Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eclipse Aviation Achieves FAA Certification of Avio NG

Next-generation system provides unmatched functionality

December 20, 2007

ALBUQUERQUE, NM

Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced that it has received certification of Avio NG from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Avio NG Total Aircraft Integration™ system, exclusive to the Eclipse 500 VLJ, provides centralized control of virtually all Eclipse 500 systems and avionics functions. Avio NG significantly reduces pilot workload by simplifying tasks, generating useful information and acting as a virtual copilot.

Certification of Avio NG marks the completion of an intensive effort to develop and certify a significantly improved Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) and Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) functionality for the Eclipse 500. This milestone was achieved in a short ten months following the company’s announcement that it would replace the equipment supplied by Avidyne, and build and certify the improved Avio NG system. As the lead integrator, Eclipse Aviation certified Avio NG with the support of its world-class partners, including Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. (IS&S), Honeywell, Garmin International and PS Engineering, Inc.

“Certifying Avio NG marks one of our greatest accomplishments,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation. “Avio NG now provides the seamless, safe, and reliable jet operating experience we always envisioned for our customers. It sets a new standard for single-pilot aircraft operations.”

With Avio NG installed, Eclipse 500 customers receive higher primary flight display (PFD) and multi-function display (MFD) resolution, enhanced user interface features, four-color weather radar and greater overall systems reliability. Avio NG also provides increased functionality for optional equipment, including a third AHRS, Skywatch HP, Class B TAWS, DME, ADF and a Mode S enhanced transponder with diversity capability. As additional Avio NG functionality is certified in early 2008, Eclipse 500 customers will be able to add these features through simple software updates.

Avio NG is designed to align with the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) integrated plan. Avio NG equips the Eclipse 500 for the future by providing an architecture platform that incorporates the migration of technology envisioned with NextGen. Since Avio NG is designed with NextGen in mind, all of the NextGen technology solutions can be incorporated at little or no cost to Eclipse 500 owners.

Aircraft 105, the first production Eclipse 500 equipped with Avio NG, has just received its certificate of airworthiness and will be delivered to its owner in the coming weeks. Eclipse will ensure a homogenous Eclipse 500 fleet by modifying all in-service Eclipse 500s with Avio NG by the end of 2008, at the company’s expense.

About Avio NG

Designed by Eclipse Aviation exclusively for the Eclipse 500, Avio NG provides Total Aircraft Integration through integral, redundant computer systems and advanced data and power distribution systems. Avio NG applies integration technology to the entire aircraft, including avionics, engine operation, fuel system, flaps, landing gear, cabin pressure and temperature. The cockpit features two PFDs and one MFD, which are controlled by selection keys and knobs on the displays or by a keyboard at the pilot position. The PFD and MFD provide the pilot with high-resolution display of all flight parameters, engine and system performance data, and total system control.

Thanks to EO387, a long time contributor to the blog for the heads up on this one.

89 comments:

bill e. goat said...

Not enough oil?
Baja man!
------------------------
So.
Avio-NG Now.
(Or was that Apolypse Now).
Looks like the stunt of the quarter came a few days early. (Put the blanket back over the con-jet for now).
No relationship to holiday shutdown, I'm sure.
...Wonder what the IOU's are for this one.
---------------------------
CWMOR,
regarding Onyx and Raytheon/Hawker-Beechcraft...
Raytheon had the absolute worst record of any aeroplane company I can think of- years of losses, and the Starship, Premier, and Horizon/4000 programs combined make the E-500 look like chicken feed. (well, okay- for a really BIG chicken:).

Still, I'm not sure anyone will touch it unless Eclipse is a easy pick in BK.
---------------------------
Stan,
"the managers assure me it (GA boom) will be good for another 4-5 years."

I suspect that is the forecast Al Mann is listening to also.

I've heard that "global demand" will damp the down-cycle somewhat this time around.

(Unfortunately, I'm worried that "global demand" for oil will have a deletrious effect as well. Soaring oil prices? Boon for Eclipse with it's lower consumption? Or Bust for Eclipse, with general economic downturn as a consequence of high priced oil? Dan, I think the blog went around on this one a couple of months ago- good arguements on both sides. Conclusion: inconclusive).

Black Tulip said...

Dan Swanson said,

“…no one is talking about the hand that oil depletion will play.”

Oil depletion? What oil depletion? It’s just a matter of price. Check out the oil sand activity in Northern Canada. Oil is so cheap we are still burning it in stationary applications instead of turning to nuclear power.

However as the price of Jet-A goes up, the turboprop engine will look increasingly attractive. Think of it as an extremely high bypass turbofan.

EclipseOwner387 said...

B.E.G.

My understanding is NO FMS or Moving Map. That is scheduled for early 2008 I believe.

Big pick up is no longer reliant on the limited Avidyne stock and other components like radar, skywatch, taws, and 3rd ahrs I think can be used now.

Stan Blankenship said...

IS&S regained nearly 5% today.

Closed at 9.71.

bill e. goat said...

EO387,
Sounds promising, and really, I don't think it will be too hard to deliver the rest of the goods. (I figure by end of 2008Q2 Avio-NG will be a done deal).

(And, a hearty congrats to the Eclipsers who visit this site and probably bite their nails with angst :).

Do you have any word on the FIKI goings on? (that sure seems to be taking a long time).
Thanks.

FlightCenter said...

Certification of Avio NG is certainly a major risk reduction for Eclipse as a company.

It is also a major milestone for their customers and for the prospects of closing the next round of financing.

They deserve some major congratulations on this accomplishment.

Reading the tea leaves of the announcement, there are few items that deserve highlighting.

I think it is the first time that Eclipse has publicly acknowledged its role as the lead integrator of Avio NG.


It is interesting that Vern says that serial #105 received CofA today, and that "it will be delivered in the coming weeks."

That would seem to say delivery will take place somtime in the new year. One wonders if this bird is going to stay close to home for a while.

Vern claims that all Avio aircraft will be updated to Avio NG by the end of 2008. They've previously claimed that the retrofit will take 10 days. The logistics of this effort will be challenging to say the least. If they've got 100 aircraft to retrofit and 10 days per aircraft, they'll have to have continuous capacity to have at least 5 aircraft undergoing the retrofit simultaneously. (Assuming 200 working days available for the retrofit). Remember Vern promised the detailed plan for accomplishing the retrofits to all the owners by the end of December. Only a few days left to make that commitment.

The press release says that Avio NG acts as a virtual co-pilot. (present tense). A bit of overstatement. My understanding was that the virtual co-pilot capabilities were part of Avio 1.5 or 2.0. Can someone confirm if that recollection is correct?

Vern just can't help talking about new future capabilities he's going to deliver sometime in the future....

Why promise compatibility with NextGen when you have two or more Avio NG releases to go to just get the functionality you promised 7 years ago?

Has anyone here been demanding that their avionics be compatible with NextGen? Didn't think so.

It has got to grate on Honeywell and Garmin to have IS&S and PS Engineering lumped with them into the "world class supplier" category. PS Engineering is a tiny, tiny shop that makes audio panels. I'd be surprised if even the PS Engineering president considers PS Engineering to be a world class avionics company.

As Stan has pointed out, IS&S is struggling as a company (the stock declined 67% this year and is trading today at 33% of the 52 week high) and hoping for Eclipse to bail them out. Hard to imagine a $17 or $18M dollar company belonging to the camp of world class suppliers. But they are the lead partner on Avio NG.

Garmin's stock on the other hand is up 2x from its 52 week low and is a $2.8B revenue company (based on trailing quarter) with a $22B market cap.

Honeywell is a $35B revenue company trading close to its 52 week high.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BEG,

You could combine the reported development costs of the Starship, Premier 1 AND the Horizon and not top the reported development bill for the EA-500.

For that investment you would have:
- the first certified composite airframe and a truly unconcentional design (although with conventional performance)
- a breakthrough in cabin size vs. cost in the Part 23 jet market (and several hundred fully functioning delivered)
- and a very, very advanced and complicated super-mid-size jet with impressive speed, range and cabin comfort

That pretty much sums it up in my book - YMMV.

baron95 said...

One down (Avio NG), three to go (FIKI, EASA, Avio NG v 1.x) to have a fully functional aircraft.

From the previous thread on acquisition prospect ... At what price and by reference, at what rate of return for the investors-to-date?

Price - at the fair market value given the assets (TC, PC, factories, tooling, trained workforce etc) and liabilities. There is always a price for any commercial venture. Why is that an issue.

Rate of return for original investors - irrelevant to the discussion. The original investors will determine if they are better off taking an acquisition offer or continuing. That offer may mean a huge loss, a modest loss, a modest profit, a huge profit. I'd bet on a huge loss for earlier investors, a modest loss to later ones. Still that may be better than continuing to pumping money into it.

baron95 said...

Coldwet said... You could combine the reported development costs of the Starship, Premier 1 AND the Horizon and not top the reported development bill for the EA-500.

Do you know what the development costs for the EA-500 are? Don't confuse things. Development costs of a new aircraft under an existing company structure is one thing. Developing an aircraft AND simultaneously developing a company to design, build, support that aircraft is a completely different proposition.

I'm not debating that Eclipse spent more than they should have with all their vendor/spec switcharoo, etc. However, I'd have to say that more than 50% of the reported $1.xB were costs associated with building a company, not developing the EA500.

The costs to build facilities/factories, acquire tooling, computer workstations, IT systems, train 1,500+ people (with turn overs they prob trained more), etc, etc, etc eats a lot of cash.

When was the last time a brand new company was created from scratch to design, certify, produce and support a jet airplane? How much did it take?

Even Lear was a going concern when the LJ was designed, and even that took a bunch of $$$ and a few tries with the investors losing control a couple of times.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

B95,

Eclipse originally projected being able to do it all for about $300M, that was over a Billion dollars ago now.

Ten months ago Eclipse announced it was canning Avio for Avio NfG, it listed the features that would be available.

Only 5 months ago, Eclipse projected it would certify Avio NfG, fully functioning, by the end of October, in aircraft 134.

Two months later it predicted Mid November.

Still apparently missing are FMS, fully functioning autopilot, GPS navigation and moving map - unless we are to believe that the company which announces almost every delivery accidentally forgot to mention these key features.

Should the team at Eclipse be congratulated for redesigning a significant portion of the avionics system and user interface? Yes.

Perhaps the real question is should they have had to redesign it in the first place?

flyger said...

If I pick up serial #105 and fly it home, what exactly works and what doesn't?

I've never seen details on this.

Something else pointed out to me was the complete and utter lack of trade magazine review of an Eclipse. Cessna had the Mustang flying for just about every magazine editor out there yet we don't see any trade press on the Eclipse. How can Flying, AOPA, etc, pass up writing an article on the airplane? One wonders if Eclipse is purposefully keeping this from happening somehow. Wouldn't any of the new owners want to show it off? Why not?

Metal Guy said...

Certifying Avio NG marks one of our greatest accomplishments

While certification in itself is certainly a great accomplishment, it needs to be taken in the larger context of this entire fiasco.

- They are now 7 years into the avionics development effort and have just achieved around 1/10 functionality level.

- They are right back where they were years ago, just millions more in the hole.

This is a great accomplishment? All they have done is fix their previous screw-up with Avidyne and reset the clock to 2003 or so, nothing more.

bill e. goat said...

Putting on my conspiracy theory hat...

Noting FC's good catch:

"It is interesting that Vern says that serial #105 received CofA today, and that 'it will be delivered in the coming weeks.'"

and

"Vern claims that all Avio aircraft will be updated to Avio NG by the end of 2008".

And, reading something into Flygers' innoculous sounding question:

"If I pick up serial #105 and fly it home, what exactly works and what doesn't?"
-----------------------
A suspicious, skeptical, (CRITIC:) might ask:

What will s/n 106-134 be equipped with, Avio-Old Gen, or NG ?

Surely, ah, NG,...right..? I mean, ah, they wouldn't, ah,... ???

airsafetyman said...

"The Avio NG Total Aircraft Integration™ system, exclusive to the Eclipse 500 VLJ, provides centralized control of virtually all Eclipse 500 systems and avionics functions. Avio NG significantly reduces pilot workload by simplifying tasks, generating useful information and acting as a virtual copilot."

This from a company that can't seem to bolt a weather radar in the nose or glue de-ice boots to the wing and tail? You would have to be clinically insane to trust the reliability of this system.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Just curious,

Along with a failure to provide an explicit list of the newly available functions, the other thing which was not explained is the actual certification mechanism - amended TC, STC, multiple TSO's?

Perhaps AO or one of the Faithful can fill us in, since Eclipse and the ever faithful Capt. Zoom didn't feel it necessary to provide such simple things.

FlightCenter said...

There was a post on this blog, perhaps 2 months ago that outlined the functionality of Avio NG release 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0.

I can't seem to find it.

Perhaps someone else remembers the post and can bring it forward.

If I understand the comments on this post correctly, Avio NG release 1 will still come with a Garmin 496 as standard equipment.

bill e. goat said...

FC,
EO387 mentioned moving maps are in a future version, and reading your post regarding the Garmin 496 got me to thinking- that seems like a rather basic function nowadays.

You can buy a $200 adapter for your laptop and get it, or a $500 handheld with it. Granted, they aren't certified, but I think they are certifiable- it's technically feasable- it's just not worth doing so at those profit margins.

So it seems a little odd Avio-NG doesn't have it right out the gate...

Anonymous Avionics Engineer- insights on this??

Metal Guy said...

I would assume that what they have done is make Avio NG essentially identical to Avio (for the moment at least). This would allow them minimize the risk of certifying new features which might delay production.

I suspect that is why there is no hard information on new features available – there are none.

WhyTech said...

BT said:

"Think of it as an extremely high bypass turbofan."

Exactly!

I spent a day this week with a former senior E-clips exec. While our agenda had nothing to do with E-clips, over lunch, talk turned in this direction. He comfirmed many of the criticisms leveled here by the naysayers. Of note, he said that "firm" orders (by conventional definitions) are in the 700-800 range.

WT

Dan Swanson said...

Really good comments about Eclipse and oil depletion. I didn't see the previous thread before. There are some good minds here.

My estimation is that Eclipse will be affected, in the same way that every other poorly designed, marginally useful aircraft is during a downturn. Most of them will sit around, the resale value will drop. The big question is support.

It is true that the Eclipse is fuel efficient for a twin jet. That is if one or two people need a twin jet. Once you get to looking a seat miles, it is a different story.

I think that the market for turbo-props and diesel twins could be pretty good during the next upturn.

For those of you employed in aviation, I hope that you have 4-5 years left in this cycle.

Dan

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Been thinking about this and doing some digging and I am having some difficulty understanding what happened.

The only actual differences I can ascertain from the Press Release is that the display resolution is 'better', the user interface was 'enhanced' and greater 'systems reliability'.

Except for the 3rd AHRS, all the mentioning of 'increased functionality' is not defined except to be for optional equipment, most of which is, I believe, not yet certified anyway.

A review of FAA records including the 'last 45 days' section for new items does not show a revised or amended TC for Eclipse, or any STC's by IS&S for Eclipse.

Could be the records are behind as has been alleged by the Faithful for other data.

Could be everything is somehow certified under TSO.

FlightCenter said...

Whytech,

Did you get any indication on how many of those 700 to 800 orders he was counting as firm were DayJet orders?

Is he counting on the 239 orders for DayJet that is so often quoted by Ed, or less?

WhyTech said...

FC said:

"Did you get any indication on how many of those 700 to 800 orders he was counting as firm were DayJet orders? "

Not specifically. IIRC, He said that there are 700-800 orders secured by meaningful deposits. No breakout of details. He did not consider an order to be "firm" without a deposit.

WT

flyger said...

Question du jour:

Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today announced that it has received certification of Avio NG from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

What does that mean, exactly?

Is it an amendment to the original TC including the AvioNG system?

Is it some other document? What?

Does it cover both hardware (the boxes) and software (the code)? I could easily see Eclipse getting certified to put the boxes in the airplane, but the code isn't certified yet. They would be all to happy to declare AvioNG certified and not mention that subtlety. On this point, I am stunned a software project of this complexity, involving this much stuff, got approved by the FAA in under 10 months. And that's assuming it was all done 10 months ago, which it wasn't! Someone should ask Vern "Is the AvioNG software certified, too?".

Does that mean, in a few weeks, Mr Serial 105 Owner will have the same capability, or less, or more, than Mr Serial 104 Owner?

What does this mean for serial 106 and following?

When will the first AvioNG airplane be allowed in the wild, to be used as intended by it's owner?

When will AvioNG be reviewed by an independent source? Or the entire airplane be reviewed? How come this supposed technological leap in personal aviation is being kept from the trade press?

The details are fuzzy as usual which provides ample hiding places for the devil and lots of room for weasels.

Stan Blankenship said...

N503EA,

Looking for ice, are we???

bill e. goat said...

Thanks WT,
While not "Verntastic", 700-800 is still a lot of airplanes...

(However, it's still annoying to think of all the hype about "2500" orders and 2000/1500/1200/1000/800/700/500/365 per day*).

It will be interesting to see how that affects price.

And production schedule. It doesn't make sense to ramp up to 800 per year, only to burn through backlog in 12 months, and then drop down to 150-250 per year. (And I suspect once the single engine alternatives are on the market, demand will drop to 100-175 per year for the twin- maybe more if Eurasian demand coalesces).

The principal argument in favor of ramp up now, to keep from losing customers for the 801st airplane, don't seem to apply to Eclipse. If Mr. 801 wants it now, at Eclipse, he can have it now, by paying a premium and jumping to the front of the line.

(Mr. 800, and 799, and well, Mr. now-798 seem to put up with that. That's the way it looks to me anyway. Pretty "disruptive" ! Especially if you don't pony up for the premium).
----------------------------
*Rant follows :)

Regarding volume predictions, it's understandable, and perhaps appropriate, for a startup to have lofty ambitions. But it does bring to mind Gunner's observation about it being good to dream big, but better to execute well.

I'm afraid that is EXACTLY what has not been going on at Eclipse. Too much focus on future goals (nutcase production numbers) of how many roll OUT the door, rather than focusing on the immediate task of delivering a finished product (fully equipped and functional) BEFORE it rolls out the door.

Eclipse has been OBSESSED with production volume, and dedicated HUGE resources to it, while neglecting the design and certification aspects of the airplane. This is sadly manifest by contemplating how long it has taken to (only partly so far) accomplish the modest transition from Avio-Old Gen to NG, which some assure us is relatively simple because much is being reused (an argument which I tend to agree with- if they are designing things from scratch, they've picked the wrong vendors). Or accomplish FIKI- this is BASIC.

Eclipse has been on a MASSIVE production facility building and hiring spree for fully two years. Yes, that is MORE than one FULL year, before the redesign of Avio-NG was announced. Total focus on production numbers, at the direct expense (literally) of product quality (no- not directly safety, but rather content and functionality, which themselves make dramatic contributions to safety).

This is all very frustrating to those who want the airplane to be a success, and Eclipse to succeed. The wagon master is just too inept, and keeps putting the cart before the horse. And then builds more carts, and hires more horses - but the carts are STILL before the horses. And the same wagon master is STILL running the show.

It's exasperating to see such unrivaled resources (dramatic amounts of money for one, and even MORE stunning, the TIME that's been allowed) being squandered while Eclipse continues to thrash about.

Here we are, years later, with the airplane STILL being DESIGNED- not improved per se, but- DESIGNED.

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
baron95 said...

Coldwet said ... Perhaps the real question is should they have had to redesign it in the first place?

Exactly. Don't take me wrong. I am very critical of Eclipse/Vern. They/He obviously took on this project very naively and went forward stubmling along the way.

Clearly, a more experienced company/CEO would have avoided some of the mistakes. But would they even have attempted in the first place to certify a sub-$1M twin-jet? Prob not.

The point is that naive entrepeneurial enthusiasm goes hand in hand with mistakes.

Of ALL the new start up GA companies in the past 20 years, only Cirrus and Eclipse remain. (I believe Diamond has a longer history with gliders, but didn't check).

The story typically goes like Safire - die before even having a certified plane.

Others like Sweringen go through many changes of ownership/control/funding and then die or limp along.

Others goe like Columbia and Lear - get some planes certified and produced, but never turn a profit and get bought up.

It is a hard business.

To Vern's credit, he has persevered and pulled a few last ditch efforts to try to keep going and keep control.

I think there is a small chance that they become like Cirrus and survive stand alone, but a better chance that they become like Columbia and get bought up.

baron95 said...

Aeroobserver said ... I'm quite certain my publication will be second to last, with only Flying magazine behind us. Seems Vern doesn't like objective reporting.


Yours and Aviation Consumer will be the last two. Except for Mooney, no one else gets a free pass from Aviation Consumer - they take no ads from anyone.

It is embarassing to read the press reports on Adam 500 and the like on FLying.

P.S. I am just a subscriber.

Niner Zulu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
baron95 said...

Flyger said ... . On this point, I am stunned a software project of this complexity, involving this much stuff, got approved by the FAA in under 10 months.

I think we are all overestimating what Avio NG 1.0 is.

It is the same code, some of the same avionics boxes plus some new boxes (e.g. com) ported over to new displays. Avio NG 1.5 builds on that with moving maps and Avio NG 2.0 (year end 08 according to Vern) is the one that relaly completes the vision.

So, 10 months to certify that sounds about right, assuming the work started way before that.

Minority Report said...

I'm pretty surprised by the negative comments made here regarding the announcement that Avio NG is now certified.

Flyger is certainly right to say that it is amazing that "a software project of this complexity, involving this much stuff, got approved by the FAA in under 10 months."

The amount of coordination and hard work required to accomplish a task of this magnitude in 10 months shows that Eclipse is getting pretty darn good at certifying complex avionics equipment.

This means that they have developed a core competency in avionics certification that will stand them in good stead for future releases.

For the customers, it is a major advantage that they now have support for Stormscope, Skywatch, Radar and TAWS on the aircraft.

How can it be bad that customers now have lightning detection, traffic advisories, on board radar images and terrain warning?

Answer - It is good news and a big deal.

For customers waiting in line for their aircraft, they no longer need to worry that their delivery will be delayed by Avio NG certifications problems. Neither will they have to plan to schedule their airplane back in ABQ for the retrofit.

It is good for the company as well. For all the folks who talk about the financial implications of making a profit someday, this certification was an immense step forward.

The fact that they were able to roll it out on serial #105 instead of serial #134 relieves them of the requirement to retrofit 29 additional aircraft. This is a significant time, money and opportunity cost savings.

For the production staff, they get their retrofit personnel back 29 aircraft sooner. That's an acceleration of perhaps 60 days.

The production staff can start building the final hardware configuration of the aircraft today. This is huge.

It has been hard to justify investments in driving cost out of the line when you know that there will be major ECOs coming soon. The future changes on Avio NG promise to be software only. This will be an immense relief to the production and supply chain folks.

Finally, this risk reduction has to help the financing efforts.

Avio NG certified - Check.
Excellent performance by certification team - Check.
Customer approval ratings up - Check.
Major risk item retired - Check.

bill e. goat said...

Baron95,
You're right,
"It is a hard business".

A brief reflection on what is generally the last working day of the year for many:

The blog can be pretty rough on participants, and I reckon Vern gets the worst end of the stick here. But he deserves credit for having staying power, and (despite the fact he is hoping around on crutches most of the time from shooting himself in the foot :), I think he is trying to do the right thing with customers, suppliers, and employees.

I figure either Vern and/or his minions read this, and usually scoff (but occasionally twist), so-

MERRY CHRISTMAS VERN.

Really.
------------------------------
(Same to all the minions, and where applicable, a non-minion-ational Holiday Greeting as well!)

I hope our friends at Eclipse get a lot of well-deserved time off for the holidays and enjoy it with their families and loved ones.

airtaximan said...

He comfirmed many of the criticisms leveled here by the naysayers. Of note, he said that "firm" orders (by conventional definitions) are in the 700-800 range.

My personal favorite topic.

- how many for $1.25 million planes or less? Dayjets, Platinum, euro-ed, Aviace(gone), POGO, NA Jet, Linear, OURPlane, recent late-night-offer takers...

700-800- real depositors... MAN -this really stinks.

But, I thought so.

They are probably out of anything to build in a year or so, especially give Dayjet has 1/2 the orderbook (admitted) and only 229 firm for 3-4 years of ooperations which began in Q3 2007.

Disasterous revelation for the business case, and acceptability of the plane in the "real" marketplace.

bill e. goat said...

M.R.,
Thanks for your good summary of positive developments of late.
---------------------------
One word of caution; if I only a a buck for every time I've heard,

"It's only software"

:)

Metal Guy said...

MR Said: For the customers, it is a major advantage that they now have support for Stormscope, Skywatch, Radar and TAWS on the aircraft.

How can it be bad that customers now have lightning detection, traffic advisories, on board radar images and terrain warning?


So are you saying that what they just accomplished includes all of these functions? The press releases states:

“Avio NG also provides increased functionality for optional equipment, including a third AHRS, Skywatch HP, Class B TAWS, DME, ADF and a Mode S enhanced transponder with diversity capability. As additional Avio NG functionality is certified in early 2008, Eclipse 500 customers will be able to add these features through simple software updates.”

This certainly implies, no, these functions are not supported, and they will all be done next Tuesday. Again.

hummer said...

Minority Report
Thanks for the update.

Looks like Santa came early
for you all!

Have a Merry Christmas.

mirage00 said...

Minority Report

Thanks for the update. And yes indeed, it IS VERY GOOD news.

Happy Holidays to most here ;)

I remain amused

doubl e00

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

For those suggesting we cut Eclipse some slack re: 'certifying' Avio NfG.

1 - How and when was it certified? STC? Amended TC, multiple TSO's? Yesterday, a week ago, or is the paperwork 'submitted' but not yet approved? Is it another 'provisional' certification? How much of the originally promised functionality exists and can be legally employed, not sometime in the future but today?

Unfortunately but UNDENIABLY, this company has a track record of redefining industry terms like 'orders' and 'certified' to fit its' own needs so this skepticism is warranted.

2 - What functions, SPECIFICALLY, now exist in Avio NfG AS IT EXISTS TODAY that did not exist in Avio as it exists today?

3 - When Eclipse announced the Avidyne divorce in February they were not immediately ready to say who the partner(s) would be - then a few weeks later they suggested they had actually been working with partners for months.

So, did they accomplish this (whatever 'this' actually represents) in 'just' ten months as some suggest, or has it been more on the order of 12-14 months or even longer?

Simply put, the announcement from Eclipse is not worthy of praise.

They have not clearly stated what, specifically, they actually achieved; they have not clearly stated how, specifically, it is any better than what existed previously except for Wx radar and 3rd AHRS.

Given the history from Albuquerque there is no other way to see this IMO.

Shane Price said...

Oh, oh.

He's back.

Maybe, just maybe, the folks in ABQ (Gadfly excluded) have decided to unleash the dogs of war again.

Mirage00 (Double Zero) is still amused.

After more than a year, you would think he would have the bandwidth to change the 'subtitle'.

On the other hand, I might be an optimist....

Shane

baron95 said...

Coldwet said... Unfortunately but UNDENIABLY, this company has a track record of redefining industry terms like 'orders' and 'certified' to fit its' own needs so this skepticism is warranted.

Unfortunately this is true. My guess, and I'm sorry for being so cynical, is:

1 - They got only provisional certification with a number of items to correct and/or field approval via a 337 or such. Therefore, they'll use ship 105 for another 30 days to correct and attempt full certification.

2 - The EA500 ammended type certificate and PC to switch to Avio NG in the production line will take a while longer, therefore it will be a while before other ships flow through the line with an Avio NG under a full amended TC and PC.

3 - Functionality of Avio NG 1.0 is only what it was with the existing Avio. TWAs, Stormscope, etc, vomes with Avio NG 1.5 in mid 2008.

4 - Full Avio NG with FMS, moving map, etc in late 08 at the earliest as part of Avio NG 2.0. This is IAW Eclipses's own published release cycle for Avio.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Thanks B95, fair reply and in line with my own expectation.

FlightCenter said...

So the new definition of "certified" means getting a 337? If this is true, then we have sunk to a new low.

For those of you not intimately familiar with the term 337, (and I'm sure CWMR can give you the real definition) a 337 is a field approval, and is often used for one-off installations.

I bet Eclipse also got a 337 on the E500 that went to Dubai with two Garmin 430s jury rigged in the panel as well.

That doesn't mean that it is an installation approval suitable for a new production aircraft.

It makes me wonder what class of certificate of airworthiness was issued as well.
A few of the choices are:
1 - Standard
2 - Limited
3 - Restricted
4 - Experimental
5 - Provisional
6 - Special Flight Permit

By the way, this most probably answers the question as to why no editors are flying the E500 with Avio NG installed.

Not even Vern's biggest supporters could write a flight test article claiming that Avio NG was certified if they knew that it had only received a 337.

The mainstream aviation press corps really doesn't like to write negative stories. They believe it is bad for the whole industry.

They are probably telling Vern, "I really don't want to fly the E500 until you really have it done, otherwise neither one of us is going to like what I'm going to have to print."

Done in this case would mean with a moving map, an autopilot that has more than pitch and roll hold capability, XM datalink (not mentioned in this press release), all the traffic, lightning, TAWS, and radar systems working. And of course an FMS capable of flying WAAS LPV approaches.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FC, even I would not expect Vern to claim a 337 Field Approval for a one-off install as 'certification'.

I am betting it is either another 'provisional' certification that will ultimately be an amended TC (the release focuses on Eclipse as 'designer' and 'lead integrator'), or they are claiming approval on a 'box' level for various TSO's and nothing towards actual integration functions. The FAA doesn't care how Eclipse chooses to frame the approval, just see their lack of clarification when Eclipse claimed to be the 'first' VLJ certified when their provisional TC came in.

I wonder which TSO would cover 'virtual autopilot'?

Probably the same TSO that allows taking credit for other 'virtual' functions, you know, ones which are not working.

flyger said...

FlightCenter said...

For those of you not intimately familiar with the term 337, (and I'm sure CWMR can give you the real definition) a 337 is a field approval, and is often used for one-off installations.

That's not true. Form 337 is for major alterations and includes major repairs, STCs, and field approvals. To characterize it as field approvals only is wrong, it is mostly used for filing that you installed an STC in a particular airplane. It can also be used to install service bulletin kits as well. Basically anything that qualifies as a major alteration needs a 337 filled out.

bill e. goat said...

?? looks pretty ambiguous to me.
Guess it depends of the particular "agreement" one has with the particular faa "representative".

http://forms.faa.gov/forms/faa337.pdf

(Are the inspectors "allowed" to look under the floorboards yet?)

gadfly said...

Shane, et al,

Thanks for x’cluding me from the normal Owl-bu-turkey crowd. You’re OK, for an Irishman.

Concerning “337" . . . Cessna went through a period when they didn’t know if they were comin’ or goin’ . . . and “designed?” a model that they called a “337" . . . sort of a push-pull arrangement . . . a “twin engine” sort of thing (a box with wings, with a fan up front and another behind), not all bad, but not the friendliest thing to work on. And we, who did what we could to keep the things in good shape, figured that Cessna at least got the name right. Actually, the first version was the “336", but the improved version was a “337" . . . the name probably came from an effort to reduce paper work, and confusion of numbers.

Concerning the latest and greatest from the local “flying club”, I think I need a bigger paddle and longer “hip boots” to get through the latest press release.

gadfly

(Oh, . . . no shortage of icing conditions, today, should the local flying machine builders wish to test their “FIKI” thingy . . . white stuff and rain and low numbers on the thermometer should be ideal. ‘Just download the “snow” program into their system, and . . . “Voila!” . . . no problem. I think it’s called a “snow job”.)

EclipseOwner387 said...

Gadfly,

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N503EA


looks like FIKI testing underway.....

gadfly said...

EO387

For a moment there, I was truly “rooting” for Eclipse . . . maybe they were actually flying up north, and testing the “anti-icing” system . . . thinking that they are truly testing the aircraft in a real-life situation. But then I noticed that they landed about five hours ago . . . and the bad weather only moved in, in the last couple hours. They were safe in the nest long before things got bad “up-stairs”.

Understand, I applaud those who are genuine, and “HONEST” in their shared information. Unfortunately, everything that Eclipse does is “suspect” . . . lie “once”*, and it may be “forever” before anyone believes your next statement (not including those who are continuously “amused” . . . in need of professional attention).

It could be, as you say, that EA503EA was working on the “FIKI” problem . . . but then, maybe it was someone just looking over potential land to purchase up north . . . and east of Santa Fe. ‘Maybe we will never know.

Regardless, time will tell . . . maybe!

gadfly

(* The money in escrow was “called in” when the little bird fluttered around in the sky over ABQ for an hour or so . . . and “then” it was announced that the engines were “inadequate”, . . . and a few other things as we watched this fiasco unfold.)

Black Tulip said...

N503EA – from the flight track looks like known ice testing underway or…

“Reset that electronic breaker. Do you believe the standby horizon?”

Or

“I can’t understand the way this autopilot disconnects.”

Or

“Where’d the Santa Fe airport go? I had it right here on the Garmin 496.”

gadfly said...

Black Tulip

Sorry, friend, but I beat you to the "punch line" . . . but both of us were on the same track. Everything was "clear" while they wandered around over Santa Fe, Espanola, etc., . . . things got nasty a couple hours later, after they they were long on the ground, enjoying a hot cup of coffee . . . or whatever it is that those folks consume over at ABQ.

gadfly

(Now, I need to turn my attention to Christmas . . . I have a reputation to uphold as the local "Grinch" and/or "Scrooge".)

Black Tulip said...

Merry Christmas Gadfly,

Wish we had a chili ristra hanging by our door but we're a long way from New Mexico.

gadfly said...

Before someone gets on my case, the little jet was fluttering around "West" of Santa Fe (not east). Either way, it's a great area to live . . . provided you have good transportation.

gadfly

('Sorry 'bout that! Soon, I need to test the "FIKI" of my own Lexus SUV to get home . . . ABQ is not a user friendly place in the winter.)

gadfly said...

Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourselves, had this enterprise been conducted with honesty, from the start, little or none of this animosity would have taken place. A large community of current, and “ex”, aviation people would have come together, to support and contribute to the success and well-being of Eclipse, and its efforts to change General Aviation for the better. But for whatever reasons, “pride” (that old problem that got Adam in trouble) took over . . . and a “lie” here and there . . . and from there on, it’s been all “down hill”.

The privilege of being a part of the aviation industry is “just that” . . . a high privilege. And it comes with the responsibilities of honoring the efforts and integrity of all those who have given their lives to that “high privilege”.

‘Need I say more?

gadfly

(No humor this time . . . ‘just the wish that things could have been done on the “high plain” of ethics and expertise, that we have come to expect in our “love of aviation", the "gift of flight". As with the old Hebrew phrase, “Selah” . . . pause and meditate on this thought. And may you all enjoy a truly blessed Christmas.)

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

HI Gadfly,
I'd chalk things up more to stupidity (spiced with a little greed and ego- or shall we more charitably say over-enthusiasm), rather than ill-intent.

Remember: "Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by simple ignorance".

(I'm not sure who said that originally- I first heard it from my boss as a youngster, who frequently whispered it under his breath right before "offering suggestions").

Ho Ho Ho. (Um, but actually true; both the situation, and the wisdom of the adage).
---------------------------
"white stuff...snow job" ??

I think Eclipse is hoping for some white-out this Christmas, for the company books.

(And the FAA is hoping for some disappearing ink! :)

Maybe Santa will deliver both with his Selah* :)

I second M00's and Gadfly's Merry Christmas to all!
------------------------
?*Always?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selah

FlightCenter said...

Flyger,

I said a 337 is used for field approvals, you do as well.

I never said that 337s are only used for field approvals.

So it would seem we are on the same page as far as 337s.

The only reason I brought up 337s at all was because Baron95 suggested that the Avio NG cert was either a provisional cert or a 337 field approval.

337s are many times used to approve one off installations of avionics equipment that do not have TSOs or an STC.

flyger said...

Minority Report said...

The amount of coordination and hard work required to accomplish a task of this magnitude in 10 months shows that Eclipse is getting pretty darn good at certifying complex avionics equipment.

MR, do you know *for a fact* that the AvioNG "certification" includes software? To DO-178B standards? And the software is sufficiently functional you can fly the Eclipse in IMC/IFR conditions?

I don't care how you spin this into Eclipse competency, but the FAA takes many months to deal with software certifications. If this is *really* true, then the software was done *a long time ago*. I'm finding that hard to believe.

For the customers, it is a major advantage that they now have support for Stormscope, Skywatch, Radar and TAWS on the aircraft.

Again, you know for a fact those are supported by the certified release?

For customers waiting in line for their aircraft, they no longer need to worry that their delivery will be delayed by Avio NG certifications problems.

That is not at all clear. At the very least, they have to wait for *full* functionality for AvioNG 2.0 (or whatever it is called).

The fact that they were able to roll it out on serial #105 instead of serial #134 relieves them of the requirement to retrofit 29 additional aircraft.

Where did serial 134 come from? Do you know serial 106 and following are AvioNG?

The future changes on Avio NG promise to be software only.

Time will tell if this promise is kept.

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

Niner Zulu,

I suggest this for the type rating check ride. Normally clipped to the control yoke you would expect a Jeppesen plate of the approach. Replace it with Vern’s press release announcing Avio NG approval.

airtaximan said...

this blog has become so civil as of late, perhaps it can be referenced as a formula for achieving peace in the middle east?

a pilot I know in Florida has noticed some Eclipse/Dayjet flights flying mysteriously low, up and down the coast. He said it was a few flights during the week looks like around 2000 ft max, in level flight.

I am wondering how the fuel burn is at this alt...

Seems like progress at eclipse all things considered.
- more progress payments
- announcement for NG (actual significance??)
- FIKI flights?

But... only 800 real orders... if true, nothing else matters. Look for conjet with short fuse on certification, in order to bolster "demand". Probably a low ball price, of way below $1M... if you place $500,000 with the company to spend as it wishes...

I'd say they can get another 800 orders fast for the Conjet.

That's a cool $400 million, free money. This might even cover the losses on the E-500 deliveries.

FlightCenter said...

Black Tulip,

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

The not so funny part is that the first 100 or so owners have been promised a notice in the mail by the end of the month providing them with the details of the Avio NG retrofit program. According to the latest press release...

"Eclipse will ensure a homogenous Eclipse 500 fleet by modifying all in-service Eclipse 500s with Avio NG by the end of 2008"

Some of the first 100 owners will be waiting at least another year (if Eclipse stays on schedule with the retrofits) before they are able to start flying with Avio NG.

It will also be interesting to see when the Avio NG retrofits actually start. Remember that Mike McConnell suggested in an interview at the Dubai airshow that retrofits would start sometime in Q1 2008.

That press release will be attached to the yoke for quite a while.

FlightCenter said...

Barry Bonds - 762 home runs*
Eclipse Aviation - Avio NG certified*

EclipseOwner387 said...

Flyger said, "Where did serial 134 come from?"

Flyger, as a follower of the blog I am surprised that you are not aware that SN134 was the original projection for AVIO-NG cut in as stated by Eclipse. IIRC it was announced Osh '07.

Flyger said, "MR, do you know *for a fact* that the AvioNG "certification" includes software?"

The Press Release said SN105 has COA. Is it possible to certify hardware with a COA if the software is not? Just asking because I don't know. Logic would say no but maybe I am missing something.

Dave said...

Where did serial 134 come from? Do you know serial 106 and following are AvioNG?

The reason that Eclipse is able to do this now rather than at 134 is because Eclipse failed to meet their production projections:
http://www.spjets.com/news.htm
So now all Eclipse has to do to minimize retrofits is simply keep on having low production numbers.

It would be interesting to know whether they lose more money with a low production rate but less retrofits or a high production rate and more retrofits. I suspect that having a high production rate is more important given Eclipse's own statements about how important volume is. Getting Avio NG for 105 rather than 134 is probably bad news financially since the cost of production for those 105 is higher compared to if they had manufactured about 33% more jets.

bill e. goat said...

Thanks to FC and Flyger for the FFA 337 discussion- enlightening.
--------------------------
Flyger,
“Where did serial 134 come from? Do you know serial 106 and following are AvioNG?”

I think EO387 kindly posted a while back that Avidyne could provide up to 134 shipsets of Avio-Old Gen, so that's where the occasional references to s/n 134 come from.

I had postulated -maybe- Avio-NG was essentially a “stunt” on sn105, implying that subsequent sn's might NOT be equipped with Avio-NG, mostly as a sarcastic joke- but, ah, now I'm not so sure...

I guess the critical point is: how capable is Avio-NG right now, and is the debut on sn 105 a “stunt” or adequately functional for a real delivery (“in a few weeks” as the PR says- I sure feel stupid suggesting any degree of truth in that. I expect “a few weeks” to be two months or so, at least, and I'd give it a good shot at being “delivered” (tm) and then immediately leased back into the test fleet).

If Avio-NG is not ready for real delivery , one scenerio might be for sn106-134 to be built with Avio-old gen. (particularly if it is more capable than the current incarnation of Avio-NG), and things to be put on “go slow” mode (no joke intended) on the production line, to slow delivery of 134 down until Avio-NG-1.5-blah-blah was available mid-year, with capability to match Avio-old gen, and the Avidyne stock was depleted.

Otherwise, Eclipse will logically try to save rework expenses and equip s/n 106 and up with Avio-NG wiring, and this will (?) force the use of Avio-NG equipment.

(Or, the line might be slowed down such that s/n-now through 104 take long enough for Avio-NG-Now to be debugged enough for production release on sn 105 and up; maybe that's what we've been seeing the with delay of “one per day”...).

Again: to those who thought the blog was dead a few weeks back- I think NOT: looks like lots of interesting “train spotting” (? or is that “train wreck watching” :) for the many months to come.

“Time will tell if this promise is kept”. (I think the promises will be kept, but only “time will tell” when :).
----------------------------
Dan Swanson said,

“…no one is talking about the hand that oil depletion will play.”

To those who dismiss that, and point to prior such predictions with some justification, I suggest that previous “crunches” did not have to deal with the exploding degree of Chinese and Indian industrialization. Then again, with increase industrialization comes increased technology, including refining technology (Black Tulip mentions “oil sand activity in Northern Canada”).

I'm concerned too, particularly about green house gases; I remember the old school days film (yep- film) strips about combusion only producing water and CO2- how harmless! Little did we know. I think unintentionally- back then- lead, Benzene, MTBE were conveniently left out. (Hey, no need to make life more complicated than it already is- right G.W.?)
-------------------------
BT,
“Replace it (approach plates) with Vern’s press release announcing Avio NG approval”.
:() !!

bill e. goat said...

Regarding retrofit for existing aircraft- I believe it was posted that the retrofits are now scheduled by the end of 2008.

That initially disappointed me (I thought it would be sooner), but I guess the idea is to do a one-shot upgrade from Avio-old gen to Avio-NG-2.0 all at once, rather than repeatedly putting the airplanes down for phased upgrades.
Saves Eclipse money, and owners down time.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Wanted to revisit another subject we touched on way back in March – the costs of retrofitting the aircraft to ‘homogenize’ the fleet.

First, and by any measure the smaller of the two issues - My bet is that the aero mods cost Eclipse about $2M (assuming about 30-40 aircraft @ $50K parts and labor). Eclipse’s own estimate was for 2-3 weeks to install the mods, that means they already had 2 to 3 years worth of work lined up for their repair station just by building substandard aircraft – would have been a great source of revenue – but of course, no money coming IN on those repairs – Uncle Vern was footing the bill on that.

Second, and far greater, is the cost and schedule impact of retrofitting over 100 aircraft with totally new avionics suites. Several weeks worth of each, creating roughly 60 man years worth of work, all to be done in a year, according to the same company that has yet to hit a single schedule it has ever released. As for costs, 60 man years of service center labor is only about $4M, but 100 sets of avionics at maybe $100K each is another $15M.

So, based on decisions made, Eclipse has incurred $20M in costs that would not have happened had they just waited to finish the plane, and now recently gave up another perhaps $30M to get in some much needed cash.

$60-80M in costs to Williams.

Perhaps another $20M to BAe Systems.

Certainly no less than $50M to Avidyne.

Millions on free pop.

Millions a year for big tents at OSH, NBAA, AOPA and SNF.

And a burn rate of no less than $20M/month for labor, leases and utilities.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – it just doesn’t add up.

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
I think the m.o. (no- not M00 !) at Eclipse regarding, design, cert, and support is:

"Hey, no need to make life more complicated than it already is"

Stop worrying about time, money, orders, the FAA, investors, vendors, etc. It will all work out. It has so far!
---------------------------
WHICH- is what makes this blog SO interesting !
:)
-----------------------
I think the basic m.o. is for Al Mann to dress up in a Santa suit again, and drop off a few bags of cash under the corporate Christmas tree. I really do. That's the only way I can figure out why Eclipse has lasted as long as they have*.

...That "Selah" and those reindeer are getting quite a workout- rumor has it they will need to be replaced with Clydesdales next year :).
-------------------------
*(?)and probably will continue to...Sort of mocks those companies with good products** and good management. But hey, it creates US jobs (mostly, anyway).

**(I think the E-500 is a good product, just released prematurely- looks like about 18-24 months prematurely, in spite of the fact it was already four years late. Did someone say something about...managment? :)

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

Day Jet Utilization Week 12
Lots of Training loops out of GNV this week, so flights to destinations total was only 55 hours of the 73 total
Plane … Hours … Flights
DJS110 … 1.8 … 2
DJS115 … 2.3 … 2
DJS116 … 1.6 … 2
DJS119 … 1.5 … 4
DJS126 … 3.1 … 4
DJS130 … 2.1 … 2
DJS131 … 1.0 … 1
DJS132 … 1.4 … 3
DJS134 … 1.0 … 1
DJS135 … 5.0 … 7
DJS136 … 5.9 … 6
DJS139 … 4.4 … 8
DJS141 … 2.2 … 4
DJS142 … 3.8 … 5
DJS145 … 2.3 … 2
DJS146 … 11.5 … 12
DJS147 … 1.8 … 2
DJS148 … 2.1 … 3
DJS150 … 7.7 … 10
DJS152 … 2.4 … 3
DJS153 … 1.5 … 2
DJS158 … 2.1 … 1
DJS160 … 5.1 … 3
Total … 73.3 … 89

baron95 said...

Bill.e.goat said ... I think EO387 kindly posted a while back that Avidyne could provide up to 134 shipsets of Avio-Old Gen, so that's where the occasional references to s/n 134 come from.

That is the only reference from Eclipse to 134. BUT, it is a FALSE assumption to assume that that is what the cut off point would be. I am sure you are aware of the very high mortality rate for Avidyne. On Pipers, Cirrus and Eclipse. I'm pretty sure at least several Avidyne shipsets have been used up for replacement/fix/DOAs.

airtaximan said...

John:

any clue as to why Ed claims they are operating 6-8 planes a day? Does your data show this?

Can you see "charter flights" (There and backs) vs Dayport flights?

What's your take o the flight data you are keeping here?

Thanks

baron95 said...

I think in mid-2009 Eclipse (whomever may own it) will be a good personal jet to buy.

There should be 250+ flying, Avio NG will be fully functional, a few full motion sims will be in place and the service centers will be free of the Avio NG mods + FIKI mods, etc.

Production quality should have improved and assembly consistency and documentation should be in order.

There should be a vibrant secondary market for EA500s which would establish fair market value.

Insurance companies will have experience with the type, which would establish fair rates.

I think that is the smart thing to do - wait till mid-2009. If you can't wait, buy an Eagle Cessna 501 or so.

I would not want to be flying around an EA500 right now, with:
1 - No full motion sim time.
2 - No coupled AP.
3 - No moving map, area nav, vertical nav.
4 - No FIKI as I climb/descend through the winter visible moisture.
5 - Trained by instructors whom themselves did not hav full motion sim time on the EA500, etc.

It is a brave soul that flies the EA500 now.

By the way, if one of the Day Jet planes goes down taking a high-net-worth client it is all over.

I can see Ed on the stand:

Plaintiff Lawyer: "Mr. Iacabucci, did here is a picture of the pannel of the accident aircraft. Would you mind explaining to the jury what all these 28 red stickers with the word "INOP" all over the jet mean? Why would you advertise safe transmportaion and fly my clients' husdband/father in a plane with 28 innoperative systems?

I doubt Day Jet can afford an insurance policy that will cover that award.

Lets hope it never comes to that. It would be bad for all GA, not to mention the victim and the family.

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

"By the way, if one of the Day Jet planes goes down taking a high-net-worth client it is all over."

high net worth clients do not fly dayjet.... remember, its a utilitarian service, for mid-level managers...

BUT, punitive dammage awards in Florida can be a bitch, especially with visuals like you've described, and others that can be imagined.

Your point regarding insurance is very worth keeping in mind - I know of some major companies who will not use charter operators who do not have $500,000,000 in coverage per incident. I know of a few who insist on higher coverage. I know of one who cannot even charter suplimental lift due to the lack of ANY part 135 guys with adequate insurance according to their requirements.

I wonder what Dayjet's policy looks like.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Any accident/incident of any kind with injuries or fatalities in this plane while it is being delivered with INOP placards and so many missing functions will kill the program, AND the unfortunate operator, pure and simple.

Plaintiff's Attorneys will see to that, and it will damage all of aviation, especially the smaller charter operations flying fully certified, fully functioning aircraft.

An Attorney would have a field day with the state of the plane itself, the FAA complaint, and the other issues raised here and elsewhere.

I am not suggesting I think it likely, but the danger is incalculable, kind of like the investment to date.

FlightCenter said...

ATM,

It looks like all 23 aircraft are flying.

Perhaps Ed is saying that only 6 to 8 aircraft fly revenue passengers on any given day.

I haven't checked the numbers lately, but that might be the explanation.

It certainly doesn't look good that their numbers are significantly down. If I understand the numbers correctly, the fleet averaged 0.5 non-training flight hours per aircraft per day this week. If 30% of those flight hours were repositioning or dead heads, then they had 0.35 rev flight hours per aircraft per day.

airtaximan said...

FC,
thanks... my feelings exactly.

"If I understand the numbers correctly, the fleet averaged 0.5 non-training flight hours per aircraft per day this week."

5 day(jet) week or 7 day week basis?

John said...

TALLY by Departure field Week 12
Database edited for non-looping training flights, and flights >10 minutes (short hops KGNV>KOCF excluded)

KBCT 22
KGNV 16
KLAL 3
KBQK 2
KDAB 2
KISM 2
KOCF 2
KPNS 2
KSGJ 2
KPIE 1
KCTY 1
KBFM 1
KAPF 1
F45 1
KXNA 1
KOPF 1
KSRQ 1
KSAV 1
KTLH 1
KVLD 1
TOTAL 64

airtaximan said...

KBCT 22
KGNV 16

Dayjets head office and their maintenance facility - probably mostly company flights... IMO. No reason for this Origin to be a lot more vibrant than any other.

the next highest Origin is 3 flights.

Pretty scary

airtaximan said...

Blast from the past:

"Citrix loses founder, CEO shifts to president

By Tiffany Kary
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Published: June 26, 2000, 8:31 AM


Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) said Friday its founder and chairman, Edward E. Iacobucci, has resigned, and its CEO, Mark B. Templeton is shifting gears to president. The company is reshuffling amid a troubled stock price and a spate of class-action law suits.

Shares plunged June 12 after the software developer warned that its second quarter sales and earnings will fall dramatically short of analysts' estimates. At that point, investors were still wondering whether the stock was a bomb or a bargain. The stock was down another 23/32 to 22 1/32, or 3 percent Friday morning.

Iacobucci left his position to pursue his vision of software as a service in cooperation with Citrix and other industry leaders, the company said.

Templeton, the company's president and former chief executive officer, will remain as president and a member of the board of directors. The company has also started a search for a new CEO.

Citrix's former CEO from 1990 through 1998, Roger W. Roberts, has assumed the role of chairman.

During the CEO search, Roberts will assume the role of chief operating officer, and Templeton and Roberts will be responsible for the daily operations of the company.

The company also announced that Michael W. Brown resigned from the board of directors but will continue to be available on selected matters. Brown served on Citrix's board as a director since July 1997, and previously served on the board from December 1991 to February 1994.

The company also had yet another class action law suit filed against it Friday, for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of all persons who purchased stock between October 20, 1999 and June 9, 2000. Citrix issued a statement June 15, after a string of suits were filed against it, that it "believes the allegations in the complaint are without merit and intends to contest them vigorously."

-AND-

"Founder quits troubled Citrix
By Joey Gardiner
Published: Monday 26 June 2000

Ed Iacobucci, chairman and founder of Citrix Systems, has resigned following a turbulent few weeks in which Citrix shares have fallen to a third of their former value.
Iacobucci is to be replaced by Roger Roberts, current chief executive at Citrix, who will take on the role of chairman and interim chief executive.
The management shake-up comes despite the fact Citrix has gone a long way towards rebranding itself as a technology provider for the nascent ASP market.

On 12 June Citrix issued a profit warning saying it would not meet earnings estimates, and on 15 June a securities class action lawsuit was filed against the Citrix board for making false and misleading statements. Citrix has said it intends to vigorously fight these allegations."

... just a bit of "history"

Gunner said...

First off, Merry Christmas, all.
Second, congrats to Vern for dodging the latest bullet. Most of all, congrats to the Depositors for renewed hope.

That said, it's now 2008 (for all intents and purposes). My question is this:
In what year will the Eclipse supporters STOP talking about the aircraft in the future tense.

Seriously, guys. Every time I stop back to catch up, the best I hear of Eclipse is what a great plane it's gonna be "someday".

It's been a year and a half since the EA-500 was "certified" with great fanfare. Yet, NOBODY seems to want to defend the existing aircraft without offering footnotes laced with the future tense. Traditionally, this is the way we speak of aircraft in development; aircraft that we HOPE will make it into the mainstream of GA circles.

To that extent, Eclipse continues to meet its promise for "disruption".

That's a data point.
Gunner

Shane Price said...

What are you lot reading this blog for, right before the Christmas holiday?

Have a good one, one and all!

Also, data point from Europe.

Flight (www.flightglobal.com) are reporting, as part of their Avio NG story:-

Sources say Eclipse is also on the verge of announcing a longer-term financing arrangement.

They have stuck with if for two days, so it's not a self inflicted mistake. It might, however, be wrong...

Shane

bill e. goat said...

Hi Shane,
Christmas Cheer to you and our blogger friends across the pond.

Dreary weather has proven "disruptive" ;) to holiday travel plans for some of us- I hope the weather is better where you are.

re:
"Sources say Eclipse is also on the verge of announcing a longer-term financing arrangement".

I think you are referring to Al Mann putting Vern in his will.

"They have stuck with if for two days, so it's not a self inflicted mistake".

I think Mr. Mann has stuck with it for ten years, and may be wondering by now if it IS a self inflicted mistake...
:)

Holiday Cheers !! :)

airtaximan said...

"longer term financing" - why? I thought they were delivering planes and they are in business? More financing? Hmm...

Seriously, no matter what, you gotta hand it to Vern and the rest of the gang at eclipse for "hanging in there". They somehow seem to find a way - and this is worthy of praise.

With all of the problems, unfinished harware, and broken promises, you could easily conclude they would be gone by now.

With the marginal business plan, and $1/xyz billion burned, and the customers who have been stiffed by broken delivery promises, you could conclude the company would cave.

With Dayjet, proud custodians of 1/2 the "orderbook" doing around /12 hour of revenue flying per plane per day, one might just say WTF, and stay home.

The stagnant orderbook, delays with FIKI, and no EASA... gosh... its almost overwhelming.

BUT, Vern is a magician, obtaining MORE deposit money to blow in the last few weeks alone... and remaining "positive" about the prospects.

Pin the hopes on Conjet, I guess... throw caution to the wind... churn up more investors, and after 11 years and $1/xyz billions, and delivery of say 85 almost finished, soon to be retrofitted planes, soon to be fiki... you know... go get MORE money.

MAn, this is an amazing aviation story. I'm beginning to think that it WILL provide more entertainment for at least another year!

Thanks Stan, and the rest of the participants.

Merry Xmas.

Black Tulip said...

Shane,

Merry Christmas. May I bring this back from a previous thread? I think you may have been on an airplane headed for your ski holiday when I posted it.

One of my fondest aviation memories occurred ten years ago on your fair green isle at the Galway airport. We flew in via Turbo Commander from Iceland and shutdown… two couples and a child. There were no other planes on the ramp. A young fellow came over as I stepped out and said seriously, “The airport manager wants to see you.”

I followed him upstairs and sat down across from the manager. He asked where we had come from and I said, “Boston, by way of Goose Bay and Reykjavík.” He said sternly, “There’s been a mix-up in Shannon and the Customs inspector won’t be here to meet you.” Then he broke into a big grin and asked, “And how are things in Boston?” That was our official entry into Ireland.

bill e. goat said...

ATM,
"Man, this is an amazing aviation story".

I think it is more of a case of:

"Mann, this is an amazing aviation story".

:)

WhyTech said...

The Night Before Christmas - Aviation Style
===============================================

'Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,
Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.
The aircraft were fastened to tiedowns with care,
In hopes that come morning, they all would be there.

The fuel trucks were nestled, all snug in their spots,
With gusts from two-forty at 39 knots.
I slumped at the fuel desk, now finally caught up,
And settled down comfortably, resting my butt.

When the radio lit up with noise and with chatter,
I turned up the scanne r to see what was the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow,
Called for clearance to land at the airport below.

He barked his transmission so lively and quick,
I'd have sworn that the call sign he used was "St. Nick".
I ran to the panel to turn up the lights,
The better to welcome this magical flight.

He called his position, no room for denial,
"St. Nicholas One, turnin' left onto final."
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Rutan-built sleigh, with eight Rotax Reindeer!

With vectors to final, down the glideslope he came,
As he pas sed all fixes, he called them by name:
"Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now Trini and Bacun!
On Comet! On Cupid!" What pills was he takin'?

While controllers were sittin', and scratchin' their head,
They phoned to my office, and I heard it with dread,
The message they left was both urgent and dour:
"When Santa pulls in, have him please call the tower."

He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,
Then I heard "Left at Charlie," and "Taxi to parking."
He slowed to a taxi, turned off of three-oh
And stopped on the ramp with a "Ho, ho-ho-ho..."

He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could tal k,
I ran out to meet him with my best set of chocks.
His red helmet and goggles were covered with frost
And his beard was all blackened from Reindeer exhaust.

His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale,
And he puffed on a pipe, but he didn't inhale.
His cheeks were all rosy and jiggled like jelly,
His boots were as black as a cropduster's belly.

He was chubby and plump, in his suit of bright red,
And he asked me to "fill it, with hundred low-lead."
He came dashing in from the snow-covered pump,
I knew he was anxious for drainin' the sump.

I spok e not a word, but went straight to my work,
And I filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a jerk.
He came out of the restroom, and sighed in relief,
Then he picked up a phone for a Flight Service brief.

And I thought as he silently scribed in his log,
These reindeer could land in an eighth-mile fog.
He completed his pre-flight, from the front to the rear,
Then he put on his headset, and I heard him yell, "Clear!"

And laying a finger on his push-to-talk,
He called up the tower for clearance and squawk.
"Take taxiway Charlie, the southbound direction,
Turn right three-two-zero at pilot's discretio n"

He sped down the runway, the best of the best,
"Your traffic's a Grumman, inbound from the west."
Then I heard him proclaim, as he climbed thru the night,
"Merry Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight."

=======================

Merry Xmas to all.

WT