Monday, May 12, 2008

ECLIPSE AVIATION ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT


Albuquerque, NM – May 12, 2008 – Eclipse Aviation today rolled out a new weapon in the battle to popularize its product. Reacting to negative publicity and possible unauthorized release of trade secrets, the company has broken new legal ground.

President Vern Raburn commented, “Everyone connected with our Eclipse 500 Jet is required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) - this includes investors, employees, suppliers and customers. However, the old-fashioned NDA had its limitations and we were not satisfied with the protection we received.”

“Disruptive technology has been the byword at Eclipse and we are proud to advance to the legal profession in a most creative manner,” Raburn continued. “I was looking at the NDA and thought – why do we need two signatures, mine and the other party? We can streamline the whole process and achieve better coverage if I alone sign them. “

The company has patented the Eclipse Non-Disclosure Agreement (ENDA) – the first unilateral agreement of its type. “This is the nuclear hand grenade of NDAs,” said Raburn. “Now I scan the news and internet blogs. If I see something I don’t like, I sign an ENDA… and the offending party is toast. This is the legal equivalent of synthetic vision; I put on my special goggles and I see what you are thinking and doing.”

“Our expert legal team determined this new concept covered most of the world. However, they pointed out that several hundred million people in the Indian Subcontinent and Sub-Saharan Africa might not be fully bound to the new Eclipse Aviation terms.”

“Our lawyers drew on the time-tested Napoleonic Code to produce an astounding new legal concept and a fool-proof document. The Eclipse Non-Enumerative Mass Agreement (ENEMA) is the first unilateral NDA to cover the entire planet. Hey, you out there! If you say something nasty about Eclipse, you can run, but you can’t hide.”

Raburn concluded, “Once they realize its features, we believe other companies will want to use the ENEMA too. We are prepared to license this disruptive legal technology for a modest fee.”


Well done, as usual, Black Tulip. For those of you not familiar with our history, please check here for previous examples of his excellent work. The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.

92 comments:

Dave Ivedorne said...

"Non-enumerative mass".

Sounds like some sort of intestinal blockage, so I suppose an ENEMA might help.

Verrrrry disruptive indeed...

Pull into the spot on the left, we'll bring your food out when it's ready,
IANAL

Dave said...

In honor of Eclipse's NDA, I thought I'd disclose this:
http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/images4/PATENTSCOPE/33/61/82/006182.pdf
And these too (note that these files are a few megs in size):
http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/images4/PATENTSCOPE/60/26/3d/00263d.pdf
http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/images4/PATENTSCOPE/60/25/38/002538.pdf
http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/images4/PATENTSCOPE/60/26/3e/00263e.pdf

FlightCenter said...

Vern appears to be falling behind the power curve in both green technologies and in the field of exciting, marketing-based, aircraft program milestones.

An aircraft developer is now promising the greenest aircraft available (zero carbon) and to prove that point, has announced that first flight will occur later today.

What's the new and disruptive marketing based aircraft program metric, you may ask?

The first flight will be a virtual first flight.

First flight is so much easier if you don't actually have to build the aircraft you intend to sell prior to the first flight.

Oh, wait. Maybe Vern isn't so far behind after all.

Solar Aircraft Begins Virtual Flight Today

uglytruth said...

I was hoping for oomph-loomphas.

Dave said...

Also I don't believe its been mentioned here before, but in light of Eclipse's war on transparency, it should be noted that Eclipse had to get the Albuquerque City Council to modify the $45 million dollar Industrial Revenue Bonds. Eclipse had to extend the completion date by two years and redefine all sorts of other things.

baron95 said...

What is all this obcession with Eclipse's NDA? If someone obtained some info from Eclipse under NDA (e.g. employee, vendor contractor) and later disclosed that outside of Eclipse without authorization, Eclise is in its right to go after that person. If the info was not disclosed under NDA, then it is not covered.

What is the big deal?

You can argue that Eclipse discloses too little info oppenly, that their NDAs are too restrictive, and that they are silly trying to enforce their NDAs. But to pick on their NDAs is just silly.

I've had to sign pretty outgrageous NDAs in the past as a cost of doing business. I didn't like it, but it was my choice to sign it.

To devote a whole post and a whole thread to making fun of an ficticious NDA.... Oh well, that is why we call it free speech ;)

Dave said...

What is all this obcession with Eclipse's NDA? If someone obtained some info from Eclipse under NDA (e.g. employee, vendor contractor) and later disclosed that outside of Eclipse without authorization, Eclise is in its right to go after that person. If the info was not disclosed under NDA, then it is not covered.
What is the big deal?


That's a bit of a double-standard I'd say. So blog postings and comments are an "obsession" and "big deal," but conversely a lawsuit isn't. Eclipse's business isn't litigation (unless they've changed their business model from aircraft manufacturing), but this blog commenting on Eclipse is precisely what this blog is for. If any party is making a "big deal" and has an "obsession," it would be Eclipse because this blog is staying on-message and for its started purpose while Eclipse is drifting from aircraft manufacturing to online witchhunting.

You can argue that Eclipse discloses too little info oppenly, that their NDAs are too restrictive, and that they are silly trying to enforce their NDAs. But to pick on their NDAs is just silly.

Perhaps if Eclipse hadn't launched its litigation against the bloggers here it may be considered silly, but in light of the litigation, I'd say its quite reasonable and to be expected that the blog would "pick on their NDAs."

What is silly and obsessive is Eclipse going after their own online supporters. Vern should spend time making planes for customers and money for investors rather than suing Eclipse's own supporters and hunting down bloggers in general.

forest said...

I can see it now ….. EAA 2008

VR: (to EAC staff at Oshkosh) Hand me the field glasses. Eeee-gads. They’re everywhere!

VR (to the home office): Round up all available FPJs. Call Ed, I want those 16 he’s mothballing. Load’em up with my bevy of barristers. Make sure they don’t forget the paperwork!

VR: (to EAA official) Immediately round up all those “Does.” Hold’em till my FPJs arrive!

EAA official: How do we recognize them?

VR: Idiot! Look at the shirts, hats, nametags. They’re everywhere...Jane Doe xxx, John Doe xxx, baby Doe xxx. And make sure your people are lurking around the port-a-potties, barracks, in the weeds. I want to know every time the word Eclipse is uttered.

EAA official: But VR, I don’t know that we have available staff for...

VR: Call everyone...Capt Zoom, the FAA, the nm sic/politicians, the FluffBoy Possee, the Russians, they’ll all lend troops for this operation. Maybe we can contain this outbreak of “Does” a few months longer.

EAA official: Oh, by the way have you made your contribution to EAA this year. I see, another mil...Yep, we’re on the job.

VR: (mumbling) I know the “Does” are covered by my ENEMA. Sh@#&! Everyone here is covered by my ENEMA; the world is covered by my ENEMA.

VR: (to his merry band of barristers who have just arrived…with hands full of ENEMAs)

HEAD-EM OUT! MOVE’EM OUT!
------
Now taking orders for John and Jane Doe t-shirts, hats, nametags, etc. Can be picked up at anonymous mail-drops of your choice to maintain your "Doeness."

Disclaimer
Satire:
--the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
--a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

baron95 said...

On Single Engine Jets... Need to look at real world vs paper.

1 - Eclipse/Twin Fan Jets don't always cruise at FL410. Look at the Day Jet info - flying in the 20-25K ft for most trips.

2 - Cruise is only one portion of flight - there is climb, descent, taxi, hold, approach, etc, not to count the altitude restrictions in the Northeast and elsewhere.

3 - For a modern turbofan, the fuel penalty of FL250 vs 350 is prob in the 20-30%. For personally flown planes (which average in the US 150 hr/year), that fuel difference is TOTALLY eclipse by the additional cost and maintenance reservers for a second engine). TOTALLY.

4 - There is nothing that prevents the D-Jet, later on to get FL 300, 350 certification.

So, you will see many, many owners drawn to the SE Jets, particularly if the FAA gets some sence into the type rating issue. Why does a D-Jet of 4,500lbs require an ATP level type rating and a 12,500 lbs King Air 200 does not?

BricklinNG said...

My observation in an Eclipse was about 400pph at 37,000 ft and 500pph at 27,000 ft so about 25% more fuel and essentially the same speed. So at $5 per gal and 150 hr/year this would be $10,000 more per year in fuel if all flying were at cruising altitude. Factor in climbs, descents and being held low by ATC, and the actual difference would be less. In any case, an Eclipse priced to allow its manufacturer to survive serving its actual (rather than dreamed of) market is probably $1 million more than a DJet, so if you buy an Eclipse to save on fuel, your return on extra investment is at best 1% and that is before figuring the maintenance on 2 engines vs. 1.

The DJet is overall slower, but there is a tradeoff for a much more comfortable cabin plus lots more baggage space.

When (if?) the dust settles on the many Eclipse issues and the SE jets are in production, there should be a space for Eclipse, between the likes of Diamond and of Mustang.

Dave said...

When (if?) the dust settles on the many Eclipse issues and the SE jets are in production, there should be a space for Eclipse, between the likes of Diamond and of Mustang.

I agree. I see the Eclipse 500's sustainable price at just under the Mustang's as in many ways the Mustang turned out how the Eclipse 500 should have been, but admittedly it is an upgrade from anything Eclipse had promised.

Eventually a jet-based air taxi service might mature into a large market, but if such a market blossoms Eclipse will have competitors - and the larger the market, the more the competitors Eclipse will have. Eclipse - or any other manufacturer - can't assume if they build it, they'll have 100% of the market and in fact a whole new market will emerge and they'll have 100% of that too.

There are many matters that have to be resolved and these things wont be resolved quickly. Eclipse in many ways reminds me of the Segway scooter that had much hype about having huge sales and changing how things were done, but in the end having some sales, but not earth-shattering. If Segway had had huge sales, it risked being a victim of its own success because many changes would have been required in laws and city planning. With Eclipse, if the jets had sold like hotcakes, Eclipse could have suffered a major backlash (particularly if DayJet had succeeded) with rural areas fighting to prevent an onslaught of jets flying over where even if there is market demand for Eclipse/Dayjet, external sources can prevent adoption of the market being served.

Eclipse also has a real conundrum on its hands with air taxis. Eclipse touts itself as being environmentally friendly - one of the justifications for the VLJ model - yet air taxis (DayJet) tout themselves are primarilly catering to people who would otherwise be driving. Vern Raburn talks about how the Eclipse 500 is more fuel efficient than traditional commercial air transportation, but Eclipse is extremely inefficient compared to a car. If not a backlash over rural noise, Eclipse could face a backlash over environmental pollution which could be even worse.

I'm involved in affordable housing by virtue of a board that I'm on and just because you're ready and willing to produce something and you've found a client who is ready to buy, there can still be resistance from outside forces. Assuming the world will just blindly accept what you offer simply isn't reasonable and VLJs/air taxis are controversial...at least they would be if there was wide market acceptance. Both airport noise and aircraft pollution are controversial, just Eclipse hasn't so far had to face much of that because their deliveries have been minor.

It's difficult to say what will happen as it is unforeseeable what certain events in the future will be - such as fuel prices, however, Eclipse tied itself to being blindly accepted among private pilots and that DayJet would be blindly accepted by those who travel in cars.

flyger said...

baron95 said...

1 - Eclipse/Twin Fan Jets don't always cruise at FL410. Look at the Day Jet info - flying in the 20-25K ft for most trips.

DayJet is short range and altitude limited by no FIKI. Not a valid sample of owner flown trips.

2 - Cruise is only one portion of flight - there is climb, descent, taxi, hold, approach, etc, not to count the altitude restrictions in the Northeast and elsewhere.

EA500s are getting high altitudes in most parts of the country.

3 - For a modern turbofan, the fuel penalty of FL250 vs 350 is prob in the 20-30%. For personally flown planes (which average in the US 150 hr/year), that fuel difference is TOTALLY eclipse by the additional cost and maintenance reservers for a second engine). TOTALLY.

It isn't. You need to run the numbers. The EA500 is about 70 GPH. An SEJ will be 100 GPH for similar performance down lower. That's $150/hour more which more than pays for a second engine. If the SEJ flies slower, which it will, then you start to accrue costs for airframe maintenance that are driven by flight hours. Upkeep of the second engine is *EASILY* paid for when considering cost per mile.

4 - There is nothing that prevents the D-Jet, later on to get FL 300, 350 certification.

Again, you don't understand that certification requirements change at FL250 for lots of things, including needing redundant pressurization which is most readily achieved with a second engine. Airplanes that are not designed, from the start, to be higher than FL250 rarely get increased ceilings.

Cirrus and D-jet are honest about the SEJ problems going over FL250. Piper and Eclipse are not. Nobody has yet certified *ANY* SEJs.

So, you will see many, many owners drawn to the SE Jets,

Because they are applying their piston experience to what they expect from an SEJ. Once there are actual SEJs in the field, the realities will become more widely known and the luster will fade.

Let's see the first D-jet POH performance section, then talk with real numbers. You are going to be surprised...

MetalGuy said...

What is all this obcession with Eclipse's NDA? If someone obtained some info from Eclipse under NDA (e.g. employee, vendor contractor) and later disclosed that outside of Eclipse without authorization, Eclise is in its right to go after that person. If the info was not disclosed under NDA, then it is not covered.

What is the big deal?


So how many bloggers is Eclipse attempting to expose that do not have an NDA?

The answer is “I have no idea” - Nor does Eclipse.

That’s the big deal.

Dave said...

That’s the big deal.

Here's Vern admitting that he's on a fishing expedition:
Speaking to the Albuquerque Journal, Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn denied his company is targeting critics in the subpoena. "We're not trying to suppress dissension or criticism," he said. "We're just trying to find out where it's coming from."
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=9190a26d-5b21-40d1-b8c2-1a30997c1020

Here's Vern undermining that any NDAs were violated in the first place:
"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."
From the same cite as above.

Vern has on multiple occasions undermined his case that Eclipse honestly believes NDAs were violated. Vern just wants to know who his critics are (fishing) and admits that NDAs aren't being violated by having stated that what's going on is "speculating" and "overt lies." The Eclipse CEO saying that the very people whom he wants to know the identies of are speculating undermines not only Eclipse's subpoena but their lawsuit as well.

Vern has now irreperably harmed his crediblity. If Eclipse's lawyers argue in the court of law that what's on this blog is accurate while Eclipse's CEO argues in the court of public opinion that's what's on the blog is inaccurate then everyone will quickly see through that while if Vern reverses himself to the media that obviously will damage his credibility and that will cause the media to pursue him further. It's a no-win. Vern clearly can't plan for the long-term or think fo the full implications of his actions. Him going to the media to call the blog inaccurate speculation he probably thought would give him an immediate PR benefit, but the overall consequences were never considered. This lack of planning would explain Vern's deficiencies as CEO overall and why Eclipse is in the position that its in.

Shane Price said...

Dave,

In the interest of balance.

One, and by no means the only, praise for the FPJ from people who use them is...

.... it is very quiet.

I agree on the 'green' point you made. I think that Air France and BA pulled the Concorde from service, in part, because they could see the Greens coming. That bird used 3 or 4 times as much fuel per passenger, as a 'normal' trans Atlantic jet.

Shane

Dave said...

One, and by no means the only, praise for the FPJ from people who use them is...
.... it is very quiet.


Yes, Eclipse's are supposed to be the quietest jets around and I'm well aware of that, but people frequently don't want facts to get in the way of controversial issues. In afforable housing for instance there are frequently blanket objections that any affordable housing will automatically drag down surrounding home values even though that's a myth. Whether Eclipse 500s are quiet or not, they'd have to battle people's preconceived notions of jets=noisy and that takes time. Eclipse so far has dealt with matters with little downside for politicians because its been a largely theoretical exercise. Eclipse/DayJet may very well be able to make a successful cases continually to all the surrounding populations of airports that would be targeted to be turned into mini commercial airports (dayports), but that would take time and cannot be taken for granted that every commercially viable airport would want that to happen to their airport. This both has to do with how fast a rate of growth could theoretically happen before red tape kicks slowing the process and also that growth could be completely blocked in certain areas.

Both Ed and Vern don't seem suited for dealing with community opposition and red tape due to community resistance. Ed seems better suited, but treated a transportation matter like an OS could easily result in a failure to communicate or not listen communities. Vern could be even worse for fostering widespread adoption of VLJs/air taxis given his litigiousness in response to criticism. Suing community opposition or being caught hiring PIs and whatnot could result in blowback that would hurt not only Eclipse but other VLJ manufacturers. Also Ed seems somewhat better suited as he appears to do some level of scenario planning whereas Vern - despite being in this business for 10 years - still seems ill-prepared for any scenario other than the single one he forecast.

I just see so many potential battles for Eclipse/DayJet that could spring up if Eclipse sold the volume of planes it projects with the bulk of those sales being driven by air taxis as Eclipse predicts. Removal of community opposition can happen, but you can't just steamroll your way through. It can be incredibly time-consuming resulting in very slow expansion even if there is underlying demand for the product itself.

Dave said...

To follow-up on my post on barriers to quick widespread use, here's something that I found regarding DayJet. Eclipse 500s need a runway of approximately 2400 feet in length per the Eclipse website, but insurance companies for commercial aviation are requiring longer runways. Per slide 11 here DayJet's insurance carrier currently requires runways being a minimum length of 4200 feet:
http://www.tampaairport.com/about/general_aviation/public_meeting_davis_islands_2_7_08.pdf
This is an artificial barrier that limits where Eclipse 500s can be operated commercially even if there is underlying demand. Demand at various airports less than 4200 feet in length could be met, but it would require both time and money for this to happen to modify community airports with community approval.

Also separately I don't think this has been pointed out before regarding the 1400 DayJet orders. They were supposed to all be delivered by 2013, so this timeframe raises more questions about Eclipse:
DayJet has 12 Eclipse 500s and plans to take delivery of three more this week. The carrier has commitments on an eye-popping 1,400 aircraft–all slated for delivery by 2013
http://airportmagazine.net/2007/10/28/dayjet-nuggets/

baron95 said...

Dave said ... Vern Here's Vern undermining that any NDAs were violated in the first place:
"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.


So what? Some people posted here claiming to be employees or ex-employees of Eclipse. Vern believes they were providing misleading info based on priviledged information. The two are not mutually exclivelly, you know.

Either way, it is not about Eclipse's NDA - it is about their decision to enforce it with discovery/subpoenas, etc.

Shadow said...

Baron95,

Why the need for the carpet-bomb subpoena, then, if Eclipse knew which bloggers were claiming to be Eclipse or ex-Eclipse employees? Wouldn't that be the LOGICAL place to start? Duh...

chickasaw said...

The NDAs can be tricky. Not all of the insiders have a direct NDA with Eclipse, some of them have signed a NDA with their contract house who signed a NDA with Eclipse.

sparky said...

what's with all the discussion about NDA's?

almost all of the things discussed here have been brought forward by people that have nothing to do with eclipse.

Careful examination of the facts at hand lead to the conclusions being posted on the blog.

If vern's pissed that we don't nod and smile and swallow every bit of the press releases he puts out that's his problem and has nothing to do with non-disclosure.

He claims irreperable damages have been done. If your company can't stand the light of truth, maybe you need to be in a different business. I think he's so used to the Microsoft days, when you could turn out any POS software you felt like and people HAD to use it because there was no other choice. Welcome to aviation pal, new set of rules and incomplete doesn't cut it here. is that a non-disclosure issue? no, it's a hard fact.

The blog figured out the dayjet floption scam not from insider information, but by looking at the facts of the matter and drawing our own conclusions.

Same with the return to the markets for more cash. Look at the estimated number of employees, cost of manufacturing and such and ....voila, they're almost broke again. again, common sense, not insider information.

I'd like to know just what he considered damaging information. I would propose that he go over his press releases, every single one and compare them to what actually was produced before he starts pointing fingers.

If anything can be considered damaging it's missing EVERY SINGLE GOAL EVER SET BY THE COMPANY. excuse me for repeating myself, but....EVERY SINGLE GOAL EVER SET BY THE COMAPNY!! and he's looking here for the source of damage?

His lawyers and the BOD could save a lot of time and money by simply handing him a mirror labeled "the Problem"

Dave said...

So what? Some people posted here claiming to be employees or ex-employees of Eclipse. Vern believes they were providing misleading info based on priviledged information. The two are not mutually exclivelly, you know.

So Vern launched a lawsuit over trade secrets when trade secrets aren't being violated. Not to mention it sounds completely crazy from a PR standpoint to say you've launched a lawsuit saying that you've determined posting are made by insiders because they're "lies" - Vern saying Eclipse has a bunch of liars on staff doesn't exactly speak well of Eclipse.

If Eclipse is determined to get personal information off the blog because what's posted is supposedly wrong, does that mean Eclipse wouldn't be trying to get personal information off the blog if what's posted was supposedly right? The implications of Vern's actions would mean that any company could get personal information on any blogger if whether the blogger is accurate or inaccurate doesn't matter.

chickasaw said...

Dave said:

"almost all of the things discussed here have been brought forward by people that have nothing to do with eclipse."

That is exactly the point, or least one of them. Vern has no right to any personal information of the bloggers. He can't be allowed to cast a wide net, hoping to catch something.

It is fun though to watch sh*t roll uphill for once.

gadfly said...

Last evening while meditating on the “porcelain throne”, I picked up an old issue of Private Pilot . . . November 1979 and turned to page 32 with an article about “air taxis”. Not to bore you with the things discussed (although they appeared most current), it occurred to me that we may be discussing the wrong issues. “Back then”, the air taxi operators used “cheap pilots” (that is, good pilots but working for low wages, for lack of better positions because of difficult times . . . Carter was president in 1979, we had a “pretend” gas shortage, and a “misery index”), second hand aircraft, and a tendency to “push the limits” of what is legal to stay in business. No, it didn’t say that the limits were “exceeded”, ‘just stretched a mite . . . and always the “out” for the air taxi operator was that the pilot is ultimately the “scape goat” if there is a question.

So, I says to myself, what is to become of the “little jet” when the shine wears off, and many un-completed aircraft need a new home. Well, the little bird “was” approved by our great FAA to operate as an “air taxi” . . . or that sort of thing. So some enterprising entrepreneur is able to buy one of these aircraft for a song (and dance), that has now sat out in the weather behind the hangar somewhere in the gentle sea breezes in Florida . . . enjoying the sun and salt spray for what? . . . three, four, five years? . . . whatever! A good paint job, some “spit and polish”, some vinyl patch on the leather seats . . . a new battery, new Jet A . . . and he’s in the taxi business.

Now what!

Anyone wish to think about this for awhile . . . and give some comments?

gadfly

(Hey, these might be questions worth consideration! . . . sure beats talking about a lot of other things. And it’s funny how history seems to be stuck in a rut. They say that a rut is a grave with the ends kicked out.)

gadfly said...

Think, man, think!

If you don’t think for yourself, there are many others that will “do the thinkin’ for you”, and you may not be totally pleased with what they have thunk!

gadfly

(Of course, if many had really done their own thinking, Albuquerque might have been one industry short of a full . . . industrial system.)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Let us, for accuracy's sake clarify that Vern has not initiated a lawsuit against the blog or any bloggers, at least not yet.

His attorney's have subpoena'd Google for the IP address and other registration info for the bloggers in question - that is all at this stage. If it stops here, than it will be seen for what it probably was, an attempt to chill dissenting opinion, or a SLAPP.

Now, I imagine Vern would try and pursue any names learned from that subpoena if they were names he recognized. He might also want to know how/from who certain bits of info were gleaned.

The issue with te subpoena is that he does make inconsistent allegations, the information is from 'insiders' it has 'irrepably damaged' Eclipse, but it is also speculation and 'outright lies'. And he casts too wide a net without providing adequate justification for even why specific names were chosen. There are no specific citations, no supporting data, etc., and no way to correlate the requested ID's to the sealed court case that originated the subpoena.

As others have said, you can't have it both ways - and his ego does not trump the 1st Amendment.

It is typical of bullies that they themselves are very thin skinned.

One has to wonder though about the issue with the kid from Eclipse he has targetted. Nothing the kid said erver made it directly to the Blog near as I can recall, and further, the owner community seemed to be quite enamored of the guy - he shot straight and they appreciated that.

Vern's tantrum letter that somehow made it's way to the blog was clear that the issue was related to Eclipse and DayJet and it only preceded the DayJet 'slowed growth' announcement by a week or so.

Did this kid suggest that there were going to be some planes available?

And what if anything does that have to do with the sealed court case there in New Mexico that was the apparent reason for the subpoena?

Funny thing about NDA's is that they are clearly limited in scope. Anyone who might have worked at Eclipse would be bound by hatever NDA's they may have signed, but the NDA ends with anything they learned while there - they would still be quite free to form their own opinions about what was going on based on the news and lack thereof from Eclipse - that is not prohibited by nor punishable in reference to an NDA.

Seems to me that any of our former Eclipse employee bloggers should be quite fine if they have limited their public comments to things which have occured or opinions they have formed since they left. Same should be true for former vendors.

The issue for Eclipse remains its' claim to be transparent but steelfisted control of what is publicly said about it. Vern in this regard, is his own worst enemy, he CHOSE to be the only public face for Eclipse - therefore he IS Eclipse when it comes to criticism - tough break but one completely of his own making, like so many others.

I have always said that when the aviation media finally turns on him that Vern will be surprised by the quickness and the ferocity of it - I stand behind that and only say that this has not yet occurred - but it is coming.

CharterX and Richard Aboulafia are asking good questions, same for AIN, but the tide has not turned yet. Mac and crew cannot be far behind.

That this blog exists, that there is so much content, and lately that is so well visited, all rest on the shoulders of one man.

HAIL VERNU!

ASPCNDA Disclaimer - No NDA's were harmed in the forming of this opinion/satire. Any scenes appearing to place NDA's in jeopardy were simulated.

baron95 said...

Gadfly said ... A good paint job, some “spit and polish”, some vinyl patch on the leather seats . . . a new battery, new Jet A . . . and he’s in the taxi business.

Now what!


If it only were that easy. You must not have exeprienced the excruciating process for an operator t oget a part 135 operating certificate. I can only imagine how much more excruciating it is now that the FAA has a "need" to look tough to cover for past non-mistakes that were publicised as mistakes.

The system does work. Sure air charter does not have the safety reccord of scheduled 135 or 121, but it has proven safe enough. The Eclipse, I'd venture, will ultimately prove safer than the typical Chiftains and old King Airs flying the vast majority of charter in the US.

By the time the Learjet had 150 flying, there were a few more craters in the US landscape. We haven't seen one yet from an EA50, so that is an excellent sign so far.

I think that is good evidence that there are no bad traits on the plane and htat the training/mentoring program is working.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

B95,

There were almost 750 23-29 Series Learjets.

They were almost 200 mph faster.

They were the first small business jet aircraft.

First flight was 1963.

Comparing that to the preemie jet seems a bit of a stretch.

Pilot training is far superior nowadays.

Engine technology is far superior today.

Avionics technology is, well, for other aircraft they are more advanced than the Learjet had in '63, 'bout the same for the preemie jet to hear experienced jet pilots tell it.

Accident stats are down across the board and that makes a poor comparison.

Thankfully though you are correct, none of the reported trim runaways, flight control bindings, loss of air data, or other failures and malfunctions on the Eclipse in the year or so since it entered service have resulted in more than an incident report and a bunch of SDR's.

gadfly said...

Baron

'Let's hope that you are correct, and that the system works. And the legal part may be completely "in tact". On that issue, we probably agree. But under the paint, we do not yet know the long-term issues of "stir fried", and all the other oriental delights that may show up in time. And it is "those issues" which have not yet been addressed . . . and I hope that others, whether on this blogsite or elsewhere, will address.

Unfortunately, we still do not have even "ONE" complete E500 to evaluate, so whatever you or I have to say is still in the land of speculation.

gadfly

('Not to be mean, but anyone who comments on this blogsite may use "spell check" software, whenever they wish . . . the downside is that it takes time, the "upside" is that it takes time . . . and gives a person an opportunity to doublecheck the things they wish to say . . . and gives a better impression to others of their thoughts.)

gadfly said...

Cold Wet

‘Let’s look at it from a different direction. Rather than give too much “credit” to the top, let’s step it down a notch or two.

Up until now, the “bloggers” have been under attack. Up until now, the entire workforce of the little jet has received a “free pass”. Me thinks it’s time to turn the tables, and find out who knew what and when . . . and why the plan that was partially paid by the taxpayers of New Mexico has been given a “free” pass until now.

We dare not go too low, because the folks at the lowest levels may not yet be able to discern their part. (In time, they will become a “part” of the “whole”.)

But moving up a couple or three tiers, there are people that know exactly what they are doing, and are responsible for their actions.

There will come a time . . . most certain . . . when the “care and feeding” of employees will be addressed . . . sooner or later.

There will come a time . . . most certain . . . when technical issues concerning the “physical/technical” aspects of the little bird will be addressed.

There will come a time . . . most certain . . . when all the other (many) issues . . . on the table will be addressed.

Each man (in the general sense of the word) is responsible for whatever he or she knows, and understands. No-one from top to bottom is exempt. Period.

To attempt to focus the attention of the courts and the public on a few bloggers, may, for a brief time, divert attention from the real world issues. But sooner or later, the revelation may not be complementary of this entire enterprise.

End of sermon.

gadfly

(To be continued . . . guaranteed!)

gadfly said...

Personal note to "Baron":

The air taxi operators in the 1979 article were operating under "FAR Part 135" prior to the discussion . . . 'just checked to make sure.

gadfly

cybit said...

For the takeoff/landing distance; 2400 is the private (non Part 25) landing distance, 4200 is the 2400 * 1.75, which is what the FAA mandates an airplane's takeoff and landing distance is increased by in order to compensate for pilot training. (Either 1.75 or 1.66)

Almost all VLJ manufacturers list the private (non FAA increased) landing distance on their website; I spent many hours in design trying to figure out how on earth they had such small distances until I noticed that.

airtaximan said...

GAd,

sorry I mis-type and Misspell evrthing.

evry1 nos what I mean though

;)

airtaximan said...

cybit et als.

runway access is a very cool thing to look at. There are much larger and heavier planes with short field performance that would knowck your cocks off.

The 135 regs mandate wider margnis, and even on this aspect, some larger airplanes are more well suited.

airtaximan said...

baron,

I REALLY like you...

"scheduled 135"

not many folks know much about this... pretty darn smart I tell ya.

gadfly said...

Tax man

yus a gud mann . . . we all knows dat . . . sae wut evver crosses yu mine . . . an wheel unnerstan. Yu hav a futcher in riting manules for Chineese’s elektronic computter tings.

goodfry

airtaximan said...

Mac was way ahead of the game!

airsafetyman said...

"I think that is good evidence that there are no bad traits on the plane and htat the training/mentoring program is working."

I think it is dumb luck. No responsible charter operator would send up his pilots and passengers in a twin-engine jet aircraft without weather radar. Ditto for reliable avionics and a contemporary autopilot. How many air aborts and rejected take-offs does it take for the FAA to get the message and come down on these people like a ton of bricks. MUST action await a tragic accident?

flyger said...

baron95 said...

By the time the Learjet had 150 flying, there were a few more craters in the US landscape. We haven't seen one yet from an EA50, so that is an excellent sign so far.

It's a good trend. However, there are some caveats to it. Even though there are 150 airplanes out there, some are days old, so the number of hours isn't great yet. The airplane has limitations (such as FIKI) that keep it out of the more severe operating environments, so the risk exposure is less than typical.

And finally, we are in that range of experience where a single fatal accident will take the stats from "excellent" to "disappointing" or even "awful".

Here's an interesting fact: The Cessna Citation X, of which there are 244 on the US registry, has never had a fatal accident. Not one. That fleet has had probably 20 times more exposure than the EA500 fleet. And yes, it is in a *really* different class than the EA500, it just goes to show what a well built airplane with a two pilot professionally trained crew can do for safety.

baron95 said...

Meanwhile.... Embraer is going the oposite way of Eclipse, setting up production lines for Phenom 100/300 in the US....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...om-production-line-in-florida.html

Nothing like producing in a low cost country, that happens to be where most of your customers are and in the currency they buy from.

I'm proud to say that my cousin is leading the effort ;)

flyjets said...

Times, they have changed:

http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewarticle&id=252&Itemid=51

airtaximan said...

http://www.inc.com/magazine/
20020601/24256_pagen_3.html

reality bites...

it's amazing what's out there if you just look!!

I wonder who broke an NDA for this?

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

who is the next NIMBUS... LINEAR is my guess.

I imagine Linear will be purchasing Dayjets...

pass along the can of beans... whose next?

Greater fool?

Any clue as to how many hours Linear has flow their eclipse plane(s)?

Something tells me the next progression in this story is Linear, the "second largest" operator of US based eclipse planes... also looking for more funding right about now... is going to find a way to eclipse Dayjet and save their supplier... by purchasing the planes from them.

Just the next progression... move along... nothing strange going on here...again.

Anyone going to Esther Dyson's Flight School this year - I hear there's a crash course on "buying and selling Eclipse planes, and Your Air Taxi Fleet". Actually USING them is an "advanced course" SAVED FOR THE GRADUATE STUDENTS ATTENDING NEXT YEAR.

I hear Mike Press is no longer a visiting professor.

Shadow said...

ATman,

Unfortunately, no one will be attending Flight School 2008:

Canceling with Regret

We regret to announce that we have decided to cancel this year's Flight School workshop.

We are really sorry to do this, because we have great faith in the future of next-generation aviation and private space travel.

However, despite a strong speaker line-up and broad market outreach, interest seems to be waning rather than building as the overall economy slides into a funk. We're firmly convinced that next year will be better, and our discussions with the speakers and other industry participants have only confirmed that belief. But we also recognize that our enthusiasm can't bring a sufficient number of players to the table to give you the breadth of discussions and peers you deserve, and we want to preserve your trust and friendship for a better occasion. The participants themselves bring much of the value to a workshop such as Flight School, and we just don't see that happening effectively this year.

We love this marketplace and we aren't going away even though Flight School is taking a break. We'll be continuing to post at the Flight School blog to stay in touch through the current downturn and beyond. And meanwhile, if you haven't already, please join our Facebook group so we can keep the conversation going.

—Esther Dyson & Imaginova

http://www.aviation.com/flightschool/

eclipso said...

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/05/12/223612/a-mountain-too-high.html


Interesting toward the bottom. It seems to still be the vendors' fault. The blurp from Richard at the Teal Group was interesting as well. And MORE predictions to follow as well

airtaximan said...

Shadow,

I did not know... but I am not surprised..

How predictable is THIS!

airtaximan said...

eclipso,

thanks for the link..


all I can say is:

"what a maroon".

Dave said...

Eclipse had countered that the contract itself was non-binding because of quality issues with Hampson's empennage assemblies.

So when Eclipse was in court previously they said a contract was non-binding because of issues with the company, but now they are suing over NDAs. If Eclipse feels that contracts should be honored, shouldn't Eclipse honor contracts?

eclipso said...

And this:

Now he's an ATC expert as well...

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/05/13/223566/european-atm-readies-for-vlj-onslaught.html


Eclipse president Vern Raburn insists that ACAS - in the form of TCAS II, which is the European requirement - is an overrated asset. He has some emphatic observations on it: "There is a reasonable amount of stupidity surrounding TCAS II. There is analytical data to show the more congested the skies the more likely it is to fail. The effectiveness of resolution advisories is overrated and based on the bleating of a lot of people. The only reason aircraft crash is because pilots screw up. Putting bells and whistles on board doesn't make it better."


Now it the PILOTS" fault...geeesh!!(slapping forehead)

Dave said...

"The only reason aircraft crash is because pilots screw up. Putting bells and whistles on board doesn't make it better."

Wow! What a great sales pitch for Avio NG and the Eclipse 500.

anonymous avionics engineer said...

"The only reason aircraft crash is because pilots screw up."

Having seen Vern almost takeoff with a stab trim lock installed, I can't put much merit in his statement. This was on one of the initial flights when he was flying his chase for photos, the ground crew stopped him.

eclipso said...

anonymous avionics engineer said...
"The only reason aircraft crash is because pilots screw up."

Having seen Vern almost takeoff with a stab trim lock installed, I can't put much merit in his statement. This was on one of the initial flights when he was flying his chase for photos, the ground crew stopped him.


To be not "one-sided", Vern is correct in this case. Had he went ahead, the TCAS would have not helped..LMFAO

airtaximan said...

what a maroon

did I say this before?

what an absolute maroon.

airtaximan said...

"The only reason aircraft crash is because pilots screw up. Putting bells and whistles on board doesn't make it better."

Vernacular, for "hey, I shouldn't really have to fix the deficiencies with your planes..."

What an ass... and you wonder why the plane has so many problems? Why its not fniahsed? Why none of the technology was appropriate or even finished?

Simple - its ALWAYS the pilots fault.

airtaximan said...

OK Tulip:
Spoof or no spoof?

"
Air-taxi startup buys into Eclipse Aviation
by Daryl Murphy

Eclipse Aviation, the Albuquerque, N.M. company that premiered its Eclipse 500 twinjet in March 2000, said it has secured a launch customer that may make its dreams of solvency a reality.
In an announcement that was intended to be made at the NBAA Convention, Eclipse president and CEO Vern Raburn revealed to AIN that the Nimbus Group, an air-taxi startup that has emerged from the ashes of a failed retail auction dot-com firm, has placed an order for 1,000 of the six-place jets and has committed to make an equity investment in Eclipse Aviation. Although specific details were not disclosed, an Eclipse spokeswoman said the amount of Nimbus’ participation was “not even close to a majority.”

“Today, Eclipse Aviation and Nimbus are one step closer to providing people with an alternative to scheduled air transportation services,” Raburn said. “With this fleet order, our vision of an air-taxi service will become a reality. We at Eclipse could not be happier.”

Under terms of the agreement, Eclipse will deliver aircraft to Nimbus over a five-year period beginning in 2004, creating what Raburn said is a time-to-market advantage for Nimbus to provide for aggressive and rapid expansion of its fleet.

Nimbus is the new name of TakeToAuction.com, a publicly held company that was founded by Russian dot-com and perfume entrepreneur Ilia Leckach and refocused to enter the air-taxi market in North and South America. The name change was completed last month after the company’s stock price had fallen to just pennies per share on the Amex.

“Eclipse is creating an aircraft that, for the first time ever, will offer characteristics, acquisition and direct operating costs low enough to enable the creation of an affordable, personal air-taxi service,” Leckach said.

The aircraft was conceived after engine manufacturer Williams International developed a small, efficient, low-cost turbofan–the 770-lb-thrust EJ22–in an R&D program with NASA. Eclipse entered into a cooperative agreement with Williams to file simultaneous type certificate applications for both the airframe and the powerplant, effectively giving the Walled Lake, Mich. engine maker responsibility for airframe as well as powerplant development.

On July 1, Eclipse brought the airframe program back to New Mexico, but Raburn pointed out that it was a move that had been included in the agreement with Williams and planned for some time. The transition, together with a funding shortfall, set back the anticipated first flight date about 30 days to next July, and projected certification back six months to December 2003.

Before the Nimbus sale, the first 160 delivery positions–which Eclipse said were sold on the first day the aircraft was offered–were secured with $155,000 escrow deposits at the selling price of $837,500, with the guarantee that if the Eclipse 500 is not certified by June 2004, the deposits are refundable.

First Metal Cut
Metalcraft Technologies, Inc. cut metal early in September in Cedar City, Utah, for assemblies to be used in the production-conforming first flight aircraft.

“First metal cutting marks a very exciting and significant milestone in the production of the Eclipse 500,” explained Raburn. “After more than three years of hard work and dedication, we have entered into the production phase of the development program. We are now seeing our design become a reality.”

The first piece formed was an aluminum frame for the lower cabin assembly that will later be attached to the aluminum skin of the aircraft using Eclipse’s innovative friction-stir welding process. While FSW is used to bond metals on many other aluminum products, this would mark the first time it will be employed on production aircraft assemblies.

Metalcraft will provide Eclipse with numerous production conforming components for the fuselage, including the windshield frame, right and left lower cabin assemblies and nose parts.

Expertise Expands
Eclipse currently employs about 170 people in Albuquerque, with employment expected to increase to a total of 200 by year’s end.

Three men who will work solely on FAA certification have recently joined the staff: airworthiness coordinator Randy Griffith, chief test pilot William Bubb and quality assurance engineering director Tom Gray.

Griffith was with the FAA Small Aircraft Directorate in Kansas City where he worked with the development of TC regulations. Bubb has 20 years of flight test background with Piper, Pilatus and Raytheon, and will develop certification flight test activity, and Gray formerly worked with Raytheon as quality assurance engineering group manager for the Hawker Horizon.

“Randy, Bill and Tom bring with them years of invaluable experience in the areas of quality assurance, flight test and FAA certification protocols,” said Dr. Oliver Masefield, Eclipse vice president of engineering."

PS. Was Metalcraft ever paid in full? Anyone know?

Spoof or no Spoof?

AMAZING

Black Tulip said...

Airtaximan,

Fact is stranger than friction, er fiction.

Copernicus said...

I spoke today with a Diamond fan. He said that he expects to see a fuel burn of 40 gal (280lb) per hour in the long range cruise mode. Diamond has said that cruising speed at FL250 would be 315 kt, but for maximum range, 240 knots.

For someone on this blog who knows about jets, speeds, etc. I have a couple of questions:

1. Does 280 lb/hr at a relatively low power setting make sense. I thought that power reductions on jets sometimes did not actually result in a very big fuel saving, but maybe this is wrong or maybe it varies from engine to engine.

2. If 280 lb/hr makes sense for 240 kt, then how much more fuel should it take to have the airplane go 50% faster (i.e.315)? I remember that drag is a function of the cube of the speed so would 50% more speed require 3 times the fuel (over 700 lb/hr) or would the multiple be less?

Any ideas here?

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

Copernicus

It's not quite that bad. Drag is proportional to the "square" of the speed.

gadfly

stan said...

The Metalcraft relationship ended in legal action with Eclipse.

The story as told to me by the Metalcraft president, went something like this:

Eclipse hired a couple of high priced Salt Lake City lawyers who filed suit in Utah against Metalcraft for non-performance.

Metalcraft filed a counter-suit for non-payment.

It went to pretrial and the judge agreed with Metalcraft and ordered Eclipse to pay their bills.

Payments were made and Metalcraft delivered the last of the sheet metal parts Eclipse needed to complete the prototype.

copernicus,

Have not looked at your other numbers but drag goes up with the square of velocity.

Also in this twin engine vs. one discussion, keep in mind (ceteris paribus) a 2,000 # thrust engine will be more fuel efficient than two 1,000 # engines.

baron95 said...

Wow!!! Lots of interesting posts, links and discussions on the Blog in the past 24 hours.

Some quick comments. On spelling: I mostly type on rushed breaks between meetings or with my 18 months-old dauther in my lap, and I have no patience for spell checking. So guilty as charged, but unlikely to repent.

On Teal group comments, linked above: "He notes that only two new jet manufacturers have emerged since 1960 - Embraer in 1969 and Eclipse Aviation". Point I've made multiple times. With all its MANY FAULTS Eclipse Aviation is still in a league above most and in the company of Embraer and Lear. You have to acknowledge that.

I'd love to find out how much each Eclipse going out the door is costing Eclipse (parts + labour, excluding overhead). I'm guessing $750K for the engines, $750K for the airframe/systems, $250K avionics, $250K other for about $2M. I believe that the current average sale price is about $1M. That would mean that the faster Eclipse produces the EA50 the faster they burn cash. That leaves them with 3 options
a) Continue as is with more funding until the production process + higher volumes drives down costs and the average selling price increaces - requiring more and substantial funding.

b)Hope for and/or incent order cancellations of low priced positions combined with price increases.

c) Ch 11 voiding existing contracts.

I think Vern is still counting on option a. It will be interesting to see if he can make it. It would be great for aviation if he did.

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

Flyger said... And finally, we are in that range of experience where a single fatal accident will take the stats from "excellent" to "disappointing" or even "awful".

Agree with most of whay you said (say). On Eclipse, we are slowly getting out of that range by next month there should be 200 flying including the high(er) utilization DayJet fleet. I think one hull loss out of 200 would not be disastrous anymore. 5 out of 100 as in the Lear early days was attrocious.

Regardless, the standard/target for fan-jets should be ZERO hull losses. A $1.5M piece of equipment DOES AND MUST support $150K in advanced accident avoidance including integrated synthetic vision, terrain, collision and weather avoidance - sadly these are lacking in the Eclipse.

In addition, FAA should mandate part 91 runway requirements to be 150% of flight manual minimums UNLESS crew has STOL endorsement. STOL endorsement should be like a tail wheel endorsement requiring special/approved training, even then the requirements should be 125%.

Do those two things and ZERO fan-jet hull losses is achievable or at least we can make Hull losses rare.

I refuse to accept that hull losses or fatal accidents are innevitable in $1.5M+ fan-jets. That should be the industry goal - ZERO. Anything less in unacceptable.

baron95 said...

Copernicus said...
I spoke today with a Diamond fan. He said that he expects to see a fuel burn of 40 gal (280lb) per hour in the long range cruise mode. Diamond has said that cruising speed at FL250 would be 315 kt, but for maximum range, 240 knots.


Looking at the D-Jet and given the known specs, 300 lbs/hr at 240 KTAS seems about right at FL250. I have no reason to doubt that. But is that the way pilots would operate the jet?

I think they'll be operating at 300-310KTAS burning 550 lbs/hr. And that is not a great number. It is just OK.

baron95 said...

Niner Zulu said...
It doesn't take inside information, an engineering degree, or an MBA in business to see that their business plan isn't penciling out.


NZ, the problem is not that the biz plan currently has negative cash flow. That is expected for most startup companies in most industries. What matters is the curve/direction they are in and how fast they can improve vs funding coming in.

I think the devil is totally in the details and it does require inside data.

Eclipse should be bringing assembly line hours per jet down by some 10%/month. I'm hoping suppliers are doing the same and that Eclipse's contracts are on a decreased costs basis and also have some volume tiered pricing. I just would like to see where they are and what curve. That is where the production experts and PNL guys make their money. It is cool stuff (for me anyway).

Shane Price said...

Baron,

Congrats on managing an 18 month old along with posting on the blog and all the other things you have to get through.

Respect!

Agreed on the core problem at Eclipse. Rate up, price down is pretty standard. However, the FPJ is nowhere near the daily rate required to keep suppliers on side.

Once you start to loose the suppliers, and I think Vern has, you get knock on affects. All it takes is one key part to fall behind schedule and your whole production plan falls apart.

And I happen to be aware of the current problems Eclipse are having in this area.

So, Vern fires enough people and human nature takes over. Just as it begins to look like he might be climbing up the pole to success, someone he annoyed years ago applies extra grease.

Your numbers for losses also make sense. They are 'shipping' (note careful choice of word) about 20 aircraft a month. Informed sources lead me to believe they are loosing $20 million a month.

Q.E.D.

The time it will take to get this plan working has to worry the 'investors' who include the current position holders, in my opinion. Poor Vern does not have time on his side. No more DayJet sales just increases the number of those who paid early (and therefore are contracted to pay LESS) expecting a bird in the short term. So, in the next three months, the situation gets worse, from a cash point of view.

How come no new orders have been forthcoming? Last one I remember was from Singapore, and that for a measly 10 units. Controller.com has 66 this morning, a new record high, with lots of the adverts claiming the price is 'below factory'.

No new orders, no new short term cash from fresh victims, sorry, customers. Will ETRIC keep pumping money into ABQ? Would you?

Didn't think so....

Shane
PS For those of you who avoided Latin in school, Q.E.D. is "quod erat demonstrandum", roughly translated as "that which has been shown".

Black Tulip said...

Shane,

Thank you for the Latin lesson. I'd like to add one of my favorite phrases,

G.S.P.

Gustibus Similis Pullis

"Tastes Like Chicken"

Dave Ivedorne said...

BT -

I thought that was Gustatus Similis Pullus.

Would you like McNugget sauce?
IANAL

airtaximan said...

a 2,000 # thrust engine will be more fuel efficient than two 1,000 # engines.

- perhaps not when buried inside the plane with inlet losses?

Just a hunch.

FlightCenter said...

In January, Vern said Eclipse would "certainly" achieve EASA certification by the end of Q208.

Now, Vern says he "hopes" to achieve EASA certification by the end of Q308.

This amounts to a pushout accompanied by a downgrade in the firm's assessment of its probability of meeting the new target date.

EASA's Hatton says -

"consideration must be given to the time taken to lose altitude in the event of sudden loss of cabin pressure, especially since the aircraft does not have spoilers."

"the requirement for sufficient back-up electrical power for the sophisticated integrated avionics fit. Hatton also points out that extensive avionics integration also introduces the need for tougher checks on software and hardware integrity than would be required for systems comprised of independent instruments"

"there will be more-stringent performance standards required of air taxi operators, with higher margins required for take-off and landing distances, including increasing the margins involved in calculating corrections for contaminated runways"

The back-up power requirement is going to be harder to meet now that Eclipse has substituted Garmin 400Ws with higher power requirements compared to the previous plan of using an integrated GPS card.

This has the potential of driving a need for larger (and heavier) batteries. The 400Ws will also weigh more than the GPS card and keyboards they replace.

On the other hand, the Garmin 400Ws may help relieve some of EASA's concerns regarding the integrated nature of AvioNG.

Given that the 400Ws make material changes to EASA's overall evaluation, the EASA approval process will most likely be based on FAA approved data. Once that data is available, the review process typically takes an additional 3 to 6 months.

When Eclipse announced the 400Ws in April, it set expectations for a summer 08 FAA cert.

Add 3 to 6 months from that point for EASA approvals and you can see why the probability of a Q3 EASA cert is quite low. One can always "hope".

airtaximan said...

I'm a little concerned... since the motion to quash was filed...

no word from Gunner...

I think everyone on the hit list should check in every few days... just to make sure!!!

PS. where's whytech?

Shane Price said...

Black Tulip,

I sometimes think that Vern is a Roman general as in, Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Without, of course, the 'Vici' bit.

I prefer to think in mixed metaphors, so for Vern it would be 'Veni, Vidi, Vamoos'

ATman,

Worry not. Most likely outcome of today is for the judge to set a trial date, not any real 'result' one way or the other. Gunner will check in later, I'm sure.

Flightcentre,

Pretty sure the EASA cert is not for 2008. Everything I'm hearing indicates that true Europeans are not at all impressed with the FPJ. Also, unlike New Mexico, no politicians here stand to gain in any way from a quick turnaround of Vern's application.

Vern has few friends at the high table in Europe...

Shane

airtaximan said...

shane,

bad western humor...

I was thinking perhaps Gunner's been disappeared... you know, tampered with..rubbed out...had a little talking to...

kidding of course

- I hope he's building his EPIC

Black Tulip said...

What if Gunner were blindfolded, hogtied, hustled into the back of an Eclipse 500, flown to a secret location and held for ransom before the blog. Shane, how much money could we raise to free him from the Dark Side?

(In spite of this rhetorical question, I know Gunner is alive and well and will be tuning back in soon.)

airtaximan said...

BT,

I take solace in the fact that he can't be far.

;)

Shane Price said...

Black Tulip,

Gunner has got to be worth a dollar.

No, that's not fair. Let's make it a Euro.

On the other hand, Vern will demand 60% of the ransom up front and then will delay delivery until he has finished FIKI and possibly even EASA certification.

We might never see Gunner again...

Hell, how about we go the whole hog. Let's bribe Vern with Rubles. Hang on, no point. Someone else has tried and failed with that one already.

Gunner, sorry pal, it looks bad from here....

Shane

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

I would never go so far as to speak for our friend Gunner but I can think of a phrase that pretty well sums up his approach to this whole thing (mine as well):

Molon Labe!

chickasaw said...

cold wet,

I think throwing around old Greek phrases earns you the right to tweak Gadfly and ignore spell check.

If Gunner was kidnapped and he comes back singing the praises of the Tool and advising investment in FPJ, we can then assume that has "Stockholm Syndrome".

flyger said...

baron95 said...

On Eclipse, we are slowly getting out of that range by next month there should be 200 flying including the high(er) utilization DayJet fleet.

I don't think the DJ fleet is that much above the average owner. They mothballed 16 of the planes, and the remaining 12 get about 8 hours/week. So using DJ as a "high utilization" example is weak, they are averaging about 180 hours/year, well within range of typical private owners.

In addition, FAA should mandate part 91 runway requirements to be 150% of flight manual minimums

Do you have any evidence that short runways are a prime risk to light jets?

Do those two things and ZERO fan-jet hull losses is achievable or at least we can make Hull losses rare.

Runway issues are way down on the list of problems light jets have. I'm surprised at your regulatory zealousness with so little basis.

I refuse to accept that hull losses or fatal accidents are innevitable in $1.5M+ fan-jets. That should be the industry goal - ZERO. Anything less in unacceptable.

Risk is inherent in the activity. You will be disappointed eventually. A 100% safety goal can only be achieved by grounding the fleet.

flyger said...

airtaximan said...

a 2,000 # thrust engine will be more fuel efficient than two 1,000 # engines.

- perhaps not when buried inside the plane with inlet losses?

Just a hunch.


Bingo.

Also, a 2,000# engine throttled back is very inefficient. So as you slow down in LRC, your mileage doesn't improve very much even though the airplane is getting less draggy.

The only real efficiency gain is flying higher. Darn, they can't do that.

gadfly said...

Chickasaw

And you promised yo mama that you would lay off the “peyote”.

Up in Stockholm, they use “Smell Check” . . . after a winter of “Lutefisk”, it’s no wonder they have a “Syndrome”.

Actually, it’s all Greek to me!

In business: When your outgo exceeds your income, the upkeep will be your downfall.

In aviation: When the touchdown exceeds the runway . . . nothing else much matters.

Safety is dependent on many things. The designer/manufacturer is primarily responsible . . . and yet the user is also responsible.

In this case, it is my impression that we have some “users” that wish to believe only the “best” of what they have been told . . . and do not want to hear the “technical” issues. These “users” are willing to fly an incomplete aircraft . . . something I do not understand.

The designer/manufacturer seems more interested in “numbers” than supplying a complete and safe aircraft to the customer . . . again, something I do not understand.

Actually, I do understand both sides . . . but it still remains a mystery.

gadfly

(And to the efficiency experts: A bicycle on the freeway in Lane #1 is far more efficient than anything else on the road . . . ‘wish to guess who is most likely to get home safe?)

airtaximan said...

Gad:
"These “users” are willing to fly an incomplete aircraft . . . something I do not understand."

willing is exactly the right word... I was going to say "what choice do they have? But I have my answer: How many are being flown? How many are being sold?"

Seriously, they will get zippo for their deposit money - so that's their choice.

Anyone wonder how much "deposit money" Dayjet lost in not taking more planes? If I were one of the poistion-holders, I'd be pissed if it wasn't a ton of cash. My hunch -zero.

he hype about 2700 orders backed by non-refundable deposits, with Dayjet couched as only 230 plus 70...now they lose nothing while everyone else bought into the FAT order book backed by deposits... c'mon.

Let me get this straight: Eclipse is based on huge demand and production volume, fortified by 2700 orders backed with deposits... until WAIT - Dayjet backs out and loses nothing?

C'mon.

MetalGuy said...

Check this out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMYFW4ExPeo

Talk about redefining the personal jet!

airsafetyman said...

"...including increasing the margins involved in calculating corrections for contaminated runways"

You mean in Europe they have icy and snow-covered runways,too? Who knew when they designed the airplane! And NOW somebody is asking exactly how do you stop the airplane? Never fear, Vern is in his basement reformulating the rubber used in the tires to prevent blow-outs from only moderate braking. When he finishes that he will start re-inventing "anti-skid" and "thrust reversers". Those darn Europeans, they sure keep the guy busy.

Gunner said...

Don't pay the ransom, guys.
I'm back!

Sorry for the hiatus. Been off in the AZ desert assembling and testing four of the finest shoulder fired weapons I've ever seen:

- A custom Cooper Rifle in 5.56mm (this one is pure sex)
- A custom M4 variant, also in 5.56mm
- A Blaser convertible in .308 and .22LR
- A custom .300 Whisper, also on a AR platform

The first two are set up for extreme accuracy and will accompany me to a varmint hunt in July. The third is to be a dedicated deer stand piece, with .22 trainer for the off season. The last falls into the "because I can" category. ;-)

Things are moving forward nicely with Epic. Parts are flowing in and/or in fabrication. Our first visit in the build cycle is early next month, though I may not be able to attend due to family commitments.

Have heard nothing on the Eclipse Blogger Subpoena, but I might know more once I go thru 4 days of unanswered emails and phone calls.

Least y'all know my priorities have been in order!
Gunner

baron95 said...

Gunner said... The first two are set up for extreme accuracy and will accompany me to a varmint hunt in July.

Ouch!!! You must have a king-size varmint problem or you really don't like to see much of the varmint left after shooting it.

I feed the squirels .17HMRs myself, but then again, we are in the wimpy Northeast ;)

baron95 said...

Flyger said... Do you have any evidence that short runways are a prime risk to light jets?

Well, the Eclipse, AFAIK, is the first twin fan-jet ertified in straight part 23 with no part 25 or part 23 commuter runway restrictions/information. It is also, by far, the most likely jet to be operated single pilot. So, we don't have evidence yet. But...

Me thinks that if we don't trust a professional part 135 2-pilot crew to go for anything less than 150% of the flight manual distance, to trust a single pilot to attempt a take-off at 100% of flight manual makes no sense. I simply like my regulations to make sense.

Just to climb on the soap box again... Why does a 4,500 lbs, 5 pax D-jet require ATP-standard type rating and a 12,500 lbs 10 pax BE200 does not?

Shane Price said...

Baron,

Just to climb on the soap box again... Why does a 4,500 lbs, 5 pax D-jet require ATP-standard type rating and a 12,500 lbs 10 pax BE200 does not?

Because jets are 'fast' and 'dangerous' and props are 'slow' and 'safe'?

Because aircraft companies like it that way?

Because pilots like it that way?

Or finally, my own theory:-

Because the FAA are stupid?

What do you think?

Gunner,

Who said we would pay the ransom? Black Tulip and I were only THINKING about it.

Good news on the LT. Keep us updated when you can.

Shane

chickasaw said...

Baron said:
Just to climb on the soap box again... Why does a 4,500 lbs, 5 pax D-jet require ATP-standard type rating and a 12,500 lbs 10 pax BE200 does not?

I asked that question the other day, and was told that it has to do with the stated cabin pressurization and the stated altitude.

If that does not make sense it is not the fault of my "source", it is my fault for not understanding the question. I am not an aviation guy, just a humble toolie.

Shane Price said...

One of the great things about this blog is the knowledge that gets shared.

An experienced pilot, with some time on the FPJ was kind enough to communicate the following to me. You will gather that he is no spring chicken and has been around the block, once or twice.

In the free world as we know it, there is a good reason for type ratings on turbojet airplanes, of all sizes and weights.

It has to do with systems and procedures.

To the outsider, the Eclipse is just a shopping cart with jet engines attached. On the inside, it has nine computers that manage it. A pilot has to understand how these interface, and the emergency procedures that are specific to that plane.

Each jet is a different animal compared to another one. The systems and procedures for each are unique.

Prop driven planes up to 12,500 pounds don't require a type rating, The reason is that the systems and procedures are generic in nature. Above 12,500 pounds, the systems and procedures are getting to be unique to each plane.

One has to remember that most of the FAA regulations are written as a response to past history, in order to prevent another repeat of history.

I hope this further clarifies the type rating discussion that are mentioned in the recent postings.


Pretty clear summary I think. Much more important, it helps us to understand the topic.

Thanks, 'FPJ pilot' for your input.

Shane

BryanA said...

Anyone notice that Controller now has 70 listings for Eclipse's?