Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Mexico nights, and other matters

We, us happy band, have been a bit inward looking of late. I think it's time to re focus on being what Stan set out to do in 2006.

Be the critics of Eclipse Aviation.

That means we look at the available information, form an opinion and discuss. It's my happy lot to try and provide the odd 'headline' post and hope that this starts something, which 'you' pick over, add to (and subtract from) and generally have a good chat.

Of late we have not looked closely at the people with most at stake. No, not the owners, they clearly have money they are prepared to lose, and don't seem to care how quickly they do it. The suppliers? They are all adults and probably have other companies they can do business with.

It's the STAFF we should consider for a moment.

Many times, in my few short months as custodian of this blog, I've had heartfelt communications with people who were clearly in difficulty. The problem, in almost all cases, was the management 'style' in Eclipse. The same thread runs through the information that has reached me. It would seem that no one, in a senior role at Eclipse, seems to care.

The FAA audit a few weeks ago is a case in point. 42 issues were written up, which would appear to be on the high side. Will this 'light a fire' under the management in Eclipse? The staff seem doubtful.

Managers depart, and people with little or no idea of what to do are appointed in their stead. The line workers know what is needed but cannot get simple messages though, which frustrates them and makes everyone miserable.

Stock options, which were a draw for some people, are clearly worth next to nothing, and everyone knows it. Relocation costs are just added pain, especially when Eclipse seek to bully those that want to leave. 

By their own admission, service calls are not handled well. People left hanging on the phone, not getting responses etc etc. By the time an engineer gets on the case, he is dealing with the problem AND an angry, frustrated owner. The tires issue still awaits resolution, with a promised crossply alternative going some way to compensate owners for having to replace ($1,000 +, each) after 75 or 100 cycles. It better be a lot cheaper than the radial, as the original target was a more normal 500 cycles....

While I don't agree with everything I see posted, one of our 'new' voices reports something that echos what I've heard again and again, from long suffering Eclipse employees. Herewith a excerpt:-

There is one thing I must make clear to you and your leads and your supervisors. YOU CANT INSTALL HUCK CLINCH RIVETS WITH CHERRY MAX GUNS. The Rep from HUCK has told you guys this and so has the Rep from TEXTRON/CHERRY MAX (a TEXTRON Company ) But you guys still do this, WHY, WHY, WHY. We get tired of replacing the loose rivets when the airframe get to us up in SP 2 (SUNPORT 2) If we don’t find them or nobody checks, them only thing holding them in is PAINT after the plane gets painted. STOP THE INSANITY!

Morale is at an all time low. Throughout the company, a litany of missed deadlines, unrealistic expectations, bullying, as well legal threats and other forms of intimidation are grinding people down. You can, it would appear, cut the atmosphere with a knife...

I would remind those of you reading this from 'inside' Eclipse that you may have difficult choices to make, but GA is in pretty good shape and Boeing etc have historically huge orders books. Even your current company could be restructured to a more realistic level and be put on a long term footing.

To finish, remember that the night is always darkest just before the dawn.

124 comments:

Shane Price said...

Can I also thank all 23 of the 'Honor Roll' who posted the required notice in the last thread.

Norman, financed at his own cost by Gunner, has been notified and will deal with the legal side of thing. I'm sure we will get a report from them in due course, and I look forward to a successful outcome.

Shane

fred said...

shane ...

i would consider it an honor to share costs with gunner ... !

what about setting-up something over a kind of "paypal" ?

off-course the full details of privacy would be known by the one in charge , but even freedom has a price ...

and i am quite confident you (in case you would pick-up that chore)
would respect our respective rights ...

Dave said...

Is it true that the Eclipse is having radio problems?

Shane Price said...

Dave,

It would appear so...

One contact tells me he carries a hand held radio, as a backup. Another has, in past, complained that Eclipse went with the G400w, not G430's.

I twigged as to why, when you asked and I checked...

Shane

Dave said...

One contact tells me he carries a hand held radio, as a backup. Another has, in past, complained that Eclipse went with the G400w, not G430's.

Yeah, I bet Eclipse owners are thrilled about what Avio turned out to be compared to what Vern promised...it seems a repeat of Microsoft's promise of tons of features and then not delivering once the latest version of Windows comes out. How about them Eclipse landing lights burning out quickly?

airtaximan said...

Dave,

in aerospace, "designed for" actually means something.

When Vern spewed "designed for air taxi" and "Designed for high cycle" or "designed for airline type use"... he trampled on the entire history of aviation.

Its one thing to be a maverick and a trail blazer... its anther to just spew.

Simple fact, design for high cycle? and the blown tires? Huh? Are you kidding me?

If anyone thinks VErn ever really thought (over the last 3 years) that AVio would actually work the way he sold it - you can simply look at Dave's example of Microsoft.

Problem is, in THIS industry, there are legacy manufacturers/competitors with the forsight, intelligence, financing, brand and talent to make competing really tough.

This is not a new industry -
- unfortunately for Vern - and fortunately for everyone else.

John said...

Serial # 196 Maiden flight
Previous high # is 188. 180,1,2,3 have flights, but other 180's and 190's have no record on flightaware.

S/N 104 is on a Albany to Europe flight, following in the footsteps of S/N 9 last week. S/N 104 transit was marked by an unscheduled return to Albany on the initial hop of its journey.

Dave said...

If anyone thinks VErn ever really thought (over the last 3 years) that AVio would actually work the way he sold it - you can simply look at Dave's example of Microsoft.

Vern bragged about how he *wasn't* using people with an aviation industry background at Eclipse to run the system integration:
Given the Eclipse project's unusual nature and its over-arching target to be the most affordable personal jet ever built, Raburn says taking hold of the avionics and systems design from the start was key. "We decided a long time ago [1999] to take on the role of system integrator. That's a job usually done by a major avionics company. This is where the name Avio comes from: it is about turning the aircraft into an intelligent 'whole'. A lot of our guys in this area are not out of the aviation industry because there aren't many in the general aviation industry who can really do this."
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewarticle&id=355&Itemid=51

So Vern, how exactly is Avio NG on par with the 777 and the F22? I find it so funny that Vern compared the Eclipse avionics to the F22!

airsafetyman said...

"A lot of our guys in this area are not out of the aviation industry because there aren't many in the general aviation industry who can really do this."


Like the guys at Beech, Cessna, Dassault, General Dynamics, or Embraer? Seems the only people that CAN'T do it are at Eclipse.

Dave Ivedorne said...

"I bet Eclipse owners are thrilled about what Avio turned out to be compared to what Vern promised"

I'm thinking that the name AvioSPF (single point of failure) may have been more appropriate than NG.

In (modest) defense of Eclipse, "radio problems" are not an FPJ exclusive - all day, every day, you can hear center controllers ask Cirrus pilots to cycle their (Garmin) transponders. That's only been requested of me once in a Silver Crown equipped aircraft - and that was because I neglected to change from standby. Oops.

Would you like that deep fried, or stir fried?
IANAL

Orville said...

Might be old news, but I haven't seen it posted here:

On April 17, 2008, at 1830 eastern daylight time, an Eclipse Aviation EA500, N539RM, experienced a stuck rudder trim during a simulated single-engine instrument approach to the Bishop International Airport (FNT), Flint, Michigan. It diverted and landed without incident at the Oakland County International Airport (PTK), Pontiac, Michigan, about 1845 since PTK had more favorable winds for landing. The instructor pilot and the pilot/owner receiving training were not injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight departed Detroit City Airport (DET), Detroit, Michigan, about 1815 on a local flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the incident. An instrument flight plan was filed.

http://tinyurl.com/58awej

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

We did see that Incident Report right about the time it happened Orville but a good catch and an interesting failure nonetheless.

Taken in conjunction with the other trim and autopilot related Service Difficulty Reports from DayJet it seems to point to an actual issue with operating reliability for an important flight control subsystem.

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.

flyger said...

Shane Price said...

Another has, in past, complained that Eclipse went with the G400w, not G430's.

That was an incredibly stupid move. A 430W costs you essentially *nothing* more than a 400W and provides *all* the radios you need. Would provide far better integration (for example, you can select either ILS or GPS approach on the same box with a 430W, not so with a 400W and the remote radios of AvioNG). I thought the Eclipse was all about integration and not putting band aids on things?

The 400W plus the remote radios cost *way* more than the 430W, so this would have saved them money, too! Plus there would be some extra useful load, something this plane doesn't have much of. Also, in case of some sort of systems fault, you are far more likely to be able to communicate with a 430W than a 400W and AvioNG. The latter requires all sorts of network wiring and protocols to make work with the remote radios and audio panel, whereas the 430W works as long as you give it power and provide a headset jack to it.

I can only imagine the 400W was chosen by Eclipse because they didn't want to admit the remote radios controlled by AvioNG was a bad idea. Once again, Eclipse's pride ruins the product.

It is really annoying how close Eclipse came to a really good airplane. It is doubly annoying that the places they screwed up were places known to the industry 8 years ago. And they told them so!

WCSYC met ITYS. Sigh.

PS: Is Chelton (supposed FMS software provider to AvioNG) officially off the program? Would be curious to hear their side of this. I suspect Eclipse simply got unreasonable to work for and they walked.

Dave Ivedorne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickasaw said...

Eclipse Employee 505 said:
“There is one thing I must make clear to you and your leads and your supervisors. YOU CANT INSTALL HUCK CLINCH RIVETS WITH CHERRY MAX GUNS. The Rep from HUCK has told you guys this and so has the Rep from TEXTRON/CHERRY MAX (a TEXTRON Company ) But you guys still do this, WHY, WHY, WHY. We get tired of replacing the loose rivets when the airframe get to us up in SP 2 (SUNPORT 2) If we don’t find them or nobody checks, them only thing holding them in is PAINT after the plane gets painted. STOP THE INSANITY!”

Your whole post has me riled up. There are a lot of very serious contributors here that can take common sense and research and come up with legitimate questions and statements. You are on the other hand are saying that you are an insider. I find this hard to believe with your statements about the Hucks and the Cherrys. You can in fact pull a Huck with a Cherry Max gun. Alcoa, Huck and Cherry all say that you can do this . The nose assemblies are interchangeable, the difference being the jaws and the pulling speed. You can also put a Huck nose on an Allfast gun. Who is the rep that stated this? Send Shane an e-mail with the names, he can tell me and I can post a definitive answer in a few minutes. If you have found loose rivets in SP2 it is for some other reason.
You have by default also cast aspersions on the QA staff in SP11 and SP10 where the riveting is done. These inspectors (and techs) have been to EAC sponsored seminars and training in which Alcoa and WESCO demonstrated the correct method of pulling rivets and what to look for during inspection. I doubt very much if there are any bad rivets that escape these people.
I think it is irresponsible to state that the only thing holding the rivets in is paint. This is the type of post that Vern was looking for and did not find….until now.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Tee hee...

Finally got the latest AOPA Pilot mag with the Eclipse ad.

First impression: the idiot who chose white lettering on a light blue background (can you say hard to read?) must be the same PR genius who decided it would be a good idea to silence & marginalize a bunch of silly bloggers by suing them.

Second impression: Vern should be careful about what he claims in the ads. (Fair use snippets):

"there's one thing we are great at: delivering what we promised."

Things like FIKI.
European certification.
Revolutionary integrated flight management system - on a par with 777 & F-22, if not better.
Fully functional autopilot.
Optimized for high-cycle air-taxi use.
Far fewer rivets (who needs them with Stir-fry welding?).
Tight rivets (tight - bah! it's overrated - we use a revolutionary proprietary structural painting process...)
-----------------------------------
A customer testimonial raves:
"After all the delays and disappointments, ALL IS FORGIVEN with Eclipse!"

Just wait till that 112th landing and see how you feel...
-----------------------------------
Back to beating on their own drum, the Greater Albuquerque Incomplete Aircraft Works continues:
"we look at it this way: When you ask people to be patient as long as we did, there's only one thing you can do to repay them. Deliver."

Considering the height of the stack of IOUs requiring extensive rework that accompany each FPJ, they'll get to Deliver. And Redeliver. And Redeliver. And Redeliver. And Redeliver. That is, if they keep up on the rent at their Gainesville Redelivery Center...

Would you like the combo?
Would you like the combo?
Would you like the combo?
Would you like the combo?
IANAL

MetalGuy said...

Interesting tidbit:

New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph C. Teresi ruled that Eclipse Aviation Inc. engaged in fraud, false advertising and deceptive business practices. The decision is a victory for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who brought the case against Eclipse Aviation a year ago charging that the company failed to live up to its responsibilities to its customers.

“For too long at Eclipse Aviation the promise of finished product was a bait and switch that left thousands of people paying for essentially no product at all,” Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday. “We have won an important victory that will force Eclipse to live up to its responsibilities”


Other than the actual company name being Dell, not Eclipse, you have to wonder if Eclipse is susceptible to similar actions in the future given their long history of promises without delivery.

http://techland.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/05/27/dell-deceived-customers-says-ny-judge/

baron95 said...

CW, re Lear, Eclipse, Embraer, if you read my comment, you will notice that I said that Eclipse is the "only start-up GA light fan jet mannufacturers to have gotten this far (TC/PC/150+deliveries) since Learjet".

Embraer was not a start up and has yet to certify, let alone deliver a single GA light fan-jet.

You may argue about the virtues of the Eclipse - and yes, it is a deeply incomplete fan-jet with well reported problems.

Still the fact remains that NO OTHER START-UP COMPANY since the 60s has gotten even remotely this far. All the ones that have tried so far have died without achieving so much as a VFR-only TC. Many before even flying a prototype.

Fred, regarding freadom of speech in Germany and swasticas, it should be obvious to you that ONLY speech that is umpopular and/or objectionable or offends someone needs to be protected. We don't need freedom of speech guarantees to protect a mother telling a child how cute she is.

Regarding all the comments re Vern being like Microsoft. Again, be careful. Don't try to re-write history. Microsof's initial products as a company, such as the Basic programing language for early computers and DOS for PCs were extremelly and shrudely executed and delivered working well right out of the box.

Microsoft didn't have any serious problems under performing on delivery until the middle of its second decade as a company when it had the OS/2 fall-out with IBM and had to rush Windows out the door.

Even with Windows, be careful before you criticize Microsoft. You may have done things differently, but I doubt very much that you'd end up with 95% market share in PC OS and generate 300 BILLION dollars in investor equity like Bill did.

Eclipse should be so lucky as being like Microsoft. If Avio is like Microsoft Windows, we should expect it to achieve 95% market share in aircraft avionics by the time version 3.1 comes out, 4 years after the first release.

As to the rivet "problems", and the "management" problems, I have yet to find a production line worker who doesn't think that the managers are incompetent and that the whole company is going to hell if they don't do things differently.

Seriously. Go listen to what Boeing line workers say about Boeing. Go hear their unions blaming the 787 problems on Boeing not listening to them.

Nothing new there. I doubt very much that loose rivets are getting past all the IAs and QA at Eclipse, the FAA, and the acceptance inspectors that many owners are hiring prior to delivery. If you believe that ALL these rivets are being pulled incorrectly and no one notices or cares, you might as well believe that they are using superglue from Home Depot for bonding aluminum.

I don't know what the truth is. I am not there. But, human nature is such that the truth will always be less rosy than that painted by Vern and less dire than that painted by disgrunteld employees.

That is just how it has always been. Nothing new.

As for tires, I fear that only an anti-skid system will fix that. These pilots must be landing with feet on the breaks and/or applying breaking before enough weight is on the mains.

I have blown exaclty one tire on my flying career. It was exclusively my fault on a tough croswind landing (I didn't have enough weight on one side for the amount of breaking I applied). Yet, you can bet that my report to the airport manager was - applied normal breaking on normal landing (speed, v-speed), tire blew. That is what made it into all the reports.

In any event, all newly certified planes, with Vrefs above 80kts should have anti-skid in my book anyway.

airtaximan said...

theairtaximan"Still the fact remains that NO OTHER START-UP COMPANY since the 60s has gotten even remotely this far. All the ones that have tried so far have died without achieving so much as a VFR-only TC. Many before even flying a prototype."

I wonder what the situation would have been IF Eclipse's claims were more realistc? Perhaps sme funding would have gone another way, and perhaps you would be here saysing...

Man XYZ Co sure built and certified a nice VLJ with that $300M they spent.

I sincerely believe by lowballing the price, and all the Verntastic claims...

they could foreclose competition.

I think they did by sucking out a lot of money that could have gone to other programs.

Clever. But, in reality, its just an admission that the plane as it stands cannot really compete. It needed to be "forward" priced, and it needed to be exaggerated.

The reality is there is NO high rate low cost technically advanced plane, here.

The E500 is a mispriced, falsely advertised, unfinished vanilla-jet, that when offered at a price commensurate with realistic demand, it fails to meet the market.

So far, the cash arsonist has burnt a lot of money, and probably burnt a lot of other possible programs by falsely pricing the plane, and falsely advertsing its capabilities.

There will NEVER be an E500 delivered that conforms with the intial 5 years of hype.

Regarding the claims of designed for high utilization, the advertised operating cost with JetComplete, level of aircraft integration... I am not sure we'll ever see that plane, and these claims were made only months ago.

Pretty sad.

And Baron, I agree, its fair game, sorta... perhaps one day we'll actually see the type of tidbit pasted here by Metalguy.

Turboprop_pilot said...

Baron:

I think it is not the pilots but a landing gear system designed for a 4800 lb plane and it is now pushing 6,000 lbs. A bigger tire is really hard to fit into an already designed wheel well so you are SOL.

Eclipse send a nice multipage news letter that had documented the tire failures and traced the majority to short runways and/or excessive speed. Couple that with a marginal tire that is worn out in 100 landings (and $1000- thats $10/hour on average while the Mustang is 1/5th that)

Turboprop_pilot

airtaximan said...

"Eclipse send a nice multipage news letter that had documented the tire failures and traced the majority to short runways and/or excessive speed."

So THAT'S how they're using the FOQUA data gathered from the fleet.

:(

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron, Eclipse has not gotten this far, they have yet to deliver one, single, complete and fully functioning aircraft that does what Eclipse said it would do, fully a year and a half after gaining certification.

NOT ONE!

And now they have the chutzpah, the unimaginable gall to suggest they are delivering what they promised. You have got to be F'ing kidding me. The aircraft still has no FIKI, has no FMS, has no EASA certification and there is no longer even a target for that, there are significant reliability issues, they are years behind schedule now on major program elements.

The media is now comparing the functionality, or lack thereof, to aircraft fielded more than 30 years ago.

I am sorry, but Eclipse cannot be held up as an example of success at anything beyond financial arson occurring on a scale never seen before - anything else is a farce, and an insult to the companies that have always been committed to producing good, safe and fully functioning aircraft first, above all others, recognizing the seriousness that aviation represents.

Employees, vendors and investors are going to have a heyday when these chickens come home to roost.

Hey Vern, cluck you.

Dave said...

Eclipse should be so lucky as being like Microsoft. If Avio is like Microsoft Windows...

...The Blue Screen Of Death will have a literal rather than figurative meaning.

Black Tulip said...

A reprise from the very end of the last thread:

“They do in fact have between 70 and 100% of the VLJ market at this time, depending on how you define it.”

This would only be true if you define VLJ as a flying toy - a novelty taken out of the hangar on a sunny cloudless Sunday afternoon. Every climb to altitude in a jet requires crossing the freezing level. With visible moisture there is the prospect of airframe and engine ice. A functional jet aircraft, even a very light one, requires the ability and approval to operate in known icing conditions. Without that approval Eclipse can’t run with the other dogs, but must lie under the porch.

Dave Ivedorne said...

B95-

"Eclipse is the only start-up GA light fan jet mannufacturers to have gotten this far (TC/PC/150+deliveries) since Learjet"

I'm very concerned about just that TC, which was granted to an aircraft with an unfinished design of undemonstrated components - and, arguendo, it is not possible that a single fully complying aircraft has been delivered. If I'm wrong about the previous statement, there's a much bigger problem in play - that the FAA (for whatever reason) has completely abdicated its role of ensuring the safety of the flying public (as well as those who live below the flying public).

It's as if FAA treats Vern's Little Joke as some sort of self-certified Light Sport prop job. EASA has apparently caught on, and isn't going to grant the same sort of free pass.

"You may argue about the virtues of the Eclipse"

I find it absolutely appropriate that you fill the role of Devil's Advocate for the blog - the proper (and I believe intended) point of comparison for the FPJ is the Baron 58. Roughly the same in dimension & price; new jet vs. old prop; work-in-progress vs. mature, bug-free design. But I find it hard to conceive that Mrs. Beech would have let that first Baron out the door before it was ready. And Vern has done so - massively.

"If Avio is like Microsoft Windows, we should expect it to achieve 95% market share in aircraft avionics by the time version 3.1 comes out, 4 years after the first release."

I guess that means Garmin is the new Microsoft - complete with the need to reboot.

"Go listen to what Boeing line workers say about Boeing. Go hear their unions blaming the 787 problems on Boeing not listening to them."

And in this situation, listen to the line workers be right.

"As for tires, I fear that only an anti-skid system will fix that."

AvioAS? No, thank you. I'll take my chances on better tires.

"These pilots must be landing with feet on the breaks and/or applying breaking before enough weight is on the mains."

We're talking about a lot of high-time ATPs from Transport category craft with MTOWs in the six digit range. They know where their feet ought to be, and they know how to load the gear in far more severe conditions than any FPJ has been allowed to land in. And of all the FPJ flight reviews I've read, every single one noted how easy it is to land. There's a tire/brake problem.

"In any event, all newly certified planes, with Vrefs above 80kts should have anti-skid in my book anyway."

It's hard to disagree with you - maybe Garmin can come up with something. :-)

Would you like to Super Size it?
IANAL

Dave Ivedorne said...

TPP-

"I think it is not the pilots but a landing gear system designed for a 4800 lb plane and it is now pushing 6,000 lbs. A bigger tire is really hard to fit into an already designed wheel well so you are SOL."

No explanation makes even close to as much sense as that does. I retract any previous comments that contradict it.

"Eclipse send a nice multipage news letter that had documented the tire failures and traced the majority to short runways and/or excessive speed."

Vern attributes this to a passage from his copy of "Starting an Airplane Company for Dummies":
"It's much easier to blame the people who've already paid you, than it is to admit ignoring a problem you've known about for six years."
He found it right there in Chapter 7...

Pay at the first window,
IANAL

Dave Ivedorne said...

BT-

"...a novelty taken out of the hangar on a sunny cloudless Sunday afternoon."

Hey! That statement bears an uncanny resemblance to my PPL.

Would you like fries with that?
IANAL

baron95 said...

Turboprop_pilot said...
Baron:

I think it is not the pilots but a landing gear system designed for a 4800 lb plane and it is now pushing 6,000 lbs.


Possibly correct as well. I didn't mean to imply that pilot action was the only factor involved. A small tire combined with high speed has to accelerate from 0 to a lot of revs/second very fast. That is really hard on a tire and generate a lot of peak and instantaneous heat. That alone will cause fast tire wear. Follow that shortly with "enthusiastic" break application and no anti-skid, and you will have an occasional blow out.

baron95 said...

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
Baron, Eclipse has not gotten this far, they have yet to deliver one, single, complete and fully functioning aircraft that does what Eclipse said it would do,


CW - Eclipse has gotten exactly this far. As you point out, they have not delivered a single complete jet as promised. But they have delivered 150-odd IFR certified jets at a production rate more than twice that of the nearest competitor, they have a PC, a TC, etc.

No other startup company since the 60s has done that for a light GA jet. Simple as that. Don't read any more or any less into what I am saying.

Eclipse, and maybe Lear, stand alone as companies that went from nothing directly to a light GA jet in the first go and got as far as a TC, PC, serial deliveries. You can poke holes as much as you want, but it is still an enormous achievment. It is pretty amazing and against all odds. And guess what? It appears that it will remain unique and unequaled. All the remaining light GA Jet/VLJ candidates are long established companied (Honda, Cirrus, Piper, Diamond, Embraer). All the start ups are DEAD.

Only Vern/Eclipse, with all their faults, are still standing. Why is it so hard to acknowledge that simple indisputable fact?

baron95 said...

Dave I said ... We're talking about a lot of high-time ATPs from Transport category craft with MTOWs in the six digit range. They know where their feet ought to be,

Ahrrr!!! Incorrect. If it only were so. As a matter of fact transport/ex-airliner pilots are the most used to having always had anti-skid, auto armed spoilers and be trained to go for the breaks with gusto.

That is exactly the ingrained training that you don't want on a relatively fast approaching very light plane with very small tire diameter with no anti skid. A Mooney pilot that knows it is useless to stomp on the breaks until the wing dumps the ground effect lift enough, and even then goes easy on the breaks with lots of back pressure to avaoid wheel barrow has a better chance of getting it right than the retired 738/A320 pilot.

baron95 said...

There are plenty of other checks and ballances on airplane safety that goes beyond the mannufacturer and the FAA inspection team assigned to Eclipse. Just to name a few:

1 - FAA Southeastern FSDO that approved the Day Jet 135 certificate.

2 - Insurance companies that are writting policies for these 150+ jets are very reasonable rates.

3 - Professional pilots transporting paid passengers day in and day out at Day Jet and others.

4 - Companies that specialize in pre-delivery inspection for owners.

5 - Mentor pilots, IAs in the service centers, etc.

6 - Instructors and other training personnel.

If there were a serious safety problem with the plane, you'd be hearing from all these sources, regardless if the plane complies with all FAA regs or not.

By this stage in the Lear 23program, for example,the plane's safety reputation had been solidly and negatively established. Same is true for the original Cheyenne, for the MUs, and many other planes. It does not take long when you have 150+ flying.

That is not to say that there are no (serious) problem areas. The plane needs a proper wing without tip tanks. The plane needs proper avionics. The plane needs an anti-skid system. It does not look like it will get these anytime soon, sadly.

Pilots should be setting very high personal limits.

1 - No runway less than 150% of calculated lenght.

2 - Go around unless approach is stabilized and at Vref + or - 5 kts.

3 - No hard IFR - only pop ups and pop downs well above minimums.

4 - Refuse. Yes refuse, ALL demanding ATC slam-dunks with complex crossing restrictions, every tight ILS intercepts, etc. I'd go as far as puting on the remarks section of the flight plans something like "Maximum descent rate is 1500 ft/min or whatever you feel comfortable with".

This is serious. This jet has the potential to be very high work load single pilot IFR. Slow down, be a pain to ATC, be safe.

When the moving map, FMS etc are on line, go have more fun. Till them "Unable to do xxx" should be at the ready.

fred said...

baron95 ...

"Fred, regarding freadom of speech in Germany and swasticas..."

well sorry to say this but for a foreigner in a foreign land it might be a bit difficult to feel "how much of a disgrace is the 3rd Reich story" for German citizens

(the very few ones to regret such times are scumbags , anyway !) ...

and more importantly ,it is based on a simple concept = if you care about peoples : sometimes you have to be ready to protect them against themselves ...

(if not why not legalizing heroin and all hard-drugs ?)

should i lecture you on the historical fact that hitler got into power ONLY using democratic means ?

they didn't have to seized it or to have have rigged elections ...

that is why (for me) it is quite strange to see a place where someone of such caliber as our Hero -maker-assembler-non-finisher-cash arsonist-etc ... can attack the system he is using in the name of NDA's ...


if freedom of speech has to arm someone , it is a legal duty for justice-court to "quantify" what is the extent of this wrongly-done ...

not giving away data to an individual (or firm) for which such data are of NO-business ...

this is where Vern is quite clever ,he doesn't ask the blog to be shut down directly , he ask to get something that shouldn't be allowed for him to get ... leaving no alternative to court : either ruled out or opening the "pandora box" !

you see i am quite glad someone from the inside (EE505) had the will to INFORM others , or /and that a group of individuals [thanks again MONSIEUR rich and MONSIEUR norman ]can try to protect others by doing what is necessary to discredit such attempt

at the same time IF freedom of speech is to prevail :

without doing to much damage , could you explain why so many things in our "special interest" are either non-existent or pure marketing inventions or techs remaining to be invented in next century ?

i wrote it before , in the case of EAC , the Russian part of the story (presented as the THING to save all) is , in my opinion , ONLY a way to prepare for the Next failure : why failure ? because in the western world every one know this = Russians are bad ! and if not bad , they do not have the technology to conduct such a project ...

off-course , i didn't read anything on someone asking Vern " Why haven't you chose a special economic zone within the Russian federation ?"

(yes , the town designed has NO special favor for Russian Govt : source :http://www.economy.gov.ru/ + The Federal Agency for Management of Special Economic Zones is established in accordance with Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of July 22, 2005 № 855 "On Federal Agency for Management of Special Economic Zones". )

is that because the minimum investment to be made is of 10 Millions $ ?

is that because such zones are merely "tax free" ?

is that because the administrative burden in such places are reduced to strict minimum ?

is that because loans granted to project (after initial investment) can be backed by federal-budget ?

or is that because if there is no EASA and/or no Russian cert. , planes build in "new plant" would have to be registered directly under N (US) number straight out from factory (with the quite nationalistic views of russians = not even in dreams) or assembled in Russia , then dismantled partly to be put in a transporter to finally be finished and registered in USA ?

you see , it is probably a difference of temper/education/experience /etc...

you write about EAC which went "THAT" far ...

i see "that" as probably much shorter than you think

sorry !

paul said...

Huck states that cherry guns may be used WITH THE HUCK NOSE ASSY IN PLACE. Eclipse is using Cherry Guns with cherry noses.

uglytruth said...

With the huge numbers of rivits being pulled lots of the guns and jaws were worn out and they had no maintence program and shortages of many tools. They were not using the required regulated operating pressures. Inexpierenced operators, very hard to reach locations and hard to get the gun set to pull good and square.

Lots of the contract tech's said they had been pulling rivits all their lives (5 to 30 years) and never had any problems like these.

airsafetyman said...

"There are plenty of other checks and ballances on airplane safety that goes beyond the mannufacturer and the FAA inspection team assigned to Eclipse. Just to name a few:

1 - FAA Southeastern FSDO that approved the Day Jet 135 certificate."

Please explain to me how managing the Day Jet operating certificate out of the Washington DC FSDO is anything other than a complete abdication of responsibility by the FAA. While you are at it please explain to me how managing all the Eclipse service centers out of the ABQ FSDO is anything other than the same thing. This whole program has had Political Influence smeared all over it from the start and it continues to this day.

"4 - Refuse. Yes refuse, ALL demanding ATC slam-dunks with complex crossing restrictions, every tight ILS intercepts, etc."

While you are at it why don't you lean on ATC to provide weather avoidance since Eclipse couldn't be bothered to install a weather radar. After all, ATC has nothing else to do; they never have other emergencies to deal with or equipment problems of their own. They can do it, yea.

Dave said...

Only Vern/Eclipse, with all their faults, are still standing. Why is it so hard to acknowledge that simple indisputable fact?

I believe the Teal Group answered that:
"There's been a lot of carnage--six or seven dead manufacturer wannabes, and a stream of quixotic service companies beginning with Nimbus," Aboulafia said. "It isn't just the money wasted, it's the lives disrupted--people who changed careers to pursue pipe dreams and poorly thought out windmills. Some, like Eclipse, were arrogant and greedy ventures that extracted cash from unsuspecting people outside of the industry. Some were relatively innocent long-shot experiments; I'd put [Boca Raton, Fla.-based] DayJet in that camp."
http://www.charterx.com/resources/article.aspx?id=3338

Eclipse is good at raising money and they've been able to get to where they are at by raising money by those who don't know the industry. I believe any start-up aviation company would be at least where Eclipse is at if they had the same financing as Eclipse. I give Eclipse credit for being able to raise money, but I wouldn't give them credit for being an aviation industry success. Actually I believe Eclipse has failed spectacularly in their use of funds resulting in delay upon delay and continually redesigning, which all needlessly burnt up massive amounts of funds.

Dave said...

I found this amusing bit from DayJet:
A. DayJet requires each passenger to report his or her weight accurately for safety reasons. Passengers are required to report their weight at time of membership enrollment and will be responsible for keeping their weight accurate in their online Travel Profile used when reserving DayJet Flights. Passengers shall also be weighed at the Check-in Location before enplaning DayJet aircraft.
B. If at check-in for a Flight, the passenger’s actual weight differs from the weight used when completing the Flight reservation transaction by more than 10% of the actual weight, DayJet may cancel the passenger’s reservation and refuse to allow the passenger to enplane the Flight, and no credits or refunds will be issued to the passenger.

http://www.dayjet.com/pdf/TermsOfCarriage.pdf

DayJet is surprisingly non-inclusive if you read all the terms. No minors (so no family vacationers), if someone is so disabled they need an assitant the entire plane must be rented (charging the disabled for all three seats instead of the two they are using - nice to expliot the disabled!), if you need wheelchair asstance you must rent the whole plane and pay for an assistant and no seeing eye dogs allowed. I'm surprised that DayJet is seeking to exploit the disabled to make them pay more than the non-disabled. To a degree I understand requiring personal assistants for the disabled, but then all the disabled should have to pay for is for two seats instead of the whole plane while one seat remains empty.

fred said...

yes ,dave ...

apart raising money and manipulating peoples , facts , words or promises , i don't really see what is so good in EAC / Vern !!

almost everything not included above has been poorly planed , poorly managed , poorly executed , poorly etc ...

the only great quality in such a nightmare , Vern has been able to confirm a simple rule of success :

Never put a cent in something you don't understand 101% !

unfortunately , money was coming from other's pockets , to a point where it is still quite difficult to see clearly who of Vern or Pieper has played who ...

about Dayjet : i do hope they have plans to develop in European Union , with such details they would be on the grill within minutes ...

FreedomsJamtarts said...

There are now EE505, Paul and Uglytruth providing information that Eclipse is pulling Hucks with Cherry tooling (specifically not swapping to a huck nose, not controlling line Px, and installation access issues).

Then there is Chickasaw stating that cherry guns can be used to pull Hucks as long as the Huck nose in installed (which is not in conflict with what the three gentlemen have stated. (or one gentlemen and two ladies - although I haven't yet met a lady who would name themself the Uglytruth).

Does the US has an anonomous flight safety reporting system up yet?

Dave said...

Does the US has an anonomous flight safety reporting system up yet?

It's called Eclipse Avation Critic NG

gadfly said...

Do not underestimate the power of paint.

A few years back, during an inspection of the “funnels” on the Queen Mary (presently on display at Long Beach, California), it was discovered that about thirty coats of paint were doing more to support the “stacks” than the steel, itself . . . which was mostly rusted/corroded away.

But more important, the “paint” looked good to those paying for the tour.

gadfly

(Don’t you hate it when the history of an old ship has a lesson for a modern “jet”?)

gadfly said...

For many who may read the comments here, “most” (I would venture) have never “bucked a rivet”, nor have a “clue” of what’s involved. And I’m not about to attempt a technical explanation at this time. But putting metal (or other materials) together with rivets goes back in time for thousands of years. Good examples may be observed from the time of Moses, and before.

At one time, aluminum was discovered . . . a “baby rattle” for the emperor of France was produced that was worth more than silver, but other than it’s great cost, ease of forming, electrical conductivity, and “bright luster” . . . what good was it?

The biggest problem with this wonderful element, aluminum, was that it corrodes rapidly . . . and is almost never found in a pure form in nature. When aluminum became a “practical” material in the mid nineteenth century, it brought its own unique characteristics . . . and quickly revealed its unique strengths and weaknesses . . . not the least of which was “how to put two pieces together”. With the other discoveries of “electrolysis”, etc., it was at once a wonderful light-weight metal, yet with a temperament of its own. At one moment, you fell in love with it, yet you could not for a moment leave it alone. ‘Like a good wife, it needed constant protection from the elements.

Aluminum, by itself, is not very strong. But mixed with bits of zinc, copper, and other elements can achieve great strength. Aluminum (Aluminium . . . to you “Brits”) is third in line in conductivity, behind Silver, and Copper . . . both electrically, and heat wise. By the time the Japanese designed the A6M “Zero”, aluminum had “come of age” in far more ways than one.

And so, we’ll skip a century of development . . . and come up on “aluminum” and “rivets”. Rivets are great, so long as they “fit tight” and have not been abused in the process. Any “gaps” allow for a slight movement, that can, over time, cause a “fretting” of adjacent surfaces, allow moisture to be entrapped, and begin various types of “corrosion” . . . a breakdown of the basic material due to “electrolysis”, and simple “wear”. Various methods were employed to prevent these problems, such as “anodizing” (non-conductive) and “Alodizing” (a conductive protection). Oh, I almost forgot . . . “painting” (not effective in the actual “joint”, but not to be ignored).

It was found that aluminum in a “near pure” form could endure the “heat” of welding, without losing strength. But the “high strength alloys” created serious problems related to the change in the basic crystal structure of the metal. The “highest strength forms”, such as used in the early military aircraft, and especially, the Mitsubishi “Zero”, could not be successfully welded. Even today, the jury is still out on the long term reliabilty of the “70xx” alloys, for welding. Some of these problems have been overcome . . . but it is truly an ongoing study. Remember, aluminum has been with us in a practical sense for less than 150 years . . . while steel, copper, zinc, and tin . . . have been with us since long before Abraham (even mentioned in the first chapters of Genesis) . . . over 4,000 years of use and study.

‘Bottom line for today’s lesson is that Aluminum is a “temperamental mistress” that will come back to create serious problems, if not handled “just right”.

Riveting is not just a science, but an “art”. It is not often learned in a 12 week crash course in a trade school, but over many hours, and years . . . and “earned” through apprenticeship programs, where “old guys” teach the “young guys” how to judge and “feel” what is going on at the level of the lowly rivet . . . that keeps us all alive while traveling at 500 knots . . . oops, sorry ‘bout that . . . 300 knots (give or take).

gadfly

(All sarcasm fully intended, with no apologies.)

forest said...

Dave you may be interested the following. Suggest you go to sites below and read the full story.

From New Mexico Matters site:
http://newmexicomatters.blogs.com/newmexicomatters/press_releases/index.html

"On December 1st [2006], the superb ratiocination of a local blogger pieced together a number of disparate clues that revealed yet more government shenanigans: the New Mexico State Investment Council (SIC) has, under dubious circumstances, handed the oversight of tens of millions of dollars worth of investments to an apparently makeshift company that has only been in existence for three months—yes, just three months. Worse still, the company was founded by an individual who worked for the previous advisory company that was irresponsibly let go by the state because, according to New Mexico Business Weekly, they refused to render an opinion on deals that the SIC wanted it to consider. Apparently warning against poor investment returns gets you fired in this state, while ignoring bad financial planning gets you state business or even elected to office."

Highlights from the local blogger mentioned above.
http://www.marioburgos.com/2006/12/fix-is-in.html
December 1, 2006

"So, let me bring you up to speed First, there was this story in the New Mexico Business Weekly:
Neither SIC nor Fort Washington would reveal specific reasons for the fallout last week, although state officials said they terminated the firm and Fort Washington said it resigned.

However, in further conversations with the New Mexico Business Weekly, SIC spokesman Charles Wollmann now says the state fired its advisor for refusing to render an opinion on deals that the SIC wanted it to consider."
....
"A committee has recommended that the state Investment Council hire a Santa Fe investment company to oversee $60 million in venture-capital investments in New Mexico companies."

"The Private Equity Investment Advisory Committee on Wednesday recommended Sun Mountain Capital to replace Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio, as the fund's manager."

"Hmm, who is this Sun Mountain Capital that is more likely to be "on the same page" with the state? Luckily, the answer is in another Journal article:
Sun Mountain Capital was founded in August by Brian Birk, a former Fort Washington regional executive based in New Mexico [emphasis added]. The firm will manage a new direct investment pool, called the New Mexico State Investment Council Co-Investment Fund. The fund will be divided into two chunks— $30 million for early-stage investments of up to $5 million in startup companies, and $30 million for investments of $5 million to $20 million in larger operations."
- - -
Mario Burgos' comments:
"Whoa, whoa, whoa... A company that has been in existence for, let me pull out those counting fingers, THREE MONTHS before submitting a proposal lands responsibility for a contract overseeing TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. And the company founder's last job was with the company that would not put aside it's ethics to get "on the same page" as the state. Does that mean this individual does not have the same reservations?"
========
Summary: B. Birk was VP at Fort Washington, the co. hired to do due diligence on SIC investments. Ft. Wash. did not want to recommend some investments the SIC wanted to make, namely t/space and some others. Ft. Wash. had wording in their contracts with the SIC re: indemnfication to SIC if their recommendations went sour. SIC want Ft. Wash to indemnify for recommendations in t/space, EAC, etc. There were suits and countersuits...settled out of court.
B. Birk starts his own firm and is awarded the same contract Ft. Wash. held.
Wonder if Sun Mountain signed a contract to indemnify SIC???
The State of NM had 5% equity in EAC about a yr. ago. Their last investment in EAC some time back was at $95 share.

Dave said...

Wonder if Sun Mountain signed a contract to indemnify SIC???
The State of NM had 5% equity in EAC about a yr. ago. Their last investment in EAC some time back was at $95 share.


New Mexico politicians at all levels have a bunch of dirty laundry that could get aired out after Eclipse files for BK...

gadfly said...

You is a bunch of funny guys . . . taking issue with politicians that invest in “futures” on “adobe bricks” with taxpayers money.

Next big thing is the “silicon eel” . . . brought in fresh, daily, from our vast fleet, that ply the “waters” (condensed and dehydrated) from the vast estuaries of the famous “Pecos River”.

Also available is “powdered milk” from our vast herds in “Arid County”.

gadfly

(It’s so dry down here that all of the residents live somewhere else.)

gadfly said...

In all fairness, the last comments were based, in part, to a great TV weatherman, George Fischbeck, PhD, a man beloved by many of us in the Albuquerque area . . . a man of great skills in making "complicated things" simple, and interesting. He was a "regular" in the homes of Albubuquerque, each week-night, not only giving the "weather report", but teaching us the very basics of "why" weather is "what it is".

gadfly

(Those days are far gone . . . the present generation is caught up in mindless trash . . . and cares nothing for an understanding of why things are "what they are".)

chickasaw said...

Gad,

I hate to nitpick (not really), but I think aluminum is fourth behind; silver, copper and gold. That might have been discovered the year you were sick.

What about Texas? My buddy says it is so flat where he comes from that when his dog ran away; he could still see him 3 days later.

gadfly said...

In all fairness, the last comments were based, in part, to a great TV weatherman, George Fischbeck, PhD, a man beloved by many of us in the Albuquerque area . . . a man of great skills in making "complicated things" simple, and interesting. He was a "regular" in the homes of Albuquerque, each week-night, not only giving the "weather report", but teaching us the very basics of "why" weather is "what it is".

gadfly

(Those days are far gone . . . the present generation is caught up in mindless trash . . . and cares nothing for an understanding of why things are "what they are".)

airtaximan said...

all this talk about rivets.. I thought the thing was FSW'ed?
;)

gadfly said...

Chickasaw

You fell for my "trap" . . . and you, a friend (of all people). Gold is used on the contacts of various items, not because it has a greater conductivity, but because it is almost totally "inert" . . . thereby rendering it the best of all protective layers on "contacts". The "resistance" is slightly higher than silver, copper, and aluminum (in that order), but is not affected by oxidation (which would increase the resistance by a magnitude, or greater). (Of course, there are the "platinum", and palladium, etc., elements . . . types of elements, available from Russia, and a few other locations, especially in Africa . . . but not practical in the "real world".)

In plain English: Gold is used on contacts because it does not "oxidize" . . . and since any layer of oxidization creates a high resistance.

Now, concerning Texas:

The first said "My ranch extends so far, my pickup truck takes all day to get the back fence".

The second says, "Yeh, I once had a pickup truck like that."

And with that, my friend, I will say "Buenos noches!"

gadfly

(‘Would that the problems were so easy to solve as the “ease” of pulling the wool over the eyes of the average blogger . . . you cannot imagine the “ease” of working with the folks that still believe in the “paper eclipse” . . . that, my friends, is almost more that I can understand.)

chickasaw said...

Au contraire ATM,There are 20,000 or so rivets. Most of them are blind rivets. Although when you think about it a 1% failure rate is 200 rivets.

Black Tulip said...

Chickasaw,

Up in the panhandle of Texas it is really flat. On a very clear day you can see the back of your own head.

eclipso said...

Maybe they just hve 200 "blind" rivetERs....hmmm

gadfly said...

Chickasaw

Your problem is "logic" . . . once you go down that road you'll discover other things . . . and that is a "No-No" . . . a rivet here, a rivet there . . . and before you know it, a whole bunch of rivets will "cut loose" . . . and who knows what will happen?!

Now, you just go back to your little corner, keep quiet, and don't make any sudden moves. The "natives" get real restless when that happens . . . and we want to give the impression that everything is calm and under control.

gadfly

('Just stay quiet and nobody get's hurt.)

chickasaw said...

Gad,

My Dad always told me to "never pass up a chance to shut up". That advise has served me well for 34 years of marriage. But I never stuck to that advise in business, at times..regrettably. When you stand for nothing, you will eventually stand by for anything.

Dave said...

Does anyone know about this DOT contract Eclipse got with an ultimate value of just under $700K?:
http://www.usaspending.gov/fpds/fpds.php?reptype=r&database=fpds&record_id=14585472&detail=3&datype=T&sortby=i
Also does anyone know what this means?:
http://www.ftc.gov/bc/earlyterm/2008/01/et080131.pdf
Also I find that in addition to Eclipse's state lobbyists (the "hot air specialists"), Eclipse uses Wexler & Walker to lobby congress:
http://lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov/software.html?reg_id=30756

gadfly said...

Chickasaw

Your Dad was a good man to give you such advice. In the present discussion, we have a combination of people . . . some refuse to admit being “wrong” . . . and will go to any length to “prove” their point-of-view . . . even at the cost of their own integrity (and maybe the safety of themselves and others). Others are “correct” in their analysis of the issues, but are “polite” in their approach to the issues . . . and who can blame them, as they want to protect their own “turf” . . . and that’s “OK” . . . because they risk much, with little to gain if proven “right”. (Unfortunately, virtually every claim has been proven false by “whom”? . . . by “Eclipse” themselves . . . nothing promised has been achieved . . . yet “others” have been blamed for the failure.)

And then there’s some of us, that whether “early or late in life” decided that whatever comes, whatever happens, nothing is going to stand in the way of doing what is “right” . . . no matter what!

Here we stand . . . with a thing (I recoil at calling it an “aircraft” . . . since I always thought that an “aircraft” was a device that did what it claimed to do . . . on a regular basis), and find myself, the “gadfly”, embroiled in a controversy, over an uncompleted thing that “flies”, on occasion, yet doesn’t meet the promises made by the “owners” (I cannot call them “designers”) of the organization behind the “thing”.

Yep! . . . that’s a good name . . . “The Thing!”

Chickasaw . . . we’re on the same page. But since I’m an “old dude”, I’ll attempt to say it like it is . . . yet restricting myself to the “technical aspects”, and let the “younger generation take on the financial stuff . . . ‘never was good at that sort of thing . . . but, for whatever it’s worth, we just passed our “32nd” anniversary last January 1, 2008 . . . ‘not too shabby, maybe!

gadfly

(Never take yourself too seriously . . . or you’ll find yourself at the end of a joke.)

eclipso said...

Gad,

You sound like you REALLY know your metals. Now if I may have an opinion:

Just say..I have a compressed gas...and we'll call it oxygen (for the sake of discussion)...and I want to distribute it throughout my "system".

What could be the result if ..say...I use aluminum tubing, but all I have to connect them are STEEL fittings...

What could be the possible result?

gadfly said...

Dave has come across some stuff that "stinks to high heaven". 'Help him search out this stuff . . . the little bit that I was able to accomplish was not enough, but didn't look good.

Reference his "blog" at 3:12PM, 20080528

gadfly

(Footnote to Eclipso: I have never heard of "aluminum tubing" used in the presence of “O2", so cannot give an opinion. Somehow, it does not sound “safe” . . . but will leave such advice to others. For most of my life, I have asked the “dumb questions” and have learned much, although I have often looked “the fool” in class . . . but it’s a great way to learn. If a person wants an “A”, they will be careful what they ask. If a person wishes to “learn”, they will take on the position of “class idiot”, and ask the many questions that come to mind. I chose the latter position . . . and haven’t regretted it for a second.)

H.M.E said...

Dave said: "Also does anyone know what this means?:
http://www.ftc.gov/bc/earlyterm/2008/01/et080131.pdf"


Source:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/fedreg/2008/february/080226earlyterm.pdf

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Granting of Request for Early Termination of the Waiting Period
Under the Premerger Notification Rules Section 7A of the Clayton Act, 15
U.S.C. 18a, as added by Title II of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust
Improvements Act of 1976, requires persons contemplating certain mergers
or acquisitions to give the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney
General advance notice and to wait designated periods before
consummation of such plans. Section 7A(b)(2) of the Act permits the agencies,
in individual cases, to terminate this waiting period prior to its expiration
and requires that notice of this action be published in the Federal Register.

The following transactions were granted early termination of the waiting
period provided by law and the premerger notification rules.

TRANSACTIONS GRANTED EARLY TERMINATION 01/31/2008
Trans. No: 20080636
Acquiring: ETIRC Aviation, S.a.r.l.
Acquired: Eclipse Aviation Corporation
Entities: Eclipse Aviation Corporation


The announcement on ETIRC website:
http://www.aviation.etirc.com/index.php?cms_show=module&cms_id=news&module_source=&module_source=&action=showItem&newsId=13
Etirc fund has acquired a large shareholding in Eclipse Aviation based in
the USA and now plans to partially move assembly of light jets to Russia.

Eclipse Aviation manufactures four-seat very light jets Eclipse 500 in the
USA. The first jet of this kind was assembled in 2000 and cost less than $1
million compared to the present price of $1.59 million. Last year Eclipse
Aviation had to face a number of serious problems, which resulted in
production of 104 jets instead of 500.

In attempt to rescue Eclipse Aviation, Etirc fund invested $100 million in
the company and will probably raise the volume of investments up to $150-200
million.

The fund performs as an exclusive distributor of the Eclipse light jet in
Russia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Turkey. Etirc intends to build
an assembly plant in Europe; Russian city of Ulyanovsk is the main
candidate at the moment.

Dave said...

Thanks HME. This FTC waiver really explains why Eclipse is in such dire straits that they couldn't even wait the usual waiting period:
...requires persons contemplating certain mergers
or acquisitions to give the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney
General advance notice and to wait designated periods before
consummation of such plans....

Eclipse Aviation manufactures four-seat very light jets Eclipse 500 in the
USA. The first jet of this kind was assembled in 2000 and cost less than $1
million compared to the present price of $1.59 million. Last year Eclipse
Aviation had to face a number of serious problems, which resulted in
production of 104 jets instead of 500.

In attempt to rescue Eclipse Aviation, Etirc fund invested $100 million in
the company and will probably raise the volume of investments up to $150-200
million.


The FTC nails Eclipse on three counts:
* Raised the price of the EA500 from under $1 million to $1.59 million.
* Product actuals way below forecast projection.
* Need money ASAP to "rescue" Eclipse

Black Tulip said...

h.m.e.,

I haven’t followed your link but am familiar with Hart-Scott-Rodino. The law is designed to prevent monopolization of an industry in the U.S. It requires that the Department of Justice examine an acquisition to predict if the deal would reduce competition and thereby hurt the consumer. Small businesses with (I believe) less than fifty million dollars in revenue are exempt. I imagine the early termination mentioned means that the DOJ ruled promptly that they did not have to review the investment in Eclipse. It could have been a distress sale too.

H.M.E said...

BT: You are probably right. I am not familiar with US antitrust law. I only posted the results of a quick search.

airtaximan said...

"The first jet of this kind was assembled in 2000 and cost less than $1 million compared to the present price of $1.59 million."

funny... I wonder how they justified the CLAIM the 2000 version cost less than $1 million...

You mean the ones with the experimental engines that were eventually thrown in the garbage? You mean the one with much lower MTOW? You mean the uncertified one-off? You mean the one with avionics that were even less functional than todays? You mean the one they did not pay the whole bill from Metalcraft for?

What a whacky crock of crapola.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Dave -

Re: Does anyone know about this DOT contract Eclipse got with an ultimate value of just under $700K?:
http://www.usaspending.gov/fpds/fpds.php?reptype=r&database=fpds&record_id=14585472&detail=3&datype=T&sortby=i


I'm sure that Vern was just interested in shutting up a bunch of bloggers - he didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition!

It appears to be nothing more than a contract for pilot training in the FPJ for FAA employees. Three different entities bid on the contract, Eclipse won.

The amount paid out for 2007 was $60K (for 3 courses), the rest would be continuation of the contract at a later time. It's interesting that there has been no follow-on spending.

In classic Eclipse fashion, $60K in actual sales has transmorgrified into $688K of "contract" that may never need to be fulfilled. On the upside, it looks like FAA ain't paying for what it doesn't use. But it's an indication of the strength of the Raburn Reality Distortion Field that he's now got the government publishing his wishful numbers for him. Does the FPJ have much rhodium in it?

Would you like the combo?
IANAL

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Had cause to go through ABQ a couple times in the past week or two, I saw an impressive number of Eclipsi.

Sitting.

Unused.

Not flying.

On the ramp at Eclipse.

On the ramp at the FBO next door.

On the ramp in front of another hangar.

I stopped counting after I got to 20 - and yes, a few looked like DayJet colors but it was hard to tell for sure, the things sure are tiny.

And does the Preemie Jet ever look silly with 12" numbers on it, makes the 'toy' aspect even more apparent.

Do you suppose the ENEMA NDA applies to observations from public property while travelling?

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.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...
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ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Another thought occurs to me as I consider my recent observation of a gaggle of incomplete Preemie Jets on the ramp at ABQ.

Reviewing FlightCentre's delivery report, it shows 180 deliveries to-date. I saw 20 planes on the ground at ABQ. Dayjet has reportedly put 16 planes on the market for sale or lease, and the most recent poll of Controller showed as many as 70 Eclipsi for sale.

I was in ABQ about two months ago for business and saw a similar number of jets on the ramp at that time. I cannot say though whether they are the same jets.

It is probably safe to assume that perhaps 2, maybe even 3 of the jets I saw at ABQ are Eclipse demo's, but that still means that 10% of the total 'completions' to date are sitting on the ramp in ABQ, and that between DayJet and the 70 listings on controller the equivalent of somewhere near 50% of the ENTIRE 'delivered' fleet is being offered for sale at this time - some at zero premium.

There are still '09 deliveries in the 900 S/N range being offered.

To put that into perspective, after 18 months Eclipse is painfully approaching S/N 200 but they are still telling customers they will get to the 900's next year. It is pure madness.

Yes all of this is an anecdotal data point, but the number of listings has been accelerating, premiums are evaporating, and it seems that there could potentially be a large number of customers not accepting the planes.

If I had more time I would have recorded N Numbers to check against the registration database but adding it all up the numbers just continue to not make any sense. Any planespotters in the ABQ area could help with this.

10% of TOTAL 'completions' sitting on the ramp at ABQ and near 50% of the ENTIRE FLEET being for sale cannot be a good sign.

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

Dave Ivedorne said...

"Any planespotters in the ABQ area could help with this."

They might want to take a look out at Double Eagle while they're at it...

Loose rivets, or stir-fry welds?
IANAL

Dave said...

Had cause to go through ABQ a couple times in the past week or two, I saw an impressive number of Eclipsi.
Sitting.
Unused.
Not flying.
On the ramp at Eclipse.
On the ramp at the FBO next door.
On the ramp in front of another hangar.
I stopped counting after I got to 20 - and yes, a few looked like DayJet colors but it was hard to tell for sure, the things sure are tiny.


They're much safer that way. If they were actually used, there might be mechanical problems that have to be reported to the FAA. Gathering dust doesn't have to be reported to the FAA.

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

Interesting flight by Day Jet 160 this week

Was scheduled to fly Boca Raton >> Montgomery. Did a loop back to Boca after 10 minutes and climb to 8400.

No SDR on this event yet, so perhaps the passenger left their wallet at checkin and needed to go back.

John said...

Delivery Backlog data
When you total apparent maiden flights out of KABQ, you get the following data list.
Week .. Flights
17-Mar .. 4
24-Mar .. 4
31-Mar .. 6
7-Apr .. 2
14-Apr .. 2
21-Apr .. 5
28-Apr .. 8
5-May .. 8
12-May .. 5
19-May .. 4
26-May .. 3 (partial)
Total 50

The S/N of the craft in the past 2 weeks making their initial flight on FlightAware are a curious mix:
179
144
160
176
154
196
159
S/N 160 or N2YU had a much earlier delivery noted on the owners mail list, so this may indicate the FlightAware data is erratic, and the record was a return visit to KABQ for service and test.


After peaking at the end of April, first week of May, flights by new serial numbers has dropped off. Assuming the recorded flight by SN 196 means craft below that S/N number have been fabricated, there are a 13 craft in the April-May cohort with no reported "maiden" flight.

S/N .. Tail

172 … 964JG
177 … 177EA
184 … 118EA
185 … 500FB
186 … 204ZQ
187 … 187EA
189 … 435NF
190 … 190CK
191 … 678PS
192 … 61DT
193 … 193EA
194 … 70EJ
195 … 227LS

I note that a lot of EA50 fly into KABQ, presumably for squeak repair and hourly, so the crowd on the apron may be the repair queue.

Dave said...

Here's a Naval Postgrad Thesis saying that the Eclipse 500 should be used by the military:
http://stinet.dtic.mil/dticrev/PDFs/ADA427259.pdf
Also here's a good GOA report on the impact of VLJs and they provide a summary of various forecasts back from 2007:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d071001.pdf
As to be expected DayJet also has DC lobbyists:
http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/b_three_sections_with_teasers/clientlist_page_C.htm

John said...

Serial 99 flies to Europe

Another craft leaves Albany for Europe via Quebec >> Schefferville at FL 27.

This is the third older SN number craft to depart to the old world in a week (9, 104, 99). S/N 99 spent its childhood at the Albany center, possibly retrofitting. Albany appears to be the depot point for European departures. I count 7 total craft which have made the Greenland transit.

chickasaw said...

Dave,

The Diamond DA20 is used by the USAF for training. During the Viet Nam war we trained Navy pilots in T2-B's. This was a scary plane. I can't imagine a FPJ for training. It certainly would not be used for weapons training as was the T2.

airtaximan said...

http://www.stanfordalumni.org/
news/magazine/2008
/marapr/pc/dayjet.html

gotta read this, and provide commnents.

GEM: trip from North County airport in West Palm Beach to Tallahassee, with a "stop along the way" in Naples?

Typo? or Kidding?

How'd the terrarium model work out so far?

eclipso said...

BRIGHT IDEA
Ready When You Are

DayJet’s air taxi service is taking off.


I wonder if this went to print before the cutback announcement.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Re: the Stanford Alumni article...

"Sawhill and Herriot developed a computer model of the American traveling public to establish how—or whether—its business model could succeed. Sawhill calls the model “a digital terrarium” and compares DayJet to an insect dropped in—the point is to watch through the glass and see how the new addition changes the system. After several years, and millions of simulated hours, the verdict came that the new insect seemed to adapt well indeed."

Professor Moriarty's data suggests that after 34 weeks, resulting in tens of hours flown - that ant farming in digital terraria is overrated. Grossly overrated, by a factor of $210 million.

Despite my mastery of complexity science and astrophysics, I believe an unemployed Beirut taxicab dispatcher could do a better job of choosing the most efficient routing for 12 aircraft on 18 flights a day if waken from a dead sleep. While stinking drunk.

Ed Iacobucci's Mindbendingly Complex Algorithms have proven to be an utter boondoggle. That he failed to come up with another $40 million worth of naive investors should come as no surprise to him. That he would continue to suggest that the business model has affirmatively proven its viability demonstrates a degree of shamelessness that puts him on a positively Raburnian plateau.

Would you like the word salad?
IANAL

gadfly said...

Ants! . . . really? . . . I thought he said “aunts”.

gadfly

(That helps explain all the “bugs” in the system.)

airsafetyman said...

"Sawhill calls the model “a digital terrarium” and compares DayJet to an insect dropped in—the point is to watch through the glass and see how the new addition changes the system."

Are these people completely insane?

airtaximan said...

step 1: buy 5-10 Beechjet 400s for $2-$3 million a piece.

step 2: go to Staples, and buy some white boards.

step 3: hire a dispatcher

step 4: advertise rates or put up the Dayjet web pricing/inconvenience tool

start service.

total time to market saved: 5 years
total investment saved: $150 million or more

Heck you could subsidize every flight and still not lose $200M.

Am I missing something?

airtaximan said...

even better, use SR22s

got stuck in the jet-think...

airtaximan said...

ASM

somehow, I would think that you can add customers and watch how the system changes....

BUT, they've not really added many customers, now have they?

Perhaps someone needs to tell them that adding planes is one thing - adding the customers seem to be the point, though.

J said...

I would never defend Vern, BUT as a former employee of the other "Russian" company in Colorado, I have been reminded of one thing: Aerospace companies SUCK when it comes to supply chain/materials planning/vendor relations. There is an inate fear of "those computers" (meaning any type of MRP/ERP software) and anyone that doesn't have 20 years of aviation industry experience. Go look at any of the players in Wichita and you will find that all the Supply Chain/Sourcing people,in authority, are 100% pure aviation. There is a fear to bring anyone in from the outside, as 'they just don't know our industry'. What a bunch of crap. I started in the industry, left for 8 years, and came back (yes to that other place in Colorado). It was here that I met several former EAC folks and compare notes to AAI. In both cases those that couldn't prove a pure aviation legacy were ignored. In my case, I have seen how other industries actually succeed in operations and supply chain...aerospace does not even come close.

I'm not defending EAC, but they are demonstrating the same hubris that AAI, and all the big guys show (I'm now with one of the big dogs). We are {fill in the company} and you, poor little supplier, will do what I say. It doesn't work that way, and don't even get me started about the the way our industry fools itself into thinking they can compete in a world econonmy.

Everyone is terrified that Honda is going to kick their butt. "Lean Innitiatives" that are rampant through all the OEM's and they don't even come close. They don't have a clue and don't want a clue, because that means listening to new ideas. Vern is following the same pattern that the big guys in Wichita follow, he's just small enough to be more visible/transparent.

bill e. goat said...

This notice shall confirm my affirmation that I be represented by Norman Malinski, Esq. in all proceedings under that legal action currently referenced in the Superior Court of California as

ECLIPSE AVIATION CORPORATION, Plaintiff vs. JOHN DOE; JANE DOE; ET AL, Defendants
Case No.: 108CV110380

MetalGuy said...

ATM: Am I missing something?

Yes, you forgot to have them painted puke green and off blue. You have to do that to make the software model “work”.

fred said...

atm :

no , you're not missing anything ...

the last one (in my knowledge ) to come-up with the brilliant idea of super-ultra-mega-hypra-complex algorithm to predict something (as something completely esoteric as market up and down or customers readiness ) was "Long Term Capital Management" (as well known as LTCM)

brilliant start , top-executive were 2 Nobel's prize winners ...

they forgot only about 1 or 2 small details :

Human Nature : the computer to predict "human nature effect" remain to be invented , i personally doubt it could be one day ...

2° anybody can find his own master !
it is not because you think you thought about everything that what you were right ...
in fact the "outside world" (out of the cocoon) is quite cruel ...

it seems each time someone lie to himself by thinking " we are the best " or "we definitely made the ultimate tool " or " we are going to remain the N°1 for ever ..."

this cruel world shows an infinite passion to prove them wrong as soon as those were "relatively opposite" sure to be right ...!

mankind history is full of such :

things LOOKING perfect but only on paper ...

Gunner said...

Bill E-
Noted and welcome back.
Gunner

airtaximan said...

j,

point noted.

Perhaps a notable "risk" in any of these programs is exactly what you describe... unfortunately, it appears as if no one is really accounting for the risk. This would be job-1 for the integrator/non-manufacturer.

"New" industries like computers need not adapt well as they are new.

Older (think dinosaurs) industrries... like aviation... need to adapt. There's a learning curve. The heavy industrialization, long development time, and tremendous costs are limiters.

Now, pile on a fantasy market size... or a fantasy product spec, and you have some real challenges moving the "supply chain" in the "right" direction.

See, some would say that most of the risk is piled on them - and getting them to move for your new market/product might be too much risk, so they move slower than you want. Sorry.

Solution, move to Russia - I hear they move a lot quicker over there, the sub tiered suppliers are just next door, blasting assemblies and systems out the door waiting for someone to non-manufacture them in rapid succession.

In all seriousness - sometmes we wish things were different, but they are not. Its part of the risk.

My perception is "someone" thought he was building a new industry... a revolutionary one. When in fact, its just a small aeroplane.

How do you get the supply chain all worked up about that?

I guess you keep telling them you can sell 1,000 a year, and you already sold 2,700...

Just keep dangling...

Dave said...

Here's some things I noticed regarding DayJet as it relates to Sawhill and Herriot.

The first is how they dodge a direct question about how accurate their predictions are:
Have your predictions come true?
Herriot: The exciting thing is that before, we always relied on other people's data. Now we're able to use our own.
Sawhill: Before we had to buy large scales of data but now we're getting all good stuff. All wheat and no chaff.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/05/19/223770/working-week-the-appliance-of-science-at-dayjet.html

Also from the Stanford article I notice that Sawhill and Herriot both created the design for routing the aircraft as well as created a DayJet demand forecast. It doesn't seem that someone who hired to be an expert at logistic management would also have the same level of skills as a market forecaster and vice versa...it's not to say that someone can't do both, just holding them up as uber-experts in both logistics and product forecasting is most likely setting them up for trouble. Logistics management and product forecasting are very different beasts and if you treat them the same way, you'll probably get burned on one or the other.

bill e. goat said...

Gunner,
Thanks for the welcome back.

And, from all of those on Vern's Christmas card list (and to the benefit of everyone who reads the blog in general), thanks for your efforts to preserve this discussion forum.

John said...


Serial # 97 flies to Europe


Another older serial number goes to Europe from Albany. Flight aware indicates this had arrived in Albany fresh from the factory in February, and did not record a flight until late May.

Are these transported craft the Dubai trainers, the Indian Air Taxi, or something else?

baron95 said...

Fred said... the last one (in my knowledge ) to come-up with the brilliant idea of super-ultra-mega-hypra-complex algorithm to predict something (as something completely esoteric as market up and down or customers readiness ) was "Long Term Capital Management" (as well known as LTCM)


Last one I heard of was a little known company called Google. Very complex searching, page ranking, add recomendation algorithms - russian created nonetheless.

Nothing wrong with using science and SW, just don't think you can ignore the other "fundamentals".

;)

gadfly said...

Ten years ago, we were given the complete layout in computer animation . . . it’s all there in Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” . . . complete with the “ants” flying the “plane”, using new technology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Bug's_Life

gadfly

(‘Even “Tuck and Roll”, assumed to be “Russians”.)

airtaximan said...

baron

you da man

(funny how new algorythms apply so well to the algorythm industry!!!)

airtaximan said...

74

anyone know the significance?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

It's official - Eclipse launched the E400 e-CONjet today.

Special conversion pricing for current E500 position holders, everything we were suggesting.

$1.35M

http://www.aero-news.net/

I will be back when I stop laughing.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Guess I should have read a little further.

Eclipse announces new pricing for E-500 $2.15M.

Early order holders who do not have 50% in by end July will see commensurate price increases as well.

Vern is apparently all in and he is calling everyone's bluff.

Color me surprised, and well, almost impressed.

http://www.aero-news.net/

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Will Vern pay us a royalty for finally doing the 2 smartest things we all have been suggesting for a couple years now?

Thanks Vern for validating what we have been saying all along. This may be the most mature and adult thing you have done since, well, I don't know but probably a long time.

Once again, the predictions of the Critics come to pass.

The least Vern could have done is tell Darth Campbell where he got the idea.

And lest anyone wonder about my sanity, yes, I do think it is crazy stupid to launch a new program when the first one is not only not done, but may never be done.

FWIW - I expect the ECJ/E-400 to announce G1000 instead of Avio - remember, there are always bad news pieces or total changes of direction announced after big glitzy news days. Vern will probably spin it as how impressed Eclipse is with Garmin after their involvement 'saving' Avio NfG and Eclipse's commitment to providing the best value/performance ratio to the customer.

If he does go Garmin, I will be amazed - that will represent the best business decision he has made in his tenure at Eclipse.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

There is no mention of Avio NfG in regards to the E-400, on its' own page, on the Eclipse home page, in the official Press Release or in Capt. Zoom's wet panty 'news' article.

Initial deliveries are scheduled for Q4 2011 and they seem to be strongly trying to get current E-500 position holders to switch, offering a $125K discount for the E-400 while simultaneously raising the price on the E-500 to well over $2M.

There are no public offers of Eclipse paying interest to depositors who are already in the E-500 program if they switch to the e-CONjet, even though Vern would have use of their money for at least another 42 months (yes, 3.5 years) before they see their new, best ever little jet.

At the time of delivery, inflation adjusted cost for the E-400 by my back of the napkin calculation will be around $1.5M, and they will be about 2 to 2.5 years late to the party - Diamond and Cirrus will both be in production and delivery mode by then.

You just can't make this stuff up.

ASPCNDA Disclaimer - No NDA's were harmed in the forming of this opinion/satire - all facts and data presented were taken from public sources and appropriate credit was provided - all opinion should be completely ignored until validated by Eclipse's own actions and statements (which history suggests should happen within the next 1.5 to 2 years). Any elements of this opinion/satire that appear to place NDA's in jeopardy were simulated.

Dave said...

I have a manufacturing question...isn't it easier for a factory line to make one product instead of switching between products? How exactly is the workflow going to work in determine whether the 500 or the 400 should be built at any given moment?

MetalGuy said...

Let me guess, they already have 13,542 orders for the E-400, thereby, surprisingly, completely dominating the single engine VLJ market.

I don’t have a clue what is really is, but I’m already calling foul on the “order book” this time around, especially if there are large “orders” from his buddies.

It’s pretty damn clear that the air taxi model is a failure, making the E-500 a complete loss from a business perspective. So this just moves everyone on to the next Eclipse fiasco.

Attention all suckers, get your check books out and be prepared to be underwhelmed once again!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

For those keeping score, the latest price increase (+$520K) represents about a 30% price jump for the E-500 from the last published price, and now makes the jet 177% (fully $1.375M) more expensive than when first announced in '99.

Put another way, the current E-500 price at $2.15M is equivalent to the cost of the proposed E-400, $1.35M more than the original price for the E-500 of $775K.

Yes, they announced a half million dollar price increase, on a $1.6M jet - with a straight face, then announced the new can of beans, I mean, new best little jet ever - to replace the previous best little jet ever (Rev 1.5).

To make it better, they say they will 'allow' current E-500 position holders to transfer their E-500 order to the E-400 as a 'reward' for sticking with Eclipse for so long. So long in fact, that it will be another 4 years before anyone taking them up on the offer would see their 'new' best little jet ever.

E-500 depositors could conceivably have been waiting for as much as 11 years by the time the E-400/e-CONjet is ready - now that is staggering, as is the concept that some of these guys may have ponied up for their 60% progress payment already.

Interestingly, the E-400/e-CONjet sports specifiction numbers remarkably similar to the original E-500 in terms of range, fuel load and MTOW.

At this point, I expect the E-400 order book to swell rapidly, and to top Cirrus's near 500 orders for 'the Jet', and Eclipse to announce that due to market forces they will discontinue the E-500 program.

In his put up or shut up 90-day offer to position holders with less than 50% in, Vern is demanding they switch to the E-400, cancel their order for a refund, or take the price increase.

If this results in a run on deposits (at say $250-300K each), with as many as 3-400 depositors by my estimate being eleigible, it could get spendy in a hurry ($75-100M) but it might actually be the desired outcome - force a BK event due to refund demands, and then get the financial equivalent of hitting CTRL-Alt-DEL.

Any takers?

easybakeplane said...

Before we get out the 'long knives' let me pick up my horn and toot.

[easybakeplane said...
(bill e. goat said...

Easybakeplane,
Would you care to offer a realistic price point for the E-500, with Avio-N-NG (Next Next Generation, or whatever it will have in 2009), based on 225 units per year?
Thanks.)

My answer is based purely on the published performance and characteristics of the plane and the assumption that it is comparably equipped to similiar models of a/c in it's category. This doesn't say what, if any, profit or loss is made on each sale, but what a certified VLJ with the characteristics of the E-500 should be able to sell for on the open market.

Approx $2.1 million (2007)

Let the debate begin!
10:31 PM, February 16, 2008]


(I'm thinking of filing 'outsider information' charges against Vern)

gadfly said...

"Let the debate begin!"

OK . . . I'll bite.

"Here’s some predictions from the “gadfly”:

The “Con Jet” will suffer stability problems if the computers should ever fail.

The “Con Jet” will land “nicely” if everything performs as promised, but will lack inherent stability at altitude and speed (“velocity”).

And “Future Pilots” will wish, suddenly, for a big vertical fin at unexpected moments.

Keeping watch for long straight strips of “asphalt” within ten miles will become an ever present thought in the minds of “Con Jet” pilots . . . and a “wish” for a simple cable control system, should that engine ever fail.

This is not a “hands off” sort of flying machine. If the screens go blank, I would not want to be aboard . . . nor any of my “loved ones”. Period!

Remember, these are my own opinions based on my limited knowledge of aerodynamics, and a somewhat “simple” approach to control systems based on my own short life, experiments, “hands on” testing, . . . and study.

Since we now know the “intentions” of this enterprise, we may have some time to discuss the “pros” and “cons” of an “effective forward swept wing”, wing-tip fuel tanks, and a “delta vee tail” (“ruddervators” . . . void of a good lateral (yaw) control, etc.). And compare it with the early days of “Bonanza” . . . the famous favorite of “doctors” (if you get my drift). Hey, that’s almost funny in a sick sort of way . . . “drift?” . . . Sorry ‘bout that! (But the “Bonanza” didn’t have the challenge of a “delta” tail.)

gadfly

(Who knows . . . maybe the next technological breakthrough will be “reverse thrust and takeoff”! . . . for people that decide on a different destination at the last minute.)

Dave said...

This is not a “hands off” sort of flying machine. If the screens go blank, I would not want to be aboard . . . nor any of my “loved ones”. Period!

This would be Vern's BSOD.

gadfly said...

Dave

The implications of the "VBSOD" are downright scary. And I was hoping that it would end before it gets to that point.

gadfly

(And that is not a joke!)

airtaximan said...

I guess the 75 question is now obvious - controller listings. Or should I say "run for the hills".

It's all over.
Twitching still...

Conjet aptly named.

e500 officially DOA.

No air taxi revolution here... move along.

Dave Ivedorne said...

I'm with Easybake...
sue Vern for violation of our Full Public Disclosure Disagreement.

If the E500 is the Fisher Price Jet, would the E400 have to default to the Barbie Jet moniker?

Hmmmm, maybe not - we seem to abbreviate frequently around here. Gotta think of the children, don'cha know (besides, don't the CRJ's already use that one?)

How about "Fake Cirrus Jet"? Nah, don't want to taint the Klapmeier boys' effort with that.

I've got it - the "Sinclair Jet". Plastic chassis, and based on a truly "disruptive" product that didn't live up to its original promises...

Would you like cutlery and condiments?
IANAL

Ceri said...

Ok, I get it, we all hate Vern. He can do no right.

Technical questtion: Any ideas how they can certify the E400 to 41000ft? All the performance claims will turn to ... dust ... if they can't.

Dave Ivedorne said...

From Aviation Week:

"The Eclipse Concept Jet was designed and built by rapid-prototyping specialists Swift Engineering, but the production aircraft will be designed and produced by Eclipse, the company says"

Composite or metal? I seem to have missed the part where Eclipse suddenly became an efficient manufacturer of composite structures. If composite, how do they fill that gap? If metal, it means yet another fantasy that has never seen the light of day.

Ground bound vaporware.

And from ANN:
"Eclipse intends to certify the 400 to FL410 -- 16,000 feet higher than the maximum service ceiling for Diamond's D-Jet and the Cirrus "the-jet," and 6,00 feet higher than Piper aims for its PiperJet."

Planning on certifying it, Vern? This ain't Blakely's FAA you'll be submitting the design to - and how 'bout EASA cert? No more fork-tailed doctor killers, m'kay?

Oh yeah, I forgot - Vern says pilots cause crashes...

So we have a new set of promises from a guy who has broken pretty much every one he's ever made about airplanes. Tell ya what, Vern - I won't hold my breath waiting on any to be met just yet...

Would you like the curly fries?
IANAL

Dave said...

Composite or metal? I seem to have missed the part where Eclipse suddenly became an efficient manufacturer of composite structures. If composite, how do they fill that gap? If metal, it means yet another fantasy that has never seen the light of day.

Be careful or Vern will wish you into the cornfield. All Vern has to do is wish for something to happen and then it becomes reality.

No more fork-tailed doctor killers, m'kay?

Fork-tailed aircraft are the most natural fit for fork-tongued Vern.

Also both since it has been brought up in the past regarding aviation in general and since it was brought up here, what additional requirements are there to be certified for FL410 versus the requirements of the EA400s competitors? Also what is the likelyhood of the EA400 flying at FL410 even with the certification...like how often do EA500s fly at FL410? I'm wondering if this is just to show unrealistic gas mileage that wont be achieved in the real world. The EPA should have airplane tests for fuel efficiency based on real world scenarios just like how auto manufacturers do (and Vern afterall is trying to replicate auto manufacturers).

gadfly said...

'Getting to 41,000 feet is probably the easiest part. The problem is "getting down" in time, to a safe landing in the event of a power failure. 'Remember all the things that depend on constant auxilliary power . . . electro-mechanical controls (as in, "everything"), all flight instruments, heat . . . oh, and that other minor thing, "pressurization". That should be more fun than one of these new "5-axis" roller coasters.

gadfly

(The layout reminds me of playing on a "short" teeter-totter with a big kid on the other side . . . back when I was young and dinosaurs roamed.)

John said...

Dayjet Utilization this week
128 hours in 13 craft
25 fields had 'departure hours' including new ports KSRQ and KJAX above 10 hours each; Pensacola has also been very busy this week.

Departure hours from fields...
1 KBCT 22:25
2 KGNV 12:59
3 KSRQ 11:13
4 KJAX 10:20
5 KPNS 10:12
6 KOPF 10:03
7 KAPF 9:36
8 KTLH 8:14
9 KSAV 4:32
10 KCSG 4:24
11 KDHN 2:51
12 KMGM 2:37
13 KEYW 2:17
14 KNEW 2:15
15 KLAL 2:11
16 KPFN 2:06
17 KGRD 1:49
18 KMLB 1:43
19 KDTS 1:35
20 KCRG 0:51
21 KPDK 0:51
22 KLEE 0:50
23 KSFB 0:43
24 KISM 0:40
25 KPIE 0:21

Seven Craft flew more than 10 hours.
1 153 17:30
2 147 16:23
3 139 15:41
4 150 15:02
5 161 14:56
6 142 12:15
7 162 10:45
8 163 6:39
9 152 6:18
10 156 4:47
11 160 4:32
12 148 1:48
13 158 1:02
14 141 …
15 145 …
16 146 …

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

The two driving regulations are 23.841 and 23.1411 insofar as design goes.

Flight at FL410 requires the cabin to have a means to maintain pressure altitude not greater than 15,000 ft (23.841) in the event of ANY failure, and it requires a pressure demand oxygen system instead of the basic demand oxygen system for crew (23.1411).

There are NO single engine aircraft certified for flight at FL410, none.

TBM 700 goes to FL300, FL310 with specific mods

PC-XII goes to FL300

Meridian goes to FL300

See a pattern here?

A review of the TCDS for these aircraft does not show any special notes re: pressurization, but presumably getting down to breathable altitude from FL300 is considered acceptable.

Basically you need a very tight airframe (read that no leaks), or a means to add pressure to overcome leakage, and then you need the more complicated and expensive pressure demand O2 system.

It is my opinion that the likelihood of a small jet that barely breaks 300 knots getting cleared to operate in the same flight levels as 400-500 knot airliners is a bit low. Even if there is a reasonable technical solution, it will require a change to how small jets are handled in the ATC system - the big boys (Cessna, Gulfstream, Falcon) are as fast or faster than the airliners.

Vern of course I am sure has some 'disruptive' solution in mind, but this dinosaur is drawing an 11,000 foot blank.

Gunner said...

Un-freaking-believable. Truly.

Lessee here. We're raising the price of the FPJ to well over $2Mill. Critics have been stating for over a year that the PROMISED plane couldn't be sold profitably for less than that...The Faithful scoffed. (This new price should really cut into the Mustang's market....NOT.)

Unfortunately...this isn't the PROMISED plane. It remains an unfinished IOU, saddled with a growing reputation for lowered expectations.

But WAIT. They've finally seen the light. They figgered it out and are REALLY serious this time. An SEJ certified to FL410 at a price of $1.35mm...a price for which The Faithful damned the D-Jet project.

All this from the same company that's been on the brink of bankruptcy several times, bilked Depositors of tens of millions in payments long before they were contractually due and failed to fully certify an aircraft with 200 hobbled protos on the market. The same company that turned to Russia for financing and manufacturing know-how when it failed so miserably on its own.

Yep, after seeing the "value proposition" of Eclipse's $2.15 Million Dollar offering the buying public should beat a path to ABQ for dibs on the EclipseJet Part Deux.

Vern, I gotta hand it to you. You may be aviation's greatest hump; it's poster child tool....but you got moxie, boy. You might note, however, that the Con-Jet is not geared toward a new market, but to the exact same $1.5MM market that the EA-50X failed so flawlessly to attract in the numbers you so shamelessly lied about.

Come to think of it, maybe it's not "moxie", but the complete lack of shame seen only in the terminally sociopathic. Public Offering, here we come.

Gunner

Ceri said...

None of the single engine turboprops are certified to 41000; but then their fuel economy peaks at lower altitudes, anyway.

Is there a feasible (cost, weight) technology for meeting the FARs to allow operation at this altitude?

The thing about 41000 question is: do Eclipse actually expect/intend to get certification to this altitude, or is it classic bait and switch? In 2 years or so will Vern be blaming the 'dinosaurs' in the FAA for denying certification to this FL? (And you can bet that the price won't go down and he'll have a bunch more deposits than those SEJ manufacturers who promise realistic altitude certification).

If this is what you (the various experts who contribute to this blog) think, then it behoves us to try to bring this to the attention of the media, doesn't it?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Ceri,

I gave you a stab at the basics, a tight pressure vessel, possibly an alternate source of pressurization (electric standby compressor?), and the pressure demand O2 system.

All of those technologies exist, the question is do they exist at the size, weight and cost necessary to fit-in/support the E-400/e-CONjet? I don't have the answer to that question, having no direct insight into the program, but I am skeptical.

Another alternative would be for Eclipse to try and prove an equivalent level of safety, possibly through analysis and perhaps some flight test, basically to prove to the FAA they can maintain the cabin altitude until a descent is made but I would suspect that this would be difficult.

You bring up an interesting point about the FL410 claim. I am not sure I would go so far as to suggest Vern would knowingly mislead the buying public with a deliberate bait and switch re: Max Operating Altitude, but given the history - who knows.

As for the media, it would appear that some of them do read the blog and they decide for themselves whether or not to investigate further and maybe post a story or two - or not. It is up to them.

chickasaw said...

Dave said:
I have a manufacturing question...isn't it easier for a factory line to make one product instead of switching between products? How exactly is the workflow going to work in determine whether the 500 or the 400 should be built at any given moment?

Dave, hopefully your question was not rhetorical because here is the answer.

Flexible manufacturing systems can do this easily if both planes are the composition. Auto plants run 2 or 3 models down the same line every day.

That being said; you CANNOT build a sheet metal plane and a composite plane on the same line. The tools and tooling are completely different.

You might be able to do this in the same building on parallel lines, but the ABQ SP11 facility is not large enough to accommodate that method.

Gunner said...

CWMoR said:
"I am not sure I would go so far as to suggest Vern would knowingly mislead the buying public with a deliberate bait and switch".

I'm sure I'd go that far. How could you have Avio replaced by AvioNG, replaced with by a Garmin 400 absent a bit-o-bait-n-switch? How could you have 300+ progress payments called on the eve of announcing the split with Avidyne, without a bit-o-bait-n-switch? This latest arm twist to get Depositors to move from a twinjet so a single for similar dollars is a classic bait-n-switch.....especially given the promise to delay delivery of the deposited product for what looks to be another 4-5 years.

Face it, Fish....Bait-n-Switch is Vern Raburn's middle name. Where would his company be without the time-honored tactic? Hmmmm?
Gunner

Gunner said...

A thought for the night:

Let's say you had a company with a totally ginned up order backlog. Let's say your 2,600 orders was proven to be 2,000, then 800, then 600 or less.

Let's further say the attrition to the remaining orders was significant...as in "depositors running for their lives".

And lets finally say you'd already limped out 200 "deliveries" and were quickly running out of callable Progress Payments.

The Piper needs to be paid. Planes have to be "delivered". Cash flow has dried up. What to do, what to do?

Here's one solution:
Tell the world that you have a new product, even more revolutionary than the last. Explain that demand has exceeded your wildest expectations. Then strong-arm those awaiting the previous product to switch their order to the new product, with their agreement to wait another 3 or 10 years.

IOW, buy time and pray for a miracle as production winds down on the remaining orders.

Meantime, if you're REALLY sick.....errr, slick, generate advertisements touting how you always deliver on your promises.

Yep, you couldn't find this stuff in a Jimmy Breslin novel.

Gunner

ECLIPSE EMPLOYEE 505 said...

CHICKASAW SAID: Your whole post has me riled up.( DEAL WITH THE REALITY)

1. You can in fact pull a Huck with a Cherry Max gun. Alcoa, Huck and Cherry all say that you can do this . (IF YOU CHANGE THE TIPS SO THE RETENTION RING WILL SEAT PROPER, YES.)

2. Who is the rep that stated this? ( JOHN GRAY from CHERRY MAX)

3. If you have found loose rivets in SP2 it is for some other reason.
You have by default also cast aspersions on the QA staff in SP11 and SP10 where the riveting is done. ( WHO? KIM? She only got the HEAD QA position because she is blonde and is cute and, Well im not getting into it on this post all the other reasons. Cathy? She had no clue that you had to strip paint off to electrical bond antennas to the aircraft. MARK? He used to inspect home furniture at Mc Kinstry in ABQ. These people aren’t qualified to inspect eggs out of a chickens A**. They only know what we have told them, and that’s week when you consider that they are buying our work.)

4. These inspectors (and techs) have been to EAC sponsored seminars and training in which Alcoa and WESCO demonstrated the correct method of pulling rivets and what to look for during inspection. I doubt very much if there are any bad rivets that escape these people. ( NO of course not, NOT THOSE PEOPLE, Sister WAKE THE F**K UP! How can you honestly tell me we have good inspection here, when half the production drawings don’t match what we are building most of the time? That’s why so many NCR’s The manufacturing engineers sit in the fish bowl and don’t due jack to fix this problem! The leads, ADAM, DON, RICK, NEFFY, GARY, DAVE, etc. Yea you know who they are down there, they wont help to get any fixes submitted on the SAP system ether.)

5. WESCO. ( They don’t know jack, they are the supplier and they stock our bins with the freestock, WHEN DID THEY/WE EVER GIVE A SEMINAR? All I ever get out of them is “we cant issue this fastener” and “ECLIPSE owes our company 20 Mill and that’s why we cant stock anymore right now” they get paid about $9.00 an HR to sit in the cage and do inventory and maybe come out and stock some bins.


6. I think it is irresponsible to state that the only thing holding the rivets in is paint. This is the type of post that Vern was looking for and did not find….until now.
( Then maybe Vern or Todd should get off there A** and pop down to the floor and see what we find from time to time, NOT JUST HERE, But in Gainesville too. NO, Vern is too busy working the next money scam to keep his ship afloat. I don’t think Vern reads this, because if he did he would wise up.)

IN CLOSING: YES, we all got word that the CON-JET is going to be the E400. Some of us knew this when it was being built out in VA at Wallops Island by the SWIFT guys. MOST WHERE CONTRACTORS FROM HQ AERO. The funny this about that is that VERN in a STATE OF THE COMPANY ADDRESS, Showed the plane in a slide show presentation and called it a CIRRUS JET, so to divert any of the rumors that where floating around the factory. There was a guy that was here that had SPY PHOTOS of it being built on his cell phone back in June of last year. He was called a rumor starter and was fired shortly after. Now in JULY, we will all be off work for a few weeks down in SP 10 and 11 so that they can fix the tooling and do some other things. (MAYBE THIS IS THE NEW LINE FOR THE CON JET BEING PUT IN PLACE?) HOW IS THAT FOR INSIDE INFO CHICKASAW? VERN? PEG? And all my new friends her on this blog.

One more thing, IF YOU CANT DELIVER A WORKING 500, HOW CAN YOU DELIVER A WORKING 400? Just a question Vern, DON’T BE MAD!

I’m enjoying my last week here at ECLIPSE.

Love, ECLIPSE EMPLOYEE 505

20yearmechanic said...

"Dave Ivedorne said...
"Any planespotters in the ABQ area could help with this."

They might want to take a look out at Double Eagle while they're at it...

ANSWER:
There are 27 in Gainesville FL. Getting Completed
There are 12 in Albany, NY. Getting Completed
There are 0 at Double Eagle.
There are 39 in ABQ and that is not including a few in the FINAL COMPLETION Hanger and the few in the Delivery Hanger.