Thursday, February 28, 2008

Things can only get better

The blog email (eclipsecriticng@gmail.com) is beginning to hum with incoming from employees in ABQ, working huge numbers of hours and having real world concerns.

- They have been told of an upcoming FAA audit, during which they believe (rightly or wrongly) serious issues will come to light.

- The company appears to be hiring outside contractors to do the modifications to existing aircraft. Internally, staff believe that this is because no one with an A&P ticket will risk it by 'signing off' on these earlier units.

- The fourth Director level responsibility for Supplier Quality Assurance in
 12 MONTHS has departed recently.

- Chaos is a word used to describe working conditions in the plant. Ok in a sweet factory, but...

- A staff member pointed out that they did NOT complete 100 aircraft in 2007, as 23 were 'mostly complete' in 2006. Just another example of the 'BS' (his words, not mine) attitude of the company to the facts.

That's the area for the next big problem. Staff morale would appear to be on a downer. I for one can understand it. They are working all the hours they can, trying hard to ramp production and then Vern pops up to announce a new factory in Russia.
Not an example of inspired leadership....
Tell me I'm wrong, but my heart goes out to some of these guys (and girls, for all I know) who seem to love their career but have real worries about what Eclipse management are tasking them to do.



73 comments:

bill e. goat said...

AND, STILL no V.P. Engineering, after how many months???

But, rest assured, the "Godfather of Avio", who "led the development of Eclipse Aviation’s Avio Total Aircraft Integration"
is still with the company.

...as is the CEO...

Hey, if you're on a streak, why break it.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

And no VP Training and Safety, no VP Investor Relations, no VP IT/CIO.

No stability in the Quality department.

Continued key departures in Configuration Management and Manufacturing Engineering.

To Shane's question/concern about the guys and gals in ABQ I can only say vote with your feet. From my acquaintances, Eclipse is much like the two best days a boat owner knows, the day they buy the boat (accept a job at EAC) and the day they sell it (leave EAC).

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Cold and wet:

You nailed it right on the head. Working at Eclipse was like banging my head against a wall. It only started feeling better when I left the company (stopped banging my head).

airtaximan said...

also, MOST of the planes delivered in 2007 were "started" in 2006... by my count, most of them were started before October 2006...

Anyhow... a big mess.

Black Tulip said...

ECLIPSE DETAILS ADVANTAGES OF NEW WEATHER RADAR

Albuquerque, NM – February 28, 2008 – Today Eclipse Aviation provided additional details on its newly certified airborne weather radar. President Vern Raburn explained, “Many of you may have wondered why Eclipse Aviation developed a new radar with Japan Radio Company (JRC). Since airborne radar has been around since World War II, it would be easy to assume it is a commodity. Sure we could have bought a radar set from one of the existing suppliers but it would not have met our test for disruptive technology and a value proposition.”

“Few realize just how primitive existing weather radars are, and how they penalize aircraft performance. You remember from high school physics that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Few pilots realize this applies to the radar in the nose of their aircraft. During the early days of Eclipse development, we made precise measurements of the rearward force exerted by the electromagnetic radiation as it accelerated forward through the radome. Using a Honeywell radar in the Eclipse 500, we measured a three knot reduction in true airspeed when the radar was turned on.”

“The dinosaurs of industry might find this speed degradation acceptable but it is not what you have come to expect from Eclipse. With careful experimentation, we brought forth an elegant solution. First we adjusted the pulse repetition rate to synchronize with blade passing frequency of the engine fan. Then we carefully tuned to the extreme upper end of the K-band. I can’t tell you much more, but Eclipse investors will be pleased with our possession of this immensely valuable intellectual property.”

Raburn concluded, “Now I think the ship is a little faster with the weather radar on. Heck, I’d leave it on all the time if it weren’t for frying a few FBO linemen.”

JetProp Jockey said...

BT - Your parodies are getting harder and harder to determine that they are not real.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

BT:

I always knew why they put the Radar Altimeter tx antenna forward of the rx antenna (so they wouldn't pass over the RF at high speeds), but you have unveiled another great mystery of RF energy!

What a great engineering mind.

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

BT,

you are a fucking genius.

period... I said it... I used fowl language...

Man...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Fowl language would be a clucking genius - but I agree, BT's parodies are indistinguishable from reality because the truth has become so stretched back there in the 505.

Metal Guy said...

You forgot to mention the feature where it pivots all the way round and removes ice from the windshield.

Maybe this is why FIKI has taken so freekin long – they were waiting for the wx radar to get done.

bill e. goat said...

I think there are some even stranger things radiating from the front end of Eclipse upper management...

(rather similar to what is radiated from the aft end of a male bovine :)

(and, enough hot air to provide an attractive alternative to metalguy's clever suggestion:).
--------------------------
Nothing like reinventing...radar this time.

FlightCenter said...

Ok, so we have a number of theories as to why production is so slow this year.

Behind door number 1 - We are finding it a lot harder than we thought to make the transition from Avio to building aircraft with Avio NG.

Behind door number 2 - We've got a lot of our production staff working on setting up Avio NG retrofit cells in Gainesville and Albany. (And it is taking longer than we thought.)

Behind door number 3 - We've got a lot of our production staff trying to figure out how to set up a factory in Russia.

Behind door number 4 - We can't get our quality department to sign off on many of these airplanes.

Behind door number 5 - We don't have enough quality people on staff to inspect the aircraft.

Behind door number 6 - We're rolling a bunch of change orders through the system. The production folks are having some difficulty implementing the changes.

Behind door number 7 - We've moved production workers back to completing those aeromod, windshield, air data and other retrofits after putting all hands on deck in Q4 to make the production numbers.

Behind door number 8 - It seems we are experiencing high turnover on our production staff.

Behind door number 9 - We've got all hands on deck preparing for the FAA audit. It looks like we have to amend some of our procedures.... It sure takes a lot longer to get these airplanes out the door if you have to follow all these new procedures to the letter...

Behind door number 10 - The official Eclipse management view - We are having problems with some of our vendors providing the material required to maintain our production rates.

Gunner said...

Interesting aside:

Epic promised me that we'd start build on my LT in March '08, but noted that this might slip by a month or two.

I just received word last night that we're ready to start.

A novel aircraft manufacturing concept.....make a promise and keep it; make a schedule and honor it.

These guys will clearly never make it in the industry.
Gunner

Black Tulip said...

Gunner,

We're going to be nearby in Portland and Sunriver during the first week of May. Could we fly in to Bend and see your project? Maybe you could put me to work driving a few rivets.

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

BT-
I would like nothing better than for you to stop by. Don't know that I'll be out there at the time, but I will absolutely make the intros for you.

Quid Pro Quo:
I want a report back on what you see as possible improvements, choke points, weak points, etc.

I just got off the phone with Mike Hooper and Rick Schrameck I really can't tell you how refreshing it is to deal with these guys. Mike answered about a dozen questions directly and patiently.

I mentioned to Rick how many of us involved with the industry as players or pilots are pulling for them, their products and their style of business. His response was that they "try to keep our heads down, our butts up and our legs moving as quick and sure as possible".

Like I said, they'll never make it in this business. ;-)
Gunner

Turboprop_pilot said...

Gunner:

My friend Mac Lewis built his Epic in Oregon and invited many fiends to come out and help. He documented the construction on a web site and everyone enjoyed the build. With all of the talent here in the critics club, maybe you have an untapped labor and talent supply too.

Maybe even the faithful could help and Vern could make your plane even more disruptive!

Turboprop_pilot

Turboprop_pilot said...

Flightcenter:

I'll bet every door up to 10 has some reality behind it. Now if we could lead a tiger into door 10, maybe the Eclipse problems would disappear.

Turboprop_pilot

Gunner said...

TP-
Well, heck. With Shane's permission, let's start the collaboration right now. Paint schemes need to be chosen relatively early on:

PDF Choices Here

Gunner

Black Tulip said...

Gunner,

First off, have you considered anything other than Eclipse orange and gray for the trim stripes?

Bonanza Pilot said...

Gunner,
congrats on starting...that is one damn good looking plane! I like the simple paint job on N67PT, but you might consider having some dark paint by the exhaust stacks. You don't want the white there to show all the soot from the exhaust.

eclipso said...

FC said:

Behind door number 6 - We're rolling a bunch of change orders through the system. The production folks are having some difficulty implementing the changes.

Now you know, if they would just get rid of those "experienced" people, this difficulty can be overcome...just ask the Verness

ExEAC said...

Couple of facts:

Rick at Epic had to get another investor since the deal from this summer has been delayed. he has $25million coming in this Friday.

There are about 15 planes in the pipeline and wow what a difference. the quality has gone way up.

Through Epic's tough times, they managed to hang on to their employees.

EAC employees call me each week to do a little job networking. Life is not fun over there as usual.

And the final fact of the day is that EAC is still way behind in paying suppliers. All suppliers were promised that they would be paid in full by Feb 29.

RAD3 said...

Gunner

Congrats on the LT start! What an awsome aircraft you will have.

TPpilot

Is that Mac Lewis project web site still available? if so, could you post it?

ExEAC

Do you know why the Mallya funding has been held up? Could it have something to do with the closing of the Calgary Cert Center?

It's too bad that Epic was not able to certify the Dynasty buy now. If they could have profitably priced it at around $2 mil I think they would be selling a lot of them.

JetProp Jockey said...

Mac is an upgraded JetProp owner. There was a good article in AOPA a few months ago which featured his plane.

Link:

http://www.aopa.org/members/files/pilot/2007/epic0707.html

ExEAC said...

ExEAC

Do you know why the Mallya funding has been held up? Could it have something to do with the closing of the Calgary Cert Center?

I was told that Rick was sick of waiting and had airplanes to finish so he to go get the cash elsewhere. That's all I know.

bill e. goat said...

Gunner,
Congrats on the Epic- looks like a great airplane!

I favor the white/blue with red and silver stripes (pic # 2, no tail #), but the airplane is so sleek looking I don't think there could be a bad choice of paint schemes!

BricklinNG said...

European Charter

If this can be taken a face value, the Mustang is establishing a small foothold in the European charter market. Let's say this happens. Even though, per capita, the charter market will never approach US level (for reasons that Fred has made clear) there is probably some market, and if the service can be made cheaper it should attract some business. Now the question will be whether Eclipse, when (if?) it gains EASA certification, can take business away from Mustangs, or expand to a few new customers, by being just a bit cheaper still. The Mustang cabin seems much better than Eclipse to many and if the upcharge from Eclipse is not huge, then Eclipse's potential may be limited. This would be especially so if Mustangs are already in service with reliable operators.

http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/gatherings-of-mustangs-with-european-charter-firms/?no_cache=1

bill e. goat said...

Okay now...
Remember all the discussion about back-up instruments, lack thereof, in the E-500 a few months back?

I came across this video on Youtube about Aspen Avionics, who are offering a set of low cost displays.

Aspen Avionics

If I remember correctly, there was some discussion of Eclipse suing (unsuccessfully) Aspen for intellectual property rights.

Intrigue: Suppose Eclipse was originally planning on using the current Aspen system as a backup, and some bad blood developed??

(Maybe some fellow bloggers can shed some light on this? -thanks)

505_Systems_Engr said...

From today's Albuquerque Journal:

^^^
MECHANICAL ENGINEER Eclipse Aviation of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Responsibilities include developing design criteria, system descriptions, functional test procedures and development test plans; performing preliminary and final system design reviews and approve specifications and drawings; approval of qualification plans and reports for de-icing boots, de-ice manifold, windshield, throttle quadrant and ice tunnel testing for airdata probes; writing icing certification plan, windshield flight test reports, Non-Known Icing certification report, ice protection system compliance inspection, equipment qualification plans and reports; coordinating ice shape analysis, ice shape building and flight testing; coordinating natural icing flight testing; working with Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Administration to ensure compliance with governmental requirements for natural icing are met; trouble shooting problems with de-ice system, windshield and airdata; disposition of non-conformances; supplier design, program management and coordination with manufacturing and flight test in relation to aircraft ice protection systems. Minimum requirements is an Associates degree in Mechanical or Industrial Engineering Technology, plus three years working on mechanical systems. Please send resumes to Bonnie Hennessy, Director, Recruiting & Retention, Eclipse Aviation, 2503 Clark Carr Loop SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106.

^^^

I don't know anything about deicing design, but one could infer from this job posting that FIKI design has not started.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

B.E.G.,

The attitude at Eclipse has always been that multiple failures can't happen to HAL therefore standby's are not necessary. Tell that to the guys on Apollo 13.

The Aspen suit sure appears to have been nothing more than a petty attempt at an IP grab to take good ideas from some clever former employees. Given that Eclipse essentially lost that one it would seem the judge/arbitrator agreed.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

505_SE,

If I had to bet, I would put money on the fact that Eclipse was working through a 3rd party and is not satisfied with the results or schedule.

Otherwise somebody, like an engineer working on the de-ice, probably just got tossed under the bus - clump clump.

airsafetyman said...

You would have thought an engineer with these qualifications would have been hired EIGHT YEARS ago?

Gunner said...

ASM-
One probably was. Since then a number of others probably were.

It's tough getting good help these days. Just ask Vern. ;-)
Gunner

ExEAC said...

They did hire a guy(s) like that 8 years ago, but Eclipse is a not a fun place to work so they left/got fired...biz as usual.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Re: Aspen Avionics
There never had been (as of 2004, my start there) any mention of standby instruments on the E500. I know two of the founders of Aspen, they worked at Eclipse and both left at the same time, with the start of the latest Director of Avionics. Their work at Eclipse was not related to their offerings, hence the lawsuit. It is good to know they won and Eclipse lost. The courts here make such a mockery of the term justice.

Black Dog said...

airsafetyman said...
You would have thought an engineer with these qualifications would have been hired EIGHT YEARS ago?

Could they not get someone from Ford?
My Fords great its got rear and front electric windows and it can heat warm air to pass into the cabin!

And Vern did say the boys with aircraft backgrounds had no idea!

BricklinNG said...

Anyone have any idea what this will be?

Mar 03, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- GD | news | PowerRating | PR Charts -- Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, takes great pleasure in inviting you to witness, along with many of our employees, suppliers, customers and other invited guests, a major announcement which will have far-reaching effects on both the future of Gulfstream and the future of the business-aviation industry.

The event will take place in the new manufacturing building at the Savannah location.

DATE: Thursday, March 13, 2008

gadfly said...

This entire story is about “People” . . . the “product” is secondary!

A baby smiles . . . and you smile back. That baby begins to crawl, and you enter into the excitement of its first attempt, even though it fails the first few dozen times. That baby tries to walk . . . falls down a score of times, but you give it encouragement. And so on . . . ! You stay in the background, and let the baby get the credit for success.

A designer is given a task . . . and he fails. But you give him encouragement, and don’t punish him for his failures. He learns . . . and comes to realize that you want him to succeed, even though he’ll do it different than you would . . . or could. And even if he fails now and then, he’ll still have a job, and his income is secure. You want that employee to succeed, not just for “you”, but for his own self esteem, his own well-being, the well-being of his family . . . his wife, his kids . . . their future.

Soon . . . maybe one in ten, will be a great success. That’s the price you pay as an employer, a successful businessman. The other nine are still secure, and come to support your “one-in-ten genius”. None of the ten will do it like you would do it, but that’s OK . . . you have built a team, an “organism” if you will, that will support you when you can no longer be the “everything” to “everybody”. And people, . . . the “customers”, will realize that your company will support them through thick and thin. And they’ll come back, over and over, because they know you encourage “others” to get the credit for success. Sure, the “smart ones” will know you’re the “brains”, the “guiding force” behind it all, but the general customers will only know the company name, and the reliability of the product sold and serviced “by that name”.

And never, never lie . . . ever! ‘Just once, and the game is over!

On at least two counts, the “game in question” was over before it began!

gadfly

(Anyone with enough money can come up with an “organization”, but it takes true “genius” to form an “organism”, a thing that is almost “alive”, and continues to exist after its founder is gone. And if you miss the “people” part, you don’t have the “product”. Period!

And one other little item . . . these things don’t happen overnight . . . ‘like the “dinosaurs”, they take time to mature.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

bricklinng,

I believe Brand G will be announcing their first new clean sheet design in what, 30 years.

Kudo's to them, I am eager to see what they have come up with.

ExEAC said...

EAC Supplier conference is scheduled for Wednesday. I'll have to dig and give a full report on the load of crap that will come from this.

expilot said...

Gunner, Standard-classy,easy to maintain,and inexpensive.

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
I'm glad Eclipse lost it's lame-o suit against Aspen. Kind of funny to think how many times the Eclipse party line spouts "revolutionary" and "disruptive", then they file suit against someone who really is making progress along those lines.
----------------------------
505SE,
Seems to me I remember Eclipse having a PR about icing a year or two ago, I guess they're working on de-ice-NG now.

Reinventing...deice boots this time.

In searching for the PR (which I never did find), I came across a couple of other interesting articles. I almost busted out laughing:

"Raburn offered nothing more on training or instrumentation because it would violate one of the company's three commitments to people interested in the airplane.

"We're painfully aware of the less than stellar record of startup aviation companies," Raburn says. To combat this, Eclipse makes three commitments to people:

"First, whether good or bad, to always provide the truth.

"Second, to only discuss items when the company has something to discuss. Eclipse will not make announcements about announcements, Raburn says, giving the example that they had been working on the airplane for more than two years before announcing it last month.

"Third, that people will hear about the company on a regular basis. "Sometimes building a new aircraft can be like watching grass grow, but we'll keep you in the loop," Raburn says".
Eclipse: GA's New Generation

This is a nice write up too:
July 2005 Biz & Comm. Aviation
----------------------------
Gunner,
"It's tough getting good help these days. Just ask Vern".

(I think the Eclipse Bored of misDirectors would agree with you too !!)
----------------------------
AAE,
Thanks.

By the way, on the Eclipse web site, Don Burtis is still credited as being the brains behind Avio- what's the deal with that?

(He doesn't seem to be wearing a donkey hat in the photo).
----------------------------
Black Dog,
Your automotive-think on icing is entirely...DISTRUPTIVE!!!
----------------------------
Bricklinng,
Gulfstream is either:

1)Buying Eclipse
2)Going Supersonic
3)License building the Moller flying car

(I'd say, door number 2. Or door number 3. Or 2 and 3: building a supersonic version of the Moller. I think they'd rank those as less risky than number 1).

By the way, try FIFTY years since a clean-sheet design at the house of Gulfstream; you'd be surprised how many parts on a G-550 have a pedigree from the "space-age".

...Maybe they bought the “Galaxy” program (a.k.a. G-200) for nostagia reasons :)
Wiki pedia: G-1 flies Aug 14, 1958
----------------------------
Gadfly,
"these things don’t happen overnight...like the 'dinosaurs', they take time to mature".

I'd say Eclipse is becoming down-right Dinosaur-ish !!!

expilot said...

I would hate to be Bonnie at Eclipse, in charge of employee recruitment and retention. I wondered how real the Vern like publicity hound from India is. The grandiose airline growth plans,a business plan from the publicity department? He should be financing Eclipse,they would be a great fit. Hopefully Epic makes it. What a concept, they build what they promise. I hope the Calgary situation doesn't damage them. What happened there? I had discussions with Epic last fall and as far as I know they treated me well without any checks as to the issue of me being a real customer. They seem to be hardworking honest people chasing the dream. Gad-100% correct almost any idiot can borrow the money and buy equipment,enough money to go BK. Someone that can build an "organism", now that's someone special!

agroth said...

“Intrigue: Suppose Eclipse was originally planning on using the current Aspen system as a backup, and some bad blood developed??

(Maybe some fellow bloggers can shed some light on this? -thanks)”

Mr. Goat,

FWIW, I believe the lawsuit of Eclipse vs. Aspen was over the AT300 Hazard Awareness Display. I don’t believe the Evolution Flight Display was announced (publicly anyway) until AirVenture 2007, close to a year after the lawsuit was filed IIRC.

Andy

airsafetyman said...

"By the way, try FIFTY years since a clean-sheet design at the house of Gulfstream..."

The Gulfstream I turboprop is still an elegant airplane. Imagine a follow-on with newer turbo-prop engines. It would make sense in this era of $4.00 a gallon jet fuel!

Gunner said...

expilot-
I can't speak publicly on the ramifications of Calgary to Epic. Not because I've been sworn to secrecy, but because I haven't confirmed what I've been told by others.

Suffice it to say that Canada is a large nation and the people at Epic don't seem to be too concerned.
Gunner

bill e. goat said...

Agroth,
Thanks for the insight on the AT300- the fact such features are presumably built in to the Avio displays makes the stand-alone AT300 seem like an unrelated (and non-competitive) product to Avio, and the Eclipse suit seem even more frivolous.
---------------------------
ASM,
I agree on the G-I.
Funny you mention updating it with new engines- I was surfing around a few weeks ago, and came across several references to “open rotor” engines- I had never heard that term before- to me it sounds like: turboprop. (“Ultra High Bypass” and “Unducted Fan” were the buzz word terminology from circa 1990, looks like “open rotor” is the new acronym of choice).

Open Rotor

sparky said...

Guys,

for the Gulfstream announcement, think big. G-600. larger, wide body aircraft. Somewhere between a Global and a 737.

Gulfstream isn't interested in the smaller aircraft, their whole train of thought is "if I can't charge at least 30+ million, it's not worth designing."

bill e. goat said...

Thanks Sparky.

I'm sure your'e news is correct, but I'm disappointed that it seems so, ah, nondisruptive. (Guess we've been jaded by Eclipse :)

(Maybe it will come with a supersonic Moller sky car as an option?)

bill e. goat said...

A further reflection upon Sparky's news:
Cessna is going up-market with their Large Cabin Concept (Columbus), nibbling away at the bottom end of Gulfstream.

So, Gulfstream goes up-market with their G-600, nibbling away at the bottom end of the BBJ line.

It sure seems like Eclipse should have gone up-market too, maybe to nibble away at the bottom end of the Citation/Mustang line, rather than down-market with the ConJet.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

BEG and Sparky,

Could be that Gulfstream will be the OEM for Aerion's SSBJ project, Aerion has $2B in commitments for the jet and always intended to essentially offer the design to an established OEM and Gulfstream was hot and heavy with OKB Sukhoi a few years back on a different SSBJ concept - but I think it will be announcing a clean sheet plane.

FWIW, I love the old G1 - super cool machine - I'd like to have one in my stable, along with a Sabreliner or a G2.

sparky said...

I'll try to find the link to the research that Gulfstream was doing with NASA.

It's an extending nose "spike" looks un-weildy. It's a nose spike that extends about 25 feet in front of the aircraft that breaks up the sonic boom in the low-mach range. Could offer super-sonic trans-continental travel if it works. haven't heard much lately.

Gunner, let me know if you need/want any help with the avionics. I've got some vacation time owed and would be happy to lend a hand.

wouldn't be a bad way to get everyone together. I can't think of a better way to close out a critics meeting than with the launch of a fully functional aircraft.

Gunner said...

Sparky said:
"I can't think of a better way to close out a critics meeting than with the launch of a fully functional aircraft."

That WOULD be pretty damned cool. A Critics Christening Party of a functioning Epic LT Experimental to commemorate what Vern might have accomplished.

As to the offers of work help there are several Members of the ownership LP and I honestly don't expect to be on site as often as I'd prefer. Bend is a whole long way from S. FL. But I have enormous respect for the players here and I believe a collaboration would be nothing short of extraordinary.
Gunner

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse 500 aircraft deliveries came to a halt last week.

The FAA data for the last week shows no Eclipse 500 aircraft deliveries.

Eclipse has delivered 19 Eclipse 500 aircraft so far this year.

This is less than half the planned deliveries of 20 per month for Q1.

Production rates will have to triple in the next thirty days to hit the current business plan target of producing one aircraft per day in April.

It has been almost 3 months since the FAA registration database recorded the issuance of new CofA for an Eclipse 500 aircraft.

The last Eclipse 500 aircraft with a CofA listed is serial #95 (N317DJ). The date of that CofA is 12/9/2007.

There are no CofAs listed in the FAA registration database for any aircraft with a serial # of 96 or higher.

Tailwind said...

Gunner's comments about having a good group of people work on his experimental remind me of a conversation i had one time with a CEO of a fairly large company based in California. This person was giving me an overview of the company, pointing out that the manufacturing and warehousing facilities were located in (IIRC) Oklahoma. I asked why Oklahoma? the CEO's response was "the people in that region of the country actually get up in the morning and go to work. Something that is hard to find in CA. We tried it here and it just didn't work."

BTW- I am extremely disappointed with the French tanker decision.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Thanks 505 Syt Eng for posting the job opening at Partialeclipse. That really cracked me up.

It basically says, "we have have finally worked out that the half-arsed approach isn't showing results, so lets see if one of about two dozen people on the planet who are real experts at this stuff will parachute in and save the day."

If this had com from Black Tulip I would have guessed it was another piece of excellent wit.

Best was how they close off with minimum requirements, a degree in industrial engineering technology plus three working on mechanical systems. Nearly wet myself. An icing certification expert who could solve their problems is interchangeable with a graduate who spent three years designing conveyors for a canning line. I guess they haven't embraced reality after all.

I'm still diffused.

agroth said...

“Agroth,
Thanks for the insight on the AT300- the fact such features are presumably built in to the Avio displays makes the stand-alone AT300 seem like an unrelated (and non-competitive) product to Avio, and the Eclipse suit seem even more frivolous.”

bill e. goat,

I agree. On the surface anyway, it doesn’t seem that Aspen posed any kind of business threat to Eclipse. Even if they had, it appears that Eclipse overstepped their bounds here.

Andy

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Flight center thanks for keeping things honest with the FAA DB searches.

It is critical that Eclipse gets production moved to Russia as soon as possible. I bet the Russian CAA doesn't make production records public!

agroth said...

“Could be that Gulfstream will be the OEM for Aerion's SSBJ project, Aerion has $2B in commitments for the jet and always intended to essentially offer the design to an established OEM and Gulfstream was hot and heavy with OKB Sukhoi a few years back on a different SSBJ concept - but I think it will be announcing a clean sheet plane.”

CWMOR,

I was thinking the same thing in a response last night on VLJPlanet:

------------------------------
Copernicus,

I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming that the announcement will be about Gulfstream's long-rumored “Global Express Killer.” The information I’ve come across on the internet over the last year or so is that Gulfstream will produce a clean-sheet 7,000 NM jet with a cabin significantly wider than present Gulfstreams (and wider than the GLEX).

Really letting my imagination run, I’d love to see them officially launch a supersonic airframe (maybe with SAI or Aerion).
---------------------------------

Maybe they will announce both projects (Super-size Gulfstream and Supersonic Gulfstream). What made me think that the announcement might involve a supersonic airframe is the language of the press-release: “…a major announcement which will have far-reaching effects on both the future of Gulfstream and the future of the business-aviation industry.”

While a 7,000 NM supersize Gulfstream would be great, I don’t think it would have “far-reaching effects on…the future of the business-aviation industry” like a supersonic Gulfstream would.

Andy

Black Tulip said...

CWM said,

"I love the old G1 - super cool machine."

Right on... nothing like the high-pitched scream of those Rolls Royce Darts to bring everyone to attention. The last one in this area was a flight test aircraft operated by MIT, now long gone.

The Orion, Hercules, Mitsubishi and Commander don't sound quite the same.

Black Tulip said...

FlightCenter said,

"Eclipse 500 aircraft deliveries came to a halt last week."

Maybe Eclipse has decided scarcity is the answer. Stop buiding them and watch the value of the surviving examples..

skyrocket?

or

plunge?

airsafetyman said...

The ramp presence of the G I is in part due to the long landing gear legs needed for prop clearance. The G II borrowed those long gear legs and the ramp presence. The Global Express, although a fine machine, looks like an ant-eater crawling along the taxiway in comparison. I would guess, though, the Global Express "wide-body" cabin is more comfortable on long trips; I look for the new Gulfstream to be a little bit wider and a little bit longer than the Global Express.

WhyTech said...

Coldwet said:

"FWIW, I love the old G1 - super cool machine - I'd like to have one in my stable,"

Agree! And IIRC, a recent Controller listing had a G1 for sale at substantially less than the purchase price of a new Eclips. Eat you alive to run/maintain however.

WT

Gunner said...

Whytech-
What a croc!

Gunner

[fine print: In some financial circles a "croc" is short for "crocodile".....that one investment that will absolutely eat you alive!]

;-)

gadfly said...

For your evening entertainment:

Since the Albuquerque skies have not been darkened recently by aluminum birds, and a little humor might be in order, I did some searching on the internet to see if our friends are still alive, and came across a report that included some quotes of Vern Raburn during a visit with the Russians:

http://ibtimes.com/articles/20080222/eclipse-ceo-russian-plant-on-track_all.htm

"He was just grinning like a Cheshire cat when he got out of the airplane," Raburn said.
That, of course, led me to see just why a “Cheshire cat” should grin. And since one of my classmates in highschool was the girl (Kathryn Beaumont) that played the part of Alice, in “Alice in Wonderland” (Disney . . . both voice and model), and who spoke to the Cheshire cat, I found the following notes about “said Cat”:

The Cheshire Cat is a fictional cat appearing in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland . . . it appears and disappears at will, engaging Alice in amusing but sometimes vexing conversation. . . . It does, however, appear to cheer her up when it turns up suddenly at the Queen of Hearts' croquet field, and when sentenced to death baffles everyone by making its body disappear, but its head remains visible, sparking a massive argument between the executioner and the King and Queen of Hearts about whether or not something that does not have a body can indeed be beheaded. . . . the cat disappears gradually until nothing is left but its grin, prompting Alice to remark that she has often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat. . . . performing its vanishing act.
So, what should we conclude by Vern’s observation?:
The Russians know something that he does not? He is about to lose his head?
All this is a great mystery. . . .
Nevertheless, Raburn said he thinks the business climate in Russia is "spectacular.”

gadfly

(Personally, I’d opt for “safe”! . . . and never trust a cat, with or without a smile.)

The Real Frank Castle said...

So, is Flightcenter still doing the delivery report ?

Where have all the little planes gone ?

I am still waiting for one to auger in, praying for the safety of passengers and crew.

If the FAA shuts them down, will they still build in Euro ?

Anybody asked Bill "Daddy Warbucks" Richardson how his favorite aircraft company is doing ?

The Real Frank Castle said...

OK, all I had to do was read, and not scan.....

Wonder how many victims, er, position holders are watching all this, wondering if they'll ever see that money again ?

HA !

Hey Gunner, while you're waiting, go see my bros at Cessna in Bend. Fly one of the 350's or 400's, and tell me if the name on the sticker makes any difference in flight.

Good to see ya'll, but hey, now, watch that language.

Frank

airtaximan said...

I've asked, before... so I'll ask again..

FC...

would you say production is "grinding to a halt"...

as predicted by "someone" a few months ago, while others with their own stake (deposit money) on the line were siging the praises of the new 1 a day production rate...

these guys are very transparent - I guess some folks just have trouble seeing the forest while trying to see through all the money they have blown.

Amazing - just amazing.

Gunner said...

ATM-
If the recent slowdown in ramp-up continues, my bet is I'll be flying an LT before Ken fires up his Eclipse for the first Solo. I think I put my order in Sept 2007.

Then again, if the 10 year track record of this company continues, man may well colonize Saturn before Ken gets his keys.
Gunner

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

They say the Sun will burn out in about 4.5 billion years.

Too bad, I guess they'll have to finish AfriKen's plane in the dark.

Tom Mosher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.