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.