Sunday, December 23, 2007


The Night Before Christmas

'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 scanner 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 passed 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 talk,
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 spoke 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 discretion"

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. ====== WhyTech

121 comments:

gadfly said...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eclipse Says It Raised $30 Million

By Andrew Webb
Journal Staff Writer
Eclipse Aviation said this week it had reached its goal of raising $30 million in deposits from customers in exchange for discounted prices.
In November, the company said it would give customers who paid a $625,000 deposit toward an Eclipse 500 jet plane a locked-in price of $1.25 million, regardless of future price increases or inflation, provided the deposits totaled $30 million by Dec. 14.
Eclipse founder and CEO Vern Raburn said then that the funds would help provide operating capital and sweeten a new investment round, which the company expects to close within the next four months.
Eclipse, which has raised an estimated $1 billion in investments, has faced repeated delays, and Raburn in November sought to dispel rumors that the company was running out of cash.
"This is not an act of desperation," he then said.
Instead, he said the $30 million would indicated to investors that Eclipse's customers were "dedicated."
In a letter to customers Wednesday, the company said it had reached its $30 million goal, and "will have the option to draw upon these funds as needed."
When it was originally unveiled, the Eclipse 500 plane was priced below $1 million, but the price has climbed as Eclipse made adjustments for new engines and other changes. Today, the price stands at $1.59 million.
As is standard in the industry, Eclipse prices have always been subject to inflation. So an airplane priced at about $1 million in 2000 would have a final cost of roughly $1.3 million if delivered next year, given current rates of inflation.
The offer aimed to save customers more than $500,000 on the cost of their Eclipse 500 jets, while helping the company "meet our need for short term funds," Raburn said in November.
Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom declined to say how many customers took advantage of the offer.

Lloyd said...

Gadfly,

What you have posted is correct, However the core rate of inflation does not take into account the ~30%devaluation of the dollar on the world market. As Eclipse buys parts in many areas of the world, this will have to relate to higher costs for Eclipse, and eventually higher prices for Eclipse buyers.

gadfly said...

Lloyd

This is the entire article from the Albuquerque Journal website, including the "typo", verbatum, and is a direct copy of the Saturday printed version.
'Nothing has been added, changed, nor deleted.

gadfly

(You can understand the ignorance of the general public as to the spending of their tax money, when their only source of information is this sort of article, which minimizes the "true" nature of the beast. But at least, a little bit of information is leaking out. The "writer" is doing as much as he dare . . . and we give him credit.)

gadfly said...

Here's a "freebie":

If the sky is clear where you are, look very carefully at the moon . . . and then look about "half" the diameter of the moon, just to the right of the moon, at the "4 o'clock" position (120 degrees) . . . that little speck of bright light is Mars. That's as close to the moon you will see Mars for a long time to come.

Here in New Mexico, 2007-12-23, 1900 hours MT (just east of Albuquerque) at 7,100 feet [2,130 m], with about six inches [150 mm] of snow on the ground, it's dropping through 27 degrees F [-3 C], humidity 42%, the air is calm, and visibility unlimited . . . approaching another "White Christmas".

gadfly

(If you live off the highway, all-wheel drive is recommended . . . and your "flying machine" better be FIKI approved.)

Gunner said...

Gad-
Thanks very much for that piece of info. I'm hunting in Mississippi and noted that bright light tonight even before the sun was down. I assumed it to be a planet, but wasn't aware of the significance or the specificity.

It was one gorgeous nightfall, however. Unfortunately, it kept the Whitetails bedded long after sundown....they'll have no problem feeding tonight with that moon out!

Merry Christmas-
Gunner

Gunner said...

ps:
From here, at 5:15 Eastern, it was in the 7:00 position.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Not to intrude on such a fantastic humor piece (great job Whytech) but there was an interesting article in ANN today about the success that the EADS Socata TBM 850 is enjoying, with production now sold out through 2009.

You can read it at http://www.aero-news.net

I wonder what Vern and crew would give to sell a year's production each year, especially if it was their stated breakeven point.

Funny that the TBM 850 continues to sell so well, I thought the Eclipse was supposed to kill dinosaurs like the 850 - I mean, especially now that Avio NfG is 'certified'.

They are probably some old school dinosaur pilots who expect the plane to actually do what the OEM said it would do, when they pick it up, maybe get trained to actually fly it - silly people.

WhyTech said...

Cold said"

"Not to intrude on such a fantastic humor piece (great job Whytech)"

Merely contributed by me; I am, regrettably, not the author. This reached me via an often forwarded email making its way among aviation folks. I liked it very much and thought others here would as well.

WT

baron95 said...

Coldwet said...Funny that the TBM 850 continues to sell so well, I thought the Eclipse was supposed to kill dinosaurs like the 850 - I mean, especially now that Avio NfG is 'certified'.


With all due respect to EADS and the TBM850, you must realize that:

1 - EADS has been scrambling to update the TBM - and only now with the half-assed 850HP upgrade and the soon to certified G1000 upgrade, has a competitive product. Pilatus has been doing the same by the way with a PT6-67A power upgrade and Apex avionics coming on line in 2008 (IIRC). They are reacting for a reason.

2 - In the latest quarterly report available 3Q/07) GAMA reports as follows:

EADS/TBM - 11 shipped, $31M in billings.

Eclipse/EA-500 - 27 shipped, $35M in billings.

So, I think Eclipse could claim rightfully so that they are at least irritating the dinasours.

Selling out a TBM production of 60 units a year is not that big a deal.

Now selling out 600 Eclipses a year(which is there stated capacity) , that I'd like to see.

flyger said...

baron95 said...

EADS has been scrambling to update the TBM - and only now with the half-assed 850HP upgrade and the soon to certified G1000 upgrade, has a competitive product.

This is true of every airplane. Manufacturers increase power and move the panel to glass. To imply that Eclipse caused or stimulated this is nonsense. It would have happened regardless of Eclipse's existence.

So, I think Eclipse could claim rightfully so that they are at least irritating the dinasours.

Not really. I don't think the dinosaurs care that much about Eclipse. I suspect that the vast majority of Eclipse position holders are people who wouldn't have bought a TBM850, a PC12, a Mustang, or anything larger. The customer list is "new" blood. In some ways, this means more money for the old guys as the Eclipse owners think about "stepping up".

Right now, the dinosaurs can sell everything they can build, so there is no fighting. When the business gets lean, then things will get mean. Until then, Eclipse is being ignored. Witness that not a single airplane shipping today has marketing materials that compare themselves to it. If the situation were truly competitive, that wouldn't be the case.

WhyTech said...

Baron 95 said:

"Eclipse could claim rightfully so that they are at least irritating the dinasours."

Maybe irritating the TBM folks, but probably not Pilatus. The Pilatus factory is flat out and backlog extends into 2010. Demand for this acft is very strong at present. I just received a legitimate unsolicted offer to purchase my two year old PC-12 at a price substantially above what I paid for it new. There are some 2007 PC-12 currently advertised on Controller in the vicinity of $4.3mm, again, well above the original purchase price.

I would guess that its overall market pressure and not Eclipse that is driving Pilatus and TBM to glass panels. They are among the last to make this transition.

You comment on the value of shipments for TBM vs Eclispe. I'd like to see the comparison of unit profitability.

WT

Black Tulip said...

Baron95 said,

“So, I think Eclipse could claim rightfully so that they are at least irritating the dinasours.”

The dinosaurs are starting to look a lot more like mammals in this evolutionary scenario. I doubt that EADS or Pilatus risk extinction.

These companies might be mildly irritated at what one company’s poor performance can do to the industry’s reputation. But then again they look good in comparison, even if they have been slow to adopt new avionics suites. They deliver functional aircraft.

airtaximan said...

I personally think eclipse's biggest problem is competition, and the rest of the industry is not bothered by eclipse.

I suspect Vern thought he would face limited or NO competition - that explains the shortfalls related to the aircraft, the half baked deliveries, IOU, etc. In his industry they ship "crap", and first to market is very important. In our industry, quality and reliability is everything.

So, any competition in this market, Diamond, Mustang, dare I say Epic, etc... makes Eclipse a "bottom feeder" of sorts. In this area of the market, there are not enough customers at his price. He's produced a cheap jet, and the value to most owners is not there - cheap means "cheap". Means, it does not even have to be finished when delivered. It means it can be beta tested on the customers.

It also means, customers need to be "invented"... lest we remember that most established fractionals and charter guys passed on the E500.

But, I suspect Socata could easily make a move if they chose to enter the jet market.... there are a few choice opportunities without starting from scratch. Without the risks associated with Eclipse. They probably have been looking at this for 10 years just like everyone else.

Merry Xmas, happy holiday and thanks to all.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

B95,

There is a signficant difference between making planned product improvements to increase functionality, performance and utility beyond that of the original design (TBM 700), and the actual mad scramble in Albuquerque over the past year and a half just to get the plane to actually do what Vern said it would do 9 years ago.

The move to glass panels has been underway since the first generation EFIS systems were fielded decades ago, it is a given and very common progression to make things smaller, lighter, and more affordable - different OEM's have waited for specific functions or the desire to integrate the system more completeley when compared to a plug-and-play system.

The demand for these systems is such that the EFIS manufacturers have literally had to prioritize customers leading to scheduled introductions across varying OEM's.

There is nothing mysterious about this at all, and it has nothing to do with the pretender from Albuquerque.

Merry Christmas to all!

Turbine Power said...

flyger said, "Manufacturers increase power and move the panel to glass. To imply that Eclipse caused or stimulated this is nonsense. It would have happened regardless of Eclipse's existence."

Not according to AOPA magazine:

"The dawn of the very light jet (VLJ) has shaken up general aviation in a way not seen since the 1960s, when the first business jets were introduced. The questions, then as now, are the same.Will the new class of designs perform—and sell—as predicted? What airplanes will survive the inevitable shakeout? And will the introduction of a new aircraft type spell the end of preceding models? To be blunt, will the advent of VLJs doom turboprops? EADS Socata has responded to this crisis of relevance by introducing its new TBM 850."

Business and Commercial Aviation agrees: "Socata mainly is positioning their TBM 850 as an alternative to VLJs."

And one stop at the Socata booth at any tradeshow, and you'll find they're comparing themselves head-to-head with the Eclipse (often with totally inaccurate data).

So they cobbled together the bizarre engining of the 15-year-old 700 and put a power control on the flap lever to run it! Great idea.

Compared to the Eclipse, the 850 gives you less speed, less climb capability, lower cruising altitudes, less capability of topping weather, less technical sophistication, a lot noisier cabin, no backup for power plant loss, and a bunch of other deficiencies. But you do get to pay almost twice as much for it!

Of course Socata is running scared. It's easy to see what is scaring them--Eclipse has delivered twice Socata's TBM output this year and will probably deliver six times it next year.

Is anyone really impressed that Socata can sell 50 TBMs a year? After 15 years of trying to build the brand, it is still a boutique, niche product. It would be a nice plane at half the cost. At current pricing, many more buyers are opting for a VLJ than a TBM.

gadfly said...

Cold fish said, “ . . . There is nothing mysterious about this at all, and it has nothing to do with the pretender from Albuquerque.”

And it occurred to me that the little jet needs a company song, dedicated to their “customers” . . . and it also occurred to me that they could re-issue that classic by “The Platters”:

“Oh-oh, yes I'm the great pretender
Pretending that I'm doing well
My need is such I pretend too much
I'm lonely but no one can tell

Oh-oh, yes I'm the great pretender
Adrift in a world of my own
I've played the game but to my real shame
You've left me to grieve all alone

Too real is this feeling of make-believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal

Yes I'm the great pretender
Just laughin' and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I'm not, you see
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you're still around . . . etc.”

gadfly

(Ah, memories . . . history does indeed repeat itself.)

WhyTech said...

Gad said:

"they could re-issue that classic by “The Platters”:"

Perfect!

WT

bill e. goat said...

WhyTech,
I got a hoot out of the poem- thanks for sharing it with us!!

Baron95,
I agree with you- I think EADS is getting spanked in the market- they are a niche player, and doomed to stay a niche player. Nice product, if that is your niche. Frankly, it reminds me of Rockwell playing with GA years ago- they got out, because it wasn't “core” business- I think EADS ought to do the same thing. Let their SOCATA products live under different management, that would make it "core" and have the incentive to be more progressive (ah, ?disruptive? :). But as is, it costs too much for the volume to come up with something new, and it's a distraction of corporate resources in more profitable areas. So I would expect them to continue doctoring up their existing products (?dinosaurs? okay, maybe a little :). Same way with Pilatus. Nice airplane, but insignificant market penetration of late, at least in the US.

Let's face it, the game Eclipse is playing is VOLUME; 100 per finger, not a dozen. (Given- Eclipse isn't winning their game, yet, but, 2008 promises to be, ah, not as bad. Ah, I guess you could say Vern hasn't given the market the finger yet...Although I'm not sure the opposite is true :).

At less than a handful of dozens per year, Eclipse isn't going to be worried about S/E T/P's stealing sales away, but you can bet the reverse is true: Eclipse, and especially Mustang, are causing them some grief, I suspect.

I'm not down on EADS or Pilatus, I think they both make: fine single engine turboprops. But that's what they are, and that's generally not what the US market wants, except for low-end Caravans to haul freight. (Seems like the noble goal of hauling a lot of volume and weight has fallen upon the venerable KingAir line, and the new C90GT is a nice player in that market).

Regarding upgrading to glass cockpits, well, I'm not sure if Eclipse is the competitive force, but I think it is a fact that competition is what is driving the change.

An observation: “Witness that not a single airplane shipping today has marketing marketing materials that compare themselves to it (Eclipse)”. I'd point out that nobody wants to spend their own money to highlight a lower cost competitor. (If Eclipse cost the same as a Mustang, you can bet Cessna would be advertising the advantages of the Mustang. When the Eclipse is half the cost, you can expect Cessna to stay mum about them).

Well, that's my two-minute take on marketing anyway.

I hope everyone has a nice safe happy Christmas!

thebigriper said...

Gunner,

How was the deer hunting in Mississippi? Our rifle season just got finished here in Kansas. Sounds like it was a good season. lots of nice bucks taken both in the rifle and bow seasons. It's funny because I didn't see any hunters or hear any shooting around my old stomping grounds. I saw quite a few nice bucks running around there, though.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.

baron95 said...

Flyger said...Witness that not a single airplane shipping today has marketing materials that compare themselves to it. If the situation were truly competitive, that wouldn't be the case.


Quite the contrary Flyger. I think the "old guard" even over reacted to the Eclipse threat, completely over estimating. EVERY sales person of turbine aircraft selling for less than $4M or so had to position and defend against the Eclipse. Go to the Cessna web site and download Cessna's multi page document comparing the Mustang and the Eclipse. They put A LOT of work on it.

Regarding TBM and PC-12 glass pannel upgrade, that is several years behind the first Meridian glass pannel (2000) and several years still behing the Meridian's second glass pannel (2003). They could have done glass pannels since 2000 easily. Only now in 2008 are they coming out with it.

TBM specifically knows that they are squeezed from below with the Meridian v2 and from above with the Mustang. Eclipse comes from the side, straight at them.

gadfly said...

Whatever . . . the year 2007 comes to a close with not a single completed Eclipse jet delivered . . . No-Not-One!

The faithful . . . the “die hards” argue about terms . . . the company makes claims . . . offers are made to induce the “???” to put up more money, but the fact remains that not a single aircraft of the promised “ range/speed/capacity/capabilities/etc.” has been delivered. Sure, maybe on occasion one or two of the many promises may actually take place during a single event . . . but the promised package does not exist . . . never has, and probably never will. At this late date, they could at least include a “potty”! . . . I mean, just how much does it take in hardware and software to make that a “standard”? . . . did “Charmin” go out of business? (But then, with the limited range of their “CG”, they may have a serious problem that may not be easily “relieved”.)

The original dream was similar to the “Lost Patrol” . . . in “Crock” in the Sunday Funny’s. They started off in the wrong direction . . . and give them credit, they are consistent. And they are exactly “on track”.

Somehow, I think that a prediction of “zero delivery” of the “first promised jet” may be repeated for December 2008.

And that’s my take!

gadfly

(I don’t care who you are, “Fatso”, . . . get those reindeer off my roof!)

(You'd think that at my age, with a Swedish wife [Lappland], I'd know how to spell "reindeer".)

Black Tulip said...

Flyger said regarding Eclipse…

“Witness that not a single airplane shipping today has marketing materials that compare themselves to it.”

Also note that competitors are not comparing themselves to the:

de Havilland Comet

Brewster Buffalo

Curtiss XP-35 Ascender

Langley Aerodrome

da Vinci Ornithopter

Wing Derringer

North American XF-42 Degravitator

(Okay, okay… I made up the last one.)

baron95 said...

Coldwet said ... There is a signficant difference between making planned product improvements to increase functionality, performance and utility beyond that of the original design (TBM 700), and the actual mad scramble in Albuquerque

Coldwet, there is no way to spin this. The 850HP upgrade to the TBM is a RUSHED JOB with completely bizarre engineering. They did not have enough ruder authority to certify 850 HP for take off and wanted to force it anyway to get closer to the Eclipse in cruise speed. It is a mickey mouse engineering solution with the flap position handle preventing the thurst lever to move the 850HP position. It is trully a reactionary move because of the Mustang and Eclipse.

I'll give you another example. The PT6A-135A has been available for decades. Only now did Beech feel the need to upgrade the King Air 90 to the PT6A-135A. And again it is a rushed job, with flat rating to the same original power so they didn't have to re-run the certification, engine-out scenarios, etc. Again, competely reactionaty to the Mustang and Eclipse.

The Caravan and PC12 are relatively immune because of their huge internal volume and utilitarian missions.

But for the owner flown market (60% of TBM sales, 20% of PC12 sales, 10% of King Air 90 sales, 90% of Meridian sales) it is a mad scramble to compete with the similarly priced VLJs.

It is a GREAT thing for the industry. If Eclipse fails miserably, that is a great contribution to the industry as a whole. Just like Columbia failed, but caused Cirrus to rush an STC turbo model, Moonney to do upgrades to their entire line, etc.

That is progress that has not been seen in GA in decades.

AlexA said...

Click before reading:
http://tinyurl.com/2uku8r

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
One angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two washed out engineers
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four D-Jet Depositors,
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five Cessna Employees,
Four D-Jet Depositors,
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six Eclipse Depositors,
Five Cessna Employees,
Four D-Jet Depositors,
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven Turbo Prop Owners,
Six Eclipse Depositors,
Five Cessna Employees,
Four D-Jet Depositors,
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight EADS employees,
Seven Turbo Prop Owners,
Six Eclipse Depositors,
Five Cessna Employees,
Four D-Jet Depositors,
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine disgruntled vendors,
Eight EADS employees,
Seven Turbo Prop Owners,
Six Eclipse Depositors,
Five Cessna Employees,
Four D-Jet Depositors,
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten more delivered airplanes,
Nine disgruntled vendors,
Eight EADS employees,
Seven Turbo Prop Owners,
Six Eclipse Depositors,
Five Cessna Employees,
Four D-Jet Depositors,
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven complaining FAA staffers,
Ten more delivered airplanes,
Nine disgruntled vendors,
Eight EADS employees,
Seven Turbo Prop Owners,
Six Eclipse Depositors,
Five Cessna Employees,
Four D-Jet Depositors,
Three Ex-employees,
Two washed out engineers,
And an angry ex-customer in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve more delivered airplanes,
And no one on the Blog but an angry ex-customer still in the pear tree

Black Tulip said...

Baron95 said,

“If Eclipse fails miserably, that is a great contribution to the industry as a whole.”

No doubt employees, depositors and investors would draw great solace from this.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Alexa exactly how many fully functioning deliveries would that be?

That's what I thought.

As for participation, seems to me the absence has been of the Faithful, especially those who contributed nothing worthwhile. You know, it was much more fact-oriented, civil, and entertaining while also being respectful and educational.

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

Merry Christmas All!

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,
I'll take you up on the Jan 01, 2009 date for "completion" (Avio_NG_2.0_xyz, etc, :)

Um, that would be 855 AFTER provisional "certification".

I'm dim witted enough to indulge in "855 bottles of beer on the wall" (at least for a few bottles), but don't think I could handle "The 855 Days of Christmas" :)

(Thanks to Alexa for the holiday funny though. I just hope the investors and customers don't "tree" Vern pretty soon :)

Second CWMOR:
Merry Christmas All!!

bill e. goat said...

Oh and by the way BT;
Did that XF-42 Degravitator come equipped with Phostrex??
:)

baron95 said...

Black tulip Said... “If Eclipse fails miserably, that is a great contribution to the industry as a whole.”

No doubt employees, depositors and investors would draw great solace from this.


What I meant to say was ... Even if Eclipse were to fail, the cometition and shake up they brought to GA in itself would be a great contribution to the industry as a whole and for customers in particular.

Black Tulip said...

Baron95,

Your refinement of words is well done. Let the spirit here be one of good humor and best wishes.

This evening I think most of all about Eclipse Aviation employees. We can temporarily set aside investors and depositors in a separate category. They have some money to spare, by definition.

But most employees are different. I’m sure there are lots of folks in Albuquerque who are collecting a check every payday and need to keep those coming. Let us hope it is so.

Santa is on his way. I wonder if he remembers to turn off the pitot heat every time he lands on a roof.

cj3driver said...

Merry Chrismas to all...
and to all a good Flight.

Shane Price said...

Black Tulip, in fine form as always, said:-

North American XF-42 Degravitator

You have to love that man. A long list of aviation 'almosts' and then...

Gad,

Santa must be flying an E500 this Christmas. That would explain the extra load (over this time last year) on your roof...

BTW, I keep looking at the moon (from about 2 miles high) and cannot, for the life of me, spot Mars.

Must be the old age and the liberal (small l) application of various mountain brews.

Best wishes to all and a happy new year.

Shane

FlightCenter said...

Blogs Future Brighter Than Ever

Snippets from a Wired article on blogs...

"The people have a voice they didn't have before."

"...blogs have become important news sources in their own right."

Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine called blogs' capacity to effect real-world change "profound."

"The internet is a richer place for all these participants and it's clear that we're not going back."

bill e. goat said...

FC,
I agree that blogs are a benefit to society, as well as generally good clean fun.

I've been miffed at the blind cult-like following Apple computers has. Um, not that anything else comes to mind :)

I'm sure Vern's lackey's have already become aware of this, so feel there is no harm in posting it.

Apple_Goes_Nazi

gadfly said...

In my study of great aircraft and achievement over the last century, there was ALWAYS at least one person in each endeavor that would fit the definition of “genius”.

And always, there was an organization of technicians . . . craftsmen, who brought an expertise, to carry out the most subtle nuances of the designer’s intentions.

Among the “best”, survival depended on a certain “hard-to-define-but-necessary” genius in aircraft design . . . human nature, business ethics, a practical understanding of manufacturing, and a moral depth to stand behind their endeavors.

For the life of me, I cannot find a single one of these elements in the Eclipse enterprise. Many may be well meaning people . . . that seem to be “hoping against hope” and groping in the dark . . . half-trained individuals that want to be “good”, but have not the background, nor the depth of understanding of manufacturing, metallurgy, electronics, instrumentation, and technical skills to pull off what is required.

And that, my friend, is no way to run a company . . . especially when lives depend on the result.

Yes, it’s obvious that Eclipse can find money, but I doubt that a single investor or manager has a grip on the picture . . . the intricate complexity of design and manufacturing . . . all those subtle but necessary elements that must come together to produce that final gem*.

Instead, we have a “freak” . . . impressing some with the ability to fly, and balance on a delicate fence under ideal conditions (re: CG envelope, etc.). But I’d hate to be aboard one of these “skate boards” when things truly get serious . . . and the “lights go out”.

Sooner or later, someone is going to get hurt . . . and it will not be pretty.

gadfly

(There is risk in speaking thus . . . to keep silent is the greater risk to my own integrity.)

(* “Final Gem”: An aircraft that will perform according to the expectations of those who commit their lives and well-being to safe and efficient transportation.)

gadfly said...

Black Tulip

None of these aircraft should have been delivered until they were complete. It is one thing to have “Experimental” painted on the side of the aircraft, it’s an entirely different thing to be touted as an approved aircraft for commercial use.

Until recently, I had a very high regard for the FAA . . . but no more, to allow this thing to go this far.

When the intended capabilities of an aircraft are made public, most of the “users” will not understand that an “un-complete” form of transportation has been approved by a federal agency, so long as it has that official stamp. On various occasions, I have asked “technical people” (highly educated engineers that work for Sandia, Los Alamos, and the “Weapon’s Lab” and pilots . . . all in the Albuquerque area) their impression of the Eclipse . . . and they parrot what they have read in the paper, and rarely show anything other than a vague understanding of the incomplete status of the aircraft being delivered. It is highly unlikely that others who may pay to fly as passengers will understand any more than the casual observer among the technical community in Albuquerque, the “home” of the little jet.

You are correct that sooner or later almost every aircraft has some tragedy in its future . . . that’s a matter of history. In this case, to approve an incomplete aircraft for not only private use, but for commercial taxi service . . . this is not right!

It not only affects the “assembler” of the little jet, but reflects on the entire industry . . . and now, on the “sacred word” of the FAA, itself. I’m sure that “legally” all the “tees” have been crossed and all the “i’s” have been dotted. But morally, much is missing . . . in my firm opinion.

gadfly

(And I suspect that many others have similar feelings, but have been reluctant to express their thoughts.)

Black Tulip said...

Gadfly,

You have given us a fine example of the writer’s craft. The deficit in genius in this case is evident.

Sooner or later someone always gets hurt in an airplane (or an automobile, or any other mechanized conveyance). Let us all hope it is later, not sooner.

Six Romeo said...

Gadfly,

A few months ago, I believe Gunner talked about the wisdom of your posts. I am mostly an observer of this blog, but I occasionally make some smart aleck remarks. This time, I wanted to chime in and say thanks. My enthusiasm for Eclipse waned a couple of years ago when I met a now-departed VP. I started reading this blog for various reasons, and kept reading for the "drama." Now, I look forward to your posts.

You truly are the soul of this blog. Your thoughtful insights and reflections are germane well beyond the world of aviation. Thank you!

bill e. goat said...

A note of clarification on my part: my reference to "Vern's lackey's" above was a reference to the PR and legal department at Eclipse, not any of our fellow bloggers. I think the owners / owners-in-waiting post things here with good conscience and conviction, with no intention to manipulate, only to inform, and I and many others appreciate their input.

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,
I appreciate your concerns about the E-500. I think it's release has been premature, and the process has been indeed "disruptive", and to me, disturbing. Particularly the FAA's treatment of their foot soldiers, the first line of defense between a company and the public. I think there were "deals" forced down their throat by upper management, due to political pressure from Sen Domenici.

This represents corruption of the FAA process, and more specifically of our politicians. I would REALLY like to see the ABQ Tribune do an expose' on this, particularly the "vote buying" Domenici is trying to do. The fact he browbeat an FAA bureaucrat is sad- they are public servants who literally had their jobs threatened. I think it is time the voters threatened the Senator's job.

I wish there were an investigation on this and who knows what else in the NUCLEAR industry this sleazy bastard is trying to ram down the throats of safety regulators, for the sake of a few thousand votes.

I wish journalism were still alive. I guess this episode also sadly accentuates the corruption of freedom's watchdogs, the press. Nowadays lapdogs is more like it).
--------------------------
I'm basically pro-Eclipse, and pro-nuclear. But I firmly believe companies will NOT act in the best interest of the public and need to be watched/regulated. And I believe our congressmen need to be watched even more.

Turbine Power said...

Six Romeo commended Gadfly for writing all about how "incomplete" the Eclipse is. And how awful the FAA is for certifying such an "incomplete" plane.

Neither Gadfly nor Six Romeo know much about the FARs, I guess.

Part 23 of the Federal Aviation Regulations governs the airworthiness standards for planes in the normal, utility, acrobatic and commuter categories. You can read it here:

http://tinyurl.com/25o6qu

The Eclipse 500 is fully certified.

One more time, folks: The Eclipse 500 is fully certified.

That means the plane was subjected to rigorous certification testing by the FAA and found to be a "complete" aircraft, in compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations, notwithstanding the baloney boisterously bantered by babbling blog babies.

It is true that the Eclipse will be more useful now that Avio NG is certified. And it will be still more useful when the certification for flight into known icing is added as well as goodies that pilots flew without for decades such as built-in enroute and approach charts and flight management system. Those things will soon make the airplane much better than it is today.

But it is incorrect (and real "wrong" too) to keep claiming the plane is somehow "incomplete" as it is. It is a fully-certified aircraft that passed every test they threw at it. And it flies beautifully.

expilot said...

Happy New Year all. I purchased a new Imac 30 days ago. State of the art,better operating system, blah,blah,blah. I have not used it much because of time constraints, but did start using for web,email ect. Two days ago freeze. Open manuals go thru troubleshooting nothing. Reinstall OS? No can do. Phone support not open till 06:00 PT. The Eclipse 499.0 has no mechanical back up instruments? Well at least I'm sitting on my butt in an office and not trying to shoot an approach in the fog outside. Well it's probably a million to one shot that everything will freeze on AvioNG in flight... Right? Everyone please stay safe. Almost forgot, I'm using an old dinosaur PC with XP to send this. Based on years of experience with it I wouldn't let it tell me where to drive my car,much less an aircraft.

Turbine Power said...

Ex-Pilot--

You may not be aware that dozens of airplanes have no mechanical backups.

expilot said...

TP your correct. I should have said independent backup instruments,sorry.

bill e. goat said...

Expilot,
The intent of your post was obvious enough to me.

TP,
There are little issues and big issues.

Whether a backup instrument system is electronic or mechanical is a little issue.

Whether there IS a backup instrument system is the BIG issue.

I am unaware of ANY glass cockpit airplane that does not have an independent backup instrument system.

But it -is- conceivable.

Can you name a few dozen (or any)?

Thanks. I was perusing airliners.net, but I think EVERY airplane has a backup system, except for, Eclipse. Really disruptive.

Black Tulip said...

Turbine Power,

Inquiring minds want to know – how did the aircraft get certified in its current state?

If we are to believe what we read (as reported by Niner Zulu), the aircraft has a primitive autopilot. The Cessna Citation ISP, certified a quarter of the way back into the last century has a real autopilot.

That would be one that descends smoothly to the pre-selected altitude, flies a heading, intercepts and captures the localizer, then the glide slope, cranks in a large crosswind correction, works its way through wind shear, and brings you safely down to minimums.

Your left hand is poised over the yoke and your right is making power changes to maintain Vref plus a decent factor. You press autopilot and yaw damper disconnect at the middle marker and resume manual control of the aircraft for touchdown.

You’ve had only to monitor the approach, not fly it by hand. Workload is greatly reduced. For single pilot operation, the lack of a functioning autopilot is a NO-GO item in the Citation!

Is it really true that the FAA has certified and is allowing a single-pilot jet aircraft to be flown with an autopilot that will not fly an ILS approach? What happened to the certification requirements of a quarter-century ago as applied to other single-pilot jets?

If some of these assumptions are incorrect, what is the state of the Eclipse flight director and autopilot? Which modes operate today?

(All this assumes a warm day or no visible moisture, so ice is not an issue – yet.)

Turbine Power said...

Goat--the Eclipse has an independent backup AHRS displayed independently from the main attitude displays. It has an independent (3rd) air data source similarly displayed. And the engine instruments are displayed on any of 3 screens.

Ex-pilot's home PC troubles, while interesting, really don't have any applicability to the Eclipse.

Turbine Power said...

Black Tulip,

You asked, "Is it really true that the FAA has certified and is allowing a single-pilot jet aircraft to be flown with an autopilot that will not fly an ILS approach?"

Sure. Why not? You saying an autopilot that flies a coupled approach is necessary for safe flight? The Flight Standardization Board disagrees. I'll bet most pilots do, too.

It will soon be a moot point anyway; coupled approaches are due in the next software upgrade.

bill e. goat said...

Let me reword my last post into English :)
-----------------
Thanks TP,
Please elaborate on "displayed independently from the main attitude displays".

Is there a display that does not rely on Avio?

(e.g., if Avio goes down, the independent sensors don't help unless there is an independent display).

Thanks.

Turbine Power said...

Goat asked, "if Avio goes down..."

Avio is not a single component; it is a series of independently-powered and controlled components that are integrated via various networks. The question, therefore, is not applicable.

Black Tulip said...

"You saying an autopilot that flies a coupled approach is necessary for safe flight?"

I ken hand-fly a raw data approach but if I ken, I'd rather have a plane that does it for me sometimes.

mouse said...

Bill E. Goat,

I believe the only airplane with no backup instrumentation is the F-22, and it has ejection and no FAA certification requirements...

Eclipse is not to blame for this poor decision, this rests with the FAA and it was jambed down their throats to approve... a very sad state of affairs for all od us in aviation. To think otherwise is just stupid.

expilot said...

Turbine P My point is computers are computers, code is code, and systems using them seem to screw up on a somewhat regular basis.

mouse said...

The onboard computers on the EA-500 are far less than Windows 98 generation and capability... Look it up...

bill e. goat said...

TP,

"The question, therefore, is not applicable". You are saying that Avio will not go down.

But that is not true. The blog documented that Eclipse has lost all displays before "certification". It has not gone down since certification, because it is now designed not too. But it was designed then not to as well.

To say it can't happen because:
1) it's not supposed to
2) it hasn't happened (again) yet

Is indeed an act of faith.

And to me prudence says it is worth having an independent electronic-or-mechanical / powered / controlled / sensor / display / whatever-other-qualifier.
-------------------------
Gulfstream G-5's, which have been in service for several years, have a glass cockpit, with state of the art Honeywell avionics. But still, there was a G-5 that lost ALL displays last year.

The G-5 has an independent backup sensor/display.

EVERYONE else with glass cockpits has a backup system. EVERYONE.

Because they are stupid dinosaurs? I think not.

Because they have the experience to appreciate the value of an independent system. Eclipse simply does NOT have the experience, and are arrogantly and ignorantly contemptuous of industry norms. They reinvent the wheel, at every opportunity, to no net benefit, but at great expense in time and money. And after they are done saying “revolutionary” and “disruptive”, their wheel is just like EVERYONE elses. I am sad that this is another wheel that will be reinvented, and I feel sorry for they guy who is going to have a flat tire with this one.
----------------------
The blog's been around with this one a few months back, to everyone's exhaustion.
To those who think it can't happen, fine. I hope it doesn't.

(But there is a saying amongst dinosaurs anyway, that “hope is not a plan”).

JetProp Jockey said...

BT - Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think a single E-500 delivered to date or that will be delivered with NG first release can be flown single pilot. A fully functioning autopilot is a requirement for takeoff single pilot.

Anyone else have the same understanding as me?

Assuming this is the case, there is a lot of money being spent to carry a SIC pliot around on every flight - Aways nice to take your professional co-pilot along on a vacaton with you.

Gunner said...

TP said:
"It is true that the Eclipse will be more useful now that Avio NG is certified. And it will be still more useful when the certification for flight into known icing is added as well as goodies that pilots flew without for decades such as built-in enroute and approach charts and flight management system. Those things will soon make the airplane much better than it is today."

and

"It will soon be a moot point anyway; coupled approaches are due in the next software upgrade."

Gunner repeats his previous observation:


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.

Data Point.
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

Jetprop Jockey,

Good question. If a second-in-command is required now, are they receiving the required systems and procedures training and landings before flying passengers? In the numerous pilot reports by Mike Press, are all the SICs qualified?

Black Tulip said...

Turbine Power said,

"The current autopilot has heading, pitch and roll modes."

Hmm, sounds like a 1968 Beech D55 Baron I once flew. I didn't like it very much.

not a pilot said...

Speaking of deliveries, does anyone know where Eclipse stands now for the year? I think they're in the mid-80's but not completely sure?

How about Cessna Mustang deliveries? I believe they were planning on 40 for the year, but does anyone know where they stand now?

bill e. goat said...

Mouse,
Not wanting to beat a dead horse (but all the live ones keep getting away:)

Could you give us the history of backup indicators? Your post intrigues me- it suggests at one time it was contemplated for the E-500 (or is that ejections seats you are referring to? :).
------------------------------
TP,
I think the "plan" if the displays did go down is to rely on the airplane's gentle handling characteristics (and hope for a view of the horizon and a fast reboot:). I think from the sketchy reports, that the handling characteristics of this airplane will more than offset goofy avionics. Can you enlighten us along these lines- (caught a ride in one yet, or maybe accepted delivery? Thanks).
-----------------------
(But that brings to mind another long blogfest we had several months ago, regarding the generally commendable safety record of the Bonanza, in spite of the evils of the Vee tail implementation, IMHO. It was a defect, that Beech continued to arrogantly defend. I see the same thing with lack of a standby indicator. Although I will say, in this case, I think -hope again- that statistically it will not be as "eventful" as the Vee-tail saga.

That said, now let's see...who else is talking about Vee tails. :)

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse 500 Delivery Data Update

The FAA updated their registry data for Eclipse this week. The official registry database shows 5 Eclipse 500 aircraft for which registration has been transferred in December and 73 aircraft in total.

The FAA registry database also shows that 73 Eclipse 500 aircraft have received CofAs.

However, the FAA registry database seems to be lagging a bit (perhaps due to holiday vacations).

The FAA "in process" website shows that Eclipse has submitted paperwork to transfer registration on an additional 18 aircraft not recorded in the FAA registry database, for a total of 91 aircraft for which Eclipse has submitted paperwork to transfer registration.

Eclipse also submitted paperwork to the FAA on 12/20/07 that they had begun production on an additional 8 aircraft.

Of particular note, the "in process" website shows that Eclipse submitted paperwork to transfer registration on 6 aircraft last week, 5 of those aircraft were registered to DayJet.

I thought I'd mention a couple other aircraft serial numbers of interest over the past few months.

Ken mentioned that aircraft serial #61 got its CofA on 10/4 (the FAA data agrees), however it wasn't until 10/31 that serial #61 was delivered to DayJet, almost 4 weeks later.

Eclipse submitted paperwork to transfer registration of serial #71to DayJet on 12/3/07. Serial #71 got its CofA on 10/28.

Mouse reported that serial #84 went to paint on 11/14. It received its CofA on 11/28. Eclipse has not yet submitted paperwork to transfer registration for serial #84.

421jockey reported that serial #92 was delivered on 12/11 and the FAA data shows the same.

Ken Meyer reported on 11/14 that "the owner of S/N 97 has been told his plane will be delivered between 11/27 and 12/3". Eclipse has not yet submitted paperwork to transfer registration for serial #97.

FlightCenter said...

The FAA registry database shows that Cessna has transferred registration for 35 Mustangs.

If the same proportion of Mustangs are "in process" compared to the FAA data for Eclipse, then there might be as many as 8 additional Mustangs which are "in process", but I haven't checked that site for Cessna.

The best bet is to wait until about mid February to make sure that all the aircraft are properly accounted for in the FAA database.

bill e. goat said...

Lest we take our Eclipse discussions a bit too seriously, here's some aviation funnies:)

Ha H Ha / Ho Ho Ho

FlightCenter said...

The FAA registry database shows that the highest Mustang serial number delivered so far is serial #510-0049.

The following serial numbers do not yet show as having registration transferred:

22,
29,
33,
34,
35,
39,
40,
41,
43,
44,
47.

It looks like Cessna is also having some issues causing out of sequence deliveries.

Copernicus said...

Copernicus thinks that Eclipse serial number 100 is in the process of acceptance testing as this is being written. In all likelihood, number 100 will be delivered today. The FAA Registry, while the final source of information on deliveries, operates significantly in arrears.

expilot said...

BEG V-tail Bonaza,I flew them for 10 years, luckily I never had to overstress one. Dilberts boss has been beating a dead horse lately as a management technique. If the Shuttle is grounded again for fuel tank sensors, maybe NASA should contact Eclipse to fix their small electrical problem.

bill e. goat said...

Expilot,
I think NASA helped Eclipse with their "engine selection" problem too, a few years back (re: NASA GAPS which funded the FJX-2 Williams engine, predecessor to the EJ-22).

(My guess, with friends like that, who needs ____:)
-----------------------------
Not to be outdone by their rival's spectacular failure in turbine development, the piston power guys at NASA also make their clueless contribution:
A TWO-stroke Diesel that
"Meets Expected Future Emissions Requirements"
and of course, is
"1/2 Cost of Current Engines"
-----------------------------
And these guys want money to go to Mars...

gadfly said...

Goat

The vee tail on the Peachcraft Banana used “old technology”. The vee tail on the Con-NG has a “flipper mode” that takes over if the engine should flame out.

gadfly

(The rudder pedals have a two position toggle . . . sort of a “Nordic Trac” with wings.)

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

Turbine Power said...

Avio is not a single component; it is a series of independently-powered and controlled components that are integrated via various networks. The question, therefore, is not applicable.

Wrong. The question is applicable because all Avio stuff operates with software developed from the same source. Thus bugs in one PFD also translate into bugs in another, *at the same time*.

Therefore, there are *NOT* independent backups, where "independent" means "not sharing connected fault potential".

There is no airplane I know of where *ALL* of the attitude information displayed to the pilot comes from the same system. If you know otherwise, please show us. Eclipse is unique in this regard.

FlightCenter said...

That is one definition of "disruptive" technology.

Of course you can use your independent Garmin 496 to display an instrument panel page if all else fails.

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,
I'm sure the Con-jet will be equally disruptive, with many "flip out" as well as "wig out" features.
:)

9Z,
Thanks for the Avio-NG-1.0-Dec2007 release details.

FC,
Right-o about the 496.

expilot said...

BEG Apparentely the dummies at Detroit Diesel gave up too soon when they switched to 4-cycle engines in the late 80's. The 60 series was a heck of an engine till our friends at the EPA screwed it up. "Disruptive Technology" The 2007 EPA diesel engine rules result in higher fuel burn [5-10%], but pollute less?

cj3driver said...

FC said;

“… The following serial numbers (Mustang) do not yet show as having registration transferred:

22, 29, 33, 34, 35, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 47.

It looks like Cessna is also having some issues causing out of sequence deliveries…”

FC,

According to my Cessna rep, these aircraft have been delivered to European buyers (except 47). S/N 29 has an “N” number (N45SP), but can be seen on flightaware heading to Europe via Canada on Oct 4, 2007.

Cessna made this announcement on December 10, 2007 in the E Mustang Thunder publication:

MUSTANG PRODUCTION WILL EXCEED TARGET OF 44 DELIVERIES THIS YEAR
To date, more than 40 Citation Mustangs have been delivered from Cessna’s factory at Independence, Kansas, virtually assuring the delivery target of 44 aircraft for 2007. This includes the first Mustangs delivered under European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification.
"I’m very proud of the engineers, project managers and production team that have made the Mustang one of our greatest success stories," Cessna Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Pelton said. "Our Mustangs are being delivered virtually squawk-free and the positive feedback from our customers has been remarkable."

Serial number 49 (N13616) flew away from the factory on December 19, 2007.

FC, Maybe aircraft delivered and registered to foriegn buyers may not show up on FAA records?

Turbine Power said...

flyger said, "all Avio stuff operates with software developed from the same source."

No; it really doesn't.

And, "there are *NOT* independent backups"

Sorry, that's wrong too.

And "*ALL* of the attitude information displayed to the pilot comes from the same system."

Nope.

Do you have a copy of the systems architecture documentation? I think it would help you.

bill e. goat said...

Hi Ex-pilot,
My "seat of the pants" experience from diesels, while sitting in traffic, tells me they are BAD news- and I mean: WAY bad news. Like much of what our government doesn't do, such as not regulating bumper height, is a crime of omission. Gas engines have been regulated, only lately have diesels begun to get the attention they merit.

I find GA airplanes to be sadly lagging in environmental responsibility. The fuel efficiency is atrocious compared to any alternative, with implications both for toxic releases, and green house gases. Noise footprint in communities is also worrisome.

I feel we have a responsibility to society to advocate technologies which minimize the impact to those not getting the benefit of our indulgences. Lower GA fuel bills by using diesel do not benefit society at large- in fact, enormously just the opposite.

(I know more about motorcycle engines than industrial engines, and note in motocross race bikes, which require light weight and high output (even more than aircraft engines), the switch is on big time away from 2-strokes to 4-strokes, due to pollution concerns).
--------------------
Union of Concerned Scientists
“The health risks from diesel exhaust are severe. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) estimates that 70% of the airborne cancer risk in the state is attributable to diesel PM (Particulate Matter)...”

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
“Diesel vehicles make up only 2 percent of vehicles in the United States, but they are responsible for more than 60 percent of all particulates and nearly half of all nitrogen oxides.

“Diesel engines emit significant quantities of particulate matter (PM2.5). These fine particles penetrate deep into the lungs contributing to persistent human health problems such as asthma attacks, reduced lung function, lung disease and even premature death. Fourteen of the 40 toxins in diesel exhaust are known to cause cancer and contribute to cardiopulmonary disease”.
----------------------------
Regarding improvements in pollution (at the expense of thermal efficiency):

Environmental Defense
“Our 2005 report Cleaner Air for America shows that the value of the health benefits of a national program to lower pollution from today's diesel engines far exceed the cost of investment, by at least 12 to 1”

Clean Air Task Force
“Medical studies have consistently demonstrated that diesel exhaust poses a serious health threat. For example EPA estimates that the new rules for highway diesels (e.g. trucks, buses) and nonroad diesels (e.g. construction and agriculture equipment) will save over 19,000 lives annually by 2030...”

bill e. goat said...

There is a difference between independent and redundant.

"independent" systems requires as a minimum,
Dissimiliar processors
Dissimiliar operating systems
Dissimiliar source code

I do NOT believe for an instant that Eclipse is satisfying all of these MINIMUM requirements.

airsafetyman said...

"Turbine Power" said:

"Do you have a copy of the systems architecture documentation? I think it would help you."

Gee, Turbine Power I didn't know they taught "systems architecture" in dental school.

bill e. goat said...

ASM,
Are you saying getting straight information about Eclipse is like pulling teeth?
:()

airsafetyman said...

B.E.G.

That too, but I'm saying that some dentists are a pain in the ass as well as the mouth.

bill e. goat said...

They are usually a pain in my wallet- ha. (But, they do wonderful work for society and for persons).

TP,
Is the Eclipse systems architecture documentation available, maybe a white paper like their maintenance paper a couple of years back? Thanks.

FlightCenter said...

CJ3,

Thanks for the great information on Mustang deliveries.

You are exactly right that European registrations would not show up in the FAA registration database.

I should have realized that was one of the primary reasons for the gaps in the FAA registration data on the Mustang.

It will be interesting to compare the 2007 Eclipse 500 revenue vs. the 2007 Mustang revenue when the year end GAMA numbers come out. Maybe your Cessna rep can break out the Mustang revenue from the rest of the Cessna revenue for comparison purposes.

flyger said...

Turbine Power said...

And "*ALL* of the attitude information displayed to the pilot comes from the same system."

Nope.


Yup. All the pieces of technology are from the same development tree, hardware and software, so deficiencies in those affects *ALL* sources. That's what I meant by "same" system, not the "same" part. Got it?

Do you have a copy of the systems architecture documentation? I think it would help you.

It seems no Eclipse apologist can refrain from belittling the critics rather than discussing the merits.

FlightCenter said...

Turbine Power,

All three displays in the Eclipse 500 were developed by the same vendor and use the same CPUs, the same OS, and get their attitude information using the same software device drivers.

Both AHRS in the Eclipse 500 were developed by the same vendor and use the same CPUs and the same OS.

It is possible for a common mode failure mechanism to cause a problem with all three displays simultaneously.

It is possible for a common mode failure mechanism to cause a problem with both AHRS simultaneously.

If all the displays can blank out in a Honeywell EPIC equipped Embraer or Gulfstream, it can happen in an Avio equipped Eclipse.

That's a good enough reason for why you might want to keep your 496's batteries charged up.

airtaximan said...

seems like a lot of mystery surrounding the computer system that somehow flies...

What is the system?
Is it redundant?
What can it really do today?
Is it reliable?
Is it safe?
What parts are integral and what parts are accessories?
What parts are independant?
What is a virtual co-pilot, really?
What works now?
What is promised for the future?
What is BS?
What is complete BS?

Why do we even have to ask?

Why is there certainty amoung some regarding no needing other backups?

Why do we have to ask?

-folks its 2007
-there's been $1.xyz Billions spent
-there's been scores of broken promises and IOUs
-its been 10 plus years
-WTF?

Turbine Power said...

flyger wrote, "It seems no Eclipse apologist can refrain from belittling the critics rather than discussing the merits."

That's only because some of you critics insist on writing stupid things that are just incorrect.

You really should consider learning something about the product before you knock it.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

JPJ, I believe you are correct, the TCDS and FSB report require two crew unless the aircraft is equipped with a 'functioning' autopilot and a handheld mic.

It would appear that the Mike Press flights are in violation of the FARs unless the argument could be made to the satisfaction of the Administrator that pitch, heading and altitude constitutes 'functioning' on the autopilot OR Mike Press is an authorized instructor - both unlikely in my opinion but if there is anything we have learned from this debacle is that logic need not apply.

Turbine Power said...

coldwetmackerelofreality wrote, "It would appear that the Mike Press flights are in violation of the FARs"

Good grief. Really, guys. It's okay that you don't know something. The problem is when you don't know what you're talking about but insist upon pontificating anyway. That's a no-no. Most places anyway. Too bad it's become de rigueur here.

The autopilot released in the very first Avidyne-equipped aircraft was, and is, perfectly adequate for single-pilot operations. So says the Flight Standardization Board. So says the TCDS. So says the AFM.

You're just blowing smoke. Or maybe inhaling it!

expilot said...

BEG Out here in the great plains the only particulates we have to worry about are whipped up by the winds. I agree that we need to protect the enviorment and according to the government the 2007 onroad and 2010-2012 offroad regulations for diesel engines will result in engines that are 95% cleaner then pre 1993 units. It's that last 5% that is really going to cost us. 4,5,6,7 dollar diesel in the next 5 years ? I would bet on it. Diesel and Jet A are becoming almost interchangable.If everyone else in the world were subject to the same rules we would probably be OK. Of course Europe leads the way as for hatred of aviation as being a foolish waste of resources. I think it's only a matter of time before many of the groups you refer to put aviation in their cross hairs. As for Eclipse? High fuel prices for an entity that can barely afford a 1.5million dollar jet will not help sales. Forbes 400 companies and individuals won't give a second thought to $8 JetA. I think accountants use the term "not material" in regards to billion dollar companies and individuals. A worldwide recession would knock fuel prices back 3-4 years, but then who would have the cash to buy the jet?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

As I said turbine, had you bothered to read it, "unless the argument could be made to the satisfaction of the Administrator that pitch, heading and altitude constitutes 'functioning' on the autopilot"

So now who's blowin' smoke sunshine?

Why do you Faithful have to deliberately misrepresent what is said?

Also, unless there has been an actual finding issued by FAA, this is very likely the same as O23 masks above FL350 as our dearly departed Cardinal of the Church of Flyantology reported was also routinely ignored by Eclipse jet-jockeys.

A $1.8M jet with a handheld GPS and an autopilot that reportedly has difficulty remaining engaged during high speed descents - surely something to be proud of there.

Your rhetoric sounds awful familiar.

expilot said...

I just read in the 1-7 January,08 Flight International that the ATG Javelin is almost officially TU. All they needed was 200 million. It was also mentioned that Eclipse is looking for additional funding after just missing it's production target by aprox. 400 units. You have to give it up for Vern, he does have some "skills". He might find some consulting work with ATG to fill his spare time.

flyger said...

Turbine Power said...

That's only because some of you critics insist on writing stupid things that are just incorrect.

You really should consider learning something about the product before you knock it.


No a single piece of evidence presented to refute that all attitude indication to the pilot is from systems of the same design.

Once again, attack the critic as ignorant rather than enlighten us with "wisdom". Have you run out?

Please, stop attacking people and demonstrate how the Eclipse has truly independent attitude information. All attitude sensors are AHRS of one design and all displays are of one design. If there is *ANYTHING* wrong with the design, hardware or software, then you have no true independent backup since the fault applies to *ALL* systems at the same time.

If you know different, now is the time to confirm this with evidence to backup your righteousness and superiority being displayed here.

Usually, at this point, the faithful make a presumption that Eclipse will build systems with no faults despite the ample history so far. Faith is, apparently, blind.

gadfly said...

Six Romeo

Thanks for your encouragement. But you must realize that flies exist to do something that is often repugnant to others . . . and then have the audacity to buzz around reminding the world of something that might otherwise go un-noticed. Any time I find a few flies in our basement . . . I expect to find a dead mouse (present company not withstanding . . . ‘sorry ‘bout that, “mouse”). Unfortunately, by the time the “flies” arrive, it’s too late to help the guest of honor.

FlightCenter

Does a Garmin 496 show the direction of “up”?

Goat or ColdFish or ?

Question: If an aircraft takes off from ABQ any time this month and next, isn’t it almost certain to be flying into known icing (“FIKI”) shortly after the wheels leave the ground? It’s been in the teens and twenties with white stuff in the air much of the time. Dew point between zero and 13F . . . ground temp 24 to 31 at KABQ, probably the warmest spot in town. (Here at the house, the temp is 17F, at 7,100 feet . . . humidity 43% . . . just east of ABQ.) In other words, are conditions “legal” for the little bird?

gadfly

(Some time back, I asked if the little bird could be counted on to be “stable” with “hands off” . . . meaning if all avionics are “out”, and the pilot has no outside reference, none . . . can he take his hands off the controls and expect the aircraft to at least “right” itself, and be in reasonably level flight? There was no “polite” answer at the time. It seems that with such a narrow “band width” on the CG envelope, this little bird is constantly balancing on a fence, with little forgiveness with avionics not functioning, and flying blind.)

bill e. goat said...

Ex-pilot,
I know what you mean about particulates being whipped up- mostly white ones where I am right now!

Regarding everyone else in the world playing by the same rules...
U.S. -Vs- ...everyone else

I'm worried about aviation's public relations. Reduced prop tip speeds and muffled exhaust can achieve stunning noise reductions- would that all GA piston props had such simple mods for the sake of airport neighbors.

Also, for our higher flying friends (including Eclipse on longer flights):
Those Darn Jets !

I think you're right about the upper end of the market being less impacted by fuel prices than the lower end. I have to admire Eclipse's fuel efficiency though- something like the equivalent of 8 mpg on longer trips I believe. (Still, way worse than any monster SUV though- like I said, an indulgence. Figure piston drivers that get the same or worse though, and at a lot slower speeds...then again, those guys are polluting the upper atmosphere-just the mid).

One thing I might add (another “downer” I'm afraid) is the recent giddy absorption with alcohol (ah, make that media absorption:). I fear as farmers go for ethanol and bio-diesel production, there will be a far more disastrous long-term impact on the environment: the depletion of water tables. With US population growing at a staggering 1% per year (worse than any third world country), water supply in the western half of the country is going to be a problem, and I am horrified at the unsustainable depletion we are imposing on our underground aquafers).
US Population Growth 2007

And as if all THAT weren't bad enough :)
And you think the blog is unruly...

Shane Price said...

The burning question of the season is....

.... has The Great Ken returned to the blog?

'Turbine Power' shows disturbing similarities in writing style to our dear departed Archbishop of the Faithful, Ken "Two Jets" Meyer.

Anyone out there, who would care to offer some forensic opinion to back up the hunch some of us have?

Gad,

Pefect FIKI testing weather where I am as well. Interesting that Cessna have actually delivered fully certified Mustangs on this side of the pond, while your local aircraft assembly plant continues to waffle about getting the basics done in North America.

Goat,

One of the problems American car makers have here is their inablity to deliver a competitive diesel engine. They do seem to have a blind spot about Otto's simple combustion cycle, and clearly have a failure to understand that current, small capacity, high tech (1,600 psi common rail injection with turbocharging) diesels have huge impact on TOTAL emissions. After all, the smaller the capacity, the lower the volume of air combusted.

As a direct result, most have had to use 'locally' produced engines which they ship to your side of the pond, install in the car and then fling the whole thing back to us.

Mad, or what?

No, the 'problem' with 'your' diesel engines is the industry that uses them the most.

Your trucks. Those wonderful, long lasting devices which dominate commercial transport in North America.

Long lasting, but piss poor on emission control. Too much at stake in a industry that is resistant to change....

Even the English (last bastion of the true petrol heads) have seen the light and have gone the diesel route for their cars.

And I speak as the owner of both an S Class running on 'gas' and a Ford S Max running on diesel. I use the Merc when I want to waft around and the Ford when I need to drive long distances. But my next S Class (if they make one a robust as the W140) will be a diesel as well.

Shane

FlightCenter said...

Walmart is actually doing something to improve the fuel efficiency of trucking in North America. They are requiring significantly more fuel efficient trucks as part of their RFPs. The trucking industry is stepping up to provide these trucks for Walmart. After all Walmart is one of the largest purchasers of trucks in the world.

The rest of the transportation industry will benefit from Walmart's initiative.

Walmart to double truck fuel efficiency by 2015

FlightCenter said...

Unlike the E500, Walmart trucks have an APU!

"The Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) eliminates the use of the tractor's main engine for keeping our drivers warm or cool while on break. Instead, this very small diesel engine does the job at optimum efficiency. This saves a substantial amount of fuel.

Implemented Across Fleet of 6,800 Tractors by 1 May 2006.

Annual savings:

$25.5 million per year at average diesel cost $2.60 per gallon.

eliminate 100,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Eliminate 10 million gallons of diesel fuel. "

bill e. goat said...

Shane,
The popularity of large "Sport" "Utility" vehicles and 4x4 pickup trucks in the states seems to have been a way for Detroit to sell big "cars" without having to meet emmision and fuel efficiency standards.

(And boost profits by marketing them as status symbols, yesh- how stupid are you Americans! Hey wait a minute- I'm one of them! No not stupid, but American!).

Twenty years ago everyone here was laughing about how ludicrous tail fins had been decades earlier. They added what, 20 pounds, to a car, with no aerodynamic penalty. I wish our obsession with large & heavy = status was as harmless...

(I would like to thank our legislators who voted for war in the middle east and against SUV fuel efficiency standards two years ago, the same guys who spent the past 10 years claiming global warming is a "theory". Er, I digress).
-------------------------
FC,
Thanks for the Walmart story. I did a little surfing, and found an article from 2003 that said -then- Walmart was not only the largest employer in the USA, but also the largest employer in 25 states. I can only imagine it has an even more predominate role now.

(I for one am not a Wal-mart basher. Nobody makes you buy there. Objections that they drive small businesses away? Well, those businesses sell the same stuff, made in the same places, at much higher prices, and don't provide any benefits to their employees either, so good ridance of unproductive middle men. The only pause I have with that arguement is the strain put on unionized grocery stores trying to compete price-wise with Wal-mart supercenters).
------------------------
Which has what to do with aviation? Sorry- ah, viva la APU !!
:)
BTW, I toured Freightliner in Portland Or several years ago- really impressive facility. I had been puzzled why we don't see Mercedes trucks in the USA- guess what- MB owns Freightliner, but keeps the "American" name in place. (Sort of like the House of Bush and the House of Saud...)
------------------------------
One of the reasons I like this blog- weird serendipidous discoveries:
"Freightliner LLC will change its name to Daimler Trucks North America LLC on January 7, 2008".
Freightliner

airsafetyman said...

Some folks who think getting FIKI certification for the Eclipse is a slam dunk may want to rethink. Years ago Cessna certified the 303 twin for flight into known icing only to have their operators encounter very odd flight characteristics when picking up ice. Seems the culprit was a small area without boots where the horizontal stabilizer joined the vertical stabilizer. The FAA recinded icing certification while Cessna cobbled together a fix that never was entirely satisfactory. I believe that was the time Cessna modified one of their twins with spray nozzles on the trailing edges of the wings so they could deposit real ice in a controlled manner on the test aircraft flying behind.

bill e. goat said...

ASM,
Maybe Eclipse can rent that "tanker" from Cessna?
:)

airsafetyman said...

B.E.G.

Good idea, if Vern hadn't crapped in the aviation industry's nest one too many times! Anyway, Vern must always reinvent the wheel. He doubtless has engineers in some third world backwater re-inventing the spray boom as we speak.

bill e. goat said...

ASM,
Knowing Eclipse's track record, I would suspect they are trying to reinvent water too.
:)

Jim Howard said...

"I believe the only airplane with no backup instrumentation is the F-22, and it has ejection and no FAA certification requirements..."

The F-22, just like every non-Eclipse airplane flown IMC, has independent attitude information. They call them the 'standby flight group'. They are two 3 inch by 4 inch display just above the right and left MFDs. Note also that the HUD is the primary source of attitude information, with the the center PFD and the two standby indicators as backups.

The F-22 can fly IMC without generators as long the batteries last, after which the pilot has the seat of his pants and the ejection seat.

The backup indicators proved to be a good thing when the first four F-22s flying to Asia all experienced blue screens on the primary PFD and MFDs on crossing the equator.

Picture here:

http://tinyurl.com/26ebee

Minority Report said...

2007 Year in Review – Eclipse Top 10 List

10. Eclipse secured their production certificate.

9. Eclipse’s largest customer, DayJet, launched operations and took delivery of 23 aircraft. Several other air taxi companies launched Eclipse 500 aircraft operations in 2007. Several VLJ management companies announced Eclipse 500 aircraft management programs, including JetAviva.

8. Eclipse transitioned to a new training program which is allowing Eclipse owners to successfully secure their type ratings in the Eclipse. Additional training capacity is coming on line to match the increased production capacity.

7. Eclipse secured their Part 145 repair station approval and opened their first remote service center in Gainesville, FL. Eclipse is delivering outstanding customer support and fast turnaround time for aircraft needing service.

6. Eclipse 500 aircraft performance modifications have been certified. Production cut in occurred with serial #39. The performance modifications deliver on the company’s commitments for the aircraft’s performance guarantees.

5. Eclipse certified and cut into production numerous improvements to the aircraft, including the design of the pitot-static system and the windshields, resulting in substantial benefits for its customers, including RVSM and improved service maintenance requirements.

4. Eclipse has successfully certified Avio NG. Production cut in occurred on serial #105. Avio NG hardware platform is now in place and ready to support future software releases with additional functionality. Probably most importantly, Eclipse has demonstrated the ability to certify complex avionics systems. This is a unique and significant differentiator for Eclipse.

3. Eclipse has successfully raised the financing required to fund the accomplishments listed above.

2. Eclipse has delivered somewhere between 90 and 100 aircraft in the first year of production. This is the fastest production ramp for the first year of production for a new production twin turbofan aircraft, ever. Eclipse will deliver more than 20 aircraft in December, hitting their one a day targets.

1. Now that Eclipse has established a stable production platform, put the aircraft’s major design changes behind them, they can focus on ramping production, reducing costs and transitioning to profitability in 2008.

Jim Howard said...

Ken, er excuse me, "Turbine Power", you often throw out these "why don't you look in this or that unobtainable document to see the magic sauce".

Why doesn't Eclipse put this stuff out as pdf files on their web site? Or at least white paper explaining how their single integrated system provides that 'equivalent level of safety' compared to the independent systems all other airplanes use.

Black Tulip said...

ECLIPSE AVIATION ANNOUNCES ICE APPROVAL

Albuquerque, NM – December 28, 2007 – Today Eclipse Aviation announced FAA approval for Flight Including Known Ice (FIKI) for its very light jet. President Vern Raburn explained, “We’ve been working with the FAA for over a year on this. They now recognize that there frequently will be ice in the aircraft, either in the optional galley ice chest or portable coolers. We’re pleased that the Eclipse 500 is fully compliant with the FAA certification requirements.”

“This should silence the critics on this matter,” Raburn continued. “Now with FIKI behind us, our owners can expect FIKI NG in the near future. Our next generation enhancement will accommodate ice that might accumulate on the outside of the aircraft. Inside or outside – we’ll have a solution.”

Raburn concluded, “For confidential details, I ask that our owners and depositors set their secret decoder rings to position ‘Y8B’ and standby for the message.”

Copernicus said...

Eclipse aircraft on "The Controller"

The number of Eclipse listings on The Controller has dropped from 54 to 41 in recent days. (Of the 41, 7 are 1/4 or 1/2 shares so the actual airplanes or positions are 34)

In speaking with some sellers and would-be sellers, there is somewhat of a consensus (at least more so than 2-3 weeks ago):

(a) Eclipse will survive
(b) The price will be increased
(c) The increase will not fall on the 150-200 or so parties with big deposits and p/s agreements signed.
(d) The increase will take the deposit holders to a price that is still less than revised list price.

Consequent to these opinions, a few positions with 6 month deposits due have either sold or been removed by sellers. The position holders (old or new) have (can you believe it?) rushed to sign the p/s and place the deposit to avoid the assumed price increase.

Completed airplane sellers are holding back, thinking that their airplanes will be worth more post price increase.

The deposit holders position isn't much changed, except that they will face a choice of a refund or accepting a higher price. If Eclipse is smarter this time, they will make the discount from list small enough to make speculating in positions hardly worthwhile. That way the resulting order list will be from people who really want the airplanes.

Copernicus has not been able to confirm the above, but a number of people are of this view. The recent reduction in listings is supportive of the opinion.

bill e. goat said...

BT,
You're wicked!
With stunned disbelief I started reading your post, then I laughed so hard I blew soda through my nose!
:0

Turbine Power said...

Jim--doesn't your copy of the AFM answer your questions about the systems?

Shane Price said...

Minority Report said

Eclipse will deliver more than 20 aircraft in December, hitting their one a day targets.

Last time I checked, there were 31 days in December....

The Great Raburn has always maintained that when he says one (or two, or even three) a day, he means EVERY day of the week, INCLUDING holidays, weekends etc.

Do you know something special about ABQ, or is this another example of Blind Faith?

Shane

bill e. goat said...

Has the AFM covering Avio-NG already been distributed?

I haven't seen the AFM for Eclipse, but typically they have only a Reader's Digest version of architecture (but are quite adequate for their intended purpose; however it is not the same thing as a system architecture document).

Maybe some one will link us up to the latest incarnation of the AFM, or something more detailed?

Thanks.

Minority Report said...

Shane,

According to the FAA data published on this blog, Eclipse had registered 23 aircraft in December as of last Monday.

I wasn't counting holidays or weekends in my one a day calculation, but after checking the calendar, that works out to 23 aircraft in 23 days.

airtaximan said...

regarding 23 planes already in December... I must admit:

1- my predictions of deliveries grinding to a halt seem to have been off base.

2- eclipse seems to have reduced the cycle time from start to finish of a plane dramatically, which is very very impressive.

They spent a long long time getting the first few dozen planes finished, and now seem to have a system for production in place which demonstrates the ability to assemble a plane in a few weeks.

If anyone has start and finish info on a particular S/N, it would be good to know this to guage the time and cost associated with assembling a plane.

If they are at one a day or thereabouts with some consistency, what will it take to scale this? More employees, tools, etc?

Also, begs the question: why?

gadfly said...

Shane

This logic reminds me of a story of “long ago”. The Russians invited various nations to compete in a cross country auto race. Only “Ford” accepted the invitation, and entered the race.

During the race, the Russian car broke down, leaving Ford to finish.

The Russians published the results: “Russia finishes second . . . Ford finishes next to last”.

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

I was contemplating Eclipse's target of one per day, balanced against the prospect of losing money on every one for a while, and then the odd aspect of them staying in business.

It occurred to me:

THERE'S STILL A LOT OF DEPOSIT MONEY TO BE HAD !!!

Maybe that's the REAL target of "one per day": to extend the "reach" of the 60% progress payment clause.

Figure if Eclipse can say "we're going to build 500 (or 400, or 600 or whatever other fruitcake number they are forecasting for 2008 of late, let's say 500), and they only deliver (I think very optimistically) a real volume of 250, then that's an extra (500-250=250) x $1.6M x .6 (if I've got the scheme down right) = $240M or $20M/mo; enough to cover the "burn rate".

The only catch- they don't have that money left over to build the "extra" airplanes- it's already spent.

(Food for thought, please forgive me for being so suspicious:)

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,
You wit cracks me up!
---------------------
Got to get, New Year's Eve stuff travel plans- I hope everyone has a nice, safe New Year's Eve and a great 2008!
---------------------
Part(y)ing shots:

Sort of combining the 855 Days of Christmas (Avio-NG-2.0-maybe by then), and 855 Bottles of Beer on the Wall:
t.b.d. Days of Christmas

And, I think this should adequately cover my concerns about Avio-NG reliability:
Avio-NG Demo

Happy New Year everyone!
:)

airtaximan said...

Gad: funny
Bill: suspicious...THAT's funny.

- how many deposits are left? If there are (as rumored here) around 700 real orders with deposits... less the first progress call, less the recent "midnight special" - there's probably a good case for the rest of the deposits being called (around 350?) really soon. Say February, March?

Then there's the Conjet - I imagine this puppuy will require $100,000 non refundable deposits available to the company immediately. Priced right (very low) this could garner another 1,000 orders.

Seems like Eclipse will be providng entertainment for at least another year. We need to thank the depositors, really.

gadfly said...

Goat

Don’t deny it . . . you’ve been chewin’ on that can of beans, . . . again . . . I can tell because part of the label is stuck between your teeth.

Now go away, have a nice restful weekend . . . downwind! Come back refreshed, and we’ll attack this problem together, refreshed and rested up . . . Goat and fly . . . a natural combination.

gadfly

(Ah, what foods these morsels be! . . . Puck . . . Shakespeare, for those in Rio Linda)

flyger said...

Jim Howard said...

The F-22, just like every non-Eclipse airplane flown IMC, has independent attitude information.

Not really. A single software bug took out the entire system, including the supposedly "independent" backups, when the F-22 crossed the dateline on a ferry flight to Japan. It was *extremely* fortunate they were still within visual range of the tankers (for the mid Pacific refuel) which could lead them back to Hawaii. The F-22 screens were *dark*, *all* of them, from a *single fault*.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1791574/posts

"The tankers brought them back to Hawaii. This could have been real serious. It certainly could have been real serious if the weather had been bad,"

"somebody made an error in a couple lines of the code and everything goes."

If it had been IMC, and no tankers nearby, we might have lost $500M worth of airplanes and six crew due to a small software bug.

John said...

DayJet Utilization Xmas week

3 planes flew 14 hops for 11 hours in the xmas week.
139,142,148 were up.

Pensacola to Ocala had 2 flights on the 28th. The Ocala trips homebase with a short hop to Gainesville. Pensacola was also a single plane destination on the 26th - Palm Beach via Tallahassee to Pensacola and ending at Gainesville.

2 planes flew on the 26th, 1 on the 27th, and 2 on the 28th.