Monday, July 7, 2008

Tales of woe, from one too many

As some of you are aware, your humble custodian is also responsible for monitoring the blog email address, eclipsecriticng@gmail.com, which continues to provide a steady stream of information, insight and 'observations' from those people who have found themselves orbiting Planet Vern. I'm pretty sure that's how he sees himself and I KNOW that's the way I see him, in a 'what planet did you come from, Mr. Raburn' sort of way.

Lately, I've also taken to phone calls, usually at very oddball times (for me) and normally with those of you who have been kind enough to support the blog in so many ways. I also naturally continue to do some research in my own, amateur manner. Must be the nosey Irish bit of me leaking out. Or maybe it's just the smell of the 'dead rat' that I get around EAC.

Anyway, lots of incoming over the past few weeks, which I put to one side as Karen Di Piazza's excellent article was in the works. I wanted that to have it's own space on the blog, which I hope everyone found useful. So herewith the 'voices' which I've heard from (and talked to) over that period.

First, a contribution from our resident satirist, Black Tulip. It's important to note that BT is very careful in his writings to poke fun at the key points. Read it carefully, it is worth it....

ECLIPSE CLARIFIES CERTIFICATION STATUS

Albuquerque, NM - July 3, 2008 - At a press conference today, Eclipse
Aviation provided additional details on the Federal government's approval of
the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet (VLJ). President Vern Raburn explained,
"When we embarked on this project ten years ago we wanted to ensure the
Eclipse 500 met the highest standards used by the United States government.
Driven by our passion for disruptive technology, we began to think outside
the box - we sought a new paradigm."

"We were immediately concerned as we examined the charter of the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) - to promote and regulate aviation. We grew
worried over an inherent conflict of interest in this dual role. The Food
and Drug Administration (FDA), on the other hand, is charged with ensuring
the safety and efficacy of the products it approves and oversees. This
struck us as a much tighter standard and an approval we would be proud to
receive."

Raburn continued, "We interviewed pilots who flew early prototypes of the
aircraft and noted they reported a range of post-flight responses including
enhanced sense of well being, mild euphoria, arousal and a slight
hallucinogenic reaction. We discussed this with high-level FDA officials
and they agreed to undertake the long process of testing and approval."

"As many are aware, most new medical products are initially tested using
laboratory animals. I am pleased to say the FDA allowed us to bypass this
step. This explains the fact that the Eclipse 500 is the only VLJ approved
and recommended by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)."

"Our human clinical trial was extensive. During the early risky phase with
Williams engines, we used only lawyers. Later, general aviation volunteers
were randomly selected to receive conventional treatment (flying a 1975
Cessna Citation 501) or experience the novel therapy of the Eclipse 500.
The FDA allowed us to cut this trial short on compassionate grounds as it
became clear that the Citation pilots were not experiencing positive
outcomes."

"As approval approached we had many discussions with the FDA on the
classification of this product. was it a medical device or a pharmaceutical?
I like to think of the jet as the 'Viagra of the Air' and my plane is
painted blue. The FDA is still mulling this over as medical devices and
drugs are subject to different recall procedures on the infinitesimally
small chance we were to have a problem."

Raburn concluded, "The aviation media and later the main stream press just
assumed the aircraft was approved by the FAA. We should have cleared up
this confusion earlier and hope everyone appreciates a product deemed safe
and effective by the FDA. We think a healthy competition between government
bureaucracies is good."

Thanks Black Tulip! I really like the bit about using lawyers for flight testing in "... the early risky phase with Williams engines", but I digress. Our next voice is one of our 'working pilots' who has to use the FPJ to earn a living. The following email reached me late last week. You can feel the frustration, even through the edits I've done to protect his identity. It's headed

"NG Software Gremlins"

Shane,

Yep, the latest and greatest contribution from Vern and his buddies is working out great.

Several of our planes are fitted with NG avionics. They have generated "Ghost Like Gremlins" that are difficult to chase down. The Gremlins live primarily in the software. To my knowledge, these Gremlins don't mean major harm. They are annoying enough however for the planes to file in with the other hangar queens.

A long time ago in my career, I was told that there are, in fact, 'Gremlins', and that one should always try to keep them happy. But beware as behind every Gremlin, is a Fifinella. Fifinella's are the female of the Gremlin species, and are much more deadly.

The above definition comes from Jordanoff's Aviation Dictionary Copyright 1942.

To conclude at Eclipse there are more Gremlin's in the wood pile than there is wood.


'Hanger Queens' is a phrase that's come through to me from more than one owner and/or pilot, but Fifinella is a new one. Sounds to me that Captain Chuck Nealy, who managed to land the FPJ in Midway a few weeks ago, had a personal interview with one of the Gremlins, and very nearly a fight with Fifinella....

Turboprop_Pilot asked a very interesting question a few days ago on the last thread. You will recall that the Inspector General at your Department of Transportation is asking some searching questions about our very own Eclipse Aviation. TP posted the following, very appropriately, on the 'Glorious Fourth' when everyone should at least TRY to remember the founding principles of your great democracy.

My suggestion:
That the blog develop a comprehensive set of shortcomings involved in Eclipse’s development and certification of the E500 and send it to the DOT IG as an “amicus curiae”. That we provide in depth backup of these short comings and eliminate the hyperbole and invective.

I strongly agree. Anyone who wishes to do so, email the blog with their 'top five' shortcomings and I will sort out the most popular ones. In about two weeks, I will make a 'headline post' of the top TEN. These will be selected on a properly democratic basis, from the emails. We can kick it around for a few days, and then agree a) who to send it to and b) how to identify ourselves as the source. I will of course be happy to stick my own signature on the letter, in any event. This is something we owe to the GA community, so get cracking at those keyboards.

Next a small, cautionary tale for those of you who are lucky enough to be married, and wish to retain that happy status. This email reached me in the past few days, has a few xxx's to avoid identifying the 'happy couple', and was headed

"Eclipse and marital discord"

Hi Shane,

I've been following the blog since it was in Stan Blankenship's hands and wanted to commend you on your work with it thus far.

NxxxEA just left xxx after more than a week AOG. The owner and his wife were no longer on board. It arrived xx June and needed a tire change, which turned into a nightmare. Aircraft departed for xxx a couple days later and had to return to us after HAL reported what I believe was a stick-pusher failure, which I understand makes autopilot unavailable. The local mechanic's experience with Tech Support at Eclipse was embarrasingly comical. He was given instructions like "try to move the wires around." I'm an AMT and sometimes I do "move the wires around" but that's on a 40 yr old plane with some rather simple systems. The mechanic in xxx is a very experienced IA and pilot. We both fly aircraft for another local company. Eclipse ended up sending a service team to work on the plane and it is finally on its way home (the intended trip had to be cancelled entirely).

I spoke with the owner and his wife and there was very clearly some marital discord as a direct result of the FPJ's unreliable nature. The woman asked if I knew of anyone in the market for an E500. Another disatisfied customer. I hadn't formerly thought that relational fallout was part of the Eclipse ownership experience. It was truly sad to see. The financial loss from the trips disruption and ultimate cancellation was substantial (Operating costs from the xxx US to the xxx US, crew cost, lodging, meals, etc. Plus the cost of lodging in xxx which I don't think could have been refunded at such a late date. Plus the cost of tickets for Airline travel back to xxx. Plus the cost of flying the plane back to xxx with no one on board, but the relational cost is something that might be harder to pay.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Another tyre, another marriage, and both busted. Seems Vern is 'disruptive' in more ways that we thought.

Folks, I think we have enough for three or four 'headline' posts, but it gets that way around here. The 'Office of the Custodian, Eclipse Aviation Critic NG' needs to get back to some real work. Remember to email your 'Top Five Shortcomings', with that as the subject line, as soon as you can, be kind to your families (they will pay for the retirement home...) and keep those posts coming.

Shane

 

288 comments:

1 – 200 of 288   Newer›   Newest»
Shane Price said...

One other small thing.

Seems the 'wonder stuff' PhostrEx (don't forget the TM) is leaking out of it's cartridges. Please make sure to inspect them at regular intervals, as the corrosive effects of this marvelous fire suppressant will cause your engines to drop off.

Or something like that...

Wonderful news coming out of Eclipse these days. Every week has a new 'urgent, inspection required' or an Emergency Airworthiness Directive.

Life is never dull for the owners of the FPJ, that's for sure.

Shane

Dave said...

Here's more amusement from Vern regarding certification:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/07/08/225063/eclipse-is-latest-company-caught-in-powerful-lawmakers-safety.html

Here's Vern doing his best to increase regulation in aircraft certification:
Eclipse president and chief executive Vern Raburn says there should be no correlation between Oberstar's certification review and the airworthiness directive: "There were zero problems with the throttle quadrant assembly [TQA] during certification in fact, there are no certification requirements on the force the TQA has to endure."
Now Vern tell me how exactly this statement is supposed to either make people feel safe or make legislatures not legislate over such a matter? I also wonder if Vern thinks the grounding of the MD-80s (what happened the last time Oberstar got involved) was "political"?

Vern saying there are no requirements would seem to invite this: if the OIG's information validates the concerns, Oberstar will likely hold a hearing in September.
Because Vern seems to be saying that you can take a joystick from MS Flight Simulator and stick it in a real aircraft and it wont even be part of aircraft certification.

chickasaw said...

Maybe Vern will sue the makers of PhostrEx (TM), oh wait, I think he owns the company. Would suing your self be called masterlitigation?

Dave said...

Maybe Vern will sue the makers of PhostrEx (TM), oh wait, I think he owns the company. Would suing your self be called masterlitigation?

Actually there was a lawsuit between Eclipse and them over the ownership of Phostrex. Its like Eclipse is a litigation company that on the side does something with litigation. Despite Eclipse's small size, there's just always litigation litigation litigation. I wonder if the Trial Lawyers Association has the equivallent of the Collier Trophy that it could award Eclipse for all the legal bills it has accumulated.

Dave said...

Here's a list of aircraft with RVSM approvals. It lists 122 Eclipses:
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ato/service_units/enroute/rvsm/documents/us_masps/us_masps_iga_a.xls

Also this gives statistics for Gainesville air taxi activity:
http://www.gra-gnv.com/about_gnv/commercial_airline_statistics.php

Eclipse was looking to take their business model to California:
http://www.catc.ca.gov/TACA/August_07_07_TACA_mtgmin.doc

Shane Price said...

Dave,

Eclipse was looking to take their business model to California

I think you meant DAYJET going to CA, not Eclipse.

Mind you, in August last year was anyone able to tell the difference?

Shane

Dave said...

I think you meant DAYJET going to CA, not Eclipse

Right

FlightCenter said...

This month, we'd like to discuss another of our top reliability issues: PhostrEx leaks. We have received several reports of the PhostrEx cartridge accidentally discharging or the PhostrEx agent slowly leaking from the cartridge during periods of long-term storage. It should be noted that the PhostrEx cartridge has never failed when needed. Rather, leaks, which are easy to detect, have occurred gradually on the ground.

We have discovered that cartridges can leak when the cartridge filling process is not adequately controlled. This causes moisture to come in contact with the PhostrEx agent and, over time, form a small quantity of acid. This acid can potentially damage the integrity of the cartridge seal and rupture disk, allowing the agent to leak out. Our PhostrEx supplier incorporated a process change on March 12, 2008 that became effective on cartridge SN 176.

The PhostrEx agent is not immediately toxic and is quickly diluted or made inert with water. If you discover a PhostrEx leak, please call Eclipse Aviation Customer Care. Also, follow the maintenance actions found in the Aircraft Maintenance Manual.

While we continue to determine if a more aggressive field approach is required, it is recommended that you check the PhostrEx gauge as part of each pre-flight check and look for signs of leakage near the bottom of the aircraft cowls. If you store your Eclipse 500 for an extended period of time, please make arrangements for the gauge to be checked on a regular basis. Although instances of leaks are rare, long-term exposure of the agent within the aircraft can cause corrosion on the engine case and some components and should be avoided to prevent lengthy maintenance or down time for the aircraft.

- Eclipse Flyer Newsletter

FlightCenter said...

Top Reliability Priorities

- Tires
- PhostrEx Leaks
- Pitot AOA and Static Indications
- Auto Pilot Servos
- DSU Communications
- Fuel System and Probes
- ADC (Air Data Computer)
- Actuators
- Troubleshooting, Inspection and Misdiagnosis

- From Eclipse Flyer Newsletter

FlightCenter said...

Eclipse Aviation's top priorities:

1. Avio NG with Garmin certification

2. Fleet retrofits

3. Post delivery commitments

4. EASA certification

5. FIKI, Garmin block changes incorporated into production

- Eclipse Flyer Newsletter

Note: None of the top reliability priorities or the throttle quadrant / FADEC software fix are listed as among the top priorities for Eclipse.

Shane Price said...

FlightCentre,

It did strike me, when I got it, that I could have reposted this entire Eclipse Flyer as a 'Critic' headline post, and not had to change one single line.

Who needs us, when the owners have the 'Flyer' to cheer them up?

Memo to Captain Zoom. Any danger you might reprint something from the Flyer, instead of the standard EAC press releases?

No, probably not. That would take too much effort, and anyway you probably don't get one.

Unlike the rest of us...

Shane

Dave said...

This month, we'd like to discuss another of our top reliability issues: PhostrEx leaks. We have received several reports of the PhostrEx cartridge accidentally discharging or the PhostrEx agent slowly leaking from the cartridge during periods of long-term storage. It should be noted that the PhostrEx cartridge has never failed when needed. Rather, leaks, which are easy to detect, have occurred gradually on the ground.

It seems like with Eclipse, where there's smoke, there's fire. This PhostrEx issue seems to have first hit the headlines with a factory accident:
http://www.abqjournal.com/abqnews/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=4708

Pitot AOA and Static Indications

Wasn't this already supposedly fixed with all FPJs SN 65 and later?:
Pitot AOA and Static Indications

gadfly said...

Don’t you love it? . . . the fun of tracking down terms on the internet, like:

“small quantity of acid” (question: how much is a “small quantity”?)
“corrosion” (Ah . . . that wonderful natural method of “recycling” old aircraft.)
“signs of leakage near the bottom of the aircraft cowls” (‘Wonder where the “top” is, and how long did it take to get to the “bottom”?)
“FSW” (. . . the jury is still out.)
“intergranular/intragranular” corrosion (fancy term for “what happened to my plane . . . it was here just the other day! . . . maybe it’s under that pile of “paint”.)
“high strength aluminum alloys” (Requires the same care and caution of a relationship with a beautiful woman . . . ‘take nothing for granted.)
“NaCl” (‘The friend of food, the enemy of “my aircraft”.)
“ocean environment” (A soothing place, that will eat my airplane.)

. . . all innocent and wonderful things, but not necessarily the best companions in a single package.

gadfly

(We had a sign in the submarine that read something like: If you find an unexploded bomb, Shake it . . . maybe the fuse is stuck! We didn’t know about “INOP” stickers back then, but then, everything worked.)

airtaximan said...

can someone please help me, here:

"We have received several reports of the PhostrEx cartridge accidentally discharging or the PhostrEx agent slowly leaking from the cartridge"
ATMAN asks: which is it? These are two radically different problems.

"during periods of long-term storage."
ATMAN asks: storage where? on the plane, on a shelf, how long? These are all different... Why confuse the issue, here... why try to make it sound as if this only happend on a shelf - it obviously happends when installed as opposed to "on a shelf as implied by "long term storage". Why not inspect them before installing them? BS.

"It should be noted that the PhostrEx cartridge has never failed when needed."
ATMAN Asks: when was the last engine fire...do tell?

"Rather, leaks, which are easy to detect, have occurred gradually on the ground."
ATMAN asks: really? how do you know when the leak started? Perhaps it started in the air, and you noticed it on the ground? How would you ever know this, unless you were watching for this before and after every flight, and while in flight? Accidental discharging only occurs while not in flight? Really...

Gimme a break.

I am starting to think there's a damn good reason NO ONE ELSE EVER picked up on the latest and greatest fire suppression technology... the one that SOME FOLKS said would actually be so successful, it would fund the entire company.

eclipso said...

Maybe someone can help find the answerto this:

If Eclipse is NOT a U.S. corporation anymore (from the last thread), how can anyone be bound by ANY lawsuit filed in the U.S ?

I'm not leagalese enough to understand.

Any input?

Dave said...

I am starting to think there's a damn good reason NO ONE ELSE EVER picked up on the latest and greatest fire suppression technology... the one that SOME FOLKS said would actually be so successful, it would fund the entire company.

This more and more is reminding me of those dot com bubble scams that were then extended to the SCO Group litigation scam (who not coincidentally had Ed intimately involved in the scam) and now this.

Here's some vintage Vern:
Eclipse President and CEO Vern Raburn said the company is still assessing the market potential and value of PhostrEx, but he suggested the new fire suppression system could be worth billions of dollars.

He also said the PhostrEx system - which will be certificated for use on the Eclipse 500 - is designed to be maintenance-free for 10 years, after which the PhostrEx capsule is simply replaced.

"We're still in the process of sizing this," Raburn told BA, "just starting to consider" whether to spin off PhostrEx as a separate company or to make a deal to sell or license the rights to another firm.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=businessweekly&id=news/HAL08015.xml

Dave said...

If Eclipse is NOT a U.S. corporation anymore (from the last thread), how can anyone be bound by ANY lawsuit filed in the U.S ?
I'm not leagalese enough to understand.
Any input?


Eclipse still is a US corporation, just they are not considered a US Citizen Corporation per aviation regulations:
(15) “citizen of the United States” means—
(A) an individual who is a citizen of the United States;
(B) a partnership each of whose partners is an individual who is a citizen of the United States; or
(C) a corporation or association organized under the laws of the United States or a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States, of which the president and at least two-thirds of the board of directors and other managing officers are citizens of the United States, which is under the actual control of citizens of the United States, and in which at least 75 percent of the voting interest is owned or controlled by persons that are citizens of the United States.

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/49/40102.html

Also the citizenship of a corporation doesn't matter as far as litigation is concerned. With Eclipse not being a US citizen corporation, it creates difficulties for Eclipse:
http://www.mcafeetaft.com/Aircraft/Aircraft_Documents/FAA_Consideration.htm
Which is why they wanted a waiver.

gadfly said...

OK . . . let’s take them one at a time:

“slowly leaking” is a disruptive technology . . . disrupting the fire which “might” be in progress at any given time . . . who knows? . . . before it “progresses” . . . “Disruptive Technology”.

“long-term storage” . . . they may be stored for long times “anywhere” . . . they are “universal” . . . and never need inspection. What they are able to accomplish today, will be no different ten years . . . maybe a ‘hundred years from now . . . who knows? . . . who cares? . . . Besides, inspecting them is like testing “flash bulbs”, or “fuses” . . . the actual test is when they are used . . . a most beautiful concept.

“. . . never failed when needed.” Now that is truly elegant . . . so far, the little jet has not yet caught on fire (at least, we don’t know if it has) . . . and it has never, . . . I repeat, never failed during an in-flight fire . . . “so, who needs it” . . . question answered.

“gradual leaks on the ground” . . . aside from “Pampers”, this is a “delicate matter”, and should not be discussed in “polite company”. If the pilot, or crew has a bladder problem, the discovery of “leaks on the ground” is not within the responsibility of Eclipse. After all, the “seventh seat” is offered as an option.

gadfly

(Up until now, I thought this was a respectable website, with at least a certain level of etiquette and refinement . . . “leaks on the ground”, indeed! . . . and to think of such things as a “fire suppression device” . . . on second thought, maybe that’s why they don’t offer the “potty” as “standard equipment” . . . sort of a “backup” system, as it were, or the "other way 'round", whichever!)

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So, designed for high-utilization air-taxi service - except for the following:

- Tires
- Pitot AOA and Static Indications
- Auto Pilot Servos
- DSU Communications
- Fuel System and Probes
- ADC (Air Data Computer)
- Actuators
- Troubleshooting, Inspection and Misdiagnosis

And then there's PhostrEx, designed for 10 years without Mx, except when it leaks, apparently a lot.

This whole thing is to airplanes what Maxwell Smart was to spies.

"Sorry about that Chief"

"Missed it by that much"

Black Tulip said...

ECLIPSE ANNOUNCES ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUE

Albuquerque, NM – July 8, 2008 – Today heralded a first in aerospace manufacturing. Eclipse Aviation disclosed its Post Manufacturing Chemical Milling (PMCM) process at a press conference today. President Vern Raburn said, “Confidentially, the airplane came in a little heavy. We were concerned about this and developed a weight reduction program that is 'the gift that keeps on giving’.

“Our solution (heh, heh…pun intended) is PhostrEx. Not only is this a fire retardant compound but it is the most advanced chemical milling agent in the aerospace industry. The skillfully designed canisters dispense PhostrEx at a pre-determined rate to dissolve aluminum alloy where it is not needed - in the engine nacelles.”

“This is the disruptive technology you sought when you ordered your Eclipse 500. Supplements for the Aircraft Flight Manual will be mailed periodically. Owners may expect the empty weight to drop about one pound and the center-of-gravity to move forward one-eighth inch per month”, concluded Raburn.

Dave said...

And then there's PhostrEx, designed for 10 years without Mx, except when it leaks, apparently a lot.

This is what is disruptive about Eclipse. You don't have to maintain your fire suppression system and in so doing, reduces those costs to 1/10th, but then you have to go out and spend major bucks on engine repair and then Eclipse rakes in the bucks.

Low maintenance costs—The PhostrEx fire suppression system is much less complex than Halon systems and is designed to be maintenance-free for 10 years. After 10 years, you simply remove and replace the PhostrEx agent's canister. By contrast, most Halon systems require periodic maintenance. The 10-year, no-touch PhostrEx fire suppression system is expected to offer overall lifecycle costs just one-tenth those of traditional Halon systems.
http://www.phostrex.com/about_phostrex/advantages.php

So if you want to be pennywise and pound foolish, do business with Eclipse. They've shown how transparent and good to do business they are.

Also here's a good blast from the past article on Eclipse:
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2006/05/02/206252/eclipsing-the-past.html

airtaximan said...

BT,

I don't know who you are, but man, you have a terrific sense of humor!

airtaximan said...

CW,

Don't forget the cracking windshields, 30lb breakaway stops on the throttle, etc...

The claim the plane was designed for high air taxi utilization and durability is a complete farce.

airtaximan said...

CW, looking at the list, if yu were to make red marks on an image of the e500 where the "problems" are... what would be left?

Not much - and I bet, there are problems with virtually every single part on the plane.

We've heard of riveting problems, non conforming wings, empennage, thin skins, windows, control surfaces, wheels/brakes... thats pretty much the entire "Surface of the plane".. and for the innards...

your list...

amazing

airtaximan said...

Linear Air Lands Expansion Funding
By Matthew L. Brown

Worcester Business Journal Staff Writer
Yesterday

Linear Air, a Concord-based air taxi service, has closed on $3.5 million in equity financing intended to fund the company's expansion in the Northeast.

In particular, the company needs the money to support the growth of its Eclipse jet service, which was launched last year. The company recently began offering Eclipse service in New York. The company provides air taxi service to 750 cities in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic states and eastern Canada with three-passenger jets and eight-passenger airplanes.

To date, Linear has raised $10 million in private equity financing and another $12 million with its aircraft lease program.

** question is: would you trust your money to a company that is banking on THIS airplane?

I give them credit for not burning $200M like Dayjet, but still... the E500? What operational insight and safety culture led Linear to the e500?

Oh, I forgot, its a newbie company, founded by a guy from the tech industry. Now I get it.

gadfly said...

It just occurred to me that maybe “PhostrEx” might be sort of a “clean up” thing . . . Black Tulip, it ain’t fair, no how . . . I had a whole string of clever things to say . . . you put it on the internet minutes ahead of my thoughts . . . whatever! Anyway, friend, we’re on the same page . . . that’s worth something.

We all don’t want to come out and say what we’re really thinking, but the fact is that sooner or later, some-one will pay that ultimate price for this idiotic fiasco . . . and in spite of all the “rhetoric” and “humorous” comments, Eclipse will wish they had some magic device, some “chemical”, that will erase all the evidence of the things that some of us have “over and over” hinted, and sometimes stated “outright” . . . that this is not a legitimate enterprise, nor “flying machine”, in the annals of aviation.

The entire thing stinks to high heaven . . . and at the risk of coming under attack, I would be absolutely ashamed to one day stand in a court, if I didn’t at this time declare that this enterprise is a total disgrace to everything that I have devoted my life, as well as the life of my father, and yes, even my grandfather. Three generations devoted to safety and integrity in flight control and safety, a list of patents and successful devices a mile long, in use each and every day, so much so, that every time a pilot, or co-pilot sits down and buckles himself into his seat, and set the little lever that may save his life in a crash, he “honors” my own Dad . . . and when he touches those controls, moving ailerons, rudder, throttles, elevators, . . . he honors my Dad . . . when an “A&P” tests the tension of the control cables (reading out the values on his “hand-held” T-60 . . . yep, you guessed it), or dis-connects, and “re-connects” the control cables, and twists that “304 SS” safety wire in place, he honors my Dad. And should you experience, God forbid, a “crash”, and walk away, yep . . . you honor me . . . that your inertia harness system locked up at precisely “2.5 G’s” . . . someone built the thing that calibrated that device, that sat behind your seat all these years. Guess who . . . you get one chance!

Who would have thought . . . that someday I would have a company in Albuquerque . . . observing the most ridiculous company of all times claim to take over an important segment of aviation . . . what a farce! The claims are getting mighty close to a nerve.

gadfly

20yearmechanic said...

Its Official, We where informed today that the FAA will be visiting us at Eclipse in the form of an official audit on AUGUST 19th. We must have our house in order over the next few weeks. This is the other reason we where shut down for the last week. They where retooling the line, maybe the parts will fit right now, We Shall See.

20 YM

gadfly said...

20year

If you pass any sort of test, no matter how "in order" you have your house, the "inspectors" will have failed . . . royally.

The inspection better not stop at the surface . . . anyone can put on a "dog and pony show", and sign off all the boxes . . . big deal. Let's see if these are "real" inspectors, or some "fluff" to cover over the real issues. A real inspection will take "weeks" at the least . . . a daily presence that will be most tiresome, at best.

Or we may observe more than the federal agencies wish us to see.

This will be most revealing, either way.

gadfly

(Never . . . never, irritate a "gadfly" . . . they're not nice when they get irritated . . . and this one is right on the "verge".)

TBMs_R_Us said...

Time to remember the wondrous origins: There we were in the midst of the dot com wealth explosion. Any idiot who could say "disintermediate" could put an astronomical valuation on his business plan, and get it funded. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of new dot com millionaires, many of them with the dream of owning their own jet. (Come to think of it, I was one of them, but ironically, by the time I got to shopping for a turbine aircraft I was turned off by the Eclipse order book, so I bought a real airplane instead. Go figure!)

Along came Vern, with the promise of a jet in every barn for every dot com millionaire out there. It looked like he was the next brilliant guy, except even better. He came up with an even better word than disintermediate: disruptive! Of course, most of those new millionaires lost everything. But, Vern had his funding and his order book, and being from MS he knew how to keep up appearances (don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain!). Remember when at least one dot com gazillionaire went to prison for running up his order book in circular ad sales?? Oh, for the days of the easy IPO.

Two recent communiques from Eclipse: I received an email from them telling me about my chance to place an order for the next great airplane, the E400. I replied sarcastically to the email. Then, I actually received a response from Michael McConnell, their VP of Sales. He had this to say, responding to my expressed doubts about certification to 41000 feet:

"We believe that it is indeed very feasible and actually our obligation to certify the Eclipse 400 to 41,000 feet. Most severe weather is found between 18,000 and 35,000 feet depending on the time of year. It is simply a matter of safety." Obligation??? EAC to the rescue for all us schmucks dodging buildups at FL310.

Then, today, I received a call from a sad sounding young lady from Eclipse who told me that I was on the mailing list for the E400 and was I still interested? I said, "You mean, the non-existent E400? No, I'm not interested." She offered to remove me from the mailing list. From the sounds of it, must have been a tough day cold calling.

FlightCenter said...

I keep coming back to these quotes from the Eclipse Flyer.

"We have received several reports of the PhostrEx cartridge accidentally discharging or the PhostrEx agent slowly leaking..."

"Although instances of leaks are rare,"

The last time we heard the word "rare" in an Eclipse Flyer article, the definintion of rare worked out to about once every 1,200 hours.


The other quote that sticks in my mind is "Our PhostrEx supplier incorporated a process change on March 12, 2008 that became effective on cartridge SN 176."

Two comments-
1) So even PhostrEx problems have become a supplier problem now?
2) On top of that, the statement does not say that the process change in question actually solved the leak problem.

Dave said...

The claim the plane was designed for high air taxi utilization and durability is a complete farce

It was designed to work perfectly for MS Flight Simulator...Vern himself said the milquetoast FAA certification didn't even require any minimums for throttle quadrant assembly. This might explain the problem:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303029

Dave said...

2) On top of that, the statement does not say that the process change in question actually solved the leak problem.

So am I understanding this correctly that with an Eclipse the aircraft can leak, but the passengers can't take a leak?

gadfly said...

Maybe we should start a group . . . Call it, "Save-A-Life, Your Own, Anonymous". Refuse any further sales pitch from "bird brains" in Albuquerque.

The entire thing is at best, "pathetic". At worst, possibly lethal.

What in the world does it take to "get through"? 'Maybe Congress and the DOT will answer the question . . . it appears that "New Mexico" doesn't have the guts.

gadfly

(Back in "olden times", flying out of Meigs Field on an "orange" plasma screen on a Toshiba laptop seemed rather fun . . . I always tended to fall asleep with the "electronic sound" of a Cessna 172 coming over the little speaker . . . never made it beyond Wheaton . . . innocent times for sure . . . it seems that "Eclipse" never got over the seriousness of when the screen got all "crackly".)

Dave said...

"We believe that it is indeed very feasible and actually our obligation to certify the Eclipse 400 to 41,000 feet. Most severe weather is found between 18,000 and 35,000 feet depending on the time of year. It is simply a matter of safety." Obligation??? EAC to the rescue for all us schmucks dodging buildups at FL310.

It's true. They've got an obligation to Vern to let him cook the books. By keeping the Frankenjet forever in R&D, they can allocate all sorts of costs to the program and be able to claim the FPJ part of the company is "cashflow positive" while blaming the new new thing that will be uber-successful for the company's continued bottomline red ink. These guys don't have to file with the SEC, so it is especially easy for them to do these accounting shenanigans.

Orville said...

I'd say there are going to be some interesting conversations taking place at Oshkosh. The Eclipse tent will be a great place to hang around and eavesdrop.

Hope to see some of you there - I'll be the guy wearing the EAA shirt. :)

uglyabq said...

Dave said...

This might explain the problem:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303029

How does one restart an EA500 in "safe mode"?

Orville said...

"Safe mode" in an E500 is when it's locked in a hangar and the key has been thrown away.

Dave said...

How does one restart an EA500 in "safe mode"?

Vern, Ed and Roel are obssessed with seeing the aircraft as anything but an aircraft. They prefer to see it as a piece of software or networking equipment, so they think what you can do in the computing world you can do in aviation world. Admittedly Vern has slightly changed where he now thinks planes are like cars and as such if you can build a car, you know more than those who have built planes - nevermind that a car is a much slower speed vehicle that travels in two dimensions rather three dimensions.

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

Remember in WWII Ford build AC in less than an hour with our Grandma’s doing the building. My grandma made Windshields. FPJ hired AC people that know how to build… but you can’t build a bad design. That’s why the experience has quit. Rosie-the-riveter could not save this place.

BTW I've seen auto's built and I've seen FPJ built. I'd rather fly a Chevy than drive a FPJ. Now any bets on what makes me feel safer?

Dave said...

Here's a good read. Go to table 5.9:
http://www.cabq.gov/airport/pdf/S_05.pdf

Also we learn here that ABQ is looking at putting another $2 million into Eclipse projects:
http://daystar2.cabq.gov:81/Attachments/7520.doc

chickasaw said...

Uglytruth said:

"Remember in WWII Ford build AC in less than an hour with our Grandma’s doing the building. My grandma made Windshields. FPJ hired AC people that know how to build… but you can’t build a bad design."

Just to nit-pick a little; the top production at Willow Run was 14 planes in 16 hours. Still pretty amazing if you have ever stood next to a B-24 Liberator to see how huge it is. There were I believe 30,000 employees at this plant.

By the way; ask your Grandmother about the turn table that kept old Hank from paying taxes in 2 counties.

Dave said...

Here's a recent article mentioning Eclipse and DayJet:
http://www.cnbceb.com/Articles/2008/June/43/travelling-light.aspx

This is an update on the Russian front provided by ETIRC:
http://www.jura.lt/news/news-page-en.php?date=20080609&number=1&page=1

Here's a good document doing a european analysis of VLJs. It puts total sustainable european VLJ sales at 100 per year across all manufacturers and it also recommends VLJs (including Eclipse) be fitting with TCAS:
http://www.filas.it/downloads/documentazione/AVAL_report_V1.3.pdf

Here's a slideshow discussing the report:
http://www.eurocontrol.int/msa/gallery/content/public/documents/AVAL_WA7_11D_v1.1.pdf

Here's a slideshow on VLJs and ACAS:
http://streaming.nbaa.org/ebace/itunes/2008/vljs/ebace_vljs_hendriks.pdf

Here's a slideshow last year by ETIRC where they predict an 18% pretax profit on running their air taxi business with ETIRC going so far as to say the ETIRC CFO is very comfortable with that projection:
http://www.eurocontrol.int/eatm/gallery/content/public/events/vlj/3%20-%20Matthijs%20DE%20HAAN%20-%20ETIRC.pdf

Slideshow discussing the different VLJ requirements between the FAA and EASA:
http://www.filas.it/downloads/documentazione/VLJ%20AVIONICSphil.pdf

Here's the UK aviation authority expressing concern about a single pilot VLJ operations:
http://streaming.nbaa.org/ebace/itunes/2008/safety/ebace08_safety_finnegan.pdf

This is comment from an organization expressing that they think lightweight turboprops will be excluded but not VLJs and they say this is EASA thinking too:
http://www.airsafety.aero/assets/uploads/files/comments_log_RIA_corporate.pdf

Dave said...

DayJet expands to add 2 DayPorts and 14 DayStops:
http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080709005827&newsLang=en
http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/business_tourism_aviation/2008/07/dayjet-adds-orl.html

uglytruth said...

Grandma's in a much better place now. She worked at Libby Owens Ford (LOF now Pinkleton) where they made 'float glass" and she polished the formed canopies so it was optically perfect with no distortion. She told me at that time it gave “our boys” a big advantage because what they saw was where they saw it when they went to shoot it down. She told me about rationing, recycling and carpooling so they had enough people to push the car up a hill on their way to work. And by the way not only did they contribute to the war effort they were PROUD of their work and their country. Something we are lacking now.

I watched a show on PBS a few months back and that’s where they said the “less than an hour”. If I remember right it was 54 minutes.

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

Some rumors I've heard - look for some big announcements from Diamond at Oshkosh, as well as a price increase of $150,000+. I suspect the announcement may have something to do with the payload being increased with the larger engine, but don't quote me on that.

More rumors - some Eclipse owners (a.k.a. test pilots) are now gettting messages that their windshields are overheating. I thought that the windshield heat was INOP and the CB was collared, but not sure about that. What I do know is that the "fix" is to have the entire windshield replaced. I heard your favorite doctor and his wife have had to have theirs replaced already. You can add that one to the FAA's investigation list.

airtaximan said...

Dayjet "expansion"...

pretty funny - they reduced their fleet and this is called an expansion. It's actually terrible news.

1- service major markets instead of secondary "underserved" markets
2- demand is SO LOW, that with only 12 planes, they NEED to serve many more markets to keep any sort of revenue
3- look for tremendous inefficiencies from adding more city pairs... empty legs, and repo flights.

The regulatory/gov't agencies should take note, as this expansion is away from the under-served markets, squarly affecting ATC where it is most harmful.

Dave said...

What I do know is that the "fix" is to have the entire windshield replaced

That's too rich. Mr Microsoft requires Windows to be re-installed to fix the bug in Eclipse!

airtaximan said...

Ahh...

I'm remembering back to the time when there was a bug in the Mustang G1000 system.

Dave said...

Seeing how DayJet is claiming to be filling in for those companies in the area, does that mean DayJet will offer flights from Clearwater to Detroit?:
http://www.fly2pie.com/media/Statistics/TDCReport.pdf

Reminscent of the Eclipske factory, the Clearwater airport is an FTZ:
http://www.fly2pie.com/airport_services/real_estate.asp

Also here's a blast from the past interview with Ed where he goes into lots of details:
http://blog.jonudell.net/2007/09/15/a-conversation-with-ed-iacobucci-about-the-reinvention-of-air-travel/

Look at this headline (referring to Microsoft Windows rather than Eclipse and DayJet):
Microsoft Patches Critical Zero Day JET Engine Vulnerability
http://www.vistaaid.net/microsoft-patches-critical-zero-day-jet-engine-vulnerability

Now here's some details of Eclipse's much-touted IT - with details given by the former IT manager:
Eclipse Aviation is an aerospace company that designs, manufactures, sells, and services the Eclipse 500 twin-engine jet aircraft. Responsibilities - All aspects of Information Technology including personnel, systems, and infrastructure management; tactical and strategic planning; and budgeting ($5 million budget). Direct reports – 7 Systems personnel and 7 Customer Support personnel. End-user support of approximately 1500 employees and 1100 desktops, laptops, and workstations. Local/Wide Area Network for 12 facilities. Storage Area Network (SAN) – Large fabric connecting 2 datacenters with approximately 30TB of storage. Network comprised of 200 Servers, 100 printers, 60 network switches, 50 wireless access points, 2 phone switches, and 800 cellular phones/data cards. Specification, vendor selection, negotiation, and purchase of all information technology hardware and software through local and national vendors.
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/3/867/352

Dave said...

He says the company is examining a range of scenarios “some that are happier than others” and planning for all contingencies. “Our most likely plan takes us through to a larger investment at the end of the year,” he says. The search is “all over the board,” he says. As a technology company, there are technology investors interested. Others are focused on asset financing. “One of the biggest challenges is that there’s not one investor group that fits perfectly because we’re a hybrid between a new-market, high-growth business and a traditional capital-intensive business,” he says.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/business_aviation/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3A2f16318d-d960-4e49-bc9f-86f1805f2c7fPost%3A8e1422fa-bc95-4295-93a2-a02db2f3d3c4

I agree with Ed. The hybrid result is that DayJet is a new-market low-growth capital-intensive business.

AvidPilot said...

Dave,
That interview with Ed was amusing. It's hard to believe they actually believed what they were saying since the reality of an air taxi business using Eclipse E500's has proved to be quite different than what they envisioned.

I never saw the Dayjet business model working - Dayjet's best day was at the ribbon cutting ceremony and it's been downhill ever since. Here we are only 10 months later, and the model looks even worse than even I imagined it would.

Dayjet has perhaps a few months left before they close their doors.

Dave said...

That interview with Ed was amusing. It's hard to believe they actually believed what they were saying since the reality of an air taxi business using Eclipse E500's has proved to be quite different than what they envisioned.

Its like this guy doesn't understand aircraft...or is hoping the people he's trying to attract to funding DayJet don't understand aviation. Like this part where he says this:
It didn’t take very long to figure out that if you replace one 25-million-dollar plane with 25 one-million-dollar planes, it fixes a lot of problems.
http://blog.jonudell.net/2007/09/15/a-conversation-with-ed-iacobucci-about-the-reinvention-of-air-travel/
Yes, that fixes some problems, but it includes significant problems in the trade-off...a maximum crew/pax ratio of 2/3, burning up more fuel per mile than a sports car, no restrooms (how many women passengers do you hear DayJet talking about?), etc.

The Ed and Vern Show continually talk as if they're exempt from the same economic and physics forces that apply to everyone else in aviation and air transportation.

I think Vern should get an award for technobabble for this rant:
Believe me, there are many more ways to go bankrupt than to make money. What we’re really building here is a value network, and the composition of that network determines the load. If I have a network of nodes A, B, C, and D, and I add a new node, E, that can have an impact on all the nodes at various times of the day. But if I add F, that could impact some nodes differently than others. It’s an interrelated loading problem that’s very difficult to model. So I thought, OK, we’ve got these guys taking chaos and organizing it into order, so we can file flight plans and make it all look organized, or actually be organized, on the back end. What I need is another group of people to create organized chaos, or complexity, to mimic the behaviors of a region of travelers, that can be used to test how well we can reorganize that chaos into order. That’s not simple either, it’s going to depend on pricing, and time/value tradeoffs, and density of your transportation network, and what nodes you introduce, and what the interactions between the nodes are, because every city you introduce has a different effect on the others.

I realized we needed the kind of thing that SimCity represents. When I was in school we called it discrete time simulation, but then it got a biological twist and became complexity science, and at one point chaos theory, though complexity science is the more accepted term. Along with one of my directors I had a served on the board of the BIOS Institute in Santa Fe, an offshoot of the Santa Fe Institute which was biological or evolutionary modeling of large complex systems. So I got in touch with some of those guys and we offered them a job. We said, hey, come on board and we’re going to build the most sophisticated regional travel model that’s ever been built, and we’re going to use it not just to postulate the future but to build a business.

So they came on and worked for about four years and came up with this other piece of technology, which is married to the optimizer, and the simplest way to describe it as SimCity on steroids, very targeted on the problem of regional travel. So we’ve got nine different types of agents or sims, populated using IRS statistics, operating in ten-square-mile zones, they all have different rules on how they book trips and what flexibility they have. Then we loaded on top of that a bunch of demographic data — some we bought, some we got from DOT, some from IRS. And then we loaded all the schedules for all the airlines between all the airports in the contiguous 48. And then we developed algorithms so we could estimate driving times, and added time-of-day congestion through various nodes. And then we added train schedules. The result is a very sophisticated, very high-fidelity model of the transportation options you would face if you lived in one ten-square-mile region of the US, and needed to go to another one.


DayJet marketed that 1% of the market was reasonable, but really it isn't by a long shot. They seemingly based this on grouping all other modes of transportation into blocks (air carrier, car, public transportation) combined with marketing that they'd get a monopoly on the "long tail" (both Eclipse and DayJet have done this).

airtaximan said...

a few comments:

I think the psychobabble post is Ed not Vern. Vern's BS is of a differnt brand.

further up the string..."a new-market, high-growth business and a traditional capital-intensive business"

psst: the PROBLEM is its not a new business, it new equipment, that is a silly trade - jets for a prop mission. Its NOT high growth - you proved that in yr-1, and it is capital intensive, but, the capital asset is the least of your problems.

And yes, trading one huge expensive plane for a bunch of small ones is "interesting". Problem is, they are designed to do radically differnt things. You would not use a jumbojet to carry a few passengers 100-400, and you would not use an eclipse 500 take 300 passengers 1000 miles.

Then again, you would not use an eclipse 500 to to carry a few passengers 100-400 miles, either - you would drive or take a prop plane.



Herein is your problem.

airtaximan said...

"The result is a very sophisticated, very high-fidelity model of the transportation options you would face if you lived in one ten-square-mile region of the US, and needed to go to another one."

and, if it says you would fly dayjet, its wrong.

Dave said...

I think the psychobabble post is Ed not Vern. Vern's BS is of a differnt brand.

Yes, I have a tendency to miswrite Eclipse/DayJet and Ed/Vern...they're more or less interchangeable to me.

And yes, trading one huge expensive plane for a bunch of small ones is "interesting". Problem is, they are designed to do radically differnt things. You would not use a jumbojet to carry a few passengers 100-400, and you would not use an eclipse 500 take 300 passengers 1000 miles.

That's what Eclipse/DayJet do...they treat different types of passengers and different types of planes as interchangeable. They spend their time on lots of things that don't really get to the heart of the matter...what do potential aviation/transportation customers want. Instead they just pull numbers out of where the sun don't shine and Vern says he'll make 1000 airaft per year (now he's doubled down and says he'll do 1400+ per year) and Vern insists he'll get 1%+ of the entire regional transportation market. Nevermind that it is actually difficult to construct aircraft and there has to actually be a real market to buy them if the volume could be produced. Now with Ed he thinks that what he actually offers doesn't really matter...people just buy the concept and will do so droves rather than actually consider if they like his particular offering under his particular terms. Like geesh, he's operating in Florida and he's banned kids from flying DayJet?! In many ways traditional airlines offer more features than DayJet...some of the DayJet requirements and lack of features are probably dealkillers for many.

airtaximan said...

when you look at dayjet's 1% number, its 1% of a huge market of travelers...

Some are now doing airline trips and are OK with that, and will never do Dayjet becasue of stage length..NEVER.

Some of the millions of trips are less than 2 hours by car... these will NEVER choose Dayjet.

Finally, anyone thinking of the smallest-jet will also think of cirrus and Baron at 1/5 the cost...

So, the addressable market might acually be way less than they state. Even at 1%, the market is probably only 10% at best than they think, based on their $20M model...which is obviously wrong.

So, it makes sense they can use 10 VLJs to satisfy the demand in all the Southeast US where they thought it was 100 or more.

I think Dayjet could use 100 planes worldwide... and that's optimistic.

FlightCenter said...

...he's banned kids from flying DayJet?!

Well that is one thing that Ed and I agree on.

Would you put someone else's kids on your aircraft, if it didn't have a lav?

FlightCenter said...

The result is a very sophisticated, very high-fidelity model of the transportation options you would face if you lived in one ten-square-mile region of the US, and needed to go to another one

And if you were willing to stop in some other location to pick up another passenger on your way to your destination...and sit on the ground in the FL heat for 20 minutes.

You really don't need to work four years on a very sophisticated computer algorithm to figure out that not many people are interested in that "model" of air travel.

Go to any airport, stand near the taxi line and ask the folks standing in line how many would like to share a cab with a stranger.

Black Tulip said...

20yrmechanic,

Here’s a short story that you may wish to pass along. Perhaps it will help avoid embarrassment during the upcoming FAA inspection.

The foreman comes over to watch a fuselage being put together. He observes one of the mechanics picking rivets out of a can but throwing away every other one. He asked what was going on, and the mechanic said, “Some of these rivets have the head on the wrong end.”

The foreman stretched out his arms, put his hands on his hips and replied, “You dummkopf, those are for the other side of the fuselage.”

smartmoves said...

Uglytruth said..."I'd rather fly a Chevy than drive a FPJ"

....now I don't care who you are, THAT's funny!

Dave said...

Here's a first! A new DayPort location is saying that the DayJet business wont be profitable to the airport:
The airport lost 30 percent of its business, Lagos said, when discount airline USA3000 pulled its service earlier this year. Lagos said that, while the addition of DayJet is a welcome one, it does not bring in much revenue to the airport, calling it "an entirely different operation" than the more lucrative USA3000.
http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2008/07/07/daily43.html

Also I find this interesting...how could a DayJet flight be late or unavailable?:
Since starting last year, the company has flown more than one million miles and the flights have been 95 percent on time and 97 percent available -- meaning when people call to book a flight, a seat has been available.
http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2008/07/07/daily28.html

Also ANN has noticed the shift in markets being served by DayJet, which has previously been pointed out on this blog:
As DayJet works to optimize its network, the company is increasingly encroaching into heavily-populated areas like Atlanta and Orlando -- a marked departure from its original intent to provide service to out-of-the-way areas ill-served by commercial airlines.
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=df0fd6f6-be31-4fdb-81eb-7460e040aa19

Here's a couple reasons why DayJet might be doing so poorly:
Customers must join the company's network for a fee.
That seems like a real turnoff that would discourage someone who just needs to use DayJet once or who wants to see what the service is like before committing. They also leave out that not only do pay the fee, but you agree to fly at least four times per year on DayJet...Ed is too busy trying to scam another round of investors than to actual make terms be attractive to potential DayJet customers.
DayJet notifies customers the night before what time they need to be at the airport to meet the arrival schedule they have submitted.
Another thing that seems like a real turnoff. You wont know until late at night the day prior to the trip whether you leave at 8 AM or 2 PM if you select the 6 hour window, so it makes it rather difficult to plan out the next day...or alternatively you might as well just rent out a charter if you're going to use the 2 hour window. Trying to target business travelers, but then not letting business travelers plan out their business day isn't exactly a recipe for success.
Both quotes from: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080710/BUSINESS/807100618/-1/newssitemap

Dave said...

On the Eclipse front here's Vern "unplugged":
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=d125af22-01e6-4ab7-843b-b09ebaa2930d
Vern does admittedly come off as being less egotistical than before.

TBMs_R_Us said...

Vern does admittedly come off as being less egotistical than before.

He wishes aircraft were like computers, going on and on about DEC and mini-computers. Of course, there isn't really anything in common between aircraft and computers. No meaningful scale economics, no commoditization of equipment suppliers, etc. etc.

What he does have in common is the parallel between EAC and MS. Both shipped schlock to customers who paid, and then made excuses about it. In the first decade of MS, they shipped software that was often DOA to OEMS, many of whom went bankrupt as a consequence. They'd call MS, and Bill would say, let me tell you about our support options, not, let me fix it for you. Vern's big lapse of logic is that somehow what worked for MS would magically work for an aircraft manufacturer. Instead, emulating MS just means foisting a mess on customers.

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

Instead, emulating MS just means foisting a mess on customers.

Imagine this happening in the air:
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/1998/07/13987

airtaximan said...

I guess he still does not understand WHY the rest of the industry could have done everything he's done... BUT chose NOT TO.

I think its fairly obvious.

Also, how do you reconcile this statement, with the continuous hubris regarding a revolution?

If all the established companies could have (still can, by the way) do what you did, Vern... what is so revolutionary?

I think, all you really have is a forward priced plane, that you lose money on. Why would anyone else do this?

There's yur answer, Vern... it's right there.

Gunner said...

Flight tests will be held off 'till the "very very end"...."towards the end of 2010".

IOW, we'll just have to rely on what the "flight simulations" claim the plane can do. Sound like the EA-500 program "under wraps"...if that's possible.
Gunner

TBMs_R_Us said...

I think, all you really have is a forward priced plane, that you lose money on. Why would anyone else do this?

If it were a computer, when you buy 100,000 of something, or all manufacturers are buying 1,000,000 of something, and the something is based on electronics, it is a reasonable bet that the price will come down due to volume and scale economics.

But for EAC, the same bet even applied to an inflated order book of a few thousand units, where the somethings being purchased for the most part are not electronics, they are off by orders of magnitude. Those volumes, let alone the real volumes measured in hundreds, just don't create the same sort of cost reductions that have driven the computer industry. Same bet, wrong industry. That took quite a genius!

Dave said...

This is an old article, but seems to have been dead on:
http://www.airlineforecasts.com/files/VLJs_a_fun_and_exciting_opprotunity_to_lose_money.pdf

Related to Vern's comments re the Frankenjet, I've got to wonder how smart it is to program the PW615 as a PW610. It seems like Eclipse is being cheap on something could be potentially dangerous.

airtaximan said...

"That took quite a genius!"

"I am not in their strategy meetings, so I don't know how they make decisions..."

maybe you should have spent some time in the industry, before you decided to do something they all decided was not a good idea?

I sincerely believe if you could teach everyone to fly, and the planes were ffordable enough, you could gain significant economies of scale... just picking a price, with no rtionale, in this market, as if it was a new market, is foolish.

Dave said...

Also here's Eclipse telling the state of Florida they only ordered 300 Eclipses (not 1500):
http://www.ftc.state.fl.us/Presentations/DayJet_20%20minute.pps#4

Orville said...

Regarding "program the PW615 as a PW610" - that's precisely the type of shortcut I've seen taken many times in (non-aviation related) software development - and EVERYTIME it comes back to bite you in the @55!

At least a software "crash" (on the ground) doesn't usually result in fatalities.

Dave said...

just picking a price, with no rtionale, in this market, as if it was a new market, is foolish.

The rationale was what would people want to hear...particularly going to funding groups who waren't experienced in aviation. Vern would just say anything to get money - like saying they'd produce 500+ units per year (and this same scam is being exactly replicated in Russia) and there'd be a market for all of them. The aviation industry isn't a packet-switched computer network and people aren't data packets.

Dave said...

Regarding "program the PW615 as a PW610" - that's precisely the type of shortcut I've seen taken many times in (non-aviation related) software development - and EVERYTIME it comes back to bite you in the @55!

Exactly. There's no reason for Eclipse to do this other than to cut corners. This isn't some cosmethic difference of whether or not the Eclipse will have corinthian leather in the cockpit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIL3fbGbU2o
But intentionally programming the aircraft with false information seems like you're asking for trouble and if the FAA knowingly lets false programming be done, that's got to raise questions about how milquetoast the certification process is. With Vern being so into tech, doesn't he know that what caused the HAL 9000 to crash was bad programming?

Speed Racer said...

On the Eclipse front here's Vern "unplugged":
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=d125af22-01e6-4ab7-843b-b09ebaa2930d

I am surprised no one has caught Vern's SNAFU yet. Remember the old TV show, Lost in Space? The robot would say "Danger Will Robinson, Danger!"

Well, Vern mixes this line with present day cinema and his quote is "Danger Will Smith, Danger!" It is about 3/4 of the way through the interview in case you are interested in seeing it!

Orville said...

Funny you'd pick on "corinthian leather" - as that was a hoax as well:

From Wikipedia - Corinthian Leather is a marketing term that does not actually indicate any particular type of leather. Furthermore, Montalbán confirmed this during an interview with David Letterman, admitting that Corinthian leather means "nothing." According to one reference, Chrysler's "Corinthian" leather was mass produced in a plant in Newark, New Jersey (not Corinth).

Surprised E500 marketing hasn't tried that one.

Dave said...

Surprised E500 marketing hasn't tried that one.

Well, Vern's word means nothing.

gadfly said...

Let us for a moment pay solemn respect to the “Nauga” . . . no longer available to cover the seats in the E500 . . . the massive colonies of “Nauga”, that once flourished throughout the jungles of northeast India, presently existing only in small numbers in feed lots behind WalMart factories in inland China, Uniroyal Labs, exploited for their skins in a vast array of colors.

(Not to be confused with the “Naga”, a large herbivore, found in vast herds, throughout the oil fields of North America, bearing many sharp teeth, and sometimes seen in old furniture at garage sales . . . or behind WalMart factories in inland China and Uniroyal Labs . . . where-ever.)

A moment of silence, please! . . . for the once plentiful “Naugahyde”! . . . or for the “Naga”, whatever floats your boat!

gadfly

(“Corinthian Leather” indeed! Come on, folks . . . ‘let’s get real!)

Dave said...

Here's an ant farmer resume:
http://www2.isye.gatech.edu/~rgarcia/resume_cv.pdf

Here's some actual ant farming:
http://www2.isye.gatech.edu/~mwps/publications/dayJet_ColGen(june08).pdf

Even more ant farming:
http://www2.isye.gatech.edu/~mwps/publications/dayjet_1_rev.pdf
http://www2.isye.gatech.edu/~mwps/publications/dayjet_2_rev.pdf

This gives the ant farming team:
http://www.ima.umn.edu/2004-2005/W7.25-29.05/activities/Savelsbergh-Martin/DAFP-IMA2005.pdf
It also looks like DayJet got its original funding based on 1 pilot and 5 pax instead of 2 pilots and 3 pax.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So the EA-400 will feature "the most sophisticated flight deck and aircraft integration available in general aviation" according to Ensign Zoom.

Guess that means no Avio NNfG for the baby weejet, must be G1000.

There are kitplanes flying RIGHT NOW AS YOU READ THIS with more integration and and more advanced avionics than the current production 'spec' EA-500.

Dave said...

Here's the Viken analysis of estimated VLJ flights:
http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/air/NASA/VLJ_demand-WSJ-3-17-06.pdf

AvidPilot said...

It didn’t take very long to figure out that if you replace one 25-million-dollar plane with 25 one-million-dollar planes, it fixes a lot of problems.

Using the same logic, why not replace one $1-million-dollar plane with FIFTY twenty-thousand-dollar planes? Yes, everyone's favorite trainer the 1960's Cessna 150, available for around $20,000.

Think about it - instead of one plane going to one destination, you can have fifty planes carrying fifty passengers to fifty destinations. No complex software algorithms required.

Hey Ed, am I on to something?

gadfly said...

Dave

You don’t know me, I don’t know you.

Your examples could have been extracted right out of my own resumes . . . many years ago. Many times, a man (or woman . . . we’ll not get into that just now) will move from one job to another . . . the bottom line is survival, with a family to feed, a mortgage to pay. Anyone thirty years old, give or take, with ambition, has been in that situation. It’s “scary”, and you take whatever is offered. But maybe, you find that the new opportunity is not totally ethical . . . I’ve been there. ‘Maybe, between the offers of wonderful opportunities, and down-right “ethics” is the choice . . . this “young person” has to make a choice. I’ve been there . . . and chose to leave. A year later, I saw on the “TV” my “boss” in hand-cuffs, being led off to the Federal building in downtown Albuquerque. The “state” did nothing . . . but the “Feds” got him on about 82 counts of interstate fraud. “Funny thing” is that he had a great product, but chose to do “funny things”. “Back then”, and even now, it’s possible to do things “legal” and “honest”, and make an honest living.

It was not a happy moment in time. I had taken a “risk”, which affected both me and my family, and it has taken many years to overcome. My former “boss” suffered time in prison . . . it’s all available in the news records of Albuquerque . . . but gains nothing in the retelling . . . my former “boss” is no longer in the land of the living . . . his family is doing whatever they need to do, to get on with life. After my former boss “got out”, I had a brief time, and opportunity, to “help him” . . . it came to nothing, as “old habits die hard” . . . but at least we tried.

But back to these examples . . . “If” I had worked for Eclipse (which, by the way, I have not, nor ever been a “sub-contractor”, directly, nor indirectly . . . what a pain to need a “disclaimer”), I would count that as a wonderful thing to include on a resume . . . the experience of working for Eclipse is worth far more than some degree in college (Oh, by the way, all four of our “kids” have graduated from major universities . . . something I was not able to do). You see, even working for a company of “questionable” ethics, is in itself an education . . . ‘funny that it might be a “BS” degree.

Eclipse has made itself an “open book”, on how to not conduct business, in an otherwise ethical industry. They didn’t plan it that way . . . the people of New Mexico didn’t wish what resulted (most don’t care, nor “have a clue” . . . I’ve asked many) . . . but there it is, in all its naked splendor. And as a tax payer in the “Land of Enchantment”, with a son in a high position in education, if the future students in the various institutes of “higher education” can study, observe, and learn from this fiasco . . . the millions of dollars “given to Eclipse” may well be worth the cost.

But I’m not “holding my breath” . . . “Eclipse” picked the right state, for sure!

gadfly

(“Out of comments” for the moment!)

Dave said...

I’ve been there. ‘Maybe, between the offers of wonderful opportunities, and down-right “ethics” is the choice . . . this “young person” has to make a choice. I’ve been there . . . and chose to leave. A year later, I saw on the “TV” my “boss” in hand-cuffs, being led off to the Federal building in downtown Albuquerque. The “state” did nothing . . . but the “Feds” got him on about 82 counts of interstate fraud. “Funny thing” is that he had a great product, but chose to do “funny things”. “Back then”, and even now, it’s possible to do things “legal” and “honest”, and make an honest living.

I went through a similar thing. I never went along with the fraud my boss was engaged in, so I got fired. Now I'm working with rather ethical people at a Fortune 500 company serving a Fortune 500 account...and the fraud I was working for before was at a non-profit - you'd think it would be the other way around, but it wasn't.

the experience of working for Eclipse is worth far more than some degree in college (Oh, by the way, all four of our “kids” have graduated from major universities . . . something I was not able to do). You see, even working for a company of “questionable” ethics, is in itself an education . . . ‘funny that it might be a “BS” degree.

I don't know. I think it depends on how well or poorly treated you are. Skupa for instance seems to have been treated poorly and I don't think he's the only one. If you're treated OK and aren't directly part of the drama that is Eclipse, I guess working for Eclipse wouldn't be so bad.

Dave said...

This was probably the funniest quote I found today, though it was said back in 2007:
In a conversation with Jim [Harriot], he told me that this is the first case where a venture [DayJet] has been effectively pre-modeled, to maximize the potential for profitability.
http://eponymouspickle.blogspot.com/2007/04/dayjet-models-business.html

TBMs_R_Us said...

If you're treated OK and aren't directly part of the drama that is Eclipse, I guess working for Eclipse wouldn't be so bad.

Yea, until it goes Tango Uniform. That's a lot of jobs to be on the ABQ market overnight. Adam had several hundred employees; not sure how many of them are going back to work for the Russians.

Does anyone think EAC can survive in their current form? The notable difference between the failure of Eclipse and the failure of Adam is that in the former the Russians worked out the deal first, and the latter, after the fact. I guess Vern is smarter than Rick Adam (actually, I'm not sure about that!). But then, even though he wasn't the smartest guy in the aircraft business, at least Adam was ethical.

airtaximan said...

FWIW,

companies are companies, and there are hierarchies, personalities and ethics.

I have been at a start up, and noticed two critical things.

1- the visionary was the village idiot - he had a half baked concept, that some talented underlings (round 3 of hiring) could actually turn into a product anyone would need or want to buy, but he was the primary reason the company failed

2- one asshole who thought it was more important to kiss the village idiot's arse, instead of do the right thing.

Ballgame over.

In the case of eclipse, I believe (I have no direct experience on this) the same condition exists.

I could envision, in 1998, a simple, off the shelf design, which could have used a PW demo engine (the PW617 flown on the Raytheon testbed) as back up to the WR-fj33 (no joke on the R, its a stolen engine design from RR) as a basic low risk VLJ or whatever taxi plane you want to call it.

Then, a real air taxi model, without the BS hoopla a la Dayjet.

Cheap charter in a jet, for missions around 1000 miles which are less practical fr props.

Bottom line, the village idiot knows nothing about the market requirements, and is failing miserably... and at first it was his wife who said "hecy V, this is not working out"... and I think they divorced. Then, no one wanted to let their paycheck go, so they shut up.

Everyone with a past in aviation and charter knows one simple fact -the e500 is DOA, and the e400 is DOA, and there's nothing eclipse can do about either. There are some die-hard tech wannabees, paying money to suppor the company and filling a few hiundred orders, but that does not make this a success. It makes it a scam.

The village idiot is wrong again.
If he convinces some Russians, some Belgians, some Arabs that its just cash he needs, so be it. The reality is written in black and red on the walls... no freaking way this is a reliable high utilization taxiplane, and no way the demand is there for this plane at anywhere above $1.5M... even the 400 at that price is a non-starter.

Bottom line DOA... to the tune of $2B. Nice job, village idiot. You probably could have done better selling ED products on latenight TV... then again for some, these jets seem to fit THAT bill, too.

airtaximan said...

Dave, thanks for the Georgia tech Dayjet presentation...

a simple fact that is revealed in the presentation is reaon for the DOT and FAA to shut them down..

"order acceptance online"
"schedule optimization offline"

This means (and boys and golys, I am not joking) they are generating a schedule, and pigeon-holing customers into a "schedule" which is generated off line not in real time - means its a way to get cusotmers to adhere to a predetermined schedule... this is by definition a no-no according to the FAA and DOT.

Even the suggeston of a "better time" to leave circumvents the regs.

I think, DAVE, you have discovered a smoking gun. Fines have been levied and companies have been shut down for less...

Nice job

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Good catch ATM and by reference Dave.

I missed that as I couldn't see the screen after I spit my pop out all over it with the decision in the predictions to use the 1500 per year production figure.

Scheduled service is a no-no without the appropriate certification.

Click, Click Boom.

Dave said...

This means (and boys and golys, I am not joking) they are generating a schedule, and pigeon-holing customers into a "schedule" which is generated off line not in real time - means its a way to get cusotmers to adhere to a predetermined schedule... this is by definition a no-no according to the FAA and DOT.

Actually there's a lot of documentation on this aspect of DayJet if you know where to find it. DayJet's reservation system actually seems like a negative rather than something to be seen as the crown jewel. With regulation air transporation you know the depart/arrive times when you pay for your ticket, but with DayJet they don't tell you that until later...the ticket pricing is done in real time, but not the scheduling. It seems like a distinct disincentive for a business customer to not be able to plan their business day since DayJet doesn't tell customers their depart/arrive until the night before the flight.

I'm not fully up on FAA regs, but not getting your schedule until the last minute seems like an inferior choice rather than a superior choice compared to other air transportation options. I think customers are "fining" DayJet already by not wanting to use such a hookey system and instead using other transporation choices.

Dave Ivedorne said...

not getting your schedule until the last minute seems like an inferior choice rather than a superior choice compared to other air transportation options.

Do you mean the airlines? Let me guess - you haven't had to catch a connecting flight lately. Despite my mastery of physics, my first thought upon reading that comment was, "With a scheduled carrier, they wait until you've boarded and taxi away from the gate (if your flight is even there) before changing the schedule on you. And even then, they don't announce the length of the delay."

Compared to airline travel, the air taxi 'model' (including Dayjet's - despite all of their Ant Farming B.S. hoo ha) offers scheduling Nirvana. Dayjet simply chose the wrong 'chariot' for the job. And the wrong guy running it - Ed "Straw Man" Iacobucci.

Dave said...

Do you mean the airlines? Let me guess - you haven't had to catch a connecting flight lately. Despite my mastery of physics, my first thought upon reading that comment was, "With a scheduled carrier, they wait until you've boarded and taxi away from the gate (if your flight is even there) before changing the schedule on you. And even then, they don't announce the length of the delay."

Now you are talking about flight delays, which might or might happen on any given flight. The reasons for flight delays are another beast altogether, which separately DayJet claims to be solving that too with NextGen. DayJet themselves even admits they have flight delays despite being "on-demand."

Compared to airline travel, the air taxi 'model' (including Dayjet's - despite all of their Ant Farming B.S. hoo ha) offers scheduling Nirvana. Dayjet simply chose the wrong 'chariot' for the job. And the wrong guy running it - Ed "Straw Man" Iacobucci.

Sorry, but I'm not seeing Nirvana. In regular air travel you *may* be delayed and have you schedule change, while with DayJet you *categorically* will not know your schedule until the last minute. In regular air travel my day's schedule might get thrown out the window (or might not), while with DayJet I just have to surrender to not even knowing with scheduled depart/arrive time until the night before which essentially just means being resigned to not being able to plan the next day.

Also I have flown internationally recently out of LAX and had no delays.

fred said...

dave :

first of all , bravo for the quantity of stuff you can dig-out ...!

some comments about etirc :

published in a Latvian online news
(one can wonder WHY Latvian if aware of the state of Russian/Latvian relations , not as bad as Estonia but not at all friendly ..)

"ETIRC Aviation, which is going to build an assembly plant for the production of Eclipse 500 jets, has revealed the share capital structure of its Russian joint venture. The Chairman of ETIRC investment fund Mr. Roel Pieper and the vice-President of ETIRC Aviation Mr. Semen Bolotin own 50% in the share capital of the JV. Total cost of the project is USD300 million, including USD100 million to be raised from VEB.
Source: RBC Daily"

first the source : it is RosBusinessConsulatant ( Бизнес-газета РБК ) , i have a subscription on this web-service , but i couldn't find reference to Etirc (i must confess i didn't push the search very far ...)

it sounds very much as what i suspect for a long time with Etirc/EAC : the story related by someone who knows the witness of the neighbor of the one who confessed to have seen something ...! :-))

in one word : nothing really of substance , only something related by some others , who got info from some others source who themselves heard it thru some others source ...who heard it from the grape yard ...!!

is it called manipulation ? and if so toward who is it aimed ?
(i give you a hint it is [i guess] toward citizens of a country referenced by an acronym starting by U finishing by A , may be the middle letter is S ;-)) )

then the numbers :
total is 300M US$ ...
100m$ for Roel (while he hasn't been able to show any , to my knowledge and to date ...)
100m$ for a semen bolotin (?)
and 100m$ coming from VEB (= Внешэкономбанк or Vnesheconombank)

but it is to build a plant supposed to be 72M$ (so 100 - 72 = 28 ) already the supposed cost for building look like a joke , but it is supposed to be built on bank money ? a bank that would be crazy enough , in this times of scarce liquidity , to lend to a startup without any backing ? why do semen and roel NEED to have 100M$ borrowed from a bank ? if they have each 100M$ , they do not need anyone ... especially in the spot they claim to go ...!!!

and then in the news in the page , the next quote is about Sukhoi getting a loan from same bank ?? what a coincidence !!! and sukhoi get ONLY 61M$ ??? so the bank has more confidence into a purely imaginative startup than in a very well known russian firm REALLY backed by russian GOV . ???

i told you : manipulation ... ;-))

fred said...

i just called a guy i know in Внешэкономбанк headquarters to ask him about the potential loan (or what ever you want to call it ) to a foreign startup on russian land ...

the answer came as :
(i know the guy quite well)
"i like to have talks with you [me] you are always making jokes , this one is a good one !"

no need for further explanations !

Dave said...

Here's Vern uplugged part 2:
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=d3da3dff-4816-432e-932d-83e6160b5b65
There he goes blaming Williams. "No big deal" to certify the Frankenjet to 41,000 ft. Vern wants to be remembered for making aviation safer!

Here's an interview done by Karen Di Piazza with Linear Air CEO who despite using the FPJ, has a different taken on these things than Ed. He's not a fan of "flying with strangers":
http://www.charterx.com/resources/article.aspx?id=3413

airtaximan said...

"Herb is not an advocate of per-seat... flying with stragers"

Well he should look at 600 million airline trips a year and re-think his position on that... then again, what he really mean is "flying ON Strangers" because that's how it feel in the e500.

I wish Karen would have asked Herp about the e500 price increase and his thoughts on that as well as the conjet.

Dave said...

First off I thought I should quote from the section in question regarding offline scheduling for people who don't want to follow all my previous links to find it:
At midnight, when off-line schedule optimization is performed, a feasible schedule
already exists. This schedule has been produced by the reservation system which sequentially processes requests for air transportation. In order to ensure that commitments to customers can be satisfied the reservation system maintains a feasible schedule of accepted transportation requests at all times. Therefore, rather than constructing an optimized
schedule from scratch, we have chosen to improve the schedule produced by the reservation
system using a local search scheme that relies on our core scheduling optimization technology to completely explore suitably chosen neighborhoods.

http://mgoycool.uai.cl/papers/eggns06b_preprint.pdf

What I find even more revealing in this to see how believeable Ed when he claims how DayJet is operating now was predicted and is just fine:
For testing purposes, DayJet has provided us with the feasible schedules returned by their on-line reservation system for 10 simulated days of typical operation of a fleet in the southeastern United States. These schedules de ne instances of DAFP with 46 airports, a fleet of 312 jets and roughly 2700 requests.

However, now with DayJet only flying a few planes now (usually less than dozen), they're serving:
Two new ports will be placed in Orlando and St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. Those will join DayJet's services to more than 60 community airports across Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. Besides Birmingham, DayJet also flies into Montgomery.
http://mgoycool.uai.cl/papers/eggns06b_preprint.pdf
So less than 1/30th the number of planes were needed than predicted.

We also learn from the same paper that DayJet allows 4 hours offline to schedule:
DayJet has imposed a time limit of 4 hours for off-line schedule optimization and we use this limit as the stopping criteria for all search schemes.
So why couldn't some person on Excel do the scheduling instead of spending tens of millions for ASTRO?

Here is what is claimed to be the key to profitability:
The ideas presented in Part II have helped us to obtain improvements for real world instances which are comparable to those found in Part I for much smaller fleets. We present the changes in the basic statistics for the best schedules we have found in Table 13. The overall
flight time has decreased by an average of 332 hours per day, which is more than an hour per plane itinerary. Similarly, the number of legs flown has decreased by an average of 323 per day with the majority of these unnecessary legs being deadheads (96%). The most critical factor in the success of per seat, on-demand air transportation is the ability to serve multiple passengers with a single leg. Aggregating passengers is what ultimately makes this business profitable, and we have improved the average number of passengers per leg from 1.17 to 1.32.

I would tend to agree with this assessment, however, I think DayJet failed terribly in predicting market size. Logistical optimization and market forecasting are two extremely different things.

There's probably a very good reason why there's been reduction in flights. It's expensive and DayJet's model costs more - not less - to run. Ed likes to tout DayJet as being 1/25th of a $25 million dollar plane, however, DayJet is significantly more expensive to operate...1/25th of a plane doesn't cost 1/25th the amount for pilots for instance.

To elaborate further on how DayJet operates they have an online "accept/reject systems" and on "offline scheduling system":
To effectively manage day-to-day operations at a per-seat, on-demand air service, several optimization-based scheduling components need to be employed. The two key components are: (1) an online accept/reject system to quickly inform passengers if their
air transportation requests can be serviced and at what price, and (2) an off-line scheduling
system to construct minimum cost pilot and jet itineraries for the next day once the reservation deadline has passed.

http://www.dii.uchile.cl/~daespino/PApers/per-seat_on-demand_air_transportation-part_I.pdf

I found this which explains how DayJet did their forecasting:
"Say someone wants to go from Boca Raton to Savannah three days from now. What we wanted to create was a software agent that could analyze whether it made more sense for that customer to drive, use a commercial carrier, or fly Dayjet. By doing that the program tells us where and how much demand we're going to get."
http://airtaxiflights.com/a-behind-the-scenes-look-at-a-dayjet-day.html
I'd certainly love to see DayJet's forecast error!:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculating_Demand_Forecast_Accuracy

DayJet probably would have been better off as a software company instead of an aviation transportation company. They could have probably simplied things way down with ASTRO and not spent years and years and countless millions and then turn ASTRO into the on-demand version of SABRE. I simply don't see DayJet as a software company to be that big of a business and I see DayJet as DOA as an air transportation company.

Orville said...

OK - take a good listen to Vern Unplugged, part 2.

He says the original price was $837,500 (actually, he says that's the "lowest price we ever sold at"). Then he claims the price went to $1.2M due to Williams. Then says with inflation and aluminum, the price is $1.4M (he calls that "the original price"). Now, take this versus today's price of $2.15M.

OK - there's a bunch of numbers to play with - and the next thing he says is, "it's a true $450,000 price increase". Sorry - but I'm a math major - and I can't get a $450,000 difference out of any of those numbers.

Amazing math!

AvidPilot said...

Fred,

Thanks for the great report from the Russian Front!

It's amazing that anyone, anywhere still believes any of the drivel coming out of Vern and his cronies. Only a fool would invest (or lend) yet another $100 million to this ponzi schemer.

Dave said...

He says the original price was $837,500 (actually, he says that's the "lowest price we ever sold at").

Yes, he's such a snake. Didn't he get get many millions of dollars in funding based on the 3/4 of million price? Now he wants to pretend that number never existed. Also here's an Eclipse press release proving Vern a liar:
Aircraft cost is projected to be $775,000 (year 2000 dollars) when commercial delivery begins in 2003...Orders are currently being accepted for the aircraft.
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewpr&id=57&Itemid=52

airtaximan said...

Dave,

I am truly amazed at what you have found... are you a research specialist?

Anyhow, very enlightening.

I think Dayjet screwed the pooch worse than eclipse. Imagine believing you have a computer model that can predict demand for modes of transport, then you "buy" 1430 planes based on this, and then, you find out you were so far off, you only need 8-12 planes operating around 1-2 hours per day to provide service to around 20% of the US (and that market was chosen as the best place to begin...so its probably more like 30% of the market or more)?

I cannot imagine being that far off after spending so much time and money.

PS> anyone wish to see the entire body of this sort of "scheduling optimization" research the airline industry, which moved hundreds of millions of passengers every year, using multiple aircraft models, deals with more "irregular" (read on demand decision making) operations in a given day than Dayjet will ever have operations, or just read up on OR (Operations Research).

Once again, they have spent a lot of money reinventing the wheel.

IMHO

Dave said...

I am truly amazed at what you have found... are you a research specialist?

I've done competitive intelligence and worked litigation, but now I'm a call center analyst (I exclusively crunch numbers now instead of doing the other fun stuff of digging for dirt and details).

Anyhow, very enlightening.

I've followed Ed for years now. If you look into it, you'll see Ed's DayJet scam isn't much different from Ed's SCO scam. SCO (with Ed leading the litigation committee) used "agent-based models," "heuristics" and "three teams of scientists" to claim billions of dollars in damages from IBM. However, once SCO was called on it, it turned out their claims were quote bogus. You can find out how much Ed got laughed out of court for using "spectral analysis" for software source code comparison...Ed likes to throw out lots of buzzwords, but his actual results have been very poor. Also with the SCO case, you can see how NDAs were used like how Eclipse uses them now...they tried to use NDAs to hide that they didn't have a case and they too tried to intimidate bloggers.

I cannot imagine being that far off after spending so much time and money.

Its not Ed's first time being so widely off as I mentioned up above with SCO.

Dave said...

Here's the Western Skies confirmation of arbitration case with Eclipse:
http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/CivilCourtCases/caseInfo.asp?caseNumber=CV2008-012082
For some reason (I don't know why) Hampson's attorney in the Hampson v Eclipse case is referenced.

Dave said...

Here's an old artice from 2000 interviewing Vern:
The reception from the aviation industry as a whole has been extremely skeptical- just as we expected. Industry skeptics are not willing to believe we can manufacture the Eclipse 500 at the price, performance and specifications we have communicated. Their philosophy is, "We couldn't so you can't-WCSYC."
http://www.aopa.org/pilot/features/eclipse_qna.html
It looks like the aviation industry was right.

Also from the same article:
Using the 2.75 percent rate it will be 2026 before your suggested price of $1.7 million occurs. Even using the last 90-day inflation rate of 3.1 percent (U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, September 15, 2000, Report of CPI-U Change) your $1.7 million would not be reached before 2023!
Vern, it's only 2008 and the price has way exceeded $1.7 million!

Pilot: What are you doing with customer deposits and how many have you received?
Raburn: We are holding the customer deposits in an independent escrow account. Our board has decided not to use deposits for development purposes. But we will use the deposits for working capital after certification of the aircraft.

Yeah right. At least Eclipse has said the opposite with the Frankenjet.

Vern on keeping mum on the number of deposits:
As a policy, we are not disclosing the number of deposits we have collected.
Needless to say Vern changed his mind on this matter.

Pilot: How many jets do you have to sell each year to turn a profit?
Raburn: Due to our investment in innovative construction, manufacturing, and business methods, our breakeven point is very close to what current industry aircraft sales volumes are. We do not need to sell 1,000 aircraft per year to make money. As a competitive issue, we do no disclose exact financial numbers.

Yes, Eclipse has to have volume equal to the entire current aviation industry volume to turn a profit.

Perhaps your perception of a "big" public relationships campaign is due more to the market's response to the Eclipse 500 than any action we have taken.
Its not Eclipse engaging in a PR campaign...its the markets response!

Now here is Vern being prescient:
Pilot: Have you studied other aircraft manufacturers to pinpoint what they may have done right or wrong?
Raburn: Extensively. The primary causes of failure fall into one of three categories.
Undercapitalization/unrealisticly low budgets: The vast majority of failures fall into this category. It seems that the standard response to how much capital will be required to develop a new airplane is $30 million. This is simply not possible. Although a simple single-engine piston aircraft could be certified for something approaching the $30 million figure, any new turbine aircraft is going to require significantly more capital.
Poor execution: The development of a new aircraft requires extensive and competent management systems. Most new companies simply do not have either the management experience or management systems to handle a three- to five- year, multi-million dollar, million man-hour project.
Minimal product innovation: Developing a new aircraft that is only 4 to 5 percent better than existing aircraft is not a path to success. Given the long-term nature of aircraft (particularly GA aircraft), customers will not take large risks on a new aircraft from a new aircraft company to just go 4 to 5 percent faster or farther. This is the fundamental reason that Cessna (and Piper and Beech/Raytheon) continue to successfully sell 30- to 40-year-old designs.

I think we see that now with how many times Eclipse has almost gone BK, Vern's poor management and little actual innovation in the FPJ (the main innovation was supposed to be cheap manufacturing and that was vaporware).

Dave said...

Here's another Vern interview and it turns out Eclipse really is a dot com with wings!:
In the early days, everything was in place in terms of opportunity, market, technology and propulsion - and everyone agreed that it was a great idea. But, no one wanted to put any money into it at that time because there was this perception that you could go invest in an Internet company and triple your money in 90 days. It was hard to compete with that. So I had to bring a credible business plan to investors and convince them that it could be done and that we were the ones capable of doing it.
http://www.vljmag.com/interviews/vern_raburn_president__ceo_eclipse_aviation.html
Yeah, real credible...years late and millions (billions) dollars short.

Aviation is an industry where aircraft traditionally get more expensive as they improve. But, in the technology world, the law of the land is that features and capabilities increase while costs decrease. We're bringing this philosophy to aviation. To create the Eclipse 500, we used innovations and business practices forged in the technology industry to drive down cost while increasing performance.
R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S!

By 2010, Eclipse Aviation alone will be building about 1,000 aircraft a year.
So how's that going?

Based on research we commissioned from CRA International, by the year 2017, typical VLJ-based air taxi communities will experience nearly $16 million in economic activity and generate nearly 150 permanent jobs associated with VLJs. Overall economic activity related to VLJs will total nearly $24 billion in output, $6.9 billion in earnings and more than 189,000 jobs.
I believe DayJet and Eclipse have been using these same results and DayJet has been tounting this Eclipse-paid report all over the place.

Yup, that $16 million dollar Eclipse-paid figure is up at the Ed Center of Ego (amongst other places):
Taken together, these activities are projected to generate an average annual economic impact in excess of $16 million for the Tallahassee community within the first three years of operation.
http://www.vljet-tlh.com/

Orville said...

Gosh it's fun to reminisce - check out this article from USA Today in March of 2004.

Orville said...

More good stuff

Dave said...

From the first article I like this:
The Eclipse 500 has no potty, and its interior has the feel of a soccer mom's minivan. A seat in the prototype makes a ride in the cab of Raburn's Ford F-150 pickup seem roomy by comparison. Far less cramped, however, is Raburn's vision.

Raburn says Eclipse will reach $1 billion in annual revenue faster than any company in history except Amazon.com.


And from the second:
At Eclipse Aviation we believe that all our employees should be paid well. Thus not a single employee at Eclipse Aviation will have his wage increased if the proposition passes. So my concern is not about the proposed wage increase...

...It must be said that Albuquerque would not have made the site-selection list for Eclipse Aviation if this ordinance had been in place when we were deciding where to locate our company.

baron95 said...

dave said ... Slideshow discussing the different VLJ requirements between the FAA and EASA:
...
Here's the UK aviation authority expressing concern about a single pilot VLJ operations:


Dave, many thanks for digging and posting all those links. Much appreciated, particularly by those of us short on "browsing/searching" time.

A general coment... We should be very careful about endorsing, signing on to all these reactionary attitudes and call for VLJ regulation/restriction.

We find such gems in these presentations as: "Glass cockpit avionics – improved situational
awareness or distraction?" or "GPS only may be OK ... GPS/DME/DME IRU systems thought to be the preferred choice for all phases of flight..GPS/Galileo would be ideal" or "Single pilot operations in complex airspace –
potentially unsafe".

What is that all about? Such reactionary wrtings. These sorts of opinions need to be fought strongly.

How is Galileo a system that is not even off the ground "bets"?. Why are single pilots in complex airspace, like say NYC terminal airspace (that I have flown for years) unsafe? What is more demanding about flight from FL180 to FL410 than shooting an IFR approach descending from FL180 to HPN in the NYC TRACON? What is wrong with relying on GPS - probably the most reliable, robust, resilient and robust navigation system ever devised. If the EASA is retarded enough to require ADF, they should be ridiculed for it. Instead this authors say that VLJs are unsafe because they don't have ADF, don't HAVE INS and DME/DME RNAV. What good did all the 747's DME/DME and INS based RNAV do to KAL007, when the pilots mis-programmed it? A

And to call G-1000-class glass pannels with SVS, and sensor integration usefulness and safety enhanceing qualitis into question as a "distraction" is ridiculous.

The fact of the matter is that a 2009 Cirrus GTS with G-1000 Perspective has better avionics than 90% of the airliners flying around the world. It is very doubtful that say the AA crew would have flown their 757 into that mountain in Colombia if they had the Cirrus G-1000 avionics instead of their DME/DME/INS 1st gen glass pannel.

Lets not confuse our criticism of a given implementation of VLJ (Eclipse's) with aligning ourselves with VLJ reactionaries. Some people will always be against progress.

Personal history. I was flying with a very experienced, but old guard CFII/DE for my self-imposed recurrent training in a glass pannel/moving map upgraded plane. I was flying a GPS approach and this guy was insisting that I set up a countdown timer plus tune a VOR to a second station as a second way to identify the GPS IAF - "just in case the GPS constellation went out or both my GPS units failed

When I told the guy that the safety of flight would DECREASE by my distractions doing all that instead of focusing on executing a perfet GPS approach, he could not grasp the concept.

I know perfectly well that there is a much, much greater chance of me screwing up an INS reset or VOR backup or a timer input than the GPS going out. And I choose to spend my extra neurons double checking MDA, that the proper GPS procedure was entered, my TWAS display, and on sit awareness. But some people will die saying that "you need ADF and you need the timer and you need blah, blah, blah, just in case the reduntant GPS system/receivers with IM go down". Theý'll continue to train pilots to wast precious time and attention on these and end up losing sit awareness and misconfiguring the main items like MDA and GPS procedure configuration. Sometimes, the voice of wisdom, like your grandma telling you to put dirt or ashes on a cut, is really that bad.

gadfly said...

Orville

You answered the question as to why "Albuquerque" deserves the little jet . . . if only the local banks had given Bill a loan! (Revenge is so "un-nice".)

And Dave

You seem to be homing in on more "truth" than "poetry". Please have mercy on us innocent victims.

gadfly

(Bill Richardson in an "E500"? . . . Let's see, MTOW . . . CG limits . . . "no potty" . . . What was the question?)

baron95 said...

Avid Piot said... I suspect the announcement may have something to do with the payload being increased with the larger engine, but don't quote me on that.


Along, sadly, with a empty weight increase and a MTOW increase and a fuel burn increase. Like I said befoe, D-Jet's design is on te wrong side of the weight virtuous circle. Their plane is heavy with little payload. There is a high price to pay to fix that problem by hanging a bigger engine to lift a higher weight.

This is not like the Meridian that increased payload with no empty weight increase by adding VGs or TBM/Pilatus that got most of their increase via the higher stall speeds they managed to get certified.

Diamond is doing it the wrong way - by throwing more thrust at an overweight design.

Having said that, good luck to them. I am looking forward to seeing SEJs in the sky. I firmly believe that it is the optimum configuration for serious personal airplanes.

Dave said...

A general coment... We should be very careful about endorsing, signing on to all these reactionary attitudes and call for VLJ regulation/restriction.
We find such gems in these presentations as: "Glass cockpit avionics – improved situational
awareness or distraction?" or "GPS only may be OK ... GPS/DME/DME IRU systems thought to be the preferred choice for all phases of flight..GPS/Galileo would be ideal" or "Single pilot operations in complex airspace –
potentially unsafe".
What is that all about? Such reactionary wrtings. These sorts of opinions need to be fought strongly.


Baron the cites that I provided on the european front were all from regulatory authorities. For instance the quote you provided was from the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. There is an overall concern with safety and VLJs in the european sphere and that is the UK's take in particular and since it's not really elaborated on, not all the bulletpoints are clear. While the US regulator appear to have been too weak and lax, the europeans might more than make up for it.

gadfly said...

The “pros” and “cons” of the little jet pale in light of the reality of the true facts, behind the “hardware” . . . the airframe and engines that push them from place to place. The little jet is comparatively “safe”, next to the “real jets”, considering the various stresses imposed on engines and airframes, etc.

Can you say, “GE CF34"? . . . as you step into the “real” world of aircraft.

Until now, the little jet has had the privilege of operating “just within” the fringe of “real” jet aircraft . . . fortunately, for those aboard.

In the “real world”, something as small as the serial number marking on a nickel alloy “cast” part, a “tiny flaw”, that may not show up on a “lesser” engine, can spell the difference between success and failure. A tiny flaw, can cause a failure of major consequence.

Eclipse, in my opinion, is attempting to get up with the “serious hardware”, and putting people at risk in the process. If it wishes to be a “toy”, then it should get down with the “go-kart” market, where it cannot do much damage. But if it wishes to fly alongside the “big boys”, it’s way out of it’s league, and needs to either seriously get with the program, or go home, write its “memoirs” . . . and stop being a total nuisance.

A picture comes to mind . . . salmon attempting to “spawn”, blocked by a school of “gold fish” . . . !

gadfly

(For what it’s worth, Albuquerque was in the jet age before the founder of the mighty software giant was able to tie his own shoes . . . and “numero uno" jet engine company in the world, still has a major presence here, within a couple miles of the little bird factory. (On final approach, from the "west", you fly right over GE, and what was once a major assembly plant of nuclear weapons . . . "ACF", "American Car and Foundry".) Is that a surprise? . . . GE, with major development of jet engine manufacturing techniques all these years . . . technical developments beyond "Eclipse" wildest dreams . . . and not about to be shared.)

Dave said...

Here's a really great old interview with Vern from 2005...

And one of the big fallacies in general aviation is, that engines are the most expensive thing. And engines are not, it's overhead. It's working capital that is the biggest single cost in the airplane. It's overhead that you want to reduce.
But didn't Vern subsequently say the reason for the initial big increase in FPJ price was the change in engines from Williams to PW?

Yeah, we go and we talk to -- oh, I won't name names -- but you say you're going to buy [rest of sentence lost to airshow noise]. Well, there was one component where we were going to TRIPLE their production. In a year. In fact, we were going to almost quadruple their production. And their response was, "OK, we'll give you an additional three percent discount for that." It was primarily a piece of electronics. And I know how electronics respond to volume.
They probably didn't believe you actually would...fortunately for them.

Actually, most of 'em -- as we moved more and more outside traditional aerospace industry suppliers, what we're finding is, it's not all that difficult to find companies that understand. The aerospace industry supplier base is really extraordinarily antiquated. Antiquated in the sense that it doesn't understand price elasticity, it doesn't understand demand...
No, it was Vern who didn't understand demand...the aviation saw what's happened so far miles away. I actually come from the tech industry and I saw it coming from miles away.

Now this is a very long discussion, but I think its imporant given the implications with Eclipse's price increase to over $2 million. Eclipse is in a "spiral" per Vern's own statements from the past:
Vern Raburn: And I would add one more thing: it's gotten addicted to cost-plus contracting. And cost-plus contracting is just evil. It's just... [momentarily tongue-tied with indignation]
Aero-News: It's a ticket to throw money away.
Vern Raburn: It's morally corrupt! It has no INTEGRITY. Because it's exactly a ticket to... it rewards schedule slips, it rewards inefficiency. It rewards price increases because what you do, is you make all your money on the plus of cost-plus. You're completely incented to increase the cost, because the plus is always a percentage of the cost. And therefore -- why in the world should you not give cars to every executive?
Aero-News: What's your motivation to run a lean company? None.
Vern Raburn: Absolutely. And, let's face it, certainly in the last thirty years, the primary engine of innovation in aviation has been the Department of Defense. For military contracting, which is all cost-plus, and that flows, from the Boeings, from the Lockheeds, from the Northrops, all the way down to the smallest vendor who's got thirty employees. Cause everybody does it the same way. They all do it on a cost-plus basis because the whole organization runs on a cost-plus basis.
And everyone's incented to just be inefficient. They're rewarded for it.
Aero-News: But that also drives the mechanism whereby unit costs go up and up and up, and quantity purchases go down and down and down...
Vern Raburn: Absolutely. It's called price elasticity.
Aero-News: And it becomes a spiral. It feeds itself. Because the unit price got so high that people can't justify buying so many. And that reduction in unit deliveries drives [unit] costs higher, as the fixed costs are imposed on a smaller base....
Vern Raburn: You ultimately reach a point of sort of minimal stability. Meaning, you can build thirty or forty airplanes a year, year in and year out, and you can keep raising the price. It doesn't matter how inefficient you become, there's always thirty or forty idiots that'll go out and buy one.
Aero-News: Or people who need it so badly that...
Vern Raburn: ...they don't care about price. Although -- the vast majority of aircraft in production today with, really, just a couple of exceptions -- and this is where I think Dale and Alan [Klapmeier] have done such a good job at Cirrus -- the vast majority of the aircraft that are out there today, you always have the choice of a used aircraft. And let's face it. For, rarely more than 10% of the cost of a new aircraft you can make a used aircraft virtually new. With the exception of these fatigue and corrosion problems, which have their own set of issues. Which is going to start changing the situation.

So the Eclipse pricing is rewarding schedule slips and inefficiencies. Now we know Vern was totally fixated on "price elasticity." That was his buzzword to get funding.

Anyone know how well Eclipse is doing at building an aircraft in four days?:
Which has thousands of man-hours of impact on how fast we put together the airplane! Which means, that when we're building aircraft at rate we'll be building an airplane in about four days. As opposed to the forty or sixty days that it takes Cessna to build an airplane.

All from:
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=1782fa3a-9205-4bd6-aca3-e0b458aafa57&Dynamic=1&Range=MONTH&FromDate=08%2F30%2F2005&ToDate=09%2F30%2F2005&Category=%2Findex.cfm

gadfly said...

For anyone outside the manufacturing community, the answers are all answered by statements of university professors, or pre-conceived concepts derived from the media.

But whether aircraft, or electronics, or any other technology . . . the bottom line comes down to people at the “lowest level”, who have applied their God given talents to solving the most basic problems. Not a single university professor can design an “injection mold”, nor a “photo-resist” template, for a computer chip, nor a “lost wax investment casting mold” for a jet-engine compressor blade . . . nor any of a thousand . . . make that “ten thousand”, other types of devices, or products. “How bout” a simple plastic “milk bottle” . . . worth about three cents, to hold a half-gallon, or gallon of milk. ‘How ‘bout a slug of aluminum, punched into a “can”, lined with “plastic”, so the “acidic” or “phosphoric” acid doesn’t eat through, before you enjoy a “cold one”.

All this sort of thing, comes from “knuckle buster” machinists . . . tool and die makers . . . and not the college graduates with the fancy degrees. That little “pull tab” . . . it didn’t come from some computer CAD/CAM expert, it came from someone who truly understands the “nature” of metal . . . someone who has a “feel” for what metal does, and how to work with this sort of thing.

And yet, some have been led to believe that a “computer software salesman” can produce an aircraft . . . a “jet” . . . and you should trust your own life, and that of your family, to “fly” in this thing.

A long time ago, a “Christian evangelist”, a former baseball player, “Billy Sunday”, said that if they would put him into a barrel, he would preach the Gospel through the “bung hole”. ‘Most of you are far too young to appreciate, or understand the terms. But the bottom line is that I believe that “sooner or later”, someone is going to be “hurt”, and I feel a responsibility to continue preaching the message about the dangers of Eclipse . . . and unless something happens by the “court system” in “August” to silence the critics, I’ll continue to be a consistent “gadfly” . . . forever an irritating presence, reminding “all” about the dangers of playing the game with the little jet.

gadfly

(You’ll notice that the “gadfly” is always ‘just “outside” the normal line of thought . . . but that’s OK . . . I never did march to the normal tune.)

airsafetyman said...

"What is more demanding about flight from FL180 to FL410 than shooting an IFR approach descending from FL180 to HPN in the NYC TRACON?"

Well, at 41,000 feet the single pilot will be wearing a mandatory oxygen mask. The airplane is typically so unstable at those altitudes it has to be flown on autopilot. The airplane is a few knots below the limiting Mach number and a few knots above stall speed. If the Mach number is exceeded some airplanes make amazingly small, amazingly deep holes in the ground eight miles below. The temperature outside is about -50 degrees C. In case of an explosive decompression in an Eclipse, there is no ready means of descent available as the designers neglected to provide spoilers (among many other things). If your family is with you they have a real chance of dying of hypoxia or exposure. You, the pilot, may just die from exposure (providing Vern's oxygen system works as advertised).

airtaximan said...

the whole cost/volume discussion is so perverted, it seems like something out of Monty Python or SNL.

there is a lot of art and skill involved in low rate efficiency...and aviation will be low rate, until someone figures out how to make pilots out of average citizens.

That's reality.

Hey Ven, I can make a Bentley for only $100,000, too, if you can sell a few million a year.... and at that, no one would want one, and you don't need to be especially trained to drive one.

Hey Vern, I think you missed the point. RAising the price of the e500 makes it almost impossible for you to make money pon the plane... if denad was too low at $1.5, imagine what occurs to demand at $2.1? But Is suspect you already know this - so its just an admission the e500 IS DOA, and replace with another less capable plane at the same price as the e500, the e400...but wait!

I thought you said it wasn't the parts that cost so much... here' you are using the same parts, and going for volume (again)... are you insane?

Commonality... nice try.... but I suspect you are correct, volume shifted from one model to the next one at the same price, will not increase volume.

Sorry. Please explain to us all how this forward pricing thing works again, and how it creates a huge market?

I think Cessna has you on this one, buddy.

There's a reported backlog of 500 mustang orders at this point, and you are down to...

a few hundred plus dayjet and order from yourself (Etrick).

Nice job. I think you made your point about aviation about as well as Dayjet did. Thanks for providing evidence we can all see and understand.

FlightCenter said...

Dave,

Vern is correct when he says that the lowest price for the Eclipse 500 was $837,500. The press release you posted is a bit misleading and uses a clever slight of hand.

The press release says that the aircraft price is projected to be $775,000. Vern told depositors when Eclipse was taking the deposits that the price might be closer to $800,000 than $775,000.

The deposit agreement the depositors signed had a provision that let Eclipse set the initial price of the aircraft a couple months after Eclipse took the initial deposits.

When the original depositors got their deposit paperwork back with the price set as promised, the aircraft price had climbed from $775,000 to $837,500.

So the first price increase was an 8% bump right out of the gate.

Dave Ivedorne said...

Vern told depositors when Eclipse was taking the deposits that the price might be closer to $800,000 than $775,000.

In Vern's "defense", $2,150,000 is closer to $800,000 than it is to $775,000. The question is, will he ever deliver a single complete, fully-functional aircraft (as promised), optimized for high-cycle air taxi use (as promised) - even at that price?

I believe the answer is NO.

Pull around to the second window,
IANAL

airtaximan said...

FC,

The $779,000 price was quoted after 3 years of work? Am I correct?

Then a few weeks later it became $837,500.. hmmm... they got a lot smarter in a few weeks after a few years....

or was it all just BS?

- reminds me of first flight, where after many years, they all of a sudden got wise and thre the EJ22 in the garbage just after collecting non-refundable deposits out of escrow... hmmm....
- repeat above story for progress payments, and replace the engine with avionics... hmmm

These guys are really slow learners, until they get a huge bump in cash... they they are pretty smart really fast.

hmmmm

Dave said...

These guys are really slow learners, until they get a huge bump in cash... they they are pretty smart really fast.
hmmmm


And its merely coincidental when they say they're already been working with another supplier for months.

Dave said...

Eclipse providing bread and circuses:
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=3740be79-6e91-47f9-ba92-f1bc0c6fa2fb

John said...

"Auction Craft", S/N 82 flies to Europe

I suspect this means the auction craft has a new European owner.

2 other craft S/N 28 and S/N 172 made the same flight today at about the same time.

Several of the European craft have made a Albany to Trenton loop before flying to Greenland. Why Trenton?

airtaximan said...

Turboprops are back with a vengeance DATE:08/07/08
SOURCE:Flight International

"The resurgence in demand for turboprops that began a few years ago shows no sign of diminishing, as soaring fuel prices prompt airlines to seek more efficient short-haul transport aircraft. And just as market interest in regional jets is now focused on larger types, a call for turboprops in the 90-seat range is being increasingly fielded by incumbents ATR and Bombardier.

Other manufacturers fighting for a foothold in the turboprop sector include China's Xian Aircraft, which recently rolled out its first MA600, an updated version of the MA60 turboprop. Even Embraer is considering re-entering the market, having stepped up analysis of turboprops."

keep thinking about these small jets as part of the transportation system...................

fred said...

baron ...

#If the EASA is retarded enough to require ADF, they should be ridiculed for it. #

what's wrong with you ?

how can have you to understand this :

in your part of the world ,in your garden :you do as you like ...

for other part of the world , you do as inhabitants of this part like ...

as simple as this , if you don't like it this way = stay home !

and about being ridiculous = how is it ridiculous to have an other opinion ? i thought it was the basis for democracy ...?

and may be , we don't give a fuck if someone somewhere else doesn't agree ...

never thought of that ?

baron95 said...

ASM said... Well, at 41,000 feet the single pilot will be wearing a mandatory oxygen mask.

You mean just like all the non-presurized piston drivers are doing today from 12,500-18,000 feet on C400, SR22 turbos, Barons, etc? What is so specialabout that?

The airplane is typically so unstable at those altitudes it has to be flown on autopilot. The airplane is a few knots below the limiting Mach number and a few knots above stall speed. If the Mach number is exceeded some airplanes make amazingly small, amazingly deep holes in the ground eight miles below.

Are you sure you are talking about modern VLJs here? This is not 1963, you know. Modern VLJs are not the early Learjets. Stability is fine at altitudeand the coffin corner is more like a coffin suite these days.

In any event, the authors cited were making the point about airspace navigation complexity, not environmental factors.

My question remains, as it pertains to airspace navigation complexity and workoad what is so much more difficult from FL180 to FL410 than the descent from FL180 through NY airspace to shoot an IFR approach at Teterboro or White Plains? What? Name one navigation chore that is more challenging!!!

It is all hogwash - fear of the new.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron, re: Coffin Corner

The laws of physics and aerodynamics do not change - all wing shape and foil sections have defined characteristics such as the drag bucket and a critical mach number.

The so-called coffin corner is more easily reached in subsonic aircraft with high aspect ratio non-sept wings operating at relatively high altitudes.

Remind of you anything in particular?

The general issue of high-altitude operations is of importance to the FAA, so much so they issued an Advisory Circular about the dangers of this kind of high-performance operation (AC 61-107).

Although it focused on MMO of .75 or greater, the current VLJ and SEJ aircraft all feature essentially straight wings which lowers the critical mach number making this more important.

airsafetyman said...

"what is so much more difficult from FL180 to FL410 than the descent from FL180 through NY airspace to shoot an IFR approach at Teterboro or White Plains?"

There is nothing difficult at all about going to 41,000 feet. A five year old could dial in the numbers and watch the altimeter wind up. Why do you compare it to shooting an approach into Teterboro? I used to fly regularly into JFK, on Friday afternoons. So what? The question is one of judgement. Do you know what the performance charcteristics are of the Eclipse if you do exceed limiting Mach? Hell, Eclipse doesn't even know what happens when you push the throttles forward!

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron - you ask what is more difficult about 18,000 feet to FL410 and the point I think is time of useful consciousness.

Navigation has gotten pretty simple at least when all the electrons are flowing the right direction. The challenges of high altitude operation stem from TUC and similar - and the challenges of descent planning, speed management, and management of the comples systems needed to keep us functional at FL410.

To expand:

At 18,000, TUC is about 20 minutes.

TUC at FL400 is about 15 seconds.

Explosive D can reduce both of those numbers by as much 50%, meaning the real difference is that between say 10 minutes and less than 10 seconds.

Add into that a marginal avionics fit yielding a high workload (even when everything else is working) and you have a potential disaster.

baron95 said...

CW said ... Navigation has gotten pretty simple at least when all the electrons are flowing the right direction.

Exactly my point. The presentation said that single pilot jet drivers could not handle the NAVIGATION COMPLEXITIES ABOVE FL180 SAFELY.

My question is what from a NAVIGATION COMPLEXITY POV is more challenging to fly from FL180 to FL410 than from FL180 to terminal navigation to IFR approach to landing.

There is nothing at all that is more challenging from a navigation point of view. It is all a reactionary hogwash.

If you guys want to talk about enviromental issues, that is another discussion. And yes, flight above FL300 is a potentianlly dangerous environment to be in.

That is not the authors point though. He was saying that VLJ pilots would be unable to safelly navigate above FL180. Which is totatlly ridiculous as that is the least complex phase of IFR flight navigation.

In any event, above FL280 you have to have the AP engaged at all times. Modern VLJ autopilots, such as the ones in the D-Jet and Mustang already do a 90-degree turn and max descent on presurization failure. All the pilot has to do is pull the power to iddle to increase rate of descent. The autopilot then will comand a level off at 15,000 ft.

If the Eclipse were so equipped and also had autothrottles it could be even more automated than the Mustang. So I think VLJs, by being more modern designs, are actually much safer than older larger jets.

I'd be OK if the guy tried to make the point that say two pilots should be required to operate above say FL350. There are some reasonable arguments to be made about that.

But he picked the wrong reason out of his ass to call VLJ opps into question.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Baron,

I do think the navigation issues, taken into account with the specific workload issues of the 'Partial Eclipse' will make nav above FL180 tougher.

There is still the other issue I brought up re: descent planning and systems management, as well as the impled issue of the higher speeds expected from a jet in the Flight Levels compared to even a turbocharged piston plane in the mid to high teens.

Small aircraft are not welcomed at major commercial airports NOT because they take up too much space on the ramp or don't taxi fast enough - they do not mix well with the traffic flow of much larger planes that are also much faster - THAT is the biggest issue for the VLJ's and SEJ's IMO from an 'operating in the system' standpoint.

Being 100-200 mph slower than the planes that already occupy the Flight Levels would be a big issue, at least it would have been if the BS production predictions had been even remotely based on reality - we dodged a bullet there IMO.

airsafetyman said...

"There is nothing at all that is more challenging from a navigation point of view. It is all a reactionary hogwash."

Well, Baron, from a navigation viewpoint I think you are right. In my experience it is much easier and much more comfortable to fly in the high 20's and low 30's than mess around in the haze and turbulence below. I think CWMR has a point also. A lot of VLJs going into a major airport at once could give ATC real headaches. One or two going into a major airport, or even a lot going into a reliever airport, should not be a problem.

airtaximan said...

a lot...

that's funny....

airtaximan said...

sanity for a change:

http://jets.ru/news/2008/06/24/dexter

Dave said...

sanity for a change

When I hear that their current fleet of 7 is logging 65 hours per month, I'm not so sure about it.

airtaximan said...

65hrs per plane, if I understood.

Dave said...

65hrs per plane, if I understood

The description was vague and I'm still not sure what they meant after re-reading it, but in any event 65 hours per plane isn't very good either. Its less than 800 hours per year, which isn't exactly screaming for demand to provide justification to have a much larger fleet.

airtaximan said...

yeah but its way better than Dayjet
;)

Actually, the PC12s might be carrying 4 or 6 paying passengers, and they could be making money... but who knows.

65 hours per plane per month, just starting is pretty good, if they have any sort of load...

65 hours is a good charter operation in the US, and like I said, if they can obtain a few passengers per flight at a decent rate, this says a lot... they just started, and something tells me they don't have 300 employees, ant farmers and rocket scientists, and they probably didn't have 3-5 years of media hype on the front pages of the business section of Pravda.

baron95 said...

ATM said ... A lot of VLJs going into a major airport at once could give ATC real headaches.

I don't understand this issue. First of all, VLJs and Biz Jets in General follow the same pattern as Turboprops. They don't fly into the top 10-hyper congested airliner destinations. E.g. When flying to New York, they land at Teterboro, White Plains, Republic, Islip, etc. Never at EWR, LGA or JFK. There are hundreds of movements by prop planes and biz jets per day at those airports - lines can get long on an IFR day, but overall it is OK.

As for VLJs putting presure on ATC, I doubt very much that adding a few hundered IFR flights/day will be much of an extra load on top of the tens of thousands/day currently being handled. And even if it does, that is a good thing - more presure to modernize/upgrade ATC. Lets start by getting rid of the moronic airways system in the area of GPS navigation. Only reactionary imcompetence is preventing this from happening.

airtaximan said...

Baron, I just laughed at ASM's remark that there might be issues if "a lot" of VLJs decended on ATC at once.

I think this is highly unlikely.

later

airsafetyman said...

"When flying to New York, they land at Teterboro, White Plains, Republic, Islip, etc. Never at EWR, LGA or JFK."

Nope. Wrong again, Baron. We used to fly our MU-2 quite regularly into LGA and JFK, especially JFK, where we would drop off or pick up company personnel coming and going from overseas trips. We were not by any means the only flight department doing this.

baron95 said...

ATM said ... Wrong again, Baron. We used to fly our MU-2 quite regularly into LGA and JFK, especially JFK,

What percentage of Biz Jets flying into the NYC area land at JFK or LGA? 0.1%? I haven't checked in many years, but last time I got a reservation to land at LGA, there were only 4 GA slots/hour available. And landing fees just kept going up and up.

airtaximan said...

Baron,

aSm, not aTm...pls... this is between you and the safetyman!

ATman

airsafetyman said...

Baron, I believe you said "Never at EWR, LGA or JFK." which is demonstrably false, as there are a LOT of general aviation movements at those three airports. Another airport you might want to consider is Dulles, which is running out of ramp space at the three FBOs for general aviation aircraft. Dulles has everything from piston singles to the latest Boeing and Airbus biz jets. It has a tremendous amount of traffic and is building their fourth runway. The area's reliever airports, Leesburg and Manassas, don't get that much corporate traffic. Wrong again, Baron. Don't you get tired of it?

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Hey guys I only mentioned the potential congestion around big airports to clarify what the VLJ issue is likely to be when up in the Flight Levels as opposed to piston jobbies putting around on the Victor Routes.

Because the VLJs and SEJs are so much slower than the planes that normally occupy the upper reaches they will be the same kind of disruption, especially had they actually reached the kind of smoking crack production numbers that the Vernperor used to throw around back in the day for the EA-500 and now seems to try and push them on the EA-400.

ChickN said...

I'd just like to know what 'Citation' Dexter is buying that they can get 20 of for a mere $60 million.

TBMs_R_Us said...

ATC has plenty of tools to deal with slower traffic at the flight levels. If you're slower in the climb, when departing a major airport area, be it feeder airport or not, you will be held down as the big boys climb over you. That sure won't help the efficiency of a small slow jet. ATC will only let you climb higher when you're not in the way. Once you get to the flight level for cruise, if you are in the way on that course at that level, you'll get a vector ("turn right 15 degrees for traffic"). There's another hit to efficiency.

In a turboprop in the high twenties, this doesn't happen very much because the big boys are higher. Once you get up into the thirties, it will happen more often. Basic ATC practice includes almost always getting slower traffic out of the way, at the slower aircraft's expense. Only once on a large number of arrivals into big cities have I heard ATC tell an RJ they could slow to my speed or go a different route. He chose the different route. Usually, I'd be the one stepped on.

As CWMR says, this is not going to be a big problem. As if we're going to see many VLJs out there anyway. The Cirrus Jet and D-Jet, topping out at FL250, won't be a big deal at all.

Dan Swanson said...

All this worry about traffic is specious. Oil production has peaked, Ghawar and Cantrell are in decline. Jet traffic will be almost non existent in just a few years. It is looking like 30% of US airline flight will be done by year end.

Dan

airsafetyman said...

"It is looking like 30% of US airline flight will be done by year end."

Can you imagine the experience that awaits those of us that have to cram into the remaining 70%? I think there IS a growing market for the light jets, medium jets, heavy jets, and turboprops of all kinds. Those that are financially able are not going to subject themselves, their employees, or their family members, to the outrages of the TSA goons, trigger-happy police and SWAT teams, insolent airline staff, filthy, late airplanes, overpriced tickets, and all the rest of it.

Dave said...

So perhaps its not the credit crunch that is stopping DayJet from getting funding:
In Hamilton’s view the much-heralded credit crunch has yet to impact aerospace’s ability to raise capital. “The [loan] rates haven’t really changed,” he stated. “Most companies have a lot of cash and bonds are even better rated now. The only issue was that Eclipse Aviation had to go overseas [i.e. outside the U.S. to find new investors].”
http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/experts-aerospace-has-reason-to-be-optimistic/

Eclipser goes to Diamond:
http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?ContentBlockID=e5e79ecc-6398-42ad-a46c-5f5811634f08

AvidPilot said...

Dan,
We aren't running out of oil yet. At least, not in our lifetimes. Yes, the easy to reach oil has peaked, but all that means for us is that prices are going to stay high and go higher. Personally, I think jet prices are going to tank and that's for a lot of reasons that mostly have to do with the US economy, rather than oil. A few more failed financial institutions and all markets will tank - the Dow, oil & commodities, houses, jets, you name it.

Dave said...

Vern is yet again providing more ammunition as to why there should be hearings on Eclipse's certification:
The 500 is certified in India and Australia, but it’s the FAAs approval that matters most in this case. “It’s a validation process of the FAA certification prorgamme. The FAA has already made it clear that they think it’s certifiable. EASA had better have some pretty darn good reasons if they don’t think it is."
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/07/14/225363/farnborough-2008-eclipse-boss-confident-of-easa-go-ahead-for-vlj.html
Vern is now using the FAA certification as to why EASA should certify Eclipse. EASA is a completely separate body not affiliated with the US, though Vern is now pushing for FAA certification to equal worldwide certification.

Dave said...

A new lawsuit has just been brought against Eclipse by Geiger Excavating. The lawsuit was filed in Indiana Northern District Court on July 8th. The case number is 1:2008cv00164 and it's for breach of contract. Is Eclipse not paying its bills?

Dave said...

ABQ economy:
There are a number of weaknesses in the economy at this point and forecasts of employment and construction activity both national and local are more pessimistic tan the forecasts that supported the approved FY/08 budget.. Employment growth in the Albuquerque area has slowed, from over 3% to 1%. This slowdown is led by layoffs at Intel, PNM, Advent Solar, and Eclipse Aviation.
http://daystar2.cabq.gov:81/Attachments/6650.doc

Two of the biggest drags on unemployment were on the NM SIC dole and Eclipse has certainly received a lot from the city as well (led by the ABQ mayor).

Orville said...

There won’t be a single design change to satisfy EASA concerns, Raburn insists. “There’s really nothing that we’re planning to do to the aircraft,” Raburn says, aside from a door lock modification and software upgrades that were already planned.

There's been no official notices of concern, “With the exception of this door thing”, Raburn says, and they're nearly finished with the long list of questions from EASA over four years of dialogue.


What's this "door thing"?

Dave said...

What's this "door thing"?

I think its the first I heard of it too.

Orville said...

Anyone know what 'Geiger Excavating' might be doing with Eclipse? According to their website, they do business in the following states:

The company concentrates its work in the commercial and industrial fields of the construction industry in the State of Indiana as well as Ohio, Michigan and Virginia.

Dave said...

Anyone know what 'Geiger Excavating' might be doing with Eclipse?

Its a depositor who wants their money back.

BricklinNG said...

Word on the street about the Geiger Excavating Suit

EAC got so fed up with the EAC dirt that has been dug up by posters on this blog that it hired Geiger Excavating to dig up some dirt on the Blog and its posters. The only dirt Geiger excavated was that Shane goes to public houses for overconsumption of malt beverages. Since Shane is Irish, EAC did not think that this warranted payment so payment has been withheld.

Geiger is also aggrieved because EAC is now walking away from a second contract to remove and dispose of all the untruthful, half truthful, unethical, nasty and/or disrespectful statements or communications that have been made to investors, customers, regulators or others coming into contact with EAC and also the inventory of such statements which are stored for future use. These are stashed in various hangars and abandoned warehouses around Albuquerque and Geiger had been expecting to keep 25 bucket loaders and 10 dump trucks busy for 6 months. Rumor has it, however, that the Owner's Club may take advantage by getting Geiger to haul away the disappointment of its members and Geiger is now getting quotes on more equipment.

Dave said...

Geiger was a sterling deposit customer who had waited since 2000 for his plane (10/10/2000). According to the sterling deposit, it's first come, first served:
The Sterling Deposit Program offers purchasers a guaranteed delivery position in the order in which applications are received.
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewarticle&id=13&Itemid=347

So has Eclipse honored that by shipping to their first customers first or has Eclipse breached their contracts with the sterling deposit holders who have waited nearly a decade? The customers that Eclipse has publicly announced shipments to I think at least some of them made their deposits after poor Geiger did, yet they got theirs first. I guess they breached their contracts with the sterling customers since the later customers paid more. For instance DayJet comes to mind and they didn't start to work with Eclipse until 2002, yet got their first aircraft in 2007. Sterling delivery positions are non-transferable, so its not because Eclipse bought someone else's sterling deposit and besides Eclipse announced it as a new order:
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewarticle&id=788&Itemid=51
It would seem like with DayJet alone that could be used as proof of breach of contract for all Eclipse sterling deposit holders who are tired of Eclipse's dishonesty and who want their money back.

julius said...

What's this "door thing"?

The door does not lock correctly.
You only will beware of this situation
when you are already airborne.
I think Mike Press was quoted in this blog in this context.
But if VR says this is an open issue with EASA - what about FAA???

Dave said...

But if VR says this is an open issue with EASA - what about FAA???

FAA=Milquetoast

It's why Vern wants every other aviation agency in world to bow down to the FAA and not ensure the Eclipse is safe.

Dave said...

Here's another violation of the sterling deposit agreement:
Eclipse Aviation is auctioning the VLJ on a dynamic online private marketplace powered by eBay. The auction is available to existing Eclipse Aviation Bidders’ Club members as well as anyone interested in purchasing an early Eclipse 500.
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/index.php?option=com_newsroom&task=viewpr&id=1284&Itemid=52

airtaximan said...

Dave,

there could be many reasons for Geiger not taking delivery earlier... they could have decided to wait and see if the avionics would ever be finished, for example. When they learned the situation was finalized with G400's, perhaps they then decided to walk.

I don't know, but it s not necessarily a violation of a contract that Geiger is only now making the decision to sue.

Or, have I missed something?

Dave said...

I don't know, but it s not necessarily a violation of a contract that Geiger is only now making the decision to sue.
Or, have I missed something?


I'm saying it looks like Eclipse - not Geiger - breached by not doing deliveries in order.

airtaximan said...

yes, Dave, I realize that... I'm saying, perhaps Geiger wanted it that way... given the realities regarding the unfinished plane, IOU's, retrofits, no FIKI and then the g400 avionics instead of Aviong...

Geiger may have chosen to wait for a later delivery, and only now decided there's no way they are taking the plane... it makes sense.

gadfly said...

Door problem?

Easy egress on takeoff? . . . What's wrong with that?

gadfly

(That's part of the disruptive technology! . . . last minute decisions are allowed!)

Dave said...

Geiger may have chosen to wait for a later delivery, and only now decided there's no way they are taking the plane... it makes sense.

It is a possibility, but Eclipse has shown with their public offers to violate the sterling deposit agreement by not delivering to customers in order so that they could do things like the eBay auctions.

gadfly said...

IndyMac - Eclipse - IndyMac - Eclipse . . . the “News” if filled with doom and gloom . . . etc., etc., . . . I get so confused!

And then I remember that “IndyMac” has at least a “low level” of insurance against loss . . . the “FAA” . . . no, strike that, the “FDIC” . . . a “$100K” . . . not much, but somethin’ . . . Someone with money in “IndyMac” gets $100 K . . . the other . . . “E something”. . . the “clips” thing, gets . . . there goes the memory again . . . “Nothing” comes to mind.

gadfly

(All this federal stuff . . . it’s hard to know “whom” to trust.)

gadfly said...

“Geiger” (1882 - 1945). . . lived to count his years to “63". It may have been assumed that a company so named could “count” on others, who had made specific promises. Unfortunately, there is a great gap between attempting to understand “true science”, and dealing with human “pride” . . . and maybe, “greed”. We attempt to count on the “former”, with limited success, but there is no accounting on the “latter” . . . except that “all bets are off”.

gadfly

(“Geiger” . . . me thinks you “lost count”, a long time back. No, don’t bother starting over . . . you’ll lose count on this one, again, “guaranteed”.)

Dave said...

Isn't the Eclipse 400 just a tweaked Williams V-Jet II?:
http://www.eclipseconceptjet.com/gallery/fullview.php?i=20_From_Above.jpg
http://www.airventuremuseum.org/images/collection/aircraft/Williams%20V-Jet-2.jpg

The specs seems similar too:
http://www.eclipseconceptjet.com/specs.php
http://www.airventuremuseum.org/collection/aircraft/3Williams%20V-Jet%20II%20Specifications.asp#TopOfPage

gadfly said...

Would not it be a great thing, to openly discuss “real issues” of aeronautical subjects? . . . without the “drag” of bad attitudes, and preconceived notions?

For whatever it’s worth, sometimes such a thing happens . . . when two people can openly share ideas . . . and “shoot down” each other, . . . going on “up” to the next level.

Twice . . . no, three times in my life, I have had that privilege. I beg your indulgence . . . four times in my life, I have been able to explore such things over greatly separated times . . . I beg your indulgence once again . . . An almost forgotten success just crossed my mind . . . a double temperature probe under the “chin” of a C135, the “Airborne Laser Lab” just crossed my mind . . . I remember an aeronautical engineer, at the “back of the group” (that came to the “shop”, to express their opinions), that kept saying to his friend, “It will never work!” . . . Well, my design not only “worked”, but went on to a second generation of “work”, and testing at 41,000 feet, etc. But had I not been able to “share” with others, with the freedom of not “who gets credit”, but let’s get the job done . . . “that”, and many other projects would have come to naught.

‘Bottom line here is that the “little bird” seems more a “proof of pride” than a “proof of concept”. ‘Not the sort of thing that I would wish to “prove” at the risk of my own life, nor that of my loved ones. But not everyone has the same values.

gadfly

(‘Mean as ever!)

baron95 said...

airsafetyman said...
Baron, I believe you said "Never at EWR, LGA or JFK."


I should have said "seldom" instead of "never". The point being that VLJs are not dependent on landing on the top 10 congested main airliner airports.

Dulles does not make the top 10, though it is getting pretty congested. Still it is a friendly GA airport, just like BWI, RDU, etc.

To imply that VLJs will present ANY major problem to ATC is so silly. What is the difference to ATC between a Mustang and Eclipse compared to the original CJ or C500? NONE. [assuming the CJs and and C500 have been upgraded with GPS and RSVM, otherwise they are a pain to ATC] Same performance. There are hundreds of those in service. What is the difference to ATC between a D-Jet or Cirrus Jet [when they come on line] and a Meridian, TBM ot PC12? NONE. Where is the problem.

People wanting to raise VLJs as an ATC problem are really are either reactionaries or alarmists that have nothing better to do.

baron95 said...

CW said ... Because the VLJs and SEJs are so much slower than the planes that normally occupy the upper reaches they will be the same kind of disruption,

CW, at FL300 and above there are hundreds of original CJs and CJ1s, C500s, C501s, C502s flying. These planes have almost identical performance as the Eclipse, Mustang, Piper Jet [projected].

Similarly, at the lower flight levels, there are many hundreds of King Airs, TBMs, PC12s, MUs, Comanders, Meridians, etc. These planes have almost identical performance as the Cirrus Jet [projected] and D-Jet.

There is nothing in their performance that can be a problem. Nothing.

ATC could not tell the difference if suddenly there were another 200 TBMs or another 200 D-Jets. similarly they could not tell the difference if suddenly there were another 200 C500s resurrected or another 200 Mustangs.

It is ALL the same. There is nothing new about VLJs. It is just another segment in between larger biz jets and turboprops - and there are thousands of those already flying.

baron95 said...

Dave, you dig good links [again many thanks], but your selective quoting is getting out of hand.

The REAL NEWS on that article was that "We certainly hope to certify the aircraft, we have been saying, by the third quarter of this year, maybe end of the third quarter," says European Aviation Safety Agency Certification Manager for General Aviation Roger Hardy,

This is an EASA official on record saying that they are getting close to agreement on the final certification.

He goes on to say there are a few areas subject to interpretation and discussion and that the EASA is, by no means, implying the need for an E500 version 2 to get certification done.

That is the big news on the article:
1 - EASA says certification is imminent [3rd quarter].
2 - Certification would not require a different version of the plane.

baron95 said...

dan swanson said ... Jet traffic will be almost non existent in just a few years. It is looking like 30% of US airline flight will be done by year end.


My god. Where do people come up with stuff like this: "Jet Traffic will be almost non existent in just a few years".

Quite the contrary Dan. Worldwide Jet traffic has increased, by good percentages every year in the past few years even as oil climbed 525% from $20 to $140/bbl. In case you don't know, almost every jet maker from Boeing, to Airbus, to Embraer, to Cessna have been getting record orders and approaching or exceeding record deliveries during the same period. Biz jet sales were up some 45% in 1Q/08 [IIRC, too lazy to go check].

Could you cite one statistic that points to even the remote possibility of what you said?

As for airline traffic, you are incorrect. AA, UA, NW, US, DL [AKA the decrepit legacies] may be cutting ASM. But JetBlue, VirginAmerica, Southwest are increasing ASM. There may be, in fact, a small decrease in ASM in the US. But it will be tiny. worldwide though, ASM is increasing by double digit rates.

baron95 said...

Dave, having said that, I actually believe that the EASA certification process is a good thing for Eclipse, more importantly, E500 owners.

I'm sad to say, that, unfortunately, I have more confidence in the EASA process than the FAA process in insuring a new design is as safe as it can be.

The FAA process is too much focused on aerodynamics, performance, required systems. Unfortunately, it pays little attention to the "quality of the design".

For example, the FAA would certify a jet's stability even if it were achieved by a combination of bob weights, control interconects, spring devices, etc - like the Cheyenne [note the Brits refucsed to certify that plane in original config]. The EASA will tend to go more into how the stability was achieved or how a system was implemented and satisfy itself that the design, not just the results, are sound.

I'd sleep better as an owner after EASA certification, and would insist on having any EASA mandated change retrofited to my US E500.

airtaximan said...

taximan"It is ALL the same. There is nothing new about VLJs....there are thousands flying already"

Thank you Baron, very much. This is what I've been trying to say for 3 years!

and... with embraer going back and looking at props... I'd say the fad associated with turbo fans is declared a "fad". Cooler heads will prevail, and the taxi business (smaller planes, shorter trips) will be done in props, or jets for jet-missions - larger jets, longer missions.

Just my 2 cents.

Dave said...

Dave, you dig good links [again many thanks], but your selective quoting is getting out of hand.

I don't appreciate you taking digs at me. I properly quoted exactly what I was saying. What I said related to Vern using the FAA certification as justification for EASA certification and that was the quote I provided. Your further quote doesn't show that EASA cares a lick about what the FAA did or did not say during that certification process, which in no way contradicts what I had said. Now stop accusing me of doing things that I didn't do. That you found something else in the article that you also wanted to point out that's fine, but there's no reason to take digs at me.

gadfly said...

There are at least two discussions going on here . . . the “major discussion” concerns the “economics” . . . not all bad, but misses the point. Until you have a “real airplane”, you have nothing on which to base your “economics”. The little jet has not yet demonstrated a reliable and complete . . . did I say “COMPLETE”? . . . Jet.

(Of course, there is that “delicate issue” of ethics, honesty . . . or is the word “dishonesty”, that seems to be politely treated . . . yet in old times involved “prison time”, etc.

So, for some of us, we wait for the “rest” of you to discuss whether or not this is an “airworthy” aircraft, with “all systems in operation”, as in “ALL SYSTEMS OPERATIVE”, with no “INOP” stickers, “ANYWHERE”. And, in addition, there should be no “foot notes” about “doors” or “brakes” or “tires” or “auto-pilot” or “wind shields” (wind screens to the “old engineers”) . . . the list goes on and on . . . but why should it?

The “FAA” seems to have missed the point. The early “depositors” don’t seem to get it . . . except for “Geiger”, and then, only "recently", . . . maybe a "polite" gesture on their part.

Albuquerque and New Mexico sure don’t “get it” (they seldom do . . . a "day late and a peso short") . . . until it’s “too late” . . . so “what’s new?”.

Nothing, really.

gadfly said...

A few months ago, a dear friend . . . a pilot, and fellow engineer, had the privilege of flying over Albuquerque, in a WWII B-17 . . . he said he “waved” to me . . . I didn’t know it at the time. Ray and I would discuss various problems . . . he went on to design certain “vertical telescope domes” in the Manzanos’ of New Mexico, and on the Island of Maui . . . that 92 foot diameter marvel on the “mountain”. (The joke was, “Here today, gone to Maui”) . And I would do “my thing”, sometimes supporting his work with Rockwell and Boeing. He died in December . . . the doctor said, “Two weeks” . . . Ray lasted “three weeks”. But the thing that I will forever remember about Ray Richmond is that it didn’t matter “who gets the credit”, let’s just get the job done, and do it right.” Sure, sometimes, I would have to “slow him down” a bit, as the end of a project was in sight . . . the temptation of “going too fast” in that last few moments, before midnight (as it were).

His favorite plane? . . . Maybe his “Beech Bonanza” . . . and he was working on a PT24 last “Fall” . . . with the “upside down” Ranger six cylinder engine.

What’s the point? Ray had this attitude, that it was more important to “do it right”, than to be concerned with “who gets the credit”. The little jet seems to be a program to prove that “so-n-so” is right . . . and support the “pride” of the founder.

Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with “true genius” . . . and each “genius” was a humble person . . . a little guy named “Adriano Ducati”, from whom I learned a phrase he told me so many times . . . “I want it quick and dirty . . . but precise” . . . and I made it “quick . . . and precise”. His family back in the “old country” made motorcycles . . . and his business partner was a “banker”, Giannini from the San Francisco branch . . . Bank of America for those who don’t recognize the name.

A funny story, I cannot fail to tell . . . In the early days in Santa Ana, California, “Ducati” and “Gianinni” needed power . . . electrical type . . . Southern California Edison was not in the habit of moving “too fast” . . . Ducati grabbed a couple of cables, climbed the “power pole”, clamped onto the power lines, and supplied the plasma generators to the “lab” that would, in time, test the “re-entry” ablative heat-sheild material, that we now take for granted . . . protecting the folks that choose to go into space, and return. Back then, “plasma” was a term that was thought to apply to blood . . . before folks learned about the “surface of the sun”.

Those were “grand” days . . . working with things that would take us to the moon. Things that “polluted” the air, over a “lima bean field/celery field” on final approach into what would soon become “John Wayne Airport” . . . and where I would shoot “sparrows” during lunch hour, with a little German BSF 4.5mm “air pistole” . . . while the planes came in to land at Santa Ana.

We “old guys” sometime wax “eloquent” about the “olden times” . . . but bare with it. You’ll be there before you know it . . . that is, if you resist the temptation to set foot aboard unproven aircraft, like the “one in question” (and it is definitely “in question”).

gadfly

(“Meaner than ever, and getting meaner with every comment.)

gadfly said...

Why in the world did it take me so long to ask the most obvious question: Is the "Eclipse allowed to land, and take off from 'John Wayne Airport' in Orange County, Califorinia?" Is that not "SNA"?

'You don't leave that airport at low altitude . . . no way! You get right up with the "big boys", the "MD 80's" right now, without excuse . . . get out over the Pacific to gain altitude as if the devil himself is after your hide . . . climb like "works will get you to heaven" (which they won't"), and then turn back toward the "mainland".

Then, and ONLY THEN, think about that deliscious "In_N_Out" "Double-Double-Animal-Style-Burger" . . . and "Fries" you had across from the Irivine Campus at "In-N-Out" . . . with coffee and shake.

gadfly

(If nothing else, this old "gadfly" has his priorities absolutely right on target! . . . Oh for a 'double/double, "animal style", with coffee and a vanilla shake 'just about now . . . I'd be ahead of the rapture . . . I forgot, an order of "fries".)

baron95 said...

Dave said... Now stop accusing me of doing things that I didn't do. That you found something else in the article that you also wanted to point out that's fine, but there's no reason to take digs at me.


Dave, I meant it as humorous dig. I very much appreciate the links you dig and your measured comments.

Either way - my appologies if the "dig" somehow offended you - it was not my intention.

Dave said...

Dave, I meant it as humorous dig. I very much appreciate the links you dig and your measured comments.
Either way - my appologies if the "dig" somehow offended you - it was not my intention.


OK that's cool. I had a very long weekend, so perhaps right now I'm a bit touchy.

baron95 said...

gadfly said...
the “major discussion” concerns the “economics” . . . not all bad, but misses the point. Until you have a “real airplane”, you have nothing on which to base your “economics”. The little jet has not yet demonstrated a reliable and complete . . . did I say “COMPLETE”? . . . Jet.


Gad. 200-odd owners have decided to take delivery of an E500 jet and accepted to pay the full amount (somewhere between $837K and $1.5M+options) for it [with a writen IOU list].

Every day, Eclipse is taking in $1M or so in parts from suppliers and receiving $600K or so from buyers [40% ballance]. So the economics are well established and on-going. There is no need to have a "complete" E500 to establish or discuss the economics.

Given the last price hike to $2.15M, I think it is safe to assume that that is the break even+small profit point for the plane at the present production rate.

To me the economic questions now are:
1 - Does Eclipse have access to enough capital to last the 2H/2008 deliveries that are coming in below cost. I guess yes.
2 - Can they build a sustainable backlog of orders for at the new price to support the planned production rate. I guess not.

gadfly said...

Baron

No offense, but if you offered me a "free" ride on the E500, even around ABQ for a "touch and go", I would decline. It is on that basis, I place my trust and estimate on the value of the little bird.

gadfly

(I don't buy machines that I wouldn't recommend to my competition . . . fill in the blanks as you wish.)

fred said...

woow guys , never take the photo of a palm-tree for an oasis ...!

Baron95 : WHERE did you take your statement about EASA ?

just quoting the sentence
#We certainly hope to certify the aircraft#

i can already tell you the word "HOPE" is not even in the Easa vocabulary ...!!
they have NOTHING to fear and NOTHING to hope for ...

they do their job , nothing less (as faa ) and nothing more !

by the way HOW could you explain they would be mad enough to certify the Fpj , when in the "special conditions" published march (before Midway) they were ALREADY clearly stating about what did happen in Midway ...

HOW could they certify th Fpj without major work and improvements to be made BEFORE cert.???

ONCE again , i see this as Vern and his mignon spreading LIES and RUMORS around ...

#European Aviation Safety Agency Certification Manager for General Aviation Roger Hardy#

almost good , but not good enough !!!

R.Hardy is in the Easa organization ...

BUT NOT AT ALL THE MANAGER FOR CERT.PROCESS !!!

but works in a subdivision of the "Product" divison ...


the head of Certification is Mr R. Erckmann ... under the supervision of Mr F.Copigneaux (vice-director) and Mr N.Lohl (general director) !

what kind of a rabbit are you going to pull-out from your hat , now ?

so as for owner be happy about Easa Cert. , no ground for such joy , now .... if ever , i doubt very much of it !!

fred said...

#Every day, Eclipse is taking in $1M or so in parts from suppliers and receiving $600K or so from buyers [40% ballance]. So the economics are well established and on-going. There is no need to have a "complete" E500 to establish or discuss the economics.#

wow (again!) !!!
EVERY DAY ??? in their dreams , may be ...

once again , it is all rosy-colors scam going on ....

they MAY take 1 million worth from suppliers ...

but they DON'T GET PAID by clients (at least NOT by new ones ) because what the clients are served for now and spare-parts actually being used ,fitted , has been cashed long ago ...(the 6 months ponied cash 2,3 or 4 years ago scam !)

so , i see this as a double failure , they HAVE TO PAY suppliers ...
and ,they HAVE TO GIVE to clients what they have been paid for ...

the balance is gone LONG AGO into marketing , hype , understatements and NOT to be FORGOTTEN multiples Lawsuits against anybody just saying the truth ... (sorry , Vernperator : "loosing his life in waste on a blog" in his excellency's words)

this is more like reality , not hyperbole coming out from a sick-brain as EAC seems to be full of !!

wording once again ... this is where all scam of the world starts !!!

fred said...

avidpilot :

#A few more failed financial institutions and all markets will tank - the Dow, oil & commodities, houses, jets, you name#

yes , i can more or less understand ...

in the nowaday situation , it's going to be very tricky not to have the whole thing to stay "on the road" ...

with the "indymac" thing going under , it is one of the rare case where all the ones who were very much for "free enterprise" and perfectly aware of what is the plausible impact of speculation , had in the past voiced their concerns for a "free from any state involvement " type of economy ...

they are the same one to applause with the decision of "making Indymac a state controlled thing" !!
which is a big non-sens !!

economy is working exactly as a sinusoid ...!

if you want your sinusoid to go high upward , you have no choice but to accept it may go downward very much as well !

anyone pretending the opposite is plainly lying !

so what is going to happen next ? freddie and fanny are going to crash ... there is no point in trying to save them , it is like pouring gasoline on a fire to extinguish it ...

because this is exactly where is the trick : the more it will be "almost saved" ..., the more it will delay the recovery ...!!

the ones who get caught in the "housing bubble" = bad for them , but what else ? they knew what was the risk and if not , it will be a very good lesson ="never believe blindly someone saying something he is already making money out of it [on you] ..."

US$ will continue to fall , Oil will continue to rise (partly due to the relation Oilprice/$ value)

USA need to have products to be sold abroad ...

GOOD products , is there anyone to believe Fpj is any good ?

and anyway , it is not meant to be made in USA , anymore ....

the whole thing turn out to be what it is :

A SAD FARCE !

only one positive thing will come out with G.A. :

the ones who are rich enough to be willing to fly jet , but not enough rich to buy a REAL product (and not the "in love enough with flying" , who are to be respected for what they are : flying lovers )
will vanish like an ice-cream in summer sun ...

but that was the core-customers target for Fpj ...

i tell you : just a sad farce !!

airsafetyman said...

"What percentage of Biz Jets flying into the NYC area land at JFK or LGA? 0.1%?"

For the twelve months ending in March, 2008, Newark, LaGuardia, and Kennedy together had 1,360,017 flights. Of that number 110,457 flights, or 8.12%, were general aviation flights. Teterboro had only 179,828 flights in the same period and a lot of those were pilot training flights. A number equal to 61% of the Teterboro traffic is accessing the three major New York airline airports.

fred said...

#In case you don't know, almost every jet maker from Boeing, to Airbus, to Embraer, to Cessna have been getting record orders and approaching or exceeding record deliveries during the same period. Biz jet sales were up some 45% in 1Q/08 #


once again you see WHAT you WANT to see ...

YES , it is true that order book for REAL plane maker is up by some 40 % ...

NO, it is NOT an increase of traffic ...
(a bit more complicated)

the order-book increase (once again FROM REAL plane maker ) is more related to the need of Efficient Plane (the one swallowing to much oil are to be terminated ...)

so , unlike what some want you to believe , it is not an increase of traffic (at least NOT from USA or E.U.) but a simple replacement ...

so take-off the rosy sunglasses for a second and you will see :
it is not + , but INSTEAD !

the result = soon lots of jets burning a little too much oil will be on sale for less than Fpj ...

by the way , if the situation is not that weird with EAC , anyone can explain WHY EAC is directly selling 3 Fpj on controller.com ??

if they have NEW customers , it should be easy to sell them those birds ...

If they don't have NEW customers , easy as well to serve the old ones waiting for more time i dare to remember ...

or IT IS an ATTEMPT to raise some cash FAST , even if it means "old clients can be screwed as much as we , EAC, want !"

definitely , what a funny meaning for the word ETHICS !!!

flyger said...

airsafetyman said...

For the twelve months ending in March, 2008, Newark, LaGuardia, and Kennedy together had 1,360,017 flights. Of that number 110,457 flights, or 8.12%, were general aviation flights. Teterboro had only 179,828 flights in the same period and a lot of those were pilot training flights. A number equal to 61% of the Teterboro traffic is accessing the three major New York airline airports.

There is some cruft in the above.

The first is that "GA" is not defined well. There are repositioning flights of airliners into JFK that count as part 91 which really don't indicate real GA. I also don't see how part 135 was counted.

The second is that you counted only one NY GA airport. You should also include FRG, ISP, CDW, LDJ, and MMU in the GA count. Your post makes it sound like 60% of GA traffic goes to the big three and that is clearly false.

The third thing is that I went to Flightaware right now for JFK, EWR, LGA, and there was not *ONE* flight that wasn't an airliner. No Lears, Cessnas, Eclipse, Beech, nothing GA like. No flight was operating under an N number, either, so everybody had a call sign indicating few if any part 91 operations. That's about 200 flights listed on FA for those three airports, and I couldn't find *ONE* part 91 GA flight, so your 8% number is highly suspect. Maybe they are counting helicopter operations which are VFR (don't show up on FA) and don't take meaningful runway resources?

I guarantee you that you can sit under a JFK runway and there will be *FAR* fewer than one in 12 planes that are GA. So I question the source of your data. Sounds like you need to dig deeper into the numbers so you don't come to a conclusion based on superficial statistics.

airsafetyman said...

Flyger, The info is from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey web site. I said that the total general aviation movements into the three NY airline airports equal 61% of the TEB total. Seems clear to me. Having flown into JFK quite frequently as a corporate pilot in the past, the percentage does not seem unreasonable to me. With the domestic airline system in such utter shambles I would guess the number of general aviation flights into the international hubs will only increase in number.

Dave said...

Here's a presentation that DayJet gave at ERAU where they talk about pilot issues. They say they'll need 250 pilots before the end of the year:
http://www.erau-ntas.com/DayJetNTAS.pdf
This was back in March.

Also here's something from February with DayJet seeking 12 flights per day at Naples:
Mr. Dehn explained that Naples has been identified as a DayJet “Daybase” and they are currently seeing about twelve (12) flights each day. He briefly explained the DayJet model and noted that it seems to be working well at Naples.
http://www.cfaspp.com/Meetings/reg7_08-2_houts.pdf

airtaximan said...

from 2001 Congressional Hearing

"Mr. NADLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have a couple questions of each of the two witnesses.
Let me take Mr. DeCota first.
Mr. DeCota, you mentioned before the rather low, I think you said 77 passengers per plane average, passenger load at LaGuardia, which is the most congested airport.
To what extent is the presence at LaGuardia Airport of general aviation of private passenger planes, not scheduled airliners, to what extent does that add to that very low figure?
And would it be a good idea to what are the pros and cons of saying that no such flights, only regularly scheduled airline flights at LaGuardia and get those other flights to other airports?
Mr. DECOTA. General aviation, Congressman, was not in the average number. I was using commercial aircraft with commercial passengers.
Mr. NADLER. If you had general aviation, it would be a much lower number.
Mr. DECOTA. If you added that in, yes.
In fact, under the high density slot rule, six movements per hour were set aside for general aviation out of the total 68 movement per hour at the airport pre AIR-21.
Mr. NADLER. So about 20 percent?
Mr. DECOTA. About 10 percent of the movements were GA, only three of them per hour on average are used. So it's probably 5 percent, but if general aviation did not operate at LaGuardia, certainly that would free up 5 percent of the capacity at LaGuardia for additional commercial flights.
Mr. NADLER. Are there any reasons why that wouldn't be a good idea, other than the convenience of the few passengers in general aviation?

Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. DECOTA. I guess we would have to look at exactly where they would operate. A number of those flights are important business trips by people coming to New York for reasons that would be hard for me to guess.
I think we would have to evaluate exactly where they would locate, but assuming it would not take that business away from New York in terms of the commerce that occurs here, from a purely LaGuardia standpoint, it has a very big benefit—.
Mr. NADLER. Could you accommodate some of them at Kennedy, which is less congested than LaGuardia?
Mr. DECOTA. I don't think it would be desirable to redistribute them to Kennedy. We would have to look at other regional airports.
Mr. NADLER. Why would it not be desirable?
Mr. DECOTA. Kennedy is already handling about 365,000 plane movements. It's the airport where we have some capacity to grow.
There are major investments being made by carriers like American Airlines, Delta Airlines, et cetera.
Mr. NADLER. So you are looking in other places.
The second question is, Congressman Kelly, who I don't think is still here, suggested that repeatedly and some others also that Stewart Airport, which is 55 or 60 miles away from New York, could take a lot of traffic away from some of the congested airports.
How realistic is that in your opinion? Why hasn't that happened?
I recall people talking about that for the last 30 years. I remember Governor Rockefeller talking about Stewart as our former Governor Rockefeller, may he rest in peace, as our fourth jetport.

airsafetyman said...

"About 10 percent of the movements were GA [at LaGuardia], only three of them per hour on average are used. So it's probably 5 percent,"


Thanks, ATM.

baron95 said...

gadfly said...
Baron

No offense, but if you offered me a "free" ride on the E500, even around ABQ for a "touch and go", I would decline. It is on that basis, I place my trust and estimate on the value of the little bird.


And that is totally your prerogative. However, there is an established market for E500s. They are being bought and sold on the secondary market at around $1.5M give or take, and a new one is entering the market every day or two.

You may think your house or boat is worth $2M, I may think it is worth zero. Personal opinions are just that. However, there is a "market" value for homes, boats, planes.

If you inject too much emotion into an item, like some here seem to do with the E500, you start believing that your view is the "market" view.

Unfortunatelly, for you, the market is well established and the "market" value of an E500 seems to be around $1.5M in the secondary market. I have nothing invested in it emotionally or financially, I'm just pointing out the obvious.

If any one were to offer me a flying E500 at $1.0M or below, I'd buy it in an instance, knowing that I could turn around and sell it for a quick profit at $1.4M.

If you are saying that the value is ZERO, that is your prerogative, though.

gadfly said...

Baron

When it comes to machines . . . or a ride in the “E500", my decisions are made on simple logic . . . not emotion. I’ll get my emotional kicks after the fact . . . after the thing has proven itself . . . and not before.

gadfly

(To me, the beast has "zero" value.)

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