Tuesday, September 9, 2008

'Our' FPJ and the mysterious world of owning one

Many times over the course of hosting this blog I've pondered what motivated people who've purchased their very own Fisher Price Jet. The more I 'see' inside the aircraft, or hear from staff and suppliers to the company, the deeper my confusion. After reading all those excellent comments in the last thread it prompted me to try a trusted method when seeking clarity on a subject.

I write things down. It's really simple, focuses me, helps me to analyze what's important and generally clears my mind.

So here goes.

As always when I do this, I start at the beginning. For me this was some two years ago, when I spent time researching an idea. In part it was a personal quest for an aircraft to fulfill a specific mission (Ireland to North America, owner flown) and grew into a business idea. After a few weeks it became clear that the aircraft required to 'do' the mission was beyond my budget, so I looked really hard at the business case to see if that would help stand up a purchase on it's own. That's when I first discovered Stan's blog, read my way into the discussion and the rest (as they say) is history.

What have I learned? Well, pretty soon after I took over as custodian, I found out the hard way that 'free speech' only stays that way if people driven by principles (take a bow, Gunner) are prepared to spend their hard earned cash defending the First Amendment. It also displayed for a much wider audience the moral background at EAC and made me very determined to expose them to detailed scrutiny.

Speaking directly with people and through the blog email (eclipsecriticng@gmail.com) I've discovered that there were many more strange things 'lurking' in this whole story. The more I heard, the more I became convinced that there was a lot more to this than a business plan gone a little off track.

Pilots, usually those working for a living, have been very helpful in filling in the blanks left by the absence of reporting by the traditional media, who themselves were hamstrung by Vern. Suppliers also have illuminated some of the darker corners of the business ethics (or lack thereof) at EAC.

Many, many members of staff, current and former were kind enough to contact me. This has been most helpful in rounding out the full picture.

And then there are the real 'stars'.

You are.

Each and every one one of you, who has chosen to post a comment on the blog. It's not easy to engage with the story of EAC, without becoming awed by the scale. Breaking it down into manageable bits is as good a way as any to try to make sense of it.

Most recently we've enjoyed refreshing input from owners. I am really glad they decided to join in and hope they continue to provide insight. In many ways I think the blog has a better future as a platform for them than for 'us'. After all, in the almost inevitable end game we all can see, who has a right to be more critical of Eclipse than the people who paid money, but never got what they ordered?

So, let's take a shot at a summary of 'Reasons to buy an FPJ'

1. Low cost, especially for those who got into the program early. Even now (8 years later) there really is nothing new available, for less money.

2. The running costs are very impressive, if you are prepared to ignore depreciation. 

3. It's performance 'package' including range, takeoff and landing distances and the ability to climb to the higher flight levels makes it appealing to a wide group.

However (putting my critic hat back on) these basic 'facts' have been distorted into a marketing mantra at EAC which endlessly promotes the huge numbers of orders, in turn justifying the low price. Of course such a vast market is difficult to see in the current, owner flown arena, so we have the creation of 'air taxi' companies that offer EAC orders into the dim and distant future.

Lots of people bought into the dream. Not as many as EAC claimed, but far more than many thought possible. More than enough to make the project viable with any sort of halfway decent execution or proper management of the available resources. These people had an expectation based on promises made. They have been let down, badly, by EAC. Why do they continue to defy the logic of where the company is at? As I see it, the best thing would be to sell now, before the bottom falls out of the market. But they seem to resist this option.

What is really scary is that some of these owners and/or position holders have parted with money for multiple aircraft. This last bit I fail to understand in any process dictated by logic. It's like playing Russian roulette with 5 live bullets and one empty chamber instead of the other way round.

I think that's a pretty fair summary of where we are now. Yes we can add an endless number of pro's and con's to the discussion (and probably will, knowing you lot) but we must also remember that real people are getting hurt out there. I'll finish with a passage from the inbox, which reached me last week. I've edited it, but only lightly, as it has a certain power of its' own, coming as it does from a parent concerned for a beloved child.

"It was immediately apparent to me that they were not serious about producing planes. You can’t hire contractors at $30 an hour and have them stand around talking all day and expect to run a successful company – even I know that. You can’t hire your friends to “supervise” and have them spend the day with their heads in the computer and not pay any attention to what people are doing on the floor and expect to run a successful company. You can’t let people steal you blind and expect to run a successful company. This whole thing was obviously a scam from the beginning – anyone who actually worked in production saw that immediately. But they duped not only their investors but the people who worked for them and believed in them. It’s not just the investors and suppliers and purchasers who got screwed, it’s the people who put their time and energy and faith in this company and are now looking for jobs. I am angry. I am angry at the politicians and that lying piece of s*#t Vern Raburn for deceiving and using all these people who gave them their trust and time and energy."

You can take it as read that the 'child' was one of the 800 odd who were fired recently, and that this parent was worked up enough to send me a (much) longer email, of which the above is a mere extract. Consider, carefully, this paragraph before you buy yourself an FPJ....

So, that's what I think.

What about you?

Shane

343 comments:

1 – 200 of 343   Newer›   Newest»
gadfly said...

Shane

Me thinks you have lit the fuse . . . and we all better stand back behind something solid just about now.

gadfly

(Thanks . . . it's about time!)

Dave said...

Good post Shane!

airtaximan said...

Shane,

the basic question boils down to:

fraud or stupidity.

there are a bunch of examples during the history of EAC, which we know of. Some are so ridiculous, that the level of stupidity would eclipse anyones ability to actually form a company and attract $1 of investment capital... or even walk and chew gum at the same time, for that matter.

Anyhow - pretty sad.

On another plane:

from your previous post/string: are we to believe Ed leased the planes to Dayjet? Or am I reading too much into the last remark?

If he leased the planes to himself, this would be a serious comment on the whole business plan, and the acceptance of it by even asset based lenders.

Normally, a lender would take the risk on the aircraft, at say 75% of the purchase price - and HIS price was way low, IIRC.

Should have been a no-brainer, unless lenders thought there was too much risk in the planes.

Imagine, that.

Dave said...

fraud or stupidity

Those two aren't mutal exclusive. I personally consider Eclipse's dealing with the size of the order book to be wrong and with Eclipse's continued ranting and ravings on the size of the order book after the DayJet meltdown to be stupidity and with Roel saying the Eclipse order book has grown larger and so Eclipse needs the Russian plant in addition to ABQ to be beyond stupid as he said this after the Eclipse meltdown as well. How can anyone take Eclipse seriously when the CEO is doing this sort of stuff? It gets to the underlying problem with Eclipse - a lack of candor with everyone it deals with...customers, employees, the public and potential investors. If Eclipse was honest and forthright in its dealings with others, Eclipse could be re-evaluated, but Eclipse is continuing on the same path that "damaged" Elcipse's brand here in the US.

from your previous post/string: are we to believe Ed leased the planes to Dayjet? Or am I reading too much into the last remark?

I might be able to explain that. Awhile back Ed said that he personally put $10 million into DayJet and that figured concided with the size of the deposit DayJet has said it put into its orders initially. It could mean that Ed is putting his personal financial interests in DayJet into a separate entity and I believe that entity is DayJet Leasing LLC. I don't know the ownership structure of DayJet Leasing LLC, but it could just be Ed closely controlling his investment.

baron95 said...

If I were to summarize the EA50 program today:

Airframe: Basically OK, with expected new design teething problems.

Avionics: Not-competitive, require total redesign with G-1000.

Performance (speed, range, payload): Great

Operating cost: great assuming warranty and JetComplete survive.

Company Prospects: Extreme uncertainty.

Value for early position holders ($900K-$1.5M): Off-the chart assuming plane is upgradable/supported at reasonable costs going forward - nothing else comes close.

Value for new buyers ($2.15M): OK assuming upgradable/supported at reasonable costs going forward - nothing else comes close for at least 33% more.

ROI/Depreciation Prospects: Uncertain. If D-jet and CirrusJet, etc, hits the market in big numbers at $1.4M and/or the plane becomes unsuported, residual values will tumble, else, values should hold at GA historical norms or a bit better.

gadfly said...

"Performance (speed, range, payload): Great"

Amazing statement! 'Care to elaborate?

gadfly

('Assuming all three will be included together, and not isolated items.)

flyger said...

Did anyone notice that the entire DayJet fleet had "collateral documents" filed on them at the end of April? Bank of Utah apparently has interest in the fleet. This from the FAA registry under "document index".

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

I noticed Karen hasn't been mentioning EAC in any of her latest reports on CharterX. I have reason to believe someone has censored her from futher writing on subject. If that is the case, shame on them. If someone knows more, please get it here or to Shane.


Oh Karen....where are you????

x said...

Some folks asked whether Linear Air flights are listed on FA.

Yes, but only under the route number (HPN 28, 513, etc. This makes utilization measurements less exact and more bothersome to scrape, as flight numbers are reused by only discovered by trial and error.

smartmoves said...

Airframe: Basically OK, with expected new design teething problems.

Baron - do you really think so given what Gad and others have written here re the unknowns of FSW?

Can we be certain that Eclipse has done enough metallurgy to guarantee the airframe will last and remain safe under its FSWs through the long-term pressurisation cycles.?

If everything else about Eclipse was perfect - or near enough, do you think there would be so much speculation and concern about them getting the fundamentals right?

I think a very large negative spotlight is more than appropriate for this aircraft to offset the years of BS that have caused many true believers to "do their dough".

The only positive from this fiasco I can see is that the other players have been given a wakeup call, and we may see some competitive aircraft in the SEJ space.

However, I would not rule out some further carnage among the remaining manufacturers. I can't see how they can all survive after having waited so long to update their offerings, and I do sense many are progressing only under the duress of this competition and are possibly betting their business on it.....exciting times ahead.

sphealey said...

Back in, well, a previous decade my much younger baby sister had a Fisher Price jet. It was a very nice airplane, far superior to her other one (which was affiliated with a certain doll); we flew it and its load of Fischer Price People all over the house, taxied it for miles on the basement floor, took it outside in the sun and rain. A well-designed, well-built and cost-effective craft. So I still object to naming the eClips the "Fisher Price Jet"; I think it does a great disservice to Fisher Price.

sPh

MetalGuy said...

I think...

anyone that invests in this business model needs their head examined. But then I have said the same thing for the last half billion invested in the company (and might be saying it for the next half billion invested in the company).

Get a clue folks – there is no ROI here and no bottom to this cash burning pit.

Dave said...

Get a clue folks – there is no ROI here and no bottom to this cash burning pit.

There's could be a cottage industry charging customers for retrofits to get their aircraft to spec. I think there's probably quite a lot of opportunity in Eclipse as a servicing business rather than Eclipse as a manufacturing business. As the fleet puts on more hours there will probably be even more things we aren't aware of now that need to be [expensively] fixed as well as many parts that don't last to their stated lifespans and so need to be [expensively] replace (think tires).

fred said...

shane :

very good summary !
i am used (by profession) to see weird schemes or financial ,to me as well , that some has "multiple" positions or aircrafts is beyond comprehension ...!!

sounds like putting all your eggs into an already much too small basket to bring them to the market ...!

airtaxi :

is it a fraud based on stupidity ?
or stupidity based on fraud ??

you're right , it's working both ways !! ;-))

Baron :

please remember , something useless even at a price of 1$ is still useless ! it is only a way of mind to refer to other qualities ... a good average in everything is very often better than a single breathtaking point attached with multiples other faulty ones ...

so up to now : Fpj is only a bet on its own future !
nothing really great into this ...

dave:

yes , it could be a good business to serve Fpj (for all the things which won't be taken on by EAC)

but there is a major problem into this :
to keep enough "already owners" to keep on paying for something they should have got in the first place ...
(a bit like milking a cow over and over again ...)

i have no doubts that some are and will be ready to pay than you acknowledge " we've been done , big time" but is that going to be the critical mass to sustain a profitable business ?? that is more doubtful already ! specially in terms of time ...

smartmoves said...

Dave - has there ever been a case where the "cottage industry" has resurrected an unfinished aircraft with so much existing hard (IOUs/glitches/bugs) and soft (TC/PC) uncertainty around it?

fred said...

dave :

(from earlier post about your link on a news-report)

Russia is really a place for bizz-planes ...
i am amazed by the numbers of operators appearing on this market !

in past , to do a simple Moscow-St pet. was a nightmare ... now to do a St pet.-Yekaterinburg is almost easy as washing teeth ...!

for convenience airports are :
Vnukovo : main place for private , good handling but expect high prices ..
Domodedovo : my personal best choice , i know this one since opening ... amazing how it is always with some new features added , one guy i know there told me they send peoples in other airports worldwide to see what is good and what is to be avoided ... result is excellent ! you don't even have to go out of airport to take a fast train to city-center !
Sheremetyevo : the oldest one , in my view = the worst one ! quite far away from center , lost in the middle of nowhere without efficient transportation , exit of airport cramped with Taxi/crooks , old building , staff already totally worn-out , probably the best place to go in Russia to have all your prejudicial ideas well confirmed !!
(a hint for anyone going to some other part of Russia thru SVO , there is 2 terminals one Regional one international , when one arrive from anywhere abroad and has to change to the regional terminal , they usually get ripped-off using taxi ,50$ to 100$ ! it is only 2 Kilometers away , but i warn anyone not to try walking there , or you will be stolen or harassed by some punks or "peeled-off" by some nasty police officer waiting for a "little gift" ...

ASK the company flying you to show or have you shown where is the free service of minibus linking the two terminals ...!)

as for EAC in Russia = it is as usual = too late , too small , too much promising with real service in sight !

Shane Price said...

ATman,

the basic question boils down to:
fraud or stupidity.


I'm not sure it's as simple as that. There is no doubt that Vern's ego ran out of control, especially as he was able to raise (and spend) more and more money.

I prefer to see things as a deficit of intelligence vis ability.

On the DayJet/Lineair matter, I don't think anyone will ever know all the details, if indeed a deal is completed. My sources have alleged that DayJet offered to return some FPJ's rather than pay EAC more money. What that debt was about, I'm not certain, but I gather it's all wrapped up in the original 'deal' for '1,400' jets. Now I will be VERY surprised if we ever learn the details of that one...

sPh,

A well-designed, well-built and cost-effective craft. So I still object to naming the eClips the "Fisher Price Jet"; I think it does a great disservice to Fisher Price.

I am a little concerned myself, that's why I normally just use the initials, FPJ. We must remember that we get new readers from time to time, so I have to explain the acronym.

There was a vote and the blog decided that this was the best nickname. For the record, the runner up was BDJ.

Barbie Doll Jet...

Shane

eclipse_deep_throat said...

i like what Dave said about EAC being more about a service biz and not a manufacturing biz. that would explain a lot, using something very similar to a Microsoft biz model. but that only holds true if/when they enter bankruptcy and discharge all past debts and RnD costs. the first question about BK then must be: Which suppliers will be crazy enough to stick around post-BK? Wouldn't they likely double or tripple the parts costs to recover their investments? Then won't EAC be forced to sell the EA500 for $3+ million?

also, EAC would then be in a permanent state of building an "inferior good" that always has to remain priced lower than Cessna and others. even with a 2-model lineup, selling the EA400 at $1.x and the EA500 at $2.15mil, its unlikely to ever generate sufficient revenue to cover production costs, considering the vast unknown as to the size of the market.

the only analogy that comes to mind is like with IBM, which tried to transition from producing hard biz goods into a software and consulting firm. or something like the razor blade theory of marketing: give the razor away for 'free' or significantly below cost and then charge $10-15 for the razor blades. i could never see myself ever buying an IBM product or service for the rest of my life ...and i for one, even with a biz degree hanging on my wall, can't see ANY value with a $10 pack of razor blades. in order for the market to go along with this ....there has to be some kind of "sub-conscious self-deception" (my own silly term) working here.

but that can't go on forever. paying $100k to $500k for necessary 'razor blades' of service from EAC is likely going to anger many owners. when Roel sends John Travolta and other owners a bill for $500k for whatever - is hopefully - going to open the floodgates from the owners since Vern isnt around anymore. it wont be the $2.15mil that is the issue, it will be having to cough up $500k every 2-3 YEARS just to keep flying the plane. the whole point of this scam is to NEVER deliver a 100% fully-functional plane. EAC, even with EAC and ETIRC, has to maintain a Molopoly on the servicing of the fleet and all AOG issues: access to replacement parts. i predict there will always be some kind of upgrade that EAC will spin as necessary for the planes. and if memory serves, your JetComplete package is NULL AND VOID if you ever allow someone else to work on the plane.

maybe this series of events will lead to a climax with owner / operators filing a class-action against EAC...

E.D.T.

Dave said...

Roel Pieper is now wholeheartedly speaking Vernacular. He says the FAA cleared the Eclipse and that the House Transportation Committee only is looking into Eclipse for partisan political reasons:
According to Pieper, the application for the FAA to investigate to do with the American election campaign. "The application for the research comes from the Democrats attempting to break the Republicans in the FAA on the side to continue. The study is thus not specifically Eclipse, but what the FAA would have done wrong possible that there are problems regarding the safety of aircraft. "
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&u=http://www.quotenet.nl/biz/pieper_dupe_amerikaanse_verkiezingen.php&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522eclipse%2Baviation%2522%26num%3D100%26hl%3Den%26lr%3Dlang_nl%26safe%3Doff%26as_qdr%3Dd

airtaximan said...

fraud vs stupidity, explained:

example:

-EAC raised a few hundred million, and Williams was designing andthe plane and the engine for them. Around 2 years goes by, and Vern takes over the aircraft development. Williams is being paid by EAC to finish the development of the engine.
- first flight occurs a year and a half later or so. Deposit money is demanded and released to EAC based on the flight.
- a month or so later, EAC announces the engine is not good, and they are seeking another engine.

You would have to believe EAC was so stupid they knew nothng about the engine problems a few weeks earlier, after funding and oveseeing the development of the engine. You would have to believe there were no discussions about engine problems, engine reliability. You would have to believe EAC was clueless about the problems when they demanded the deposit money...and GOT REALLY SMART SHORTLY THEREAFTER TO THROW WI COMPLETELY UNDER THE BUS.

I think they knew and scammed everyone out of their money, BUT, they could say they had a good faith belief the engines would make it... only to change their minds a few weeks later - after 4 years of development.

You choose.

there are many examples, including the orderbook, delivery-progress payment schedule, all the other schedules for fixes and mods, the performance guarantees, AVIO... etc.

My opinion is, either you think they are inept/stupid/clueless... or saying anything to get more deposit money, eventhough they know they are just BSing everyone.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Seems the only decent aspect of the plane is basic handling, and maybe acceptable performance/Range payload (not that promised, but adequate).

If the plane takes a G1000 or equivelent) retrofit after BK to allow a viable business model over the medium service, you can forget that.

They integrated the FADEC and other systems into the AvioNG system. You aren't going to get a retrofit avionic system ever!

It has taken Eclipse 10+ years to do a halfarsed job of not completely certifying such a system. No other company has ever attempted this before. Ever! (Because it is a dumb idea - Engine independance has a very significant safety effect).

Even if a fantastic avionics cert team were in place to do a replacement you would be looking at 4+ years at least before the STC was ready, and the bill would be huge. Forget it.

Eclipse owners, you are stuck with whatever Avio or Avio NG you have. You may or may not one day get a G400 installed. After that you are SOL. Good luck sourcing parts for AVIO in ten years!!!

Dave said...

Dave - has there ever been a case where the "cottage industry" has resurrected an unfinished aircraft with so much existing hard (IOUs/glitches/bugs) and soft (TC/PC) uncertainty around it?

I believe it is SOP for failed aircraft companies to become servicers, but ordinarilly there is both less aircraft and less to be done to those aircraft. The service liabilities for a pre-BK Eclipse could be considered a post-BK asset.

fred said...

dave :

#The service liabilities for a pre-BK Eclipse could be considered a post-BK asset.#

may be ... but it is coming back to old EAC manners :

owners are and will be treated as hostages ... pre-BK , post-BK or any other entity , result is the same !

Hostages , nothing else !

Dave said...

owners are and will be treated as hostages ... pre-BK , post-BK or any other entity , result is the same !
Hostages , nothing else !


Yeah, paying $1M+ for privilege of being treated like a hostage. That's disruptive!

fred said...

yeah !

it is called Stockholm-syndrome ...

guess few are wishing they took wife and kids to Sweden instead of having only the collateral effects ...! ;-))

Dave said...

Given the date of the event, this seems rather tacky:
http://www.eclipse500club.org/events/

fred said...

#http://www.eclipse500club.org/events/#

tacky ? sorry , my vocabulary is too limited ... any explanation ?

but on the links , they should add as under title : " look what you can do with a Billion $ !"

FreedomsJamtarts said...

In ten years almost all eclipse will be in museums, as GAte guards, kids playground articles etc. A few "die Hards" (TM Vern) will buy up many airframes and rob them for part to keep a small fleet going ala Warbird.

just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flightguy said...

Dave,

Maybe Epic will do a flyby?

Deep Blue said...

A few comments:

1. The airplane: the product itself obviously sustains several spec gaps and may also contain design and manufacturing flaws; the aircraft cannot survive until these are rectified.

2. EAC: probably the most central element that this particular organization has produced is doubt. Doubt--across the entire value chain--is lethal.

3. Production: never perfected even at small scale let alone high scale; there is likely room to realize enormous improvements, but only to bring it up through remediation, to current average aerospace standards.

4. Demand: limited. And now highly circumscribed by Cessna, EMB, Honda and to some extent, Piper. Moreover, the entire VLJ concept may be experiencing a fundamental reassesment by the marketplace. Air taxi (i.e. large scale, large fleet operations), is not viable unless consumer service costs can be profitably sustained well below $1/mile; no technology breakthroughs in the near term suggest that this is possible; in the meantime, the marketplace, as Aboulafia has stated, more resembles an hourglass than a triangle; and the market of new demand won't grow until pricing is radically lower than it currently is (separately, I do applaud DayJet's work on NexGen).

As for a service business opportunity, that is not a probable scenario, as a stand alone investment thesis would be very difficult to produce.

Which brings me to a final point: stand alone aerospace OEMs (Robinson and Cirrus may be an exception; Piper to some extent, but they are not out of the woods yet)may be fundamentally unsustainable.

Those that are stand alone--Boeing for example--are highly diversified across defense and civil, and their civilian line sells almost entirely into a commercial (B2B)market with a large, diversified customer base, enormous volumes and deep financing infrastructure.

The really robust, enduring GA OEMs are all owned by large conglomorates: Textron, Bombardier, General Dynamics. Dassault is a hybrid but diversified into military and other product.

I do not believe a single line, stand alone GA OEM can be a viable, long-term player, especially in the jet sector with its service intensity requirements.

Moreover, stand alone ventures like EAC have every disadvantage stacked against them: cost of capital, management depth, unit costs, buying power with suppliers, among others.

EAC may be a tough sell to a conglomorate owner as it is strictly a GA consumer product (not really a business jet/corporate product). To that extent, perhaps only a consumer goods holding company would find it potentially attractive; perhaps a high-end auto OEM as brand extension. And that is part of Honda's genius.

Dave said...

Is your life so emotionally impoverished that you have to seek out meaningless things to criticize about others?
If so, and I sincerely mean this, I feel very sorry for you. I hope you can find someone you trust to talk to about it. You deserve to be happy as much as anyone else, and I hope you can find peace.


Perhaps you should take your own advice. I said I found the event tacky and you launch into a whole big attack on me. You're free to disagree with me that flying jets on 9/11 for a planned event isn't tacky, but you didn't see me saying that Ken and Shari were emotionally impoverished and should find peace - that was you who sought out meaningless things to criticize about others.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Well thought out posting Deep Blue.

Good big picture summary.

just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

They were made out of genuine concern for your mental state. Your latest response just adds to my concern.

Well at least your posts are entertaining. If someone on this blog says "tacky", Zis launches into fireworks just like Telefon.

I thought your criticism misplaced because none of the airlines and none of the business jets that I know of are taking the day off on September 11th.

Like I said you're free to disagree with me that it isn't tacky, but ranting and raving about someone's mental state, accusing them of being emotionally impoverished and then not even admitting such are actions are ad homines. If you disagree, then disagree, but launching continued ad hominem attacks because you disagree with them, you really should take your own advice.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Dave you $uck. Period

Shane Price said...

Gentlemen (and ladies)

A little decorum, please. Comments directed at each other distract from the purpose of the blog.

Thanks.

Shane

Dave said...

Dave you $uck. Period

How nice. More ad hominems. To quote you from just the last thread:
when the people that don't think just like you show up to play you guys get all defensive and say "You guys can't play cause you're a big stupid."

Dave said...

Could impact Eclipse in Russia:
http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USLA22411920080910

baron95 said...

Sounds like we hit a lull in hard news again and speculation is all that floats.

It is too bad that actual real world developments don't move at internet/blog speeds.

When you see that the Hawker 4000 project was announced in 1996, and only now is certified and delivered, or even the mighty Airbus A380 project started in the summer of 1988, it puts things in perspective.

12 years to design, certify and start serial deliveries for a mid-sized jet by a very experienced and established company!!!!

You have to look at the Citation Mustang (5 years from announcement to serial deliveries) as the excpetion, not the norm.

This whole story will take another 10 years to sort out. Either way, there has never been ANY type that became totally unsupported/grounded with a fleet of over 250 in the field.

I think Ken et all are reasonably safe that there will be support. The question is only who/how/how-much.

To the comments on IBM and Gillette, thank god the executives of those companies don't partake in the same opinions of bloggers in here, since they are consistently the most proffitable companies in their respective markets with the highes gross margins.

Dave said...

To the comments on IBM and Gillette, thank god the executives of those companies don't partake in the same opinions of bloggers in here, since they are consistently the most proffitable companies in their respective markets with the highes gross margins.

the same opinions of SOME bloggers in here

Dave said...

More from the Russian front:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=http://rosfincom.ru/companies/news/29104.html&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=9&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522etirc%2522%26num%3D100%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26as_qdr%3Dw

Methinks Governor Morozov should look and see how good Governor Richardson's investment is doing:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=http://www.expert.ru/rss/doc432114&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=12&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522etirc%2522%26num%3D100%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26as_qdr%3Dw

The production rate in Russia is STILL 800 units per year:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&u=http://www.expert.ru/rss/doc432118&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=13&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3D%2522etirc%2522%26num%3D100%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26as_qdr%3Dw

Deep Blue said...

If I may add a another example to support the argument that EAC has an unlikley future as a stand-alone venture:

1. Prime suppliers: The engine OEMs are similarly configured industrially like the airframe OEMs: PWC (United Tech), GE Engines (GE) and Honeywell (Rolls and Snecma to some extent) are all diversified across market segments (bizjet, commercial, helo), geography and defense/civil, and in some cases are owned by very large highly diversified conglomorates. Williams is a heck of a company, but vulnerable alone and I wouldn't be surprised if it were acquired.

2. Other primary suppliers are also diversified (Goodrich, Rockwell, for example) and of course the Japanese are among the best in tuis regard (Mitsubishi or Fuji, for example.

Those that are more concentrated (say, Spirit, as a supplier to Boeing) appear much more vulnerable; note Spirit's almost immediate and significant layoffs/slow-down when Boeing workers when on strike.

My point? EAC, even if you buy into the product, is up against an apparent immutable law of aerospace: you must have broad diversification and deep corporate resource support to prosper, let alone survive, across the enormous cyclicality, development/product service costs and competition, of aerospace.

Dave said...

If I may add a another example to support the argument that EAC has an unlikley future as a stand-alone venture

I don't know in what form, but I do expect Eclipse to survive in some fashion.

eclipso said...

hominims, synonyms, hows ur mom anems....is we having English todays?

fred said...

yes dave , eAC may survive ...

but not in Russia , the project with the Veshcombank has been killed straight in its egg !!

it seems that something or some kind of radiations are killing brain in ABQ ...!

when you read the enormity of what Vern was saying , it doesn't sounds very different of Roel speech now ...

do they think they just discovered a strange land that locals calls "Poccia" (russia in Cyrillic ) ?

i will be in sochi-forum

fred said...

hit wrong button !!! grrrrr!

off-course , the radiations do not disturb you , Monsieur Gad ! ;-))

yes i will be in sochi-forum , so i will see the EA500 suppose to be presented ...

i think it is going to be a good laugh ...!

Dave said...

hominims, synonyms, hows ur mom anems....is we having English todays?

When the houyhnhnms show up.

baron95 said...

gadfly said...
"Performance (speed, range, payload): Great"

Amazing statement! 'Care to elaborate?


Humm.... you don't think that a 6,000lbs plane that can go over 1,000nm at 380KTAS 800lbs of payload is impressive?

Surelly you can cite an example of any other civiian plane that can do the same, right?

Hint.... submarines don't count.

Deep Blue said...

One of the bloggers I think stated that an OEM with +250 units in the market has never failed, per se.

But one might state (the Blog seems to support) that EAC doesn't actually have 250-odd units in the user marketplace (the one that counts); many are for sale; others are spec orders for sale; air taxi is effectively non-existant.

The only supporters of this craft may be brokers.

One might advise all E500 owners to trade up to Cessna, EMB, Honda, Piper (perhaps) while EAC is still nominally in business.

gadfly said...

b95

Thanks . . . I was curious about your logic, in view of what was originally promised.

gadfly

(That's all . . . no rebuttal.)

Dave said...

There was previous discussion whether or not Ed was leasing aircraft to DayJet. Anyway here are some facts.

Ed has stated that her personally put in $10 million into DayJet:
To bankroll this expansionism, he has raised $68 million, much of it from hedge funds, private equity firms and individuals; $10 million of it came from his own bank account. He is lining up more than $100 million in debt to start the fleet. He and his wife, Nancy Lee Iacobucci, own just over 20%.
http://www.forbes.com/business/forbes/2007/0813/100.html

DayJet put down almost $10 million in deposits:
The following year Iacobucci and his wife founded DayJet (then code-named Jetson Systems) and became Eclipse's largest customer. Iacobucci put down nearly $10 million in deposits to secure some of Eclipse's first planes, which Raburn assured him would be approved by the FAA and start coming off the assembly line in 2004.
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/04/01/8403369/index.htm

Also here are the various DayJet corporations and LLCs:
http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Delray-Beach/1801-S-Federal-Hwy-Ste-100-Delray-Beach-FL-33483-a1501724.aspx
The Krieger listings appear to be from the former tenant of the address, but it was interesting to see that at the same time Ed was starting up DayJet he had plans to apparently start a restaurant.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Baron95,

There has never been a aircraft type with 250 delivered, which has not been supported after BK.

Unfortunately for Eclipse owners, there has never been a aircraft delivered in such numbers in such an incomplete state. There has also never been an aircraft delivered in such numbers which will be so differcult to support due to a extremely high level of integration of unreliable poorly executed avionics.

In ten years, those that aren't crashed will be in museums.

Dave said...

There has never been a aircraft type with 250 delivered, which has not been supported after BK.
Unfortunately for Eclipse owners, there has never been a aircraft delivered in such numbers in such an incomplete state. There has also never been an aircraft delivered in such numbers which will be so differcult to support due to a extremely high level of integration of unreliable poorly executed avionics.


I think time will tell whether these issues are considered assets or liabilities. The integration of Avio might make it DOA from the standpoint of a servicer or it might not.

airtaximan said...

How much will an owner be willing to pay to have his plane finished, is really the only question.

My sense is, it ain't going to be quick or easy...

All the missed promised "finished" dates and cert dates for the missing stuff...

Even the guys with the inside skinny on Pandora's Box (AVIO) took forever...

Imagine what an STC would look like?

I imagine all the "this is so cool" or "this is so much easier" stuff will be gone with an integrated OTS system integration.

Why not just buy a Mustang or SEJ?

Dave said...

How much will an owner be willing to pay to have his plane finished, is really the only question.

I believe that would be reflected in the resale market by lowering the value based on the costs to retrofit. Some of the current owners might want to just liquidate, but it doesn't mean that someone else coming along and picking up a jet in the six figures would mind paying another six figures to get the jet up to spec.

Even the guys with the inside skinny on Pandora's Box (AVIO) took forever...

I think Avio is the make-or-break factor as far as having an Eclipse servicing business viable in the long-term.

Dave Ivedorne said...

I think Avio is the make-or-break factor as far as having an Eclipse servicing business viable in the long-term.

That being the case, the word that comes to mind is "BROKE".

Would you like the Zesty Sauce?
DI

airtaximan said...

Dave,

the conomics work both ways... IOW,
if completing the planes costs too much, many will look to sell, and not many will look to buy.

if they are affordable, not many would sell, everyone would look to buy...

that is the problem.

I am not sure how this effects the speculators. I would imagine it will just erode the profit, since at least until now, they could CLAIM the planes would be completed at EAC cost.

Dave Ivedorne said...

sphealey - re: I still object to naming the eClips the "Fisher Price Jet"

The 'FPJ' designation was thoroughly vetted. Independent of the vote, an obviously brilliant person researched the subject exhaustively, and posted the results to the blog to rave reviews. I hear a Pulitzer Prize is not out of the question for its author: gratuitous vanity link

eclipso - re: hominims, synonyms, hows ur mom anems....is we having English todays?:

Do you have any advice for getting coffee out of a keyboard?

re: I noticed Karen hasn't been mentioning EAC in any of her latest reports on CharterX. I have reason to believe someone has censored her from futher writing on subject.:

I don't believe that that's really a concern, because the broader aviation press has gotten up to speed on the direness of the situation at Eclipse - The Company. Karen was well out in front at getting the word out, and now many are carrying the water for her. I s'pect if she has something to add to the discussion, NOTHING will stop her.

Having failed at Due Diligence 101, Roel is now left carrying Vern's water, as noted in this week's Aviation Leak:
When ... Raburn was recently ousted, [Eclipse/Roel] said no immediate layoffs were planned. At least not that week ... Employment at the ... company has sunk to 1,100, from 2,059 in late July.

I get the sense that the other guys are catching on - so Karen's just resting.

Would you like to Super Size it?
DI

gadfly said...

There is evidence that if flight were a matter of emotions, good wishes, or even money, man would have been flying many centuries ago. And the present discussion about making the little bird viable, along with the company that almost produced it, . . . seems to be based on all the usual suspects . . . emotions, good wishes, and/or money.

Once the bird is out of the egg, it is extremely difficult to correct basic “birth” defects . . . and whichever side you take, there are “many” defects. Make your own list . . . it is not my intention to get into an endless discussion on the numerous possible subjects.

To take any of these birds, and attempt to make them (after the fact) into a semblance of the original promises (which, evidently, is no longer possible), or even a fully functional aircraft, will take not only money, but major risk, and (above all) a certain level of genius from some unknown person or persons, to figure out how to untangle the mess, and put things right.

This, my friends, is no small thing. Is it possible? . . . Maybe, but not likely. The dedicated infrastructure of a company to attend to the needs of such a “unique” (I’m trying to be most fair and kind) aircraft does not exist as such. Can someone keep the birds flying for a few more years? . . . Sure, at risk of major lawsuits, etc., etc.

So it would appear that to keep a couple hundred birds flying, it will take a rather large collection of good mechanics (A&P), and electronics’ types . . . and some back alley machine shops (good, maybe, but small), . . . “All” who have little to lose, should they be “sued” for supplying un-authorized parts and equipment in an effort to keep the birds flying.

Of course, there is always the possibility of hanging “Experimental” on the side to get around some of the problems.

This is the view of someone who has had a moderately successful business for almost 33 years, is an “A&P”, with a Private Pilot ticket (long ago), and a life-time working with and on aircraft parts, controls, testing, etc. And with success in designing and building certain devices for very large aircraft.

One of the first documents I had to sign with the insurance company was that I would not manufacture and sell certain things, including anything that would be directly used on an aircraft or missile. The “way around”, was to make parts for the “labs”, or to design and manufacture tooling to be used in the manufacture of aircraft/engines/etc., but not anything that would “fly”. And the same rules applied to various surgical/medical items, that we invented . . . and used throughout the world.

So, to “burst your bubble”, it is highly unlikely that any company with the “means” is going to keep the flock of little birds alive and well, in the event of Eclipse Aviation going belly up. For all practical purposes, as goes Eclipse Aviation, so goes the little jet.

gadfly

(But who knows what lurks in the shadows!)

Dave said...

So, to “burst your bubble”, it is highly unlikely that any company with the “means” is going to keep the flock of little birds alive and well, in the event of Eclipse Aviation going belly up. For all practical purposes, as goes Eclipse Aviation, so goes the little jet.

I just think it is too soon to tell one way or the other. I wouldn't make a definitive statement that it will or wont happen.

But who knows what lurks in the shadows!

The hearts of men know!

julius said...

Baron95:
"Humm.... you don't think that a 6,000lbs plane that can go over 1,000nm at 380KTAS 800lbs of payload is impressive?

Surelly you can cite an example of any other civiian plane that can do the same, right?
"

Surelly you can cite an example of
any civilian plane that can do the same, right?

Hint ... it's not the FJP (see specs, performance, and range tables at EAC).
Please be fair - only complete aircrafts, no test or demo aircrafts!

Julius

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

Julius,

It's a little heavier, but are you referring to the Paris Jet?

Black Tulip said...

Just spent an hour this afternoon talking to a very experienced Eclipse charter pilot. He said with a crew of two, and three people in back, the aircraft has a 250 nautical mile range. This might be stretched a little if the weather is exceedingly good. Of course this is Part 135 and flown in a high-density traffic environment.

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Ed was going to start a restaurant? Funny. I always believed in the "myth" of the terrible failure rate of food service businesses. But maybe sinking $10mil into a Chuck E Cheese or McDonald's would have been better for him. I mean, the fail rate for new GA companies is what, like 99% right? How many GA companies since 1950? Do we count Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose or just dismiss him as a nut? Well, at least Vern wasn't that bad. ;-)

E.D.T.

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content
/apr2007/sb20070416_296932.htm

easybakeplane said...

Baron,

Where did you get your performance figures? Looks like the EAC website states 1100 NM, 3X170 lbs payload, 370 Kts speed?

--------

I would prefer a 340 kts, 600 lbs payload, 1100 NM range, 8645 lbs MTOW, fully functional a/c with no IOUs or future surprises...

--------

PS - Would any of our E500 owners like to tell us what BOW they are actually using so we can get a true payload/range comparison?

Joe Patroni said...

JMO.....but anyone thinking that there are all kinds of people chomping at the bit, waiting to do an avionics Retrofit/STC on the E500 out in aviation-modification-and-maintenance-land, are smoking some of that Cali "medicinal marijuana".

They all have better things to do with their resources, than trying to reinvent the wheel, then assume the product liability exposure for said wheel

IMO, the only way the delivered airplanes are going to be brought up to (approximate) snuff, is for the factory to somehow stay in business, then offer the first owners a retrofit package.

Anyone want to place any bets on either of the following two scenarios?

1) -Someone buys the E500 program (assuming they get the type certificate, the enginnering data, tooling, patents, etc.)

Does this company assume the "Product Liability" for the 250 odd airplanes built so far? I'm guessing "yes" if they continue to support them.
If their lawyers tell them that they can avoid the product liability exposure by throwing the current owners under the bus, well........

-Before they can start production again, they will need to hire people experienced in designing AND CERTIFYING aviation hardware and software to see what can be done with AvioNG,

OR

-see if there is some way to start the avionics/electrical system from scratch. Which will require one of the avionics OEMs to step in (if they have the inclination to do so). Anything they put in will more than likely use off the shelf systems/components, which will add WEIGHT.....goodbye payload, range, performance.

-Fix all the other problems.

-Figure out what (if any) of the vendor supplied parts at the factory are usable and traceable.

-Assume that you will have to go the process of obtaining a Production Certificate all over again.

-Develop and offer the retrofit package.

OR........


2) -The lawyers of some/all of the vendors (P&W, etc.) decide that, because THEY are the ones with the "deep pockets" on the E500 now, a decision is made to drop ALL customer support for the airplane.

If the current owners are lucky, they might announce a "buyback and scrap" program.
(see Beech Starship)

From their point of view, they are getting nothing out of this project going forward, but could limit their future liability exposure by seeing to it that the airplanes currently out there are AOG sooner rather than later.

If the current owners want to take it to court, I'm guessing....

-The vendors have plenty of lawyers already on staff/retainer.

-The vendors have more money to support a long court fight than the current owners.

Besides, as I recall, aren't the engines still owned by P&W anyway, and "leased" as part of some PBTH plan?

My money is on 2).......

fred said...

joe patroni :

yes , i definitely think your guess is right ...!
why the hell anyone would be mad enough to get "baited on the hook" for the sake of Fpj ...

if not made in the form of an "owner's club"(directly financed by the die-hard) i don't really see the point of risking money , sweat and time for something so badly executed in the first place ...!
( i , once , talked to a very old countryside doctor ... he told me that in its young time , in the lost away part of the countryside , if a baby was born with too much of a handicap , doctors had to face a simple choice : block the breath of the newly born for a minute and say it was born-dead or assume a lifetime of suffering for the parents and the kid ...! )

the situation of Fpj looks the same ...

as for the lawyers and an eventual court process about liabilities :

sorry to destroy some dreams or wishful thinking ...
but EAC will never again reach the critical mass ! ( the one where what is to eventually gain can be greater that what you are sure to loose !lawyers and system do not work for free ... ask Gunner to know !)

this is where the legal situation of Etirc becomes important ...

In Luxembourg before anyone can get a cent out of a foreign court decision = the hell , itself, will be freezing !

it did happen before , the "first bank of N-Y" when they were convicted of laundering in Luxembourg , they tried to play it cool ... "we are too big for you for anything to happen..." the bank said ... the week after , they got kicked-out !

fred said...

sorry " Monsieur Gunner "!

julius said...

Shadow,

thank - I made a mistake:
It meant FPJ.

Sorry B95! Too havy?

BTW I think with 800 lbs and 1000 nm long range speed or even best range speed and high altitude are needed if you want to fly with standard reserve.
IIRC a professional pilot wrote:
"Single pilot opration, no mask, max 3 hours, hsc: range about 750 nm - bad winds: no hsc - that's ok"

Julius

FreedomsJamtarts said...

Dave, probably the single biggest reason that the E500 was years late, and lacks half the functions that were offered, is that amateurs always underestimate the magnitude of the Avionic certification task.

The big difference from all the previous bankruptcies in GA, is that the Eclipse doesn't just need a post BK TC-Holder for continued airwothiness, but the unfinished, partially unsupported, nature of AVIO / AvioNG makes it extremely unlikely any future TC holder can avoid getting involved with Avionics/software certification.

The FADEC integration is unique and drives you into FAR 33 compliance issues that even the best avionics companies have no experience with.

Yours and Baron95's belief in a white knight to take over "servicing" this thing is based on the amateurs understanding of avionics certification.

DOA.

fred said...

freedomtart :

yes , i definitely think that the "knight on his white stallion" is only a bed-time-story ...

sooner or later , believers will have to understand "it has BEEN a nice dream"

back to reality : it stinks !

Shane Price said...

We are veering into uncharted territory here, with all this discussion about a 'rescue' of EAC.

Try a 'SWOT' analysis for this company, from the outside.

For the 'non business' people out there, you write down the following as headings, then make a list below each one. If there are more items in the 'w' and 't' columns than the 's' and 'o', you need to rapidly develop a plan B....

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

Try it yourself. It's a good exercise to get people thinking, despite being a cliché.

Now I'm sure Peg and Mike are too busy fighting fires to try, but maybe someone else in ABQ could do it for them. It won't make pretty reading, if it's done honestly.

Sorry about giving a 'Business 101' mini class here. Sometimes life can be simple, if you take the advice of others who have travelled the road before you.

Shane

fred said...

Monsieur Shane ...

thanks for the class ... ;-))

knowledge is a special thing :

you never get enough , as soon as you believe to know enough , you're set for failure ...

and if you believe you know all , you're dead already !

Shane Price said...

Lineair and DayJet

I'm getting more and more on this. While I'm not quite ready to call it a done deal, it sure looks like its happening.

Expect to see EAC trumpet it as 'proof' that the FPJ makes air taxi viable and also confirmation of the 'order' from DayJet. They need this (very badly) to support the UBS funding drive.

However, 'rumblings' reach me from EASA here in Europe. They are very busy right now, so a small company from New Mexico is pretty much relegated to the back of the queue. This would indicate that the certification is not going as well as Roel had hoped.

Not good, as I understand that EASA certification is one of the 'must haves' to secure the new funding.

That kinda makes sense, when we know that the market in North America is saturated with unsold FPJ's which are competing with the factory for orders. The next biggest market, worldwide, is here in Europe, but without the necessary paperwork it's a non starter.

Shane

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

One quick question. What is the big problem with the friction-stir welding? I have seen you guys talk about it like it is the red headed step child of aviation so I was just curious.

julius said...

freedomsjamtarts,

remember that it took about 2 years
to change the avionics of TBM 700/850 to Garmin 1000.


If there are open positions for avionic people (software/hardware) EAC will be lucky if they can hold any these people under these conditions.

IMHO the change to AVIO NG/Garmin 400 is a major change. The control of the menues must be checked and redesigned, furthermore the data entry,....
If you aren't familiar with the code it will be very hard - nothing for a beginner. There are also time and budget constraints.
If you make an error - Midway - it will always be your error, although someone else has approved your changes!

Obviously a pre-BK change of the avionic is critical, as there are about 250+ promises.

A post-BK change requires that the aircraft is salable for 2,15+ M$, there will be 100+ angry new customer (if they don't get a free upgrade) - or the production is suspended until the new TC is received...

But again what are the real cost of a FPJ - en detail?
How do you get the right staff - from bottom to top?

I think I am too pessimistic - only problems no chances!

Julius

just zis guy, ya know? said...
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just zis guy, ya know? said...
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just zis guy, ya know? said...
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fred said...

"just zis guy, ya know?" :

what kind of stuff are you on ?
i wouldn't mind trying some ...
but i am not sure i have enough neurons left ...

for sure , if one owner came around and state that EA500 can travel you half way across the world with a half emptied tank ...

credibility will be at stake !

about bridges being burnt : if some "supposed to be owners" wouldn't have been writing with the EAC Marketing Bible in the other hand , may be those bridges would be still intact ...?
on more general aspect , you have your beliefs , i have mine , it doesn't prevent me to communicate ...
if i am convinced to be right , others do not matter , i am (supposed to be)a grown-up , i stopped playing "who's got the biggest" when i left school ...


EclipsePilotOMSIV :

stirfried ? simple no one knows the stability of process in time ...

up to now it has been used on short to very short life things (like cruise-missile or booster for rockets)

but for something stable supposed to keep all mechanical qualities over times (opposite to few hours or minutes as already used ) no one knows the final result ...

lots of much brighter peoples than me studied the issue , not a single one came to the conclusion that it is reliable for years over years ... ( ok , they didn't not say it is unsafe , just that it has to be used with caution and do not support any approximation ...)

so knowing the murphy's law and the habit of EAC (as Monsieur Stan wrote before : it is not a question IF they are going to do some poop , but when !) for quality ...

concerns can be expressed ...!

Shane Price said...

Eclipsepilot,

What is the big problem with the friction-stir welding?

No a problem at all, really. It's used successfully in a wide range of industrial applications and has been for many years.

FSW for short has been one of the big topics on the blog for one principle reason.

Vern made a big deal about using it to speed up production. This was his 'magic bullet' to get to '4 per day'.

But....

He never got near that goal, while other companies have mass produced aircraft with aluminum (aluminium, but you guys spell wrong...)

It has added yet another unique 'twist' to the FPJ. Which in turn makes future performance and longevity questionable.

I'm only a poorly educated Irish lad. Read Gadfly's many comments on the subject, over the years, if you want a full technical breakdown on FSW.

Shane

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

Julius :

i don't think there is any value in changing the code or avionic...

whatever is the move Roel decide , it is going to be bad ...

if they do not change anything , no need to explain ...

if they change something , what about the 250 ?

if they change everything : what about costs and time ?

and even if they overcome all this , with what staff ? this type of workers cannot be trained in the "12 weeks wonder" and they don't come in cheap as well ...

it smell like usual : always something nasty getting in the way ...

too much left-over already ...at some point (with anything) it make no sens to keep on trying !

for EA500 , it is already much too late with much too many problems still remaining !

airtaximan said...

"Expect to see EAC trumpet it as 'proof' that the FPJ makes air taxi viable and also confirmation of the 'order' from DayJet."

Please explain what a charter operator in NE buying 15 used planes from another guy down in Florida who can use 10 planes to service 1/4 the entire US population proves anything?

I'm not joking, I'd like to know what positive thing they are going to try to say about this?

PS. I wonder what Linear paid for the planes? THIS is very important.

airtaximan said...

freedom,

there are many amateurs out there... they CAN make the same mistake... a WK is not out of the question, BUT, I think you are right - it will require a lot more time, moneya nd talent than what anyone really can imagine.

Look where Roel is now - and he bit. So did $1B of investors.

All someone needs to do is get the right "smell" from this situation - and many people have the money and lack the experience to make the wrong decision again.

If no one shows up, I can almost hear Vern - too bad Roel fired me, I could have saved the company, again.

Probably a true statement, IMO. Just to what end?

DOA due to a poorly planned product, improper offering (price/value), unrealistic market assessment...

You need to sell a lot of these things to make it even come close. The product, even if produced and supported supremely by normal aviation standards, is a failure from a commercial standpoint - they cannot price it to sell enough and make money.

Business 101.

fred said...

airtaxi :

have ever been lost in the middle of nowhere , with a broken down car , out of reach of cellphone networks , under a very heavy rain ?

the first little light you see , seems like paradise ...!

ok , it won't change a iota anything , but for a few seconds (minutes, days , weeks?) it can save the illusion ...!

fred said...

but i agree 1000% = DOA !

only , i think it is not only a commercial failure ...

but failures pilled-up on failures ...

a bit like a pyramid , to solve only one , you jeopardize all the rest of the structure ...

julius said...

just zis guy, ya know:

"Avio NG 1.5 is also flying in two planes, s/n 200 and 266. I've tried it, on the ground. It appears to work well and is well integrated."

EAC only shows the moving map on the garmins - not on the MFD/PFD!
Is that "well integrated"?
What about the other charts (airport, SID, STAR...)?

Julius

airtaximan said...

at the end of the day, its always fun for aviators to say:

WOW!, its 6000lbs, goes 1,000nm, carries 6 passengers, etc... it costs 300 per hour to operates... blah, blah, blah.

The PROBLEM is, what does the thing cost? How much can you sell it for?

I venture to say, if you provided $1B to many companies in aerospace, and said, build a (spec above) plane... its a no brainer, for them.

Tell them, AND you need to sell it for $1M and sell 750 per year to break even - they would just laugh.

The risk analysis would contain market size numbers, proposed share and pricing required at the proposed volume share.

Unless Dayjet was a raging success... there's no way.

Dayjet risk, on top of EAC business case risk..was very high.

Now, its just stupid.

-and- the price of the plane is pegged at $2.15M - and NO ONE says they can make money at that price... and no one says they can find volume sales at that price either.

I think there's a hack in someone spreadsheet over there

Shane Price said...

ATman,

If I could explain the future, I would be rich enough to buy EAC, refund the money to everyone and shut the place down.

But I'm not, so I can't.

You will note my comment used the word 'trumpet', which is what EAC used to be good at.

And this 'deal' may be subject to so many conditions that it won't complete.

Or the merged company might decided to ditch the FPJ and buy Phenom 100's.

Which I understand is a distinct possibility, by the way.

So I am unable to help, despite your distinguished record as a member of the Honor Roll.

Sorry...

Shane
PS Just Zis Guy (ya know), I'm not Vern. I'm the love child of his affair with Roel! Or maybe I'm Peg, as I seem to talk to more staff at EAC than she does. What do you think?

airtaximan said...

Shane:

forgive, me:

"Or the merged company"

Are they buying Dayjets planes, or merging the company?

airtaximan said...

PS. we can make it work with a plane that costs more than 2X the original business plan called for, is well...

very funny.

Imagine IF vern sold the planes for $2.1M to Dayjet and all the other cast of wannabe-taxi guys?

Apparently, he could have

just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
julius said...

just zis guy, ya know:

"Das ist nicht wahr.

In Avio NG 1.5, the moving map shows on the MFD."

Wo bitte?

Look at EAC/AVIO NG:
http://www.eclipseaviation.com/eclipse500/operation/avio-ng.php

In flight moving map/charts are important - not the detailed fuel flow etc. or do you permanently expect problems?
IIRC Matt Brown does not show any moving map in his demo!

Julius

Beedriver said...

All the faithful are early adopters.
from my experience building a business in an emerging technology (laser based manufacturing) and from books like the one written by Goeffery Moore "crossing the chasm", The faithful exhibit all the characteristics of early adopters or pioneers as I like to say. they are very useful to a company in the early stages of a technology as they are generally wild eyed visionaries that can see a future just from a vague description. they are wildly enthused and focused on all the advantages and do not see any of the problems.

They are great to work with as they will give you money based just on the concept for the fun and joy of being the first.

They were very helpful in the early stages of my company. but eventually they are replaced by buyers that are very pragmatic. they just want it to work. they are not afraid to buy something new but they want it to work as advertised. the people in this blog exhibit the characterists of all three major groups. 1 the early adopters, the emerging market purchasers and the mature market buyers. generally the three points of view are in great disagreement on how things should be done and the discussions can get (as they have) very much like three different religious groups trying to convince the other religions that they are the one true religion. all three views are valid but are just describing three different stages in a natural growth process. The major danger is that each group is not broad minded enough to recognize that the other person's view is valid in some situations.

When going into a new technology early adopters must remember that in most situations a pioneer is defined as a person face down in the mud with arrows in his back. however once in a while the pioneer stumbles on gold and become wildly successful.

If Vern only saw this view of business from his years at Microsoft it is no wonder that he ran his company as an early adopter company.

airtaximan said...

beedriver,

of course you are correct.

the key is twofold:

1- the crap early adopters are willing to accept, is not going to work for 95% of the market - especially when your life is on the line

2- if you can never sell enough at a profitable price, you are DOA, early adopters or not.


In thinking about your post, perhaps Vern has copied Microsoft too closely - all th ecost is upfront RD, and the deliverable product costs cents to make - a disc or a download.

Unfortunately, this industry is very different. The development cost is one hude hurdle, but so is the product manufacturing.

I do not think any of this was well thought through.

Especially the product offering, price and sustainable value.

Zed said...

- Swindler's List -


ATM,

Great overview of the timeline ...

Add into that some other facts (the "true" kind of fact for those that don't know the definition).

Vern was on Avidyne's board until late 2001. By 2005, he sinks upwards of $50M into Avio development. Avidyne uses the money to pay for Cirrus Entegra development. Never, ever had a full Avio in their plan, let alone in reality.

Dan Schwinn is overheard at AirVenture 2002 saying essentially 'we'll get serious on Avio when they actually fly a real airplane'.

The Avio system that Avidyne promised, and Eclipse invested so very heavily in, is still _almost_ certified. Avidyne finally came clean in late 2006, and told Eclipse what they would be receiving for Avio (I guess the customer isn't always right), a very Cirrus-like display, and then negotiated a new timeline ... and then failed on that. Avidyne demo'ed some of the-avionics-formerly-known-as-Avio at AirVenture this year. Their new FMS, its the Avio FMS nobody ever got, and is still not certified now in late 2008. Their new PFD/MFD hardware, same deal.

Avidyne was also taking millions from the FAA under the NexCom program, and used it to develop their Entegra VHF radios, with no intention of ever marketing NexCom radios.

While Eclipse and Vern are ultimately responsible, Avidyne should be jack up as liars and crooks. They never intended to deliver Avio, just suck up Eclipse's money and plan on them failing. Maybe that is why Avidyne lost many of their good (ethical) folks between 2003-2006.

EAC and Avidyne knew of the engine issues long before the first flight, because some of the Williams units burned up on the ramp during testing. Many folks were surprised that the airplane even flew once. Bill Bubb should get a medal for Valor for putting sunlight under the wheels. Too bad the flight test team screwed up later and bellied in a jet. If anyone says the first flight was not for pride, and of course the investor's deposits, they were asleep in the meetings where it was discussed.

Then, BAE utterly failed in developing an integrated AHRS. Eclipse dumped even more money to get that on track, and then big old BAE defaulted. Avidyne stepped in to charge even more to integrate the Crossbow AHRS. When it came time to certify the E500 with the 3rd AHRS, the Crossbow units were installed and fully functional but the Avidyne software couldn't display it. Result, mechanical back-up for commercial operators. More cost, another certification wrinkle, more lost time.

When Eclipse _finally_ canned Avidyne, the wonderful folks at IS&S got them over a barrel and had a party. In exchange for a LOT of money, they put their second-string team on the project yet delivered good hardware and decent software. Then they balked at the known upgrade schedule. On an investor telecon IS&S claim the need to get other projects caught up.

Meanwhile Eclipse spends more money developing a new FMS derived from the POS Chelton system. It is done, coded, sitting on the shelf. But, since it wasn't in IS&S's vision of the world, they jack up the price to integrate the FMS so high that Eclipse has to say no. Eclipse Board directs the team to 'put in something and just get airplanes out the door'. IS&S sits back and complains that Eclipse is a bad customer, while laughing all the way to the bank.

The GPSMAP496 becomes necessary when FreeFlight cannot certify an IFR class GPS unit. Come on folks. You're FreeFlight, you've done it before, what is your major malfunction. Step in an Eclipse GPS project. Reputable vendor, good reputation, too much time, too much money. Project canceled.

While all this is going on, Fuji Heavy Industries is applying some 1/6 Sigma magic and delivering non-conforming wing sets. Roughly translated, Fuji says that small misalignments are not factors for Boeing and Airbus. Why would twisted wings be such a big deal on the FPJ? More money and time spent fixing that problem.

While not an Eclipse apologist, it is entirely possible that had Avidyne, Williams, BAE, and IS&S not all been crooks-and-liars that the FPJ might have fared better. Not necessarily at $837K, or at the quantities needed for true market disruption, but succeed none the less.

Maybe Vern was too gulible. He put too much faith in a few friends, who then showed their true colors. And then pride steps in, and Vern can't back down. Failure was not an option, until failure was the only option.

So, in addition to castigating Vern, add some of his incompetant VPs, his semi-talented but excessively arrogant engineering staff, and the CEOs of his initial "make a miracle happen" suppliers to the burn pile.

Zed Out

Shane Price said...

ATman,

I'm not being difficult on this one, despite appearences, but I just don't know.

The common thread is that Lineair approached DayJet, initially to buy the surplus FPJ's that were 'grounded' after the cutbacks earlier this year.

This discussion was stop/start and has grown to the point where a 'deal has been inked'.

Trouble is, I can't confirm the exact nature of this deal.

If it's just the original purchase of the redundant part of the fleet, then that's easy. Lineair pay the money, and take the FPJ's.

But that's not what I'm hearing. It seems that Ed has been struggling to fund DayJet, was looking for investment and Lineair have the wherewithal to help.

Now, is that going to be an actual takeover of DayJet or will Ed be offered the 'fig leaf' of a 'merger' I can't find out.

Again, sorry...

Shane

EclipseWhiner said...

Zed, you almost got it right. What I will reveal here for the first time is that in fact there was a vast dinosaur led conspiracy against Eclipse! The dinosaurs in fact paid bribes to the dozens of companies that “defaulted” on Eclipse! That’s why those companies were willing to risk their reputations having Eclipse publicly blame them! This of course started with Sam Williams taking a free dinner at a very fancy restaurant in Wichita in payment for risking his reputation as a lifetime stand up guy and genius aeronautical engineer and entrepreneur. Followed by all the other guys like IS&S who got coupons for a lot of Happy Meals to have their stock price totally trashed! Its obvious all these guys just heaped on the profits from this!

Or maybe it had something to do with Eclipse never ever keeping their commitments to the suppliers? Like schedule, production rates, specification stability? Like changing all the important parameters of the deals and refusing to pay for the changes? Nah, must be a conspiracy, dozens of “failed” vendors couldn’t be right, Vern couldn’t be wrong!

P.S. zed-Vern, get back to fishing for fish, your days fishing for suckers are pretty much over

Shane Price said...

Snippet time.

Seems DayJet have made it official.

No, not the merger, the 'weekend' working.

But they want you to think, very carefully, about booking your flight '60 days' in advance.

Let me get this straight. I want a taxi I go to the local ramp. I get in, tell the driver where I'm going and he takes me there.

But with DayJet, I do this 60 DAYS in advance?

Did I miss something about 'air taxi' over the past couple of years,,,,

Shane

Niner Zulu said...

Any critics going to be near Sunriver this weekend for the big Eclipse 500 Club fly-in? I'm going to be close by - it would be a shame not to "drop in".

Too bad we don't have EAC-NG pins, or a secret handshake or something because I'd like to meet the other critics. I'm going to be at the Meadows for dinner either Fri or Sat, and certainly at the Owls' Nest for a cocktail. I'll look for our dentist friend and maybe strike up a conversation, just for fun.

By the way, I heard that at least one owner is having to go commercial because his aircraft is AOG. That's gotta hurt.

Off the subject, anyone notice that the left exterior storage compartment on the E500 sits just a few inches in front of the left engine? I never really thought about it before, but imagine what would happen if that compartment popped open in flight - anything in the compartment would likely be sucked out and immediately ingested into the left engine. Well, I heard one E500 door recently did just that - fortunately it was empty and the hinges on the door did not break. I hear some owners are permanently sealing the compartment, and others just make sure it is not used. I suspect this will be the target of a future A.D. At the very least, the access door should be hinged from the left side, not from the bottom.

Deep Blue said...

Beedriver:

a good and valid market development framework for "disruptive" technology (say, the Apple or first cell phones).

However, one might argue that the E500 is really not disruptive at all. I wrote about this in the press in 2001; that is, the E500 is largely a project aimed at lowering manufacturing cost, mostly through volume, somewhat through process, some portion through technology application (FSW). Some agree and disagfree with these characterisations.

The original price (about $850K)would have indeed been quite stimulative and competitively disruptive and one could also argue that the PWC610s are an impressive development in small turbine design; the cockpit too attempted some interesting intelligence advances.

But the whole product--a flying machine--doesn't really, in its performance and environment, present a breakthrough technology (incremental, perhaps; some argue it is digressive), even if it were in full compliance with spec. The original pro forma price was the disruption bet.

Zed:

An important point you make; not all of EAC's/VR's difficulties with suppliers can be attributed strictly to personal temperment. The supplier markets consist of more than a few rather unsophisticated enterprises with very traditional, if not colloquial methods that are certainly ripe for improvement.

However, a new venture under rate of return, resource and revenue pressure may not be the optimal environment to develop and nurture those improvements,especially in a fast volume ramp up.

Shane Price said...

Eclipsewhiner,

Don't forget the $145 MILLION that EAC owes its suppliers.

It must be a mistake. EAC could never owe people that much. It's all the suppliers fault.

This logic also works for the depositors who want their money back, and the customers who have paid for their aircraft on the promise of upgrades for FIKI, AvioNG, Aero mods etc.

Nothing is wrong at EAC. The rest of the world just fails to appreciate this basic fact.

Come back Vern, and tell us how everyone else messed up, after you left the company.

Shane

baron95 said...

As far as on going support by Eclipse or post BK entity, my assumptions are:

1 - Eclipse Service Manuals and approved procedures already exist for perf mods (ETT), Avio NG (sans 400) and FIKI.

With these mods, the plane has the equivalent avionics and perforance capabilities of the original Citation Jet - circa 1990s.

Any one picking up the assets should have no problem bringing the plane up to that level of spec. Avio NG uses COTS HW and the software, once certified can be frozen. Not out of the question that the Avio NG integrator IS&S would be in a position to provide upgrades as well going forward.

2 - Avio NG + 400, which Eclipse says is the "final" Avio configuration will be completed with approved retrofit service manuals prior to BK or OOB event.

Again should be no problem bringing the fleet to that level.

With Avio NG+400, the Eclipse will have much superior avionics than a 2007 BE90, PC12, TBM850, but it will lag the Mustang, 2008 TBM, 2008 PC12NG, 2008 BE90GTi. So not competitive with the G-1000 et all of 2008, but not too shaby either - pretty viable as a personal plane. Clearly pre G-1000 TBMs are holding their values.

So I really don't think there will be any unusual problems supporting the EA50 post BK or OOB. All the HW is COTS, the Avio SW is the only tricky part, but if you assume it will be "finished" and "frozen" shortly, it becomes a non-issue.

Some other "blogger" brought up the issue of FSW not holding up - FSW is just another metal bonding/welding technique - once you certify it, stress test it, etc... it is just that another metal joint. I'm more confident in the automated FSW joins than in the variable hand-pullet riveting joins.

I still think that there is a better than 50% chance that Ken et all will look very, very smart, flying a zero-timed, 370kts 1,000 nm twin jet that they bought for $1M or so.

And the best part is that the hundreds of $1.5M and below EA50 jets in the market will put an absolute price lid on the D-et, Cirrus-Jet, which is waht I'll eventually likely buy.

It is just too bad that Eclipse had to "shut" production. Another 50 $1.5M EA50s would do the market even more good.

Deep Blue said...

Zed:

short follow up...

What you describe suggests that certain innovations/developments sought by EAC, may have actually flowed back to the suppliers; this would be an interesting thesis. Certainly, PWC built a new low thrust category (and also developed a very fast manufacturing cycle for the 610/615); other suppliers as well are enjoying larger economies from the broader VLJ/LJ sector. One could argue that EAC underwote or provided the impetus for, certain industry developments?

Shadow said...

I would argue that Cessna invested more in the PW600 series than Eclipse did, as Cessna was the launch customer for the new engine line.

airtaximan said...

"One could argue that EAC underwote or provided the impetus for, certain industry developments?"

I would agree... eventhough it was NASA GAAP/AGATE that started the ball rolling with your tax dollars, and EAC just tried to run with the technologies before they were ready for prime time.

PWC started the development of the 600 series in mid 1990's... IIRC.

I sincerely believe without the Mustang, the E500 would have never made it past WI. It seems like Cessna pushed Embraer as well.

Just my intuition.

Plastic_Planes said...

Off the subject, anyone notice that the left exterior storage compartment on the E500 sits just a few inches in front of the left engine? I never really thought about it before, but imagine what would happen if that compartment popped open in flight - anything in the compartment would likely be sucked out and immediately ingested into the left engine. Well, I heard one E500 door recently did just that - fortunately it was empty and the hinges on the door did not break. I hear some owners are permanently sealing the compartment, and others just make sure it is not used. I suspect this will be the target of a future A.D. At the very least, the access door should be hinged from the left side, not from the bottom.

This compartment did not exist on the pre-pro aircraft. It was added in time for roduction. I always thought it was dumb to have it hinged the way it is and I guess you confirmed my suspcions.

Anyway, ever look in there? It's barely big enough to hold a pad of paper and a pencil. Maybe the thought was that whatever went in there wasn't big enough to hurt anything anyway.

P_P

airtaximan said...

"The original pro forma price was the disruption bet."

how right you are... low cost - this was the target, and the f'ed it up pretty bad.

Even today, they are increasing prices, instead of lowering them.

Imagine what would happen if they announced a price cut due to efficiencies back a year ago. The new price at $1.2M would have created a real rush.

Could have even convinced some dumb money that ONE DAY they could make money as long as production keeps rolling. At least the suppliers would have been encouraged and could have felt like they were losing a real possible winner, if they hung in there.

But, I think VErn missed the point of his "technology" company - it was really supposed to focus on "low cost".

I bet

julius said...

Zed:

"So, in addition to castigating Vern, add some of his incompetant VPs, his semi-talented but excessively arrogant engineering staff, and the CEOs of his initial "make a miracle happen" suppliers to the burn pile."

Simple question:

Why didn't Vern himself add some of his incompetant VPs, his semi-talented but excessively arrogant engineering staff, and the CEOs of his initial "make a miracle happen" suppliers to the burn pile?

This was his job or?
Just a big misunderstanding?
What about responsibility and commitment to the objectives?

Julius

WhyTech said...

"Not out of the question that the Avio NG integrator IS&S would be in a position to provide upgrades as well going forward."

You are assuming that IS&S doesnt go TU - a marginal company at best presently.

FreedomsJamtarts said...

What does IS&S know about FAR-33 cert?

baron95 said...

just zis guy, ya know? said...
The design and implementation for Avio NG 1.5, incorporating the Garmin GPS400W's has been frozen and submitted to the FAA for certification.

Avio NG 1.5 is also flying in two planes, s/n 200 and 266. I've tried it, on the ground. It appears to work well and is well integrated.


Hi zis guy - thanks for that piece of info. Do you know when it was submitted and how long the FAA has taken in the past to approve those? Was it submitted as TC ammendment (I forgot the actual term) or STC? Did EAC also submit the install/upgrade procedures for approval? That is an important item. It is one thing to produce new planes with Avio 1.5, and another to have approval to upgrade planes in the field to that config.

Thanks in advance.

Zed said...

Deep Blue -

Eclipse definitely funded the needed innovation in a number of technologies essential to E500 success.

When each of them went south, they threw good money after bad, and hoped that the next white knight would save the day.

Soon, companies like IS&S saw Eclipse as a cash-cow to make some quick money and run.

Unfortunately for IS&S, instead of hiring the needed staff, they ping-ponged between programs and failed to keep anyone happy. Their stock price reflects poor management, not the lack of opportunity.

Julius -

Spot on!

It was Vern's job, but not his nature.

He surrounded himself with yes men (and women) with decent resumes but inadequate experience to manage a continuously changing environment while keeping site of the big picture.

These lackeys stroked his ego and cashed their paychecks, and he was too blind, arrogant, narcissistic, etc. to do anything about it.

The responsibility was Vern's, no doubt. But when looking for villans, just don't forget all those associated big-dreamers who carried buckets of Jet-A to the conflagration.

Zed

just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
baron95 said...

airtaximan said...
2- if you can never sell enough at a profitable price, you are DOA, early adopters or not.


Not necessarily - you adopt and try again. Amazon never made any money selling books on the internet, but they (almost) make money selling electronics and everything else.

GM, for many years made no money selling cars, but they edged profits by their GMAC finance arm.

HP stopped making any money selling printers a long, long time ago, and they only make money in that line of business selling ink.

Things change, companies adapt. You are seeing Eclipse (attempt to) do just that. Twin jets become too close in price to the competition, go SEJ. Air Taxi and financial markets crater in US, go to Europe/Russia. Avio development stalls - go Garmin and cut your losses.

Very hard to say where this will all be in 10 years. It is just too early.

Only thing we can say for sure is that Eclipse wasted a ton of money and screwed up wxecution big time.

We haven't finished even the first chapter in Eclipse's story. Kind of early to write the last one, don't you think?

just zis guy, ya know? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zed said...

Zis,

And if NG didn't cut in at 105, imagine the debacle that would have been.

Zed

Deep Blue said...

ATM, Zed, B95, FJT, Shadow, Dave: thx for the comments and good points.

B95:

Your comment about the E500 forcing a price ceiling on the D-Jet et al is intruiging. I agree; having +250 (albeit out-of-conformity) units in marketplace at sub$1.5MM is a real killer; however one might argue that the E500 fleet could only force that kind of price pressure if it is supported after-market and is otherwise considered desirable to users (not brokers et al).

That remains to be seen; otherwise it may just be a nuisance tax on new sales for Cessna, EMB, D, Honda, Cirrus Jet, Piper and mereky a trade-in cost to idle the E500 fleet.

baron95 said...

Zed said ... So, in addition to castigating Vern, add some of his incompetant VPs, his semi-talented but excessively arrogant engineering staff, and the CEOs of his initial "make a miracle happen" suppliers to the burn pile.

Zed Out


Zed - thank you. This is one of the most informative posts I've read on this blog. I have heard all of these anecdotes before (except the FreeFlight one), but you put them all in perspective and on a time line.

Thank you - it is pretty easy to see where a good portion of the $1B went from your one post.

WhyTech said...

"We haven't finished even the first chapter in Eclipse's story. Kind of early to write the last one, don't you think?"

This is a short story (in literary terms).

baron95 said...

just zis guy, ya know? said...
Baron95,

I don't have any particulars about NG 1.5 certification, but I do know that s/n 266 was built with 1.5, and s/n 200 was retrofitted, so I would guess that both the production and retrofit versions have been submitted to the FAA.


Thanks zis - that is helpful. I agree it supports the fact that they would have both on hand shortly. Once they get that done the go-forward support plans for the plane becomes a reasonbly well known quantitity.

Then the clouds that remain are FAA recertification and EASA certification.

I'd imagine that all three are the funding "must have" conditions and that is why Eclipse says they'd don't expect the round to close before years end. They won't get all three on hand before then.

baron95 said...

WhyTech said...
This is a short story (in literary terms).


Or an Opera - First Act, Second Act. ;)

airtaximan said...

"We haven't finished even the first chapter in Eclipse's story. Kind of early to write the last one, don't you think?"

Maybe you are correct.
Also, I would agree its always easier to predict failure than success, especially in a start up.

But - this aint no online bookselling business, and it isn't a computer priter business, either.

GM made money building and selling cars, intially, which is what they were in business for... same with HP.

To say eclipse is somehow "adapting" is a little stragne. They were in the "invention" business, and the thing they invented FAILED. It was supposed to be designed to sell for a price where they could sell 750 a year or more.

The missed the market on the design and the pricing strategy. I don't think you can do much worse.

Amazon, I believe was an online book seller... and I believe they designed a system to deliver provide sustainable value to the market in the book selling business - just becasue they grew it, based on their patented customer targeting profiling technology does not mean it failed... then they adapted. It means they grew and leveraged their core.

What is eclipse's core?
- can they design a good product? Definition of "good", is "can be used for its intedned purpose AND they make money selling it?"
- can they tap an untapped market and match the market requirements to production volume, and price, so they can make a profit?
- can they design and develop or integrate new technologies and add value that way, so they can garner a profit?

I fail to see what they happen to be good at, except they used to be great at finding deposit money (OK, not as great as we thought) AND investment cash to burn.

If they have swayed away from the finding and burning cash part... I fail to see what left?

- if you are going to say they can build a lot of planes... well the history of GA is littered with examples of high and higher rate production than EAC - my only answer will be.. "what for?" there's no glory (nor profit, apparently) in producing a lot of planes quickly, unless you ahve a huge sustainable market to satisfy.
By all counts, EAC would have completed their production run of E500 in around 2 years of production that didn't even approach half of what their goal was.

How smart is that?

And YES, they can certify a new jet - this is a big deal =problem is, unless they can sell this service to clients willing to deal with 5 year 400 million certification programs (for a
6000lb GA plane, for example) - they are SOL.

.. and, I do agree, they will try to save their ass, which you call adapt - they have little choice.

Black Tulip said...

"This is a short story (in literary terms)."

I think we should call it a novella since it contains fictional elements:

"I still think that there is a better than 50% chance that Ken et all will look very, very smart, flying a zero-timed, 370kts 1,000 nm twin jet that they bought for $1M or so."

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Um I am not 100% sure here but I am pretty sure that serial number 266 won't be delivered until December, and the whole avio 1.5 will not be certified until October. I know they have planes that they are testing with it. And from what I gather, the moving map is questionable at this point. There is supposed to be JeppView support on the MFD, and the moving map looks like it will be a overlay of an IFR enroute chart. I haven't seen anything that points to a "garmin "style" color moving map like on a G1000 or even Avidyne... Not that I don't think it is coming but I think some people on both sides of this argument are getting some facts mixed up...

airtaximan said...

zed, deep blue,

While it might be true that Vern surrounded himself with ass-kissers, and they are also to blame... it must be a really rough environment.

If you disagree, you are a naysayer, hater, and you are probably cast off, anyway.

If you play the game a bit, you probably can have some (albeit) minimal influence) on the whole mess from the inside... that is, if youhave the stomach to remain there and listen to the BS and watch people get scammed.

Lastly, if you are a good faithful employee.. you close your eyes, shut down your brains and kiss ass, say you like it alright, and pray for the best.

At least you have a sense of belongng, you can claim to be part of something big and revolutionary, and firmly state that no one gets it, when the disagree with you.

Shane Price said...

Baron,

HP stopped making any money selling printers a long, long time ago, and they only make money in that line of business selling ink.

Have you any idea who much margin HP are making on this ink business?

Before you answer that, I should tell you that I have a pretty good idea...

Now, lets look at the 'margin' that EAC make on the FPJ.

My best current estimate (and I've also have a 'pretty good idea' on this one) is that they were losing $800,000 every time they 'delivered' .75 of an aircraft per day.

Yes, every 4 days they lost $3.2 MILLION....

HP buy $150 million of ink, per month, in one plant that I know of. They sell it for $3 BILLION, in the very same month.

Now, that's what I call a margin.

What do you call EAC's efforts in this 'old fashioned' part of doing business?

Shane

PubGrubber said...

Plastic_Planes

Once again, just a BIT off the mark..... or to quote the movie Major League "Just a bit outside"

The purpose of the external storage was for items such as the AOA and engine covers. Items that were light and spent some time in the great outdoors, the kind of things you would need on a trip but wouldn’t want inside the cabin. If you could take a look at the design and installation, they are very beefy latches and quite wide, so a lot of overhang IWA of the airplane sub-structure. Also, the latches are very strong and tight and very difficult to open. The FAA reviewed the design based on the concerns of opening during flight, and did approve the design.

airtaximan said...

Shane,

Baron was just trying to make a case for losing money on every plane, and perhaps making it up somewhere else - couched as part of the plan, and couched as the are revising/adjusting to meet the market.

Its a REAL stretch.

The EAC business is FUBAR
they NEVER came close and the "adjustments" are a big joke - nowhere near comparable to profitable blades for a diveaway razor, ink for the HP printer, or GMAC financing for cars that "didn't make money".

I still don't get it.

Tell me again how they front oaded the low price based on 100 time the available market volume for the plane? How are they adjusting for this?

Again, how are they going to recoup $800k per plane in net direct loss? By lowering volume? Inflating parts and system cost, reducing assembly economies of scale?

How the adjustment coming... OK, I agree, they'll shaft the early adopters for $500k of completion IOUs... I get it.

That, my friend is NOT sustainable.

IMO

fred said...

phheww ....!

oh guys ... you're just too funny !

is that the habit of pretending to get "something for nothing " ?

wake-up a bit ...

EAC was just proposing to trade quality against low-price !
(may be that was Vern's idea : to buy EA500 straight from WalMart shelf ...)
disruptive techs was just a pretext !
(if not : someone to explain WHY US consumers buy 68% of chinese products ? off-course some prefer Quality to Quantity ...but the mass prefer to play drunkard = Instead of buying only ONE bottle of good stuff , they prefer to buy a lot of bad stuff : there is more alcohol into several bottles= you get more drunk for the same price ...!)

That Vern was surrounded by schmucks ... yes , may be ... but never forget this is where the difference between a good manager and a "dumb ass playing the boss" lies ...!
(if you do not believe : think of this : in Lottery , you have to get ALL numbers to win ! getting 80% or 90% of numbers bring you only the ILLUSION you could have made it ...!anything lower than one hundred per cent is worthless !)

if a good CEO is to exist ,it is ALWAYS because this very person knows HOW to choose and keep the good ones around !

off-course , in such a course of event , a CEO has to expect some of his staff to tell him off about all "ass-kisser" lying around (power has this effect : for one talented person always a crowd of brainless who cheer about anything because coming out their god's mouth ! in past it used to be "buffoon" task ... just a shame USA hasn't got any medieval past ... )

bad for EGO , good for firm ! (a good CEO care first about firm ! others care about their image ...)

so one can see (without too much cleverness ) that nothing could be further away from this situation ...
instead , a crowd of mignon with only one ability : to accept any kind of shit as Bible if coming from the top ...
(off-course i'm not speaking about floor-staff , but about the ones between Vern and the low rank management ...)

Show me a good firm , i'll show you a guy who knew who he choose to get around ...

Show me a bad firm , i'll show an self-image lover and a bunch of ass-licker ...!

for the future : as Monsieur Shane wrote , the US market is already saturated , the natural way out is Europe and Russia ...

but still in the way something Nasty : EASA ! and what if they are just fed-up of listening to a lie followed by an exotic excuse followed a new delay , all of this to ever repeat itself over time ?

What about IF EASA came to the conclusion that work and cooperation with EAC is next to impossible ?

what about IF EASA has to care about other things , and not to be ALL ready to receive the holly word from them ???

no need to explain : NO EASA = NO EUROPEAN SKY ...

No European Sky = No Russian Sky as well !!

and for a finish :

KennyBoy looks Very, Very smart in its toy ???

is that so ??

could you explain why he want to sell it , then ...

julius said...

Zed:

as you indicated VR left EAC, as he left MS - he didn't learn the lesson.
VR is history for EAC - but only if you look at him.

His entourage is now in charge of the company while the CEO is overseeing the - should I say "bad", "funny" - game - ousting of superfluous VPs and employees.

RP is stating that there more than 2000 orders - how many years do I have to wait for a complete - still not state of the art - jet?
There is a proven incompetence to build up the right staff.
How to ramp up production and number of maintenance bases?
UBS will manage it!!!

You have kids? Your girl comes home in a fat mexican Hummer with guy - saying how nice he is - who offers some white stuff instead of flowers for your wife. And you will say "What a nice biz guy for my girl - he will learn that my wife loves flowers not horses!"...
That's the way some people look at the FPJ.


Ok, there are miracles but until futher reliable notice and sustainable action the FPJ is DOA.

Julius

fred said...

julius :
guten morgen ...

only one word about your post :

Genau !

julius said...

Bonjour Monsieur Fred,

apres tres annees de production
je crois il est presque impossible de changer quelque chose.
I faut arreter tous et commencer une autre fois.

After three years in production it's nearly impossible to change anything.

Now there is a "blue screen" and no manual ...

Reset? Pull the plug? Wait a bit?


Julius

fred said...

julius :

alles klare ist ?

gut franzosich , bravo !

back to english :

well , i can't say that i cannot understand the believers ...

to take your analogy , it is probably painful and not easy to go to your son's school to hear something like " your son is so thick , it's miracle if he knows to spell his own name !" from a teacher ...

i don't know about you ; but i always found this curious , this a habit of playing hard-ball , of showing like not being able to see and say "Sorry , it was poop!"

may be something linked with our "old" european education = No business at all is always better than bad business ...

as for the Fpj , i think it s all done ! too many remaining problems for too much of a long time ... with no solution in sight for the N² next months (or years...)

some are going to try grabbing on their dreams ...
some already woke-up ...
some never will ...

it is very difficult to protect peoples against themselves !

airtaximan said...

fred,

Kn is selling hiss econd jet, the one he said he was buying for his wife. He even told Cessna this story, to get a test ride in the Mustang.

Anyhow, I am sure the sales people at EAC had the following story:

- buy one plane to use, and one to sell, and you'll basically make money on the whole transaction. They probably convinced the buyers (die-hards, as Vern called them) that they could save $500k on the first discounted plane, and make $500k on selling the second one/position.

There was a time when Mike Press was saying the position slots were being sold at a nice premium. Even befor ehis claims, I am sure EAC milked every mark for a much as they could.

This seems to have some basis in what Shane is reading in his email - most buyers have 2, 3, ...7even up to positions.

Makes sense, once you have a believer, why not just milk them.

Problem is, they really don''t want the planes they put deposits down for.. they want one, and they want to sell the others.

I am sure no one knew, until recently how bogus the order book really was.

Its one thing to have 900 planes sold to 875 buyer... its another to have 900 planes sold to 300-450 buyers. I am just making the numbers up, here for illustration.

If everyone, on average had 2 positions, and were like Ken... there's half your orderbook from the most legitimate clients, that is just speculation.

Vern did everything he could to encourage this - Bidders Club... heavily discounted non-refundable early positions... it was alot about the position-swapping and somewhat less about the plane, I guess.

All I say is, no wonder they stopped production - they have very few real clients left, IMO.

fred said...

airtaxi :

yes , i understand your figures ...!
this is why i wrote "getting something for nothing" ...

i have been living in N-Y for about 2 years , one of the thing which always (and still ) amazed me is the proportion of person one could catch by saying "this is for free , no catch , money back guaranteed" or the fact most did seems to be ready for rushing into any opportunity ...

i am not saying it is good or bad ...just on each side of ocean , we are extremely different !!!
(if you exclude UK where credit situation is two or three times worst than it is in USA ...)

i don't even want to remember the number of times , when approached by some marketing-scum who told me "this is for free !" , i just answered them "what is free at beginning , always ends-up being more expensive in the long run ...!" 99,99% they didn't know what to answer back ... !;-))

on such most Europeans are much more conservative ...!

so , when i read some stating about a post-bk servicing for EA500 ...

i cannot refrain a wide smile !

because they refuse to see the reality ...

250 units was produced , out of the one which were "offered" (i mean : i don't think ed paid for ! only a part of marketing strategy , fill-up the skies then tout ...) how many are REALLY owned by REAL person ?

out of this number , how many are ABLE or/and willing to spend lots of $ to get a finished product ?
how many are WILLING AND ABLE to spend even more to have it maintained ?

i agree 1000% (thousand: not a mistake) with you my friend = VERY FEW !

the only way out : to sell a lot ...

but US market seems to be saturated , so factory is competing on price with position holders (isn't it beautifully crazy ?)

other option is to go abroad , so get EASA ... but it costs !

to get EASA , few things have to be changed , but again in the way blocking the path : there is the money problem ...

And Russian are NEVER going to have it certified if EASA is not ...!

such a beautiful vicious circle ... anyone who is inside has no way out , except loosing a lot , only a matter of NOW or even MORE LATER ...!

Black Tulip said...

Niner Zulu asked,

"Any critics going to be near Sunriver this weekend?"

We have flown in numerous times and would love to be there. The Critic’s Table may be a little lonely tonight but we hope you will bring back a full report. You should also check out Epic up the road in Bend and see how they are doing with the 51 percent rule.

Dave said...

At this point I think it is too soon to determine whether the Eclipse story will be a novel or a novella. When I speak of Eclipse, I mean Eclipse in any form.

Probably the single biggest determinant in the near-term is Eclipse keeping its TC/PC. Should the House Committee point toward Eclipse losing that, I think that would make the Eclipse story a novella.

Looking further out it will then be a question of how well built the fleet is. It was stated on here by a poster that due to how the construction process actually happened, the airframes only last 3500 hours and if that is true, that could have major impacts. It has also been thoroughly confirmed that items such as tires are lasting far shorter than their stated life and if that holds true for non-consumable parts, that could put a real dent on Eclipse's future.

Though I agree with Baron that Eclipse might have a future, I do not see Eclipse as being nimble. I see Eclipse still being basically the same as they were nearly a decade ago. I do see DayJet as having been more nimble.

I see Eclipse as both jeapardizing its long-term future as well as not being nimble by still insisting on the size of the order book. Eclipse just within the past week has said that they're still planning on having 800 units per year come out of Russia and even without ABQ that is just way too many and you've got the same problems all over again. Eclipse would be better off adjusting its processes and business model around 80-130 units per year rather than 800-1300 units. Now they just bury themselves deeper as being a dishonest business while also impeeding their-long term opportunities by sticking to a production process they know doesn't exist in order to somehow hope to find the Greater Fool.

Both where I do see Eclipse having some opportunity would be in post-BK where it charges for the retrofits. That wipes out the $800K per unit figure that was mentioned previously on the thread. I don't see the appeal in anyone invest in Eclipse pre-BK for numerous reasons, but I see that Eclipse in some form could make it as a servicer and if it acted pro-actively and honestly, it could last as a manufacturer if it worked toward making fewer units per yer rather than more units per year. 100 units per year was cited here:
http://www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/AVwebInsiderBlog_CanEclipseSurvive_198756-1.html
And if Eclipse built their production processes around that figure, they could last indefinitely in some form (with the caveats on the TC/PC and construction defects).

Also here's an article on the upcoming House Transporation hearings:
http://albuquerque.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2008/09/15/story1.html?b=1221451200^1698508&t=printable

fred said...

sorry , dave ...

i disagree !

eclipse become a servicer = too small amount of plane to survive ...
(or they will have to be on a very-saving model! pride and ROI will prevent it ... it's all or nothing ! in my view ... )

they stay as a manufacturer = who would be crazy enough to buy a "thing" for the price of a mustang ? (nearly ) but with all encumbrance ? and to really finish it to some actual standard : they have to raise price !!!

that is probably the reason for keeping on the Mega-order ... (2000+)
they just do not know by which end seizing the beast ...!
no way out ...

Dave said...

eclipse become a servicer = too small amount of plane to survive ...
(or they will have to be on a very-saving model! pride and ROI will prevent it ... it's all or nothing ! in my view ... )


I do see Eclipse's ego as getting in the way of Eclipse surviving. The author of the article talking about Eclipse manufacturing 100 units per year also brought that up. Eclipse could cease to be not because there was no way out, but due to egotistical dishonest executive leadership who ultimately needlessly destroy Eclipse. BTW, with Eclipse on the ropes and seeking hundreds of millions of dollars guess what Roel is doing? He's spending the week on vacation to be in a sailing race!

baron95 said...

Shane, I'm short on time, but real quick. Yes, I have a very good idea of HP's printer cartridge margins - and in case you don't know it is declining.

As for selling Jets/Engines at a (slight) loss and make up your margins on service/upgrade, I do believe that we are there already.

If you look at GE and RR (and prob the other engie mannufacturers), their margins on servicing engines are much, much higher than selling new engines, which they soametimes sell at a "loss". Obviously in the piston market, Continental and Lycoming would be out of business if it were not for the parts, overhaul, remanufacture business. New sales are a rounding error.

Could this work for Eclipse. Yes. I think Eclipse designed JetComplete and made avionics/pannel changes a TC restriction, and had proprietary sims and trianing courses exactly to have the custoers captive for service.

Yes, it is possible for Eclipse to sell planes at a (slight) loss and still be profitable with servicing, financing, on-going training, etc.

That is why I keep on saying, everytime there is one more EA50 delivered, the more interesting the post-BK or "reboot" biz case for Eclipse becomes. It is called a captive audience.

x said...

Flightaware shows 15 EA50 arrived Sunriver; also a MU-2 registered to a EAC VP. A Mustang (S/N 38) flew in just behind the dentist.

Of the craft arriving, 5 have recently been on Controller (though 3 of these were fractional shares). I suspect the resellers are heavily represented on the attendance list.

fred said...

dave :

yes , it is plain dishonest conduct !

whatever the way you take the story , always something block the way to an eventual solution ...!

May be , a "club of owners" could set up such a post BK servicing ...

but then again , i don't see how KennyBoy would look "so smart" being left orphaned with only one end : to pour more and more money into the dream-pit ...

fred said...

baron :

your "captive audience" scheme works ONLY if actual ( i don't mention future as i don't see anyone dumb enough to buy now !) are stubbornly proud enough to accept to finance over and over again ...!

the critical mass to sustain such a bizz-plan has never been reached , and will very probably never be !

once again with EAC : too small , too late , too few ...

Dave said...

Could this work for Eclipse. Yes. I think Eclipse designed JetComplete and made avionics/pannel changes a TC restriction, and had proprietary sims and trianing courses exactly to have the custoers captive for service.
Yes, it is possible for Eclipse to sell planes at a (slight) loss and still be profitable with servicing, financing, on-going training, etc.
That is why I keep on saying, everytime there is one more EA50 delivered, the more interesting the post-BK or "reboot" biz case for Eclipse becomes. It is called a captive audience.


I agree that it is possible, but I don't see this as a probable sustainable business - particularly since one of the main Eclipse product differentiators has been lower operating costs. I see Eclipse being able to charge for retrofits as a unique BK phenomenon allowing Eclipse to get out of customer contracts rather than seeing new customers agree to this upfront. Also for this to have any chance of Eclipse on an ongoing basis selling aircraft at a slight (not major) loss, Eclipse is going to have to get realistic about sustainable production volumes or else the razor blades and printer ink discussion is all just academic because Eclipse will continue its cash arsonist ways. Roel spending the week sailing when there's only weeks left (six weeks if I understand correctly about 10/31) tells me Eclipse's CEO doesn't take saving Eclipse that seriously.

fred said...

yes dave ... it could be an epiphenomena ...!

but honestly , i don't see the point:

2 options

positions holders and already owners accept to be noticed as " foolish proud " and accept to pay for something they should have got for free ...

or

they ask for their due , acknowledging they haven't been that clever all along and the whole story is buried under the weight of its own mistakes , mismanagement , dishonesty , etc...

as written before , nice way to be an hostage !

Dave said...

but honestly , i don't see the point:
2 options
positions holders and already owners accept to be noticed as " foolish proud " and accept to pay for something they should have got for free ...
or
they ask for their due , acknowledging they haven't been that clever all along and the whole story is buried under the weight of its own mistakes , mismanagement , dishonesty , etc...


I don't see it as that simple. It would be the bankruptcy court who would allow Eclipse to get out of their customer contracts, however, whether or not that happens Eclipse could be buried by its ongoing mistakes, mismanagement, dishonesty, etc. Existing customers who have jets might be unhappy about this, but if Eclipse is seen as honest and have their operations based on realistic size and market share estimates, Eclipse could make it there would probably always be someone who would buy a used jet for paid retrofiting or even new one. I just see Eclipse missing both the honesty and the realism and the more this goes on, the more they damage their reputation and the more competitors eat up their potential market for new customers along with creating operations that needlessly burn cash.

airtaximan said...

it could work...

BUT, Eac would have to get into the jet fuel busness!!!

;)

fred said...

dave ...

i was stating customers point of view ..

for sure , i wouldn't like to be the BK judge ...

or i would need lots of rope to hang of few ...

as you said about reputation , i think it is already too tarnished , so EAC.ng would look like a used-cars dealer , if you're broke = why not ; but if you have any cash try to avoid like a plague !

airtaxi : they should turn into what they know best : marketing vaporware !

gadfly said...

Question:

In view of the statement in the BizJournal article that the investigation of the FAA is not about Eclipse, directly, why is Governor Richardson lobbying in Washington?

gadfly

Michael Turner said...

Greetings Bloggers,

I am a doctoral student in management at New Mexico State University participating in a research project regarding Eclipse Aviation. Our project is specifically aimed at the telling the story of success in designing, building and flying the Eclipse Concept Jet to Oshkosh in 2007. With Shane’s permission, I would like to ask your assistance. We would be interested to know of your first hand or second hand experience on how the project was managed and executed within and outside of the Eclipse organization.
If you are interested, please contact me at mturnernmsu@gmail.com.

Thank you,
Michael Turner

flightguy said...

Eclipse 500 Certification Review Panel Makes Its Recommendations

See recent after lunch headlines.

gadfly said...

Mr. Turner

You have your work cut out.

The people that can give you the information you desire are under "Non Disclosure Agreements" with Eclipse Aviation, under threat of lawsuits if they say anything about what they know.

Some of us have already experienced a "witch hunt" type suit, and you might better investigate a search for body parts of space aliens in Roswell.

gadfly

(As they say, "Rots o' Ruck!")

Dave said...

Apparently if you want an FAA TC all you have to do is ask for it:
The agency said the Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006, issuance of the type certification was requested by Eclipse and not tied to FAA employee bonuses.
http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/eclipse-500-cleared-in-special-certification-review/

Dave said...

FAA Press Release on the review:
http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=10287

gadfly said...

Everyone:

'Just find and press the "delete button" in your brain while "thinking" about everything you thought you learned about Eclipse over the past two years, and wait for the latest "update" to your system . . . which will include the "correct" history files, concerning the FAA and Eclipse Aviation.

Now, doesn't that feel much better? . . . Almost like getting Service Pack 4 for "XP-Pro" . . . or is it "Vista NG"?

gadfly

(Everyone on this blog will need the latest and greatest Garmin . . . 'just to locate where we are. I lost track about five detours ago. But fret not . . . our government agencies, with the help of local government, and some other honest folk, will put us back on "Old US 66" before you know it.)

gadfly said...

'Reminds me of a radio jingle from long ago:

"Put Duz in your washing machine, Duz does dishes, Oh so clean!"

'Seems the FAA knows about such things . . . and those "dishes" come out sparkling.

gadfly

(Yeh, for the "faithful" . . . I probabaly heard it on my "crystal set" . . . KFI Los Angeles.)

Dave said...

In view of the statement in the BizJournal article that the investigation of the FAA is not about Eclipse, directly, why is Governor Richardson lobbying in Washington?

To further raise questions on that Eclipse refused to send a rep to the hearings for that reason:
The House committee invited Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation to send a representative to the hearing, but the company isn't under investigation, said Eclipse spokeswoman Alana McCarraher. "This whole hearing is because of the FAA," she said. "We're kind of just thrown in the middle."
http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2008/09/15/story8.html?q=%20eclipse%20500

So why did Governor Richardson put out this press release and travel with Peg Billson to Washington DC?:
http://www.governor.state.nm.us/press/2008/sept/090308_01.pdf

mountainhigh said...

Yep... the wagons have circled!. I don't think many of us believed the FAA would walk into the hearings this week with a report critical of "itself."

I want to know if this is now the precedent in certifying other VLJs? Can other companies expect...
-- as many FAA folks on-site as needed (even pulling those FAA folks from other programs, etc.)
-- FAA folks working on weekends to get the cert finished
-- the VLJ company having the authority to "let go" inspectors they don't like
-- the VLJ company having authority to define which areas of the aircraft will NOT be viewed/inspected
-- requesting the TC be issued on the day of your choice ... Sat, Sun, holiday
[partial list]

I think we need to hold the FAA to these precedents.... in all fairness to the other VLJs. I know the FAA will be in complete agreement with the above since I'm sure they don't want to be viewed as showing favoritism to one program (EAC).

airtaximan said...

Michael:

"..aimed at the telling the story of success in designing, building and flying the Eclipse Concept Jet to Oshkosh in 2007"

Please define "success" referenced above, and perhaps I can help.

I "predicted" the aircraft configuration and the flight...

gadfly said...

airtaximan

Don't pick on Michael . . . he's just trying to get a degree . . . and if he's just been reading the "press" reports, he's politically report.

gadfly

(Without comment: "Governor Richardson will also attend several events on behalf of Senator Barack Obama on the
East Coast before returning to New Mexico this weekend." Questions?)

Dave said...

I am a doctoral student in management at New Mexico State University participating in a research project regarding Eclipse Aviation. Our project is specifically aimed at the telling the story of success in designing, building and flying the Eclipse Concept Jet to Oshkosh in 2007. With Shane’s permission, I would like to ask your assistance. We would be interested to know of your first hand or second hand experience on how the project was managed and executed within and outside of the Eclipse organization.

It would be a very risky activity for anyone to participate in on the record unless you got a waiver from Eclipse that anyone who helped you would have a waiver from Eclipse not to sue or seek criminal action against said participants. You might want to reconsider doing a project on a different company or in doing it on Eclipse but not in a way that could get someone in trouble for helping you. Eclipse has shown a willingness to sue those who discuss their operations and those who helped you would lose their anonymity and provide an easy way for Eclipse to sue them, should Eclipse be so inclined. That being said you can search for press headlines as well as contact Eclipse directly along with the supplier for the ECJ to find more information.

airtaximan said...

Gadfly,

Unfortunately, if someone's looking for information, designed to demonstrate "success", one would need to know what defines success?

- success as in, they were successful at keeping it a secret, from the...

- success at using certain funds from depositors, without repercussion?

- success at designing it to a spec, not informed by any outside influences, because it was a secret?

- success at making a "one-off" airplane for marketing purposes

- success at preselling the plane and taking deposits for say 100 of them

-success at meeting some performance spec?

I'm a little lost - perhaps I have some insight or opinion... but I need to know what defines "success"... and I am not being tough on the guy.

Beginning with a preconceived conclusion of "success" begs the question "According to what standard, crieteria?"

Then we can provide insight.

Turn-and-Burn said...

Michael Turner, I you want facts, don't come here. There are some, but most are tarnished by the Critic monicker.

Turn-and-Burn said...

Eclipse 500 Deemed Fit to Fly

Sep 12, 2008
By Frances Fiorino fiorino@aviationweek.com


The Eclipse 500 is safe to fly and was certified in accordance with 14 CFR Part 23 -- so determined the FAA Special Certification Review, launched by the FAA to evaluate compliance issues related to the very light jet's type certification.

Concerns raised by employees at the time type certification was issued prompted he FAA to order the review, which was conducted Aug. 11-Sept. 12.

In the course of the review, a seven-member SCR panel of technical experts, led by Jerry Mack, a former Boeing Safety Executive, met with FAA and Eclipse personnel and examined all certification documents. However, the team members- none of whom had been involved in the Eclipse 500 certification process--focused mainly on examining Service Difficulty Reports in the four main areas of concern: cockpit displays/screen blanking, stall speeds, trim, and flaps.

The certification-related findings, along with six recommendations to the FAA on how to improve regulatory and policy guidance, were issued Sept. 13, on the cusp of the Sept. 17 House Aviation Subcommittee hearing on alleged regulatory lapses in the Eclipse 500's certification and manufacture.

The SDR's main findings led to its final conclusion that the Eclipse 500 was fit to fly and had been certified in accordance with Part 23:

*The means of compliance proposed for the Eclipse 500 Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) was acceptable.

*No incidences of screen blanking affected multiple screens.

*The stall warning system was properly certified, but approach speeds were incorrectly documented in the Airplane Flight Manual at the time of initial type certification.

*At the time of type certification, the flap system was properly certified.

*There were no trim issues at the time of certification on conforming flight test articles.

*The FAA flight test function of the certification program was not staffed with correct mix of flight test engineers and pilots.

*Communication among parties was not effective.

*Function and reliability test objective was not well defined.

The FAA is in agreement with the review team's recommendations, which include the following:

*The FAA should develop guidance for demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements based on a combination of software and system development process.

*Eclipse Aviation and the FAA should conduct a root-cause analysis of the operational trim and mistrim issues being reported in the field, as well as a root analysis of the trim actuator failures documented in the SDRs.

*FAA should reevaluate the criteria for applicability of function and reliability testing.

The FAA's certification processes and its performance-based system are likely issues to come under fire at the Sept. 17 House hearing.

One allegation surrounding the Eclipse 500 review is that certification was accelerated by an employee aiming to win a bonus under the FAA's performance-based system. FAA spokesperson Lynn Tierney noted that the system awards bonuses for "a job done right," not because an employee is meeting a target date for certification

Dave said...

More on the FAA:
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=busav&id=news/CERT09128.xml&headline=Eclipse%20500%20Deemed%20Fit%20to%20Fly
At the time others took issue with me for saying the 30 day review was about determining whether or not the Eclipse was safe because I was saying that was too short of time irrespective of how ethical the investigators were. Well, now it is clear this was about safety as that article makes abundantly clear.

Keep in mind Roel already knew the results days ago as this was quoting him on the 10th:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&u=http://www.quotenet.nl/biz/pieper_dupe_amerikaanse_verkiezingen.php&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Declipse%2B%2522Roel%2BPieper%2B%2522%26num%3D100%26hl%3Den%26lr%3Dlang_nl%26safe%3Doff%26as_qdr%3Dw
So the investigation was started on the 10th of last month and in 30 days an inspection can start from scratch, determine a jet to be safe, write the report and pass the results on to the CEO.

airtaximan said...

BTW,

I am willing to admit, the E500 was successful, as well... at certain aspects... just not many commercial ones. (I can only think of 1 or 2 commercial successes - raising serious cash, and using suppliers to fromt certain RD/tooling/dev cost, in some cases)

And, I am a harsh critic. I would agree, the e500 was a success... based on certain standards and criteria.

Dave said...

Michael Turner, I you want facts, don't come here. There are some, but most are tarnished by the Critic monicker.

So in other words you're afraid to help him.

Dave said...

I am willing to admit, the E500 was successful, as well... at certain aspects... just not many commercial ones. (I can only think of 1 or 2 commercial successes - raising serious cash, and using suppliers to fromt certain RD/tooling/dev cost, in some cases)

Actually what you list relates to the business rather than the product.

Turn-and-Burn said...

Eclipse 500 Certification Review Panel Makes Its Recommendations
Fri, 12 Sep '08

Says Cert Process Was Performed Safely, But Communication Needs Improvement
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 09.12.08 1430 EDT: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agreed Friday to act on the recommendations of a team that reviewed the agency’s certification of the Eclipse 500 very light jet. The team found that the airplane was certificated in accordance with safety regulations, but that the agency could improve policies and communication procedures used during the VLJ certification process.



"This review tells us that while we made the right call in certifying this aircraft, the process we used could and should have been better coordinated. These recommendations will be invaluable as we continue certifying these new types of aircraft," said Acting FAA Administrator Robert A. Sturgell.

Sturgell said the review team, headed by former Boeing executive Jerry Mack, issued six recommendations as part of the Eclipse certification review, and that the agency is committed to acting on each of the recommendations. Those recommendations are as follows:

The FAA should develop guidance for demonstrating compliance to regulatory requirements based on a combination of software and system development processes.
The FAA should revise Advisory Circular 23/1309-1C, Equipment, Systems, and Installations in Part 23 Airplanes, to address the emergency of turbine engine airplanes weighing 6000 lb. or less maximum certificated weight.
The FAA and Eclipse should conduct a root cause analysis of the operational trim and mistrim issues being reported in the field.
The FAA and Eclipse should conduct a root analysis of the trim actuator failures documented through the SDR system and other in-service reports.
All cognizant FAA offices within the Aviation Safety Organization should work together to establish appropriate correction for fire suppression bottle failure issues documented through the SDR system and other in-service reports.
The FAA should reevaluate the criteria for applicability of function and reliability testing.
Sturgell said the lessons learned from one of the first certifications of a new type of aircraft will help the agency as it examines the approximately eight other VLJ certification applications pending before the FAA.

The team focused on the certification of airplane trim, flaps, cockpit displays, and stall speeds. The team determined that, for the most part, in-service difficulties were not related to the certification of the aircraft.

The team noted it is common for technical problems to be encountered during type certification of a new airplane, but that a lack of commonly used internal FAA documentation caused the perception that the aircraft might not have been properly certified.

It also cited a lack of effective communication between Eclipse and the FAA, and between the responsible offices within the agency.

Sturgell said that the FAA agrees with all of the findings and recommendations in the report and is committed to taking the appropriate steps to ensure that increased communications and better procedures are put in place as the agency moves forward with the certification of this new category of aircraft.

The review was prompted by concerns raised by FAA inspectors, represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. The review team consisted of FAA experts with specialties such as flight testing, avionics and certification.

Eclipse said it would not comment on the findings of the report. As ANN reported, the company faces a Congressional hearing next week before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, regarding the concerns that prompted the FAA review.

Turn-and-Burn said...

Dave said... So in other words you're afraid to help him.

Like I said. My comment stands.

Dave said...

Like I said. My comment stands.

Yes, you've demonstrated the chilling effect Eclipse's lawsuit had.

airtaximan said...

turn-and-burn,

I am really impressed with this report... and I am not kidding. I think it outlines some real concerns, Strugell is committed to fixing the process that was used to certify the plane, and admits that it was properly certified according to FAA requirements/process which needs to be changed.

He is committed to changing the system that certified the plane, and improving the standards, guidelines and communication, so that future certs are "better".

Lessons learned - I am impressed.

I also think it meets the little 4 point system we set up a few weeks ago. (I dont feel like looking it up, but there seemed to be some folks that agreed the report would basically be no fault found - ssues need to be rectified, and we'll handle it in due course.

IIR - thanks for this post.

PS. Any info Turner gets from this blog will be helpful - what he does with it is his choice.

I am very puszzled by the idea that the conjet was "successful" - and I am willing to learn.

gadfly said...

‘Let’s not worry too much about a man who is about to write a doctoral thesis. The only requirement is that the subject be unique . . . ‘covering some new thing that has never been discovered or covered before in depth. (Remember that term, “depth” . . . it comes up later.)

The man in question has simply taken on a “local” subject, that at first glance, seemed related to the New Mexico economic environment. In fact, I have a “son-in-law” who graduated from this school . . . and got his “Master’s Degree” at Stanford (a little school in Northern California). New Mexico State University is a fine institution, not to be confused with the University of New Mexico (UNM . . . University of Nothing Much). ‘Don’t make much of that last statement . . . the daughter who married that son-in-law graduated with two engineering degrees from “USC”, “University of Spoiled Children”, . . . ‘just to keep the playing field level.

From his point of view, Michael made a wise choice . . . not knowing that he was about to step into “quick sand” . . . or something found on a cattle ranch. After all . . . what would any of us conclude, if the only information we had came from the “press”, or the professors at the school.

‘Bottom line: Give the man some slack . . . maybe by the time he goes through the “rough draft”, and get’s ready to “publish”, he may have a most thorough and fair thesis . . . with a slightly edited and more correct title.

gadfly

(Suddenly of late . . . I’ve taken a new look at “moose hunters” and “snow machines”.)

(Oh yeh . . . “depth” . . . PhD . . . “Piled higher and Deeper”.)

airtaximan said...

Anyone else find it curious that Sturgell somehow limits his remarks to "this category of aircraft"... are cert standards more rigorous for slightly larger aircraft... say part 25, sor planes over 6,000 lbs?

If so, perhaps a revisit of this criteria (MTOW) would do the trick?

I think some manufacturers are certifying their VLJs to part 25.. commuter category.. am I correct? are these issues more rigorously covered under these FARs?

Hmm... I think I want a part 25 cert plane... but I am not sure.

Dave said...

‘Bottom line: Give the man some slack . . . maybe by the time he goes through the “rough draft”, and get’s ready to “publish”, he may have a most thorough and fair thesis . . . with a slightly edited and more correct title.

I don't see anyone giving him a hard time. Myself and others have pointed out that anyone who helps him could be subject to litigation.

gadfly said...

Dave

You are correct . . . and I have respect for your comments. Sometimes "others" might mistake intentions . . . and I hope this man feels welcome, and will truly investigate, without being put-off by either the "critics" or the "faithful".

That's all . . . almost. I'm still curious as to the state of conditions out at the bird factory . . . among a few hundred workers and their families, uncertain of their financial future. It's easy to sit back and "pontificate" about the pros and cons. It's quite another thing to be in the midst of the brew . . . with the temperature constantly rising.

gadfly

('Time to go watch a grand-son play football in ABQ.)

airtaximan said...

"It's easy to sit back and "pontificate" about the pros and cons"

Man, I had the same thought today. I like uncovering the truth, and I think we've pretty well in that category.

Yes, we're critical... thinking. Sometimes, too critical... but benefit of doubt is out the window on this company.

I would like to admit, that these guys developed and certified a small twin engine jet plane. It took them a long time... it cost a ton of cash, and there's apparently no way to make money with this plane, because it cannot be sold at a profit.

The underestimated the competition, and are squeezed to the point where the vlaue proposition only appeals to a very small number of people... and for nowhere near the number of planes they need to deliver to make any money. This is apparent - not a fact. At least, no one that is known to a hig degree of certainlty.

Anyhow, the workers... probably many, many people busted their asses for a long time - racked their brains, used a lot of (life)time and energy to make this happen.

Its probably not their fault they cannot make money with this plane. In fact, THAT problem probably can be pinned on a dozen or so folks at EAC... very high ups.

Otherwise, from a purely "aircraft" perspective, I think a lot of folks did a bang up job and deserve one hell of a round of applause.

Problem is, the product is a dud -it fails to provide ROI.

gadfly said...

airtaximan

And of course, although they do, indeed, deserve a round of applause, it is most difficult to pay rent, buy groceries, and gasoline for the car . . . on applause . . . and cover those expenses until they find new employment.

gadfly

('Lest we forget who really paid for this little bird.)

Dave said...

Its probably not their fault they cannot make money with this plane. In fact, THAT problem probably can be pinned on a dozen or so folks at EAC... very high ups.

Exactly. This can be pinned on those who have Chief, President and Director somewhere in their job titles. The same also goes for having inexperienced workers working - those employees were only looking at feeding their families.

baron95 said...

The FAA should revise Advisory Circular 23/1309-1C, Equipment, Systems, and Installations in Part 23 Airplanes, to address the emergency of turbine engine airplanes weighing 6000 lb. or less maximum certificated weight.


To me this is the most promissing comment of the SCR!!!

Could it be that the FAA will see the light and treat light (as in less than 6,000lbs MTOW) differerently, just like they treat prop twins elow 6,000lbs differently than the larger ones (e.g. no positive climb required on failed engine)?

That could be the first step in the road to remove the type rating or relaxing their standards tothe certificate holder's standard.

Other than that, no surprises that the Eclipse EA50 passed the SCR. EVERY other plane in the past has done so.

But I am sure it will be a bummer for some of the more jihadist critics in here.

airtaximan said...

I'm kinda surprised at your comment:

the report basically cited numerous issues.

Are you saying you want realxed standards regarding emergency (or is it emergence?) of turbine engines in this category?

In any case. I think the important things are:

"The FAA should develop guidance for demonstrating compliance to regulatory requirements based on a combination of software and system development processes."

- this is a big deal - I believe they think the plane is more complex than a simple part23 craft, and stricter more enlightened requirements should be developed. This probably due to the avionics/computer systems/integration complexity that is now new to thiscategory - I could be wrong... but it looks like an admission almost to the degree of loophole in the regs.


The FAA should revise Advisory Circular 23/1309-1C, Equipment, Systems, and Installations in Part 23 Airplanes, to address the emergency of turbine engine airplanes weighing 6000 lb. or less maximum certificated weight.

- once again, this looks like a lax reg to me, that needs clarification for the infusion of new systems intgegration concepts in this category - an admission of this not being normal or even well defined to date - another loose end

The FAA and Eclipse should conduct a root cause analysis of the operational trim and mistrim issues being reported in the field.

- interesting, since this is not a cert issue, really - its technically an in-service issue... shows awaremeness that should a finding related to a cert reg/compliance issue arise, they are willing to change the reg - apparenly the system cert related to the trim system is lacking - they passed the certification, but there at least a safety issue that could result in a new reg/guidance etc. This seems to be a weasel wording for, we have nothing in the reg to ensure the safety of THIS system in a part 23 craft - lets see what an investigation shows, and we'll re-write the reg to make them safer for this issue. My read, anyway.

The FAA and Eclipse should conduct a root analysis of the trim actuator failures documented through the SDR system and other in-service reports.

-same as above



All cognizant FAA offices within the Aviation Safety Organization should work together to establish appropriate correction for fire suppression bottle failure issues documented through the SDR system and other in-service reports.

- same as above, for fire supression

The FAA should reevaluate the criteria for applicability of function and reliability testing.

- you could read this either way - either the criteria are too strict with this aspect for the part 23 cert, or too lax. I think they are saying they are too lax. Just a hunch, but given the SDRs and the various issues related to function andreliability testing evident with this plane - I think they are going to be stricter not more relaxed.

So, why you think the remark you cited is the most important, and why you think this will result in less strict regs/standars, is beyond me.

I'm interested to know...


Sturgell said the lessons learned from one of the first certifications of a new type of aircraft will help the agency as it examines the approximately eight other VLJ certification applications pending before the FAA.

Black Tulip said...

“The FAA should revise Advisory Circular 23/1309-1C, Equipment, Systems, and Installations in Part 23 Airplanes, to address the emergency of turbine engine airplanes weighing 6000 lb. or less maximum certificated weight.”

You can’t make this stuff up. Obviously the government public relations writer meant to say ‘emergence’ not ‘emergency’. Was this a Freudian slip?

Baron95… for you this discussion may be jihad, or Holy War, but for others it does not have religious significance.

airtaximan said...

BT,

I cannot imagine anyone would nterpret the comment you cite as a reason to relax any reg or standard... but I guess somehow, one might see it this way.

I would hate to think, that somehow, the regs are going to be changed and made stricter... and this will effect the other 8 certs, yet not revision will be applicable to EAC... and yet, there seems to be clear concern for many aspects of the cert process, eventhough it was complied with.

I guess the E500 gets Grandfathered in?

I wonder why none of these issues came out of the FAA review audit of the Mustang? I know, it was not the same sort of audit - but one would think the woulddiscover at least a few loopholes that needed patching over there, too?

Comforting... I think not.

airsafetyman said...

How can you have an investigation that goes from August 11 to September 12 and yet the FAA is able to release the findings and conclusions on September 12 as well? Thats faaaaast! The news was released on a Friday afternoon which is the classic time government agencies shovel s%#t out to the media they don't want looked at at all. This means it will be old news on Monday as everyone has "moved on". Anyone's BS detector pegged out? Mine broke a long time ago. I am ashamed of the FAA.

Dave said...

How can you have an investigation that goes from August 11 to September 12 and yet the FAA is able to release the findings and conclusions on September 12 as well? Thats faaaaast! The news was released on a Friday afternoon which is the classic time government agencies shovel s%#t out to the media they don't want looked at at all. This means it will be old news on Monday as everyone has "moved on". Anyone's BS detector pegged out? Mine broke a long time ago. I am ashamed of the FAA.

Not to mention Roel said he already had the results on the 10th.

flyger said...

Dave said...

Not to mention Roel said he already had the results on the 10th.

Of which month? Like, maybe, he knew last month before the review even began? The best government money can buy.

If I was Oberstar, I'd be asking questions of the 7 person panel such as "how many hours did you personally devote to this review over those 30 days?", "what traveling did you do to support this investigation?", "did you fly the airplane yourself?", and so on. The answers will make it embarrassingly obvious how little "investigation" the panel did.

I think 7 guys sat in a room with paperwork and hacked out a report in a few hours.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Just like Vern called the NTSB liars here are the bloggers of the EACNG saying the FAA is full of BS, didn't do a good quality investigation and "filled out the paperwork in a few hours." You never cease to amaze. I have a new hope for this airplane to be successful, and it is not for personal gain. Just to shut you people up. But I doubt that will ever happen. Nothing is ever good enough.

Dave said...

Just like Vern called the NTSB liars here are the bloggers of the EACNG saying the FAA is full of BS, didn't do a good quality investigation and "filled out the paperwork in a few hours." You never cease to amaze. I have a new hope for this airplane to be successful, and it is not for personal gain. Just to shut you people up. But I doubt that will ever happen. Nothing is ever good enough.

Seeing how the first you thing did is compare bloggers to Vern, the rest of your message is rather odd as I don't remember you saying those other things about Vern and Eclipse. Can you show me a previous message of yours where you said you wanted Vern to shut up and that nothing was ever good enough for him?

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Well here you go. Vern was a cock and everybody knows it. To his credit he did something that hasn't been done in years. And he had a pretty darn good idea. He let his ego get the best of him I think and that is most likely why he is gone.

airsafetyman said...

"here are the bloggers of the EACNG saying the FAA is full of BS,"

You got it!

"I have a new hope for this airplane to be sucessful"

If the damn thing has a Type Certificate issued by the FAA, shouldn't it ALREADY be sucessful, or at least flyable?

Dave said...

Well here you go. Vern was a cock and everybody knows it. To his credit he did something that hasn't been done in years. And he had a pretty darn good idea. He let his ego get the best of him I think and that is most likely why he is gone.

I had said a PREVIOUS message and you're not displaying the same attitude toward Vern as you're displaying toward other bloggers. Also think you are missing nuances (sometimes because bloggers don't make the nuance themselves). With NTSB the majority of the bloggers said it wasn't a wise thing to publicly attack a government oversite agency (NTSB) that has oversite over your business (Eclipse), however, this blog does not fall under FAA jurisdiction. Short of me getting on a flight, the FAA has no jurisdiction over me, so it has no impact on my employer what I say about the FAA. Also there's nuance even though it isn't stated with the FAA. When people talk about the FAA, they don't mean everyone working there, but rather the FAA leadership...afterall it was FAA employees who caused the hearing to take place. Also as I've stated previously on this thread as well weeks previously that 30 days isn't enough time to positively declare an aircraft safe, which previously what was said in response to that was that the other bloggers didn't think that declaration was being done and to wait and see and now I've seen. Also I think you are under the misaprehension that you think bloggers want Eclipse to fail. I think few or any bloggers want that - certain bloggers might think it is inevitable, but I wouldn't say that they want it to happen. Like the FAA, it isn't all of Eclipse that bloggers take issue, but rather the leadership of Eclipse...which I for one take issue with Roel for many of the same reasons as I did with Vern as he seems to be needlessly running the company into the ground doing the same dishonest things Vern did.

OustedEAC said...

You guys are so smug. You all think this is one big joke. You're addicted like this is just some video game. Let me assure you this is NO GAME, NO JOKE.

I am one of those that bled on the manufacturing line with hopes for this company. Now I have no job. You may not have started the fire, but you sure fanning the flames. No matter what you think, the lives of 600 families of my fellow ex-workers have been affected by your actions. Eclipse is what it is. If you don't like it, don't buy one.

Some of you are so deluded that you have convinced yourselves that you have this "higher mission" to keep the world and aviation safe from Eclipse. Well let me clue you in, you are all a bunch of tabloid writers looking for the attention that your parents never gave you. You get pleasure from making up lies that in the end only hurt the little guys like me that are so desperately trying to make ends meet in this crazy world.

Now I know, Airtaximan, Dave NinerZulu are all going to say they did nothing but reveal the truth. Well the truth is that you do not know the truth and you just continue to make all kinds of outlandish claims that have little or no merit.

Only the innocent get hurt, and you are all part of the inflictors.

FlightCenter said...

The FAA registry records show that all 28 DayJet aircraft are still registered to DayJet Leasing LLC.

If there is a deal to sell DayJet aircraft to Linear Air, it has not closed yet.

Dave said...

If there is a deal to sell DayJet aircraft to Linear Air, it has not closed yet.

I believe shane was vague on the details, so it conceivably could have gone through if DayJet Leasing itself was sold.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

So they suggest re-writing AC23.1309.

Wow, a neophyte company with a lapse of ethics in leadership totally F's up their F&R testing, EFIS design, introduce unknown failure modes and sneak cuircuits into their FADEC and the FAA needs to take corrective action?

I hereby apologize for previously suggesting the folks who expected a whitewash needed to bring in tinfoil headware.

This is completely disappointing, the FAA gets lambasted for doing its' job and everyone is ignoring the 800 lb partially functional incomplete gorilla in the room.

Man, can I just ask for a TC?

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