Thursday, November 20, 2008

A nuclear winter looms

The Wedge was at the VLJ Forum in West Palm Beach, FL, on Tuesday 11th November. He provided the ‘closing comments’ that day, and I’m happy to share with you a fuller transcript than has heretofore appeared in the media. Originally I had intended to run with the entire, but some of what he said was so indistinct it didn’t make the recording and parts were also rambling, to put it politely. I’m sure you will all find it most ‘amusing’.

“I’m surprised you’re all here. I had heard the VLJ revolution was over. I’m happy to be here.”

“A couple weeks ago, 10 days ago, I was in Amelia Island. I flew an Eclipse there. I was invited to Edsel Ford’s 60th birthday. Edsel said to me “This is the challenge. Our business depends on one thing--scale. It’s not about the car we build, it’s that we build it on a large enough scale. We have to get to that level that we break even. We know we’re making the right trucks. We know we got a great product in Europe. But for us to bring one of those cars to the States, we can’t just shut a factory down and start making Fiestas. It would be multi-billion dollar investment. Overnight we saw attitudes in America change. We've sold pickups for 60 years, and now we think we've lost all the customers who don’t use pickups for a living.”

He then moved onto what the transcript describes as being the ‘key discussion’ during the day.

“This is a business of scale and capital formation. I’m really good at that. I'm probably the only person in this room who has raised $1 billion in capital. Don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it’s a fact. How do you do this? Not a lot of ways right now. There's a lot of discussion about organic growth--that's a fancy way of saying you fund it yourself. I don’t want to take a drug from a drug company that used organic growth to develop that drug. This industry is time intensive, it's regulatory intensive, it's capital intensive. And it can’t be done by raising a million from family and friends. Piper said they can build a jet for $150 million. At Eclipse, we had to build the whole infrastructure from scratch. About half a billion was spent getting the aircraft through cert. Half of that, $250 million, was because we had to start over a couple times. There was the failure of the Williams engine. I praise P&W. I’ve been criticized in the media for saying the problems were due to vendors. I’ve never said that. If one vendor--in a chain--fails, that’s a big problem. Ask Boeing (about the 787).”

There you have it. He’s actually boasting about blowing a BILLION dollars of other people’s money, and now tries to rub their noses in it by saying he had to ‘start over’ several times. There were several remarks about Williams, and P&W. Needless to say, they were self serving and no longer relevant. The Wedge then moved back to his core premise:-

“This is a business of scale. If you say we’re going to produce 30 a year, that’s going to drive capability, cost. The thesis here that I’d like to explore is that it's time to change the definition of VLJ: Value Light Jet. That's the real theme. Now were finally talking about facts, not database speculation. We have real facts. "We have seen the dogs eat the dog food." Ed proved it this morning. Bill [Herp] talked about it. It is happening. The underlining theme is one thing: it’s about value. Most of their customers are not coming out of NetJets or the airlines. They're coming off the highways. How do you get these people off the highway? Offer them a better value. Offer a different set of values: time, convenience, safety. It will be different for every consumer. Truly on demand and customized.”

The only thing that Ed proved was how to go bankrupt in under a year. Mind you, he did have help from his ‘friends’ at EAC, so it was not a solo effort. Despite the visible proof that there is no ‘air taxi’ market of sufficient size to drive real volume, The Wedge refuses to drop the shovel he’s using to dig the hole he’s in and continues.

“I’d like to see VLJs and air taxis---VLJs are an enabler. Any one of a number of airplanes will work. VLJs bring a new dimension. Here’s a little secret the Eclispe 500 is the airplane I wanted. A ‘turbofan’ Duke. What I wanted was a jet that was like a Duke. That’s what the Eclipse started out as. The ultimate owner pilot aircraft. It is still the core of who Eclipse is selling to, especially since the demise of DayJet. Don’t associate air taxi and VLJs. Air taxi can thrive and succeed without VLJ, and VLJs can survive without air taxis.”

Drivel, pure drivel. I can’t make sense of what he’s saying, and I don’t think he can either. Is it that DayJet shows you can’t run a small scale taxi operation, or that the whole idea is a distraction and the real market is the ‘owner pilot’? And then, for no reason I can fathom, he is recorded as saying next:-

“I was involved in early stages of development of PowerPoint: I have made 2 promises to myself: I quit shaving. I don’t use PowerPoint anymore.”

I don’t know why he said this, or the link between facial hair and presenting ideas, but he said it. As usual, he can’t avoid a direct lie. PowerPoint was bought by Microsoft from a Macintosh developer in 1987. The Wedge left Microsoft in 1982…

“We were convinced (old partner, college roommate) we could sell computers to people just like Pacific Stereos sells to people. Thought it would take 6 months. It took 10 years. That industry is 12 times faster than aviation industry. I look at the VLJ industry and say it’s not going as fast as I would have liked. I want things to happen 10 faster than physics says it can. We’ve got 400 airplanes 260 Eclipse. Cessna 250. The safety record is phenomenal. People said, “It’s going to be the next doctor killer, the next Bonanza.” They say to the owner-pilot, “You’re a good pilot, except you’re not professional. Screw you asshole.” Cirrus killed lots of people. After 2 years Eclipse has 2 accidents, both runway overruns. Cessna and Eclipse take a different attitude toward training. I think we’re doing pretty good. People out there don’t want us to succeed. This is an industry that eats its young. Capital formation very difficult. It’s difficult because it requires a lot. It can’t be done in your garage. It requires lots of capital, lots of patience. It’s fraught with people whose comment to anything new is “It can’t be done. It hasn’t been done, so it shouldn’t be done” or “Well if it could have been done, we would have used King Airs.” Bullshit. The airplane doesn’t make a flip bit of difference.”

Now now, lets keep the language clean around here. The Wedge gets back into paranoid mode:-

“It’s a willingness to take risks. Entrepreneurship. This industry has lost its spirit of entrepreneurship, and it’s phenomenally sad. This is an industry, if it doesn’t change attitude, its approach to innovation, disruption [is in real trouble] Early 2001, Russ Meyer--who I admire, he made Cessna what it is---Russ is a great man. Russ sought out two off my largest investors to tell them it was stupid of them to invest. “It won’t work” It didn’t help my cause, someone of his magnitude, credibility, stature, to seek out investors and board members to say don’t do this. That’s what I’m talking about.”

See, everyone was out to ‘get’ him, all them dinosaurs from the existing aviation community. There are evil men everywhere, bent on browbeating a saint who never lifted a feather to any of his competitors. Shame on them. The problem with his views on these matters is very simple, and may indeed indicate a deeper psychosis. Everyone else is wrong, because The Wedge is always right. There are a range of medical conditions and personality disorders which we could consider, but this is an aviation blog, not a medical one.

“What am I going to do next? I don’t know. I’m an entrepreneur. I know how to take risks and I’m proud of that. It’s not the first failure in my life, and probably won’t be the last. But we need capital, and the future of capital is pretty bleak. I think we’re in for a tough period. We’ve been drunk on credit for a decade. But that’s a free economy. This isn’t new news.”

Probably the most sensible thing he said for a long time. Are you listening Roel? This chap claims to know more about the market than anyone else, and he says the future is bleak.

“We have never had financial global systems so completely interwoven. It’s really scary. Problem is that we have an increasingly uneducated electorate. I still think the best comment: Warren Buffet---time to be fearful when everyone’s greedy, be greedy when everyone else is fearful. Intense fear right now. I’m very concerned about attitudes. I don’t share Ed’s pessimistic view. We’ll emerge differently, but not necessarily right away.”

Ed was clearly better informed than The Wedge. If anything the short term outlook is getting worse.

“Where will I end up? Where the capital takes me. Green tech is very hot right now. Am I going to start a nuclear power company? That has it’s own set of regulatory complications. I don’t know. When I do, I’ll let you know.”

There you go. Watch out fellas, he is thinking of going nuclear. Clear out those old bomb shelters and lay in a stock of food. The Wedge wants to go out in a real blaze of glory.

“People have asked me if I’m going to be the next Secretary of Transportation. No way in all of God’s green earth. If I were to go to DC, I only wonder how long it would be before I blew up and went postal. No. I’m not politically connected enough. I didn’t vote for Obama. One article said I was a member of Obama’s aviation staff. No. I feel like Sarah Plain. No I’m not going to be the Secretary of Transportation or the next FAA administrator. I’m not going to be involved in government. I’ve watched that town suck the life out of [people]. Not a good place. It is a profoundly and decidedly negative place to exist.”

As far as I remember, the only one promoting The Wedge for Washington was Black Tulip! Does he not have one nice thing to say of your national capital? I think the monuments are quite nice, and I understand some of the food can be very pleasant. But no, he’s feeling negative about it. I wonder if it’s because of the FAA? Ah, here we go, a fully fledged rant:-

“We are in for a tough haul with the FAA. We’re going into the dark ages. It is all politically motivated. 100 percent political. The Congressional hearings on Eclipse had to do with unions. I am the only one who has the courage to stand up and say this. They’ve had it out [in - ed?] for Hickey and Sabatini. Their cronies, led by Oberstar, sucked up to them. They planted stories with USA Today. It’s all politics. The FAA is unfortunately subject to this. One way to describe it, there are people in government that think the government is the only one capable of doing what’s right and correct. They believe that from a regulatory standpoint, the only people who can truly enforce are government.”

Really? So, EAC were correct and the FAA were wrong? Does that mean that the TC and PC were delivered after political pressure was applied? Lets see how he squares that one.

“We did face challenges with certification. We chose to do a lot of things differently. Eclipse 500 never had an electrical failure. People said we couldn’t build digital electrical system, and now Bombardier is duplicating that system for the Lear 85. John Hickey --who I have more respect for---his comment was to me, “Look Vern, our guys in the field are not the best engineers. We have those people, but you have to remember, the safest word for bureaucrat is no. They’re only good at approving things they’ve seen before.”

So the FAA people in the field have no idea what they are doing. Therefore, they were not qualified to issue the certifications. So the FAA HQ people did it for them. But the FAA are not political. Hang on, The Wedge said they were. I’m confused…

“80 percent of Eclipses are not in air taxi. One of the good things about my departure from the company [I got an Eclipse]. I flew on average 25 hours in the last three months. I just go. Put as much gas in as I can, go as long as I can. The airplane has 300 hours. It just runs. Just get in, start and go. Part of the problem is that I know too much about the airplane. Every time I land somewhere—I was at AOPA talking to Ed Bolen and Phil Boyer--two owners came up to me and thanked me for the airplane. One of the schizophrenic problems that Eclipse has. There is the 5 percent asshole quotient, but owners love them. It does exactly what it says. We screwed up on some things, and some vendors screwed up. There were some problems. But it’s an exceptional airplane. With a good tailwind, you can get 10 miles per gallon. At one airport, an old B17 pilot came up to me and said how the great airplane was. He didn’t know who I was. When I hear things like that, it makes all this worth it.”

This is called MBWA. Steve Jobs did it at Apple before John Scully fired him. It’s short for Management By Walking Around. As far as The Wedge is concerned, everything in the garden is rosy because people he bumps into tell him it is.

(Asked from the floor about the future of Eclipse) “I don’t know. I have zero association with the company today. That is partially their choice, partially my choice. I made decision, some on the board wanted me to stay, I knew it would be like going from captain of the ship to third officer or worse. When I’m not happy, I’m destructive. With my personality, I couldn’t handle that. I’m not good at being Number 2.”

Ask anyone Wedge. You were crap at being ‘Number 1’…

“Why have I been vilified? That’s a tough question. I watched it happen to one of my best friends: Bill Gates. We were playing golf one day, when he was going through all that shit with DOJ. People were saying, “This is a bad, evil person” Bill said to me, “All I thought I was doing was making life easier for people.” I talked to him recently about what happened it to me. The reason I got fired was simple, I pissed off the investors. I stood up to them, didn’t want to do what they wanted to do. When you’re CEO, your job is to lead, to decide. Board approves or disapproves. If they don’t like it, they have one choice: accept it or fire you. I didn’t leave, I got fired. I was going in a direction that the investors didn’t want to go. So they fired me. When it isn’t working, you fire the coach. Why I was vilified? I don’t know. It’s because I’m such a warm, fuzzy person.”

Name dropping was always one of his minor sins, so we’ll let that one go. But false modesty never looks pretty on the Curriculum Vitae.

“I’ve been scoured in the blogosphere, all by people who are “idiots and cowards.” (to quote Sarah Palin) They do it through anonymity. I’ve never shied away from saying “You’re an idiot.” You look at these postings, and they’re all by people who are anonymous. They’re cockroaches trying to hide under rocks.”

Hello, Mr. Wedge, your favorite cockroach here. Are you ‘name calling’ for a reason? Is it because Rich Lucibella stood up to your SLAPP suit and put you back in your box? Do you think, like I do, that the exposure you provided this blog was one of the bad decisions that got you fired? What exactly is your problem with the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States anyway? I’ve a load of questions, as do a considerable number of reporters I know. Care to answer any of them? Or have you crawled under a rock, grown a beard (it doesn’t suit you, by the way) and hope people forget how you burned a self-confessed ‘billion dollars’ of other peoples’ money? You know where to find me if you want to unburden your tortured soul.

“Eclipse is a FOQA-approved agency. We used that data to identify problems. The Midway throttle problem: massively misreported. It was a failure mode we did not anticipate. When you really slam on the throttles-it took 45 lbs of push. One of the problems Eclipse foisted on itself, engineers happier than a pig in mud that they have so much precision. In the case of the Eclipse, that fault condition--not a failure--latched in 200 milliseconds. We did research turns out on Cessnas FADEC 2 seconds-6 seconds. They latch 50X slower than Eclipse. So the Eclipse did what it was designed to do. Turns into a big deal with NTSB. Emergency press release. By the time it was released--by the way, we had already done that. Sturgell asked Mark R. (NTSB) --WTF?? Mark said, “You know that’s how the game is played.” That’s a direct quote. But when I say it’s all politics, people say I’m a jerk. Personal vilification: something needs to be changed.”

Yes Mr. Wedge, it’s clearly everyone else’s fault. You had no personal responsibility for any of it. People in aviation will be happy to work with you again, I’m sure. As I will, the next time you start to rip people off. And the time after that. And after that. I know you fancy dabbling with nuclear power, but remember that most scientist agree with the following. After you trigger your ‘nuclear winter’ the first life to reappear will be the cockroach.

I’ll be waiting for you.

Shane Price
Proud custodian of Stan’s legacy.
November 2008


444 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   401 – 444 of 444
Zed said...

B95, ATM, et al -

Mi righting aint two gud tooday.

I wasn't supporting the EAC action, rather affirming that they intentionally flew a limited life engine to achieve a PR and program milestone.

Those who had some insight were shocked to hear of the flight, as the stories coming our of SP1 were scary.

I also fully concur that developmental events are structured to support the company, and often be neutral at best to vendors, depositors, etc.

Same for the purchase contracts. If anyone who ponied up money felt that it was mutually beneficial, then you probably didn't read it. The contract language was as much in Eclipse's favor that they felt customers would accept.

Finally, using program achievements, however thin, to generate program momentum and evoke vendor action is not new.

There were likely a number of factors in the supply chain that were encumbered as well by first flight.

Avidyne's Dan Schwinn was occasionally heard to say quite boldly that they would get serious with Avio development when Eclipse actually flew an airplane.

Clearly there was the opinion amongst some vendors that the jet would never fly, and they would be pocketing the development money.

There was also considerable intel that Cessna and others were entering the market with vigor.

Wedge and then Cone Heads fell victim to industrial fear, and started making bad decisions at an increasing rate.

Unfortunately for Eclipse owners, courtesy of Avidyne, the transition to the PWC engine took far shorter time than completing Avio software.

In December 2005, instead of delivering the final software, Avidyne delivered the "if you still want it, you get it our way" briefing.

Just to keep us from focusing only on the engine, had that software neen delivered, possibly 1000 PWC powered aircraft would be flying now.

Poor vendor management must be added to Wedge's failures (remember he was CEO/COO during this Pre-Peg period).

Dave said...

Poor vendor management must be added to Wedge's failures (remember he was CEO/COO during this Pre-Peg period).

At what point did Roel leave the Avidyne board? I know he joined in 1999, but I don't remember when he left.

Zed said...

At what point did Roel leave the Avidyne board? I know he joined in 1999, but I don't remember when he left.

I believe that Wedge left in early 2002 amid an argument over vendor funding (sound familiar).

Dave said...

I believe that Wedge left in early 2002 amid an argument over vendor funding (sound familiar).

Thanks for the correction and the answer.

airtaximan said...

Zed,

nice post... hard to read and follow.. but after reading it a few times... I get you drift, and it makes sense to me...

TBMs_R_Us said...

So mgmt did what is best for the owners/investors of the company, as is their duty.

So what is the big deal?


Baron,

I call BS on this one! Management's duty is not solely to owners/investors at all costs, irrespective of honesty, honor and integrity. Where did you come up with that notion?

Yes, management has a fiduciary responsibility to owners and investors. But it is a given in every enterprise that honesty and integrity are values for management to uphold in all of their doings if that enterprise is to be trusted by their customers, vendors, regulators, and the general public (all of which are necessary to fulfill that fiduciary responsibility!).

Otherwise, they are no different from ROBBER BARONs, which evidently are the values you believe apply. "The term may now be used in relation to any businessman or banker who is perceived to have used questionable business practices or scams in order to become powerful or wealthy." (Wikipedia)

Dave said...

I call BS on this one! Management's duty is not solely to owners/investors at all costs, irrespective of honesty, honor and integrity. Where did you come up with that notion?

And what about if they are being defrauded in the process or at least didn't know and wouldn't have approved if they did know? I'd really like for Governor Richardson and Mayor Chavez to say they knew the Williams engine wouldn't work, but just wanted to get the money even if it was under false pretenses. I'm no big fan of the SIC, but I doubt they would have approved of this if they knew it was just a dog-and-pony show. This also goes for new investors who based their investment on the flight that they would approve of getting progress payments based on false pretenses.

Zed said...

ATM,

I guess that the EASA news has me in shock.

The brain is running at 105% but the hands only type at 80%.

I need some tryptophan to slow me down. Bring on the turkey.

Hopefully the folks on ABQ will have something to be thankful for this week.

Z

baron95 said...

I'm not privy to the Eclipse depositor agreement, so I can't comment intelligently. But if said agreement said that deposits become non-refundable upon flight of a prototype with some stipulations of what a prototype is, and this flight met that stipulation, that that is it.

Any depositor that disagreed could have asked for their money back and/or sued to get it back. How many did? ZERO?

So that is proof that depositor didn't feel that "wronged" as you claim.

So, for you to try, 6 years later, to rewrite history and claim that a huge fraud was perpetrated on depositors, when no depositor felt sufficiently wronged at the time to sue is ludicrous.

Depositors on a new startup GA venture, like it or not are risk sharing partners.

In fact, early depositors should be very thankful. They got a much faster plane, with a much better, more expensive engine for their lowly initial contract price. Great deal if you ask me.

In any event, that is ancient news, and it is only being re-hashed here now, to counter two more Eclipse accomplishments Avio NG 1.5 and EASA certification, which the intelligencia claimed would never happen.

Dave said...

So, for you to try, 6 years later, to rewrite history and claim that a huge fraud was perpetrated on depositors, when no depositor felt sufficiently wronged at the time to sue is ludicrous.

Just because no legal action was taken does not mean no fraud or other activies that would be legally actionable took place. You're also assuming that the depositors had perfect knowledge of what was going on inside Eclipse at the time the events the events took place. Time probably will tell as to what exactly did or did not take place.

In fact, early depositors should be very thankful. They got a much faster plane, with a much better, more expensive engine for their lowly initial contract price. Great deal if you ask me.

And this is something else time will tell. So far there has yet to be a complete aircraft produce and I'm not even sure that Eclipse presently has a time horizon when completed aircraft will be retrofited/built and for what price. Though I do think the aircraft will be shown to be OK for private low utilization use (assuming that parts will be available), we're seeing more and more of the problems developing, such as with the carbon on the engines, tires, etc.

In any event, that is ancient news, and it is only being re-hashed here now, to counter two more Eclipse accomplishments Avio NG 1.5 and EASA certification, which the intelligencia claimed would never happen.

I guess I'm not a member of the intelligencia then and I'm left scratching my head as to how Eclipse is any better off with certifications that require parts from a supplier who has written Eclipse off as a customer. As things stand right now Eclipse would have to find a new supplier and re-certify NG 1.5 and for EASA (other than for the few aircraft build with IS&S parts and the parts remaining in stock).

fred said...

woooaw ...

guys you amaze me !

First : when a firm or management hide fact(s) to pony cash in ...or misinform investors for its own profits or to hide his lack of honesty...

well = it is a lack of ethics !
ethic is a very strange thing , you have it all or none at all ...

as far as the ones in charge do not have it , the worse is to be feared and ALWAYS happen ...

second :

was it such a great deal ?
i am astounded !
i feel like a boxer being knocked-out ...

if anyone believe that out there it is a kind of jungle , well ... let me remind you that for most the jungle is ok , ONLY if they are NOT the pray ...

unfortunately , in business : you find what you bring along with you !

if you are a scumbag ready to cheat all and any for having a little more success ...

it is going to last ONLY for a more or less short time ...

you will ALWAYS find an other competitor who will be ready to be even more dirty and selfish than you could be ...

third :

yes , when it became quite obvious that it would very likely not make it ...

The Wedge should have said so , openly ...

i am quite sure that most of depositors would have liked to know ...
after all , they were trying to buy something expensive at an unprecedented low price ...

they could have decided to stay onboard or not ...

because this is what it is about ,business like democracy are weird subject ...

you can decide right or wrong , it is up to you ...

BUT ONLY IF YOU KNOW ABOUT !

this is why i believe the whole thing was a scam ....
if they had (i am being kind) any desire to make it work at the very beginning ...
they blew it off when they decided to "make it look like it was a good 1st flight"

that the problem with truth and ethic ...
it works at 100%
or at 0%
(Leonardo da Vinci said : "doors have to be open or closed ,anything in between is only a view of mind ")

so to come back to Fpj :

if they would have given the choice = Fine , perfect , they would have had treated their customers as intelligent and mature persons ...

they have chosen an other way , to hide and dissimulate ...

by this they have shown they were taking the depositors for not-really-grown-up having much too much money and looking for a thing of real grown-up ... but at a fraction of the price ...

considering this : it is very easy to understand why most depositors choose to ignore the warning signs ...!!!

fred said...

dave :

yes , you are totally right !

this EASA doesn't make any sens ...

if you do not take it as an other decoy ...

there is no reason for it !

as they got Cert. for a specific , something they don't produce , will probably never produce , and even if they want they need to have the specific items which are certified as part of the plane ...

parts that they will unlikely have at disposition ...

unless some weirdo-investor decide to sink an other 300M$ in the boat , before finding a new hole in the hull and have to inject an other plaster of XXX millions $

this is pure madness !

fred said...

did i mention that Even if the pre-requisite cash injection is made ...

that the "historic" furnishers are still on board ...
(historic= the one good for EASA Cert.)

they still have to fear the biggest rock of the ocean :

the rock called : No Customers !

fred said...

i wrote it many times before :

it is amazing to see EAC ...!

it looks like a chain , anyone would like to use ... only to find there is only one link missing always and under all condition...!

this is where The Wedge would have been very clever to "discover" than a good average in everything is ALWAYS much better than having ONLY ONE best point lost in an ocean of mediocrity ...!

bill e. goat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bill e. goat said...

Hi Fred,
Are you referring to EAC as an ocean of mediocrity, or a sea of despair?
:)

let's hope for the fine customers and employees, neither !!

I'm not sure which, but the nautical reference makes me think of Gilligan's Island. (At least they had a nice beach). And like the Minnow, the EA-500 has had a slightly extended schedule.

Gilligan!! Wedge!!

"that the 'historic' furnishes are still on board ...
(historic= the one good for EASA Cert.)"

V-e-r-y I-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g*
--------------------------------

It hadn't occurred to me, but it obviously had to Fred, that we've got a little swap-aroo going on here. EAC v1.0 bagged FAA cert with Avio, then immediately swapped to IS&S. Now, EAC v1.1 has bagged EASA cert with IS&S, and is immediately swapping to ____??

(Noticing the similarity is unavoidable, although in fairness, I think the v1.0 "event" was conducted with considerable deliberation and furtiveness, while the move to v1.1 is unavoidable, given the present situation).

"Verrry Interesting. But Schtoopid!!*"

(Much like Mr. Wedge himself :)
*I had to use starting ether on the Way-Back Machine to remember where that line came from: Arte Johnson, Laugh-In TV show, circa 1970.)

fred said...

hi billy ...

as you want ! ;-)

i love sailing , one thing i should tell you :
even if i was to die just now ...
or if it would be the last time i can get on the sea ...

if that would be a boat , i would never board it ! ;-))

about EASA :

well you have to remember that they are proudly "Assembler" not "manufacturer" ...

it is no secret that each time something change on an EASA Cert. flying anything = permission !

if it considered as an important change , modification or major work = New Cert. (think $$$+++)

since they are "assembler" the provenance of the parts are of importance ...

NOW , if the furnishers which the Fpj has been cert. with are deserting the ship (yes , i love sea) , the certifying bodies have something to say ...!

i am not sure that the FAA is expensive (it seems a simple phone call is enough = it is EAC...;-) )

with the other one , the cash-till
is singing more often ...

conclusion :

just an other money drain to entertain ...!

they should have started by fixing their problems , before adding new ones to old unresolved ones ...

but that only my one cent worth vision of it ...:-))

eclipse_deep_throat said...

Dumb questions:

I'm still trying to get the crust outta my eyes. And the coffee has yet to have an effect on me. But as I woke up about 15 minutes ago, this popped into my head: won't Cessna go for EASA too?

Silly me. I had to dig a bit on their web site. Looks like Cessna already got EASA back in 2007, yes?
So I'm trying to really understand the value of EASA for Eclipse when it appears that Cessna had almost a 2yr lead on EAC. First mover advantage and all that...

I still think that, demographically speaking, only those Uber Rich people with money to burn would take the risk on an Eclipse 500. Even those near or semi-rich people would have to consider Cessna as a rational alternative despite the higher cost. Doesn't Cessna have a better service network already established in Europe???

e.d.t.

fred said...

EDT :

if the Cessna compare to EAC would be a basket match :

the result would be

110 - 0 !

the Cessna network is very developed in all countries of European Union ...

The EAC network is ... how can i put it ... not to make you feel going back to bed ...

well ... NON EXISTENT ! apart from the 2 offices of Etirc (if anyone can call that "offices" ) there is just NOTHING ...

where they have to have a certified Service Center ... with Certified management ... and Certified staff ... (underlining = PAY them or you will have to RE-cert. every week ....)


if that wouldn't be enough , in Europe (excluding UK and crazy asses)

the tendency is more in NOT SHOWING too much ... ( there is a saying : "if you want to live happy , live far from the eyes !")

so the ones who could eventually buy one , DO NOT HAVE TO GO CHEAP !

bye-bye EA500 !

fred said...

an other point :

since CESSNA is a producer (they do not rely ONLY on furnishers for parts)

they are Certified from the factory
(Process certifying)

Eac is an Assembler (they do not produce any of the part they use , so it is an Item cert.)

that's alone make a galaxy of difference ...

the Killing bullet : the place that eventually could have been fulfilled by Fpj ...

after such a long waiting are taken by Mustang ...

almost not more expensive (i still wonder what could be an eventual FINAL price for Fpj ? 3M$?3.5M$ ?) ... really delivered ... maintained on spot ! (where at this time , someone using a Fpj have to go to USA or take the risk of voiding warranty ..!)

bill e. goat said...

EDT,
I think, as Fred mentioned, that while EAC is to be congratulated for EASA cert, the immediate benefit is a legitimate Press Release, and not much else.

The not much else, being counted on the fingers of both hands, at least for the next 12 months or so, I would speculate.

Fred,
An extra credit homework assignment:
If Cessna has had EASA cert for two years (or so), how many Mustangs are registered in Europe?
Thanks!
(as you mention, there might be a disproportionate higher number of Mustangs relative to potential EA-500's registrations, due to Cessna's established support network).
Thanks!

airtaximan said...

"But if said agreement said that deposits become non-refundable upon flight of a prototype with some stipulations of what a prototype is, and this flight met that stipulation, that that is it."

This is not what occured. They flew a "stunt", took deposits using an airframe and engine they could never certify or deliver, AND they knew it.

After they received the deposit money, the announced the
switcheroo.

Example: you pay a deposit for a lovely looking home outfitted with the latest in appliances and systems, tremendously integrated and fuel efficient and inexpensive... based on a promo package which includes all the prety pictures and the specs. The developer takes a deposit which is refundable, until he builds a model.

Developer discovers that the newfangled systems and appliances he sold and promoted in his brochuresdo not work properly and the supplier cannot deliver them, anyway. Disussions ensue regarding redesigning the home providing less living space, closet space, etc... in order to accomodate other appliances and systems. The efficiency is no longer as promoted, either, so the house will cost more to live in, for sure.

The developer does not disclose any of this, and proceeds to build a model and installs the only set of appliances and systems(prototypes) from the intially promoted suppleir, and shows the home.

The developer takes the deposit money... and then a few weeks later, states that all the appliances will be supplied by another manufacturer. Eventuall you learn the home will have less living space, and it will cost more to run, compared to the one you were sold.

I do not think this has anything to do with EASA or the attainment of AVIONG-1.5 cert. I've already stated congratualtions are in order. That's for sure.

I do thnk this is a major issue, and becasue EAC did such a great job of covering it up, does not mean there was no fraud.

I will state that if in fact things transpired as EAC states regarding WI... there was no fraud... just complete stupidity. One would have to believe EAC had no clue the engne had all the problems Vern just admitted to... and in good faith flew the WI powered EA-50 as if they intended to deliver that plane - then, somehow found out all the problems, and decided to switch just after receiving the deposit money.

I doubt it.

PS. there are I believe some lawsuits starting where EAC is being accused of misrepresentation... IIRC.

I think the industry need to be protected from this sort of dealing in the future... just my opinion.

Finally, this issue has little bearing on the hurdles EAC faces from now on... exciting times.

fred said...

billy :

if we believe Eurocontrol (guys which are a "little more" professionals that Wedge and RP will ever be , even in dreams ...)

the Cessna Mustang is to be delivered in short excess of ONE hundred till 2010 !

this doesn't take account of the ones with Exotic matriculation ...

compare to EA500 = 0 !
(same reserve on matriculate as previous aircraft)

fred said...

which is a very good indication of size of the European Market compared to US market ...

Cessna already stated having more than 500 orders ...

so if it 100 for E.U.
and (guess !) 100 for others countries

it leaves 300 for the USA ...

which underline :

250 EA500 already "produced" (whatever that's mean )
should mean FIFTY (50) for E.U. !

not a thousand , tens of thousands or whatever ...! ;-))

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

Apparently Eclipse just filed for Chapter 11.

Shane Price said...

MAJOR NEWS ALERT

Two depositors have confirmed to me in the past few minutes that EAC have filed Chapter 11 in Delaware.

I'm going off to check this out, and suggest we all come back here within 30 minutes.

This, finally, may be 'it'...

Shane
15.32 GMT Tuesday 25th November

Dave said...

Finally, this issue has little bearing on the hurdles EAC faces from now on... exciting times.

I think Eclipse does things with no concern for the long-term. Like I expect the latest AD will be traced back to when Eclipse did the FADEC patch to hit contractual targets, but with the aircraft not being able to operate to contract without the aircraft breaking down. I think there are many such things like this that Eclipse has done and it is bearing fruit now. I don't think the aircraft can accomplish its primary mission as a high utilization commercial aicraft because of what Eclipse has done. I think the aircraft is strictly for private pilots and we will see how good the aircraft is for that in the long-term or if more and more problems will crop up limiting that because of what Eclipse did.

fred said...

which point out an other side of problem :

Cessna with 100 Mustangs can afford to have Services Centers caring for the whole range of aircraft ...
(it just give a better profitability to S.C.)

EAC/Etirc , if they would have a S.C. in Euroland , what would the guys do all day long ?

sodomize mosquitoes ?
playing cards ?
chatting girls ?

Dave said...

I can confirm that Eclipse Aviation and Eclipse IRB Sunport (I believe the LLC associated with the industrial revenue bond) have filed BK today. Lots of filings.

fred said...

bad news for believers ...

hope the furnishers have a stock of lubricant !

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

dave you got a link to that???

Dave said...

dave you got a link to that???

I used my PACER account to login into the Delaware BK court and I'm downloading documents now. I don't know if it has hit the wires, but for me I'm going right to the source. It's VERY INTERESTING reading so far.

Shane Price said...

Dave,

Whatever you get, I'll link in a headline post, as soon as you have it.

I'm awaiting owner, supplier and staff reactions as well.

Also, I think it's fair to say that whatever I put up first will be modified in short order as additional information comes to hand.

Use the blog emails

eclipsecriticng@gmail.com

Shane

fred said...

dave ....

do you want to kill us of curiosity ?

how much for sharing ??

(kidding off course ...!;-) )

bill e. goat said...

EPx,
Thanks for the scoop (again! .)

This seemed pretty unavoidable, another $200-300M would only have delayed it and made the hole deeper.

If a dim wit like me could figure this out, let's figure smart people like Roel and Peg did as well, and already have a strategy in mind.

I figure they do, and hopefully things will continue as smoothly as possible during BK.

I fear the suppliers are getting reamed with this; I hope no owners-in-waiting get dinged as well (I really don't think they will, other than perhaps having to deal with some additional delays, which was probably inevitable anyway, if EAC lost the empenage supplier (Hampsons) and IS&S).

Like I say, I figure they have a plan prepared- lets hope it is well executed, for a change. (Perhaps this will give Mr. Pieper some freedom from the constraints he inherited from the Wedge).

For the employees- my heart goes out to you. You've done a great job. The blog's general consensus is that the near-term sustainable size of EAC is somewhat smaller than projected in the past.

But it's a good product (and will continue to be refined), so hopefully this transition period will be as, ah, "Non-Disruptive" as possible.

Godspeed during the next few months, to all involved.

Orville said...

"In the face of unprecedented economic challenges, it is clear that the sale of the Eclipse business through the Chapter 11 process is the right course of action to maximize the value of the business, secure its future and protect the best interests of Eclipse's stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees and creditors," said Roel Pieper, CEO of Eclipse Aviation. "The successful sale will position the business for aggressive global expansion, allowing the company to fulfill its promise and solidify its position as the world's leading manufacturer of VLJs."

Eclipse also announced Tuesday the voluntary departure of Peg Billson from her position as president and general manager of the company's Manufacturing Division to pursue other career opportunities.

"Ms. Billson's position will be replaced with interim manufacturing oversight provided by Eclipse's senior supply chain, engineering, production and flight operations leaders," said an Eclipse release.

EclipsePilotOMSIV said...

I don't think you will be surpirsed as to who put first bid down on EAC.

Orville said...

Peg's already disappeared from the Bios of the Exec Team

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

http://kob.com/article/stories/S678186.shtml?cat=500

TBMs_R_Us said...

Which blogger predicted 2 or 3 months ago that they'd go BK on 11/25? Pretty good predicting!!

fred said...

Bt :

nice job ! ;-)

since you seems to understand O.B. ...

could you share a bit of your light ?

what's going to happen ... is it :

Old "new-Deal"
or
New "Old-Deal" ?

i 've been kind of lost , lately ...

Shane Price said...

New headline up, for obvious reasons.

Clearly I'll expand it as more details reach the blog.

Shane

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