Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eclipse CEO Blames Supplier for Problems

By Andrew Webb

Albuquerque Journal

Eclipse founder and CEO Vern Raburn on Wednesday lashed out at Hampson Aerospace, claiming it supplied poor-quality parts and is a significant contributor to production ramp-up delays that have plagued Eclipse.

Hampson, a U.K.-based company that builds tail sections for Eclipse at a Texas plant, sued the light jet manufacturer in state District Court in Albuquerque on Tuesday for allegedly failing to make required payments.

In a telephone interview while returning from the Dubai Airshow, Raburn told the Journal the problem was caused by Hampson's "lack of performance"— not Eclipse's inability to pay.

"I'm sad that they've chosen to take this approach and play this as a financial issue, when the real issue is they've had pretty horrendous quality problems," he said.

"We've had to spend hours solving their quality problems."

A lawyer representing Hampson said delays were caused not by Hampson but by multiple modification requests made by an "inexperienced" engineering staff at Eclipse.

The rest of the story is on line - www.abqjournal.com

312 comments:

1 – 200 of 312   Newer›   Newest»
JetProp Jockey said...

The following is my post which become the last one on the prior thread. Based on the information above, it appears to be a pretty good analysis of the situation.

Repost:

Gadfly

Thanks for your insights into how things work in the aerospace industry. I assumed that there are big costs involved in "tooling up" for a major system and a second source would be difficult to develop.

The interesting part that I find when I read the limited information presented by the press is as follows:

The vendor had certain obligations realtive to a product to be supplied and Eclipse had an obligation relative to the time and amount of payment for those services.

There was some difficulties between the two parties. Apparently one issue was that Eclipse was not making timely payments. Reading between the lines I would assume there were issues relative to the quality of the product provided.

This resulted in a revised agreement. All we know about this agreement is that Hampson agreed to extended payment terms. Again reading between the lines, Eclipse must have agreed to some relaxation of specifications.

Now, it appears that Eclipse is not meeting the payments of the revised agreement, hense the legal action.

BUT, Eclipse wants to have the court require the conditions of the first agreement to be imposed - My interperation - Hampson is meeting the requirements of the revised agreement and wants to be paid. Eclipse doesn't want to pay and thinks the old specs should be imposed.

Unless there was a really bad attorney reviewing the documents, the first agreement become null and void the day the second agreement was signed.

Unless there is some reason the the courts seal the documents for this action, the actual complaint should be public information and privide some interesting reading

Ken Meyer said...

Then there is this, from a well-respected analyst who doesn't seem to see the doom and gloom you guys do:

Mike Boyd, president of The Boyd Group, an aviation consulting company in Evergreen, Colo., said Eclipse has "got a product that a lot of people are clawing for. They'll give up Santa Claus if they could get it early."

He told The Associated Press that he is "not worried about the product or the demand."


And neither am I. This is a great plane. I had to pass up a chance to fly one tomorrow, and that's a bummer.

Ken

Stan Blankenship said...

Earlier today, an employee for one of the vendors sent this in an e-mail:

Quote

So we suffer because our name is on a product that may perform not as desired because we can't afford to work for free.

And in the end Eclipse gets their name tarnished but so do we.

Economics drives the whole thing.

Engineers always have in their mind how to improve or make something better.

Accountants tell us when we're allowed to do it. Sometimes they tell us when to stop trying.

In addition to suffering economically for taking part in the whole Eclipse debacle, if other suppliers are like us, they will suffer further name tarnishing because they can't afford to make improvements on their products.

End quote

Shane Price said...

This is C R A Z Y...

Eclipse want to ditch a revised agreement, signed earlier this year, because it was 'procured by fraud'

???

Who was defrauding whom? Hampsons were already supplying Eclipse, at an agreed rate. Vern needs to change the deliveries, because he can't build it fast enough. OK, that's allowed.

Now, Hampsons deliver at the revised agreed rate, and want paying.

Vern won't (or can't) pay.

The English, being a bit sensible, (as they tend to be) seek the protection of the courts.

And Vern says THEY have failed HIM?

Words fail me....

Shane
PS Not a peep about the '12' plane order...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS UP!!!

Cardinal Ken's new favorite analyst Mike Boyd had this to say at his recent Forecast Meeting:

"Another current "trend that isn't'" is the growing concept that intra-regional airline travel has more than a sno-cone's chance in Miami of survival. Being peddled to communities like snake oil, whether it's on-demand air taxi or scheduled flights, write this down: it's a lost cause.

In the case of scheduled intrastate or intra-regional service with independently branded C-402s or Piper Navajos, or Queen Airs or the like, unless the competition is a raft - i.e., the service is the only alternative to a boat trip, like the Cape & Islands - the deal's dead on arrival."

Boy you sure can pick 'em Ken. Either Boyd is right and everybody wants one as you assert here, or Boyd is right that air taxi, 60+% of the vaporware orderbook at Eclipse, is DOA.

Boyd may not be concerned about Eclipse product or demand because neither is in great supply.

Ken Meyer said...

I think he's exactly right, Wet Fish--air taxi operations to date have failed to excite the market precisely because the operators did not have available to them the kind of modern yet cost-effective jet that Eclipse brings to the table. The average passenger doesn't want to hop on an old prop plane, and most cannot afford to charter a CJ or Hawker.

Remember, this company correctly forecast the downfall of the turboprop regional airliner. They recognized that people don't want to fly prop planes. Tht's why regional jets have been such a big success.

The same evolution is taking place before your eyes in the air taxi market, and you just can't see it. But whether you can or not, it's still a fact--people don't want to fly prop planes, and the Eclipse will succeed because it opens up on-demand jet transportation to a whole new segment of the population.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

You give cognitive dissonance new life every day.

Boyd is talking platform indepependent, the model, intra-regional air service, air-taxi as DOA - and like the TP RJ, he may be right.

He said nothing of the sort of your blind faith driven statement that the plane is the issue - the business model is the issue, and it is DOA.

Can I get a witness! Amen.

Shane Price said...

Ken,

....it's still a fact--people don't want to fly prop planes, and the Eclipse will succeed because it opens up on-demand jet transportation to a whole new segment of the population.

Not enough people will notice the difference. Joe Public will go online to book from A to B, seek the best fare and click 'Purchase Now'.

I don't have any facts to back up this up, but then neither do you.

Just my 'native Irish' common sense, and an observation that most of the people I meet never talk about the aircraft they flew on. They make remarks about the airport facilites, the airline staff, the delays at the car hire desk etc etc.

But what aircraft they were on? Most don't know, and care less.

Shane

ItsJustSad said...

So... which, exactly, is the more likely scenario here?

a) An established aviation parts supplier, recently awarded a contract to supply a similar component for Honda's upcoming VLJ offering, bungled each and every tail assembly delivered to Eclipse. Oh, and let's note the aforesaid company also had four years to "get it right," as Eclipse failed repeatedly to deliver anywhere close to the number of aircraft promised to customers...

OR...

2) A failing aircraft maker, unable to pay its bills and desperate to assign blame anywhere other than the corner office, LIES in claiming the established aviation parts supplier can't get a relatively simple T-tail assembly right for its "REVOLUTIONARY" aircraft.

Gee... let me think here... this is so hard to figure out...

Black Dog said...

Got to feel sorry for Hampson with this one.
The whole program was built and based on VOLUME production so they produce parts to meet volume and Eclipse change the design.
Hundreds of scrap parts manufactured to the old design.
Hampson again work round the clock manufacturing new parts to scheme data which then again changes,thus producing more scrap.

The logistics of the supply chain mean that Hampsons might well have produced parts for S/N 200 as Eclipse where assembling S/N 30 "hang on you Guys we need to change this Gurney flap again" and bang into the scrap bin go another bag of bits.

Anyone with an ounce of Engineering knowledge will tell you that you don't just mod high volume production tooling over night plus the cost for 5 axis machining is high plus CAD time,first article inspection and as with all A/C parts the paper work, its not cheap.

I doubt if any of the suppliers will have made any money when the whole sorry tale ends!

SRMach5 said...

CWMOR:

AMEN & HALLALUJAH!

All too often, there are two debates which occur on this Blog. One is the airplane, the other is the business model. Folks, CWMOR HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!

First the airplane. This is a nice aircraft for the couple who wants to fly to their second home with an additional passenger or two plus bags. Based on this assessment, a sound business model puts production at somewhere around 125-150 units a year with a price tag of $2M give or take $100K. The problem is nearly $100B has been invested into an aircraft which Vern described in one of his conference calls last year "There is no additional design margin".

Does everyone know why the CJ is so successful? Besides the fact that Cessna is a solid company and operates on true business principles. The CJ is SCALEABLE! What are they up to now? Isn't it SEVEN versions of the original CJ? (The original CJ, CJ1, CJ1+, CJ2, CJ2+, CJ3, & CJ4)

Eclipse Aviation Company does not make business sense, because they can not do anything with the design anymore. They have to go to a clean sheet design, hence Paul. You know, Rob from Peter (EA500) to pay for Paul (V-Tail).

Now, as for the EA500. Yes, it has a future, however; as yours truly sees it, the only way 'Peter' or 'Paul' continues to be produced is post chapter 11, with a different ownership group, and with a different business model.

Contrary to popular belief, no one wants to see Eclipse fail. Simply because, if they are successful, it makes the whole industry more successful. The reality is though that based on the current business model and 'limited design margin', they are headed for the Abyss. Anyone who does not see that at this point is on some REALLY good drugs.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Vern's interview is a 'shot across the bow' for any other suppliers that he will bad mouth them publicly if they go after him for failure to meet his obligations.

Eclipse had that ridiculous suit against the guys at Aspen, sued Williams, has been sued by Paul Marino Guage and a bunch of other companies.

Stand by for the faithful to explain how all the formerly world-class partners - that is, they were world-class when the announcments were made to bring money in out of escrow and from the investment community - how all of these formerly world-class vendors, vendors like Williams, BAe Systems, DeVore, Nordam, Avidyne, etc., all failed Eclipse.

Vern needs to remember that basic lesson that when you point the finger at someone else, there are 3 pointing back at you.

gadfly said...

JPJ

You are correct in much of what you say.

Tooling for one costs as much as tooling for a thousand. The aim of the “vendor” is to remove the human element as much as possible, to assure precision AND consistency. Sometimes, a customer will imply large future orders, to “pressure” a lower price up front, then look for an excuse to walk away from future obligations, when things don’t go well. And the vendor is often left “holding the bag”, with unique tooling, for which he has no other use. It’s an old, old story . . . often repeated.

In this case, we outsiders do not know all the issues, and can only make “educated” guesses. But one thing is sure, the little jet cannot fly without its tail feathers. And any new vendor must build expensive tooling, which takes time, and repeat the same exercise as the “old” vendor. So, unless Eclipse has a warehouse full of “feathers”, waiting to be attached, the prognosis for future “little jets” does not look good.

And the aviation world looks on . . . and wonders.

gadfly

(Years ago, we decided to guarantee our work, forever, with no strings attached. Twice, customers used that as an excuse to get out of completing their obligations. But we “licked our wounds” and got on with life. Such a policy has saved many a relationship, and overall, has turned out well . . . most of our customers have proved to be honorable.)

airtaximan said...

from AIN:

"read between the lines" - some asshole airtaximan has been saying this for two years...

"Another Supplier Scuffle at Eclipse Aviation
On Tuesday, Eclipse 500 empennage assembly supplier Hampson Aerospace filed a lawsuit against Eclipse Aviation in the New Mexico Second District Court for failing to pay Hampson “in accordance with the schedule and under the terms set out” in a contract. As per the agreement, Eclipse must purchase a minimum number of shipsets from Hampson or pay for that number each calendar year by November 30. The lawsuit says Eclipse has made only a partial payment (in March) but has refused to pay the amount due by the end of this month, even after Hampson agreed to revise the payment schedule. Eclipse is now claiming the agreement “was procured by fraud” and told the Albuquerque Journal that the assemblies Hampson supplied had nonconforming components, alignment problems and poor riveting, among other problems. Hampson finance director Howard Kimberly told AIN, “We don’t enter into litigation lightly. Eclipse has forced us to take this action, but we hope it will be resolved amicably.” He also took exception to Eclipse’s claim that the empennage assemblies were not up to quality standards: “We’re a first-tier supplier to Boeing, Airbus and Hawker Beechcraft, and we’ve recently been selected to supply the empennage for the HondaJet. Honda has the most demanding quality standards, so I’ll let you read between the lines here.”

airtaximan said...

commentary:

I wonder how everyone feels about a supplier who was so terrible, their parts were non conforming, they did shoddy work, and everything required re-work by the "non-manufacturer"...

This is a pretty dumb way to handle this...that's for sure. UNLESS you have no money.

Black Dog said...

Trust me Howard Kimberly is a smart cookie.

I think I know who I would trust!

airtaximan said...

how do you spell... FAA Audit?

SRMach5 said...

You know, it occurs to me.....If the Hampson tail assembly is full of problems when they take delivery of it, what are they doing to remedy the 'poor workmanship'?

airtaximan said...

"Raburn told the Journal the problem was caused by Hampson's "lack of performance"— not Eclipse's inability to pay"

I wonder what the amount is that they CAN pay but are not paying?

Missed purchasing targets- I wonder what rediculous number Vern agreed to, in order to get a nice low price on the parts? I wonder how much penalty there is? The initial agreed to contract was "the largest single contract ever awarded to Hampson and reflects Eclipse's commitment to partner with the most capable suppliers worldwide. The contract has an estimated value of $380 million USD." (At the time they were doing 75M Pounds turnover).

(all based on the $975k airplane)

sooo... start cyphering. Either they promised GIANT production volume, or EACH emmpenage cost a lot... either way, its probably a nice big number.

Black Dog said...

sooo... start cyphering. Either they promised GIANT production volume, or EACH emmpenage cost a lot... either way, its probably a nice big number.

Try the production volume.

Its hard to produce volume when you keep changing your mind as to what you want!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Simple fact of the matter is that one reason for a high number of non-conforming parts can be a lack of configuration control by the folks who designed the part - say by releasing new drawings or spec controls and then mistakenly trying to hold parts produced to earlier revisions accountable to the new standards.

Lemme see, who would have designed the tail section for the Eclipse? And who receives it and should inspect it at that point? Hmmmmmm.

Another reason could be the afore mentioned issue of the tolerances themselves being impractically tight - with normal stack up any assembly could end up out of tolerance and therefore non-conforming.

Lemme see, who would have set the tolerances for the tail section for the Eclipse? And who receives it and should inspect it at that point? Hmmmmmm.

The non-conformance could be the result of re-work, by Hampson or Eclipse, made without supporting engineering.

It could just be poor quality on Hampson's part as Vern suggests, but Boeing, Airbus, and Hawker-Beechcraft do not tolerate those kinds of quality issues in my experience.

Add in HondaJet's selection and I have all the character witnesses I need to make a decision, especially in light of the 'failure' of the other world-class vendors I mentioned above including BAe Systems, DeVore, Williams, and more.

It is obvious to anyone with eyes open exactly who is failing.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls Faithful, it tolls for thee.

Dave said...

As per the agreement, Eclipse must purchase a minimum number of shipsets from Hampson or pay for that number each calendar year by November 30. The lawsuit says Eclipse has made only a partial payment (in March) but has refused to pay the amount due by the end of this month, even after Hampson agreed to revise the payment schedule.

So if I understand this, this relates to last calendar year's production given how November 30th is referenced, which has to be last year. This apparently doesn't even relate to what they owe for this calendar year. Here's a reference (from Eclipse's own website) stating how Eclipse expected to produce 1500 jets a year. Hampson Dallas facility was to ramp up to 135 employees (with an average salary of $45K per year) this calendar year just for the Eclipse business. Per the contract, whether Eclipse orders the tails or not, they still have to pay for the minimum order amount. It will be very interesting to see how Eclipse negotiated the contract with the volume. It sounds like Hampson was smart in protecting themselves where they'd get paid whether the volume was there or not.

Steven H said...

> The problem is nearly $100B has
> been invested into an aircraft
> which Vern described in one of
> his conference calls last year
> "There is no additional design
> margin".

Is the a confusion between US and European billion? Because as of 2003 Eclipse was reporting $385 million in equity investment. I doubt even the Magic Vern could have found another 99,600,000,000 USD in investment!

sPh

Gunner said...

If we take Vern at his word, then he ACCEPTED shoddy workmanship on a MAJOR AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY, massaged the pieces and threw 'em on to planes. This must really give the current owners the warm fuzzies. Afetr all, what's not to like?

It's time to stop "reading between the lines" and draw some pretty supportable conclusions:

1) This many Tier 1 aircraft vendors can't possibly be as poorly run as Vern's claims. The obvious conclusion? Eclipse MANAGEMENT is World Class Incompetent. Period. End of subject.

2) Anybody who has ever owned a business larger than the local Mail Boxes Etc can deduce what happened here:

Hampson produced (as so many others have). Eclipse couldn't pay (as has happened before). Hampson, given little choice to recoup their investment, eased up the terms in hopes of making a bad situation tolerable. Eclipse still didn't pay. Hampson negotiated. Vern turned his pockets inside out. Hampson sued. Vern dragged out the "incompetent vendor" PR Comedy Skit, as though Vern actually has any credibility left among sentient life forms.

3) If Hampson couldn't get paid, there's LOTS of other Vendors in the same position. And guess what? When the first major vendor-creditor moves to get to the front of the Creditor Line, the others have little choice but to try to protect their own P&L's.

Stay tuned. This is just the beginning of Eclipse's Legal Battles.

Gunner

Dave said...

When the first major vendor-creditor moves to get to the front of the Creditor Line, the others have little choice but to try to protect their own P&L's.

In BK the largest creditor has the most say, though there's different types of creditors. If the contract is still basically the same with a total size of around $300 million USD, Hampson could heavily dictate what happens to Eclipse should Eclipse file for BK.

Gunner said...

Dave-
The largest creditor has the most clout, by no means the best legal position. (In fact, all things being equal, they will inevitably lose the greatest number of dollars). Those with perfected claims, however, go to the front of the line, amounts not withstanding. That's the shot that Hampson has just fired...expect others to follow suit (pardon the pun).

The debtor quite often has no say in the bankruptcy decision. It can be imposed by as few as two or three creditors (vendors).
Gunner

SRMach5 said...

Steve H - Sorry, I meant $1B, not $100B.

Dave said...

I forgot to add the link from Eclipse's website where it talks about the production rate and the deal with Hampson:
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewarticle&id=963&Itemid=347
Hopefully all those people that Hampson hired for the Eclipse contract wont lose their jobs. It's hard to believe that Eclipse said they'd be manufacturing 1500 jets let alone 750. Even if they could manufacture 1500 jets a year, who is going to buy that many?

FlightCenter said...

CWMR said,

YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS UP!!!

Here is my candidate for quote of the day.

"We spend way too much time fixing what should have been done right to begin with," added Raburn.

And everyone said, "Amen".

Tail Vendor Sues Company

Shane Price said...

FlightCentre,

Even Captain Zoom is confused.

I wonder if he has been paid for the ad that's running right beside the story about another supplier 'under the bus'?

Hampson are able to meet several high quality vendor requirements.

What's so special about the E500?

Mouse may prove to have been optimistic, when he predicted December 15th as D-Day.

Shane

Ringtail said...

These types of disputes are fairly common in business. I'm sure Cessna, Boeing, Hawker, Airbus, etc., etc. etc. all have their share of disputes right now with suppliers/partners. We do not know what the Acceptance terms in the agreement are/were. We are speculating that Eclipse has Accepted the Material. Maybe, they have not. OTOH, I am surprised that the agreement did not have an arbitration clause for dispute resolution as opposed to going straight to the court system.

Ringtail said...

Stan,

When are we going to get the report on the AFM? Are there really CG issues? I see a lot of these planes flying regularely. Is the FAA in on it also?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Was going back through smoe old posts and found this little nugget from Eclipse Insider from just over a year ago - wanted to bring it up for all the Faithful who constantly suggest the Blog is always wrong and will be going away any day now.

"Eclipse Insider said...
Stan,

Thank you for giving us an outlet to post our opinions/knowledge of the program. My position makes it difficult to reveal too many details, however, I will try to provide updates when possible.

I agree that the fun is just starting. They are now scrambling to comprehend what it takes to build just a few aircraft let alone hundreds. Managing their supply chain, in my opinion, will be the biggest hurdle. They have so many single source suppliers that one minor slip will cause an avalanche of delays. Avidyne was a perfect example. Time will tell.

Insider

2:37 PM, October 03, 2006 "

bill e. goat said...

FC/CWMOR,
You're right, truth is stranger than fiction!!!

(re: "We spend way too much time fixing what should have been done right to begin with," added Raburn).

In this case, irony is pretty moronic, I mean ironic, isn't it? :)

FlightCenter said...

Ringtail,

Actually these kinds of disputes (ones that result in lawsuits between vendor and supplier) are not all that common in the aviation industry, that's why they rate headlines.

JPJ,

You are right on the money; lawsuits are the absolute last resort, especially for vendors suing their customers.

It is a very small industry, everyone has a very long memory and there just aren't a lot of aircraft manufacturers out there.

Hampson has decided that they would rather not have Eclipse as a customer.

airtaximan said...

"I wonder what the amount is that they CAN pay but are not paying?"

Vern claims they CAN pay what they OWE... and this is central to his argument.

There's a funny thing about the law and lawyers. Onece you say "it's not that we can't pay"... the burden is in FACT on you to prove this as true, BEFORE you make counter claims and assert any other reason for not paying. Like quality, non performance, fraud...".

Dumb move on Vern's part, and a lie, I am sure. Here's why - the guy has an unquestionable track record for saying things like this, wwhen they are not true. They are an advanced warning shot... just read between the lines.

I suspect, as with all the other lies, this one will BITE him right where it counts. He's going to have to prove he could pay. And he cannot.

If he could pay, he would have fired them first for shoddy work, and not paid.

We all know, its not true.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Took a trip down memory lane lookiung through some of my older posts this year and found the following:

"10:42 AM, October 20, 2007
I still predict that FHI, Hampson or the outfit from South America will be the next major vendor to get tossed under the bus and within the next 2 to 6 months we will see major criticism of ISS (the 'new' world class vendor that replaced Avidyne and BAe Systems) from Eclipse re: schedule slips on Avio NfG.

10:25 PM, September 15, 2007
I am still waiting for Fuji, Hampson and another structural supplier to get tossed under the bus - it is only a matter of time.

7:29 PM, August 30, 2007
Given the past approach to other 'poor performing' vendors, how long until Eclipse fires Fuji or Hampson?

4:42 PM, July 27, 2007
Still waiting in the wings (ha ha) are the replacement of FHI, Hampson and a certain south-of-the-border nose supplier.

12:04 PM, March 17, 2007
CWMOR Prediction - next major supplier to get blamed for delivery delays and then publicly tossed under the bus is not located in the United States, and requires a VERY long airplane ride to reach.

12:51 PM, March 17, 2007
That is quite a tail PubGrubber, I aft'a give it to ya - it is hard to fuse the facts into a cohesive theory, but you could be right.

How about loser buys the winner a Guinness Stout."


Mouse and ATM provided insight throughout the same timeframe.

And what predictions were the Faithful making during this time?

That the blog was running out of steam and would flame out any day now.

I guess hindsight really is 20/20.

fly in the ointment said...

I've seen firsthand some of the crap that Hampson sent, I've seen assemblies sent back only to return with little or no re-work.
Hampson had a team sent here and many skins were removed, there was FOD everywhere, drillstrikes everywhere.
Every single H/Stab was inspected via fiberscopes, even on completed planes, it was not pretty. I replaced several horizontals myself.
Had this gone unnoticed till many months down the road and customers flying with these tails, you guys would still be bitching that Eclipse missed this huge SNAFU.
Yes, I am a disgruntled employee who has never had a raise while at Eclipse let alone a performance review, but you guys are all wet on this one.

FlightCenter said...

After reading the last comment I have a sick feeling in my stomach.

Ringtail said...

Fly,

Most of these guys never support Eclipse. IMO they fall into one or more of these categories:

*suppliers that did not get eclipse business
*A&Ps that were fired or passed over
**Engineers that were either fired or passed over
** other aircraft owners that feel their aircraft is threatened by the EA50
** Legacy airtaxi operators that do not have the financing to get into the new game
**investors that are jealous of Vern's ability to raise funding

rcflyer said...

fly in the ointment,

That can't be so: Hampson is a world-class aerospace supplier, selected by Honda, and if anyone knows aerospace, it's one of the world's largest car and motorcycle manufacturers.

Even if it is so, I'm guessing that the FOD and drillstrikes were caused by Eclipse specifying tolerances that were too tight.

R.C.

airtaximan said...

flyintheO,

Thanks for the insight.
E-clips is the manufacturer of the e-500, they selected and qualified and managed the suppliers of assemblies, and scoffed at the establishment all along.

I feel bad for you that you never got a raise or a review. Somehow, I am not surprised. I am sure you can sympathinze with Hampson who probably "never got a review" either.

i am sure you were called upon to do many things you were not hired to do, and never got a raise. Hampson is probably in the same boat.

Bottom line, after all the boasting and puffery that got e-clips where they are today, the reality is setting in. Ther claims about world class supplier selection, management and contracting were another load of BS.

Another load is the inspection and quality management process, which I guess allows for competely shoddy structural assemblies to be shipped and received... how much paperwork did you do to have the parts reworked and approved for flight?

What sorts of deals were made for the aero mods regarding the tails? Did you do these after the fact, as well?

I hope the handi work you did was fine craftsmanship. Especially in light of the "extra work" and additional effort you put in, without so much as a review.

Shameful.
No way to run an airplane non-manufacturing business.

I wondered for the last year what 1500 people were doing pumping out almost no planes since Q-1 06.

I have my answer - fixing shoddy structure supplied by the industries finest...

Whats not to love?

airtaximan said...

finally, some facts for ringtail...

nice comments regarding the critics.

Care to provide a theory as to how a supplier provides shit parts for two years and we only hear about it when they sue the manufacturer to get paid?

Naw... just make stuff up about the critics. Reality bites.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Yes, if the quality was as bad as FITO makes it out, then Eclipse should have terminated the relationship and found another source rather than place its' future at risk.

What part of 'the buck stops here' do you guys not understand? Apparently the same part Vern doesn't understand.

Eclipse makes the assertion that the plane is airworthy, Eclipse has the liability, Eclipse did the design, Eclipse qualified the vendor, Eclipse surveyed the vendor quality system and competency, Eclipse accepted the part, Eclipse installed the part on the plane.

The only part Hampson plays is the assembly of the empennage kit, the rest of it, including the elements that matter, are played by Eclipse.

The real question remains, why do so many otherwise excellent suppliers have so much trouble with Eclipse?

Ringtail said...

Airtaxi,

If somebody sells something to you and it does not meet the specs, do you pay them? I hope not. I speculate that there is a conformity to specifications breach.

You guys are bashing eclipse just like you did when Vern told the last round of funders to get %#c&ed when they imposed last minute demands. This is no different...it's called running the business.

ItsJustSad said...

rcflyer said:

"That can't be so: Hampson is a world-class aerospace supplier, selected by Honda, and if anyone knows aerospace, it's one of the world's largest car and motorcycle manufacturers."

You're right about Honda's limited aerospace experience, but consider this -- the company has taken a very cautious approach to the aviation segment, beginning work in the late 1980s and flying the current HA420 in 2003. In that time, the company has learned its lessons -- as is the Honda way.

Fact is, Honda hasn't built its reputation for quality and excellence in the automotive, marine, hardware, and motorcycle segments by relying on third-rate suppliers. And I highly doubt the company wants to risk that reputation with a highly-visible aircraft project.

Lastly, I know it's comparing apples to oranges, but step into a new Honda Accord sometime -- or, for that matter, an eight-year-old Civic. Feel the quality of the materials and craftsmanship Honda demands of its engineering staff, and its suppliers.

Then, step into an Eclipse 500, and see the level of "quality" that company demands of its workers and suppliers. And try not to break anything.

mouse said...

Hey Ken, Go read up on ATR, and then tell us all about Turboprop Regional Airliners.

Planes should be selected based on the mission, not the glamour. Air taxi's should be designed to carry people, not person.

If you want an Eclipse, go buy one. You will never see #151, so you better make an offer on something quick.

While you're at it, but a nice sturdy steel post and sink it in your backyard... that way you can save on hangar costs and removing cobwebs from your EA-500... and you can wake up and look at it whenever you want....

If you have any money left over, you might by a ladder so you can climb up in it and make "zoom-zoom" sounds too...

Gunner said...

Personally, I'm quite embarrassed by my own comments here.

This SNAFU is clearly an isolated case. Just one more of yesterday's "World Class Suppliers" that Eclipse has outed as a has-been. Piss on Hampson.

And Williams.
And BAE.
And Devore.
And Aerazur.
And Avidyne.

Bush League Players, all.

Congrats to Vern for standing up to the waste, inefficiency and, yes, FRAUD that plagues this industry. Cudos to Him for exposing their capitalistic gluttony.

The Eclipse 500 is certain to usher in a New Era of quality and dependability for the Rising Proletariat. Just look at their Track Record (and pricing) for proof.

-Insert Commercial Break for Two Minutes Hate Period Here-

How on earth has aviation survived this long without Eclipse "looking out for you"?

Gunner
ps: Not feeling the need to be nearly as Politically Correct as most, I gotta tell y'all. I am positively Rolling on the Floor, Laughing My Ass Off.

Yes, lots of people are gonna lose their jobs; and it's gonna get ugly; and we're all gonna try to help. But lots of people lost their jobs when Moe, Larry and Curly left the air, also. We laughed all the way to the Exit....mainly because we didn't get it and didn't know what other reaction would be more appropriate.

I mean, just picture it:
Danny Devito signing a Major League Baseball contract and stepping up to the plate for the first time, after a Press Conference talking about "showing 'em how it's REALLY don".

Thus I sit here, watching this train wreck in ABQ and wondering what other appropriate reaction I might have. For lack of an alternative, I ROTFLAMAO.

Get over it

mouse said...

The elevator surfaces have not been fitting onto the brackets from day one on the Hampson tails. I will promise you that Hampson is the only supplier delivering parts precisely to the drawing requirements.

Each and every drawing has a temperature variation on 70 deg F, +/- 2 degs. According to my calculations, the 15-20% of te time the elevators actually fit the brackets is a direct result of temperature relationship.

I can also assure you that not one of the parts is manufactured, inspected, QA'd, or assembled in accordance with the temperature variation. This is a violation of the Eclipse's Quality Control System and the FAR's.

These issues also seem to imply to an educated person that there is no way the plane ever met conformity prior to, during, or at any period since certification.

Further more, unless each EA-500 has an MEL in place, I do not know how they can be certified with anything inop, unless of course the certification is for the current configuration and none of the systems are capable of being returned to service once enabled or installed without a new type certification inspection and approval, and this means all flight testing must be re-demonstrated and accepted.

I think the fallout on this house of cards is going to be very far reaching, and the FAA is going to go down with Eclipse...

I welcome any comments from those with the experience to understand... (Ken, it ain't you and your amused, confused, dazed, pals either...)

FlightCenter said...

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/about/partners


FILE NOT FOUND: about/partners
404: Not Found
Sorry, but the content you requested could not be found

It appears that Eclipse is modifying its list of partners.

mouse said...

Shane, it's not a prediction... However the date may be accelerated now that the Hampson filing came faster than was thought possible...

FlightCenter said...

For those of you who want a copy of the partners page for posterity, Google has it cached here.

mouse said...

Ringtail,

Of course Eclipse accepted the parts, otherwise there would not be any deliveries... The process of approval is what brought each of the now flying tails to life...

mouse said...

I am now beginning to think that Vern pressured the Hampson suit to give him his "out" when they file next month.

KNowing how he operates, hanging out at a bus stop is the perfect location when you need a bus around to throw someone under.

The whole Hampson/vendor issue is also what I have been trying to point out since I have been on this site... There is nobody dumb enough to buy out Eclipse.

They have no solid design...

They make nothing, and at the mercy of their vendors, whom they treat like crap...

The warranty issues yet to come are a liability nobody can afford...

The life span of the lightweight airframe and systems is below marginal on it's best day...

And the performance is only acceptable to someone like Ken who flies one of the biggest failures in Cessna's long history... The plane is a properless single engine turboprop with 1 engine in two positions at the same time...

mouse said...

And all that rework means should a repair ever need to be made, chances are there is no allowable tolerance left in which to make the repair. The rivets and holes have already been oversized to the maximum allowable, so it will take engineering data acceptable to the administrator to make the repair... If you own an Eclipse that means you better have deep pockets to hire your DER's and engineers to develop repairs, because the "non-factory" team will be scattered to the winds...

Lloyd said...

I was at the factory last month. Multiple tail sections were being re-worked on the floor, and comments were made about them slowing the line at that time. I believe that there is at least some truth to Eclipse's statement regarding poor quality of the product being delivered.

fred said...

it's getting more and more hilarious ...
so Hampsongroup is a worthless bunch of wankers ??

poor Vern , since he is relying so much on Money Market for surviving , i just wonder what the market is going to think between a delaware (remenber delaware= no liabilities whatsoever...) almost broke(?) firm and a supersize group quoted on London Stock Exchange ...?? (meanning = analyst are bad , Hampson is bad and market is wrong to give them any credit ... wonder what would be the result in USA , where religion is "market IS ALLWAYS right" :-)) )

and i wonder what EASA is going to think when Eclipse is going to try to get a certificate for european market (if ever , i doubt it very much...) , since "Airbus" is a customer of Hampson , i suppose they (EASA) are going to be impressed by a schmuck stating that all Hampsongroup's parts on planes have to be re-qualified ?? (underlining = staff at EASA did such a great job on Airbus , they didn't see "some" parts were worthless )

i wonder as well what peoples at FAA may feel , if they european counterpart are in such troubles , hence how EA500 could get certified ??

i tell you , since TV series witers are on strike , may be big networks should hire Vern ...!! :-))

frederick ,j.p.h.b. said...

sorry ...!

it can be funny ONLY for the one holding a spectator seat...

for the followers of the church of Verntology , i admit being blasphemous ... :-))

for the position holder , may be it's time to waive your cash goodbye (?) !
(no ! don't reach for a lawyer ! you'll have nothing else than the lawyer's bills ... no one can shave an egg , so they say !)

it's strange adolph Hitler said once "if you want a whole nation to believe you , you have to make the lies as big as possible"

may be vern read "mein Kampf" ? (G.W.Bush for sure has read it ?!!)

but he jumped the chapter where he said " you just have to be carreful not to fall in your own trap , or getting crossed by having to make bigger and bigger lies to keep some credibility... :-))

Stan Blankenship said...

From my morning mail:

Dear Stan Blankenship

A few comments:

a) In support of Hampson’s effort to secure the Eclipse contract, the UK government stepped in and backed Hampson with public funds (ie tax payer’s money). There will be repercussions.

b) Hampson plc owns a number of companies worldwide. One of these subsidiaries is a Texas manufacturer named Texstars, Inc which was acquired in Dec 2004 and added to the group’s Transparencies, Composites and Plastic division. In May 2006, Texstars signed a 5 year, $75 million contract with Eclipse to supply the composite engine nacelle assemblies for the E500. This is a separate contract, over and above the original agreement involving Hampson’s Aerospace Fabrications and Assemblies division for supply of the empennage.

Best Regards

airsafetyman said...

"I believe that there is at least some truth to Eclipse's statement regarding poor quality of the product being delivered."

Then why did not Eclipse have an inspector in residence at the Hampson factory in Grand Prairie, Texas, to sign off on the assemblies BEFORE they were shipped? Hampson may have had to rework nearly completed tails time and time and time again to incorporate design changes from an inexperienced design group at Eclipse.

Turboprop_pilot said...

An Al Mann story in today’s NY Times

“Betting an Estate on Inhaled Insulin”
By Andrew Pollack

Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug company just took a huge writeoff on inhaled insulin. “But last month, after selling only $12 million worth of inhaled insulin in the first nine months of the year, Pfizer said it would take a $2.8 billion charge and abandon the product.”

“Mr. Mann, the 82-year-old chief executive and controlling shareholder of the MannKind Corporation, is not deterred.” “So far, Mr. Mann has invested $566 million in MannKind and owns just under half the company. He has also agreed to lend it an additional $350 million. The total of $916 million represents a “big part” of his estate, he said,..”

“I don’t know of an individual who has spent as much of a personal fortune on a long shot,” said Andrew Forman, an analyst with WR Hambrecht & Company.

Al seems to have the same faith in Eclipse but may not be willing to keep on tossing money into Vern’s pot when his estate is shrinking with spending on a true aid to mankind. This next round of financing will be interesting to watch.

TP

HotDog said...

The following press release was released regarding the auction of aircraft serial # 82.


Best regards,

Eclipse Aviation Customer Care


+++ PRESS RELEASE +++

Eclipse Aviation to Launch Second Eclipse 500 Online Sale

VLJ leader continues successful partnership with eBay

ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- November 15, 2007 -- Following the success of its first online listing, Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world's first very light jet (VLJ), today announced that it will list another Eclipse 500 aircraft. This second auction, provided through a private label online marketplace powered by eBay, is part of a continuing program to sell early position Eclipse 500s. The auction will begin at 8:00 a.m. PST November 19, 2007 and conclude at 5:00 p.m. PST November 29, 2007. The aircraft's serial number is 000082 and will be available for customer delivery in Albuquerque in early December 2007.

Eclipse Aviation's first online sale concluded when Morten Wagner, a private pilot from Denmark, successfully placed his winning bid right before the online auction closed. More than 200 people were registered on the Eclipse private online marketplace for the first listing.

"We're proud to continue our partnership with eBay, the online marketplace pioneer," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. "We received a considerable amount of interest in our first online endeavor and are excited to offer another opportunity to buy and receive an Eclipse 500 now."

The 11-day auction is available to existing Eclipse Aviation Bidders' Club members, as well as anyone interested in purchasing an Eclipse 500. The Bidders' Club, which was originally offered in May 2000, accrues its members Eclipse dollars to allocate toward the auction purchase. While this program is no longer available, non-members who place the same $5,000 refundable deposit prior to bidding will be able to bid in the online auction.

Serial number 000082 offers the following equipment: LX Edition, Diablo LX Interior, Part 135 Package, Blue-Backlit Instrument Panel, CoPilot Package, SkyWatch HP, Class B TAWS, Radar Altimeter, Taxi/Recognition Lights, Installation Kit, Exterior striping in LX-3 style with Jade Mist Green and Castle Tan as the striping colors. Its retail price with all optional equipment is $1,844,804.30.

To bid on this aircraft, participants can log in to Eclipse's online private marketplace at http://auction.eclipseaviation.com, register to bid and place the required $5,000 refundable deposit, which is applicable toward the winning bid.

Per the terms of the Eclipse Bidders' Club, bidding will begin at 95 percent of the invoice price of the specified Eclipse 500. The balance of the winning bid is due to Eclipse within seven business days after the listing closes. Detailed information about the Eclipse 500 available for bidding, including performance specifications and installed equipment, is posted on the marketplace website at http://auction.eclipseaviation.com.

About Eclipse Aviation
Eclipse Aviation is the world's leading very light jet (VLJ) manufacturer, producing innovative, affordable jets that are revolutionizing air transportation. The company created the VLJ category with the design, certification and delivery of the Eclipse 500 -- the industry's first VLJ. Eclipse applies advanced technologies, manufacturing processes and business practices to create high-performance aircraft that cost a fraction of other jets, and provide the lowest cost of jet ownership ever achieved. By changing the value proposition for private jet travel, Eclipse is allowing more pilots to enter the world of jet-powered aviation and enabling a new generation of entrepreneurs to help business travelers move between cities on a quick, affordable and convenient basis. Contact Eclipse at http://www.eclipseaviation.com.

###

Eclipse Aviation Corporation, Eclipse and Eclipse 500 are trademarks of Eclipse Aviation Corporation.

airtaximan said...

Remove shoe.

Take out gun...

Shoot self in face.

ExEclipser said...

I really feel like Vern is experiencing the Howard Hughes personal implosion.

Sad, really.

flightguy said...

We have heard on this blog before that the tails have had difficulty lining up with the airframe because of tolerance stack up issues. The fact the Eclipse employees have stated and have been observed to rework the installations reinforces that statement. If Hampson did not provide a quality product to print, Eclipse would have shipped it back for replacement at Hampson's cost.

Who's the tip tank supplier? There has been complaints of quality and FOD for them as well.

airsafetyman said...

"We have heard on this blog before that the tails have had difficulty lining up with the airframe because of tolerance stack up issues. The fact the Eclipse employees have stated and have been observed to rework the installations reinforces that statement."

Why do you assume that it was the tail sections that were out of alignment and not the aft fuselage?

FlightCenter said...

Stan,

Does this mean that Eclipse replaced their previous engine nacelle parts vendor with Texstars only two months before announcing their provisional certification at Oshkosh 2006?

Or is there another explanation for why they would be signing a contract with Texstars only two months before Oshkosh?

Are there any vendors that have made it to the finish line with Eclipse who were on the airplane in 2000 when they first announced the aircraft?

fred said...

lloyd ...

you may be right ...!
there may be some truth in what EAc said about hampson ...

the question are :

why did it take EA corp. such an extraordinary time to find out ???

why did they accept such items ??

why some shrink were allowed to "re-work" the product (banning any waranties ) ??

why they did not stop the delivery when they failed paying the first time ??

what are remplacments suppliers ??

in how a long time ?? ( weeks, months or years )

with what kind of money ?? (in past EA corp. could lure suppliers into big production , big sales , big profits ... now not a single predictions has been made true ...)

who can be desperate enough to work with a firm seen as a joke (vaporware ) , not stating now a list of "unreliable suppliers" starting to be long as a day without booze for a drunkard ??

what about the credibility of EA Corp. after any single promise has been broken ??

what about the attemp of EA Corp. to sell an other auction plane ??
(is it to create an other buzz ? ro a desperate attemp to "give away" one of the "ready" [what a joke!] plane )

what the point for the danish guy to have bought a plane on auction , he can bring it home but not to fly it (lack of EASA cert.) and paid more than what you can find on the "USED" (another very good joke!) market ?

yes , you are right ...

some truth in it ....

is that an "spannish restaurant" where you can eat anything you want or may desire , on the only codition you bring it with you ??

so some truth in it , but definitely very hard to find out what is real , what can be plausible and what is extrapolation from a sick mind ....!!!

Redtail said...

It amazes me how many people here have an opinion, and have no idea as to the details of the suit. Eclipse has been paying for product delivered and used in manufacturing. There have been fit and quality issues and choices have had to be made to reworked the parts in-house, or delay the line and return the parts to Hampson for rework. Both have been done. Parts continue to come in from Hampson even now.

What the suit is about is a disagreement over minimum order of shipsets as guaranteed in the contract. Eclipse claims the need to rework and/or return parts has help to slow manufacturing, production goals have not been met as a result, and therefore the minimum guarantee should be reexamined. That is also why Hampson offered a lesser payment for the minimum order, which Eclipse refused.

Gunner said...

In literature, Fantasy requires only that one accept the initial, fantastic premise, after which the story is quite logical and believable.

In this case, RedTail would have us believe Eclipse has unmasked yet ANOTHER incompetent vendor who has been providing major assemblies to the world largest aircraft manufacturers for years.

That accepted, the rest of his explanation makes perfect sense. J. R. R. Tolkien would be proud.

Eclipse should go down in the Guinness Book of World Records.....right next to the image Roy C. Sullivan. Roy was most famous as the only man who survived 7 lightning strikes. (I think his middle name was "Lucky")

Gunner

ps: Roy C. Sullivan blew his own brains out in 1997, reportedly "rejected in love". The similarities to Eclipse are quite remarkable.

airsafetyman said...

"There have been fit and quality issues and choices have had to be made to reworked the parts in-house, or delay the line and return the parts to Hampson for rework."

Again, If there was a problem with Hampson (which I seriously doubt) why did not Eclipse have an inspector at the vendor's factory to accept the parts BEFORE delivery? It's not exactly rocket science, here.

hummer said...

redtail
With what kind of authority do you
make these assertions?
How is your knowledge and information
determined and verfied?
Please enlighten us.

fred said...

yes redtail ...

i understand ...

Hampson made a discount price based on agreed volume of delivery ...

volume of production isn't yet arrived , so price has to be re-agreed ...!

as i see the matter , either EA Corp. accept the minimum numbers of deliveries (what for , to stack it up in hangar ?) or accept to pay more for each piece in exchange for smaller needs of deliveries ..

either way , what are the chances Hampson is still going to "good business" after ??

about none :

if Hampson win , the hyper-inflated ego of ratburn is going to make things much worse ...

If hampson loose , they will back with original contract , EA will be then overflowed with tails to be assembled in XXX months / years since deliveries then would be made on agreed volume corresponding to the agreed price ...!!

i very much doubt any court is going to see any case on a product made to customers spec. , delivered , then re-worked by customers and finally being an argument to play with due payment to said suppliers ....!!

but you are right about one thing = lots of peoples HAVE a opinion , may be they use what they have in between ears ...and do not blindly follow what is said ...!!!
(at least acknowledge the way the bizz is conducted is an absolute non-sens ....!)

Redtail said...

Freddie Boy saod... but you are right about one thing = lots of peoples HAVE a opinion , may be they use what they have in between ears ...and do not blindly follow what is said ...!!!

But you use not what between yous ears lie. You know only blindly half truths of. You look not for investigate truths for real be. You opinion baseless be and such nonsense since facts no you have of actual issues be.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So now Redtail is reduced to making fun of someone for whom English is a second language.

Congrats dude, you win the Great Moments in Faithful Folly for Friday, November 16, 2007.

The whole lack of perfect knowledge means you cannot comment is such a tired and pathetic argument I am surprised the Faithful keep resorting to it.

Earth to Redtail, the folks commenting here have decades of experience, EACH - experience across business, management, engineering, support, maintenance and operations - we can read quite clearly between the lines because the basic rules of business and professional decorum do not change, not for you, not for Cardinal Ken, and not for Vern Raburn.

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

yes redtail ....

it is EXACTLY THE SAME baseless comments than yours ...!

think for a second :

if LOTS of problems occurs with one thing ...

Who is to blame ?

all entities separetly ??

or

the ONLY one which is a part in the many problems ??

when i did army , i was in Military Investigations ...
the guy i was working with told me once :

"if you want to resolve any mischief in the world , you have to answer only 3 questions : How , to whom benefit and what is the common point "

is that clear enough , or do you want me to developp ???

on one side you have a firm with a very good history of supplying parts to the major projects of today's world ...

on the other side , you have a firm which has no history , seems to be specialized in vaporware and the thing they seems not to be short of are lies , broken promises and buzz

which one would you choose if you had to put some money on ??

fred said...

niner zulu ...

yes exactly !!

as the situation can be seen now , EA.Corp. is only selling old positions transfered in between old holder and new one...!!

it doesn't make any sens !

if EA.Corp. want to survive , they have to sell to REAL customers a REAL new plane ...

otherwise = no cash-flow and bye bye EA ...!

Gunner said...

Fred-
An aside for the record, just how many languages do you speak? I'll wager more than three.

I ask only because the dead giveaway of an American Tourist who's wandered a bit too far from the Holiday Bus Tour is their frustration that everyone doesn't "just speak English". ;-)

Meantime, the "average" American takes pride in command of 1.18 languages. Almost as embarrassing as the infamous "These Colors Don't Run" T-Shirts when on foreign soil.
Gunner

fred said...

thanks coldwet...

as you noticed it english is not my mother-language !

i don't care about people making fun of this , as most of times they can speak only english ...

redtail , how about some hebrew,arabic,french,german,russian,japaneese , or a few africans dialects??? :-))

fred said...

gunner ...

languages are about communications ..
not about being perfect in any of them ..!!

you're right , most of times the ones taking pride into theirs command of 0.99 language make them worthless to have any kind of a constructive talk ...!!

i always say in my job " it's not important to have or not to have a problem , it's only crucial to notice that you may have a problem "

i thought pilots would be a little more "open" than the average US citizen (latest stats from U.N. = 97.4 % of all americans leaves their country only once in their lifetime ...the funny bit , i have been living in USA for a while , how about some which should come to live in countries ?? france and germany !)

for some , it doesn't seems to be the case ...!

thanks gunner , keep up good spirit !

hummer said...

retail
Still interested in a response to my question.
Is what you are saying, tail sections are now being received in ABQ for installation on aircraft even though Eclipse has not and is not paying for them?
That this lawsuit is entered into lightly and without grave consequences?
That this lawsuit will not have any effect on a future round of needed capital?
Help us to understand.

Redtail said...

Freddie said... redtail , how about some hebrew, arabic, french, german, russian, japaneese , or a few africans dialects?

No, my German is not as good as my Hewbrew and French, and I have never been to Africa.

Redtail said...

hummer said... retail, Still interested in a response to my question. Is what you are saying, tail sections are now being received in ABQ for installation on aircraft even though Eclipse has not and is not paying for them?

I thought I made it clear that payment for product delivered has been supplied, payment for guarantees provided in the contact is what is in question, and Hampson is looking for a legal decision to resolve it, since there is an obvious disconnect between parties.

sparky said...

Fred said:

"redtail , how about some hebrew,arabic,french,german,russian,japaneese , or a few africans dialects??? :-))"

not gonna' happen, he's struggling in his native language to come up with a cohesive argument as to why this company has chance.

Black Dog said...

Stan Blankenship said...
From my morning mail:

Dear Stan Blankenship

A few comments:

a) In support of Hampson’s effort to secure the Eclipse contract, the UK government stepped in and backed Hampson with public funds (ie tax payer’s money). There will be repercussions.

Hampson only got a 100k english pounds in start up a drop in the ocean

Dave said...

So, the reason someone would order a new Eclipse direct from the factory at a higher price for delivery 3 years from now is ________?

You don't have to since Eclipse has decided to "strategically" shaft existing position holders by letting new position holders cut right to the head of the line. So nice of Eclipse to make cutting ahead of their existing position holders who have waited for years be part of their strategy.

ex-e-clipser said...

Amazing news! Eclipse has recently invited all employees and guests to their Holiday Party this year...a holiday party despite all this BS.

Also, how come nobody has ever made an analogy to Preston Tucker and the demise of his automobile to Eclipse?

Just wondering.

Stan Blankenship said...

Received a good question via e-mail:

Why would Eclipse run another auction?

Answer:

If they can duplicate the last auction, they net out $1.8m.

If they deliver the airplane to the next guy in line who has been waiting 6-7 years, has his order booked at $1m + CPI, and has paid his 60% deposit, the company will only net out about a half-million.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

The Epocalyse is nigh!!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ex-e-clipser,

From an engineering standpoint, I would not compare Vern to Tucker because Tucker's '48 Torpedo had some truly innovative ideas since adopted by industry and was, I thought, very attractive.

On the business front however, the comparison could be prophetic - Tucker's eventual indictment came for taking money received for one thing and using it for another - the actual accusation was he took in millions to produce a car he never actually inteded to build (sound familiar?).

Tucker received Millions of dollars, in the late 40's when $15M was a lot of money, like say $1.X beeeeeeeeeeeeelion dolllllars today.

You just might be on to something.

For the record, Tucker was finally acquitted (even though many officers and former employees agreed with the government assertion that Tucker never actually meant to build the car). The former Tucker factory is now the world headquarters for Tootsie Roll.

I wonder what sort of candy company could use 8 or 9 buildings in Albuquerque?

Maybe Wrigley needs space for Eclipse gum....wouldn't have to change the signs much.

mirage00 said...

Amazing news! Eclipse has recently invited all employees and guests to their Holiday Party this year...a holiday party despite all this BS.

I believe the sky is not falling as those on this board want desperately to believe.

A Story

Also, how come nobody has ever made an analogy to Preston Tucker and the demise of his automobile to Eclipse?

Yeah, that idiot Preston Tucker... seatbelts on cars... what was he thinking????!!!

I remain amused

double 00

Dave said...

Also, how come nobody has ever made an analogy to Preston Tucker and the demise of his automobile to Eclipse?

Maybe the next round of financing will come the Delorean way.

eclipso said...

Like tucker, the E5.?? is ALSO designed by some of the finest engineer on earth. Just that I've NEVER seen a Dell computer or F-100 fly very far

Redtail said...

Mirage00 said... Yeah, that idiot Preston Tucker... seatbelts on cars... what was he thinking????!!!

Oh, no! Wait for it! More inventor stories from Godfly.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I wonder if the government of Malaysia is interested in trying the airplane biz again, they say third times' a charm.

Or maybe Vern could appeal to the ego of the Sheik's in Dubai, become the first Arab commercial aircraft manufacturer - err, sorry, NON-manufacturer.

Sorry Moo, the appropriate children's fairy tale would be the little boy who cried wolf, not chicken little - but nice try, here, have some applesauce before your nap, and stop pulling Alexa's ponytail.

mirage00 said...

Received a good question via e-mail:

Why would Eclipse run another auction?


Ummmm because they said they would months ago...

Oh wait, maybe they need to pay for the holiday party!!!

Stan, a few months back I remember you desperately searching for a copy of the AFM. Have you found one? If I recall, it was part of the "Conspiracy" that Eclipse was withholding/hiding the book. I think you claimed it was probably a CG issues?


I remain amused

double 00

Stan Blankenship said...

Double Zero, as in nothing of substance.

Remember a several months ago, when I stated there were problems with a major ass'y? You with your one track mind, kept bringing up the subject and assuring everyone there was no problem because airplanes were being delivered and that the train had left the station.

Read the last two posts and then tell us again how amused you are.

I am quite sure, if we were to take a vote on the blog, you would be voted off the island.

mirage00 said...

Double Zero, as in nothing of substance.

Now now Stan... Let's play by your rules...

Please answer the question, regarding the AFM and the CG issue if you can. Thanks in advance.

Oh also, maybe comment on your determination long ago, that the Eclipse wing is too small.

I remain amused

double 00

airtaximan said...

Why would Eclipse run another auction?

Better question:

"why would anyone buy one on the auction?"

See Controller... call Mike Press...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Moo,

I know he will answer for himself if he so chooses but I will play your little game for a quick minute (all it takes to dismantle your sophomoric repetivive argument).

Stan has answered your question at least half a dozen times, only parts of the AFM were avaiable at the time - the CG envelope on the TCDS shows a narrow range which was the original subject of discussion, a narrow CG range makes the plane occasionally less utilitarian - all pilot's should know that.

Furthermore, the Vmo/Mmo chart shows some interesting points as well - I understand those interesting points resulted in some interesting flight test experiences.

As for the wing, it has not been resized since the original MTOW was 4800#'s. The plane can weigh half-a-TON more than that now. It ate up 8 knots of stall speed and required a harder working flap design. Crash energy is the square of the speed, increased approach speed means increased crash energy - therefore to have kept the plane similarly safe with a similarly safe approach speed, the wing area should have increased to allow the same stall speed.

Vern chose schedule over safety, and gave the Faithful a greater chance for injury or death as a result of the high stall speed - get it?

Given the schedule slips from everything else, it hardly seems worth it to have NOT redesigned the wing when it was possible right?

gadfly said...

Fred

Please continue to speak your thoughts. You have a ready audience, and you speak plainly enough to communicate with those who wish to understand.

Thank you.

gadfly

Redtail said...

Stan said... Remember a several months ago, when I stated there were problems with a major ass'y?

Gee, I predict a problem at Cessna in the future... Now will I get credit for the next issue on the Cessna line???

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

retail,

"10:42 AM, October 20, 2007
I still predict that FHI, Hampson or the outfit from South America will be the next major vendor to get tossed under the bus and within the next 2 to 6 months we will see major criticism of ISS (the 'new' world class vendor that replaced Avidyne and BAe Systems) from Eclipse re: schedule slips on Avio NfG.

10:25 PM, September 15, 2007
I am still waiting for Fuji, Hampson and another structural supplier to get tossed under the bus - it is only a matter of time.

7:29 PM, August 30, 2007
Given the past approach to other 'poor performing' vendors, how long until Eclipse fires Fuji or Hampson?

4:42 PM, July 27, 2007
Still waiting in the wings (ha ha) are the replacement of FHI, Hampson and a certain south-of-the-border nose supplier.

12:04 PM, March 17, 2007
CWMOR Prediction - next major supplier to get blamed for delivery delays and then publicly tossed under the bus is not located in the United States, and requires a VERY long airplane ride to reach.

12:51 PM, March 17, 2007
That is quite a tail PubGrubber, I aft'a give it to ya - it is hard to fuse the facts into a cohesive theory, but you could be right.

How about loser buys the winner a Guinness Stout."


ATM, Mouse, Execlipser, Pubgrubber, and Anonymous Avionics Engineer, along with Stan and others, have been covering this and the other issues not yet as apparent, since last year.

Your tail might not appear so red if you remove the rose colored glasses.

fly in the ointment said...

CWMOR sEarth to Redtail, the folks commenting here have decades of experience, EACH - experience across business, management, engineering, support, maintenance and operations - we can read quite clearly between the lines because the basic rules of business and professional decorum do not change, not for you, not for Cardinal Ken, and not for Vern Raburnaid:


Even with all the decades of experience here they are still reading between the lines and making wags, educated wags, but wags nonetheless.

Once more, no structural rework was performed by EA personnel, Hampson had on onsite team rip skins off and replace ribs etc.

If Hampson is such a respected vendor, they should have quality processes and personnel in place to ensue problems like this do not occur.
As`I understand it Hampson employs
semi-skilled and largely unskilled workers and pays substandard wages at the TX facility.
I worked for Boeing for 25 yrs, and
they suffer similar problems all the time.
On a different note: there has been
much supposition regarding FSW and some valid points have been raised.
EA has an active materials testing program in place. Test coupons are tested every day and metallographs made and studied. I have TIG'd a lot of aluminum in my day and I was astounded when I touched a weld path within a second of the pin lifting and the weld was not even warm. The HAZ must be very ninimal and tempurature related changes to crystalline structure would also seem to be minimal, but this is JMO.

Redtail said...

Wet said... ATM, Mouse, Execlipser, Pubgrubber, and Anonymous Avionics Engineer, along with Stan and others, have been covering this and the other issues not yet as apparent, since last year.

They had no relevant information. They simply listed the suppliers from the Eclipse web site stating there are problems. Get yourself a bigger shotgun and you too might be right more often.

rcflyer said...

fly in the ointment,

Just because you saw it happen, doesn't make it so. We have experts on this board with (collectively) centuries of aerospace experience, and they said they don't believe it happened.

I suspect that Eclipse was just inspecting the empennage assemblies using old specifications, ones that didn't allow for FOD, drillstrikes, or bad ribs.

R.C.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

retail,

The point is that specific issues for Hampson have been the subject of discussion here dating back to February.

Additionally, most of the other issues predicted here, (e-ConJet, wing bushings, RVSM, etc.) were all spot on. These were, have been, and remain, specific issues for specific suppliers, not unaimed scattergun criticisms. but specifics.

For the record, I do not require a shotgun. Based on my record here, a Colt Woodsman .22LR at 25 yards is all I need.

Bang!

eclipso said...

Redtail said:Gee, I predict a problem at Cessna in the future... Now will I get credit for the next issue on the Cessna line???


Yes they WILL have problems. Dothe use Wells Fargo or Brinks to take their profits to the bank?...such a decision to make

fly in the ointment said...

R.C.

I stand corrected...LOL.

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

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
retail, The point is that specific issues for Hampson have been the subject of discussion here dating back to February.

Not a single one of your references make any specific claim related to Hampson. They're named simply because they are a supplier. I don't have to read between the lines to see that. All of your references are just potshots, without substance. Put the gun to your head, and listen to the music.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FITO,

I said the following yesterday and it appears it may have been lost in the overall discussion. I am not discounting what you say, and have even said before I believe there is likely some truth to what Vern complains about, but there is more to it.

"Yes, if the quality was as bad as FITO makes it out, then Eclipse should have terminated the relationship and found another source rather than place its' future at risk.

What part of 'the buck stops here' do you guys not understand? Apparently the same part Vern doesn't understand.

Eclipse makes the assertion that the plane is airworthy, Eclipse has the liability, Eclipse did the design, Eclipse qualified the vendor, Eclipse surveyed the vendor quality system and competency, Eclipse accepted the part, Eclipse installed the part on the plane.

The only part Hampson plays is the assembly of the empennage kit, the rest of it, including the elements that matter, are played by Eclipse.

The real question remains, why do so many otherwise excellent suppliers have so much trouble with Eclipse?"

Redtail said...

eclipso said... Yes they WILL have problems.

Exactly, just because you make a braod statement here doesn't make you a prophet.

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

retail,

We have directly addressed fitup issues for Hampson, wing twist for Fuji, wear issues for Goodrich, cracking issues for Nordam, reliability issues for Electromech, fit and finish issues for Eclipse itself both inside (interior) and outside (fairings and the poor fitting nose door).

You participated in some of those discussions claimining there was nothing to see here move along like some brainless Officer Barbrady. You accuse the critics of making things up out of hate, but it is you and your fellow DriveBy brother, as well as Cardinal Ken and other Faithful who fail to contribute anything of substance to the discussion.

I am sure if I went back and looked for it, I would find where you guys savaged FITO when he showed up as an ex-employee, but now that he makes his own observations and beliefs available and they seem to support your position, you welcome him.

You will notice we critics did not attack him or his statement - we took it into account and offered suggestions based on our experience how that situation could occur.

airtaximan said...

redtail,

I prety much never predict anything related to suppliers or performance specs.

I concentrate on rediculous claims and events:

1- orderbook shennanigans and lies
2- con-jet bandaid for rate production
3- Dayjet's air taxi offering and market acceptance

My biggest predictions:
1- dayjet has more than 1/2 the e-clips orders and options couched/misrepresented as 229 plus 70 options - finally revealed as true
2- the con-jet distraction (finally proven correct)

I also predicted 105 delivereis, and until Vern last claimed they would deliver 105 planes in 2007, I was feeling pretty good about that one, as well.

There's a lot of BS, and when it show up in the media or Statements from vern, I like providing my view on the general nature of the misdirection and lies.

I do not concentrate on suppliers or performance.

In fact, I defer to Ken on the benefits of AVIONG versus the G1000or Hon Apex... but he never provided the FACTS.

PS. I also like to remind folks when they are reading a shallow billboard versus insight, usually provided by someone with a deposit or two and no plane...

Just keeping the record straight.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

A little from yesterday to show clearly the difference between the Faithful and we critics. Bold is to highlight what I said yesterday.

"JPJ,

A prudent company will qualify more than one partner for any major assembly just in case something like this happens. While I have significant doubts about the competency of Eclipse's Purchasing/Contracts guys insofar as vendor management, I will bet a dollor to a doughnut that they began qualifying an alternate vendor the first time Hampson raised a stink about getting paid on time.

I have heard that Eclipse already has an alternate for the work performed by a certain asian company - the likely excuse for that divorce will be the vendor's inability to keep the tolerances that Eclipse established and then siad itself were too tight for practical manufacturing - I have heard that the quality of those large assemblies from a certain asian supplier are very, very poor.

One challenge is that some vendors will quit if the relationship is already strained and then you go out and qualify a possible replacement. Seems to me that the relationship with Hampson has been on the decline for some time. I will bet there is truth to Vern's complaint about quality - I question whether that is a result of Eclipse schedule pressure, design, Eclipse supplier quality surveillance, Eclipse receiving inspection, or just bad work at Hampson.

At the end of the day, Eclipse is responsible for the quality for any part it chooses to install on a plane - once you start to use the part, you assume the responsibility - if the parts are that bad, why is Eclipse accepting them in the first place? Were those bad parts used in the 'delivered' aircraft? What rework was done?

The real question is, is Eclipse a victim in this as Vern seems to always believe (parroted by the Faithful), or is Eclipse responsible for the creation of the problems it seems to encounter with alarming regularity?

Vern's whining raises more questions than it answers for those of us with experience in industry.

11:07 AM, November 15, 2007"

Redtail said...

ATM, I have to admit you did get those right. On the other hand, even CWMoR and Nostradamus are can be right, if you wait long enough and are vague enough.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

retail,

You can keep saying it, but it will simply not be true.

The SPECIFICITY of our criticism and predictions speaks for itself, since before you arrived until the present day.

But if it makes you feel better go right ahead - just hope people don't read anything else.

airtaximan said...

Redtail,

I dunno about that one, buddy. Is this how you refute pretty specific predictions?

- Dayjet has more than 1/2 the e-clips order book - y'all argued they had no more than 229 plus 70 options, as reflected in the press for years and years until it came out.

- the prediction on the single engine e-clips: they would fly it Oshkosh 2007, it was single engine, 4 place, and likely would claim a lot of commonality, in order to juice up lackluster volume for the e-500 compared to the predicted volume.

Funny how this is coming up nowadays - Hampson says they are owned money becasue Vern missed the volume production buy.

Pretty good predictions. Pretty specific.

Do you have anything specific, or just general attempts at discrediting?

Redtail said...

Reposted from above:

Redtail said...
ATM, I have to admit you did get those right.

ATM said... Funny how this is coming up nowadays - Hampson says they are owned money becasue Vern missed the volume production buy. Pretty good predictions. Pretty specific.

Show me where anyone said that before my post today. It wasn't a prediction on this blog. I posted it as a correction to the untruths and misstatements being made here.

AeroObserver said...

Still trying to make sense of all of this mess. It's one of those few times I can't make heads or tales of a situation.

Does anyone know anything about the management at Hampson's Grand Prarie, Texas facility? Or anything about Eclipse's engineering staff?

Stan has my e-mail address if you'd rather send any answers to me privately.

fred said...

redtail ...

no need to predict whatever ...

EA claimed they would revolutionize the whole aircraft industry ...

they were supposed to "make" or to assemble (don't know anymore , it's the non-first non-manufacturer of a VLJ which have to "work" the parts itself ...) do not remenber how many a day plane some times ago ...

delays , delays , delays ...

someone has to be the scapegoat for it ...

since we are supposed to do predictions (only very few seems to have an inside knowledge of the fact the firm and its CEO have probably not a clue of the knowledge required ...)
let's make a wild one ...:

next reason for not reaching the production rate is going to be .... (fill-up the blank yourself) !

i just hope the one at the top are really well paid for such a job : it must be a bit difficult to see yourself in the mirror when shaving ....
and in case EA corp. go real south , if they didn't put aside some savings , it may be a little difficult to find another job which not going in a circus ...

i admit clearly that i do not have the tech know-how , but as said before bizz here or bizz there is almost allways the same ...

in that matter , EA Corp. sounds very much like a best-of-what -should-never-be-done-at-any-cost for a start-up ...

it's so funny ( once again , sorry for the position holders) from far it seems every sigle move is a smoke-screen or a way to keep-going-for-an-other-few-days

i work in economics for quite a while now , i've never seen such an unethical way of treating customers , such a whole lot of lies , such a whole lot of misrepresentation

if it wouldn't so sad , it would be funny enough to make it a study-case for universty research ...

it looks that every moment vern has a new "topic" to disclose , went to dubaï = "oh there EA Corp "sold" 12 planes for a school to be created to train pilot for filling the european need for pilots"
you have probably never been to dubaï , so i share some experience = Dubaï is a very small place which if it's full of oil , it's empty of population .... it can be a good place for investments or getting some cash , but i used to work as an assistant to a prince to help him to not throw too much money thru the windows ... i can tell you EA Corp. has absolutely no chances to get a penny out of arabia (way too badly managed!)

at the same time , from Dubaï it's EA that announced the sale , not the buyer ...

when a single prince bought a A380 as a private jet (only 300US$Millions core price) , vern should have been inspired and declare : Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal al Saudi bought some E500 as a way to have his shoes travelling ... one pair , one plane !"

the problem was a arab prince is something quite easy to check ...

an inexistant school is easier to fool around with ...

Shane Price said...

The issue is not 'who is right' it is 'who else will go to court'.

To prove they were right.

The Great Raburn can't afford this. He is already on borrowed time with the program, and time, as you Americans keep insisting, is money.

So, it matters not a cent (Euro or Dollar) WHAT the outcome is.

Only that this battle was fought.

Shane

Redtail said...

Freddie said... i work in economics for quite a while now , i've never seen such an unethical way of treating customers , such a whole lot of lies , such a whole lot of misrepresentation

Do you have ANY first hand knowledge, or are you going by just what you read here?

Black Dog said...

Shane Price said...
The issue is not 'who is right' it is 'who else will go to court'.

Your correct Shane but it is really irrelevant who is right or wrong now is the wrong time for Eclipse to wash there shorts in public and I'm sure Hampsons would rather not have a customer calling there workmanship when they have just signed up with Honda.
The only winners will be the lawyers and both companies will be tarnished.

fred said...

edtail ...

i know my english is not very good , but you have to use your brain AND your eyes to read what i wrote :

i wrote :

i am working in economics for quite a while (in fact , for a few years now , i do work to straighten some weird situation arising when the needs for World Monetary Fund is required , believe me shit going anywhere i have seen more than my share of it ...) and IT SEEMS or IT LOOK LIKE or IL SEMBLE or ICH GLAUB
that i never seen such an unethical way of doing business ...

you right , i should have express myself more clearly :

usually , such way of doing bizz do NOT last very long and DO NOT swallow a billion something for next to nothng ...!

usually they fail sooner or get bankrupt or angry customers hang-up the responsibles or the premises burn at night in a very well planned ACCIDENT when the fire brigad was gone to a party on the other side of town ....

you do not need to predict anything or you do not need to portray yourself as someone knowing the trick of the plot ...

if you have such a little common sens and understand 1 + 1 = 2 , then the conclusion is very simple = run away as fast as possible !!

i don't want to convince anyone !

just express myself on things which are extraordinary ...

a danish guy buy on auction ! did you read anything on it ? i did ! either that guy is the luckiest man on earth and money has no value for hime , either he is completely stupid or fake ! not even talking about all the ones whom paid and waited , just to see someone coming from nowhere , taking the thing they have been craving for years ! how ethical ...! and in denmark ? why denmark ? because it is the place of living for that guy ? or more simply because chances an pote,tial owner or position holder know anything about denmark is next to nothing ?? ....

the same anout Etirc ! a dutch firm enlisted in Luxembourg to develllop an UNNEEDED service (air-taxi concept = no way for it europ isn't so big , public transport is excellent compare to american standarts) with an unfinished plane paid with inexistant money ...!

you see too many things not to be sceptical , no need for inside knowledge !!

fly in the ointment said...

For the record, I am not an ex-employee, I'm still here plugging away trying to make a difference.

Ken Meyer said...

Well you guys can argue back and forth all you want, but you're missing the big picture:

Why all the negative talk doesn't mean a thing

I guess you guys haven't gotten tired yet of swimming against the tide. It is amusing.

Ken

gadfly said...

A true story of success, and failure . . . but ultimate satisfaction:

A local family member of a world renown manufacturer of aluminum products in New Mexico, came to me, with a sketch of an Arabian design . . . and wanted it made into inlaid gold “plaques”. Learning the final application, and concern for “weight”, I recommended thin layers of 7075 aluminum. “Two” to be plated in gold and inlaid with “Lapis Lazuli” . . . and two more, to be plated in gold, with “satin gold” inlays . . . four plaques in all. I took the job . . . using my ability as an artist, as a machinist, and CAD/CAM programmer, to machine by Wirecut-EDM, the delicate palm trees, crossed scimitars, and intricate borders . . . an entirely fun project. ‘Countless parts . . . put together like an expensive jigsaw puzzle.

The project was a complete success . . . the final pieces fit with zero clearance precision . . . and sent off to the artisans for the gold plating, and intricate inlay of the semi-precious stones. Each plaque, measuring a sixteen inch by sixteen inch diamond shape, and less than an eighth of an inch thick, to be hung on the bulkheads in the private jet of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. I never got to see the final product . . . I don’t rub elbow’s with that level of wealth.

That was the success.

The failure was my “belief” in the local people, to be paid for my efforts . . . there was never a question on the price, nor the quality of the work . . . but these people just didn’t like to keep their word . . . and it took a year and a half to be paid. And finally, satisfaction . . . without having to use a lawyer.

The fun and thoughts of my artwork mounted in gold and lapis-lazuli in the private jet of a Saudi king is something of significance in my life . . . to be passed on to my family history. But the thought of a local two-bit “go between” leaves forever a warning, to not trust people a second time . . . if they lie once, they’ll do it again.

gadfly

(Sometimes, for whatever reason, a “customer” who is in financial trouble, may look for the weakest link in the chain, to use to gain time and/or money. Sound familiar?)

hummer said...

fly in the ointment
Do you have tail assemblies or
do you not have tail assemblies?
Is production going forward
or is production not going forward?
thanks in advance for your brief
answer.

gadfly said...

“I guess you guys haven't gotten tired yet of swimming against the tide. It is amusing.”

For some of us, who have spent a good part of our lives “body surfing”, it is not smart to swim against the tide, but stay close to the surface . . . conserve energy, and either make way to shore, or accept help.

So, we attempt to warn others of the dangers . . . ‘hoping that those in peril will use some “smarts” and get out of a bad situation. And one of the first lessons that we learned in Red Cross “Life Saving” classes in college, is that the drowning victim is our biggest enemy . . . fighting the very person who has come to save them from certain disaster. We are trained to prevent them from getting a grip, and drowning the two of us.

Drowning, either while swimming in a “rip-tide”, or “under-tow” . . . or attempting to stay afloat financially, is never “amusing”.

gadfly (“old”, but not yet dead)

(It would seem that a full investigation of each and every E500 “empennage” by the FAA is in order, if the allegations of Vern are correct. So, what is the “hold-up”? Don’t we pay these bureaucrats enough in taxes to do their job? Ken, you keep pushing, and, sooner or later, you are going to get some action!)

Metal Guy said...

It’s hilarious how Ken keeps attempting to point out the “big picture”, which seems to consist of the fact that incomplete prototype planes are dribbling out of Eclipse and actually being flown.

Meanwhile, all indicators are strongly pointing at Eclipse going TU within a couple of months (if not quicker). This will promptly ground the “miniature fleet” and turn them into hulks of useless parts.

Ken, I really don’t think everyone is missing the big picture. It’s clearly you hanging on by a thread with the only glimmer of hope in existence at this point.

The fact that they have a small handful of semi-functional, efficient aircraft is, in reality, a completely moot point relative to the greater events going on here.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Why ten or so planes flying today means nothing....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edsel

Ford invested $400,000,000 in the Edsel and over 3 years it sold almost 120,000 cars, had the 2nd best 1st year EVER at almost 70,000 units, and sold less than 3,000 the 3rd and final year when Ford pulled the plug on what is regarded, for now anyway, as one of the most spectacular business failures in history.

You still see a few on the road and at car shows, but the investment from Ford and the cult of personality around Edsel Ford himself was not enough to overcome poor quality and a design that failed to meet up to the hype.

Hmmmmm, where have I heard that before?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

"As such, the desired quality control of the different Edsel models was difficult to attain for the new make of car. Many Edsels left the line unfinished, with the extra parts having been put into the trunks, with assembly instructions for the mechanics at the dealerships."

Replace Edsel with Eclipse - funny and too close to the truth to ignore.

gadfly said...

To this day, I can see in my "mind's eye", the pushrods in an Edsel, worn to needle points, into the oil holes on the rocker arms . . . ah yes, a car of memorable qualities! (The customer wanted us to "adjust the valves".)

gadfly

("The Oldsmobile Sucking on a Lemon", otherwise known as the "Edsel", was revolutionary in its time.)

Ken Meyer said...

Metal guy wrote,

"The fact that they have a small handful of semi-functional, efficient aircraft is, in reality, a completely moot point relative to the greater events going on here."

You really don't get it, do you? I mean--honestly--you believe the baloney you're writing, don't you?

I feel sorry for you.

Eclipse has already produced more planes this year than Cessna produced jets in their entire first TWO years of production. And the year is not over yet.

The planes Eclipse is producing have better performance at a much lower operating cost than the CE500 that so many people thought enough of that it became the benchmark owner-flown jet. Do you realize that the operating cost of an Eclipse is something under HALF the operating cost of a CE500? And the Eclipse is modern, up-to-date, and offers all kinds of safety and workload-reducing features that were never dreamed of in the CE500.

You really just don't get it, do you? These new jets are not going to be orphaned no matter how much you may wish for it. That will NEVER happen now because they've already reached critical mass.

Eclipse is cranking them out in record numbers, and low-and-behold, they're doggone good planes! Have you flown one? I think not. I've yet to meet a guy who flew the plane and didn't love it.

As much as you hate it, you're just going to have to deal with this. Want a referral to a good psychoanalyst?

Ken

Black Tulip said...

Ken defended,

'That will NEVER happen now because they've already reached critical mass.'

Ken, watch out for the neutrons.

Gunner said...

Ken-
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Flight Aware is showing Partial Eclipse's in the air.

The bad news is yours just ain't gonna be one.

The company is out of money (again) and hemorrhaging tens of millions per month; the arms length financial markets won't touch it; the existing fleet consists of partially finished aircraft, cobbled together (according to Vern and The Faithful) with substandard assemblies from third rate Vendors, employing unskilled labor.

You're 80 units away from delivery, their first major vendor (third actually) has taken them to court for non-payment and the market is flooded with positions just like yours, plus an unhealthy number of "delivered" planes.

I would honestly feel badly for you, were it not a FACT that you've done everything in your power to suck other poor souls into paying for YOUR personal aircraft scam, knowing full well the company is upside down on every unit it turns out at retail or "legacy" price.

Prior to the New Year, you're likely to realize what Vern already knows: your "position" has become a financial liability the company can no longer afford...and they ain't about to make you "whole". It's called Karma, Ken.


That, My Brother, is the "Big Picture". Reap it.
Gunner

fly in the ointment said...

hummer said...
fly in the ointment
Do you have tail assemblies or
do you not have tail assemblies?
Is production going forward
or is production not going forward?
thanks in advance for your brief
answer.

I believe we are down to 2 or 3

Old Troll said...

Now that's an impressive comparison to the CE500! I'm glad to know that the Eclipse can stand up to a design that's almost 40 years old. I'll bet it kicks butt against the Ford Tri-Motor too.

Can anyone tell me if Ken has commented on how "great" it is that Hampson sued Eclipse? I've noticed that's the standard reply whenever bad news comes out.

Avidyne dumps Eclipse:
Ken says "That's great. Avidyne was just dragging Eclipse down."

Vern admits Eclipse was on the verge of bankruptcy:
Ken says "That's great. It shows how financially strong they are."

Eclipse has to lay off workforce because production is too slow:
Ken says "That's great. They're more efficient now."

Ken Meyer said...

The oldster, Trolling around wrote,

"Now that's an impressive comparison to the CE500! I'm glad to know that the Eclipse can stand up to a design that's almost 40 years old. I'll bet it kicks butt against the Ford Tri-Motor too."

What is more, it beats the latest and greatest that Cessna has to offer. The Eclipse is faster, less expensive upfront, more technologically advanced, and burns less fuel than the Mustang, the very latest re-incarnation of the CE500. What is more, the new upstart has somehow figured out how to make the planes twice as fast as the company that's been doing it for decades. Go figure.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken,

Are you suggesting that Cessna could not produce as many Mustangs as they want?

Are you calling the handheld Garmin 496 more technically advanced than the integrated G1000 suite in the Mustang?

Are you honestly suggesting that Cessna, who builds more planes in a year than any other company, could not build more Mustangs if they wanted?

Do you believe that requiring two-pilots due to INOP equipment and having to file VOR to VOR is comparable to a single-pilot capable, funtioning FMS, fully functioning GPS, FIKI certified aircraft?

In fact, perhaps you would be so good as to share with the class exactly how many fully functioning EA-500's have been delivered?

Remember, FULLY FUNCTIONING.

How many partially completed, INOP equipment laden Mustangs have been delivered in the same time frame?

Thats's what I thought.

gadfly said...

“ . . . watch out for the neutrons”?

Black Tulip

You are, no doubt, referring to the danger of “morons” achieving “critical morass”, and a “half life” measured in “Next Tuesdays”.

gadfly

(But for you, “no charge”.)

airtaximan said...

Ken,

I think Cessna is really satisfied with their program and their product, as well as how sales are going for the Mustang. Hundreds of real customers seem to be, too.

But I guess these idiots at Cessna could have priced the plane to sell 500 a year... but there risk in that decision. A lot of risk.

They might have developed their own avionics, as well... but why? There's risk in that decision.

Perhaps they could have forayed into a novel construction method... but there's risk in that decision, too.

Perhaps they could have designed plane around a tiny NASA experimental engine, and launched in 1998? There's risk in that decision, too.

Maybe you should re-look at how you characterize the Mustang, and revisit the $1.x billion house of cards you call a jet program at e-clips?

Everything e-clips has done was easily copied by a major company, IF it made sense.

Cessna and Textron have their BRANDS to consider. Guess what the Eclipse BRAND has come to mean... see the characterization of the in the Award article. That's what their penchant for risk has gotten them. Nothing anyone in aviation, or at Cessna/Textron would ever stand for. In fact, the entire VLJ segment is being colored a sick shade of BROWN, due to Eclipse.

ONE MORE THING... perhaps you could enlighten us as to the features and benefits of the finished (whenever, I don't care)AVIONG compared to the G1000 and the Honeywell Apex avionics suites.
You made BOLD claims, which have yet to be substantiated... please provide some details, as you said you would.

rcflyer said...

gadfly,

An atom walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Why so glum, buddy?" The atom says, "I think I lost an electron." The bartender replies, "Are you positive?"

R.C.

airtaximan said...

FITO,

2, or 3 tails left. Hmm...

- is this after the current assembly line run is through?

- how many total planes until e-clips runs out of tails? I am looking for the last S/N that could be delivered, if no more tails are deliverd this year?

Any clue about how many Avidyne avionics left?

Thanks

gadfly said...

RC

Yeh, that atom you mentioned wasn’t too smart . . . we called him an “isodope”.

gadfly

airtaximan said...

Gunner,

I am continually amazed at the audacity of the remark: "look at the big picture" and then pointing to an unfinished plane or a few unfinished planes flying around on Flight Aware offered as proof of something called "the BIG picture".

The BIG picture here is the viability of the company, given all the harsh realities that it faces. Its grim.

The big picture is not at the aircraft level, especially not aircraft in THIS condition. its the company level.

Its like "OMG, what a great deal Enron made on that oil refinery deal" just a few weeks before they were revealed as a huge scam.

airtaximan said...

"Eclipse has already produced more planes this year than Cessna produced jets in their entire first TWO years of production."

Ken: exactly how many palnes has e-clips produced this year? Starting in January1 2007 until now? Its not many, Ken. Most of the planes delivered were started in 2006... by a long shot.

If you think this is in any way indicative of anything important, I would refer you to the "why"...

WHY did e-clips deliver so many planes this year, so far?
ANSWER: they had to deliver 5 times the number they will deliver this year to break even.
OTHER SALIENT FACTS ON THIS POINT:
- 5 times the number of planes were required to break even, if they were all built during one year, these were mostly produced over two fiscal years
- 5 timesthe number of planes were required to break even, if they were all finished, and require no rework, mods, new avionics, retrofits
- 5 times the number of planes were required to break even, IF they reached that number - if they only produced 100 planes, they would lose their shirt BIG TIME.. volume pricing margins are not there at 100 planes per year - see the HAMPSON lawsuit.

This is their REQUIREMENT, 5 times the number they achieved. This is their buiness plan - 500 planes to break even.

I DO NOT THINK CESSNA WOULD CHOOSE TO MAKE THIS A GOAL. IF THEY DID, THEY WOULD NOT MISS IT BY DELIVERING ONLY 20% OF THE PLANES THEY NEED TO BREAK EVEN, AND THE PLANES WOULD BE FINISHED.

You keep watching that thingy you call a BiG picture... and keep making your points regardng these little thingys that are of no real consequnece...to you...anyway...

More visibility into the mind of a die-hard, I guess... how you must think to buy and e-clips.

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly & R.C.,
You guys are killing me!!!
:)

airtaximan said...

"I've yet to meet a guy who flew the plane and didn't love it."

try try again, Ken. I guess you never met all the people SELLING their e-clips' on controller and SPjets - already delivered and flown by the owners, then put up for sale.

There are a lot of people taking delivery and selling shortly thereafter.

I guess these folks are thrilled with the plane!!!

PS. If its so great, why don't you own one? There are many for sale today? Some at BIG discounts from the factory price. Some already delivered, some s/ns coming up fast!

** footnote: there have already been around 170 reported sales of e-500 since last year in the aftermarket... I WONDER WHY??? That's 2 X this years deliveries

ex-e-clipser said...

Hey ColdWetMackarelofReality !

Thanks for the update on the Tucker factory...very interesting.

I have some ideas for the renaming of the buildings...DUM DUM pops, Alberts BIG BLOW gum, Wacky Taffy, or perhaps? Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream flavor "Economic Crunch".

rcflyer said...

bill e. goat,

This is not a new discovery, but just in case you haven't heard of it:

New Element Discovered
----------------------
The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by investigators at a major U.S. research university. The element, tentatively named administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, which gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.
Since it has no electrons, administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would have normally occurred in less than a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually increases after each reorganization.

Research at other laboratories indicates that administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. It can usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.

R.C.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Maybe he missed it the first time.....

Ken,

Are you suggesting that Cessna could not produce as many Mustangs as they want?

Are you calling the handheld Garmin 496 more technically advanced than the integrated G1000 suite in the Mustang?

Are you honestly suggesting that Cessna, who builds more planes in a year than any other company, could not build more Mustangs if they wanted?

Do you believe that requiring two-pilots due to INOP equipment and having to file VOR to VOR is comparable to a single-pilot capable, funtioning FMS, fully functioning GPS, FIKI certified aircraft?

In fact, perhaps you would be so good as to share with the class exactly how many fully functioning EA-500's have been delivered?

Remember, FULLY FUNCTIONING.

How many partially completed, INOP equipment laden Mustangs have been delivered in the same time frame?

Thats's what I thought.

expilot said...

Ken, Do you truly believe that Cessna, if it chose to do so, could not build a jet as small as an eclipse?
That Cessna's jet would not have comparable performance? The laws of physics apply to both, less weight=less energy required. Maybe Cessna prefers to manage the demand for their product and maintain their substantial margins. If Ferrari built an additional 10K units per year do you think their dealers would still sell them at more than list price? Is Vern a socialist that is not interested in making a profit? Just curious.

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

A few months ago, there were a number of posts that concluded that Eclipse had enough Avidyne shipsets for 134 aircraft and that would leave a few left over for the warranty service pool.

If there are only 2 or 3 tails in house, there ain't no one at Eclipse worrying about long term problems like how many Avidyne shipsets are in house.

They are just trying to live to fight another day right now.

Why would Eclipse be worrying about Avidyne shipsets? After all, NG is going to be certified and delivered on aircraft 105. They have plenty of inventory.

ItsJustSad said...

Ken Meyer said:

Well you guys can argue back and forth all you want, but you're missing the big picture:

Why all the negative talk doesn't mean a thing

I guess you guys haven't gotten tired yet of swimming against the tide. It is amusing.

Dr. Meyer, when you're faced with a sick or dying patient, what do you do -- diagnose what ails the patient, and take the appropriate actions... or marvel how many others there are like him?

I hope your patients receive more attention and better care in your hands than how you apparently handle your business affairs.

Blind faith and myopia aren't desireable qualities in your line of work. You should really think about that.

mouse said...

airsafetyman said...
"Then why did not Eclipse have an inspector in residence at the Hampson factory in Grand Prairie, Texas, to sign off on the assemblies BEFORE they were shipped? Hampson may have had to rework nearly completed tails time and time and time again to incorporate design changes from an inexperienced design group at Eclipse."

They did ASM, as they do with their tip tank supplier too... Guess what? The QA people have such little experience that they have no idea what they are looking at. The check the paperwork and look at the parts without knowing what to look for or what they are seeing...

The only QA that is worht anything at Eclipse is performed by the mfg team who throw the penality flags on the parts.... And by then the parts have already been bought off (Accepted through QA and into the system to be built...

FlightCenter said...

Let's look at this from the employee perspective.

Productivity and morale have to be at an all time low just about now at Eclipse.

Everyone knows that Vern told the press that the last round of financing almost put the company into bankruptcy this summer.

Production commitments for the year are cut in half, twice.

Avio NG cert date pushed out (publicly) at least three times, now beyond this year. NG now has three release dates to reach originally promised functionality, stretching NG release cycles for 18 months from initial delivery.

There was a big push to generate new sales. Result - order book now quoted to be at 2,600. 100 fewer than last quote in May at EBACE.

Embraer and Cessna announce significant fleet deals for their aircraft.

DayJet is trying to sell some of their airplanes.

Vern and Mike McConnell say that the con-jet launch is looking good. Adding that the production folks find that exciting.

They had their (first) layoff.

Aeromod retrofits are scheduled to start in two weeks.

Production folks are being asked to ramp production with fewer staff and kick off the retrofit program simultaneously.

Everyone in the company knows that Vern told the investors he needed more money because the production ramp wasn't happening.

There is no faith their ability to execute on their production plan.

In June the plan was to achieve 1 a day in 2 months. In October the plan was to achieve 1 a day in 3 months.

In April, the plan was to achieve 2 a day in 5 months. In October, the plan was to achieve 2 a day in 15 months.

They aren't just slipping, the goal is getting farther and farther away every day.

Now one of their major suppliers sues them for lack of payment. The October production plans are no longer attainable.

There is an all hands alert to qualify another world class vendor - Pronto.

You think the Hampson lawsuit has generated a lot of conversation on this blog?

Think about how much conversation it is generating at Eclipse, where their paychecks and careers are dependent on the outcome.

Everyone in the company is thinking about whether the company will be able to make payroll. People are starting to learn the implications of cram down rounds and involuntary re-organizations.

Almost everyone is posting the latest version of their resume on Monster. Waiting for the next shoe to drop. Another layoff? Another lawsuit? Networking with their friends. Hoping to get out before the flood.

Gunner said...

FC-
But, but, there ARE no Americans in Baghdad!
Gunner

mouse said...

Ken,

You are going to lose everything you have invested, and despite those of us who truly tried to warn you, I can assure you that most of us, or at least I will be laughing my ass off at you.

You deserve every bit of loss you are going to incur...

Enjoy your brochures...

mouse said...

Airtaxi,

Show me a pilot that didn't love flying any airplane, especially one that he did not have to pay for. Not even the fuel.

Forgive Ken's big picture comment too. When looking out of his navel, any sign of daylight looks like a big picture.

In fact as an amatuer proctologist, his ability to spot crap is difficult, since he's up to his eyes in it every day.

Perhaps Reds tail is so red for the same reason Ken's nose is so brown... Nearsighted Ken, and bare-assed Red...

Oh yeah, lets not forget Double Nothing amusing himself in the corner...

mouse said...

Hey all,

Anyone hear about the full motion simulators being installed, certified and operational? (Me either!)

Ken, you should buy one of the left over sims from the asset auction... might be the best opportunity to own a "flying" EA-500 in your virtual mind... Perfect fit!

fred said...

for Ken and the likes ...

this morning (saturday) i called a buddy working for EASA to ask him about his personnal opinion on the 2 VLJ known as E500 and Mustang ...

the guy told me that he cannot give away specofic details , but can give a personnal feeling ...

so about the Mustang and its manufacturer , he said :
"the hardest and probably the longest part of the job is going to be when we are going to have a coffee with the representative ...!"

about E500 :
"ecli .. what ? not sure we want and will have to know anything about them ...!"

he stated as well that in this sphere of activities , things looks very much like computer marketing ... = most peoples get confused in what they NEED compare to what is on OFFER , if peoples want to have a fun plane to enjoy and do small travels with wife or a good friend = VLJ is the answer ! if they want to do business and organize paying trips for customers , then they are mislead !

i am not sure you can understand what i wrote , so i try to explain with other exemple :

when i am in the car , blocked in traffic jam , the simple fact that i drive a brand new Porsche doesn't unblock me from the traffic ...

the guy said as well that EA Corp. make things (its theirs marketing policy in his eyes ) looks easy ( hey , why not owning a jet , it's easy , it's cheap and trendy ...) where it is something horribly expensive , very uneasy and sometimes painfull ...

which just that is enough to keep as away as possible from them !

fred said...

i forgot :

i can very easilly understand that for you (ken) one of the ONLY chance to get what you paid for (long time ago?) is to have some new suckers getting into the trap ...

it may not be very fair but understandable ...

as i am not as bad as some writing here , i wish you not to loose your shirt , may be you're gonna loose a bit of pride .... but one can easilly live even red-faced by embarrasment ...!

when you buy something costing nearly 2 Millions US$ , you deserve some respect from seller and are entitled to some trust ...

EA Corp. SEEMS (redtail if you have problem to read me , just tell in what you want me to write) to be doing just about anything they can to destroy this trust-relation ...
(it used to be to customers , now it's even toward furnishers ?)

so , i think over-doing the topic by statement like "you miss the big picture ..." is TOTALLY counter-productive ... and make the whole statement look like a joke ...!

in his last few days ,Hitler in his bunker was speaking of the 50 panzer-divisions , he had in reserve to fight back the soviets when they were already in the outskirts of berlin , just no one around him had the gutts to tell him the 50 panzer-divisions was PAPER army ....

just hope you're not going to have the same fate ...!

ps: if you smoke something to get in this state-of-mind , would you care about sharing some ? :-))

airsafetyman said...

"They did ASM, as they do with their tip tank supplier too... Guess what? The QA people have such little experience that they have no idea what they are looking at. The check the paperwork and look at the parts without knowing what to look for or what they are seeing..."

Thanks, Mouse. Makes you wonder why Eclipse didn't hire a retired sheet metal shop foreman from an airline, large repair station, or the Air Force to be their in-house inspector? Too easy? I'll bet the folks they did hire were really great with computers, though!

WhyTech said...

ATM said:

They (Cessna) might have developed their own avionics, as well... but why? There's risk in that decision."

Cessna actually sort of did this back in the late 70s/early 80s and learned a painful lesson. Remember ARC? What a disaster!

wt

airtaximan said...

FC...

Man... what a recap!

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU FORGOT THE INVITATION TO THE CHRISTMAS PARTY!!

I think it was probably something like this:

Let’s get together to celebrate
All of our accomplishments
Since the beginning of the year!
This Holiday season.

So, we’ll party
Until dawn!
Prepare yourselves for a BIG bash
Prepare to drink and dance
Everyone's reward, job well done!
Raburn

PS. hidden message... find it.

mouse said...

Don Taylor quit a week ago yesterday... No public announcements of course. Guess his training program isn't going anywhere and he finally figured out there is no easy money or retirement program for him anymore...

Some saying comes to mind about some relatives of mine...

A sinking ships and swimming rats...?

I have a lot of respect for Don. We butted heads on a lot of the cockoit design and ergonomics issues, however we always had a mutual repsect and knew the results would (could have) lead to a better design when the plane certified. He always wanted to design the plane like an airliner and I tried to keep it as much a single engine to li

Fred, only because Ken continues to blow his sunshine up everyones butt is the reason I will take pleasure in laughing at his loss. A lot of very good and educated people have tried to provide him with obvious information, and he continues to pontificate as if her were really Vern in alias... Hmmm, like we haven't thought about that before.

mouse said...

I have a lot of respect for Don. We butted heads on a lot of the cockoit design and ergonomics issues, however we always had a mutual repsect and knew the results would (could have) lead to a better design when the plane certified. He always wanted to design the plane like an airliner and I tried to keep it as much a single engine to light twin mindset design so pilots moving up would have the advantage and not airliner retirees sliding down to the plane...

airtaximan said...

FC,

"If there are only 2 or 3 tails in house, there ain't no one at Eclipse worrying about long term problems like how many Avidyne shipsets are in house."

I am not 100% sure that's what FITO menat... perhaps there are 2 or 3 beyond the current production run.

Just trying to understand. BUt yu seem correct... the avidyne avionics will not be the long pole, in all liklihood.

BTW, if they obtain more tails... at 1 per day, they are out of avionics by end of January, anyway.

When is AVIONG NOW scheduled to be certified? End Q-1 /08?

Seems like a few months of horrendous conditions, any way you cut it - IF they make it beyond the LAST SUPPER.

WhyTech said...

Mouse said:

"A sinking ships and swimming rats...?"

It sounds as if it could be said that Taylor is a ship deserting the sinking rats. Isnt that how it goes?

WT

airtaximan said...

3 more Controller listings added in the last 2 days....

Ken Meyer said...

Sims?

Pilots are getting portions of the FAA checkride in the sim. And Sim #2 is now being installed.

Eclipse is producing good little planes that pilots like. And now the planes are rolling out the door faster and faster.

...which leaves guys like Mouse apoplectic. How dare they succeed without him?

Let's all try to help Mouse get over it and move on with his life.

Ken

mouse said...

Very well put WhyTech...

He was a gentleman, even though he carried a fake torch, he was always a gentleman...

fly in the ointment said...

eclipso said...
I find it amususing that there are that many empanagge problems when one of the faithful's higher up quality persons "resigned" and went to work at Hampson, "resigned" from Hampson and went back to the faithful, but no one knew of the problems?

Yeah that is one of the inside jokes around here.

John said...

Weekly Dayjet activity

This includes only flights with different destination than departure. (training flights were few in number this week)

Wednesday continues to be busiest day of the week. 8 seperate planes were used on 11/14. Is it reasonable to assume that Dayjet has a pilot base of 6-7 flight crews?

Plane …. Flights …. Hours
DJS119 …. 18 …. 17.9
DJS132 …. 13 …. 14.1
DJS130 …. 10 …… 8.9
DJS134 …. 8 …… 7.0
DJS109 …. 5 …… 5.1
DJS135 …. 5 …… 5.0
DJS131 …. 5 …… 4.9
DJS148 …. 3 …… 3.7
DJS141 …. 5 …… 3.5
DJS115 …. 3 …… 2.7
DJS146 …. 4 …… 2.4
DJS142 …. 2 …… 1.3
DJS150 …. 1 …… 1.0
DJS136 …. 2 …… 0.9
DJS110 …. 0 …… 0.0
DJS116 …. 0 …… 0.0
DJS126 …. 0 …… 0.0
DJS139 …. 0 …… 0.0
DJS145 …. 0 …… 0.0
DJS147 …. 0 …… 0.0

…. ….. ….. ……
TOTAL …. 84 …. 78.4

fred said...

mouse , i was not pointing at you ...

i know too well what you wrote , i used to give advises to friends =if they were making a fortune , sometimes i was getting a simple thank you ... if they were loosing a cent , they kept on telling me for a year ...!

i stopped to help peoples not being close relatives ...!

exactly the same , i suppect the auction danish guy to be a fantasy ... why ? just to whisper to position holder european are going to buy masses of E500 with theirs extra-strong Euros ...! thru save EA Corp. ...

unfortunatly , no way it can happen !

ken , few years ago i visted a car plant in russia (Togliatti) that was supposed to make 100s of thousands cars in a years ...

thruth was cars made was going thru the doors , get parked and then serve as spare pieces stock for the cars not build yet ...

the real amount of cars usable made in a year was = just a few !

does it sound familliar to you ?

FlightCenter said...

WT,

You are so right. I had to replace all the ARC avionics in my first plane. They didn't perform well when they worked and it was the only stuff that failed for many years. Before I installed a new set of avionics I became an expert on buying "yellow tag" used equipment to replace failed units, because of course, Cessna didn't support the ARC stuff anymore.

There is a reason aircraft manufacturers focus on building airplanes and avionics manufacturers focus on building avionics.

Ken,

When are you scheduled to have your flight evaluation? When are you scheduled to begin your training?


Mouse,

I agree with your comments about Don. He is a great guy. I've known him for 4 or 5 years before he joined Eclipse. He is an EAA board member and flew the Ford Tri-Motor at Oshkosh for many years. Talking to him it seems he has flown just about any airplane you want to mention. He has always been completely honest about Eclipse. He may not answer some questions, but he is a straight shooter on anything he is allowed to discuss.

When it becomes clear to the majority of the employees that their stock options aren't going to be worth the paper they are printed on, the folks who can, will leave.

Conversations around the dinner table have to be focusing on the benefits of living in Wichita or North Carolina.

Lots of people are probably wondering where Cirrus and Piper are going to put their jet facilities. I'm told Embraer is considering starting production in the US. I believe in Jacksonville.

John said...

Dayjet destination Matrix
flight pairs remain unbalanced with the KBCT-KNGV milk run consuming 27 hours of the used flight time.

Why do SO many KBCT folks want to fly to KNGV ? Perhaps these flights do not have revenue.

Flight Pairs --- leg 1 --- leg 2 ---- total
KBCT--- KGNV …. 13.2 …. 14.4 …. 27.6
KLTH--- KBCT …. 7.2 ….. 8.8 …. 16.1
KLAL ---- any …. 4.6 ….. 6.1 …. 10.8
KPNS ---- any …. 3.9 ….. 5.2 …… 9.1
KLTH -any not KBCT …. 3.0 ….. 3.3 …… 6.3
Total top 5--- …. 32.0 ….. 37.8 …… 69.8

Ken Meyer said...

FC wrote,

"When are you scheduled to have your flight evaluation? When are you scheduled to begin your training?"

I'm exempt from the Flight Skills Assessment.

The training isn't set up yet.

Ken

FlightCenter said...

High Tech Management Style

Maybe Vern is copying Steve Job's management style.

This is a funny top ten list of (Fake) Steve Job's management style. Any of it sound familiar?

It’s called the “Ten Commandments of Fake Steve Jobs”

1) Never let people know where they stand.

2) You don’t have to hire the best people.

3) Only promote stupid people.

4) Never tell people what is expected of them.

5) A manager should be inconsistent and unpredictable.

6) No praise. Ever.

7) Keep people’s spirits broken.

8) Throw tantrums.

9) Don’t speak to employees in elevators.

And my favorite -

10) Start with the ad campaign.

There is a bunch more text describing each bullet.

Management Style of Fake Steve Jobs

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

That's interesting. I thought everyone had to take the Flight Skills Assessment. Perhaps I am remembering the Mustang program?

What is the criteria for getting an exemption?

FlightCenter said...

John,

Very interesting.

Thank you for doing this...

What trends do you see from week to week in terms of aircraft utilization for revenue flights?

Is this week flat compared to the last couple weeks? or are they getting more or less flights per aircraft per week?

Redtail said...

I've known Don Taylor for 7 years now. He seemed quite experienced and competent from the beginning. Then I mentioned his name to a couple of 747 pilots I know, and they rolled their eyes. Don was instrumental in the United training deal, we all know how that went. Then a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with him over drinks. I asked what he was up to these days, and he really could explain to me what his function was at Eclipse. Many here have suggested that he was promoted to Senior Fellow to move him out of the way.

Mouse, if you were so instrumental in the implementation of AVIO, why don't you stick up for its merits?

Ken Meyer said...

FC asked,

"What is the criteria for getting an exemption?"

To be exempt from the Flight Skills Assessment, you have to meet a series of requirements involving total time, recent instrument experience, recent instrument evaluation, and the like. Having just completed the ATP/CE525 checkride, we met all the criteria.

Ken

bill e. goat said...

Catch up on Sat morning...part 1 of 3
(relax, use the scroll wheel..., or delete button:).
-----------------------------
MOO: "But wicked Foxy Woxy did not lead the others to the palace. He led them right up to the entrance of his foxhole. Once they were inside, Foxy Woxy was planning to gobble them up!"

Goat: Ummm, I'd watch my step on those plant tours...

"Yeah, that idiot Preston Tucker... seatbelts on cars... what was he thinking????!!!"

Goat: Good observation. From what I've read, it was pretty innovative. I actually saw one on the road about 10 years ago- pretty cool. Sort of looked like a "funked-up" Studebaker (I guess "pimped" is the contemporaneous colloquialism- for Fred's benefit :), but hey, I thought the Stude Starliner and Hawks were pretty cool too (although, a little before my time).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studebaker

-------------------------------
FITO: "As I understand it Hampson employs semi-skilled and largely unskilled workers and pays substandard wages at the TX facility. I worked for Boeing for 25 yrs, and they suffer similar problems all the time".

Goat: Hmmm, good observation- (I think Eclipse uses semi-skilled and largely unskilled workers in upper managment). I'll credit Hampson with being a world-class supplier, but sounds like there is still some transition required at their recently acquired Texas facility.

"Test coupons are tested every day and metallographs made and studied".

Goat; Reassuring to know Eclipse does metallurgical QA sampling.

"I was astounded when I touched a weld path within a second of the pin lifting and the weld was not even warm..."

Goat: I'm not metallurgy guy, but I read that the temperature gets to 80% of the melting point. That combined with the downward pressure of the bit “fuse” or something like that, the materials together. I suspect the material seemed cool because the heat and pressure are so localized (probably, ?hundredths of a square inch at any one time?) that the heat is rapidly “wicked” away by the surrounding structure.

---------------------------
9Z:
"I get it now - you're Stepford Customers".

Goat: I'm afraid I concur- it does seem like “programmed” acceptance of the news, no matter how bad the delays or price increases or functionality deficits are.
---------------------------

Redtail:
"Even CWMoR and Nostradamus are can be right, if you wait long enough and are vague enough".

Goat: Ummm, I think you just quoted Vern's newly stated tactic.

"Oh, no! Wait for it! More inventor stories from Gadfly".

Goat: I think most of us thoroughly enjoy his educational and informative inventor stories, and are grateful for him sharing them. I look forward to many more!!!
------------------------------

Dave:
“It will be very interesting to see how Eclipse negotiated the contract with the volume. It sounds like Hampson was smart in protecting themselves where they'd get paid whether the volume was there or not”.

Gunner:
“Hampson produced (as so many others have). Eclipse couldn't pay (as has happened before). Hampson, given little choice to recoup their investment, eased up the terms in hopes of making a bad situation tolerable. Eclipse still didn't pay. Hampson negotiated. Vern turned his pockets inside out. Hampson sued. Vern dragged out the "incompetent vendor" PR Comedy Skit, as though Vern actually has any credibility left...”

Redtail:
"What the suit is about is a disagreement over minimum order of shipsets as guaranteed in the contract. Eclipse claims the need to rework and/or return parts has help to slow manufacturing, production goals have not been met as a result, and therefore the minimum guarantee should be reexamined. That is also why Hampson offered a lesser payment for the minimum order, which Eclipse refused".

Goat: Like it or not (!), most of us piece the Eclipse puzzle together by evaluating opposing viewpoints. Thanks to Dave, Gunner, and Redtail for contributing to my read on the situation:

1) Eclispe “lured” Hampson into a contract promising “Verntastic” volume in exchange for very low prices.

2) Eclipse's volume is nowhere near promised, and Hampson has “suffered damages” as a result (?well, maybe?) of them investing in resources (facilities, people, material) to build to the forecast volume.

3) Eclispe now CAN afford to pay for tail assemblies, but CANNOT afford to pay for the “damages” to Hampson.

...well, that's my take on it anyway. I think Vern is trying to stiff Hampson, probably. Those who suggest it is the “mutual best interest” to negotiate a settlement haven't been following Eclipse's track record. Apparently, Hampson has.
------------------------------

Ringtail:
"Most of these guys never support Eclipse. IMO they fall into one or more of these categories:

**suppliers that did not get eclipse business
**A&Ps that were fired or passed over
**Engineers that were either fired or passed over
** other aircraft owners that feel their aircraft is threatened by the EA50
** Legacy airtaxi operators that do not have the financing to get into the new game
**investors that are jealous of Vern's ability to raise funding”

Goat: I feel slighted. You left out ignorant A-holes. I'll try not to take offense- I'm sure it was an unintentional oversight :)

"it's called running the business".

Goat: (...into the ground. Then running to Mexico :).

bill e. goat said...

Catch up on Sat morning...part 2 of 3

CWMOR:
"The real question remains, why do so many otherwise excellent suppliers have so much trouble with Eclipse?"

Goat: Good question...I'm concerned about engine deliveries- how many of those are sitting on the docks?
-------------------------------

Frederick .j.p.h.b
Re: "if you want a whole nation to believe you , you have to make the lies as big as possible"...(Mein Kampf" -G.W.Bush for sure has read it ?!!)"

Goat: I concur with your sentiments completely, but I think we are a minority (49% though!).

“You just have to be carreful not to fall in your own trap , or getting crossed by having to make bigger and bigger lies to keep some credibility...”

Goat: Vern's scaled back production forecasts, and I think the tip off to the Repub's was the 2006 elections; they've scaled back the over-the-top propaganda, a little bit. I yield to the “majority”, and plead for no political debates here! We're busy enough trying to keep an eye on that wiley weasel in ABQ. And FWIW, I consider the dem gov. of NM an equally wiley weasel).
---------------------------

AsafetyM,
re: quality: "Hampson may have had to rework nearly completed tails time and time and time again to incorporate design changes from an inexperienced design group at Eclipse".

Goat: good point, definitely a possibility

---------------------------
Turboprop pilot:
"An Al Mann story in today’s NY Times"

Goat: Thanks for the info on Mr. Mann. Seems like he has deep enough pockets to keep Vern going, (combined with the BoD's connections). And I mean, D-E-E-P pockets. Maybe another few $100M is not a big deal here. (REALLY, as incredulous as that seems...).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_E._Mann
------------------------------

Ex-e-eclipser:
"Also, how come nobody has ever made an analogy to Preston Tucker and the demise of his automobile to Eclipse?"

Goat: I've got a more apt analogy, maybe in a couple of weeks I'll have the time to edit it into something readable. I must observe, when Tucker folded, the urban legend is all the purchasers got their deposits back. Not so with the investors though, but it does demonstrate good intentions, (or an attempt to spin public opinion to influence the corruption trial). I hope our owner-in-waiting friends benefit from such "benevolence", should circumstances unfortunately evolve to a similar situation.
-------------------------------

Dave:
"Maybe the next round of financing will come the Delorean way".

Goat: Good one- :) I think John D's “disruptive” financing involved cocaine. Not sure if Eclipse will get busted on the Koolaid ingredients...Definitely something in the brownies though...
-----------------------------

Hotdog:
Welcome back. Hang with us man. Hoe you don't a "beating" again. I'd take it as a compliment though!.
------------------------------

Gadfly,
Goat: The King Fahd of Saudi Arabia jet* is a wonderful lasting legacy to creativity and artwork- thanks for sharing it with us.

(not to be confused with King Fraud of Albuquerque, who is also into jets :)

To paraphrase Gadfly's troubled dealings with ABQ partners on that project a bit...and substituting Eclipse for his troublesome partners:

1) "The failure was my “belief” in" [Eclipse]
2) "to be paid for my efforts" [Receive my airplane]
3) "there was never a question on the price" [Ummmm,]
4) "nor the quality of the work" [Well...
5) "but these people just didn’t like to keep their word" [Ah,...]
6) "and it took a year and a half to" [Get my airplane]
7) "And finally, satisfaction...without having to use a lawyer".

Let's hope our friends on the blog who are waiting patiently for their airplanes will have similar satisfaction :)

bill e. goat said...

Catch up on Sat morning...part 3 of 3

Ken:

"Eclipse has already produced more planes this year than Cessna produced jets in their entire first TWO years of production. And the year is not over yet".

Goat: And they haven't turned a profit in 10 years or so

"What is more, the new upstart has somehow figured out how to make the planes twice as fast as the company that's been doing it for decades. Go figure".

Goat: The present challenge isn't how to build a lot of airplanes; the challenge is how to make a profit. On the technical side, I'd say Eclipse has succeeded quite well on most "conventional" technical accounts- rather stunningly so on the handling part, from what I've read; and commendably impressively on the speed, and adequately on payload and range. From a manufacturing standpoint, they have modern infrastructure, and innovative methods (cost savings?, well, hopefully not more expensive than conventional methods). But the profit hurdle remains the biggest challenge to the long term success of the company IMHO.

"The planes Eclipse is producing have better performance at a much lower operating cost than the CE500 that so many people thought enough of that it became the benchmark owner-flown jet. Do you realize that the operating cost of an Eclipse is something under HALF the operating cost of a CE500? And the Eclipse is modern, up-to-date, and offers all kinds of safety and workload-reducing features that were never dreamed of in the CE500".

Goat: True, but to quote one of my favorite bloggers (Ken): “In 36 years since the CE500 got its Type Certificate”...Thirty six years ago was a long time ago. And the CE500 wasn't released with the caveat that “well, you can use it for a while, then you have to bring it back”:) While researching to make sure I knew what flavor of Citation a CE500 is, I Googled and found:

"The Best of the Worst - LG CE5000:
This inexpensive MP3 phone has an ambitious set of features, but they are poorly implemented". (No comment :)

"You really just don't get it, do you? These new jets are not going to be orphaned no matter how much you may wish for it".

Goat: I concur, the airplane will not become an orphan, it is too good of an aerodynamic design to get dusty on a shelf. The avionics will get sorted out eventually. (Who will own the company at that point, well, I'm less sure of that).

"That will NEVER happen now because they've already reached critical mass".

Goat: I'm not sure what there is to get. It IS a nice airplane, but the “critical mass” that most concerns me is the black hole money pit that just keeps sucking in $100M's; I'm not sure if Eclipse as a company will ever reach escape velocity from this, no matter how good the product -eventually- becomes. Time is money, and Eclipse is getting sucked deeper and deeper into the financial abyss hole every day, every week, every month, every year, despite their product becoming better every month, and their volumes going up every month. PROFITABILITY is the issue to me.

"Eclipse is cranking them out in record numbers, and low-and-behold, they're doggone good planes! Have you flown one? I think not. I've yet to meet a guy who flew the plane and didn't love it".

Goat: I think you are correct. I believe the proposition that people are “turning” them because of dissatisfaction is not representative of ownership satisfaction. Rather, the airplanes were purchased with the express intent of “turning” them. Maybe a few folks are selling out of concern for the company's financial health, or adopting a “sell it now, buy another one later” after the ruckus is over (and the feature set is implemented)

AND. Speaking of "health"; I am GROSSLY offended that anyone would question your commitment to patient care. It is patently ludicrous to bring that into a discussion of airplanes.
-----------------------------

R.C.Flyer:
"The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by investigators at a major U.S. research university. The element, tentatively named administratium ...but results to date are not promising”.

Goat: I think Eclipse also has some “dense elements” in their upper management- maybe some sort of “isodope” of administratium :).

And I'd have to agree, “results to date are not promising” :)
-----------------------------

Flightcenter:

"It is a very small industry, everyone has a very long memory and there just aren't a lot of aircraft manufacturers out there. Hampson has decided that they would rather not have Eclipse as a customer".

Goat: Good point, interesting proposition

"Why would Eclipse be worrying about Avidyne shipsets? After all, NG is going to be certified and delivered on aircraft 105".

Goat: You are such clever boy- such parody!! (Um, right? :)
-------------------------------

ATM:

"I suspect, as with all the other lies, this one will BITE him right where it counts".

Goat: I think it's those bytes are what's biting him the most
-----------------------------

Mouse:
(Re: ASM's question regarding on-site Eclipse inspectors at vendor facilities): “They did ASM, as they do with their tip tank supplier too... Guess what? The QA people have such little experience that they have no idea what they are looking at. The check the paperwork and look at the parts without knowing what to look for or what they are seeing...The only QA that is worth anything at Eclipse is performed by the mfg team who throw the penalty flags on the parts.... And by then the parts have already been bought off".

Goat: Sounds like the QA process is pretty “streamlined” at Eclipse. I think the inspectors must be under a !LOT! of pressure to accept parts, and not delay production..

"Anyone hear about the full motion simulators being installed, certified and operational? (Me either!)"

Goat: This is something that's been in my mind for a long time too- how can the simulator be “certified” before the avionics is? Seems like the simulator certification would have to come after avionics certification.
--------------------------

Whytech:
responding to ATM's observation re: "They (Cessna) might have developed their own avionics, as well... but why? There's risk in that decision."

"Cessna actually sort of did this back in the late 70s/early 80s and learned a painful lesson. Remember ARC? What a disaster"!

Goat: Thanks for the good history lesson. Yep, Cessna learns from their mistakes. Eclipse could have learned from Cessna's mistakes too, but decided to reinvent the wheel. They'll have a pretty nice wheel when they're done, but it sure is taking them a long time, and costing a lot, and really isn't much different than competing contemporary wheels though.

Maybe the fun is in the journey, rather than the destination. Good advice for life in general. I think most of our friends at Eclipse are enjoying the journey, challenges and all. For folks waiting at the station for the train to arrive, well, I hope they are also having fun while they wait, and not fretting too much. The train will eventually arrive, not sure who'll be driving it by then.
---------------------------

ATM,
Thanks for the hint- I got it :)

John said...

FC asks:

What trends do you see from week to week in terms of aircraft utilization for revenue flights?

There are a lot of uncertainity because it is reasonable conjecture that the planes are being for internal company travel much of the time.

BUT... take a representative destination pair KBCT--KTLH and look at the flight hours by week.

This would be from Miami metropolitan area to State Capitol. This should have a use base of lobbyists, lawyers, etc, and should represent a more likely PAID destination pair than Gainesville to anywhere.

This week was the 2nd highest flight hours after the launch week, but the flight tally (4 instead of 2-3 per week) is embarassingly small.

Week … TO FROM Total
24-Sep … 2.6 …. 0.0 … 2.6
1-Oct … 10.4 …. 8.1 … 18.5
8-Oct … 4.0 …. 2.6 … 6.6
15-Oct … 1.3 …. 3.0 … 4.3
22-Oct … 5.1 …. 5.9 … 11.0
29-Oct … 5.6 …. 2.5 … 8.1
5-Nov … 4.0 …. 1.2 … 5.2
12-Nov … 8.8 …. 4.8 … 13.6

airtaximan said...

Why do SO many KBCT folks want to fly to KNGV ? Perhaps these flights do not have revenue.


Dayjet Head Office -
Dayjet fleet MRO facilty

ItsJustSad said...

bill e. goat said:

AND. Speaking of "health"; I am GROSSLY offended that anyone would question your commitment to patient care. It is patently ludicrous to bring that into a discussion of airplanes.

I'm sorry if I offended anyone. For the record, I did not question Dr. Meyer's level of commitment... he shows that to this blog constantly, even in situations where the facts show that level of commitment to be sadly misplaced.

I question his ability to see the forest through the trees... and while it's true I only have his views on Eclipse to judge Dr. Meyer on that from, his inability to properly "diagnose" the situation at Eclipse leaves open the possibility of other judgment errors, as well.

It's a low point, true, but I feel it's a valid one. If you were faced with a serious medical problem, and were looking for a doctor to treat you... would you feel comfortable knowing your doctor lost a large amount of money on a failed business venture -- AND failed to heed several chances to cut his losses and run -- AND stood proudly defending his choice (or, his "diagnosis") to the end, despite considerable evidence his was the wrong choice? I wouldn't.

Still, you're right, Goat. This line of discussion doesn't contribute anything to the discussion of the many problems at Eclipse Dr. Meyer has failed to recognize. Moving on...

John said...

Pensacola is another test case. It was an original "Dayport". Its panhandle location should encourage heavy use for time-constrained businessmen.

The record on KPNS utilization is not encouraging. The pre-launch week of Sept 24 has higher use than recently, and there were *zero* recorded flights the last week of October.

KPNS to and from ANY destination

Week...... TO ..... FROM ..... Total
24-Sep …. 5.9 … 7.2 …. 13.1
1-Oct …. 4.7 … 8.3 …. 13.1
8-Oct …. 7.0 … 6.9 …. 13.9
15-Oct …. 2.6 … 1.1 …. 3.7
22-Oct …. 4.5 … 4.7 …. 9.1
29-Oct …. 0.0 … 0.0 …. 0.0
5-Nov …. 5.9 … 5.9 …. 11.8
12-Nov …. 5.2 … 3.9 …. 9.1

bill e. goat said...

Itsjustsad,
Please don't feel I was singling anyone you or anyone in particular out for posts regard Ken as an MD. I am sure he is a competent and caring physician. There have been a number of posts over the weeks that troubled me, but thanks for your considerate comments this morning.

ItsJustSad said...

And thank you for that, bill e. goat.

I'd love to be proven wrong on this... so if (when, hopefully?) Ken takes delivery of his fully-equipped airplane from a healthy and vibrant Eclipse Aviation, I'll happily eat all the crow he can dish out...

bill e. goat said...

itsjustsad,
I'm not sure who's going to be eating the crow pie, but I sure have a feeling it's going to be a BIG pie!

(And I have the uneasy feeling that we'll all have feathers on our face before it's over with :)
--------------------------
p.s.- I think Vern might be wearing some feathers too- and tar! (As Abe Lincoln said, "If it weren't for the honor of the ceremony, I'd prefer to pass”.

(Hmmm, somehow, referring to “honest Abe” and Vern in the same sentence just doesn't seem quite right :)

rcflyer said...

bill e. goat said,

"This is something that's been in my mind for a long time too- how can the simulator be “certified” before the avionics is? Seems like the simulator certification would have to come after avionics certification."

Bill,

The non-motion simulator Eclipse is using now is equipped with (Avidyne) Avio. That is a certified avionics suite.

I've flown that simulator and it is very impressive. The 180-degree view is detailed and seamless, with a high refresh rate. In fact, to me it looked _better_ than looking out the windshield of a real airplane. The sim is non-motion, with plans to upgrade it to full motion and level D sometime in the future. As far as I'm concerned, the sensation of "flying" it is so convincing that the motion won't add much. You can almost feel the G's when you do a steep turn.

By the way, I understand that Eclipse is now using this sim for checkrides, with most of the ride in the sim, finishing up in the real plane.

I don't know what avionics are being installed in the new, full-motion sims. They could install AvioNG if the software and hardware have been frozen for certification, as I believe they have. But, as you point out, it's doubtful that they could get an AvioNG sim certified before the avionics are signed off in the plane.

By the way, Bill, thanks for taking a more even-handed approach than some others. Your fair-minded attitude reveals true class.

R.C.

bill e. goat said...

R.C.,
Thanks for the kind words- I've been on my soap box here too, I'm afraid. But I've been embarrassed into listening to others- sure are a lot of smart folks here. And I think we're all pretty open minded- and open mouthed- ha. I find the blog genuinely informative and entertaining.

Thanks for the info on the simulators- sounds pretty cool. I hadn't considered Avio-OldGen being used in them, not quite sure what the implication, if any, regarding Avio-NG is. (Maybe more or less swapable when the time comes, I suppose).

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