Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Critics Strike Back

"SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA
UNLIMITED JURISDICTION


ECLIPSE AVIATION CORPORATION,
Plaintiff,
vs.

JOHN DOE; JANE DOE; ET AL.
Defendants.

MOTION TO QUASH AND SUPPORTING MEMORANDUM
OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES"


This is how the defense is structured. The 'motion to quash' seeks to stop the Eclipse action, and offers a full description of supporting precedent. It is not my purpose to repeat the entire contents but I think a few points are worthwhile posting. My comments, inserted for clarity, are in italics

"Disclosing the identification of such posting identities (legal term for bloggers' names etc) violates the constitutional protection guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution."

and

"To the extent that the guarantee of anonymity implicated in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution are qualified privileges, the Plaintiff and proponent of the Deposition Subpoena has made no showing that the speech in question falls outside the protected category of free speech."

These are the key points. First, disclosing the names and addresses of the named bloggers breeches First Amendment rights, and second, Eclipse have made no attempt to justify why this central constitutional principle should be ignored by the CA courts. Several cases have been cited, including U.S. Supreme Court actions, as well as Californian and other State courts.

So, Eclipse are now aware of the depth and strength of the team that Gunner has been kind enough to put at 'our' disposal. Be aware that no individual blogger is identified in the defense documents. 'Our' lawyer, Norman Malinski of Aventura FL, is aware of at least one of the 'honor roll' who is prepared to be identified, if required. I am confident that Eclipse face an uphill battle if they choose to continue with this action, not least in the court of public opinion.

I will also state that anyone who has ever contacted me has been dealt with promptly and fairly. If Eclipse feel that a specific post is wrong, incorrect, or generally want to work things out in a professional manner, they know the email address.

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

106 comments:

chickasaw said...

Thanks to the legal team and Shane. Thanks to all of you regulars who are smarter than me; Gunner, Dave, ATM, Cold Wet, Gadfly etal. This blog continues to be an education for me. Thankfully there have not been many seagulls (someone who comes in, makes a lot of noise, craps over everything and leaves).

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

http://www.charterx.com/resources/article.aspx?id=3313

Don't tell the ColdWifeMackarelofReality, but I think I have a crush on Karen Di
Piazza. Seriously, fantastic work by Ms. Di Piazza and CharterX.

Thanks also to Vern Raburn of Eclipse Aviation for bringing such attention to our humble little blog - we owe you one. Of course, you owe one to each of your loyal customers.

Gadfly, you are 'da BOMB! Tellin it like it is.

Where did the fluffboy posse disappear to?

Here is a question for FlightCentre - why has Eclipse not been seen to receive a CofA since December of 2007 although they have 'delivered' about 70 planes since then?

Are Mustang's seeing a similar delay?

FreedomsJamtarts said...

I doubt this is sinister ChillyMoistmarinelife. I heard somewhere that the FAA have had Database issues which has lead to delays in Export CofA's etc being issued. Since the Mustangs are dealing with a different MIDO/FSDO/whatever office it is that does CofA'S - it wouldn't supprise me if there are differences.

I would also like to thank Gunner. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

I was surprised that google didn't act on this. I would have expected their multi Billion investment would give them a big incentive to make a big hurray about protecting internet users rights.

stan said...

N503EA still appears to be chasing ice.

May 2, the A/C flew what looks like an icing profile between Eugene, OR and Portland.

Returned to ABQ the same day.

It left the nest again on the 7th.

This morning, the crew is waking up in Juneau, Alaska.

This follows a pattern that has continued for several months which I suspect represents - fly in some ice, go back to ABQ for a few days to tweak the system, then go find some more ice.

airtaximan said...

"I was surprised that google didn't act on this. I would have expected their multi Billion investment would give them a big incentive to make a big hurray about protecting internet users rights."

ask Ed...Microsoft is really difficult to deal with, if you piss them off.

Imagine Google, with no IE or mcrosoft compatability?

Kidding of course.

It might be a good idea to launch a new blog - PrivacyRightsblogger.... just to collect support from bloggers around the world. See how many people post in support. Bloggers of the world, unite!

airtaximan said...

didn't one of the faithful promise us a FIKI date in November last year? PROMISED...GUARANTEED.

how much harm did that little post cause, both eclispe and the customers?

Somehow, we should all have to name ourselves, and we should see who caused harm to who...

I can promise, the faithful/diehard comments casue a lot more harm, and I just wonder - if there was a fiathful comment posted by an eclipse employee to induce some reaction from a depositor or potential e500 buyer?

Hmm...perhaps we should list the faithful, and suspect them of harming John-Q e-500 buyer.

Shane Price said...

Note to all.

FlightCenter has updated his spreadsheet, accessible on the home page of the blog, top left hand side, "Eclipse 500 Delivery Data". It makes interesting reading, especially the quarterly deliveries. These show a drop Q1 this year over Q4 last year.

Freedom,
It's simple. Google is scared of Vern....

Shane

Gunner said...

For those interested in the complete text of Motion to Quash it's available HERE

Gunner

uglytruth said...

Where is the line, for warning people about investment in a company and potential customer’s or employees of company issues? Lets face it they are not getting correct info from the regular press.

Should anyone getting ready to make a major purchase, career change, or investment not have the right to ALL the available info about any product? How many of us before a purchase do research for something as small as a lawnmower or DVD player?

A few weeks ago I got a call asking for money for a kids charity. Had a very familiar name. After the paperwork came I checked them out by typing in the name and rating. Guess what? Not the kind of company I wanted to donate to. They had a 1 star rating and the owner and his wife were at the top pulling in 200K + a year. Guess it pays better than the antique shop they ran before starting the “charity”.

Dave said...

Vern has choosen to fight a war which he cannot win...

Let's first of all assume that Vern wins all his legal challenges:
* New blogs (and bloggers) can spring up in an instant such as this:
http://eclipse-vs-does.blogspot.com/
Initiating high-profile litigation particularly in matters of the internet does wonders for attracting more bloggers - and they are the type of bloggers who are not on your side. It can be whack-a-mole where if you silence a dozen bloggers, two dozen spring up in their place.
* Any judgment will have virtually no impact on financing Eclipse's operations. There's no big payday for Eclipse conceivably on the horizon. Eclipse's investors aren't going to suddenly get a windfall profit with a verdict in Eclipse's favor.

Regardless of victory or defeat in a court of law:
* Vern is very publicly distracted from Eclipse's operations. This raises questions about Vern's judgment and management abilities. If Eclipse underperforms in any way - profit for investors, deliveries for customers, etc, this can blow up in Vern's face as to why he willfully distracted himself from Eclipse operations to silence a few bloggers. Position holders have got to wonder why Vern is litigating rather than delivering them a fully functional plane that meets specs of what they paid for.
* The lawsuit itself calls into question Vern's "street cred" on technology. Eclipse has spent countless dollars marketing itself as a high tech company, yet the lawsuit threatens to make Vern look like a luddite and old school exec that can't deal with how much technology (the internet) has changed the landscape. Allusions could be drawn between Microsoft Employee #18 (Vern) and Microsoft's own prior history of being famously slow to understand and embrace the internet.
* Vern comes across as trying to initiate a SLAPP lawsuit.
* Vern's lawsuit by its very existence implies that there's some very damaging information regarding Eclipse. The very nature of the lawsuit is an instant red flag for investors and position holders.
* Also related to there be damaging information regarding Eclipse, this also undermines Vern's very public claims for transparency and his own prior statements further indict Vern for having something to hide and make him a hypocrite for being opaque after he called on the VLJ industry to be transparent.

Now if Eclipse loses in the court of law:
* It will magnify questions on Vern's judgment and management abilities moreso than if Vern won
* It will make Eclipse look extremely weak. Losing a lawsuit to a few bloggers can only serve to make Eclipse a laughinstock, but a win will bring no rise in stature to Eclipse.

This list doesn't cover everything, but shows Vern by his own choices can win any number of battles but still lose the war. The court of law is merely one battle, while there is also the court of public opinion, the views of [potential] position holders, the views of [potential] investors, etc. Vern's actions since being CEO of Eclipse have repeatedly shown a lack of proper planning and ability to see the big picture due to poor leadership and this lawsuit appears to be one more re-enforcement of that. Almost immediately after initiating the lawsuit it was obvious to the media that Vern put himself in a no-win situation.

Looking at the potential further implications of this, this could result in Sarbanes Oxley whistleblowers coming forward with inside information and reporting it to law enforcement agencies. This also can put the negative spotlight on the politicians who have enabled Eclipse by drawing the media spotlight to their involvement with Eclipse and politicians are allergic to negative publicity and hints of scandal.

To put it short and sweet - Eclipse has called on others to be transparent plus Eclipse has taken tens of millions of dollars from the taxpayers, does it really look good to then go on a high profile mission to eliminate any potential transparency? Eclipse=The War On Transparency.

FlightCenter said...

It is very interesting to compare the GAMA numbers for Q1 Eclipse deliveries with the FAA data on the same subject.

The GAMA numbers show that there were 52 Eclipse 500 aircraft delivered in Q1.

It is quite interesting to look at the FAA data on this subject, which shows that Eclipse delivered 42 aircraft to customers in Q1 and delivered 10 aircraft to themselves. Yes, that's right, 10 of the 52 aircraft counted in the Q1 GAMA numbers were registered to Eclipse at the end of Q1.

The paperwork Eclipse submitted to the FAA in Q1 for these 10 aircraft showed Eclipse as the new registered owner of the aircraft. Eclipse submitted paperwork to the FAA in Q1 to register serial #136, 137, 141, 143, 144, 148, 149, 150, 151, and 152 to Eclipse.

Eclipse subsequently submitted paperwork to the FAA in Q2 to re-register all of these aircraft to their current owners. Records from flightaware show that all of these aircraft departed ABQ for the first time sometime in April or May. (One aircraft had no flights listed on flightaware. It seems that it has yet to depart ABQ.)

Once again Eclipse is attempting to redefine the meaning of the word "delivery", not to mention revenue recognition in an attempt to claim that deliveries increased from Q4 2006 deliveries of 50 aircraft.

In another interesting trend, serial #107, #117 and #142 all of which had been registered to customers in Q1, have been re-registered to Eclipse Aviation Corp. Serial #107 shows a flight history of one flight on 3/12. Serial #117 shows a flight history of one flight on 4/21. Serial #117 shows no flight history. The FAA website for serial #117 reports “This aircraft's registration status may not be suitable for operation.”

That’s a 7% return rate in Q1. I wonder if the Eclipse accounting folks have established a reserve to account for potential returns in Q2 and beyond?

If you net out the 3 aircraft that appear to have been returned to Eclipse in April, Eclipse will have actually delivered 39 aircraft in Q1.

75% of the 52 number submitted to GAMA.

Anyway you look at it, that's a long way from a full deck.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

FC,

Thanks again for your Yeoman's work tracking the delivery and registration data. It continues to paint a confusing picture, but 3 apparent returns and only 39 paid 'deliveries' against the claim of 52 smacks of more Verntasmagorial fantasies.

Are you regretting the promotion of this blog yet Vern?

You claimed Eclipse would be the most transparent ever, but in actuality you have proven to have a culture that cannot stand the light of day - so you then try to clamp down on criticism with INDA's and then refuse to participate in the discussion when provided every opportunity.

Kudo's to Dave for his excellent summary of Eclipse's most recent self-inflicted purple heart nomination - well done.

Dave said...

Poor James Fallows. He's got another blog entry and he just seems to be digging himself deeper and deeper into the whole:
http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/for_the_record_two_more_views.php
All he does is regurgitate Ed's press release, but he doesn't even know it because he thinks it is coming from his buddy Bruce Holmes.

First he embarasses his publication by not following up on a story he wrote 3 1/2 months ago to see if it was still accurate before publication. Then after that he again does no investigative work and instead further continues to be a mouthpiece for DayJet.

James Fallows acting as a de facto DayJet PR flack is demonstrating the importance of this blog to get real information as well as blogs in general.

Dave Ivedorne said...

"The GAMA numbers show that there were 52 Eclipse 500 aircraft delivered in Q1.

It is quite interesting to look at the FAA data on this subject, which shows that Eclipse delivered 42 aircraft to customers in Q1 and delivered 10 aircraft to themselves. Yes, that's right, 10 of the 52 aircraft counted in the Q1 GAMA numbers were registered to Eclipse at the end of Q1...

...Eclipse subsequently submitted paperwork to the FAA in Q2 to re-register all of these aircraft to their current owners. Records from flightaware show that all of these aircraft departed ABQ for the first time sometime in April or May."

Verrrry interesting.

Since Gorak the Scary-Faced-Troll decided that it was important to stop by last night to impress us with all her naughty law talk, she might want to go to Google and enter the words 'sunbeam channel stuffing'. I'm not positive, but it sounds like it might be kinda related to Eclipse's current behavior...

Since Vern feels that it's at least as important to harass bloggers as it is to achieve a fully functional stable configuration for the product he sells, it would be reasonable to question his competence to continue as head of the Greater Albuquerque Incomplete Aircraft Works.

I read the Motion to Quash this morning and smiled. Short, sweet, and to the point. It cites Krinsky substantially, a case that very much applies here. The decision in that case is not short (31 pages), but is very easy to read if you're interested in more info about that aspect of the Motion to Quash.

A sincere "Thanks!!!" goes out to Gunner & the participating Doe(s).

Gad - I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of your company & its history. You're the Real Deal too.

Y'all have a good day - the rain that was promised isn't coming, and I've got a date to try out one of those popular plastic airplanes for the first time. Hopefully I don't have to find out what the red lever in the ceiling is for...

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

CW,

Thanks.

In answer to your question whether Mustang CofAs are experiencing similar delays, the data shows the last Mustang CofA listed in the FAA registry database was 3/3/08. The last Eclipse 500 CofA listed in the FAA registry database was on 12/9/2007.

The FAA registry database (as of last Monday) shows that Cessna has delivered Mustang serial #70.

The FAA registry database tracks N registered aircraft. Since the Mustang is EASA certified there may be higher serial number Mustangs delivered in that territory which are not listed in the FAA database.

airsafetyman said...

"Poor James Fallows. He's got another blog entry and he just seems to be digging himself deeper and deeper.."

James Fallows? Isn't he the author famous for NOT serving in Vietnam by avoiding the draft every which way possible? Author of: "What Did You Do in the Class War, Daddy?" How smug, how cute, how precious. Kind of like Dick Cheney, but with a Boston accent.

hummer said...

Both sides of this legal controversy
may be well advise to read or at least google the following:

David Einhorn
President, Greenlight Capital

Fool Some of the People
All of the Time

Some good stuff as it pertains to Allied Capital and what has ensued.

Turboprop_pilot said...

Flightcenter- thank you for the continuing great work.

Think about the moral compass that Vern uses:

Fraudulent 1st flight to capture deposits

Fraudulent delivery schedule to continue to get deposits for cash flow

Fraudulent deliveries with required parts missing

And now Fraudulent deliveries reported to GAMA and the world to try and show rising deliveries. As a private company, he can do this unless there were delivery covenants with investors and/or banks but still...

Given a choice of truth or lies, he ALWAYS chooses lies.

Turboprop_pilot

Dave said...

Hummer,

It's no wonder neither Ed nor Vern have IPOed or else they might just be turning money over to shorts and they'd have to make all sorts of SEC disclosures as to how their business is actually doing. DayJet didn't launch a crusade for air taxi transparency, but Vern launched a crusade for VLJ manufacturer transparency and its time he lived up to his own standards. This again brings up the issue of why hasn't Vern gone for the IPO that was supposed to have already happened a long time ago? That would give him financing, but it would also require disclosure...reaching the transparency required for SEC filings must scare the bejesus out of Vern!

The longer and the louder Vern wages his campaign against transparency, the more investors/position holders/media/public will wonder what's Vern hiding...

uglyabq said...

I just saw the carcass of N500EA, less wings, engines and a few other bits and pieces, being rolled into the warehouse behind the EAC facility at 3201 University Blvd. SE.

Lawn ornament?

Shane Price said...

Fellow bloggers,

I know I said 'close of business Friday' for my little nickname competition, but I meant Irish time...

The winner (drum roll, trumpets...)

is (clash of symbols)

Fisher Price Jet.

So there you have it. Our very own VLJ is declared (by democratic vote) to be an FPJ.

Dave,

In Ireland we never take the Lord's name in vain. OK, 'never' might be a bit strong, but we don't say bejesus, we say bejaysus.

That's with a very, very long 'jay' in the middle. Try it out sometime. It works really well in a pub on a Friday night, as in "Bejaysus, it's not my round again, is it?"

Sorry, I'm way off topic here, so I'll go and catch some zzzz's. Have a good evening, and remember all that we have done this week. Vern gets a bloody nose, the press are swarming over him, the blog 'breaks' the DayJet story, we all learned something new and had a bit of fun doing it.

But, most of all, I want to say something, in public, to one man.

Thanks Gunner, for standing up, when it really mattered.

Shane

Dave said...

In Ireland we never take the Lord's name in vain. OK, 'never' might be a bit strong, but we don't say bejesus, we say bejaysus.

I'm sorry.

gadfly said...

A few years from now, some of us may look back on this differently than at present. The “workers” will have gone on to other things . . . hopefully, to better things, and much wiser in the process. And after all, this is about “you”, the people out on the shop floor, drilling holes, bucking rivets, lining up various components, routing wires, making sure that nothing is “kinked”, and then testing to make sure all connections “fit”, nothing leaks, the electronics are all tested, calibrated, actuators work, everything is properly adjusted, etc., etc., . . . the folks that believed a great thing, and came to Albuquerque expecting to set the aviation industry on its ear . . . or maybe just to move up with your abilities . . . and secure a future for yourselves and your families.

Sure, the people that wanted a better aircraft . . . they are important, too, . . . wanting a great way to fly themselves and their families . . . from one place to another. There is nothing to match flying . . . except, maybe, spending a month under the ocean . . . that’s a great experience, as well. Been there, done that . . . all of the above, and just about everything in between.

But now we ask the big question: What next? And for us humans, we simply don’t know. But here your are, a large group of highly motivated people . . . many “new” to aviation, and most “new” to manufacturing . . . uncertain of the future, but hoping against hope, that somehow it will all work out. Manufacturing is “going to China” and other places . . . ‘just not Albuquerque. But maybe someone “out there” recognizes a “gold mine” . . . all right, a “silver mine”, and will locate in Albuquerque, to take advantage of this raw material, with great potential.

‘Having been in manufacturing in some form or another, almost from the day I could walk, I’ve come to understand that a person with motivation may be trained to accomplish great and wonderful things. And that goes back to a time when my own father was inventing things, and training folks during that great war . . . things that are still found in the cockpit of modern airliners . . . and deep inside the wings, fuselage, . . . etc., . . . things that today are taken for granted. Those things were machined, inspected, assembled, and installed with the same abilities shown by the crew now working on that little jet. They couldn’t be held responsible for the design, but the talent brought the product to reality. And as each component left the factory, there were no “IOU’s”, and no-one aboard a military or commercial or private aircraft ever had to say, “Whoops . . . it never did that before!” (Yep, I’ve been following this for the past fifty . . . sixty years . . . the system works, when you “follow the rules” and treat people fairly, giving them the full opportunity to fulfill their own dreams.)

Someone has “blown” the gadfly’s cover . . . but this is not the issue. The issue is how to make use of the talents of a great body of talent, and give them the opportunity to go on to great things. Hey, life is not easy . . . and there are no guarantee’s for success.

Am I getting through to someone just now? The success or failure of “Eclipse” has little or nothing to do with what you people can accomplish in the future. Maybe someone, like “Piper”, or someone else, will pick up on this golden opportunity . . . and maybe not. But don’t wait around for the inevitable to catch up with you . . . make things happen. You probably won’t get a second opportunity. Now is the time to set your goals, and get busy. In fact, you should have started about the time when things began to have a certain “odor” . . . ‘like when you realized that you forgot to carry out the “grand kid’s” diapers. (Hey, I’m an old guy . . . and I see it from my perspective, OK?)

Now, it does no good to call people names, and criticize what the whole aviation world already knows . . . get off the southern portions of your anatomy, and do something . . . anything is better than complaining.

Yogi Berra once said, “If you find a fork in the road, take it!”

gadfly

(Ain’t it wonderful . . . the life that God has provided?)

eclipso said...

EVERYONE!!!! It's Friday and whatever timezone you happen to be in, A COLD FROSTY BEVERAGE is well deserved...Myself, I'll think I'll have a few. What a busy blog this past couple of weeks. Thanks to all foe particpating. I will now get out my FPJ and a a weekend blast!!

gadfly said...

Our friend has declared Friday to be the end of the week (and it is comforting to know that for a couple days, we may rest, and use the time for worship) . . . and it would seem to some to be that simple. But for us who have often come wide awake at 2AM on Monday mornings . . . for many years, I might add, wondering how to make a “payroll”, or to pay the “suppliers”, it is not that simple. Is it any comfort to you to know that some of us “bloggers” have great concern over what you must be going through, just now? For whatever it’s worth, we know some of the anxiety . . . and pray for wisdom . . . how we might in some way be of help to all those that just now may be most concerned about the future of the “little jet”. You fill in the blanks . . . there is only so much that can be said in the open.

gadfly

(With my cover “blown” as it were, there is little I have to lose.)

airtaximan said...

http://www.aviation.com/firstclass
/080331-dyson-dayjet.html

more group-think?

someone should review all the Rich Kaarlgard articles written about how glorious Eclipse, Vern Ed are.. since 2001 or so - its laughable.. or curious.

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

Russ Niles Aweb Blog...
pleading for patience for Dayjet.

I personally think Dayjet's a success. Here's why:

It kept Eclipse in business over the last 5 years or so....

Without its "order" for 1430 planes, couched publicly as only 230 (plus perhaps 70 options), giving the impression that there were a lot of other orders... what would eclipse have said regarding the huge demand for the plane? there was none.


The Dayjet story worked remarkably well to keep the impression alive there was the "possibility" of sizeable demand for this plane.

Imagine if everyone knew, all along, that after the millions and millions in marketing and hype for many years, there really were only around 1,000 (I am bieing nice)orders/options/whatever from other-than-Dayjet customers.

This would include 112 Aviace "orders"... some Linear orders... 200 or so ITRICK orders, perhaps some Pogo orders... and other fleet orders - that could be suspected as orders with limited deposit, free options, etc... to built up this number as well.

So the eclipse order book is surprisingly WEAK after all this time, effort and money.

I find it amazing, that Dayjet took delivery of 26 planes... then stopped and mothballed 13.

So thats 13 planes of 1430 Eclipse kept on its books as orders/options from Dayjet.

13 planes.

13 of 1430.

THIRTEEN

ouch.

When asked by a reporter why they claimed only 230 plus 70 instead of 1430, I think Dayjet remarked something like: "we're not sure when or even if we'll ever take delivery of all 1430".

Talk about understatement!

net 13

John said...

Dayjet Week 32 Fleet hours
Craft DJS147 did not fly, but the other craft in the 141-163 series did.
Total hours this week are about 81, similar to last week. Hours are down from March and April. Were the extra hours in those months non-revenue internal company trips?
. . Craft …. Hours
1 . 160 …. 14:19
2 . 162 …. 11:22
3 . 142 …. 8:38
4 . 156 …. 8:37
5 . 150 …. 7:40
6 . 141 …. 7:04
7 . 163 …. 4:06
8 . 161 …. 4:03
9 . 158 …. 4:00
10 . 145 …. 2:46
11 . 146 …. 2:28
12 . 153 …. 2:25
13 . 148 …. 2:16
14 . 152 …. 1:05
15 . 147 ….
. . Grand Total …. 80:49

FLY-IN-OINTMENT said...

SCORE
VERN 1
GUNNER 0

Vern is laughing his behind off. He was well aware of the emotions and played you like a violin. Focus has been shifted. Who is the tool now?

Look behind curtain #2

Dave said...

Vern is laughing his behind off. He was well aware of the emotions and played you like a violin. Focus has been shifted. Who is the tool now?

Clearly Vern is - particularly if what you say is true.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

You simply have to love the Fluffboy Posse, the Drive-by Brothers, and the Faithful Following of the Church of Flyantology.

Every lame attempt to declare premature victory, every incorrect proclamation of the death of the blog, every oral servicing of Vern's latest scamtastic announcement - it is really very interesting.

In fact, it is rather like the pattern of distraction and obfuscation practiced by Eclipse - "well yes, half our order book just evaporated buyt we did get certification in India and we are going after those nasty blogger who lie about us."

And as always, it is also very, very wrong.

The focus that Vern and Eclipse are under right now is far more critical than they have ever endured and it is only going to get worse.

If they can't handle we little ol' bloggers, Richard Aboulafia and CharterX, how the hell do they plan to meet the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley?

How many articles were written this week about the DayJet collapse?

Read Karen Di Piazza's excellent article about the Motion to Quash and see the questions she has asked that Vern simply refuses to answer.

Or see Vern's refusal to answer specific questions about the overall state of the program to AIN, or anyone else.

That will only accelerate the collapse of the house of cards - because his silence and the glaring absence of the transparency he himself promised raises MORE questions.

But in the interest of keeping the focus squarely where it deserves to be let us recap:

Still no FIKI (YEARS late now)

Still no EASA cert (also YEARS late)

Still no FMS (ditto)

Still no Avio NfG 1.XXX (now cancelled as soon as they scab on a couple 400W's and move the workload from HAL the now handicapped 'virtual' autopilot onto the increasingly loaded Eclipse Jet Jockey)

Eclipse has failed with Williams - a company that continues to meet its' obligations to all the other OEMs

Eclispe has failed with BAe Systems - another company that continues to meet its' obligations to all the other OEMs

Eclipse has failed with General Dynamics - ditto

Eclipse has failed with DeVore - ditto again

Eclipse has failed with Electromech - I bet we have only seen the beginning of this one

And in each case, as with the Honeywell RDR 2000, a remarkably similar replacement device was somehow available instantly, or almost instantly - how about that - what a strange coincidence.

Earlier this week Eclipse's number 1 customer, LITERALLY 40% OF THEIR ENTIRE ORDER BOOK has laid off 40% of their small staff, and announced its' intention to sell or lease 60% of its' even smaller fleet of 28 aircraft. 28 of its' planned 1430 aircraft 'fleet' order.

To put this in perspective, we are to believe that the inability to raise $50M (or $40M depending on which Ed interview you read) has prevented DayJet from moving forward for the eventual purchase of $1.8 Billion dollars worth of preemie jets. $50M and $1.8B are so totally unrelated in the world of finance as to be nonsensical. But the orders aren't 'cancelled', just delayed.

Kind of like the functionality of the plane, sort of ironic in a funny ha-ha way.

Given the track record for large orders at Eclipse I propose a new term. Eclipse's publicly announced large fleet order to-date have all collapsed. Nimbus? Aviace? DayJet? POGO?

In honor of the appearance of impropriety relative to these orders, which always popped up around capital seeking times (yet another coincidence, I know), I propose we term them 'FLEECE' orders instead of fleet orders.

This, coupled with the 'FLOPTIONS' used to describe the option portion of these 'huge' orders are allowing us to begin to accurately define the shenanigans in Albuquerque.

So to restate, Eclipse's largest FLEECE order, with about 1100 FLOPTIONS has laid off 40% of their staff and mothballed 60% of their fleet of 28.

I call that 'proof of a concept', just like Ed. It proves the longstanding critic concept that this whole thing is a pipedream.

How long until someone looks into the apparent job/human resource suits that Eclipse is fighting in Federal Court?

How long until someone looks into the apparent 'self-dealing' with the New Mexico investment council?

How long until the broader aviation media start to pick apart the inconsistent stories from Gainesville and Albuquerque?

How long until the long suffering and impressively loyal customer base calls it quits?

Vern is living on borrowed time. How long it will last is anybody's guess - I am not making any specific predictions as he seems to have as many lives as a cat - I mean look at the string of failures left in his wake as a serial (failed) entrepreneur (Slate?).

Maybe we should restate Ed's confident statement from earlier this week.

I like 'POOF' of concept.

thebigriper said...

I wonder how hard Ed and Vern are praying for a softball size hailstorm right now to clean out the inventory that is sitting on the ramp? That helps both out.

Niner Zulu said...

The Eclipse story has made it to the Russian websites:

http://www.jets.ru/monitoring/2008/04/23/eclipce

I wonder what they think of Eclipse now and how they feel about their investment.

By the way, Raburn told AIN he isn’t trying to shut down the blog and would be “happy to respond to critics who aren’t posting anonymously.” It sure looks like he was trying to shut down the blog to me, with many of us receiving the "...wait until Vern get's through with you!" threat from his drive-by posters (who remain anonymous, of course). And we can all see how happy he has been to respond to Karen Di Piazza's questions.

I wonder how long this farce will go on.

mountainhigh said...

Interesting post at Av Week re the sim training.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/business_aviation/

Eclipse 500 Type Rating -- Back to Raw Data VOR/ILS Nav
Posted by Fred George at 5/9/2008 5:09 AM CDT

How about an icy shower after years of bathing in the warmth of advanced cockpit automation? From the first day we strapped into the left seat of Eclipse Aviation's Level D Epinicus flight simulator, it became apparent that this would be no ordinary jet type rating course. Those rusty instrument flying skills, long stored in dead storage along with US Naval Aviation Training Command documents, Gleim manuals and first-generation King Schools videos, would have to be cleaned up and readied for primary use ASAP.

Inside the sim -- No flight director. No FMS or GPS. No DME to any fix or navaid other than VORs. Autopilot restricted to heading, pitch and altitude capture / hold modes. No moving map. No TAWS. No traffic. No onboard weather radar or XM radio weather.

Forget all the situational awareness tools to which you've become accustomed when flying with Garmin G1000, Rockwell-Collins Pro Line 21 or Honeywell Epic. This generation of Eclipse 500 avionics is reminiscent of my first civilian flying days in Citation 500 and Learjet 23 airplanes some three decades ago.

We'll keep you posted on our progress through the EA 500 type rating course. But this is a single-pilot type rating that shouldn't be approached lackadaisically just because the Eclipse 500 is a 5,995 lb MTOW light airplane. Aboard pre Avio NG EA 500 aircraft, the flight guidance system and navigation radio suite is just downright primative by current day standards.
--------------

I'm surprised that the above is not covered by an NDA re the sim training.

Dave said...

By the way, Raburn told AIN he isn’t trying to shut down the blog and would be “happy to respond to critics who aren’t posting anonymously.” It sure looks like he was trying to shut down the blog to me, with many of us receiving the "...wait until Vern get's through with you!" threat from his drive-by posters (who remain anonymous, of course). And we can all see how happy he has been to respond to Karen Di Piazza's questions.

As part of Eclipse's War On Transparency, they've launched a full frontal assault on the Bill Of Rights.

Vern is staring to remind me of this guy named Merkey who would sabre-rattle all the time to attempt to force people to agree with him and when he wasn't doing that he would rattle on about either how rich he already was or how rich he was going to be:
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2005/08/17

Also here is a history of anonymity:
http://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity

Here's a paper by the Cato Institute on the importance of internet anonymity and the history of anonymous publishing:
https://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp54.pdf

Here's a resource on anonymity from EPIC:
http://epic.org/free_speech/

Here's a legal blog with a section on anonymity:
http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/anonymity/

A short piece on Wikibooks on legal cases and background for internet anonymity:
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/US_Internet_Law/Online_Anonymity

Eclipse has also voluntarilly put itself into an area where anonymous free speech is important given how they've not only taken taxpayer funds, but they've also tied themselves into politicians at both the state and federal level. The actions that Eclipse has been involved in both by itself is relevant as well as being relevant as part of larger matters as to whether political fiduciaries are doing their jobs, whether political fiduciaries have been bought as well as raising separate but related questions on whether the fiduciaries advisor should be self-dealing with taxpayer funds.

Eclipse received numerous benefits at the expense of taxpayers based on Vern's representations. Citizens have an absolute right to raise public policy matters. Eclipse's pigging out at the taxpayer trough cannot go on without question. Eclipse's recent actions should only serve to raise red flags amongst not only those interested in Aviation, but also those who care about the Constitution, Accounting Fraud, the Internet/Technology and Good Government.

Shane Price said...

A thought stuck me a few minutes ago. I know, I'm just a simple Irish lad, but every few weeks the brain kicks in.

The reduction in the DayJet fleet has one benefit for Vern.

The rate of increase in those pesky SDR's should start to tail off.

And another thing. It is said that the E500 has a tendency to slew to one side in straight and level flight. Apparently, it's drag induced, and the boys and girls at ABQ have been trying to correct things. They do this (wait for it...) by adding drag to the other wing. Seems a silly way to correct a basic problem, one would think.

And still ANOTHER thing, a number of sources tell me that even those E500's that do find owners these days are covered in 'INOP' stickers.

Wow.

18 full months in production and the Fisher Price Jet is still having trouble meeting basic specifications.

I wonder how the Mustang is doing?

No need to answer that, it's what is known as a Rhetorical Question.

I know that there are a number of people reading this blog who are thinking about leaving Eclipse, feeling that there was no point in holding on until the end.

You are not alone. If you like, email me, and I will put you in contact with those who have passed through the pain barrier and moved on to better things.

Shane

baron95 said...

On GAMA numbers...

So even with all the dire problems and distractions listed here and the undesirability of the EA500, Eclipse managed to outsell Diamond and Cirrus by about 2 to 1, Piper and TBM by about 3 to 1, and install itself firmly in the top 10 GA mannufacturers.

Imagine if they were doing well, huh?

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

baron,

you are why I love this blog.

I can't wait until you catch shit for your post... given the real delivery numbers, and reality associated with these planes.

Just for giggles, how much is owed on the delivered fleet? In dollars...for the mods, refurbs, fixes, and avionics?
-At the very least, we should be looking at NET deliveries... so you subtract the value of whats owed from the whole fleet - I bet, you could subtract at least 20%.

If you want to get really picky - perhaps account for the downtime associated with these planes for mods, maintenance issues, fixes, and no FIKI, plus the fuel penalty for flying low.... compared to the other delivered/finished/useable planes... and I bet you are at 50%.
(has anyone seen a mod plane enter service? How long did it take?)

- I'd say the deliveries are really at around 30% of the numbers claimed, considering my fancy math... Its just how I see things - sorry. Finished working planes are X... eclipse planes are X-??? - just because some schmuck is willing to take "something" for his deposit money instead of nothing... doesn't mean it counts as a "delivery" - I sincerely do not think any Cessna or Diamond customer would take even 1 of these planes.

Gadfly would say the number is ZERO fully functioning delivered planes - zero. Until now, the industry probably agreed with Gad... I'm one of the guys whose expectations have been ratched down.

Anyhow, I give you credit, baron - you are a "glass is half full kinda guy" which is always nice.

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

B95 - were ANY of the Eclipse as functional as any ONE of the other OEM's aircraft? This is not a race of pure 'delivery' numbers, these are aircraft and delivering incomplete aircraft is nothing to be proud of, be it one or 52, or was it 39.

Another thought struck me recently as I read Fred George's Aviation Week review of the Eclipse Level D Simulator and Type Rating Course.

This would of course be the same Level D sim that recieved 'FAA Certification in one Attempt' as Eclipse and the Fluffboy Posse crowed about so proudly only a few months ago. You will remember how impressed we were supposed to be that it was certified on the first pass.

Thanks to Fred's article, we now know why it passed the first time - it is essentially a full motion sim for a Cessna 152, with more funtions missing than present - many functions most professional pilots consider part of their personal equipment minimums since, oh, I don't know, 1989.

Fred title his article "Back to Raw Data VOR/ILS Nav"

Quotes with my emphasis:

"How about an icy shower after years of bathing in the warmth of advanced cockpit automation? From the first day we strapped into the left seat of Eclipse Aviation's Level D Epinicus flight simulator, it became apparent that this would be no ordinary jet type rating course. Those rusty instrument flying skills, long stored in dead storage along with US Naval Aviation Training Command documents, Gleim manuals and first-generation King Schools videos, would have to be cleaned up and readied for primary use ASAP."

"Inside the sim -- No flight director. No FMS or GPS. No DME to any fix or navaid other than VORs. Autopilot restricted to heading, pitch and altitude capture / hold modes. No moving map. No TAWS. No traffic. No onboard weather radar or XM radio weather."

"Forget all the situational awareness tools to which you've become accustomed when flying with Garmin G1000, Rockwell-Collins Pro Line 21 or Honeywell Epic. This generation of Eclipse 500 avionics is reminiscent of my first civilian flying days in Citation 500 and Learjet 23 airplanes some three decades ago."

"We'll keep you posted on our progress through the EA 500 type rating course. But this is a single-pilot type rating that shouldn't be approached lackadaisically just because the Eclipse 500 is a 5,995 lb MTOW light airplane. Aboard pre Avio NG EA 500 aircraft, the flight guidance system and navigation radio suite is just downright primative by current day standards."

Wow. Nice work Fred, it is great to see some, what does Vern call it, VINDICATION of what we have been saying all along. It is also a damning verification of the kind of obfuscation that has become SOP for Eclipse - Johnny Cochran's Wookie Defense.

By crowing about the sim certification, they deflect any questions about what it actually simulates - in this case it accurately simulates a partially functional INOP ridden preemie jet.

Kudo's for that Vern - at least the sim is faithful to the lack of functionality present in the preemie jet.

The preemie jet is, as we have repeatedly said, not ready for prime time, and the part of Jane Curtain is being played tonight by one Vern Raburn.

ASPCNDA Disclaimer - No NDA's were harmed in the creation of this opinion/satire. Any scene's appearing to place NDA's in danger were simulated.

Dave said...

So even with all the dire problems and distractions listed here and the undesirability of the EA500, Eclipse managed to outsell Diamond and Cirrus by about 2 to 1, Piper and TBM by about 3 to 1, and install itself firmly in the top 10 GA mannufacturers.
Imagine if they were doing well, huh?


That's an excellent point about them not doing well despite their sales. If Eclipse's operational design had been built to breakeven with sales in the 40-100 per year range, Eclipse would be looking very good right now and there would be reason to cheer. Instead Eclipse has spent years explaining how they'd need annual sales (being planes that Eclipse has received the total sale price from the customer - hence Eclipse's prior stressing the importance of being able to deliver to the customer a fully functional aircraft within 30 days of the order) around 400-600.

This matter of Eclipse requiring hundreds of deliveries per year just to breakeven (not even begin to show an actual profit for investors) has been covered on the Eclipse blogs before. Eclipse could be doing well right now if they had designed their operations to be profitable at this level.

Jake Pliskin said...

outsell or outdeliver, Baron?

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flyger said...

baron95 said...

Imagine if they were doing well, huh?


Yes, this is why this blog exists because Eclipse got *so close* to delivering on its promise but the pride and ego of the company caused it to defy the wisdom of the industry in spite.

Had Eclipse made just a few more conventional decisions, the ones they proudly defied with the WCSYC buttons, it would be an amazing company selling many airplanes years earlier and in much higher numbers.

If the Eclipse had a G1000, working FIKI, and gone with a PWC engine from the start, it would be one of the great aviation successes of all time. The fact this dream was crushed by the arrogance of the management team is what drives the criticism here. In fact, everyone here is trying to make the airplane better and Eclipse is too stupid to understand that.

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

John,

Remote sales lot?

All delivered in 2012?

G

Gorak said...

flyger sez:
If the Eclipse had a G1000, working FIKI, and gone with a PWC engine from the start, it would be one of the great aviation successes of all time.

If only Vern had had the foresight to invent a time machine in 1999, then travel forward to 2003, where he could have gotten a copy of the G1000 from Garmin, and asked Pratt & Whitney Canada to develop their PW625 prototype into the PW610, I'm sure he'd be better off today.

Unfortunately, since he didn't do that, he had to work with the technology available at the time, or develop his own.

G

Gorak said...

Shane Price sez:
As a guide for new bloggers, be aware that we have some standards around here. Name calling is childish and will be dealt with.

Since this apparently doesn't apply to Gunner, he must have purchased a pass by paying the lawyer to challenge the subpoena.

If I wanted to purchase such a pass, in order to be able to call others childish names, how much would I have to pay?

G

BricklinNG said...

Is there a CPA in our midst? Can EAC properly record a "delivery" as a sale and book revenue? With so much future work obligated to be done be EAC, the payments at delivery (and prior) seem more like progress payments that should be put down as deferred revenue and not considered as revenue until all obligations to the customer are complete. A magazine gets subscription money in advance but can not book revenue until the magazine is completed and mailed.

Gorak said...

bricklinng,

I'm not a CPA, but I'm happy to play one on the Internet.

Most likely Eclipse books all of the revenue from the plane sale, with an offsetting liability for the undelivered features.

G

Dave said...

As a guide for new bloggers, be aware that we have some standards around here. Name calling is childish and will be dealt with.

Since this apparently doesn't apply to Gunner, he must have purchased a pass by paying the lawyer to challenge the subpoena.

If I wanted to purchase such a pass, in order to be able to call others childish names, how much would I have to pay?


I'm so glad you've decided to return! You already answered your own question on the previous thread here:
You might ask your lawyer if you are opening yourself to any liability with your name-calling. And by the way, saying that it is just your opinion is NOT a defense.
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3817101653623448889&postID=8234910287931809595

If you actually believed your own prior post you know your own answer...perhaps Gunner would allow you to negotiate a price or else you'd get a judgment against you from him. Did you already forget your own very recent post on this exact matter?

When are you going to get back to doing legal threats and general saber-rattling? You playing bullying lawyer is more entertaining than you playing senile whiner...then again, perhaps you'll get better with practice.

chickasaw said...

Baron said: "Eclipse managed to outsell Diamond and Cirrus by about 2 to 1,"

Outsell maybe, out perform no. Diamond A/C are certified in Europe and N.A., plus the DA40 has a working G1000. The USAF uses DA20s.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Bricklinng,

OEM's have to book revenue on contractual delivery.

Several other companies have already learned, painfully, that going back and having to restate cashflows creates massive accounting disruptions - but Eclipse is disruptive, what with FLEECE options, FLOPTIONS, 'orders', 'deliveries' and other such nuveau terminology.

Eclipse reminds me of the eggheads and 3 stars who decided the Phantom didn't need a gun - the Sparrow and Sidewinder having made dogfighting 'obsolete' as a result of their 'disruptive' technology.

We all know how well that went - later designers would go on to learn from that lesson, and have included a gun on every new fighter plane since, including the 5th Generation F-22 and F-35.

What Vern has refused to learn, even though he has been given ample opportunities, is that technology is not enough. Good planning, careful coordination and competent execution are required.

The result of his failure to learn is an airplane that fails to meet the promised functionality a year and a half after certification. A plane which creates for Eclipse an unknown but likely significant warranty exposure for the growing list of things to be fixed 'next tuesday'. A plane which fails to deliver the same level of integration seen on the new 172. A plane that fails to deliver synthetic vision like that on the simple prop-driven Diamond DA-40.

A plane that requires that Aviation Week characterized as follows:

No flight director. No FMS or GPS. No DME to any fix or navaid other than VORs.

Autopilot restricted to heading, pitch and altitude capture / hold modes.

No moving map.

No TAWS.

No traffic.

No onboard weather radar or XM radio weather.

Forget all the situational awareness tools to which you've become accustomed when flying with Garmin G1000, Rockwell-Collins Pro Line 21 or Honeywell Epic.

This generation of Eclipse 500 avionics is reminiscent of my first civilian flying days in Citation 500 and Learjet 23 airplanes some three decades ago.

Aboard pre Avio NG EA 500 aircraft, the flight guidance system and navigation radio suite is just downright primative by current day standards."


Rather than complete the design and deliver fully functional, useful and integrated aircraft, such as it has promised since 1999, Eclipse instead chooses to rush incomplete and partially functional jets out the door wallpapered with INOP stickers.

ASPCNDA Disclaimer - No NDA's were harmed in the creation of this opinion/satire. Any scene's appearing to place NDA's in danger were simulated.

Dave said...

We all know how well that went - later designers would go on to learn from that lesson, and have included a gun on every new fighter plane since, including the 5th Generation F-22 and F-35.

Long live the Warthog!

gadfly said...

You’ll have to admit. The man’s got us this time . . . “ . . . he had to work with the technology available at the time”.

Where was this wise man when the “Wright Brothers” struggled with things far beyond their time . . . and “Kelly” Johnson . . . and Jack Northrop . . . and Bill Lear . . . and dozens of others scattered over the past century?

If only . . . If only . . . If only . . . and now we’re stuck.

A world of excuses available to all those designers of long ago . . . and none of them knew how easy it would have been to make use of that vast resource. You know, an “Excuse”: . . . the “skin of a reason stuffed with a lie”.

(And if I were still alive, I would now know how to speak German, or some other exotic language . . . or maybe not.)

gadfly

(Question: Would the little jet then actually carry six full size humans? . . . and have a MTOW of 4,800 pounds? . . . If only . . . If only . . . we may never know!)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Now Gadfly, we all know that the reason that Kelly Johnson, Bill Lear, Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, Bill Boeing, B.D. Maule, Pug Piper, Al Mooney, Curtiss Pitts, Giuseppe Bellanca and the myriad other reasonably succesful airplane designers over the last 100 or so years made it was solely the lack of critical blogsites and having employees who honored NDA's.

At least, that's what Vern and the bitter Fluffboy Posse would have us believe.

Gorak said...

dave,

Senile whiner? That's not fair! I don't deserve that! You hurt my feelings!! What were we talking about again, I forget?

Actually, I'm just hedging my bets. If Gunner's insults don't rise to the level of actual defamation, then name-calling must be within my First-amendment rights as an anonymous blogger! The only barrier then would be rules instituted by the blog custodian. I was just exploring my options for the future, don't you know.

As far as saber rattling, my saber ain't what it used to be. And, if you choose to infer that I can make threats on behalf of someone else, such as Vern, then that's solely your problem. I speak only for myself. I have no ability nor inclination to take any legal action here. I was merely speculating as to what Eclipse might do.

Most likely, nothing will come of the Google subpoena, and like most legal conflicts, the only winners will be the lawyers.

Your friend,

G

Gorak said...

flyger sez,
In fact, everyone here is trying to make the airplane better and Eclipse is too stupid to understand that.

Funny thing, it turns out not quite everyone here is trying to make the airplane better. Gadfly said:

I'd like to see Eclipse shutdown; it's too late to redesign that plane and it's too late to fix the management at Eclipse.

I'm confused. In one breath, Gadfly tells how much he cares for all of the employees at Eclipse, and in the next, he says he'd like to see them all lose their jobs. Huh?

G

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

OMG I forgot to list Ed Heinemann and Ted Smith in my list of reasonably successful designers, my bad.

The Vernperor himself enjoys the progeny of one of their best, the Commander 690.

gadfly said...

Cold fish

You almost came through. Clarence Taylor is the reason most of our here . . . doesn't the Piper J3 claim firm roots in the "Taylorcraft"? . . . many a cold morning watching a "wire" ride up and down through a hole in the "gas cap", to the sound of 65 horses spinning a twirling piece of wood, while keeping a close eye on a near-by golf course, still visible in the snow, while staying clear of a couple radio towers (WGN and WBBM) reaching up on both sides to the heavens! . . . and an occasional DC8 overhead on "final" into ORD, just two miles away.

gadfly

gadfly said...

Mr. “G”

Your pseudonym seems to be a “bad word”, so I do not wish to call you something “bad”. But to answer your comments about my comments: The evidence about the aircraft and the management seems to have put the final nails into the coffin . . . time will tell, but that is my firm opinion.

‘Had you carefully read the part about the employees, and paid close attention to the “context”, you would have noticed that my opinion of the many employees is very high. They are highly motivated people, that may suffer from an ailment of which I also suffer, “taking people at their word”, until they prove otherwise. And I also stated that I would like to see someone else make use of this group of highly motivated people, with proper training and proper management, giving them a future in an honorable industry.

The longer they stay in the present environment, in my opinion, the more difficult it may be for them to go on to better and more honorable things. I empathize for them, and their families, because, I, too, had to take difficult action . . . right here in Albuquerque, under conditions not all that different.

And further, I encouraged the present employees to not wait for things to happen, but to get off their southern ends and make things happen, for their own good.

Now, if you do not understand what I have just said, or refuse to understand it, then so be it. To a person of normal intelligence, and a simple understanding of the English language, it is clear enough. And I believe you qualify as part of that group.

The bottom line is that the employees will not use either your comments, nor mine, as an excuse for their future, but will do whatever they need to do, to secure their own future.

Next time, at least be careful how you quote someone, or “summerize” their thoughts.

gadfly

(And maybe you may give us your wisdom how to reverse history and make everything come out “all right” . . . without the excuses.)

gadfly said...

‘Just a few comments about trade secrets, “NDA’s”, and better ways of doing things, before I close the hangar doors for this evening:

“NDA’s” are to be honored . . . no question.

Trade secrets are “almost” the best form of protection . . . example: “Coca Cola”

Patents . . . valuable if you can get the thing on the market. A patent and $5 will buy you a cup of coffee . . . and not much else, unless you have someone to market the thing. (And here, I know what does and doesn’t work.)

But manufacturing secrets: The “good” secrets are spread far and wide, as people change jobs, going over to the competition, and using what they have learned. Throughout the history of American industry, believe it or not, this has benefitted everyone . . . as there has been a “sharing” of better ways to do something. And as a shop owner, after a temporary advantage, the spread of better ways to my competition has opened up new methods that have benefitted all of us. Competition is wonderful . . . without it, our industry would soon die.

Here is the “paradox”: Years ago, we developed a method of design and manufacturing that fit new technology like a glove . . . “Wirecut-EDM”, and multi-axis CNC machining . . . tooling, inspection fixtures, etc. Because it is so good, we decided to “not” patent it, but to share it with everyone. And I began with my own employees . . . they quickly adopted the methods, because it was so easy, and proved itself in the “real world”.

As my key employee went on to head up a tooling division in a major manufacturer of jet engines, he couldn’t give it away . . . for a few years. It was like pulling teeth, to just get them to try it. But persistence paid off. And now, both “we” and “they” benefit . . . and “they” think they invented it. But so what . . . it works for them . . . it works for us.

If you have something, and “pretend” it’s a secret of great value, others may attempt to steal it. But have a good thing, and give it to one and all . . . and it remains a secret.

If you study the above “real close”, you’re going to discover some things that relate to the “secrecy” of the little jet, and maybe some things you can use in the future. But if I tell you what they are, you’ll figure that since they’re “free”, they have no value.

gadfly

(‘Let’s get back on this discussion another time, when you’ve had time to think it through.)

Gorak said...

Gadfly,

Thanks for your belief that my intelligence is at least normal. I wish you lived in my town, because there are some people here that need convincing of that :)

I completely agree that employees of Eclipse, indeed of any company, should not stay there if they are not happy, or if they do not believe in the company.

In our company, we were never offended when a person quit, because if they did not appreciate their job, we sure didn't want them there.

However, encouraging people to leave a company is not the same as hoping that the company will be shut down. If the company is shut down, the choice is no longer the employee's. For all you and I know, there is a loyal cadre of Eclipse hourly workers who love their jobs, and see a bright future there. Would you wish forced unemployment on them? Just because of your beliefs?

I don't doubt that you truly care for the welfare of workers in Albuquerque. But, you might want to consider that your jaundiced view of Eclipse has caused you to wish for outcomes that won't benefit them.

Regards,

G

P.S. I don't think "Gorak" is a dirty word.

gadfly said...

Mr. "G"

When I don't understand a term, I refrain from its use . . . so forgive me. But on to better things: We're not here to prove you or me correct, but hopefully help many people that may need some serious help "real soon". And I perceive that you and I could be good friends, maybe continuing to disagree on key issues, but never-the-less, going on to be a positive influence in what is obviously a very bad situation.

There are workers and their families, that (in my opinion) are going to need some "real world" support, encouragement, direction . . . "real soon".

So, however it's done, whomever gets credit . . . let's make it happen and not spend valuable time and energy in insults and name-calling. That's not an accusation against you or anyone else on this blogsite. Soon, people may be "hurting" . . . and neither you, nor I want that to happen.

And in this scnenario, the little "jet" is almost a side issue. Maybe I haven't expressed it just right, but maybe both you and I are sick and tired of "grown adults" taking pot shots at each other.

First, there is the "little jet", and its future.

But second, a few thousand lives are affected. The question is, "what to do and how to help?"

gadfly

('Sorry for preaching a sermon . . . and it's not even Sunday, yet.)

Gorak said...

Gadfly,

I'm glad we can agree that NDA's should be honored.

You have an interesting viewpoint on what should be and should not be a "trade" or "manufacturing" secret, and I'd have to say that I agree with your point of view more than I disagree with it.

However, that discussion is really not relevant to the matter at hand. The owner of the information is the one that gets to decide if it needs protection or not. If an employee signs a contract and agrees to protect it, he can't later say that he didn't think it ought to be a secret, or that the company is misbehaving in some way, so he is going to disclose the protected information.

Obviously, if the company is breaking the law, and disclosing the protected information is relevant to the violation, then that is called "whistleblowing" and is another topic together.

Why are we discussing this? I brought up the NDA as relevant to the Google subpoena, because I am speculating that, since the subpoena specified "breach of contract", Eclipse was referring to someone violating the terms of a non-disclosure agreement they had signed with Eclipse. If someone else can think of another kind of contract breach relevant to these blogs, please bring it up.

Since people seemed puzzled as to why Eclipse was asking for information about the identities of those who had obviously never signed an NDA with Eclipse, I was speculating that perhaps those people had posted information that Eclipse suspected had been disclosed by some other person who was subject to an NDA.

I don't know what the burden was for Eclipse, but in my humble opinion, the judge should have looked at their evidence and only allowed bloggers on that list who had actually posted proprietary information.

I do know that plaintiffs' lawyers like to cast a wide net, because scopes are usually narrowed as the process grinds on, but it is more difficult to expand the scope later.

G

Dave said...

Why are we discussing this? I brought up the NDA as relevant to the Google subpoena, because I am speculating that, since the subpoena specified "breach of contract", Eclipse was referring to someone violating the terms of a non-disclosure agreement they had signed with Eclipse. If someone else can think of another kind of contract breach relevant to these blogs, please bring it up.

Since people seemed puzzled as to why Eclipse was asking for information about the identities of those who had obviously never signed an NDA with Eclipse, I was speculating that perhaps those people had posted information that Eclipse suspected had been disclosed by some other person who was subject to an NDA.


The problem is that CEO of Eclipse expressly said that the lawsuit was about "lies" by outsiders who were only speculating about what was going on:
"I don't care if people want to waste their lives speculating about things, but I do care when people represent themselves as having insider knowledge and what they're saying is overt lies," Raburn said. "I'm trying to figure out why they make these accusations but don't say who they are."
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=9190a26d-5b21-40d1-b8c2-1a30997c1020
According to Eclipse president and CEO Vern Raburn, the Albuquerque, N.M. aircraft manufacturer has been irreparably damaged by the “lies” posted by anonymous visitors on the blog, and he seeks to unmask them via the subpoena.
http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/eclipse-aviation-looks-to-out-blogging-critics/

Which if someone is merely guessing, NDAs aren't an issue. If this is about NDAs that means that Eclipse's CEO flat out lied saying this was about "overt lies." If you're telling "lies," you're not violating an NDA as you're not disclosing anything.

Further I would like to point out that Vern has not kept his promise to respond to non-anonymous critics:
Raburn told AIN he isn’t trying to shut down the blog and would be “happy to respond to critics who aren’t posting anonymously.”
http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/eclipse-aviation-looks-to-out-blogging-critics/
Mulitple Eclipse critics have posted non-anonymously, yet there's no responses from Vern...Vern didn't even respond to the "bonafide journalist" Karen Di Piazza:
Raburn was contacted several times for this article, but he refused to answer questions. Via email, he was asked to confirm or deny if he wrote a letter to all personnel about firing someone for breaking the company's non-disclosure agreement, and then using that person as an example of what would happen to the next person who did so. Raburn was also asked to provide an update on the status of when the jet's avionics would become fully functionally and when he expected ice certification on the plane.
http://www.charterx.com/resources/article.aspx?id=3286

Vern promised he'd respond to non-anonymous bloggers and now he's not only not responding to non-anonymous bloggers despite saying that he would, he's not responding to journalists either! Why should bloggers remove their anonymity if Eclipse's CEO wont uphold his part of the bargain that he himself proposed? Vern is wrecking whatever credibility he had left by not responding here to Stan, Shane, etc like he said he would.

gadfly said...

Mr. "G"

The wide net was "cast", and I was among the fish that were caught in the net . . . and any entangled in a net will attempt to get free. Since the net was "cast" where the sign clearly reads, "No Fishing Allowed", we seem to have a case. But the "NDA" issue in neither my concern, nor within the domain of the legal case. But having been brought into that fray, I will fight the issue. But tonight, we'll leave that for another time.

(However, the possibility of a counter suit has crossed my mind . . . 'most tempting, believe me!)

A man is to keep his word, whether a "hand shake", or a ten page legal document. On this we agree. And for the sake of discussion, the “NDA” issue is not in our discussion.

But to allege dishonesty among a large group of people, to "ferret out" a "possible" suspect . . . such action clearly crosses the line of fairness, and probably many legal restraints. Personally, I have a “long fuse”, but this has pushed the limits of my patience . . . and I’m even now attempting to restrain my anger.

Whether between you and me, or the others on this “blogsite”, the NDA issue is not the issue . . . although not to be ignored when there has been an open and blatant attack against a former or current employee, when such things should in all decency been kept in private. This, it would seem, bring to the forefront a possible action of “defamation of character” . . . but what would I know!

Back to the issue: A certain aircraft was promised, “claimed success”, took money out of escrow based on that “success”, and within days, began a long and tedious series of excuses, and admissions of failures . . . and it would seem that the “attacks” against individuals accused of NDA violations, and the accusations of “bloggers” are to hide the lack of performance to fulfill the original promises of the original aircraft.

A simple illustration from the early 1940's . . . because it’s something I know (because I was there): Lockheed was thought to be a target, so that vast complex as viewed from the air looked like a modern housing development . . . with the Vega factory, and others, with parking lots, hidden under a blanket of cloth and chicken wire. It wouldn’t fool modern radar . . . but back then, it seemed “high tech”. ‘Maybe this modern version of “tom-foolery” is believed by some to be “high tech” . . . but the purpose of the blog is to reveal what’s below that “chicken wire”.

Remember? This was to be a “cheap” jet, economical, about 4,800 pounds MTOW, fly with six people aboard, for what 1,300 miles? . . . something like that. Fill in the blanks. For some of us, observing the pictures, we realized the folks at the little bird factory didn’t really understand what they were doing. (Again, that’s for another discussion.) But rather than “own up”, the entire picture got worse. Eclipse knows that. And so do others, who are experts in aerodynamics, and manufacturing issues.

For the folks in Albuquerque, the manufacturers would like nothing better than for Eclipse to succeed. I would like nothing better that to say to others in the manufacturing and support industries “This is a winner . . . go for it”. But in clear conscience, I know “too much”, to ever support this company. And no, I have absolutely nothing to do with Eclipse . . . we did our homework “early”. Albuquerque desperately needs new industry . . . many of the “big companies” have left, after they learned the true nature of the local politics. But to contribute to a false impression? . . . I think not!

gadfly

(And by the way, the local company, DeVore Aviation Company (of which I have had absolutely no connection for the past few years) is of the highest of integrity and quality, regardless of recent slanderous statements. You see, the thing works in both directions.)

Shane Price said...

Gorak,

Please provide me with the instance of name calling which offended you.

Timestamp of the post you feel inappropriate will be enough.

You can email it to me at the usual address,

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

or just post it back here for my attention.

And remember, what you lot get up to in the evening, I don't see until the middle of the night....

Or first thing in the morning, here!

Shane

chickasaw said...

Gadfly,

A lot of the techs on the floor at FPJ are contractors, so they will be OK. They seem to be happily transitory. Some of the directs might be able to secure positions at Tesla.

I found out that there is a saying among contractors: CCC; Chaos Creates Cash, which was/is certainly true at Fisher Price Jets.

Unfortunately, the direct hires never (to my knowledge) got their promised raises and the stock options that they were lured with are not really an option anymore.

airtaximan said...

Imagine this blog revealed some heavy sh&t, that Vern thinks was only decernable by breachng an NDA.

Top secret.
Really dammaging.

Think about this.

Copernicus said...

I have immense regard for the company on this blog and for democratic rule, but I hope the esteemed bloggers here will respect my first amendment rights if I use my own substitute for the Fisher Price Jet (FPJ). I think of Fisher Price as an upstanding company and I am SURE that they would never market a product with a known defect or design shortcoming; if one ever got out into the marketplace, I am also SURE they would issue a recall to withdraw from circulation anything that might besmirch their name, or engender a blog like this one.

So I will just go for BPJ instead of FPJ. BP is for "Bay of Pigs" which all will recognize as a failed revolution. That seems more apt.

airtaximan said...

I find myself wondering, what "indication" Stan received way back when, that this was going to become a legal mess... that made him think to sht down the blog.

He was even right about that decision - knowing somehow in advance that Vern was PO'ed and going to try to waste a lot of time and money to shut down the blog...

How could Stan have known months in advance the hassel factor in running this blog was going to go way up??

Did someone brake an NDA and told him?

threats?

Curious minds want to know.

Dave said...

IS VERN SUING BLOGGERS TO DEFLECT INVESTIGATION OF ECLIPSE'S CRIMINAL CONDUCT?

I found these definition in a NM State Investment Council RFQ. Here's some defitions that seem to me to either already apply to Eclipse or could apply if a law enforcement agency subpoenaed documents regarding Eclipse's claims to the NM SIC to get them to invest versus what they actually knew was going on:
1. “Corrupt Practice” shall mean the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of anything of value to influence the action of a public official, or the threatening of injury to person, property or reputation, in connection with the procurement process or in contract execution in order to obtain or retain business or other improper advantage in the conduct of business.

3. “Fraudulent Practice” shall mean a misrepresentation of facts in order to influence a procurement process or the execution of a contract to the detriment of the State of New Mexico, the SIC, SIO, its clients and/or its beneficiaries, and includes collusive practices among tenderers (prior to or after tender submission) designed to establish tender prices at artificial, non-competitive levels and to deprive the State of New Mexico, the SIC, SIO, its clients and/or its beneficiaries of the benefits of free and open competition.

http://www.sic.state.nm.us/PDF%20files/070326F-RFP-LAW-RIII-Legal%20Service%20RFP.pdf

Vern and Eclipse (along with their political cronies) certainly wouldn't want it blasted all over the place that they gave money to the NM SIC fiduciaries and that the fiduciaries didn't return it. It paints Eclipse as engaging in a "corrupt practice" (and just imagine if a further investigation revealed even more corrupt practices). Then there's "fraudulent practice," which Eclipse seems would be at serious risk of facing prosecution for. Eclipse's blogger lawsuit actually seems a tacit admission that Eclipse has been engaging in fraudulent practice. The politicians who appear to have engaged in corrupt practice with Eclipse could find their political bailout by going after Eclipse hard for fraudulent practice.

This would not be a pretty scenario for Vern. Eclipse's War On Transparency really invites questions as to the legality of their business practices. Even if Eclipse hasn't crossed the threshold into illegal activity, it certainly should raise questions with position holders and potential position holders whether Eclipse deceives them and if it is good business to turn your hard-earned money into the hands of a deceiver.

flyger said...

Gorak said...

If only Vern had had the foresight to invent a time machine in 1999,

People in the industry told Vern he would have problems in these areas in 1999. He just needed ears, not a time machine, plus a willingness to listen.

then travel forward to 2003,

That 5 years ago! Cessna was ahead of Eclipse because they started 4 years later and didn't try to reinvent the wheel. Twice! Now three times for Avio NG/Garmin. Eclipse has built 3, maybe 4 different airplanes, none of them "done".

where he could have gotten a copy of the G1000 from Garmin, and asked Pratt & Whitney Canada to develop their PW625 prototype into the PW610, I'm sure he'd be better off today.

The G1000 was an internal project at Garmin way back to 2000, the PWC jet engine back to mid 2002. Vern should have know about this but he isolated himself from the industry. He also preferred capturing the deposits by flying the Williams engine rather than admit the problem and solve it sooner. His pride is costing the company now.

Unfortunately, since he didn't do that, he had to work with the technology available at the time, or develop his own.

Hardly any of the technology he chose or developed is on the airplane now. That was all wasted and misguided effort.

flyger said...

Gorak said...

I'm confused. In one breath, Gadfly tells how much he cares for all of the employees at Eclipse, and in the next, he says he'd like to see them all lose their jobs. Huh?

Oddly, though, that is what it will take. I think the plane is salvageable. But it will take a chapter 11 reorganization for pennies on the dollar invested, realistic pricing, and some fairly ruthless and quick decisions (of which the GNS400 is an example, although they stupidly didn't go ahead and get the radios by using 430s). Then people get their jobs back and the system works in balance again.

I think the basic design of the airplane is workable and the management can (and should) be changed. In any case, if they get enough in the field before bankruptcy, someone will come along with an STC to put G1000s in them. Now that would be a sweet setup...

airtaximan said...

Dave,

any of the interested parties you speak of knows that if they call Vern's bluff, they are left holding an empty bag.

The investors

the position holders...

Everyone.

The only way for them is to pass along the (can of beans) story... to a greater fool.

None of the folks you refer to will force Vern to come clean. It will have to be an "outsider".

airtaximan said...

flyger,

any clue s to why the G1000 was not the next move for Vern?

It seems so silly... but there must be a weight, integration, contractual obligation to the other suppliers, or other issue that prevented from making the right choice?

Perhaps he still thinks its better to keep some parts of the old system than make the big switch? For appearances? Time savings? Saving face?

Anyone know?

John said...

Apparent Delivery Dates for Spring Craft.
This table presents the date when an aircraft apparently left Albuquerque for delivery or to a remote sales lot. A few craft are flightaware blocked, and several have not entered the system.
Hat tip to Gorak for pointing out stupid spreadsheet date system inconsistency.

Serial # . Number . delivery
111 . 175JE . 1/30/08 .
112 . 112EJ . 2/8/08 .
119 . 815WT . 2/9/08 .
106 . 516EA . 2/18/08 .
116 . 75EA . 2/22/08 .
108 . 812MJ . 2/26/08 .
113 . 717HD . 2/28/08 .
115 . 727HD . 2/28/08 .
124 . 227G . 2/28/08 . For sale 1,800K 0 hours
129 . 500DG . 3/1/08 .
139 . 500MM . 3/2/08 .
125 . 370EA . 3/5/08 . For sale 4/9/08
133 . 21EK . 3/5/08 .
128 . 528EA . 3/9/08 .
130 . 322JG . 3/12/08 .
104 . 117EA . 3/17/08 .
127 . 261DC . 3/17/08 .
126 . 953JB . 3/18/08 .
145 . 145EA . 3/19/08 .
146 . 146EA . 3/25/08 .
120 . 27052 . 3/28/08 .
153 . 800AZ . 3/28/08 .
147 . 414TW . 3/29/08 .
134 . 800EJ . 4/1/08 .
149 . 149EA . 4/1/08 .
141 . 504TC . 4/3/08 .
156 . 234EA . 4/3/08 .
136 . 136EA . 4/5/08 . Linear Air
132 . 964S . 4/6/08 .
131 . 67NV . 4/7/08 .
157 . 500CE . 4/11/08 .
143 . 533DK . 4/15/08 .
148 . 148LG . 4/17/08 .
165 . 669CM . 4/21/08 .
151 . 85SM . 4/24/08 .
163 . 63AD . 4/24/08 . For sale ready for pickup Naples Florida
164 . 884AM . 4/24/08 .
171 . 58EH . 4/25/08 .
137 . 36FD . 4/29/08 . To Europe
135 . 3MT . 5/1/08 .
170 . 170EA . 5/1/08 .
175 . 512MB . 5/1/08 .
155 . 114EA . 5/2/08 .
158 . 500ZH . 5/2/08 .
167 . 800JR . 5/2/08 .
152 . 113EA . 5/3/08 . To Europe
150 . 920GB . 5/7/08 .
183 . N555EJ . 5/7/08 .
169 . 166EA . 5/8/08 .
174 . 21YP . 5/8/08 . For sale, new at factory
138 . 100VA . 5/9/08 .
173 . 173PD . 5/9/08 .
161 . 448HC . 5/10/08 .
168 . 568EA . 5/10/08 .

Craft not in system. Some gaps may be due to operation under a different code; but many may not yet be flying:
142 . 2711H . for sale 4/23
144 . 545MA .
154 . 66BX .
159 . 727CW .
160 . 2YU .
162 . 224ZQ . for sale 4/29
166 . 23FK .
172 . 964JG .
176 . 9900R .
177 . 177EA .
178 . 721MA .
179 . 220BW .
180 . 712WG . for sale 5/8
181 . 99KP .
182 . 177CK . fractional sale
184 . 118EA .

Craft blocked by owner:
122
140

Dave Ivedorne said...

Copernicus -

I too was concerned about the possible defamatory effects of associating 'Barbie' or 'Fisher Price' with Vern's Little Joke, so I did some pre-emptive research.

Going in alphabetical order, I started with Barbie. It turns out that if Barbie was defamed by such an association, she wouldn't even realize it (borderline NSFW). So 'three green' for 'Barbie Jet'.

On to Fisher Price, I wasn't so concerned with the toy company, because it turns out that their jet isn't certified for FIKI either and their jets' capability on instruments is even more marginal than is the case with the Eclipse. Nay, I was concerned that people named Fisher & Price may have made some joint contribution to aviation that would be devalued by Eclipsing their reputation. And it turns out that a couple of guys from BA did just_such_a_thing, writing a paper that goes by the hoity-toity name of "Designing Energy Display Formats for Civil Aircraft".

But they want 35 bucks for me to be able to read their 'disruptive' work, so screw 'em...

Furthermore, it turns out that the real Fisher Price Jet has an extensive and colorful history reaching back to the Cold War - there's even a significant Russian (Soviet at the time) connection. Arguably, the Fisher Price Jet set the very stage for 'Glasnost' and 'Perestroika' as it represented a Truly Disruptive escalation in economic relations between the rival geopolitical giants.

Fisher Price even introduced the world to the DayPort concept, all the way back in 1977.

They say that if the shoe fits, to wear it. There can be little question that when Bert Rutan went to work on the ProntoPup Jet for NASA back in the '90s, he had Fisher Price's achievement planted in his head.

So, 'Fisher Price Jet' wins the nickname competition by a landslide.

Coffee, tea, or me?
IANAL

Shane Price said...

Airtaximan,

Without going over old ground, Stan did not 'shut down' the blog. It's still up, as a matter of fact. He just got tired of trying to keep up with you lot!

On a side note, Stan is IN the aviation business. His company is a reputable supplier, but I guess he didn't want to be associated, in ANY way, with the FPJ.

Even as a Critic.....

How did we get here? We were trundling along, having what were pretty 'private' chats amongst ourselves. Posting was running in the few dozen per headline, down to as few as 15 for the 'April Fool' one. I did title that "Vern Raburn admits 'I was wrong" so everyone would be certain it was a joke...

Then, Vern 'did something stupid'. As he always has a knack for doing. He decided, for very oddball reasons, to chase 28 (or 29, he couldn't even get that right) named bloggers.

Now if Vern can prove that all 28 (or 29...) have violated NDA's with the FPJ company in New Mexico, I, for one, will be flabbergasted.

Hey, if he can PROVE that ONE did, I'll be very impressed. But even if (and it's a big IF) he can, what good will it do him? Can he shut the rest of us up? Not a chance. He comes after me, another person, secure behind layers of identities, will take up the mantle.

His big mistake was starting the fight. By raising awareness of this blog, postings have risen dramatically.

The last headline before he did his 'stupid', called "Lest we forget", had 93 postings in 8 days, from 10th to 18th April, or an average of 11.625 per day.

Since then, in 20 days there have been 744 postings, for an average of 37.2 per day.

More than THREE times the traffic.

Email went through the roof. Literally hundreds of them, with loads from 'inside' the FPJ company and its' associated activities.

I've lost count of the new voices on the blog and the press are reporting on the FPJ company in a somewhat more critical light.

Except, of course, Captain Zoom.

The Russians, the Germans, the English and hosts of Americans write it up, but not Vern's favorite journalist. I wonder why...

So, to get back to your question, did Stan know this was coming? Ask him yourself. I don't think he did, but I don't care. The blog needed to continue, in as close to the original form as 'we' could. Yes, we all tried different places, and some were quite pleasant. But....

Anyway, I stood up. I've also made it perfectly clear that I will stand aside whenever someone else wants to take on the mantle. I am only the custodian and I mean that.

On a different tack...

Watch out, there's a Black Tulip about, and he has written a real beauty this time!

And for our new readers, don't take everything you read on eclipsecriticng.blogspot.com as Gospel.

Shane

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
B95 - were ANY of the Eclipse as functional as any ONE of the other OEM's aircraft?


Which is even more amazing, isn't it? If Eclipse can be on the top 10 GA mannufacturers with a half functional plane, either the company or the plane must be incredibly hot.

airtaximan said...
baron,

you are why I love this blog.

I can't wait until you catch shit for your post...

Just for giggles, how much is owed on the delivered fleet? In dollars...for the mods, refurbs, fixes, and avionics?


And that, of course, is "the rest of the story". You, AT, are correct. There are future $$$ liabilities associated with every $ Eclipse is taking in, to an extent much, much higher than usual for other products.

Don't worry, I am not that naive.
It is just in my nature to take the oposite view whenever a discussion gets too one-sided. Consider that, my contribution to the Blog, so it doesn't just read like a bunch of smart people beating on a dead horse.

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Now Gadfly, we all know that the reason that Kelly Johnson, Bill Lear, Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, Bill Boeing, B.D. Maule, Pug Piper, Al Mooney, Curtiss Pitts, Giuseppe Bellanca and the myriad other reasonably succesful airplane designers over the last 100 or so years made it was solely the lack of critical blogsites and having employees who honored NDA's.


[Leaving Kelly johnson and Bill Boeing asside, since they were not in the GA business] all the other names you cited lost control of their companies, and said companies either filed for multiple bankruptcies or distressed sales.

Please!!! To cite these as an example of successful GA company management is ludicrous. None of these companies made it independently. Other than Eclipse, there are only two significant GA mannufacturers that have so far made it independently - Diamond and Cirrus. All with many problems, including a "promise" to deliver a VLJ.

Shane Price said...

Baron 95,

I presume you are including Eclipse in the list of companies struggling to deliver a VLJ?

Shane

gadfly said...

B95

For what it’s worth, the examples given were designers, using available technology at the time, for successful aircraft. Business management was not within the scope of my illustration. But you can make it whatever you wish, and declare yourself the winner of the discussion. Somehow, it doesn’t really matter . . . time will reveal the success(?) of both the technology and business management of the little bird, and its manufactory. Or is it an “assembly plant”?

gadfly

(And have a nice day!)

gadfly said...

Many times, those who carry out research are “overlooked”. Dave Ivedorne deserves our gratitude for clearing up the history, leading to great triumphs in aviation. It will be noted (from Dave’s work) that it will be a long time before the “can of beans” exceeds the aircraft production of Fisher Price, and according to my kids and grand-kids, the “Fisher Price” version was delivered “fully functional”.

And John has shown us why the can of beans has not exploded . . . it’s leaking . . . over 180 beans, so far. And speaking of “functional” . . . beans are often functional, but not recommended while flying in the little jet.

gadfly

(We await with "baited breath" to hear words from the dark flower of the "Nederlands".)

airtaximan said...

Gadfly,

for the record, your degree opf specificity, is not often understood, here - even by me. I have made the mistake of disagreeing with soething I thought you said... when in fact, you politely "remind" me that perhas I missed the point.

A terrific talent, a terrific mind, probably lost on the likes of me, most of the time.

I rely purely on circumventing the NDA I signed, for my intel. NOT!

Seriously, I remember the intial stories about submarines and medical devices, and scratching my head to "keep up".

Many will miss you points... and that OK. Sorta.

Soething tells me, to impact the audience you are seeking to "help"... you might have to dumb it down a few notches!

Thanks.

gadfly said...

Taximan

Thank you for your kind words. But “dumbing down” the message doesn’t work. It is better to set a higher goal, and encourage folks to reach it. There comes a time with many, that they give up . . . but the “teacher” often has the pleasure of seeing the “students” achieving things they didn’t think possible. Rather than browbeating workers with their shortcomings, more is accomplished with encouraging words, and allowing them to “make mistakes” in the process of taking responsibility, without punishment. A good teacher is rewarded by seeing a “student” get the credit for the well done job. Deming didn’t invent the system, but he spelled it all out, so there is no excuse for any “management”to miss the point.

‘Enough for now.

gadfly

airtaximan said...

Shane,

I believe "NG" is different than "critic" - just like Ng was different than Avio.

There is a point.

Anyhow, Stan stated he was shuttering the blog, due to something - I cannot recall.

somehow, I do not think it was keeping up with us!

Thanks for taking over - its a new blog, a new day, and a new subpoena if Vern wishes to discover anything from the old blog vs the new... in my opinion.

I'd love to hear him argue NG is the same old blog - kinda like NG is the same old failed avionics suite he spent 10 year not finishing...

Rico said...

Cessna must be lovin' all this! The Eclipse 500 I saw at an airshow last year seemed to be an "underwhelming" hunk of junk. (Just an opinion Ray)

For their pioneering effort, I give Eclipse Aviation credit. It is unfortunate that things are in such turmoil over there, but taking it out on blog critics will backfire.

Me, I'd rather buy a D-Jet instead! Slower, lower, but more realistic. Hey, with the high price of fuel these days, why feed two fires when one will do

Rico said...

Cessna must be lovin' this!

Dave said...

It is unfortunate that things are in such turmoil over there, but taking it out on blog critics will backfire.

The turmoil inside of Eclipse as well as Eclipse's war on transparency for public are all signs of a larger problem...mismanagement from the top, if not a cover-up of illegal activity.

flyger said...

Rico said...

Me, I'd rather buy a D-Jet instead! Slower, lower, but more realistic. Hey, with the high price of fuel these days, why feed two fires when one will do

You just misapplied piston twin logic to jets. The D-jet will burn more fuel per mile at FL250 than the Eclipse does at FL410. Consider that the one engine in the D-jet is rated for more thrust than *both* engines in the Eclipse, and that it will be operated in much thicker air due to certified ceiling limitations. It will burn *much* more fuel per mile, not just a little bit more.

When D-jet releases the first POH, then the reality will be clear. So don't buy an SEJ thinking you will get better fuel efficiency. You won't.

Real planes for real life said...

I am quite surprised to see that Eclipse Aviation has elected to commence a legal process against certain bloggers who post here and at this blog's predecessor.

I would offer the following thought to the "put upon" bloggers. In matters of slander and libel, the truth is an absolute defense. Should Eclipse protest a statement here (or anywhere) as being slanderous or libelous, a blogger's defense is a relatively simple matter of discovering the truth of the statement and then applying the law. Although I am not a lawyer, absent a specific contract to remain silent, I believe it would be impossible for Eclipse to pursue a party who simply utters a true statement - no matter how damning of Eclipse it may be - provided it is true.

California State court has in general rather liberal discovery rules. If the bloggers were to turn around and sue Eclipse, I wonder what Vern Rayburn would say under deposition on various subjects where Eclipse alleges certain untrue statements were made? What did Vern know about (fill in the blank) and when did he know it? Frankly, I think attending such a deposition might be fun.

Gunner, your counsel might also consider putting Eclipse on notice that it should not destroy corporate records including all e-mails of the executive staff, communications with the BoD and presentations to investors, etc.etc. etc. that your counsel feels might bear on this looming litigation. If Eclipse were shown to have destroyed these records before litigation, most judges would take a very dim view of that activity. In some states, the destruction of evidence in anticipation of litigation is a crime.

Dave said...

Gunner, your counsel might also consider putting Eclipse on notice that it should not destroy corporate records including all e-mails of the executive staff, communications with the BoD and presentations to investors, etc.etc. etc. that your counsel feels might bear on this looming litigation. If Eclipse were shown to have destroyed these records before litigation, most judges would take a very dim view of that activity. In some states, the destruction of evidence in anticipation of litigation is a crime.

Now that we have Sarbanes-Oxley it's illegal everywhere in the US and not just for publicly traded companies - private companies and non-profits are explicitly covered under the destruction of documents section, which means under SOX, no paper shredding for Vern. Also by that same token retroactively altering a document is defined as "document destruction" as well.

Real planes for real life said...

Here is the problem. Many companies have "document retention" policies which have been put in place with the assistance of their outside counsel which define how a company disposes of various types of company information including confidential records. Generally the "document retention" policies mandate the time based destruction of many records. E-mails get deleted in so many days, paper files so many months, certain financial records after so long etc. This destruction goes on every day. I know of three multi-billion dollar market cap companies where this destruction gets in the way of the ordinary workers getting their jobs done, although it does limit corporate exposure in litigation because the company which has a document retention policy which blindly grinds up or de-magnetizes or burns the truth. And any company is allowed to continue destruction of documents and things (provided they maintain certain limited records for a statutory period) up to the anticipation of litigation or the commencement of actual litigation.

The "put upon" bloggers should consult their own lawyer but I think a simple notice letter to Eclipse here might be very prudent in light of what I have read/experienced in other adversarial situations.

IANAL - use at your own risk!

Dave said...

The "put upon" bloggers should consult their own lawyer but I think a simple notice letter to Eclipse here might be very prudent in light of what I have read/experienced in other adversarial situations.

There might be a unique advantage to doing that in this case. Given both the secrecy of the underlying litigation as well as the broad based nature of Eclipse's litigation, most any document/email/voicemail/text/etc from Eclipse could potentially be relevant. It could get to be very expensive for Eclipse to maintain records properly for litigation and any destruction or alteration of potentially relevant records even prior to the notice could give the appearance of criminal document destruction. The downside of Eclipse making extremely broad claims both to the courts and to the media means that they've made their case expensive (the investors and position holders should be thrilled that their money is going into pointless litigation expenses) or else risking look like criminals.

Eclipse's lack of transparency to the media is simply bad PR, but if Eclipse isn't transparent to the courts, they risk severe criminal action taken against them. Also if this makes it to court, it means Eclipse's dirty laundry will be aired for all to see. Eclipse has to reveal all the true negative things about Eclipse as being negative about Eclipse is actually key to Eclipse's case. Eclipse is extremely stupid implimenting PR suicide as their legal strategy.

Given Eclipse's litigation, their new PR slogan should be "We Really Are THAT Bad!"

FlightCenter said...

Ok, here's one for the aeronautical materials experts to chew on. An article on potentially "disruptive" materials for aerospace.

What do you think? Too good to be true? or a potential game changer?

How to Make Super-Strong, Super-Flexible Metals

"Researchers at Caltech are pioneering new ways to make superstrong metals that are twice as tough as titanium, and twice as elastic. These "metallic glass" composites are so strong a 3mm rod can support a 2-ton truck and they bend instead of snapping like most other metals of their kind, which are called "glass metals."

The new metals can potentially be used in industries from aerospace to automotive, as well as in consumer electronics."

BricklinNG said...

Flyger,

You have made the point on "piston think" applied to jets previously but there are so many new readers here that you have had repeat it. I personally witnessed an Eclipse burning 410 lb/hr at 37, 000 ft and a bit over 500 at 27,000. Speed was a few knots less at 27,000 but within the range of experimental error. So basically it was going the same speed on 25% more fuel.

So Diamond will have a fuel consumption compromise by limiting itself to 25,000 ft, no question. This could, however, be a reasonable or advantageous compromise, could it not? Have you seen the mockup? Assuming the actual jet mocks the mockup, it is really roomy, has lots of baggage space a great G1000 system and has construction cost advantages over a 41,000 ft twin. Eclipse makes it a bit hard to talk price because one does not know the proper Eclipse price for the company to make 200 or so a year and earn a profit, but my guess on this is upwards of $2 million, probably almost a million more than Diamond. So maybe the choice is to spend $2.5 m for the privilege of going 370 kt at 37,000 ft, burning 400 lb/hr or to spend $1.5 m and go 315 in better comfort at 25,000 ft while burning 500 lb. There would undoubtedly be those who would take the Diamond choice, especially those who either did not have the extra million or who would be flying shorter legs or in the Northeast where the time spent at full altitude would be brief anyway. In this latter case, fuel burn and speed would not be much different between the two.

Just presently, there is the additional factor that the Eclipse has Wright Brothers style avionics and various "IOU" shortcomings and really shaky finances. So Diamond is a much better company to deal with and one would probably be better off burning 500 lb of fuel with an airplane from a reputable, stable company than 400 lb with an airplane from a company that disdains the first amendment, needs money from Russia or a questionable deposit scheme or wherever and that flirts with Chapter 11 or 7. These matters, however, can be solved one day (hopefully); here we are just talking specifications and aerodynamics.

Ceri said...

Since this issue of SEJ v Eclipse comes up regularly, maybe one of those who've posted on the subject (and who obviously knows what they're talking about - that handily excludes me) could whip up a spreadsheet on the true cost per hour/mile using SEJ/Eclipse/Mustang? I think it's been stated in one post or another that the fuel cost may not be a large percentage of the overall operating cost per hour/mile. I guess Shane would be happy to post it on the site.

Shane Price said...

In about 40 minutes, a new post will (hopefully) come up.

I'm using the opportunity to check timings from 'my side' of the Atlantic.

Hope you all enjoy the effort, from our very own special correspondent, Black Tulip.

Shane

Rico said...

In response to Bricklnng and Flyggr's comments regarding the Diamond D-jet and E-500, I have the following comments.

Yes, it is true that down low, fuel burn for the D-Jet would be much higher. But, as has been pointed out many times over, most folks will be flying fairly short missions without ever being able to get up high enough and long enough to make a real dent in fuel burn numbers. The price difference, company stability factors and such would weigh heavily into the decision making process.

I suppose it all boils down to operational requirements. If a guy is nearly always making trips that are long legged, then perhaps the higher priced Eclipse 500 makes sense. But if you are going "short" on a regular basis, Diamond has the more favorite product coming online soon. And just think, when engine overhauls and inspections come due, one sure beats two every time!