Monday, November 19, 2007

Eclipse Support Model

A Guest Editorial from flightcenter

A number of people have been making the case that the Eclipse 500 is an airplane that costs more to produce than Eclipse is selling it for. Those folks have been making the case that Eclipse's business model isn't sustainable.

Now that Eclipse is delivering airplanes, it is time to look at the Eclipse 500 support model and consider whether Eclipse's support model is sustainable.

All indications are that the Eclipse 500 is an airplane that will have significantly higher down time and support costs than Eclipse and / or Eclipse 500 owners have budgeted.

The fact is that there are many complex and highly inter-related systems on this airplane which are provided by independent suppliers. When the airplane's electronics catches a cold, it is going to be very hard to figure out which vendors' products are causing the problem and how to fix the problem.

Many of the AvioNG suppliers are not naturally aligned, and in many cases they are direct competitors. (Honeywell, Garmin, and Chelton, for example).

When problems are reported, it is not hard to imagine that there will be finger pointing – and assertions of "not my problem" among the vendors.

Let's look at product support from the perspective of Eclipse and its AvioNG vendors.

Who is to blame when the aircraft's autopilot doesn't capture and fly an approach correctly?

The autopilot manufacturer? (S-Tec)
The FMS software provider? (Chelton)
The radio provider? (Honeywell)
The GPS vendor? (FreeFlight Systems)
The AHRS vendor (Crossbow)
The air data vendor (Harco Labs)
The display manufacturer? (IS&S)
The control system vendor? (Autronics)
or the systems integration software supplier? (Eclipse)

It will not be a simple matter to make that determination. Once it has been determined that some or all of the above systems need to be fixed, certified and released then Eclipse will need to coordinate product release schedules with up to 9 different companies. Some may not be able to produce a fix on the schedule that Eclipse desires.

Once all the companies have produced their fix, then Eclipse must verify that the fixes are valid, potentially by conducting flight tests. The more vendors involved, the higher the probability that one or more of the "fixes" will have a side-effect causing other problems on the aircraft. On top of this, the release schedule is going to be fraught with delays as the release of the consolidated fix will be gated by the slowest vendor to deliver. This process is hard enough
with only one or two avionics vendors on the aircraft. It becomes exponentially harder as you add vendors.

That is just the technical part of the process. We shouldn't forget that someone has to pay for all the effort required to produce the product fixes and get them to market. There is also a very real possibility that one or more of the smaller vendors may go out of business, be acquired by a larger company, or chose to terminate their relationship with Eclipse.

Now let's look at diagnosing an AvioNG problem from the perspective of the service center. How does the repair tech out on the line diagnose and fix problems that could be spread across 8 or 9 vendors?

Answer – with great difficulty.

The natural reaction will be to pull the boxes that could contribute to the problem and send them back to the various vendors, in the hopes that a new or repaired box will fix the problem.

However, a very high percentage of those boxes are going to work just fine when they arrive at the vendors' repair shops. The most likely response will be that the vendor verifies that their equipment is working to specification. In this case, they will not make any repairs and will send the box back to the service tech with a note saying "No Trouble Found". The service tech will then reinstall all the returned boxes and find out that he still has the exact same problem.

Which leaves the service tech right where he started, scratching his head trying to figure out what to do next and how to fix the problem…and the Eclipse 500 owner will be wondering when he is going to be able to fly again.

It won't be long before Eclipse gets a bill for the aircraft's downtime.

178 comments:

Ken Meyer said...

Meanwhile another big operator lends their support to the Eclipse 500.

TAG Aviation Steps Up VLJ Involvement

And OurPlane has received the first of its Eclipse orders.

That's two more smart operators who think the Eclipse is a pretty good plane.

Ken

fred said...

keny ... keny boy ....

may be you should read the news up to the end ...!

they got nothing ! they leased back to eclipse the SN they got ...!

Ken Meyer said...

Actually, fred, TAG says they leased their first plane back to Eclipse while their pilots are training, and they'll have it back shortly along with a bunch of others:

The VLJ Flying Club, which is Ilsley's brainchild, received its first 500 VLJ - serial number 12 - in September and nine more will be handed over during the first half of 2008. "We have leased the first aircraft back to Eclipse while our pilots complete their training. We should get it back next month," Sheble says.

And OurPlane is flying S/N 66 right now; it is the first of 21 Eclipse 500's they've ordered.

You know, I'm starting to think you guys will still be patting each other on the back 10 years from now when there are 10,000 Eclipse 500's flying. I can hear it now: "Hey, freddy, that company will never sell another one of those planes. 10,000 already? I don't believe it. That's as phony as when they faked the lunar landings back in 1969!"

Every step of the way, there have been naysayers to say it wouldn't happen even though it IS happening, right before your very eyes. But you choose not to see it.

Whatever.

Ken

fred said...

KEN ...

as you say : WHATEVER ....

you see lots of godd things in that ...

i just see delays , something happening in the future , or a potential for peoples to spread the risks on more than one person...

i remind you with something i wrote sometimes ago :

Russia is going to stop exporting oil in 2012/2015 (they will absorb everything on their market )

what do you think is going to happen when the NOW 1er world exporter (saoudi arabia is only second now ) is going to stop putting its product on international market ....??

so in ten years , may be i will be patting with the crowd ..

at least i won't own a private jet with the sorrow i can start the engine ; but not too often or i will have to sell my car ... ;-))


being serious for a handfull of seconds ...
i just hope time will proove you right ..

you put so much faith into it , it would be just immorality not to be fullfilled ....!!!

fred said...

sorry GOOD , not GODD ! ;-))

fred said...

and about the fake landings in 1969 ... they were fake ??? you sure ??? i was only 8 at the time .... so i don't know ...!! ;-))

the plot theory works both way : remember not very long ago , some peoples of your side used to call my side "the old piece of junk called europ" ...

it didn't prevent most peoples or your side to think may be we were right not to agree on the W.M.D.

so you see , you can say whatever you want ... i can say wathever i think ... i am not trying to convince you as you have just not a chance to convince me ...!!

the only one thing on what we could agree = E500 can be a good plane , but probably not cheap and probably in a few months/years/whatever ..!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Would that be the same 'smart operator' TAG that is involved in the Part 135 meltdown with the FAA?

Would that be the same TAG that has been accused by FAA of entering into 'schemes' to try and fraudulently trick the FAA into believing it was not violating the FAR's?

No need to reply, we all know the answer already. It IS that TAG.

You could address the issues that FC brought up re: the issues of supportabilty as it pertains to the highly integrated nature of systems from competing vendors, his review is spot on and highlights but a few of the issues for Avio Take Three.

But by all means keep scrambling for the diversionary 'good' news, the Chewbacca defense is fun to watch.

airtaximan said...

I believe the answer will be...

"no fault found"

It's the continued mantra of the faithful - directed at e-clips, of course.

A long time ago already, we were in a "discussion" about the real benefits to pilots/owner etc, regarding AVIONG.

Ken made some bold defensive statements - nothing to back it up, except when I get to explaining it all, you see the benefits compared to the G1000 and the Honeywell Apex, for example.

FC, great examples - and of course, the "integrator" will have "no fault found" as a matter of course.

Their integrated system will just report what the actual problem is, through the computer system. Like I said - from their perspective, I assure you, they will have "no fault found" - it will be a supplier's fault.

I wonder what the hold up is for AVIONG, NOW DELAYED again to Q-1/08?.

Since they were working on this system a long time ago when announced in early 2007... it seems to be taking an awefully long time to just plug the new systems together and get flying.

I think they have basically proven your point FC... for you...given the realities of the pooch-screwing that is AVIONG.

"we'll have it certified in a few months"
"we'll have you up and flying in no time"

rrriiiggghhhttt.

FlightCenter said...

CWMR,

Thanks for your comments.

Here is the delivery update brought forward from the last post.

Eclipse 500 Delivery Data has been updated.

Here is the executive summary for E500 aircraft delivered for last week.

Eclipse has delivered 9 E500 aircraft so far in the month of November according to the FAA registration database, for a total of 63 aircraft.

There are another 4 E500 aircraft which are "in process" at this time. That would make a total of 67 Eclipse aircraft delivered so far.

Interestingly, for the first time since I've been checking the "in process" website, Eclipse did not file any paperwork with the FAA to deliver additional aircraft or start new aircraft in production.

No change in status regarding the CofAs on aircraft serial number 39 and higher.

Eclipse has not delivered serial #53 or notified the FAA that it is in process. According to FAA records, Eclipse notified the FAA that serial #53 started production on 8/20/2007.

The highest serial number delivered so far is #70. According to FAA records, Eclipse notified the FAA that serial #70 started production on 9/27/2007.

airtaximan said...

Ken might be right for once.. they are delivering more planes than before - but nowhere near 1 per day. In 20 days, they have delivered 9 planes in November... and theres more coming. They might have their best delivery month, yet.

I love the fact that the cycle time for a plane (70) assembly is around 20 days... not bad at all. This of course is one plane- it can be done... by how many folks, and how many produced durig the same 20 days... all points of interest. GREAT JOB Eclipse... this is a big deal.

BUT:
"Interestingly, for the first time since I've been checking the "in process" website, Eclipse did not file any paperwork with the FAA to deliver additional aircraft or start new aircraft in production."

grind...grind...grind....

Let's hope I am wrong... because I want them to get to S/N 105 by Y/E.

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

You make some good additional points about the technical and schedule risk associated with getting Avio NG working and certified the first time.

Eclipse says that serial # 105 will be the first Avio NG aircraft.

Eclipse says that Avio NG cert is now scheduled for Q1 2008.

Based on the Eclipse's historical rate of production ramp, I would expect serial #105 to be delivered in February 2008. (This makes the very optimistic assumption that there will be no disruption from the Hampson lawsuit.)

Ken says that one of the reasons he is waiting for serial number 151 is that he is expecting to take delivery of his aircraft with Avio NG installed at the factory.

I wonder how many of those initial Avio NG teething pains will be worked out by the time Ken takes delivery of 151, which according to Mike Press's newsletter is expected to be delivered in Q1 as well.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

NFF is the single most expensive result you can have in terms of troubleshooting - Boeing, Airbus, the military and the airlines, have all learned that integrated systems require a considerably greater level of forethought when designing fault isolation and troubleshooting in order to avoid 'swaptronics' as the wrench-turners call it.

Given Eclipse's tremendous 'success' to-date in tackling other sophisticated issues like designing an integrated avioncs suite (two and half times now), as well as things like production planning (oops), I have faith they will have done a similar job, similarly as well.

Expect JetInComplete pricing to be escalated again, probably by end of Q1 '08 (if there is still a going concern), probably by another 25-35%.

baron95 said...

The issues that FC points out re integration and troubleshooting are real, however it is NOT true that Eclipse is the only one doing this. This is how things have been done in biz jets since the begining of time. Cessna's Citation, Citation Jet CJ1/2, etc were all done the same way with multiple boxes from multiple vendors.

Integrated systems like Collins Pro Line 21 (CJ1/2+, CJ3) are recent phenomena in entry level jets. And for jets below the $4M mark, only the Citation Mustang is currently certified with a (mostly) single vendor suite.

Eclipse placed the wrong bet on Avidyne.

Had they placed their bet in APEX they'd be equally screwed as that product has slipped, and slipped, and is still not flying - Lets see if Pilatus gets it flying in the PC12 as they claim in 2008.

Yes, they should have gone with Garmin 1000 which was the safest bet. But that system is no wonder either - it is basic bread and butter and it is totally closed.

I can't blame Vern for going for an integrated system that he could control the interfaces to plane functions. Obviously the execution was horrible.

Funny thing is that is the one area of the project where his computer/hi-tech backgound could have helped. It now looks like the one area that can bring the whole house down.

Will they have avionics support problems? yes. Are they going to be worse than in the Mustang? Yes. Are they going to be worse than in the PC12, TBM850, CJ1? Prob not much different.

My issue with Eclipse support is this:

Combine - start up production variations + an over worked engineering/production staff + high volumes + a *HUGE* backlog of planes to re-work/re-do/re-certify. What are the chances that a serious problem in the field will be fit in that system? Not good.

Ken Meyer said...

FC wrote,

"Eclipse says that Avio NG cert is now scheduled for Q1 2008."

Company officials specifically state that Avio NG certification is NOT delayed past December and dispute any published reports that made that claim.

Ken

gadfly said...

Sometime early Sunday, our “Brother Rat” was making some rather intelligent comments about the development of the little jet . . . but ‘midst all the name-calling and fights in the sand box ( . . . and I had some other teaching responsibilities at that hour ). . . I refrained from comments . . . it’s most difficult to speak above the “din” of childish name-calling, no matter who is right, and who is wrong.

To summarize . . . and mix in some of my own observations that seem to mix well with comments from our little rodent friend:

The idea of building a “disposable jet” is in keeping with the times. Fortunately, or un-fortunately, almost everything is being made in China. (. . . even the Germans are confronted with the "Wal-Mart" mentality, so I learned.) And almost everything is cheaper to use and throw away, than to attempt to keep the thing and make it last to pass on to “the kids”.

Repairs? . . . a new one costs less than a simple repair. Examples from cars to computers are numerous. And it wouldn’t matter, either way . . . a three-year-old computer has done its thing . . . a ten-year-old car is something to dump, whether the “best” (a Toyota or Honda product), or the “worst” (sorry, I won’t go there). So “the mouse” suggested a five-year jet . . . and disposable engines.

Please . . . skip the name calling: Brother Rat’s approach is genius . . . I’d add “Shear Genius” . . . and has already become a part of your life in virtually every other technology.

You wouldn’t “re-build” a ball point pen . . . and, quite frankly, you wouldn’t rebuild a “Lexus” . . . and I drive two of them. In the same vein, we have a couple machines at the shop that cost a few hundred’s of thousands of dollars . . . one we’ll “scrap”, and the other we must soon use as a minor down payment on “another” . . . technology is simply moving too fast to get all sentimental about the “old days” . . . and we bought these machines to “use up”, and get on to the next achievement in our business.

“Back when”, I developed a certain vascular clip system, that is now used world wide . . . and I struggled to make precision surgical tools . . . and they worked very well, but required people of unusual skills and concerns, to sterilize, and maintain. What is used now? . . . a precision “throw-a-way”, factory fresh for each and every patient. The “perfect” solution. Now, some people criticize the “up-front” cost, but fail to consider the “hidden costs” of sterilization, and “OR” (operating room) charges for the time of a single “applicator tool” that fails, not to mention the cost to the patient, if everything is not “perfect”. I could “feel hurt” . . . my beautiful tools, sitting on a shelf, not used . . . while some disposable thing applies those life-saving clips. But the idea is to save the patient . . . “hang” who gets the credit.

Here is the “little jet”. First, the original designer was taken from the project, prior from completion . . . and another was asked to “make it work” . . . never a wise method. No-one can ever look into the mind of another, and finish a project. If you give the project to another designer, you give them a “clean sheet of paper” . . . ALWAYS. If they wish to use the ideas of the “first”, that must be their decision. And a good administrator will not “micro-manage”.

Other problems were apparent from the beginning. The “little bird” had nothing built into it, to allow it to “grow” into the next generation. Sure, for the moment, a few people are impressed . . . flying a “jet” that is easy to land. OK . . . now what! When you get over the thrill of the first, second . . . or third ride on the “roller coaster”, what do you do for an encore? And with the “Paper Clips” . . . the next chapter is a series of blank sheets of paper. There is just nothing there.

Mouse, you had a stroke of genius . . . somehow, “most” missed it. But I caught it . . . and found it most refreshing.

gadfly

(And before the “faithful” get all hot and bothered, we’re speaking of the “low end” of the food chain . . . not the high end, where certain flight/throttle control, and safety restraint systems have been in service for over fifty years, give or take, without a single (to my knowledge) failure . . . for another time!)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

"Company officials specifically state that Avio NG certification is NOT delayed past December and dispute any published reports that made that claim. "

Well, if company officials dispute any claim.....

Would that be the same company officials who disputed claims that the fleet wasn't grounded last year at AOPA, when it was, in fact grounded?

Would that be the same company officials who disputed reports that there was trouble in paradise between Eclipse and Avidyne?

Would that be the same company officials who disputed the there was an issue with RVSM for the plane?

Would that be the same company officials who said Avio NfG would certify LAST MONTH?

Would that be the same company officials who were claiming 200+ deliveries this year as recently as OSH?

Would that be the same company officials who could not keep the story straight re: the 150 layoffs last month?

Yeah, I thought so.

Ken Meyer said...

Gad wrote

"the original designer was taken from the project, prior from completion . . . and another was asked to “make it work” . . . never a wise method."

I think that is incorrect. To my knowledge, Dr. Masefield led the development team from before the plane was first announced. He was never replaced. What are you thinking of?

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Gad is thinking about Burt Rutan Ken, the guy who drew the original Pronto concept and the VJet II.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Interesting stuff about the 'VLJ Club' plane.

The article claims it was not delivered until September, however Ilsley took delivery in June according to the FAA and our very own Cardinal Ken Meyers of the Church of Flyantology.

Very interesting.

Also, the plane's last recorded flight on Flightaware was from Sedona to Double Eagle II in ABQ, 7 weeks ago.

Hmmmmm.

OurPlane's S/N 66 is one of the planes that does not show a CofA in the FAA database, and the original paperwork dates back to February of '07, 9 months ago.

Just more things that don't add up.

Ken Meyer said...

Wet Fish wrote,

"Gad is thinking about Burt Rutan Ken, the guy who drew the original Pronto concept and the VJet II."

You don't suppose he can answer for himself, eh? OK.

The V-Jet was a CONCEPT jet made of composite materials. It was never intended as a production aircraft, and it has not been produced. It was a revolutionary small jet, but that could be the only thing it has in common with the Eclipse.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that somehow you guys would try to twist that into "the original designer was taken from the project, prior from completion . . . and another was asked to 'make it work'"

Like so much that appears here, that statement was just gobbledegook.

Ken

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

Ken,

Folks who were in at the beginning of the Eclipse saga were shown pictures of a routed cardboard and tape mockup, lifesize, for the project, when it was still called 'Pronto', this was NOT the VJet or VJet II but a DIFFERENT plane, but also drawn by Burt Rutan as were the first two concepts.

It had a shoulder mounted wing, the 'copyrighted' close in engine mount layout, but still the organic shape that Rutan has been fond of for the past decade or two.

I have personally seen the photos.

Dr. Masefield joined Eclipse AFTER Pronto's initial design, and he then redesigned the plane to its' initial 'Eclipse' configuration, which was already V2.0. Masefield is not a fan of Rutan's.

That is not spin or twist, but historical fact that any ex-Eclipse employee or very early adopter/vendor types can corroborate - I'll bet Mouse is among them.

You can revoke your statement or apologize if you wish, but I will not be holding my breath.

gadfly said...

Ken

It seems that about a year or two ago, whenever, the original designer of the first jet was mentioned more than a few times. You, please, fill in the details of the very first designer. OK? This shouldn’t be a problem. No confidential information . . . just a simple review of the history of Eclipse. I’m dead serious, and sick of silly infantile nonsense. Are you a doctor of medicine? . . . or a doctor of dentistry? . . . either way, you should be most willing to share good information. Ask me about myself . . . I’ll share whatever you wish to know, either here or in private. How ‘bout you?

And in the course of events, the designers were replaced by others . . . is this incorrect?

My first encounter of the little jet was previous to all of this, and a person of impeccable credentials pointed out to me the obvious flaws in the design, and the lack of adequate wind-tunnel testing, in Washington . . . a man whose expertise is represented by projects that make the “$ billion” pocket change look pathetic in comparison.

Now, if you really wish to clarify the debate, ‘how bout you, right now, give all of us a clear history of the design and development of the little jet. I guarantee that you will have our complete and undivided attention.

gadfly

(‘Pardon me, while I take care of some other important business. Even at "seventy", I have not yet learned about the privilege of retirement . . . if, indeed, it is a privilege. But I continue to defend the science of aviation . . . make no mistake.)

hummer said...

Gadfly
For shame, for shame.
Disposable Eclipes?
Vern wants JetComplete to be the long term payoff for selling aircraft at low entry prices. This includes maintenance, repairs and upgrades both in software and hardware. Having a disposable Eclipse does not fit into the business model.
"keeping up with the times" makes some interesting analysis. Marriage works only 50% of the time. Why not avoid it and simply have a business arrangement to replace it?
The majority amount of medical cost occurs in the last six months of life. Why not avoid it
and simply terminate life so the last six months of cost does not happen?
Drug offences cause over 70% of prison and associated cost. If we could legalize drugs and tax them, it would not only be a great source of revenue, it would take the pressure off local law
enforcement and related services.
No
I think disposable Eclipses like the above are really bad ideas.
Sounds good on paper, but won't fly (pun intended).

hummer said...

Stan
Have a great vacation and cruise.
We did exactly the same trip over
a three week vacation at Christmas
a couple years back. BTW, don't
forget to renew your vows in front
of God and the ship's captain.
Sure makes for lots of points that
can be redeemed at a later time.

Black Tulip said...

Flightcenter has done excellent work here, in his delivery and cost analyses. Note use of the term “No Fault Found”. The overhaul shops know this as “Paint it Black, Ship it Back”. The high-class maintenance shops will carefully mask the labels before spraying the paint.

Maybe we have been expecting too much of the Eclipse 500. Perhaps it is just a very expensive avionics test fixture. It may be of little help in troubleshooting hardware or software issues with individual boxes. But it can be used for final signoff, if and when all the pieces are working and talking to each other.

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"10 years from now when there are 10,000 Eclipse 500's flying."

Ken, You are getting way ahead of yourself as usual. More whistling in the dark. Just getting to 100 will be no slam dunk.

WT

Ken Meyer said...

wet fish wrote,

"Folks who were in at the beginning of the Eclipse saga were shown pictures of a routed cardboard and tape mockup, lifesize, for the project, when it was still called 'Pronto', this was NOT the VJet or VJet II but a DIFFERENT plane, but also drawn by Burt Rutan as were the first two concepts."

I don't disagree with that. The concept that would one day become the Eclipse did indeed originate before Dr. Masefeld stepped in in 1999; we don't disagree on that. But I've yet to hear that Dr. Masefield was told to take either the V-Jet or the Pronto and "make it work." I've been told he had rather a free hand to design a product that could be produced in volume based rather than told to finish up a previous design.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken, do you EVER bother to actually read what people post?

I said:
"Dr. Masefield joined Eclipse AFTER Pronto's initial design, and he then redesigned the plane to its' initial 'Eclipse' configuration, which was already V2.0. Masefield is not a fan of Rutan's."

By the time Dr. Masefield joined Eclipse, the engines and basic design point were selected - he most certainly relofted the fuselage and moved the wing, but the design point itself was set. This is what I believe Gad was referring to (how I read it anyway).

Ken Meyer said...

You might all enjoy reading this followup report about the Eclipse that was flown to Dubai for the Dubai Airshow and just now went on to England--

"Well guys and gals,

I just arrived at home at Blackpool in the United Kingdom after an epic journey in Eclipse 500...

Since Friday, we travelled from Dubai to Bahrain, Jeddah, Hurghada (Egypt), Heraklion (Crete), Palermo (Italy), Barcelona, Madrid and finally back home to Blackpool!!

The Eclipse performed beatifully all the way."

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, I am the great and powerful VERN!

Diversion failed, please try again.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Since you bring it up Brother Ken, let us examine briefly this 'Epic' journey.

The Weejet covered roughly 3,250 miles. It took, according to the report, 8 legs, spread out over 3 days. Wow!

Average of 3,250 miles divided by 8 legs is how many miles per leg kids?

Yes, just over 400 miles per leg.

That IS beautiful Ken, thanks for sharing.

Shane Price said...

Stan (and Mrs. Stan)

Enjoy every minute. Myself and my wife really enjoy the time we have together, and look forward to more of it. Now, if you had some way to get rid of teenage kids...

ColdWet, Gad,

We supply complex, highly integrated systems for time sensitive and mission critical production environments.

For newspapers, to be precise.

OK, not life and death, but try and tell the editor that, when a deadline is missed.

Anyway, we have lots of bits, which we have to try and keep 'talking' to each other. Software from Mr. Gates and Mr. Jobs. Hardware from all around the globe. Firmware from who knows where.

Deadline passes. No newspaper. Editor wandering around, axe in hand, looking for....

.... well, me.

All right, not an axe, but you get my drift.

Anyway, I tend to avoid having too many partners at the heart of the workflow. Two reasons.

First, its easier to get a clean design if one team works the problem from start to finish. And, rather to my surprise, every newspaper is different.

Second, when 'man with axe' comes, I know who to point him at...

The way I see it, Eclipse have missed a real chance to share the blame (and liablity) when (not if) some clever lawyer finds holes in Avio NG.

Fred,

Sorry, Frankfurt and Moscow are not places I visit very often. My movements over the next 3 weeks are as follows. Mid West (of the US, two meetings, one night, a real pain) mid next week, London (a few hours only) sometime the week after. Then, I hit the Alps until the New Year. Switzerland beckons, as it does at this time for the past 40+ years...

Shane

Black Tulip said...

Whytech,

"10 years from now when there are 10,000 Eclipse 500's flying."

Maybe it's 10 fully functional Eclipse 500's delivered in 10,000 years. Known ice certification will not be needed then if it keeps getting warmer.

Joe Patroni said...

CWMoR..
May I suggest you educate yourself on the TAG situation before you start quoting the Feds?

I've worked Corporate/135 jets for almost 30 years (including 20 at a Service Center of one of the OEMs), and NO ONE has shown more interest in doing things the "right way" as TAG.

(Yes, I'm a TAG employee....but only for a couple of years, so I haven't had too much "kool-aid" yet.)

I have no direct knowledge concerning the events in Burlingame....but if all the 135 operators get the same scrutiny, there won't be any Part 135 airplanes flying before too much longer. Which makes the Feds job easier, I guess.

As for why TAG is involved with Eclipse? Once again, I have no direct knowledge. But remember, TAG is a Aviation Management company.

And I'm guessing....if there is anyone that looks like they will need professional help dealing with the multitude of issues on their airplanes, it is Eclipse owners.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So for giggles I looked at the actual map described, the total distance due to routing was 4,892 miles.

Shortest legs were 300 miles, the longest was just over 910 miles.

No doubt the stops were strategically planned for marketing (and not some range limitation - far be it for me to suggest such a thing - lol), although it would seem that would only leave an hour or two at each stop, not really long enough for anything other than quick looks.

Still, a kitbuilt Long-EZ can cover the same trip with more direct routing, like GPS direct for example. In a homebuilt, you would save 1600 miles, make only 3 stops, and it would have only taken a day and a half.

That is disruptive technology allright, truly disruptive.

Shane Price said...

Whytech,

Bold, very bold.

Funny as well, but you are annoying Ken with these remarks about his next aircraft.

Ken wants to talk about trips across the Med.

Even if it takes a few hops.

Or the designer.

Even if there are several.

Or another 'airtaxi' operation.

Even if the FAA are unhappy with one of them.

Or Avio NG certification.

Even if its due on Tuesday. Again.

Anything, other than bad news about Eclipse.

Please stop reminding him about FIKI, it is just plain unkind.

Oh, sorry, I forgot. The Great Raburn says FIKI is coming soon.

On Tuesday. After Avio NG. Or, was that before?

One does tend to loose track of Eclipse deadlines.

Remind me of the last one they missed...

Shane

John said...

regards delivery data

N370P or SN66 flew out to Jacksonville, Florida on 11/15 and has been flying since. So it is definitely delivered, or #10 in November.

N148DJ or SN61 has been flying for DayJet so it is also delivered (#11)
It flew on 11/6

N429CC or SN 60 flew on 11/7 (#12)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Joe,

The specific issues stem from FAA notifying TAG and their subsidiary more than 2 years ago that they had to change the ownership structure and more clearly differentiate the operational control.

The issue for TAG is as much about foreign ownership as anything - and that is not the case for all Part 135 operators. It took the other operators a week to formulate a response to FAA's action with AMI and they were all measured.

The FAA used some very heavy and very specific language in the revocation of AMI's certificate, they did not take the action lightly.

It may all work out, and for employees of TAG and AMI I hope it does, but this was a big deal.

Dave said...

What happened to the Eclipse Bidder's Club that was part of the last auction, but isn't part of new auction? Did the 100+ people who shelled out $5000 to be Bidder's Club members get a refund?

Notice that Bidder's Club is no more:
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?contentBlockId=c0065352-7288-461d-b6ce-88afe2cb8b0f
Bidder's Club saying that money will be refunded less a $500 processing fee - so did Eclipse charge people because Eclipse backed out?:
http://auction.eclipseaviation.com/Scripts/faqs.asp

"The 2nd way to purchase the Eclipse 500 is through membership in the Bidder's Club. A $5000 membership fee buys the right to bid on Eclipse 500 jets offered at auction. Forty of the first 200 delivery positions will be sold in this auction. For every month that the deposit is held by Eclipse, 1000 additional 'Eclipse Dollars' accrue toward the actual bid."
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewarticle&id=13&Itemid=347

gadfly said...

Hummer

There is no shame in designing for a single event, or a single period of time. A bullet cartridge is designed for a single event. A rocket booster is designed for a single bit of time. And a private jet may be designed for a period of time or a certain distance . . . and then re-cycled. Everything is eventually re-cycled after a certain life-cycle. So, had “Vern” truly thought through his own experience in the computer world, he might have also concluded that jets are like computers . . . or software. They are good for a short period of time, and then should be “re-cycled”. Except for the DC-3, and some other rare exceptions, aircraft have always had “temporary” stamped all over them. Why should the “paper clips” be any different?

But then, maybe the little jet will need to live as long as the pyramids . . . to outlast the promised “fixes” in the original contract. So, I concede . . . Eclipse MUST endure forever.

gadfly

gadfly said...

Ken

If your comments are true, then the "designer" certainly had the ability of imitating a committee.

gadfly

(And you certainly side-stepped my direct questions.)

airtaximan said...

"Avio NG
Avio NG is progressing but continues to be slightly behind the original schedule I informed you of earlier this year. A significant milestone was reached recently when one of our flight test jets was successfully modified with Avio NG equipment and powered up for the first time. Within the next week, we will begin installing Avio NG in a second flight test aircraft, with plans to begin flight testing Avio NG in this jet later this month. Once safely home from Europe, N505EA will become the 3rd aircraft modified with AvioNG and will join the first two as part of the FAA and EASA certification test fleet. With these three planes modified as planned, the revised schedule should hold steady but recovery to the end of July target is unlikely. I'll provide you with a more accurate certification and in service date next month."

need anyone say more?

Joe Patroni said...

CWMoR.....

True, someone in the FAA didn't like the management structure. But that's not the reasons they used to revoke the 135 certificate. They just went in and picked every nit they could find, and who has the time/money to "fight city hall?" It was better for the clients to pay the fine and go out of business.

As for the employees....it's early yet, but as usual in this business, it looks like the worker bees are going to get hammered in the end

ex-e-clipser said...

update on Eclipse Holiday Party
They are charging $40 per person to attend...how gauche!

airtaximan said...

"It was never intended as a production aircraft, and it has not been produced."

Neither was the ej-22, Ken...

says a lot.

airtaximan said...

$40 per person to attend...

of this is true, its worse than my mock invitation which spelled LAST SUPPER down the side.

gadfly said...

airtaximan

"July 2008, 2009, 2010 . . . which? . . . it's important, because the "cable man" promised to be here in July, and I need to be home that morning."

gadfly

airtaximan said...

"Eclipse is currently in the process of attaining certification for Avio NG and will retrofit at the company’s expense all current Eclipse 500 aircraft with Avio NG by the end of 2007, ensuring a homogeneous Eclipse 500 fleet. Avio NG has already been installed and is flying in two flight test aircraft. Eclipse expects certification of Avio NG by the end of October. An Avio NG demonstrator is on display for the first time at Eclipse’s AirVenture 2007 exhibit."

Need we say more?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Figurin' 50% come with a spouse/significant other that is $90K - must be some party.

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

"Avio NG, the multi-supplier, upgraded avionics system that is replacing the original Avidyne Avio system, is installed in two flight-test aircraft, and Raburn said he expects certification by mid-November. Initial release functionality includes “all current Avio capability, plus Skywatch HP, TAWS, weather radar, third AHRS, ADF/DME and more.” The current plan is to incorporate Avio NG in production aircraft as of mid-November. Avio NG retrofits of Eclipse 500s already delivered will begin in December. Raburn emphasized that further upgrades will be incorporated through software, rather than hardware, updates."

comedy

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
Thanks for the AvioNG PR rewind- I'm curious when it was issued; how many weeks before July "the revised schedule" was issued.

What I find simply bombastic is the bald ludicrousness of Eclipse's statements. Like, when was "402 in 2007" proclaimed? (late 2006 or early 2007?).

It's one thing to completely miss targets, but to set those targets with near-term data suggesting it is impossible and absurd to suggest otherwise, is, well, simply Verntastic.

Now I'm NOT beating up the messenger, and I appreciate the info on what Eclipse is saying- but: somehow I can't help but wonder regarding AvioNG, which is the more ludicrous:
"Certified" or "By December".
-------------------------

Dave,
re: "Bidder's Club saying that money will be refunded less a $500 processing fee - so did Eclipse charge people because Eclipse backed out?"

How do you think they're paying for the Christmas party?
:)

(Just wait until you see the scheme they've cooked up for Vern's birthday party!)

airtaximan said...

"Dubbed Avio NG (for next generation), the upgraded version of the very light jet's deeply integrated avionics system has been in development "for many months and is scheduled for production and delivery this summer." A hot-bench Avio NG suite is currently being evaluated, and a test Eclipse 500 will fly with the new system in "about 35 days." Eclipse promises a faster timeline for Avio NG functionality; according to Eclipse, it was Avidyne's failure to deliver functionality on time that caused the rift between the two companies. Aircraft delivered with the Avidyne avionics will be retrofitted with Avio NG by year-end. The retrofit is expected to take less than 10 days to install. [more]

According to Eclipse, Avio NG delivers significant enhancements, including a fourfold increase in mean time between failure rates for avionics, more robust systems, higher-resolution displays and more growth capability for future avionics functionality. IS&S will now provide hardware and select software for the Eclipse 500 primary and multifunction displays, while Chelton Flight has been selected to do the flight management system. Meanwhile, Garmin has been picked for its remote-mounted Mode S transponders; Honeywell for its KTR 2280 Multi Mode Digital Radios, as well as its previous selection for the RDR 2000 Weather Radar System and optional KGP 560 Terrain Awareness System; and PS Engineering for its PMA500 remote audio control system. Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn says customers are pleased with the change to Avio NG, adding that production will not be affected by the switch. He expects his company to deliver 402 Eclipse 500s this year (down previously from about 500 aircraft due to unrelated production problems) and just under 1,000 in 2008."

my favorite:
"significant enhancements, including a fourfold increase in mean time between failure rates for avionics, more robust systems, higher-resolution displays and more growth capability for future avionics functionality."

I guess Avio was really a piece of shit....

airtaximan said...

bill-e;
I'm just readinf ro my own entertainment, so I'm not including dates... its pretty much going backwards in tme, with the first post a few weeks ago and the later ones since MARCH of THIS YEAR.

Man - it seems like Avidyne has been a dead issue for a long time, now... all these BS statements, missteps and revisions...have occured basically over 6 months or so.

Comedy (of errors), or tragedy. Pick your genre...

airtaximan said...

last post was March 8 (2007)

Dave said...

How do you think they're paying for the Christmas party?

I thought the employees were paying for that. At $40 per person, are they planning on bringing in Jimmy Buffett a la Tyco or do they need to charge employees in order to try and prevent the lights from being shut off?

airtaximan said...

"The Concept Jet shares about 60% of its parts with the Eclipse 500, Bilson said, including its pod-mounted Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engine and the Eclipse-developed Avio NG avionics, which took "about 30 minutes to drop in." Like the Eclipse 500, it is all aluminum."

"30 minutes to drop in"... sure, right.

airtaximan said...

A very intelligent article on glass cockpits/Avio/Garmin...etc.

Basically, we don't need Ken's opinion, this guy is much more credible.

Funniest points are in retrospec, we know that the promised AVIO system which is referenced in this article (still worth reading) HAS BEEN THROWN IN THE GARBAGE ALREADY, TODAY.

http://www.aviationtoday.com/av/
categories/commercial/885.html

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Great read ATM, all very interesting looks back into the mists of yesteryear.

Ahhhh, the good ol' days when the sky was the limit and the future was bright.

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"A very intelligent article on glass cockpits/Avio/Garmin...etc."

A little behind on our reading, are we, AT? That article was from 2005.

"we know that the promised AVIO system which is referenced in this article (still worth reading) HAS BEEN THROWN IN THE GARBAGE ALREADY, TODAY."

That's a common view from those who don't follow the program closely enough to know what they're talking about.

I'll bet it would surprise you to learn that the majority of Avio IS UNCHANGED by the switch to NG, and it is being treated by the FAA as a change in supplier. The switch to Avio NG substantially improves the end product, but makes no change in these key statements in the article:

Each ACS uses an array of analog and digital sensors, plus stepper motor outputs throughout the aircraft, linked by data bus communications and with cross-ACS data channels to provide redundancy management and multiple alternate data paths. Among other functions, the ACS controls and monitors power distribution, engine operating sequences, fuel, flaps, trim, landing gear, anti-ice/deice, brakes, internal/external lighting and environmental systems, autothrottle, and automatic flight control system, plus the recording of maintenance data. Each ACS unit also accommodates two full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) channels, with one for each engine but cross-channeled for redundancy.

Designed for Reliability
The aircraft's 24-volt DC electric power comes from a single 200-amp generator on each engine, plus two 24-volt DC, 24-amp/hour batteries. So you have four separate power sources feeding four main buses and two secondary buses of the EPDS. Power is further distributed through 127 electronic circuit breakers with solid state switching. All critical functions are fed from multiple buses, so that no single bus fault or circuit breaker failure results in the loss of any critical or essential function. The EPDS, states Brown, was designed to 10 -9 reliability levels. That is, a 99.999999999 percent probability of correct operation, a level that is simply unprecedented in this class of airplane.


A hearty thanks to AT for bringing up this important aspect of the Eclipse.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

10-9 has nothing to do with probablity of success of an operation Ken, it is a safety measure and is quite common in aircraft intended for commercial operations - hardly 'unheard of'.

But nice try. Next you'll be trying to wow us with terms like LRU and MTBF.

And take it easy on the bold dude, makes you seem desparate.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

In fairness Ken, you did not say that 10-9 was reliability, you were only quoting the blonde kid that was the Avio 'Product Manager' back in '05.

As someone with no experience in the design and manufacture of aircraft or aircraft systems and avionics I suppose I should cut you some slack.

Of course, by that reasoning, I suppose I should cut Brown the same slack, as you and he share the same qualifications - that is to say, no qualifications.

Yup, Product Manager of Avio.

Now with leadership like that how do you suppose they ran into such difficulty?

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
Thanks for the dates- you're right- sure does seem like a long time ago.
I've been reading for fun too- it's sure an educational blog too!
--------------------

Dave,
I think the $500 "processing fee" is for the Christmas party- the $40 "cover charge" is for Vern's birthday party!
:)
---------------------

Ken,
Thanks for the info on Avio-NG- I think we'd all be interested in a systems manual, if one becomes available.

I agree Eclipse would be interested in "grandfathering" Avio-NG in as much as possible (our frineds at Learjet were pretty crafty in this regard, as Stan mentioned a few months back with product evolution- including a few 28/29's designed as "missing links" to expedite the 31/35, I believe).

But (I know you've been waiting for someone to say this:),

- if -
"the majority of Avio IS UNCHANGED by the switch to NG, and it is being treated by the FAA as a change in supplier"

- then -
??? sure seems to be taking a long time for such a "simple" change:).

(As Homer Simpson says, "nothing is simple". I think Vern would agree!).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Could it be B.E.G. that someone has misrepresented the challenge or perhaps did not comprehend what they are doing?

What exactly are you saying man?

Metal Guy said...

“I'll bet it would surprise you to learn that the majority of Avio IS UNCHANGED by the switch to NG, and it is being treated by the FAA as a change in supplier.”

Let’s de-spin this one too:

AVIO NG on the surface may retain some of the look and feel of the original AVIO, but it’s silly to suggest that it’s just treated as a “change in supplier”.

It is technically a “Major” change per 21.611 and invalidates any other previous certification basis (which makes sense because it’s an entirely different piece of equipment). All previous TSO compliance is invalidated and the whole TSO evaluation effort needs to start from scratch.

Other than perhaps shaving off some of the human factors re-certification work, it is a completely new piece of avionics.

Nice try on the spin however…

FlightCenter said...

JoeP said,

"...if there is anyone that looks like they will need professional help dealing with the multitude of issues on their airplanes, it is Eclipse owners."

You sure nailed it.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

You know, the way Eclipse tries to treat everyone like they are stupid is truly offensive, it should be really really offensive to folks who have laid their dollars and their reputations on the line for Eclipse.

With friends like that.....

'Just a supplier change', I forgot how brazen an insulting lie that was.

gadfly said...

It’s nice to know that an electro-mechanical system is reliable to ten to the minus nine . . . a reassuring level, to be sure.

It’s not so reassuring to know that “one bit”, out of place, in a program of “one billion bits” can corrupt a system . . . especially if there are no “boiler gauges” to use for backup. Of course, periodically, a bug-fix or “patch” might be downloaded from the “Mother Port” in ABQ, and everything will be back up and running in no time flat. Hunky dory!

Ability to achieve a service ceiling of 41,000 feet on each and every IFR flight suddenly takes on a new urgency.

gadfly

(Metal guy: As Johnny Carson might say, don’t use the word “spin” when talking about the little jet.)

Metal Guy said...

“Just a change in supplier”

Did Eclipse really come out with this wording, or Ken is it just your interpretation of what they pitched to you?

It’s downright nonsense and misleading in either case.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Didn't want Mouse's report of Don Taylor's departure to get lost in the noise.

That means the CFO, VP Engineering and Senior Fellow and VP Training and Flight Safety have all bailed out in the past what, 9 months, two of them in less than a month?

For a normal company this would be bad news suggesting things are not all well.

Of course, Eclipse is no normal company (as they say)

gadfly said...

Cold Fish

Never say "bailed out" in front of the faithful . . . it makes them terribly nervous!

gadfly

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Not that kind of bailed out Gad, I doubt that your Governor-cum-President and Mayor-cum-Senator hae the chutzpah to suggest more aid to the weejet.

Or did you mean the kind that could not save the unsinkable Titanic?

Or did you mean the kind that follows the 'eject eject eject' command?

gadfly said...

Cold Fish

Most of us know what you mean, but I could have sworn that I heard some of the faithful grabbing for the rip chord. Remember, that many of them are graduating from sky-diving to jets in one fell swoop (or is it the other way round . . . I forget).

gadfly

(On the other question: How many votes do you want? . . . in New Mexico, they have a “three for one” sale every four years . . . no I.D. required. We have the best politicians that money can buy.)

mouse said...

According to the Production Team, S/N 151 is on schedule for Summer of '08...

FlightCenter said...

Metal guy is right on the money.

As happened to the mechanical structure of the Eclipse 500 after the engine change, so to will happen to the avionics. Vern stated that 97% of all the E500 parts had changed in some way during the transition to the Pratt engine.

It is very likely that 97% of all the avionics hardware / software modules will be changed in some minor or major way to accomodate the transition to Avio NG.

Here are a few Avio NG changes. This is certainly not a comprehensive list by any means.

1) New display hardware and software
2) New FMS software
3) New NAV/COM radios
4) New transponders
5) New audio panel
6) Significant new autopilot functionality
7) New GPS hardware
8) New Radar plus support for Honeywell radar
9) New XM hardware and software
10) Skywatch
11) Stormscope
12) ADF
13) DME
14) 3rd AHRS
15) Part 135 package
16) Class B TAWS
17) Radar Altimeter
18) New databus hardware & software
19) Uplevel software to DO-178B Level A
20) Autothrottle
21) Performance management software
22) Jeppesen charts
23) GPS approaches

If I thought about it for a while longer, I'm sure the list would be much longer.

The point is - This is not a "change in supplier" but a major, major undertaking. It has high technical and schedule risk due to the incredible number of moving parts and vendors.

mouse said...

Ken Meyer said...
FC wrote,

"Eclipse says that Avio NG cert is now scheduled for Q1 2008."

Company officials specifically state that Avio NG certification is NOT delayed past December and dispute any published reports that made that claim.

Ken

And we all know that Ken knows Eclipse has never failed to deliver on a promise.... Right Ken?

And you are willing to back this statement up with...?

Just what I thought...

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"According to the Production Team, S/N 151 is on schedule for Summer of '08..."

Thanks, mouse.

Too bad the Production Team that the company quotes says you are wrong by a factor of months.

Nice try, though. I'm sure the others were pretty impressed.

Ken

FlightCenter said...

Gadfly said,

"don’t use the word “spin” when talking about the little jet"

"Never say "bailed out" in front of the faithful"

Now that is funny. I don't care who you are.

mouse said...

Oliver was relieved a long time ago... When he was named a fellow, it's because vern wanted him out of the picture. In fact even back in early spring of '02 Vern wanted Oliver to leave.

Oliver was replaced by the Hairless of the Harness brothers because "Ken will do what I Itell him to do, and say" (Vern's quote)

If given the chance, Oliver would have delivered a much reduced-scope airplane that would have had a chance in the marketplace.

Oliver could not stand up to Vern's BS because Olivers team were to scared of "the man behind the curtain" to back up their boss (Oliver)...

FlightCenter said...

Here's the quote I found on the slip in schedule on AvioNG. (from the Flight Daily News on 13 Nov)

"Meanwhile an avionics upgrade for Eclipse 500 should receive FAA certification early in the new year. The Avio NG integrated cockpit will bring functionality to the moving map navigation system, satellite weather and collision and terrain awareness. It is scheduled to begin customer retrofit in the first quarter of 2008."

The article quotes extensively from a conversation with Mike McConnell, Eclipse VP Sales & Marketing, at Dubai.

Eclipse makes delayed Dubai debut

Gunner said...

"The Company says...."
"The Press Release says..."
"Andrew Broom says..."
"Vern says ..."

Thank the stars I take people at their word, rather than evaluating their actions or history.

OJ says he didn't do it. (again)
Bill says he never inhaled.
Baghdad Bob says the Americans have still not breached the city.

Ken and I believe them. Why would they possibly have to gain by lying?

Happy Turkey Day all. Give thanks for what is and even what might have been. Dream big. Execute well.

And, if you can only do one, choose the latter. It's what determines how you'll be remembered.
Gunner

mouse said...

After I was asked to join Eclipse by Vern and Dan Schwinn, the following week I was asked to go to Walled Lake and express my ideas, concepts and design ideas to Oliver Masefield. This was in the fall of 2000. Oliver had only been with the company a very short time, and in facgt I met with him at his home about 10 miles East of Walled Lake. It had barely any furniture, and he explained he had just moved "over here" a couple of weeks ago. His son was visiting at the time as well. I am not sure of his hire date, however I am thinking it was early fall of 2000... Way after the initial design was underway.

Almost everything had to be redesigned because it was very deficient at best, and not clean (lots of drag), not aerodynamic, over weight, and had no provisions for an electrical system.

In fact it was late winter, Feb-Mar when it was discovered that not one square inch of real estate had been devoted to any electrical wiring... Not a conduit, not a lightning hole, not a clamp, nor piece of chafguard around a corner...

yes, somehow the Electric airplane of the future had been designed without an electrical system.

The databus concept was scrapped early on and 162 Lbs of copper wire and voltage converters had to be installed to get the first plane to fly...

Not a whole lot has changed since those early days. Very little is considered for the future, just rushing towards the cliff at full throttle, pulling the banner and looking for deposits.

I pity anyone who thinks the joy of ownership will improve with time. Better invest in a bottle of ripple and hope it does not turn to vinegar... Better vintage in ripple than in the EA-500.

Built Fast, but not to Last...

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

There has yet to be a AVIO NfG system operational and flying as defined in a flight test airplane yet.

The communications between the boxes is not working correctly yet.

But they are trying...

Ken Meyer said...

mouse wrote,

"There has yet to be a AVIO NfG system operational and flying"

Must be you missed the one at Oshkosh, coming up on 4 months ago.

Ken

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

What's this 'we' crap?

Actually Ken, not all of 'we' care about why someone left or even if they were fired - I think most of US are interested in the lessons to be learned from the mistake of the week club that is Eclipse.

Many of us are concerned about the negative impact this atrocity masquerading as an OEM, sorry, non-OEM, will have on our industry when it craters.

Some of us are even concerned about the blind faith and double standards re: ethics, honesty and accuracy displayed daily by you and the other Faithful.

So be careful with 'we'.

rcflyer said...

mouse said,

"The databus concept was scrapped early on"

Mouse,

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I've heard from a couple of sources that both Avio and AvioNG use the Byteflight data bus.

R.C.

mouse said...

Ken Meyer said...
mouse wrote,

"According to the Production Team, S/N 151 is on schedule for Summer of '08..."

Thanks, mouse.

Too bad the Production Team that the company quotes says you are wrong by a factor of months.

Nice try, though. I'm sure the others were pretty impressed.

Ken

Ken, this came from one of the guys that is heading up the build of your airplane... Wouldn't want to piss him off too much would you?

It must be really painful for you to go back and read all of your posts supporting Vern, only to see how stupid he makes you look... And so as not to pump up Vern too muh, you do a great job of making yourself look stupid on your own!

mouse said...

RC Flyer... It is on a databus now. My reference was to the original, first flying airplane design. After the P&WC announcement the system was redesigned again, again, again....

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

baron95 said,

"The issues that FC points out re integration and troubleshooting are real, however it is NOT true that Eclipse is the only one doing this. This is how things have been done in biz jets since the begining of time. Cessna's Citation, Citation Jet CJ1/2, etc were all done the same way with multiple boxes from multiple vendors."

Well if you look at the original Citation as you suggest, you'll find a much simpler world, where the multiple vendors were basically, Bendix/King and Collins.

The autopilot, displays, air data, and attitude reference, radar and some of the radios came from Bendix/King. The remaining radios came from Collins. It may be obvious, but the Collins radios were unaffected by a failure of a B/K module.

The PC12, which Baron95 also mentioned, was basically 100% Bendix/King at introduction.

There really is no comparison with the level of complexity and the degree of difficulty that Eclipse has attempted with 13 highly interdependent vendors.

Unlike at that Olympics, in avionics you don't get extra points for attempting a dive with a high degree of difficulty.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Now now Ken, you just deleted your pissy little comment about firing, and then can't help yourself.

Is it a true compunction for you when the message hits too close to home that you have to try and discredit the messenger?

Funny thing is, you are willing to place your trust in a guy who has failed, in a big way, many times - and that is before Eclipse.

If you held Vern to the same three decimal place accuracy you demand of the critics, if you required Vern to be as accurate in his predictions as we have been, you would have less nice to say about him than you do about we critics.

We aren't the one who conned you out of your money.

We aren't the one who lied to you about schedules.

We aren't the one who lied to you about capability.

We aren't the one who lied to you being a real-live jet-jockey.

Try putting just a fraction of the energy and bile you display towards we critics to the guy who actually has screwed you over - here is a hint, his name is not Gunner, or Stan, or ATM, or Gadfly, or FC, or Mouse - still drawing a blank on who it is that actually popped your cherry?

Here is another hint - it rhymes with burn.

FlightCenter said...

It's not quite as simple as Avio being on a databus or not. Nothing with Avio NG is really all. that. simple.

Mouse remembers correctly that originally all the avionics modules were going to communicate via Byteflight.

However, BAE didn't want to develop a byteflight interface for their modules, so the decision was made to go with ARINC 429 between Avidyne, BAE and the other vendors' modules.

Today with 13 or more vendors, that is one heck of a lot of ARINC 429 cabling going point to point between each module, as mouse correctly points out.

However, the byteflight databus is still a part of the avionics architecture and connects the displays, the autopilot, and the control panels.

If I remember correctly the ACS uses both Byteflight and ARINC 429.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Do I recall something about there being an automotive style CAN Bus also?

airtaximan said...

"A hearty thanks to AT for bringing up this important aspect of the Eclipse.

Ken"

no thanks to you - see, you picked up on exactly the points I thought you would, and you missed the BIG PICTURE... again.

No one cares about HOW its accomlished... except perhaps YOU, and smarter folks that see the risks in the promo BS you worte.

Did you happen to notice the inclusion of the Mustang's G1000 avionics side by side with e-clips in the article?

Know why?

Functionality, (features and benefits - real world - to the pilot and users) are pretty much identical.

Anyone who considers the switch from AVIO(in the garbage) to AVIONG (already delayed by 1/2 the time they said it would be certified) is a fool.

Go back and re-read the 2005 article that pay hommage to the wonderous AVIO - the one you bought, the one that's already scrap... side by side with the G1000...because from an owner's perspective/pilot's perspective/passenger's perspective there's no real difference...

I submit the Honeywell Apex is in the same boat...

The money spent over 10 years on AVIO was a big waste...

PS. these avionics systems are not a huge contributor to cost... maybe 10% of the cost of the plane. How much was "saved" (big joke here) with AVIO(NG)?

$10k per plane...$20k per plane?

I submit all the functionality that is offered through all the AVIONG vendors is offered by them on other planes.

As wasteful as the ej-22 effort.

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"Functionality, (features and benefits - real world - to the pilot and users) are pretty much identical [between the G1000 and Avio]"

I think you would really benefit from picking up the respective systems manuals and learning about the avionics of these two planes before writing stuff like that.
What you wrote is just flatout wrong.

In a nutshell, the difference between the two boils down to virtual cockpit capability--it's far better in the Eclipse than in any G1000 system because the G1000 simply wasn't designed to be a virtual copilot.

Read these words from a recent Business and Commercial Aviation article on the subject:

The Citation Mustang, for instance, is an example of a state-of-the-art G1000 system that was adapted to a conventional airframe and systems....The G1000, in essence, was drafted onto an existing airframe rather than being designed from the onset as part of a virtual copilot capability. Cessna had convened a cockpit design team several years before the first Mustang was built, but it focused more on classic cockpit ergonomics, switch and circuit breaker positioning, single-pilot systems simplification and automatic functionality of some systems...

It's virtually certain that the Eclipse 500 will have a virtual copilot capability that's second to none in a single-pilot aircraft...The potential for saving lives is sufficiently compelling justification. But the investment in virtual copilot technology also is bound to reduce insurance costs and liability risks as a by-product of lower accident rates. Such long-term costs savings may be the most persuasive argument for fitting future aircraft with virtual copilots.


Ken

fred said...
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fred said...
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fred said...

ken ...

are you suggeting that the fact AvioNJ errr sorry NG ( stands for next generation not Next Joke ...) unreadyness is a chance ??? and that the delay implicate that new techs not invented today are going to ready tomrrow and so able to be fitted in ?

sound like computer ...

why buy today ?? since it's going to outdated the day after and replace by a newer one for a fractional price of today ...

pink glasses on ??

it could be something good IF the article you quoted wouldn't have the "probably ; virtually ; will have ; may be and so on "

how about some REAL facts of today world ??

Shane Price said...

Ken says:-

The EPDS, states Brown, was designed to 10 -9 reliability levels. That is, a 99.999999999 percent probability of correct operation, a level that is simply unprecedented in this class of airplane.

Shane says:-

There is a 99.999999999 percent probability that Ken won't get an aircraft from Eclipse.

With, or without Avio NG. Or FIKI. Or anything else on the long list of IOU's issued, so far.

Another issue. Why spend time on something that only a select few have seen, and less care about? Avio NG will only matter IF the company manages to survive.

Yesterday, the Dublin stock market tanked by another 3%. The British Chancellor (Mr. Darling, what a lovely name for an 'accountant') had to waffle in Parliment about the cost of supporting Northern Rock. However the fact is that every man woman and child in the UK is now in hock for Stg£900 (more than US$1,800) each just to support ONE bank.

And The Great Raburn needs M O R E cash to support his dreams?

Best of luck Ken. You will need it...

Shane

fred said...

shane ...

unfortunatly the effects of the "subprime" are going to be fully known ONLY in 18 to 24 months ...!

it promise not to be too much of a fun time ...!

i am sorry you won't come to moscow in the near future ( it's a fun place !)

if after alps you go thru paris , i would be glad to invite you (and wife) for dinner if i am around (i am going to morocco for the end of the year parties)

something i agree very much with you on :

if eclipse would have spent only a tenth of the energy they spent on fooling around , E500 would be such an amazing product then i wouldn't be surprised to see them by thousands "darkening the sky " ...!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

mouse wrote,

"There has yet to be a AVIO NfG system operational and flying"

Ken Wrote:
Must be you missed the one at Oshkosh, coming up on 4 months ago.

Ken do you understand that you can fly around with un certified hardware and software on an "experimental - flight test" special CofA, but that only the filght tests performed under a TIR with hardware and software complying to the type design (proposed change to the type design) count toward certification.

People who have never been involved with certification do not understand that getting something to work well enough to fly is not 90% finished, but about 10% finished.

The new aircraft manufacturers of the 90's all understand the marketing power of this. Announce a program, get a plane in the air and the orders will roll in.

A non complying proof of concept aircraft is often needed for engineering reasons such as to get a feel for the inlet flow etc.

Basically in the FAR-23 and lower categories, it is still cheaper to just built a PoC plane and flight test it to see whether your design assumptions are good, rather than try to do it in CFD and wind tunnels, like a Part 25 manufacturer would. Unfortunatly when the Proof of concept flies, many poeple (including a significant number of Part 23 CEOs) can't resist believing that the biggest part of the job must be finished, when really it has barely started.

Ken sees AvioNG flying since Oshkosh, and thinks certification must be close. Take a look at Dynon or Blue Mountain avionics to see how easy it is to build EFIS you do not need to certify.

Compare that to Garmin still selling the 12 year old GNS 430 by the truckload because the bar set by certification has detered anybody else from coming up with a better unit for a better price, despite the GNS430 human interface.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

TIR should read TIA.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Ken, you are a doctor right? Lets just say you are a pediatrician.

How would you feel if a bunch of aircraft engineers, certification engineers, and production company owners raved on and on about what a great drug Thalidomide is.

Do you notice that no one here disagrees with your point that the plane flys great. This seems relevant from your perspective as a pilot/owner. It is irrelevant from the critics perspective.

Do you notice that the critics jump on you every time you make claims (or even worse repeat claims made by Eclipse marketing or management) about the schedule, the progress of certification, or the functionality?

I think it's a sad indictment when my baseless estimate of 38 "deliveries" in 2007 is about 100% off reality, but is still closer than that of the CEO!!!

Ken I would guess that you are good at what you do, and have been very successful in your area. I would guess that you are proud of your knowledge and experience in your area of expertise.

So are we.

Black Tulip said...

ColdWetMack writes,

"That means the CFO, VP Engineering and Senior Fellow and VP Training and Flight Safety have all bailed out..."

Not to worry, it's just a change of supplier.

Redtail said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Didn't want Mouse's report of Don Taylor's departure to get lost in the noise.

This was discussed previously. I guess you have nothing significant to say so you found the need to cut and paste. Nobody really cared this time around either. Don Taylor was an insignificant cog in the wheel. No great loss. Many of your buddies here agreed.

mouse said...
Oliver was relieved a long time ago... When he was named a fellow, it's because Vern wanted him out of the picture. In fact even back in early spring of '02 Vern wanted Oliver to leave.

I guess that's why Oliver was given Vern's pet project - the Concept Jet. If their relations were as strained as you say, Vern would never have let Oliver anywhere near the C-Jet. Your information is outdated by about the 5 years since your departure, your self-importance is obsolete.

FlightCenter said...
Here's the quote I found on the slip in schedule on AvioNG. (from the Flight Daily News on 13 Nov)...
"Meanwhile an avionics upgrade for Eclipse 500 should receive FAA certification early in the new year.

My read on that is that the upgrade to the existing aircraft is scheduled for certification and installation in 1Q2008. Your interpretation may vary, but it is ambiguous to say the least, and easily discounted as factual.

mouse said...

Ken Meyer said...
mouse wrote,

"There has yet to be a AVIO NfG system operational and flying"

Must be you missed the one at Oshkosh, coming up on 4 months ago.

Ken

There's one born every minute, and you can fool some of them all of the time. If you really believe this was a functioning system then you are truly an unwell person.

I suspect you continue to wave the flag in hopes of getting others to be a big a sucker as you. Nice thing that Hipocatic Oath... Do you feel good about luring other lemmings to their demise?

Can you explain to yourself why if it worked so well then, it is not yet certified today, last month, last summer?

Physician heal thyself.

25% of the parts and architecture has already changed sine OSH... Wonder why?

mouse said...

Whether it be Avionics, Engines, actuators, indicators, brakes, boots, or whatever... The most cost effective AND best value (lowest cost for a low cost airplane)(Ken Low cost or value = CHEAP, so you can understand) is to use COS (Commercial Off the Shelf) components.

They have known value, already certified, known MTBF, LRU's in the field, operating history, negotiable since the engineering is paid for already, Etc.

Eclipse chose none of this. They could not be lower on anything when they spec and design their own. Not in radar, radios, or anything.

Even at 10,000 units a year, aviation will never benefit form mass production. Automotive mass production is in the millions per year. During a model changeover the automotive mfg throw away more than 10,000 units of a component just to make room on the shelves for the new inventory. Any of the big 5, 6 or 7 automotive groups build more engines in an hour than all of aviation produces in a year... ALL... Everything combined...

I'm glad you and Shari enjoyed and passed your training and checkrides last week.. I'm glad you managed to learn something/anything in 10 days, and yet I'm sorry you learned nothing in the past 8-10 years...

bill e. goat said...

(long catch-up rant/ramble- sorry :)
--------------------------
CWMOR,
“Could it be B.E.G. that someone has misrepresented the challenge or perhaps did not comprehend what they are doing? What exactly are you saying man?”

Goat: Fear not*. I was simply understanding Ken’s comment that Eclipse would LIKE to treat the change as a minor supplier issue

(I think much as Gulfstream has morphed much of the G1/2/3 into the G4/5; Learjet the same, Cessna the same back during the boom period of piston twin sales, and a lot of “commonality” in the Citation series).

(*actually, one very interesting sermon demonstrated that that can be taken as a Biblical commandment, not quite the same as “don’t worry, be happy”, but more as God’s got everything under control, even if we don’t).

----------------------------

Metal Guy and Flightcenter,
I am quite in agreement with your enumeration of the changes.
But come on now, how hard can it really be- it’s “only software”**
Well, and hardware. And, well, wiring.

**In the annals of aircraft manufacturing, the complexity of avionics still totally eludes program management. Oh well, I guess it took a few decades to get aerodynamics and structures nailed down. Probably will take a few decades to get avionics nailed down too. (It’s just more of a moving target, with all the advances in processing power. I think Eclipse upper management could used some advances in processing power too...:)

-----------------------------

Mouse,
“Oliver was replaced by the Hairless of the Harness brothers because "Ken will do what I tell him to do, and say"

I busted a gut laughing- thanks for the insight

--------------------------

Flightcenter,

“The Avio NG integrated cockpit will bring functionality to the moving map navigation system, satellite weather and collision and terrain awareness. It is scheduled to begin customer retrofit in the first quarter of 2008”.

Goat: Thanks for researching this (and much else!). Maybe this is a case of “everyone being right”; The Eclipse party line is Certified in 2007Q4 (for cut-in “on the line”), and field-retrofits starting in 2008Q1 (seems appropriate that the manufacturing line would get first dibs on limited equipment availability- might as well cut it in so those airplanes won’t need to be reworked- the fielded airplanes will need to be reworked anyway, so what’s a couple months more delay- probably take a while to get a “transition training” program together anyway).

---------------------------

Gunner,
“Happy Turkey Day all. Give thanks for what is and even what might have been. Dream big. Execute well. And, if you can only do one, choose the latter. It's what determines how you'll be remembered”.

Goat: Thank you- GREAT advice !!!

--------------------------

Mouse,
not one square inch of real estate had been devoted to any electrical wiring... Not a conduit, not a lightning hole, not a clamp, nor piece of chafguard around a corner...yes, somehow the Electric airplane of the future had been designed without an electrical system".

Goat: Well, that sort of supports my proposition that nowadays, a design “committee” really is needed, to make sure all the angles are covered!

--------------------------
"What's this 'we' crap?"

“most of US are...”

“Some of us are even concerned about the...double standard”

Goat: my irony-meter just broke!

:)

-------------------------
Flightcenter, Mouse, CWMOR,

Re: Byteflight and CAN bus;

Goat: Seems to be there is yet another bus being kicked around- I thought I read the Byteflight thing was tossed under the bus with the switch from Avio-OG to Avio-NG. Anonymous Avionics Engineer to the rescue?

--------------------------

Ken;
mouse wrote,

"According to the Production Team, S/N 151 is on schedule for Summer of '08..."

Goat:
Well, if I had to pick Eclipse’s public statements, versus Mouse’s track record...I’d smile and say CHEESE !!!

--------------------------

Fred and Shane,
“Unfortunately the effects of the "subprime" are going to be fully known ONLY in 18 to 24 months ...!”

“And The Great Raburn needs M O R E cash to support his dreams?”

Goat: I’d say there is a “99.999999999 percent probability” that Ken WILL get his jet within the next 18-24 months :)
-----------------------------

“How would you feel if a bunch of aircraft engineers, certification engineers, and production company owners raved on..."

(Well, we do sometimes :)

Well, Ken might not be an aeronautical whiz, a structural engineer, an avionics guru, or familiar with airtaxi operations, but I am none of those things either. Ken has a lot of insight from the owner’s community, and insight from what the Eclipse party line is (which is at least what some of the Eclipser company REALLY does believe- if only because they don’t read this blog 

So, I’d say he is making a VERY valuable contribution to the big picture here. Same with all the “advocates”- they are right part of the time too. (Indeed, if one considers that they are are somewhat outnumbered, I’d say their “per capita” score is maybe better than the average here!

(Although maybe that’s like saying the average Titanic passenger could out-bail the general population :)

But; they are gentlemen with informed opinions, and frankly with information most of us don’t have, so I enjoy them being kind enough to share it. I’ll grant, sometimes it is incorrect information, but they aren’t inventing it, merely conveying it, and I’m appreciative- I think their presence and contributions make the blog a better place.

I appeal to everyone, on both “sides” to treat each other with cordiality and respect (which we most generally do! Thanks, I’m back down from the soap box :)

------------------------------
from fellow bloggers,

“Do you notice that no one here disagrees...that the plane flys great. This seems relevant from your perspective as a pilot/owner. It is irrelevant from the critics perspective”.

-and-

“Avio NG will only matter IF the company manages to survive”.

Goat: Well, I think flying characteristics are quite pertinent, and it is a compliment to Eclipse that they are so good as to be considered "a non-event" in the general discussion.

I think the soundness of the structural design (ahem, still waiting to see how the window, landing gear, fatigue test, etc. go) and the safe and pleasant handling characteristics, combined with powerplant reliability, WILL ensure the airplane is not “orphaned”.

Indeed, I might observe, the best thing that could have happened two years ago is for somebody to have bought out Eclipse, retain the entire workforce (well, 99.999999999 percent :), and then have popped in a Garmin system.

Maybe that's STILL the best thing that could happen...

planet-ex said...

I can't find the original post where I said it would take more or less six months from bench to aircraft for AvioNG. However, it would appear that my prediction was correct and maybe even optimistic.

I don't see AvioNG being certified before Q1 2008. Avionics can work beautifully in the SIL for months but once they are installed in the aircraft, the real fun starts.

airtaximan said...

Ken:

thanks for your comment on the benefits of AVIONG (finished, complete...the dream - when?) and the g1000 and Honeywell Apex for examples.

Boils down to "virtual co-pilot"functionality, according to you.

OK, I'll bite.
What do you get for all this money spent? What is "virtual co-pilot", what does it deliver in the form of value?

Lower cost?
Safety?
Fun to fly?
Dispatch reliability?
Comfort?


Please explain.

PS. there is NOTHING AVIONG will be able to do, that the other avionics manufacturer's cannot develop, if they do not already have this functionality (debatable) and there is some value. They will do it better, cheaper, and faster...

fred said...
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fred said...
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Black Tulip said...

From an AOPA dispatch at Oshkosh:

“Eclipse founder Vern Raburn declared the Eclipse 500 "future-proof," saying that Avio NG allows many future safety enhancements and air traffic upgrades with only software or minimal hardware upgrades.”

We need to consider another interpretation of “future-proof”. Is the system immune to obsolescence because it will never get out of the present to see the future?

fred said...

billy goat ...

when you write ".... will not be orphenated ..."

well , i kind of disagree ....

most of of more or less succesfull bizz that stayed in buisness for some times , did it because they were +/- average in most of the aspect of conducting theirs bizz...

that most agree E500 can be a good plane , isn't enough in itself ...

that they have the most talented workers of the industry , may help , but again not enough in itself ...

so it seems shane and i have more than a bad feeling about the whole matter because if you think globally about the subject you've got to remember one thing :

a chain is only strong to the strentgh of its weakest point !

(vern , erratic way of decision process , cash flow , investors , market , oil price , etc...some under direct control of EA Corp. some completely out of theirs reach ...)

the list of firms with a really f****g good idea which closed , went bankrupt or didn't meet theirs target customers (to speak like marketing pros)because they had only a good idea , a good whatever and a lot of loosy others aspect could be endless ...

Shane Price said...

Goat,

Agreed. Well, with most of what you wrote.

I'm still not sure that Ken is 99.999999 percent certain of getting an Eclipse EA500.

He might get another jet in his price range within '18 to 24' months, but any that are coming have not met his high standards to date.

And the dollar heads on towards €1.50....

The Fed will have to raise interest rates today, or at least indicate that its on the cards.

Shane

fred said...
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fred said...

shane ...

i really doubt the Feds are going to raise (may be do the same than Greenspan = inconsistent talk interpreted any way you want ...)

the dollar isn't sinking without some "agrement" ... (well , this is no secret...)

since the USA are the world's biggest consumers , the world's biggest debtors and all debts written in US$ ...

there is 2 way to handle the situation :

let the USA sink under the debts at the risk of a generalized recession and a very high risk for the whole world ...

let USA destroy theirs own money , debts will seems to be lighter (only seems) and may be they will keep on consuming like mad ...

a meeting ( this is the kind of stuff you do not hear on radio..) held in New-york at the Waldorf Astoria , talked about a oil at 100US$/barrel and Euro at 1.50 $ ...

euro at that price to help the dollar sink but not for europeans to pay theirs oil in a too expensive way ...

at the same time , it is meant to cure US of theirs addiction to oil (25% consume in USA alone )

so may be they are going to play mouse and cat , but nothing really meaningfull ...

there is 2 risk in this ...

US consumers stop consuming and start to remember the beauty of saving (not likely ...)

the plot works fine , but then life for average citizen is going to be less funny ...

more than 2 third of product coumed in USA are imported ...

so those product are going to be more expensive (with a special case for chineese product )

wich is going to make life more expensive ...in the first times ...

then after , may be american product will find a "second breath" on outside market helping to resolve the debts problem ...

airtaximan said...

I once read somewhere that e-clips paid Avidyne $20Million for their part in developing AVIO.

I am wondering if anyone has insight into the development costs, and perhaps system cost or savings related to AVIONG.

I am told that these packages go for around $100k-$200k to the OEMs planning some rate of production, like say the Mustang.

Some things to consider, besides the payment to Avidyne.
- retrofitting all the scrapped Avionics when switchng to NG... including the initial equipemnt cost, replacement equipment cost, labor, downtime, etc.
- the "additional development time" of perhaps a year or more cnsidering "we've ben working on the replacement system a long time already" Vernacular in Q1/07.... and its coming up on a year's worth of development since then. How many folks working on this for how long at e-clips? How much is E-clips paying the suppliers for their role in development/integration? Flight test and re-cert?
- modifications to the simulators and re-training?

Other?

PS. does the NG system have "safe-taxi"?

anonymous avionics engineer said...

To answer someone's question, ByteFlight should still be on board as those systems haven't been replaced yet.

Growing up in New York I always thought that the Police had the best drugs in town. From reading this Blog, I'm beginning to think I've been wrong all these years. It seems that the Doctors have the most effective mind altering substances.

Shane Price said...

Fred,

That nutter, Hugo Chavez, tried to get OPEC to move away from the dollar yesterday. The oil/dollar link is similar to the historical 'gold standard' in the support it offers a currency.

Once a generally understood value is undermined, there is real danger in a US economic convulsion. That is what scares me.

Yes, you have a valid point about the US debt burden, not helped by fighting several wars abroad.

BUT....

Significant US earnings are in overseas sectors. You are, I'm sure, familiar with the 'EMEA' term so beloved of Microsoft, Apple, HP and Intel. Very high percentages of their GLOBAL earnings are outside the dollar zone at present, with little or no reason to repatriate. Taxes are higher in the US, costs of operations are higher in the US (viz China or Eastern Europe) and returns are lower. After all, the dollar is worth less.

As the dollar declines, why would any of these, remember, AMERICAN companies risk going back into the dollar?

Without this cash flowing back to the US, where will real liquidity come from, to support business?

And we all know that Vern need cash, and needs it fast.

Shane

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Avidyne did get a large amount of cash to develop Avio (not sure of the numbers) and a very sweet stock deal as well. Unfortunatly, everyone but management saw the issues with Avidyne years before Eclipse did anything about it. At one point it could have been fixed (until about 2005) but rather than actually do anything, management chose to make a dog and pony show out of having to 'help' Avidyne.

airtaximan said...

AAE,

you have any clue about costs for say a G1000 or Hon Apex versus AVIONG?

How many folks in the group working on AVIONG?
Did they pay (again) the current 13 suppliers?

any more details?

Thanks

fred said...

yep ..shane ...!!

i see with pleasure you know what you are talking about ...!

in the matter which concerns the blog , peoples should try to get a string and link the dots of the story together ...

evrything is more or less linked together ...

i see the Eclipse story as something which has been develloped with the excess of liquidities thrown into the money market by the fed ...

if money is printed to suit need , why not invest in anything looking more or less promising ...

this is probably one of composant of the longevity of EA Corp with such a way of managment ...!!

which is at the same time the best point and the worst point of vern : very easy to raise cash to "keep going until production bla bla bla.."

so easy , it lead him to believe it can be allways like this ...

you seems to be down to earth , so you probably know the story :
"if you have a bad worker , giving him a raise isn't making his work better ..." (read= if a firm does NOT succed to make a spotless something while the cash is flowing , what happen when cash isn't flowing anymore ?)

wherever you are on earth , it's the same thing , the wealthy one have already the dosh comfortably sleeping in some paradise (in the form that suit them) ...

others are the ones without anything = they don't care = 0 minus x = allways 0 !

the middle ones are the one to take the hit , rich enough to loose something , not rich enough to quit for better skies...!

this exactly what an economy based on services and consumers is about ...!

fred said...

i forgot .... (sorry ;-)) )

what future will be ?? no one knows !
(it's a joke among ecomnmists = how do you qualify a good economist ?? the ones predicting future reading stains of coffe are not too bad ...!)

more seriously , the cost of labour in USA will have to drop (achieve by lowering $ AND lowering salaries)

if Federal spending is greatly reduced (one can allways believe in santa-claus..) may be US econmy will recover fast ...

otherwise ??? you know the score , don't you ??!!

John said...

Looking at the KGNV>>KBCT destination on Flight Aware, the only other listed plane making this destination pair recently is TN900KK. This is a 1995 LEARJET INC 60 by Rubicon Leasing (Dru Schmitt of Sunair, manager)

Interestingly, this plane did a flight recent flights to Bedford Mass (on 11/18) and St. Louis (11/12) between the hops to Gainesville and Boca.

Is it possible that Dayjet is marketing its planes to a charter operator in Bedford and a wholesaler in St. Louis.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

ATM:

No, all that is after my time.

airtaximan said...

KGNV>>KBCT

dayjet home base/head office to/from Dayjet MRO centre

what's the big surprise?

airtaximan said...

Naples named DayJet’s newest hub
By I.M. Stackel

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Naples is going to be a hub for a new kind of airline.

So new, the airline doesn’t call its communities “hubs.” It calls them “dayports.”

Founded in 2002, DayJet already has such “dayports” in Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee.

Naples Municipal Airport becomes its sixth.

Naples Airport Authority Commissioner Peter Manion, the authority’s airline service development coordinator, announced the agreement at Thursday morning’s meeting, before DayJet even had a chance to post the news at the airline’s Web site.

The staff pretty much negotiates those deals, but “I’ve known for a couple of days,” Manion said, after the meeting.

What makes DayJet unique is that it sells seats in an entirely different way than any other airline, said airport spokeswoman AnneElena Foster.

They sell per-seat, on-demand service, and the customer pays between $1 and $3 per mile, said airport executive director Ted Soliday.

The airline calls it “time-value pricing” and it is an odd cross between a charter and commercial flight.

According to DayJet, it doesn’t matter if you are the only passenger or the last person to book.

Using DayJet service requires a $250 annual membership fee, and an agreement to book at least four one-way flights per year.

DayJet visited Naples during the recent airline conference held here, Manion said.

“We’ve talked to them several times in the past few years,” Soliday said. First, they looked at Naples’ facilities. Thursday morning, DayJet told Manion that Naples would be its next dayport.

“Clearly, this time their model will be tested,” Soliday said.

Long desirous of nonstop service to Tallahassee, Soliday said the highest rate — $3 per mile — was consistent with the rate he paid to fly to Tallahassee via Atlanta.

DayJet operates quiet aircraft. Maybe at Stage 6, Soliday said.

“That’s why they’re based in Boca and not in Fort Lauderdale,” Soliday said.

A DayJet official could not immediately be reached for comment, but during the Oct. 5 dayport opening in Gainesville, DayJet President and CEO Ed Iacobucci said the per-seat, on-demand service marks a new era in regional transportation.

“Starting today business professionals...not only have affordable access to on-demand jet service, but they also have all the power in the travel relationship,” he said in a prepared release.

DayJet flies Eclipse 500 very light jets.

Vintage Props & Jets, a small family owned airline out of New Smyrna Beach, plans to offer nine weekly roundtrip flights weekly in and out of Naples, starting on Dec. 14, Manion said.

Airport officials are also talking with Gulf Air, a Continental Connection carrier, about starting up service in February.

Because DayJet isn’t a scheduled carrier, it will be leasing hangar space from month to month, said Soliday, who on Thursday was awarded a national Transportation Security Administration award for maintaining excellent safety standards at the airport.

*** month to month hangar lease, and pending arrival of small prop service as well as sceduled air service... nice one!

Shane Price said...

ATman,

So DayJet are leasing hanger space 'month to month'.

Seems a bit odd to me. Clearly they are testing the routes to see which ones make it and, more importantly, which don't.

Ryanair use a similar model here, chopping out the 'deadwood' pretty ruthlessly and deploying the aircraft to the most profitable routes.

Month to month seems really tenative, though. It shows the competition what the millions of dollars worth of programming says are DayJets plans, without having a mechanism to lock in the airport.

Ryanair (sorry to be boring) use a very direct method. They get the airport to pay up front for the facilities that they require to start the service, on the promise of 'jam tomorrow' driven by passanger traffic. The stick (for the smaller airports) is exclusive use of those facilities.

So, Mick and the boys pick their victims carefully, drive the best deal they can and start the service.

Passangers come, everyone happy.

No passangers, airport carries the can.

Everyone understands that if Ryanair can't make it work, very few others can.

DayJet don't seem to have that sort of clout. If Mick (O'Leary) was running the show, DayJet would be demanding FREE hangar space, for as long as he felt like it....

But Ed's not Irish. And DayJet will never be Ryanair.

Shane

airtaximan said...

perhaps DayJet = Cry'nair?

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

ATM,
That, or cry-in-beer
:)

Redtail said...

11/20/2007 05:58:40 PM EST
THE GUARDIAN

Hampson Industries , the engineering group, fell 15.7p to 166.75p despite a 20% rise in first-half sales to pounds 76.3m, on a 74% rise in pre-tax profit to pounds 7.1m. Sources say this could be due to private clients selling some stock but it is also likely its lawsuit against Eclipse Aviation, a US aircraft maker, is of concern. But Hampson maintains that the payments it had not received from Eclipse have now been paid and business with Eclipse now only makes up 3% of its turnover.


I guess the reports of the demise of Eclipse are premature. I'm sure Mirage00 is amused once again.

Redtail said...

Dear Customer,

As we near this week’s Thanksgiving holiday, it’s a good time to step back, and reflect on several recent experiences. Even though we are not where I had hoped to be in terms of aircraft production, I am incredibly proud of what the entire Eclipse team has accomplished over the past 11 months, and 2007 is not even over! In the next six weeks, Eclipse will complete another series of important milestones that I am eagerly anticipating sharing with you. Until then, I want to share some personal reflections and highlight a few recent events.

Avio NG

This last weekend, I flew flight test aircraft N506EA, which is equipped with Avio NG, including functional ADF, DME, SkyWatch™ HP, Class B TAWS, and weather radar capability. In short, it was an amazing experience. The Avio NG aircraft is a significantly measurable improvement over Avidyne equipment, resulting in massive improvements to functionality, usability, and hardware reliability. The display readability, responsiveness, audio quality and clarity are all massively improved over the Avidyne based Avio. I can guarantee you will be thoroughly impressed with Avio NG, as it is a remarkable system that delivers the operating experience we had always planned and expected.

This flight was particularly memorable to me as I felt it marked the realization of our original vision to design an unforgettable operating experience for our customers. It is easy to be pulled down into the daily ups and downs of building a business, but this was one of those “wow” moments that showed me just how far we have come.

This flight also made it clear to me that parting ways with Avidyne was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Besides an inability to deliver on promised functionality, initial in-service reliability data shows that Avidyne hardware is consistently at the top of the charts for failures for systems on the airplane. As we experienced in 2002 with Williams International, Avidyne was a vendor that simply failed to deliver as they had contractually committed to do. These were both extremely difficult decisions involving strategic partners, and we knew the impact would carry a high cost in terms of both delays and capital. But in both instances, first with Pratt & Whitney Canada and now with the Avio NG team of ISSC, Garmin, Honeywell and PS Engineering, we have ended up with a much better product that more than delivers on the original promises we made to each of you.

I am happy to report that certification of Avio NG should take place next month and production aircraft 105, the first aircraft with Avio NG installed, is steadily moving through primary assembly on the production line. I am also pleased to report that we have added another member to the Avio NG team, Spectralux Avionics which will now provide GPS hardware. Their new system is certified to TSO-C146b which now enables us to deliver all WAAS-based LPV capability in a future release of Avio NG.

Dubai Airshow

Early in the year, we made a decision to introduce the Eclipse 500 to other parts of the world. Building on our successful European journey this past spring, I am proud to let you know that on November 8, 2007 aircraft 51 left for Dubai, UAE and arrived at the Dubai Airshow a mere four days later. Leaving with less than 10 hours on the airframe, our pilot, Kent Ewing, remarked that the plane performed flawlessly in all sorts of weather conditions. It flew the North Atlantic crossing route stopping in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Italy, Crete, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and finally, Dubai, with minimal weather diversions. Most importantly, the flight logged just over 25 flight hours with zero squawks! That is over 8,000 miles in four days. This airplane is simply performing exactly as we expected it to.

In preparation for the trip, we installed two Garmin 430 receivers and modified the VHF COM / NAV. This equipped AC 51 with displayable GPS information and provided basic Area Navigation Capabilities (BRNAV), which are required for overseas operations. The modifications were necessary because Avidyne could never deliver this capability. Avio NG version 1.5, which is on schedule for certification in March 2008, will provide the BRNAV ability required for oceanic and European operations.

Hampson Aerospace

You may have heard that a supplier of ours, Hampson Aerospace, has filed a lawsuit against Eclipse Aviation. Hampson manufactures the Eclipse 500’s tail section, including the vertical and horizontal, rudder and elevators. I want to assure you that aircraft production has not stopped, and Hampson remains a supplier. Our number one priority continues to be delivering outstanding aircraft to you. While I cannot go into too much detail on pending litigation, I will say that as in most production situations, occasionally we get into a dispute with a vendor. However, we almost always work the differences out and very few disagreements end up in the public domain as legal action. Prior to Hampson’s filing, we sent them a notice outlining a number of recurring quality issues. These concerns have led to a discrepancy on what parts should be paid for, and which should not. Contrary to wishful speculation by our competitors and critics, this issue has absolutely nothing to do with the financial health of Eclipse Aviation. In short, it is about our refusal to accept and pay for sub-standard material. I am very hopeful that we will be able to work through our differences, and that our partnership with Hampson will continue.

Eclipse Aviation is at an exciting moment in its history. Avio NG is living up to all expectations, and we are building one hell of an aircraft and proving it in daily operations around the world. As always, we remain thankful for your continuing belief and commitment to Eclipse Aviation. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Sincerely,

Vern Raburn
President and CEO

mirage00 said...

Thanks for the update Redtail. Let the blog spin begin.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Yes Everyone! God Bless.

I remain amused and thankful

double 00

RRFLYER said...

Been following this for a while.

Anyone have an idea as to why they would be auctioning off serial number 82 instead of just delivering it to a customer?

http://auction.eclipseaviation.com/

Niner Zulu said...
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Niner Zulu said...
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fred said...

niner zulu ...

yes ... you're probably right ...!
(i wrote probably for no one to make joke out my not to good english ...:-)) )

to come back to something more insightfull ( YES , i don't have insight knowledge take it as a wild guess .... well , not so wild only logical ...!)

the auction WINNER is going to be this time :

someone from a country with HARD currency ...and good economy mythology ...

Germany ...
(no german eco isn't anymore as good as it used to be ...)

Norway ...
(they do not have strong currency but they produce oil )

some Well-off arab prince ...
(UAE or the like , no shortage of prince there is about 2500 of them ...)

China ...
(wait a second , the banks there situation is much worse than in UK and in China if they got a E500 fully fuctionning , it would take them 6 weeks to make it better , by thousands and for a 20th of the EA price ...wait an other second , fully functioning E500 ?? am i writing sci-fi ??)

or anywhere else , far away , with a curious not widely spoken language ... ! :-))

almost saying so by the sentence : "we decided to introduce E500 in other part of the world ...EARLIER THIS YEAR" Wake-up Vern , no one (out of USA) is waiting for you or Mr G.W.B. ...
you don't decide and others have just to congratulate you are kind enough to them to share your endless wisdom ...

about Dubaï ...:

sounds real funny ... question :how was the beach and wonderfull island you took some vacation with your extremely beautifull wife to be (tahiti, hawaï ,bora-bora , ...)
answer : the flight to get there was very good .period

hilarious ...!

an other good point = "Avio NG is going to be certified next month " is that meanning December or january ?? and the cert. for Avio 1.5 is for march ...

i admit i know about nothing on cert.proceeding in US , but in european cert. they would probably tell him off with something like " come back with the soon to be major change , when it's done , no way to rush after so long ..."

it isn't sad , just hilarious ...!

fred said...

if a deposit wouldn't be so much ...

i would allmost have one to keep the fun going on for a bit longer ... ;-))

keep-up the good work , Vern !

Shane Price said...

After I read Redtails post of the latest Vern letter, I have to say I checked the date, to make sure it was not the 1st of April.

Vern says:-

Avio NG certification "... should take place next month... aircraft 105... moves steadily through..."

Shane says:-
He does not actually say certification 'will take place next month' or give a delivery date for 105. Sounds an awful lot like 'Tuesday' to me.

Oil hit $99.27 in Singapore this morning. Where will the dollar end the week?

Hint, it won't make nice reading for Eclipse suppliers. Hence Hampsons 'boast' that Eclipse is less than 3% of its business. What odds its 0% in the short term, even if Vern hopes to continue taking delivery of tail feathers from a supplier with 'recurring quality issues'.

For the Faithful, there is not even a hint of a Plan B, which leaves Vern hung out to dry if Hampsons win their case. Then Eclipse have to pay for (and take delivery of) the originally contracted number of units.

All 2,700 of them, one presumes....

Did I mention oil at $99.27?

Shane

fred said...

shane ...

you are 1000% right about Ryanair !

that guy is a crooked son of a bitch ! (but it works !)

i've got a vacation house in britany , he did a little variant of his bizz'plan in the local airport ...

for 6 months , brits from london could come paying something like 5 to 10 queed a return ticket ...
(Ryanair at the beginning was not getting a cent , to create the need !!)

those peoples were able to come in less time than going from the sub to center of london by tube (45/50 mimutes)

so they started to buy houses like mad , for only a tiny fraction of a run-down flat in london ...

Ryanair asked about conpensations , they got all expenses paid ... for about 18 months

then , after a second thought ,the local authorities started to cough about having to pay for every expenses of Ryanair , so they stopped payments ...

leading to Ryanscam to stop the flights ...

and LOTS of peoples were very UNhappy , the brits , they couldn't come and go any more that easily (some had their job in London , taking planes as a kind of PT)

the peoples from that aera were ,as well , very upset , they were so happy to sell theirs houses 2 or 3 times more to the new arrivants , and the ones not selling were very happy to "THINK" living in a very valuable house ...

what did happen ??

Ryanair got hte money back ...

peoples are happy ...

local authorities got re-elected ..

and every body is paying more local taxes to compensate for Ryanair ..!!

how stupid , peoples can be sometimes ...

sollicitus effectus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcflyer said...

niner zulu said,

"Rcflyer,
Follow the money."

Please check the post to which you're replying. I did not write it.

However, that won't stop me from commenting on your post :-)

You should ask a few Cirrus owners what they think about the reliability of Avidyne hardware. They'll confirm what Vern says.

R.C.

Redtail said...

Niner Zulu said... With regard to Hampson: "Contrary to wishful speculation by our competitors and critics, this issue has absolutely nothing to do with the financial health of Eclipse Aviation. In short, it is about our refusal to accept and pay for sub-standard material." Uh-huh.

NZ, since you obviously missed, or chose to ignore, the news items I posted, I'll cut and paste it again for you: 11/20/2007 05:58:40 PM EST
THE GUARDIAN

Hampson Industries , the engineering group, fell 15.7p to 166.75p despite a 20% rise in first-half sales to pounds 76.3m, on a 74% rise in pre-tax profit to pounds 7.1m. Sources say this could be due to private clients selling some stock but it is also likely its lawsuit against Eclipse Aviation, a US aircraft maker, is of concern. But Hampson maintains that the payments it had not received from Eclipse have now been paid and business with Eclipse now only makes up 3% of its turnover.
Looks to me like Eclipse and Hampson have agreed to payment, and it has been completed. Expect the suit to be dropped, if it hasn't been already.

Niner Zulu said... I guess Cirrus feels a little differently, being as Avidyne supplies their avionics and has helped them to become one of the most successful aircraft manufacturers in history.

Yeh, right. That's why Cirrus has chosen L3 SmartDeck for their next aircraft - The Jet. Avidyne's quality sucks, and screen failures are common. Ask a Cirrus owner.

Niner Zulu said... Vern can't get more than a few sentences out of his mouth without badmouthing someone.

I guess you, too, are from the same mold.

bill e. goat said...
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bill e. goat said...

Redtail,
Thanks for the update from Vern.

(Well, if I'm going to whine, I make it short:)- I think we'll be hearing this phrase more often than we care to: "a future release of Avio NG".

(Wait- it was only two paragraphs later: "Avio NG version 1.5, which is on schedule for certification in March 2008..." :).

But, sincere thanks for posting it. And, I am confident that it will work fine- indeed, very well, by mid-summer (sounds like it's working pretty well now, although getting it certified is still pivotal), and it does sound like some incarnation will be available shortly.

bill e. goat said...

M00,
Well put, and happiness and joy to you and yours this Holiday season-

"Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Yes Everyone! God Bless".

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

redtail ...

hope you're gonna understand me...!

the guardian is reporting about stocks ...!

Stocks in economics matters is referred as "the mad place for irrationals expectations" ...

or if you prefer : i have a collegue (oh , i would love to be clever as he is ....)
"economy in the Stock-Market is the best science of universe ...it is the science about predicting the last minute past ..."

when stocks rise or fall very often it has just nothing to do with anything rational ... but most of times with some kind of irrational behaviour ...! (by the way , economy is NOT a science = it is mostly about human nature , so IT CANNOT be a science ...!)

you want a proof = if stocks would could be forecasted or rationalized in any way , why all the peoples selling your "papers" could be prooved wrong so often ??

just because there is NOTHING rational about stock-market ...!

any kind of monkey can go and buy , if rich enough it will make a trend ...!

the ONLY thing that can be raional about stocks is called FUNDAMENTALS , most of times when peoples learn about thoses they start crying ...!;-))

(in the case of EA Corp. , analysts would compare Cash invested VS earning VS profits VS expected returns VS posiible returns and would run away ...! still EA stocks are of some value (?) go wonder ....!)

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

Fred, you missed the piont of the post, or perhaps you didn't understand it. It states: "But Hampson maintains that the payments it had not received from Eclipse have now been paid". Got it now?

FlightCenter said...

Vern's letter raises a number of issues.

According to Vern, Serial #51 (N500UK) performed flawlessly on the Dubai trip, zero squawks. That's with those terrible Avio FG displays, right?

Eclipse can't claim that their current aircraft is the model of fabulous reliability as Vern and Mike Press have done on numerous occasions and also that the displays have substandard reliability. Which is it?

The larger point is how does the fundamental architecture of the system drive perceptions of reliability. Vern's claim of display issues goes back to one of the key points made in the primary post that is true for both Avio and AvioNG.

How do you figure out which system has failed when something goes wrong with the avionics?

Remember that with Avio & Avio NG the displays control just about everything on the airplane except the gear, flaps and throttle.

A few items on the list of things that the displays control:

autopilot functions,
electronic circuit breaker functions,
audio panel functions,
radio control functions,
traffic system control,
weather radar control,
FMS functions,
XM weather interface,
air data interface,
AHRS interface,
GPS interface,
the list goes on, etc...

Whenever one of the LRUs controlled by the displays fails or the interface between the LRUs and the display fails, it is very likely that line folks will pull both the display and the offending LRU(s) and send them all back to the factory.

That alone insures that displays will be among the top items on any field service list.

It is just human nature. If you talk to Collins or Honeywell field service folks from 20 years ago, you will find that one of the highest returned items from the old non-integrated days was the autopilot control panel. Of course this was a very simple device that actually had a very low failure rate. But when the autopilot didn't perform as desired, (and many LRUs could be the culprit, servos, flight computer, radios, or air data for example) the pilot or the line crew often identified the autopilot controller as the failed item and returned it to the factory.

Of course, that resulted in a very high return rate and a very high No Trouble Found or No Fault Found rate for autopilot control panels.

The same thing will happen for both the Avio & Avio NG displays, the human interface device which controls almost everything on the airplane except gear, flaps and throttle.

flightguy said...

Redtail,

Fred gets it. Eclipse had to get sued for HAmpson to get their money.

Redtail said...

FlightCenter said... Eclipse can't claim that their current aircraft is the model of fabulous reliability as Vern and Mike Press have done on numerous occasions and also that the displays have substandard reliability. Which is it?

Cirrus' have great reliability, even though the displays do not. But because you hardly ever hear about it, it doesn't mean it's not true.

Redtail said...

flightguy said... Fred gets it. Eclipse had to get sued for HAmpson to get their money.

Eclipse got sued because the two parties agreed to disagree, and needed mediation to resolve it. Since the arbitration clause was removed from the contract, the courts were the next step. The issue was resolved, without going full tilt, much to your dissatisfaction.

airtaximan said...

redtail,
I am not too sure about the Hampson reference to "getting paid" from Eclipse. i am not sure what it means, and I would not necessarily agree it means what you think. Here's why.

Vern says: "this issue has absolutely nothing to do with the financial health of Eclipse Aviation. In short, it is about our refusal to accept and pay for sub-standard material. I am very hopeful that we will be able to work through our differences, and that our partnership with Hampson will continue."

WHY DID HE NOT SAY, "WE PAID THEM"?

I think Hampson might be referring to amounts owed (and not paid up) before the infusion at the end of the summer. Perhaps they were paid this, causing the amount in dispute, now.

You might be correct, but until the suit is pulled, we cannot be sure.

Vern could have put the issue to rest, with a simple comment... but he did not.

fred said...

redtail...

sorry to disapoint you ...

i've been working in economics for the last 8/10 years , before that i took a degree in law .... sorry !

i got your point ...!

what you didn't get :

if they paid , why there is still a law proceeding ( ken would have done a booga-booga dance to write here "let's celebrate = it's settled!"

or MAY BE the whole matter was not so much about money (still it count , but not as principal ...)

May Be the principal IS about delivery conditions ...

Hampsons want to deliver 2700 item and want to be paid for ...

EA can accept delivery , but WHAT for ?? ( at present production rate , it's gonna be enough for the next 30 years or so ...) and if they pay for the delivery , then they will wave bye to others spplier's payment ...!!!

in other word , cash box is empty !
production rate is unsustainable as forecasted and vern is closing very fast on the wall , but still wondering about the where is of the brakes ...!!!

FlightCenter said...

The other point to note from Vern's post is that they have changed another avionics supplier according to this letter.

The original GPS provider, BAE, was replaced by Free Flight Systems sometime around 2003/2004. According to this letter, Free Flight Systems has now been replaced by Spectralux.

According the the Spectralux website, this is the first GPS product that they've developed. Up to now, Spectralux has been primarily known for their keyboards. Their website lists one of their major historical accomplishements as being among the first companies to have used LEDs on their keyboards.

It looks like Spectralux is getting their GPS technology from Accord who is based in Bangalore, India.

mirage00 said...

This baby is flying everywhere!

I remain amused

double 00

AeroObserver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
airtaximan said...

FC,

it always amazes me when someone refers to theirs as the "greatest" "best" "future proof"... and then scrapps a key system for another "better" solution.

The design practice that led to the Avio system, and that accepted the EJ-22 as a powerplant, the cracking glass, the cracked bushing issue, etc... was used to define and source the current incarnation of AVIO, Engine, etc..

- it is also, BTW, the same practice that led to amicable resolution with Hampson who is delivering shoddy work according to Eclipse.

A BIG DEAL TO ME:
"Vern's comments about Avidyne:
" Besides an inability to deliver on promised functionality, initial in-service reliability data shows that Avidyne hardware is consistently at the top of the charts for failures for systems on the airplane. As we experienced in 2002 with Williams International, Avidyne was a vendor that simply failed to deliver as they had contractually committed to do."

Vern needs to keep things in perspective: HE HAS FAILED TO DELIVER ANYTHING HE HAS CONTRACTUALLY COMITTED TO.
-Williams has a long successful history in this industry without e-clips
-Avidyne has done pretty well, as well, except for their relationship with e-clips.
-Hampson, BAE, United, etc... have all done pretty darn well, except for their association with e-clips.

What an asshole

FlightCenter said...

Redtail,

If you need the displays operating in order to dispatch and the aircraft has great reliability, then the displays must have great reliability.

If the displays don't have great reliability, then the aircraft that needs its displays to dispatch can't have great reliability.

Which is it?

fred said...

at the same time ..

if Hampsons is to swallow the EA Corp. deal (that many tail for that price over that period of time)

then you may have an explanation on the stock falling ...

which could be the starting point for hampsons of a resolution like : "we (hampsons) are going to eat EA tails at breakfast fo the next few years , but no way we deal with them again !"

it's probabbly a sector were margins and profits are not so great ...

so if they agreed on a low price compensed by a high volume , and if volume is gone on vacation without leaving an adress , then .....!

stop making point where there is NO CERTAIN point , neither from you or i !

fred said...

mirage ...

thanks for the link ...

thanks as well for the other link ...

where Vern is showing the new flight-test of "disruptive techs" conbined with AvioNG :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLkv1HNgoL0&feature=related

(ok , it is a bad joke , but we aren't for fun ????

airtaximan said...

It looks like Spectralux is getting their GPS technology from Accord who is based in Bangalore, India.

someone posted this a few days ago... knitting all this together - yup, another supplier change... OH WELL...

Centers1012 said...

I am really concerned with Eclipse! I have an interview for them next week, and was looking foward to working with them. After I got the call for an interview, the whole vendor thing happend and I've also heard other things. I know if I ask them questions, they are only going to tell me what they want me to hear. Is it worth it to take a chance on this company with some hope, or just stick to my guns at Learjet?

airsafetyman said...

"Is it worth it to take a chance on this company with some hope, or just stick to my guns at Learjet?"

Stick to Learjet and,if need be, look for opportunities with the Bombardier parent company or their suppliers. Why brand yourself with a scarlet letter?

Redtail said...

Then again, take the free trip and see what it's all about. This is the CRITICS blog, so don't expect to feel all fuzzy and warm if you read it. Also take into account the lack of participants here. All counted there are only about 10-20 regular posters. Make your own decisions.

HotDog said...

centers1012,

As a current and long time supplier to Eclipse, I have to say that there are some good people at Eclipse working hard to get this mess straighten out and build the plane that was promised. However, you have to consider that this environment is very difficult and stressful. Be prepared to work 60+ hours a week without much sympathy for family or health issues. These guys are pit bulls. I’ve seen many people come and go because they couldn’t handle this environment. You also have to consider that this company is on rather shaky ground financially and still have a long way to go to finish the job and become profitable. I think they will do it eventually but it is risky. Especially if you are planning to leave a more secure position.

Best of luck.

HD

airtaximan said...

centres:

best of luck. No matter what you choose, you will learn a lot!

And YUP, Redtail is correct - you will find opinions from both ends of the positive and negative spectrum on this blog.

Look at who has been correct, and judge for yourself!

fred said...

centers1012...

if at the moment , you do not have a job , the proposal might be ok !

if you have a job and if they don't give you a huge raise , be cautious !

if you have a job and they pay about the same (in the case you do it for better buddies,better coffee machine, or whatever ) well ... you have to consider all aspects...

the final word is yours , so be carefull and do not fall for sweet words ...!!

FlightCenter said...

C1012,

hotdog is exactly correct. There are great people working hard at Eclipse. Very hard. The environment is extremely stressful. Eclipse requires very long hours, nights and weekends as a normal course of business. And it isn't going to change anytime soon.

Look at the most recent letter from Vern that promises Avio NG 1.5 in March, just three months after the first initial release of Avio NG.

A major release of an integrated flight deck with substantially new functionality only three months after the initial release is incredibly optimistic. And that would be the case with only one vendor responsible for turning out the new release, not 13.

Remember that the new functionality is a major release that is going to require flight test and FAA approval cycles.

That leaves about 6 weeks of time to develop all that new functionality from the release of Avio NG 1.0 till the time they are ready for TIA & flight test.

Look at the pressure to get to one a day and two a day on the production floor, while at the same time making comments about how excited the production line folks are about starting work on the Econjet.

Another point of reference, a friend of mine was working with Eclipse in engineering as a contractor. They liked his work and asked him to become a full-time employee.

He declined.

His short summary of the management philosophy was, "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

sollicitus effectus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

I am really concerned with Eclipse! I have an interview for them next week, and was looking foward to working with them. After I got the call for an interview, the whole vendor thing happend and I've also heard other things. I know if I ask them questions, they are only going to tell me what they want me to hear. Is it worth it to take a chance on this company with some hope, or just stick to my guns at Learjet?

It doesn't hurt to hear what they have to say and if they make an offer to see what it is.

John said...

DayJet Utilization 11/17-11/23

43.15 flight hours for the fleet. No flights on 11/22 or 11/23. I included training flights in this total, Gainesville to Gainesville loops accounted for 3 1/2 of the total hours.

Monday-- 8 planes flew 12.9 hours
Tuesday -- 6 planes flew 11.8 hours
Wednesday -- 8 planes flew 16.1 hours
16 different planes flew during the week. Greatest use was DJS126 which flew 5.9 hours over 3 days or DJS145 with 6.8 hours almost all on Wednesday. No other plane flew all three days. Second highest hours was