Friday, October 12, 2007

From Flight International

Business jet start-ups face production challenges

By Graham Warwick

Successful start-ups are rare in aircraft manufacturing. Most fail to reach certi­fication, but even if they get that far these newcomers face steep hurdles acquiring the resources and expertise to move into volume production and profitability.

"It's turned out to be really hard," says Eclipse Aviation's chief executive Vern Raburn. The company secured type certification of its Eclipse 500 very light jet in September 2006, and production certification in April, but has struggled to ramp up to the high production rate planned. "We grossly underestimated the job," he says.

Eclipse is not alone. Sino Swearingen Aircraft (SSAC) certificated the SJ30 light jet in December 2005, but delivered only its second customer aircraft in September. Adam Aircraft received initial approval for its A500 piston twin in May 2005, but has not finished certification and has delivered only a few aircraft.

The issues all start-ups face are similar: raising the financing to transition from type certification to rate production and setting up from scratch the production and quality systems essential for aircraft manufacture. For Adam and SSAC the hurdle has been financing: for Eclipse it has been building the infrastructure of a major manufacturer.

"Where are we? Nowhere near where we wanted to be," says Raburn. The company continues to work through the vendor issues that dogged certification, but its biggest challenge has been putting in place a high-rate production system. "We are not out of the woods yet, but we are seeing nothing that says we can't build at volume," he says.

Cirrus's success

The most successful recent start-up has been US light-aircraft manufacturer Cirrus Design. Certificating its all-composite SR20 in 1998, Cirrus delivered its 1,000th aircraft within four years and is coming up on its 4,000th. Contrast this with Columbia Aircraft, which like Cirrus grew out of the kitplane industry. Columbia also certificated its first piston single in 1998, but struggled to ramp up production, only delivering its 500th aircraft in 2006. It then hit a series of problems that led to the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

The difference between the companies has been the resources available to ramp up production. Cirrus in 2001 sold a controlling stake to a Bahrain-backed investment firm for $100 million. A controlling interest in Columbia was sold in 2003 to government-backed Composite Technology Research Malaysia for $50 million, but by 2006 CTRM was looking to sell its stake. In September Cessna entered discussions to acquire the assets of the bankrupt manufacturer.

Similar stories can be found across the industry, and the founders of Adam and SSAC have both had to relinquish control of their companies to attract the additional investment required to ramp up production.

Rejigging production

After investing more than $700 million in SSAC, the company's Taiwanese backers have agreed to sell a controlling stake to a joint venture between US investment firm ACQ Capital and SJ30 distributor Action Aviation of the UK. A priority for the new owners is to rejig a manufacturing line that is producing only a trickle of aircraft.

New Adam president Duncan Koerbel says the Colorado-based company has secured $200 million in equity and debt financing in the last nine months and is revamping its manufacturing system with the goal of producing 150-240 A500s and A700 VLJs a year and delivering 1,000 of the all-composite aircraft within seven to 10 years.

But this ambition is eclipsed by Eclipse, which has set it sights on building at least two aircraft a day. When it handed over the first customer Eclipse 500 in December 2006, the New Mexico-based company predicted it would deliver more than 500 in 2007: so far just over 50 have entered service.

Raburn blames two problems: vendor issues carried over from certification and the challenge of setting up a high-rate production system. Both are tied to the VLJ pioneer's avowed goal of changing not only how people travel, but how aircraft are built.

"We have had significant problems with several vendors," he says. "Some we induced ourselves. We had an immature engineering organisation with a not very disciplined approach to design changes. We clearly caused problems for vendors - we still are today, but we are trying to clean up our side.

"But there are stark differences in how the vendors handled the problems, says Raburn, a former Microsoft executive. "I made some bad choices of vendors and I'm still paying the price. Some say I'm enraptured with technology and do not evaluate the risks enough. But it is compounded by vendors who do not stand by their promises.

"Raburn admits many established vendors no-bid when Eclipse was looking for suppliers because they did not believe the company could produce the aircraft at its price point, originally under $1 million and predicated on unheard-of production rates. "They did not believe in our business plan, so we paid hundreds of millions of dollars in non-recurring expenses to take the risk out of our different business model.

"Eclipse's search for innovative and low-cost suppliers has had mixed results. "There are places where aggressiveness with technology has worked, such as the electrical power system, which has never had a failure." He also cites Pratt & Whitney Canada: "They developed a new centreline engine and it has never had an inflight failure."

Raburn says 80% of failures in the fleet are in three areas: displays, autopilot and actuators. The orginal Avidyne displays will be replaced when the new Avio NG flightdeck is introduced in November, and Meggitt "is doing everything it can with the autopilot and we are seeing reliability improve", he says.

The company's problems in ramping up production are "more deeply a culture issue", says Raburn. Eclipse deliberately hired experienced aviation-industry veterans to set up its manufacturing system, "but they came out of very established companies into a start-up - a baby that had lots to learn, like, who empties the trash? They were incapable of starting with a clean sheet."

Eclipse has "learned a hell of a lot" about high-rate production, he says. "Manufacturing at rate is like squeezing a balloon - something pops out somewhere." The company has learned tolerance build-up is more important than accuracy in high-rate manufacture. "A lot of the parts are machined. We thought that was all we needed for it to go together the same every time. It turns out that tolerancing and holding the part accurately is important."

After rebuilding its production staff, and bringing in automotive industry experience, Eclipse has moved to parallel production lines. "It's no longer single-piece flow," says Raburn. There are now three independent aft/forward-fuselage mate positions to avoid bottlenecks. "By later August we were starting to see the benefits."

Raburn defiant

Eclipse has proved that every position on the production line can run at a rate of at least one aircraft a day. "Have we got all of them to run at that rate at the same time? Not yet," Raburn says. "But our analysis shows we can get to one-and-a-half to two a day."

Inevitably, Eclipse's failure to deliver on its aggressive promises has drawn a backlash of criticism from Raburn's detractors, but he remains defiant. "It turned out to be really hard, but nothing has proven to be impossible. There is nothing we set out to do that we have not finally done," he says. "We have created a product that delivers on the promise to change the way we travel, and built a company with lasting value."

Thanks to mouse for sharing this revealing article.

219 comments:

1 – 200 of 219   Newer›   Newest»
ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Will be interesting to see the Faithful praise Vern while ignoring the clear fact that this article itself, in Vern's own words, plain as day, validates nearly every single criticism that has been leveled here over 160 odd threads and 14,000 plus posts over the past 18 months.

Yes, it's true, the criticism against his leadership, against the stability of the design process, against the immaturity of the management and design approaches, against the amateur hour nature of their production plans and estimates, the suggestions of vendor mismanagement - all been validated in black and white.

Interesting that Sino-Swearingen, which took a similarly long time to develop and certify - only took $700M to develop a larger, much faster, much higher flying and much farther ranging aircraft.

Also interesting that Adam has developed 2 airplanes for a fraction of even that (although nowhere near complete at this point).

The contrast between Columbia and Cirrus is also telling. Rumor has it that the total investment in Cirrus over time is under $300M and the articel pointed out that they recently delivered their 4000th aircraft.

Pretty amazing article and I find it rewarding to see Vern displaying some ability to recognize Eclipse's own part in the issues to date, even if he cannot help himself insofar as blaming vendors.

You heard it from Vern in this article, after hearing it here on the blog for a year and a half boys and girls - designing, certifying and building airplanes is hard.

cj3driver said...

Vern says;

"But our analysis shows we can get to one-and-a-half to two a day …
There is nothing we set out to do that we have not finally done …"


Vern,

Is that the same analysis that shows you could mass-produce a twin-jet for $837,000.00?

You need some new analysts

Only 80 days left this year to make good on your latest revised, revised, revised production promise of 200 planes this year. Will you “finally do this one” ?

doubtfull.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

WOW!!

80% of failures are displays, autopilot and actuators.

Good thing there are back up instruments.....oh wait, there isn't.

Good thing the plane does not require an autopilot for single pilot operation.....oh wait, it does.

Good thing the gear and flaps aren't actuator driven.....oh wait, they are.

Wonder if the issues that avionics engineer pointed out (self-rigging and hysterisis issues) are to blame?

Come to think of it, recent pilot reports mentioned the autopilot cancelling itself in VMO descents - that should be fun too.

Interesting reading indeed.

cj3driver said...

Posted on October 10, 2007;

Since October 1st, only two (unblocked) Eclipse’s have flown away IFR from ABQ. Serial #19 (N519EJ probably in for aero-mods) and Serial #46 (N6100).

Update: October 12, 2007 5pm PST

Two Eclipse’s have departed IFR in the last two days. Serial 50 N456MF (the aircraft on display at NBAA and at AOPA, and Serial # 14.


I was told by a DayJet rep at NBAA (s/n 50 on display) that Eclipse was producing 1 per day, we should see #54-#62 (DayJet’s planes) in the air by now.

Six months from now is mid April 2008. Are there any depositors out there at S/N 300+ that have sent in deposits? Mike Press’s ad for s/n 377 shows the 60% deposit due in early September. This must be a tough call for people in this position.

Metal Guy said...

It appears that Vern is finally learning the reality of the smoke he was blowing years ago when everyone else in the industry laughed at his “analysis”.

I’ll bet he is not as “amused” as he used to be…

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Wanted to point this little data point out which came from Hummer in the last thread.

"We have been in communications with mechanics in the field servicing the little jet and are really not encouraged with their reports. It's going to take some time to get this thing right."

This from a guy who himself wants to use the 'little jet' in a business venture - hardly what can be considered a 'critic'.

Less than 50 in the field and the news is already not encouraging, hmmmmm.

Nearly ten years and $1.X Beeeeeeeeeeelion dolllllllllars into it, and it "will still take some time to get it right".

Interesting to say the least. BTW, I appreciate Hummer's candor on the matter - refreshing and appreciated.

mouse said...

While Adam Aircraft has a little ways to go on the A500, and I'm guessing another 12-18 months on the A700 (if they don't short cut the process and deliver a partial airplane), they are only into the money about $260M to date.

I believe that Duncan will hold the engineers to deliver a 95-100% airplane when the finally complete the A700. If it were lacking FIKI I would push it out of the nest providing it was late spring or summer.

Peter will deliver a D-Jet that is right, and mission capable. Their follow-on twin engine jet will be a winner too, although the market is getting pretty crowded already.

Phenom will steal the show until Honda delivers than all bets are off for everyone in the NGLJ (New Generation Light Jet) market until Spectrum comes on line.

I believe Linden has what it takes to deliver the NGLJ version of the Sino, and if they restart their VLJ it too will be a mini Sino.

Sino after 20 years of development still has no real competition when comparing speed, range and altitude.

Had Vern been in charge of fundraising only, all of these planes would be completed, manufactured and flying by now. He had vision and an a great ability to part a fool and their money, but not enough business sense to get out of his own way.

I still see no viable way the Eclipse EA-500 can survive. It has proven that money can make anything possible, but like an iron lung, when the plug gets pulled the patient dies...

The aircraft was never designed for heavy duty dispatchability or revenue service. The only thing built into it was hype.

When I came on board Eclipse had forgotten to add anything for maintenance into their cost per mile formula (yes, nothing, zero, nah-da, zip) and the assigned the left over pennies between .47 cents and .55 cents to be the number. From there everything was back-filled to make the .08 cents look like the design point.

The airplane is too fraile, has no useable access, has 100% custom designed parts with no reliability, no history, and only a pre-paid dollar value to cover the guaranteed life of the part.

It could have been the greatest 4 place personal jet ever designed and certified, but the numbers did not justify the production, so the numbers were pumped up to match the manufacturing cost so it could be divided out to meet the guessed-at price point.

The whole plan started out right and turned into a ponzi scheme to try and match Vern hyped up promises.

Guess he never believed what his parents told him about telling a lie. Once you lie, it never ends...

His intentions WERE good back in the winter/spring of 2001... and then reality set in. Dr, Williams tried to save him from himself, but he was having none of that...

Don't expect to see enough chairs when the music stops...

Shane Price said...

In my response to Hummer, posted last thread just prior to this Flight International article, I said

Many times Ken was asked to list the risk factors in the program. He refused to do so, because one stood out.
Vern.


Vern comes out and says

"We grossly underestimated the job,"

I said

Mr. Raburn is the wrong figurehead for this company. He is incapable of setting realistic goals and getting a team together to meet them. Without going over old ground, he fails the leadership test.

Vern said

"I made some bad choices of vendors and I'm still paying the price. Some say I'm enraptured with technology and do not evaluate the risks enough. But it is compounded by vendors who do not stand by their promises.

Same old Vernster. Takes risks, blames suppliers.

Just watch out for it. First time an E499.5 has real issues, Vern will lay the blame at

a) the unfortunate pilot

and/or

b) the 'failed' vendor.

Just like others have said before, this blog provides early warning of the likely outcome, for anyone who is prepared to read and learn.

Shane

Shane Price said...

Another thought.

Why did Vern fail to notice that established companies 'no bid' to supply him?

Whenever that happens to me, I ask the vendors why. Most of the time you get a fair answer, as in, 'sorry Shane, we are up to our necks in other work.'

Did The Great Raburn ask? What were his Board of Directors doing?

Just interested...

Shane

airtaximan said...

right on schedule...a few weeks after NBAA, the reality is coming through... and imagine what the situation looks like, really, if VERN is admitting to all this.

Actuator problems? I feel better now.

Mouse, your recount of the story from the inside pretty much matches mine from the outside. My point all along was, all you need to do is pay attention, and the reality comes shining through. I believe what you wrote is 100% accurate, and the plane was never designed for revenue service. You can see it in the plane and smell it in the program since a long time ago.

FC, how many planes delivered last week? I predicted they will grint to a halt pretty soon after plane 54... afterall, they've only had the entire year to begin more planes after the first 54 or so... track delivereis and I bet you soon see more like one a week...

Last comment for now - we should not be the ones saying "eat crow"... this was always the attitude of the die-hards... just keep looking for reality and provide opinions and information.

gadfly said...

Trog

In your earlier references to the Luddites, I wonder if you are aware of that “spin-off” group called the “Lard-ites”, who, when asked if they thought that Eclipse would succeed, replied: “Fat chance!”

gadfly

gadfly said...

airtaximan

In thinking about “eat crow” in reference to the claims of Eclipse . . . maybe the more appropriate bird is the “parrot”, that talks much, flies a little . . . and can’t get far from its perch.

gadfly

jetaburner said...

Interesting activity on FlightAware this morning.

N218JT flew for the first time (according to FlightAware) from ABQ to HRO.

But even more interesting is SFH875 which was originally filed from ABQ to PWK (about 1000nm) and diverted in mid flight to SGF (only 670nm) despite a nice tail wind and 395gs at FL390. Since the diversion occured about 1hr into the flight I have to assume that it is due to fuel concerns. Interesting.

BigJim said...

Jetaburner said: "Since the diversion occured about 1hr into the flight I have to assume that it is due to fuel concerns. Interesting."

Or, maybe someone had a little too much coffee.

hummer said...

Coffee & Fuel. .
Right.

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

The FAA updates their database on Monday mornings. I'll post an update then.

The telling point from the article was that Vern lowered expectations from his previous public statement that he intended to produce 3 aircraft a day. In this article he has lowered expectations to 1 1/2 a day.

Raburn says. "But our analysis shows we can get to one-and-a-half to two a day."

Can you imagine the effect of that sort of disclosure on their stock if they were a public company?

jetaburner said...

N218JT is airborne again. Looks like HRO was a fuel stop enroute to CMH. Interesting that the e-clips needed to stop for fuel between ABQ and CMH (1107)nm with a nice tailwind. Maybe they had more than 3 people on board so they couldn't take full fuel. Or maybe JT isn't comfortable landing with e-clips' recommended reserves.

According to Flightplan.com the TBM850 would have done it in 3hrs36min non-stop and used 1373lbs of fuel. That leaves 590lbs of reserve which is more than enough so you could carry 5 to 6 people and luggage.

jetaburner said...

SFH875 is airborne again going to PWK so SGF was a fuel stop decided in mid-route. Looks like the plane is having problems making 1000nm trips in the real world.

FlightCenter said...

DayJet fleet utilization report for last week 10/8 through 10/13

The DayJet fleet flew 60 flights and 55 total flight hours last week.

Two aircraft did not fly at all.
Four aircraft flew 40 of those flights.

This works out to an average of one flight per day per aircraft and .9 flight hours per day per aircraft.

The previous week, DayJet flew 94 flights and 83 flight hours.

FlightCenter said...

Serial #50 is heading back home to ABQ (N456MF)

Ken Meyer said...

jet a wrote,

"Interesting that the e-clips needed to stop for fuel between ABQ and CMH (1107)nm"

Let's keep it real. ABQ to CMH is not 1107 nm; it is farther than that (1163 nm). And they filed for FL270 (probably they don't have RVSM yet). The Eclipse is not designed to travel 1163 nm nonstop at FL270.

With today's winds, the 1163 nm flight could be done no sweat at FL350 or above with satisfactory reserves. It would beat the TBM 850 by 36 minutes, burn less fuel in the process, and save maybe a thousand bucks in operating expense for the flight, if your TBM 850 figures are correct.

Your other comment was about SFH875. It is a pre-aeromod Eclipse. ABQ to PWK, at 972 nm, is a long hop for a pre-aeromod Eclipse which has an NBAA IFR range of 900 nm. The aeromods make a big improvement in the NBAA range, raising it to 1125 nm. Doing the flight non-stop is well within the capability of the aeromod-equipped Eclipse 500.

Perhaps you know these things and choose to ignore them, but the end result is that your messages are inaccurate to the point of deception.

Ken

airtaximan said...

FC, I wouldn't amke too much out of the 1.5 per day comment - I don't think they have sustainable production of 100 planes a year, right now.
Anyhow, his comment could be today, in anticipation of adding another line... you remember, that's how all this wqworks.

1 line = who the heck knows how many???
2 lines = 1 per day

Just add "lines"... problems solved.


SHANE:
You bring up some great points about Vern and missing the risks...also blaming everyone. Your example of blaming a pilot ringsd true.
Keep in mind, he is trying to take credit for having a FOQA program. The cornerstone of FOQUA is transparency, honesty and not blaming. These are required for it to work, becasue yu need honest input from pilots.

I bet anything, there's no pilot in their right mind that would sign up for this with e-clips. I agree, their culture is antithetical to this working - and Verns statements trying to take credit for having this program, is a absurd and insulting as it was to hear they would produce a few hundred planes last year, a few hundred this year, or ever produce a plane for below $1 million... its designed for passenger regimes/duty cycles... etc..

No way FOWUA works with THAT guy or THAT company. Recipe for complete BS, once again.

airtaximan said...

Ken you wouldn't know deception if it bit you in the ass...

jetaburner said...

Ken-

Good to have you back. I knew if I put a compared the e-clips to the TBM you wouldn't be able to resist.

I didn't know that SFH875 is a pre-aeromod plane.

I never thought to consider that N218JT wasn't RVSM approved. Cessna and Socata don't deliver incomplete planes to their customers so frankly I didn't consider it.

Comparing the TBM850 to the e-clips on that trip with current winds and temps I get:

Using FltPlan.com:

TBM850
- 3hrs 33min (60kt tailwind)
- 1373lbs
- Reserve = 582
Available payload w/ 400lbs reserve= 1032lbs.

E-clips @ FL350 and 350ktas:
- 3hrs 12min (65kt tailwind)
- 1662lbs
- 24lbs of reserve
Can't make it!!

E-clips @ FL410 and 330ktas:
- 3hrs 23min (60kt tailwind)
- 1491lbs
- 195lbs of reseve. Too low for me!!

So, to be fair I remember you saying that Flightplan.com's numbers are not accurate. So... I put it in the owner's spreadsheet with the forecasted tailwinds above at ISA +10:

E-clips at FL350 and HSC:
- 3hrs 5min
- 1336lbs
- 350lbs reserve
- Available payload with 400lbs of reserve= can't do it.

E-clips at FL410 and HSC:
- 3hrs 24min
- 1196lbs
- 490lbs reserve
- Available payload with 400lbs of reserve= 710lbs (assuming a reasonably equipped plane)

So you arrive 9 minutes ahead of the TBM850 and burn 177lbs (26.4 gallons)less fuel but you can only bring 3 people with luggage. You have a much smaller cabin and a new, uproven plane from an unproven company. Sound fair?

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I thought you might enjoy this as you seem to believe that flying a twin means that you would never have to make an off-airport landing. Don't you fly a Cessna 340?

"The pilot was attempting to return from Denver International Airport to Meeker when one of the engines went out. He had hoped to land at Eagle Airport, but as he approached the airport his second engine failed."

Wow!! Both engines failed in his Cessna 340. Sounds like he had water in his fuel.

Here's more info:
http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=78833

Shane Price said...

Ken says

Perhaps you know these things and choose to ignore them, but the end result is that your messages are inaccurate to the point of deception.

You were talking about The Great Raburn, I presume?

If so, its refreshing honesty, for a change.

Care to list the risks in the Eclipse progam? I know we would all value your opinion.

After all, your leader has opened Pandoras' Box. Anything can now be discussed...

Shane

Ken Meyer said...

jet a wrote,

"I never thought to consider that N218JT wasn't RVSM approved. Cessna and Socata don't deliver incomplete planes to their customers so frankly I didn't consider it."

Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

If you would please read up on the RVSM approval process, you'll understand that the Eclipse 500 is group RVSM certified, but each individual operator is required to submit paperwork to his or her own FSDO and wait for individual approval before flying in RVSM airspace.

It's the same for Cessna and Socata. It's very telling that you suggest otherwise.

Ken

jetaburner said...

Ken-

I will discuss directly with Cessna as I am currently speaking with the sales rep about the Mustang and CJ1 and report back to you. My impression is that you are incorrect but I'm not 100% sure. The process you describe is one that I am very familiar as I did it for my TBM and the CJ2 since both were manufactured before RVSM. I believe the Mustangs, CJs, TBMs all fly away from the factory RVSM approved. CJ3 Driver can you comment?

rcflyer said...

mouse said,

"Peter will deliver a D-Jet that is right, and mission capable. Their follow-on twin engine jet will be a winner too, although the market is getting pretty crowded already."

I'd say your confidence in Peter is well-placed since he just hired one of your favorite Eclipse employees as COO.

R.C.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

Kind of funny that you said:
"Do you have any idea what you are talking about?"

Do you fly an RVSM aircraft? Are you RVSM approved? Did you go through the certification process (like I did) with your plane. Of course not, you fly a Cessna 340. It won't even go that high.

I'm pretty sure that new planes from the factory are all delivered RVSM certified. What you described before is the process to RVSM certify a plane already in operation. I will speak directly with Socata and Cessna and report back on Monday if no other bloggers have any insight.

Ken Meyer said...

Jet A wrote,

"Do you fly an RVSM aircraft? Are you RVSM approved?...you fly a Cessna 340. It won't even go that high. I'm pretty sure that new planes from the factory are all delivered RVSM certified."

Bill, you're getting to be no fun to talk to because you're wrong too often. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but it's true--you're wrong an awful lot of the time.

The 340 has a service ceiling over 29,000 feet. Last time I checked, that's over the RVSM floor.

And yes, new aircraft are RVSM certified. But the operator still needs to submit the paperwork to get approval from the appropriate FSDO to operate in RVSM airspace.

This is not rocket science, Bill. The RVSM certification rules, for your education, are located here.

Ken

Joe Patroni said...

RVSM approval is not just airplane equipment.

To apply for RVSM authorization from your local FSDO, the airplane must be equipped for RVSM ops (as part of the process, you supply a list of the RVSM applicable equipment installed, which is compared against the list of RVSM approved p/ns). In addition to that, you must document how the equipment will be maintained (either the applicable sections of the maintenance manual, or the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness for STCs), and the training program that the flight crew members will follow. This is included in a document typically called the "RVSM Ops Manual"

THIS DOCUMENT IS OWNER/OPERATOR SPECIFIC

This manual is sent to your local FSDO with a request for a "Letter of Authorization for RVSM Operations". At this time, the FSDO will review your documentation, and send a "RVSM Letter of Authorization" when the process is completed.

Make sure you send two copies.....the FAA guys keep one on file, and they stamp the other one as an approved document and return it to you. The shortest time I have ever seen this process completed is 2-3 weeks.

You cannot initiate the process until your registration is recorded in OKC......hence the airplanes running around "RVSM equipped" that are flying out of RVSM airspace. They have not received their approval letters yet.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

RC, curious which Eclipse person Diamond picked up - can't seem to find any announcements but I did only try for a couple minutes.

Last I heard, a former Mgr from Eclipse (Flight Test) was doing consultant work for a supplier to Diamond, same person or somebody else? There are also former Eclipse Mgr types at Adam and a couple other OEM's.

FWIW, Vern has managed to drive off quite a few bright managers and even a VP or two - it would make sense that some of these talents would seek and find gainful employment elsewhere in industry, no?

Interesting that in light of this employment discussion one finds that Eclipse has 2 executive positions open right now (VP Controller - Chief Accounting Officer and VP General Counsel - Corporate Secretary) - along with several Stress positions in Service Engineering and 5 Experimental Flight Test mechanics.

Sounds like they are gearing up for two activities - IPO and a major structural retrofit project that will require significant flight test support - wonder what that could be.......

Launch of the e-CON Jet would not requires Service Engineering stress analysts - these are positions that develop Service Bulletins and the old 'phone home' repairs that exceed the data found in the Structural Repair Manual (SRM). Again, I wonder what that could be......

Still curious to see what the Faithful think of Eclipse's failure to sell even half what they need to meet their volume sales requirements in any given year since the beginning of the program?

Or how about the YTD performance of achieving only 10% of their stated production goal with 87% of the year gone?

I know I know, the train has left the station. The blog has jumped the shark and the critics are all wrong...blah...blah...blah

Did anyone try and tell Vern the train is going the wrong way on the wrong track?

Jape said...

The fundamental problem at Eclipse is that the aircraft was never designed for quick assembly (or many other things Vern claimed). Oliver can draw pretty airplanes. However, neither he nor Vern have ever had the discipline to follow a design process. Tolerance stack-ups, manufacturing engineering and specifications are for lowly vendors, not the astute engineers of EAC. Even if they could get some of the overabundant ego out of the way, they are stuck with a design that requires many hours of craftsmanship.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

Trying to take it personal by using my first name (which is wrong)? That's interesting and very telling. I'm only interested in discussing the e-clips. Is this another attempt at deflection because of the many outstanding issues and concerns regarding the e-clips?

How many Cessna 340s have RVSM approval? I didn't know, nor frankly do I care, that the 340 was certified to FL290. Good for you. When was the last time you flew it there? Have you certified yours for RVSM? Why don't you answer any of my questions like I have yours? Are you afraid? I've repeatedly asked you about your experience and have never gotten a straight forward answer. Hmmmm.... My reason is not to discredit you but to understand your perspective.

I'm really not interested in getting in a pissing contest with you. Nor do I profess to know every word of the FARs. Frankly You originally brought up the RVSM issue to justify why the plane couldn't fly 1100+/- nm on a specific flight. Did you look at my earlier example using the only 2 tools available to me to objectively analyze a similiar flight? Isn't that the real purpose of the discussion? No, instead you chose to deflect the issue away from the airplane and make it personal. Let's keep it real and relevant.

Regardless of the mechanism of RVSM approval, the real question is how established companies, such as Cessna, Socata, Gulfstream and others, deliver the airplane to customers. I haven't personally taken delivery of a new aircraft since RVSM was implemented. So you are right, I am unfamiliar with how that procedure occurs with the customer when there is a new aircraft deliver that is subject to RVSM approval. My maintenance facility handled the RVSM procedure so I am familiar with the process in the field. I assumed, maybe incorrectly, that an established manufactured would do the same pre-delivery. I will check on Monday to see what the procedure is because I am genuinely curious.

You keep using these types of excuses and avoiding the real topic of lack of performance. I'm more interested in discussing the e-clips, both pro and con and as I said earlier I'm glad you are posting again.

jetaburner said...

joe Patroni-

Thank you for your insight and clafication. This is exactly how RVSM certification was done in my TBM in 2005. I figured when a new plane was delivered the manufacturer, as part of the delivery process, would take care of the necessary paperwork for the customer pre-delivery. I also assumed, maybe incorrectly, that new planes that met RVSM standards would be fast tracked because of standardization of relevant aircraft systems (dual digital altimeters, autopilot requirements, etc.) This is very different from a non-RVSM equipped aircraft that is upgraded in the field and then applies for RVSM approval. I remember waiting about 30 days for my RVSM approval after the installation of the necessary equipment. Of course part of meeting this requirement was the creation of the RVSM manual and my, the pilot, specific certification. So I am surprised that companies like Boeing, Airbus, Gulfstream, Cessna, Dessault, etc. deliver airplanes that have not been RVSM certified. You just don't see or hear them below FL290 in cruise.

Stan Blankenship said...

Several years ago, Eclipse announced they had contracted with a parts supplier in Nova Scotia to provide sheet metal parts. It was curious at the time, because well, Nova Scotia is a bit off the beaten path.

Apparently the deal fell thru because of the excessive risk.

Today, Cessna plans to use the same company to provide assemblies for the CJ4. Good news for me since to build parts, one needs tools.

The underlying message - for Cessna to go this far afield to find a company to build sheet metal parts is a reflection on just how tight the supplier base is becoming in the U.S..

Qualified suppliers do not have to sign on with high risk start ups or put up with unfulfilled promises. There is plenty of work available from the established OEM's who keep their side of the bargain.

Stan
Halifax, NS

Turboprop_pilot said...

Ken, 00:

The article by Graham Warwick in Flight International is a damning one that deserves the Faithful’s meaningful comments. Instead you guys address the trivial or misleading like details of RVSM or playing games with blog member’s names and experience. Why don’t you participate in the real discussions? I for one would like to hear your views on:

The risks in rapidly integrating and certifying a complete avionics system from multiple vendors
Is it fraudulent to extract significant deposits from your fellow customers when large risks are clear and so many promises have been broken?
Do you think Vern should be replaced?
Can they raise more capital with the problems above?
How could you write an S1 risk section for an IPO with this track record?


Thanks if you really can keep it real, TP

Black Dog said...

Turboprop_pilot said...
Ken, 00:

The article by Graham Warwick in Flight International is a damning one that deserves the Faithful’s meaningful comments. Instead you guys address the trivial or misleading like details of RVSM or playing games with blog member’s names and experience. Why don’t you participate in the real discussions? I for one would like to hear your views on...........

The ironic thing is if one of the so called critic's had posted what Vern has penned then this blog would overload and crash and naysayers remains would be splattered all over the net by the faithful.

Now I realy am AMUSED

Ken Meyer said...

Jet A wrote,

"I didn't know, nor frankly do I care, that the 340 was certified to FL290."

Funny how that didn't stop you from snidely writing, "Did you go through the certification process (like I did) with your plane. Of course not, you fly a Cessna 340. It won't even go that high."

You showed up here one day pretending to be interested in the Eclipse, and I remember wasting a lot of time trying to answer your many questions about it. It turns out, all along all you wanted to do was knock it.

The latest reincarnation of your feigned concern is your supposed worry that the Eclipse cannot go far enough for you. It turns out that is just more baloney, too.

In the last six months, the longest flight your TBM 700 has flown was 750 nm. That's a perfect flight for the Eclipse; it will do it a lot faster, higher, and for less money than the TBM 700.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

Your creepy obsession with proving you can find personal info about some of the critics here is rather disturbing, bordering on stalking.

Your attempts to drag people through the mud, not based on aviation related information, but personal injury suits or their unrelated business activities does not serve Eclipse's or your own best interests in any way.

IMO, it only shows you, like Eclipse's CEO, to be a petty, vindictive, would-be bully, who does not realize he is playing on a playground where he is so outclassed and so ill-equipped to be competitive that he resorts to kindergarten tactics.

How about you address the shortfall at Eclipse to EVER sell enough individual aircraft in any year to meet the volume they themselves say they NEED to breakeven.

How about you address the FACT that they demanded '6-month' progress payments from hundreds of depositors last fall (appr. 300), and have only delivered 4 dozen, partially functional crippled little jets in the ensuing 12 months.

How about you address the FACT they demanded those '6-month' progress payments knowing that they were scrapping Avio for Avio NfG as they ADMITTED when they said they had the program underway well before the announcement was made.

How about you address the FACT that displays, autopilots and actuators are failing enough to garner a comment from Vern himself.

How about you address the FACT that the jet is years late and now costs more than twice the original prediction, goes less distance, and weighs more than half a ton more than originally projected.

How about you address the FACT that you were WRONG about Eclipse's absence from AOPA last year and that you towed the company line until they admitted they LIED about it, 3 weeks later.

How about you address the FACT that you were WRONG about the RVSM issue for months re: the GPS database issue you refused to admit existed until Mike Press explained it.

How about you address the FACT that Eclipse is now seeking several Service Engineering Stress Engineers and Experimental Flight Test Mechanics, people who are only required in multiples if there is a significant project for the fielded fleet.

How about you address the FACT that Eclipse was, according to its CEO, almost bankrupted by the collapse of a $200M finaincing deal only a couple months ago - a common issue we critics talk about - the financial stability of the company.

How about you address the FACT that the major criticisms made here over the last year and a half, Eclipse underestimated the task, Eclipse made mistakes, Eclipse mismanaged the vendors, Eclipse is on shakey financial footing - all have been vindicated, stated by Vern himself.

How about you address the FACT that the critic suggested issue of limited range are being proven nearly daily, even the beloved aero-mod birds.

Rather than parrot the party line from Komrade Vernski and the Church of Flyantology, how about we get your unvarnsihed opinion of what YOU, KEN MEYER, see as the risks of the program?

We critics have pointed nearly all of them out for you already. We also know, from experience, that the risks in a well-run program decrease over time, and that does not appear to be the case at Eclipse.

Hummer has shared a couple of his concerns for his own intended business use of the 'little jet' as he called it, based on his own discussions with the mechanics actually maintaining the jets.

What do YOU see as issues or risks?

gadfly said...

A vision popped into my head and suddenly it all becomes clear: Major Dr. Frank Burns . . . M*A*S*H, the TV series.

gadfly

(Never again will I view certain comments with a straight face!)

airtaximan said...

die-hard = suspension of disbelief

airsafetyman said...

"it will do it a lot faster, higher, and for less money than the TBM 700."

But not with any degree of reliability, not in any icing conditions, not from or to a wet, slick, runway with any sense of assurance, and not with any payload to speak of. Other than that it's a really neat toy.

Black Dog said...

airsafetyman said...
"it will do it a lot faster, higher, and for less money than the TBM 700."

But not with any degree of reliability, not in any icing conditions, not from or to a wet, slick, runway with any sense of assurance, and not with any payload to speak of. Other than that it's a really neat toy.

As I've said before I'm not a pilot but one thing continually strikes me from reading this blog is most folk would look before crossing the road you pilot types would quite happily jump in a jet and go to the limit!

I would be happy to jump on board any large jet in the knowledge that the reserve factors and back ups are massive but when I look at the VL Jets of this world It makes me cringe to think that you intend to go 7 miles up,pushed along by 2 hair dryers it stands to reason that if you going to do this then you must have 110% confidence in the kit you are using if you don't and you still do it then its time for the men in white coats to knock on your door.

hummer said...

CWMOR
Your "How About" thesis was carefully crafted and articulated with skill.
Thanks for the effort.
It deserves a thoughtful response.

Shane Price said...

Hummer,

By now, you should know that Ken will NOT respond a such a post from anyone, least of all ColdWet.

He is only interested in nit picking someone, on third decimal place 'errors', based on the secret AFM for the E500.

Please note that the current, E499.5 is not what Ken wants us to talk about. He prefers the 'soon to be delivered' E500.

Where 'soon' = 'Tuesday'.

While I agree with you that ColdWet is due a response, I doubt we will be getting one from Ken.

Oh, and winter is coming. Even in Florida. DayJet will soon be dealing with wet runways etc etc.

Shane

jetaburner said...

Ken-

It is really creepy that you keep trying to dig up personal information on everyone. Why? I have nothing to hide so you can keep digging but maybe I should be considering a restraining order. Coldfish answered it with a wonderful response. Thanks coldfish.

The reason I joined this blog is because I love aviation. I don't care to knock the e-clips but rather be objective of its performance. I've actually already benefitted from the e-clips because of all the new product innovation(TBM850, Mustang, Phenom100/300) it has led to. I also felt that having about 1400hrs in turbine powered aircraft as an owner operator, as well as being SP pilot typed, people like yourself might be interested in what I've learned. You never ask yourself why does a guy who can clearly afford to buy an e-clips today continue to doubt its performance, reliability, and its survivability? Why isn't this guy interested in buying the e-clips? I think the answer is too scary for you to consider. Instead you resort to personal attacks and investigation.

There are 5 full time and 2 part time TBMs based in Aspen. Why? Because it carries a lot and goes far on very little fuel, is proven and very reliable, and is a great mountain airplane. I love the plane because of what I can carry (volume and weight). You just can't do the same in the e-clips because of the limited payload and size of the cabin. But that is only one of the reasons that I own a TBM today instead of an e-clips. The other is that the e-clips is unproven in the field. It is going to have serious growing pains as is starting to show in the original post. This is an aircraft that has been under immense design pressure to keep it light and affordable. That frankly scares me. In addition, I believe e-clips' volume production model is unsustainable at its current price of $1.95M (nicely equipped). This is a major concern for the viability of the company.

None of the TBM owners I've spoken to are interested in the e-clips. I spoke with a friend of mine who owns a 210 (you can look him up to) last week if he is intersted in an e-clips. He has been very interested in a TBM but isn't quite there yet. So, I naturally thought he would be a perfect candidate for an e-clips. A 210 probably has about the same cabin size as an e-clips and he gets 2 jet engines, altitude, and speed for less money than a TBM. No brainer, right? Wrong. He wasn't remotely interested in the e-clips and is thinking about moving up to a TBM next year. Interesting.

I am no longer concerned that the e-clips will have a negative impact on the resale value of my TBM. In fact, I like the plane so much, I am leaning towards buying the TBM850 with the G1000 instead of the Mustang (same price)or CJ1+ next year. I have axe to grind with e-clips. I never did any business with them nor gave them a deposit. In fact, I should say thank you because they have caused innovation in products that I am interested in.

By the way, my longest flight in the last 30 days was 1650nm. Go find it!!

airtaximan said...

Even when Ken emphatically disagrees with a statement that he fails to recognize the risks, he NEVER agrees to post his views on the risks as he sees them.

Why?

I cannot even imagine how painful it must be for Ken to see Vern admit what's really going on over there.

I think we all understand that whatever Vern admits to, must only be the tip of the iceberg. He will always paint a rosy picture - that's for sure.

Recent comments about looking both ways before crossing the road, rings so true, here.

Move along...no problems here, none. This has been the song for a long time. I would hate to think that somehow this organization would ever be responsible for Flight Operations Quality Assurance, let along basic safety, quality, honesty or integrity.

Someone must have told Vern he couldn't in good faith call on more progress payments any time soon... this was predicted here, too. Couple this reality with the last $200M blown mostly on old stuff, and the admission they were near bankruptcy, and the story looks pretty bleak.

Perhaps there's a silver lining we cannot know or imagine - but I think Vern’s recent comments about "creating too much value for…” (paraphrasing here, I do not feel like looking it up) plus the recent statement about “lasting value” is foretelling.

I think it means a major reorganization is about to happen.

How? I have no clue who would want the liability of delivering $1.3 million planes that cost $2 million (or whatever). Who would invest in laundry list of IOUs for a hundred planes? What due diligence would need to occur to overcome all the possible risks regarding the manufacturing system, long term effects of FSW (they are looking into novel inspection techniques now…why?) the avionics, etc? Also, someone’s going to have to look past the plane as a taxi, unless they just buy the myth that props are not acceptable as a taxi plane competitor, despite the infusion of single-props right now, plus the 10,000 already in part 135 service? Even with the investors taking a massive haircut, the business case is so thin… I do not see it making any sense.

- Would Beechcraft-Hawker want a VLJ? This VLJ? This order book?
- Would the military need a fleet of target drones? (No interior, limited avionics, no transparencies, no in service issues, missile engines – heck, it might cost $400K to build these? Could there be a market?

Any takers? Anyone see an upside?

jetaburner said...

AT-

I agree that it must be pretty painful for Ken and other position holders. I can't imagine dreaming about your new jet and waiting 6 (maybe more) years to see it unravelling before your eyes. The fact that he is still flying his 340, and hasn't chosen to upgrade in the interim, tells you that he has put all his eggs in Vern's basket.

Originally I was concerned that if e-clips was succesful (remember it was supposed to be a 4 person, 1450nm jet for less than $1M) it would really hurt the value of my then Meridian and now TBM. But I also realized that if e-clips produced a quality jet with reasonable performance numbers than maybe I would buy it. I would lose a lot of value on my airplane but I would be getting a lot more for a lot less. So in the end I would still benefit.

Unfortunately, that is no longer a possibility. If e-clips had succeeded in what they originally tried to produce we all would have won and I would have gladly taken my losses. Even if I wasn't concerned with reliability, safety, and durability of the aircraft and its systems, the plane is just too small and doesn't have the range and payload envelope for me.

Clearly the market agrees. Used TBM prices have never been stronger. Socata has sold more new TBMs in the last 2 years then ever before and is setting up for another record year in 2008. The next available position for a Mustang is Q3 of 2010. The Cessna and Socata salespeople don't even consider the e-clips a real competitor anymore.

jetaburner said...

Interesting flight on FlightAware of N561EA. TEB to HUF (fuel stop) then HUF to COS. Looks like COS is another fuel stop becuase this plane is based in Telluride. Telluride, like Aspen this morning, is experience winter weather. Current METAR is 4sm -SN, SCT005, BRK020, OVC036. So it will be interesting to see what N561EA does after Colorado Springs which is currently VFR.

Honest question for Ken- Can N561EA fly in IMC? Do they have the capability to shoot an approach?

Quick comparison the TBM850 only b/c I know that Ken loves it when I do this:

KTEB to KHUF:
-2:34 (N561EA did it in 2:23) That's a difference of 9 minutes.
- 1160lbs (173 gallons)
- tons of fuel left in the TBM (120 gallons) or 804 lbs.
- I would have chosen to land in Illinois or IOWA.
- By comparison, N8EG, a TBM700, did KTEB to KDSM (Des Moines, Iowa) on Friday. No way possible for an e-clips, even an aero-mod version could make that coming out of NY. They really keep you down for a long time which is probably why N561EA only went 630NM.

HUF to KTEX
-3hrs48min non-stop at FL300
- 227 gallons (1520pounds) which leaves 66 gallons (442pounds) for reserve.
- So I could carry 850+ pounds (full fuel payload for the C2. The 850 will most likely get a significant boost b/c of the weight savings of the G1000).

With this type of wx in KTEX I would shoot only 1 approach (if it was above minimums) then proceed to GJT (which is currently VFR). What I would have done is landed somewhere in Illinois or further thereby increasing my fuel reserve upon arrival in KTEX. That would allow me to hold if it looked like the WX was improving. That may not have been an option for N561EA since NY Center is famous for keeping you down for a long time and that would have significantly eaten up their reserves. I'm sure Ken will tell us that it is not an aero-mod airplane either. I would also be concerned coming into KTEX in the E-clips with snow on the runway with no anti-lock brakes, ground flaps or spoilers, and no thrust neutralizers/reversers.

Niner Zulu said...

CWMOR, good job on the list. If anything, it doesn't go far enough in listing actual defects now found in the plane. It's amazing that Ecipse has any customers with the deceptions and shenanigans they've pulled.

Any single item on your list is serious, but taken together it really makes me wonder about the mindset of the people who have actually put money into this fiasco, whether as an investor or a postion holder.

By the way, wasn't Eclipse supposed to be producing 1 jet per day by end of August? It's a month an a half later - where are the jets?

Blackdog - funny comment about the hairdryers. Would those be Conairs?

Ken, you are living proof that patients should get a second opinion after being diagnosed by their physician.

jetaburner said...

OH NO!! Looks like N561EA couldn't make it KCOS (809nm) and is diverting to KLAA (730nm). The real range is starting to show!! May not be an aero-mod plane but wow!! 730nm westbound is all it could manage. Sad.

jetaburner said...

N561EA just filed to KTEX. Hmm... 2 stops from TEB to TEX and the winds were not that bad today. That is some jet!!

jetaburner said...

So, as promised, I checked with the Cessna sales rep for the Mustang and CJ series aircraft and you are correct, Ken, that it is up to the owner to file the necessary paperwork for RVSM approval. However he also said:
"With the neccesary work ahead of time with the FSDO you can leave the factory able to fly in RVSM airspace."

He also added:
"We (Cessna) have a service that we can provide that greatly simplifies the work."

Joe Patroni said...

jetaburner....re:RVSM Certification

The OEMs, by incorporating the maintenance procedures and incorporating RVSM compliant equipment and installation at production, have basically done about all they can do, as far as RVSM certification is concerned.

Remember that the letter is issued to the OPERATOR, not the airplane.....if the airplane changes hands, the new owner must apply for a new LOA.

Additionally, if the airplane's main base of operation moves to another FSDOs area (say, from ICT to MKC) you will have to REAPPLY for the LOA from Kansas City.

It is the operator's responsibility that the crew be trained for operations in RVSM airspace, and that the airplane is equipped and maintained to insure the equipment meets the specs and operates correctly. Remember too, that the letter will approve a specific list of EQUIPMENT installed on the aircraft. You CANNOT deviate from the approved p/ns, unless the LOA is revised.

This can come into play if you sent out a unit for mod/upgrade.....if it comes back with a different p/n, you will not be able to fly in RVSM airspace until you apply for a revision to the letter, and the FSDO can check the new p/n against the "RVSM certified equipment" book that they have.

Cessna used to give Citation operators a document "How to obtain RVSM Authorization" (mine is on a floppy disc). It may be available online thru their product support website (registration required).

I would recommend that anyone holding an RVSM authorization make sure they read and understand the document, including the training and maintenance requirements.

"I didn't know I had to do that..." usually doesn't cut it with your local friendly Fed.

Just remember.....when your autopilot is on, your mechanic is flying the airplane!!! :)

jetaburner said...

joe patroni-

Thanks for the further clarification. I am actually very familiar with RVSM procedures as both aircraft (CJ2 and TBM700) I currently fly are RVSM certified as am I. My maintenance facility was very good about handling and filing the paperwork with the FSDO (of course I paid for that service!!). I just assumed that the process would be more streamlined if you bought a brand new airplane.

Name Witheld said...

This looks to me like a case of the ganders not liking what their giving the goose. You guys poke fun at Ken about his medical profession and his 340. But when he shows one of you for who you are and that you only fly 750 mile trips you get all squirmy about it and accuse him of stalking.

Then you get on Kens case for being an Eclipse commercial but jetaburner can't even finish a sentence without using TBM in it.

Bunch of pansies if you ask me. Ken, thanks for keeping it real and showing the world who the critics really are and how they really fly.

airtaximan said...

name witheld,

thanks so much for another quality post from the Church of Flyantology.

where the flock is protected from asking or answering any real questions about the religion, and you can only insult and berate the critics.

the information provided by Ken, after he researched the critics flying habits, was deemed to be inaccurate.

But, why mix facts with religion, right? Support the church-goers at all costs. I understand why, though - Ken has of course donated to the cause. Did he perhaps finance your plane? Make it one depositor closer to reality? Provide you and a few parishoners a paycheck perhaps?

Tell us: how was his donation spent?

Also, perhaps YOu would entertain answering Coldwet's questions, perhaps? You seem to somehow think Ken and his silence on the matter, is "keeping it real". Perhaps you can explain, how so?

Perhaps "keeping the dream alive"?

For someone who did not like the fact that Ken's plane and profession are brought into the picture... explain how calling the non-believers "pansies" help your position, here?

HAve at it - blind faith is a funny thing. Its OK with most people if you just admit its "blind faith".. once you begin to try to defend the religion based on facts... well, I guess you just end up resorting to calling the non-believers "pansies". Thats probably the best you can do.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

name witheld,

Perhaps you missed the part where Ken's assertion about a certain blogger's flight activity was suggested to be off by a scant 900nm.

Ken was WRONG by more than the distance that he little jet can even fly in unmodified configuration.

Perhaps you missed the part where Ken has been repeatedly asked by multiple bloggers to share more about his experience level, the same kinds of questions he has asked others and then tried to twist their good faith answers to suit his purpose.

Perhaps you missed the part where Ken argued ad-nauseum that there was no RVSM issue on the plane for weeks on end until someone explained to him that the original avionics installed in the aircraft DID NOT HAVE A MEANS TO UPDATE THE NAV DATABASE as delivered. Yes, that is right, Eclipse demanded payment, then delivered an aircraft which could not have database updates installed because it di not have a USB port.

I could go on and on and on.

Don't weep for Ken name witheld, he brings this upon himself by attacking so vociferously and then refusing to answer the kind of questions most critics have willingly asnwered for him.

He brings this upon himself by regurgitating the party line and demonstrating feats of mental gymnastics and cognitive dissonance that make Baghdad Bob's announcements that there were 'no Americans in Baghdad' (while M1 Abrams tanks could be seen in teh streets behind him) seem amateurish.

And while we are at it, if you don't think anything of someone deliberately outing folks who elect for whatever reason to be anonymous on the blog, why is your name witheld?

jetaburner said...

Name withheld-

Thanks for the substantive post. You are adding a lot of value to this blog.

I have never poked fun at his medical profession. I have only brought up the 340 to point out experience difference. Not to poke fun at it. As far as taking it personal... that's Ken not me. I could really care less if he knows who I am. I have nothing to hide. I just think it is creepy and strange that he choses to do investigate people. If you want to know my experience and how I fly just ask. I'm not hiding anything.
- 1850hrs TT
- Multi-engine, instrument, commercial rating with the following types: CE-525 and CE-525S
- 1375hrs Turbine time (800 Meridian, 400 TBM, 175 CJ and CJ2)

Just because Ken has researched others and brought up the following (again creepy) I'll make it easy for him:
- Never been arrested
- Never been sued
- Never been involved in or responsible for an aviation incident or accident or automobile.

And as far as pointing out that I haven't flown my TBM more than 750nm in the last 6 months is really irrelevant. He has no idea how many people, bikes, dogs, etc I carry on any of my trips so he can't possibly judge which is a better aircraft for me. Clearly the best judge of aircraft for my mission is me and if can afford a TBM today then I can definitely afford an e-clips. He just can't accept that a lot of people would actually prefer a single propeller airplane over a twin jet. My point is that for a lot of people and missions, a single turbo-prop is a great fit. Especially when you compare it to an unproven, questionable, tiny plane that has a very limited range and payload.

Ken Meyer said...

Jet A wrote,

"And as far as pointing out that I haven't flown my TBM more than 750nm in the last 6 months is really irrelevant."

It is precisely relevant.

You complained that the Eclipse doesn't have the range you need. And you've been touting the greater range of the TBM 700 for weeks. But it turns out your longest trip in the TBM was 750 nm. You don't use the greater range of the TBM; the range of the Eclipse is perfect for the flights you actually make. You were just being disingenuous.

For the flights your TBM actually makes, the Eclipse would go faster and higher, while burning less fuel and saving almost a buck a mile!

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken,

What block you ability to reason?

He said he flies further than 750 miles, and he says he carries a lot of people, dogs, cargo, even on the shorter trips.

Why would you ever really think YOU are a better judge of which plane is RIGHT for him?

Anybody with any experience can see you are just trying to write:

"you see the e-500 IS a better choice for you..." as often as possible.

I wonder why?

How is your deposit and progress payment doing? Clouding your judgement.

Some smart person once said: Funny thing about money, it makes people do things they would rather not do.

Eclipse is trying to make the cheapest jet, and you are trying to buy the cheapest jet... this as a priority scares me, and in my opinion, explains a lot.

airtaximan said...

Ken,

What blocks your ability to reason?

He said he flies further than 750 miles, and he says he carries a lot of people, dogs, cargo, even on the shorter trips.

Why would you ever really think YOU are a better judge of which plane is RIGHT for him?

Anybody with any experience can see you are just trying to write:

"you see the e-500 IS a better choice for you..." as often as possible.

I wonder why?

How is your deposit and progress payment doing? Clouding your judgement.

Some smart person once said: Funny thing about money, it makes people do things they would rather not do.

Eclipse is trying to make the cheapest jet, and you are trying to buy the cheapest jet... this as a priority scares me, and in my opinion, explains a lot.

airtaximan said...

Reflecting back to the word from on high, the Church's promises before NBAA when the faith was high, the message of "a plane a day" was in full swing, and the depositors would finally see the deliverance.

Prayers for the demise of the devil-blog...

None came to pass.

One thing comes to mind, after the last two articels where actual Reporters are now openly reporting the reality in ABQ, and it aint pretty.

Perhaps this blog will end, as the Faithful have said - only, it will be the Reporters who will make the truth common knowledge, and there will be little reason for this blog to exists.

Perhaps sooner than you think.

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"He said he flies further than 750 miles"

He did not say he flies more than 750 nm in the TBM; in fact, he admitted he does not. Maybe he flies longer flights in his dad's CJ2, who knows?

As to what plane he gets, I have no interest whatsoever. I'm just pointing out that Jet A is pushing baloney on us. He said the problem with the Eclipse is that it doesn't have enough range for him, but the record shows his current plane never flies more than 750 nm.

And he claimed the TBM 850 had much more range than the Eclipse, but the NBAA range of a TBM 850 is actually only 259 nm greater than the Eclipse. And that extra range comes at a stiff price--both upfront and ongoing.

Just keeping it real, guys.

Ken

AlexA said...

jetaburner said... “OH NO!! Looks like N561EA couldn't make it KCOS (809nm) and is diverting to KLAA (730nm).”

jetaburner ALSO SAID”N561EA just filed to KTEX. Hmm... 2 stops from TEB to TEX and the winds were not that bad today. That is some jet!!”

Jetburner also said “He has no idea how many people, bikes, dogs, etc I carry”

Jetburner you can’t have it both ways. You have no idea what was the payload of N561EA either. I can understand why you spend so much time putting down the E500. According to CAI the average price of the TBM700 has dropped since Eclipse began delivering aircraft. Just imagine what will happen to the resale price of the TBM series when the E500 is “complete.”

Name Witheld said...

JetA asked..."By the way, my longest flight in the last 30 days was 1650nm. Go find it!!"

That's easy. Aspen to Key West
It wasn't in "your" TBM, though. It was in Daddy's CJ2.

Let's face it, you're a Trust Baby that has as much sense of economics as any guy who never had to work for a living; your "job" is to work in one of Daddys Foundations

No wonder an extra million or so for a single engine airplane is insignificant to you. Soccata should make you their poster boy.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

In the last 30 days I made a 1650nm flight. It happen to be in the CJ2 which is why you couldn't find it. The point your missing regarding the TBM is I often carry more volume and payload then the e-clips can carry. But lets go through the exercise since I am actually in the process of comparing the TBM850, Mustang, and CJ1. You have correctly pointed out that most of my trips are about 750nm (that's b/c I own a home in California). But I also have a place in Cabo (1100nm) and if you look further back you will see the TBM goes there. I don't go there in the summer. Most of the time I make it their non-stop and most of the time we bring friends. BTW, I will be flying my TBM to Orlando in November for CJ2 recurrent then up to Boston for Thanksgiving and back to California. So those are indeed a lot longer. This has been an unusual period of shorter flights for me. Nevertheless, I'll go through the exercise.
Assumptions:
Eclipse (as built up on thier website with my minimum options)
- Full fuel payload of 619lbs (LX edition, refreshment center, Copilot, WX-500, SkyWatch, TAWS, Radar Altimeter, Taxi lights, DME, Mode-S enhanced transponder)
- I would personally use 400lbs of reserve going into SoCal in good wx 500lbs in bad wx and Cabo.
- With my required reserves listed above according to the owner's spreadsheet the e-clips is good for 800 to 1000nm depending on temperature and altitude. These are IFR reserves.
- The new TBM850 w/ the G1000 will carry 850 to 900lbs with full fuel. My plane carries 850lbs and the new one will carry more since the G1000 is 100 to 150lbs lighter. It looks like they will also be adding more fuel.
- The TBM850 is good for 1250nm at HSC and FL310. That's with a 400lb reserve. Remember that the TBM is much more efficient down low, where it counts, than the e-clips.
- Mustang can carry somewhere between 720 and 800lbs (we'll use 750) with full fuel and go 1150nm IFR.
- Mustang becomes limited above 50F out of Aspen due to balance field TO lengths.
- The e-clips does not because there is no requirement to perform them. So....

Trip to Cali (no wind)(750nm) w/ wife, me, 2 friends and dogs (900lbs)
E-clips:
- 2hrs22min (HSC FL400)
- 1031 lbs
- Payload with 400lbs reserve= 874
- Payload with 500lbs reseve= 774

Very borderline. Throw in a headwind and you have to stop.

TBM850
- 2hrs29min (HSC FL260)
- 1125lbs
- Payload with 400lbs reserve= 1688lbs (you can't even carry that much in the cabin)

Mustang
- 2hrs27min (HSC FL410)
- 1304lbs
- Payload with 622lbs reserve = 1200lbs.

So the TBM arrives 7 minutes after the E-clips and 5 minutes after the Mustang. Not a significant difference for me. In addition, the TBM850 will be able to make Cabo non-stop most of the time. The e-clips will not (w/ my reserves). Nor will the Mustang. The smaller cabin, I regularly carry bikes, dogs, and additional passengers is a major issue for the way I use the plane. Add in winter headwinds and you will have to go full fuel in the e-clips which means if I'm bringing friends then I'll have to stop. On westbound trips the e-clips and Mustang are really going to get hammered as they must fly between FL350 and FL410 where the strongest winds are typically. I can keep the TBM down in the low 20s and still get 3hrs30min of cruise at 300+ KTAS. But the biggest reason for me is dependability. As I mentioned before, I had a lot of AOG and in air failures in my Meridian. Most were related to the Meggitt autopilot and the ADAHRS. I haven't had one AOG issue or major item with the TBM. Dispatch reliability, airframe ruggedness and durability, as well as proven avionics are very important to me.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And then the green monster of class envy entered the picture. That was such a bitchy little post full of jealously from AlexA I am thinking Gunner might be right and maybe he (ALexA) really is a little girl.

Thanks to Detective Ken and Jr. Dick AlexA for taking the blog to a new low. Is this part of the new strategy for dealing with the blog? Root out identities and cyber-stalk folks then whine about their good fortune?

Perhaps the Faithful could try and limit themselves to a single online ID each, maybe even answer some of the tough questions. Not things like 'who comes from money' but any of the questions about the plane and the company asked here today or any other day over the past few days, weeks or months.

I understand Ken trying to convince himself that his decision to invest his, presumably, hard earned money into Eclipse as an unsecured investor (Eclipse uses the term 'Position Holder') was not a mistake in context of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

I can even understand him trying to convince others to join his Junior Jet Jockey's Club to ensure there are enough 'other' depositors to pony up and pay for his jet so he too can one day have the joy of signing the final check in exchange for a partially completed, partially functioning, partially designed little jet.

But who in their right mind would think that cyber-stalking, arguing over 60 miles in context of an 1100 mile flight, and crying sour-grapes about the very wealth that makes these kind of toys possible is going to increase the likelihood that anyone exposed to the content of this blog will want to join his club?

Who in their right mind is going to believe that refusing to answer probitive questions about the remaining risk areas on the program, or the factual record that paints a very bleak picture of the issues the management of this company seems to have with honesty, is going to improve their chance of getting the jet they were promised by that same management?

But then again, who in their right mind would plunk down good money on a program that seems too good to be true?

By all means though guys, keep it up - you are representing the Eclipse slash-and-burn distraction philosophy extremely accurately, if not very well.

AlexA said...

ColdWetlimpy said”That was such a bitchy little post full of jealously from AlexA I am thinking Gunner might be right and maybe he (ALexA) really is a little girl.”

Yup I’m a little girl and you haters don’t like it when the facts bite you in the ass. It’s alright to make any assumptions as long as they suit your needs. God forbid someone holds you to the same standards. Your circle jerk time is almost over;-)

Ken Meyer said...

Jet A wrote,

"E-clips:
- 2hrs22min (HSC FL400)
- 1031 lbs
- Payload with 400lbs reserve= 874
- Payload with 500lbs reseve= 774"


Those numbers are wrong.

Check out the Eclipse 500 Performance Spreadsheet posted at the Owner's website if you want correct numbers.

The Eclipse does a 750 nm trip faster and using less fuel than you quoted. That throws all your calculations off.

By that spreadsheet, the Eclipse does the 750 nm flight (sea level to sea level, no less) using 914 lbs in 2:16. It's faster and uses less fuel than the TBM 850. It's over a million dollars less upfront, and it costs about a buck less per mile to operate.

The TBM carries more. But you pay for it, both upfront and every single mile.

I think you ought to buy the TBM 850. The extra money isn't important to you, and the extra payload is. It's a slam-dunk: you need a TBM 850. But there are plenty of other people around for whom the extra million bucks means something, the extra buck a mile means something, and the ability to go faster, higher and safer means something.

Aviation is a big tent. There is room for everyone in aviation. Especially those who like to spend more money :)

Ken

airtaximan said...

Alexa is absoultely correct:

"Jetburner you can’t have it both ways. You have no idea what was the payload of N561EA either."

The e-500 must have been comletely loaded down. No way to tell - MUST always assume the best possible case scenario for the e-500.

How much would that have been?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Which fact bit me in the ass AlexA?

The FACT that you sounded like a jealous little bitch when lamenting JetA's finances?

O was it the FACT that Ken failed to realize that JetA has access to a number of planes and he actually flies a variety of distances as he has routinely stated when comparing the Eclipse to the TBM 700 he flies now, and the Mustang or TBM850 he is thinking about buying?

Ken could man-up and admit he assumed that since the recent flights he saw for the TBM, when he was cyber-stalking JetA, that that was representative for all of JetA's flights - but that would require Ken admitting he was wrong and we all know what the temperature will be in the center ring of Hell when that finally happens.

How about you AlexA - care to answer any of the REAL questions about the PLANE or the COMPANY behind it?

Or do you prefer meaningless drive- by's, devoid of fact or contribution, filled instead with juvenile name-calling and whiny little moans about the good fortune and financial status of others?

jetaburner said...

Ken-

This is the kind of dialogue I prefer. Thank you for pointing me to the new spreadsheet as maybe I have an old one for the pre-mod plane?? I got it from a link to the e-clips owner's site from this site a while back. I thought you had posted it. The new is different so I'll run the #s again. FYI... I held the e-clips down at FL290 for 40nm before a direct climb to FL410. Then I brought it down to 10k for the last 50nm. I did this to more realistically predict ATC routing. I have flown the route in the CJ2 many times and use this experience as my basis.

airtaximan said...

so... now the Church of Flyantology has an axe to grind with "Educational Foundations".

Man, its gotta be rough.

I guess unless yu are donating your money to an aviation related foundation, which burns your money and returns hollow promises, you are somehow, on this side of wrong?

Shameful.

Consistent, but shameful.

airtaximan said...

alexa,

"you haters don’t like it when the facts bite you in the ass"


REEAALLLYY?


Care to visit the admission in the post at the top of this string, and deal with the realities at E-clips, and the FAILURES it is now admitting to?

These are the standards... and the assumptions we seem to be dealing with. The ONE you seem to be freferring to was Ken's self-serving pronouncement that Jet-A only flies 750 miles... talk about self serving.

I THOUGHT the e-500 was supposed to revolutionize how we trqavel? Is the way we all travel today 750 miles in a TBM? He could have at least asked: where else might you fly?

Nope - lets ASSUME he only flies his TBM. Afterall Ken's the ONLY two jet family here, right? "I am seriously considering a Mustang for my wife to go along with my e-clips". HAHAHAH! You all make me laugh.

So, Alexa? Why not address your captains concerns regarding your favorite jet non-manufacturer? Its probably easier than defending Ken's silly excuses for posting "THATS why the e-clips is better for you" as many times an he can.

airtaximan said...

Eclipse slogan:

"IF YOU HAVE NO FAMILY OR FRIENDS, AND YOU DON'T BIKE OR SKI, AND YOU LOVE CATS BUT DISLIKE BIG DOGS... THIS MAY BE THE RIGHT PLANE FOR YOU... AND IF YOU WANT TO BE SURE YOU HAVE A TERRIFIC DAY, YOU CAN ALWAYS JUST CELEBRATE THAT YOU JUST SAVED A LOT OF MONEY ON YOUR CAR INSURANCE".

jetaburner said...

Ken-

Here's what I get:
- 2hrs19min at FL400
- 968lbs of fuel
- ISA, no wind, starting at 8K and landing at 0K.
- 40nm level off at FL280
- 20nm level off at 10K

That means with a 400 lbs of reserve the e-clips can carry 933lbs. Better than previous spreadsheet. But cabin size is still an issue for the people and stuff I like to carry.

Let's see what happens if we do the 85% Boeing winds according to Cessna. For the TBM that's 50kts at its altitude and 62kts for the E-clips.

E-clips:
- 2hrs45min
- 1129lbs
- Can carry 772lbs w/ 400lbs reserve. Not bad unless I want to bring friends.

TBM850:
- 2hrs54min
- 1193lbs of fuel
- can carry 1220lbs of payload w/ 400lbs of reserve.

They work out to be pretty close. I agree that the faster speed, higher altitude, and twin jet is a significant upsell over the TBM. But I also think that the bigger cabin, and greater range and payload is significant upsell as well. I enjoy being able to take friends and toys.

There are still a lot of unkowns regarding e-clips durability, dispatch reliability, a long term maintenance costs. Fuel burn will actually be more in the E-clips for shorter trips then the TBM so averaged over all flights there direct operating costs will probably be pretty close. Add in the fact that insurance will probably be more in the e-clips as well as overhauling 2 engines and the e-clips will probably be more expensive. There just isn't enough history yet with the e-clips to know.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Designing, certifying and building aircraft is really hard.

Eclipse grossly underestimated what it would take to get the job done.

Eclipse is nowhere near where they wanted to be at this point. And even their CEO recognizes they are still at risk or ‘in the woods’.

When Eclipse delivered the first customer aircraft in December 2006, Vern predicted they would deliver more than 500 in 2007: so far less than 50 have entered service and none are fully functioning.

Eclipse has had significant problems - an immature engineering organization, and an undisciplined approach to design changes.

Eclipse clearly caused problems for vendors and they still are causing problems for their vendors today.

Many established vendors no-bid when Eclipse was looking for suppliers because they did not believe the company could produce the aircraft at its original price point or for the projected volume.

The plane now costs more than twice the original price point and Eclipse has yet to sell enough planes in any year to meet even half the volume required to break even. Further, they have only demonstrated the ability to deliver 10% of the deliveries required to meet break-even.

Eclipse paid hundreds of millions of dollars in NRE to try and take the risk out of their business model – and still had to fire their first engine manufacturer, their first and second primary avionics suppliers, and smaller ones we have not heard about.

Eclipse's focus on innovative and low-cost suppliers has had mixed results.

80% of failures in the fleet are displays, autopilot and actuators.

Eclipse’s problems are internal, or a culture issue.

Eclipse has learned that tolerance build-up is more important than accuracy - that tolerancing and holding the part accurately is more important than spending millions on machined parts and ridiculous dimensional requirements.

Eclipse’s analysis now shows that the once-vaunted 3-5 per day manufacture rate can now maybe get to one-and-a-half to two a day – at a now unspecified point in the future. To meet their break-even of 500-600 units, they need to deliver at least 2 per day – guess that means break-even occurs at some unspecified point in the future as well.

Designing, certifying and building planes has turned out to be really hard.

Before the Faithful get their panties in a bunch I should clarify, all of the above are statements of fact made by Vern in the article quoted.

At the end of the day, it is true that Eclipse has succeeded in creating a product that changes the way we travel – by requiring a handheld GPS, a copilot, frequent replacement of parts not meeting their lifetime and a mandatory return trip to the factory for the first hundred/hundred and fifty planes, just to complete the work not done when they demanded final payment,

Truly disruptive.

jetaburner said...

name withheld-

I divulged personal information such as where I live in good faith and in order to add context to current discussions regarding the e-clips and similiar aircraft. Your personal attack on me shows a tremendous lack of character and isn't relevant to this blog. Are you just jealous or are your feelings hurt that I'm not interested in the e-clips? I really frankly don't care as you have been nothing but a waste time.

jetaburner said...

alexa-

You said: "According to CAI the average price of the TBM700 has dropped since Eclipse began delivering aircraft"

Really? from the 8/2 newsletter from CAI:
2003 273 1,250 EFIS, Dual Garmin 530, IHAS-8000, Roll Steering, ETM $2,250,000

I know this aircraft sold for $2.25M. That's exactly the same price I bought my 2003 TBM in 2005 with 1,000 hrs on it. Interesting that the plane has 250 more hours, is 2 years older, same avionics, and sold for the same price. Sounds like a down market to me.

There are currently 7 C2s on the market and none are listed below $2.3M. Aviation insiders say that when there is less than 10% of the available market it is a seller's market (there were 100 C2s produced). Looks pretty good to me.

jetaburner said...

Coldfish-

Your last couple of posts have been excellent.

AT-

That's a great slogan for the e-clips:
"IF YOU HAVE NO FAMILY OR FRIENDS, AND YOU DON'T BIKE OR SKI, AND YOU LOVE CATS BUT DISLIKE BIG DOGS... THIS MAY BE THE RIGHT PLANE FOR YOU... AND IF YOU WANT TO BE SURE YOU HAVE A TERRIFIC DAY, YOU CAN ALWAYS JUST CELEBRATE THAT YOU JUST SAVED A LOT OF MONEY ON YOUR CAR INSURANCE".

Its amazing to me how different the posts are between the "critics" and the "faithful." The faithful never answer our questions or concerns regarding the airplane. They don't even want to discuss the airplane. Instead the resort to personal attacks to deflect the reality of the current situation. Not one of the faithful has made an earnest attempt to answer the original post. Sad. Really sad.

mouse said...

You're all missing the point. Ken, Miss Alexa and theirs buddies can't answer the hard questions because they can't find the answers on the Eclipse website.

Have you ever known Ken or his merry band of brethern to ever provide anything more than word-for-word dialogue from Vern's ass or mouth, same part/different location (see LRU or interchangeable parts)?

Ken was that you who landed on I-70 last Wednesday?

Notice none of the script readers have an Eclipse? Or if they did, they flipped it right away.

As long as they never have to buy the EA-500 they will be on here telling us all how good it is. The fact that they know nothing based on experience, actual knowledge or training seems to be irrelevant to them.

Of course if they don't know what they are talking about, it's easy for them to think they are genius.

The fact that they spend time tracking down people and try and expose them only proves how weak their case for the EA-500 really is.

In the end, it's all alright... they will get what they deserve... either nothing or the Eclipse (again interchangeable for now).

There is no winning or losing concerning this blog, it's just a bunch of people responding and voicing what they know, think they know, or it is someone wanting to learn more.

For what its worth, nothing Vern has ever said has been correct, on time or even honest. That is the Eclipse Legacy for now.

PS. The range issue regarding N561EA is pretty cut and dried, and the load has no bearing. You see they filed for a destination 809nm down range and then diverted short to a destination of only 730nm. No matter what they have in the cabin they missed the mark and had to land short. Facts are just that...

Ringtail said...

With all due respect, can we cool the TBM advertisements. I don't have a problem with JetA's opinions, but the constant TBM this and TBM that has gotten old. I am surptised that the rest of the critics don't feel the same way.

airsafetyman said...

Name Withheld said:

"Soccata should make you their poster boy."

In your attempted smear of JetA you mispelled SOCATA. It stands for Societe de Construction d'Avions de Tourisme et d'Affairs. They have been making airplanes and components since 1911. Perhaps your parents and teachers never taught you spelling along with basic manners?

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"The range issue regarding N561EA is pretty cut and dried, and the load has no bearing. You see they filed for a destination 809nm down range and then diverted short to a destination of only 730nm."

For a guy who would like us to believe he is intimately aware of the Eclipse program, your comment shows a stunning lack of knowledge.

The pre-aeromod Eclipse has an NBAA IFR range of 800 nm at FL340 (the altitude they filed for)--you knew that right? An 809 nm flight with 70 knots wind very close to on-the-nose is just not going to work at FL 340 for a pre-aeromod Eclipse.

The aeromod Eclipse has much better range--it jumps to about 1000 nm at FL340 and 1125 nm at FL 410 (both figures NBAA IFR range--fly an approach, climb out, hold 5 minutes, then proceed to an alternate 100 nm away and still have 30 minutes fuel left).

With the larger fuel capacity, the aeromod Eclipse could do the flight nonstop with good reserves despite the stiff headwinds.

Ken

Ringtail said...

Ken, now what you will hear is the critics jump in and say that the TBM can do this and the TBM can do that...Even though it has been pointed out that the TBM costs alot more, has one engine, and flys slower and lower. Some of the critics still believe that range trumps everything.

Don't get me wrong, the TBM is a nice low volume niche airplane built by the Europeans. The eclipse (assembled in the USA) on the other hand costs less and delivers very good numbers. The order book proves it.

jetaburner said...

Ringtail-

No need to. Already did the analysis. See earlier post.

Ringtail said...

JetA, I hope you choose the Mustang when you purchase your next plane. Please do due diligence in your research.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, we have already discussed this and I myself agreed that the speed improvements with the Aero-Mod are very impressive.

But you keep neglecting to cover the fact that the Aero-Mod includes more than 11% additional fuel in the new, large(er) tip tanks (specifically, over 180 lbs).

One can only imagine if Eclipse had but waited a few months and actually completed the Aero-Mod program (which had already been identified as necessary to even approach the guarantees BEFORE the plane was rushed to certification).

I wonder why a company would deliberately choose to certify a design that fails to meet the guarantees, knowing they were only a few months away from getting (almost anyway) the performance needed to avoid a cancellation event due to default?

Care to answer that question maybe?

Sounds like maybe they grossly underestimated the difficulty in certification. Wonder where we have heard that before.....

airtaximan said...

If yu want to understand VErnspeak or VErnacular as it has become known, look here:

Vern says:
"It turned out to be really hard, but nothing has proven to be impossible."

Really? nothing has proven impossible?
-ej22
-below 1 million
-avidyne
-intial promised cert date
-revised cert date
-intial PC date
-revised PC date
-delivery scedule 2006
-delivery schedule 2007
-performance garantees
-Jetincomplete initial price
-United training
-finishing the plane before you deliver it
..shall we continue. As a matter of fact, all of these have been proven impossible - when you miss a date, or a number, you have proven it was impossible for you.

"There is nothing we set out to do that we have not finally done,"

Finally done? So, I guess time is of no consequence an longer? Wecome to e-clips where we have all the time in the world to finish and deliver your plane - back off.

Funny for a company who promises to save the customer precious time.

Vern refers to the company having lasting value - this better be lasting value, for a long time, since apparently now, we no longer care about how long its going to take.

...I can almost see him muttering...enduring value....nothing is impossible.... Ken too...

airtaximan said...

folks its October 15th 2007 and the e-clips 500 is not finished.

the program began in 1998.

money was no object

the design point was a cheap twin jet

WTF?

I for one wish the silly comparisons to the TBM would stop -the TBM is a competed airplane. it is not a fair comparison. Anyone who relegated the TBM to low rate, and thinks that in reality there is any difference between 40 or so e-clips, and the same number of TBMs delivered this year is crazy - except of course for the:

- low ball price of the e-500
- the promise of many planes delivered

so far, the TBM is pedigreed, delivered to schedule, proven, reliable, robust, well supported and FINISHED. How can anyone in their right mind compare this to e-clips?

AlexA said...

ColdWetlimpy said “ The FACT that you sounded like a jealous little bitch when lamenting JetA's finances?”

Really ColdWetLimpy? I just re-read my post and there is no mention of JetA’s financial statu, nor do I care.

I guess you can continue to squeeze ATM ass cheeks in your circle jerk.

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"I for one wish the silly comparisons to the TBM would stop"

I'll bet you do :)

You think 40 TBM's is the same number as 60 Eclipse 500's.

You think a single engine propeller plane is the same as a twin engine jet.

You think $1.6 million is the same as $2.8 million.

You paying a dollar more a mile is the same as not. Uh-huh.

Could there possibly be any clearer definition of a naysayer?

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

AlexA, my apologies I apparently confused you with 'name witheld' who was whining about JetA's life situation - the phraseology and tone was very similar to yours. I am sure you understand how one can get confused.

In any case, my apologies, the AlexA screen name was not the one whining about JetA.

Your post was the one with the incorrect statement about TBM value's going down which was shown to be wrong.

Now all you Faithful out there, see how easy it is to just admit you made a mistake?

AlexA said...

JetA said “Aviation insiders say that when there is less than 10% of the available market it is a seller's market (there were 100 C2s produced). Looks pretty good to me.”

Based on your logic 50 or so Eclipse 500 delivered, three of the delivered aircraft for sale which equates to 6%. Glad to hear that Eclipse is a seller’s market;-)

Troglodyte said...

Regarding a comment made (a while back) by Black Dog:

I believe that pilots who have been around for a while, and plan on being around a while more, typically would not “...quite happily jump in a jet and go to the limit” as you suggest.

I am not sure if I would fly (or fly in) an Eclipse. At this point in time, the answer is no. I have attempted to read and understand the many informed opinions on this site and believe that the greatest risk in an Eclipse is the pilot. I am concerned that there will, in the coming months, be several small smoking holes in the ground (the Eclipse is a very small airplane). I suspect almost all will be result of pilot error but the pilots are not helped by the significantly degraded capabilities of the aircraft as it is currently flying.

I am not a good enough pilot to be in an Eclipse with no coupled GPS nav capability, no weather, heading and alt hold only on the AP, and no ability to fly a coupled approach, especially single pilot. Yes, all of us should be able to (and generally can) fly a hand flown raw-data approach, but this is considered an ABNORMAL procedure in most other turbine airplanes (and some piston aircraft) I have flown!

Day, VFR, two pilots typed in the aircraft -- maybe. Otherwise no.

Would you?

--Trog

AlexA said...

Forecast International: Turboprop Market To Slow


October 01, 2007
Business Aviation, Aerospace Industry

In a study titled “The Market for General Aviation/Utility Aircraft 2007-2016,” Forecast International said it anticipates a decline in corporate demand for twin turboprops in favor of the fractional ownership of turbofan-powered aircraft. Further, it expects this trend to accelerate as more sub-$4 million very light jets are delivered.


While VLJs can offer some speed advantage and can climb above weather at prices that are competitive with those of twin turboprops, Forecast International does not expect to see demand for twin turboprops end altogether. “These aircraft offer far more spacious cabins than the typical VLJ, and not all operators will be willing to trade space for speed,” the company noted.


Its forecast calls for deliveries of 4,660 turboprops worth $13.7 billion during the 10-year period. This market segment accounts for 17.2 percent of the predicted 22,477 piston and turboprop deliveries between 2007 and 2016, but still comprises 60 percent of the estimated $22.5 billion worth of billings. Business jet production was excluded from this study.

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"Your post was the one with the incorrect statement about TBM value's going down which was shown to be wrong."

Not so fast, wet fish.

The latest CAI newsletter has a 2003 TBM with just 610 hours that sold for $2.15M. By anybody's math, that's less than Jet A paid for his 2003.

Alex was right; the values seem to be going down. Whether Jet A wants to face it or not is another issue entirely :)

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Thanks Ken,

I forgot that a single data point is adequate for determining a trend for some folks.

Did that plane have damage history? How about equipment? Perhaps the current owner really needs to sell or is one of the trust fund babies who doesn't care about money that 'name witheld' seems to be jealous of.

I'll bet I could find a guy who would buy it if it had been crashed maybe once and needed a handheld GPS if the price was right.

Now that you have acknowledged my presence today, you wanna answer any of the questions about the Eclipse posed?

mouse said...

Miss Alexa,

A turboprop twin has 2 engines.. everyone on this blog has been discussing single engine turboprops.

What's your point? The turboprop has been a dying market (forecasted) for the past 10 years, yet it never seems to die.

Smarter people prevail and ultimately purchase the aircraft best suited for the mission...

mouse said...

Ken, maybe that TBM was damaged, just like your cheap 340???

Does 1 point of data form a trend in your mind?

mouse said...

Cold/Wet... same thoughts.. too funny!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Mouse I suspect we have a lot in common. And yes, great minds think alike.

jetaburner said...

Coldwet and Mouse-

You beat me to the punch!! Nice posts!! Why don't the faithful want to address the issues brought up in the original post?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gunner, check your spam filter, I got a bounced e-mail notice.

jetaburner said...

ringtail-

I appreciate your input when you said: "JetA, I hope you choose the Mustang when you purchase your next plane. Please do due diligence in your research."

But why do you want me to chose the Mustang (as opposed to the CJ1+ or TBM850)?

Troglodyte said...

JetABurner,

Why not the Phenom 100?

--Trog

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

You will notice that for the Faithful, accepting an apology with class is apparently as difficult as offering one.

jetaburner said...

Trog-

No reason and need to add it to my list. Being a new plane, like the Mustang, I wouldn't be interested in the first 100 serial numbers but after that I may be. Honestly, it has just slipped my radar as it isn't certified now. But being Embraer I should look into it.

gadfly said...

Trog expressed the concerns surrounding the early days of the little jet . . . centering on low-time pilots that expect the “jet” to do a significant amount of the thinking, and may discover too late that fully automatic flight is no sure thing.

‘Should the little jet ever get into “real” production (initially complete leaving the factory, say in a year or two), my concerns would then center on long-term durability, and the likelihood that they will be properly maintained, and generally “hold together”. There are many issues that should be discussed and addressed early on, rather than a constant barrage of personal insults and “paper claims”. ‘Things like potential corrosion (Eclipse seems concerned about this very problem, in the “stir-fried” joints, with their patented sealing system), fatigue in rivet joints, undersized brakes and landing gear, “difficult-to-remove-and-replace” covers/seals, etc., etc.

Even little things like the magnetos on the rear engine of a Cessna 337 (you other A&P’s out there should remember the “pain” of that maintenance/timing nightmare . . . the distance between engine and firewall was made for a person with a powerful grip, a hand the thickness of a piece of cardboard, and eyeballs that could look around corners). Things that are difficult to inspect are often overlooked until “too late”. If you can’t get to it . . . if you can’t see it, it will get overlooked . . . until something fails. This is the sort of thing that seems to have been overlooked in the design, judging from the bits and pieces of clues that sometime filter on down through the comments.

Personally, I do not think that Eclipse will last long enough for these issues to fully matter, but I’ve been wrong many times . . . and there is that slim possibility that it may survive.

Now, rather than attack me for raising these questions, take the time for your own sakes to address some of these issues. Good companies respond to criticism, to make a better product. Bad companies deny the criticism and attack the messenger.

gadfly

Jim Howard said...

AlexA, the ugly and emotional nature of your recent posts does more harm than good for the reputation of the Eclipse community.

I really don't think you need to be so defensive about your choice of airplane.

cj3driver said...

Jet A,

You should seriously consider a CJ3.

IMO the cost to own and operate a CJ3, over the next 5 years will be equal to … or less than the cost of the Eclipse, TBM, or Mustang.

Why? Future value. It very evident that Cessna has no plans to increase production rates on the CJ series of aircraft. The build rate has been and will probably continue to be 80 per year on the CJ3. They are sold out about 28 months at a manageable, profitable and conservative build rate. High resale values keep prices for new aircraft (profitability and demand) high as well.

If Eclipse happens to be successful, I will guarantee that people who have purchased E500’s (not unlike original Meridian owners) will be ready to move up, possibly hundreds of them. Just look at the trip N561EA (TEX-TEB) had today. That is a non-stop trip in the CJ3… even if there was 75 kt headwind. Plus, I bet the CJ3 would have burned less fuel (or close) at about 3,500 lbs. for this trip (35kt avg. winds).

You mentioned before, you had a new Meridian for a couple years. Question … What was the total cost of ownership? I figure it to be about $328,000 per year. This is using 6.5% as cost of capital (financed or not) 130K, fuel and maint of $63K, hangar and ins. of 35K and depreciation of $100K per year. 50,000 miles per year, ($4 fuel, 500 mi trips 258 hours).

Consider a TBM700, a new ‘05 cost $2.5 million, and today that same aircraft with 350 hrs would sell for $2.4M. What was the total cost? Using the same formula, the cost would be about $340,000 per year. Depreciation will probably increase as new glass 850’s begin deliveries and the older units hit the market.

The TBM850 (Garmin equipped) will probably experience less depreciation due to the demand, mostly from previous TBM owners. However, Eclipse, Diamond, Adam, Epic and a small part to Phenom and Honda, will eat into this market. Socata knows they HAVE to make technological advances (glass) to stay in the market. Consider the fate of the Trinidad, Tampico products. Not enough volume to substantiate additional investment.
For these reasons I place the TBM at depreciation rate of at least $50K per year.

Adam A700. A unique looking airplane with about the same performance/ size as a Mustang. If history is any indication, the company will have teething pains well into the future. This VLJ will probably enter service about the same time as Embraer and Honda.

The Phenom 100. Slated for deliveries in late 09 the 100 is sold-out thru 3Q11. the price for a new 100 will be around $3.75 equipped. The Honda about $4.2 million. Again, another step-up market for the CJ3.



Currently, the CJ3 has only one real competitor in the air now. It is the Encore+ at over $1.5 million dollars more. Up and coming are the Grob Spn and Phenom 300 and CJ4.

The Grob is priced at $7.9 million and still has a ways to go before certification and meaningful production. The performance is very similar to the CJ3 and should prove a worthy competitor if/when it comes to fruition. Service and Maintenance may be an issue. Its composite structure may have some market resistance (especially considering the unfortunate loss of the first prototype due to a structural failure). Production ramp-up and the weak dollar may affect future prospects of success. I put the Grob Spn production at less than 25 per year for the foreseeable future .. at least 3 years for anything meaningful.

The Phenom 300 should be a worthy adversary for the CJ3. However, it will probably compete more directly with the CJ4. At 3200 lbs of thrust (per side) compared to the CJ3 at 2850, it will undoubtedly have higher fuel specifics and the swept wing will require longer runways. With Embraer’s history of airliner production, I will guess the Phenom to be a very robust airframe, and accordingly heavy aircraft. This may create penalties in hot/high and full fuel/payload performance. The price at $6.65 mil in ’05 dollars will put the 300 at about $8 million equipped for first deliveries in 2010, with undoubted price increases in the interim. I put the Phenom 300 at about $9 million for deliveries in 2012 at certification in ’10. I think the 300 will be a low production aircraft at less than 50 per year and 3-4 years away.

The CJ4 will definitely be a step-up from mostly other CJ operators. The price point is significantly higher than a comparably equipped CJ3. The current pricing and delivery schedule places the CJ4 at $11 million dollars for a 2014 delivery. After the first flight late in 2008, I expect this to be pushed out to $12 million and 2015-16 for next available delivery. The current specs on the CJ4 give it less range than a CJ3, but with higher speeds. Still, at several million dollars higher price tag than a CJ3, the resales for the CJ3 should remain very strong against this competitor.

There is no other single-pilot twin jet, that has this range, cabin size, comfort, speed, reliability, short field capability, service network and fuel burn, … backed by the largest, most profitable and well financed company in the business, on the market and available today. For these reasons I think the CJ3 (currently at $8 million and 2010 delivery) is poised for continued success and appreciation for at least 3 years from now, and probably more. The proven reliability, track record and satisfied owners will keep the resale volumes low and prices high.

Given the past appreciation of the CJ3 fleet, and given the size and appreciation of the future order book at 5% (factory new), per year, for the next 3 years, … the used market should be very strong indeed. I conservatively predict at least a 4% appreciation per year for used CJ3’s ($250K). This is at half of the rate of appreciation the CJ3 has experienced over the last 3 years.

Plugging in the expected appreciation of the CJ3 into the cost of ownership formula stated above, the annual cost is expected to be $355K. That’s $15K more than a TBM850, but $10K LESS than a typically equipped Eclipse.

Using the number extracted from past values and some realistic predicted future values for these aircraft, one can easily see that it may make sense to opt for the higher priced aircraft (not unlike Meridian vs. TBM) … for lower overall costs in the long run…. and an incredible ride today.

Historic and projected factory new CJ3 base prices:

2004 - $5.8 only 6 delivered
2005 - $6.1 ramp-up
2006 - $6.3
2007 - $6.8
2008 - $7.1
2009 - $7.7
2010 - $8.1
2011 - $8.5 expected
2012 - $9.0 expected

add $300K typically equipped

To everyone else... sorry for the long post. I got carried away.

Cj3

Turboprop_pilot said...

Stan:

I wish you would take Alexa to the woodshed and wash her mouth out with soap. The Faithful's juvenile posts that have nothing to do with aviation detract from a very interesting blog.

Many have asked them substantive questions which they ignore in favor of insults, poor girl jealousy or 3rd place decimal arguments about range.

TP

airsafetyman said...

Alexa said:

"..it [Forecast Internatational]anticipates a decline in corporate demand for twin turboprops in favor of the fractional ownership of turbofan-powered aircraft."

Gee, then why did Beech sell as many King Airs as ALL their turbofans put together last year? Why is Piaggio ramping up their production of the Avanti II, an ELEVEN occupant, 400-knot cruise, twin-turboprop that will blow the doors off an Eclipse in every way possible. Some people would think that in an era of environmental awareness a turboprop would be MORE desireable than a turbofan.

Black Tulip said...

Maybe Eclipse Aviation is more sophisticated than we thought. Suppose they are pursuing a tried-and-true marketing approach. Some companies are set up as factory outlets, selling only ‘seconds’ at discount prices. They thrive at this and see no reason to sell ‘first rate’ products at retail. Eclipse could be onto something big in aircraft sales.

Sell a two million dollar jet for one million by letting people know that it is not quite complete and a little scuffed up. Dedicated buyers can rustle through the file cabinet of old stuff at their local avionics shop and get that autopilot going after all. Think of the money they have saved.

Another explanation could be this. Suppose Eclipse Aviation has in fact achieved the one-a-day production rate promised by the end of August. However they have to sort through two weeks production to find one they are willing to let a customer have. The back hangar is filling up with airframes that get combed over every so often. Think of it as an agricultural business, say sorting through olives to find the truly colossal ones.

Black Tulip

AlexA said...

Jim Howard said “I really don't think you need to be so defensive about your choice of airplane.”

I apologize is my posts last night offended anyone. I wasn’t being defensive about my choice simply pointing out the ridiculous “circle” this blog has fallen into.

You have one individual trying to rationalize and convince the world that his TBM is better than anything out there (look at me I can fly anything in the world and I have chosen the TBM). Never mind that you could purchase two Eclipse 500 or even two D-jets for the same amount or a used Meridian and 200,000 gals of Jet A for the same amount.

You have on individual spouting why the CJ3 is the only aircraft anyone should ever consider.

Then you have a few folks like ATM and C&W that continue to harp how many milestones and deadlines Eclipse has missed, how “horrible” the company is. I have no doubt that ATM on his death bed will be telling the priest about how evil the management was at Eclipse. You know what; Eclipse did miss a ton of milestones and over promised. So what?

The bottom line is Eclipse is continuing to mature. They have delivered over 50 aircrafts. The owners I spoken to, are thrilled with the performance. According to a company that conducts a pre-delivery inspection the quality of the finished product is impressive. The two major hurdles left are FIKI and Avio NG, the next 90 days should be telling.

Now with a little bit of production history behind them Eclipse is scheduled to release a revised production schedule this week. I have no doubt that the revised production schedule will give this blog legs for a few weeks.

mouse said...

Who all owns or flys a Twin Engine turbine Commander on this blog?

mouse said...

CJ3,

You hit on one of my biggest arguments I had with Vern. IMHO most EA-500 owners will be flipping their planes in 18-24 months for bigger, faster, more capable airplanes like the CJ series.

For this reason I tried unsuccessfully to get the high rate numbers re-thought. The problem is the high rate I then learned never had to do with market demand, but rather the money flow and making the failed scheme proceed. (Sept 2001)

Cessna being a very market sharo company will always keep the numbers low in production so their customers have a reason and a product to move up to.

Ever own a boat? Watch and see how many bigger boats are bought in progression. When the slip beside you is filled with something bigger, up goes the size on either side the next year, and so it goes.

Adam Aircraft understands this point with their A700. They are building an airplane that can break even at 50 per year, and be very successful at 150 - 200 per year for the first few years and then taper from there to new models on the drawing boards and in the R&D shop...

Vern completely overlooked the basic automotive fact of completely redesigning every 5 years. He told me back in the summer of 2001 that the EA-500 would have a 10-15 year life span at least...

Now I wonder if the company can survive 10-15 years, much less their product.

Black Tulip said...

"Who all owns or flys a Twin Engine turbine Commander on this blog?"

Black Tulip does.

Black Tulip

airsafetyman said...

Alexa said:

"According to a company that conducts a pre-delivery inspection the quality of the finished product is impressive."

Anyone who shows up to take delivery without their own, highly experienced mechanics and avionics technicians going over every inch of the airplane beforehand deserves what they get.

Troglodyte said...

Mouse,

I am part owner of a Commander 1000. Incredible airplane. 295 KTS, 35000 ft (RVSM), >1800 nm range (book says about 1900), easily operate from 3000 ft, and much shorter if conditions are appropriate.

--Trog

Ken Meyer said...

Alex wrote,

"You have one individual trying to rationalize and convince the world that his TBM is better than anything out there...
You have one individual spouting why the CJ3 is the only aircraft anyone should ever consider."


Well that's exactly right. I think it's pretty funny--The guy with the CJ3 is trying to tell the guy with the TBM to spend millions more on a plane that is clearly more than he needs. The TBM guy hasn't flown his plane more than 750 nm in the last 6 months (and he has access to his father's CJ2 anyway), but suddenly he needs a CJ3. Uh-huh.

Then you got the fired would-be lion-slayer (who appropriately calls himself a MOUSE). His story is that he didn't get along with management, they fired him, and five years later he still hasn't gotten over it. Most people move on with their lives, but some just can't.

Alex, you're right: In the end, they've all got some ax to grind. And it is pretty amusing to watch :)

Ken

mouse said...

Miss Alexa,

Thanks for the effort at an appology.

The issue is now, and will be until completed; The EA-500 is not done, nowhere near complete, and may never be.

With that said, the minute it is completed, and delivered complete, and not with severely limited replacement intervals like disposable windshields, Etc. and a proven network of service centers, then you will se all of the negative currently being discussed here go away.

The problem for those of us who are negative on the airplane here is because the company lies, still.

They treat investors like crap, care less about finishing their product, Etc. The plane does not deliver what it promised, or what it should. When people like you and Ken and Redtail, Etc. can make any claims after owning the plane, then you to will be respected.

Repeating and expanding on the virtues touted by Vern is just plane (pun intended) stupid. Surely you have an educated opinion, but maybe you don't...

If it smells, looks, tastes and feels like crap, it probably is...

mouse said...

Trog & Tulip,

would you mind forwarding your contact information to Stan?

Thanks,

Mouse

mouse said...

Ken,

if you even got one fact straight you'd be treated with respect. Your problem is you are dumber than a dead stump because you want to make up facts as you go.

I feel sorry for your patients... You are a poor excuse for a Dr. or a human.

If ignorance is bliss you must live in euphoria.

rcflyer said...

mouse said,

"They treat investors like crap..."

How so? I was just at an Eclipse investors meeting, and I thought they treated us very well. Do you know something the investors don't?

R.C.

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"you are dumber than a dead stump... You are a poor excuse for a Dr. or a human....If ignorance is bliss you must live in euphoria."

Thanks for validating that I hit the mark :)

People resort to the personal attack when they haven't got anything else. You want us to believe that it's not true that you were fired and now spend your time attacking the company to get even? OK; prove it.

I think you can't. I think you're a frustrated, angry ex-employee with an ax to grind who feels all he can do is take pot shots at the company from the safety of an internet blog. You hide behind a phony name and write your little fantasies 'cause you're petrified somebody might find out who you are.

Yep, you ought to be very proud. You're a real hero.

Ken

mirage00 said...

Mouse

if you even got one fact straight you'd be treated with respect. Your problem is you are dumber than a dead stump because you want to make up facts as you go.

For the benefit of this blog, could you please outline some of the facts that Ken as misrepresented?

FYI - Watching the "naysayers" get increasingly angry over the success of Eclipse is quite amusing.

Time for some quotes....

Anger blows out the lamp of the mind. Robert G. Ingersoll

In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for ourselves Abraham J. Heschel

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. James Thurber

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Malachy McCourt


I remain amused

double 00

mouse said...

Ken,

You are absolutely right!

Of course you know the real truth, so you can live with yourself...

Buy that plane yet?

Thought so...

airtaximan said...

Nice parse Ken. I wonder if you only operate or diagnose a patient's problem you wish to address.

- Alexa said, stop the comparisons to the TBM, its getting old
- I sadi, the e-clips is unfiniahed and unproven...so I agreed with one of your flock, to stop the countless number of TBM comparisons...comparing a finished plane to an unfinished plane, is silly.

-If the e-500 is EVER FINISHED, perhaps many, many comparisons will be welcome.

Once again, its 2007 and the e-500 is still not finished. Despite $1.x billions and almost 10 years...

- Ken, one more thing - nope comparing "delivery" of around 50 e-500s that are INCOMPLETE does not compare with any number of completed planes delivered - not Mustangs, not TMBs, none. Its just anothe way to make yourself feel better.

jetaburner said...

CJ3Driver-

I agree that the CJ3 is the ultimate single pilot flown jet. 2 problems for me: can't fit in my hangar and it just too expensive.

I also agree that it will be the lease likely to depreciate out of the aircraft you mention.

The CJ2 is the biggest plane I can fit in my hangar so that could be a consideration.

I do not agree with the cost to operate it. From my experience with the TBM and CJ2 here is what I get. I plan on 150 to 200 hrs per year. I'll use 200 for the TBM and 150 for the jet to accomadate for the faster speeds.

Currently the TBM costs:
- $22k for insurance
- $60k per hr for fuel ($5 per gallon at 60gph * 200hrs)
- $35K for maintenance
- $5K misc landing fees, oil, etc.
- $157,500 cost of capital at $2.25M at 7%
- $50K The airplane hasn't appreciated but just to be conservative lets use $50k per year.

Total: $329,500 (hangar is the same regardless)

A new TBM850 will likely depreciate faster but all maintenance costs are covered for the first 2 years. So with additional cost of capital ($750K * 7%) and more 750k more insurance $8K less maintenance $30k + (we'll use the $50k of depreciation above (no change).
Total for TBM850= 360,000

CJ2

$60,000 Insurance for $6M hull at 1% including at least $5M in liability

$90,000 Fuel at 150hrs at $5 and average of 120gph.

$30,000 maintenance

$5,000 misc. fees

$420,000 Cost of capital at 7% on $6M.

No deprecition.

$605,000 total. Almost 2x as much which actually is what my experience tells me over the last couple of year. The TBM works out (everything except depreciation and engine reserves) to about $600 per hour and the CJ2 works out to $1200 per hour.

Cessna makes a great product and is clearly the best of the best when it comes to single pilot aircraft. But, the operating and acquisition costs are 2x over the TBM. Do you get what you pay for? Yes.





-

jetaburner said...

Ken and Alexa-

Alex said: "You have one individual trying to rationalize and convince the world that his TBM is better than anything out there..."

My intent is not to convince the world but share with you one consumers' decision model so that we all may better understand and predict what is going to happen in the market. Does this have any relevance to you as a position holder and future e-clipse owner? Yes. Because e-clips is depending on unheard of production and sales volume in order to keep their prices low (now at $1.9M) They need at least 600 new buyers at the new prices ever year. If they can't find enough new buyers then one of 2 things must happen:
They either raise the price, or go out of business. Is this relevant to the blog? I believe so. I'm frankly tired of talking about the TBM and the only reason I keep bringing it up is the 2 of you refuse to believe that someone would choose it the e-clips.

ExEclipser said...

By the way, folks, you'll notice that there are a lot of diversions on newly delivered aircraft and on DayJet aircraft.

I would venture to suggest that most of these are TRAINING diversions.

airsafetyman said...

Interesting Eclipse flight in progress from Telluride to Walla-Walla, WA. It is 671 NM direct on a northwest heading.

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR:
"Several Stress positions in Service Engineering and 5 Experimental Flight Test mechanics".

Goat:
With numerous openings for stress/liaison types, it sounds like BIG problems on the line, dispositioning squawks.

(Or, maybe typical for a new program with relatively high volume? Don't know about typical, but either something is screwed up from a manufacturing standpoint, or is screwed up from a staffing standpoint if Eclipse was so understaffed in that area.

("Hey, back when writing code, we didn't need any stinking stress engineers. Why do we now!?!").

Experimental Flight Test mechanics?? I have a different read on that one- I suspect the flight test mechanics were the ones that built the prototypes, then the test fleet, and now have been assigned to manufacturing because of their experience. I'm guessing Vern is back-filling them, and it sounds like he gutted flight test to support manufacturing.

("Hey, when writing code we didn't need any stinking "certification" stuff, we just gave it to beta testers- why don't we do that now!?!").

As always, I'm guessing Vern is STILL "mis-underestimating" the complications involved in designing, testing and certifying a new airplane (as well as manufacturing it), and that to me suggests FIKI, AVIO-NG, etc are on the back burner: the Holy Grail is production numbers, as it has always been (re: rush to cert, rush to production, rush to delivery).
----------------------
CWMOR:
"Did anyone try and tell Vern the train is going the wrong way on the wrong track?"

Goat:
Well, Vern will solve THAT problem by simply going faster.

(much like making up for losing money on every delivery by making more deliveries).
-------------------------
-------------------------
CWMOR:
"I wonder why a company would deliberately choose to certify a design that fails to meet the guarantees, knowing they were only a few months away from getting (almost anyway) the performance needed to avoid a cancellation event due to default?"

Goat:
See above: the Holy Grail is production numbers, as it has always been (re: rush to cert, rush to production, rush to delivery).
-----------------------
CWMOR:
"Sounds like maybe they grossly underestimated the difficulty in certification."

Goat:
See above: the Holy Grail is production numbers, as it has always been (re: rush to cert, rush to production, rush to delivery).
---------------------------
Goat:
I'll try not to repeat myself so often- I'm sorry I'm repeating myself so often.

...But...

the Holy Grail is production numbers, as it has always been (re: rush to cert, rush to production, rush to delivery).

:)

Black Tulip said...

Mouse,

The aircraft in question is a Twin Commander 1000. From memory it is pictured on pages 93-95 of the September/October issue of AOPA Pilot. Black Tulip can be seen keeping a sharp eye on the formation flying of Tom Haines, the author.

I'll send Stan a note.

Black Tulip

bill e. goat said...

Mouse;
"IMHO most EA-500 owners will be flipping their planes in 18-24 months for bigger, faster, more capable airplanes like the CJ series".

Goat:
That's EXACTLY why I think the con-jet is a bad move. Vern is loosing money by going after the low end on twin jets. Now with con-jet, he's going after the even lower end. The balance of volume and profit is in the $3-5 mil jets: where Embraer, Honda, Cessna, etc are playing ball.

I think it would be good marketing to offer the Eclipse (long-suffering) loyalists, a nice "step up" to something (even) nicer and roomier.

(And more profitable for Eclipse to manufacturer).

jetaburner said...

Ken-

Can you point me to a couple of tail numbers that are post aero-mod e-clips airplanes? I would like to see how they are doing compared to the owners' spreadsheet you provided. Thanks.

Ken Meyer said...

N500VK is flying ABQ to TLH today. That's a long haul for a pre-aeromod Eclipse (more than 1155 nm) even with a tailwind.

He is, for now anyway, at FL 370 where the still-air range is about 850 nm. The aeromods raise the range to around 1060 at FL370 and 1125 nm at FL410 (both figures NBAA range figures with approach, 2nd climbout, hold, 100 nm alternate and 30 minutes remaining after landing at the alternate).

Ken

EclipseBlogger said...

I just talked with Mike Press. He was at Eclipse this weekend and told me several interesting facts.

Aircraft 100 is now in position #1 on the assembly line as of last this past Friday.

Most manufacturing positions are now producing at a rate of 1 per day. Some stations still lag, but they are getting there.

As I previously stated, Eclipse has significantly less than the Billion-plus dollars in equity and debt that keeps getting thrown about on this blog.

AVIO NG is on track for certification in the coming weeks, and certainly by the end of the year. First aircraft on the manufacturing line with NG installed will be S/N 105.

John Travolta accepted delivery of his Eclipse. The refusal to accept delivery by "those in the know" on this blog was obviously in error.

Fatigue testing is under way in San Antonio and indications are that the time between transparency inspection/replacement intervals will again be increased in the future.

Expect some new press release announcements in the coming weeks that will confirm performance and the capabilities of the Eclipse.

jetaburner said...

Ken-

N500VK just diverted to KHKS in Mississippi. Most probably for fuel, I know, its a pre-aeromod plane. My question is if they new they couldn't make it in the first place, why did the file to TLH?

jetaburner said...

Ken-

One thought is that they believed they could make with the nice tailwind if they got FL410. Maybe they were held down longer than expected.

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

According to the FAA registry database, Eclipse delivered one Eclipse 500 last week for a total of 49 aircraft.

According to the FAA in process database, there are 3 Eclipse 500s for which Eclipse has submitted registration paperwork which are not in the registration database, making a total of 52 aircraft.

Based on this data, Eclipse has delivered 8 aircraft so far in October.

No paperwork was submitted last week to notify the FAA of aircraft starts. According to the FAA database, Eclipse has notified the FAA that they have started 78 aircraft.

Once again, there were no certificates of airworthiness recorded in the FAA database last week. That number still stands at 38 Eclipse 500 CofAs recorded in the FAA database.

FlightCenter said...

Cessna has delivered 25 Mustang aircraft and has received 32 Certificates of Airworthiness for Mustang aircraft.

airtaximan said...

Eclipse delivered ONE last week for a total of 49 aircraft.

according to Vern and Ken, this equals 1 per day, and 60 so far this year.

WHAT A JOKE!

airtaximan said...

"Once again, there were no certificates of airworthiness recorded in the FAA database last week. That number still stands at 38 Eclipse 500 CofAs recorded in the FAA database."

we won't even consider what this might mean...

Ken, keep injecting, smoking, believeingblindly - whatever your poison.

Someone mentioned a TREND a few weeks back.

GRIND and HALT come to mind.

sparky said...

All,

Could the C-of-A issue be caused by the Aeromods not being certified yet?

Also,

With the recent overhaul of the production floor, could this in any way affect the PC?

airtaximan said...

EB, thanks for the data...

As I previously stated, Eclipse has significantly less than the Billion-plus dollars in equity and debt that keeps getting thrown about on this blog.

Interesting that the deposits from around 300 position assumers are not included, eventhough they were spent.

Or do your calculations somehow include the progress payments and deposits? They were free, you know -not debt, not equity - just a good faith donation.

rcflyer said...

sparky said,

"Could the C-of-A issue be caused by the Aeromods not being certified yet?"

Not likely, since the aeromods ARE certified.

R.C.

gadfly said...

Often is heard on this website that “you get what you pay for”. Unfortunately, that statement is backwards . . . completely!

It should read: “You pay for what you get!”

A “Mike Press” stand-in gives a great report. It is accurate . . . and comes from an actual witness to the capabilities of the little jet as he experienced it. That’s wonderful, and no-one on either side of the aisle can argue with his impressions. So what’s the problem?

Maybe the eyewitness report is accurate, but not complete. Who wouldn’t be impressed with the things that he “accurately” reports. The weather was great . . . the plane was new . . . and he had a skilled pilot on board to give him assurance during his brief flight. Everything proceeded according to a “salesman’s dream”.

Behind the scenes is an organization that has not been able to fulfill their promises.

Behind the scenes is an organization that is the “new kid on the block”, with all the lack of skill that is necessary for a reliable product.

Behind the scenes are people that have demonstrated, by their own admission, a lack of understanding the problems and requirements to produce a reliable and safe product.

Behind the scenes is a long list of “weak” links, to produce a product promised long ago to gullible customers.

Behind the scenes is a man that claimed to have produced a plane that met his claims, and after a brief flight, used the funds in escrow to go ahead with his plans, and then announced the failure of the first attempt, and blamed the manufacturer of the engine.

Behind the scenes are engineers and designers, with an understanding of the many problems of fabrication of aluminum flying machines, who wonder with amazement at the seemingly lack of understanding of the problems related to metallurgy.

Behind the scenes are folks that have spent their lives in manufacturing/design/invention, who “wonder” at the lack of understanding here demonstrated concerning build-up of tolerances, and practical matters concerning fabrication.

Behind the scenes are the lack of understanding of . . . the list goes on and on . . . transonic airflow . . . range of CG . . . lift/drag components . . . reliance of single control systems . . . inter-granular corrosion . . . on and on and on. And I haven’t even touched the beginning of the list.

The final line is: You WILL pay for what you get. Make sure you can afford the price.

gadfly

mirage00 said...

GRIND and HALT come to mind.

Not likely!

Let the "anger" go....

Thanks EclipseBlogger for the update!

I remain amused

double 00

EclipseBlogger said...

airtaximan said... Interesting that the deposits from around 300 position assumers are not included, eventhough they were spent.

OK, you got me there. I was referring to dollars raised, outside of deposits, from investors. Statement clarified.

airtaximan said...

Miarge,

even YOU can see the reality here, no?

1 single delivery last week?

What hapend to one a day?

This is a big joke.

One single delivery, after one a day was promised?

Come on, man... where's your dignity?

I guess you FIND this amusing? what if it was YOUR deposit money on the line?

Still amused?

ONE DELIVERY LAST WEEK...could it be?

-EB says they started plane 100 recently - is this started on the assembly line, or started welding pieces together? WHO KNOW'S what "STARTED" meant when progress money was being scammed? If this is equivalent to last years "started"... look for plane 100 to come out the other end in Q108 or Q208, and this will be a n improvement!

Amusing, if you have no oney on the line...AMUSING? I fear not, for many folks.

Stop being so cavalier with other misfortune - amusing only to you...shows a disrespect and lack of empathy for anyone who has risked their deposit and progress payment - hundreds of millionsof dollars. You say amusing - how pathetic!

airtaximan said...

EB,

any clue as to how much in total?

add progress/deposits and government money? perhaps contributions from suppliers, if there were any?

This is a massive amount, but perhaps you are right - reports might be exaggerated... I'd say at least $1 billion, probably closer to $1.3 or 4 now, all money included.

Thanks for the honesty.

airtaximan said...

interesting points on money spent,

if Ken is right, and there are over 2700 orders with deposits... I wonder how much money this represents.

We know, $100k for a deposit(roughly) = $270 million in deposits PLUS 300-400 progress payments of around 60% of $1.3 million average = $234 million (300, not 400 progress payments)

Of course, there's no way dayjet paid a real deposit on all their 1430 planes ordered/reserved/optioned... but, hey, HE wants to call them real orders, so why not.

This alone is $1/2 billion.

FlightCenter said...

JetA,

You can find all the tail numbers for the Eclipse 500 airplanes here.

Eclipse 500 Delivery Data

The spreadsheet opens on the monthly summary page.

Click on the "Eclipse 500 Delivery Data" Tab to see all the raw data.

Serial #39 and higher are all post aero-mod airplanes.

N858GS
N444RL
N541LB
N168TT
N62RC
N489JC
N500CD
N6100
N218JT
N570RG
N549AF
N456MF
N500UK
N502ET

FlightCenter said...

eclipseblogger said,

"Aircraft 100 is now in position #1 on the assembly line as of last this past Friday.

AVIO NG is on track for certification in the coming weeks, and certainly by the end of the year. First aircraft on the manufacturing line with NG installed will be S/N 105."

What is your estimate for when we should expect to see serial #105 delivered?

There was a post several months ago quoting an Eclipse document which stated what functionality would be included in NG Release 1, NG Release 2 and NG Release 3.

Can anyone find that data and repost it here?

hummer said...

RC, EB & Ken
Got my questions answered,
Thank you

cj3driver said...

Hummer said;

"... RC, EB & Ken
Got my questions answered,
Thank you ..."

Those were good questions. What were the answers?

Thanks

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

airtaximan said,

"EB says they started plane 100 recently - is this started on the assembly line, or started welding pieces together?"

They mean that they've started assembling the fuselage on plane number 100. Eclipse treats the friction stir welding work center like a supplier, providing parts to the assembly line.

R.C.

rcflyer said...

"The planes look like a cigar case with no restroom."

And that's a bad thing? Think how unattractive they'd be if they looked like a cigar case with a restroom. :)

R.C.

gadfly said...

rc

‘Depends (pun intended), . . . “bidet”? . . . or “urinal”?

gadfly

airtaximan said...

RC,

Thanks.

If your description is a consistent representation of "started" for e-clips, this is horrendous. A very, very long time ago, they "started" a lot of planes in assembly, as you are describing.

It is difficult to imagine that it has taken THIS long to do final assembly, only.

We shall see - I am wondering when the final airplane number 100 will come out the other side. If its before end Q-1 2008, they have improved a lot.

PS. Cessna recently declared they will double the number of Mustangs produced this year so far, by YE. This was around NBAA. 3 months to double production for the year.

If e-clips could do the same, I'd be close to the delivery contest - if we agree unfinished planes are "delivered", per e-clips standards.

rcflyer said...

ATM,

I wouldn't be too surprised to see number 100 finished before the end of this year, and some more after it, as well.

R.C.

rcflyer said...

gadfly,

Without getting too explicit, I'll say that anyone who can use a cigar tube as a urinal has more to worry about than Dayjet.

R.C.

airtaximan said...

RC, good news for my prediction of their deliveries for the year.

What makes you so sure?

cj3driver said...

Ken quoted,

"You have one individual trying to rationalize and convince the world that his TBM is better than anything out there...
You have one individual spouting why the CJ3 is the only aircraft anyone should ever consider."

Ken,

Were you referring to ME in this post?

If you were,… I think you missed the point entirely. While I do believe the CJ3 is a fantastic plane, one must still have the budget. I believe it was you that asked for alternatives to the Eclipse numerous times in the past. I am merely pointing out that there are numerous alternatives for anyone with a $300-400K “all-in” annual budget to spend on a light jet (or even a turboprop).

As you may someday find out, (assuming your Eclipse(s) are delivered) the annual cost of such a wonderful luxury as a private jet does not come down to fuel burn. Fuel burn is only a small part of the total ownership experience and is really not that significant when looking at the other alternatives.

For JetA and others, they prefer to spend their budget on TBM, you will spend yours on an Eclipse, and mine on a CJ3.

By no means is the CJ3 “the only aircraft anyone should ever consider." … Its just an option that just may be about the same cost as an Eclipse, or (considering the risks), … substantially less.

FlightCenter said...

There have been a couple posts raising the question of whether Eclipse can recognize revenue for the aircraft they've delivered.

A conservative interpretation of the FASB revenue recognition guidelines would suggest that Eclipse can not recognize revenue for deposits or for aircraft deliveries that still have significant outstanding obligations.

FASB guidelines for revenue recognition requires that the revenue be "earned".

Revenues are considered to have been earned when Eclipse has substantially accomplished what it must do to be entitled to the benefits represented by the revenues.

For example, if there is any uncertainty regarding Eclipse's ability to deliver on its outstanding obligations, then a conservative interpretation of FASB guidelines would suggest that the revenue should not be recognized.

A more liberal interpretation would be that they can recognize some percentage of the payments made by their customers as revenue. They could argue that they have delivered a significant portion of the value of the airplane, so that they can recognize say 60% of the payments as revenue.


Now Eclipse is a private company and they can do whatever their investors approve when it comes to revenue recognition. However, if they are intending to issue an IPO, or looking for a private equity outfit to invest, they will have to live to generally accepted accounting principles.

Of course, cash is king for Eclipse right now. They need a steady stream to keep the doors open. Revenue recognition is secondary.


Whytech, or other folks from the financial world - Any comments on what you would expect if you were investing?

bill e. goat said...

"I just talked with Mike Press. He was at Eclipse this weekend and told me several interesting facts".

Goat:
Facts...facts...uh, right...
------------------------

"Eclipse has significantly less than the Billion-plus dollars in equity and debt that keeps getting thrown about on this blog".

Goat:
Um, ah, ...right....
--------------------------
"AVIO NG is on track for certification in the coming weeks, and certainly by the end of the year".

Goat:
Well, ahem, er...right...
--------------------------

"Aircraft 100 is now in position #1 on the assembly line as of last this past Friday...First aircraft on the manufacturing line with NG installed will be S/N 105".

Goat:
Soooooo...I think we can expect Avio-NG -AND- sn104 about, ah, well, er...April 08 ??
--------------------------

"Expect some new press release announcements in the coming weeks that will confirm performance and the capabilities of the Eclipse".

Goat:
Ah, another press release...oookay then...
--------------------------

Thanks for the post, but I remain, ah, somewhat skeptical...

But then again, judging from Eclipse's track record...RUN!!!

(ah, pardon the metaphor:)
---------------------------

(Apologies to ATM, looks like he hit most of the bases already).

airtaximan said...

I'd expect a proper answer why Peter Reid, former CFO, left.

Seriously, I'd expect it has no bearing. So much owed, so few deliveries. Recognizing them all or a portion is academic at this point.

Drop in bucket...compared to promises of one-a-day production rates, or misstatements of 60 deliveries already.

Drop in the bucket

airtaximan said...

#17 and #83 still lsited for sale, too... Ken, perhaps it YOUR time to act!

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bill e. goat said...

FC,
Thanks for your (interesting as usual) post. A couple items leapt out at me though, as I'm sure you too pondered:

"A more liberal interpretation would be that they can recognize some percentage of the payments made by their customers as revenue. They could argue that they have delivered a significant portion of the value of the airplane, so that they can recognize say 60% of the payments as revenue".

Goat:
I don't think you can fly 60% of an airplane (although, that would certainly help the empty weight figures)- especially when that 60% is sitting on an assembly line. I'd have to say that constitutes 0% delivered, to the end purchaser anyway.

(Vendors, yes; customer, no).
----------------------------

"Now Eclipse is a private company and they can do whatever their investors approve when it comes to revenue recognition".

Goat:
I think the numbers are too bad to permit IPO, so the BoD is probably trying to keep the true "revenue recognition" as UN-recognizable as possible (in hopes of a buyout).
------------------------

"However, if they are intending to issue an IPO, or looking for a private equity outfit to invest, they will have to live to generally accepted accounting principles".

Goat:
Maybe there was a reason beyond "incivility" for the way the VC's treated Vern last time around.
--------------------------

I wondered if he's "Made them Pay" yet? - I forget the exact Vernian bluster sputtered at the time...

In fairness to Vern, it does sound like he was treated rather crassly. Given his usual genteel eloquence, I'm sure he was quite taken back by such behavior! (ah, NOT!).

I suspect the VC's in question knew they had him, and nobody else would touch the deal.

I would also expect that Vern had done his homework before he approached them, and did so because there was no less painful alternative. It would appear that the more painful, and eventually executed, alternative, was to ask the BoD to dig a little deeper.

(Give til it hurts, boys? Naw- they're just looking for a sucker to unload this thing on).

rcflyer said...

ATM,

I wouldn't bet my life on 100+ airplanes this year, but it seems reasonable given what I saw last weekend in Albuquerque.

Eclipse knows where the bottlenecks are, and they're systematically and doggedly working to eliminate them. And, there are only a few left to be fixed. Of course, the nature of a bottleneck is that it only takes one to throttle the whole process, but they have solutions and the solutions are being implemented in a timely fashion.

The current solutions will bring the slowest sections to one per day (as has been previously said, and surmised, they are not quite there yet). Several sections are already at two per day capacity.

Two per day is reachable with their current layout. Three per day will take some rearranging.

I've seen the assembly areas with my own eyes. I've seen airframe number 100 in assembly. I've seen the charts showing the productivity of each assembly area, and I believe them. They were very candid about the problems, and the mistakes they'd made. It would be a lot more trouble to make that stuff up than to tell the truth.

So why wouldn't I bet my last dollar on them reaching their goal? There may be some unforseen glitches. Some "unknown unknowns" if you will. My gut feeling is that there won't be any showstoppers, however, and they'll work through any lesser problems, just as they have in the past.

R.C.

cj3driver said...

RC,
Thanks for the post. Very informative.

Is "one per day" the same as 30 per month or per working day.
In other words, is Eclipse production 7 days per week?

Will deliveries (acceptance flights) eventually be conducted 7 days per week also?

Thanks

rcflyer said...

cj3driver,

I'm not sure, but I believe that "one per day" means 7 per week.

I don't know what the plans are for weekend acceptance flights. Maybe when they get up to three per day, they'll have to stack them like cordwood over the weekends. :)

R.C.

Redtail said...

It has been posted here before that many of the problems at Eclipse were self-inflicted by their management staffers. One of those being Ken Harness. I believe it was mouse that reported all of the stupid failures related to decisions made by Harness. Well if you believe mouse, then here comes the death knoll for gunner... Ken Harness is leaving Eclipse to become the COO of Diamond. Gunner better hope mouse is as deluded and incompetent as the Faithful claim mouse is.

Gee, I'm glad I didn't buy three of those future lawn ornaments.

Redtail said...

By the way, N218JT is on the move and in Florida, per Flightaware.

EclipseBlogger said...

bill e. goat said... ...who cares.

Now I remember why I've stayed away for so long. Even accurate information gets a beating from the "critics". Even accurate information gets bent and twisted to suit the simple and skeptical minds of the "critics". This site is still more about bashing than seeking the truth. I guess truth just isn't as universal as some would believe.

mirage00 said...

Amusing, if you have no oney on the line...AMUSING? I fear not, for many folks.

Stop being so cavalier with other misfortune - amusing only to you...shows a disrespect and lack of empathy for anyone who has risked their deposit and progress payment - hundreds of millionsof dollars. You say amusing - how pathetic!


Oh please... what's amusing is your weak attempt to hide the anger with a sprinkle of compassion for the deposit holders... Here is an idea for you, call DayJet and ask them how the "paper" airplanes are doing.

Let the "anger" go!

I remain amused

double 00

FlightCenter said...

Eclipseblogger,

Thank you for your report from Mike Press.

I certainly appreciated it.

And the post was very interesting.

If the first aircraft with Avio NG will be serial #105, that would represent a pull-in from the last guidance provided by Eclipse on the subject.

Expectations had been set that NG could be as late as serial #134.

So there really must be good news on that front.

Eclipse did ship serial #39 with aero-mods, as promised.

So it seems that Eclipse has a better track record achieving milestones based on an aircraft serial # effectivity than based on dates.

Metal Guy said...

Anyone actually keeping an eye on the ball here? Dayjet is clearly the future (or death nail) for Eclipse.

Any updates on how their business model is “taking off”?

bill e. goat said...

"Even accurate information gets a beating from the "critics"...

Goat:
Uh, um, ah...sure...
-------------------------
"Now I remember why I've stayed away for so long."

Goat:
Please keep up the good work.

:0

No seriously, please do contribute to post "facts".

I remain amused.

bill e. goat said...

"Dayjet is clearly the future (or death nail) for Eclipse".

Goat:
I'd bet on the hammer...

bill e. goat said...

FC,
If the first aircraft with Avio NG will be serial #105, that would represent a pull-in from the last guidance provided by Eclipse on the subject.

Expectations had been set that NG could be as late as serial #134.

So there really must be good news on that front".

Goat:
FC, one of our fellow bloggers did provide the helpful info that there are only going to be 134 shipsets of Avio-old gen available from Avidyne.

Therefore, Eclipse must cert Avio-Ng before sn135 or so.

Other fellow bloggers have posted that it will be a "phased" approach, sort of like the airplane itself.

Regarding the "good news", I think Eclipse also "announced" that Avio-Ng was going to be ready by sn54, if I remember correctly, some time back...I forget if that was before or after they said they were going to deliver 500 airplanes this year, or maybe before or after they said it was going to be 402.

I'm sorry, but I keep getting the "facts" confused...

bill e. goat said...

"I guess truth just isn't as universal as some would believe".

Goat:
Seeing is believing.
THAT'S pretty universal.

I don't see Avio-NG yet.

When I see it, I'll believe it.

bill e. goat said...

I do appologize if I seemed unnappreciative of EB's sharing his visit with Mike Press.

I appreciate him sharing it, but am incredulous that ANYONE would believe ANYTHING schedule-related that comes out from Eclipse...

Sincere thanks, EB, for sharing your visit details with us.

cj3driver said...

MetalGuy said;
“… Anyone actually keeping an eye on the ball here? Dayjet is clearly the future (or death nail) for Eclipse.
Any updates on how their business model is “taking off”? …”

MG,

The DayJet fleet flew two missions today.

DJS119 flew GNV-LAL-BCT-GNV 3 hrs total.

DJS132 flew GNV-GNV 1hr (obviously maintanence check)

I hope they do better tomorrow.
FlightCenter reported 60 hours total last week.

DayJet was scheduled to receive 8 more aircraft last week, bringing their fleet to 20 planes.

… Maybe all the pilots went to ABQ for the pick-up.

cj3driver said...

According to FlightCenter’s data, 12 of the next 20 Eclipse’s (thru S/N #75) are DayJet aircraft, scheduled to be delivered last week and this week. This will put the DayJet fleet at 24 aircraft. DayJet will have the capacity to run about 200 hours per day (6am-11pm 50% utilization). My guess is at least 75-100 hours per day to break even (3-4 hours revenue per plane).

So far, with all the years of anticipation, advertising, press, national TV, memberships, PR parties, ribbon cuttings and Gala events, … DayJet flew 60 trips last week, and 3 today.

I figured that the first few weeks/months would be booked to capacity as members anxious to try out this new revolutionary service would rush to be the first, or at least anxious to get out of their cars and experience private jet travel … (literally a bargain at $1 per mile).

But, … Tomorrow is another day … Jet.

Niner Zulu said...

Obviously Dayjet is not going to survive very long flying only 60 trips per week.

I wonder how they intend to bring in more business. What is going to be the catalyst? The cash burn rate for a fleet of jets and infrastructure is going to be tremendous - their pockets had better be deep. They appear to be getting off to a very slow start.

It is so much better be on the sidelines, seeing this whole story unfold, instead of having $600k on the line and nervously watching Dayjet flail knowing that their and Eclipse's fortunes are so closely intertwined.

airsafetyman said...

“… Anyone actually keeping an eye on the ball here? Dayjet is clearly the future (or death nail) for Eclipse."

should be death "knell". Knell is the ringing of a bell, especially slowly. In the Middle Ages when one of your fellow gomers croaked they rang the church bell to let you know.

mouse said...

I'd give DayJet some breathing room. Most new businesses need many months to get up to speed.

Ed is a smart, patient guy. I do not believe in their model at all, however they deserve a chance to try it, and if they are sharp, modify on-the-fly (no pun intended, but I'll take it) to adapt to their customers needs.

If they can support themselves for 6 months they might just be able to pull something off, however they need a fully functioning airplane to get a fair chance, and this is where Eclipse is letting them down.

I'm sure their model is not computing the restrictive nature of the aircraft and when it can not be dispatched due to weather.

If DayJets collapses I see a very good chance of them taking legal action against Eclipse for failing to deliver them the plane they purchased.

DayJet is entitled to a fair chance by everyone. Let them sink or swim on their own... They may never get the chance...

Shame on Vern...

bill e. goat said...

Thanks ASM,
I think DayFret might be the final knell in the coffin though...

ExEclipser said...

9Z: That complaintsboard.com nonsense was posted on September 7th - nearly a full month before service started. You can argue that it could have been a "pre-open" guest, but I doubt that a typical DayJet customer would have such poor grammar.

I hope this rumor about Ken Harness is true. OH how neato that would be if he left Eclipse!

Finally, can someone just confirm that Gunner is OK? I don't care if he's here or not, but I hope he's OK.

FlightCenter said...

Vern talks to ANN about buying Columbia - "no way" and other things, like how many airplanes will be delivered this year.

Between 100 - 120.

Avio NG "within a month"


Eclipse Skewers Rumor

bill e. goat said...

Mouse,

"Most new businesses need many months to get up to speed"

Goat:
Most air taxi companies start modestly, and at best, remain modestly successful. Big Ed is going for a home run, but I think the game has already been played before...
--------------------------
"Ed is a smart, patient guy...they need a fully functioning airplane to get a fair chance, and this is where Eclipse is letting them down".

Goat:
Surely, avionics and icing equipment limitations are a concern, but I think by the time Dayjet has the critical mass of aircraft the intend, those limitations will be removed. Late start for Dayjet, yeah, but I don't think a big deal, as they were pretty much in a low-cash-flow holding pattern until the arrival.

(The delays did cause them to overshoot the press hype they had laid out though, but I think the only expense involved was re-gening press releases).

I don't think the E-500 will be the spoiler here- I think the business model will be the demise of Dayjet. Six months of profitability? I don't see how they'll have ANY months of profitablility. I think like Eclipse-present gen, it is just a matter of time until red ink on board brings it down.

One subtle difference though- I think the Eclipse BoD is actively scheming to dump the company, with a facade of "We're 'almost profitable'- look at all the deliveries!" (That's my read on the rush to first flight, rush to cert, rush to production, rush to immature deliveries- to create the facade of
1) Completed design
2) Completed testing
3) Completed manufacturing infrastructure
4) "Thousands" (tm) of orders.

I think Big Ed's scheme will fizzle without such pretense.
-----------------------
"If DayJets collapses I see a very good chance of them taking legal action against Eclipse for failing to deliver them the plane they purchased".

I think Ed might of hyped Vern, rather than vice-versa, on the potential of air taxi's, steering our dear, gullable Vern away from the owner-flown market, into the next mega-trend. Don't know, maybe they had too much to drink somewhere, and got to talking about "what could be" and decided to bet on it. I concur, Eclipse "could" deliver 2000, or 1500, or 1000, or 700, or 600, or 500, or well, I just can't keep it straight anymore, anyway, "bunches" of airplanes per year; and Big Ed's aerocab "could" use computers and ants and wiegie boards to schedule thousands of pax per mo.

Gotta give 'em both credit for trying. But sometimes, such over-the-top ludicrous assertions just smite of unflappable ignorance of history.
------------------------
Sorry I took some of the disdain of such smug ignorance out on EB last night.

Down right ungentlemanly of me, if I do say so myself.

I reckon I, as a critic at the time, was indulging is smug ignorance myself, regarding his conversation with an Eclipse pseudo-salesman. (Whom I'm sure put profit motives aside despite the fact he has over two dozen listed to sell).

http://www.spjets.com/positions.htm

WhyTech said...

fc said:

"Whytech, or other folks from the financial world - Any comments on what you would expect if you were investing?"

You got it right - cash is king. At this stage of the game, FASB accounting is just marks on a piece of paper. Cash is all that matters until the co. is cash flow positive - way into the future for Eclips. New investors want to know how much time their cash will buy and where the next round (of cash)is coming from.

WT

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