March 08. I saw #64 there and it had been delivered and was being worked on. The whole thing reminded me of when I bought a new truck last week. Ford sold me a new 50K Eclipse Truck but it had no radio or power steering. The windshield wipers were installed but I couldn't use them, no blades. It has navigation but the software won't be ready for 6 months. The bumper was missing and they said I would need to bring it back in a month to get the exhaust system installed. Thank goodness Ford sells there products complete and ready for service.

cj3driver said...

Lem E said

“… The cow stares myopically at car after car, day after day … and sadly will never understand that it’s the highway not the individual car that really matters…”

Yes… but for some reason, the owners of the tiny high priced cars, the ones with the orange tails and the broken windshield wipers, don’t seem to notice that there are many other types of passenger carrying vehicles traveling down the same highway. Buses, taxis, limo’s, private cars and motorhomes. Some do the same routes every day at the same time, and some don’t. Some are for hire by the hour, and some by the mile, some by the trip and some even share expenses. Alas, none of those vehicles actually built the highway. They just share it with the others.

Is there something really that revolutionary about selling a seat on an airplane between 5 cities?

Is there something really that revolutionary about providing a charter service on a little plane, between 150 different cities, for $2,000 per hour?

Is there something really that revolutionary about doing these things in a tiny 3 passenger aircraft with 3 strangers and no toilet?

Maybe, just maybe, you could make a case for the "revolutionary" reservation system. Time will tell ... but the car? I think not. Just another choice among many choices traveling down the highway.

Niner Zulu said...

cj3driver, excellent summary on the dismal reality of Dayjet and Eclipse.

What part of "flop" don't the faithful understand?

There is one other statistic I'd like to know - I wish we could get an accurate figure of just how many new Eclipse orders have been obtained in the past year. Antecdotal evidence suggests "not many". Why? Because the ONLY way Eclipse can obtain a new order is to find a customer that is totally clueless about the resale market for Eclipse positions and get a nonrefundable deposit before the customer realizes they could get an earlier delivery AND save money if they avoided Eclipse's sales department altogether.

I tried to think of one reason that a person might choose to place a new order with the factory at this point and time, and couldn't come up with any that made sense. In order to continue to sell new planes, Eclipse has to find a steady stream of the "rich and clueless".

Lemmus Eclipsus said...

cj3driver said:

"Is there something really that revolutionary about ___ "

Hey CJ ... can I get fries with that?

Never said the Eclipse 500 was revolutionary, that's your hang up.

I contend that the VLJ is obvious and essential to sustainable economic velocity.

Thinking that your name is not on that Citation's title -otherwise your nic would be "cj3owner"- you probably have no clue what that is.

The PC is functional, but not efficient. Emerging technology made the obvious -the laptop- possible.

The CJ3 is functional, but not efficient. Emerging technology is making the obvious -the VLJ- possible.

I hope that FlightAware's servers don't go down ... else, after servicing that beloved potty of yours, you might run out of ways to stay occupied while waiting for your self loading baggage to return from their business meeting.

True, Eclipse could fail. DayJet could fail. But at least they are out there trying to make things happen.

Position holders can whine about strong-arm tactics, but if they didn't like the situation they should have walked away when given the chance.

Anyone who can stroke a personal check for $160 Large should have the chops to make informed decisions.

Have another cup of FBO coffee while you ponder how efficient your operation is, and how eliminating your wasted hours might be revolutionary.

cj3driver said...

9Z;
“… I tried to think of one reason that a person might choose to place a new order with the factory at this point and time, and couldn't come up with any that made sense …”

Plus, there were many multiple position holders, speculators and would be fractional and air taxi operators in the mix. I believe the order book is shrinking in more ways than one, and there will be many more positions to choose from with less risk than an already risky proposition.

In reality, anyone who placed an order after 2003 (about), could just cancel their order and purchase a resale for less. Even with the complete loss of their original deposit, they could still get a plane earlier and for less money.

If you are an Eclipse faithful, and if you MUST have an E500, I think you should purchase an existing (built) aircraft, and consider your deposit(s) gone. If Eclipse does make good on your later contract, you can always sell it.

As for Eclipse (the company), here is some constructive criticism;

In my opinion, the upfront money (60%) is way, way too much money for anyone to risk on a new factory order at this point. Eclipse should just factor the build cost into the price of the airplane, and raise the price by $200K or more. They could to this for ALL outstanding orders. I would bet that a good majority of the serious buyers would agree to this. The cost of capital on the deposit(s) is already costing these owners $50-$100K as it is. I would bet most of these buyers would pay the additional $100K or more, in order NOT to be required to write a check for over $1 million dollars six months before projected delivery.

Additionally, Eclipse may be able to secure new orders if there was a reasonable deposit, an escrow for the options, and payment for the balance at delivery. Especially for a start up company, with such a dismal record.

Also, since most(?) of the aircraft is already developed, there is absolutely no reason to sell delivery slots to speculators or dealers. This practice will ultimately backfire on the company (clearly already evident today). A strict adherence to this policy will help resale values and bolster the order book with solid buyers, and create future value for the product.

Finally, price the product to meet demand. It is very clear there is NOT a market for 500 of these planes per year. If companies like DayJet want a fleet discount, Eclipse could give quantity discounts in the future. Or a rebate, or reduced service contract (parts), if production goals are met. It is in ALL the owner’s best interests if the company remains viable and profitable.

cj3driver said...

lem E,

“Revolutionary” comes from Eclipse marketing. See website.

Insert your words “obvious and essential to sustainable economic velocity” every where I said “revolutionary” in my previous post. Then re-read. Same outcome.

As far as the efficiency of the CJ3, I couldn’t be happier, ...as single pilot jets go.

BTW – I own and “drive” the CJ3, … and, I also load my own luggage most of the time.

….Not that it really matters.

Cj3
:)

ExEclipser said...

CJ3: Where do you get maintenance hours from? How long a plane is in Gainesville?

LE makes a good point. A lot of Eclipse's strong arm tactics don't owe themselves to anyone's blame but the customer. If a bazillionaire wants to be treated in a manner consistent with their income, then perhaps Eclipse would be singing quite a different tune.

ExEclipser said...

It's not even 7AM EDT yet, and there are already two DJS flights.

ExEclipser said...

Lessee.... Yesterday there was a charter to Naples. Today there is a charter to Key West.

In the last 10 business days, only N109DJ saw no flying. It seems to be couped up in Gainesville. Aeromod perhaps? The rest of the fleet showed between 7 hours and 15 hours of utilization. Compare that to NAJC's SFH875 which had 8 flights for 15 hours of utilization in the same period.

Looks like DayJet is making the same averages as NAJC, but with 12 jets, doing 12 times as much business.

Since most of the DayJet flights are between DayStops and according to the press release, most flight are carrying 3 pax, I would call that a success.

The quote about doubling the number of quotes is irrelevant, other than to know that they are continuing to generate more interest and perhaps could be signing up more members.

flightguy said...

DayJet carrying 3 passengers does not mean that 3 are paying for the flight.

airsafetyman said...

With respect to the boot issue,it would seem the issue is not as simple as gluing on some boots and doing icing tests. The inboard leading edges of each wing will have to have heated anti-ice continously to keep chunks of ice from being injested by the engines. This is the design arrangement on many Citations that use boots for the outboard portion of the wings. Are the current Eclipse aircraft plumbed for bleed air to this inboard wing area, or will this be part of the two week upgrade also?

ExEclipser said...

FG: You're right. I'm sure that 2 of the 3 pax are DayJet retirees and current employees who can't get enough of hopping between 5 Florida cities. What makes you say something clever like that? Gotta source? Say something definitive, not just dribble about non-sense.

ASM: Boots go all the way to the WTB Fairing. No heat/alcohol anti-ice. Good Q about engine ingestion of ice.

FlightCenter said...

Linear Air's website still says Eclipse 500 flying soon...


Their (first) aircraft arrived at KBED on Sept 20th.

DayJet is certainly doing better than Linear right now.

ExEclipser said...

10-4

AeroObserver said...

Execlipser,

The DayJet charter to Naples was for a static display for the Naples Airport tour associated with the AAAE General Aviation Issues conference earlier this week. So it can't be logged as a customer flight.

WhyTech said...

exe said:

"It's not even 7AM EDT yet, and there are already two DJS flights"

Really? Two? Really? Awesome!

WT

Ken Meyer said...

Yet another Eclipse fleet sale, folks.

This one is for up to 12 airplanes sold to Dubai Aerospace Enterprises for use in training aviation professionals.

Choo choo :)

Ken

airtaximan said...

EO,

"I reported it back on July 27th that Eclipse announced a supplier change in the boots."

Well, perhaps to some, a supplier change is NOT THE SAME as a boot deflation problem due to an "installation" issue needing a redesign.

This company has changed suppliers before, and not changed the "design". Pehaps its different, since the plane was already finished - rrriiiggghhhttt....

I'll agree, you alerted this blog to the fact that Vern mentioned they were changing boot suppliers (at OSH)... our discussion was regarding how the FKI cert would go, and I said it wont begin again, until the boot issue is put to rest. Someone disagreed with me, and the petty nit picking began... again.

The it was announced publicly that FIKI testing would begin, again in November after the boot issue is resolved. So, I guess the nits are moot. Common sense prevails, once again.

EO, how does a company which promises to deliver 500 certified planes in 2006 not know the boots do not work, then? This could be 1 year prior to Osh Kosh, no?

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

This seems to be a news report that an announcement of an order is expected to be made in a month.

The details of the order don't seem to be defined. One gets the impression from the article that the order hasn't been closed quite yet.

Let's wait till the actual order is confirmed by the customer (and Eclipse) before beginning the celebration.

We've seen these types of fleet order projections in news articles before that didn't pan out or were much delayed.

ExEclipser said...

Quote:The university's chief executive Dr George Ebbs says the school will buy as many as 12 Eclipses and around 40 single-turboprop Cirrus SR22s for delivery over the next two years.

WOW! Where can I get a turboprop Cirrus SR22???

airtaximan said...

There are many possble issues with a boot, including aero, power requirements, etc. The implication for ice ingestion on the engines (which at one point was theoretically resolved by engine placement...ej-22 promotional days) is a concern, as pointed out. Should the wing require some bleed air, there is none available. If someone tries to heat the inboard leading edge, there will be a power requirement/ penalty.

I suspect this issue has been known a long time, and is more complex that we suspect - or, it would have been resolved.

airtaximan said...

Interesting that a school can get 12 e-clips' delivered over the next 2 years, and they have not placed an order, yet.

Folks who slept at the hotel in 2000 to place their non-refundable deposit, and the folks with progress-payments ALREADY ponied up and spent- STAND UP AND CHEER!

airtaximan said...

DAYJET:
With all the data collected and analysed here, regarding DAYJET, I think its important to say:

I personally think its outstanding that they have even 10 flights a week, and 20, or 30 flights a week is miraculous. Congratulations, and hope the trend is more visits and travel inquiries, more passengers per flight, more flights per plane, and more flights per week, and more planes...

Congratulations - it is a remarkable feet to get anyone to switch from car to jet travel, at these prices! KUDOS!!!

Jim Howard said...

There is a world-wide pilot shortage right now.

I suspect the EA-500 will make an excellent advanced trainer for abinito (sp?) flight schools around the world, at least the ones that want two motor jet trainers as opposed to Cirrus or Diamond jets.

I'd suggest to Eclipse that they market a TA-500 model with no FIKI and a spartan four place interior. I suspect they could sell 100 to 200 TA-500s over the next two or three years.

cj3driver said...

EXE said

“… CJ3: Where do you get maintenance hours from? How long a plane is in Gainesville? …”

Exe,
I was making an educated guess, ... that all the flights that take off from GNV, circle overhead, and land back in GNV are maintenance flights. I seriously doubt there are paying customers on board.

See DJS110, DJS119, DJS130 ... over the past few working days.

Just to name a few.

airtaximan said...

Jim:

How do you think the pilot shortage will affect Dayjet, which needs a lot of pilots? Their payscale seems pretty low.

airtaximan said...

cj3,

maybe these planes are getting their aero mods?

if so, perhaps Dayjet is not flying that much, sue to the fleet being "down"...

then again, one would think the planes flying could be flying more...

we'll see - give'm a chance. like I said before, its amazing anyone is using the servic... not a bad start.

Garty said...

Latest Hard Evidence of DayJet's "Success"

Monday 10/22/07 - 8 possible revenue flights total utilizing 5 aircraft, 7 aircraft made no revenue flights (and only 6 possible revenue flights using just 4 aircraft and 8 aircraft no revenue flights if #135 flew BCT-Naples-BCT only for static display).

Tuesday 10/23/07 - 13 possible revenue flights total utilizing 5 aircraft, 7 aircraft no revenue flights (and only 11 possible revenue flights using just 4 aircraft, 8 aircraft no revenue flights if #126 flew BCT-Naples-BCT only for static display).

Only 1 aircraft (#132) made what appear to be revenue flights on both days (4 flights total in 2 days).

At this pace, DayJet eventually will exceed 200 passenger flights milestone, but it may not equate to "success".

ExEclipser said...

CJ3: Perhaps some are training flights.

Don't forget, when this operation started, Ed said that only about a third of the fleet would be used for revenue.

Now, when they get their next 16 aircraft, I'll be amazed if we see 28 airplanes flying around and only a third are for revenue.

The aircraft, being owned by DayJet Leasing Corp, could also potentially be used by new EA500 pilots to get their type ratings. I don't think that's the case, but at any rate, the extra planes are going to be critical when they start the aeromods, FIKI mods, Avionic Mods, etc.

ExEclipser said...

And, for the record, regardless of which flights are revenue and which aren't, at least the planes are flying. Building hours. Creating a log of dependability. They're certainly not hangar queens.

airsafetyman said...

Thanks ATM. I was wondering why Eclipse didn't put a set of boots on the delivered airplanes, wheither they were certified or not, for their customers' encounter with unforecast icing. If all the boots would do is dislodge chunks of ice into the engines I can see why they didn't. When you figure the de/anti icing has to work on one engine in case of an engine failure, there may be a real power problem here, wheither bleed air or electrical power is used.

airtaximan said...

I did not know, and would not think the current planes are being delivered without boots.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Where can I get a turboprop Cirrus SR22???
I think the Sandia Flyers may have an SR-20 for sale soon, used by only the upper management at Eclise. No one else has time to fly or the patience to deal with the Neo-Nazi training regime required by Eclipse. It is unfortunatly, the piston powered version.

airsafetyman said...

"I did not know, and would not think the current planes are being delivered without boots."

I don't know either, but sounds like they may do more harm than good if the engine ice injestion problem hasn't been addressed.

airtaximan said...

ASM,

I did not say there was such a problem...I think someone else might have.

The boots do not work. I cannot imagine deliveries without the boots. How they will get them to work, I have no clue, but they are redesigning them.

There are power requirement issues, and aero issues, as well as of course weight impacts depending on the design. As far as the ice/engine issue, someone here suggested this might be an issue. If it is, and they need to attack this problem, this might be very complex. If the boot is impractical inboard, and they require another solution, the impact for power requirements (heated edge) or bleed air (is there sufficient margin) and plumbing... make this a complex problem.

I am sure someone here is going to say: "Its not a big deal and its alredy fixed" - and this could very well be the case.

I am still mystified as to why e-clips did nothing about this for a year after TC??? But the reality is, not every plane that's ever been certified has/needs FIKI.
;)

cj3driver said...

Exe said;

"... CJ3: Perhaps some are training flights..."

Yes, its possible, but I would think the training flights would be better served flying routes, since they are so short anyway. Also, Ed made a point that the pilots begin the day and end the day at DayBase’s. If you look closely, the GNV-GNV flights are usually preceded by a one-way trip from another DayPort.

Either way, my point was regarding revenue. Highly unlikey this was the case.

I do not wish an ill fate on DayJet or Eclipse. I’m merely pointing this out as speculation and analyization of risk regarding the business models, … for the future of both companies. The outcome, good or bad, will surely affect ALL of GA.

cj3driver said...

Exe said;

“ … Don't forget, when this operation started, Ed said that only about a third of the fleet would be used for revenue…”

Exe,

I do not recall this. Can you remember when/where he said this? I find it hard to believe that with a fleet of 239 aircraft, only 80 of them would be used for revenue. Why?

cj3driver said...

Exe said;

“ … Don't forget, when this operation started, Ed said that only about a third of the fleet would be used for revenue…”

Exe,

Maybe he was reffering to the time when the "fleet" consisted of 3 aircraft.

ExEclipser said...

CJ3: Fair enough.

AAE: Quote:"No one else has time to fly or the patience to deal with the Neo-Nazi training regime required by Eclipse."

I dealt with them a time or two. Thought that regime would have been broken down when CS & company left. There've been attempts at mutiny, but with MB & his cronies at the helm, there's not much chance.

For the money they spent on a worthless SR20, they could have had two VERY nice, Very 5000' field elevation capable 172s. Pointless to have an airplane that can't be flown in 80% of the daylight hours between April and October.

ExEclipser said...

Note: "Fair Enough" was with regards to first post.

Ed said that at Launch on October 3rd when they already had 12 planes.

ExEclipser said...

#14, N145DJ is out of the nest.

cj3driver said...

Exe,
thanks

FlightCenter said...

All the pictures on spjets.com and eclipse500club.org show aircraft delivered with boots.

airsafetyman said...

"All the pictures on spjets.com and eclipse500club.org show aircraft delivered with boots."

But the boots don't work? Very strange. It would take a BF Goodrich engineer and a good mechanic at least 30 minutes to solve the problem.

Jim Howard said...

"How do you think the pilot shortage will affect Dayjet, which needs a lot of pilots?"

Aviation Week reported that the average Dayjet captain has 18000 hours.

I take this to mean they are hiring retired 60+ airline Captains.

If they pay a non-slave wage and offer every weekend off I suspect that there are plenty of retired military and airline pilots in Florida willing to fly for them.

In the U.S. it's the regionals who all want 20-30 year olds to work for burger flipping wages that have pilot shortages.

In most other countries they have no GA, so they need Cadet programs for their civil airlines. One of the sad effects of 9/11 is that a lot of these overseas pilot used to train in the United States, but its now a big hassle for these students to come here, giving Australia and the UK a competitive advantage. These overseas programs might be customers for my hypothetical TA-500.

Netjets, Fedex, UPS, and SWA have lines of pilots around the block wanting to get in.

Jim Howard said...

One PS about Dayjet pilots.

Is it possible that delays in the hiring and training pipelines are the factor limiting Dayjet flights, rather than problems with their jets?

In my opinion it was astounding the way Eclipse seems to have dropped the training ball for their airplane.

For heaven's sake, Orville and Wilbur figured out how to check out pilots on new airplanes. That's just not rocket science.

airtaximan said...

"But the boots don't work? Very strange. It would take a BF Goodrich engineer and a good mechanic at least 30 minutes to solve the problem."

really? Perhaps the "problem" is not that simple? Its tken a very, very long time (according to Ken) to deal with this- afterall, they discussed the problem months and mnths ago, according to him. LAso, they MUST HAVE known about this issue along time ago, or they simply got a TC (how long ago?) and PC without the QA in place to know the boots do not work??? C'mon.

bill said...

I was over looking at all the EA500s at AEG (probably about 12-15 in the Bode hangers)... I noticed that the vertical stab have no boots. How can they be testing for FIKI with no boots on the tail? Looks like no option for inboard bleed air.

The replacement of the panel on the nose does look to be a big job (if you had to access avionics) which is pretty regular in most planes!

Ken Meyer said...

ASM wrote,

"But the boots don't work? Very strange. It would take a BF Goodrich engineer and a good mechanic at least 30 minutes to solve the problem."

The boots work. The CBs are to be collared off until FIKI approval, however the word from those in a position to know is that the boots work just fine if you uncollar the CBs.

Bill-most jets do not have anti or de-icing for the vertical stabilizer; there are a few exceptions.

Ken

airtaximan said...

"boots work just fine"

really? the redesigned boots or the old ones?

airtaximan said...

according to Vern on October 8th, the boots had to be redesigned. Plus according to e0387, at Oshkosh the faithful were told the company was replacing the boots supplier.

So, Ken...which boots work just fine, now?

airsafetyman said...

Ken sez the boots work fine, but Vern sez they don't.

I think they really mean that: " Yes you push in the CB the boots will inflate (and maybe even deflate!) but you have a good chance of dislodging ice into the engines. Therefore the boots don't work. We forgot about the ice ingestion into the engines and now don't have the bleed air or available electrical power to heat the inboard leading edges of the wings. As soon as we can figure out what to do about it we will give you a call. In the meantime we will blame our original boot suplier who gave us exactly what we asked for."

airtaximan said...

ASM,

I am really interested to know what Ken means when he says the boots work fine.

I cannot imagine Vern saying they have to redesign the boot system, yet it works fine. Perhaps you are correct, but Vern said the boots have a problem deflating... this could be anything, really. It could even be a poor excuse for what you write, but lets give Ken the benefit of the doubt.

His trackrecord of calling people here stupid and liarswithout providing any back up is long and consistent... but, for the sake of education, lets see if he can back up his BOLD claim that the boots are fine.

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