2007 Year in Review – Eclipse Top 10 List
10. Eclipse secured their production certificate.
Goin against the grain of the blog but always welcome, a guest review from Minority Report.
And an opposing view from airtaximan:
Minority report revisited, rose colored glasses removed for clarity:
10. Eclipse secured their production certificate (originally scheduled for 2004, rescheduled, rescheduled and then rescheduled for 2006).
9. Eclipse’s largest customer, DayJet, launched operations and took delivery of 23 aircraft. Several other air taxi companies launched Eclipse 500 aircraft operations in 2007. Several VLJ management companies announced Eclipse 500 aircraft management programs, including JetAviva. (Dayjet was initially supposed to begin operations in 2004, then revised its plans to have 30 E-500 on line in 2007, and now enjoys around ½ hour per plane per day in revenue flights, the other VLJ services have done a few flights a piece. Dayjet revealed to have more than half the eclipse orderbook, and Aviace, a oft touted European air taxi company 112 unit order evaporated)
8. Eclipse transitioned to a new training program which is allowing Eclipse owners to successfully secure their type ratings in the Eclipse. Additional training capacity is coming on line to match the increased production capacity. (So they replace United a world class company, and have overcome a very high training failure rate for a plane that is supposed to be very easy to fly. Also all promises of having full motion simulators have been missed, while the wait for training grows.)
7. Eclipse secured their Part 145 repair station approval and opened their first remote service center in Gainesville, FL. Eclipse is delivering outstanding customer support and fast turnaround time for aircraft needing service. (do we know this? They likely planned for hundreds of planes on line as per their own statements, and maintaining a few dozen planes is now seen as an accomplishment.. kinda sad.)
6. Eclipse 500 aircraft performance modifications have been certified. Production cut in occurred with serial #39. The performance modifications deliver on the company’s commitments for the aircraft’s performance guarantees. (again, a day late and a dollar short… this was missed after spending over $1B and 10 years – shameful to be boasting about cleaning up or finishing a design at this point, especially after 38 planes that are "deficient" have been delivered)
5. Eclipse certified and cut into production numerous improvements to the aircraft, including the design of the pitot-static system and the windshields, resulting in substantial benefits for its customers, including RVSM and improved service maintenance requirements. (Improvements? They are fixes of defects in design and manufacture – why not boast about improving the shoddy paint? Why not include the non functional avionics?)
4. Eclipse has successfully certified Avio NG. Production cut in occurred on serial #105. Avio NG hardware platform is now in place and ready to support future software releases with additional functionality. Probably most importantly, Eclipse has demonstrated the ability to certify complex avionics systems. This is a unique and significant differentiator for Eclipse. (after 10 years they dump Avidyne and this is called an accomplishment? Aviong is still unfinished, and from what we have seen, it probably has not a lot more functionality at this point than Avio-Avidyne… missed it by how much, again? What does an airframer achieve through the capability to certify avionics, from a customers perspective?
3. Eclipse has successfully raised the financing required to fund the accomplishments listed above. (So true –an ungodly amount of time and money –truly a remarkable feat. Probably their biggest accomplishment. Makes for a tough business case.)
2. Eclipse has delivered somewhere between 90 and 100 aircraft in the first year of production. This is the fastest production ramp for the first year of production for a new production twin turbofan aircraft, ever. Eclipse will deliver more than 20 aircraft in December, hitting their one a day targets. (Correction, second year of production – most of these planes were in fact started in early to mid 2006. Also, stated delivery goals for 2006 was in the hundreds, and 2007 was in the 1-2 planes per day range. This probably as much as anything else shows how unrealistic the company is in their ability to assess execution risk. The intial delivery date was 1004, revised again and again and again)
1. Now that Eclipse has established a stable production platform, put the aircraft’s major design changes behind them, they can focus on ramping production, reducing costs and transitioning to profitability in 2008. (Ramping up production does not equate to profitability… and the market and order book begs the question “Why ramp up to 2 or 3 per day anyway?)