Tuesday, December 04, 2007


EASA Certification

In early November I had written a draft post to discuss EASA certification for the Eclipse. EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) is made up of over 30 member countries and can best be described as Europe's equivalent to the FAA.

While it is possible, in some countries under some circumstances, to operate aircraft under U.S. registration, for some period of time, EASA certification is really mandatory if any manufacturer intends to have a presence in Europe.

In the latest
Mike Press Newsletter, he touted the fact - "Demand in Europe with the strong Euro continues to pick up and half the sales are now to European buyers."

In Vern's late November letter to the Owners-In-Waiting, Vern predicted EASA certification 2Q '08.

The points I wanted to make in the November draft were but four:

1) Eclipse can't even start the EASA certification until the airplane is completed including Avio NG and FIKI. If the company gets these two boxes checked off by the end of 1Q, as Vern predicts, it will be the first time the company has achieved a published milestone.

The company (Vern) has said, it is only a matter of finding natural ice and demonstrating the functionality of the anti/de-icing equipment.


Not so fast...the airplane could need additional hardware (boots on the vertical?) or modifications to systems to keep the inboard wing leading edge de-iced. This is not a slam dunk, especially for an airplane out-of-the-box that doesn't have an abundance of excess of bleed air or electrical capacity to deal with any further demands.

2) The EASA authorities will go thru the existing documentation and the airplane with a fine tooth comb. While there might be some level of cooperation with the FAA, it has been my experience that there also exists a professional rivalry between the FAA and EASA technical staffs. And there is nothing more the Europeans like to find than something the FAA may have missed. The days of Americans always being right are long gone.

3) Eclipse by their own admission did not understand what it took to get an airplane certified...did not understand what it took to earn a production certificate. Now they want the world is to believe they have their arms around EASA certification and it will be just another walk in the park.

4) One can believe or not believe there was political influence used to expedite the TC and PC. Whatever levers may have been pulled in Washington won't be available in Europe.

Now comes carlos who yesterday offered the following:

Hello everyone:

I came across this thing published in the summer by easa:

The Eclipse 500 has an unusual design feature with respect to engine control. The engines FADEC’s are electrically powered by the aircraft electrical system instead of a dedicated and independent electrical source on each engine. This means that in case of total electrical failure the engines will maintain the power setting that was present at the moment of the failure. This also leads to the loss of shut-off capability.

DISCUSSION

Historically, engine control did not rely on electrical power from the aircraft’s electrical system. As it is proposed now, the Eclipse 500 will deviate from this established standard which affects the redundancy in engine control related to power supply. The Eclipse 500 design is, with regard to the failure of generated electrical power and viewed in combination with the subsequent condition, not comparable to existing designs (compared to an aircraft with totally independent, not time limited, engine control, mechanical shut-off means and independent, sometimes pneumatic, standby instruments).

With virtually the same reliability of two electrical generators as on conventional designs, the Eclipse 500 has, in contrast to conventional designs, no dedicated and independent FADEC power supply. The aircraft is thus considered lost after 30 minutes of being on battery power, because:

a. Engine control is lost
b. Engine shut-off capability is lost
c. All instruments are lost

The 30-minute requirement is considered to be applicable to a conventional design and not to a design where these three services are totally dependant on ship’s electrical power. Also it is not considered reasonably possible to safely land the aircraft within 30 minutes from 41000 ft on battery supply, taking into account the time needed to perform the failure procedure, general pilot capability, lost services and ATC environment. Thirty minutes after loss of generated electrical power the availability of the means to shut off the fuel supply is not assured.

This system design is not in compliance with 23.995(a) where a shut-off means is required regardless of failure probability of other systems or time constraints. Furthermore, the fail fixed failure mode of the FADEC in this condition is useless if it is not possible to control and shut down the engine after landing. Therefore there should be a new required standard being defined for an aircraft with a novel design like the Eclipse 500 in order to make sure that the safety level is not reduced. Alternatively, Eclipse Aviation could opt for a design that is similar to existing designs (time unlimited and dedicated FADEC power supply and a mechanical fuel shut-off means).

SPECIAL CONDITION

Eclipse Aviation is required to show that the cited requirements with regard to electrical power supply to the engine controls are complied with and that the redundancy and isolation standards are at least equal to those developed in the past based on these requirements.

Furthermore, Eclipse Aviation must ensure that the essential services(excluding engines), that remain available, allow for flight in IMC for a minimum of 30 minutes and in VMC for a subsequent minimum of 30 minutes more.

If the aircraft is going to be operated commercially, it must be shown that destination and alternate distances are compatible with the provided capacity of emergency electrical power with regard to engine, systems and instrument availability.

Then carlos asked the dynamite questions:

"Does anyone has any idea on how come an airplane with such a limitation can be certified by the faa? or if the people at eclipse came with a solution for this?"

Full text of the EASA document.

Good find carlos, the blog is grateful.

406 comments:

1 – 200 of 406   Newer›   Newest»
FlightCenter said...

Aeroobserver,

Here is the SEC Form 8-K for change of directors or principal officers at ISSC. The stock is now trading at slightly less than $13.

On November first the stock was above $20.

ISSC CEO Resigns

FlightCenter said...

Geoffrey Hedrick is just the most recent executive to lose his job or resign over Eclipse.

John Uczekaj, President of The Nordam Group, resigned last year after being passed over for CEO. This occurred after Nordam built a substantial inventory of windshields to Eclipse's specifications and Eclipse production forecasts.

Turns out that Eclipse didn't need as many windshields as forecast and the windshields that had been built could not be shipped to Eclipse as the specifications had changed to address the windshield issues.

Mike McMillan, President of S-Tec, lost his job shortly after Eclipse began publicly bad mouthing S-Tec around the Oshkosh 2006 timeframe. Turns out that Meggitt didn't appreciate having their good name dragged through the mud by a company that wasn't meeting their production forecasts.

Ken Meyer said...

flightcenter wrote,

"Geoffrey Hedrick is just the most recent executive to lose his job or resign over Eclipse."

Hogwash.

ISSC announced 6 months ago their Succession Plan for the company:

"June 05, 2007 Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISSC) announced today that Raymond J. Wilson, C.B.E., has been named Chief Executive Officer from his current position on the Company's Board of Directors. In line with IS&S' strategic succession plan, Wilson will assume the CEO duties of company founder and current CEO and Chairman Geoffrey S.M. Hedrick over the next several months commencing upon receipt of his O-1 entry visa. Hedrick will continue to serve as Chairman, focusing his efforts on business strategies and product development. Roman Ptakowski remains as Company President.

"'During this period of robust growth, we will leverage Ray's leadership and complementary skill sets to great advantage," says Chairman Geoffrey S.M. Hedrick. "I feel fortunate to be able to tap Ray's extensive industry experience at Airbus and Westland. Ray Wilson brings a unique international business perspective and proven success with both larger and smaller organizations. The company will continue to have access to my experience with IS&S strategies and products. I'm confident that together, we can drive the business toward an exciting future by sustaining growth and increasing shareholder value.'"

I suppose you naysayers feel compelled to spin everything against Eclipse regardless of what the real facts may be, but one wonders what you gain by showing your bias with the subtlety of a bull in a china shop.

Ken

Redtail said...

FlightCenter said... Geoffrey Hedrick, John Uczekaj, Mike McMillan...

I bet if you look closer at ISSC, Nordham, Meggitt/S-Tec, and a host of other Eclipse suppliers that you will find there have been many deaths of employees within these companies since they signed contracts with Eclipse. Eclipse really is the kiss of death for anyone related. Are Critics immune? Perhaps not.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Hey Ken, you send in your unsecured investment, err, I mean 'deposit' to 'lock-in' your 'special' price yet?

After all, you claim to have 'top secret' knowledge the rest of the world does not have access to - you said you were tempted to make the deal yourself - well, have you?

Aren't you gonna do your part and try and keep God from calling Vern home?

Or has that 'top secret' knowledge that only you have access to unexpectedly changed your mind about a 'viable plan'?

How 'bout you retail?

Eclipse, there really is no comparison.

Gustaf said...

A common saying around the Eclipse supplier I work for is, "None of the people who signed the Eclipse contracts are working for us now."

FlightCenter said...

Ken,

Ok, thank you for providing the strategic succession plan at ISSC.

I'm sorry I was too hasty in making my post regarding ISSC. I should have been able to find the plan myself. Mea Culpa.

It just seemed too much of a coincidence that Hedrick resigned his position after the analyst report questioned ISSC's ability to make their numbers as a result of Eclipse's inability to ramp production.

It just seemed too much of a coincidence that the resignation was occuring after ISSC's market cap dropped to its 52 week low and to less than half its 52 week high.

The fact remains that Eclipse's failed promises have made life incredibly difficult for many executives at each of their vendors over the last few years, and yes, some have lost their positions as a result of the bet they made on Eclipse.

Ask the folks at Hampson, S-Tec, Nordam, Avidyne, Free Flight Systems, Crossbow, Fuji, Meggitt, etc... how they are feeling about the bet they made on Eclipse.

Six months ago, Hedrick said, "During this period of robust growth,..."

I wonder if they will be talking about robust growth on the conference call tomorrow.

Black Tulip said...

Flightcenter,

This calls for my favorite introductory sentence in the president's letter:

"We've had good quarters and we've had bad quarters. This has been one of them."

gadfly said...

Tulip

Your comments remind me of that great quote of the most famous "Yogi":

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

gadfly

gadfly said...

A dear man in the Albuquerque community died on Sunday . . . Mr. Powdrell . . . he was 86 years old. The “Eclipse” staff may have excellent memories, of eating at his “bar-b-que” restaurants. He was a black man . . . and loved by many of us. If I were to describe him to you, I would say that he looked like “Uncle Remus”, in the best sense. And if you remember that long-ago classic, from the early days of “Disney”, you will remember the stories of “Brer Rabbit” and the “Tar Baby”.

Eclipse seems to be like the “Tar Baby” . . . anyone who touches the “Tar Baby” gets “stuck” and cannot get loose . . . “Brer Rabbit” learns that lesson the hard way. In the story, “Brer Rabbit” escapes. But the lesson is real. ‘Get involved with this “tar baby” and sooner or later you will get “stuck”.

And, Mike, I’ll see you soon at the next board meeting. Your father was a great man.

gadfly

Metal Guy said...

From my experience, EASA will not take much (if any) credit based on the FAA certification. There are lots of areas where interpretation will be vastly different between the two agencies. Given the high turnover and general lack of highly experienced certification engineers at Eclipse, I would estimate it will take about two years to navigate these waters. Even the slightest re-design could easily spin them off into re-designing major sub-systems.

This fuel cut-off issue is probably just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things considered acceptable to the FAA, but not with EASA. It could easily take 6 to 8 months to simply address this one fuel cutoff requirement if they have to change the design at all.

Then again, perhaps Eclipse could just run some plastic tubes under the floor-boards and Velcro a couple of fuel cutoff valves to the glare-shield.

Black Tulip said...

"Then again, perhaps Eclipse could just run some plastic tubes under the floor-boards and Velcro a couple of fuel cutoff valves to the glare-shield."

Put 'em right next to the Standby Gyro Horizon. Lessee here... does that say 'Pull to Cage' or 'Right Engine - Fuel Off'.

Ringtail said...

Who wants to bet against me that eclipse does not go Bankrupt next year? I bet they do not. As other people on here have stated in the past, none of you have inside information on Eclipse's finances...so you speculate. Your negative speculation and prediction comments seem to be an addiction or habit that you can't break. As I have said before it is sad IMO

Ringtail said...

I know I am behind but:

1. The FAA registration database is a joke. There are errors in many many of the registrations

2. Some of the comments made about financial audits too were a joke. Does anybody know how Eclipse performs their audits? I didn't think so

Stan - any progress on the AFM review?

Redtail said...

Godfly, some of my best friends are black, too.

Stan Blankenship said...

ringtail,

When they get the airplane complete, send me a signal and I will review the AFM.

Black Tulip said...

Ringtail,

Weak, really weak.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Come on now guys, surely one of you Faithful would be PROUD to declare your BELIEF and FAITH in the Church of Flyantology and share with us the JOY you felt when you sent in your 'fixed donation' of only $625,000 for Operational Thetan (OT) VIII training, 'The Truth Revealed'.

Maybe Vern was there, providing 'Touch Assist' - no wait, that was the pickpocket.

I am reminded of Ben Stein as the math teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off....

anyone?

anyone?

paul said...

Redtail:

Mighty white of you to have black friends.

Gunner said...

RT-
I'm interested in exploring your wager offer a bit....assuming it's a serious challenge. Bankruptcy proceedings prior to the end of '08? Proceedings filed in '07 included? How much did you wish to wager? Who would you have hold the funds?
Gunner

Gunner said...

Oh, and what odds are you offering?
Gunner

Turbine Power said...

"surely one of you Faithful would be PROUD to declare your BELIEF and FAITH in the Church of Flyantology and share with us the JOY you felt when you sent in your 'fixed donation' of only $625,000"

I sent the money. A bunch of others have too. Why not? It's a good deal. The company has a great product; lots of people think so. That's how I know they'll do fine.

I'm happy to get my plane for a better price than I expected. And I'm glad I got in before they close out the deal--it's a limited offer you know.

Black Tulip said...

CWMOR,

"...share with us the JOY you felt when you sent in your 'fixed donation' of only $625,000..."


I hear music when I read this. First I put both hands on the computer monitor, then I rose and clasped them together overhead... I BELIEVE. It is such a small price to pay for aeronautical salvation. Where do I send the money?

gadfly said...

Tulip, Paul, Redtail . . . let it go. Mr. Powdrell was beyond all that . . . he was just a great human being that loved the Lord and people, and that's all we need to remember.

gadfly

Lloyd said...

What you have said at the head of this post is not true. Power to each engine can be shut off in the event of a complete electrical failure, ie,R Gen Failure, L Gen Failure, Start Bat depletion, Systems Bat Depletion. Power is shut off by pressing the Fire Control to Arm, and fuel will be cutoff to that engine. Carlos is full of Crap.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

lloyd,

Carlos was only repeating what those amateurs over at the European Aviation Safety Agency said after reviewing stupid stiff like the design of the plane.

I am sure they get stuff like that wrong all the time.

You can apologize to him any time you want.

Eclipse, there really is no comparison.

airtaximan said...

lloyd,

did you read the EASA document?

sure looks like its an issue...

airtaximan said...

redtail, rintail...

where's talltale?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

lloyd, while we are at it, perhaps you could explain how pressing FIRE CONTROL to ARM cuts off fuel supply to the effected engine in the absence of electrical power - is it a mechanical cutoff, a powered-to-open electromagentic cutoff, etc.?

Does that mechanism count as engine control to EASA?

Could it be that this is one of the differences in philosophy between FAA and EASA?

How many FAA or EASA certification projects have you been in on?

How many bilateral cert's?

Eclipse, there really is no comparison.

gadfly said...

On the subject of Chapter 11, or worse, and since the “Critic’s” are usually said to be wrong, I’d be curious as to what date the “faithful” would give.

gadfly

Redtail said...

"Systems Manual"... snip...
FUEL SHUTOFF VALVES
An electric fuel shutoff valve for each engine is located in the wing root downstream of the ejector boost pumps and electric fuel pumps. The valves open and close
automatically during normal engine start and shutdown sequence. They also close when the associated FIRE/ARMED button is pressed. If electrical power is lost, a
fuel shutoff valve will not operate, a L (R) FUEL SOV FAIL advisory message appears
and the fuel shutoff valve will remain in its last commanded position.

gadfly said...

"a L (R) FUEL SOV FAIL advisory message appears"

'Must be a new type of display that doesn't require "power".

gadfly

Gunner said...

Wow, the Church had certainly got the crew together, using ALL sock puppets. They call that a "Force Multiplier".

Hey, Ring....
About that bet? I'm waiting for details. The ISSC short, don't forget. I got cash, and it's burnin' a hole in my pocket. Time to back up your challenge with a firm offer.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So retail's first post of any actual content is saying lloyd's characterization of Carlos's repeat of the EASA interpretation of an apprently uncertifiable design as being incorrect, is, itself, incorrect based on 'systems manuals' apparently in retail's posession.

It is like a soap opera.

In other words, there is no way to cutoff fuel once the electrical power is all gone.

Good thing there will be a failure message on the MFD, oh wait, that will be dark too - you know, being no electrical power and all.

You cannot make this stuff up - who needs Carlos Mencia.

Eclipse, there really is no comparison - or any way to control or shutoff the engines with a complete electricial failure.

BD5 Believer said...

Ok. let me add my two cents worth on the engine control after electrical power failure...

Redtail....that is the point, if the electrical system fails then the fuel shut off valves can stay in their last position...most likely open...which will not shut down the engine. And if your electrical fuel cut off servo on the HMU has also failed or lost power????

What the authorities want to see is truly three things as back ups for the FADEC system:

1. independant of the a/c, power to the ECU/EEC...GE call's it a control alternator, and theirs actually has two windings so it really is two power sources in its own right. Channel A and Channel B, either can power the ECU and run the fadec system independant of a/c power. On the A320 for example the control alternator is the prime power (except at start) and the ship power is backup.

2. Overspeed protection, provided by the FADEC system electronically, but also a mechanical system as well. (amazing what flywieghts and springs can still do)

3. mechanical fuel shut off at the hydromechanical unit. Your last ditch device to shut down the engine.

The overriding certification issue for points 2 and 3 is a "Loss of Thrust Control" event, which means anything from idle to takeoff thrust, and you have lost control, you need to have the ability to mechanically "kill" the engine. Many many factors can lead to a LOTC event, but ultimatley , you have ot have a way to kill the engine.

Even the electrical fuel cut off on the HMU (fuel control) have been known to fail in service.

The EASA has it right.

And the reason for the Fuel SOV Fail light is obvious isn't it? and is exaclty why you need a mechanical backup. In such an event , you have just lost one of your controls over the fuel flow to the engine.

Another Cert issue that is related and goes to the point of the airframe/pylon shut off valve...after the pylon valve is shut, their is a max time that the engine can run on the fuel in the lines, but damn if I can remember the spec. think fire safety etc...

Oh...one more thing, if I make my deposit of $625K will I finally get the engine kit for my BD5 project??? Just kidding....

BD5 Believer said...

sorry forgot to add . my comments above are based on cert requirements on the 1st two generations of FADEC systems that the Big Three ( GE, Pratt, Roll's) developed and certified in the 80's and 90's.

Although I hav been away from the big engines for a few years, I can only believe that the big boy requirements have only gotten tighter with the continued increase of ETOPS limits.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

A BD-5J with 900lb of thrust, man that would be awesome! That would be a one-to-one thrust to weight ratio - ssssssssmokin'!

A man can dream can't he?

BD5 Believer said...

Cold Wet...somewhere I still have my Flying with the BD5 on the cover, and dreamed of all that performance, and at such a price!!

Then when Richard Bach got his BD5-J and Flying ran that story...too much for any red blooded 17 year old with a fresh pilots license could take!!

BD5 Believer said...

too much for any red blooded 17 year old with a fresh pilots license could take!!

sorry...meant "to take", not "could take".....all worked up over the dream of jet performance at piston prices...forgot to proof read!!

BD5 Believer said...

Ok. let me add my two cents worth on the engine control after electrical power failure...

Redtail....that is the point, if the electrical system fails then the fuel shut off valves can stay in their last position...most likely open...which will not shut down the engine. And if your electrical fuel cut off servo on the HMU has also failed or lost power????

What the authorities want to see is truly three things as back ups for the FADEC system:

1. independant of the a/c, power to the ECU/EEC...GE call's it a control alternator, and theirs actually has two windings so it really is two power sources in its own right. Channel A and Channel B, either can power the ECU and run the fadec system independant of a/c power. On the A320 for example the control alternator is the prime power (except at start) and the ship power is backup.

2. Overspeed protection, provided by the FADEC system electronically, but also a mechanical system as well. (amazing what flywieghts and springs can still do)

3. mechanical fuel shut off at the hydromechanical unit. Your last ditch device to shut down the engine.

The overriding certification issue for points 2 and 3 is a "Loss of Thrust Control" event, which means anything from idle to takeoff thrust, and you have lost control, you need to have the ability to mechanically "kill" the engine. Many many factors can lead to a LOTC event, but ultimatley , you have ot have a way to kill the engine.

Even the electrical fuel cut off on the HMU (fuel control) have been known to fail in service.

The EASA has it right.

And the reason for the Fuel SOV Fail light is obvious isn't it? and is exaclty why you need a mechanical backup. In such an event , you have just lost one of your controls over the fuel flow to the engine.

Another Cert issue that is related and goes to the point of the airframe/pylon shut off valve...after the pylon valve is shut, their is a max time that the engine can run on the fuel in the lines, but damn if I can remember the spec. think fire safety etc...

Oh...one more thing, if I make my deposit of $625K will I finally get the engine kit for my BD5 project??? Just kidding....

25.1301 said...

Stan, we previously exchanged comments about their fatigue testing. Heard anything on their progress or findings. Your position on accepting their extrapolation of static testing for their original compliance findings is risky. If their testing is not leading the fleet by a large amount, DJ may be proving more than routes. That aft bulkhead configuration generates lots of questions. Maybe their OK, but a miss there won't be small in every aspect. Got data?

Gunner said...

ringtail challenged:
"Who wants to bet against me that eclipse does not go Bankrupt next year? I bet they do not."

Impolite to throw the gauntlet, only to quit the field. I'm your huckleberry. Details please?
Gunner

Troglodyte said...

When I first read this I was stunned. Then I started laughing at Carlos" joke. Now I’m just sad. Sad that the Eclipse engineers would suggest such a configuration was safe to fly. Sad that our FAA agrees.

I know complete electrical failures don’t happen (I’ve only had two – though in older aircraft with comparatively rudimentary electrical systems). But if it does it seems unlikely that you could save the plane, especially from 41,000 ft.

And it doesn’t necessarily need to be a component and/or electrical system failure. How do you handle electrical smoke/fire in the cabin where you have to turn off the master switch as part of the troubleshooting (I’ve only had one of these). Presumably you loose control of the engines until you get your electrical power back on? What if you cannot get it back on without getting more smoke, or if the smoke arises from the box with the FADEC boards (are they both in the same unit, or are they physically separated)?

In a post from a long time ago I expressed concern about the safety of the Eclipse 500 based upon the current lack of functioning 21st Century avionics. Now, honestly, I think I would decline to fly in the aircraft at all – and am appalled that it is permitted in commercial service until this issue is reengineered and resolved.

--Trog

cj3driver said...

Trog said;

"...I know complete electrical failures don’t happen..."

I have also had "smoke in the cabin" senario... and it isnt fun. . The smoke came from a blown DC converter, but at least 3 breakers "popped" and smoke filled the cockpit. This event occured just after service, and a pinched wire was found. Luckily, I was still on the ground and did a quick shut down. These events make you think long and hard about the redudnant safety backup systems and devices onboard. Even though I am not an expert by any means on such technical issues as alternate power supplies for engine control FADEC devices, I will tell you that from a laypersons perspective, if EASA or FAA say there is an issue, I believe them.

I'm with you regarding the lack of fully functioning avionics in a jet (or even a high performace single), in a busy approach/departure environment...or the flight levels.

I thought is was rediculous and unsafe when the E500 was permitted to file IFR but not permitted IMC during the pitot issue, and a few weeks later, the FAA agreed and restricted the Eclipse to VFR only.

I cant imagine entering an unfamiliar waypoint into a 496 handheld, using "up and down arrows" bouncing along in IMC, single pilot, doing 350 KTS decending at 2500 fpm, out of FL200 into unfamiliar congested airspace, given distance crossing altitude restrictions, speed restrictions and then an arrival assignment followed by a change in expected approach, then "keep your speed up for the 747 in trail". ...hey, ... We're going to be on the ground in about six or seven minutes... good luck.

flyger said...

Ringtail said...

As other people on here have stated in the past, none of you have inside information on Eclipse's finances...so you speculate.

That's not true. We have Vern's own words. He clearly states he needs the money, and a lot more than the token $30M "faith test" offer now in place.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what the balance sheet says, Vern says he needs more money. If he needs it and doesn't get it, then it can't be good.

Your negative speculation and prediction comments seem to be an addiction or habit that you can't break. As I have said before it is sad IMO

It is sadder to watch people who have spent so much money become so psychologically invested they can't see the truth before them. To admit it would be to painfully say they got taken. Those of us who haven't spent a dime have no vested interest and can be more objective.

Everybody on this blog would love to have a sub $1M personal jet. The problem is that Eclipse can't deliver it on time, on budget, and with the required capability. The sad part is that just a handful of more conventional design choices at the beginning would have changed that. Vern was so focused on being different that he ignored industry experience and got things wrong. Not only would the airplane be flying today, it would be cheaper and Eclipse would be a roaring success.

I think it says it all when Vern puts Garmins into the airplane so he can fly it to Europe, but doesn't offer that option to the customers.

eclipso said...

....it's a limited offer you know.

Now, are we talking about the deal too? We KNOW the aircraft is limited....

Ken Meyer said...

Trog asked,

"How do you handle electrical smoke/fire in the cabin where you have to turn off the master switch as part of the troubleshooting"

Master switch? You mean like in a 172?

Many airplanes higher than the 172 level do not have a "master switch," and you do not turn the entire aircraft off in the event of smoke in the cockpit. Even my 340 does not instruct the pilot to turn off the "master switch" in the event of smoke.

All-electric airplanes typically do not have checklists that call for shutting everything off at once. The Eclipse is no exception. It has an emergency checklist for smoke that quickly and intelligently isolates major circuitry to locate and resolve the problem.

Have any idea how uncommon dual generator failure is a twin-turbine aircraft? Look it up and see.

In the Eclipse, like other all-electric aircraft, you get a 30-minute emergency power supply, and you are expected to land within 30 minutes in the unlikely event that both generators quit. The Eclipse provides you with both your PFD and your MFD during those 30 minutes unlike many other aircraft, where the only things you get are the mechanical backup instruments. I prefer the Eclipse system for that reason, and the FAA agrees that forcing the pilot to switch to backup instruments is a less desirable approach. Maybe that's why they readily approved the Eclipse arrangement.

There is no checklist in the Eclipse for dual generator failure combined with battery exhaustion. Your job, as pilot, is to ensure you land within 30 minutes in the unlikely event of dual generator failure so you don't run out of all power.

But if somehow you screw up and let all the power run dry, the plane still flies just fine and can be safely landed, which isn't true for every all-electric aircraft in a similar situation (how well do you think a fly-by-wire plane flies with no electricity?).

I think you folks need to find a new problem to harp on.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken,

For a guy who considers this not the place to elaborate on your points and statements... that was sure a mouthful.

I think, given your record on this blog, I would defer to EASA's opinion on the matter.

Especially given your inability to acknowledge risks.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Wow, it hasn't even happened yet and the Faithful are already declaring it pilot error - kinda like when Airbus declared the A319 crash caught on TV was definitively pilot error......before the fire was even out.

Talk about your pre-emptive strikes - toss the pilot under the bus.

Ken, exactly how does one safely land a clean, jet-powered aircraft, when the fuel setting is at the last commanded position, say, cruise power. Sure you can drop the gear mechanically, but there will be no flaps, no AOA indication, no airspeed indication.

They are already taxing the brakes and tires from what we hear, now you want to land with power on, and no flaps.

The Eclipse is NOT like other electric planes - they ALL have a dedicated power source for FADEC that is totally independent of the aircraft system - THAT is the point of the EASA criticism.

Oh and Ken, ALL commercial FBW planes have backup power systems as well as a thing called a Ram Air Turbine or separate hydrazine generators to power the FBW system. Just because the company you foolishly bought from doesn't know what it is doing does not mean the REAL companies don't know how to do it right.

Eclipse, there really is no comparison - or any way to control or shutoff the engines with a complete electricial failure.

Shane Price said...

So we have higher safety standards in Europe?

This is, like, news?

You can't get meat here that Americans regard as high quality. Rightly, in my opinon.

A whole range of industrial processes are banned here that are still standard issue in your fair country.

BUT...

On transport, if you want to sell here, you gotta follow the rules.

HERE.

So, no EASA cert, no E500 sales in the 27 countries that compose the EU.

Now, that's gotta limit the ability of Vern to a) get more orders and b) raise finance to get 'out of jail' on the short term cashflow issues he has brought our attention to.

Shane

Ken Meyer said...

AT wrote,

"I would defer to EASA's opinion on the matter."

Doesn't surprise me a bit. It must have been a huge personal setback for you when the FAA approved the Eclipse arrangement.


Coldwet wrote,

"Sure you can drop the gear mechanically, but there will be no flaps, no AOA indication, no airspeed indication."

You're beyond your area of expertise, and it shows. That same statement is true of many planes after the required 30 minute backup is exhausted. There's nothing unique about the Eclipse in that regard. The pilot is expected to land within the 30 minutes.

Shane wrote,

"no EASA cert, no E500 sales in the 27 countries that compose the EU."

That's not actually true. They've had a number of European sales already. Regardless, I think you're grasping at a thread. EASA certification will occur just fine; wait and see.

Ken

Dave said...

I think you folks need to find a new problem to harp on.

EASA feels otherwise. Maybe if you write them telling them to stop harping, they'll give the Eclipse 400 european certification.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ken you are totally missing the point or being deliberately disingenuous, AGAIN.

And the personal snipe is AGAIN noted.

Systems Safety is among my disciplines, I know the reg's quite well, and have actually helped the FAA write AC's about this stuff - but please, try again to make it about me rather than the poor design of the Eclipse.

You retain control over the engines on the other electric jets because they provide a totally separate power supply to the FADEC for the express purpose of preventing the problem that EASA identified.

The issue is with the jet you might someday maybe take delivery of.

So how do you safely land the Eclipse with no drag from the flaps and the engines set at cruise?

Dee dee dee!

Ken Meyer said...

Dave wrote,

"EASA feels otherwise. Maybe if you write them telling them to stop harping, they'll give the Eclipse 400 european certification."

They're not harping on it. They're suggesting that the aircraft would be better with a mechanical fuel shutoff valve. The FAA doesn't agree. FAR 23.995(a) doesn't say the shutoff must be mechanical like the Europeans are suggesting. It says...

"There must be a means to allow appropriate flight crew members to rapidly shut off, in flight, the fuel to each engine individually."

But even if the Europeans persist in their thinking and reciprocal approval agreements do not prevail, it's still not a big issue; Eclipse could simply offer the "European Mechanical Fuel Shut Off Valve Option." Ho hum.

You guys need to find a new problem to harp on.

Ken

airtaximan said...

Ken:

its obvious by your posts and mine, that i's really only personal for you.

JetProp Jockey said...

Just a courious question.

If someone buys an E500 on the open market that has previously been delivered (Mike Press has a few listed for sale) that the first owner has used the type training provided by Eclipse, what must they do to get typed.

Is Eclipse letting them move to the front of the bus because they are paying cash for training or are they out in the cold until Eclipse is all caught up on training for new deliveries?

airtaximan said...

CW,

please ad "wait and see"

to you slogan for eclipse.

Like so:

"Eclipse, there really is no comparison - wait and see!"

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

Your job, as pilot, is to ensure you land within 30 minutes in the unlikely event of dual generator failure so you don't run out of all power.

Well, that eliminates a lot of flights that can be made. There are plenty of times you are not within 30 minutes of an airport.

For example, when Vern flew to Europe.

Heck, there can be plenty of places on dry land where there is no airport within 30 minutes.

Further, since you might not be able to shut off the engines, you had better choose long runway airports and hope the fire crew puts out the brake fire before it spreads.

Seriously, what do you do if you managed to get stopped on the runway at typical cruise fuel flow? Wait until the tanks go dry? That's nuts.

Dave said...

For example, when Vern flew to Europe

For Eclipse the drink and sides of mountains are considered suitable places for their customers to [crash] land.

Stan Blankenship said...

25.1301,

I believe it was Ken who reported a couple of months ago that fatigue testing was underway in Texas.

The issue has been off the radar screen since that report.

The fleet leaders are still likely to be the test airplanes by several multiples.

IMHO, the fatigue issues relate not only to the basic design but workmanship concerns as well.

There is a lot of pressure to get airplanes out the door. I suspect most of the workers and even the inspectors have pretty short resumes.

This received yesterday from a highly experienced design engineer who completed his tour of duty early on in the Eclipse program. It shows just how little Eclipse management understood about building airplanes.

"These people wanted to put all the structural airframe fastener holes in the detail parts NET prior to assembly on saw horse like tools! They assure me this was possible if the rivet holes were only .030" or .040" LARGER THAN THE RIVETS! Senior management was stunned when I showed them the military standards that that indicated airframe fasteners go into press fit, or near press fit holes."

airtaximan said...

I love it when Ken says:

They will just add the European Mechanical Fuel Shut Off Valve Option.

Besides the fact that it just amazes me after 10 years, thousands of employees, and unlimited funds, they have to "just add" stuff to get certified. Amazing.

everything regarding airplanes is about planning and forsight.

Sorry I some of us are not too impressed with "just add..."

It feels bad, sounds bad and reflects a certain cavalier attitude that just rubs the wrong way.

Guy Kawasaki says: "in tech, we ship crap and fix it later... that's just what we do".

In aviation, we didn't do this, until recently...

Ken Meyer said...

flyger asked,

"Seriously, what do you do if you managed to get stopped on the runway at typical cruise fuel flow? Wait until the tanks go dry?"

You a pilot?

You would not land the Eclipse with the engines at cruise power. If it came down to it, and you actually had this bizarrely unlikely scenario, you would orbit over the airport and dead stick in at the appropriate time.

What would you do if one of the wings fell off your airliner? Shouldn't the government protect us from that possibility? Probably they should require a spare set of wings be deployable in that event.

What would you do if your single-engine plane had an engine failure over the mountains? Why do they allow single engine planes to fly over mountains? There should be a rule against that. After all, if it would save just one child... :)

The scenario you're envisioning--lose one generator, then lose the other generator, and then be unable to land in 30 minutes is bizarrely remote. There are hundreds of more common scenarios, and the Eclipse protects the occupants in most failure modes better than many other planes.

The conversation has gone silly because you naysayers seem to have run out of legitimate complaints against the plane. So you have to harp on bizarrely remote possibilities, hoping against reality to find something.

Ken

Metal Guy said...

”European Mechanical Fuel Shut Off Valve Option." Ho hum.

Ken, you crack me up. Any idea how long it would take to do this??? Answer: Months and months and months...

Gunner said...

Ken said:
"...you would orbit over the airport and dead stick in at the appropriate time

Then he questions whether others are "a pilot"! You GOTTA love it!!!!!!!!!

Hey, anybody see Redtail around since his challenge? If you do, tell him Gunner's been looking for him.

airtaximan said...

"There are hundreds of more common scenarios, and the Eclipse protects the occupants in most failure modes better than many other planes."

elaboorate please... cite a few examples for the class...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

ATM, let me channel Brother Ken for you:

"This is not the appropriate venue for sharing the many safety benefits of the Eclipse - Join us at the Eclipse Owner's Club, and for your 'fixed donation' of $625,000 you will not only ensure that I might, someday, maybe, in the future, get a plane that migh, do some of the things it was supposed to, you will also learn the secret handshake and get the decoder ring.

Call now, operators are standing by."

Eclipse, there really is no comparison.

carlos said...

Hello

Well, imagine this scenario: you are at 41000', ifr bellow, you get complete electrical failure.
Then you have 30min to:
1- go trough emergency checklist
2- get to the closer airport
3- descend(which is done with engines at idle, and you dont want to run out of batery in that condition)
4- hold over the airport until you run out of fuel and glide to land(you can not do that in imc because you don't have instruments)

So, is not that you have to go to the closer airport, you have to go to the closer airport that has good weather. And still there's the bit of gliding and calculating your gliding path so as to land in the runway, not easy stuff, specially if you loose one engine a few minutes before the other(tipical in fuel starvation cases).

carlos said...

I forgot the 30min thing, yes if you can get to the airport in less that 30 min from 41000', then no problem.
But europe is not the usa, here you dont have airports everywhere, specially ifr ones.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Ken EASA is not asking for mechanical fuel shut off control (Douglas was big on cable operated engine controls but that was decades ago).

They are just asking for proof of compliance. The rules intent is that you should always have control over the engine. You must always be able to shut it down. The Certifications authorities do not mandate how you do this, but there are acceptable means of compliance to show the easiest route to certification.

Most modern A/C have electric control of the fuel shut off valves (typically two, the Engine fuel SOV in the HMU, and the Spar valve on the aircraft side. These valves will typically be commanded closed when the Fire T handles are armed. They will be hard wired, rather than electronically controlled, and will be powered by emergency buses, which can themselves be powered by a variety of sources (on the B777 you have two main generators, two backup generators, an apu generator, a rat and a main battery, any one of which could provide this power - As it is fly by wire, even this was not enough for the primary flight controls, they also have 4 additional Lead acid FCDCPSU's for backup.)

At the end of the day Eclipse sold the FAA a system safety assessment and fault hazard assessment with a probability of LOTC which the FAA accepted. EASA either doesn't believe the system reliability numbers the SSA is based on, or feels that the consequences of this event are more serious (don't agree with the fault hazard assessment).

Probably both.

Gunner said...

Carlos-
What are your credentials....I mean, "are you a PILOT"?

Just kidding. No need to answer. Thanks for your posts and welcome to the Eclipse Critics Board where Truth is Stranger than Fiction.

(And Vern wouldn't have it any other way!)
Gunner

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Ken Wrote:
- I Reply...

You a pilot?
- Yes. Are you a certification engineer? Thought not.

You would not land the Eclipse with the engines at cruise power. If it came down to it, and you actually had this bizarrely unlikely scenario, you would orbit over the airport and dead stick in at the appropriate time.
- Ken, point out where this dead stick bit is in the FAR's, or AC material, or a previous CRI? EASA agrees with you, you should never have to land this plane at cruise power. Actually to ensure no pilot ever has to start trying to work out which will be the least catastrophic ending to his descent in icing with the engines stuck at cruise power, they want eclipse to comply with the regulations.

What would you do if one of the wings fell off your airliner? Shouldn't the government protect us from that possibility?
- Good idea. Oh wait, they thought of that already. FAR 25.571 was added back in 1978!


Probably they should require a spare set of wings be deployable in that event.
- Nope, do require damage tolerance and redundant load paths though.

What would you do if your single-engine plane had an engine failure over the mountains? Why do they allow single engine planes to fly over mountains?
- They allow that because the FAR 23.49 (c) limits stall speed to 61 knots for these types. A speed choosen to give a good shot at surviving the crash landing if you keep control. It is based on physiological studies of human tolerance to acceleration verses experience in accelerations experienced during crash landings. The value to society of small numbers of people also play into the differences in acceptable risk between part 25 and part 23.

There should be a rule against that. After all, if it would save just one child... :)
- In Europe we do not allow commercial IFR operations with single engine A/C (unacceptable risk). For private use, you pays your money...

The scenario you're envisioning--lose one generator, then lose the other generator, and then be unable to land in 30 minutes is bizarrely remote.
- bizarrely remote is not in the FAR's. My guess is that Eclipse showed the event to be very remote in the SSA, but EASA consider the consequences catastrophic and there want to see extremely remote.

There are hundreds of more common scenarios, and the Eclipse protects the occupants in most failure modes better than many other planes.
- Yet, there are hundreds of scenarios, but the fault hazard assessment tells would which ones you have to address, and your SSA / FMEA should show that you have addressed them.

The conversation has gone silly because you naysayers seem to have run out of legitimate complaints against the plane. So you have to harp on bizarrely remote possibilities, hoping against reality to find something.
- This conversation has become silly because a guy with a pilots license thinks that qualifies him to debate certification with certification engineers. What kind of a Dr are you Ken. I can guarantee I have no clue about your field of expertise, but why don't you and I argue about it. My guess I will quickly look like a real idiot!

bob said...

Gunner, Carlos is obvoiously not a pilot or he would have mentioned that IMC existed below rather than IFR:)

Gunner said...

FJT-
You rock!
Gunner

flyger said...

Ken Meyer said...

The scenario you're envisioning--lose one generator, then lose the other generator, and then be unable to land in 30 minutes is bizarrely remote.

Loss of all electrical power, for any *number* of reasons (not just your particular example), occurs with some regularity.

The recent crash of a Diamond DA42 was due to a momentary overload of the alternators with a partially dead battery. Here was a plane with three sources of electrical power which went bye bye from a single stimulus.

If it came down to it, and you actually had this bizarrely unlikely scenario, you would orbit over the airport and dead stick in at the appropriate time.

Are you a pilot?

So you are flying around at FL410 when both generators kick out (and there are many reasons this can happen including, obviously, a wiring harness fault). Now you have to get down in 30 minutes before the battery goes flat. If, for example, you can't do that (weather, icing, no airport), then you end up with an airplane with no power, *no* backup instruments, and you *have* to fly it around for hours until the fuel runs out then dead stick it in.

You gotta be kidding me. Whatever fault caused the first issue (loss of generators) could be just the start of other problems and having to run around until the fuel runs out, potentially into the night, is utterly ridiculous.

People will die because Vern thinks he knows better.

WhyTech said...

Ken said:

"The scenario you're envisioning--lose one generator, then lose the other generator, and then be unable to land in 30 minutes is bizarrely remote."

Ken, been reading about the dual engine flameouts on the Hawker (Beechjet) 400 lately? Several in recent months. Remote? Yes. Bizarrely remote? Naw.

Although, AFAIK, the cause is not known with certainty, there is some speculation that the cause is ice formation inside the PW JT15D engine, perhaps the most widely used engine in light jets. Happen in an Eclips? Naw. Bizarrely remote.

Admittedly, this scenario removes the engine shut down requirement, but still requires Super Pilot skills (oh, I forgot - you have an ATP!) to fly the approach and land dead stick in IMC. This is something we practice in PC12 sim training with some regularity. It can be done, but I can tell you that it can be a challenge to get down from FL300 and land on a runway before the 30 minute battery power time is reached. But then, in the PC-12, we have real, independent standby instruments powered by an Emergency Power System (standby battery), which adds more time than you will need.

WT

Redtail said...

gunner said... Hey, anybody see Redtail around since his challenge? If you do, tell him Gunner's been looking for him.

That wasn't me, it was ringtail. Easy mistake, like alot of your other statements.

Gunner said...

Sorry, Red. A Tail by any other name and all that.


Hey, anybody see RINGtail around since his challenge? If you do, tell him Gunner's been looking for him.

Black Tulip said...

The Critics are being a little harsh here. In case of complete electrical failure, there are other options besides running out of kerosene over the airfield.

I’ll take us through the memory items and we’ll expand the checklist later. Both generators drop offline at FL410. Ask your wife to rotate the Garmin 496 screen so it faces you. Select the nearest suitable airport, turn toward it, squawk 7700 and tell Center you’ll be losing contact within 30 minutes.

Reduce power, slow to gear speed and extend the landing gear. Set power at mid-range – the fuel flow used while maneuvering in approach configuration. Penetrate the undercast, get down through the icing layer and head for the airport that’s above minimums with a long runway.

Oops, there goes that last of the Eclipse’s battery power. Now with fixed thrust, the descent rate will be controlled by the forward slip, the kind you used in that old J-3 or Stearman without flaps. Keep the speed up and don’t be afraid to fully cross the controls to get down.

By now, you have the Garmin 496 set to the virtual instrument panel page, you’re ten miles from the final approach fix and this is going well. You’re going to fly a makeshift localizer approach using the Garmin map and instrument pages.

We’ve still got all this power and we need to get down. Ask your wife to tighten her seatbelt and grab hold of the Garmin sandbag on the glareshield. Gently roll the aircraft inverted, maintaining heading. After 30 seconds of minus one g, the engines should quit from fuel starvation. Carefully roll right side up and begin descent down the glide slope you’ve picked. Allow for much higher sink rate and slip with lower wing into the crosswind.

Break out at minimums, make a smooth no-flaps landing, crossing the fence at Vref plus twenty. Roll out deadstick and clear the runway. Graciously accept the congratulations of the emergency vehicle crews. Call Vern.

Got it?

gadfly said...

The solution is simple:

Simply add a course . . . maybe call it, “How to guess remaining fuel/engine cruise time (at various power settings)/best-glide-speed/distance to nearest landing approach/ “dead stick” touch-down (with a blank screen)/brake-temp-determination-by-smell-of-smoke". or “Flying Seat-of-Pants-in-Dark-at-200knots-101". Graduates will receive genuine LED flashlight, wind-sock, parachute, diploma (printed in black&white), and “hand carved urn” (made in China).

Cost for course must be paid in advance.

Text book: “Become a Lawn Dart for Fun & Profit”

gadfly

(The reasoning of the “faithful” has lowered the bar, . . . even the humor must suffer. Stupidity is running rampant.)

cj3driver said...

Freedomsjam;

great info

WhyTech said...

BT said:

"Graciously accept the congratulations of the emergency vehicle crews."

I just knew there had to be a way!

WT

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Who knew it, BT must actually be the one and only Bob Hoover, I seen him do that (more than once)....in a Sabreliner.

LOL, major kudos to FJT for nailing the issue, and the protesting Faithful, to the wall.

Game.

Set.

Match.

A C-340 pilot with a wet-ink ATP trying to argue SSA's, FMEA/FMECA's, ELOS, bilateral cert., and such, will the madness never end.

Ken, you may retrieve your jock from lost and found, in the ladies locker room.

Eclipse, there really is no comparison.

Redtail said...

Gunner said... Hey, anybody see RINGtail around since his challenge?

Thanks.

Gunner said... If you do, tell him Gunner's been looking for him.

Shootout at high noon.

Niner Zulu said...

This, again, just demonstrates Eclipse's failure to grasp the basics on how to build an aircraft and get it certified.

Eclipse's original fiberglass tip tanks are a perfect example of their inexperience.

I think most hear will agree that Eclipse, as we know it now, is a doomed company because their business plan guarantees they will never make a profit. So EASA certification at this point is really a moot point.

Redtail said...

Fishlips... Bob Hoover, I seen him do that (more than once)....in a Sabreliner.

Sabreliner? I thought that was a Shrike Commander. You really know your planes!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Oh retail, where to begin my young padawan.

The general rule of thumb is when you are in a hole, stop digging.

Hoover flew a fantastic energy management routine in a Saberliner, for years, alongside the Shrike, and for a time his P-51 as well.

Now it all makes sense, you are too young to know any better.

Might be best if you left the typing to the adults, oh look, a pony.

Eclipse, supported by the least informed Faithful anywhere, guaranteed.

WhyTech said...

retail said:

"Sabreliner? I thought that was a Shrike Commander. You really know your planes!"

Retail, look before you leap. Hoover did aerobatic routines in both a Shrike Commander AND a Sabreliner.

WT

Redtail said...

FishLips said... Now it all makes sense, you are too young to know any better.

My mistake, too young I guess. I din't realize you were the original dinosaur. A pox on me for your troubles.

Gunner said...

This entire Passion Play would be complete, if only we could get a Marlon Brando in for a repeat performance:
"The horror. The horror"

Red-
You guys really DON'T know when to quit.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Alvin "Tex" Johnston? . . . Try Boeing 367-80 (707) . . . a true "barrel roll" (twice? 15 July 1954) in Seattle during maiden demo flight! 'Sure sold a lot of planes!

gadfly

(Nitroglycerine tablets optional!)

(Disclaimer: Do not do this at home, nor in your VLJ.)

Ken Meyer said...

coldwet wrote,

"A C-340 pilot with a wet-ink ATP trying to argue SSA's, FMEA/FMECA's, ELOS, bilateral cert., and such, will the madness never end."

Well, the fresh ATP part is right. But I did not so much as mention SSA, FMEA, FMECA or ELOS. You made all that up. It doesn't surprise me. It's the modus operandi of the naysayer: when all else fails, just lie.

And I've had enough of the lies and nastiness here. I trust you naysayers will have fun playing in you little sandbox alone for a while. Maybe I'll drop in and say hello after I've been flying the plane a while to let you know how I like it :)

Ken

JetProp Jockey said...

Sounds like Ken decided not to pay in another $625,000.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Don't go away mad Ken.

Can we take this to mean you are ready to accept a (my opine - substandard and incomplete) aircraft soon, or are you saying that we will not hear from you until Q3 of '08 - when you accept a (my opine - substandard and incomplete) aircraft?

You did not mention SSA and the like by name Ken, the obvious point was that you were arguing the substance and content of those types of documents, poorly, with folks like me, or FJT, or say the folks at EASA - people who actually know the reg's, work with the reg's each and every day, even help write the reg's.

If you are about to take delivery of a substandard incomplete aircraft I honestly wish you all the luck in the world, you are about to get the plane you so richly deserve, and you will need it.

If you are taking a sabbatical to recharge your batteries, I wish you well - nobody should get so wrapped up in a bunch of 1's an 0's on the web that they feel bad.

Gunner said...

Ken-
I for one hate to see you go, in a fashion. I urge you to look back on your posts since His Verness dropped the latest "Good News For Buyers".

I think you'll find most of us have attacked your arguments (which by the way, have become uncharacteristically indefensible); while you've lashed out personally in a most unseemly manner.

It's just a Blog, Ken. If you can't defend your statements, at least have a sense of humor about the ridicule those statements will receive.

In any case, good luck. I hope to run into you at an airport sometime. I suspect you'll be in the 340 and I think you should make no apologies for that; except, perhaps, to those who you may have convinced to put up some money in the past year; money which has helped you move closer to the dream of owning a partially complete jet aircraft.

Via Con Dios.
Gunner

Gunner said...

Hey, has anyone seen Alexa around?

Oh, that's right. I forgot. Alexa can't defend the Eclipse anymore either; what with his position for sale and all.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

our greatest specimen... gone.

John said...

ISSC Earnings report on Eclipse panel
--snip--
Eclipse Production Hardware Deliveries

Eclipse 500 hardware deliveries did not materialize as planned in the fourth quarter because software certification was late in being completed. This delay negatively impacted fourth quarter revenue and caused a shortfall to expectations. Software testing has since been completed and production hardware deliveries have begun in the December 31, 2007 quarter. The Company is working with Eclipse to determine production delivery schedules that will meet Eclipse’s needs.


Included in the after tax Q4 loss was $1.5 million of legal expenses incurred defending our intellectual property and $1.5 million of Eclipse related engineering, modification and development (EMD) cost overruns that exceeded what Eclipse paid the Company for system development. The net loss for the fiscal year included $4.2 million in after tax legal expenses incurred defending intellectual property and $1.0 million in after tax Eclipse EMD cost.

hummer said...

RCflyer
then Ken
Whose next?
Is Vern calling them home?

Gunner said...

Keep jokin' around guys; not gonna be so funny when Stan comes home and WAILS THE TAR out of CWMoR for running Ken off.

It's all fun and games, 'till someone puts an eye out.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

It wasn't me I swear. Well, maybe a little.

The old adage rings true, if you can't stand the heat . . .

The guy keeps calling people LIARS, even after being asked, very nicely, to stop doing it - and wants to quote chapter and verse from the reg's without understanding what they really say.

I appreciate Ken's stated concern over the occasional lack of civility on the blog but all I could think of was 'Physician, heal thyself'.

Eclipse, where our motto is screw you guys, I'm going home

On another note from the ISSC report, who was ISSC defending their IP from? Interesting that it came up in the same place as the Eclipse issue, but could be a coincidence. Any thoughts?

baron95 said...

I am an eclipse critic (mostly because of their lack of "straight talk" and the naivite of the CEO).

In this blog, Ken has demonstrated good pilot sense and perspective, good general knowledge, and above all an intense interest in learning and finding the right information.

And Ken is (propbably) absolutely on the ball on the FADEC issue.

Some of the critics in this thread are showing an infantile and histerical willingness to cry "the sky is falling" and are totally off the mark.

Airplanes are NOT designed and certified to be 100% fail proof. They are designed and certified to "accepted" standards of safety.

I can turn the tables around and say to the critics: "What if the 777 flying ETOPS 180 over the pacific has total electrical power failure AND failure of the RAT and failure of the FADEC independent power source? Oh my god, how could the FAA have certified a plane carrying 350 people to fly 3 hours away from a suitable landing field when they can lose engine control?"

See how ridiculous you sound, now?

You talk about the Eclipse experiencing immediately total power failure. That is so ridiculous.

That is not the failure mode. Obviously you'd follow your checklists, but it would be something like that (ignoring the troubleshooting for now).The failure mode is that you lose one generator. At that time you make a decision: continue or divert. In the process of continuing to the destination airport or diversionary field (in an airplane that has 3 hours of cruise range and fly typical missions of less than 2 hours), you may lose another generator (which is incredibly unlikely). Then, you clearly divert (unless destination is very close). If your destination is withing 30 minutes, NP. If not, you anticipate and plot a best course of action. You plot course to best suitable airport. You declare emergency. You pull out your VFR charts and backup GPS. After 30 minutes, you anticipate loss of electrical power. You drop altitude to MSA if IFR, pattern altitude if VFR. You set power to minimum level flying power (which is BTW, not much different then approach power). On some planes you'd drop flaps and gear on others you would not.

Assuming you then lose total electrical power with no shut off valve.

If runway is suitably long you ask for the equipment, line up on long final (hopefully with good head winds), brief passengers, etc.

Drop gear if not previously done. That ill get you descending. Control descent with a slip. Touch down, on mains, steadily, but firmly increase brake presure as more weight gets on the mains, and try to stop on the runway, if you gent select best runway overrun location and try to go there. Worst case you stop on the airport fance at minimum speed.

So this is what you could do, if Gen 1 fails, then gen 2 fails, and you can't correct on air, then 30+ minutes (remember that 30 is the cert minimukm) elapse and you are still not on the ground, then you lose total electrical power and engine control. What is wrong with that? Nothing. FAA is probably correct in accepting the design.

Most likely anyway, I'd venture that the Eclipse backup power most likely can maintain power for at least an hour, prob two after dual gen failure with intelligent load shedding. That is longer than the typical airplane mission.

So the critics are ridiculously grasping at straws on this.

The critical success factors for the eclipse are AVIO NG Cert, FIKI (to a lesser degree), increase in production rate, ability to raise prices, ability to raise capital, ability to ramp training and support.

The plane itself, while suboptimum with tip tanks and the like, appear to be performing well and be designed well enough.

It is not a Lear 23 or a Cheyenne or an MU with complex systems or a tendency to get away from pilots.

The critics do well, when they mention the IOUs, biz plan and financial deficiencies. The critics do poorly EVERYTIME they try to attact the basic airframe design. Give it up. Eclipse will NOT fail because of an airframe deficiency.

Black Tulip said...

Gadfly,

December 14th is coming. You’re close to the factory. Do you have a seismograph set up? Any minor seismic activity coming from Eclipse?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron,

The point is not how likely the failure is, the point was to explain the logic behind the EASA position.

When Ken opined that even with the unlikely failure, the Eclipse could still be landed more safely than other electric jets the gloves came off - that was an assinine thing to say, which he then topped by asking how well FBW planes fly without power.

Failure to win EASA certification will kill european sales and PREVENT commercial operations with the Eclipse overseas - I would call that a critical path to being able to sell enough jets to reach the Eclipse suggested astronomical breakeven point.

Without breakeven you have breakdown, then BK.

Eclipse has proven time and time again to think the rules don't apply to them, financial rules, sales volume rules, engineering rules, manufacturing rules, you name it - that is pure bravo sierra.

This is based not on opinion but on the result - several dozen partially functional incomplete baby jets after one of the longest and probably most expensive gestation periods in the history of aviation (most definitely by the pound or by the seat) - almost ten years and well over $1B.

Planes are designed and built the way they are designed and built for a reason, actually, thousands of reasons, learned by thousands of engineers, designers, mechanics and pilots, hundreds of m,illions of passengers, and far too many lawyers, over the past 100 or so years.

Some lessons were easy, some were hard, and some have been downright tragic. That does not mean we should fear, curtail or prevent innovation - far from it, it means innovation must be responsible.

The Comet was a glorious plane, and certainly as innovative for its' day as the Eclipse seeks to be in our day. The Comet also taught us about cycle fatigue in metal structures - tragically well.

While suggesting that the 'dinosaurs' are non-innovative and accusing them of following the rules for arbitrary reasons like screwing over the customer or fear of change, it is in fact Eclipse's arbitrary decision making process, embodied by none other than the Prophet of the Church of Flyantology L Vern Raburn himself, to embrace change for changes' sake - to reject experience, to reject the lessons learned and cast his lot in with a slew of unproven technologies not because they were better, but because they were different.

These chickens are coming home to roost not because of what we critics said but because of what Eclipse did.

Come to think of it, those may not be chickens at all, they look a lot like crow.

Black Tulip said...

I have bad news for some Critic. If Ken is really departing for a while we need a Surrogate Ken…SurroKen for short and the assigned blog handle.

Unless someone volunteers, this duty will be assigned by lottery. You’d better hone your pro-Eclipse arguments. And if chosen, don’t complain. That would be just plain wrong.

Gunner said...

Baron-
You make an articulate argument, but it just doesn't wash in context. The context is a specific EASA document criticizing the Eclipse design. It's just that simple.

They don't call for error proof planes or crash proof planes. They call for what THEY consider an acceptable margin of safety in the event of what THEY consider a scenario that needs to be addressed.

We can compare THEIR position on this type of failure to anything we want. But it's THEY who decide what is acceptable in their airspace.

Debate as we wish, you can't argue the practical ramifications of the conundrum: Vern claims EASA cert is around the corner; the EASA paper begs to differ.

All of this shows a VERY REAL ignorance regarding what it takes to engineer an aircraft to the design standards of the various agencies one intends to obtain certification from. And it certainly calls into question many of the other DESIGN decisions which appear to have been made just for the sake of headline appeal (or cost) and the claim of being "revolutionary".

The paper criticizes the DESIGN, Baron. It's just that simple. It won't be answered by what you, Ken or I would do. It won't be answered by 10^-99999 probability calculations. It'll be answered by the agency that published the criticism at the time that Vern was pronouncing EASA cert around the corner.

We can wish it different 'till Christmas Day. But we can't make the criticism go away; or the certification appear. Not without addressing what EASA apparently feels is a DESIGN FLAW.
Gunner

hummer said...

Black Tulip
I'll stepup for one.
I believe Vern will get necessary
money by the 15th of December for
bridge financing. Where the bridge
goes (Like the one in Alaska) is another matter.
The reasons I believe this is that a few part 135 operators will be adding aircraft. Since these are in the works, he has a valid argument for further production.
Also, some of the position holders who have already made the
60% contributions are now willing
to pay in full and receive a discount.
On the negative side, I believe that DayJet is re evaluating their business model and may
be in a holding pattern until
certain issues are resolved.
Anyone else think the bridge loan
is forth coming?
I vote for 9Z to be SurroKen.

cj3driver said...

Hummer said,

“… On the negative side, I believe that DayJet is re evaluating their business model and may be in a holding pattern until certain issues are resolved…”

Eclipse’s last hope for volume (and 50% of its order book) is the success of DayJet and the copy-cat air taxi customers that would surely follow if/when DayJet turns a profit.

To that end, it appears DayJet has changed it’s business model and amended the requirements for booking a “per seat” fare within their service area. You may now travel, to OR from, DayStops, … without booking the entire plane. They do however, require that you either depart from, and/or arrive to, …one of the five DayPorts.

Example of the new “Per seat” pricing:

(DayStop to DayPort) - Orlando to Boca is $1,196 with a 1.5 hr window and $572 with a 3.5 hr window.

Compared with the existing:

(DayPort to DayPort) - Lakeland to Boca is $632 with 1.5 hr window and $341 with a 3.5 hr window.

Under this new plan, I would think ridership would increase; however, this will greatly increase the number of “dead” legs. Even at the highest fare, I don’t see DayJet making money with one passenger. This new system will create a much LESS likelihood of non-stop flights. Even with the substantially higher rates (almost double) DayJet clearly needs to have more than one passenger per trip in order to cover the cost of this type of service. That means more stops enroute and less convenience to the customer.

I also noted a serious flaw in the DayJet pricing model.

I was quoted as low as $431.00 for a one-way flight from Boca to Key West. (5hr window). How can DayJet possibly make money on this flight? Unless someone just happened to book the same city pair on the same day within the same window, AND someone else would be coming back from Key West within a few hours on the same day, they would certainly dead-head back, and have less than $500 revenue on a RT flight costing at least $3,000? There isn’t a Daystop beyond Key West so this wouldn’t be an interim stop on an already scheduled flight. This pattern is true for all DayStops beyond the perimeter of the DayPorts. It makes no sense.

IMHO, DayJet will not survive with this pricing model. Too many non-rev flights, and no room to increase prices without competition from the existing charter operators. I wonder if this eventuality was predicted by the Russian programmers, or was this the plan all along?

BTW – This new service does help to mitigate cost/benefit trade-off #5 and #6 as predicted on this blog on June 21, 2007, ….but at the cost of profitability:

DayJets =

1. Not a private “exclusive” flight.

2. The customer waits for the aircraft, instead of the aircraft waiting for customer.

3. The cost for last minute is greater than private charter.

4. The “cost effective” service is limited to a party of one.

5. The market is limited to people originating at a DayPort city… or it's not cost effective.

6. The destination is limited to those destined for a DayPort city… same reason.

7. No potty… even if its not used, just knowing its there for emergency is reassuring.

8. The sheer tiny size of the airplane will “turn-off” some people.

9. No meaningful room for baggage, presentation items, samples, ect.. and then for 3 passengers?

10. 20 minute stop (unrealistic, more like 45 min ave.)

11. Exclusive charter to where you really wanted to go on DayJet, costs more that traditional charter, in a much smaller jet… and will they wait for you?

12. The aircraft is not “cabin class”… refreshments, hot coffee, catering, meaningful reclining seats, legroom, work table, lav. Airshow map, video, etc..

hummer said...

cj3driver said,

"IMHO, DayJet will not survive with this pricing model"

I concur.
But so what? Go to another model.

DayJet is between the rock and the hard place.
Statair is and will eat their lunch on the low side.
On the high side, you are absolutely right in larger aircraft currently in place.

But there is a niche market up and down the east coast at about
$1,500/hr they can fill. I look for them to got to that niche next.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

For #12 the pilot or copilot could always hand the trusty Garmin 496 back to the pax.

"It's a lot like Airshow, like the Eclipse is a lot like a jet"

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

"I am sorry sir can we have the video game back, there are some clouds up ahead and we are planning a GPS approach,"

Eclipse, there really is no comparison.

gadfly said...

Black Blossom

No . . . no seismograph! However, we do have a series of volcanoes on the west-side of town that are “extinct”, and in winter, vapors still appear, coming up through the lava. But we may need to change the spelling, after this last eruption, to “ex-stink”.

But did you happen to notice that Comet Holmes “surprisingly brightened nearly a million-fold in late October”? (According to http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html . . . Astronomy “Picture of the Day” )

‘Maybe the “faithful” are being given an urgent “last call”, to get on board before they “miss the bus”. December 14th? . . . Who knows?

‘One can only wonder!

gadfly

(Back in olden times, the students at “St. Joseph’s College” would pile old tires, soaked in gasoline or oil, into one of the deeper craters . . . set them on fire, and “freak out” the newer residents of Albuquerque . . . Yes, Albuquerque used to have a sense of humor. But this last “prank” is no longer funny.)

Ringtail said...

Its too bad you guys ran Ken off. Ken has a very good knowledge base of the plane and its systems as well as the value proposition. What a shame, now the people that read this blog looking for information will see a lopsided negative view of the Eclipse. way-to-go critics. I know I will not be looking at the blog as much either now.

Gunner - sorry I had to shut down last night but the real boss of the house does not like me ignoring her. I am not in your league when it comes to disposable cash, therefore just a simple gentlemen bet.I will buy you dinner if I lose, or you buy mine. Eclipse will not go bankrupt in 2007 or 2008.

Ringtail said...

Hummer, keep the open mind. Don't let the critics sell you a bag of crap about this plane. Despite what they say, a 310 size pessurized twin turbofan that goes 370 knots with a service ceiling of FL410 is revolutionary. These critics are all competitors of Eclipse in one way or another.

Dave said...

These critics are all competitors of Eclipse in one way or another.

Either substantiate your charge against me or retract your charge.

Ringtail said...

On the electrical system topic, I seem to recall several years ago one of the Lears that Stan helped get certified , uh, I believe it was a 25 or maybe a 35 lost all electrical over the north Atlantic coming back from Europe. It was a cargo if I recall and the crew consisted of two young women. If I remember correctly they lost all electrical, dead reckoned to Greenland with an old battery powered handheld of some type(I believe it was a VHF radio although it may have been loran or GPS) and got the plane on the ground on the runway when the weather was at 200 and 1/2. I may be wrong, but I believe they were also out of fuel?

Pretty good huh?

cj3driver said...

Hummer said,

"... But there is a niche market up and down the east coast at about $1,500/hr they can fill. I look for them to got to that niche next..."

Hummer,

Traditional charter may be DayJets next option (see Linear and North American). The problem is the competition is fierce in the $1,500 per hour range.

There are many other choices such as, King air, Pilatus, legacy citations and CJ's. Most are not owned by the operator, but are in charter just to offset costs. DayJet will always have to compete with these operations that do not have the capital expense of the equipment as they do, fractionals included.

There are also many VLJ fractional programs popping up, that promise additional revenue (thru charter) to offset costs. Maybe this will be DayJets next move. They certainly have the planes (and orders) to make this happen!

cj3driver said...

"There are also many VLJ fractional programs popping up, that promise additional revenue (thru charter) to offset costs. Maybe this will be DayJets next move. They certainly have the planes (and orders) to make this happen!"

But then again, not much chance of IPO for ED, ... under this senario.

cj3driver said...

Ringtail said

"... Hummer, keep the open mind. Don't let the critics sell you a bag of crap about this plane..."

CWMOR are you sleeping?

Ringtail said...

Either substantiate your charge against me or retract your charge.

I will retract it and restate with the following. In my opinion, most of the critics are competitors of Eclipse in some way or another.

I appologize for being so harsh in my original wording

Gunner said...

RingTail-
if we "ran Ken off" it's only because we criticized his claims without resprting to his childish ad hominem. I guess we should have just agreed. Then he'd still be here offering his particular brand of The World According To Vern....errrr, Ken.

Lopsided info here? Hmmm, is there another alternative? Perhaps a private Forum that requires you to pay a fee to enter and speak your mind? Ken mentioned something like that....said it was far more balanced. Where is that place and how many Critics have been invited.

As to the bet, I'm not the one who laid the challenge. You are. Nor would I presume to know your "disposable income" as well as you apparently know mine. But a wager offer has been laid and I accept, with qualification.

Not for the dinner, but the price thereof. Let's call it a hundred bucks. Fair? If so, we need to name the blogger to hold the funds. I require this as the last bet someone folded on was on the excuse that their wife "didn't think I'd pay". That comment was from Ken Meyer, who you chastise us for insulting so.

A hundred bucks, RT. I choose Stan to hold the bet. That is my right as the wager terms and challenge were granted to you, without question.

Are we on?
Gunner

Ringtail said...

Gunner,

my word is good and I intend to keep it. I believe you to be the type that keeps his word also. So no need to escrow. If the blog is still around at the end of next year I will call you on it to pay up:)

Turboprop_pilot said...

ringtail:

At most one or two critics are competitors. Most are aviation or business professionals who are deeply offended to see their industry besmirched by Vern's insults to their industry or business in general. His hubris and denigration to professional companies like Cessna are hard to bear.

I founded a very high tech company that combined hardware and software, selling to the best semiconductor and data storage companies in the world. Its successful sale allows me to purchase any of the VLJs.

It offends me to see Vern claiming a revolution and shipping broken promises after I worked very hard for more than 10 years without broken promises. I think that you would find the same backgrounds and anger amongst most of the critics.

TP

Gunner said...

No bet, Ring.

I granted you the terms and the size parametet of the bet. Though I trust your integrity, it's my right to name the disposition of funds pending payout, regardless the size of the bet.
Agreed?

Ringtail said...

Gunner said No bet, Ring.

sobeit (as in so-be-it) I'm not in to formalities. No hard feelings though.

Metal Guy said...

On one hand, the loss of both generators is most likely “Extremely Improbable”, which means you might as well be arguing what the emergency procedures are when the wing falls off.

On the other, contamination of the fuel system is far from “Extremely Improbable”. But the engines will not be stuck on when the power finally gives out.

In either case, I don’t think the actual reliability and failure analysis is the real issue relative to this post.

The issue with EASA on this is if they simply mandate a mechanical fuel cutoff, just because it’s the way they have always done it, and they are not about to re-write (or re-interpret) the regs just for Eclipse. And how many other areas are similar to this?

On any innovative design like the Eclipse, one would have to categorize EASA certification as high risk with low probability of maintaining a tight schedule.

But Vern is sure it will be done next Tuesday.

These continued misrepresentations of risk and schedule just shows his incompetence in spades.

Dave said...

On one hand, the loss of both generators is most likely “Extremely Improbable”

The Eclipse 500 runs on the Infinite Improbablility Drive, so it's highly likely.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

CJ3 said:

"CWMOR are you sleeping?
"
in response to Ringtail's bag of crap comment.

Sorry man, I was about ready to hit that 'bag of crap' right out of the park but I was struck by a sudden case of remorse having apparently driven the one beacon of truth, honesty and integrity right out of the blog.

But then Gadfly posted again and I knew all was well with the world.

Man if I only knew I could so easily control other people's actions from afar, believe me, I would have focused on Heidi Klum rather than our dearly departed Ken.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Don't Panic Dave!!

That was excellent - perhaps the hyperspace bypass will go through Albuquerque.

Remember, 42 is half of 84, my prediction for deliveries for '07 - brain the size of a planet and I'm stuck on this blog.

hummer said...

CJ3driver
"But then again, not much chance of IPO for Ed. . .under this scenario"
I don't think Ed needs an IPO. From
his recent round of financing (200 mil) and maybe as required with performance criteria, he should be cash flush. His approach seems to be
pragmatic and at a step at a time. Further, he has indicated that he wouldn't be adverse to consider other VLJs within his
fleet and scope. If AvioNG can allow Part 135 ops with a single pilot operation, this will dramatically change the equation.
From $1,500 and hour to say $1,200 would be a killer application. . in regular short range charter. Add into that the entire east coast and compete with 121 ops, Ed would have a winner even without the Russians.
I don't have a PHD but I can count money.
Then Ed has the opportunity to turn his aircraft at a very good profit. Eclipse may not appreciate like Cessna, but when he buys them at +/- $900K and turns them at a 50% profit, you don't need a PHD, be a Russian mathamatecian or a rocket scientist to figure pofitability.
Add these benefits together along with his willingness to adapt,
Ed sitting in a very good place.

hummer said...

Ringtail
Thanks for your encouragement.
You see, there are leaders, followers and a few of us that are neither.
At first, I like most everyone was almsot overcome by the concept of Eclipse.
Reality and risk evaluation has set in. Not that I don't wish Eclipse the absolute very best; I do indeed.
I have simply adjusted my perspective to fit the circumstances and to profit thereby.
As in the market, you can make money going short or long.
There is still a lot of money to be made in the VLJ market; the only wild card is Vern.
If he fails, the VLJ market will remain. To me, it's an idea whose time has come. It will be around for a while, I'm confident.

sparky said...

In this blog, Ken has demonstrated good pilot sense and perspective, good general knowledge, and above all an intense interest in learning and finding the right information.

You're kidding, right? If there has ever been a human more opposed to learn anything, it's dr.ken. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, he stays on target and continues to regurgitate whatever vern feeds him.

See recent posts about production schedules, FIKI,
and avio-ng amongst others. Or, if you would like, take a look at the older posts about wing bushings, windscreens and long-range flights.

baron95 said...

ColdWet, you are correct in that EASA certification is a critical success factor. You are also correct that Eclipse ALWAYS seem to VASTLY underestimate the complexity of certification and the importance of sound solutions.

I do expect they to miss the EASA certicfication date by (at least) several months.

Gunner, you are also correct that, in the end, all that matters is the position of the EASA, not mine or Ken's or Vern's.

I do want to point out that all other Electric Jets (to use your terms) have been certified to part 25. The Eclipse is being certified to part 23, which is a substantially looser standard. Also, comments/papers by certification agencies are just that - opinions, thoughts. When the Eclipse is formally evaluated, and the failure rates calculated/demonstrated, we'll get an official EASA position.

But I can not imagine the FADEC issue being a stumbling block. Worst case scenario, EASA will ask for bigger batteries, a secondary FADEC circuit batery or do some impose some minor meanigless restriction like (" Eclipse has to be opperated within 30 min of a suitable airport") until things are sorted out.

There is no conceivable way that the EASA will stop a part 23 airplane from being certified outright because of a fourth order failure (Gen 1 fails, Gen 2 Fails, Battery gets Depleted, then, and only then FADEC fails). There is NO such imposition for ANY systems on ANY part 23 aircraft on either FAA or EASA/JAA certification.

Eclipse will stumble on other issues. I bet that EASA will go with a fine tooth comb over Avio NG SW standards AND perhaps require difference training for each SW version upgrade that adds substantial functionalilty. I bet that they will look at break heating/fire problems. I bet they will ask Eclipse to document single engine performance. I bet they will look at depresurization (It is really bad when a very small presure vessel loses say a Window). A 777 can lose two windows and maintain interior presure. If an Eclipse loses a window at 41Kfeet what happens? Instant and explosive decompresion? How about at 35Kfeet? Will the pilot have time to don the masks? Would the passengers? These are all things were the EASA is much more conservative than the FAA.

A fourth order failure scenario is NOT what will do the Eclipse in at EASA - but there are other legit issues.

Oh, BTW, You can FORGET about getting EASA IFR of RSVM cert with the current AVIO and the reported autopilot issues.

EclipseOwner387 said...

Sparky,

Ken is one of the most active students of the Eclipse from top to bottom. Just because he chooses not to adopt your speculation doesn't make him a bad student. The funny thing is Ken has only adopted the official FAA view. For that he is an idiot?! Please. This blog is mean spirited and you guys take pleasure in knocking the next guy. Proud work. Maybe politics is in the future for some of you guys. You would fit right in bashing your opposition just to feel good about yourself.

mouse said...

I know of no other aircraft that relies on it's onboard electronics system to control absolutely every aspect of the airplane.

The aircraft has already experienced several (more than 2 and in some cases more than 3) total system failures. And all of these "independant" systems were "impossible" failures... Hmmm...

The likelihood of losing both generators is much higher on the EA-500 due to it's design and electrical system then the other aircraft (part 25 or part 23). The whole attitude of design is even worse than the currently certificated mess that exists today.

As for a couple of EASA shut-off valves.. Ah yes, so easy... Can you say new lines and fittings (P/N's, designs, suppliers) New testing new leaks points/paths, grounds, parts count, weight, assembly... This would be a new fuel system to certify for EASA and not just a simple paper transfer.

I question how the P&WC engine can be certified without a FADEC to be honest. The FADEC is the heart of the engine, and in this application it is not part of the engine at all. Wonder how smooth AD's, SB's, Etc. will be handled, and by whom? Warranty issues resulting from overtemps? Overspeeds on the engine parts?

When your engines go in for overhaul what happens to the FADEC? Does P&WC bench the engine with whose FADEC? What happens when P&WC wants to change the fuel flow scheduling?

Poor Ken finally had to go because his heart was no longer in it. He got mad at himself for being so gullable for so long, and he pissed himself off, or just pissed himself.

He was a source of information from Eclipse, although his sources just kept the rope untangled enough for him to keep paying out the slack.

He was warned, and he will pay the penalty for defending a bad man. Make no mistake, Vern was not a bad man when the game started, but he became a very bad man. Hey shoulda listened to Tony Montana when he said "Don't get high on your own supply"...

A stripped down, AVIDYNE or Garmin suite, and under $1.25M and the plane would be a huge success, selling maybe 250-400 units per year. Marketed as a trainer, 4 passenger mini-jet would be a perfect niche... An airliner does not an Aeronica C2 or Aircoupe make.

Leasing out EA-500's with crews and all management to individual companies for a turnkey, monthy set price + fuel would be huge. Anything else is a folly at best and a crime beyond that.

The plane is very poorly built, and the repair and maintenance is so absurd that the typical maintenance shop and mechanic will have no idea how to figure out how anything works. reason and experience were scuttled at every turn.

The poor quailty and even poorer acceptance criteria has left very litle to no margin for safety, repair, or even basic airworthiness.

The entire aviation community has been/is cheated by this company. Luckily there are enough legetimate OEM's to take up the demand that their hype created, and by building a better mousetrap there are alternatives...

Speed costs, how fast do you want to go?

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

Baron - CRI's are not opinions although they may include opinion.

CRI's are formal system to address compliance issues for specific projects. (this system is harmonised and used by both FAA and EASA - I mentioned months ago that it would be interesting for someone in the states to request teh Eclipse FAA CRI's under the freedom of information act).

This Eclipse CRI is not closed, it is a living document which will be modified based on comments from industry, comments from other authorities, comments from the applicant.

The probablity of complete failure of the 777 electrical architecture is 1x10^-9 or lower. This puts the probablity of death of a passenger on this A/C due to this cause, below the probablity of death by unknown natural causes.

I already listed the power souces. They are physically distributed throughout the A/C, different designs, different vendors, different technologies, on distributed buses.

The Eclipse has two generators and one (might be wrong here) battery. Considering the two generators will be the same design and vendor, as will the relays, GCU, etc, the probablity of total power loss due to common cause will be many orders higher than the 777 (which is principally acceptable for a Part 23 A/C).

Ringtail pointed out the case of Lear which suffered complete electrical loss. I bet this wasn't compounded with LOTC, and loss of engine shut down control. That crew is probably glad they didn't have to even think about the engines.

EASA's CRI indicates that the level of integratation in the Eclipse makes the consequences of total electrical power loss less acceptable than in traditional part 23 designs.

The recent crash of a DA-42 shows the risks of the unknown unknowns (the bits not considered in the SSA) with highly integrated designs (started with ground power due flat battery, took off, retracted gear - the gear motor sucked enough current to pull the bus voltage below the threshold for a FADEC reboot, both engines feathered and plane bellied in).

Think of the beauty of the electrical system on Kens 340. Once the starter button is released, those engines are completely independant of the A/C Electrical system for their primary function.

Does the PW600 series have a hydromechanical overspeed governor? If the Eclipse HMU locks at the last commanded fuel flow when the lights go out, and the last commanded fuel flow was a rapid acceleration, then without some form of mechanical overspeed governor you are looking at a non-compliance to CS-E510.

This is all very interesting technical debate. Pretty irrelevant to the Eclipse though, cause they are going bankrupt.

Comeback Ken, we miss you already.

bill e. goat said...

I enjoy reading the blog for the diversity of opinions represented. I find both advocates and critics are each batting about .500, careful scrutiny of opposing viewpoints lets the openminded come away with something approaching 100% of the truth.

I am sorry Ken is taking a breather, I have very much enjoyed his rebuttle, and indeed much more than just rebuttle- the abundance of information and insight he has provided the blog with, and good natured banter.

It is my sincere hope he rejoins the blog soon. (Sooner than waiting for delivery of his airplane :) -although I sincerely hope that occurs as soon as possible).

I enjoyed Alexa's comments too, and HotDog's. I hope those guys come back too, and we treat each other with respect and civility.

Make that my Christmas wish for the blog :)

mouse said...

Fredom and 0387,

You both have forgotten a key point here.

The battery iwas not airworthy in the DA-42 event, nor do I expect it will be in the EA-500 scenario.

The DA-42 pilot was a test pilot at that point because he did not have an airworthy airplane due to the dead, uncharged, and less than 80% capacity battery condition - period.

The Eclipse battery system is marginal at best, and in the US it's :30 minutes... the EASA requirements are for 1:00 of reserve battery.

Either way the plane has huge restrictions on starting (temps) and a very high demand for them all the time.

Pilots like Ken and others who do not understand basic systems or do not respect the design are doomed to hurt themselves or others.

His whole attitude on activating the boots was a perfect example of an accident waiting to happen, along with his belief that the boots would save his life... Or calling the engine anti-ice system a deice system.

Anti-ice gets turned on when conditions may be encountered, whereas deice is used if/when it is encountered. Turning on anti-ice after ice has formed is a great way to ingest ice and damage, destroy, flameout the engine.

Again, in the hands and minds of people like Ken the results can be terrible. Their were a lot of people who wanted and tried to educate and help Ken, but he was committed to being a closed mind.

Luckily his ruby slippers got him out of trouble this time...

bill e. goat said...

sigh.
I wonder why Ken left.

Gunner said...

I agree, Bill E.

Can't we all just get along?

Of course we would, Bill, if you'd just stop being such a SHAMELESS LIAR

Why must you always LIE to make your point Bill? You must come from a long line of PATHOLOGICAL LIARS to LIE the way you do.

But then we know why you always have to LIE, don't we? Because we Googled up some dirt on that high school football game you lost in the 1970's. You're a loser, Bill. You have no credibility and now the world sees that. LIAR

___________________________
Like I said, can't we all just get along......on Ken's terms, of course.
Gunner

sparky said...

Bashing??!!

Who posted non-blog related information about a traffic accident and the following litigation?

Who termed anyone that didn't parrot vern to be disgruntled, fired, incompetent or "hater"?

From the beginning, when vern stated his plan, a critic said,"I don't think he can build that many planes a year"...only to be attacked as "hating the company".

Dayjet..."That business plan seems to be full of holes, I don't see it working."...to be answered by "you hate eclipse so much that you will find something wrong with anything just to discredit the company."

Production delays...hater

transparancis...hater

avio...hater

avio-ng...hater

price point...hater

Maybe you should take a good long look at what has been posted, and by whom, before you make accusations.

I don't believe any critic has ever attempted to research the identity of anyone posting here, nor dug into their past.

Can the supporters claim the same?

sparky said...

And as for ken knowing all about the bird.....

Mechanic "I don't think this aircraft is safe"

Pilot "no, no...it's fine...MY DENTIST SAID SO."

airtaximan said...

I erased my post regarding Ken just being a view into eclipseaviation.com without reason or accountability.. a few snipes at his penchant for bold supportive claims of Eclipse, without so much as a follow up or explanation when asked - relegating him to a shameless "billboard".

I felt bad when Bill-e posted a comment - so I erased it.

The truth hurts.

Truth is, we will not miss his nits, insults, or unsubstantiated/unsupported opinions and claims.

Read eclipseaviation.com is you miss Ken's POV. At least there, you'll now they are BSing you to sell you something.

Jim Howard said...

The faithful can take some cheer from a recent Avweb audio interview with Joe Leader, president of the Air Taxi Association:

http://tinyurl.com/yt7kdf

Joe is extremely bullish on VLJs in general, and Dayjet and Eclipse in particular.

He raves about the very low costs that Eclipse jet operators are experiencing, and says that Dayjet has increased its number of Dayports to (IIRC) 30. He gives some Dayjet numbers on utilization and new customers that are very encouraging.

JetProp Jockey said...

I am not big into conspiricy theories, but the situation of Ken "leaving" makes me think . . .

Near the end of the last thread I posted a fictious story about a position holder seeking advice from his financial advisor who ended up using information from this blog to question the wisdom of risking another $625,000.

ATM said that he knew of a situation where the actually happened.

This being said, despite the numerous declarations by the faithful that the blog was near death, it remains as strong as ever.

Could it be that the company has requested that the strongest spokesmen for the E500 refrain from participating as the results seem to be making the blog stronger.

There are alot of position holders out there who have invested alot of money in this project and I can't imagine that many are not reading this blog and end up in contact with Eclipse to find out what the company has to say about an issue. There was a time when reading Ken's declarations kept the troops content, but since the lastest "opportunity" to support the company, Ken's indirect answers to the position holders may not be working.

The new hope is "Maybe if we ignore the blog, it will go away!"

Ringtail - I know you have sort of recinded your statement that all of the critics are in competition with Eclipse, my reason for bing here is:

I am a successfull business person who flys for business and pleasure. I have 2500 hours with lots of real IFR. Eight years ago I questioned the business plan that called for producing a low cost/high volume product. In my opinion, Eclipse could have marketed over 200 to 300 copies of their proposed aircraft for $2MM to $2.5MM per copy. Why invest the capital and operational costs to run a business requiring annual sales of 700+ per year to make less money than the 200 @ 2MM owuld make. We weren't talking automotive volumes but trying to use automotive concepts.

As the years have gone by, my opinion of the business has not gotten better.

For what it is worth, I believe that there will be a plane delivered that meets the promises. I'm not at all convinced there will be a company to support it.

I have no commection to the aviation industry (other than spending money for parts and service) and I do not consider my current aircraft the right one for my missions.

JetProp Jockey said...

Sorry - I do consider my aircraft the right on for my missions - I do not consider VLJ the correct one. The operating costs may be low by jet standards, but they are high compared to what I have come to enjoy.

FlightCenter said...

A few takeaways from the IS&S conference call.

FY Q4 numbers (CY Q3)
$5M in revenue
($4M) loss

Contributing to the loss in the quarter was delay in shipments to Eclipse and the unexpected complexity and additional scope required for Eclipse R&D to accomodate design changes - $2.5M

They stated that they are in discussions with Eclipse to recoup the out of scope engineering expenses. Software testing is complete. Initial hardware shipments have begun.

They expect to ship 60 shipsets to Eclipse in CY Q42007. They have no receivable issues with Eclipse as no bills have come due for payment.

FY2007 numbers (ending Sept 2007)
$18M Revenue
($8.8M) Loss

Cash is down $10M on the year.

The positive comments were that they now have $63M in flat panel backlog and expect to ship 3,000 shipsets in flat panels over the next two years.

FedEx signed a $7M multi-year deal for flat panel displays.


The stock is currently down to $12.30 or roughly 10% below yesterday's close and has made a new 52 week low.

airtaximan said...

the avweb audiocast is very well done. This leader guy seems to do a great job promoting the industry.

funny comment regarding Dayjet opening up more markets with the same number of planes, and are enjoying more flights - DUH?

this was a reaction to the poor levels seen between the much hyped 5 dayport milk run system that seems to have failed.

so, now, they are looking at 30% deadlegs. Not bad, for charter - but then again, you might be stopping along the way, so no surprise.

Imagine the competitive advantage is jet fuel buring plane vs prop, and stopping vs direct and per seat vs entire plane?

I am not convinced the statement that $400per hour "all included" which sounds like what Leader says is dayjets cost, is possible. Reason and expereince says this umber is BS and off by 50%. Then you have all the overhead...

Similar size prop planes are available at $400/hour for the whole plane on a charter basis, non stop.

PS. why should you have any dead legs on a day trip? Our numbers here shows they are flying around 1 hour per plane per day... why not just charter there and back for the daytrips and be done with it? Just a question - I'm not sure the computers are gaining any real efficiency at this point. Also, looks like at around 1 hour per planeper day, opening up 5x the markets has done nothing to increase utilization. Unless most of the intial trip we were seeing were non-revenue, and now there are more.

No talk of load factors and pricing... hmmm....

Dave said...

I am a successfull business person who flys for business and pleasure. I have 2500 hours with lots of real IFR. Eight years ago I questioned the business plan that called for producing a low cost/high volume product. In my opinion, Eclipse could have marketed over 200 to 300 copies of their proposed aircraft for $2MM to $2.5MM per copy. Why invest the capital and operational costs to run a business requiring annual sales of 700+ per year to make less money than the 200 @ 2MM owuld make. We weren't talking automotive volumes but trying to use automotive concepts.

I think it was Eclipse's lack of grounding in reality that got it. Eclipse was talking about turning out 1500 jets per year and in fact that number came up with the Hanson contract. It's no surprise that they miss deadlines and have supplier problems when they set unrealistic completion and production projections. Eclipse isn't even capable of going into "full production capacity" of 1500 jets per year and is having trouble just reaching one jet per day. Things would have been completely different had Eclipse approached things the way you suggest.

Dave said...

Following up on my last post here's Eclipse in their funding round talking about production, profits, etc as well as an IPO:
Albuquerque's Eclipse Aviation hasn't sold an airplane or made a penny yet, but the startup aircraft company says it will be $2.6 billion-a-year concern and will build 1,500 planes a year by 2011. It will employ 1,500 people and have profit margins in the 30 percent range -- and that's just in the U.S. market...
"Eclipse projects a world-class manufacturing profile when it achieves 1,500 aircraft per anum in 2011. Eclipse believes it can capture 20 percent of the U.S. market by 2011, annual sales of $2.6 billion, 30 percent gross margins, and a 25 percent pretax profit," the company's funding documents say...
At a price of $1.17 million per plane, it will break even at 690 planes, company documents say. That break even point will drop to 530 planes at $1.3 million per copy, and to 350 planes at a price of $1.45 million each.
Eclipse plans an initial public offering in 2008, and says that investors who bought in on the fifth round of funding can expect a 26-time return on their investment.
http://www.equitekcapital.com/Investorinfo/Webpagecontent/eclipse_articles/eclipsenmbusinessjournal.htm

If anyone can get ahold of these documents:
http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0001130020&owner=include&count=40
It would answer many questions. This is afterall the ultimate in "inside information" that the Faithful claim the Critics lack and if the current filings are like the previous filings, it states exactly what the breakeven point is. The most current SEC filing is Document Control Number 07072418 from 7/16/07.

airtaximan said...

The intial price was $775k or so. There was no competition, and this was 10 years ago.

Perhaps at $1,000,000 there's a big market? Even Diamond is at $1.5or so.

Seems like eclipse is good at 2 things. Raising and blowing money. That's a tough competency to leverage in business.

JetProp Jockey said...

I can't believe there is a sustainable market for 1500 E500's per year. It requries 1500 new buyers per year who:

1. Can afford a $1.9MM aircraft
2. Could affort a $2.5MM + aircraft but choose the size and other limitations of an E500
3. If purchased for owner operator use, able to meet the requirements of the type rating
4. If requiring a hired pilot, finding qualified pilots annually to fill either one or two seats.

In reality, 1200 of those sales would have to come at the expense of single and twin turboprops and the low end of turbofan world.

gadfly said...

And now for this morning’s “pop quiz”:

Question 1 - Name two brothers that made it possible for man to fly.

Question 2 - Name two brothers that wrote the business plan for Eclipse Aviation.

Choose answers from the following possible choices:

Ernest & Julio

Wilhelm & Jacob Grimm

gadfly

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

dave
I am very interested in getting this filing information. Do you have it
available in email form? If so,
could you give your email to Stan
Blankenship? Appreciate your early
response.

hummer said...

Breakeven Point:

350 aircraft per year/ 1 per day
at 1.45mil per copy. Totally
achievable.

Dave said...

I am very interested in getting this filing information. Do you have it
available in email form? If so,
could you give your email to Stan
Blankenship? Appreciate your early
response.


I don't have it and was saying that someone should get it. Eclipse did their SEC filings by paper rather than electronically (rather strange for a supposedly high tech company), so it's not available online, but it is legal to obtain. I believe they would have to either be ordered from the SEC or someone would have to physically go into the SEC where the documents are stored and make copies.

Jim Howard said...

An Indian company is going to start a VLJ charter service:

http://tinyurl.com/2m72wk

Their MD says that they are "still in discussions with the two companies" to provide jets.

Since they want to start in 2008 it is hard to see them going anywhere but Eclipse for their 11 aircraft.

Gunner said...

Hummer said:
"350 aircraft per year/ 1 per day
at 1.45mil per copy."


Of course that was 5 years ago, 4 years before the plane was finally provisionally certified; In an era when Mouse claims they had no idea what their unit cost was (I believe they still don't); At a time when the projected sales price was $1.1 million, not 64% higher.

If you believe the 350/$1.45 Mill still holds true, I've got a far better deal for you to invest in. I expect you'll earn way more then 26X your money back on it. Trust me.

Vern said it.
I believe it.
That's all there is to it.

Gunner

Gunner said...

Oops.

Make that, "4 years ago, 3 years before the plane was finally provisionally certified".

Of course, one man's typo is easily another mans "Lie". ;-)
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

Dave said,

"At a price of $1.17 million per plane, it will break even at 690 planes, company documents say. That break even point will drop to ... 350 planes at a price of $1.45 million each."

If you assume Revenue* at break even = Fixed Cost + Breakeven qty x Variable costs and then solve those equations using the breakeven numbers provided by Eclipse, the result is:

Fixed Costs are roughly $200M / yr
and Variable Costs are roughly $880K/ aircraft.

Using those numbers and assuming Eclipse will ship 100 aircraft in 2007, you find:

Revenue* = $130M
Fixed Costs = ($200M)
Variable Costs = ($88M)
Annual Loss = ($158M)
Cash burn rate = ($13M) / month

If they ramp to 200 aircraft in 2008, those numbers provide the following results:

Revenue* = $260M
Fixed Costs = ($200M)
Variable Costs = ($176M)
Annual Loss = ($116M)
Cash burn rate = ($9.6M) / month

Of course, this model doesn't take into account the costs associated with retrofitting the fleet of existing aircraft and other costs associated with ramping their service capabilities.

*Revenue here is only aircraft aircraft average price x quantity delivered. It doesn't reflect the fact that deposits and prepayments occur prior to the delivery. Neither is intended to address the topic of whether the revenue is recognizable.

airtaximan said...

9er,

yeah, I don't believe the netjets orders for gulfstreams either
;)

I also hate it when bogus ordes are announced for Emirates or American airlines...
;)

Seriously, they are replacing their Hawker400s... this makes good sense, if you think about it. They have around 130 planes in their stable (under management and core fleet)... HIG will grow the business, and 100 Phenom 300's makes good sense given payload-range, acquasition price and the company behind the plane.

I do not find it particulary strange... but orders and options do dry up, even from the airlines. Depends on the economy and industry specific conditions...

YMMV

airtaximan said...

FC,

the break even point is a moving target based on volume... it changes IF you only produce 100 planes, probably by the same margin:
IOW,
"At a price of $1.17 million per plane, it will break even at 690 planes, company documents say. That break even point will drop to ... 350 planes at a price of $1.45 million each."

You must fill in the blanks of " at a price of $$$$$$$$ the break even point is 100 planes."

This might be $5 million becasue the COST of the parts and 1000 folks producing only 100 planes is much higher per plane.

You cannot lose money on every plane (100 per year) and make it up on volume. See the Hampson lawsuit for example... pay us for the parts we didn't deliver, but were guaranteed...

Dave said...

Make that, "4 years ago, 3 years before the plane was finally provisionally certified".

If I'm not mistaken that breakeven analysis was done with the [cheaper] Williams engines and the parts have since greatly increased in price as that was the reason given for increasing price with the P&W engines.

hummer said...

Gunner
Well here is something for sure.
Provided Eclipse obtains the 35 mil
needed as a bridge (now to an IPO cause there aint no money elsewhere)
SEC filings will be forth coming very soon. So will Sarbane/Oxley if IPO is filed this side of the pond. Based on that info, one, one & 1/2 per day unit will be available.
Going to be an interesting ride.
26x earnings . . . .Right.
Typo with me = No lie or liar.
Put down that piece, lighten up
Ken is gone for a while. . .but not forgotten. I'm in the middle.

Dave said...

SEC filings will be forth coming very soon. So will Sarbane/Oxley if IPO is filed this side of the pond.

There are certain aspect to SOX that apply to all organizations (both public and private; for-profit and non-profit).

hummer said...

Dave
My mistake.
I thought they were current or recent SEC filings.
Please keep us advised of any new filings.

Gunner said...

Hummer-
I don't see an IPO in this company's near or mid term future. Period. Companys that are about to go IPO have no trouble raising private equity; they don't need to fire sale their future income for the task. Doing that negatively affects.....you guessed it.....an IPO.

I should have added a little winky thing at the end of my last....it WAS light hearted.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

pogo
;)

Dave said...

My mistake.
I thought they were current or recent SEC filings.
Please keep us advised of any new filings.


The article I linked to was based on 2003 filings, but since then Eclipse has done filings as recently as 7/16/07, but I don't know what the newer prospectuses say.

bill e. goat said...

Gunner,
I think Ken regrets the choice of words he made, and was universally thumped for it. And for completeness I too condemn the taciness of calling anyone a liar.
------------------------------

ATM,
"Our numbers here shows they are flying around 1 hour per plane per day"

This sounds pretty bad to me, but I'm not familiar with the air taxi biz. I would think around 3 hour utilization per business day would be the target- comments?
---------------------------

JPJ,
"Eclipse could have marketed over 200 to 300 copies of their proposed aircraft for $2MM to $2.5MM per copy. Why invest the capital and operational costs to run a business requiring annual sales of 700+ per year to make less money than the 200 @ 2MM owuld make. We weren't talking automotive volumes but trying to use automotive concepts".

I agree. And- I think maybe Vern will agree. I don't see anything to keep him from scaling back to a realistic volume target. THey've sunk a lot of money into the FSW infrastructure, and it will probably never see any advantage from it, but assuming the money's already spent, it shouldn't be any MORE expensive than dinosaur-ish rivets...

(Not sure what appropriate staffing would be- unfortunately for many involved, I suspect around half of the present. Hopefully the experience they've picked up would serve them well with other aviation concerns).
-----------------------

Dave,
"Eclipse could have marketed over 200 to 300 copies of their proposed aircraft for $2MM to $2.5MM per copy. Why invest the capital and operational costs to run a business requiring annual sales of 700+ per year to make less money than the 200 @ 2MM owuld make. We weren't talking automotive volumes but trying to use automotive concepts".

I agree- I think the "sweet spot" for Eclipse would be 225/year, at $2.25M per copy.
--------------------------

JPJ,
"I can't believe there is a sustainable market for 1500 E500's per year".

Ditto. Not even close. Not even close at $1M, I think.
----------------------------

Dave,
"30 percent gross margins, and a 25 percent pretax profit," the company's funding documents say..."

That seems to substantiate the 25% markup we've been speculating about, and I believe Stan and Gadfly suggested is required.

"At a price of $1.17 million per plane, it will break even at 690 planes, company documents say. That break even point will drop to 530 planes at $1.3 million per copy, and to 350 planes at a price of $1.45 million each".

Still not sure if that's cost of manufacture, or sale price. I would say that seems to be one optomistic document if they are talking about sales figures of 690.
-----------------------------
Hummer,
"350 aircraft per year/1 per day
at 1.45mil per copy. Totally achievable".

I got lost- cost of production at $1.45M or sales price? I'd sqirmishly agree if that's sales price. (Volume still seems a little high, but maybe...)
--------------------------

FC,
(very interesting post):
"Fixed Costs are roughly $200M / yr
and Variable Costs are roughly $880K/ aircraft.

"Using those numbers and assuming Eclipse will ship 100 aircraft in 2007, you find:

"Revenue* = $130M
Fixed Costs = ($200M)
Variable Costs = ($88M)
Annual Loss = ($158M)
Cash burn rate = ($13M) / month

"If they ramp to 200 aircraft in 2008, those numbers provide the following results:

"Revenue* = $260M
Fixed Costs = ($200M)
Variable Costs = ($176M)
Annual Loss = ($116M)
Cash burn rate = ($9.6M) / month

-------------------
ATM,
"You must fill in the blanks of " at a price of $$$$$$$$ the break even point is 100 planes."

I think Vern will fill the numbers in for you- just sign the check please.
:)
------------------------
Hummer,
"26x earnings . . . .Right".

Why, that's VERNTASTIC !!!

Dave said...

If anyone does contact the SEC, they could also get DayJet's as well while they are at it that are as recent as March 2007:
http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?company=dayjet&CIK=&filenum=&State=&SIC=&owner=include&action=getcompany
This explains how to get copies of the paper documents:
http://www.sec.gov/answers/publicdocs.htm
If anyone wants to shell out either 24 cents or 36 cents per page they can get DayJet and/or Eclipse investment paperwork to see what investors have been told this year.

hummer said...

Dave
Figure the cost and a fair amount
for your time and let Stan know.
I'll be happy to pay for both.
Thanks

killybegs fisherman said...

Dave,
Check the links on this homepage for eclipsecritic.net---there is already a copy of most recent SEC filing by Eclipse

Dave said...

Check the links on this homepage for eclipsecritic.net---there is already a copy of most recent SEC filing by Eclipse

Very informative. I see that the Hampson complaint is there as well:
http://www.eclipsecritic.net/docs/hampson.eclipse-complaint.pdf
Very interesting how Eclipse said they'd reconsider paying in the amount due in January 2008. I wonder if that was tied to having funding in the new round of financing in December. Also Eclipse mentions that there's a concurrent request for arbitration, but what they've brought to court isn't covered by the arbitration agreement.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

While I understand and appreciate the sentiment being offered by some of my fellow critics as well as some of the Faithful re: the dearly departed, Gunner and ATM accurately point out that Ken reaped what he sowed - the proof is clearly recorded in millions of 1's and 0's across hundreds of threads on this blog.

At the end of the day, nobody here drove Ken away, he has chosen, so he says, to not participate - reportedly in anticipation of the receipt and enjoyment of the plane.

Not said is whether that is an imminent threat, or one to occur on some unknown date in the future.

I for one cannot say anything particularly kind or nice about what I observed re: Ken's comprehension of the reg's, either as an operator (e.g., RVSM, NAV database updates, O2 use, systems emergencies, icing, etc.), or in terms of commenting on what did or did not make sense or what is or is not certifiable, domestically or abroad.

Being superficially familiar with the terminology (say from an Eclipse prepared whitepaper, webpage or conference call) does not qualify you to speak with authority. This obviously does not work for Vern, it will not work for anyone else either.

I was and continue to be in awe of Ken's dedication and true, blind, faith in Eclipse. That kind of dedicatiom is hard to come by in today's world,.

I hope that Ken is merely recharging his batteries, the past few weeks and months surely have taken a lot out of the Faithful - near bankruptcy in August, layoffs, Hampson, NfG going late, FIKI default, DayJet faltering, a staggering LACK of sales, and of course the Blue Light Special and Eclipse's private brokerage taking the wind out of the secondary market many early adopters were banking on.

I urge everyone to remember that Life is too short and far too precious to allow a blog, or even real live friends and family, to make you miserable. If Ken decides to come back I believe he will be treated as he treats others, if not, I think it marks a decline not in the blog but in the likelihood of success for Eclipse.

Given the passion and dedication and doggedness that Ken has displayed on this blog, Vern does NOT want to be on Ken's $hitlist.

Plumer said...

Gentleman

I’m flying 07 Meridian in Europe, at a rate of 60 hrs a moth. Eclipse in Europe, - hmm, what to tell you, if I fly in the western Europe, so you guys do not miss the point here, I can hardly get FL 270 to fly 1:30 or even more. So with Eclipse certified and best performance above FL 400, in reality, Europe is unreal. I get to wait for a slot most of the time I want to take off from some small airfield in Germany. Due to traffic. Now, the real question for me is, as I see some bugs (every day) in GNS 430, as some approaches are not loading for example coming to Geneva, etc. And that is genuine garmin, so you expect Avion NG or what that system is called will provide you with some real clean procedures? Come on, only really faithful guy could take that. If they do that, I will come to US, and kiss Vern’s hand. In Russia Eclipse is ok no RVSM, no traffic except for Moscow. But I still do not get it, no FIKI? Hmm, 80% of my last approaches were at the minimums, and ICE well what to tell you, I do not know, but here is not Florida some kind.

I like this discussion especially if some real guys flying turbine speculate. All is speculation, on the other hand, I expected Eclipse to be success of its volumes. But I guess that I not happening at the moment.
Well I buy Eclise today, if someone would agree to pay me for a test piloting, well on the other hand a twin jet for a price of less then Meridian, I guess that is a salary

Keep good fresh and interesting comments.

gadfly said...

Goat

We all know by now “what’s in the can of beans” (or at least we can detect the overpowering odor . . . some have tried to deny it). It has swelled far beyond its original size . . . and whether by rivets or “FSW”, the can will not stand much more internal pressure, and it’s beginning to leak.

Anything can fly, if you hang it under a big enough “gas bag” . . . or enough “small gas bags” (pun intended). But although a man can fly a lawn chair with weather balloons, and descend safely through IFR conditions, there are limits as to what is practical . . . and prudent.

The little four or five place (OK, six, if you take your pet cat) jet powered incomplete “lawn chair” may be comfortable for some, and “prove” that it can “fly”, but sooner or later, it will cause great harm to those who have bought into its revolutionary method of transportation.

From all that I learn, this is not a safe aircraft . . . it’s a gut feeling from the many “clues” and “hints” that I hear from those that have commented, after they have been up close and personal within the manufacturing facility.

(And we’ll not comment, today, on the integrity of those in charge.)

Although I would like to examine the internals of the airframe, including the “welds”, rivets (fit/ “upset” end dimensions/ “flush” dimensions/hole tolerance, fasteners (grip-length/lock-wires, etc.), controls, electro-mechanical devices, battery backup specs, avionics, wiring/cabling/shielding/ground-straps/swage-fittings, bulkhead “pass-throughs”, paint-job (primer, base-coat, over-spray, masking, “orange peal”, fit and finish), upholstering (yep!, even the quality of the “stitching”, beading, lining, padding), “skin”(cracks/protection/anodizing/alodine/chem-etch quality), integrity of engine/spar/landing gear mounts, wing spar machining quality, “cladding”, airfoil surface defects, etc., etc. . . . they wouldn’t hear of it.

Anyone with an ounce of expertise could “track me down”, and I’d never get through the front (or back) door. But I would also be snooping around the “tooling”, and the “tooling jigs” (that hold things in place while major components are “buttoned together”). In addition, I would also ask questions of personnel, to find their level of expertise, training, and understanding in their individual areas of work.

Bottom line here is that “If I were a potential customer, I would hire someone like myself, who is proficient and has an understanding of the many disciplines involved, to carefully and thoroughly, go through the entire Eclipse manufacturing program . . . to certify that this is a legitimate operation . . . that the product that I may purchase is everything that it is “cracked up to be”, so that it is not “cracked up” at some time in the near future.

Sure, these comments are extreme, but not unreasonable. If this company had a track record of being open and honest (you be the judge), and had produced a few hundred aircraft with a few years of successful/safe history, the need for such inspection would be greatly diminished . . . but not eliminated.

Now and then, we purchase machines that only cost a quarter, or third of a million dollars . . . and we demand far better proof than this. Why should the “little jet” be anything less.

The general aviation public is expected to “take the word” of an inexperienced “software” salesman, that this little jet is completely safe, and we should trust him (or “it”) to fly us and our family and friends around the country, based mostly on his “good word”. We make “perishable tooling”, that is only used to “manufacture” a jet engine, yet no-one takes our word for the quality of our tooling. It is under constant scrutiny by inspectors throughout the process from the time that the tungsten and copper are processed, to the time the “used” tool is thrown into the scrap bin. Each and every step in the process is fully documented. A single “slip up” . . . we would lose are biggest customer . . . a company that could buy Eclipse, P&W, and a few other companies out of “petty cash”, without a hiccup.

Most pilots are not proficient in manufacturing, electronics, electro-mechanics, machining, metallurgy, etc., etc., . . . yet have a tendency to trust a “salesman”, or the hype of a company president. In fact, many do not fully understand aerodynamics, yet may be excellent in the area of “flying a plane”. This is not to their discredit, but simply emphasizes their need to gain unbiased outside support, and advice, when making a major purchase, that may determine their own longevity, and that of their passengers.

These are the issues that should be addressed, and scrutinized, to the “Nth” degree, on this “Critics’” website, and everywhere else that the little jet is discussed and dissected.

‘All seriousness aside . . . it’s time to pop the lid off that can of beans, and reveal exactly the contents that people have been purchasing all this time.

gadfly

(Frankly, I don’t trust a swollen can of beans . . . or any other “swollen” thing, for that matter!)

(Goat, Mouse, Fish, and “Fly” . . . birds of a feather . . . wouldn’t that be a combination with which to reckon ?!)

(Plumer mentioned problems with Garmin . . . reminds me of my duties to “tune up” the Loran gear in mid ocean during a typhoon aboard a diesel-submarine . . . ‘glad we weren’t in “close” to shore.)

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
"At the end of the day, nobody here drove Ken away, he has chosen, so he says, to not participate - reportedly in anticipation of the receipt and enjoyment of the plane"

Quite correct- let's hope he, and others, safely enjoy their purchase (eventually).

"Given the passion and dedication and doggedness that Ken has displayed on this blog, Vern does NOT want to be on Ken's $hitlist".

Hmmmm...Good Point!
-------------------------

Gadfly:
"Although I would like to examine the internals of the airframe, including...."

Okay now! As nutty as this seems...

What IF Eclipse had a "Critic's Day"?

R-E-A-L-L-Y.

I know that's a bit of a stretch, but I think it would give Eclipse an opportunity to show off a bit.

Make it on a Sunday or whatever, to minimize disruption (oh, wait a minute, I thought this whole thing was about being disruptive! :)

I think it would indeed be a gracious* move by Eclipse, and provide skeptics and critics an opportunity to really evaluate what's going on. Particularly if they could arrange to have a representative from each discipline and manufacturing area available to proudly discuss their area of responsibility.

Sort of like- letting the aviation press fly it. I'm still a bit puzzled over that one, I must admit. Seems like Eclipse would be eager to have AvWeek take 'er for a spin. If the reason is, it's not complete (which is the reason I suspect), it would still seem to provide good press to have it flown frequently, to "show how far and how fast we're making progress!". A bit odd (I won't go so far as to say ominous, but it surely does seem weird) that the press is being held at bay mostly.

I really does seem, with the notoriety the blog has, that a "critic's day" would be a chance to silence some of the flak. Maybe limit it to two dozen reps, to be selected at random or by qualification by the blogmaster.

Why, there could even be a "social hour" afterwards with advocates/flyintology-ites. (Uh, I trust it would be a "social" anyway :)

The downside for Eclipse is, it would also lend credibility to the blog.

I suppose it could be organized under something a bit less objectionable, such as "Vern for President" or some such.

(*Although, I must note, Gracious is not a characteristic often attributed to Vern- maybe this is an opportunity for him to redeem his reputation!!!:)
---------------------------

But- really- I do think it would be fascinating and enlightening to get a half-day expedition organized, and to hear the feedback from the "delegates". Maybe on some auspicious occasion such as first Avio-NG delivery, or first fully-functional Avio-NG delivery (I suspect that would give Eclipse quite a bit of wiggle room).

(Just hope Vern doesn't call up some friends at Los Alamos and check up on those neutron bombs! :)

I would challenge the advocates, or critics for that matter, to make a legitimate attempt to organize this- it would indeed be interesting, and perhaps rewarding, to see what the Eclipse response would be.
-------------------------------

Well, Gadfly, time to go heat the beans up. Maybe I'll put some chili's on 'em just for good measure.

gadfly said...

Goat

Keep me posted! I'll be there with "bells on" . . . early, with digital camera, caliper, and note pad.

gadfly

(Oh, by the way, "Where can I pick up a "bullet proof vest"? And can I bring my friend, Guido, who rearranges knee-caps on the side?)

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,
I think the only fair way to handle this is to have everyone camp out overnight at the ABQ Hilton. Then I'll sell tickets, but delay the show several years, and double the cost of the ticket. And then it will only be a 90 minute tour, and you must stay behind the ropes, and can't talk to anyone.

Free sodas though, and autographed pictures of Vern!!!

(BTW, I'm selling darts :)

Stan Blankenship said...

Boenning & Scattergood Equity Research – Michael F. Ciarmoli

Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. (ISSC; Market Perform): FQ407 Results Disappoint, Eclipse Orders Fail to Materialize; Maintain Market Perform Rating

Investment Conclusion:

IS&S reported F4Q07 results that were once again light of expectations, and furthermore it appears that the company’s relationship with Eclipse Aviation is causing more harm than good.

We continue to believe that IS&S has one of the most compelling flat panel cockpit displays systems in the marketplace, but the company’s heavy reliance on Eclipse-related revenues in F08, in conjunction with its failure to obtain supplemental type certificates (STCs) for the Boeing 737, 747, and Cessna Citation have eroded our confidence in the company’s ability to execute.

Moreover, we also have concerns that the company may experience margin pressure in future periods as it grapples with increased engineering and development costs associated with new program wins.

Shares have been punished of late and we believe they could be pressured further as future estimates are reduced.

We are maintaining our Market Perform rating and would recommend that investors remain on the sidelines until there are signs of progress at Eclipse or the issuance of new STCs.

Key Points:

· F4Q07 results disappoint as Eclipse orders do not materialize.

· 737, 747, and Cessna STC schedule is a cause for concern.

· Outlook for F08 can be viewed as suspect.

· Customer concentration and inability to execute prompt us to maintain our market perform rating.

Gunner said...

Boenning & Scattergood, huh?
Second Rate.
Haters.

The 15th is quickly approaching. If Vern pulls off the needed 50 Deposits, he gets the 2007 Smooth as Silk Award.
Gunner

cj3driver said...

CWMOR said,

“… Given the passion and dedication and doggedness that Ken has displayed on this blog, Vern does NOT want to be on Ken's $hitlist….”

Perhaps there is another reason Ken has left this blog. As suggested a few days ago, maybe Ken has decided to be a participant in the Owners Liaison demanding answers from Vern. It would be very difficult to represent such an Owners group on the one hand, and towing Eclipse’s party line on the other. The owners may just see him as a “shill” for Vern.

I find it hard to believe that Ken would just up and leave NOW, when thing are looking bleaker than ever at Eclipse, and Eclipse desperately needs an advocate on this blog. Especially in light of the substantial investment he may have in his aircraft position(s).

This blog is becoming more and more popular. I counted over one hundred different bloggers this month alone. That’s a lot of people logging in. I wonder how many more just “read” and don’t post. Maybe hundreds, if not thousands. I know that I, for one, was just a “reader” for months before my first post. The only reason I began posting was because of Ken’s claims and derogatory remarks about the Mustang and Cessna.

If I were future Eclipse customer or an existing position holder, and had my cash at risk, I would be very anxious to read ANYTHING about the company, good or bad.

If even one sale, or 60% deposit, does not happen, over the course of an entire year … because of customer concerns regarding questions presented on this blog, … it costs Vern more money than if he hired a full time “blogger”, just to counter the critic claims. Ken was doing this for free, I suspect.

If Ken is privy (or becomes privy under an owners group) to “inside” Eclipse finances, and then continues to encourage others to invest their hard earned money on this blog, “knowing” the true picture, it would be at least unethical and at most…..

Gunner said...

CJ-
My money says, if Eclipse goes Tango Uniform, Dr. Kenneth Meyer will become their worst Depositor nightmare.

No, he won't suddenly embrace the Critics (in fact, I'd expect him to partially blame us). But, armed with the righteous indignation of a man who "had no idea" of what was happening, Ken doesn't seem like the type who will go away quietly. He's got a LOT vested in this company before we even start adding up the dollars.
Gunner

baron95 said...

Plumer said...
Gentleman

I’m flying 07 Meridian in Europe, at a rate of 60 hrs a moth. Eclipse in Europe, - hmm, what to tell you, if I fly in the western Europe, so you guys do not miss the point here, I can hardly get FL 270 to fly 1:30 or even more. So with Eclipse certified and best performance above FL 400, in reality, Europe is unreal.


Hummm..... I can't see how you can draw that conclusion for the Eclipse from your Meridian experience.

You are aware that the Merian has the SLOWEST Vne of ANY factory certified presurized airplane, right? You are also aware that it is the ONLY factory certified presurized airplane with a Vne of less than 200 KTS. ALL ATC impose substantial restrictions on Turboprop airplanes that can't maintain 200KIAS and all jets that cannot maintain 250KIAS.

In any event, FL290 is the highest altitude you can fly IFR at on the Meridian and you are complaining that you hardly get FL270? What kind of complaint is that? It is like an Eclipse pilot complaining that he hardly ever gets FL390.

At FL270 you are mixing up with fast turboprops and some Biz and Airline jets on short hops. It is NO PLACE for a plane that is speed restricted to 188KIAS.

Now, you have a point that short ranged jets like the Eclipse and the Mustang are severely impacted if they can't climb to FL350 to FL410. However, you presented no evidence that there will be issues for the Eclipse to reach those altitudes. If a Cessna CJ or CJ1 operates fine in Europe, so will the Eclipse. The performance of those planes for ATC is about the same.

mouse said...

Niner Z,

I think you'll find a lot of the older Lear 35A's being replaced by the new planes coming out... the numbers are way over-blown for sure, but there is a lot of retirement on the horizon... or there should be..

mouse said...

Flight Center, your really a numbers guy! Take the numbers from the publicized figures (Hampson, IS&S, and the engine cowling composites, Etc.) and figure out the costs... The tail is one of the lowest cost "big chunks" to produce, and it is way over-priced...

bill e. goat said...

Mouse,
Thanks for your many fascinating posts, that have helped me understand some of the stranger things at Eclipse.

Three questions please:

1) I think Vern's bucket of money is essentially endless; based on past history- theatrics of late not withstanding. He might have to squirm and grovel, but I think he could borrow ANOTHER $1B* over the next 5 years. I really do. (*well, make that $500M+, for sure, I think based on past history- insane, but inexplicably true). Comments?

2) What do you think the per-airplane cost to manufacture is, including overhead, based on 250 per year?

3) What is the significance of Dec 15?

Thanks, I certainly do not demand a response, and respect your silence if answers would compromise you or adversely affect others.

mouse said...

B.E.G.

Three questions please:

1) I think Vern's bucket of money is essentially endless;

A: I think the well is dry. The only funding would be a last ditch bridge to try and sell the company before it implodes.

2) What do you think the per-airplane cost to manufacture is, including overhead, based on 250 per year?

A: $1.9M - $2.2M the volume savings don't ever kick in until well beyond the 500 shipset level.


3) What is the significance of Dec 15?

A: Vern's last day. May not see the change but I'm most sure he plug will be pulled. I also suspect Eclipse will file for protection before the end of the year. My warning of the 15th was for any depositor to take action to try and recover their money.

Understand that none of what I say is fact, but pure gut hunch and somewhat verified speculation. Time will tell.

Gunner said...

mouse-
Thanks much. Looks like my own WAGs leave me in good company. If the company does fail, I sure as hell would regret not seeing Vern along for the full ride.

One thing that doesn't fit, assuming this company is in deep trouble, is why people like Peg Bilson remain. Arguing against myself, I know. Just trying to be objective about it.
Gunner

hummer said...

Mouse & Gunner
Wouldn't it be an absolute shame for Vern to leave before certification & approval of:

1. Avio NG Phase 1

2. FIKI

I doubt he would depart and leave these two key elements unfinished
since they are such an intregal
part of the Eclipse aircraft.
Doesn't make any sense.

hummer said...

CJ3driver
Re: China
FAC Company/Cessna
AREO NEWS
FYI
blog: 9:06, November 28, 2007

mouse said...

Hummer,

He won't leave... It won't be his decision.

He may remain public for a while even... Peg has been running a major portion of the entire company, and has been for over a year.

I suspect this latest desparate begging for cash is Vern trying to save his last shred...

bill e. goat said...

Thanks Mouse.
You've been spot-on in my book with your insights, on background, administration, and technical details.

Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

Plumer said...

baron95


I draw this not from my experience alone, a friend is flying Beach Premier 1, same stuff, unless you hit for 800nm trip, same story, and at busy ports they vector you in FL 100 for 30min. Then FIKI kind of comes handy.

Plumer said...

By the way, my dream is Eclise Concept jet, single that goes FL400, any news reg that ? I wana order that one now.

bill e. goat said...

Thanks again Mouse!

There is one aspect of Vern's public behavior that puzzles me though...

The thing about Vern repeated saying in public how hard it is to raise funding.

Now, why would a CEO say that in public? That would just seem to send negative vibes out to potential investors.

This is how I read it:

1) Vern is patting himself on the back for the fundraising. (Well, I gotta admit, he DOES deserve a pat on the back- some kind of Emmy nomination too. Congressional Medal of Honor, or Congessional ivestigation, well, the Jury is still out- in more ways than one!).

2) Vern is squeezing the BoD or Al Mann. He's pushed them in private, and the public proclomations is a subtle way to push them in public.

My read on this is: there is lots of "internal" funding to be had, and he's exasperated with repeatedly being told to go "outside" for more bucks.

I knew Eclipse had some lofty goals, but when I read Dave's post regarding Eclipse's forecast of:

"2.6 billion-a-year concern and will build 1,500 planes a year by 2011. It will employ 1,500 people and have profit margins in the 30 percent range -- and that's just in the U.S. market..."

And the gig about x26 return (although I think that is a bit Verntastic), well, it makes me think Al Mann is going to ride this horse for a while, even if it does mean, I would say, investing a year or two of gross: yep, $2.5B-$5.0B

I know that's absurd and ludicrous, but for Eclipse to have stayed in business for so long started out apprearing equally absurd and ludicrous to me.

No bet's from this boy on this one. The old song "It takes money to make money" seems to be a better motto than "We Can't So You Can't".

bill e. goat said...

And- thanks for the production costs Mouse. I believe 'em. They substantiate the Mustang pricing, and I still think the Eclipse pricing is a little like loss-leader stuff.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Al Mann may be out to prove the old adage:

How do you make a small fortune in aviation?


















Start with a big one.

Eclipse, there really is no comparison.

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