Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Something coming on Friday...

The following from turboprop_pilot. It may be the Garmin 400W 'announcement', which of course has already been trailed here on the blog. Thanks TP...

Received this tonight (used to be a depositor)

Dear Mr.,

Eclipse Aviation will discuss some exciting changes to the Eclipse 500® Avio NG Total Aircraft Integration™ system during an exclusive customers-only teleconference this Friday, April 4, 2008. Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn will detail these changes and answer customers' questions about Avio NG's recent developments.

The teleconference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time and will run approximately one hour. Customers interested in attending can register in advance at or by calling (888) 869-1189 or (706) 643-5902.

We look forward to sharing our updates to Avio NG with you.


Eclipse Aviation Sales


Turboprop_pilot said...


This is a "Vernfool", like nearly everything that comes out of his mouth. It just happened to be sent on April's Fools Day. (He thinks it is real)


Gunner said...

What happened to D-Jet's NG promised certification date? March 31,2008. Oh its ok. Never mind.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Shane, thanks for adding FC's prediction link. I just checked an found I had predicted FIKI by MAR 2008, along with autothrottle certification. I guess I'll have to admit defeat and go begging for a job in Eclipse management planning group.

Niner Z, thanks for the update on the Aircon system. This looks like the sort of issue you would expect from a completely new design, and could happen to any manufacturer. The difference is likely to be in how the manufacturer addresses it.

I wonder how many of the smaller wannabe Eclipse operators have simply given up and either ordered/bought a Mustang, or left the market for less red pastures?

Shane Price said...


It might be a "Vernfool" but it will still be interesting to see what he actually comes out with.

I predict the following:-

1. AvioNG is delayed by 'supplier issues'.

2. As a step to 'full fat AvioNG' he announces the Garmin 400's, as a 'temporary' measure.

3. Existing, non-Avio E500's will NOT be upgraded, short term. It's the perfect excuse to say that owners will prefer to have ONE big upgrade rather than several, interim steps. Saves cash in the short term as well.

4. Aircraft coming off the line from 'Tuesday' will have AvioG, as in Avio/Garmin. Just think of it as NG, without the N...


BricklinNG said...

How many have left

That's a good question. The companion question is how many would leave if they could.

Those with actual airplanes or immediate delivery positions seem to be able to sell so these are exits but also entrances. We have heard that some have taken refunds instead of deliveries, so these would be real exits. I am sure the blog would enjoy hearing from someone who did this.

Now what about the depositor with number 700 or 900? How many of these would like to take some of their $150 k and walk? My understanding is that nobody will buy these and EAC doesn't do refunds. So there may be many frustrated would-be exiters. I wonder how many of these, if any, are walking away rather than topping up deposits to $1m or so when the theoretical 6 month call comes. The first cuople hundred in this position at least knew they had a really cheap price, but now the serial numbers are up to those paying close to $2 m for the finished airplane, aren't they? If these folks decide it's good money after bad and walk away then these would be real exits. Is this happening?

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

brick ...

only speculation from my side :

N° 900 customers doesn't exist anywhere else than in the mind of the ones still believing in the fat order book ...!!!

why do i say this ? : after 10 years they are at 130/150 of a very partially finished product ...

so if anyone has a serial 900 , they need either :

1°to run away as soon as possible

2° have their brain checked , if they still believe they will get anything more than sorrows and griefs ...

3° in the latest statistics , 97.6 of all world court-cases did occur in USA ... so anyone with a N° higher than 250 should have seen a lawyer many months ago ...!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I think it is the private owner operators scattered through the order book who are still gulible enough to be fleeced for the "six months to go" payment.

I picked up some rumours that a number of those smaller airtaxi orders in europe are a new disruptive technology 1+9+20 type orders. Sort of, here is some money (maybe more, maybe less than one normal deposit), I want ten line numbers and maybe up to twenty more options. Eclipse books that as 30 orders, the customer is planning on trying three to see how it works out.

Once the problems in production started, the horse trading began. Trading line numbers XX for YYY etc. Since Eclipse needed the impression of a huge order book more than anything else, they played along.

It sounds to me like Eclipse would greedily book any order, regardless of its odor.

If this is true (or based on truth - I can't confirm it, so only time will tell) then it indicates another of Eclipse huge mistakes.

Normally in aviation a line position is carved in stone. If you speculate and sell for a profit, the manufacturer will be closely invoved and take a cut, otherwise there is no flexiblity there.

It would seem like Dayjet was the ultimate with a 70 + 200 + 1000 order.

fred said...


i very higly doubt of the said air-taxi order in europe ...!!
don't forget E.U is NOT USA ...
NO EASA cert.= NO commercial flight !
(so what is the point for orders ?
step after step , in the right order ...)

but to play the numbers game wasn't any mistake from EAC ...

two factors into this :

1° greed : how many bought in thinking they would sell it back making big $

2° fat book order : what ever is the N° EAC has to reach to break even , they had no choice but to pushed it away ...

(in other terms " why should we care about mking money now , we have XX thousands more to get profits from...")

as truly as if you buy a position from any manufacturers , get the delivery and sell it the day after , what can a manufacturer can do ?

here the story is more vicious :

it is a story where some tried to sell the "idea" of a finished plane which was very unfinished and very unsure as an outcome ...

helped into that matter by the manufacturer itself who had a very good way to inflate a fake order book ... (how many resold position have been listed as new positions ? how many REAL buyers exists ?)

so the problem here is quite simple :

on the right side a (very?) few real buyers whom are passionate enough to risk their cash ... poors guys ...!!

on the left , a pack of ruthless wolves who probably don't give a damn about planes or anything , but about money ...

the whole game start to lok as what it is : a trap !

a trap for the ones who thought they were clever enough to make money in a fields they have no clues ...!

they played , they missed it by that much ... fine !! i would give them an advice : get lost !

for the others : wake-up , why do you think it is going to be a "TELEconference" ??

because the first part of the word come from greek meanning "from far away..."

from close , who knows what would be the reaction of angry customers ?

or may be because there isn't anymore a crowd of customers to believe in the "order book" ...

pure speculation , but if vern have all the buyers in a place , and if they count themselve in tens , some may have some concerns about the XXthousnds ordered ...

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

What is the biggest single customer civil aircraft order to ever be successfully completed?

There seems to have been a flood of enormous aircraft orders at the crest of this economic cycle. Lets look back to the biggest of the last cycle.

The Comair/ASA 500 CRJ order from 2000 was a mix of about 104 fix, and 396 Options. At the time of the order, Comair was already the biggest CRJ operator, and combined with ASA operated 128 CRJs. Today the two airlines have a combined total of 292 CRJ's. This would indicate that roughly 60 of the 396 options were ever exercised - Thats 15%. (Actually I believe the options got wiped in the Delta BK, and they have since placed new orders).

In the last twenty years I would guess that a large proportion of Boeing and Airbus orders got exercised, but whenever I hear of an X fix + 4X options order, it fails the sniff test for me.

Regional Jets were the new disruptive technology of the last business cycle. Today they have a niche, and still sometimes land orders around 20-30 A/C, but it is Turboprops which the airlines are after due to the fuel costs.

The hype of this cycle is all on the VLJ. By the crest of the next business cycle I expect we will see that VLJ have carved out a solid niche, with total sales of 100-200 a year, but that the days of big flashy orders are long gone.

fred said...

niner ...

i agree with you 150% !

but i would say the breakpoint serial N° would be more in t the 240/250 ...

400 would be if dayjet would be any successfull , not prooven yet !

and if the "dream orders" could be true ...

like the ones for Etirc and the european market to be used as air-taxi ....

or the ones for "school" in the middle of desert in gulf countries ...

and all the like , which strangely occured when vern had to announce new delays or need for cash ...!!

fred said...

freedom ...

yes , absolutely !

something to do with the "double curve" theory ...!

you have a need or a breakthrough ...

for a while you have a potential market ...

but as soon as competitors , or events or economics situation reach the first curve (need)

they both collapse in terms of dev.

lesson : in something new or trendy , never loose the exit from sight ...!!!

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I never understood the hype with the VLJ. I fly IFR, but not professionally, and I can't see more than a tiny market for the sort of people who are successful enough in their business life to afford a VLJ but still have enough free time/Interest to get and keep the proficency to be able to fly one.

Without them you only have commercial operations, and the things are just too darn small to ever be more than a niche market. Probably the perfect A/C for Organ transport, Isotope transport etc, or as a company moped in a limited number of companies. For this type of operations the business running costs (crews, support personal, schedulers etc) dilute the direct operating cost advantage over more practical sized A/C like the CitationJets.

All the rest of the "market" is a soap bubble of hype. It will dissappear with a quiet pop.

fred said...


you're touching a sensible zone ...!

as you said to afford such toys , you have to be succesfull ...

but still plenty of time ahead to maintain or get the skill/training for jet ....

something i never really understood , how many can buy such a toy , keep it , fly it , maintain it , work , make money , have wife + 6 kids + 12 grand-kids ,a house , a buisness and so on ...

at the same time ?

as you said very small market !!

only passionate to be around at all costs ..

money maker will buy dead dog meat , if they think they can make money ...

commercial will turn away as soon as it suit then , obviously soon !

airtaximan said...

anyone still tracking our friends Dayjet flights?

baron95 said...

FreedomsJamtarts said...
I never understood the hype with the VLJ. I fly IFR, but not professionally, and I can't see more than a tiny market for the sort of people who are successful enough in their business life to afford a VLJ but still have enough free time/Interest to get and keep the proficency to be able to fly one.

Really? So you are saying that the entire personally flown GA industry does not exist?

If you define VLJ as a Jet that is less than 6,000 lbs MTOW (Eclipse - kinda of, D-Jet, Cirrus-Jet, ECJ). What is it that you don't get?

These planes are being priced like a Baron. They are being priced at about 1/2 of what a TBM or PC12 go for, 30% less than a Meridian.

What is easier to Fly? A Cirrus Jet or D-Jet with a 25Kft ceiling or a Baron, TBM, PC12, etc?

What has the potential to be more reliable? A D-Jet or a Baron (same avionics, 1 turbofan, vs 2 piston engines)???

You can Ignore Phenom, Mustang, etc, even perhaps the Eclipse. These will NOT be primarily personal flown planes.

For the personal flown planes, you'll find that they cost the same or less, are easier to fly than established competitors. So they will appeal to a number of potential buyers.

As to your IFR comment, again you are making a bunch of assumption. Tens of thousands of pilots of SR22s, C400s, Barons, Bonanzas, Mooneys are succefful in business, have IFR currency, BUT DO NOT ROUTINELLY FLY IFR other than the occasional pop up/cruise kind.

Why isn't a D-Jet a more fun/pleasurable/image-gratifying plane for those folks to fly VFR HPN-MVY or FLL-Key West or whatever than a Baron, SR22, C400, Bonanaza, Mooney?

You guys are trying to ignore what well-off pilots want. They want a jet that starts everytime on the ramp, for a pleasure trip and occasional visit to relatives or customers if the weather is not bad. These people control their schedules.

They are NOT part 121 schedule airlines that try to fly in hard IFR. That is the personal flown VLJ market. IFR is an occasional exception. Practicalities like fuel/altitude efficiency (flyger's preferred subject) is a non-issue.

If you buy a S65AMG do you care that it is less efficent and has less range than a Camry? Do you care that it is too expensive? Of course not. You buy it because you WANT one, not because you need one.

No one needs a personally flown GA plane. It is about wants not needs. It is emotional. Why people here insist in making it into a rational decision is beyond me.

If that were so, Porche and Ferrari would be out of business together with Cirrus, Diamond, etc.

Wake up people. If anyone delivers a $1M single engine Jet, even if it only does 250Kts, even if the range is only 700nm, even if it burns 3x the amount of fuel as an SR22, there will be buyers. How many? My rule of thumb is, if it costs 2x what an SR22 costs, there will be a market for 1/2 of the SR22 market.

baron95 said...

By the way, that is the research that Cirrus did. They have a number of SR22 pilots that can comfortably afford a VLJ, a SE turboprop or a piston twin.

Their reasearch, if you believe their interviews, is that almost universally, those pilots wanted a single-engine Jet as their next airplane.

And that is where they are going. In 6 years or so, when the Cirrus jet hits the market, what should be 5,000+ SR20/22 pilots. If one percent/year convert to the Cirrus Jet, that is a viable market (50/year). If 5% convert - that is a great market.

But, of course, some of the posters here know marketing data better than the Klapmeyer brothers. Or maybe you just think you do.

Turboprop_pilot said...


I think the difference is in the regulations or insurance requirements: If you need a type rating to ATP standards, then the personal time and skill commitment is much higher than for a SE turboprop.

A SE jet will not be that much more expensive as to be prohibitive, but the time and expertise may be! For my Meridian, annual recurrency for three days and quarterly instrument proficiency with a CFII friend keeps me feeling safe.


Shane Price said...


It's only a small point, but if one was in the market for the 'top' Mercedes SL, one would HAVE to have the SL63 AMG.

That would be with the new, 7 speed 'clutchless' automatic of course. It's the gearbox that gets rid of a torque converter....


How's your LT coming along? Hope the good people at Epic didn't take my April 1st joke too much to heart....


baron95 said...

Turboprop_pilot said...

I think the difference is in the regulations or insurance requirements: If you need a type rating to ATP standards, then the personal time and skill commitment is much higher than for a SE turboprop.

Correct. We do have the brain dead FAA requirement for an ATP-standards type rating for a 4,500lbs/25Kft ceileing D-Jet, but none for a 12,500lbs/FL300 King Air 200. Plain dumb, stupid, ridiculous. There is just no other way to put it.

BUT, since we know that the real requirements are the insurance industry requirements. I will bet you, that in time, the insurance industry pilot requirements to insure someone in a new D-Jet will be less stringent than to insure the same pilot in a TBM850, PC12 even a G58 Baron or Meridian.

There are already reports (see latest Aviation Consumer) that VLJ insurance has not been an issue for either Mustang or Eclipse.

Lets hope the FAA wakes up and requires either no type rating for jets that are less than 6,000 lbs OR requires a type rating to the pilots certificate's standards (private, commercial, ATP).

Either way, I don't see the type rating as a big deal. Most proficient IFR pilots, can train hard and achieve ATP-test skills to pass the check ride at a point in time.

The problem is maintaining it - few can. I'll venture that 95%+ of IFR rated pilots, if given a surprise private-pilot IFR check-ride will probably fail it. I.e. they can train to pass the check ride, but they can't maintain that level of proficiency.

I'd say the same will be true with the VLJ type rating. And pilots will settle into the 6 months flight safety recurrent training routine.

baron95 said...

Shane Price said...

It's only a small point, but if one was in the market for the 'top' Mercedes SL, one would HAVE to have the SL63 AMG.

True. But I was talking S-class, not SL-class. And yes, the cluchless 7-speed, which is the best transmission in the world, as far as I am concerned, still can not handle the torque of the S65AMG or SL65AMG. But, I hear that will be corrected in 2009.

So we shall be blessed with 600+HP and 7-speed. And since Lexus has 8-speed and the new BMW 7-series will also have 8, it is possible that Mercedes will squeeze one more gear in there. In that case, we will have a 3.0-3.2 second SL65AMG and a 3.8-4.0 sec 3-ton S65AMG.

The only question is, when you drive it into the ramp, what plane are you getting into? A Baron, a Meridian or a SE-Jet?

airtaximan said...

there are around 25000 airplanes with a value of more than $600k and less than $4M in the world, today.

What does this tell you?

It should tell you that the market for this class is small... here's why - who is wualified to trade up? Trade down? Not going to happen.

Trade up, a fraction of the 25000. How many, perhaps 25%... by the way most of these are values at well below $1M, that's why. So its a big streatch to $2M or so. 3X the trade.

But OK, 25%. 6,250 customers... start dividing.

If you believe the VLJ market is comprise of 6 players or so. That's 1,000 planes per player -TOTAL.

This is a rosey scenario, BTW.

Eclipse is toast. They require 5000planes themselves just to be in business.

The major fallacy is in the production numbers, and the forward pricng. The other guys were smart, and priced the planes with a healty unit profit, based on REALISTIC demand projections. WIthout the Daydream, Eclipse has somewhere around theor fair share of the market. 10% of 6000 or so customers.

Welcome to reality. For some, it bites.

FreedomsJamtarts said...


You are correct that there is a market for these aircraft, that was also in my post. Where we disagree is the size of that market.

The comparision between the AMG mercedes and the VLJ is not valid. Anyone with a drivers license can drive an AMG. Many will be nearly blind retired dentists, or their soon to be third wives :).

I don't doubt that the Klapmeyers can product a market survey showing that every person who ever got a pilots license wants a jet as their next A/C. But the realistic potential owner/operators of a VLJ are the people who currently fly a lot in a Baron, Meridian etc. For them, the step to a VLJ may well be a step down in cockpit workload. For the majority of SR22, Mooney etc owners who tool around at 4500' VFR, the step in proficency to be able to safely manage a pressurised jet in the middle flight levels is not going to happen.

For you, reprogramming your G530 to a different SID ATC just gave you, while descending though the icy soup in turbulence, while keeping an ear on a congested RT frequency, an eye on the Altimeter because the A/P can't do Altitude capture and trying to ignore the moaning passenger who just barfed, may be well within your proficiency. You are not typical.

I think that market is good for about 100-200 owner flown VLJ's a year. The commercial niche market is probably a bit more than double that.

Cessna, Eclipse, and Embraer came up with roughly the same prognose. Eclipse and Cirrus seem to see the market differently. Time will decide.

fred said...

freedom ...

yes , you're perfectly right !!!

but i want to add a little detail that make a whole difference :

the said niche is very small , i agree !!

EAC took 10 years to not-finish its product ...

10 years where apart from .dotcom fiasco , was quite good in economics terms ...

the point of Baron could be allmost sustainable IF AND ONLY IF the said economic situation would remain ...

and that doesn't exist anywhere ...
neither in the whole world or its history !!!

if they could have succeed to take less than 10 years for such a faillure = may be the market could have "swallow" some more economic difficulties ...

but facts are facts !

10 years and a billion+ later , they are not ready ...

so what are the chances to devellop such a need to maintain a market in such a small niche ??

= just about none !

because the one who thought they were rich enough to afford such a toy are the same one to be disreregarded when going to bank , asking for a 500.000 $ loan giving their real estate as backing ....!!!

so the same ones are going to realize very soon , time is up to spend with precautions ...
or to make money , but to make money they need time , so they won't have this extra-freetime to enjoy owning a jet ...

they'll fly commercials = easier , faster , cheaper ...!

i would allmost bet , they are going to say "it is the NEW fashion !!!" ;-)))

Shane Price said...


True. But I was talking S-class, not SL-class.

Sorry! I must get my eyes checked....

And if you have to ask, I would love to drive up to something that can cross the pond, Shannon to Gander, without wearing a dry suit, or worrying about the need to use it.

At present, the closest to budget is the PC-12, which a) won't quite do the trip and b) has only one engine, so requires all the safety gear on board.

Not comfortable with the idea of twin engines, otherwise I'd save up for the P-180.

Any suggestions?


baron95 said...

I don't know that there is any disagreement in the fact that:

1 - The New built personally flown GA market is very small - say 3,000 planes/year worldwide.

2 - Personally flown VLJs will be a small fraction of that - say 500/year.

On the other hand, you have to account for the fact that product innovation has the potential to grow the market:

a - Jets priced at or below $1.5M (2008 $) have never existed.

b - Fully integrated G1000-class cockpits are brand new.

c - Single engine jets are not even here yet.

d - Comprehensive factory training/mentoring etc for personally flown GA is brand new.

e - Fractional ownership, personal jet mananagement companies, etc are all just starting.

f - Full FADEC powerplants basically did not exist in personal flown GA turbines till the Eclipse/Mustang.

g - Mannufacturer/Insurance programs never existed in that scale. Basically Eclipse and Cessna have 3 or 4 insurers that are commited to insure any pilot that completes the factory training.

Point being that the GA pilot transitioning to a VLJ has A LOT MORE assistance from the technology and the mannufacturer programs.

Is it easy to be a proficient pilot (if you have another job/occupation)? Heck no. Is it easy to be a GA owner? Heck no.

Is it easier to transition into a Mustang/Eclipse/CirrrusJet (future) than to transition into a King Air or Baron in years past? Heck Yes. I get one-stop-shop finnacing, training, mentoring, insurance, pay-by-the-hour, and JetComplete/Cesscom, etc.

Or, I can go to fractional ownership route to get my feet wet.

Will that grow the market? I believe so. Will it grow by 10%/year possibly.

Will it be sufficient to support 3-5 mannufacturers at 100-200 planes/year. I believe so.

Will it ever be a mass market. Of course not. Why do we have to have radical positions? Either there is not market "I don't get the VLJ thing at all" or a huge market? Reality is somewhere in between, of course.

baron95 said...

AT said ... Eclipse is toast. They require 5000planes themselves just to be in business.

That is just for past/present Eclipse. Don't be like Vern, holding on too tightly to the past. The original plans presented to the investor are completely irrelevant. If you invested money in the Eclipse early years, accept the fact that your investment is worthless.

For me, as an aviation enthusiast, the only thing that matters is the post-bankruptcy or post-acquisition Eclipse.

Most likely scenario is a Columbia type scenario. Ch11/Ch7 filing with immediate acquision of assets.

I've already shared my views on how that company could opperate and be like any other GA mannufacturer making a little money selling a few (150) planes/year.

I could care less about Vern's dreams and the obscession of some talking about making a lot of money (to include an IPO) selling a lot of jets/year. That has alreay been proven unworkable. Move on. Next.

fred said...

yes ...
i agree about after chap11

but if vern and roal keep playing their game , eclipse will be so plagued with a bad image that no one with the kind of money to buy will be interested to look fool in a fool plane ...!!

one thing i disagree , i think that soon a 1.5 M$ jet is going to be too expensive ... it may be case for a 1 m$ one ...!

at least to attract enough customers to make it worth ...

as for the passionante , it does not change anything 1 , 2 , 3 M$ , if they have the money , they are passionate ...

but that's not every joe !

as for jet complete , don't presume too much as it is still something from the fog ...!!

whatever is done by manufacturers , owning a plane is going to remain deadly expensive for most wallet ...!!

Tailwind said...

I would appreciate it if Ken would come around and give this board an update on how his Delivery is working out with Eclipse. I speculate that Ken is going to play hard ball and not Accept the plane with IOUs without he being compensated for it.

What's up Ken? If you are unable to tell us, I understand.

gadfly said...

We have wondered how the FAA could have approved the little bird. Now, it seems, that “congress” is also questioning the integrity of the FAA . . . even to the point of considering the abolishment of the present FAA and starting “fresh” . . . stating that the FAA personnel are more interested in their “retirement” than in keeping the aviation industry safe.

The old Chinese curse seems most appropriate: “May you live in interesting times!”


(Who could have guessed? . . . Congress questioning the integrity of another federal agency! I just lost my appetite for “stir fried” . . . Chinese or otherwise.)

airsafetyman said...

"Now, it seems, that “congress” is also questioning the integrity of the FAA . . ."

I don't think the integrity of the FAA worker bees is a problem; its the people they get for administrators, which are approved by Congress! That said, it's difficult, in the age of computerized tracking, to miss an AD note unless people in airline maintenance and scheduling are playing games with upper management who want airplanes on the line.

BricklinNG said...

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

Integrated GPS units deliver advanced GPS navigational capabilities to Eclipse 500 Jet

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — April 03, 2008 — Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world's first very light jet (VLJ), today announced the incorporation of dual integrated Garmin GPS 400W units into Avio NG, providing state-of-the-art GPS navigation to the Eclipse 500.

"The addition of the Garmin GPS units provides Eclipse 500 customers with a comprehensive GPS navigation solution," said Vern Raburn, Eclipse Aviation president and CEO. "Garmin's industry leading GPS systems will allow us to deliver updated Avio NG capabilities this summer, with all functionality commitments delivered to our customers by the end of this year."

The dual GPS 400W units provide functionality including:
Enroute and terminal navigational guidance with Avio NG autopilot coupling;
Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capability for coupled autopilot Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) approaches;
Flight path overlay integrated on Avio NG's navigational displays; and
Integrated navigational source selection.
Coupled with the Eclipse 500's integrated performance computer, weight and balance tools, and moving map, the GPS 400W units enable delivery of Flight Management System (FMS) functionality. The integrated GPS 400W units also provide the navigational capability for private and commercial operations worldwide.

"Garmin is pleased to expand its relationship with Eclipse and deliver this new functionality to Eclipse customers through the GPS 400W. Pilots around the world have learned to fly with Garmin avionics and the GPS 400W will make the transition into the Eclipse 500 easier than ever because it offers them the same performance and reliability that they have come to know and appreciate from Garmin," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's vice president of marketing.

An Eclipse 500 flight test aircraft outfitted with the Garmin GPS 400W units is currently undergoing in-flight developmental testing. Eclipse expects certification of the configuration this summer, with production incorporation occurring in late summer. All in-service customer aircraft will be retrofitted with dual GPS 400W units at Eclipse's expense. The GPS 400W units will be mounted below both Primary Flight Displays (PFD) on the Eclipse 500 and will replace the pilot and co-pilot keyboards.

Eclipse Aviation received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of Avio NG on December 20, 2007, with the support of its world-class partners, including Innovative Solutions & Support, Inc. (IS&S), Honeywell, Garmin International, and PS Engineering, Inc.

So is it then about like the Cirrus setup where Garmin drives the Avidyne displays, with the AvionNG just lacking a few of the integration features and waiting until year end for full functioning? That's how it seems to me.

gadfly said...

Safety man

There is an old saying that “Fish rot from the head, down” . . . evidently both you and I have “been there”. As a businessman, I can say that if something is wrong with our product, or our service, I am responsible, and cannot pass the “buck” on to anyone else in my organization.

Now having that said, I have also been one of the “worker bee’s”, and although it came with a great sacrifice at the time, I had to leave a company (at the time I was the General Manager and Plant Engineer) . . . even at a great sacrifice of salary, position, and even detriment to my family . . . I maintained my integrity . . . watching, a year later, my former boss and associates on Albuquerque television, being led away to the federal courthouse in hand-cuffs on multiple charges of interstate fraud.

All that is ancient history . . . most of the “players” are dead and/or gone . . .but the lesson remains the same. When a person is part of something that doesn’t pass the “smell test”, that person has an obligation to get things right, or move on. ‘Blaming “upper management” just doesn’t cut it. Everyone . . . and I mean, each and every individual has a responsibility to do what they can to make things right or leave.

‘Them are my thoughts for the day.


(It took years to recover financially from that decision to leave a bad situation, but my integrity remains “in tact”, and I would not change that decision for anything. Listener, please take note: Your future is worth far more than the promises of your present employer. And that earlier enterprise? . . . it still remains a great product, and only a couple of us know how to produce it, especially in this present “green” environment. But not at the expense of our personal integrity. And tomorrow . . . what promises and hopes will the morning sun, and "Raburn", bring?)

Black Tulip said...

This press release is too late for an April fool’s joke, so I guess it is to be believed. Imagine you owned or had a deposit on one of these things? Is this the disruptive avionics technology brought forth by ten year’s work and a billion bucks?

I suggest Eclipse owners carefully hang a coat over each control yoke while parked on the ramp. The Garmins can be hidden, lest there be comparisons to the Garmin stack in the beat-up Baron parked nearby.

gadfly said...


Would you please give a reference to your "news release"?

For whatever it's worth, we want to make sure that the reported news is from a reliable source. The "made up stories" are fun, and amusing, but outside this "blogsite" we must be accurate in our comments.

Thank you in advance of your answer.


(The "truth" is much "funnier" than fiction . . . especially as related to the little jet bird.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Eclipse owner's should not be celebrating this very good, and might I add accurately predicted here (again), good news.

Eclipse is on the hook for the integration from the 400's to Avio NfG.

The same company that could not make it work from the previous GPS supplier, or the previous previous GPS supplier.

Yes, Garmin will have solid, well defined, and unchangable output specifications, from Eclipse still has to address the integration issues.

This will be no walk in the park, and it will be attempted by a company that has yet to progress from crawling to walking.

Great news for Eclipse owners and employees in my opinion, but far, far, far from a 'sure thing'.

Also, I am very surprised Garmin has agreed to do this. I imagine in addition to a pound of flesh, there was some eating of crow - too bad we will likely never know.

Black Tulip said...


The news release is highlighted on the Eclipse Aviation home page.

Anonymous said...

The addition of the Garmin 400W is like having a Cirrus with the GNS 430’s as the brains to the displays. No integration whatsoever. This is one big fat step backwards! I guess Vern got desperate and had to come up with something.

MetalGuy said...

Time for a pop quiz all! – See if you can correctly identify which calendar year the following quotes are from. The winner receives a brand new WCSYC button.

Caution – Please wear safety goggles to prevent eye damage from flying BS

Here goes!

1) “[Avio NG] scheduled for production and delivery this summer. In keeping with a customer-centric focus, Eclipse will retrofit all Eclipse 500 aircraft with Avio NG by the end of 2007, ensuring a homogeneous Eclipse 500 fleet.”

2) “Eclipse expects certification of the configuration this summer, with production incorporation occurring in late summer. All in-service customer aircraft will be retrofitted with dual GPS 400W units at Eclipse's expense.”

3) “Eclipse Aviation Corporation has promoted Don Burtis, formerly director of avionics and electronics, to vice president of avionics and electronics. In his new position, Burtis will work to develop electronics systems and technologies for the Eclipse 500 jet. […] “and I believe there is nobody more qualified than Don to lead this aspect of our business," said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse”

4) “Aviation, manufacturer of the world's first very light jet (VLJ), today announced the incorporation of dual integrated Garmin GPS 400W units into Avio NG, providing state-of-the-art GPS navigation to the Eclipse 500.” [Technically 1998 technology, but hey, just a nit in the big picture right?]

5) “Eclipse Aviation will continue to serve as the systems integrator for the overall Avio NG system, but has employed a best-of-breed strategy for the Avio NG partners. Each supplier has deep expertise in the specific Eclipse 500 component they will provide.”

6) “The reception from the aviation industry as a whole has been extremely skeptical- just as we expected. Industry skeptics are not willing to believe we can manufacture the Eclipse 500 at the price, performance and specifications we have communicated. Their philosophy is, "We couldn't so you can't-WCSYC."

7) “Additional new suppliers for Avio NG are: Chelton Flight Systems – Avio NG will also include a flight management system (FMS) provided by Chelton Flight Systems. This FMS has been proven in multiple aircraft installations starting more than 6 years ago and now has flight guidance algorithms for all of the ARINC 424 published path segments.”

8) “…with an all glass cockpit, and avionics and operating systems derived from the computer industry, the Eclipse 500 will transport passengers in automobile-like comfort for a cost that is typically less than that of a full fare commercial airline ticket. Aircraft cost is projected to be $775,000 (year 2000 dollars) when commercial delivery begins in 2003.”

Please post your submittals and they will be judged next Tuesday. Promise.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

1) 2007
2) 2008
3) 2002
4) 2008
5) 2007
6) 2006
7) 2007
8) 2001

Do I get a special PrizeNG (tm)?

What do I get if I make 60% payment by the 15th?

This is fun.

gadfly said...

Dark Blossom

Thanks! Ain't it great that all the old 'members is still 'round and communicat'in? 'Just like a fambly 'union . . . and such! And where's that third cuzzin . . . Ken? . . . he ain't shown up recently, no how! . . . somthin' must have skeered him off!

And this Garmon thing . . . seems to be a 'questionable sort of discussion . . . them thet thinks it will save the littl' "turkey bird" and them that thinks it ain't no how goin' to do no good.

'Seems to me that shortly the bird will either fly away, or suddenly expire, sufferin' from lack of "feed grain" or whatever turkeybirds require, to stay alive.

Frankly, don't matter much, which way or that . . . birds come and birds go . . . this one don't seem to know which way it's a goin' . . . and I spec that it won't make it whichever direction it's a goin', no matter which way or that!.

Now I'm all confused! This jet thing just don't compute, no how!
'Buildin' a flyin' contraption with all this electronical stuff . . . all supposed to be automatic and intramagrated, so a person just pushes the throttles forward and ever'thin' sort of happens automaticomally . . . and six people of various sizes travel over thirty thousand feet . . . over a thousand nauticomal miles? (some one in the audience just made a sound that was not polite . . . please go down the hall and take care of your problem . . . third door on the left) . . . or did I miss a chapter or two in the "Book of Promises"

Well, I have done thunk this thing out, this way and that, and don't know how this bird will stay 'live much longer. But some one may come up with a pile of grain, or chicken feed . . . who knows? . . . maybe the bird will last 'til next fall. 'Mean time, 'tuther mornin' I cracked open a "double yoker" . . . free range chicken, don't you know! Maybe the little jet will produce a "double yoker". So far, they have only laid eggs, without a yoke.

And that, my fine feathered friends, is "no yoke"!


(It was a mistake to serve Pinto beans and green chili at this meeting.)

Afterburner said...

The G400W's are going in place of the keyboards in the V-Jet. How much do you think those eclipse keyboards with all the pretty yellow INOP stickers will fetch on ebay?

Shane said...

Hang on!

It's not Friday yet.... Vern jumped the gun. Someone tell him we're expecting this tomorrow, not today.

For once, Eclipse deliver ahead of time. Unless, that is, there's more tomorrow.

Keep checking in here guys. There is a lot hitting the 'ol inbox. You all know by now, but for our newer friends:-


ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I am guessing Chelton goes under the bus tomorrow (thump thump) for 'failure to meet Eclipse's World Class expectations' re: FMS.

Probably another messy divorce and another arbitration/law suit.

After all, it is only time, focus and money - which we all know exist in abundance at 2503 Clark Carr Loop.

Fascinating that nowhere is there mention of Eclipse's failure to meet their Avio NfG 1.5 schedule, or that the FMS 'capability' provided by the 400W's is what Chelton was supposed to supply.

Guess this is really just SSDD, the more thing change the more they stay the same.

Nothing to see here folks, move along. Move along.

airtaximan said...

"That has alreay been proven unworkable. Move on. Next."

OK, I;ll bite, at what rate does the supply chain throw up and say screw off?

What doe you expect the rate to be and the price to be for e500s?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


Our South AfriKEN blogger brother said he would not return until he took delivery of his very own WeeJet and had something to report.

I suspect that means we may never hear from him again.

Black Tulip said...

WCSYC redefined...

We Can't, Somehow You Can

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

Congratulations Vern, you just spent millions of dollars on a 1998Cirrus SR20 glass cockpit!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So we are on to Avio NNfG (Next No F'ing Good).

10 years and well over a billion dollars to go back to the future.

What can be next?

I know, Dr. Emmett Brown installing a flux capacitor into the EPDS.

1.21 gigawatts? 1.21 gigawatts?

Great Scott!

baron95 said...

fred said...
yes ...
i agree about after chap11

but if vern and roal keep playing their game , eclipse will be so plagued with a bad image that no one with the kind of money to buy will be interested to look fool in a fool plane ...!!

Look at Columbia - lots of problems supporting the planes and customers, missed delivery targets, etc. Ch11, now owned by Cessna.

Ask any potential customer looking for a 190kts fixed gear piston single if they'd have any concerns or hesitation whatsoever buying a Cessna 350/400. All current and depositor C400 owners are totally thrilled that Cessna is now behind this plane.

See how fast things change?

Vern can screw up as much as he wants. If a Beech or Pilatus for example buy Eclipse out of Ch 11, all concernrs get erased overnight.

baron95 said...

airtaximan said...
What doe you expect the rate to be and the price to be for e500s?

EA500 = 150/year - $2M/plane, growing to 200/year when international sales (Europe, Russia, Brazil, India, China starts).

ECJ (in 10 years) = 250/year at $1.4M/plane.

Abviously, I am assuming that all this is post BK or post acquisition.

baron95 said...

You know what? The Garmin 400W decision is probably just the second time we see Eclipse management making a sound executive decision.

The first one was of course accepting that the FJ-22 engine was a dud, cutting your losses, redesigning the plane - the alternative would have been throwing more money and time at a hopeless cause.

Now, finally, some mature business decision. It was clear that Avio NG2.0 total FMS integration was going no where. Customers were starting to refuse delivery and the plane could not be certified in Europe. Accept reality. Bite the bullet move on.

Customers need to accept reality also. Avio NG fully integrated FMS will not happen for a long time. Garmin 400Ws MAY be here for late summer. Now customers need to make a decision - take delivery with the 400Ws or walk and demand your deposit back. Simple and crisp. No more day dreaming of when Avio NG is going to be when it arrives.

Get the FIKI sign-off, start deliering WAAS-capable airplanes, get EASA certification, sell the freaking company and be done.

It will not be such a bad setup. Inferior to all the other VLJs? Yes, of course. But still a better avionics setup than last year's BE90 King Air, PC12, TBM850. On par with current Meridian.


fred said...

baron wrote :

"EA500 = 150/year - $2M/plane, growing to 200/year when international sales (Europe, Russia, Brazil, India, China starts).

ECJ (in 10 years) = 250/year at $1.4M/plane."

i kinda disagree ...!!

look at facts , not presumptions !!

how many are going to buy such a "common" (as for nothing really "disruptively" new ) ?

international sales ???

still the questions remain :

with what certifification ?
with what maintenance ?
with what money ?
for what ?
for what market ?
what is the point of stir-fried if so small amount are to be produced ( an another way to say "we wasted that many millions on it , made peoples dream on it , now we have to announce = forget about it .... as well as all others things ???)

i believe such thing can be own "allmost" exclusively by passionate ...

commercial use will vanish very soon ...

so what would be the point for a competitor to take the "burden" of such a painfull thing ?

to cater for pasionates ? yes , may be .... but NOT at 2 M$ , for much more which make it pointless !

if some competitors buy it for a single $ out of chap11 , it will be to make sure its buried with all the hopes of most depositors !!!

FreedomsJamtarts said...


That news report looks like it was written by a machine. Something like the mission statement generator on

Obvious it is marketings job to put a positive spin on stuff, but this is getting (ever more) ridiculous.

There is nothing in this press release to give the impression of a temporary fix. I expected from the rumours that this would just be a temporary measure under tuesday. Permanent? Good joke.

Do the AvioNg's currently have moving maps, or is the little 400 screen it? I guess none of this matters, cause they are going bankrupt.

Baron, your arguments for the Partialeclipse being a lower workload than the baron just took a big hit. Obviously engine handling and single engine inop are still bigg workload reductions on Eclipses plus side, but the 1995 Garmin push the button, turn the inner, push enter, turn the outer, push button - no wait bugger that should have been the enter... start again .... interface is a big minus to single pilot IFR ops at 350knots.

If they put the G400W's where the keyboards were, do they still have any space to fit two DME's? Without them they are never flying commercial in Europe.

Baron95, Chapter 11 requires the creditors to see some residual value. I am betting on a direct ride to Chapter 7. There will be two attempted rescusitations, both will fail, adn them we can close the book on this sad, sorry tail.

Coming out of Chapter 7 would require every single existing vendor to continue supplying, or a replacement be certified. Forget it.

flightguy said...

I had to bite on your comment about Beech and Pilatus perhaps buying Eclipse down the road.

Who do you think does the due diligence? None other than the people on this blog!!

airtaximan said...

riddle me this, pls.

You are a supplier, say Fuji or Hampson... and you were told pricing is based on a volume curve. You bought into the curve, which showed EAC at B/E at around 500 units a year.... based on pricing that was agreed to on that curve.

What do you think the price was at 500-750 units per year?

What do you think the price is at say 150-200 units per year?

I suspect, there's a hefty penalty to pay for lower rates, especially "conventional" type production rates. Intuition/experience says, they will result in "conventional" parts/systems pricing.

So, the last vestige of "value proposition" is gone? Low cost just became conventional cost, except for the "forward pricing" BS.

Come to think of it, what do you expect the "JEt Incomplete" pricing to be, based on say conevtional production rates?


baron95 said...

flightguy said...
I had to bite on your comment about Beech and Pilatus perhaps buying Eclipse down the road.

Who do you think does the due diligence? None other than the people on this blog!!

Well, I used Beech and Pilatus just as an illustration. In the end, it may just be ETIRC or one of the other previous inverstors whom are already on the inside and have a lot more visibility (for years) into Eclipse.

While I enjoy the discussion and views on this forum, lets not think we are all that important in the scheme of things.

If I was driving the acquisition, I'd just insist that it is done in the Bankrupcy process, so I can get exact knowledge of any contracts or liabilities that survive.

Given the company lack of transparancy, acquiring it outside of bankruptcy would be too risky.

If we get to August or so, and they are delivering 1 EA500 with FIKI, AvioNG+Garmin 400s with EASA certification at a rate of 2-3/week, with 4 syms on-line and a retrofit rate of 1 AC/month/service center, then the riskis are menageable. I'd still want to do it through BK.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

EASA certification. By August. You don't really believe that do you Baron95?

What about EASAs Proposed CRI for the Eclipse electrical engine shut off (or lack of it). EASA recognised that no plane has ever been certified to 41000 which is battery dependant to the extent that you can not control engine thrust or shut off the engines 30 minutes after a dual generator fail.

Since EASA feels it is "considered not realistically possible to safely land the aircraft within 30 minutes from 41000ft on battery supply, taking into account the time needed to perfrom the failure procedure, general pilot capability, lost services, and ATC environment", they want Eclipse to provide a solution.

They are not in any way restricting Eclipses design freedom, but they have recognised the the individual substantiations and special conditions used for the FAA certification which each meet specific requirements, have added up to a configuration which is simply not safe, and have send Eclipse back to the drawing board to address these concerns.

Keep an eye on If a manufacturer wants a special condition which has not been previously commented and accepted, then it will be published here for public comment.

sparky said...

With the garmin's located where the keyboards used to be brings up two questions.

1.) Is the FAA going to certify one of your primary instruments that low in your scan, expecially now that it's on a stowable mounting platform.


2.) What functionality did the crew lose by the loss of the keyboards.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

The FMS is not a primary instrument. On most large aircraft the FMS is on the center pedestal. The Moving map is not a required display. I would assume (probably not a great idea concerning Eclipse) that AvioNNNNfG can at least display an HSI.


You know how you like to compare the VLJ's to an AMG, would you personally take delivery of an AMG with a non integrated 1995 Blaupunkt cassette radio in the dash?

fred said...

freedom ...

a buddy in EASA said to me "NO way E500 can be accepted as it is now ...and probably not before in a final completion !" (apparently they don't want to get trapped into a corner [like FAA ?] by provisory things which are then changed for some others provisiory items , themselves promised to be short-lived till the final bird is coming ! )

so yes , i really do think baron95 is to check his mantra ...

Baron95 ...:

re-read what you wrote ...

why anyone would have invested XXX hundreds of millions $ in a firm so close to bankruptcy ?

if interested , it's better to wait till the fruit is ripe and falling in your hand for a buck ...

so , the whole Etirc story is what ?

a clever guy/investor who seen the potential of a bird , nobody has seen ???

a complete schmuck lured by Vern ?

a shark bigger than all vern's lies who served bigger lies to some too happy to hang-on to something , not to have to waive their deposits goodbye ?

whatever is the answer , not very clever to do it the way he did ...
waiting a little would have done the same result for much cheaper , as well as pushing the actual "management" aside in the process ...

definitely not very clever ...!!

Afterburner said...

Hey Sparky,

1. The G400W’s display is not considered “primary” so it shouldn’t be a cert issue. Deviation, flags, and annunciations will have to be on the PFD’s (which are primary) to be certified IFR.

2. Much of the keyboard functionality never worked anyway. The items it seems that you’ll lose will be dedicated controls for PFD composite modes, transponders controls, and audio selector controls. I suspect these controls will get rolled into the MFD somehow, we’ll have to see how creative uncle Don can get. If so, this will put more unexpected work on IS&S’s plate, which will translate to more cost and delay. More cost and delay will make Vern mad and IS&S may become a target for bus tires.

Might be easier to just through in some panel mounted audio panels and transponders and call it done.


David Wihl said...

As a Cirrus owner, I take offense to the comparisons of AvioNNfG (with 400W). I think the current Cirrus panel is better integrated than the hodgepodge that will come from Eclipse. Even the crappy STEC55 provides vertical guidance.

ExEAC said...

Congratulations Vern, you just spent millions of dollars on a 1998Cirrus SR20 glass cockpit!

The MFD came in Jan '02. The PFD came in Jul '03.

Baron95, I agree with your assessment of the VLJ market and potential value of Eclipse post-BK. You don't need to sell 500 jets / year to make a nice business, provided you can dump all the false promises and past liabilities.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Did anyone note on the EASA consultation website that the last call for comments on the Eclipse electrical/engine cut off CRI is mid August. The TC can not be issued till this CRI is closed, so anyone planning Q2/2008 EASA Validation needs a plan B.

Realistically the plane will not be validated in this configuration (because eclipse is going bankrupt) so the CRI is also somewhat irrelevant.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The real issue is that Eclipse needs to be DEscoping the work for Avio NfG if they want to get it certified not just in a reasonable amount of time, but at all.

Adding to the challenge is just plain stupid at this time.

Today's announcment could go so far as to split some of the 'integrated' functionality out from Avio NfG into more COTS boxes. That would be the best overall solution IMO, so historically speaking it is unlikely.

Yesterday's Garmin announcement suggests to me that two more formerly 'world class' suppliers are going under the bus, Chelton for the FMS and the GPS supplier NexNav. Both are still listed on the 'Partners' pages, as of this morning.

Eclipse has already placed standalone XPDR's in the panel, the best solution is to can the Avio NNfG 'total aircraft integration' BS and spec out an avionics installation that meets the vast amjority of promises made in terms of functionality/usability. Even if it means going with conventional GA style COTS boxes.

I see this most recent development as indication that reality is finally settling in at the highest levels at EAC and that is truly positive, and I mean that sincerely.

The problem is that I believe it is too little, too late.

The best that the bargain basement would-be jet jockeys can hope for now is an avionics solution that is 'state-of-the-art' - if by 'state-of-the-art' you mean what was true for high end piston GA aircraft, in 1998, when the Eclipse was born (Pronto) and this same basic approach was in use on the then 'technically advanced' Cirrus SR-20.

Hopefully one of our fellow bloggers with an interest (ex-421, EO, NZ, etc.) or at least Eclipse Southern PR Office Manager Zoom Campbell will fill us all in on the details.

T minus 5 minutes and counting to the big announcement.

At ease men, I will be in the area all morning.

Black Tulip said...


Albuquerque, NM – April 4, 2008 – This morning’s press meeting and conference call revealed sweeping new developments at Eclipse Aviation. President Vern Raburn said, “I’ll be straight with you. I know many will be disappointed by our adoption of the Garmin 400W as the GPS navigator for the Eclipse 500. But this does not mean you cannot enjoy the full features of Eclipse Avio NG. Remember we have Level D simulators here at the factory and they provide the fully integrated avionics suite you have come to expect.”

“We know that owners and position holders have grown attached to the idea of operating a 21st Century aircraft cockpit, and we would like to make their simulator experience more fulfilling. Therefore we have decided to expand the ‘simulated’ experience outside the cockpit. Think of it this way: When you step out of the Eclipse 500 simulator here, you enter a very realistic one-for-one simulation of the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. “

“Soon you can expect simulations of other cities. Our first priority is to simulate the home bases of our hundred-plus current owners. Then we will extend this to the great cities of the world. You merely have to pack your bags, travel to Albuquerque…. and see the world. Plus you will find that our simulated price for jet fuel is much more reasonable than experienced in the field.”

“Don’t miss this opportunity, available at a modest price increase in our training package. No expense will be spared. For those in the simulators during the presidential election, we intend to provide very accurately modeled coverage. This concludes our prepared remarks; operator please open the lines for questions.”

Shane said...

Black Tulip,

I DEMAND that you get Vern to include Dublin.

Can you please ensure that inclues a virtual pint of Guinness?


PS Well done...

Shane said...

Snippet from the 'inbox', a paragraph from the notice sent today to all owners of the E500 and signed by Vern.

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.

The key words are 'final and permanent'. Looks like AvioNG won't quite be like, well, AvioNG was promised to be...


FreedomsJamtarts said...

That ring of fire must be really burning.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

How much space behind the panel and avionics bay does the partial eclipse have?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...


With all the remote boxes installed with the switch from Avio to Avio NfG I am betting very little.

The Preemie Jet is such a small plane to begin with every change makes real estate more valuable and harder to come by.

Avio NNfG may cause some significant cockpit layout issues if additional functionality is broken out to allow Eclipse to actually deliver mostly functional aircraft.

Trading one remote box for another, while retaining the challenge of control and display integration, HIRF and Level A software development is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on teh Titanic.

Iceberg, right ahead.

WhyTech said...

"We will no longer pursue our own custom FMS solution. "

Wow! I wonder if the faithful have figured out the loss of functionality this represents compared with in integrated FMS?
1. GNS430 not "airway aware"
2. no VNAV capability
3. entering and reviewing flight plans on those tiny screens, and with much knob twisting required
4. etc, etc

As others have suggested, a step 10 years into the past.

Let the order cancellations and law suits begin!


airtaximan said...

"don't need to sell 500 jets / year to make a nice business"

you guys make me laugh...

The price was based on 750 planes a year, as were the costs. Negotiations brought this down to 500 units per year.

Please explain the cost/price for less than 500 units per year. Say, cCessna Embraer rates of 150 or so per year? I suspect, eclipse HAS no price advantage that would encourage anyone to buy one of these bothched planes, compared to Mustang or Phenom.

Especially when the singles are less expensive.

So, once again... please explain the "value proposition for a $2.x million eclipse" which is what it will be once the smoke and BS clears?

I say, very small market for some folks who cannot pony up a little more money for a less risky jet, that is finished and certified by a reputable aviation company.

I fail to see the market for an eclispe plane above $2M.

Its nothing but a cheap jet. And at conventional rate poduction, it aint cheap.

airtaximan said...

cancellations... now that's funny.

Would you like some metal with that cancellation, or nothing.

Copernicus said...

I was able to listen to the conference call. I will leave it to others to comment on the actual hardware/software changes and the resulting "final" article to be delivered. I am more concerned about financial matters so I listened with this in mind.

Everything I heard in the call, with one exception, was associated with EAC spending more money. Additional retrofits, out sourcing of rework, purchasing of Garmin equipment--all of these mean a bigger drain on Eclipse's treasury, I would think. One person asked if the Garmin inclusion meant to EAC that it was delivering an avionics system as per specification and the answer was "yes." This represents a conservation of cash because a "no" would have meant that the Garmin inclusion would trigger a "refund event" which, in turn, could have opened the door for customers to request refunds. Eclipse clearly does not want that door to open.

I did not hear any questions about the order book, the success of Dayjet and others or any other attempt to gain insight into the revenue side of the finances. Nor did I hear any question to shed light on whether or not customers might be refusing delivery without an operational GPS, moving map and autopilot. Maybe a part of the decision was that without Garmin there would be an effective class action to prove a "refund event"; whereas with the Garmin decision, EAC can avoid a "refund event." A refund event might drain the treasury overnight.

Overall, this call did not give me any reason to be more optimistic or pessimistic about the chance that EAC can survive with its basic business plan to make lots and lots of small jets for a new world of air taxi and, secondarily for owner/operators. It did make me think that EAC's available time to reach break even has been diminished because there will be additional expenses to implement the changes that were discussed.

Black Tulip said...

Next week the blog will pass its second anniversary, under current and previous stewardship. Critics and Faithful have come and gone… and a few have stuck around.

Today’s announcement, although predicted here weeks ago, seems particularly stark. Sadly, reality is getting closer to predictions made here long ago.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I can't wait to see how the Eclipse Southern PR Office (Aero-News) puts a positive spin on this one.

Maybe that is why Zoom doesn't have an article up in this 'exciting' development yet.

Tom Clancy or Steven King would have a hard time making this sound good.

baron95 said...

airtaximan said...

The price was based on 750 planes a year, as were the costs. Negotiations brought this down to 500 units per year.

So, once again... please explain the "value proposition for a $2.x million eclipse" which is what it will be once the smoke and BS clears?

First of all, I was answering a question of the post-BK, post acqusition steady state production/cost numbers. Not 1H/2008 issues.

Second, maybe you missed the news, but the Eclipse price has gonne up by 10% while projected production rates have gone down by 33%. So the adjustments you mention have (for the most part) already been made.

As for the value of the Eclipse vs Mustang, the Mustang is currently 85% more expensive than the Eclipse, about 30KTS slower, burns about 25% less fuel. That is value. True in 2010 it will still have lesser avionics and is (currrently) supported by a questionable company.

You can't dismiss an 85% price difference. It is like saying that there is no market for $1M home with some flaws and limitations, because accross the street there is a perect $1.85M home. That is just silly. Or that there is no market for a S550 because the S63AMG is so much better. Again just silly.

If you know anything about Cessna jets, you KNOW that once they dry the easy orders, the Mustang I, then the Mustang I+, will be rolled out. Each will have 100lbs better payload and cost about 10-15% more. Mustang will be a $3.5M jet as we exit this decade.

Eclipse should be a $1.8-$2.0M jet functional jet with some support certainty by 2010.

That is what I take as a premise for the answering the volume question.

Clearly an inferior $2.0M twinjet can co-exist with a $3.5M better jet right? And also can coexist with a $1.4M proper SEJET (ECJ, Cirrusjet) when they come on line in 2015.

Black Tulip said...

Eclipse versus Mustang -

"You can't dismiss an 85% price difference."

Buying VLJs is like buying oats. If you want 'em after they've been through the horse you can pay a lot less.

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

This Garmin thing, while a necessary decision, is really just another kluge.

The proper way to get rid of the Eclipse FMS while preserving the architecture, would be to use the G1000 remote GPS units with soft buttons on the MFD or even the keyboard to input data.

With all due respect to the SR22/Meridian/etc drivers, the setup of having to control separate boxes for input and presentation is just plain bad. It costs more, it is bad for the pilot.

Avidyne is dead if they can't have an integrated system to compete with G1000 and Apex. Actually, I think they are dead anyway.

Cirrus better start certifying the G1000 or they'll start losing sales as soon as Cessna fixes the C350/C400 production process.

Similarly, eclipse will lose sales when lower cost G1000 turbines enter the market.

With all king-airs, TBM850, Caravan, PC12, D-Jet, Mustang now all sporting integrated cockpits, the Eclipse and meridian are trully the least advanced turbine cockpits - and by a large margin.

Similarly, SR22 cockpits are a relic compared to Diamond, Cessna singles, Bonanza, etc. Better fix that.

Shane Price said...

New posting up.

Things are moving very quickly now....


baron95 said...

Black Tulip said...
Next week the blog will pass its second anniversary,


Today’s announcement, although predicted here weeks ago, seems particularly stark. Sadly, reality is getting closer to predictions made here long ago.

On ballance...

The "critics" on the Blog have a good track reccord predicting failed production rate increases, Avio NG quagmire, financial mess.

They have a lousy track reccord claiming lausy aerodynamic performance and the "going out of business next week" forecasts.

The so called "faithfull" have, by and large left the blog. In my mind, they left, because they were making, at times, emotional-based arguments and were rudely treated by some small percentage of the critics.

So this blog became too one-sided. Now, even the critics are making emotional-based arguments. It is like some members here are personally emotionally invested painting everything in Eclipse as being bad.

Eclipse extremely executed poorly and, IMHO, unethically. But, they did raise money, they did get a TC, they did get a PC, they did build 150 jets with a CoA, they did build a factory, sims, service centers, etc.

I think Eclipse will be just like your typical GA mannufacturer (Lear, Piper, Mooney, Columbia). Making planes one week, in bankruptcy the next, production hyatus the following month, back to making planes, making great an exciting announcements of new models that often never come, acquired, sold, etc. What else is new?

P.S. Come to think about it, on the other end of the spectrun, it is the same story in the Airline industry.

Makes for good blogs - just try not to get too emotionally invested in the outcome. It is rarelly clear cut until decades later.