Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lest we forget

There ARE owners and/or pilots out there, using E500's. Most of these souls, who have contacted the blog email are reluctant to be quoted. Seems they feel that Vern or their current employer (or both) might take offence. I know from direct experience that the E500 'club' is a small fraternity and feels under pressure. Indeed some correspondence I've had points to over sensitivity on their part. I wonder who is pulling the strings and trying to make people feel uncomfortable?

However, there is a picture which I am now in a position to paint for you. Understand that this is a composite view, based on many emails and my own research. I have also been working on it for some time, during which events predicted here came to pass. I should also state that I've had help from 'others' in putting this together. You know who you are and a big 'thank you' from me.

The early problems with the aircraft are mostly resolved. The windshield 'issue' has gone away, the brakes, while still not 'rock solid' are fine and the general finish (inside and out) is considered fit for purpose' if not top quality. You know what they say, you gets what you pays for. CG limits, fuel loads, gross weights etc are all pretty much as expected and no real hassle. The engines are generally praised, with excellent performance and reliability.

The Avio to AvioNG upgrade is, at best, not clear. Some of the owners are still not sure when the work will actually get started. While Avio seems generally to work well, there are reports of failures, with both in flight and on the ramp 'surprises'. It would appear that this is the area of most concern, longer term. A number of people have expressed a desire for the G1000, with comments along the lines of 'why not go the whole way' after the G400W was announced.

Here my picture begins to darken a little, for Eclipse. The training program is tough. Very, very tough. Everyone has commented on that, in similar terms. Parts of the program in the Level D simulator(s) are causing some confusion, by not matching the aircraft as well as expected. One of my sources was also critical of the course content in general.

Everyone complains about Eclipse 'managers'. It seems that the troops, from first contact through the sales process and on to training and maintenance are good guys and girls. But, and it's a recurring theme, the 'managers' seem to go out of their way to make life difficult for everyone.

Without exception, all the owner and/or pilots comments express concern about the future. They seem nervous in particular about AvioNG, and when it will be delivered. There are (nasty) comments on the cost of 'JetComplete' and what's covered. When something does fail (and machines, by their very nature, will break down) there seems to be a delay in getting things sorted. Several reports reach me of 'half fixed' at first attempt, with a suspicion that the staff are not sure what to do next.

Remember, if an owner or pilot manages to contacts me, they generally are concerned about something. It's a bit of an effort to get to this blog, find out who to contact and then exchange emails to build up a bit of mutual trust. What's remarkable, however, is that the same things are being conveyed to me by different people.

And to cap it all, in the last 24 hours yet another 'Special Offer' hits the inbox. You are all familiar with the form of Vern Raburn, but this one tops the lot for its' cynical and deliberate attempt to rush the unwary into a decision. A decision they are sure to regret.

Headed 'Early Position Offer to Customers' it attempts to drag depositors (but only those who have not already paid in their 50%) forward to this summer. This 'opportunity' arises because of delays in EASA certification, and is not the result of cancelled orders. Oh no, that would never happen. However, the aircraft involved will be without the Garmin 400W's announced last week, when first delivered. Of course, the mugs (sorry, customers) are assured that the G400W's, will eventually be supplied. On Tuesday as usual, I suppose.

Hurry, hurry, it's a limited time offer, etc etc.

It's the middle of April. Cash must be getting tight again...

The trees are budding here in Ireland, which is always green but especially so at this time of year. I wish each and every one of you a gentle Spring weekend, away from your everyday cares.

93 comments:

BricklinNG said...

The 4/9/08 offer to Advance positions

Could this be the first sign of a collapsing order file? Remember that EAC has professed 2700 orders, a number that has not increased. Now it seems to be decreasing independent of deliveries.

If there are any orders which were taken contingent on EASA certification, those customers are surely asking for a deferral, if not an outright refund. Subtract some orders, at least for now.

Dayjet, Pogojet et al have some orders in place contingent on the early success of their business volume. Dayjet's volume is stagnant at 100 or so revenue hours per week; Pogo is no go. Subtract some orders, at least for now.

Thirdly, note that Vern said on 4/4/08 that EAC's position is that with G400s on board, the Avio avionics commitment has been met. Is it fair to infer, then, that airplanes without G400s do not meet the commitment so that if EAC proposes to deliver a "no G400" airplane, the customer could claim a refund event based on sub commitment avionics? This would mean a dropped order and a refund, or perhaps a deferral to the post G400 era. Some customers might seize upon a refund event to get out just to get out. Others, with positions prior to G400 cut in might hesitate to take delivery if they don't have to do so. How would you like to have 399 if the cut in is 400, get a deficient airplane and be relying on EAC for a year or more to deliver you out of avionics Purgatory?

So for some or all of these reasons, perhaps, the number of orders representing firm intent to pay the money and get airplanes may be diminishing. EAC wants to accelerate later customers to pick up the early open slots and it wants those who have not paid deposits presumably so that it can collect cash 60% deposits from these folks.

Does it seem to anyone else that EAC may be rushing forward through its backlog at the same time as the backlog is rushing backwards? What will happen if the diminished backlog has been completed, Europeans are nowhere because there is not EASA certification and Dayjet et al are nowhere because they have not generated enough volume for more orders? The whole undertaking will then be reliant on US owner/operators and US charter operators filling the niche role for an airplane that is suited to short flights with 1 or 2 passengers.

The 4/9/08 offer seems born of desperation by a company that needs immediate cash.

fred said...

is it "chant du cygne" ?

(a last attemp to keep a sparkle of life when ineluctable death is coming ...)

if so , it means the "eastern" money well has dried out ...

or that all lies added to other lies are trapping EAC :

the few birds already build have owners ?

or the waiting owners desire to wait a little more for the ultimate solution coming around "next tuesday" ?

or birds already build could cost so much to retrofit , it is better to try to get rid of them at discount price ?

only questions to be answered by time ....

but it sounds more and more scary !!!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Many predicited that ETICs money would be consumed in about 3 to 4 months. That would be sometime around Tuesday.

I am looking forward to Flight Centers next statistics update. Will be interesting to see how many of verns "55%" in production in 2008 have actually been deliver (if not finished).

fred said...

freedom ...

if etirc money is gone ...

would you consider the "reliability" of a firm ready to invest 100/200 millions $ and to build a production palnt on the other side of earth ...?

supposed to be backed by Top officials (if not directly by country budget !) of a "federation" having a Budget surplus of some 76 billions US$ a year (average in the last 4 years)

would you consider the "reliability " on such events ?

i wrote it before (i agree it is only speculations ! ) only a smoke-screen hidden by an other smoke-screen ...

fred said...

all swindling in the world follow the same pattern :


they cut peoples off references , they try to have peoples to believe "others" are lying or that they are "dinosaurs" who are unable to understand the nature of what is proposed ...

2° allways in a hurry , it is such a "great opportunity" that no one is willing to consider loosing ...

3° ounce peolpes are trapped in the middle of it , they defend the hoax with the last energy ...


off-course , i am not saying that can be applied to ANY company in particular ....!!!

more = it is time to use your OWN brain !!! to draw your OWN conclusions !!! and that it has NEVER been so urgent to simply WAIT ... !!!

remember = what is the most powerfull weapon against lies ...

= TIME !

airtaximan said...

what happend to Mike Press?

Shane said...

Word reaches me that there are concerns about the materials used for the engine mounts on our very own VLJ.

I can claim it's 'ours' since we call this the 'Eclipse' Aviation Critic NG, but as usual, I digress.

The contamination may have remained undetected (until too late) due to the fact that standard testing methods were not used.

Oooops....

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Shane,

Would that be the FSW'd engine mount and beam assembly?

That might explain the need for dozens of structures and stress engineers in the Service Engineering discipline.

Wow.

bill e. goat said...

CWMOR,
??? Or, that the fatigue testing is not going so well...Maybe some of Shane's contacts can update us along those lines?

bill e. goat said...

Hmmm,...another possibility, the "service engineering" structures guys are really working on the con-jet. (But, that would probably require a bunch of aero guys as well).

Thought: okay, so to save money, con-jet reuses the wing, and avionics, and sort-of an engine (same P&W family). What's different is the fuselage (structures, and aero); will Eclipse outsoure the fuselage design and/or manufacturing???

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

Would that be the FSW'd engine mount and beam assembly?

CWMOR, I'm sure you're just making a "funny", but as you all know, the beams is a machined piece from a forged billet.

Sounds like they failed to do proper materials testing (NDT).

It would kinda' suck if your P&W's decided to go to Florida without you...

P_P

421Jockey said...

9Z,

I was wondering if you were going to take heed of the new rules on the owners web site. If you log on directly, you know what I am referring to, and if you get your information from someone else, they know. I have no idea if there are any teeth in the confidentiality rules of that site, but I have a feeling that you may be the first person to test the waters. Paranoid or not, the management has it in for you and a few others, it will be facinating to see how this one plays out.

Ex-421

eclipso said...

An update to the mounts:

Seems with the specs and drawings given to Alcoa, there was not sufficient material left AFTER the contaminates were removed, so its a "lesser of two evils" situation. More "meat" = more contaminates....you goota love those Ford/Intel engineers

Black Tulip said...

Eclipse Aviation could use a tried-and-true approach to update the design of the Eclipse 500. I suggest the best features of four aircraft be combined –

Eclipse 500

Eclipse Concept Jet

Adam 500

Adam 700

The new aircraft will be called the Adaclipse 600. It’s going to have fore-and-aft piston engines plus two pylon-mounted turbofans. At fuel stops the pilot buys either avgas or jet fuel, whichever is cheaper. Naturally it uses many existing structures and components. Anyone interested in placing a deposit?

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Does this mount issue effect all delivered A/C?
Is it going to require retrofit?

baron95 said...

Does anyone know how many flight hours the highest time Eclipse has and what the fleet total flight hours are?

I'm trying to figure out if there is enough experience - say 2,000hrs+ hight time example + 20,000 hrs+ fleet total to give some confidence that no catastrophic design flaw exists.

If they haven't reach those numbers do we know when they should hit them?

Thx.

gadfly said...

baron, eclipso, tarts, tulip ("dark blossom") . . . and of course, "the goat" (how's munchin' on that can of beans been goin' as of late?) et al,

The design philosophy of this aircraft is rich with “hi-tech” stuff that should normally be found only on “missiles” and “military” airframes, but with the budget of a GM “Saturn”.

For instance, an engine mount, or a wing-spar, “carved” from a single billet of high-strength aluminum (aluminium, to "Shane" and those "Brits" on "that other island"), requires a level of quality control that accelerates the cost “out of the ball-park”. The reasons are many, but simply put, each and every part of that original “billet” must meet a level of integrity, far beyond the “norm”. A simple “flaw” that may lie deep within the "billet", might very well spell disaster for the “whole” (Don't even approach Stan with the flaws of composite airframes). “Low tech” fabrication, at far lower overall costs, uses multiple parts in fabrication . . . a failure of a single, or multiple parts, does not result in failure of the “whole”. (And here I could recite the "Brooklyn Bridge" as an example of wise design in light of the failures of the average supplier of "certified" material.)

Aviation history books are filled with the “pros” and “cons” of this philosophy. Read the histories of the great British and American aircraft of WWII . . . aircraft that, frankly, exceeded the capabilities of the “little jet” by a wide margin . . . and safely brought their crews home . . . to continue our present generation.

Couple this with a “brand new company” and a crew of workers that are, for the most part, inexperienced in metallurgy and manufacturing methods,. . . you have a formula for potential disaster. Lockheed, and many others, manufactured far superior aircraft with personnel “fresh off the farm” . . . and that was over sixty years ago.

Since this is by all reasonable standards a “low or medium” performance aircraft, it follows that the use of proven methods of design and fabrication would have given “it” a reasonable level of safety and future development. But as it stands, any of many possible “flaws”, in design, fabrication, and business plans, put it on the edge of a dangerous precipice of disaster. There is extremely little room for error.

Where to begin . . . where to end! The obvious problems would fill volumes . . . the answers are "simplistic" . . . and of no interest to "most" of the modern generation. ‘Having worked with laboratory “rats” for medical purposes, and having experience in metallurgy, aero-dynamics, electronics, machining, and manufacturing of aircraft related parts . . . the sum total of my own experience places far more doubt than confidence in the future of this little bird.

However, it is an amazing thing that people will place personal pride and emotions . . . even above sound advice . . . and will risk life and limb . . . and fortune, to “prove” a pre-conceived notion . . . and make a down payment on an unproven flying machine. For what purpose? . . . You tell me!

gadfly

(Personally, life is too precious to waste on nonsense . . . I have better things to do in the few years I may have left.)

Shane Price said...

Please take note of EX421's post at 11.31am today.

He was waving red flags at 9Z, under the impression that the source for the 'FIRE' warning's might have been the E5C web site.

I am aware of the sensitivity E500 owners have about their 'private' discussions. I also know that the company are paranoid about staff and suppliers who communicate with your humble servant.

That would be me, except for the 'humble' bit.

I would venture to suggest to 421 and M.M. from E5C (initials only, to share his blushes) as well as the rest of the 'paranoid androids' from Eclipse that you all remember the old saying:-

News travels fast, bad news travels faster.

The inbox here had the 'G400W' official release notice about 20 seconds after it was sent.

The lastest 'special offer' was in (from more than one source) before most of the intended mugs (sorry, customers) had a chance to read it, never mind respond.

Today alone I have the 'engine mounts' problem, and the full gen on ANOTHER supplier under the bus.

I could of course just push all this stuff out as headline after headline. Most of it DESERVES a thread. But I don't. I try to check things out, make sure that the source is reliable and can back up what they share. I want, in my own small way, to get to the truth. That takes time, sometimes lots of time. This 'owners/pilots' posting took weeks to put together, and at the last minute, just when I thought it was finished, along comes Vern with the 'special offer'....

Remember this. I'm pretty hard to find. The blog email address requires that you a) get here and b) decide to share your information with a total stranger, who is a self confessed Irishman.

Takes some determination to jump those hurdles.

So 421, and with sincere respect to your good standing here, be careful in jumping to conclusions. As the wheels and the wagon part company with ever increasing frequency, the 'rules' imposed by Eclipse will break down.

How truly 'disruptive' that will be....

Shane
P.S. An early bit of advice to me from Stan, when I expressed concern at a lack of content for the blog, was just to wait. 'Eclipse will always do something stupid, Shane'. As always, how right he was.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

421,

Just curious what you think of that being that you have an incomplete aircraft.

Is going after bloggers a legitimate and worthwhile investment of Eclipse's limited resources of time and money in your opinion or would that energy be better spent completing the doggone airplane?

airtaximan said...

9z

from now on, just type:
"I heard a wild and crazy unsubstantiated impossible to be true rumor NOT from the eclispe owners site, that..."

and you'll be cool

gadfly said...

Shane

'Hang in there, "mon" . . . for an Irishman, you're "OK".

And to the "coldfish", if it saves a single life, all this is well worth the effort!

gadfly (named for a Scot of my ancestry . . . circa 1300AD . . . watching a spider in a cave.)

(A man is never so serious as when he seems to be "making a joke". Read me plain and clear!)

gadfly said...

421

Possibly the last thing that the “little jet manufacturing and re-re-sale company” wants is an exposé to the public. Remember that the moment they accepted the “$20,000,000" of New Mexico taxpayer’s money from our illustrious governor and supporter of “BO”, they made the entire population of New Mexico “part owners” of the little bird, with full right to complete disclosure of their operation. Believe or else . . . the last thing they want is for a full public exposé of the operation behind the green curtain.

And that, my friend, you can take to the bank!

gadfly

(Ain't this fun? . . . Now go have a great weekend . . . rest up for a day, spend a day in the right way, and come back full of vinegar, come "Monday".)

BricklinNG said...

Gadfly,

If there is a great investigative story here, isn't it inevitable that some journalist will break it? After all, journalists enhance their careers if they expose odorous oddities and conundra, or just those that can be made to appear odorous. Think about just these few items out of the many that have been reported here (Are they verifiable?)

$20 million of public money invested in EAC,

More time, money and price increase than any other airplane development company,

Original backing from celebrity,

FAA approval of an airplane that EASA will not even start on,

The FAA "dissenting" memo,

(FAA bashing quite topical presently)

Jets flying around with incomplete navigation systems; systems less capable than those found on a C172 or (particularly since last Monday) on a Diamond,

Depositors being called for million dollar deposits on EAC's unilateral sayso that delivery will be in 6 months.

Strong egos and potential "firey" interviews, with perhaps some parties unwilling to talk thus giving a chance to chase someone into a building, "Mr. xxx, I just want to ask a few questions"

Thinking about the raw material, I am surprised that we have not seen an expose already.

421Jockey said...

CWMOR,
I would much rather have the management of EAC spend their time on finishing the airplanes and learning to make money in order to survive. Everyone here understands the disfunctional approach that the company leadership has taken.

Along with that disfunction comes the paranoia and bad business practices that have been clearly demonstrated on a regular basis.

But when the tone of this blog turns to scare tactics about safety issues that are loosely translated from dialogue between EA50 owners on their own private site, I think that this blog has stooped to the same level of the entity for whch the blog was created.

I get this bad feeling that when an unfortunate accident does happen, there are members of this blog who are posturing to be able to say "I told you so".

I just hope that this is not what the blog is about.


Gadfly,

I agree. EAC just needs to perform. That is all that they owe to the people of NM.

Ex-421

Shane said...

421,

I agree. No one here would be happy to see an aircraft down, for any reason.

The difficulty remains. Because Mr. Raburn spends so much time telling the industry how 'wrong' their approach to building aircraft is, he sets himself, and by extension, the company, up as a target.

The engine mounts COULD be perfect. However, there is enough suspicion about Vern's approach to ask the questions.

ARE they fit for purpose? Is there proper inspection of the parts used and assembly process?

I don't know the answers. I suspect (and this is the issue) that NO ONE can actually put their hand on their heart and say 'I'm positive the job was done correctly'.

EAC also need to do more than 'perform' for the taxpayers of New Mexico. There is the small matter of $20 million to account for...

Shane

gadfly said...

Hey guy’s . . . the week is old . . . but before we go out the door, let’s look at what you’ve said:

First, let’s work toward the end that no-one will say, “I told you so!” And for the taxpayers of NM, they’ve been taken to the cleaners so many times, few would recognize this as more than a slight inconvenience.

As far as the “exposé” thing is concerned, let’s just condense that into a few statements.

Until recently, there were “two” daily newspapers (up until about a month ago), both printed on the same presses, although “opposite” in editorial content, and sharing the same industrial space, along with some of the advertising staff . . . now there is “one”, and it is struggling to make a profit. In my opinion, it will take some time for the remaining paper to feel secure enough to take on any more challenges. That is as much as I feel at liberty to say in this regard.

Local radio stations are owned by a major “out of state” corporation . . . and quite frankly, not much interested in taking on a local issue. The public is given enough “local” content, to believe that the major media is interested in local issues . . . but like the man behind the green curtain, it’s far from reality.

That’s the way I see it. ‘Having been born and raised in California, and having lived for years in Illinois (where death does not remove a man’s right to vote), I remain somewhat “amused” at the naivety of New Mexico politics, yet amazed at the long history of “Southwestern” methods going back many centuries, into the earliest days of the origins of Albuquerque and Santa Fe . . . before the founding of Boston and New York.

But back to the original comments . . . nothing “down here” happens fast . . . ‘maybe that’s why the “little jet” chose this place for its nest.

gadfly

(Mañana does not mean “tomorrow”, it only means, “some other time, . . . but not now!”)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

421, thanks for your answer.

My only hope is that the powers-that-be at EAC who, despite their protestations to the contrary, obviously DO read this blog, will take your input, as their customer, to invest their energies more intelligently.

bill e. goat said...

...more thoughts on the con-jet:
A few months ago, much ado about getting two production lines up and running.
Was that the ground work for con-jet manufacturing? (E-500 on one line, E-250 on the other)?
Hmmm...
-------------------------
9Z,
"recently had both FIRE warning lights come on".
(Maybe the shelf life of the Phostrex expired- have to watch the dates on the cans :).
-------------------------
PP,
That single-billet stuff sounds like, non-redundant non-fail-safe structure. (As Gadfly points out: "“Low tech” fabrication, at far lower overall costs, uses multiple parts in fabrication . . . a failure of a single, or multiple parts, does not result in failure of the “whole”.)

Maybe okay for FAR23 (?) Guess so since the FAA blessed it. Right?
-------------------------
CWMOR,
"Eclipse's limited resources of time and money in your opinion or would that energy be better spent completing the doggone airplane?"

My sentiments, EXACTLY.

And if we can figure that out, then it seems like there are two conclusions:

1) Eclipse is run by idiots who couldn't figure that out for themselves.

2) They are DELIBERATELY foregoing development in a FRANTIC race to get production numbers up.

I tend to favor conclusion # 2. (Although, others could make a strong case for #1...:) I don't think Eclipse's decisions have been stupid (ah, well, not all of them). Instead, I think Vern is smart, and most of the decisions have been calculated. I'm just not sure what the math is).

This blog has answered many of my questions about the mysterious goings-on at Eclipse; this frantic freenzy for production numbers is the most perplexing unanswered one.

baron95 said...

They are DELIBERATELY foregoing development in a FRANTIC race to get production numbers up.


Do you have any evidence or strong indication of that?

Typically, development activities are not competitive for resources in production/mannufacturing. The only exception is if you are trying to redesign parts to speed up assembly - but I don't think Eclipse is currently doing much of that, now that the HW is all locked in (except maybe the G400Ws and some FIKI HW).

I don't see any inconsistency in pursuing better assembly methods and greater efficiency, and getting a bunch of design engineers working on a follow-on design. As a matter of fact, that is the right time to do it.

And once they finish the ECJ, they need to get back to the EA500-1 design, then ECJ-1, etc.

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

"Do you have any evidence or strong indication of that (They are DELIBERATELY foregoing development in a FRANTIC race to get production numbers up.)"?

!!!???

Nearly 2000 employees.

Almost all "service related" (NOT R&D).

"Provisional" type certificate TWENTY months ago. Airplane design STILL not finished. How long until it has the functionality, that was advertised five years ago? This isn't "growth" stuff: this is BASELINE stuff, STILL not provided.

Follow the money. The money (facilities, employees, effort) is going into PRODUCTION.

NOT into R&D.

Really, is there anything left to say about Eclipse's priorities??

I mean, how long does it take to get decades old FIKI working, if a company even sort of tries???

Or, even sort of puts some effort into developing the same avionics suite as a 172 uses?? (Don't get me wrong, I admire what Eclipse is trying to do with Avio-NG, or whatever they will be call it next month. But it is NOT finished yet).

The evidence is overwhelming. PRODUCTION conerns rule ABSOLUTELY supreme. Corporate policy is PRODUCTION, not in tandem with R&D: at the expense of R&D. At the expense of EVERYTHING else. The priority is to put out numbers, not quality (finished) product.
-----------------------------
"Typically, development activities are not competitive for resources in production/mannufacturing".

Agreed- sort of. That is because a company "typically" recognizes the importance of R&D, and it's obligations to the customer to put out a completed product.

But in the case of Eclipse, it is absolutely: WRONG.

Eclipse has enough money to fund R&D. But they aren't spending it on R&D. They are spending it on production. Eclipse has hired around 1700 production employees. Why? To address a problem. What is the problem? Production numbers are too low.

Almost a YEAR ago, AAE reported Eclipse was taking R&D people, and assigning them to production.

Eclipse has 100 openings for production / service / infrastructure related positions. How many for R&D? None.

(Okay, two "experimental" mechanics). I've NEVER seen ANY technical company have such an imbalance- Eclipse IS NOT interested in doing ANY R&D: the emphasis, the ONLY emphasis, is on "cranking 'em out".
-----------------------------
"And once they finish the ECJ, they need to get back to the EA500-1 design, then ECJ-1, etc".

!!!???
They haven't finished the EA-500-0 yet !!!

bill e. goat said...

(Baron95, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one ;)

Niner Zulu said...

421J,

I appreciate the heads up about management "having it in" for me and a few others. Like you say, it is based on paranoia. They are looking for a villain where there is none.

Because of some of the comments and disturbing emails I've received lately, I have decided to stop posting on the blog. I'll be following along, though, as usual.

Best wishes to everyone here and safe flying!

eclipso said...

Maybe a little off topic but...
With the recent shakeup of the FAA and the upper echelon, is seems that the FAA got into the position it's in while the last Administrator was on watch....this would be the same one that gave a certain aircraft manufacturer a certificate after concerns were raised by the very same FAA at a regional level. The airlines now and perhaps Part 123 next?.....hmmmm

PubGrubber said...

A question if I may, the issue with the engine Mount. Is it a potential problem with the Mount (Yoke) or with the engine beam itself?

eclipso said...

I hear the beam, but will have to comfirm...

uglytruth said...

The AC has aprox 11,500 rivets in it not counting screw style fasteners. You can have a lot of people working to install them but it still takes lots and lots of hrs. Many of the locations the fasteners were used were very hard to reach with the proper tools.

Does anyone know if they ever sorted the Huck vs. Cherry Max issue. The failure rate of the Huck fasteners was like 100%. It went like this. Install 100 rivets and 40 would pull bad, drill out 40 and hope you didn’t do any damage and create a tag and reinstall 40, then 12 would be bad and you drilled out 12 and reinstalled them and you would still end up with 1-2 bad and have to fix those. Made for slow production but that is the fastener that the AC was certified with. Changing at that point would have meant the AC would need recertified. An engineer said they used Huck because they were 6-7 times stronger than a Cherry Max and that’s why they were used. I don’t know the strength difference anymore but why not use a proven widely used and available rivet? I think it had to do with kickbacks.

They were chasing their tail and aggravating the tech’s that have been pulling rivets their whole lives with this junk. They looked in to batch #’s, said the lube dried out, hole size was not perfect, using the wrong guns, operator error, full moon, any anything else they could try to blame. Did they ever get the problem sorted?

BricklinNG said...

For the less well informed, what is the yoke and what is the mount? What is the severity of a malformed mount?

baron95 said...

bill e. goat said...
(Baron95, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one ;)


Actually, I thought you were making the oposite point - that Eclipse was diverting resources from production to work on the ECJ.

I still think that R&D resources are distinct from production resources. At times R&D folks are called in to help on a production issue, but often, even that is to see if a part can be redesigned for ease of production, so it is still R&D. And rarelly does a production technician or engineer does any R&D work.

Now, I am not in a position to say if Eclipse has enough R&D resources or not. I'm going to guess they do. After all in 10 years, they designed 3 airframes (original, bigger+tip-tanks, bigger + new tanks and aeromods), flying two engines (FJ-22, PW610), with at least 3 avionics (Avio, Avio NG, AvioNG-lite+Garmin400).

Plus they flew a prototype ECJ.

(yes, I know that some of this was done via outside contractors, but it is still technically Eclipse resources being applied)

Even Boeing would have had a hard time doing that in 10 years.

airtaximan said...

Baron

pehaps the 90-10 rule applies here.

90% of the effort is required to get the last 10% accomlished.

Certainly seems like it.

Steven H said...

> I appreciate the heads up about
> management "having it in" for me
> and a few others. Like you say, it
> is based on paranoia. They are
> looking for a villain where there
> is none.
>
> Because of some of the comments and
> disturbing emails I've received
> lately,

I am curious if there are any lawyers here who can comment on the validity of a post-sale (and possibly retroactively imposed) non-disclosure agreement in relation to a product that the purchaser has taken title to. Consumer Reports has fought that issue to the Supreme Court every 20 years since 1920 and has won every time, even under the most right-wing courts. Given the existence of those cases (not to mention that little fly in the ointment the First Amendment), wouldn't an attempt to 'shut people up' be a matter to be turned over the FBI?

sPh

baron95 said...

comment on the validity of a post-sale (and possibly retroactively imposed) non-disclosure agreement in relation to a product that the purchaser has taken title to.

We are dealing with a different issue here. The issue are the rules of the Eclipse owners forum and company communication to those members. Eclipse certainly can try to enforse the non-disclosure rules, although I think they'd have a tough time proving damages and/or getting a judge/jury to award them anything.

Eclipse can not (or should not) recover damages from anyone expressing their own opinion about their product, unless the information is a) false, b) slanderous/libel, c) they can show damages.

The issue is that, if they are paranoid enough to threaten people, most people don't want the hassle so they just shut up.

Shane said...

Some thoughts, on a fine Sunday morning.

Elipse, their supporters, customers and associates have made several efforts to 'get at' those who raise their voices in complaint.

Some of their efforts were successful.

The core of the whole Elipse mess is getting at the truth.

No, make that, The Truth.

This comany has been run so badly from day one, it appears to be a scam. The first to suffer were the orginal investors, which is fair enough. Rich people are allowed to become poorer, by making bad decisions.

The second group were the original staff, who were promised an IPO event to make them rich. Not going to happen now and, as a result, most have left.

The third group are the customers, most of whom face a bleak future with the best outcome they can now expect is a part finished, sub standard product delivered years after they were promised. Most rational people would agree that this group will end up with far less than even that.

Finally, the industry. Suppliers left with no option but to hire expensive lawyers to escape from contracts that Eclipse had little hope of honouring. Eclipse are currently in process seeking $775,000 from one of these unfortunates, 'for breech of contract'.

We here must continue to speak out against this. To abandon our efforts is to allow liars to win.

Not going to happen, at least not on my 'watch'.

Shane

Turboprop_pilot said...

Shane:

Keep up the fight. I, for one, am glad you reside offshore in a less litigious society.

Like others, I do not think Eclipse started as a scam, but a questionable exercise in hubris by a coat-tail riding employee of early computer industry pioneers. When too many risky bets on unproven technology failed, the unresolved hubris required "stories" to keep the dream alive. As further bets failed, the stories devolved to a scam. The smell of the stories attracted European and Russian scammers for the last round of financing.

I received an e mail recently that may be part of the next round of financing:

"My brother-in-law is a Nigerian prince.... "

Turboprop_pilot

Gunner said...

Been following the bouncing ball as Eclipse slowly winds down into oblivion.

I'm reminded of the mortally wounded game animal, injured by a poorly placed shot, a poacher or a predator. The eyes of that poor creature, be it North American Whitetail or the majestic African Kudu, become haunted and haunting.

The animal will struggle to rise, with a combination of terror, pleading and resignation in its eyes, knowing it's over but attempting to get up anyway....maybe because there's just nothing else that it CAN do.

If it's a Cape Buffalo or Leopard, it may still kill you while in its own death throws. But, ultimately, there isn't much left to do but bleed out and die, or wait for the scavengers to begin the feast even before death.

I've seen those eyes a couple times in my life. While one recognizes that, in the big picture, even the predators have to eat, the overwhelming emotion is one of enormous sadness.

So it is with the dream that might have been Eclipse. Even greater sadness here, perhaps, because nobody in the party is capable of raising a rifle and offering Eclipse the mercy of a clean and swift death.
Gunner

gadfly said...

Brick

You asked: “For the less well informed, what is the yoke and what is the mount? What is the severity of a malformed mount?”

By now, I would have thought someone better informed would answer your questions. But here goes an attempt of one "less well informed" to answer your questions, at least in part.

Most external jet engines are “mounted” at three points . . . usually at two points forward, and one “aft”. A “yoke” crosses over the top of the engine and is attached to the “two” forward mounts . . . ‘like gripping a volley ball with your thumb and fingers "over the top". Then, the “yoke” is attached to a “beam” (or other member) in the center, like your “wrist”. The beam may run back to the third “aft” attach point, or may cross through the empennage (tail section) to the other side, to support the other engine, with a "second" cross beam to support the rear attach points and running through the fuselage. These cross beams usually are also "formers" and part of the fuselage (empennage). The “cross beam” and/or total engine mount assembly must transmit all the normal thrust forces into the fuselage, yet prevent vibrations/sound/torsional forces (gyroscopic) from damaging the rest of the airframe. The design parameters are critical and unique to each aircraft. A small “flaw” in manufacturing/design/assembly/material/etc., of any single part may translate into extremely serious problems.
Unlike a “spar” or “wing rib”, the terminology may differ from plane to plane, simply because there are a variety of designs and designers. . . the first man to design a part is usually the one to give it a name, as he sees it at the moment . . . and, unfortunately, the terms do not always retain the same meaning from one design to the others.
Someone on this blog, who has actually worked on the Eclipse can better describe the actual parts in your question. My comments are much too general.

The entire assembly may be called an engine mount, or simply any of the three points that “hang” the engine in place. A part that is “malformed” as you call it, may fail in such a way as to put the entire aircraft at risk, and cause a crash. Some engine mounts are “fused” . . . that is, designed to fail under critical loads, to allow the engine to literally fall off the plane without further damage to the basic airframe. There have been cases . . . one comes to mind with a Boeing 727, where one side engine “fell off” from a large chunk of “waste water” ice that was ingested (speculated by the inspectors), causing the engine to literally shake loose from the plane, and it was twenty minutes before the flight crew knew they had lost an engine. Other times, it is desirable for engines under the wings to break loose upon a “gear up” landing on turf or water, without ripping loose a wing.
‘Having made these comments, let’s see if someone better informed may give us further education.

gadfly

It is a “wise man” that asks questions and is open to learn.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So here we are almost 2 weeks later and Chelton and NexNav still appear as Eclipse partners.

If the Garmin 400W makes Avio NfG complete, Chelton and NexNav are unnecessary.

When the little details like former partners since tossed under the bus remain on the website what does it say about the organization?

bill e. goat said...

Hi Baron95,
Catching up a bit- I think the manpower pool for R&D has dried up, (and I suspect it was never adequately deep to begin with).

"Actually, I thought you were making the oposite point - that Eclipse was diverting resources from production to work on the ECJ".

Well, no- Eclipse doesn't have any R&D "resources" left to divert into the Con-Jet. They're already diverted. Into supporting production.

You might say, "that doesn't make sense". Well, it does when the product coming off the line is "buggy" because of immature development (due to a rush to production), constantly changing configuration (due to a rush to production), and the assembly line procedures are immature (due to a rush to production). That's why Eclipse is trying to hire a dozen stress engineers- to fix problems on the line.

That's why Avio-Classic, and Avio-New Gen, and Avio-Next Month, aren't done yet- the avionics R&D guys were transferred to support the production line, according to posts a year ago.

Other factors contributing to the avionics fiasco- never enough resources dedicated to it, during the testing phase (which was up to Jan 2006- read the press releases: that's when production was scheduled to start, and by gum, that's when the corporate priorities changed from development to production, and the massive hiring and facilities expansion ramp up began- a full year before TC. (That's money and focus- resources- that should have been devoted to finishing the design). And even then, the TC was so flakey the FAA foot soldiers protested.

Eclipse had sufficient time from first flight of the first Con-Jet (the one that locked in deposits, back in 2002) to get the avionics either outsourced completely (e.g., Garmin), properly spec'd for outside development (e.g., Avidyne), or developed in-house (e.g., Avio-NG), if they'd devoted enough resources to it. What avionics development did they do during the two years to get a new engine? That's been almost six years. Did they really dedicate adequate resources to get the avionics system working to begin with? Nope- just enough to "get by" enough to slide the partially completed design over to production.

The only conclusions are:
1)their avionics guys are incompetent
2)They don't have enough avionics guys
3)Or both, they are incompetent, and they don't have enough of them.

I suggest #2. (I figure Eclipse hired good people, just not enough of them. Or didn't give them the tools- financing- needed to do proper development).

Factors supporting this: Eclipse isn't hiring any avionics guys. Look at who there are hiring (follow the money): production. Because, Eclipse management thinks there is a problem with production, that needs to be solved. So, they are addressing it. See them hiring any avionics guys? No.

Because, despite the noise about working on Avio-xx, it's a back-burner issue. It simply doesn't take this long to get an avionics problem solved, given the right resources: People, and money. Does Eclipse have avionics guys standing around waiting to work on something, the next model, or sort out the present model? I don't think so- seems to me like they're all over in production. Probably the same way with most of engineering.

That's why the con-jet was outsourced. People just don't get it, because it's such a "disruptive" idea, but it looks to me like Eclipse rammed the EA-500 into production, before it was ready, and never looked back. If they didn't take time to do it right the first time, why would they take time to do it right later? Just "good enough to get by". (I suspect that's why the aviation press has been largely kept at bay, to prevent comparisons- a disappointment because in trying to hide the relatively few shortcomings, it taints the whole).

From the outward appearances, I'd make the following speculations (and I'd -really- enjoy either confirmation, or rebutal, by AAE, Mouse, Ex-EAC, others)- my take: could Avio-Classic have worked? Yeah, if they'd devoted enough resources to it. I think the same with the Williams engines. How about Avio-NG (w/o Garmin)? Yeah, if they'd devoted enough resources to it. But the only thing Eclipse has ever devoted "enough" resources to is: production.

Why? Beats me. That's why I keep reading the blog.
---------------------------
"After all in 10 years, they designed 3 airframes (original, bigger+tip-tanks, bigger + new tanks and aeromods), flying two engines (FJ-22, PW610)..."

Well, they designed one airframe. And I think, did a pretty decent job of it. But not three. Regarding bigger+tip-tanks: what's bigger? Maybe, I missed something here. I don't see it being bigger, just heavier (overweight). And the tip tanks were a patch-on.

Rather nice looking patch-on, but, ah, nobody uses them anymore. Out of vogue? Nope- kludgy aerodynamically. And new tanks plus aeromods? What's complicated about making a bigger tip tank? Aeromods? From the pictures, can you say "area ruled", (as in, the year 1952): it looks like the slab-side wing root fairings were swapped out with "swoopy" ones. Maybe optimized, or maybe just good enough- I don't know- it's hard to tell from the pictures.

Maybe some other fairing cleanups here and there. Good practice. But nothing exotic or complicated. (Or anything at all like a "new airframe", not even enough to roll out a dash number). Regarding flying with different engines, they did seem to do a good job adapting from the Williams to the Pratts.

But, that's something all the dinosaurs do, all the time. Even FBO's do the engineering for engine swaps. It's not trivial, but, it's nothing like designing a new airplane. (Maybe, two percent of the effort).
---------------------------
"Plus they flew a prototype ECJ. (Yes, I know that some of this was done via outside contractors, but it is still technically Eclipse resources being applied)"

What was being applied, was Eclipse money. That was diverted from finishing the EA-500 design.

(And, I don't see tip tanks on the ECJ :)
---------------------------
"Even Boeing would have had a hard time doing that in 10 years".

Admittedly, it's taking Boeing a long time to recover from Zippy-the-Pin-Head Condit, and they've been floundering since the late 1990's, but, they're getting there. They did a fantastic job with everything before the 787 (well, the 747-400 had some problems too).

PubGrubber said...

UglyTruth

It comes down to the need and requirement of the fastener. The huck-clinch, including pulling and joining the material also fills the hole, similar to a driven rivet. The Cherry-max and Huck-max just pulls and joins. There was an exercise that has been completed that involved Engineering, Manufacturing, Stress, Alcoa and Cherry reps looking at all the applications and making changes as deemed best for all factors.

Is Eclipse the only company with this issue, the answer is no.

uglytruth said...

PG Thank You

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Regarding the Avionics:

I think they had enough resources (although it was difficult keeping the numbers where they needed to be), but the real problem lies in incompetent management. A lawyer running AAE with a similarly under educated and inexperienced manager. Their expertise is in entertainment systems, not flight critical avionics. They were 'in charge' so they knew better than those with 20-30 years avionics experience. Read that as Eclipse AAE is led by folks with NO experience in critical avionics systems.

The proof is in the final product.

Shane said...

Goat, A.A.E., Baron et al.

One of the real strong messages that came to me in preparing the headline piece above was Avio/AvioNG.

Several well placed people (pilots and/or owners) said the same thing, using the same tone. The 'early' Avio birds (pre s/n 105) were glitchy, and seemed to have regular 'issues'. There was limited information on when the AvioNG change would be done.

AvioNG was limited on the navigation and FMS side before the G400W announcement, which is regarded as a 'cop out' by the owners in particular. One of the pilots was really up front, almost demanding G1000 instead....

A supplier source made it clear that the level of 'integration' between the G400W and the rest of AvioNG approaches zero. Garmin have done NOTHING, and Eclipse (if their past form is any guide) will do the absolute bare minimum to meet the contracted terms.

You have to ask what so many people at Eclipse were doing, for so long, to produce too little?

Russian ant farming programmers?

More likely, high school PlayStation drop outs!

Shane

baron95 said...

Shane said... The 'early' Avio birds (pre s/n 105) were glitchy, and seemed to have regular 'issues'.

This is a known fact. Avidyne is just nice looking junk. The mortality rate for Avidyne PFD/MFD displays on pipers and cirrus is horrendous. Vern just made a bad supplier choice for Avio. When that became clear, in typical bravado, he announced that the new team would have Avio NG up and running in a few months. That is totaly not credible. It took Garmin 5 years to get WAAS on the 430/530 even having bought the UPSAT line that had a WAAS engine.

It Avionics SW is not trivial. these SW projects can be late not by weeks, but by years. What Eclipse was attempting with Avio - total ship avionics integration with centralized CPU and consolidated displays/control keys - has only been done on 3 planes todate - 777, A380 and F22.

I'd be completely shocked if Eclipse managed to pull it off. Shocked.

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

Even with the 777 or the A380 the manufacturers didn't try to integrate the engine control into the airframes central computer.

chickasaw said...

In reference to dissension concerning automotive experience.
Lean manufacturing will work in the building of aircraft, but there has to be a sound manufacturing system in place. Aircraft (in my experience) are all hand built one-of-a-kind. This causes tremendous waste of material, time and money.

During WWll Ford Motor Company built the Willow Run facility in Michigan. This facility was to produce the B 24 Liberator Bomber using an automotive style assembly line. In August of 1943 they produced 231 per month. By December of 1943 - 365/month, a year later 650 a month (although Wikipedia lists peak production at 428/month). By the way this facility is now owned by GM and is a transmission plant.

As I stated earlier there must be a sound manufacturing system in place first. Manufacturing can not be an afterthought of engineering.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

Even with the 777 or the A380 the manufacturers didn't try to integrate the engine control into the airframes central computer.

I'm pretty sure that the FADEC has always been independent from Avio. Although it physically resides in the same box, I think even the power supplies are separate (but it has been a while).

I think the biggest hurdle to integrating anything into the E500 is management indecision, then, upon getting 'trusted' inputs, changing the plans too often. It is funny how donothings and wannabes only trust other donothings and wannabes rather than someone who has valid experience.

David Wihl said...

Picture of an Eclipse next to a Phenom 100 in Florida. The Eclipse looks like a toy in comparison...

airtaximan said...

"rather than someone who has valid experience"

then again, how would they know?

... I've seen it first hand... some engineer, or "manager" (usually mamanger) make s a decision that is completely ill-informed... based on his authority, and trusted relationship with upper management.

- these guys spend more time sucking and blowing than you can imagine... usually while the others are working to find the right solution/reccomendation.

Upper management is all too prepared to hear the wrong thing, and listen to the wrong people...

airtaximan said...

wihl,

funny how much plane you get for $3 million, isn't it?

Oh wait... the e-500 based on "normal" production rate IS $3 million!!!!

sad

Shane said...

David,

'A picture is worth a thousand words.'

Thanks,

Shane

agroth said...

David,

I finally had a chance to read your Phenom 100 ground review. That's some great reporting! I think you answered every question I had about the airplane.

Andy

flyger said...

N705PT had a blown tire:

http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/accident_incident/preliminary_data/events02/media/02_705PT.txt

Simply says:

"AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, BLEW LEFT MAIN TIRE, MESA, AZ"

I bet there is more to the story.

421Jockey said...

Flyger,

1) Pilot landed plane
2) Pilot applied heavy braking
3) Brake locked
4) Tire blew

End of story

Ex-421

flyger said...

421Jockey said...

1) Pilot landed plane
2) Pilot applied heavy braking
3) Brake locked
4) Tire blew

End of story


And for that you file a report with the FAA? I would not have thought so since there would be many more reports than one sees. Thus, I think there is a reason this incident was reported and it isn't just the tire blew.

anonymous avionics engineer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous avionics engineer said...

Airtaximan -

I concur 100%. What I don't understand is why they don't realize how transparent they are.

airsafetyman said...

"1) Pilot landed plane
2) Pilot applied heavy braking
3) Brake locked
4) Tire blew"

But...but...but, I don't understand. Our all knowing dentist says the airplane doesn't need anti-skid. Or thrust reversers. Or ground flaps. Or spoilers. Guess a drag chute would have come in handy?

bill e. goat said...

I admire Eclipse for offering (well, trying to offer) a state of the art instrument package.

But, it does seem odd (especially with all the automotive-think) that they don't offer an antiskid system...

Cars have had it for a decade or more (egad- even before the V-jet, that's been a while). Seems like it wouldn't be too "disruptive" to include it. (Although, it already has a commendably slow landing speed- still, nice to have).

(Maybe it's not an electronics issue, but would have required a more sophisticated hydraulics package...AAE?)

gadfly said...

Goat

Actually, they have a "low tech" solution to the "anti-lock brake system". Both tires are designed to "blow out" at the same time, preventing a "ground loop" . . . but something went wrong and a higher rated tire was somehow slipped in by mistake.

gadfly

(Evidently, it was only a "training flight" and didn't suffer the embarrassment of having a paying passenger, or potential customer on board.)

airtaximan said...

unsubstantiated rumor..

DJ
TU

soon

interesting report from AIN: order book for Cessna Mustangs tops 500. Seems to me they doubled the order book since deliveries started... this is the "normal" reaction to first deliveries.

airtaximan said...

62 eclipse listings on controller... not definitive, but indicative of the state of affairs.. this, I believe is the highest number of listings, ever.

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

This is posted on the registered Eclipse 500 Owner's website:

johnwright - 15 April 2008 09:11 PM

My aircraft SN 160 was just delivered yesterday.


The delivery spreadsheet link on the left side of THIS website is at least a couple of weeks behind, even though it has the current date listed as current.

Shane said...

Tyres.

Yes, there is an issue.

No, it's not anything 'deep' or sinister.

I am reliably informed that, especially in crosswind conditions, the rudder/brake actions of the pilot are causing these blowouts.

Inappropriate and/or incomplete training, more than anything else, is to blame.

Oh, and Michelin are working on a harder compound, which will be more robust.

ATman,

Are you sure? DayJet going west would, in all probablity, be terminal for Vern....

Shane

Shane said...

Ralph,

Check out the 'second' tab.

Flightcenter shows paperwork filed with the FAA right out to s/n 202, as of the 4th of April.

However, there is also a considerable lag in the FAA granting CofA's.

As in, since 2007.

That's right. Nothing has a CofA this year....

Strange, don't you think? We here on the blog have always been 'amused' at the unique approach Eclipse have to the definition of DELIVERY.

Yes, your pal might have an aircraft.

Does he own it? Can he sell it? Is it certified airworthy?

Ask him. I, for one, would be interested in the response you get.

Shane

airsafetyman said...

"Oh, and Michelin are working on a harder compound[for tires], which will be more robust."

Now Vern is reinventing tires? Will he keep the "roundness" part? This is a joke, right?

Shane said...

ATman,

It is with considerable regret that I have to inform you...

... NO

It's not a joke. The tyres, as originally specified, are not robust enough

I'm might be a bit out on a limb here, but the aircraft has gotten a bit porky since initial specs were announced. Maybe, just maybe, no one in Eclipse bothered to upgrade the spec of the tyres to allow for the extra 'fat'.

Until a few tyres have blown too easily on landing, that is.

Shane

airtaximan said...

ATman,

Are you sure? DayJet going west would, in all probablity, be terminal for Vern....

NO, I am not at all sure... just heard it from a source, who claims to know.

gadfly said...

One of my sons-in-law, engineer in stress analysis, is on an amateur team after work. A team-mate ( . . . technical type at our favorite flying factory, not a “worker bee”) asked: “Are you afraid of flying?” . . . our son-in-law said, “No!” The team-mate said, “You should be!”

That unsolicited comment, today, from a present employee of the “Albuquerque Bird Manufactory” near the shore of the Rio Grande is both enlightening and somewhat frightening.

gadfly

. . . back to our regular scheduled program, now in progress!

ExEAC said...

News flash:

Eclipse is not paying their bills again...Looks like they blew through the Russian money at record pace! 455 AC this year is now in jeopardy because they stop parts from coming in by not paying suppliers!

airsafetyman said...

"Eclipse is not paying their bills again...Looks like they blew through the Russian money at record pace!"

Not sure how much Russkie money was ever there in the first place. The money seemed to have a lot of strings attached before it could actually be tapped.

airtaximan said...

we seemed to have lost the bubble on:

Dayjet flights/hours
Eclipse deliveries.


anyone still looking at this data?

Shane said...

ATman,

FlightCentre updated the 'Delivery' spreadsheet just over a week ago. As we all know by now, the FAA only update things on or about Mondays, every fortnight or so.

exeac,

Is your source willing to go public, or perhaps illuminate matters to the blog email (eclipsecriticng@gmail.com) in some more detail. I have 'other' data, for which a second source would be most useful. Thanks in adavance.

Shane

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse filed paperwork with the FAA on 4/15/2008 to register Eclipse 500 serial #151 (N85SM) to Meyer Shari LLC.

FAA Registry
Document Index Inquiry Results for N85SM


In an ironic twist of fate, the FAA registry database shows that the certificate for the aircraft was issued on 4/1/2008.

FAA Registry
N-Number Inquiry Results for N85SM

Shane said...

Ken,

A sincere best wishes and safe flying. Part of me has a little pang of the 'green eyed monster'.

Let us know how you are getting on with it.

Shane

David Wihl said...

ATM,

DayJet utilization data is still being updated on this VLJPlanet Thread

421Jockey said...

Shane,

I hope that Ken does not get upset with me for mentioning this, but Ken also got his Type Rating and passed with flying colors the first time.

Congratulations Ken!

Ex-421

Shane said...

421,

Let's all hope Ken enjoys his aircraft, for as long as he wants and that he gets to sell it on at a profit.

Please also congratulate him on passing his Type Rating first time. I hear, from more than one source, that it's tough.

Shane

baron95 said...

FlightCenter said...
Eclipse filed paperwork with the FAA on 4/15/2008 to register Eclipse 500 serial #151 (N85SM) to Meyer Shari LLC.


I know this is none of my business, and I trully want to respect an individual's privacy, but since this is public info, I had a couple of questions:

1 - The Registration Type shows as "Foreign Corporation". Does that reffer to the LLC that owns the plane? Does that mean that this LLC is registered in a foreign country? Can foreign LLCs have planes with N-numbers? Just Curious.

2 - I never paid much attention to all this deal of revealing personal info on "Ken", but I assume that Shari is his wife. (I wonder why they chose to have their names on the LLC). The question though, is that the first or the second Eclipse delivered to the Meyers? IIRC there was talk of 2.

Congratulations to the Meyers for thir new bird, type rating, etc. I hope you enjoy your bird and that it gets 400s and FIKI before winter.

How many blog members now have EA500s? 3?

baron95 said...

Also, I think we need to acknowledge that Eclipse has apparently delivered close to 150 partially completed but certified twin-jets to both part 135 as well as private individuals that meet the contractual performance guarantees and have acceptable fit and finish.

That also means that Eclipse has probably generated about $250M in revenue to date (delivered planes plus deposits).

That is obviously way short of their business plane, but it is not bad at all for a startup company.

Three major IOUs to current owners are:
- 400w certification
- FIKI certification
- Upgrading the fleet on the field to the final config.

This seems achievable. The only question is under what ownership/corporate structure. As is, ETIRC take over? CH11-then sale? Acquisition?

I think the most likely scenario is an ETIRC takeover. A $150M cram-down majority ownership takeover.