Friday, April 4, 2008

It's not Friday the 13th, is it?

Contents of the email notice sent to E500 owners.

Thanks to several owners who contacted me to share this. I was preparing a posting from pilots and owners, but thought this was more important. Please note I've edited out only the reference to the conference call that took place earlier today, simply to shorten it a bit.


Subject: Eclipse Aviation Updates Avio NG with Dual Garmin® GPS 400W Units

Dear Mr.,

We began 2008 - our tenth year - with the news that we had made history by becoming the fastest general aviation jet aircraft manufacturer to produce its first 100 airplanes. This achievement was quickly followed by the expansion of our partnership with ETIRC Aviation to extend the global reach and impact of the Eclipse 500®. Since that time, we have received certifications for two Level D Full Motion simulators and our Part 142 pilot training program. We also celebrated the opening of the Eclipse Service Center at the Albany International Airport in New York.

We've had a busy first quarter building 55 airplanes – that's 54% of last year's total production in 25% of the time. The rest of 2008 is shaping up to be equally exciting. I'd like to share a major item we are currently finishing development on for you.

Avio NG Integrated with Garmin GPS Technology

This summer, we will update Avio NG Total Aircraft Integration™ to include dual Garmin® GPS 400W units. Once integrated with Avio NG, the Garmin units will enable us to deliver updated Avio NG capabilities this summer, with all of the functionality commitments we've made to you available by the end of this year.

The GPS 400W units provide enroute and terminal GPS navigational guidance with autopilot coupling and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capabilities for Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) approaches. The units also offer integrated navigational source selection and flight path overlay integrated on Avio NG's navigational displays.

The GPS 400W units enable delivery of Flight Management System (FMS) functionality, when they are combined with the Eclipse 500's integrated performance computer, weight and balance tools, and moving map features. These integrated functions provide the navigational capability for private and commercial operations worldwide.

We expect FAA-certification of the new Avio NG configuration this summer. This certification will occur as an amendment to the Eclipse 500 type certificate. Aircraft with the integrated GPS 400W units will be delivered shortly after certification is received. At our own expense, Eclipse will retrofit every in-service Eclipse 500 with the dual GPS 400W units during Avio NG retrofits already scheduled or planned. Customers with Avio NG-equipped aircraft will receive the GPS 400W retrofits, as well, and at no cost.

Integration of the Garmin GPS 400W units is a low technical risk. Similar installations on European customer aircraft have been successful, and an Eclipse 500 flight test aircraft outfitted with the Garmin GPS 400W units is currently undergoing in-flight developmental testing for certification purposes.

The pilot and co-pilot keyboards (if installed), were originally designed as a secondary input method for future FMS functionality. Installation of the GPS 400W units now eliminates the need for keyboards, allowing the GPS 400W units to be located below the Primary Flight Displays (PFD). Avio NG will also no longer include remote-mounted GPS units. The dual COM/NAV/GPS antennas will be replaced and upgraded with Beta 3 capability, enabling future operational capabilities for NextGen technologies. It is important to note that for those of you with Garmin GNS 430 and GNS 530 series experience, the GPS 400W has 100 percent of the FMS capabilities of a GNS430/530 but without the radio and navigational functions (already installed with Avio NG).

Future functionality including electronic checklists linked to crew alert messages, XM weather integration on Avio NG's digital moving map, enhanced performance management, and more will be provided as future software updates. The file attached to this e-mail includes an image of the Eclipse 500 flight deck with the GPS 400W units and a schedule outlining when the additional Avio NG functionality will be released.

Eclipse will retrofit all in-service customer aircraft with the GPS 400W configuration at no charge to affected customers. The plan to accommodate the various retrofit configurations is well underway. We are adding additional capacity to our service center network to accelerate the retrofit process. A detailed schedule outlining our plan for upgrading all of the various configurations of aircraft will be published by June 1, 2008.

The inclusion of dual Garmin GPS 400W units into Avio NG now represents the final and permanent Avio NG configuration for the Eclipse 500. We will no longer pursue our own custom FMS solution. The GPS 400W represents a low technical risk solution that enables expeditious delivery of essential functionality to your aircraft. We are extremely excited about our expanded partnership with Garmin, the leading GPS provider in the world, and we are proud that they now perform an integral role on the Eclipse 500.

Optional Equipment Change

We've received many requests to combine two of our optional equipment packages. Beginning immediately upon certification of the new Avio NG configuration, Eclipse will combine the Part 135 and co-pilot packages and offer them as one Commercial Operations Package.

The combined package will include:

A third independent Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) system;
40 cubic-foot oxygen tank to replace the standard 22 cubic-foot tank;
A co-pilot quick-don oxygen mask;
Second handheld microphone;
Three AC power outlets; and
Passenger briefing cards.
The Commercial Operations Package will be offered at $29,995 USD and weigh approximately 17.3 pounds. Retrofits of the new package into existing customer aircraft containing the previous Part 135 and/or co-pilot package will also be available.

Conference call details deleted from here by Shane

We are committed to delivering your aircraft with the functionality and capability that we have promised. Integrating the GPS 400W devices is just one of the ways we remain committed to our vision of providing you with the best in performance, innovation, and value.

Sincerely,

Vern Raburn
President and CEO

121 comments:

Shane Price said...

Baron 95,

You're right about the G1000. At least three people from a pilot/owner background have told me they would prefer an 'all Garmin' cockpit over the COTS approach, now that AvioNG is offically 'under the bus'.

As several pilots (and owners) have contacted me over the past few months, I was working up a post from their perspective. Then I was pointed in the G400W direction and did that thread with supplier and staff input.

Now Vern hits the owners with 'AvioNG, but not as we knew it' and the inbox fills up in no time. The blog email is so busy, I'm thinking of hiring staff to deal with the workload....

Joke.

Anyway, I'm getting so much quality input I'm not sure where to 'go' next. I feel it's time to share the owner/pilot side of things, but Vern seems determined to keep putting the company in my sights.

A few days and things will become clear.

Shane

Black Tulip said...

"The GPS 400W units enable delivery of Flight Management System (FMS) functionality..."

Without the ability to enter Victor or Jet airways? Hardly FMS functionality. Does the Eclipse purchase agreement define FMS?

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Does the Eclipse purchase agreement define FMS?

No it redefines FMS, like everything else.

Afterburner said...

Yes, the V-Jet continues to get farther behind in features and capabilities when compared to a G1000-equipped Mustang, or DA40 or172 for that matter. Crystal ball says to expect a big announcement next week at Sun-n-Fun regarding new G1000 capabilities, something else that VernNg has no path to incorporate.

If/when AvioNNg after gets completed, it will be light years behind the competition.

burner

Black Tulip said...
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Black Tulip said...

Quoted from the current edition of NASA Callback:

Distraction By Glass Cockpit Programming

Modern digital avionics systems have unique operating techniques and unique functionalities. An unintended consequence of this complexity is that it may create “what’s it doing now, what’s it going to do next” scenarios for unwary pilots, such as this flight instructor and student.

My student and I were flying an Eclipse jet doing practice approaches. We were holding over the VOR and commenced the Runway 33 approach with the goal of doing a circle approach to a missed approach. Inbound towards the VOR, the student was trying to input the minimum descent altitude via the FMS keyboard. He had inputted it correctly so that the aural warning would announce, ‘Approaching minimums’ and ‘Minimums,’ but was trying to set the MDA into the altitude select window so the autopilot would level off at the inputted MDA. The current avionics suite in the EA50 has a feature that when the navigation page is selected, it returns to the communication page after 30 seconds automatically.

After the student realized he did not ‘drive’ the MDA up to the altitude pre-select, he pushed the concentric knob which would normally drive the minimum altitude to the altitude pre-select window, but at this time the navigation page had returned to the communication page. This caused the communication frequencies to switch over, which made our standby frequency active and we did not catch this. After level-off at MDA, we heard radio chatter but something didn’t seem right and we then changed the frequencies appropriately.

At this time Tower called and said they tried calling us. We apologized, completed the approach and left the airspace. We were given a number to contact Tower.

Upon landing we contacted Tower and he advised us of the impending situation that could have occurred. We told him what happened and he said this was not the first time this happened with the avionics in the Eclipse jet in regards to communication.

What we learned from this was to ALWAYS verify the transmission frequency as part of the scan because of this 30-second change of [pages] that is standard on the current avionics suite, and be VERY aware of our frequency after the minimum altitudes are selected and driven to the altitude select window.

MetalGuy said...

The inclusion of dual Garmin GPS 400W units into Avio NG now represents the final and permanent Avio NG configuration for the Eclipse 500

Wow - this is actually somewhat surprising – this means that they have completely thrown in the towel on the avionics side. It looks like they are just going to draw the line at the bare minimum required to meet the contract terms and call it a day. (Probably makes a lot of sense given how FUBAR everything is.)

Future functionality including electronic checklists linked to crew alert messages, XM weather integration on Avio NG's digital moving map, enhanced performance management, and more will be provided as future software updates.

If they can’t even integrate an existing, certified FMS, what are the odds that this will all go as planned? Not high in my opinion. Perhaps they should stop touting new features.

I assume that even basic 430 integrated functions like auto-tuning of frequencies and automatic GPS to ILS transitions are not supported with this 400 configuration, given that the FMS and NAV/COM systems are not integrated at all.

10 years and this is what they come up with. Simply brilliant.

Good job Vern!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Afterburner, the thing Eclipse did which will likely preclude a switch to G1000 was to integrate everything in the AvioNG. If you change it, you have the recertify just about everything, starting with the engine installations and probably even backing up into the FAR33 engine certification.

Baron95, You are correct that we critics sometimes get emotional, but I guess we don't like an idiot barging in offending this industry and all it stands for, as dinosaurs, while at the same time pulling political strings to get a half-arsed execution certified in a half-baked state.

Those of us who have worked out entire adult lives in this industry are offended by the whole Eclipse debacle.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Note in the Vernagram second paragraph, it is stated that Eclipse was busy building 55 airplanes, comparing this with the total production of 2007. This guy is a master of weasel words. How many of the 55 they were building in Q1 got finished (none) or delivered (FC?)

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Although the owners and Eclipse are complaining about the requirement for a ATP level training course, this bit has had a positive effect. There have been not fatal accidents in the EA 500 fleet yet.

fred said...

freedom ...

you missed this one :

Integration of the Garmin GPS 400W units is a low technical risk. Similar installations on European customer aircraft have been successful"

ask yourself " who is that client ????"

an other lie !!!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Fred, you are right. Loose relationship with the truth.

The only "European client aircraft" must be operating under the N register, or a Register outside the EU, although it is not impossible that one of the member states has made an error and issued a CofA. Standardisation to the EASA system will take time.

It is true that the installation for G400's is low technical risk. A bit late for that revelation though.

fred said...

freedom ...

yes , about EASA regulation ...

it could be UK , quite common in Euroland to call UK the 50th something star of US flag ... :-))

may be that client is the danish guy who won the auction ?? (an other lie ! in my opinion !)

i see that , i said it long time ago , as this : "Europ , the land far away known for its curious customs , the land not many US citizens have any clue about ..."

which is exactly the same for Russia ...

but to the risk of discontenting baron and some others :

low tech , what would be left on E500 which was not depicted as low-tech , not so long ago by the tennants of the Vernastic ??

probably not a lot , if any !

so we are back to the crucial point = to survive they have to sale e500 for much more than forecasted , with much less than promised , and finally nothing really "disrup

WhyTech said...

"10 years and this is what they come up with. Simply brilliant."

Yes, and even a C172 is available with a more capable, integrated avionics suite. Brilliant indeed!

WT

Turboprop_pilot said...

FJT said: "Although the owners and Eclipse are complaining about the requirement for a ATP level training course, this bit has had a positive effect. There have been not fatal accidents in the EA 500 fleet yet."

There may be bigger factors in the low accident rate:

Inability to fly in clouds, without FIKI

Such limited Nav capability, that it is nearly useless for IFR (oh yeah, that FIKI thing too)

Nice new Pratts that are really reliable

Hardly any hours because of all the IOUs and above problems

And, to give them credit, a nice, easy to fly basic airplane.

airtaximan said...

"Eclipse price has gonne up by 10% while projected production rates have gone down by 33%."

Baron, I am just asking questions to try to tie your thinking together... no offense, I think you are a great logical guy. I just can't seem to fit the pieces together on this volume/price/value thing.

Your words above - do you really believe this is the adjustment? Does this make any sense considering the price of the plane (forward priced based on 500-750 units a year was $1.25 million or so? OK, plus CP! and CPthat, less 6% interst per month we are late, plus the free retofits and fixes, and... yadayadayda....

Anyhow, I am talking about fantasy vs reality. How much will the plane need to be sold for, in order for eclipse to make money at conventional rates? I think the cost will be in line (or greater) than the mustang all things considered. 11 years of developement cost burden, bad faith with suppliers and guarantees to be paid for missed volume... snafus, extrvagancies in marketing and hype... etc...

I would say the price (really) is so high there is no real demand beyond perhaps 100 units a year or so. And at those rates, the cost is very high. I am sure the supply chain curve used conventional (Mustang like) pricing for normal prodction rates.

Just my 2 cents

Turboprop_pilot said...

Business & Commercial Aviation article in the April issue:
“Gulfstream unveils the G650”

Clean sheet design from the most experienced business aircraft designer:

Electronic circuit breakers for NONESSENTIAL loads (saving 300 pounds)- only a software loser would put essential loads there too.

They bought systems from proven vendors (who are still not under the bus), rather than having the hubris to think they could do them themselves.

Adhesive bonding will eliminate 6 of every 10 mechanical fasteners. No FSW- how could they not follow the leadership of Vern?

Interesting article that shows how dinosaurs keep moving the state of the art forward without spewing insults all over an industry.

Turboprop_pilot

fred said...

airtaxi ...

i'll bet your 2 cents for a $ ...!

when most will wake-up , they will have to work out this :

buy something with a low quality/service/promise/price ratio

for a price not so far from an other one more standart , but from a firm that will be there tomorrow , and the day after , and the day after , and the day after , etc ...

in other word : do they want to be cheap joe , or to afford their dreams ?

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

As I recall, the man was just about old enough to have heard Lincoln’s second inaugural speech . . . but that’s not why we remember him. When “Bob” stopped in for a visit, we had a policy that all activity in the shop would stop, and we would give the man our complete and undivided attention.

You see, he could cram thirty . . . maybe forty words into a half hour without workin’ up a sweat, but in an hour’s time, we’d have better than a semester’s education at any major university.

Most folks that have flown on a commercial airliner have seen his work . . . a simple little hunk of plastic carried around by a stewardess, to open a can or bottle of “pop” . . . and many folks have that same little device in their kitchen.

Technology? . . . the man didn’t understand the word . . . ‘didn’t trust it, but he could make a “plastic injection mold” . . . did it the hard way, simple, and precise.

‘Reminds me of all this discussion of the “dinosaurs” . . . using proven techniques, yet applying modern “technology” whenever it complements all that’s gone before.

Bob Hughes (that was the man’s name) simply used proven technology to produce a simple tool that continues to do the job. I like that! It represents our own philosophy of design and invention . . . make the device “invisible” to the user, so he can do his work without even thinking of the tool in his hand.

Bob is gone now . . . his simple tool lives on . . . and the “dinosaur” technology lives on in the sense that we paid close attention to the lessons that he learned and shared, and build on that base, using the best of the past, while taking advantage of the “new”.

gadfly

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

"Eclipse price has gonne up by 10% while projected production rates have gone down by 33%."

Hi AT, I'm sorry - that was of course a typo. Eclipse prices have gone up by some 100% give or take, not 10%.

As to your question... is it possible that the EA50 can be sold for less money than the C510...

I think that post BK and merged with an existing aerospace company, yes it can.

You have to consider that Cessna is not a low cost mannufacturer, the Mustang's engines prob cost $50K more, the Mustang has 40% more material (by weight) then the Eclipse, and all that material needs to be put together by assembly workers. On the flip side, I have to believe that the Eclipse avionics mess is more expensive than the Mustang's. That probably gets off-set by the tax incentives that Eclipse got from NM and the fact that they are sourcing aiframe subassemblies from overseas..

So, all in all, I believe that Eclipse can be priced some 30% lower than the Mustang with the same gross margins and 40% lower if you want to be more agressive on volumes and market share. Now, I have no pricing inside, it is just an outsider's guess. But in civil airplanes of the same generation and mission, if you tell me the amount of material (by weight) and the prevalent hourly rate of the assembly line, you can calculate costs to within 10-15%.

Is it possible that the EA50 will be squeezed between the Mustang and the SE-jets? Yes. Absolutely it is possible. The EA50 may have indeed a very short window to sell into. Which makes every delay in achieving full rate production all the more damaging.

Had Eclipse executed well, they could have been in decent shape by now.

baron95 said...

I think calling a G400w a FMS is a bit much. The G400w is a GPS/navigation receiver.

Either way, given the alternative (waiting endlessly for a buggy custom FMS), the G400w is marginally acceptable.

At least, if all goes dark in Avio NG land, you can use the G400w screens to navigate and land.

If looks like Vern is going to the dinasours hat in hand for his rescue.

fred said...

yes , baron ...

IF EAC would have been well managed , it could be something by now ...

there is a saying " with a few good IF , anyone could put a whole town into a bottle"

and as you mention , as long as "Vern's Flying Circus" (i feel almost sorry for the Monty Python) goes , the chances for a succesful whatever vanish ...

sad but quite normal !

airtaximan said...

Baron,

The plane has not doubled in price, really... of course, this is a tough target to hit - the initial price.

$779,000 n Y2000 dollars plus escalation, etc...

The a few (if memory serves) re-baselines up to $1.25 million, plus, plus... and now $1.5X millions plus plus...

Unless you refer back to the midnight special at $1.25 no escalation.

In all seriousness, ALL of these prices were based on 500-750 units per year. None of the rebaseline price changes were based on less than 500 units B?E per year.

Right?

- a little note: smaller and lighter in aviation DOES NOT ALWAYS mean less expensive. Case in point, the EJ22... and perhaps the thin skinned E-500. Why - the material processing to get the weight out costs money. Assembly, tools fixtures etc, might have to be more robust and expensive to handle less rigid structures.... and probably a whole lot of other real world practical issues I can't even imagine.

Outsourcing overseas has a potential real world negative effect on price, today, as the dollar is worth 50% than when the contracts were signed. Its probably not long before the suppliers jack up the price.

European purchasing power is high today, so everyone (including Vern) ran to get european orders... but we all know the EASA situation for EAC.

So, I am not really sure I agree with your point.

Of course some folks will want to but an E500... not nearly enough to sustain the low cost/lower price model being proposed.

In the end, while Cessna is not a "low cost" producer... neither is EAC... except for the promised forward pricing based on huge volume that is not there.

I guess this is my point.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Checked the Job Postings at Eclipse to see what they are looking for.

Nearly 3 dozen Service Engineering positions, over a dozen Inspector positions, several Purchasing 'Commodity' Managers, and a Sarbanes-Oxley Manager.

25% of the 140 job postings are for Service Engineering - that cannot be good, many of them are Stress positions, which sounds even worse.

Many positions ahve gone unfilled since being posted, from February of '07 through a couple weeks ago - most were posted late '07 or early '08.

Sarbanes-Oxley? You have got to be kidding me.

Shane said...

ColdWet,

The reason there are so many job posting is NOT to expand the workforce.

It's to keep up with the existing workforce getting sense and leaving...

I gather that a lot of the more skilled people came from other companies, lured by relocation allowances, cheaper housing and the promise of Eclipse stock.

The relocation money is spent, their housing is worth less and Eclipse stock is worthless.

Ask yourself, would you hang around for another summer?

Thought so....

Niner Zulu,

Would you be so kind as to drop me a line?

Shane

Shane said...

Baron,

At the risk of being a bore on the subject, the costs of making something in the U.S. is now quite low, as long as the parts are almost all SOURCED in the States.

If you have to buy stuff abroad, and offer up 'devalued' dollars in payment, your costs go UP.

Now, as I understand matters, Cessna are shipping Mustangs overseas as fast as they can make them. There are several very good reason for this, not least of which is the weak dollar, which makes the Mustang good value a present. The other is to expand the market for their other jets by keeping the Cessna name in front of an international audience.

Eclipse can't get the bird certified in Europe at present, and as a result are unable to cash in. Also, they don't have another, more expensive product to promote.

After all, the more the jet costs (in Dollars) the more a purchaser can 'save' at present.

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I recently reread the EASA Special Condition, Eclipse has to redesign the plane for both extended power availability for Commercial operations (more battery), as well as a complete change for FADEC power source and ability to control and specifically shut off the engines.

All other FADEC turbine powerplants have a dedicated permanent magnet alternator (PMA) that exists solely to provide uninterrupted power to the FADEC so the pilot can maintain control and shut it off when all other electrics go TU.

In addition to redefining what FMS is, Eclipse has attempted to show an ELOS (equivalent level of safety) for their FADEC power and engine shutoff scheme. FAA may have bought off on it, but EASA has made it clear they will not.

Interestingly, the Mustang's PW615F does not have the same issue - as the Mustang has been EASA certified for almost a year now.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Going back to my post about current job postings in Service Engineering at Eclipse.

I have worked at OEM's that were supporting literally thousands of aircraft, and they did not require 3 dozen Service Engineers, let alone nearly 10 in Stress and Structures.

I am presently consulting for a company with well over 1000 aircraft in the field. They do not have anywhere near 3 dozen Engineers in Service Engineering.

This appears to me to be a brute force reaction (perhaps over-reaction) to something Eclipse is very concerned about re: structure. If I had to guess I would think it is related to the ETT installation as well as the reported cracking in the transparencies.

Simply put, each fix attempt can exascerbate the issue rather than fix it. For example, by adding more weight somewhere, especially when cantilevered way out at the end of the wing like the tip tanks - or in cases where the structure is either loaded more than predicted or where the structure is more/less flexible than predicted (reveals itself as cracking).

Couple this with the reports that JetInComplete is not quite as 'complete' as customers originally expected/were led to believe and I am of the opinion that at least parts of Eclipse are beginning to wake up to the challenge of supporting a complex twin turbofan aircraft (not the same as supporting a laptop).

Rushing incomplete tin out the door to give the impression of progress and profitability only makes this worse, not better.

Eclipse is now on the hook to make 2 avionics upgrades including structural impact, on its own dime, for almost 150 aircraft.

Eclipse is also on the hook for the Aero-mods, also at its' own cost.

These two repairs may represent north of $150K in parts and labor for each aircraft. Aircraft which were universally agreed to have been delivered at a loss to begin with.

Roll in the search for warranty help, service engineering staff, and service center tech's, and I think there is something far bigger waiting in the wings so-to-speak.

Supporting fielded aircraft is an unbelievably complex undertaking that admittedly Eclipse would not be the first to understimate or misunderstand - and thank God, it provides me with a fantastic consulting practice.

There are the basic regulatory requirements to consider, the demanding expectations of customers, and the economic impacts of getting it right (actual revenue streams, high availability rates, satisfied customers and profitability) or getting it wrong (the cost of buying/storing unused spares, having insufficient spares for unexpected failures, excessive calls to Field Service, AOG situations, Customer Complaints, higher than predicted warranty costs, employee morale, etc.).

Unfortunately for the Eclipse customers, employees and investors, it seems Eclipse as it exists currently has little or no comprehension of how to do it right.

A poorly designed or executed support concept can literally kill an otherwise healthy company. In Eclipse's case, it is more akin to a Diabetic who continues to eat candy bars and chocolate cake because they know better than those dinosaur killjoy doctors.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Yet another couple interesting pieces of news.

Cessna reportedly estimates the cost to design, certify and begin producing the $27M Columbus large biz jet at $780M. This includes new facilities, new employee training, etc. Compare that to $1.5B for the Eclipse.

There is a qualified bid in for all Adam Aircraft assets, e.g., two airframe projects, one TC, tooling, intellectual property, etc. Like Columbia, it is way less than certain Eclipse proponents would suggest. How much for everything Adam? $10M plus certain liabilities.

So that means $14M for Columbia which had 3 TC's and had delivered more than 600 aircraft, $10M for Adam which had 1 TC, 1 development program, and which had delivered less than a dozen aircraft.

I think this is beginning to set a value for TC/PC and IP for start up aircraft, and it is not a very big number.

baron95 said...

Coldwet said... How much for everything Adam? $10M plus certain liabilities.


That is surprising to me - Adam is junk. The twin prop has so many issues, including zero full fuel payload and ridiculous performance. It is worth nothing.

The 700 is, from what I am told, also significantly overweight.

I'm surprised somenone whould sink $10M into it - unless it is an emotional purchase like from Adam himself or a group of ex-employees.

That thing has not chance to fly. It missed the mark and missed the boat.

MetalGuy said...

ColdWet, Can you please point the unknowing to the EASA Special Condition that you speak of? It sounds like Eclipse screwed up the design on that side and it would be humorous to know how badly.

flyger said...

Found this at the FAA:

http://www.faa.gov/news/conferences_events/aviation_forecast_2005/breakout/media/3-Don%20Taylor.ppt

Kind of interesting to see how off the mark they have been the last three years.

Happen to know that Don Taylor is no longer employed at Eclipse.

flyger said...

Some interesting inside info in these presentations:

http://www.faa.gov/news/conferences_events/aviation_forecast_2008/agenda_presentation/media/matt_brown.pdf

http://www.faa.gov/news/conferences_events/new_tech_2007/presentations/media/day2/harrington.ppt

fred said...

metalguy ...

as you asked for :

http://www.easa.europa.eu/ws_prod/c/doc/Consultation/Eclipse%20500%20%20Special%20condition.pdf

hope it serve well !!

Shane said...

Vern misses the boat, again...

Garmin Synthetic Vision Technology was announced today for all current and future users of G1000's.

AvioNG looks even more dated, against its' 'natural' competition. The decision to continue with it is futher undermined, and makes the G400W move (announced only on Friday, remember) seem even more of a 'last fling of the dice'.

Vern and his cronies must be aware that Synthetic Vision is the next 'must have', both from a private owner who demands maximum ramp appeal and the insurance companies looking to blame the pilot (and minimize the payout....).

They are now in the silly position of being half in bed with Garmin, while supporting their own puny efforts at an integrated COTS approach.

Real oxymoron that, 'integrated COTS', but I digress.

Come on guys, spring another rabbit out of the hat, to disract the gullible. You (The Great Raburn) have a long history of mis direction at times of crisis. I for one will be disappointed if we don't see a ConJet production announcement soon.

Shane.

BricklinNG said...

Since the conjet development has not proceeded very far, perhaps it would be possible for a responsible party to pick it up, integrate the G1000 with its new synthetic vision and generally do it "right". (I am not sure how one gets over the pressurization issues above 25,000 ft, but suppose that a scuba tank with a "snap shut" outflow valve or some other such system could suffice.)

If that jet, its production, sales and support could be entirely divorced from the current EAC then maybe it could succeed. If it is tied to the horrible financial picture of EAC, the dependence on the likes of Dayjet, etc. etc. then forget it. The EAC anchor is so heavy and so set in the mud that it could prevent most anything from moving forward.

Wouldn't the amused be even more amused, though, if someone (not EAC, to be sure) quietly perfected and certified the conjet, set a realistic price, sold positions bearing the realistic price, delivered on time and had a generally successful outcome ? The conjet does offer the potential to leave Cirrus and Diamond traveling leisurely down at a fuel-slurping 25,000 feet as it zips along at 35,000 or higher.

My point is that if a management team that knows what it is doing were to get the conjet at this early time, could it not be steered to a successful outcome?

Plastic_Planes said...

Baron95 said:
Coldwet said... How much for everything Adam? $10M plus certain liabilities.


That is surprising to me - Adam is junk. The twin prop has so many issues, including zero full fuel payload and ridiculous performance. It is worth nothing.

The 700 is, from what I am told, also significantly overweight.

I'm surprised somenone whould sink $10M into it - unless it is an emotional purchase like from Adam himself or a group of ex-employees.

That thing has not chance to fly. It missed the mark and missed the boat.



I'm torn on this. Not because I think it's viable, but because it shows how valuless the market really is.

I am a former Adam (and former EAC) employee. I left Adam before the stuff hit the fan and moved on. I frequently talk with some of the Adam employees that got the axe (and have worked to help place several of them). I know the "new" management company has tried to get some former employees to come aboard. Knowing those that have decided to stay on, I hope for the best, but...

As to the success of the A500/A700, I agree that neither A/C is suitable for it's designed mission. Weight was a big factor in poor sales of the A500, and weight was (is) a significant factor in the design of the A700. It's going to take a significant amount of money to get the A700 to where it needs to be. It will also take a lot of time. Two things this market can ill-afford right now.

As another thought - I think someone is getting a good cheap buy into the composites manufacturing arena. They (Adam) have some equipment that could be reused in another project if they don't make airplanes. They had some talent (most of which is gone now). They are going to have a hard time finding good, qualified individuals. Most have moved on to other aviation companies.

Prognostications:
How long will they last? Less than a year.

What will they accomplish? Not much more than they have now.

How much will the former employees of Adam Aircraft ever see of teh mney owed to them? None.

P_P

fred said...

brickling ...

you miss one of the most important point there :

EGO ! wether vern's or depositor's ...
(apart vernastic , i see 2 types of Ego here , the one who are trying not to loose too much money after they dreamt to make a fortune out of the bird ... and the oner who will never acknowledge their foolishness ...)

i believe vern is the type to sink with the boat rather to ask for a buoy ...!!

as for the conjet : if a bride had very little charm , would you call it a good move to try to egt rid of those so few attraction ??

mountainhigh said...

Flyger,

I tried both the links you mentioned:

http://www.faa.gov/news/conferences_events/aviation
http://www.faa.gov/news/conferences_events/new_tech

Got... page not found.

Must not be full link??

baron95 said...

Shane said ... They are now in the silly position of being half in bed with Garmin, while supporting their own puny efforts at an integrated COTS approach.

And there we have it. The second of three of the technology bets that Eclipse made has gone south.

Vern made three fundamental bets and got deeptly emashed in developing the technology.

Big Bet 1 - FJ-22 Engine. Trying to push with Williams a NASA prototype into a production engine, developing the FADEC, etc. Strike 1. As expected, since developing fan-jet engines is not that trivial.

Big Bet 2 - Avionics. Trying to lead, with an ever changing supplier/partner list, the development of an integrated 21c cockpit. Strike 2. As expected since even avionics companies like Honeywell are having trouble doing it.

Bet 3 - FSW. Jury still out on that, but that is a lesser bet, since they were more a user than a developer of the technology.

Failing in your big bets is bad enough, but they failed whle disparaging the existing players as dinosaurs, etc.

Bad losses in Bad form.

They may have recovered, at great cost on the engine, but the avionics recovery may prove even harder. They may even get Chelton or someone to play the synthetic vision on the PFD, but it will be another kluge requiring more retrofits and more pilot workload.

I really feel that any light GA mannufacturer that did not go with Garmin to be at a disadvantage (that includes Cirrus and Meridian).

I'm leaving the PC-12 out as that is an expensive/heavy plane - competing more with the King Airs that have gone with big iron avionics.

When something becomes a de facto standard in aviation (link king silver crown and now Garmin), if you don't have it on your plane, you are handicapped. As an OEM trying to sell it, as an owner trying to resell it.

Bad choices. Big consequenses.

baron95 said...

Plastic Planes said ... As to the success of the A500/A700, I agree that neither A/C is suitable for it's designed mission.

Thanks for the insight PP. It is really too bad that the A700 got passed a critical design review. Any, and I mean any, objective engineering review, looking at the attrocious performance/payload of the A500 dus to its configuration and materials, would have concluded that using the same configuration and materials for a fan-jet would wield a doomed design.

It is too bad that no-one wanted to deliver the bad news to Adam and Co. That configuration can not be competitive. It should have been obvious to all in the design review.

Why do these things are allowed to go forward is beyond me.

Do you have any insight into that? Where there any forceful dissenting opinions at the time?

airtaximan said...

Baron,

you sound like me, now?

Kidding of course.

Remember that VErn needed money from "tech" investors, and had to promise them a leap frog jump in aviation from the dyno age due to technology... something they could chew on.

It worked... not the technology, just the story.

Regarding the Adam planes. My sentiments exactly... how does management convince engineering to "pass" something...with no performance? Or how does marketing get engineering and management to agree that a product has a place in the market with very confined performance?

ask the same of eclipse...

... plus I've wondered for a while, how NASA convinced the government to blow so much money on tiny little jet engine experiments, and the like... for a taxi business model? Look at the NASA hype for eclipse, and weep.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I think Eclipse is worth less after BK than either Columbia or Adams, because they simply have far greater liabilities already fielded.

Columbia had a bunch of finished aircraft flying, with new sales priced realistically. Adams has bugger all, but maybe the equipment and facilities are worth 10 million for somebody making surfboards.

Eclipse has still got millions of dollars of development and certification work ahead of it to create a competitive product, they have created a market expectation of an unrealistic price, and have the IOU's of the current owners as a multi million dollar millstone around their neck (my guess would be at least $20 million for retrofit).

BK will clear the legal liabilities, but not supporting the current owners IOUs is not going to endear you to the market.

There is no market for stir fried surfboards in New Mexico.

gadfly said...

“There is no market for stir fried surfboards in New Mexico.”

Oh, contraire, “Jamtarts”!

Have you seen our beach? . . . ‘called “White Sands?”

gadfly

(‘Just a long time between waves!)

baron95 said...

FreedomsJamtarts said...
I think Eclipse is worth less after BK than either Columbia or Adams, because they simply have far greater liabilities already fielded.


FJ, liabilities all (or most) get discharged in the bankruptcy process.

Most of what you listed as liabilities (e.g. IOUs to upgrade the planes in the field) will actually be captive revenue opportunities for the post bankruptcy company.

As a matter of fact, the more incomplete the planes in the field are, the better it is for NewCo in a post bankruptcy acquisition ot the TC/PC/tooling/drawings/etc.

fred said...

baron

are you suggesting the buyers will be "done" at least three times ( i mean deep ...)

1° they have been sold the dream ...

2° they got excuses and culprits but no plane

3° they will have to pour some more money into the bin to fit the liking of a new managment ...

must really hurt ...

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I know that the bankruptcies (there will be more than one) will clear the liabilities, (I said that) but those "captive revenue opportunities" will be getting yet another major shafting.

Maybe you are right, so far this current group of rich dumb people have shown a truly dumbfounding loyalty to Eclipse and have happily held their ankles through Six month payments two years before delivery, Two pilot VFR AD, Avio no function flavor of the month, No FIKI, no training etc, and they just keep coming back for more.

They have truly proven that they are easy marks. There is probably a solid business plan to written based on fleecing them for the next couple of decades.

I have difficulty transferring the basis of that business plan to a sustainable plan set around making more eclipses.

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

It seems that AAI, who purchased the 'assets' of Adams Aircraft, are owned by Textron.

Who own Cessna.

?

The company makes UAV's in a wide variety of locations, and had a healty profit last year.

Kinda makes sense to me.

After all, the useful payload of the A700 would be much higher without a pilot...

Shane

any said...

I read a comment the other day regarding ECBUs for essential circuits..something about only an idiot would do such a thing...but think of all the weight they saved.
I am sure that's the first thing a pilot will consider when the data bus fails and they can't control the ECBUs.

Plastic_Planes said...

Shane said...
It seems that AAI, who purchased the 'assets' of Adams Aircraft, are owned by Textron.

Who own Cessna.

?


Common blunder. Believe me, I've heard this one before. The "AAI" that's buying Adam comes from Adam Aircraft Investment. Not the AAI that Textron purchased last year. That AAI is primarily a military contracts company that does work for Uncle Sam. I truly don't believe they (Textron/Cessna) would touch Adam Aircraft. They would have no need for any of the equipment or technology (they got that with Columbia) nor the infrastructure (that was all leased by Adam Aircraft), nor the employees (who are mostly all gone anyway).

If I'm wrong, I'll publically retract, but I don't really think so.


baron95 said...
Why do these things are allowed to go forward is beyond me.

Do you have any insight into that? Where there any forceful dissenting opinions at the time?


I don't think it was an attempt to "push" the design through. Like the wee jet, the design of the A700 came out great on paper and poor in execution. The A700 took a lot of the same components as the already certified A500. The hope was that this would speed the jet to market. The problem was that the loading and forces on an 8 pax, 325 knot, 41k jet are different than those of a 6 pax, 210 knot, 18k prop.

Yeah, really.

The wing is different between the 500 and 700, but they come off the same mold. That simplifies manufacture, but makes the design at best a compromise. As the jet grew (and grew heavy), it was obvious that there was going to have to be changes. How do you change without severely impacting certification? The ailerons had flutter. Out with the metal in with composites. It took something like 4000 hours to build the first set of conforming composite ailerons. As the jet got heavier, range went down. They couldn't add tip tanks ala E-Clips, so the "belly tank" (or pregnant belly) came to fruition. The FAA wanted 12G drop tests (since the A/C "could" land on it's belly). That delayed things a lot. Then there were other problems...

Long story, short: There was no malice intended. I think the design was marginal, and it got caught up in the delays and problems that all companies (start up or otherwise) face. IMHO, the A700 should just be "clean-sheeted". There were other designs to be devleoped (one of which was a conventional tail jet). If that is what the new company intends, they might find success. Otherwise, it's good money after bad...

Turboprop_pilot said...

The April Twin & Turbine had an article on Avio: The Next Generation that Ken could have written. It was written by Cyrus Sigari, president of jetAVIVA, who worked for Eclipse and assists owners in their new VLJs.

Turboprop_pilot

bill e. goat said...

Engines and stuff...

I'm a little confused about the EJ-22 engine, as I recall it was condemned for being too complicated (three-spool design) and delicate (little-bitty pieces, lots of 'em). But, others maintained it was feasible, just not given enough time by Eclipse. So, they spent the time (and money) to re-re-invented the small enigne with Pratt...

Anyway, a few observations:
Seems like a while back, there was talk about the FADEC's being moved out of the nacelles (maybe to keep the nacelles as small as possible for drag reduction, or weight and balance, or?). Anyway, maybe that's why the "dedicated permanent magnet alternator (PMA)" CWMOR points out as typical, wouldn't be practical on the Eclipse- if the FADEC's are mounted remotely, might as well use a remote power supply (just that EASA wants more of 'em).

Concerning the three-spool idea, I'd read that Boeing won't launch a 737 replacement until there is a powerplant available that will offer "substantial efficiency" improvements over the CFM's. (Soooo, why not just mount this new motor on a 737? Well, ah, never mind. Probably a good reason...). Anyway, two most buzz-worthy candidates are unducted fans (whatever the new-speak is for such critters), or a three-spool engine. Or, maybe both?

Poking around, seems like there are examples of three-spool motors, both old
ATF3 in USCG HU25's
and new
RR Trent

So maybe old Sam Williams wasn't as snockered on the hooch as some would suggest...
---------------------------
Regarding Adam,
Well,...if a piston didn't work, and a jet didn't work, maybe the world really needs a nifty small turbroprop. I'm not sure the marketing departments around the world are psych'd for it, but with fuel prices and green house gases/emission concerns ever increasing, it seems like that might have been just what an Adam A-600 (tubroprop) needed.

(Maybe with 7, rather than 6 or 8, seats :)

flyger said...

mountainhigh said...

I tried both the links you mentioned:

They work, but only if you mouse select them *vertically* which captures the hidden text out of sight. If you capture the text horizontally, it truncates.

Here are the URLs "unwrapped" (so you have to rebuild them into one full line):

http://www.faa.gov/news/
conferences_events/
aviation_forecast_2005/
breakout/media/
3-Don%20Taylor.ppt

http://www.faa.gov/news/
conferences_events/
aviation_forecast_2008/
agenda_presentation/media/
matt_brown.pdf

http://www.faa.gov/news/
conferences_events/
new_tech_2007/presentations/
media/day2/harrington.ppt

ExEAC said...

Turbo prop wrote:
The April Twin & Turbine had an article on Avio: The Next Generation that Ken could have written. It was written by Cyrus Sigari, president of jetAVIVA, who worked for Eclipse and assists owners in their new VLJs.

Good ole Cyrus, the first guy to land an Eclipse with the gear up. AC 106….ahh the memories:)

baron95 said...

FreedomsJamtarts said...
Maybe you are right, so far this current group of rich dumb people have shown a truly dumbfounding loyalty to Eclipse


Ouch!!! I'm hoping you are not implying that I hold this opinion of Eclipse buyers. I am pretty sure that as a group they have above average intelligence and most are very successful at their businesses and trades. Most are pilots. Some are speculators.

While it is true that some made an emotional decision to buy an Eclipse, many viewed that exactly for what it is. Taking a calculated risk on a startup company to deliver a new class of airplane (Fan-jets with less than 6,000lbs MTOW). I think they considered the risks and the rewards and put down their deposits, progress payments, etc.

Just like buying stock, gambling in Vegas. You may think it is "stupid" but a lot of very smart people buy $1M in stock or gambles $1M on a trip to Vegas based on some knowledge and a lot of emotion.

That does not make them dumb or naive. It just means that they have enough weath to take some risks.

Why do people pay $250K for a freaking baseball card? Why do we pay $20K for a piece of carbon rock for our loved ones? Why do we pay $13M for a 300 year old fadeing paiting? Do you know how "dumb" this looks to others?

It is their money, their risk taking, their ocnsequenses. Passing a "dumb" and "like to be screwed" judgement on hundreds of successful people is completely off the mark.

But that is just my opinion.

baron95 said...

any said...
I read a comment the other day regarding ECBUs for essential circuits..something about only an idiot would do such a thing...


I am an Electrical Engineer by training, and, while not claiming current expertise on the matter, I know of quite a few examples where electronic breakers or controls have proven disatrous in aviation.

A good example is the Aerostar (Ted Smith's pride and joy design).

Laudable goal: keep fuel lines out of the cabin by using electronic circuits to control the tank selection to feed the engines.

Unanticipated problem: you are happy feeding the engines from the fuselage tank, tank is almost dry; you have an electrical failure, now you can't switch valve to wing tank position; you run out of gas; you crash. As it turns out, there was an even worse issue. Sometimes, just as you run out of gas in the main tank, engines would quit/sputter and the transient load spike with the alternators going off-line would cause the electrical failure and send pilots down. Some were able to recycle the electrical, switch the tanks, restart the engines before impacting the ground. A few were not.

I'm not opposed to ECBUs, but the design must go through rigorous failure mode scenarios and pass a critical design review by a team other than the designers. I'm hoping Eclipse has done that on this issue and all their critical systems.

baron95 said...

Plastic Planes said... think the design was marginal, and it got caught up in the delays and problems that all companies (start up or otherwise) face. IMHO, the A700 should just be "clean-sheeted".

PP - thank you so much for the first hand details. I don't know about others in here, but I'd be delighted if I could read a full recound on how Adam develope, the issues, etc. You seem to be a good writer, may I suggest that you, perhaps with help from others, write the story? Perhaps a blog for ex-Adam employees to recount their story.

I'd assume that a lot of others on this blog are equally attracted to learning the story of these other jet developments.

Please consider that. Or at the very least, feed us some more "Adam Facts".

Re your post, that was exactly my point. I'd assume that the A500 and A700 projects had to go trough several design/project gates (critical reviews) to advance. I find it hard to believe that no one stood up and said "look guys, lets face it, this design is not going to make it - lets rethink".

Are you saying that no strong voice ever said that at Adam?

baron95 said...

bill e. goat said...
Engines and stuff...

I'm a little confused about the EJ-22 engine, as I recall it was condemned for being too complicated (three-spool design) and delicate (little-bitty pieces, lots of 'em).


There is nothing particularly complicated about the EJ-22 (AKA FJ-22) engine. three spool designs are in current use in aviation (e.g. RR Trents).

HOWEVER, you don't need to be an turbofan engineer to realize that building a three spool engine with a 5-stage compressor, reverse flow, etc with a total weight of 85lbs is way beyond the state of the art in technology. Sure, anyone can make a tiny turbofan generate large amounts of thurst in the lab. It can even generate goo thrust for a couple of hours. BUT, to make it generate 770lbs of thrust out of 85lbs of weight for 3,5000 hours - that is a totally different ball game.

The FJ-22 can be great for an AA cruise missile like Meteor. Where the total flight time is 3 min. I'm sure Russia and China would love to buy that. But for a passenger plane - forget it. If it could be developed at all with those specs, the exotic materials used would make it cost more than the entire airframe.

As for the 737NG, the most promissing engine so far is a geared turbo fan (P&W's last hope to get back into the commercial airplane game). But engines alone are not the issue. Operators want significantly lower maintenance costs and greater time between inspections, etc (which probably means composit construction). We probably need to wait another 5 years before we see 737NG and A320NG designs from B and A. There is very little incentive for either to move. They each have 2,000+ single isle jets on backlog orders. That is 5 years of production.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

The cross over where a three spool engine design it theoretically the "best" solution doesn't occur till somewhere around 50 000 lb thrust (Talk with Pratt, GE and RR engineering and you will get diffent answers but the are in that ball park)

With the high thrust high bypass engines, as the fan diameter increases, the N1 fan speed must drop (due to tip speed efficiency losses). To get the LP Compressor to do anything useful as the N1 drops, it's diameter increases. Weight goes up, and you start needing a long goose neck duct to bring flow the LP discharge air to the HP IGV's. (look at a GE90 cutaway compared to a Trent) This long goose neck (and another between HPT and LPT) leads to a very long LP Shaft, which is a nightmare in torsion.

Your loafing LPC drives you to a high compression ratio HPC, which needs multiple stages of VGV, and probably multiple bleed valves to assure stall free operation. Your nine or ten stage HPC is long and will also be a structural nightmare to try and keep it round and straight.

The Three spool design trades off the weight penalty of solving all those structural and surge margin problems, with a set of bearing and sump sealing, internal cooling nightmares of it's own. In practice the big Trents have also needed multiple stages of VSV's and bleed valves. The Trents have a fuel burn penalty against the GE90, so you end up with the lighter weight providing a mission weight advantage on shorter flights, with longer flights favouring the GE90.

The engineers at the big three know perfectly well the theoretical and practical issues. GE and Rolls competed for the 115000 Lb thrust engine on the 777-300ER, I would expect that GE was as supprised as Rolls that they could meet that thrust level with a two spool engine.

There is still a huge amount of iterative design in these engines. GE or Pratt are not going to jump into a three spool design handing Rolls a 40 year advantage. The Pratt geared fan is a two spool design, and they have been researching and developing this for over a decade.

Why did Williams would have contemplated a three spool deign at 770lb of thrust? They have a lot of experience with small engines, but as Baron95 pointed out, most have been disposable designs for military purposes.

Shane Price said...

Plastic_Planes,

I said:-
It seems that AAI, who purchased the 'assets' of Adams Aircraft, are owned by Textron.
Who own Cessna.


You, however, are correct. My original source has now (like, in the past 5 minutes, while I was making the link to prove YOU wrong), posted a 'correction'.

Just shows how careful you need to be with this world wide web thingy.

Shane

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

Baron95 and FJT,
Thanks for the details on the three-spool engines! Knowledgable particants like you guys make this blog an enjoyable wealth of information.

Shane,
Thanks for taking the reins from Stan- maybe he's riding shotgun for now and getting some well deserved rest! Somebody’s got to keep a steady bead on some of those pesky varmints out Gadfly’s way and their high-falutin’ press releases! (I think the rank and file also appreciate an advocate / voice of truth -or our best attempt to discern it anyway- out there:) Thanks for all your time working on "background" issues- I'm sure you get a lot of fascinating email to consider.

Shane Price said...

Goat,

Thanks for the kind words.

Stan is in good heart and sends me regular emails of encouragement. His business is thriving and (although he is too modest to say so himself) moves from strength to strength.

The blog gets more email than I thought possible...

The real issue for me is trying to shift out the 'diamonds' (no, not the aircraft maker...) from all the background 'chatter'. Turns out that one of my posts, which I was doubtful about, was HALF accurate. That annoyed me at the time, but causes me to work harder on verification of sources.

I'm writing, with some help from 'others' a posting for the end of this week. My thinking is that we have had lots from critics, staff, suppliers and the trade in general. Now it's time to hear from owners and/or pilots of the Eclipse 500.

Any comments from that group, to the usual email address:-

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

There, I'll get another load to shift through, which serves me right!

Shane

mountainhigh said...

Thanks, flyger, for the link info.

One of the few delivered A-500s lives at the local FBO. The fit and finish is horrible. Door doesn't align, access panels don't fit, etc. I would have thought Adam would have been embarrassed to deliver such a beast. The customer sent the first plane back due to poor quality. This is the second delivered plane. Can't imagine what the first looked like!

This A-500 is grounded. The story I heard is that it needs a part after 65 hours and the FAA says only Adam can supply the part.

The owner takes it out of the hangar and runs the engine every now and then. Sad. And yes, a "Dr." is attached to the owners name.

A group of A-500 owners was trying to get a group together and bring in a larger investor to buy Adam. The goal was to have maintenance and also to have the A-500s on the floor finished and delivered.

I don't know who is involved in AAI. Wonder if Rick Adam is involved? and wants equipment for AdamWorks?

mountainhigh said...

A question on the Eclipse Con Jet. Isn't the ECJ behind the curve regarding thrust? I believe Eclipse is using the P&W 617.

Both Cirrus and Diamond are using a Williams FJ33-1900 thrust engine.

Since Diamond recently went to the 1900 lb thrust engine I'm assuming they redesigned their inlets? If not, they won't gain any performance. I'm not an engine guy... but I think they'll need more air input. A part of the issue with their inlets (re airflow efficiency) was the fact that they were too short.

baron95 said...

Freedomjam said... Why did Williams would have contemplated a three spool deign at 770lb of thrust?

Because the NASA AGATE goals were light weight and small size. Unlike the airlines, long range cruise SFC was not the critical design factor. I'm not defending Williams decision - I'm just trying to put forward a possible rational. Another rational, is simply that Williams wanted to try its hand on a new 3-spool engine design to gain experience - what better way to do that than with government money. That is the problem with subsidies - it distorts peoples goals and judgements.

P.S. FJ - Very nice summary of the bennefits and tradeoffs between contemporary engine architectures. I've never met anyone that could summarize it so effectivelly in so few sentences.

baron95 said...

Mountainhigh said... This A-500 is grounded. The story I heard is that it needs a part after 65 hours and the FAA says only Adam can supply the part.

Perfect example of the post bankruptcy captive opportunity. In the case of Adam it is not there as only 5 planes were delivered. But in Eclipse's case, if a windshield bracked needs to be replaced every 50 hours for example, that would be a huge market for a post bankruptcy company that is not obligated to provide service under warranty. They could (if they wanted) charge $10K for said bracket and the owneres woul have no recourse other than to buy or face aircraft groundings.

It is tough on owners but good for a post BK acquirer of assets.

baron95 said...

mountainhigh said...
A question on the Eclipse Con Jet. Isn't the ECJ behind the curve regarding thrust? I believe Eclipse is using the P&W 617.

Both Cirrus and Diamond are using a Williams FJ33-1900 thrust engine.


What choice do they have? They've burned the briges with Williams and the 617 is he biggest light turbofan available.

I think by the time the ECJ EIS, PWC would have had upped the power of the 617 to at least 1900 lbs if not 2000. So they should be OK IF they keep it light enough.

Plastic_Planes said...

Mountainhigh...

One of the few delivered A-500s lives at the local FBO. The fit and finish is horrible. Door doesn't align, access panels don't fit, etc. I would have thought Adam would have been embarrassed to deliver such a beast. The customer sent the first plane back due to poor quality. This is the second delivered plane. Can't imagine what the first looked like!


Mountain. That's Dr L's plane I believe. The first A/C was no different. It was just that his A/C ended up getting some "major" work done and he got quite upset with AA and how long it was taking, so they pulled an A/C up the line and kept his. I suppose his original is still in the hangar.

One of the things that always surprised me was the lack of aero efficiency of the A500/A700. Lack of gear doors, ill fitting escape hatches, exposed door hinges, fairings, etc.

We used to say the A500 was a great looking 30' aircraft (it looks goo from 30 feet away). The A700 shared many of the same issues (though they did come up with partial gear doors for the jet).

The State of NM (NM State Police) took delivery of an A500 just a couple weeks before the stuff hit the fan. Imagine, your tax dollars hard at work (not!). That aircraft was a line swap, too (though technically, there never was an assembly line).

I think in the end, most of the A500's will end up on a post outside of some museum or piddly town airport. As I said before, they look great from 30 feet away.

As a thought, I don't believe Rick has any interest in the program any more. If he could have, I think he would have driven things differently at the end, but by then, no one would listen. Of course, he's partly responsible for getting into that position in the first place. I will say, though, that I had quite a few interesting chats with him during my tenure there. He was much more "reachable" than Vern.

Plastic_Planes said...

Baron95...
I suggest that you, perhaps with help from others, write the story? Perhaps a blog for ex-Adam employees to recount their story.


I've been chatting with another ex AA guy and we would love to do such a thing.

And maybe, in the future, some of it will get written. I think it's all a passing fad that will someday get lumped in as a small footnote in an aviation history book somewhere.

Having lived through a period of E-Clips' history and a period of Adam's, I'm glad I'm working for a "Dinosaur" I won't have to worry whether my next paycheck will arrive...

I suppose we'll throw some out for fun from time to time...

P_P

flightguy said...

How many true orders are left beyond the Mustangs?

http://www.cessna.com/news/article.chtml?ID=OHEPDeuVMOUeG5Tof2qXy5m0dBSERPu3cw1vxiYynDv8yrULg8

bill e. goat said...

Shane,
We all greatly enjoy the blog, and enjoy the wide variety of topics. I think it is impossible for any one person to try to verify the accuracy of all the incoming information you are probably receiving- so while we certainly appreciate your dedicated efforts to ensuring the most accurate picture of events at Eclipse (just like Vern does- ha ha ha!!!), we don't want you to get overloaded by taking personal responsibility for the accuracy of everything.

If some false leads inadvertently get posted from time to time (I do think we've been fortunate that nobody has been deliberately misleading; in the past, unknowingly misinformed perhaps), I suspect time and collective wisdom / observations will damp out the fluctuations from true north.

(ah, or south, should Eclipse head that way...maybe that's east, or west, which ever way to ETIRC).

Thanks again from all of us!
--------------------------------
Flightguy,
Interesting post about Mustang. Orders at 500, production rate to hit 150/year. (Seems like I read Cessna mention 200 is possible). Another interesting note: their backlog seems to be increasing, not sure about Eclipse's. I think there is a sustainable market for both airplanes, but in the 150-200 range apiece.
I also noted their choice of words: "fully functional Garmin G1000 system". (Ahem- I wonder what they are alluding to ? :)

FreedomsJamtarts said...

PP and Mountains, interesting insights into the Adam's. Thanks

I had a guy asking for pre-purchase advice for an M22 Mooney Mustang. The advice was simple, "don't touch it".

These orphan projects basically fall into the same support category as warbirds, but without the FAR simplification your can get with having the experimental limitations.

Baron95 had a good point on the William EJ22, nothing like playing around (call it R&D) on the governments coin.

I hope they hurry up with the Eclipse BK so Baron and I can see who was right about the post BK business model :)

Turboprop_pilot said...

I once worked for an R&D company that won over 50 SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) grants, like Williams got for the EJ22 and others used for research into the SATS air taxi concept. There was an interesting side effect to these grants- you would develop a prototype and write a research paper designed to get a Phase II grant or win later proposals. There were very few prototypes that could be developed for later commercial sale and the time line for development was very slow as you wrote proposals and waited for grants and reviews.

In the end, the paper was the product, not a successful commercial product. Very bad habits were created in the company, which never did have a commercial success. When I started my company, we won one SBIR and never tried for another program as the timeline was so slow (and we developed many commercially successful products like the encoders in the Faro Arm).

It is no surprise to me that the airtaxi model and the EJ22 did not work- it is the nature of government funded programs.

Turboprop_pilot

Turboprop_pilot said...

If Stan is listening, I'd like to hear his comments about the Boeing 787- another 6 month delay. It seems like they tried too many revolutions at once- composite construction and global outsourcing of major engineering and assemblies. Stan had another blog on the 787 but it never got traction.

Turboprop_pilot

David Wihl said...

mountainhigh said:

Since Diamond recently went to the 1900 lb thrust engine I'm assuming they redesigned their inlets?

I've heard that the D-Jet's inlets have been redesigned for better efficiency, and ice & FOD protection. However, IMO it will clearly be less efficient that the traditional pylon mount or the Piper tail mount (which has its own set of problems). For both the D-Jet and the Cirrus SJX, the inlet placement and altitude cap of 25,000' will impact performance. How much? We'll only know for certain when the manufacturers give some real numbers. I doubt either of these small manufacturers is using the top quality modeling software (like CATIA) that the big boys are using, so expect more unexpected news.

stan said...

tp,

I agree with your assessment on the Boeing approach, too much revolution when it should have been evolution.

Actually, a similar statement was made today on airliners.net. Their forum is a good source for information on the 787.

One active participant on the airliners site is a "baron95". Surely there can't be two of them?

Boeing has a podcast scheduled for Wednesday at 11 am Eastern time for a 787 program update. Check boeing.com and click on the news tab.

bill e. goat said...

Stan,
Nice to see your post!

Reflecting on the continuing 787 delays, another couple thoughts regarding Boeing delays came to mind:

Sonic Cruiser

Boeing 747X

I'm not sure how serious Boeing was about either of these, perhaps just "noise makers" to detract from Airbus. Seems Boeing concentrated on putting out good press releases, and let their engineering capability go down the tubes, if the 787 debacle is representative of what they "can do" when they try. Sad to see them flubbing up- maybe better times are ahead for subsequent R&D efforts after 787.

Regarding composites- I was surprised to see the Cessna Large Cabin Concept (aka Columbus) go plastic. Rather, ...disruptive..., but they had the good sense to outsource it- across town I believe, to Spirit/old Boeing Commercial facility.

baron95 said...

Bill.e.Goat said ... Regarding composites- I was surprised to see the Cessna Large Cabin Concept (aka Columbus) go plastic.

Did I miss some big Cessna announcement that the Columbus will use a composit fuselage or wing? AFAIK, Cessna has announced that both will be aluminum - not even Glare or AlLi. Do you have a source that says otherwise?

Incidentally, Gulfstream will also stick with Aluminum for the G650 cabin and wings.

Cessna will have one heck of a prouct line from Mustang to Columbus come 2012. Since they have been announcing one new jet every couple of years, earliest possible SE Jet announcement would be 2010 - but I somehow don't see them doing it unless Diamond/Cirrus sales take off.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I liked Cessna's press release. Satisfied customers, certified in 47 countires, complete functioning avionics. They must be laughing their Dinosaur arses off!

Shame about the 787. Especially compared to the outstanding job Boeing did on the design and certification of the 777. I wonder how much this is driven by the layoff of 50 000 workers in the last down turn. I wonder how much of that experience they could do with today.

Airbus looked awful with their management scandals, political interference and waiting too long to come clean on the delays. It really surprised me that McNerny didn't come clean on the 787 delays earlier and more completly.

Shane said...

Freedom,

Don't be too hard on Boeing on the 787.

Look at Airbus on the 380 (22 months late) and, EVEN worse, the 350XWB.

Count that one as YEARS late!

I get the impression that Boeing will not be so fast to outsouce as much on the next project....

Shane

jet_fumes said...

" doubt either of these small manufacturers is using the top quality modeling software (like CATIA) that the big boys are using,"

Diamond is using CATIA, but it is irrelevant to the quality of the end product. As it has always been the case, it is the designer and not his tools that matter.

bill e. goat said...

Baron95,
Gulp- thanks!
I had read more into the Cessna announcement than was there- I assumed they were outsourcing the fuselage to Spirit because of technology issues (lack of composite experience at Cessna, whereas Spirit has been working with composite nacelles for years now).
Instead, it was outsourced for ??? Very strange.
Cessna also is outsourcing the 162 LSA to China for manufacturing, then doing assembly at three contracted sites in the USA. More jobs- and technology- going abroad. (Can you say "tanker"?).
Thanks for the correction.

airtaximan said...

JEtfumes,

I think whil was refering to aero modeling, and I am not sure if CATIA has anything on this? Elaborate, if you will?

Also, how much redesign has gone into the inlets for the D-jet?

Any comments on the performnce issues due to lower altitude?

jet_fumes said...

Aeromodeling is apparently done with Fluent
http://www.fluent.com as mentionned here
http://tinyurl.com/5lwatv
which is absolutely top notch (and extremely expensive).
I can't answer your other questions.

mountainhigh said...

Jet_Fumes said "it is the designer and not his tools that matter."

Amen! That says it all.

Word on the street says that the Adam buyout is with Russian money. They are offering some ex-employees positions with substantial raises. Don't know if they have follow-on money yet. They will abandon the A-500. Looks like a new round of investors will end up losing a lot of money eventually .... again.

flyger said...

baron95 said...

Cessna will have one heck of a prouct line from Mustang to Columbus come 2012. Since they have been announcing one new jet every couple of years, earliest possible SE Jet announcement would be 2010 - but I somehow don't see them doing it unless Diamond/Cirrus sales take off.

The experienced jet makers know that an SEJ doesn't provide enough benefits for the compromises it must make. Consider that all these SEJs now have engine thrust more than both the EA500 engines. Applying piston experience to jets leads you down the wrong path.

Then there's pressurization. Then there's one engine out performance. Then there's added manufacturer liability. Then there's the design complexity of one engine mounting. Then there's systems redundancy issues. And so on...

Don't hold your breath waiting for Cessna to announce an SEJ.

airtaximan said...

anyone know what happend to Epic and Malliyah?

Shane said...

Vijay Mallya (not 'Malliyah' ATman...) is very busy.

He owns the 'Kingfisher' brand of India, which streches from beer to airlines. Last year, hardly drawing breath after buying a controlling interest in Epic, he rushed off to snap up a Forumla 1 (Grand Prix) racing team, which he promptly renamed 'Force India'.

That was before he lost out in the State elections in the worlds' biggest democracy, with his very own political party.

But again, I digress.

I suppose you could think of him as 'Far Eastern Richard Branson', with a similar amount of money to spend on buying things.

Nothing appears in a quick check around, ATman, so I suspect Vijay is just keeping his head down and letting the Epic crowd do their own thing.

Which is another, valuable attribute of the clever and wealthy. If you buy a business, let the people who know what they are doing make the money for you.

Unlike some companies I could think of...

BTW, I notice that Epic have just completed delivery of LT number 16. Hope that Gunner is getting on with it, and having a good time while he's doing the build.

I also quite like the idea of their '500' club, which is not restricted to turboprops. You become a member if you submit a photo of your instruments showing straight and level flight at more than 500mph.

Wonder if anyone with an E500 has qualified?

Shane

PubGrubber said...

After spending the last 5 years in the world of VLJ's, I now find myself working for one of the “dinosaurs”, and evey now and then I ponder what is really different between the Dinosaurs and Eclips? The answer, IMHO very little (excluding press releases and comments). Eclips, in the beginning set out to change the industry and unfortunately they became another victim of the Dinosaur mentality. Slow, hesitant to change, arrogant, and continually missing milestones and schedules. With the possible exception of Cirrus, can someone please point out an Airframe Manufacturer that doesn’t fit this description

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Pubgrubber,

I would suggest there is an important difference between slow and deliberate.

My experience has been that change is deliberate and that risk is managed because of the nearly unimaginable size of the investment these programs represent.

Cessna says it will invest $750M in the Columbus Bizjet for design and facilities. Embraer says it will take $750M to develop two new jets (MSJ Mid-Size and MLJ Mid-Light).

Consider the issues the airlines are dealing with now in terms of maintenance and inspection recordkeeping. Literally thousands of flight cancelled due to overdue inspections or inspections not accurately recorded.

Is maintenance and inspection new to the airlines? Far from it.

These are experienced, dedicated organizations that have been safely maintaining and operating thousands of aircraft for millions of hours over the past 60 years.

Aerospace work is hard, period.

Certification and operation and maintenance of aircraft are complicated subjects that require specific capabilities and dedicated training.

Boeing has announced a further 6 month slide in the 787 program - the A380 was almost 2 years late, the A350 has been redesigned more times than can be counted, and the airlines are struggling with customer satisfaction and profitability.

If these outfits with the resources and experience they have are finding it difficult to manage the complex tasks in front of them, what chance does an arrogant upstart like Eclipse that rejects conventional wisdom out of hand possibly have?

The FAA, the Airlines, Charter operators, and individual owner/pilots are all professional, dedicated, conscientous and focused but the systems, mechanisms and regulation in place to ensure safe operation have become rather complicated.

Fortunately we have systems of checks and balances and self-reporting that continues to make aviation safer in the US than anywhere in the world.

Cirrus and Diamond are examples of upstarts that have developed into stable, contributing members of the OEM community.

Eclipse, ATG, Adam, Columbia and others have either already failed or are in the process of failing.

These companies lack(ed) the resources, the expertise, the skillsets and/or vision necessary to take a great idea and build a company, a support infrastructure, a certification method, manufacturing capacity and a profitable business plan around it.

baron95 said...

Pubgruber said... can someone please point out an Airframe Manufacturer that doesn’t fit this description

Gulfstream only plays to win - and so far, they've always won with every design. Watch the G650 project to see how it is done.

As for Cirrus, perhaps your forget that they had many false starts as a kit builder (ST-50 IIRC never went any where), and many many certification and prouction rate delays. They are at great risk to be marginalized because they (along with Piper and Eclipse) are the odd-man out in not adopting G1000 for personal flying machines. They are being reactionary in that way.

airtaximan said...

shane,

I would like to know if there in fact has been the investment or not. LAst I heard, they were still wrangling, and it was not done.

rlal said...

Baron,

Has anyone heard of Cirrus leaving avidyne for L3 avionics?

Flying Mag

Also if you do a google search for cirrus L3, you will find some links to pages stating Cirrus has selected L3 for The Jet as well.

Ritesh

PubGrubber said...

ATMan

The trustee goes before the court today to present the offer. The sale doesn't close until 04/15/08. Nothing is final until that point, there are still people asking for money out of the sale.
Basically (1) company placed a bid of $10 mill and has pledged to finance the continuation.

Http://www.adamaircraftbankruptcy.com

Copernicus said...

Cirrus has stated that they will have L3 avionics in the first prototype jet that is now in production and that will be seen at Oshkosh. They have also said that no final decision has been made. So it seems like it is L3's to lose if they can't get their smartdeck certified for Cirrus or if they can't catch Garmin with SVT. Cirrus does not like the single AHRS feature of the G1000, but they might be able to get over this one way or the other.

Shane said...

Pubgrubber,

ATman and myself are talking about Epic, not Adam...

Airtaxi,

Could not find anything, either way. The background I gave was simply to show that Viijay has lots (and lots and lots) of spare cash lying around the place.

If he has decided, for whatever reason, not to pony up with the investment in Epic, so be it.

I think he would be missing a real opportunity, IF he fails to follow through. It's would also seem to run against the grain of how Indian buisness works.

I'm not a betting man, but if I was, I would be very surprised if this deal went south. There would have to be something really wrong....

Shane

mountainhigh said...

The FAA visited Epic and Lancair recently regarding the 51% rule as used in quick build shops, etc. After reading some info from EAA, and the FAA is looks like they may tighten the rules regarding quick build shops and builder assist on experimentals. They (FAA) are supposed to have their draft proposals out in April/May.

Maybe Gunner can give some insight on this since he's working closely with Epic. Do you think the FAA will try to limit quick build shops? and tighten all the regs?

In one piece I read the FAA talked about instituting enforcement power. If they felt someone falsified the paperwork (51% rule) they wanted to turn the person over to the justice department for prosecution.

Anyone have any insight into whether the FAA will try and prohibit "builder assistance" for experimentals?

mountainhigh said...

Copernicus,

Will Cirrus fly their SEJ into Oskhosh? Excel-Jet will have their Sport-Jet at Oshkosh...they project first flight before yearend.

baron95 said...

rlal said...
Baron,
Has anyone heard of Cirrus leaving avidyne for L3 avionics?


Nope. What I've heard is that L3 used an SR22 as the certification platform for SmartDeck, because they saw that opening - hundreds of newish airframes with sucky and failure prone avionics.

Then, they offered to provide the avionics suite for the Cirrus Jet prototype in the hopes of whinning that business.

L3 is a well run company. But they have an uphill battle. Garmin is very conservative and slow moving company (look how long it took them to get WAAS from the Apollo CNX80 into the 430/530), but they have great vision and keen sense for what pilots want.

I think the train has left the station. New pilots that can afford these new planes are going to increasingly be trained in G100 planes (C172, Diamond, etc) and all pilots currently view the G1000 as the safe bet.

If you don't offer it, you are at a disadvantage. Columbia at one point offered a choice of Avydine vs G1000 on the 350/400. All piots chose the G1000. It is that clear cut.

baron95 said...

Copernicus said ... Cirrus does not like the single AHRS feature of the G1000, but they might be able to get over this one way or the other.

Just to be clear, there is no single AHRS feature on the G1000. You can installed with one (e.g. 172) or 2 (e.g. Mustang/TBM). It is really your choice. I'm not sure if three are supported, but I guess if there were a requirment Garmin could do it.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Mountainhigh,

The FAA will likely rewrite the previous Advisory Circulars to find a happy medium centered around the level of complexity of the planes.

For example, I think they will come down hard on professional builders who are building relatively simple airplanes for others (Van's, Kitfoxes, Sonex's) but will recognize the level of complexity and assembly involved in the higher performance more complex planes like the LT or the Lancair IV-P and be OK with that.

So far, they have stopped inspecting designs to be included on the '51%' list and have announced their intent to regroup and address the challenges.

As I recall, the 1st customer completed Epic was delayed a little due to this issue.

I would like to think that the FAA will recognize that builder assist programs remain true to the intent or spirit of the reg's (build for education and recreation) while ensuring the airways remain safe.

In my experience, the FAA is all about precedent and in this case, the precedent was set years ago with the first IV-P's and again with the LT and other programs.

Really, does anyone think that New Glasair's Two-Weeks-To-Taxi is BAD for sport aviation? Is it bad for safety?

Look at the planes they have allowed to exist which market forces finally killed off (can you say Happy Miles and the Adventurer?).

I hear they are even allowing a small company in the Southwest to deliver partially functional incomplete kit jets, some assembly required with several IOU's.

Seriously, all aircraft previously evaluated and placed on the '51%' list by the FAA (like the IV-P and the LT or the Two-Weeks-To-Taxi program) are grandfathered and I suspect the FAA would have its' hands full if they tried to retroactively change those determinations.

gadfly said...

Somewhere back “when”, the blog seemed to be focused on the little bird called the “Eclipse”. And if that were the case, for those who might be interested, it’s raining in ABQ.

Now, if I were the “owner” of such an aircraft (and thankfully, I do not have a single penny invested in this thing . . . except the tax money that a certain governor invested on my behalf, without my permission), I might wonder just when I might be able to exit ABQ and get on to “where-ever”.

Well, you all get the point. The “blog” was supposed to be about the little “stir-fried” aircraft. From “day one”, I don’t think that anyone thought that it wouldn’t fly. Add enough power to a brick, and it will fly . . . for a while!

It’s not even a question as to computer software . . . there’s any number of programs that will “dazzle” the novice computer users with programs . . . LCD screens, etc., etc., . . . and anything is possible with something resembling Microsoft “Flight Simulator” (or is it, “Flight Stimulator”?) . . . how many times have I gone to sleep flying a “Cessna” out of Meigs Field over the terrain of Lake Michigan, and “points west” . . . watching a “Plasma Screen” in living “orange”.

(A friend gave me a 360 KB 3.5" diskette . . . it included Microsoft “Flight Simulator”, a copy of “Microsoft Word”, and a couple other things that I could run on my “new” Toshiba “laptop’ . . . those were the days before “blote-ware”. On my little Toshiba laptop, I watched for hours the slowly changing horizon of Chicago . . . “flying” over the night sky of the Chicago landscape, where I once went to school, dated the girl that I married, learned to fly, and worked for United Air Lines at ORD.)

Maybe that was the pinnacle of “flight”. But somehow, the early days of flying in sub-zero air . . . the drone of a four-cylinder Continental 65 hp engine . . . watching a “wire” dropping lower and lower, into a “gas cap” . . . and heading for home . . . cold air almost too cold to breath . . . the tiny airport in sight (stay below the incoming DC-8's, etc., on final to ORD) . . . now to turn “base” and “final” and get down . . . now to “flare out” . . . those big rubber tires hitting a light layer of snow on a “turf” runway . . . cut power . . . turn right (or left . . . forgive me, it’s been over forty years), and climb up the hill . . . apply some power . . . get up close to the “Tee” hanger, and cut the magneto.

Yes, those were the days . . . for me! That was “flying”.

You folks that dream of flying your “Eclipse” . . . you may have missed it all!

Before . . . and since those days, I have been involved with various things that relate to your “welfare” and safety in flight . . . would you believe “since 1942"? “Another” on this blogsite is worthy of your close attention . . . Stan! Hear him . . . and take notes when he speaks.

Some of us care about the welfare of those who continue to fly . . . don’t sell that short. If “Eclipse” were a worthy thing to follow, we would be the first to encourage you to be a part of a new thing. But based on our knowledge, and experience, we would never allow our loved ones to ever board this thing.

Does it fly? . . . sure it flies. But do we trust it? . . . Better, do we trust the people that have brought it into existence? . . . You have enough information! You answer the question.

gadfly

(It's 6:260pm in ABQ . . . I'm goin' home.)

bill e. goat said...

Gadfly,
Fear not! Fun still exists!!
The cork and wire fuel indicator is pretty reliable (can just barely be seen a few inches in front of the windscreen),
Disruptive, for 19-forty-something

In fairness, the flashlight batteries required to use the "fuel management system" at night probably are "Eclipsed" by Avio-NG for reliability.

I've flown the "advanced" model, with landing lights. (Although, with a weak generator, the flashlight provides useful augmentation for night landings).

Again, as a nod to Eclipse, the 'coupe's cross-wind landing capability basically boils down to how scared you want to be. (Same with t/o weights approaching max).

On the other hand, people point and stare a lot. (?? I take that as a compliment, although sometimes, I'm not quite sure... :)
----------------------------
(For those less aware of this- and probably better off for it- this thing was designed for the "average Joe"- no rudder pedals, limited pitch and yaw authority, so it was stall and spin-proof).

ERcoupe
Don't try this at home...
JATO story

bill e. goat said...

Well, hmmm...
Brousing the photo site with the 'coupe, I came across an interesting airplane,
the OTHER EA-500

This seems to be -almost- the answer to my whining about the world needing a better small turboprop. (I knew aobut the EA-400 piston, this seems to be based on it).

Now, if someone would just combine the room of the Kodiak, with the slick aerodynamics of this thing, we'd have just the ticket I've been advocating- a small, speedy Caravan-like wantabe.

gadfly said...

Goat

'Funny thing! I could have flown home "legally" in a J-3 tonight (provided I flew directly over I-40 . . . and didn't turn "left" until well clear of "North 14" east of Tijeras Canyon), but couldn't have made it through the pass in the little jet. The ceiling over Sandia Crest (10,678 feet) was about 9,000 feet . . . and the Sandia's and Manzano's were "white" with that cold stuff that comes down in "flakes".

Since "Day One", it's been a mystery to me why "Vern" chose ABQ for the location of the factory. 'Maybe he thought that ABQ and PHX were somehow similar.

gadfly

(The weather folks, the ones that have predicted "global warming", said it "might rain" this afternoon. They failed to mention that it would make everything all white, etc.)

gadfly said...

Goat

'Don't trust air contraptions (Ercoupes) without rudder peddles! 'Makes for interesting cross-wind landings.

gadfly

bill e. goat said...

Hi Gadfly,
"it's been a mystery to me why Vern chose ABQ"

?Sentimentality for the early days of Microsoft when it was in ABQ? (Vern was the 14th-or-so Microsoft employee).

Why did Microsoft start in ABQ? I think some of our fellow bloggers might not be familiar with the "grand-daddy of all PC's" (well, something like that), developed by some of those enterprising folks in the ABQ area:
Altair PC
(there's probably a bazillion stories about the "first PC", but this seems to be the one I come across the most).

Gadfly, did you ever meet the ABQ guys mentioned in the Wikipedia article (Ed Roberts, Forrest Mims, Stan Cagle, Robert Zaller)?

bill e. goat said...

An ERcoupe with rudder pedals !?!
That's for wimps!
(Besides, it doesn't have enough power to create any P-factor).

And, it's got trailing link main gear (just like Eclipse !!), so occasional "off-roading" during crosswind landings is...silky smooth!

(Just like my excuses afterwards... :)

gadfly said...

Goat

'Didn't know any of those "nurds" back then . . . too busy fighting my own dragons. The story goes that the ABQ banker's wouldn't loan the man money on something that didn't go "Moo!" and have horns, so he went back "Northwest" to "Daddy". 'Smart move on his part, and ABQ was left "holding an empty sack" . . . as usual. (This town is real good at that sort of thing.)

Now you got me thinking about those little "fin" thingies back there . . . sort of like a "'50's" Cadillac (but earlier). 'Next thing you'll say that they had a purpose other than "ornamental".

But the trailing arm suspension . . . not all that bad . . . great for landing in the desert.

'Like most of the "good" features of the little jet . . . old stuff "re-hashed" and rather tame, when you come right down to it. It's the guy behind the green curtain that should scare the giblets out of any potential customer.

gadfly

(And then there's that "stir fried" recipe . . . 'still haven't heard how they're goin' to keep a check on that one . . . all painted over nice and smooth.)

Shane said...

I know many share Gadfly's concern about the longer term viablity of FSW, especially when hidden from easy inspection.

What I can't see is any way that the market will support the volume that Vern needs, to justify the costs of getting stir frying and 'high rate production' actually working.

Never forget how much of the little bird is actually made outside the dollar area. Wings, engines and large bits of the tail, to name the principle elements. These all now COST more, in dollar terms. Now look at the pricing model used by DayJet for its seats and tell me that their direct operating cost has not risen sharply since they commenced operations.

As an aside I recognize that private owners regard fuel cost as only an element but, like anything we do, there is a limit.

Oil is $112 a barrel. Stateside driving season starts next month, which traditionally drives demand for oil higher. OPEC announced yesterday there saw no reason to raise production.

One Euro buys $1.59. The FED will cut interest rates, again, by between 25 and 50 basis points. The ECB (European Central Bank) still stoutly refuses to respond, on the basis that German inflation is a problem.

What odds oil at $130 and the Euro at $1.70, by the start of July?

How many of Vern's 'orders' will vanish, almost overnight, as a result?

Shane

421Jockey said...

Shane, for every order from the existing US orders that "vanish", 2 will replace it from overseas, and from people cancelling orders on their larger gas guzzler jet and moving to the Eclipse that sips fuel on a realtive basis.

This could be a great benefit for Eclipse.

Black Tulip said...

“This could be a great benefit for Eclipse.”

421jockey,

It’s nice to see a note of optimism connected with the name Eclipse. The recent news or lack thereof, creates the image of an Eclipse owner swinging at the end of a long rope, slowly twisting in the wind. I would think there is tremendous pressure by the owners on the factory to get two things done before the money runs out:

Certify the Garmin 400W in the panel.

Finally finish the known ice certification.

Then the Eclipse 500 could run with the big dogs.

bill e. goat said...

Shane,
Oil consumption in the US is predicted to -finally-, -again-, level off, r slightly (very slightly) decline this summer.

But, I'm not sure of the effect on pump prices. Would you say an increase would be due to global demand continuing to increase, or the US dollar continuing to weaken?

421 (by the way, that comes out $@! in capitals),
I think the Eclipse is impressively fuel efficient, and a weakening US dollar, and rising fuel prices, make it more even more attractive to some. As you point out, this will help Eclipse, but I suspect more orders will "defect" to single engine jets than are raked in from orders abroad. Perhaps the looming threat of SE's explains part of the "race to push them (EA-500's) out the door", before the SE's are available (and before the EA-500 design is fully finished).

Shane said...

421,

I am in possession of definitive information to the contrary, which I will share with all later today/tomorrow morning, depending on the time zone where you live.

It's very simple really. No EASA, no overseas sales worth talking about. And remember my point about COSTS....

Goat,

Both. Dollar falls, Arabs (and Russians) want more of them for each barrel.

Tata Cars of India just launched a €1,500 (yes, fifteen hundred...) car. There are 1.4 BILLION Indians, many of whom are keen to own one.

As for China, well, once they take over all the labour intensive work that American's can't (or won't) do anymore, they will also want higher living standards. And there are 1.6 BILLION Chinese....

So, since you ask, I think that demand for oil is going up...

... AND the U.S. Dollar is heading for the basement.

Shane

fred said...

421 ...

take a deep breath , put down the pink goggles ....

ok ?

i am sorry to have to get you back on cow's ground ...
but i do believe the orders you mention are at the best a dream , at the worst a scam ...!!!

don't rely too much on Foreign orders ...

the $ effect is as valid for E500 than to mustang ... just to name 2 birds ...!!!

and what is the point of buying a bird which you cannot fly ? and which is probably not going to make any progress in certification this year ???

for not a lot more (in regards of waiting list and guarantee of getting something worth the money you spend ) mustang is a much safer bet ...

as for certification , a little resume of "friction" (not stir weld) point with Easa :

circuit and battery (EAC has still to come up with a solution that can be agreed by EASA)

FSW , EAC has still to proove reliability ...EASa has doubts it can be checked without tooling well out of financial reach of EAC ...

Avionic , EAC has still to come-up with something satisfactory ... and definite ...!

Fiki , EAC has still to come-up with some kind of solution

Differents minor defects , EASA still waiting for some solutions ..

financial and future service of Birds : EAC is still to come-up with some "definite" plans has to reliability of company both on fiancials aspects and services aspects ... (on this side of ocean ...)


bill goat ...

there is an other effect neither shane or you pointed out on gas price :

since the european market drives mostly on diesel , there is large stock of regular gas in E.U. , usually they are sold to USA , because we don't use it , because it used to be good buisness when $ +/- € and because due to the short term benefits VS investments policy of US bizz , in the last few years , there isn't enough refinery capacities in USA to face peak consuption ( typically in summer)

this year situation sounds quite different :

BCE is firm on interests rates due to inflation in different countries of Euroland ...when Fed has no real choice but to lower even more prime rate , thu making $ dive a little further ...

Opec is not to produce more before end of summer if they raise production any time in 2008 ...

Russia (2nd world exporter ) is forecasting an increasing demand on its own market , reducing the margin of what can be exported ...

and finally the parity $/€ make the deal on regular much less juicy , if sold in $ by european oil firms ...


so conclusion : oil related products are not to become any cheaper before a (very long if ever) while

fred said...

shane ...

sorry to cut the grass a little bit under you feet ...
(about EASA and the "specials conditions" posted here before , it seems to be only the emerging part of the iceberg ....)

but your point about chineese is very valid ...

i would just point out , cina Govt very soon WON'T have any other choice than to RAISE living standarts of chineese ....
if the chineese Govt is to remain in power ...

chineese peoples want it for a long time ...

it is the main reason why they switch from a Yuan Remembi / $ parity to a "basket of international currency" VS yuan , not a long ago ... (as well as the declining $)

to raise the buying power of average chineese , because they forecast foreign luxury products will be the trends , soon ...

if chineese average can have the taste of "consumers society" they won't think too much ...!!

bill e. goat said...

Thoughts on China: oil and consumerism...

I got to thinking about China having a more managed/(controlled) economy, and society in general, and thought maybe that control will permit more orderly development, specifically, so the Chinese folks want cars, maybe by the time they can afford them, electric hybrids will be viable, and China will elect to forgo oil and use nuclear power and mass transit to mitigate energy and pollution/green house gases.

Is it feasible?
I checked some population densities:
UK- 246 people/km^2
Germany- 232
Italy- 193
Switzerland- 176
China- 173
France- 110
US- 31
List of countries
So, China falls smack dab in the middle of US vs Europe, so maybe mass transit is feasible (moreso than the US, anyway).

But, I read China currently gets 80 percent of it's electricty from coal, and about 20 percent from hydroelectric plants, so all their oil imports are going into transportation.

Recent trends are not so encouraging for my wishful thinking:
By 2020, only 4% of Chinese electrical power will be nuclear:
Chinese Nuclear Power

And, China's going coal-fired big time:
Coal Plants in China
------------------------------
The "good" news is, there are some advantages to China not having even more nuclear technology, specifically, reduced risk of nuclear proliferation- although the concrete results of environmental degredation might outweight that.